Friday, February 28, 2014

Kevin Bohacz's Ghost of the Gods Book Blitz!

Title: Ghost of the Gods
Genre: Techno-Thriller
Author: Kevin Bohacz
Publisher: Mazel & Sechel
Pages: 437
Format: Paperback/Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON

About the Book
Was it the accumulated wounds to the environment that had finally triggered the nanotech plague or was it simply one more step in a shrewdly crafted plan to replace us with humans 2.0? As I write this at least one pair of these transhumans breathe the same air as us, and there are likely many more. They may look like us, they may even be almost human, but they are also cybernetic and will live for an extraordinary length of time. Trust me, their goals are not the same as ours. It was not a natural plague that almost drove humankind to extinction but an attack from within, turning our own biology against us. Scientists discovered all too late an artificial entity, a sentient machine foolishly created in the image of god, had been studying us and genetically altering us for longer than we can imagine. Perhaps it is because of this god-machine that we evolved into creatures who can think and speak and know our own mortality? This silicon god is so different from us that we may never truly understand it, but what we do know is that it is terrifyingly intelligent and it hates us. What we do know is that it tried to eradicate us from the face of our planet and then stopped for no discernible reason. What we do know is that its work is not done.
About the Author
I am Kevin Bohacz the bestselling novelist of Immortality and a lucid dreamer… Welcome to my dreams. I am also a writer for national computer magazines, founder and president of two high technology corporations, a scientist and engineer for over 35 years, and the inventor of an advanced electric car system – the ESE Engine System (circa 1978). I was also a short order cook for I-Hop, flipped burgers at McDonalds, and delivered Chicken Delight. All of those careers and more are behind me now that I am a full time storyteller, a catcher of dreams. Thank you for reading my stories and making this all possible.
His latest books are Immortality and Ghost of the Gods.

Visit Kevin’s website at

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book Blitz! Directory of Federal Prisons by Christopher Zoukis & Dr. Randall Radic

Title: Directory of Federal Prisons
Author: Christopher Zoukis & Dr. Randall Radic
Publisher: Middle Street Publishing
Pages: 145
Language: English
Genre: Reference/Law
Format: Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

The DIRECTORY OF FEDERAL PRISONS:'s Federal Bureau of Prisons Facility Directory by Christopher Zoukis and Dr. Randall Radic is a comprehensive, yet succinct, guide to the contact information and basic character profile information of every prison within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, plus all private prisons under contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to house federal inmates.  

It is an essential guide for everyone who knows anyone incarcerated within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and sets the standard for basic character profiles and contact information for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

This electronic guidebook enables attorneys, family members and friends of federal prisoners, journalists, government officials, prison volunteers, and members of the general public to quickly locate the contact information and inmate correspondence address of every prison within the Federal Bureau of Prisons and every private prison which houses federal inmates.  

About the Authors

Christopher Zoukis is an impassioned advocate for prison education, a legal scholar, and a prolific writer of books, book reviews, and articles.  His articles on prison education and prison law appear frequently in Prison Legal News, and have been published in The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, Blog Critics, and Midwest Book Review, among other national, regional, and specialty publications.

Mr. Zoukis is often quoted on matters concerning prison law, criminal law, prisoners' rights, and prison education.  Recently, he was the focus of an article at concerning America's broken criminal justice system and potential solutions to the current crisis.

When not in the thick of the battle for prison reform, prison education, or prisoners' rights advocacy, Mr. Zoukis can be found blogging at,, and

Randall Radic is the Senior Editor and Chief Operating Officer of Middle Street Publishing (MSP), where he superintends and, and manages all of MSP's print and online endeavors.

After graduating from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in the classics, Dr. Radic matriculated at Agape Seminary, where he received the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology, and then Trinity Seminary where he received the degree of Doctor of Theology.

Dr. Radic is the author of several non-fiction books, including Blood In, Blood Out: The Violent Empire of the Aryan Brotherhood (Headpress, 2011), The Sound of Meat (Ephemera Bound Publishing, 2008), A Priest in Hell: True Crimes of America's Clergy (ECW Press, 2009), and Terminal Disaster: Inside the Money Machine (Sunbury Press, 2012).

Dr. Radic has appeared on National Public Radio and A&E Television discussing prison education and America's prison gangs.

Monday, February 24, 2014


TODAY is the US premier of LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES through Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Star & You’re Invited to our HOLLYWOOD LAUNCH PARTY!
This is an ALL DAY FACEBOOK Red Carpet Event.
★★CLAIM your VIP ticket now to the LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES online premiere event and Join us for movie fun and awesome prizes.★★

★Last chance entries for our MOVIE Swag Sweepstakes. Winners will be announced throughout the day.
-2 first prizes of $25 iTunes gift cards and free Ebook
-GRAND PRIZE worth over $150 – Popcorn gift basket of 10 ROM-COM DVDs, EBook, movie swag and candy!
★Win additional fun prizes throughout the day!
★Go behind the scenes!
★Meet the Cast!

Love Like the Movies Launch 1
Love Like the Movies Launch 3

Love Like the Movies 7
A contemporary romantic comedy.
In this irresistible romantic romp, movie fanatic, Kensington Shaw is thrown into love—Hollywood-style–when her gorgeous ex presents a big screen challenge to win back her heart. What girl wouldn’t want to experience the Pretty Woman shopping scene? It’s number two on the list. Or, try the lift from Dirty Dancing? It’s number five. One list, ten romantic movie moments, and a handful of shenanigans later, Kenzi has to wonder…should she marry the man her family loves, or risk everything for a love like the movies?

Author repped by Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency. An artist, black belt, mom of two, wife of one, and resident caretaker of the family zoo—including her beloved, pot-bellied pig, Pobby. When she’s not writing, she indulges in her two favorite pastimes: a good book and a romantic movie.
Visit her website at

Connect & Socialize!

Interview with Don Stewart, author of 'Past Medical History'

Don Stewart has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Art, with honors, from Birmingham-Southern College, and an MD from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He also served a year-long surgical internship at the Mayo Clinic, where he published some of his first composite drawings, and won awards for poetry and short fiction.

Dr. Stewart’s short stories have since been published in Pulse–voices from the heart of medicine, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, The Placebo Journal, and The Journal of Irreproducible Results, where he is listed as honorary Art Editor. For four years he served as Contributing Editor to Informal Rounds, the newsletter of the University of Alabama Medical Alumni Association.
For the past quarter century he has made his living as a self-styled Visual Humorist, hammering words and pictures together at the DS Art Studio Gallery in Birmingham:  You can also find him at

His latest book is the autobiography, Past Medical History.

Can you tell us what your book is about?

          Past Medical History is the story of a young surgeon-in-training, who left the hospital just in time to avoid a successful career in medicine.

Why did you write your book?

          I always knew I would one day write a book called Past Medical History. The title is a medical term, part of the interview process when a doctor meets a new patient: a list of illnesses and treatments that the patient has had in the past. When applied to my life, it makes for an unavoidable pun, and a pretty good story.

          I guess you could say writing the book was a bucket list sort of thing, too. After all, there aren't many who leave the medical profession prematurely, and far fewer who do so to pursue a life of comic art.

          Over the years, my art customers have asked me why I made such an unusual career change. This book seemed the best way to answer that question - for them, and in retrospect, for me as well.

What kind of message is your book trying to tell your readers?

          Past Medical History is a collection of autobiographical short stories. Arranged in chronological order, they act like chapters in a storybook that tells a larger tale. Hopefully that larger story reveals why this particular personality was at first drawn to medicine, then distracted by more creative pursuits.

          In the process, the book also reveals some of the pitfalls of medical education, a bit of the unpleasant behind-the-scenes stuff that the general public isn't familiar with. Hopefully that will be of interest to readers, especially students considering a career in medicine.

Who influenced you to write your book?

          I wrote my first stories to entertain myself, and my kids. After that, it sort of became a habit – and a sometime obsessive endeavor that my wife was kind and patient enough to encourage.

          Michael Crichton was an early hero, who showed me there were options to life after medical school. Tim O'Brien’s The Things They Carried showed me that I didn't have to re-work my short stories into a conventional narrative to make them into a book. Steven Pressfield, whom I had met in the course of promoting my military drawings, encouraged me (and many others) to stop waiting around, and get on with it.

Is it hard to publish a nonfiction book?

          I tried for several months to gain the attention of either an agent or a publisher, but the longer I investigated, the more I understood that it would be quicker, easier and more cost-effective to do it myself. If the book succeeded on its own, then it might one day be more attractive to a mainstream publisher. If not, we would still have books that we were proud of to sell along with the artwork in our studio. Either way, I would have learned a great deal of valuable information about the book business.

          Of course we already knew how to market our art, and we had been successful producing (and selling out, and reprinting) an earlier book of drawings. So the idea of self-publishing wasn’t all that daunting. Once you have a good product – in this case, a good story in a well-designed package – you need capital, a marketing plan, and a distribution network. Through our studio, we had everything in place except the capital to print the books, and we were able to raise that through our Indiegogo campaign.

Which author(s) do you admire?

          Pressfield, Crichton, O’Brien, all mentioned previously. Robert Heinlein. Daniel Pink. Inman Majors. E.O. Wilson. Clifton Meador. Tim Dorsey. Thomas Ricks. Andre Codrescu. I have pretty eclectic tastes.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

          Creative blocks of any sort are temporary. If I’m not writing, I’m drawing, or researching my next art project. If the art isn't going so well, I write. If neither is moving along, I’ll work on a new marketing plan for the books or the pictures, or whatever else we’re involved in at the moment. Or I go and play in the garden.

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

          Whatever I’ve been doing for the preceding ten or twelve. Or go home early and cook something fun for dinner.

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

          Any place with good coffee and cheap dessert.

What do you like to do for fun?

          Read & draw, both exercises in banging images and words together until something sticks. Cook. Play in the garden. Sit for hours in bed watching TV.

Can you tell us about your family?

          I am giddily married to Sue Ellen Brown, an artist from a medical family who was smart enough to go straight to art school, talented enough to work for Hallmark, and bold enough to establish her own studio long before I met her. She occupies the colorful side of the studio. I have two grown sons from an earlier marriage.

          As the book tells in greater detail, my mother died when I was very young. I have long been aware that her illness and premature death were a huge influence in my decision to become a doctor. What I did not fully realize before this book was written, is that she was also responsible for my artistic inclinations as well.

What do you like the most about being an author?

          I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the title ‘author’. I’m an artist who happens to write.

          What I like most about words is that they offer me another medium for self-expression. If this book does well, I’ll be encouraged to keep at it.

What kind of advice would you give other non-fiction authors?



Friday, February 21, 2014

Interview with Angela Fiddler, author of 'The Care and Feeding of Sex Demons'

Angela Fiddler wrote her first erotic novel as a birthday present to a friend who had requested kneeling and vampires.  While the vampires come and go in the story, the kneeling remains.  Angela likes smut, dark humor and stories that mix erotica with raw emotion.  She talks about writing and her characters at

Her latest book is the paranormal erotica, The Care and Feeding of Sex Demons.

Can you tell us what your book is about?

There are a lot of books out there that are boy meets boy. I wanted to step away from that a little bit and tell a story with an established relationship where the tension came from how much work it takes to make a relationship work rather than put the focus on love at first sight. Not all relationships have sex demons in the basement, but Cy is also an apocalypse stopper.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

There are two main characters, both with their own love interest. Love is a definite commodity in this world as much as power and sex is. Cypher MacKenzie loves his boyfriend, Patrick. He realizes that relationships are more than trying to balance a spinning plate on a stick. It’s a spinning plate on a stick running an obstacle course. Most of us are willing to sacrifice for their lover, but what Patrick is asked to sacrifice not just everything he stands for but everything his family stands for as well, Cy has to be okay with ‘no’ as an answer and yet still go on. 

August, as a sex demon, knows exactly what his value is. That Cy doesn’t force him into sex brings the number of masters who have respected his wishes up to one. When his lover from the first time he’d been summoned needs help, he has to trust that Cy loves him even if they’re not in love.

They do so while also stopping apocalypses and other world-ending events.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

I’m very aware at the beginning to set an interesting character in an interesting world with an interesting problem. I always start the moment before the character is set on a new path, and I have him actively trying to change his fate. I don’t plot on the long run how the story is going to go because if I notice that if I start to get bored on the path, I make the worst possible thing happen. The main character has to scrap his ideal plan and go with what is happening. It’s never boring. I usually have some idea of how the whole thing is going to end, but I leave it open for that three a.m. strike of madness that pulls all the parts together.

Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

Cy reminds himself that the reaction he has to kissing August, is just the chemical reaction kissing a sex demon. He’s not willing to give up his boyfriend just because August is starving and in need.

Is it hard to get a paranormal romance published?

I think with all the complexity of how real relationships work with the emotional and physical wants of a person combined with the problem of whatever fantastical world they live in, coming up with fifty thousand words of plot and sex is quite simple. The biggest mistake I read in unpublished fiction is almost never that too many things happen. It is almost always not enough things happening. That’s usually because the problems stopping the lovers aren’t big or connected enough. There is so much possibility when mixing the human issues with magic. There is no limit of what can be stopping your lovers from being happy and together at the end of the book.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

I don’t have a schedule or a plan as to what absolutely has to happen. I used to get stuck a lot and have to go to the last place I cared about the plot and continue from there. I’ve lost as much as 40,000 words in a single sitting. Once I started to think of stories as a chain of scene that all are trying to show something important to the end, it becomes easy to look at what you are trying to accomplish in a single scene and let the story be as long as it needs to be in order to have the end come together.

If I am ever truly stuck, it’s usually because I have a difficult decision between a safe choice and a choice that is weird, strange and wonderful. Readers never remember the safe choices an author makes. It’s the unexpected and yet perfectly foreshadowed (through editing) that makes a book memorable.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

Readers read for the emotional payout of the high and low points of the story. I used to focus on what was happening on the page for the characters when I wished I knew to focus on what is happening in the mind of the reader. Readers want the vast expanse of emotion, but so often we tread between the lines of moderately happy to somewhat annoyed. Devastate your character. Give him what he always wanted but make that make things worse. Play more in the tops of the mountains and in the bottom of the oceans and not so much with what’s at sea level.

But most of all, have fun. If you’re not thrilled with what’s on the page, the chances are the audience won’t be either. Or worse, you won’t have an audience at all.

Keeping a sex demon happy and sexually satisfied is always the safest option, even if Cy has his own relationship issues. When saving the world on a regular basis, a happy home is important, especially when mixing human, fae princes and a starving sex demon.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Guest post by F.W. Abel: The Story behind Writing and Publishing 'Deeds of a Colored Soldier during the Rebellion, Volume 1: From the Beginning to Chickamagua'

  I began writing the book when I was between jobs, partly to do something useful during what had turned into a very discouraging job search, and partly to see if I could actually write something as long and involved as a novel.

            To the adage of write what you know, I’ll add write what you read.  I read a lot, mostly history and for real pleasure, good historical fiction. Also, I was a pre-teen during the Civil War Centennial, and I read a number of young adult novels with that theme that included teen-aged soldiers.  As estimates of under-age soldiers in both armies during the Civil War range as high as 20 percent, such a novel would not have been historically inaccurate, an important consideration in historical fiction.

            I may have been na├»ve, but I also figured that writing historical fiction might be a good genre to try, as history has provided the plot line, and all the author has to do is dramatize the dull parts and dress up the already dramatic parts.

            That being the case, I actually first wrote the novel as kind of a young adult adventure story, in the third person, as Jedediah Worth, Kansas Colored Volunteers.  A potential publisher said it really said little new about the Civil War, so I re-wrote it as kind of a first-person interview, which allowed much more scope for commentary by the main character.

            I wrote it linearly, with the narrative moving forward in time, without a formal outline, although I always knew where I was going.  Of course, then I had to go back several times and write in other actions and occurrences to make the story coherent and increase the dramatic tension.

            The novel is written in the style of George MacDonald Fraser’s The Flashman Papers, that is, by a fictional character as if he were actually a historical person.  

            Of course, getting it published was not easy.  I have a folder of rejection letters more than an inch thick, but I was lucky in that a friend of four decades, Scott O’Connell, published author of the Yankee Doodle Spies series, gave me an introduction to Lida Quillen, publisher of Twilight Times Books.

Purchase the book on Amazon / Twilight Times Books / B&N


F.W. Abel was born in New York.  His life-long fascination with the Civil War began during the Civil War Centennial, when he was ten years old.  After graduating from Fordham University, he served for eight years as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army and currently works for the federal government.  He lives in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., within a few hours’ drive of most of the Civil War’s eastern theater battlefields, where he has walked the same ground once trodden by heroes.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Guest post by Alyson Flippo, author of 'Addie B. Strong - I Am So Strong'

I am a new writer so for me there was, and still is a lot to learn about not only writing but the publishing and promotion aspects of getting a book to market and then letting them know it’s out there.  For the writing part, I am often awake in the middle of the night worrying about one thing or another.  This first book, and the two others I am currently working on, came to me on one of these nights.  Sometimes it comes all at once, and sometimes in pieces.  I personally will get out of bed however many times it takes in a night to jot the thoughts down on paper.  If I don’t do it immediately, I will often forget or I won’t recollect them in their original form.  As for the publishing part, after doing a great deal of research on traditional versus self-publishing, I decided to go the self-publishing route.  Admittedly, my husband, a very smart and resourceful person, really took over this part for me and he deserves all the credit here.  Promotion is fun as it is another opportunity to be creative and to make use of the myriad of opportunities available through social media.  This book is such a pleasure for me to promote because it is really just me trying to share a positive message to the world which is so clearly needed now more than ever.


Alyson Flippo is the author of Addie B. Strong – I Am So Strong, released Fall 2013. Ms. Flippo’s book was inspired by the desire to remind each and every reader of their vast potential – the strength that comes from inside.

Given her own challenges as a young girl growing up, she was determined to do something to try to make a difference for our young girls of today.  The story of Addie B. Strong her way of helping our girls focus on their strength and self-worth, instead of more superficial characteristics.  She wants to help inspire our girls to see that they are amazing, not because of how they look but because of what they can do; that the only person they need to impress is themselves; that the sky is not the limit and there is nothing they cannot do.

An only child, Ms. Flippo grew up in Hackensack, New Jersey, and graduated from New Jersey’s Ramapo State College with a degree in business administration.  Prior to her writing career, she spent 20 years as a paralegal at several East Coast law firms. She currently lives in South Florida with her husband and children, pursuing her passions which include eating ice cream daily, playing hide-and-seek, and spreading the love along with Addie B. Strong

Alyson is currently touring the blogosphere with The National Writing for Children Center. 

Purchase the book on Amazon

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Interview with Emilia I. Rutigliano, author of the Layers of Veronica series

Emilia I. Rutigliano scored fiftieth percentile on her SATs... and on her LSATs... and on her BAR...Sigh...

But she nevertheless survived, and seems to be doing OK. She practices Law read lore) in Brooklyn, New York (read Nu Yawk). She was born in the former Soviet Union, and emigrated in 1979. She is happily married to the same crazy Italian she's been with since college, who suffers from a severe addition to travel (still in acute form). Together they are doing a somewhat passable job with their three precious darlings (who are now teenagers, thus elaboration is not necessary).
Which is why Emilia writes about Veronica. Veronica, though... is interesting. And Emilia knows interesting.

So she weaved the tale about the interesting characters, places and events from her own life. It is remarkable how if you choose to view a subject objectively, it becomes downright artistically gorgeous. So Emilia views and shows Brooklyn Russians as gorgeous, and the Barese intricacies as gorgeous, and she even tolerates Paris, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia for the reader's interests.
Thank you, dear reader, for tolerating these scenes....


Her first book in the Layers of Veronica series is Napoleon.

Visit Emilia Rutigliano’s website at

Can you tell us what your book is about? 

Layers of Veronica is a book series about a 35-year-old divorcee who begins a new chapter in her life without attempting to get back to the tried-and-true.  Along the way she meets people who introduce her to the very many layers of life, love, experience, wealth, travel and parenthood.  The irony is that the more Veronica gets away from the traditional, the more it is enveloping and welcoming her.

Why did you write your book?

It started out as a dare from a friend who challenged me to write a book.  But I wrote what I would have liked to read.  The more I thought about it, the more the characters wanted to get out of my head and onto the screen.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Veronica, the main character is your everyday, typical girl who tries to make it from day-to-day without smooth sailings.  She is strong, smart and flawed.  Throughout the series, she meets many lovers, friends, counselors and allies – each of whom is someone you would want to meet and know.  There are no slackers.  Each of the lovers is someone you would want to know and be with for the rest of your life.  Each of the women is someone you want to emulate.  There are no wilting flowers in the series, regardless of education, career or net worth.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

With the exception of the “lovers” in the series, all of the characters are based on people I know.  In each case permission was sought and names were chosen by the featured characters.  The main character, Veronica, has my background.  I did that for several reasons.  My main reason was that I sometimes have difficulty believing a character can say or do something without having it in their background.  I wanted Veronica to have my experiences to rely on… both good and bad.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

Both, actually.  I know certain “things” that need to happen to the character, because it begs the question I want answered (psychological or philosophical), but often, the characters react differently than I thought… which makes me change the plot and the theory.

Your book is set in New York City.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

It’s my City.  I grew up in New York, it’s in my soul.  I also truly believe that it has the opportunity for everyone.  There is no path that is closed to you if you partake in the gifts New York City has to offer. 

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Absolutely.  I love the globalist mentality, which is a major theme in the book series. You are a product of where you are raised… what you do with it, and where you go from there, however, can change anyway you wish for it.  There are no deterrents – not wealth, nor family, nor education.  It may not be a straight line, but if you persevere, I truly believe in success… take power in the location you are in.  J

Which holiday is your favorite and why?

Thanksgiving.  We sit down for maybe half an hour at dinner… but all the preparation before, cooking, decorating, shopping and all of the after-dinner cleanup and more eating that lasts all weekend with the family is something that we can’t seem to replicate any other time of year.

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

There are a lot of great places nearby.  They are all ethnic.  You could sit for as long as you want and order tapas and drinks (alcoholic or not).  The concept of appetizers, tapas or hors d’oeuvre will keep you going through dinner.

Can you tell us about your family?

My parents passed, and I have no siblings.  My husband (of twenty years) is a crazy Brooklyn Italian who suffers from travelitis (very severe form).  So we travel a lot.  We have three kids, all of whom are precautious, busy and have very interesting perception of life.  The kids travel with us all the time.  We also have a lot of true friends whom we consider ‘family’.  We are very fortunate.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

Believe in yourself, it isn’t an overnight success.  Regardless of how brilliant your idea, plot and writing are, and as fabulous as your cover is… the book is not going to be a bestseller the day you publish, or the week after.  But it will happen – you just can’t plan when.  The major part of this process is actually writing the book, editing it and publishing it.  Once one person reads it and enjoys it – the rest is all gravy.  J

About the Book:

They say that when a student is ready, a teacher appears.

What they don’t say is where to register, and how to matriculate in that teacher’s class.
That is a divine gift.

Veronica had it all:  the looks; the brains; the personality; and the wardrobe.  Not to mention a perfect husband, a fabulous career and two adorable children, until the perfect husband leaves her for another woman.

Thus begin the daily routines of a typical New York City immigrant with ambition whose teachers keep appearing, and for whom divine interventions keep affording new opportunities. 

Though it starts like ordinary connections going through the tried and true, each relationship continues to delve into parts of her own universe that Veronica didn’t know existed.  A universe that is suddenly open to her.

This is a different kind of heroine…

Welcome to the New American Dream, Dare to Dream…

Purchase your copy at AMAZON


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Interview with Carlyle Clark, author of 'The Black Song Inside' & win $100 Amazon gift card!

Carlyle Clark was raised in Poway, a city just north of San Diego, but is now a proud Chicagolander working in the field of Corporate Security and writing crime and fantasy fiction. He has flailed ineffectually at performing the writer’s requisite myriad of random jobs: pizza deliverer, curb address painter, sweatshop laborer, day laborer, night laborer, security guard, campus police, Gallup pollster, medical courier, vehicle procurer, and signature-for-petitions-getter.

He is a married man with two cats and a dog. He is also a martial arts enthusiast and a CrossFit endurer who enjoys fishing, sports, movies, TV series with continuing storylines, and of course, reading. Most inconsequentially, he holds the unrecognized distinction of being one of the few people in the world who have been paid to watch concrete dry in the dark. Tragically, that is a true statement.

His latest book is the mystery thriller, The Black Song Inside.

Visit his website at

Atticus Wynn and Rosemary Sanchez, newly engaged private investigators, have seen the dark and violent side of life. Nothing, though, has prepared them for an explosive murder investigation that threatens to tear their relationship apart as they struggle to solve a case that could leave them in prison or dead.

Atticus’s manipulative ex-girlfriend bursts back into their lives wielding a secret about Rosemary’s family that she exploits to force the couple into investigating the execution-style slaying of her lover. The case thrusts Atticus and Rosemary headlong into the world of human trafficking and drug smuggling, while rendering them pawns in Tijuana Cartel captain Armando Villanueva’s bloody bid to take over the cartel.

The Black Song Inside is a vivid crime thriller rife with murder and madness, melded with gallows humor and the heroism of two flawed and compelling protagonists who, if they can save themselves, may learn the nature of redemption and the ability to forgive.

Why did you write your book?

It started out with a burning idea for a short story; an idea that, ironically, I scrapped because it was a dumb gag that relied on the reader not being able to actually see what was going on. But by then I was having so much fun I just kept going, and it started to develop into a novel. Then I had to keep writing it so I could find out how it ended. 

Sounds strange, but it’s true. There was also the fact that although I was well-read in the crime genre, I hadn’t read anything that especially similar to mine so I thought I would be able to bring something fresh to readers.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

My characters are not based on real people at all. I’ve tried that, thinking it would be a really awesome shortcut for creating three dimensional characters, but I just can’t pull it off. You’d think it would be much easier than creating someone entirely, but it for me it’s impossible. I always get stuck trying to figure out what the “real” person would do in a situation that I’ve never seen them experience and it just gets all wonky.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

A little of both. Generally from the start of a novel I have an idea how it needs to end for a complete reading experience, but I don’t have the details nor do I know the characters as well as I need to. That means I can’t plot out the series of things that need to happen for the protagonists to have characters arcs, though I always have a vague idea. That makes it fun for me to write every time I sit down to write because I never know exactly what’s going to happen. It also keeps me from being afraid to deviate from an outline for fear of a series of domino-like cascade of negative effects on the rest of the novel.

Your book is set in San Diego.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

Because I grew up there so I know not just what you can see from Google Street View, but the feel of each portion of the county> I felt being able to convey that would deepen the novel. It wouldn’t feel as though it could have taken place in any city. Also because, unlike LA, New York, and London, there aren’t a huge amount of novels set in San Diego so for some readers it would be a fresh location.

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Yes, because I wanted to bring it in almost as a character. Between the perfect weather, the irrigated landscape, reasonable traffic, and the largely functional city departments (despite major budget issues), and the beautiful Spanish architecture, in my opinion, the city does generally lives up to its self-styling as “America’s Finest City”. Naturally with the twisted mind of a crime writer I wanted to show rot beneath a beautiful exterior.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

When you hear advice about writing in various workshops online or in person, the more strident someone is about there being a right way or wrong way to do things, the less you should listen to them. Many people confuse guidelines and indicators with rules. For instance, a lot of people think adverbs are inherently bad, but they aren’t. It’s just that they are often used when a stronger verb would suit better, however, in any particular sentence an adverb may be the exact thing that is needed to convey the emotion or “feel” of the sentence. For instance, Fed-Ex used to say in their commercials, “For when it absolutely positively has to be there in the morning.”  Chopping out “absolutely” and “positively” rips all the emotion out of that line, rendering it mundane. Don’t be mundane.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Guest post by Joan Heartwell, author of Hamster Island

HamsterIsland_medI grew up with a mostly absent father, a religious fanatic mother, a kleptomaniac grandmother, and two special needs siblings. As a really small kid, I didn’t give much thought to my circumstances, but as I got older I began to see how “unique” my family was. Their uniqueness became even more evident after we moved from a river town where everyone was downwardly mobile to an affluent town that would have the special ed classes that my brother, who we had by then discovered was a person with developmental disabilities, would require. The only house we could afford was a corner house that adjoined one parking lot and backed up to another, a property owned by the town’s largest supermarket. When the supermarket lot was full, people parked on the side or in front of our house. They left their shopping carts all around our small property. My grandmother said we lived in a fishbowl and everyone could see in. When my father and brother were arguing, which was whenever my father was home, my grandmother would run from window to window with her cigarette trying to determine who might be out there trying to look into our fishbowl to see what was going on.
I was ashamed of my family, and I was ashamed of myself for feeling ashamed. This made for some complicated feelings for a kid/teenager to handle. Because I was painfully shy to begin with, I lived in dread of doing anything that might be construed as abnormal, because I feared the onlooker would think there was something wrong with me too. First I attempted to become an overachiever academically, but once I transferred from Catholic school to public and found I could pass tests without studying and that nobody cared about my grades anyway (I was on the non-college-bound track), I attempted to become an overachiever socially. This took some doing in the late sixties and early seventies. My mother was very strict, and simply getting out of the house required enormously creativity.
As a young adult I discovered that I loved writing. I began to write for a living and I also wrote four novels. I planned never to write about my life, because I still carried around some of the shame from my childhood, but some friends talked me into it, and once I got started, it actually became a fun project. So I opened my heart, and then I opened my closet and let all the skeletons tumble out, and now I’m actually finding out that a lot of people can relate to my story. Their stories of familial dysfunction may have different details, but the bottom line is that growing up is challenging for many people, and living in the world as an adult can be tricky too. Those of us who survive are bound not so much by answers as by questions, and we have some great stories to tell.
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Joan Heartwell makes her living as a pen for hire, writing, editing and ghostwriting for a variety of private and corporate clients. She has had four novels published under another name and has a fifth one due out later in 2014.
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