fbpx

Category Archives: Our Favorite Authors – For Readers

Boldly Exploring Audio Space

Guest Post by Bria Burton

My first foray into audio began many years ago as a listener of speculative fiction podcasts, and an eventual participant (more on that shortly). Some stories have a single narrator while others include a full cast production of voice actors, music, and sound effects. The more I listened, the more the itch intensified within me to hear one of my own stories produced on a podcast.

Some examples of speculative fiction podcasts include Escape Pod, Podcastle, Pseudopod, Clarkesworld Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, Journey Into, Starship Sofa, Cast of Wonders, and many more.

Fast forward several years and I’ve now done voice acting for podcasts. On one occasion, I produced a story with sound effects, music, and my own narration. In 2014, I received my first speculative fiction acceptance from a podcast, and it was thrilling to hear my sci-fi story as a full cast production. An upcoming publication will appear on the Journey Into podcast this month. The short story is called “Journey Into the Dying Light of Stars.”

How did I go from casual podcast consumer to amateur voice actor and producer? I started with voice work. Podcasts featuring stories need narrators and/or voice actors, and when a casting call was made on one of the podcast forums I’d been perusing, I thought, why not?

Through the advice of the podcast host, I downloaded a free, open source software program called Audacity where I could do my recordings. Next, I purchased a $35 mic from Amazon. There are much better mics out there, but the one I use is decent enough for amateur voice work. Plus Audacity has some useful editing tools to help with things like removing background noise. If I decide to narrate my own audiobooks, I’ll probably buy a better mic.

One of the great things about podcasts? Many of them are completely free to listen to, such as the ones I listed above. If you’re interested in checking out free stories where I’ve been a voice actor, or free stories I’ve written that have been produced on podcasts, here’s a list:

Stories by Other Authors

Journey Into IFC by R.C. Anderson

The Dragon Muse by David B. Coe

Journey Into the Cosmic Lottery by Emily Asad

Like a Good Neighbor (Part One and Part Two) by Rish Outfield

Beggar’s Canyon by Rish Outfield

A Slight Delay by Rish Outfield

Hope on the Rocks by A.W. Gifford

Wikihistory by Desmond Warzel

Stories by Bria Burton

Journey Into the Dying Light of Stars – Coming Soon!

Switching

A Dream Within A Dream

Questions for the reader: what podcasts do you enjoy? Have you ever considered narrating for a fiction podcast?

Award-winning author Bria Burton lives in St. Petersburg with her wonderful husband, her darling son, and two wild pets. Her fiction has appeared in over twenty anthologies and magazines. Her novelette, The Running Girls, was a 2017 Royal Palm Literary Award Finalist. Her novella, Little Angel Helper, won a 2016 RPLA and earned high praise from the 25th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. While she writes, her dog and cat do their best to distract her, which is why they star in her family-friendly short story collection, Lance & Ringo Tails. She writes under pen name Shayla Cole for her epic fantasy trilogy, Livinity (awarded a First Place RPLA in unpublished fantasy). At St. Pete Running Company, she’s a blogger and customer service manager. A member of the Florida Writers Association, she previously led the St. Pete chapter and served on the statewide FWA Board. She’s also a member of the Alvarium Experiment, a by-invitation-only consortium of outstanding authors who created The Prometheus Saga Volumes 1 & 2, Return to Earth, and The Masters Reimagined anthologies.

You can find Bria on Amazon or on her website.


Guest Post: Terri A. Wilson

I love crime shows, especially if there is some type of unique twist. One of my favorites is the show Leverage. It fascinates me that these anti-heroes save the day while still struggling with their own pasts. They do things their way and live by their rules.

“I love crime shows, especially if there is some type of unique twist.

So when the opportunity to write in the Federal Paranormal Unit Book World came up, I knew right away that I would create characters who were criminals. It gives them a different skill set than a detective who always follows the rules would have.

I have also been determined to look at the shifter world differently from most. My main character becomes an Alpha even though he doesn’t want to, and has to develop not only leadership skills, but people skills.

I mean he was an enforcer for goodness sake! People didn’t want to see him.

This was a fun book to write and it was the first time I played with the idea of carrying over one plot thread. Much like a TV series, this book has one complete story with a HEA, but there are two threads that aren’t solved. If you like bad guys with good hearts, women who challenge their men, and snark, you’ll like this book.

AUTHOR BIO:

Terri is a former English teacher and librarian. She taught middle and high school and college. Now she works from home homeschooling her two daughters and living out her dreams via her stories. She began escaping into books a little later than most but was hooked after the first book. It has been her dream to give back to the book world since second grade. When she’s not writing or reading, she enjoys binging on Netflix and painting. Due to her crunchy lifestyle and free spirit, she considers herself a recycled hippie. Her most important goal is to help others jump and learn to fly. To find out more about her characters and the lives they live, check out her website below.

LINKS:

WebsiteNewsletterGoodreadsTwitterFacebookInstagramBookbub

ABOUT Her Damaged Guardian:

Lincoln Talbert lived by two rules; get the money up front and kids were off limits. That’s what made him a standout enforcer for the Mikhailov family. But when faced with the choice to break rule number two, they weren’t very happy with his choice, turned their back on him, and turned him into the FBI. Recruited by James Brock, head of the Federal Paranormal Unit to work with the U.S. Marshals, he now leads a powerhouse team specifically trained for witness protection and paranormal criminals.

Savanah Delacour hides her true identity to keep herself and her family safe. But when she witnesses a murder she must risk persecution in order to save her grandmother and stay alive. Protected by a man who views personal connections as a weakness, she must breach the wall around his heart to save him, his team, and herself.


Balancing Paranormal

Are you like me, when it comes to finding a good paranormal story?

Nothing warms my heart – or chills my cockles – more. Especially if it includes romance. Make that romance frustrated, suppressed, and kind of skewed, and I’m hooked.

What if you woke up one day and found a wild paranormal romance unfolding in front of you?

In 1999, I had an NDE. At least, “Near-Death-Experience” is the best description I’ve found so far. I often try to invent a word that expresses what happened to me… maybe someday I’ll nail it.

This experience happened while I was asleep… or at least in an altered state, lying in bed, thinking I was asleep. A Being made of white light approached me. All I could see were hands: glowing, insubstantial, inexplicable.

The hands touched mine, and everything exploded into brilliant white light. He swept me out of my body and off on an adventure so overwhelming I can’t recall details. Showed me the universe – how vast and multilayered it is. When he returned me to my body, I drifted back into it, re-filling and warming it, resonating with ecstasy from the journey.

When I woke, I wanted more. I had to find that Being. Who was he?

Like a story with a great hook, I couldn’t put it down. And each chapter brings new adventures.

My journey since 1999 has been about teetering in balance. Trying to find ways to live with the memories of that journey, and searching for that Being, while also paying the bills.

After almost twenty years of living amidst alternate realities, two approaches help me find some of that elusive balance.

First, I’ve realized I must play along… figure out how to make things work in this plane. Follow its rules. I can’t muster the power to make up my own rules, and I know checking out of this place won’t help me find my dream-buddies. I’m making lemonade with the lemons, you might say.

Second, I find solace in writing. It’s a way to take the reins more and live through these experiences. I’ve begun crafting stories to share with others, each offering glimpses of what I’ve seen.

These strategies for living my story make it less frightening for others, and more tangible for me. Paranormal becomes okay.

When I view my life as a story I’m writing, I’m a character striving towards a goal: to reunite with my brilliant Light-Friend. Conflicts and tension crop up daily. The more time passes, the higher the stakes get. Obstructions thread through my plot, like villains that just won’t die.

But the more I write more about my life, the more sense it makes. The more I share, the more I connect with others. And best of all, I find I’m not alone.

Each of us writes our own story. I know, you’ve heard that before. But when we take an author’s – or reader’s – view, we can step back, away from the craziness or boredom, and notice how it weaves together.

What will my heroine do next?

That’s my plan for tomorrow.

About the Author:

Writing and creating images have been Leslee Hare’s most passionate creative outlets since childhood.
Leslee draws upon her experiences as a Buddhist, a teacher of kids’ Dharma classes, an Architect, a Writer, an Illustrator, and a participant on the Autism Spectrum to share her insights and view of the world.
You can see more of her work on the web here.
These days, Leslee lives in Pine Lake, Georgia, with Lucas the Game Designer, Sylvie the Cat, and as many flowers as will fit.


Writing What I Know: Guest Post by Leslee Hare

Writing what I know. That tired writer’s adage has taken on fresh meaning for me over the past couple months. I’ve been working on a memoir for a few years, and last fall I published two children’s books. These contain things I “know”, for sure.

But lately, my imagination and fingers itch to try something new. Up popped short stories.

I’ve had enough drama in my life to keep friends amused (or irritated) for hours with tales, so finding familiar material isn’t an issue.

Here’s the kicker: I’ve only recently learned that my “normal” is “paranormal” to most people.

You see, I’ve got a very active inner world. Stories arise out of it and float on a whole other plane of something. I learned in 2018 that this is unusual. In fact, it played a large part in my receiving an Autism Level One diagnosis from my therapist.

I had no idea that most folks don’t experience the sensations that play a central role in my life. I just thought I felt them more than most people. On one level I still wonder if my therapist was playing a cruel joke on me. This is the only reality I know. But a dear friend, who’s also a therapist, corroborated it.

So, I’ll take their words for it, like a blind person trying to understand another person’s description of the color blue.

In light of that, “writing what I know” comes into play in the new ways I’ve been craving. Plenty of folks enjoy paranormal fiction. It occurs to me: instead of keeping my stuff bottled up inside because people might think it’s too weird, I can just write it into paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy stories. Relief.

Why am I just now figuring this out? Because I’ve been self-conscious about being thought “weird” since I was a little kid, like Allie.

Allie’s Roses, a new short story I just published on my website, illustrates this. It’s based on several autobiographical elements, and weaving these into the story brings healing and reconciliation that I’ve longed for. It celebrates the intense bombardment we feel on the spectrum: anxiety, racing thoughts, and a blurring of dimensions that calls to question what makes things “real” for us.

Writing this way eases the pressure of the emotions and over-stimulation that come with sensory issues. I highly recommend it to anyone with similar tendencies.

So now I’m working on stories that enlist characters, places, and concepts I’ve known for what feels like ages. And you, the reader, get to speculate about what parts I consider real and true versus totally made-up. And we’ll call it fiction, just for laughs.

Author Bio:

When she was a child in Alabama, Leslee Hare would lie in the grass and wonder how an entire universe could fit into those radiant blades hit by the sun.  And what happened to all the life that was once in the parts now hinting at a brown edge?
From those early years, her vivid dreams took her to worlds and people she’d never seen before, even in books and movies.
Where did they come from? Were they real?
Curiosity spurred Leslee to ask an annoying number of questions about why this world seems the way it does. And why different people see it differently.
Writing and creating images have been her most passionate creative outlets since childhood.
Leslee draws upon her experiences as a Buddhist, a teacher of kids’ Dharma classes, an Architect, a Writer, an Illustrator, and a participant on the Autism Spectrum to share her insights and view of the world.
You can see more of her work on her website.
These days, Leslee lives in Pine Lake, Georgia, with Lucas the Game Designer, Sylvie the Cat, and as many flowers as will fit.

Image credits: Image by Leslee Hare, using files from Wikimedia Commons:

By Erixsen – Own work by uploader: ok, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7051077 andhttps://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5e/Writing_hand.jpg


Origin Story: Guest Post by Tracie Roberts

After listening to a couple of podcasts on the topic and with the release of Aquaman last week, I thought I’d share my own author origin story.

I’m not one of those writers who always knew I wanted to write. I never had this burning desire to record all of the stories I made up when trying to trick my cousins when I was little or to impress friends at school. And, TBH, I’ve always been a pretty truthful, forthright person. If I fibbed about an accomplishment, the lie would eat at me until I admitted the truth. Now, honesty is one of the qualities I most admire in others, so I try to display it in myself.

Writing fiction, by definition, is lying. It’s making up stories to entertain others, and though I was okay at telling some wild stories when I was younger, I never wrote them down until I got to college.

At FSU I took a lit class where we were expected to write fiction – poems, short stories, and character bios. This was my first foray into fictive writing and, honestly, I sucked. I wrote a short story, “Control,” about an abused wife who was contemplating suicide only to be confronted in the woods by her husband. He almost talks her into coming back in the house with him, but somehow she finds the courage to knock him unconscious with the same shotgun she was going to use on herself. With him unconscious, she is able to consider a life free of him and that’s where the story ended.

I never had any experience in the topics included in that first story. I hadn’t been married or abused—not even by a boyfriend. I’d never contemplated suicide and didn’t know anyone who had. What I did have experience in was strong female role models to base my main character on. That is something I still utilize in my stories today—women who can stand on their own two feet, but prefer the balance and support of a loving partner.

One of the criticisms of “Control” that I received from a peer review was that the abused character wasn’t realistic. The critic’s sister had been in an abusive relationship and, after I volunteered to read my story to the whole class, he announced that battered women don’t behave like that. They’re too frightened of and brainwashed by their abusers to fight back.

That criticism has stuck with me for twenty-four years. And that may be why, when I started writing seriously five years ago, I chose to write a series that included a number of strong, realistic female characters. My lead characters are flawed. They harbor self-doubts and make mistakes, but they’re determined to live their truth while finding a partner that will support and love them for who they are.

You can read the short story “Control” here on my blog. And you can find my first series, The Destined Series, exclusively on Amazon. If you’d like to receive Spirit, The Destined Series Prequel, for free, sign up for my newsletter The Circle here.

The Destined Series

Author Bio:

Tracie Roberts is a native Floridian who laughs loudest at her own jokes, ODs quite frequently on 80s nostalgia, and eavesdrops on perfect strangers to glean story ideas. She’s been writing for all of five years but has been telling stories since she was old enough to realize she could make people believe her lies. She writes all shades of romance—sweet to steamy, contemporary to paranormal—all with happy endings.

Find out more about Tracie’s future works at tracieroberts.com or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Sharks for Christmas ~ Guest Post from John Hope

Sharks! Often, the terror of the ocean. One of the greatest fears of mankind is being eaten alive, especially underwater, whose darkened mysteries can tickle the imagination, conjuring up horrific and frightening scenarios. But consider this: in the past sixty years there have been 2,785 confirmed shark attacks throughout the world, yet in the past year alone about 100,000,000 sharks have been killed by people. Makes you wonder how much sharks fear humans.

When I was a kid, I loved sharks. Every time I’d visit the public library, I’d dash to Dewey Decimal section 597.3­­­––the shark books. Even as a kindergartener when reading was still new, I’d carefully flip through the pages, my eyes raking over the deep blue photos like a fat kid in a bakery window. At night, I pictured myself swimming with sharks or sometimes being a shark myself, majestically gliding through the ocean in search for my prey. Being a small, quiet kid, I’d slip away from my mother’s hand in the mall and carefully weave through the unsuspecting shoppers like a trolling tiger shark selecting the perfect victim.

My biggest problem with finding more shark literature to appease my cravings was fiction. The nonfiction books were great. They cut to the chase and focused on what was cool about sharks.The fiction books that had sharks, however, always showed the sharks in anegative light. They were the bad guys, the daemons, the evil presence that ourheroes had to eradicate. The more I learned about sharks and how cool theywere, the more this bothered me. Why couldn’t sharks be the good guys? I wantedto root for the sharks, not against them.

As a writer, I finally got my chance.

Silencing Sharks, my first and likely NOT my last shark novel, portrays sharks as the good guys. In this book, the main character, Peter lives in a silent world. Thirteen, deaf, and tormented by neighborhood bullies, Peter seeks solace in summertime snorkeling outings with his eccentric Viking-horn-helmeted Uncle Sverrir. But after a dangerous encounter with a giant hammerhead predator, Peter discovers he has a unique gift; he can talk to sharks.

Peter quickly learns that the sharks near his Florida home are being mysteriously killed off. They need his help. Thrust into a scary but exciting adventure, both above — and below — water, Peter is distressed to learn that his dad, a chef, is connected to the crime — being blackmailed by his boss to cook up illegal shark-fin soup. Peter sets himself  the daunting task of saving both the sharks and his father, butto do so, he must rely on the very bullies who have tormented him.

This is the book I’d been searching for my entire childhood. As a young boy, I would have loved this story. In it, the main boy swims and works together with sharks to fight off the real bad guys –– thieving, money-grubbing adults. In the process, I get to have the adventure of a lifetime.

Book available here: www.johnhopewriting.com

John Hope is an award-winning short story, children’s book, middle grade, young adult, and nonfiction writer. His work appears in paperback, hardback, audiobook, and short story collections. Mr. Hope, a native Floridian, loves to travel with his wife, Jaime, and two kids. He enjoys suffering through long distance runningadventures with his friend Ben Brown. He gives informational and inspirationalpresentations to schools, writing groups and clubs, and various conferences.And in his spare time, he sings in his car. 


Author Spotlight: Terri Wilson

Our guest today is the awesome Terri Wilson. Welcome, Terri!

CLR: I see that this box set is from a collection of different authors. What was it like working from so many different perspectives?

TW: It was motivating. They are all such a great group of ladies, I didn’t want to be the weak link. So it pushed me to make my story better. Every time I had a question or a need I got great response and help.

CLR: For me, attending reader/author conferences is one of the best perks of being an author. What is your favorite thing about conferences and/or signings?

TW: Synergy. It’s a phenomenal feeling to be around people who are like-minded. So far I’ve only attended as a reader, next summer I’ll attend my first as an author.

CLR: From the title of the box set, I’m thinking each story has a hero as the protagonist. In your experience, what does it take to create a really great hero?

TW: Honesty, sincerity, and relatability  (a nice set of six-pack abs helps too.)

CLR: What’s next for you?

TW: At the end of this month, I release the first of a trilogy, Forgiveness for Mate It’s coming out in the Milly Taiden world, Sassy Ever After. Book two will be out in October. I have three more anthologies coming shortly after the first of the year.

CLR: You are the force behind a great video blog as well, can you tell us a little about that?

TW: Popup Interviews started because I love to meet people, but prefer to talk one on one. In groups, it’s hard to give people the attention they deserve. I interview authors, readers, industry professionals, and bloggers. We talk about books, writing, and anything else that comes up in my head. It’s not scripted so it’s very spontaneous. I took some time off this summer, but plan on hitting it again this fall. If you’re interested, fill out this Google form:

https://goo.gl/forms/YT0ahzWpZyp7FteL2

CLR: I know Tracie Roberts and I had a great time on your show. Thank you for joining us, Terri.

In collaboration with a group of wonderful authors, Terri has a new box set out that readers of contemporary romance are going to love. Here’s a little snapshot.

Kiss Me: An Asian Hero Boxed Set

Two Worlds, One Kiss, a Lifetime of Love

This set features EIGHT sweet contemporary romance novellas featuring handsome Asian heroes.

From Australia’s vineyards to the bright lights of Hong Kong, these stories have something for anyone looking for a little international flair in their romance.

This set will only be available for a limited time only, so don’t miss out!  

Joanne Dannon – An Unexpected Forever –   

A world of differences, an unexpected forever.

Because of her upbringing, they can’t date and they can’t live together. Their differences leave them worlds—and soon to be oceans—apart. With such a gulf between them, can they find a way to bridge it together and seize their unexpected forever?

Khardine Gray – Kisses and Blossoms-  

Akihiro Kimora was the kind of guy you’d imagine in a dream. If only he wasn’t the cop investigating the theft of a priceless Japanese painting Helen was suspected of stealing.

Is this the case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but then how would they have met?

Imogene Nix – Hero of Heartbreak Hill-  

When Connor meets Kelly it’s clear that she’s been hurt before and the reason she fights against the growing attraction between them. When her past raises its ugly head, the question becomes: can the outback town of Heartbreak Hill—and Connor—heal her broken heart?

Aislinn Kearns – Until You

Dakota Harrison – Once Upon a K-Pop Prince-  

A hunky hardbody in her bed wasn’t what Andi ordered for her 40th birthday but when he has the face of an angel, the package is hard to resist.

A gorgeous woman in his bed might be any man’s dream come true, but for Min-Kyu, it could turn into a nightmare. If only she wasn’t HIS dream come true.

One little lie, a career at stake, and a match made in Okinawa.

Fiona Marsden – Beautiful Stranger-

She trusted him with her body but can she trust him with her heart.

Terri A. Wilson – A New Ending-  

As a single parent, Jamie has no time for love and spends all her energy creating a better life for her daughter. When faced with a choice between the life she once led and a man she barely knows but wants to be with forever, will she have the courage to face her mistakes and trust that love is unconditional?

Zena Oliver – Seven-Day Cruise-  

Riley and Taite kept their careers as their top priority. Neither was willing to sacrifice for love. When they met on the cruise, neither intended to become more than friends. But their hearts didn’t get the memo.

GoodReads    Universal buy link

About Our Guest:

Terri is a former English teacher and librarian. She taught middle and high school and college. Now she works from home homeschooling her two daughters and living out her dreams via her stories. She began escaping into books a little later than most but was hooked after the first book she read. It has been her dream to give back to the book world since she was in second grade.

When she’s not writing or reading, she enjoys binging on Netflix and painting. Due to her crunchy lifestyle and free spirit, she considers herself a recycled hippie. Her most important goal is to help others jump and learn to fly.

To find out more about her characters and the lives they live, check out her website, http://www.terriluvsbooks.com. Follow her on Amazon and Goodreads, or connect with through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You can find Terri at the following links:

Newsletter- http://eepurl.com/dCKgkj

Twitter- http://twitter.com/terriawilson

Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/wilsonterria/

Instagram- http://www.instagram.com/terria.wilson/

Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/author/terriawilson

 


Guest Post From Val Penny: Why We Love To Write Crime Novels

People like crime, at least in novels! Often, I meet dentists and bank managers with clever plot ideas, or nurses who read every crime novel they can lay their hands on. If I visit a writing group, there are always members keenly producing new murderous plots. Lawyers and convicts show equal enthusiasm for this genre. For those who want to write a crime novel, there are several reasons to want to do so. Here are a few of them.

Emotional Release

Often, those who write crime novels find an emotional release in their craft. Crime novelists deal with the dark things that people usually push to the side of their minds in order to get on with everyday life. The cathartic attraction of writing can be decisive.

Some crime authors tell of poor sleep patterns, punctured by nightmares that are repaired when they start to write. Others, panic, constantly scanning doorways for signs of danger. The stiffening fear that afflicts them resolves when they are busy writing crime.

The Story-Telling Urge

The sources for crime novels are many and varied. Ideas can spring from the news and current affairs; memories from the past and historical events or things that puzzle or fascinate the writer. Once an author begins to exercise their creative muscles, they often find that they run into stories demanding to be told. The stories demand to be told and will not stop coming.

For Companionship

It is often said that writers can be difficult people: gloomy, competitive and quarrelsome. However, for the most part, I have found crime writers to be an inclusive and convivial bunch. They are certainly hard-working. The pressure of producing a book a year is intense, yet they never seem to turn their backs on fun. If you have a chance to go to a crime-writers’ convention, do take it. They are exhausting, exhilarating and irresistible.

An Outlet for Aggression

Most crime-writers will tell you that they are good company because they channel all their belligerent thoughts into their stories, so in real life, the authors are meek and mild. It is not always true, but I can confirm the crime novel is an excellent place to park your rage! The prospect of giving vent to righteous anger in a safe form can be a particularly pleasing device. When characters require to act in a violent way or commit violence the reader is willing to witness this on the page but they would shy from it in real life. Crime writers can let rip on the page in a way they avoid doing in the real world.

The Thrill of Research

I can personally confirm that the research you do for crime novels and for academic purposes are equally satisfying. It is also extremely diverse. It may involve visiting prisons, refuges, police stations or drug dens. Police are often very willing to be of assistance to crime writers, even if it is just to avoid being irritated when otherwise the writers would get police procedures wrong. This information is most useful and helpful. Indeed, when you are writing a novel, no information or experience is wasted!

Author Bio

author pic 2Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However, she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballet dancer or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories, and novels. Her first crime novel, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ set in Edinburgh, Scotland will be published by Crooked Cat Books on 02.02.2018. She is now writing the sequel, ‘Hunter’s Revenge’.

 

 

 

 

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until EdinburghHunter's Chase book cover is safe.

 DI Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city and he needs to find the source but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course. Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman’s life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable. Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taut crime thriller.

To find out more about Hunter’s Chase and its awesome author, check out the links below:

www.authorvalpenny.com

Facebook

Friends of Hunter’s Chase

myBook.to/Hunter’sChase


Character Interview with Adal and Arija From Zachary Paul Chopchinski’s Webley and the World Machine

Today we are privileged to host Adal and Arija from Zachary Paul Chopchinsky’s Webley and the World Machine. As warned in the description, these are two sassy characters who don’t mind saying exactly what’s on their mind. Enjoy.

CLR: Hi guys, how is it going today?

Adal: Doing all right.

Arija: Happy to be here.

CLR:  So, let’s get right to it. I’ve read the description and I have to say, I’m intrigued by the world you live in. What is the best thing about it?

Adal: I mean to be completely honest what’s not to like about it? This place is rad! It’s like some kind of sci-fi movie…but real life. I’ve got this sweet ass bionic arm now and I can pretty much punch through anything…so…that’s cool.

Arija: Yeah, Adal maybe if you paid more attention in wrestling instead of staring at yourself in the mirror maybe you wouldn’t need that arm.

Adal: You’re just mad because you didn’t get this sweet upgrade. Don’t be hatin! Anyway, the Machine is a pretty dope place. I’ve got a bunch of kick-ass toys so I can basically just destroy shit all day. OH, and I get to fly these sweet ass machines…these flying sacs or whatever the hell their called.

Arija: HA! Right! As long as you’re not peeing yourself and crying for your mommy as you plummet 50 stories! Listen, the Machine is awesome! The Dwellers there, well they aren’t really human. They’re mechanical, but sentient. I could just sit on the docs or in the city of Aparat all day and just draw! In fact you can see some of my art in the book! Oh and let me tell you about all the scientific discoveries they’ve made! If I could bring back some of this knowledge to the Topside, we could really solve a lot of humanities problems!

CLR: (clears throat) There are two of you, so who is the leader?

Adal: Me.

Arija: I am.

*Both stare at each other neither backing down*

Arija: I’m definitely the leader. I’ve got the brains and the shotgun.

Adal: No, I’m the leader. Who saved your ass when that Geartha was about to slice your head off?

Arija: Oh, you’re bringing that up again? Listen, you got one lucky shot. How many times a day do I save your ass?

Adal: And what a sweet ass it is.

Arija: *rolls eyes* we can maybe discuss that “sweet ass” at another time…if you admit I’m the—

Adal: *eyes wide* you’re the leader!

Arija: See? What’d I tell you? I’m the leader.

CLR: Right then. Umm, last question. If you could do something else other than saving the world, what would it be?

Adal: Rockstar, no actor, no rockstar. No but seriously, I haven’t thought about it too much because my old man has always been up my ass about education and a career. To be honest, if I wasn’t saving the Machine, I’d still want to be here. What would I be doing? What wouldn’t I be doing? *nudges Arija*

Arija: *rolls eyes* If I wasn’t saving the world, I’d probably be an artist. Maybe somewhere like Paris or Rome. Maybe I would go back to Israel and draw the places my mother grew up. As long as I could come down to the Machine every now and then to keep this one in line *points thumb at Adal* I don’t even want to think about the havoc he’d wreck if it weren’t for me.

CLR: Great! Well that is about all the time we have for today. Thanks for joining us you two!

Zachary Paul Chopchinsky

Webley and The World Machine

To Save Humanity, They’ll Have To Leave It Behind

A world beneath our world.
An army of mechanical monsters.
A war to end all wars.

When childhood best friends Adal and Arija discover a steam-powered world hidden deep within the earth, the result is life changing. Webley and the Dwellers of The World Machine work to keep the Earth turning. But when Arija and Adal stumble onto a growing conflict that will destroy the Earth, they find themselves forced to fight.

Will they be able to stop the war in time or will they regret ever having set foot in The World Machine?

Webley and The World Machine is a YA Steampunk featuring two snarky and fun eighteen year olds, a dwarf-like giant and a whole slew of odd robotic creatures. It’s Sucker Punch meets Wild Wild West, and if you love sassy characters or all things steampunk you need this book in your life. 

WARNING: The characters in this book have a mind of their own and enjoy swearing and generally getting themselves into trouble.

Zachary is a bow tie wearing, formal vest rocking, pocket watch using, sarcastic monster of a writer. Currently residing in Orlando, Florida, he spends his days working, writing and procrastinating.

Zach has multiple college degrees, in the fields of criminal justice and criminology…because he wanted to catch ALL the bad guys. Now, coupled with being an author of young adult fiction he spends his days yelling at people for breaking regulatory laws.

Zach is the author of the Gabrielle series, a young adult fantasy with a paranormal-historical-time traveling twist (try saying that five times fast).


Author Interview with Kathleen Lopez

Today we are honored to have Kathleen Lopez joining us to talk about all things mysterious in writing.

Kathleen LopezDr. Kathleen Lopez was born in Brooklyn, NY. Between the Shades of Light and Dark is her debut novel, followed by Prodigal Son and Sweet Child of Mine. She started writing at age fourteen as a junior high school journalist, a literary path she continued throughout her college career. She also had several poems published during her college tenure. While her current profession lies outside the world of writing, she continues to pursue her passion by writing novels, short stories, and poetry. Suspenseful thrillers, mysteries, and stories that take the reader along for the journey have always been among her favorites to read as well as write.

 

CLR: Welcome and thanks for stopping by to give our readers some insight into the world of mystery writing. Getting right to it, what is your favorite part of mystery writing?

KL: I love trying to figure out the ‘why’ of a story.  Sometimes stories focus on whodunit rather than the motive.  Solving the mystery to me is understanding what lead to this moment, what put this in motion that the reader now finds themselves in the midst of trying to sort through the clues.  The backstory and motivation that feeds a mystery are the some of the best parts for me.

CLR: A lot of writers have day jobs, and I can see in your bio that you are no exception. What is your doctorate in?

KL: I do currently have a day job in the project management field, working in the realm of Government contracting.  My PhD is in Project Management.

CLR: In what ways does your daytime gig influence your writing?

KL: When there is a particularly hard day at work, some of my co-workers would joke that meant someone was going to die (fictionally speaking of course).  My day job may prompt my writing in the sense that it allows for a venting, yes, but rarely did it ever creep into my writing.  It is a departure from the every day for me, which is good since I write murder-mystery and paranormal fiction.  I am always trying to problem solve at work, so I guess that aspect fuels the solving the mystery part of my writing.

CLR: There seems to be a trend toward what the media calls “strong female characters.” Do you find yourself trying to write toward that trend?

KL: I do not intentionally write for a trend.  When it comes to my main character, being my stories are a character thread (meaning the same character appears in my stories), ‘he’ is very much not a “strong female character.”  I do have strong-willed female characters in my stories, which earn the spotlight in some of my books, but it was never a goal to ensure I incorporated that trait into the story.  Each story, to me, will dictate the type of character needed to get the story out there.  I do have “strong” women in my stories, who know who they are, what they want, and do what they need to do, but purposely writing to incorporate a trend was not a conscious intent.

CLR: What is your favorite type of character to write?

KL: I like a character that is dimensional.  When you have a character that is just ‘there’ or what I refer to as a plot pusher, one that you develop because you needed an aspect of the story accomplished, they sometimes are not a challenge to capture.  Those characters that are dimensional, that have a bit more meat to them, those are the fun ones to write.  Not everything is on the surface; they have a full backstory.  There is something more to them and it takes a while to fully understand who they are in the story.  Trying to find out the motivation and the ‘why’ of them, that is what gets me about some of my characters.  What made them act that way, what happened to them to make them who they are at this point in the story?  The characters that develop slowly are my favorites.

Between the Shades of Light and Dark has a great mix of romance and mystery. What led you to that choice?

KL: When I started writing the book, I was 18 myself.  Being a bit younger, the romance part of lie was fresh and new.  I found early that some murder mysteries that I liked to read seemed a bit heavy, always dark, and just hard around the edges.  I figured out early that a bit of a sideline to the characters added to the feelings readers would experience about them.  If there were something to root for, a struggle that the readers would connect with and empathize with characters, it would make them more real and relatable.  I think that romance and mystery do go hand in hand.  They are very complimentary to each other for me and it helps heighten the story.

CLR: What influences do you feel weigh most heavily on your writing? (Social media, current events, your own personal history, etc.)

KL: When it comes to influences, I think it is more personal aspects than that of social media or current events.  I tend to draw on how events or situations would make me feel personally in order to express that on the page.  I do not really take stories ‘from today’s headlines’ as I like the creative aspect of developing my own universe where my characters dwell.  I try not to directly use people or places exactly from real life, but like to incorporate a quirk or mannerism that I know of or some phrasing or word choices I find interesting.

CLR: I see in your bio that you have written short stories and poetry as well as mysteries. What are the plusses and minuses in writing in different formats?

KL: The pluses in writing different formats are the break it provides from writing in just one style.  While you get your personal formula down by writing in a particular format, writing the same way each time, it could start coming across to the readers as formulaic and start to stray from originality.  Changing writing styles breaks up the routine and reenergizes you.  The flip side of that coin is that changing how you write and switching gears can be a bit disorienting, especially if you have not done it in a while.  After writing novel after novel then trying to write a short story you may find that your personal definition of ‘short’ is not the same as someone else’s.

CLR: In my own writing, I see aspects of myself popping up in my characters. Does that happen to you? Which characters are most like you?

KL: Samantha has many qualities I had at her age.  It was certainly a situation of ‘write what you know’ when I was developing her.  I find that my female characters do tend to be stubborn, confident, and sometimes witty.  While they are different people in their own right, they all seem to embody that assertiveness I try to possess myself.  What is funny is my main character, the one that appears in all my stories (Det. Martin Shuller) is a lot like me too.  He is always curious and wants to get to the story behind the story.  He really needs to understand the ‘why’ in order to explain the ‘how’.

CLR: What is next on your writing agenda?

KL: I have a few stories on my to-do list.  I am finishing a fictional short story right now about some mysterious disappearances and the reason behind them.  I have also started prepping for my next book.  I am going back to murder-mystery for this one and hope to have it out in the next year or two.  There are also at least two more paranormal novel story ideas I will write in the future as well.

 

Samantha’s life is good, mostly. She loves her father deeply, but even daddy’s little girl finds the life of a military brat trying. Despite being the “new girl” too often, she soldiers on. Her mom could not. She lives for his life, but now wants one of her own. Helpless but to stand witness, Samantha’s life is once again packed up and shipped off, this time without her dad.

She now resides in the remote town of Columbus Cove. Saving her from the debilitating isolation was the cove’s latest resident, Channing Ashford. It’s as if he has stepped off the cover of a romance novel and into the sleepy little town. He is charming and handsome and Samantha’s sole focus. The reformed drifter reenergizes her and they find sanctuary within each other.

When a shocking murder claims more than one victim, the couple is blindsided. They find themselves embroiled in an investigation that threatens their newly found happiness. All their reserves of sanctuary are spent as the secrets that lay buried beneath the unpaved roads of Columbus Cove come to light.

Buy on Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Audible

 

Sheriff Martin Shuller was good at his job. He had a reputation of being a very thorough and very honest investigator. It had not surprised anyone when he was tapped to help with an investigation in a small neighboring town with shocking high profile murder. Shuller, willing to help the quaint cove, readily accepted the challenge. Leaving his town in the safe hands of his deputy, Shuller traveled to Columbus Cove and worked the Steven Harrigan murder investigation. With the dramatic end to that case now behind him, Shuller returned to his seemingly normal and quiet town of Huntersville. He was glad to be back, despite only being gone for the brief time. A weight had felt lifted once he could return to his town, his routines, his life. He felt as if all the previous mounting stress left him as soon as he crossed into his town’s outer limits. Quiet and normal was what he was seeking. It certainly was not what he found.

Not long after returning home to his life and routine, a murder occurs, and it is too close for comfort for Shuller. Shuller, who always kept his personal life personal, now is faced with a dilemma as his personal life is now entangled in the spotlight of a murder investigation. Not wanting to taint the investigation, he is powerless to help and is sidelined, watching his officers work the case. His only solace he finds now is with Jeanie. Jeanie Jacobs is the dispatcher of the local fire house. His long suffering secretary, Susan, finally worked her magic and had gotten the two together. Shuller now regrets the times he pushed aside Susan’s match making attempts in the past as he now realizes Jeanie is all he can hold onto during the course of the investigation.

Shuller tries to come to grips with these revelations as those close to him worry for the embattled sheriff. As with most murders, there is more than just a single victim. Shuller had never thought that what had occurred in that house on Cedar Mill Lane would have uprooted what the reality he thought he knew.

Buy on Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Audible

 

It surprised no one when Sarah and Jack married right out of high school; not because Sarah was pregnant at 19, but because they had been inseparable since sophomore year. Sarah gave birth to twins, Mark and Julie, and a year later, Jacob. They settled in upstate New York, Jack a business manager and Sarah a Real Estate agent. They had the ‘mom and apple pie’ life.

Their picturesque dream life turned into a nightmare when on a warm summer’s day at the local park, the penny dropped. What would forever be referred to as The Incident changed their family forever.

Four years later, they welcomed Christian into their home. The foster child turned adopted son never understood why Sarah was overprotective, but dutifully obeyed all her restrictive rules. When he started acting out, the couple were desperate to find out the cause of their son’s bizarre behavior. However, when Christian tells them about his friend they realize just why they are suffering at the hands of their son.

When it comes to family, it’s the ties that bind…

Buy on Amazon / Barnes and Noble


Follow Me

Current WIP

Gaia's Rebellion
88% Complete
70,000 of 80,000 words