Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Rik Stone on His Obituary, Life Experience & Inspiration @Stone_Rik #Fiction #Thriller #Crime

Image of Rik Stone

What genre of books do you adore?
I love a good thriller, but I was also once addicted to both Terry Pratchet and Tolkien.
What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
He’s been telling us for the last 90 years he wasn’t well, looks like he was right.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you live now?
I grew up in the slums of north east England and now live in a nice area in south-east England. And you’re right about influence, what I write is akin to my own experiences, albeit they are grossly exaggerated.
How did you develop your writing?
I guess you learn the most from the mistakes you make along the way, which means I must be pretty good by now.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Real life, but mostly good old imagination.
What marketing works for you?
Blog tours, I hope.
Do you plan to publish more books?
Birth of an Assassin is the first in a series. Book 2&3 are written, but both require one more redraft.
What else do you do to make money other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time?
I’m very lucky with that one. I took an early retirement at 50 and live on a company pension, so I can give my full time to writing… and I do.
What other jobs have you had in life?
I worked in shipyards before going into the merchant Navy. When I came ashore, I worked in a quarry. Redundancy took me to Ford Motor Co. and that was when my life went through a change: I began studying. Working my way through the lower level stuff, I moved on to study for a bachelor’s degree in mathematics-and-computing and moved into the IT sector of the company.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I love living in England, but I’m sure I’d be as happy to settle anywhere else. I probably am, but I don’t care to believe I’m held down by roots.

Set against the backdrop of Soviet, post-war Russia, Birth of an Assassin follows the transformation of Jez Kornfeld from wide-eyed recruit to avenging outlaw. Amidst a murky underworld of flesh-trafficking, prostitution and institutionalized corruption, the elite Jewish soldier is thrown into a world where nothing is what it seems, nobody can be trusted, and everything can be violently torn from him.
Buy Now @ AmazonB&NKobo & Waterstones
Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Rik Stone on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Brandon Overall on His Favourite Books & Authors - #SciFi #BookClub #AmReading

What books did you love growing up?
-I didn’t read a whole lot growing up, but I did love the Harry Potter series (who doesn’t?) and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I also really like the book Watchers by Dean Koontz.
Who is your favorite author?
-I would definitely have to say J.K. Rowling
What book genre of books do you adore?
-Most types of fantasy and sci-fi
What book should everybody read at least once?
Starship Troopers.  It’s got a lot of really thought provoking commentary.
Is there any books you really don’t enjoy?
-Just can’t get into Romance.  I don’t think I’m part of the demographic that’s supposed to enjoy it, though.
What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
-That I was survived by my children who received my massive fortune.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
-I grew up in Novi, Michigan and lived there my entire life.  After I graduated college and started my career in the Army I’ve been moving around a lot.  I went from Ft. Lewis, Washington to Ft. Gordon, Georgia.  Right now I’m in Afghanistan, but I will be returning to Georgia soon!
How did you develop your writing?
-I wrote.  That’s all there is to it.  Most of it came from writing in school.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
-I write best in the mornings for some reason.  When other people are normally still sleeping (6-8 AM) I am sipping on coffee and writing.  In the evenings, sometimes music will inspire me.  Once I get a good thought train going, I can pump out 3000-4000 words in a single sitting, but then I usually have writers block for a day or two afterwards.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
-I wouldn’t know, since I haven’t ever gotten published other than self-published!  Writing is probably the hardest, the others are just time consuming.
What marketing works for you?
-Dumb luck is the only thing I have used so far.

Superhuman Nature is Brandon Overall’s first novel. It was written and published during his first deployment to Afghanistan as a 2nd Lieutenant in late 2013.
Neil Hitchens was a senior ROTC Cadet in college. He was just weeks away from graduating and becoming an Officer in the United States Army, until a strange dream set off a chain of events that would twist his life into something he could have never prepared for.
In the days following his dream, several strange happenings occurred that he began to suspect were the result of his own actions. Before long, he discovered that he had the ability to control the world around him with his mind.
What started out as an unpredictable ability quickly evolved into an extraordinary power that had the capacity to change the world. It didn’t take long for the government to find out what Neil could do.
They knew having such limitless potential on the side of the US Military could give them limitless political influence, and they would stop at nothing to get Neil to do their bidding. They would find out what happens when you back a dangerous animal into a corner.
Neil spent his whole life believing he would amount to greatness, but he never expected how greatness could corrupt even the most innocent of minds.
Buy @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Science Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Brandon Overall on Facebook

Richard Parry, His Work Area & Inspiration from Within @TactualRain #WriteTip #AmWriting #Fantasy

Colour theory.  There you go: guest post done.
Okay, apparently I need to do a little better than that.  The thing about my work area is that I want to make sure that it doesn’t jar with my delicate eyeballs.  My home office desk is this sheet of tempered glass, and I’ve got the various technology pieces in step with this: the MacBook is grey like the desk, and the mouse, monitor, and keyboard are black.  Even the mouse mat is black.
Maybe it’s not colour theory.  Maybe it’s OCD.
I use this basic premise for anywhere I write — it’s a pretty good determiner of whether I’ll get good writing done.  I sometimes like to lean back, take a rest from the keyboard, and let my eyes wander.  If I’m in some for-kids McCafe, that’ll be like stabbing myself in the brain with crayons.  If I’m somewhere else — nice hotel bar, maybe, with blues and greens around — then I can relax into it.
Some of my writerly-friends have photos of their kids around, paintings up, that kind of thing.  Great!  That’s a neat approach too, but for me the inspiration comes from within: the work area is all about creating a blank canvas for those ideas to generate from.
It doesn’t stop with the visuals though.  I make sure I’ve got a comfortable chair, because nothing screws with my character’s dialogue like having a spring sticking up into my gluteus.  I also carry tunes with me, everywhere, and a good set of noise suppressing headphones: it lets me tune out the tiny distractions that fill the air around us, all the time.
If I had an unlimited budget?  I’d get a nice writer’s cabin on the edge of a lake somewhere.  Pleasing visual backdrop?  Check.  Nice surrounds?  Check.  Comfortable chair?  I can ship one in.  Tunes?  Check.
Pretty sure that the local bears or badgers or whatever wouldn’t like me listening to Tadpole at a billion decibels though.

Valentine’s an ordinary guy with ordinary problems. His boss is an asshole. He’s an alcoholic. And he’s getting that middle age spread just a bit too early. One night — the one night he can’t remember — changes everything. What happened at the popular downtown bar, The Elephant Blues? Why is Biomne, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, so interested in him — and the virus he carries? How is he getting stronger, faster, and more fit? And what’s the connection between Valentine and the criminally insane Russian, Volk?
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Action, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Rating – R16
More details about the author
 Connect with Richard Parry on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summoned by Rainy Kaye @rainyofthedark #Fiction #MustRead #Paranormal

I’m standing in a large chamber with an arched ceiling and elaborate metal chandeliers. The walls are painted arabesque designs in shades of teal. Persian rugs, showing age but not wear, hang like tapestries. Etched lamps, tall hookahs with dozens of hoses, lanterns with colored glass, leather floor cushions, and silver trays propped on wooden legs spread across the floor.
Down the length of the room hang sheer fabrics in jewel tones, barely obscuring the stage at the far end. The stage stands about three feet high, draped in thick rugs. On the stage rests a throne of hammered silver. Intricate designs wrap across the legs and base, up the high back, and down the arms. The cushion is red and gold.
I have been in this room more times than I can count. I’m sure the room has been here for a hundred years, even if the mansion has not, and the decor must be ten times as old. The air smells deep and musky with the scent of argan oil.
“Dimitri.”
I settle my gaze on the man sitting on the throne. He is tall and wiry, with fair skin, hooked nose, and thin hair. He seems pleased with himself. Then again, he has no reason not to be.
His name is Karl Walker, and I have known him my whole life.
“There’s a new a wish,” he says.
He nods, and a man standing at his side, but barely noticeable, steps forward and offers me a manila envelope. The man wears a dark blue and tan uniform, one of the six men who make up Karl’s actual personal armed security.
I take the envelope, because in minutes I won’t have a choice anyway. I want to ask why he needs me again so soon after the last orders, but I know my place; I keep my mouth shut.
“I request you hunt down that man and kill him,” he says
I close my eyes. At least it’s not another kidnapping.
“Dimitri?”
I hesitate, then I force my eyes open. The smirk on his face never fails to make my heart drop into my stomach. To make me think that for one day, just one time, I would love to be able to tell him no. To deny his request.
But I can’t.
“Seek and kill that man, Dimitri.” Karl smiles, because his next words guarantee he will get his request. “This . . . I . . . wish.”
A dull hum fills my head. It’s a subtle noise, but it won’t stay that way forever. The further I am from fulfilling the order—the wish—the more obtrusive the sound will become. And that’s just the beginning.
Like it or not, I have to obey his command.
That’s right. Karl is my Aladdin and I’m the fuckin’ genie.
There are a few caveats though:
I don’t have any magical powers.
Wishes are unlimited.
And Karl is an asshole.

Twenty-three year old Dimitri has to do what he is told—literally. Controlled by a paranormal bond, he is forced to use his wits to fulfill unlimited deadly wishes made by multimillionaire Karl Walker.
Dimitri has no idea how his family line became trapped in the genie bond. He just knows resisting has never ended well. When he meets Syd—assertive, sexy, intelligent Syd—he becomes determined to make her his own. Except Karl has ensured Dimitri can’t tell anyone about the bond, and Syd isn’t the type to tolerate secrets.
Then Karl starts sending him away on back-to-back wishes. Unable to balance love and lies, Dimitri sets out to uncover Karl’s ultimate plan and put it to an end. But doing so forces him to confront the one wish he never saw coming—the wish that will destroy him.
Summoned is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.
Author Bio
Rainy Kaye is an aspiring overlord. In the mean time, she blogs at <a href=http://www.rainyofthedark.com>RainyoftheDark.com</a> and writes paranormal novels from her lair somewhere in Phoenix, Arizona. When not plotting world domination, she enjoys getting lost around the globe, studying music so she can sing along with symphonic metal bands, and becoming distracted by http://www.twitter.com/rainyofthedark.

She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Along The Watchtower by @DavidLitwack #Contemporary #Fantasy #GoodReads

The elevator dinged and the doors slid open. In less than a minute, I found myself in physical therapy. Like the rest of the hospital, the room was green-tile sterile, but someone had made an effort to cheer it up. Porcelain clowns lined the windowsill. Stuffed circus animals—lions and elephants and a family of monkeys—surrounded the rack that held the free weights. And a variety of fresh-cut flowers had been set in mugs in the cup holder for each exercise bicycle and treadmill. Later, I’d learn from Ralph that Becky kept them fresh, paying for them out of her own pocket. He said she’d deny it, but he’d seen her sneak in on more than one Monday morning with an armful.

Fresh-cut flowers. Mom used to get them every Monday as well, to brighten up the gingerbread house. But after Dad died, she started leaving them too long, not replacing them until they’d decayed so badly they smelled. After Joey died, she stopped buying them altogether.

The girl I met in the courtyard stood over a rolling aluminum table, organizing things I didn’t much like the look of. She was sufficiently absorbed that she didn’t notice us until Ralph called out.

“Afternoon, Becky. Brought you some fresh meat.”

She turned and grinned. “Always love a new victim.”

“Great. I’ll leave you two alone. Sounds like you need some privacy.”

After he left, she went back to finishing her preparations, making me wait. Finally, she came over and extended a hand.

“We already met, but let’s make it official. You’re Lt. Williams, but I can call you Freddie. I’m your worst nightmare, but you can call me Becky.”

I reached out and shook her hand. She didn’t seem scary.

“Ralph says you’re the best, that if anybody can bring me back, you can.”

“Ralph’s wrong. I’m just the guide. You’re going to do most of the work.”

“But are you the best?”

“Let’s say I haven’t lost one yet.”

“So I’ll be back on the basketball court in no time.”

Her grin vanished. She grabbed a chair, dragged it over and sat next to me.

“We’re going to be spending a lot of time together, Freddie, so we need to be straight with each other, right from the outset. My goal is to get you back to as normal a life as possible. If you work hard, I’ll have you out of that wheelchair and on crutches in a month. A month after that, maybe a cane. Beyond that, we’ll see. I make no promises other than to work as hard as you will.”

She stared at me. I stared back, captivated by my reflection in her gray-green eyes. She blinked first and went back to the rolling table.

. . . . . . .

She sat down again and undid the Velcro from my brace.

I winced. I hadn’t looked at my leg much since my peek the week before. The incision was less angry and the oozing had stopped. But what shocked me were the muscles. Where once I had bulges, now there were hollows. Not the leg of an athlete or soldier. Not the leg of a guy who might someday dunk. The leg of an invalid. Becky’s words rattled around in my brain. Crutches, then a cane. After that, we’ll see.

“It may not be pretty,” she said, as if she’d read my mind, “but it’s yours. Take a good look. Let it motivate you when you start making progress. And trust me, you will make progress.”

She squeezed some ointment from a tube onto her hands and rubbed them together.

“This will feel a little cold.”

She spread the ointment, swirling her fingertips over what had once been my quad. When she started the e-stim treatment, I felt the muscle spasm and contract involuntarily, a strange but not entirely unpleasant feeling. As she slid the wand around, humming along to its buzz, I noticed her touch more than the current.

She spoke out of nowhere. “I read the report. Says you have no family.”

I kept staring at her making figure-eights on my leg.

“Is that right?” she said.

I nodded.

“What happened?”

“I was born an orphan.”

She turned off the e-stim and looked up at me.

“Want to talk about it?”

“No.”

“Ralph said you don’t talk much.”

“I talk when I want to. I don’t want to talk now.”

“Fine with me.” She resumed the treatment, hummed a few more bars, and then spoke without looking up. “Ralph was right about another thing.”

“What’s that?”

“You are a hard case.”

She was quiet after that, going about her job while I focused on the clowns at the windowsill. Every now and then, I’d sneak a look at her. A beautiful, happy optimist. But she’d never lived my life.

Crutches and a cane. After that, we’ll see. I was different from her—a realist. I knew what “we’ll see” meant. I’d need more than physical therapy to bring me back. I’d need a miracle.

AlongtheWatchtower

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Genre – Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy
Rating – PG
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The King of Sunday Morning by J.B. McCauley @MccauleyJay #Thriller #Action #Suspense

The Mile End Mambo
1990

He held him in his arms and looked into the glassy eyes. Yellow flecks dotted the cornea. This boy was dead a long time before Roger had run him through. He knew the look. Too much top shelf and not enough down time.

The body from which life dramatically seeped away began to convulse. It would not be a Hollywood death. It would be a harsh demise for this gangster. Unexpected but unavoidable. He had stepped on the wrong toes and nobody touched Roger’s patch.

The big screen had always glamorised death but there was nothing glamorous about having a gaping 12-inch gash where your stomach had once been. Roger’s white shirt was splattered with blood and sputum. He noted to himself with an air of cold detachment that he would have to dispose of it later. The boy soldier’s back arched in agony. A gurgling noise rushed from his throat and then he was gone.

Roger put his arm underneath the boy’s knees and slowly lifted him from the red morass that had filled the doorway. He cradled him in his arms and walked slowly along the pavement. A young couple averted their gaze as he struggled with the limp body. They knew not to look. This was after all the witching hour in the East End. What you don’t see, you can’t tell. He turned the corner and moved into another shop doorway. It was a Dixon’s electrical shop exalting the latest stereos and TV’s.

Roger placed the body carefully on the ground. He took one final look at what 10 minutes ago had been the epitome of arrogance, bravery and youth, then left. He walked quickly to the edge of Walters Street, turned into Burden and darted through a now deserted car park and onto Rially. He saw a red telephone box just up from Dunston Road. He opened the door and tried to ignore the stench of piss and shit. He dialled the number and waited patiently for the connection.

“Rudi?”

His rich baritone West-Indian voice caressed the receiver. 

“Yeah, he’s in Dixon’s shopfront on Walters Street.” He paused, digesting the question on the other end of the line.

“Yeah he’s dead. Dead as a door nail. See you at home.”

With that, he hung up the phone and disappeared into the night. His red Rasta beanie swaying as he loped through the shadows. The victim wouldn’t be missed. Roger had nothing to fear. The status quo had been maintained and an example had been made.

Most of all, Rudi would be pleased.

King of Sunday Morning
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller, Action, Suspense, Gangster, Crime, Music
Rating – PG-18
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