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Hot off the presses! NEVER GO ALONE by Denison Hatch is
available now! Please a comment below and say hi!
Title:
Never Go Alone
Author: Denison Hatch
Publisher: Lookout Press
Pages: 300
Genre: Thriller/Mystery/Police Procedural

A rash of elaborate cat burglaries of luxury buildings in Manhattan has the police and mayor panicked. When a group of social media obsessed millennials—a loosely organized crew that call themselves “urban explorers”—are suspected in the heists, NYPD detective Jake Rivett is assigned the case.

Already undercover with one foot on each side of the blue line, Rivett is ordered to infiltrate the group and discern responsibility. Battling against both his own personal demons and misgivings regarding his superiors, Rivett dives deep into the urban exploration scene in pursuit of the truth. But what, and who, he finds—deep in the sewers, up in the cranes above under-construction skyscrapers, and everywhere else in New York—will change not only Jake, but the city itself.

Purchase at Amazon.

Book Excerpt:

Two feet hammered the pavement. With movement as rapid as it was controlled, the explorer’s muscles tensed for what was to come. The target, all twenty stories of unabashedly neo-classical splendor, towered across the street. Infiltrating the building would be easy, but the next step was difficult. And the rest? Brilliant meets impossible.
The explorer was wearing a small camera on his chest, which captured his viewpoint with slightly shaky but high-definition clarity. A parking post stood ahead—cement poured into a strong iron tube. The man sprinted forward and vaulted onto the post. He maintained his momentum, springing off the top of the post onto an enormous industrial air-conditioning unit. Now eight feet in the air, he had only one stride before his next jump. He sailed through the empty air, arms outstretched, fingers tensing—a twelve-foot-high brick wall ahead. Just reaching the wall, the explorer’s fingers grasped the edge. His right hand couldn’t find traction. His fingernails scraped desperately as he started to fall. But two fingers on his left hand did their job. He hung on, swinging precariously before centering himself and pulling his body up and over the wall.
The explorer dropped down on the other side. His body contracted into a tight ball as he careened toward the construction gravel below. At the last moment, he rotated and achieved a rolling landing—lessening gravity’s impact. He came to a stop. Breathing heavily, he took a brief respite from the task at hand. His chest heaved as he peered around the construction site that he’d just infiltrated. He knew that a lone security guard sat in a booth on the other side of the block. But he also knew the guard was engrossed in his cell phone, only stopping occasionally to gaze onto an adjoining street. As long as the explorer was quiet, the guard would be none the wiser. The coast was clear. He reached for a mic attached to the side strap of his backpack.
“All silent. Only one clown in the circus,” the explorer whispered into the microphone. Still out of breath, he reached for his hydration tube and took a long sip of water. Then he rotated and watched as three more compatriots covertly slid over the top of the tall brick wall.
They each hit the ground in the same rolling manner, limiting trauma with expert precision. The entire crew was clad in dark outdoor technical clothes, breathable shirts, top-of-the-line Gore-Tex pants and trail runners with all reflective surfaces blocked out by black Sharpie. Their faces were covered by bandanas or ski masks. Respirators, climbing gear, knives, and cameras were both hanging from and strapped to their belts and backpacks.
The crew split in three different directions, acting as lookouts for any errant guard or construction manager onsite in the middle of the night. It was unlikely, but their plans called for extreme caution. That’s what had made them so successful—their secret sauce was not daring; it was preparation. After confirming that the others were in position, the explorer focused on the mission at hand.
An enormous tower crane stood against the edge of the construction site. Built like a towering T, the machine’s base was a concrete shithouse holding up three hundred feet of crisscrossing steel. The explorer expertly grabbed the side of the crane. Instead of heading for the control booth at the bottom, he simply began to ascend up the latticework that made up the sides—hands followed by legs on an upstream ladder.
Stopping midway to catch his breath, the man couldn’t help but look down. Vertigo’s tendrils reached out like forbidden fruit. His foot wavered to catch hold of a one-inch bar of the latticework. But he controlled the panic, centered himself, and continued climbing.
A few minutes later, the explorer reached the top of the crane. He pulled himself over the T’s edge and gazed along the hundred-and-fifty-foot-length atop the long horizontal span. Instead of traversing in the direction of the construction site from which he’d originated, the explorer headed the opposite way. Careful with the placement of his feet, he headed towards the side of the crane that extended halfway across the street below. It was a slow process. The latticework consisted of both ninety-degree and diagonal pieces of steel, like a series of bars with a crosshatch pattern strung across it. And between the pieces of the crane’s structure was nothing—a dark void. One misstep, one hesitation, one dash of grease and the explorer would plummet over twenty stories through thin air and become one with the blacktop of the city. It was not a pleasant thought, making the already difficult process deeply nerve-wracking.
“You will not bust.” The man talked himself through the fear as he reached the far end of the crane. He was now extended as far across the street below as the machinery would take him.
The explorer gazed down the gleaming city from the Upper West Side, all the way through Midtown and into Chelsea. It was more than a place now, more than a landscape. By this point at its evolution, Manhattan represented a geospatial-and-social coordinate on the razor’s edge of modernity. It was no longer what the future could be. It was the future itself, right now, happening in front of one’s eyes and reaching the stage of infinite singularity. As the years had gone on, the surfaces of the metropolis had become smooth, the lights perfect, the façades utterly complete. It no longer beckoned for the masses humbly—it repelled them. The construction site the explorer had ascended from would soon consist of glass, marble, and sex. That was all, and that was everything, and if one was rich enough, one could buy it. The new culture didn’t care for culture itself. It did not bow to subtlety of argument or freedom of soul. It only knew money—astronomical levels of money. The only people who could afford to live here would be the progeny of sovereign wealth fund managers, tech moonshot winners, and industrial titans. Nothing was free, for anyone—not even the views.
Except for our explorer—right now. It was his, alone. He admired the panorama of New York. Yes, there was the mission, but this was deserving of a photograph. He pulled the camera off his chest harness, activated selfie mode, and turned it towards himself. He lined up, framing the background of the city behind him. Click. The camera’s flash erupted. He flipped his hand down, as if to form an upside down V slogan. Click. Another flash—another selfie—his face shrouded by a hood throughout the entire process.
Having finished memorializing the scene, the man ducked down towards the crane. As he secured something to the crane, he gazed away from the construction site and towards his target.
A sharp contrast to the modern structures popping up like weeds, the limestone apartment building across the street was built during the turn of the century—the last century, not this. Its hulking body did not undulate as it rose. Instead the building consisted of strong vertical bands that ran up to form elaborate choragic arches and support the pointed top of the roof. Four large penthouse balconies graced each corner of the building, easily visible to the explorer who stood above them on the crane. He breathed deeply, then jumped off the crane into the darkness below.
Suspended by a climbing rope, the man careened from the top of the crane and over the street, until he was positioned directly above the penthouse balcony of the old building. The pendulum continued, however, and he swung back.
The second time he was ready. His toes landed lithely on the penthouse’s balcony. He paced towards the enclosed glass greenhouse. One of the small windows of the greenhouse was unlatched, exposing a sliver of access.
The explorer carefully maneuvered the window open.
He climbed into the penthouse.
And the city’s lights twinkled as if nothing had happened at all . . .

About the Author
denison-hatch

Denison Hatch is a screenwriter and novelist based in Los Angeles. Although he lives in the proverbial desert now, he is originally from Delaware—land of rolling hills and DuPont gunpowder. Denison has a number of feature and television projects in development, including his original screenplay, Vanish Man, which is set up at Lionsgate. A graduate of Cornell University, Denison lives with his wife and big dog in a little house in Hollywood. Never Go Alone is the second novel in the Jake Rivett series.

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Inside the Book:

Title: A Cold New Year

Author: Alicia D. Brown

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Genre: Suspense

Format: Ebook

The warmth of the sunshine feels good on my skin as I sit in the garden watching my family. Mom and Amber are sitting on the loungers, drinking iced tea and flicking through baby catalogues, spoiling Alexander even more. Dad’s firing up the barbecue and carefully placing the burgers and sausages on the grill. I can’t help but think how different this all could have been. I wouldn’t be sitting here watching my little son sleep peacefully in his stroller, his little hands and face so sweet. He looks like Lucas. The fact that my son will never know his father hurts me. I think how could I love something so much yet still hold feelings of nothing for his dad. I do thank him though, thank him for giving Alexander to me. I may never be fully rid of the nightmares and there are still some scars remaining, but now at least I have him to help me through. Every time I look at his beautiful blue eyes, I melt. His mom will always be here for him. He stirs. I pull the stroller cover down a bit more. A knock at the door brings me out of my thoughts. I take his stroller back into the house. A wave of smiling faces greets me as various family members are stood there. After everyone’s inside, I stand back and watch them all dance, and they laugh and fawn over Alexander who is loving all the attention. For the first time in a long time, I shed a tear of joy and I let it fall. My mom comes over, holding Alexander, and wipes away my tear, kisses me on forehead, and hands Alexander to me. His blue eyes stare up at me, and I can’t stop the smile that spreading across my face. Alexander smiles back.

Giveaway

Alicia is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins January 2 and ends on January 13.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 14..
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

 

The three volume set of Fantasy/Horror Author Dylan Doose’s SWORD AND SORCERY SERIES is available now! You can find out about all three books below!

 

Title: FIRE AND SWORD
Author: Dylan Doose
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 332
Genre: Fantasy/Horror
Condemned to hang for their crimes, they’ll march instead to perish as heroes, or live as free men.
A broken nation in need of a savior – ravaged by plague, decimated by dark magic, infiltrated by a foreign evil seeking to dominate from within. Three will rise to save the beleaguered land. But will they be enough?
A fantasy adventure for fans of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence and Scott Lynch!
Three men condemned to die: Aldous Weaver, a heretic monk turned sorcerer, imprisoned for accidentally incinerating the leader of his order. Kendrick the Cold, an infamous crusader turned fugitive, is a villain who knows he can never be a hero. Theron Ward, an aristocrat with a penchant for slaughtering monsters, and a legend in his own mind.
When the kingdom of Brynth is threatened by a far greater evil, the unlikely trio must make a choice — seek to escape this land that cries for their execution, or find the true heroes within themselves. And then, armed with fire and sword, march together against the forces of darkness. But can three such disparate warriors ever prevail?
**Fire and Sword received an Honorable Mention from Library Journal 2016 and a Shelf Unbound Magazine Notable 100 for 2015**
Don’t miss the dark fantasy that reviewers are calling ‘gritty, fast-paced and compelling’—get your copy of Fire and Sword today!

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About the Book:
Title:
CATACOMBS OF TIME
Author: Dylan Doose
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 59
Genre: Fantasy/Horror
A fantasy adventure for fans of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence and Scott Lynch!
In a world where the Rata Plaga and ghouls feast on the dead, doctor Gaige De’Brouillard believes science, not magic, conquers all.
Even death is just an equation to be solved.
When De’Brouillard is called upon by the Lord Regent to cure a curse and save one of the damned, he must battle for his career, his faith in science, and even his life. In the darkest slums and deepest catacombs, the doctor finds himself staring death in the eye with no scientific solution at hand. Has the doctor finally come across a question
that science cannot answer, and will he pay with his life?
Don’t miss the dark fantasy that reviewers are calling ‘visceral,’ ‘fantastic,’ and ‘intriguing’—get your
copy of Catacombs of Time today!

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About the Book:
Title:THE PYRES
Author: Dylan Doose
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 268
Genre: Fantasy/Horror
Once again, three unlikely heroes must band together in a fiery conflict between gods and demons.
A country ravaged by civil war, now threatened with evil unleashed by rivers of blood. Three must rise again to save the beleaguered land and thwart a dark prophecy.
A fantasy adventure for fans of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence and Scott Lynch!
Theron Ward, Aldous Weaver and Kendrick the Cold must band together and fight again. This time, they are caught in the timeless clash of gods and demons, and led by the dark prophecy of dreams.
A ruthless warlord, the Dog Eater, rises out of the rivers of blood from civil war. As friend and foe reach out from futures past, the three will see a city of white stone turn black with ash… and the only way forward is through the fire. One thing is certain, none of them will ever be the same. And one will be transformed in ways he never dreamed. Dare the three depend on the blood ties of the past to carry them through this terrible night?
Don’t miss the next thrilling installment in the dark fantasy that reviewers are calling ‘gritty, fast-paced and compelling’—get your copy of The Pyres today!

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Book Excerpt from FIRE AND SWORD:

The thing left a trail of thick black blood and green pus. More a stream than a trail, if Theron Ward, hunter of monsters, wanted to be precise. It was wounded and wounded horribly, but not dead.
Grimmshire was not the only town ruined by the plague. As far as Theron knew, the whole country had a piece of it. The rats came with those terrible black boils. Rats larger than dogs. In the beginning, they came in swarms. Now they appeared alone or in small roving packs, as if a once powerful tether that bound the group had been weakened.
Four years ago, they had come and spewed their filth into the town. Two days was all it had taken until half the town was crawling and squealing with the rats, puking up pus and bursting black boils. The other half of the town became the swarm’s feast.
Those who didn’t turn simply couldn’t. The priests said that only the sinners turned, that the pious were protected from the plague. Theron doubted that, for he was not a pious man and he knew a thing or two about sin—sins of the flesh mostly—and he had been exposed to enough plague to wipe out a city.
Yet he had not turned.
Theron suspected something more sinister than nature, or the work of gods and devils to be the villainy incarnate that had unleashed such wickedness upon the land. He suspected something more human, or slightly more than human. Unpopular opinion, but his opinion nonetheless.
It was midday, but it was dark in the ruined town. The clouds shrouded the sun, gray and threatening, but not a drop of rain. The once green pastures were yellow as far as the eye could see. Once this had been a bustling, happy little town. Now there were just the colors of pus and piss and ash all around, beneath those
suffocating gray clouds.
There came a rustling sound from the chapel, the one building in the town not entirely burned to the ground. It had been painted white when it was built, and painted black with soot and ash when death had come to its town. The stained glass windows were shattered, shards of the vibrant panes scattered round in the dirt and the yellow grass.
Theron burst through the door. His skin crawled at the sight of the wounded thing within the chapel; they always made his skin crawl, though he had killed over a hundred. He could kill over a thousand and still his skin
would crawl.
Theron was a beast hunter, had been for nearly a decade, but the rats had always disturbed him the most, more than any creature or demon.
What made the things so terrible was not the giant, rotting buckteeth that burst from the mouth. It was not the boils or the tufts of matted fur. Not the long tail or the brutish muscles, not the naked, sagging female breasts or the male parts dangling, filthy and crusted.
It was the eyes, for the eyes remained entirely human. And so, Theron was certain that a human being was still left in there, with no control over what it had become and begging for its torment to end.
This one had been a woman once, perhaps a mother, a lover, a sister, a daughter. For a dreadful moment he pictured his own sister taking the form of the wretched thing before him.
About the Author:

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Writer. Sculptor. Bad fitness advice. In between writing books, award winning fantasy author Dylan Doose fills his not-so-busy schedule with martial arts, mountain biking, paddle surfing, weight lifting, and of course HBO, PS4 and increasing the size of his beloved personal library. Dylan’s Fire and Sword received an honorable mention from Library Journal in 2016 and was a Shelf Unbound Notable 100 for 2015.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

jane-jordanJane was born in England, and grew up exploring the history and culture of London and surrounding counties.  After some time spent in Germany in the 1990’s she immigrated to Detroit, USA, eventually settling in South West Florida. She returned to England after a fifteen-year absence, to spend six years in the South West of England living on Exmoor.  Here, inspired by the atmosphere, beautiful scenery and the ancient history of the place, she began writing.

Jane is a trained horticulturist, and also spent time working and volunteering for Britain’s National Trust at Exmoor’s 1000-year-old Dunster Castle.  Gaining more insight into the history and mysteries surrounding these ancient places, and having always been intrigued by the supernatural, inspiration came for her fourth novel, The Beekeeper’s Daughter, a supernatural thriller.

Jane Returned to Florida in 2013, and lives in Sarasota.

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, The Beekeeper’s Daughter. To begin with, can you give us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it?

 

A: The Beekeeper’s Daughter is a historical dark romance primarily set in the Victorian Era.  It combines the lives of the cottagers, blacksmiths and wealthy landowners in a story that is full of intrigue.

 

Annabel Taylor is The Beekeeper’s Daughter, she also has the ability to charm bees.  She has grown up on wild Exmoor, which lies in the South West of England.  When she meets Jevan, the blacksmith son, her life dramatically changes, they form an unbreakable bond, until they are forced apart when Jevan leaves for London.  Annabel is heartbroken, and believes her life is over.  By chance she meets Alex, the heir to vast estate lands and the foreboding Gothelstone manor house.

 

Socially they are worlds apart, even though Annabel is inexplicably drawn to him, she feels that Alex’s attention is merely a distraction from her true love.  Alex has other ideas.  When Jevan eventually returns, Annabel realizes just how precarious her situation has become.  When Jevan’s life is threatened, she has to make a heartbreaking choice that could mean Jevan will hate her forever.

 

But darker forces are at play. Alex and Annabel are merely pawns in someone else’s sinister plan.  Annabel must use her inherent ability to stop a diabolical plan coming to fruition, and destroy a powerful witch.

 

Q: What do you think makes a good Dark Romance? Could you narrow it down to the three most important elements? Is it even possible to narrow it down?

 

A: I would say three is a limited number, Dark Romance can have so many components to it.

 

cover-artAn important element is the central characters that have a love interest, which is often conflicted, a story that can enter the realm of horror, but still engage the reader.

 

Attention to detail, and dialogue is important.  Characters have to been portrayed as believable, if my characters are in love I want readers to feel that, if they hate each other, then, I want readers to feel the animosity and the conflict.

 

Dark Romance should be about anticipation, longing and hope. Questions should be raised. Are these people good and bad in equal measures?  Are they corrupt?  I like to explore these ideas, and this genre explores a world that is dark and mysterious, but it still has to have an attainable light in that darkness.

 

Dark romance is frequently linked to gothic fiction, and I do enjoy the gothic element.  For me, it’s as much about the mood of a place as the setting, which brings the whole story to life. The atmosphere sets the mood and gives an anchor to the story.  The mood can be anything that inspires your imagination from mist covered moors, a foreboding old house with secret rooms, to the presence of a raven suggesting an omen of bad luck.

 

The supernatural is often associated with dark romance and the classic gothic tale, and by weaving this through a story it gives the writer the potential to send a shiver up their reader’s spine.

 

Q: How did you go about plotting your story? Or did you discover it as you worked on the book?

 

A: I had the basic idea.  I wanted to write something of the Victorian period, and I completed a lot of research so that all the historical elements could be accurately portrayed.

 

I had the beginning for a long time, but Jevan’s character would not come until I had the right name for him.  As strange as that sounds, not only do I have to visualize the details, but the name has to be right or I can’t imagine that person, in turn the character then has to live up to the name.

 

There are so many different factors to this book, the love triangle, the bees and Annabel’s supernatural power over them, witchcraft, a Victorian asylum, the moors, and the city of Bath as well as society life, which made it a complex undertaking.

 

I found it useful to write and work to a timeline.  It changed several times, but it helped me tell the story and know how everything would happen, which was especially important, since the story started centuries before the Victorian times.  Ultimately, knowing the order of things and how they progress helped me see the bigger picture, and where to conclude the book.

 

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist and how you developed him or her. Did you do any character interviews or sketches prior to the actual writing?

 

A: Annabel is the protagonist in The Beekeepers Daughter.  I knew what I needed to accomplish in the story and for that role, she had to be confident, a little hot headed and unafraid as well as beautiful.  There had to be an underlying darkness to her character, because of her own heritage.  Even though, she is a complex character she was easy to write.

 

I like strong women, and their characters to be of substance.  Annabel had to be somewhat fearless given the adversity she has to conquer, but I do show her vulnerable side. Like many women, when it comes to romance, she still has a profound weakness for the man she loves.

 

Q: In the same light, how did you create your antagonist or villain? What steps did you take to make him or her realistic?

 

A: Cerberus Saltonstall is the antagonist in The Beekeeper’s Daughter.  He was interesting to develop.  Darker and more wicked characters are complex on so many levels.  I portray him as evil, but evil is a point of view.

 

If Cerberus was asked why he behaves in this manner, he would answer: everything he does is borne out of love for a woman that has died.  The darkness manifests in Cerberus because he cannot accept that fact.  It is clear that he is driven by his own demons and dabbling in the dark arts has caused further corruption. His grasp on reality has become obscure, and part of the thriller of this novel is unravelling Cerberus’s evil plan.

 

I drip feed just enough information throughout the book to let readers realize that he has another agenda, but his scheme does not become clear until the appropriate time

 

Q: How did you keep your narrative exciting throughout the novel? Could you offer some practical, specific tips?

 

A: I keep paragraphs and chapters relatively short. I don’t pad out my story with useless information, if I write it, then, it’s there for a reason.

 

One of the worst things when reading a novel is to become bored and skip pages. Some writers take two or three pages to write what could of actually be said on a single page, so I try to keep my story moving at a good pace.

 

When I worked with my first editor a few years ago, he cut 10,000 words from my manuscript, and I was horrified.  As a writer you invest so much time and energy into each and every word.  To my mind they were all needed and were all significant.  But that editor taught me so much by explaining why he cut the words.  He made me see how to write the same thing with less words and by doing so, have more impact.  So when I read through the story, I could see how much sharper and polished it had become.

 

The lesson learned was if you can say it in six words, don’t use twenty.

 

Although, there is always an exception to the rule, and some scenes just need a long descriptive, especially if you are trying to portray a place or setting you know your reader will have difficulty imagining. Even so, most everyday things can be simplified.  For example, I may want my reader to know that a character ate a sandwich, but I don’t need to describe the contents in detail, tell them if the bread was white or brown, or how big it was–too much information.

 

I try to write dynamic dialogue and have to immerse myself in the character of the people I am writing about.  One of the best ways to check your writing, is to read aloud to yourself.  Hearing what you have written has a way of telling you when something is not right.

 

Q: Setting is also quite important and in many cases it becomes like a character itself. What tools of the trade did you use in your writing to bring the setting to life?

 

A:  As this book is set on Exmoor, and there is a scene in the city of Bath.  I could draw on actual experience of these places.  I have walked around the city of Bath, and taken inspiration from the famous Georgian architecture.  I studied old pictures to see how it would have been without cars and buses in a time when there were only carriage and horses for transport.  I researched Victorian dress and fashionable clothes ladies used to wear when they walked around the Royal Crescent, or what it was like to be invited to balls or go to take the waters at the famous Pump Room.

 

I have lived and worked on Exmoor, so I know the places I write about well.  Exmoor is a land of extremes it has the highest coastline on the British mainland.  It is dramatically barren with heather covered moorland, and breathtakingly beautiful with deep wooded valleys.  It is a place where artists, writers and poets have been inspired to produce a myriad of work.

 

Gothelstone Manor house was an amalgamation of several different stately homes that I have visited, and the Victorian asylum was constructed from researching several of those harrowing establishments.

 

Q: Did you know the theme(s) of your novel from the start or is this something you discovered after completing the first draft? Is this theme(s) recurrent in your other work?

 

A: I knew my theme would be a darkly romantic tale with a mysterious gothic element, there would be supernatural and some horror.  My characters would be complex because of their connections to each other.

 

This theme does occur in my other work, primarily because I have used the moors as a setting before, but also London, because any city has a dark and dangerous aspect.  Scotland too is full of mystery and so I like to draw on all those aspects when I write

 

Q: Where does craft end and art begin? Do you think editing can destroy the initial creative thrust of an author?

 

A:  Not if it is done correctly. Editing strips away the nonsense, and the repetition.  When you have written 120,000 words it’s hard not to say the same thing twice or even more, so editing highlights these repetitions.

 

Writing a substantial novel, takes a long time.  I don’t believe many authors start at the beginning, work through till the end, and finish.  It is more a matter of going back and revisiting chapters.  Writing a book is mostly about editing and re-editing, until you get it as perfect as you can.

 

I have been writing for long enough now that I can edit my own work, but I would always want a professional editor to look it over, no-one is infallible and I often find that I have misspelt something or my spell checker has changed a word.

 

My current editor did not change my story at all, she only corrected spelling mistakes and some grammar issues.  If you work with a good editor, then, you should be able to see that your editor’s suggestions make your work read better.

 

Q: What three things, in your opinion, make a successful novelist?

 

A:  1.  The ability to tell a story through written words that makes readers engage with the story concept, so that they become engrossed and don’t want to put the book down.

 

  1. The confidence to believe in your story and the idea’s, however obscure that go along with it. The confidence to put different or unusual things together and still come up a believable and interesting story.

 

I always marry different themes or places together. In my first book, I explored the idea of a vampire existing on Exmoor, I took my reader to London and to Stonehenge, I incorporated a love story and a few paragraphs about the Chinese opium wars and smuggling in the 19th century on the southwest coast of England.

 

In my second novel, I began on Exmoor, and then my readers discovered the hidden underground tunnels in London, then, India at the time of the British Raj, while exploring the roots of Italian witchcraft and the very beginnings of vampirism.  As well as writing about a significant train derailment, and the famous Brookwood cemetery in London.

 

In my third novel, I started in Scotland, and explored clairvoyance and tea leaf reading, the famous Green Lady ghost of Stirling Castle, a London opera house, a ballerina and a gothic stately home with its resident vampire and heartbroken ghost.

 

  1. The persistence to see it through, even when you hit a roadblock and cannot figure a way around it, but you have to keep going. Sooner or later you will know how to overcome the obstacle.  Some chapters are harder to write than others, they may take patience and passion in equal measure to make everything come together

 

Q: A famous writer once wrote that being an author is like having to do homework for the rest of your life. What do you think about that?

 

A:  Yes that’s probably true.  I am always learning new things. I constantly research ideas or themes, which can be very time consuming, but the upside is that you find out interesting or obscure facts that the majority of people don’t know about, which makes for interesting conversation pieces at the very least.

 

Q: Are there any resources, books, workshops or sites about craft that you’ve found helpful during your writing career?

 

A: The internet of course is an inexhaustible supply of research of both fact and fiction, as well as myths and legends from around the world.  I have read dozens of books in my pursuit of research, everything from period costumes to bee-keeping.

 

I don’t visit writing sites, as I believe that every writer is different, what works for one will not work for another.  It’s best just to find your own way of doing things. I am more interested in talking to other authors in person when I get the opportunity.

 

Q:  Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers about the craft of writing?

 

A: No book or website can tell you how to write.  They can improve your grammar and give you a formula to follow, but writing is so much more than that.

 

The driving force behind every good writer is that they have a story that needs to be told, and they have the passion and perseverance to see it through.

 

I believe that most people are capable of writing a story, but a novel is a completely different undertaking.  It requires a lot of emotional input and hard work to craft a story of 80,000 words or more that is capable of captivating an audience.

 

I also think that too many people write in a genre because of a current bestseller, instead of writing in a genre that they have a true understanding or connection with. The trouble with doing this, is by the time the novel is finished, the publishing industry will have moved on.

 

It’s far better to be true to yourself and to where your personal interests lie. Your writing will be so much better because of it.

 

 

 

 

Today we celebrate the release of SEALs of Honor: Chase!

This is the next installment in the SEALs of the Honor series.

Everyone has something in their history they’d like to keep buried in the past…

Chase has more than most. And his secrets are about to blow wide open as one really bad part of his past has come looking for him.
Vanessa is all about moving forward in her life and not looking back. There are enough painful memories in her history for a lifetime.
But when she gets embroiled in Chase’s problems, they become her problems too.
Both need to deal with their pasts, because if they don’t, they might no longer have a future.

PURCHASE HERE: AMAZON|B&N|KOBO

 

ABOUT DALE:

 

Dale Mayer is a prolific multi-published writer. She’s best known for her Psychic Vision Series. Besides her romantic suspense/thrillers, Dale also writes paranormal romance and crossover young adult books in different genres.
To go with her fiction, she writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system.
She has recently published her Career Essentials Series . All her books are available in print and digital format.

CONNECT WITH DALE: WEBSITE| FACEBOOK | TWITTER

 

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Inside the Book:

Title: A Honeyed Light
Author: Freddie Milano
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal

Kunal, relative newcomer to the strange town of Harmony, has his hands full preparing for Diwali. That should be enough to keep anyone’s mind pre-occupied, but Kunal can’t really ignore that he’s nearly thirty, single, and still buried in the closet.

Out of town at a gay club one night, he bumps into Oscar, proprietor of Harmony’s only sex shop, and figures his secret is now officially out. What he doesn’t expect is a slow seduction, or to have to decide what it is he really wants in life.

Links:

 

MEET THE AUTHOR

freddie-author-photo
Freddie Milano lives with her partner-in-crime, two adorable and devilish cats, and far more ideas than she really has time to set down on (electronic) paper. She’s been writing since she could hold a pen, though most of the embarrassing stories thankfully never made in onto the internet, and can stay safely buried.
She loves wine, Korean pop music, tea, chocolate, coffee, mythology, and both video and tabletop gaming. An ESFJ surrounded by introverts, Freddie has learned the art of socialization in moderation. Besides, staying in just leaves her more time to write. Find more at freddiemilano.com.

 

 

Captain Hawkins Book Blast

 

 

Join us for H. Peter Alesso’s CAPTAIN HAWKINS Book Blast today! Please leave a comment to let him know you stopped by!
Title:
Captain Hawkins
Author: H. Peter Alesso
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 207
Genre: Science Fiction
Jamie Hawkins was living on an obscure planet in the twenty third-century when on one fateful night—his life changed forever. His heroic effort to save the lives of innocent women and children, caught in the cross-fire of war,
placed him squarely in the crosshairs of avenging soldiers.
A former marine, Hawkins was stunned when his rescue effort was seen as treachery. Unfairly convicted of treason by a corrupt judge, he was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor on an infamous penal colony.
Once in prison, his courage and perseverance won him the admiration and trust of his fellow convicts. While he was plotting his escape, an enemy attacked the planet–giving this daring warrior his chance. Together with his fellow prisoners, he launched a bold assault and high-jacked an enemy warship.
From then on, the rebel ship Indefatigable, engaged in multiple ship-to-ship and fleet actions until the exploits of Captain Jamie Hawkins became legendary.

PURCHASE:

Amazon

Book Excerpt:

The black of night had fallen, but Jamie Hawkins couldn’t sleep. Though the surgeons had patched up his many wounds, the remorseless pain persisted, even now, months after his medical discharge from the Marines.
BAM! BAM! BAM!
Despite his desire to ignore the unwelcomed thundering blows, he answered the door to his country home and found his neighbor, tall scrawny seventeen year old Joshua Morgan, gasping for breath.
“Captain Hawkins, come quick! Come quick, or they’ll all be killed!”
“Who? What are you talking about, Joshua?”
“I’ve just come from the city—it’s a war zone. People are dying,” Joshua’s voice broke. “The hospital is taking care of the wounded and sheltering women and children, but its force shield is buckling.” He finished in a breathless rush, “It’s only a matter of minutes before it fails.”
A troubled frown creased Hawkins’s face. Their mothers had been friends and he had known Joshua since he was born.
Has the boy been drawn into the turmoil? He wondered.
Hawkins had listened to the broadcasts throughout the day, absurd in every detail; demonstrators declared that they were only protesting injustice, while the government insisted the violence was a last resort against rebels.
Which is the greater lie?
I told one of the doctors, I knew someone who could help. My flyer’s right outside, sir. You must come,” begged Joshua, his expressive eyes pleading.
A more kindhearted man, who possessed his insight, might have agonized over what was happening in the capital city, but though Hawkins was not unsympathetic, past adversity had left him more hardboiled and cynical than most.
“That’s not my concern anymore,” he said.
Joshua’s desperate voice squealed, “You’re a veteran. You could make a difference, sir.”
Hawkins put his hand on his hips, threw his head back, and barked, “Ha!”
Then, giving vent to a deep inner passion, he demanded, “What difference can one man make?”
As a Marine, Hawkins had been a hot-blooded warrior, always quick to action, so at this moment of great upheaval, while frenzied violence was playing out in the capital, he surprised himself with his reluctance to act. As he ran his hand over the long jagged scar that marred his chest, one thing was certain, the foolish mutinous passions of the people could only lead to ruin.
But the look that spread across the boy’s face was indescribable—it was as if he had just lost his hero.
“Alright, if you won’t come, at least tell me how to maintain the shield,” said Joshua, showing a daring and persistence beyond his years. “I’ll go back alone, but you must tell me what to do.”
“You have no idea what you’d be getting yourself into. All hell has broken loose. Can’t you see, you can’t contribute anything worthwhile, and most likely something terrible will happen?
“I must go back, my mother is a volunteer at the hospital,” said Joshua. Throwing back his shoulders with a determined jerk of his chin, he challenged Hawkins’s jaded gaze, pleading, “Please. Tell me how to fix the shield.”
Hawkins opened his mouth, but the words froze on his lips. The boy’s courage was a splash of cold water in his face, stinging his sense of honor. It wasn’t in his nature to send this boy to certain deathfor Joshua could never accomplish what had to be donenor it was in his makeup to let innocents be condemned to death with the hospital’s destruction.
A gritty resolve washed over Hawkins. He said, “Let’s go.”
***
Wearing a brown pilot jacket, tanned rawhide trousers with knee-high leather boots, calfskin gloves, and goggles, Hawkins skillfully maneuvered the single seat flyer at breakneck speed. Joshua desperately clung to him to stay on the back of the motorcycle-like vehicle–his arms wrapped tightly around Hawkins’s waist.
What they saw was a madhouse–Newport was ablaze with savage fires that lit up the horizon–scores of them. Just hours before it had been a vibrant city, the capital of Jaxon, renowned for its culture and history, thriving with
business and commerce, home to over a million inhabitants going about their ordinary daily lives, now it was a battlefield.
Though his home was a mere two dozen kilometers outside the city, it was impossible for him to fly directly there. There were several sharp mountain peaks in their way, one tremendous one, flanked by two smaller ones, causing
Hawkins to race the engine of single-seat turbojet to gain altitude. The noise and vibration of the straining sputtering engine roared into the dark rainy night until they were able to ascend to three thousand meters.
When they reached the outskirts of the city, they descended to a hundred meters, but skyscrapers rose in their path causing them to fly directly over a paved highway that connected the planet’s capital to the suburbs. It was swollen with traffic–pedestrians, motorcycles, trucks and cars–choking the road. There were people of every description; disheveled housewives and construction workers, unskilled laborers and local tradesmen, reeking hobos and sharply dressed businessmen, young and old, men and women alike, all seeking safety. Some carried cherished possessions while others brandished antiquated bullet guns, since the government had already confiscated most laser and plasma
weapons. This crowded mass of human unhappiness snaked its way along its ill-chosen path intent on escaping the terrifying violence.
Is Joshua’s mom in that mob? Hawkins wondered.
Those remaining in the city suffered under a shower of high explosive aerial bombs intermixed with artillery shells. With sirens wailing, Hawkins saw bombers overhead dropping death from the skies and heard the repeated firing of artillery in the distance. He couldn’t tell who was doing the shooting.
After his initial reluctance to come, he agonized over whether he would arrive in time. A nearly impenetrable wall of smoke, flame, debris, and explosions added extra heart wrenching minutes to the journey.
Every two minutes a new wave of jets would be overhead and a new barrage of artillery shells would join in. The roaring fires pulsed, like the blind fury of an agitated buzzing beehive. Little fires grew into big ones, right before his eyes. Big ones died down under the valor of firemen, only to break out again a few moments later.
Hawkins saw the panic in the street. The city’s civil-defense included shelters that were now overflowing with refugees. Many had left their homes and defied the flames to run to the bomb shelters distributed throughout the city, only to find there was no room for them. In addition to the death and injury, everywhere there was evidence of psychological trauma–children sat in rubble–their dead parent’s bodies nearby. It was impossible to gauge how much more the citizens could take. Panic and raw nerves grew tighter with each passing minute. The people prayed for a respite–but there was little hope for mercy on this night.
Hawkins heard the crackling of the closest flames and the screams of victims and firemen, alike. Smoke blurred his vision and seared his lungs.
Nevertheless, he kept going with Joshua clinging to his waist.
“Arf! Arf!” choked Joshua.
“Here cover your mouth with this handkerchief,” yelled Hawkins over the uproar around them.
EEEEEEERRRR!!!
The sirens wailed.
Hawkins cursed.
“Oh, no,” said Joshua. “Are we too late?”
“We’re almost there,” said Hawkins.
They heard detonations high in the air. The sky was alive with a deadly dance of destruction.
BOOM!
Then another–
BOOM!
Farther down the street, Hawkins could see soldiers breaking through the defensive ring of some diehard demonstrators, sending them fleeing in every direction. He couldn’t quite make out what the people were yelling, but he could see one oversized banner fall to the ground.
It read, “Beware the Wrath to Come!”

 

 

About the Author

 

As ascientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations, and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of ten books.

WEBSITE | GOODREADS

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