Friday, May 1, 2015

Free Books: 5/1-5/4

I have some books available for free on Kindle starting today and going through the weekend. You should grab a couple and share the freebies with fellow readers. There is a little horror, fantasy, science fiction, and pulp for everyone!

Mobsters, Monsters & Nazis:
Conspirators of the Lost Sock Army and the Loose Change Collection Agency: 
The Twins of Devonshire and the Curse of the Widow:
The Northern California Perspective:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

“Bring-the-zombie-apocalypse-to-my-town” tour…2015 edition featuring Todd Brown!

Welcome to the “Bring-the-zombie-apocalypse-to-my-town” tour…2015 edition

When did the whole “zombie thing” start for you?

At age 14, I saw the original Dawn of the Dead in its theatrical release. When the girl two rows ahead of me blew chunks into her popcorn during the opening scene at the low-rent apartments…I was hooked. Seriously, what could be cooler when you are a fourteen-year-old boy than to see some Farrah wanna-be let loose with the liquid laughter? But as the movie went on, I was just sucked into that entire world. I had yet to see Night of the Living Dead at that point.

What is the last zombie book that you read?

I just wrapped up Contamination (Books 0-3) by T. W. Piperbrook. I am a firm believer in knowing what is out there in the genre. I hear some people (when asked if they wouldn’t mind giving my books a read) say that they don’t want to read it and then steal an idea. I have so many problems with that answer. For one, we are all standing on the shoulders of Romero for the most part. And if you don’t read, then you WILL become stagnant as a writer. I’ve read plenty of stories and never once “stolen” an idea. Now, I will say that I have been inspired by some as well as seen things that I felt did not work and, thus, should be avoided. However, my stories are my own, and despite any outside inspiration, it is me putting the words down.

What makes you story stand out from the masses?

I believe that it is the depth of characters. The zombies are really just part of the backdrop. I think that I introduce real people who live with the consequences of their actions. There is no reset button, no do-overs. That is also why none of my characters are safe. More than one of my primary characters has fallen over the course of the story. I believe that gives the reader a sense of hanging on to the edge of their seat simply because they understand that nobody is safe.

What will ypu tackle next? (If you are writing a series, what will you write after the series is over?)

Well, this is actually the spin off from my DEAD series (which only has two books left in the series proper).

Worst reaction I have received about my writing?

Besides the death threats and hate mail that I receive due to the Garrett McCormick character? I have heard it all. I am a hack, unoriginal, Max Brooks, Robert Kirkman, or Mark Tufo do it better. Blah-blah-blah. I would say that for me, it is not the negative reviews or fans of other writers that strikes me as the worst reaction. People like what they like and loyalty is a funny thing. My issue comes from my fellow writers who pound the pavement asking for readers and reviewers (of which I can say that I have been one for many of them) and the lack of reciprocation. That bothers me a bit. It is a toss-up between that and having somebody ask what I do for a living or find out that I am a writer and then have them ask what I write. When I say that I have a couple of zombie series out, they sort of look away and utter, “Oh…m’kay, well see ya.” Or something to that effect.

And on the flip side, what is the best…the one that almost embarrassed you it was so effusive?

I have a reader who is on her death bed, she is in treatment and has a short prognosis, survives day to day on morphine. Let me share a portion of her first email (there have been others since, but this first one dropped me):

“Dear Todd Brown,

Just to say thanks - your Zomblog has got me through the first  two weeks of living with my new best friends - morphine patches.

I've got a life-limiting condition with a side order of physical disability - that's the hand I've been dealt, and fortunately, I've got the disposition to cope with it.

I've got great family & friends & the NHS & voluntary work in my community  (I'm Jewish) - we should all be so lucky.

Your writing - how ordinary people deal with a 24/7 nightmare - has been a great comfort.
Morphine has left a vacuum where my fizz & whizz used to be - I thought I was prepared for 'feeling weird'.

But I didn't expect to feel MIA.

Reading has always been my lifeline - distracting me from pain, when nothing else can.
Some writers sweep me up into their world and onto their timeline -
You're one of those writers.

Thank you for your words.”

What do you say to that? Thank you? That feels so inadequate.

If any of my work was to be made into a film, which piece, and who is THE big star I would love to see in the leading role?

I honestly thing that the DEAD series is to epic for a decent screen treatment. Zomblog might go over well, and I would really dig seeing it brought to cable. That Ghoul Ava is actually where I have my screen dreams pinned. And I would love to see Famke Janssen as Ava. That would be sweet. Also, I have no idea where she would fit…maybe as Morgan, but Alyson Hannigan is probably my biggest Hollywood crush…her and Jennifer Anniston, but Jen seems to crash and burn in every single relationship…that is a warning flag. I hate high maintenance women. I am high maintenance enough and don’t need the hassle.

What is the scariest movie I have ever seen?

I saw The Exorcist when I was supposed to be in seeing a certain Disney movie about a baby deer. I was just a wee tyke and that movie scared me silly. To this day, despite desensitization and everything else, that movie still chills my blood. The “Captain Howdy” flash image makes me nearly pee.

What is something about me that would surprise your fans?

Besides that last bit? Maybe that my wife calls me “The Animal Whisperer”. I seem to have a way with our furry and feathered friends. I have a rescue Umbrella Cockatoo as our newest family member and am slowly coaxing him out of his shell so that he can be the loud and loving bird that ‘Toos are known to be. That is in addition to my two Border Collies, the African Grey that adores my wife and sees me as the parent…in other words, no fun. (Although she does love to play this game where she creeps up on me and as soon as I notice her, she scoots away.)

What is in your “to be read” pile right now?

Too many titles to list, but I always look for suggestions from other lovers of the genre.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Getting to know Timm Holt, author of Square Affair

In the small Midwestern town of Dewers, among the turmoil of the 1960s, the conversations of five men leads to sexual exploration, which takes them and the town on a journey through good and evil that will change the entire community and confirm the town’s resolve to survive. Arrested on charges of public indecency for anonymous sex in the courthouse restroom, five men reveal complex, unknown, and differing motivations for their actions. As they face not only criminal prosecution, but also the tribunal of Dewers, two questions are on their minds: Who am I, and is anyone out there like me? Clara May and Frieda, guardians of Dewers gossip, narrate Square Affair, where the reader becomes a citizen of Dewers: walking the square, in a bar drinking, trick-or-treating, in a store buying a hat, or in a car gossiping. It is not erotic, but gives the reader an insight into the behavior’s erotic appeal.

Tell us a little about yourself.
Retired, I was reluctant to hang up my white physician’s coat and cease writing for medical journals. I started to pine for a distant history: farmer’s denim overalls (I would never wear them as a kid), my show cow, Betsy (despite the fact that she peed on me and kick my mom in the head), the dust of a good harvest (except when that dust got into your crotch. Actually what I longed for was driving the truck to the rain elevator and getting Grandpa to buy me a Grapette soda), the town square, a hot August day drinking lemonade under the oak tree with Grandm, and the lonesome wail of a passing freight train. I grew up in Dewers (fictional name) and eventually found myself in a similar situation. I wrestled with my sexual identity seeking anonymous gay sex in public places until my wife discovered, and my private sex life became public.

Do you have anything else coming out?
I have 2 more completed novels featuring Clara May and Frieda. They should come out later this year and/or next year. The Train Does Not Stop Here Anymore: Clara May and Frieda travel to Kentucky to try and locate Frieda’s twin sister. Frieda thought she had died of TB in her youth but a picture surfaced taken years after she was supposedly dead show her. The Note: When the old high school is being emptied prior to being demolished a note is found behind Frieda’s desk (she was the high school principal’s assistant) that implicates her in a student’s disappearance years ago. Frieda and Clara May work to find the whereabouts of the student and to clear Frieda’s name.

Do you research you novels? Have you discovered anything interesting with doing research?
Researching my novels has taken me many places, specifically to the backwoods of Kentucky to trace my family and to determine the setting for Frieda. On the current novel, Square Affair, I research the history of gay sex and specifically the laws forbidding it. I look at the town where the affair occurred and found nothing in the old papers or court records despite the fact that many individuals remembered, myself included. Not knowing the specifics enabled me to make up names, families, and events and hopefully not worry about liable. One interesting thing occurred in the research. There is a facebook page for the town history so I posted a question about the affair. A number said yes they remembered but offered no details. I posted again asking for names. I was told a number of times to let it go. There are families still living in the city and they should not have to face the story again. One person said that he wanted to protect children and grandchildren but as far as he was concerned all those homosexuals should be killed. This comes close to the most demeaning thing a person has told me.

Are you fun to go on vacation with?
I am fun to vacation with except when you make me go over the Royal Gorge Bridge in an ugly Pepto Bismal pink 58 Plymouth. As a kid I was sure I was going to die and demanded to get out of the car. To this day I still think I could have died in a plunge to the river below. I could see the newspaper headline: Boy and his family found dead at the bottom of ravine in an ugly pink Plymouth. I think my parents wanted to leave me and would have except that the only way out was to come back across the bridge. I screamed loudly to anyone who would listen that I was going to be an orphan. I would rather be humiliated at sports in grade school and cross that bridge. Incidentally that’s probably the greatest thing I learned in school. I would always be chosen last for a baseball, basketball, football, dodge ball team. I learned that I was not good at sports, but I also learned how to be humble and to cause the least damage to my team.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

One Crazy Night Book Blitz


Book Info:
One Crazy Night - An Anthology by Sara Furlong Burr, Teshelle Combs, Emma Faragher, R. Holland, Louise Nicks, Aoife Marie Sheridan, M. H. Soars, and Sharon Stevenson Publication date: March 10th 2015 Genres: Paranormal, Dystopian, Fantasy


Nightshade Reads presents their debut fantasy anthology, featuring eight of the genre’s freshest up-and-coming independent authors. Get ready for One Crazy Night, packed full of magical encounters, dark secrets and shocking revelations. Get a glimpse into a powerful queen’s dark and brutal backstory in Aoife Marie Sheridan’s Bellona. In Louise Nick’s Love Magic, a homemade love spell goes disastrously wrong for two amateur teen witches. A young woman is captured by beautiful, dangerous creatures in M.H. Soars Elements. A teenage boy falls in love, but things quickly become complicated in R. Holland’s Lady in Black. Sara Furlong Burr brings a broken man’s troubles to light as he is offered a solution by a mysterious stranger in The Recruit. Emma Faragher spins a dark origin tale of sisterhood and magic inNecromancer Lineage. The kindness of a stranger takes a homeless young man by surprise in The Keymaker by Teshelle Combs. Sharon Stevenson’s Reanimator brings death and magic together to change the fate of one young man’s life. All proceeds from this Anthology's sale will go to The Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Organisation.

Purchase Links:

The Recruit quote 1Elements quote 1Reanimator quote 2

About Nightshade Reads:
Nightshade logo 2

Nightshade Reads is a group of YA and NA authors who love to spin Paranormal and Fantasy stories. The group is composed by Sara Furlong Burr,Teshelle Combs,Emma Faragher, R. Holland, Louise Nicks, Aoife Marie Sheridan, M. H. Soars, and Sharon Stevenson.

Connect with the Nightshade Reads Authors: Sara Furlong Burr | Teshelle Combs | Emma Faragher | R. Holland | Louise Nicks | Aoife Marie Sheridan | M. H. Soars | Sharon Stevenson

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Ten Spot: AR Neal

Tell us about your most recent release.

After was one of the most linear manuscripts I’ve ever written. Typically I get an idea and as I start to write, I get snippets of new characters, parts of the story line that seems to fit way ahead (like a great chapter in the middle when I’ve only gotten the first bit of the first chapter down), or the last line. While I have a few other self-published items out there on the market (a novella called Adventures in Cargo City with sketches by my husband and a short story collection called From Reality’s Edge, Volume One) this is my first work through a publisher. I took the time to do the things you should do, like send the manuscript through beta read after self-editing a zillion times and such. I am quite proud of it.

Is there anything you want to make sure potential readers know?

Even though After is spiritually based, it is for all readers. If you like apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic fantasy, you’ll like this. There’s humor, violence, and hints of impropriety (wiggles eyebrows), but nothing lewd that would prevent you from allowing your young adult to read it.

When are you going to write your autobiography?

I would like to think there’s a piece of me in many of the stories I write, so technically I’ve probably written it many times over.

Are the names of the characters in your novels important?

The names of my characters are VERY important. I want them to read like your neighbors, that creepy guy that hangs out in front of the market, your local car salesman, and your best friend. In my non-writer life I am an academic so I have spent a good bit of time researching diversity related issues, so I want my characters to come from all walks of life.

What about the titles of your novels?

Yes – the titles of my books and stories is very important as well. However, I must admit that I would rather have a story with no title if nothing seems to fit. In From Reality’s Edge, Volume One for example, I have at least two stories that have no name. It’s got to sound, taste, and feel right in my head, in my mouth, and coming out my fingers before I commit to it.

Are there any occupational hazards to being a novelist?

There are many: poverty, carpal tunnel, stiff neck syndrome, loss of family and friends, accusations of nerdism, midsection spread, and eye strain. I’m sure there are more but those are the ones that come to mind immediately and that may or may not have happened to me …

Do you believe in a deity?

Yes. I am a Christ-follower. My personal journey has been filled with many up’s and down’s (Down: my dad was killed in a car accident when I was pregnant with my son, who was born prematurely and whose father – my first husband – died just prior to his fourth birthday. Up: after a year and a half or so of being unemployed, I got a job working from home and doing things I love; also in that time I was able to write After and a few other pieces) that continue to increase my faith daily.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?

I don’t think I know a single sane writer. I mean, you have to be a bit off to come up with all sorts of strange ideas, new worlds or unusual attributes about the existing ones, and people. C’mon – show of hands for those writers who refer to their characters as people. See? That’s what I’m talking about.

Do you research your novels?

Oh yes! I use Scrivener and typically have multiple panels open when I write so I can either refer to something I pulled up earlier (websites, articles, factoids) or where I can post something for future consideration. For After in particular, I consulted multiple Bible translations, commentaries, and websites as well as a study by one of my fellow church members and my pastor’s sermon on the Book of Revelation. Some of my other stories/potential novels are space epics (when I get a huge science fiction related idea, it’s automatically characterized as a space epic, even if it turns out to be a piece of flash fiction) so I am always researching various galaxies, AU distances, and other “what if’s” about the universe.

How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?

I started writing when I was in elementary school (I won honorable mention for a short story contest sponsored by our local electric company – my story was something about a space toaster. I was in second or third grade. My story was published in the newsletter and I got some cool giveaways from the bank that was a co-sponsor. I was hooked on writing from that point on) but more importantly the media influences of my life from that period are still an influence. I have always been a huge Rod Serling (“Twilight Zone,” “Night Gallery”), science fiction (Ray Bradbury and too many other authors to list) and B-movie/TV show (“The Car,” “Monster Club,” the two Dr. Phibes films, “Project UFO”) fan. Each of those books, television shows, and movies are inspiration for what I write today. 

AR Neal lives in multiple dimensions and you can find her in any one of them at any given time. She is the Cave Mistress at The Scribe’s Cave ( She puts out pieces of flash fiction at her regular blog ( She lives to serve a house full of four-legged and two-legged creatures (known as dogs, a cat, a soon-to-be-on-his-own son and a very artistic husband). She reads more than she sleeps.

The Ten Spot: Cynthia J. Cordell

Tell us about your most recent release.  

My most recent release is “Alecner.”  Alecner is a space opera novel, meaning that is has all of the ups and downs of a modern day soap opera set in outer space.  It truly does, theirs espionage and a hero that benefits from it.  There’s a planet that’s about to be destroyed because of its’ seedy drug culture and a beautiful maid-like beauty of a girl by the name of Eden who emerges with the essential beauty to save her planet Alecner from being destroyed.

What else do you have coming out?

I also have a book of short stories coming out.  It’s an anthology of 40 of my short stories.  When I’m not working on anything else, writing-wise, I’m usually working on a short story.  Thereafter it’s usually just easy enough to edit down or fluff up one of the short stories for a different project that I can use it on.

What is your favorite bedtime drink? 

My favorite bedtime drink is orange juice.  I don’t know why, but orange juice reminds me of the sun and I somehow am on a transport sailing ship in the 1800’s who is in danger of contracting scurvy.

Do you believe in a deity? 

Yes, I believe in the Catholic God Yahweh.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer? 

Caffeine and having things to munch on, but there are other things like singing along to music and taking road trips with my family.

What is the single most powerful challenge when it comes to writing a novel? 

Writing a novel takes pacing and acknowledgement.  There are different parts of a novel that can be labeled as such so you need an editor to tell you when you have hit the right buttons and also when you have gone out of bounds and need to re-direct your writing cursor/prompt to point you in a more creative direction.

Do you research your novels? 

For “Alecner” I researched the different quadrants of space.  I found out about Tao Ceti and of course the star Alsph Centauri (upon which my novel is based on).

Do you admire your own work?  

I do admire my own work, because there’s a creative, feminine side to it.  It’s much like making a quilt to admire or baking brownies to devour, there’s just something about it that draws you into your comfort zone.

How do you feel about being interviewed? 

Honestly this is my first interview during a virtual book blogging tour and I am very flattered.  These questions are fabulous and the whole idea of a virtual interview has that comfort zone written all over it.

What's the loveliest thing you have ever seen?  

I have seen a sunset on a normal day…

The Ten Spot: PJ Roscoe

Tell us about your most recent release.

My most recent release is ‘Echoes’ that came out in November 2014 – again! I launched it myself in July 2012 but it was taken on by Christine F Anderson publishing so it was given a little overhaul, a new cover and re-launched.

It felt very strange seeing it all changed, though thankfully there wasn’t that much editing to do, just the odd typo I’d missed and a couple of sentences that needed reworking as I sometimes slip back into my Welsh so my English is a little weird!

‘Echoes’ has made me feel very proud, in that it took me fifteen years on/off to write after the death of our son at birth. It initially helped me with my grief, but later it became a symbol of hope and resilience to keep going and believe in my work. So far it’s won the e-book category in the Paris book festival and awarded Honourable Mentions in both the London and New England festivals so far.

‘Echoes’ is about a woman who having suffered abuse at the hands of her father and then her aunt, she moves to a quiet village in Shropshire, England, in the hope of starting a new life, but after witnessing a murder, she realizes that the echoes of the land refuse to lie quietly and she is forced to confront her past. It moves between present day and 15th century when Henry Tudor claimed the throne. There were many casualties of war, but some refuse to lie quietly.

I wanted to explore past lives and whether what happens to us in the past, has any effect on our futures. I also wanted to show a strong woman who has the ability to survive and live the life she deserves.

What else do you have coming out?

Due out this March 2015 is my first collection of faerie stories that I wrote for my daughter many years ago – ‘Adventures of Faerie folk’. Four enchanting stories for 5-7 years old that help teach our children morals and to live in harmony with nature and each other. The next collection I hope to be ready later in the year. I am working with an artist, Marina White, who uses nature and watercolour to bring my stories to life. We’ve had a few problems along the way, with burglary and vandalism of her work, but we’ve finally arrived.

Are there any occupational hazards to being a novelist?

Yes! Numb bum being one of the most hazardous!! Coffee addiction. Chocolate addiction. Sweet addiction – well, you get the idea! Stiff fingers – especially trying to type here in Wales in the freezing cold because I can’t afford to put the heating on all day! Oh how I long for best selling status so I can afford such a luxury!!! Sleepless nights as I lie awake pondering a scene or waking up suddenly with a brilliant scene or a completely different story in my head and having to write it down immediately before I forget it – because I will! Keeping ego at bay when you spot someone buying/reading your book. Every ounce of your being wants to run over there and say ‘I WROTE THAT!’ but you don’t, but hope that they recognize you and saunter over themselves!! (It’s not happened to me yet!)

Re-reading this list, I wonder what the hell I am doing!?

Do you believe in a deity?

Yes. I am a Pagan who believes in both a Lord and lady and nature and balance. I live in harmony with the world as much as I can. I don’t judge others for their beliefs unless they harm someone or try to push their own beliefs onto others – like knocking on doors, shouting abuse at people who don’t follow their own idea. I live by my belief, ‘do what thou will, but harm none’ – which is easier said than done! I am not perfect and shall never be, but I try to live life, be happy and be kind and treat people as I expect to be treated. I love crystals, Angels, faeries and all things magical and feel blessed that I am able to feel them. The sad fact is, the energy we feel is exactly the same loving energy, just with different stories and names attached but ego has become mad and people seem to be under the illusion that killing is acceptable as it’s a religious killing. It’s madness. We are all the same species. Perhaps it’s time people remember that before it’s too late. x

What is the single most powerful challenge when it comes to writing novel?

Not having the ability to type faster! As time is always against me. I have a limited amount of time to write before all of my other jobs get in the way. I am a qualified holistic therapist and work a few days a week at a local spa. I am also a mother to a daughter with Autism and Dyspraxia and when she is home, Megan has my full attention.

It can be very difficult, especially if I am at a good bit and Megan is due home – I have to put everything on hold until the next day and begin again as if I haven’t stopped. This has taught me that I can stop and start at any moment – even in the middle of a sentence or paragraph. The story is forefront in my mind so it’s easy to just pick it up.

Do you research your novels?

Yes I do. For ‘Echoes’ I spent a lot of my time at Shrewsbury library where a few scenes from the book are set. I’d walk the various scenes and see if they are possible or not. Sometimes I’d act them out with my husband and ignore the strange looks! I try to contact professionals in various fields and check my idea with them. In ‘Echoes’ I worked with the police to make sure I had things right. For ‘Freya’s Child’ my second novel, I talked for hours with various archaeologists at the National Trust and Grosvenor Museum in Chester. For my third and fourth novels that have reached the first draft stage I am contacting various people and doing a lot of reading and research in archives – it is this that can take up a lot of time.

I think it’s important to research your story to check that it’s doable. I don’t write fantasy, so there has to be an element of reality in my supernatural/historical fictions. I can get away with a bit of writers license, but I want my readers to be able to ‘believe’ it could happen.

How do you feel about being interviewed? 

Flattered!! Nervous. Anxious. Excited. Nervous. Hot. Fidgety. Nervous. I wonder what I would have to say that people would be interested in and so when my publisher told me about this interview I got flustered, but at least it isn’t face to face!! I just think it’s a very kind thing for someone to do for me and I hope I don’t let them down. So a big thanks to Dan for being a star x

If you could travel to the past in a time machine, what advice would you give to the 6-year-old you?

Don’t listen to anybody but your own inner voice. Be true to that and screw everything else! Oh and don’t blame the chocolate eating incident on your brother – it’s all round your mouth stupid!!

What’s the difference between you and most of the other people?

Well, everything! Everyone is absolutely unique and rightly so. I am not better or worse than the guy next to me, just different and that makes each and every one of us wonderful people with the potential to be who we truly want to be. To spread love and joy and a great big hug to the world. I am a strong, resilient, courageous, fun, loving, caring, kind, impatient, woman, mother, wife, sister, daughter, goddess and so is everyone else in their own marvelous way.

Which one would you prefer, having a luxurious trip alone or having a picnic with people you love?

The picnic definitely! But oh boy what a picnic it would be! There’d be so much cake and champagne and strawberries and cream we’d be sick! But we’d have a laugh in the sunshine surrounded by nature in all her glory and we’d be happy because we are loved and we are loving.

My name is Paula Jacqueline Roscoe and I write my supernatural/historical thrillers under the name P.J Roscoe and my faerie stories for young children under Paula J Roscoe. I have been writing from an early age, but listened to the adults (who knew best) and went to college to train as a holistic therapist. I am still doing that part-time, so I guess they knew I was also good at that too!! I live in North Wales with my darling husband of twenty-one years and our daughter Megan, our three cats and our dog. I walk in nature every day. I love history, dancing, singing, my spirituality, reading and of course, writing. Oh, and a glass or three of wine, or martini, or a decent malt whiskey or … Okay, you see where this is going!

I can be found on twitter - @derwenna1 Facebook P.J Roscoe. 

My website is where you can find links to my blogs and other interesting pages.

Both my books are on


Also available through Christine F Anderson publish and media

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Ten Spot: Exodus Left by Kathleen Gaffney

"Exodus Left" is a novella that tells the story of Jesus Christ (at least that is the presumption made by most readers as well as many of the characters within the book itself) who comes to walk the Earth one last time near the end of days to salvage mankind...this time around in twenty-first Century America. Although originally written with the Young Adult demographic in mind, the book has found fans amongst adult readers who seem to appreciate the sensitive and often humorous manner "Jesus" (i.e.: "Christopher" as the main character) immerses Himself into modern day life whilst still determined to preach, teach, and instill to the world all the same morals and dogma He did over two thousand years ago. It appears that despite the fact that the world has changed so immensely in terms of technology, science and medicine - our core values of love and respect and decency all, in the end, must remain unchanged. At the book's conclusion, whether or not this man was Jesus reincarnate or simply just an exceptionally good, kind-hearted soul so many wanted to believe in and follow - remains almost unimportant, for it is how we each govern our lives that is of the utmost importance.

As a child growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, my young life was very unfortunately fraught with loss and tumult. My father passed away suddenly shortly after my ninth birthday and in light of the trauma I found I was forever, in a sense, imprisoned by a chronic need to find safety and protection in my daily life. I know now that as a youngster, I lived vicariously through the characters I watched in TV programs like "The Brady Bunch" and the "The Partridge Family" - their close-knit family bonds that played out on some sound stage in Hollywood in a State thousands of miles away brought to me my sole semblance of that type of love and acceptance and protection I so desperately needed in my own life. What I have discovered only recently however as a middle-aged adult is that we are all always embraced regardless of personal loss or circumstance, for we are immeasurably loved and therefore accepted and protected -  by our Creator.

"Exodus Left" is a good novella for older children and young adult readers whose teachers/parents/guardians wish to integrate the concept and the life and the works of Jesus within a context that younger people can easily relate to. Oftentimes when reading the Bible, youngsters lose interest in its integral message and meaning as the setting seems distant and so foreign. Having young ones read "Exodus Left" after or alongside the New Testament brings the story of Jesus to life in a contemporary setting with contemporary issues. Many timeless parables are revisited within these modern contexts.

Authoring "Exodus Left", a faith-based book, ended up being a profoundly spiritual experience in and of itself for me. On January 17, my husband and I attended my first book signing and he with video camera in hand proudly recorded, edited & produced a DVD of the event for posterity. Five days later, on January 22, my husband went to the video store where he picked up the DVD he had made for my event and as he placed it gingerly in our car - he suffered a cardiac event, fell into a coma from which he never awoke and life support was ended for him on January 25, 2015. In my mind, I had always believed that I had written my book to help provide comfort, support and solace for my readers. I never realized that in the end, my own writings would prove to help in being that comfort, support and solace I myself so desperately need now once again. My husband Frank, to whom my book is in part dedicated to, was and is the light of my life and through what I wrote all about within "Exodus Left" - I am reminded the source of what I need is derived through my faith in God and all He provides - even in the worst of times during the course of our lives.

Genuine, unadulterated love is the "loveliest" thing I have ever seen - or had the opportunity to feel. It is placing another's needs and desires far above your own. To experience true love is to feel just a bit of how we are loved by God, as we ourselves were created in His image.

Boy, did I ever. Thank you Frank, for all the unconditional love, commitment, and support you gave me and continue to provide for me. I love you and adore you.

Truly: Rejoice! In knowing full well after writing all the chapters of "Exodus Left" and only shortly just after its publication, experiencing the grief, pain, and suffering the sudden loss of my husband - knowing I will again be reunited with him in a realm where tragedy and finality have no place.

I'd love to be able to tell you that your life will be over brimming with all good things at all times, but be prepared, for that is not what awaits you. Life will be exceptionally trying and difficult and painful but you will survive. And interspersed amid the loss and the tragedy, will be triumphs and you shall indeed find true love - for however brief it may seem to you. And finding true love is the greatest gift of all - not given to every one of us. And through this most precious gift, you will find the will to persevere until your own final day in this realm. Remember: Those who never experience true love may never be cursed should it end...but neither will they ever be blessed in delighting in the immense joy and undulating happiness it brings with it.

None. Thanks to my husband Frank and thanks be to God.

To take a trip to Europe to see either Italy and/or Ireland - as I'm half Irish and half Italian but ALL attitude (as some might say.) A common yet foolish fear of flying always kept me grounded - in the most literal sense. But after writing "Exodus Left" and experiencing the series of spiritual events, but merely one noted above, I realize fully that when your job and time on Earth are done, so it shall be. There's no changing it or altering it as the date and the day and the time of your last breath has been set since the moment you took your first. Live life to the fullest and know that God is on your side and by your side wherever it takes you. No Fear.

Watermelon. Sweet.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Why are keywords important for Kindle sales?

The reality is pretty simple: there are more and more new ebooks each month. Every time a new book emerges on the scene, the probability of someone randomly finding your books diminishes. Unless you have a marketing (or advertising) plan in place that is creating sales each month, you might be looking down the barrel of no sales (or very few). I know this was the case for me until I made a concerted effort to understand how keywords could help me. Now, I have no problem selling books and the future looks pretty darn bright.

I'm going to throw a little math at you. 

A keyword that is high volume and has low competition is worth between .18 and .23 books sales a day. This equates to 5.4 to 6.9 sales a month in passive sales, which results in potentially 84 copies a year. If your book is priced competitively at $2.99, then you are looking at $14 a month (or $168 a year).

The thing about keywords is that the best keywords often sound a little odd, like sword and sorcery coming of age fantasy romance. If you looked at that and thought "what the hell is that," then you are not alone. However, keywords are about getting people to see your book and then deciding to purchase it based on reviews and your book description. There are a lot of ways to go about figuring out keywords, but it is well worth the time.

My suggestion: learn about keywords and get those sales going!

Further reading: 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

One Crazy Night Cover Reveal


Book Info: Title: One Crazy Night Release date: March 10, 2015 Genre: YA/NA Paranormal Short Stories Authors: Sara Furlong Burr, Teshelle Combs, Emma Faragher, R. Holland, Louise Nicks, Aoife Marie Sheridan, M. H. Soars, Sharon Stevenson 
Format: Ebook

Pre-Order Links:

Add One Crazy Night to your TBR on Goodreads.

Synopsis: Nightshade Reads presents their debut fantasy anthology, featuring nine of the genre’s freshest up-and-coming independent authors. Get ready for One Crazy Night, packed full of magical encounters, dark secrets and shocking revelations. Get a glimpse into a powerful queen’s dark and brutal backstory in Aoife Marie Sheridan’s Bellona. In Louise Nick’s Love Magic, a homemade love spell goes disastrously wrong for two amateur teen witches. A young woman is captured by beautiful, dangerous creatures in M.H. Soars Elements. A teenage boy falls in love, but things quickly become complicated in R. Holland’s Lady in Black. Sara Furlong Burr brings a broken man’s troubles to light as he is offered a solution by a mysterious stranger in The Recruit. Emma Faragher spins a dark origin tale of sisterhood and magic in Necromancer Origins. The kindness of a stranger takes a homeless young man by surprise in The Keymaker by Teshelle Combs. Sharon Stevenson’s Reanimator brings death and magic together to change the fate of one young man’s life. All proceeds from this Anthology's sale will go to The Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Organisation. 

About Nightshade Reads: Nightshade Reads is a group of YA and NA authors who love to spin Paranormal and Fantasy stories. The group is composed by Sara Furlong Burr, Teshelle Combs, Emma Faragher, R. Holland, Louise Nicks, Aoife Marie Sheridan, M. H. Soars, and Sharon Stevenson.

Connect with the Nightshade Reads Authors:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Just In Time For Valentine's Day!

Free from the 14th until the 18th. Just click, share, and enjoy!



Science Fiction & Fantasy

General Fiction


Short Fiction


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Lies Told To Me As A Freelancer

The title says it all. No, this is not a whiny piece about the ills and pitfalls of freelancing perpetuated by Big Freelancing. This is a cautionary tale of how potential clients and employers will use language to their advantage (as well as the enthusiasm and naivety of new freelancers) and get high-quality writers, editors, and artists like yourself to work for free. Below are a list of terms used in job postings that have a much different meaning than you might imagine. Read, laugh, enjoy, and share. 

  • Collaboration: a fancy term that means you do all the work and get paid nothing. 
  • Assistant: someone who is looking to offload the work while reaping the benefits. 
  • Seeking student: just like with internships, someone is trying to pay you nothing for your time.
  • Micro-budget: a polite way of saying they are too cheap to pay you what your time is worth. 
  • Amenities and credit: substituting actual pay with pennies on the dollar for sandwiches and a brief line of credit for the product.
  • Internship: see assistant.
  • Team-up: you do all the work while he or she “brainstorms.”
  • We have some celebrities or “heavy hitters” signed on: become so impressed that you are willing to do this for free. 
  • Improve your portfolio: do some free work so you can let other people know that you do free work.
  • Really simple: incredibly complicated and I don’t want to pay you what your time is worth.
  • The first of many projects: I want you to work for free for a very long time.
  • Will be shopping this project to major outlets: we want you to work for the promise of future exposure.
  • Food provided: why pay when you can barter?
  • Equipment provided: we don’t really need you.
  • Valuable experience: see assistant and internship.
  • Make great contacts: we want you to be wowed by the opportunity. 
  • Huge opportunity: therefore, we don’t want to pay you. 
  • Award-winning: aren’t you impressed?
  • ANYTHING IN ALL CAPS: we don’t understand yelling on the internet and we don’t want to pay you, either.
  • On spec: work for us now and we will come up with a reason not to pay you later.
  • In desperate need of: a budget, a plan, and people willing to work for free.
  • I am producing this myself: which means I don’t want to pay for anything.
  • We are a small company: I sit in my home office and look for people willing to work for free.
  • Deferred: never, ever, going to be paid.
  • Exposure: a mention somewhere in small print and no return on investment of any kind.

If you are interested in learning a little bit more about freelancing and hanging out your own shingle as a writer, then click on the image below for my ebook, How To Make Money When No One Else Is.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Curious Case of the Modern Writer

Sometimes, I stop and wonder what it means to be a modern writer. Am I an author? A wordsmith? A scribe? A novelist? There are so many terms and so many possible definitions that I am curious what it means to be writer anymore. My goals are strange compared to writers of years past. I want to put out a hundred ebooks and be so productive that all I do is write and publish, rinse and repeat. 

But is this really what defines a writer?

My process is automated my outlining befits a screenplay, so what am I?

I'm not someone who gets caught up in titles or nomenclature (well, I suppose I ponder profusely), but I do wonder what it means for such a general term when there is a myriad of possibilities in terms of how one might define themselves as a writer

Perhaps I need to invent a new word to describe what it is that I do. How about publiter? That's what I am going to go with publ(publisher)iter(writer)

What do you think?

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Release: Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction

About the book:

Goose Pimple Junction is just recovering from a kidnapping and a murder, its first major crimes in years, when trouble begins anew. Life is turned upside down in the quirky little Southern town with the arrival of several shifty hooligans: A philandering husband intent on getting his wife back, another murderer loose in town, a stalker intent on frightening Martha Maye, and a thief who’s stealing the town blind of their pumpkins, pies, and peace. Together, they’re scaring the living daylights out of the residents and keeping the new police chief busier than a set of jumper cables at a redneck picnic. Suddenly, he has his hands full trying to apprehend a killer, stop a stalker, and fight his feelings for the damsel in distress.

Heroes & Hooligans is the second book in the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series.


Chapter 1

Marry in haste, repent in leisure. ~Southern Proverb

Lenny drove to his neighborhood bar with the windows wide open and Johnny Cash blaring on the radio, but he was oblivious to both. He was thinking about the phone conversation he’d just had with his ten-year-old daughter Carrie. It made him crazy the way her mother’s family called her “Butterbean.” What kind of a name was that for a child? But today he was crazy for a whole new reason. Jealousy and anger tore through him faster than small-town gossip. His daughter had spilled everything, and just when he thought he’d finally gotten a break, she said, “Mama kinda had a boyfriend but not anymore.” And: “Mama was kidnapped, but she’s back now.”

He pulled into the parking lot of the bar thinking, Boyfriend? We literally aren’t even divorced yet and she had a boyfriend? He pounded his fist against the steering wheel. He knew she’d been cheating on him. And now she’d done it right in front of their daughter. No doubt about it, he was going to have to do something about this Martha Maye situation.

Pulling into a primo spot at the front door, he looked up at the old rusty sign that had been over the entrance for years: TEETOTALERS AIN'T WELCOME HERE. He winced at the loud screech announcing his car door opening, followed by the same screech when he slammed it shut. He glanced around the parking lot and saw the same cars that were there every night. His feet crunched on the gravel as he walked, and he remembered waking up three months earlier and slowly realizing his wife and daughter weren’t there.

The familiar bacon and coffee smells were gone. Cartoons weren’t blaring on the TV. His wife’s clothes were missing, along with his daughter’s, her teddy bear, and her dolls. The bookshelves were dotted with bare spots where Martha Maye’s favorite knickknacks and paddywhacks had been. And then he saw the note on the kitchen table that said she was divorcing him and that he shouldn’t try to find them. The realization that she’d left him in the middle of the night and taken their daughter seared through him like a red-hot poker.

Pretty stealthy for a woman who could literally be outwitted by a jar of marshmallow fluff. If she thinks she can literally run out on me and then humiliate me by going out with some scumbag before we’re even divorced, she has another think coming. I’ll show her. I’ll put on the charm and win her back.

Country music blasted as he opened the door, turned his head, and spit in disgust. She literally can’t be let her out by herself. Just look where it got her: kidnapped and almost killed.

His daughter had told him they’d been staying at his mother-in-law’s house. He should have figured. He’d always known Louetta to be a meddlesome old biddy. She lied to me when I called looking for my wife and daughter. She aided and abetted a woman leaving her husband. She allowed nefarious suitors to court my wife. Both of them must have literally stopped to think and forgotten how to start again.
And then there was his no-account, good-for-nothing brother who, upon learning of the impending divorce, wanted to know if Lenny would mind if he dated Martha Maye. Boy, I’m gonna slap you so hard, when you quit rolling your clothes’ll literally be outta style. My baby brother and my wife. Yeah. Over my dead body. How could he even ask such a thing? Both of them were nothing but a bunch of backstabbing traitors.

He hitched up his jeans under his overflowing beer belly, swaggered into the bar, and ordered a Colt 45. The jukebox was playing, “I Want a Beer as Cold as My Ex-Wife’s Heart,” and he thought that was pretty darn perfect for his life at the moment.

Looking around the room, he spotted a hot blonde giving him the eye. He sucked in his gut—a move that didn’t yield the desired result—and looked back, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. She brazenly smiled back at him.

How dare Martha Maye leave me? I can literally get any woman I want. And two on Saturday.
A football star in high school, homecoming king, and voted best looking his senior year, Lenny was used to women coming onto him, not leaving him. He put the bottle to his lips and downed half of it.

That woman was literally lucky to have me. Sure, I’ve put on a little weight, but only in the gut. I practically have to fight women off with a stick. Looking around the room again, he saw female eyes on him from several tables in the room. Yessirree, sir, I still got it.

Lenny started to lift his bottle to his mouth again but halted midway when two men sat down heavily on barstools on either side of him; they looked capable of eating their young. Both men were muscular and tough. One was as tall as a telephone pole. One was as short as a gnat’s tail. The taller man had black eyes under bushy eyebrows, and the other man wore aviator sunglasses on a flat, wide nose. He pushed the glasses to the top of his head to give Lenny his best glare.

“We’ve been looking all over Hell and half of Georgia for you, boy.” Eyebrows scooted his stool in close, crowding Lenny.

“Shoot.” Lenny’s hand automatically moved to his ankle holster, checking for his knife. “That don’t surprise me none. You literally couldn’t find oil with a dipstick.”

“Solly says he’s had about enough of you,” Eyebrows said.

“Yeah,” Mr. Gnat joined in, “he’s had about enough of you.”

Lenny snorted. “You can tell Solly to blow it out his butt,” Lenny said boldly, more boldly than he felt. He shelled a peanut, popped it in his mouth, and threw the shell into Mr. Gnat’s face.

“Solly says not to let you off the hook this time.”

“Yeah, not to let you off the hook.” Mr. Gnat’s left eye twitched.

“What’s with Mr. Echo over here?” Lenny pointed his thumb at the short man.

The telephone pole ignored him and said, “Solly says you’ve screwed him over for the last time.”

“Yeah, the last time.”

“I didn’t screw him over the first time.” Lenny drained his bottle. He felt like his mouth was full of cotton. “Solly wouldn’t tell the truth to save his life from dying.” Lenny tried to stand up, but the men had him penned in.

“You can’t talk about Solly that way.”

“Yeah, not that way,” Mr. Gnat echoed.

Eyebrows looked behind Lenny to his friend. “This boy has the mental agility of a soap dish, Joey.”

“Yeah, a soap dish.”

Lenny leaned in real close to Joey, who said, “Whatta you think you’re doing?”

“Just wondered if I got close enough if I could literally hear the ocean.”

“Boy, what you need is an education,” Eyebrows said.

“Yeah, an edj-ee-cation.” Gnat strung the word out.

The men grabbed Lenny’s arms, lifting him off his stool. The song on the jukebox had ended, and Lenny heard the crunch of peanut shells as the men propelled him toward the door.

“Boys, y’all best not be messing with me,” Lenny snapped, trying to break free.

“That’s mighty big talk for a punk like you.” They stepped aside as someone came through the door, and then they threw Lenny through it. He landed on the ground but sprang right back to his feet, his dukes up, ready to fight.

Eyebrows was fast. He knocked Lenny to the ground again with a left hook. Joey followed up with two kicks to the ribs.

Lenny pulled himself into a ball, both to protect himself from further harm and to have better access to his ankle holster. But Joey saw the knife and kicked it away as Lenny drew it from his pants leg.

The men both grabbed Lenny by an arm again, pulling him upright, and Eyebrows punched him in the gut, causing him to double over. They double-teamed him and left him on the ground bloody and beaten, as cars whizzed past on the road in front of the bar.

Right before Lenny passed out, he thought: Tomorrow I’ll pack up and head for Goose Pimple Junction to reclaim what’s rightfully mine. I’ll literally be a devoted husband and father and get my family back. I ain’t gonna let that woman leave me. Nobody leaves Lenny Applewhite.

About the author:

Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Facebook or Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Connect with Amy:
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