Monday, October 31, 2011

Confessions of an Average Half Vampire - Lisa Shafer

My name: Lisa Shafer

Book Price: 99¢
Cover art: attached as jpeg file 

Bio blurb: Lisa Shafer is a junior high school English teacher who writes YA fiction.  Her writing dreams began when she won a prize in 6th grade with a humorous story about a vampire.  Later, the first short story she ever got published in a "big name" magazine was also about a vampire.  Naturally, her first published novel is also about -- you guessed it -- a vampire.  Or at least about a half-vampire, anyway.
Contrary to anything her students may tell you, she does not really drink blood.

Book blurb:  
Lurking in the nuclei of a few rare human cells is an as-yet unstudied gene. It is a gene that makes the inheritor crave mammal blood and faint in bright sunlight. It is a gene that prevents the bearer from appearing normally in digital or mirror images.
It’s a gene that makes life heck if you’re in junior high and trying to fit in.

Eric Wright is a half-vampire with a problem. Several problems, actually. He can’t tell bloodlust from his rollercoaster adolescent hormones. The cutest girl in first period English wants him to become a vegetarian. And the assistant principal suspends him when he refuses to explain why his skin appears translucent in a school security video.

Then Eric’s non-vampire mom, who’s definitely not telling everything she knows, takes him with her on a business trip. To Scotland, where it never stays sunny for very long. The perfect hang out for a vampire. Or several. If only Eric can find one to talk to before he makes any more stupid mistakes....

What do readers like about the book?  It's funny.  It's got vampires that boys like, too, since they don't sparkle or brood over women.  Most kids tell me that they like Eric because he does such real things and gets into such odd situations that make them laugh.

Why did I go indie?  Well, I tried the traditional approach, but agent after agent told me they LOVED the book but didn't want to try "another vampire" book right now.  Then I realized I really WANTED to design my own cover and try selling my own book, so indie was a natural choice.  (The only thing I don't like about indie is doing my own formatting.  Ick.)

My favorite YA author is JK Rowling, of course.  My favorite vampire author is Bram Stoker -- of course.  Honestly, if I gave you a complete list of favorite authors, it'd take up a whole page.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Heaven Again - H. C. Turk

Hi, I'm H. C. Turk. Born in Michigan, now living in Florida, I'm a writer, visual artist, and recording artist. I have novels published by Villard and Tor, two novel excepts published in the Chicago Review, my images have appeared in numerous magazines and web-sites, my album, Thenever, is available at iTunes, and my music vids are some of the most unusual you'll ever see (for better or worse).

Book description:
Heaven Again is a literary novel of 70,000 words:
A child is murdered. Her father kills the murderer. These sad, disastrous deaths cause the parents to split. Then the murderer's sister seeks revenge by tormenting the parents with a child who resembles the dead girl. But the father is convinced his daughter still lives, and is willing to kill for her again. Death, despair, and revenge are the three evils that Glenn and Janet Alden defeat in Heaven Again, a story that ultimately is ingratiating and uplifting in depicting the profound reunion of husband and wife.

Q: What will e-readers like about your book?
A: With prose as compelling as its themes, Heaven Again is a story that will startle readers with its originality and utterly convincing voice.

Q: Why did you go indie?
A: Indie allows a faster, more direct connection to the reader.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre?
A: Julio Cortazar, Samuel Beckett

Link to web site or blog or Amazon/Smashwords

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Fugitive's Doctor - Deirdre-Elizabeth Parker

Bio: The Fugitive's Doctor is the debut novel by Deirdre-Elizabeth Parker. She lives in Florida.

Product description:

At the age of 51, Dr. Doretha Vaughn decides to join an online dating site to find a husband. Her daughter warns her to be careful, but Vaughn trusts her judge of character and meets Sam Cawley, a kind man who treats her like a queen. He fills her days with laughter and affection while providing a caring refuge from the daily suffering and death she battles as an emergency physician.
After 8 years of happy marriage, a phone call from the Broward County Sheriff makes Vaughn question her happiness. She learns that Sam Cawley is really William Wallace, who has been on the run for 17 years, and is now wanted on charges of identity theft and credit card fraud.

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

Whether readers support Vaughn’s decisions or shake their heads at her in amazement, Parker believes they will be swept along her journey into the depths of a crisis that few people can imagine. The author hopes that the book will make readers question their own ability to offer unconditional love.
Q: Why did you go indie?
Technology and communication have changed the traditions of publishing and distribution. Indie is the future.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre? "The Pilot's Wife" by Anita Shreve.

Link to web site or blog or Amazon



Friday, October 28, 2011

Base Spirits - Ruth Barrett

Bio: A Canadian actor-turned-fiction-writer-- mad for all things British-- who lives in Stratford, Ontario. Surrounded by theatre, art, music and a lively community of friends, I lead a slightly crazy, creative life.
Product description: In 1605, a Yorkshire nobleman's murderous rampage leaves a family shattered. The killer suffers a tortuous execution as his house is forever tarnished by blood and possessed by anguished spirits. On vacation, an unhappy modern couple unwittingly awaken a dark history. Clara is forced back in time to bear witness to the tragic saga, and Scott is overtaken by malevolent echoes. Only one player in this drama can survive.
Q: What will e-readers like about your book? It's a compelling, creepy read for a night by the fire or an overnight flight. Who doesn't love a ghost story?
Q: Why did you go indie? I've published short stories by the traditional method, but found getting a novel out there very frustrating. I like the options and control e-publishing gives to authors these days. The old self-publishing stigma is fading fast.
Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre? It's a mixed genre piece: for horror-- Stephen King, Peter Straub and Scott Nicholson. For historical-- Louis Bayard, Sarah Waters and Michel Faber.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Jack Be Nimble: Gargoyle - Ben English

--My first thriller, Jack Be Nimble:  Gargoyle, was based on a short story written for a literary contest while I was an undergraduate student.  I attended Brigham Young University, where I studied international relations, English, and broadcast journalism.  For some reason, I also hold an MBA with an emphasis in Global Management.  In addition to working as a novelist, I am the head of marketing for an international technology services provider based in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live with magnificent wife and two children. For more information, visit

Product description:

Q: What will e-readers like about your book?
--Readers who enjoy fast-paced, electrifying stories that unfold in historically-rich settings will really enjoy Gargoyle, the first book in the Jack Be Nimble series.

The series follows a harrowing week in the lives of Americans Jack Flynn and Mercedes Adams as they race from Paris to London to L.A. to Havana, Cuba, to stop a brilliant technologist bent on global socio-economic ruin.  Though separated for years, Mercedes and Jack discover the path to survival lies in their increasingly intertwined lives and in the secret history they share.

In “Gargoyle,” Jack is alone in Paris, left a widower by a clandestine operation gone wrong, his team of special operatives in disarray.  Mercedes is at the pinnacle of her career as professional photographer, but left increasingly dissatisfied both by her success and the healing process following a recent divorce.  Unbeknownst to her, a team of assassins has been dispatched to her home by an old family friend determined to uncover secrets left behind by her parents.

Gargoyle will appeal to lovers of thrillers, suspense, and romance.  The follow-up novel in the series, Jack Be Nimble:  Tyro, is also available, and the remaining two books in the series are slated to be available in the fall of 2011, before Christmas.

Q: Why did you go indie?
-- Can't imagine going any other way!  I never seriously considered approaching the traditional publishing houses, and I absolutely love the idea of sharing these stories in a way that is most accessible to readers who love books, either in e-book or print.  

Couldn’t have said this a few years ago, but from a business perspective there really aren’t many long-term benefit in going with a traditional publishing house.  Indie publishing includes a vibrant, energetic community that will only grown as the publishing business continues to change.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre?

Dean Koontz, Joseph Finder, Neal Stephenson, Lincoln Child, Douglas Preston, Tom Clancy, and Harry Harrison.

Link to web site or blog or Amazon/Smashwords

--Author Website:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sophie's Turn - Nicky Wells

Born and raised in Germany, I moved to the UK to study and work. I currently live in Bristol (UK) with my husband and two children. Whilst expecting my first baby, I set out to write my personal “all-time favourite romantic comedy,” with all the laughter and tears, sex and introspection I would like to see in the perfect book.  The result is Sophie's Turn... and I am working on the sequel, too!
Q: What will e-readers like about your book?
Sophie's Turn is a rock star romance--yes, the male hero is a rock star, and Sophie has to make a choice between him and her fiance, Tim.  The story is funny, honest, occasionally bittersweet, and very fast-paced.  Who wouldn't marry their favourite star, given half a chance?  The novel has a surprising but highly satisfactory ending.  Book bloggers who have reviewed Sophie's Turn have called it the 'perfect chick lit book' and told me they absolutely want a sequel.
Here's the blurb:  One fine day in Paris, Sophie Penhalligan suddenly finds herself engaged to her teenage crush and love-of-her-life-from-a-distance, rock singer and star extraordinaire Dan Hunter. But there is the small matter of her very recent, but very prior, engagement to Tim. Reliable, honest, trusting Tim, her boyfriend of two years stashed away safely in his mews house in South Kensington while Sophie is drinking rather too much champagne with Dan in Paris. The novel describes how Sophie gets into this impossible situation and how she turns it around.

Q: Why did you go indie?
I decided to go 'indie' via Amazon Kindle because I like the fact that I'm in control of when I publish, where I publish and at what price.  What's not to like?  Sophie's Turn is available all over the world via the various amazon sites:, and

Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre?
Favorite authors in my genre include (but are by no means limited to) Catherine Alliott, Sophie Kinsella, Jane Green, Helen Fielding and Jill Mansell.

Link to web site or blog or Amazon/Smashwords (please could you insert the full sentence???Cheers!)
Find out more about Sophie's Turn, read its awesome reviews, or buy it, via my blog at:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How To Live Forever (A Very Fictional Guide) - Barry Burnett

Barry Burnett splits his life between family medicine and writing (with a little left over for family and healthy stuff) in Boulder, Colorado.

Product description: 

How To Live Forever (A Very Fictional Guide)    [Novel: 133K words]

Meet David Black, a young family doc whose solo practice has spectacularly tanked. So has his marriage; the two are not unrelated. His best friend, Oz, wants him to reinvent himself, offering their fellow Boulderites everything they need to live forever (or at least long enough for Oz to profit and retire).
David balks.
At first.
What follows is a romp of a read, a comedy with heart - from the characters who staff the new clinic to pursuit by pheromone-crazed wildlife, an entirely non-virtual cliff-hanger, and the love that, in the end, might save him.

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

--The story, which I hear is as fun and involving as the experience I had writing it.
--Personally, I'm crazy about the cast of characters, from Junie Blanche, a Katrina refugee and grad student who's way smarter than David, through the rest of the happy but confused Forever Clinic crew.
--Then there's Boulder, an excellent but often very quirky place to live.
--Finally, beneath the story and the characters is a modest amount of health information. Not how to live forever–I don't think anyone has a handle on that yet–but a mixed bag of mainstream and alternative approaches that frame out how to live well, which has to be most important, and how to have the best shot at living long. 
--Oh–and it's free... for at least another month.

Q: Why did you go indie? 

I've had some experience with an agent and publishers in New York, and realize that the multi-genre books I'm currently interested in writing are not the easy sells that a shaken industry is likely to take a chance on. Plus writing to the market never really worked for me--I write what I care about, with a certain driving  passion, and then, when the product looks worthy, am stuck with getting it to readers myself. It would be so great to be a Famous Author, and see my words get gently caressed and fly out into bookstores everywhere, but but the few semi-famous ones I've met tell me it can be a tough hard fight for them as well. Lately, the best thing about indie publishing is been e-books, which allow some early polishing (done!) and low- (or no-) cost distribution to readers.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre?  

Alexander McCall Smith, Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City), Jane Smiley (Moo), David Lodge, Susan Isaacs, and Michael Malone (Handling Sin).

Direct free download links to Amazon, iBooks, and Smashwords, and a darn cheap one at Nook, are at

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lucid Membrane - Tantra Bensko


I teach fiction writing online, focusing on experimental. I promote Experimental Writing through a large resource site of that name, and Exclusive Magazine, FlameFlower Contest, and LucidPlay Publishing. I have 170 creative writing publications in magazines, and many books including 4 chapbooks and this full length book.

Product description:

Short stories cover the range of the self, from the subconscious, “reg'lar” and expanded employing Absurdist whimsy, New Wave Fabulism, zany Realism, and Experimental explosions that move outside conventions in inventive ways. A young man tattoos a royal flush on the behinds of some of his classmates, the grand opening of his glow in the dark technique being the homecoming dance. Another man teams up with him, as he paints with hair regrowth ointment on skin, and they create a hair circus. A young woman finds a Sasquatch to sit for her elderly father in the rural south, while another lady nearby learns to read with her breasts, feeling the heat of the print against her skin.

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

Many say my stories puts them in altered states of awareness that they find very pleasurable. The book provides portals out of linearity, and identification of the self only as that which resides inside the skin, out of the default storyline based on a plot arc made of problems. The readers get to travel into other parts of the continuum, flying higher and delving deeper into the dreamy aspects of the self. To play.

And it's a transmedia book, so much of it is online. It's website is generous with including other people, and readers can take that further by putting the password that resides in the book into the Secret Womb page of the website, for more participatory fiction, images, and chances to collaborate with each other.

Q: Why did you go indie?

I never considered anything else. There is a love behind indie publishing that I like being part of. Tim Roux, of Night Publishing, does what he does not for commercial reasons, but out of a sense of mission. He's a kind, thoughtful man, with a great sense of humor, and has made friends out of a lot of writers he publishes.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre? Kyle Muntz, Tom Robbins, Italo Calvino

Link to web site or blog or Amazon/Smashwords

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Island of Whispers - Brendan Gisby

Bio: Brendan Gisby was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, halfway through the 20th century, and was brought up just along the road in South Queensferry (the Ferry) in the shadow of the world-famous Forth Bridge.  He presently lives on the fringes of an ancient volcano, Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.  Retiring from a business career in 2007, Brendan has devoted himself to writing.  He has published two novels, The Island of Whispers and The Olive Branch; a collection of short stories about growing up in the Ferry during the 1950's and 1960's, Ferry Tales; and a biography of his late father, The Bookie’s Runner.

Product description: This is the story of a colony of rats living on an island under the world-famous Forth Railway Bridge.  Ruled over by an ‘inner circle’ of evil fat rats, and in fear for their lives, a group of lowly ‘watchers’ attempts to brave the stormy waters and scale the giant bridge in a bid for freedom.  But celebrations for the bridge's centenary are about to begin.... will they make it?  A story of oppression overcome, fierce loyalty, dreams and devastation.  Grisly to the end, but with heart.  You'll never look at those little islands in the same way again.

Q: What will e-readers like about your book?  The book should appeal to readers of all ages, especially those who have read and liked Watership Down.  Although the central characters are rats rather than rabbits, readers quickly forget their natural aversion to rodents and become immersed in the story.  And they say the story is every bit as good as Watership Down!

Q: Why did you go indie?  Given the impossibility of a new and unknown author placing his first manuscript with a conventional publisher, it was inevitable that I should go indie.  But I’ve no regrets about taking that route.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre?  For meaningful stories based on animal societies, my top choice has to be the master himself, Richard Adams.  Running a close second is another master storyteller, George Orwell, who penned the wonderful Animal Farm.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Last American Martyr - Tom Winton

Bio:  Tom Winton was born and raised in New York City. During his working career he has done everything from working on a railroad gang in the Colorado Rockies to driving a taxicab in Manhattan. Now retired, he has also been a mailman, a salesman, an entrepreneur and more. He lives in Hobe Sound, Florida, with his wife Blanche and their ill-tempered but loveable Jack Russell terrier, Ginger. They spend part of their time in Carmel, Maine.
Product Description:  It doesn’t happen often, but every now and then one small soul rises from the crowded depths of obscurity and causes the earth to wobble on its axis. This last happened in 2008 when an unemployed doorman, in a secondhand Goodwill suit, stepped onto the worldwide stage in Stockholm and accepted The Nobel Prize for Literature.

In this me-me twenty-first century, Thomas Soles may very well be the last American martyr. This self-described “simple man” writes a simple book that resuscitates the all-but-dead international labor movement. The response to his thoughts and perceptions are astounding. All around the globe, from pole to pole, from America to Zimbabwe, the marching footsteps of workers, young and old, tremor the earth. But not everyone is pleased. There’s a tight-knit, elitist clique that is absolutely livid over the thoughts and ideals that fill the pages of his book. And the moment Tom and his wife, Elaina, return home from Sweden, they realize just how angry this profit-hungry mob really is.
Q—What will readers like about your book?  Firstly, it’s a very timely book!  With struggling people and economies all over the world, most readers will in one way or another easily relate to the subject matter.  Also, The Last American Martyr is a suspenseful novel sandwiched between two heartrending romances.  Already it seems to be garnering a very wide reading audience.
Q—Why did you go indie?  After ten agents asked for all or part of my debut novel, Beyond Nostalgia, last July (yes TEN agents--four in one day) I allowed myself some hope.  But I did not have one taker.  Several said they were “sure” I’d find the right agent “soon”, but it didn’t happen.  I was then approached by a small indie publisher, and Beyond Nostalgia came out this past February.  By the way, this book that ten agents has been on four Amazon Bestseller lists at one time and three “Top Rated” charts.
Q—Who are your favorite authors in your genre?—Odd as this is going to sound, I don’t read a whole lot of suspense.  Though, like I said, The Last American Martyr is suspense in the middle of two romances, it somehow evolved into that.  I had a rough idea of what the story was going to be, but I let the MC, Thomas Soles, take me wherever he wanted.  My favorite authors are Pat Conroy, Steinbeck, and Jim Harrison, just to name a few.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Defender - Mark Chisnell

Mark Chisnell is the author of the Kindle chart-topping thrillers The Defector and The Wrecking Crew, as well as award-winning works of non-fiction. He's a sometime professional racing sailor and also works as a broadcaster and journalist, writing for some of the world's leading magazines and newspapers, including Esquire and the Guardian.
Product description:
What will you do, when it's you or them? This is the dilemma at the heart of The Defector - can Martin Cormac turn his back on his ruthless past as a currency trader, a big city player, and do the right thing? Not when he's looking for answers in a succession of sleazy dives.

One night, Cormac gets caught trying to chat up the bar owner's girlfriend and soon needs rescuing. Unfortunately, his white knight is anything but - Janac's a drug baron with a psychotic urge to test people to the limit, and if possible... over it. And soon Cormac is running from more than his past, he's running from the most dangerous game he will ever play.
Q: What will e-readers like about your book?
The page-turning, stomach churning pace.
Q: Why did you go indie?
It's a transitional time in publishing, eBooks are the future and the fastest way to be a part of it and get it out onto eReaders was to do it myself.
Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre?
Ian Fleming and Alistair MacLean. The latter is almost forgotten now, but he was a hugely successful thriller writer in the 1960s and 1970s, and I could inhale one of his books in an afternoon when I was a kid. And as for Ian Fleming, what hasn’t already been said about the man who brought us James Bond?
Link to web site or blog or Amazon/Smashwords:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Being Human - Patricia Lynne

Bio: Patricia Lynne never set out to become a writer, and in fact, wasn't very good at it during high school and college. But some stories are meant to be told and this one chose her. Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Product description:For Tommy, there is only one thing he needs to do: survive.

Only surviving isn't that easy. The hunt for blood can be tricky when humans know to fear the night. Desire sits on the edge of his mind, urging him to become the monster humans think he is. Vampire Forces, a special branch of police, is determined to turn every vampire to ash. Tommy included.

The only human Tommy can trust is his twin brother. A bond connects them, and with Danny's help, Tommy starts to understand the human world he struggles to survive in. He'll learn what friendships means and feel the sting of betrayal, find that sometimes the worst monsters are very human, and come to understand that family means more than blood.

Tommy just wants to survive and he knows what he needs to do. But with the number of humans that mean more to him than a meal growing, he'll learn there's more to life than simple survival. He'll discover being human doesn't mean being a human.

Q: What will e-readers like about your book?I am having a really hard time figuring out the answer to this question. I've typed a few different things and scraped them all. Honestly, I really just hope the reader enjoys getting lost in my world I created. That when they put the book down, they realize they forgot the real world existed, forgot any worries and just enjoyed the story. I do think readers will like the twist I gave to vampires. I really wanted to get away from the same old same old I've kept seeing stories take and put a new light on vampires.

Q: Why did you go indie?
When looking into whether to go indie or traditional, indie just felt like the better options. Things seem so hectic with publishers and indie is making great leaps. Plus, it really appealed to the do-it-yourself in me. I love being in control of all aspects. Even the ones that are a bit difficult or tricky.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre?
Heather Brewer, author of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod. She just inspired me to try and her stories take me to another world. I love everything she writes.

Link to web site or blog or Amazon/Smashwords


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

(C)rock Stories: Million Dollar Tales of Music, Mayhem and Maturity - Dave Brigham

I grew up in a small town in Connecticut, and started writing stories in the 3rd grade. I discovered college radio when I was 17; bands I’ve loved over the years include the Flaming Lips, Butthole Surfers, Naked Raygun, Sonic Youth, Giant Sand, Dead Kennedys, Fugazi, Echo & the Bunnymen, New Order, Frightened Rabbit, Chin Up Chin Up and Clinic. For some reason, it took me until age 35 to hit upon the idea of writing fiction about music. I used real-life events, bands and friends to build a collection of connected short stories that touch on universal themes such as love, death, friendship and self-discovery. I've lived outside Boston for 20 years and am a Red Sox fanatic.
Product description:
Q: What will e-readers like about your book?
In "(C)rock Stories: Million-Dollar Tales of Music, Mayhem and Immaturity," there are 15 lively stories centered on punk rock, classic rock and post-punk. You don’t have to like those kinds of music, or music at all (but who the hell doesn’t like music?) to enjoy the book. The stories are about growing up, figuring out who you are, trying to understand love and friendships and having fun.
Q: Why did you go indie?
I spent the better part of 10 years writing my collection, and honestly, I just wanted to get it out there, and wasn’t interested in spending my time trying to sell the book to agents or publishers. I wanted to get it on the market and then use it to wave in front of publishers’ faces when I’m ready to put something else out.
Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre?
I don’t read enough, but some fiction I’ve enjoyed in recent years is Joe Pernice’s “Meat Is Murder”; Tom Perrotta’s “Little Children”; Steve Almond’s “My Life In Heavy Metal”; and Peter Bognanni’s “House of Tomorrow.”
Link to web site or blog or Amazon/Smashwords

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Funeral Party - Paul L. McMurray

I grew up on the SW side of Chicago and then lived in nearby suburbs and mainly stayed out of serious trouble thanks to my strict-but-kind mom and a top-ranking relative on the CPD. I worked a lot of jobs, including selling insurance in the “inner city”, where I had a loaded gun pointed at my head twice (by undercover cops, not residents) but didn’t get shot, and learned to look out for roving packs of feral dogs. I also remember gratefully the many good people there who checked the windows first so I didn’t get robbed and/or my butt kicked. I then joined my family in owning and running the 2nd largest private campground in SE Wisconsin (at the time and may still be). I’m busy working on the next Zak & Freddy (Funeral Party) caper—The Wilding—because my lovely wife won’t let me start cocktail hour until I finish a lot of pages each day.
I live in Wisconsin but travel frequently to Chicago for more “research”, which usually involves Italian beef sandwiches and beer after driving around some bad neighborhoods with Mike Da’ Cop or other protective drivers.
And while I might sound like I’m joking around in my BIO , I’m serious about my writing. I just talk this way.

FUNERAL PARTY (Mystery, Murder, and Martinis: On The Run). (Approximately 154,000 words; Adult Content—contains sex, violence, and frequent profanity). Tavern owner and former bagman for the Chicago Outfit while he was a cop, Zak O’Neill is forced to do one more job for his old Mob boss: take the gangster’s girlfriend out on a date to see if she can be trusted. Of course she can’t—but for an entirely different reason than suspected—and Zak is forced to shoot his way out of a set-up and flee, leaving behind his tavern, his house, and the girl he’s in lust with. Driving far north into Wisconsin to hide, low on cash and gas and lost, Zak winds up at a desolate saloon and all too soon wonders if he wasn’t better off back in Chicago , hit-men be damned. Besides the fact that he’s a hated Flatlander in Cheesehead-land, there’s the hulking but too-short Freddy who’s always looking for a fight, the WANTED fax with Zak’s face that brings those darned bounty hunters, the mysterious private club that hosts a funeral party complete with strippers dancing around the casket, and finally the ultimatum: Die here, or head into dangerous territory to deal with gangs, guns, and a lot of missing money.

I use a lot of Chicago flavoring, and Wisconsin also, and even if you’re not from either place, I think you’ll get the feel. Some of my characters are not good people, and their dialogue reflects that—they are definitely not PC (and please re-read the Adult Content disclaimer, eh?). But that’s the way certain people talk and act, and there it is. For $2.99, I think you get a lot of bang for your bucks (no pun intended).

I was in the “200 Rejection Club” for some long-ago submissions and quit writing. Somehow I found Scot Nicholson’s 100 Blog Tour (I think it was that many; I just know I went back to any I could still get onto for the Kindle contest). I mainly wanted the Kindle, but the more I read each blog, I saw examples of good writing being published, works that might still be stuck under a coffee cup (or a martini) on a NY desk. I decided then to do it right (and give myself my own rejection slips when I wrote under-par) and publish it when I decided it was ready.

I re-read Ed McBain and Robert B. Parker, and I’m waiting for the next Michael Connelly and Lee Child, but it’s not right to say that’s “my genre”. What I will always try for is because of a book I read as a kid: Step Right Up! (aka Memoirs of a Sword-Swallower) by Daniel P. Mannix. I had read a lot of crime and mystery from a young age, but Mr. Mannix, in his autobiography about joining a carnival (so definitely not my genre), just impressed the hell out of me with the way every paragraph, long or short, kept me reading until I couldn’t stay awake anymore. Check it out.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Extraordinary Adventure of Ordinary Alice - Rebecca Rivinius

I'm a new author who is also a stay-at-home mom and a proud Air Force wife of eight years.  I was born and raised on a farm in North Dakota and I currently live in Florida.  My love affair with books began pretty much the moment I learned to read.  In my spare time, when I'm not reading, I'm usually cooking.  Sometimes I try to do both at the same time!  The first thing I ever wrote was a story for my son.  One day, my husband and I were talking about writing and I said, "I could never write a full length novel!"  I had challenged myself without even realizing it.  The moment the words were out of my mouth, I knew I had to try and I immediately began writing THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURE OF ORDINARY ALICE.
In THE EXTRAORDINARY VENTURE OF ORDINARY ALICE, Alice, a wife and stay-at-home mother to three boys under the age of nine, is content with her regular and somewhat boring routine.  She is not looking forward to her family’s vacation in a beach house in Mexico because she knows all too well how complicated things can get with three small children.  Therefore, she is hardly surprised when an array of funny mishaps occurs.  But what Alice is not expecting is to be caught up in the life of the mysterious artist who lives down the beach.  This encounter forces her to discover how she truly feels about herself and the life she has created.  Alice is given the opportunity to determine the answer to the question that lies deep within us all—Are we truly happy?
Q: What will e-readers like about your book?
I think e-readers will enjoy the fact that they can relate to the main character.  As the title suggests, Alice is an ordinary person.  I wanted to create a character where anyone who reads about her can say "Oh my god, that's me" at some point in the book.
Q: Why did you go indie?
I decided to go indie after attending a conference about publishing children's books.  A main theme throughout the conference was how the publishing world is currently in turmoil and the difficulties authors are facing with a traditional publisher.  I felt very defeated.  The reason I wrote this book was to share my story with family, friends, and all the people out there who I knew would be able to relate to Alice's story.  Going "indie" seemed to be the best way to accomplish that goal.
Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre?
I love so many books by so many different authors.  And different genres serve different purposes for me.  When I need to laugh, I pick up Sophie Kinsella.  When I want to think, I pick up Jodi Picoult.  The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, and Sister by Rosamund Lupton are also three of my favorites.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Road Rules - Jim Winter


Jim Winter is a web developer by day, middle-aged student, stepfather, and writer by night. Since 2001, his crime fiction has appeared in Plots With Guns, Thug Lit, and the upcoming West Coast Crime Wave.  He is the author of 2005's Northcoast Shakedown.  Originally from Cleveland, Jim makes his home in Cincinnati with his wife Nita and stepson AJ.

Product description:

The road trip to Hell starts with a stolen car. Stan and Mike take what they think is an easy trip to Florida to deliver a collectible Cadillac. Little do they know that they're hauling something much more important in their trunk. And everyone wants it: The Feds, the Catholic Church, a deeply spiritual - if sex and cocaine addicted - Cuban drug lord, and a desperate PI dressed as a truckstop hooker. Instead of a week prowling the beaches of Miami, they end up in a showdown on a sleepy Sunday morning in Savannah. It's high noon in the garden of good and evil.

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

We often hear about how criminals are really not all that bright. This is the story of what happens when their mental reach exceeds their limited grasp. It is equal parts Elmore Leonard, Donald Westlake, and JA Konrath, laced with a healthy dose of sarcasm.

Q: Why did you go indie?

I had an agent shop this and get some really good looks, but as publishing is trying to figure out what it wants to be in this new world of ereaders and disappearing bookstores, I realized I'd probably do better going it alone.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre?

I am a huge fan of Ken Bruen and Dennis Lehane, as well as Stuart MacBride and Ed McBain.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Arctic Fire - Paul Byers


Paul grew up in Oregon on the shores of the mighty and mysterious Columbia River, and spent endless hours daydreaming on the beach in front of his house, making up stories about the ships from exotic ports all over the world that steamed up the river – what secret cargo might they be carrying; did they harbor spies who were on dark and exciting missions?

Later in adult life, he moved to another mysterious and provocative city – Las Vegas, just outside the famous Nellis Air Force base.  After work he would sit on his porch and watch the fighters take off and land, igniting his imagination with visions of secret missions and rich speculation about what could possibly be hidden at Area 51.

After moving back to his native Pacific Northwest, Paul worked for the Navy and took every opportunity he could to speak with veterans from WWII to the Gulf War, listening to them swap stories and relate the experiences of a lifetime.

So it is this combination of a passionate love of history, a vivid “what if” imagination, and a philosophy of life that boils down to the belief that – there are few things if life that a bigger hammer won’t fix – that led Paul to become a writer of exciting, fact-based action-thrillers.  His greatest joy is leaving his readers wondering where the facts end and the fiction begins.

Product description

Wealthy entrepreneur Nigel Cain has devised an efficient new way to bring the earth’s most precious resource to the masses – clean water – by transporting massive man-made icebergs from the frigid arctic and delivering them literally to the doorsteps of millions.

Gabriel Pike works at a small engineering firm that has been awarded the task of giving the final safety approval to pilot the first gigantic block of ice into New York harbor.

A consummate showman, Cain has built a fabulous 5-Star hotel and casino high atop the iceberg so his celebrity guests and media elite can cover this spectacle from beginning to end. Pike is whisked away from his work-a-day world and dropped into the lap of luxury where he’s expected to simply rubber-stamp his inspection.

A brutal winter storms ravages the iceberg and exposes structural inconsistencies and hidden agendas that fill Pike with serious doubts about the true intentions of the project.  But a grisly double homicide on the ice puts the inspections on the back burner and sends Pike’s life spiraling out of control when he’s accused of being the jealous murderer in a lover’s triangle. 

But Pike soon discovers that there is far more at stake than just his life. He uncovers a conspiracy more heinous than anything he could have imagined – a plot that will level a city, change the political face of America, and whose shockwaves will be felt around the world. Fate rests in his hands – if he can survive long enough to take action...
What will e-readers like about your book?
Arctic Fire is a fast paced action-thriller with a great storyline and characters you can believe, and believe in. It is fiction, based on facts, and it will leave the reader wondering where the facts end and the fiction begins. And as a e-reader, you can read it just about anywhere at anytime and for only $2.99 where else can you get action, drama and thrills for that price?

Why did you go indie?
Several reasons. The ebook market is exploding and I want to be on the forefront of  the new frontier so to speak. I also wanted more control of my books and the e-markets allows me to do this. There are greater risks, but also greater rewards.
Who are your favorite authors in your genre?
There are of course the standards, of Michael Crichton, and Dean Koontz and I also like Jeremy Robinson for a good, faced paced read.
Also available on Smashwords