Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vicki Tyley-- Thin Blood

Based in rural Victoria, Australia, Vicki Tyley writes fast-paced mystery and suspense novels in contemporary Australian settings.

Vicki has traveled extensively, spending a year touring the world before terrorism was an influencing factor. She has lived in the central business districts of large cities, suburbia, idyllic seaside locations, rural areas, bushland, and remote desert mining camps.

In the lead up to her writing career, she worked in a multitude of different industries including banking, stockbroking, importing and wholesaling, human resources, mining, hospitality, civil engineering, and toys, in predominantly accounting, IT and management roles. All these life experiences are brought to bear in her writing.

Thin Blood: Craig Edmonds, a successful stockbroker, reports the disappearance of his wife, Kirsty. What starts as a typical missing person's case soon evolves into a full-blown homicide investigation when forensics uncover blood traces and dark-blond hairs in the boot of the missing woman's car. Added to this, is Craig's adulterous affair with the victim's younger sister, Narelle Croswell, compounded further by a recently acquired $1,000,000 insurance policy on his wife's life. He is charged with murder but, with no body and only circumstantial evidence, he walks free when two trials resulting in hung juries fail to convict him.

Ten years later, Jacinta Deller, a newspaper journalist is retrenched. Working on a freelance story about missing persons, she comes across the all but forgotten Edmonds case. When she discovers her boyfriend, Brett Rhodes, works with Narelle Croswell, who is not only the victim's sister but is now married to the prime suspect, her sister's husband, she thinks she has found the perfect angle for her article. Instead, her life is turned upside down, as befriending the woman, she becomes embroiled in a warped game of delusion and murder.

What about your book might appeal to readers?

Thin Blood is a fast-paced Australian murder mystery with red herrings, twists and turns galore. It’s written in an easy-reading style. In one reviewer’s words: “The story flows so easily that before you know what's happened, fifty pages are gone. It practically reads itself.”

Why did you go indie?

It was an experiment. I’m an Australian writer with an American agent: Robert Fleck. After a lot of effort, he’d been unable to sell Thin Blood, in large part because most of the publishers refused to even look at the book. “Americans don’t want to read Australian mysteries,” he was told.

Last October, with nothing to lose, we decided to release Thin Blood electronically on Smashwords. That received such a good response that Suspense Magazine selected me as their featured New Author for April. At the end of April, we made the novel available in Amazon’s Kindle store.

It’s an experiment that’s paid off. As of today, with sales in excess of 20,000, it's the #1 Mystery title among all non-free titles available on Kindle, and reached #6 among all paid titles on Kindle, regardless of genre.

Who are your favorite writers?
In no particular order: Harlan Coben, Michael Robotham, Tess Gerritsen, Mark Billingham, James Patterson, Lynda La Plante, Patricia Cornwell, Erica Spindler, Lisa Gardner, Carol Smith, Kathy Reichs, Michael Palmer and many, many others.

From Vicki:
“To celebrate Thin Blood’s release on Kindle, I’m offering it for the introductory price of US$0.99 (normally US$3.99): Thin Blood at Amazon
For Kindle readers outside the US who get slugged with hefty surcharges when they buy from Amazon, use coupon code KP64D at Smashwords: Thin Blood at Smashwords. Limited time offer. Expires 30 June 2010.


Friday, June 25, 2010

David Niall Wilson--The Orffyreus Wheel

David Niall Wilson has been writing and publishing fiction since the mid-eighties. An ordained minister, once President of the Horror Writer's Association and multiple recipient of the Bram Stoker Award, his novels include Maelstrom, The Mote in Andrea's Eye, Deep Blue, the Grails Covenant Trilogy, Star Trek Voyager: Chrysalis, Except You Go Through Shadow, This is My Blood, Ancient Eyes, On the Third Day, The Orffyreus Wheel, and Vintage Soul – Book One of the DeChance Chronicles. The Stargate Atlantis novel “Brimstone,” written with Patricia Lee Macomber is due in of 2010. He has over 150 short stories published and has been collected five times.

The Orffyreus Wheel : In 1712, a remarkable man named Johann Bessler unveiled an amazing invention. It was a Perpetuum Mobile – a Perpetual Motion Device – a wheel that spun after being set into motion until it was stopped with no mechanical input. His secret died with him.

Except that it didn’t. 

Elly Kassel, Bessler's only living heir, is whisked off to America to take control of an inheritance she had no idea was hers. What follows is a series of harrowing near-misses as Elly studies and learns the secrets of The Orffyreus Project, where free energy might be a very real possibility, and her grandmother’s dream of bringing the perpetual motion wheel into production for the good of all mankind. All she has to do is keep the secret from the hands of a man named Black.

Q: What will readers like about the book?

The Orffyreus Wheel tells a rich, historical story – the life Johann Bessler, and parallels that with a high-speed, action-packed modern thriller. The theme is very timely – big oil trying to prevent their stranglehold on the world from being lost.

Q:Why did you go indie?
Rather than just going indie, I've gone hybrid. I still write with NYC publication in mind, but I no longer let my out of print work, or books I have faith in, waste away on my computer when people could be reading them. Also – as CEO of Crossroad Press, I have a dog in the race, so to speak.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre?

Since I write several genres, that's hard. Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Steven Savile, John Grisham, Thomas Harris, and Caitlin Kiernan come immediately to mind.

Link to web site or blog or Amazon/Smashwords

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Guido Henkel--Jason Dark: From a Watery Grave

After spending over 25 years writing, designing and producing interactive fiction for numerous award-winning computer games, I decided a while back to put my storytelling talents to use in linear fiction. While games are fun to do, there is never the same sense of plotting in interactive fiction, and I really wanted to give that a try. The result is the Jason Dark: Ghost Hunter series of dime novel that I launched in January of this year. Since it's initial launch I have released a new volume every month.

From a Watery Grave: A quaint seaside town seems the ideal place for an English summer holiday. Little do its inhabitants suspect, that a century-old curse is about to throw their idyllic existence into turmoil and terror. Wraith-like, the black ghosts of undead mariners spread their cloak of horror over Pegwell Bay, the lure of their cursed gold too much for most to resist. Can Jason Dark and Siu Lin find the key to unlock their secrets and lift the curse from beyond the grave before more innocent townspeople die, or will some villainous trickery put even their own lives in jeopardy?

Q: What will e-readers like about your book?

Following the traditional dime novel format, readers will find that the books in the series take off right from the start. There is no lengthy exposition or background information. Instead the stories grab the reader by the collar and pull them along on a roller-coaster ride filled with mystery and horror.
Unlike most modern horror, the Jason Dark series hearkens back at the good old days of gothic horror where atmosphere and imagery was one of the most important aspects of the material. Therefore, the Jason Dark adventures feel a lot like an old Hammer Horror film or a classic Universal monster movie.

Q: Why did you go indie?

I knew that the dime novel format will never gain any traction with any of the traditional publishers. It is too unconventional and doesn’t really fit traditional book publishing formulae. Therefore early on I decided to take control myself. Of course, the fact, that I have full control over all aspects of my work as a result was a welcome side effect also.

Q: Who are your favorite writers?

It always depends on my mood. I am a very varied reader, devouring anything from history books through thrillers, adventures pulp and horror all the way to suspense and fantasy novels with ease.

I am a big fan of Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child’s books, especially the Pandergast series. I also thoroughly enjoy Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt adventures, whenever I’m in the mood for something purely entertaining. I am also a great admirer of Ben Bova, John Ringo and Mark Frost, as well as Vicki Tyley, a fantastic thriller writer I discovered a couple of months ago.

Most of the time I love experimenting with books however, and I will not buy books by author, though new releases by the aforementioned writers are always welcome. So, more often than not, I will simply dig through thematic sections and see which books get me interested at any given time. I am purely an impulse buyer when it gets to reading books. Anything goes.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

David Derrico-- Twiller

David Derrico was born just north of Miami, Florida, and developed his appreciation for complex moral issues while receiving a degree in philosophy from the University of Florida in Gainesville. He wrote his first novel, Right Ascension, before attending law school at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). Derrico currently lives in South Florida, and has written three novels: Right Ascension and its sequel, Declination, along with a humorous novel called The Twiller. He maintains a website at

The Twiller is a comedic novel that follows Ian, our hapless hero, as he's whisked around the Universe after his abduction from Earth. His companion, the Twiller, is about the only alien being who treats humans better than toenail lint. Ian is faced with a series of humorous and bizarre experiences on the worlds he visits, utterly failing to realize the slight similarities to places here on Earth.

Q: What will e-readers like about your book?
I really enjoyed writing this book, and I hope my readers will share in the sense of fun and enjoy the humor of it. It is a departure from my first two novels, which were more serious space opera sci-fi, and takes the form of a humorous romp across the galaxy, where our hero is struck by the bizarre and inane situations he encounters, and their similarities to what he's experienced on Earth. I think there will be things in the book that any reader can relate to: frustrations over traffic, or airport security lines, or current world events.

Q: Why did you go indie?
I did the well-chronicled "spend hundreds of dollars on postage and submit to hundreds of publishers and agents" thing many years ago, and it seemed all the submissions went into black holes -- only one agent even offered to read the book, and I decided not to work with that agent due to his reputation. I was discovered by a small publisher who bet on e-books about 10 years too early and sadly went out of business. More recently (after taking a break to pay some bills), I've become re-devoted to my writing, re-editing my first two novels and writing my third, and the opportunity to maintain complete artistic control (over the cover, formatting, etc.) and reach thousands of readers directly was everything I was looking for. Staying indie also allows me to make reader-friendly choices regarding low pricing, releasing the e-book first, enabling text-to-speech, and making it DRM-free -- all things I think big publishers are missing the boat on.

Q : Who are your favorite authors?
My reading tastes tend toward science fiction, where I'm a big fan of Timothy Zahn. As for thriller/horror, I never thought I would like Stephen King until I realized that he wrote Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption (which became one of my favorite movies of all time). Once I read that King novella (and the others in Different Seasons), I've become a fan of his writing.

"Always Write" blog
The Twiller:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kristen Painter- Heart of Fire

When the characters in Kristen Painter’s head started to take over, she decided to exorcise them onto paper and share them with the world. She writes paranormal romance for Samhain Publishing and has the first of three books in her gothic fantasy vampire series, Blood Rights, coming from Orbit in fall 2011. She hopes to add a YA series to the mix as well and has also been published in non-fiction, poetry and short stories. The former college English teacher can often be found online at Romance Divas, the award-winning writers’ forum she co-founded. She’s represented by Elaine Spencer of The Knight Agency.

Q: What will e-readers like about your book? That it's an adventure in the truest sense of high fantasy - a quest book. But there's also a romance woven through. I think the cast of characters is pretty entertaining as well.

Q: Why did you go indie? This book had been turned down by every publisher that saw it, but I still believed. I'd had such good feedback from early readers - to the point that they would occasionally email me and ask when it would be available for purchase. I finally decided to publish it myself.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in the suspense, mystery, horror, and thriller fields? For romantic suspense, my go to is Roxanne St. Claire. Fun, sexy suspense books and I can NEVER figure out the villain! For mystery, I'm digging the new Gemma Halliday series. Horror and thriller aren't really my thing. I like to sleep at night.

Kindle -
Other eforms -
Print -

Monday, June 21, 2010

T.L. Haddix--Secrets in the Shadows

T. L. Haddix is an Eastern Kentucky native turned Indiana Hoosier whose love of books has led her on a terrific journey through time and space. She released her first novel, Secrets In The Shadows, in March 2010 and is hard at work on her next book.

Product description: Two women are forced to confront their pasts in picturesque Ohio River town Leroy, Indiana. Secrets will be exposed, scandals revealed and only one woman will make it out alive.

Q: What will e-readers like about your book? I think they will find the story has features or characters most people can relate to, and they will appreciate the plot twists and turns, as well as the way the loose ends are tied up.

Q: Why did you go indie? I’m a control freak, and I wanted to get the product out there. I also wanted to see how well I could do, so I suppose I went indie in part for the challenge.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in the suspense, mystery, horror, and thriller fields? Tami Hoag, Sue Grafton, Andrea Kane, J. A. Jance, Elizabeth Lowell, Kay Hooper, Iris Johansen.

Links: smashwords

Friday, June 18, 2010

Eric Christopher-- Crack-Up

Eric Christopherson is a former police officer with a graduate degree from Duke University and years of experience as a federal government consultant in Washington, D.C. One of his favorite souvenirs: a Pentagon-issued top secret clearance badge. He now resides in semi-rural Ohio and is currently at work on his fourth novel, a Gothic historical thriller.

Argus Ward is a former U.S. Secret Service agent who runs a protection agency catering to the rich and famous. His best-kept secret--which he shares with lawyers and doctors and even psychiatrists--is his status as a high-functioning paranoid schizophrenic. One day, with little warning, he turns psychotic for the first time in twenty years. He lands in a secure psychiatric facility, charged with the murder of his most famous client, high tech industry billionaire John Helms, the wealthiest man in America.

Argus has no memory of the killing. A blood test suggests to him that some unknown enemy had switched his anti-psychotic medication with identical-looking dummy pills to purposely drive him insane.

A sign of lingering paranoia? His doctor thinks so. Even his wife.

Yet Argus escapes incarceration to prove his theory. With the law on his trail and a ticking time bomb in his head--due to a lack of medication--he discovers that his disease had been "weaponized" by a powerful group to secretly assassinate John Helms as part of a multiple assassination conspiracy of world-wide significance.

Or has Argus simply lost his mind again? What in the end is "real" and what is only imagination in his story?

And what is justice for the criminally insane?

Q: What will e-readers like about your book?

Crack-Up: It's a fast-paced thriller with a lead character who retains his sense of humor despite being a paranoid schizophrenic and suffering from various degrees of psychosis. Often he's not sure of what's real and what's not, and neither will the reader. Is there anything more terrifying than that?

Q: Why did you go indie?

I've had two top-notch literary agents try to sell my thrillers to major publishers but neither ever got a deal done. Last year I became intrigued with indie publishing when I read that Boyd Morrison's success selling his books on Amazon for the Kindle had helped his agent to strike a three-book deal with Simon & Schuster. I'd hoped to emulate him originally when I first offered my books to the public, but now, with the industry transmogrifying so, who knows, I may be better off holding onto my rights.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in the suspense, mystery, horror, and thriller fields?

Among the living, Martin Cruz Smith, Dennis Lehane, and T. Jefferson Parker.

Crack-up at Amazon
At Smashwords

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Henry Brown--Hell and Gone

Henry Brown
: I had a rather rustic upbringing--reading was my only diversion. When unread books were scarce, I had to invent entertainment for myself. That's how the writing seed was planted.

I enlisted in the military right out of high school and volunteered for an elite unit, hoping to experience some real-life adventure. I guess I did, but nothing like my naive imagination concocted.

Throughout my life I never lost my compulsion to write. No matter what kind of situations I've found myself in, my brain never tires of milking story ideas out of them. I couldn't stop it if I tried.

Hell and Gone is a military thriller about a team of SpecOps veterans-turned-mercenaries on a desperate mission to wrestle an atomic weapon away from terrorists.

Saddam Hussein once fired Scud missiles into Israel, hoping to provoke retaliation, thereby driving a wedge between America and her Desert Storm allies. Now fanatics have acquired a WMD for use in a similar strategy on a grander scale. Picture Tel Aviv as a radioactive parking lot. If America sides with Israel, the Coalition against Terror fractures and the oil-lubed US economy crumbles. If America turns against Israel...well, that's just as effective.

The "plausibly deniable" plan to preempt this catastrophe involves unorthodox resources: Dwight Cavarra and twelve other "has-beens," armed to the teeth and with no rules-of-engagement limitations. The novel follows these characters--some repugnant, some conflicted, some even heroic, all at least a little bit crazy.

Q: What will e-readers like about your book?
So far, readers enjoy the action most. However, it's not just about blood and thunder, but strong characters who grow on you as the plot develops--most of whom try to do the right thing despite the odds and their own imperfections.

Q: Why did you go indie?
In the post-9/11 world it seems no publisher wants to touch counter-terrorism thrillers unless it's written by an established big name. I think they consider it in poor taste. Anyway, I had to overcome my own snobbery regarding nontraditional publishing. One helpful catalyst was an article I read about the future of publishing and e-readers. It made me rethink my prejudices. For me it circumvents the industry gatekeepers who decide what kind of books people should read--and will hopefully put my writing in front of readers who can decide for themselves.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in the suspense, mystery, horror, and thriller fields?
Philip Margolin wows me occasionally. Harlan Coben is consistently enjoyable. I don't read horror. Wilbur Smith tops my thriller pantheon.

Amazon (print):
Smashwords (ebook):

Friday, June 11, 2010



I started writing with weekly newspaper while I still in college. I also started writing spec screenplays. Over the years, I had a good many scripts optioned, but never produced. However, the payment of those options allowed me to keep writing.

Then when the Iraq war started, I was intrigued with the idea, what are the Iraqi people thinking? From that came my first thriller set in Iraq, "Seven Days From Sunday." It centers around an elite 4-man CIA team a local Iraqi family. My second book, "The Shot To Die For" has the same Iraqi family and CIA team caught up in another adventure.


"Operation Spider Web" is the third book with the CIA team. Now stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, they get a tip that if NATO soldiers eat at a Kandahar City teahouse on a specific date, they will be contacted about impending Taliban movements. With accurate intelligence on the Taliban hard to come by, two agents have lunch at the appointed time.

This one act sets in motion a chain of events that will forever change the lives of one Afghan family and pit two countries with nuclear weapons capability – Pakistan and India – on a devastating collision course.

Q: What will e-readers like about your book?

When it comes to the war, most of us get our information about this ongoing current event from newspapers or TV news. This book allows readers to get a glimpse into the lives of the Afghani people, their culture, their hopes and fears.

Q: Why did you go indie?

I couldn't get anywhere with my two thrillers set in Iraq. I was told time and time again by literary agents that it was an unpopular war, started by an unpopular president and no one would be interested in stories set there. The same was true when I submitted "Operation Spider Web" to agents, although by then we had a new president who had just authorized a substantial increase in the number of troops to Afghanistan. I had a friend who told me about Kindle and suggested that I self-publish the books with Amazon and let the readers decided if the topic was good or not. And the results have been very gratifying – people are reading the books and I've gotten a lot positive feedback.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in the suspense, mystery, horror, and thriller fields?

Vince Flynn, Daniel Silva, Brad Thor and Harlan Coben.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Weaker Sex--JT Cummins & Douglas Nabors

J.T. Cummins is a thriller author and screenwriter, who self-publishes e-fiction exclusively for the digital market. His thrillers include "Cobblestones," "Minus Four," and "The Jitters." J.T. is also the screenwriter-director of the horror movie classic "The Boneyard." A former Hollywood FX artist, J.T.’s work appears in "The Thing," "House," "Strange Invaders," "Enemy Mine," and many others. Co-author Douglas Nabors is a producer of the Emmy-winning TV series "Monk,” and was involved in the reimagining of the cable TV series “Battlestar Galactica.”

WEAKER SEX: When a handsome, mysterious drifter rents a hotel room in a sleepy southwestern border town, his secretive behavior attracts the unwanted attention of the owner’s inquisitive teenage daughter. With a bent for forensics, and an obsessive need to redeem herself from a past sin, the girl insinuates herself into the tenant’s dark world and unwittingly exposes a deadly secret that not only threatens her life, but the lives of her older sister and their widowed mother.

Q:What will readers like about “Weaker Sex?”

A: Readers will be captivated by the cat and mouse relationship between the resourceful heroine and her adversary. It’s fun, thrilling, but scary at the same time. After all, poking into a person’s private life is never for the faint of heart.

Q: J.T., why did you go indie?

Instead of traditional publishing, I went the e-route for a number of reasons. As a longtime creative who’s been embedded in the Hollywood machine on many fronts, industry strikes, a downturn in the economy, and shrinking film and book production all factored into my decision to go native -- to assume a more “do-it-yourself” approach with regard to my writing and career. But bottom line; self-publishing gives me a level of control over my work that I wouldn’t otherwise enjoy, and I’m loving every minute of it.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in the suspense, mystery, horror, and thriller fields?

I grew up reading the masters of horror, suspense and sci-fi, and their work remain touchstones in my library; Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, James Herbert, and yes Stephen King. While it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Richard Matheson, it’s Ray Bradbury’s work — especially “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and “Dandelion Wine” — that stick in my mind the most. Maybe I’m an old soul, but even as a child, the wistful, nostalgic qualities of both stories resonated with me — and still do. Above all else, I learned from Bradbury the importance of including heart and humanity in a story, even when you’re writing horror.

At Smashwords
At Amazon


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Indie Books Blog

In looking for places to promote my own books or learn about the books of other independent authors (defined as those not released through a major publishing house), I could not find many good sources to let people find out about authors you probably won't see on the New York Times bestseller list or featured in Entertainment Weekly. Let's face it, most journalists are much too overworked and broke to notice anything but Twilight, Dan Brown, James Patterson, and the occasional celebrity book--and I say that as a journalist.

Freelance reviewers and amateur book bloggers, as wonderful as they are, tend to stick to the books that show up in those wonderful cartons every week, straight from the Big Six, featuring all the titles all the other book bloggers are writing about. I dig the lure of free stuff. I've had my share in my time. Since the independent era is mostly about e-books, all a reviewer gets is a digital file--nothing to sell on eBay!

Since I don't have time to read and review a ton of books, this blog is more of a central showcase where you can meet new authors, learn about new releases, and get some links to learn more about the work or author if you are interested. While minimal attempts will be made to vet content, each writer must stand alone, and each reader must make a wise choice of whether or not to purchase.

That said, let the fun begin.