The Monday Buzz from Story Empire

Happy Monday, gang! Eh, I realize that’s kind of an oxymoron, but it is what it is.

One good thing about Mondays? You can always count on an informative blog post over on the Story Empire site.

old world type map with script writing laid over top and words Story Empire set off as a bold header

Today’s post by Craig Boyack is of special interest to me. You’ve got to hop over and check out his take on Flipboard. I’ve used Flipboard for a while but I had no clue you could create your own magazine or that it’s a unique way to drive traffic to your blog. Who doesn’t like more blog traffic? And hey, the idea of my own magazine (created very simply) is highly appealing to me. I’ve been after him for a while to share the deets on how this is done, and it looks sooo easy!

Check it out yourself with Craig’s post, By Popular Demand, Flipboard. Hope to see you there!

Welcome Charles E. Yallowitz with Chasing Bedlam #Scifi #Dystopian

Charles Yallowitz has a new book out, the second in his Shattered States series. Take a look below to see what this wild ride is all about!

Return to the Shattered States

for a tale of love between a woman & her jeep!

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

Lloyd and Cassidy’s last adventure was to honor a life. This time they are out to end one.

It was a normal, violent mission to Texas that should have had nothing more than beer-induced hiccups. That is until an old enemy makes off with Cassidy’s jeep and most of their gear. Needless to say, she’s pissed off and challenging Lloyd for the psychopath of the month award. With the mouthy serial killer by her side, she is going on the warpath from Dallas to Miami even if it means declaring war on the drug cartels.

So strap in for another wild ride through the Shattered States and learn why you never mess with Cassidy’s jeep.

Available on Amazon for 99 cents!

Want a taste?

“So your boss thought she could send assassins to kill the Riflemen,” the black-haired leader says, earning a cheer from his men. A firm smack to the prisoner’s head silences her gurgling attempt to deny the charge. “Nothing you say can prevent the inevitable. Don’t go thinking that pet serial killer will save you either. The idiot brought a paintball gun to Texas and thought he’d win a gunfight? I’m surprised he lasted as long as he did. All we need to do is find the body and we can collect the bounty on him too. Guess you’re lucky that he’s wanted dead and you’re wanted alive by that warden up north.”

“I’d be careful, boss,” a sword-wielding gang member warns. She leans away from the angry glare, but rolls up her sleeve to reveal a sloppily stitched wound. “While this one isn’t as tough as her reputation says, she can still hit hard. Lost two men before we restrained her and three more are nursing broken balls. Maybe we should use some of our tranquilizer stash and keep her sedated.”

“No reason for th-” Top Hog begins as he runs his hand across the prisoner’s forehead. He rubs his fingers at the sensation of something sticky between his fingers and looks closer to figure out what he has touched. “This scar is fake. Made from glue or something. Are you sure this is Cassidy?”

“She was with Lloyd Tenay at the bar,” a one-eyed man replies in a shaky voice. He shifts from one foot to the other when everyone else takes a step away from him. “You told us to look for him and a blonde woman. She had the denim jacket, the forehead scar, cursed a lot, carried two pistols, and even has the correct tramp stamp. Everyone was calling her Cassidy after she drove up in the blue jeep too. We made sure that everything checked out, boss. Even bribed the bartender and two waitresses.”

Sweat beading on his face, Top Hog draws his large gun and presses it to the prisoner’s temple. He leans around her, his eyes repeatedly darting toward her hands to make sure they are still bound. Lifting her white shirt, he sees the unique tattoo that the widespread stories mention Cassidy getting a little less than a year ago. The design is two pistols back to back with vines of bone curling around and binding them together. A strange discoloration catches the gang leader’s attention and he rubs his thumb along the woman’s side, pushing his weapon harder against her head to prevent wiggling. He swears that he feels a seam, so he gets a dirty fingernail beneath what turns out to be a flesh-colored sticker. Top Hog yanks it off and shows it to his men, the prisoner biting her lower lip to avoid screaming. He can already see that the tattoo is smeared from where he has touched it with his meaty fingers.

Enraged and embarrassed, the gang leader is about to kill the fake Cassidy when he hears distant rock music. Within seconds, he realizes that the source is getting closer and is soon joined by maniacal laughter coming over a crackling megaphone. With a snap of his fingers, Top Hog orders one of his men to take the prisoner to his office while the others run for the exit. Nobody gets very far before a blue jeep, which has been outfitted with a wide battering ram, smashes through the front of the warehouse. The vehicle leaves a gaping hole in the wall, which is made worse by hooked chains on the rear bumper that catch and tear more of the obstacle down. The jeep continues at full speed through crates, shelving units, and the slower gang members whose deaths are celebrated by honks of the horn. Tires screech as the driver hits the brakes and gets the car to spin, the move appearing to have no purpose beyond making those inside dizzy. With an embarrassing thud, the vehicle hits the back wall and hisses to a stop.

The gang have already drawn their weapons and are cautiously approaching the jeep when the sunroof opens. Bullets fly at the blonde figure that leaps out, the projectiles creating so many holes that the top half of their target falls off. The legs of the cardboard cutout are casually tossed to the floor before the shriek of a megaphone makes everyone cringe and cover their ears. With the tattered remains laying face up, the frustrated criminals realize that they have destroyed another Cassidy decoy. They are about to inch closer when the jeep briefly roars to life and a man inside begins making engine noises. The sounds change to the exaggerated screams and detailed begging of those whose parts are still stuck to the scuffed battering ram.

“So that was your plan, Cassidy?” Top Hog asks with a chuckle. He turns to see their prisoner is trying to roll away and fires his gun into the air to stop her. “Two decoys, so that you could get the drop on us. Guess you thought more of us would get run over. You still have thirteen of my crew standing and you’re cornered in that jeep. Now, the only question is if I send a piece of you back to the Duchess as a message that she should stay out of my business. Damn northerner needs to stay out of Texas’s business.”

“Actually, that young woman was the bait and I was the distraction,” Lloyd announces from inside. With a gleeful laugh, he opens one of the doors and yanks it back when the gang shoots at him. “Well shit. That was my favorite power window button. Anyway, people make that mistake all the time. You see, bait draws you in and, at least here, allows the real predators to follow you back to the previously hidden hideout. Not even a sign to help us out, which is very rude and unaccommodating. Now, the distraction’s job is to keep you looking in one direction while a mischievous maiden of mayhem prepares her new toy somewhere else. Don’t bother running, boys, because she’ll take that as an insult.”

Top Hog and his men turn toward the hole in the wall, which has exposed them to the large parking lot. The sun forces them to squint at the lone figure standing behind a loaded mini-gun, the weapon glinting in the midday light. Clouds move across the sky, which makes it easier for the gang to identify the denim jacket and blonde hair of their enemy. They take a few shots at the distant woman, but their bullets either miss completely or bounce off several riot shields that are strapped to the weapon. A slamming car door causes them to jump, but they turn in the wrong direction and are unable to stop Lloyd from racing toward the prisoner. Wearing orange pants from his time as a prisoner and a red shirt with a lightning bolt, the black-haired serial killer seems like an obvious target as he scoops up the young woman and dives behind a box of grenades. Suddenly afraid for their lives, Top Hog and his men attempt to scatter and hunt for cover.

“I hate moving targets,” Cassidy growls.

And don’t forget how it all started in CROSSING BEDLAM!

Also on sale for 99 cents!

charles

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog 
Twitter: @cyallowitz 
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz 
Website 

Welcome Nonnie Jules, President of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writers–International Society of Authors

Hoy, boy! Do I have a special guest for you today, gang! I am honored to be hosting Nonnie Jules, the woman whose vision became Rave Reviews Book Club. Please welcome the president of RRBC and the founding member/president of the Rave Writers International Society of Authors! I’m thrilled to have her here today for an awesome Q&A and personal post!

Banner logo for author Nonnie Julies, president of Rave Reviews Book Club

How long have you been writing?
This will sound cliché, but I really have been writing all my life, at least since the 3rd grade.  I became a published author in 2012.

How many books have you authored? Please share the titles of up to three.
I have authored 3 books, and co-authored one.  The titles are “THE GOOD MOMMIES’  GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND,” and “SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS.”  I can’t list the co-authored title because the question asks that I list only 3, but I’m sure you can find it…it is one of my favorites.

Do you have a writing schedule?
Yes, in my mind and in my dreams. Running an organization as streamlined and professional as RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, consumes so much of my time, that none of you could even imagine my life. It is so extremely important to me that we succeed here, and also, that we do it in a manner conducive to the way that I live my life.  I spend truly almost my every waking moment devoted to this club and the success of our members, and because of that, my own writing time has suffered. That being said, this year I have vowed to adhere to a strict writing schedule and so far so good.  I won’t share it yet, though.  Let’s see how it goes.

You’re a member of RAVE WRITERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA). Why do you think you were accepted into this exclusive group? 
Well, if you want honesty, I was accepted because I created it.  BUT, if I had not been the founder of this amazing group, I would hope that my acceptance was based purely on my dedication to the perfection of writing, in all areas.

Modesty aside, what separates your writing from the millions of other writers in the world?
Believe me, I have no problem being honest about who I am, and my abilities, as everyone else should feel. I’m not sure that I can answer that question right now, so let me think on it. I do know that I can tell the pants off of a story.  In plain English, I’m a good story-teller, but I can’t say that separates me from the other good story-tellers out there. I mean, I’m in awe of so many of our members and their writing, that sometimes they can make me feel as if I don’t belong alongside them.  Gwen Plano, Peggy Hattendorf, Rhani D’Chae, John F., Beem Weeks, Wendy Scott, Rea Nolan Martin…and there are so many others that I have yet to read, that I just feel deep in my heart their work is going to be so enjoyable for me, too.  I can’t wait to sink my teeth into some Jan Sikes, Mae Clair, John Howell, A. M. Manay, Yvette Calleiro, Natalie Ducey, Ron Yates, and even more that I haven’t listed (so please don’t be offended if I missed your name…I still want to dig into your work!) Shirley Harris-Slaughter’s first book was so detailed, I was blown away, and Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, has me wanting to live inside her head, because of her book LEGENDS.  I mean, these people leave me awe-struck!

If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be?
If I could spend the day picking an author’s brain, it would have to be RHANI D’CHAE’S.  Why? Rhani leaves me speechless with her story-lines!  I read her books and I’m left wondering, “Now who could think of something like that?”  She also works with a deficit in that her eye-sight is slowly leaving her, yet her writing in her books, is almost impeccable.

Are you a die-hard INDIE writer who loves having complete control of your work, or, if you were offered a publishing contract today, would you sign on the dotted line?
I am such a control-freak (I’m sure none of you have ever noticed this), that I just can’t imagine giving up control of my work.  Now, as most of my peers have responded, it would have to be a darned good contract, but I’m going a step further in saying, I’d still have to be in control of my writing, my covers, etc.  It’s not about the money with me.

As an author, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself spending all my waking moments in my writing room, after having found THE MOST PERFECT and THE MOST EFFICIENT person to run RRBC and all its affiliates.  Let’s all pray on that for me.

What is the ONE tool that has been the most beneficial tool in the marketing of your books?
How else can I answer this other than to say the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB has been IT for me!  There is no way that my books would have been read and reviewed as they have been, or garnered the attention that they have, without the support of this organization behind them.  I’m shocked that so many others didn’t credit the club for the same reason.  C’mon, let’s give credit where credit is due.

Name one writer that you know of, member or non-member of RRBC, who you feel should be added to the RWISA Roster of elite members? Why?
D.L. Finn is high on my list right now, and I think she will be there soon. Her writing, just in one of her books that I’ve seen…can anyone say “flawless?”

What is the one piece of advice that you could share that would be most valuable for those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers?
READ, READ, READ and stop believing all the hype! If you can’t or won’t read, then I don’t trust that you can write. AND, I’ve said quite often, some of us are so quick to believe every “good” review we’re given, and then we’re shocked when an honest one rolls around.  We get upset and the truth stings. Learn to discern which reviews you should take to heart and those that should be thrown out with the trash.  Believe it or not, more people are telling you that your book is good (when it’s not) because they’re afraid of sharing their honest opinion publicly, for many reasons.  Rest assured, I am not one of those people.  Ask around.

Do you believe that writers who churn out several books a year are really putting out quality work?
Unless it is all they’re doing, eating, sleeping, drinking, and peeing words, no, I don’t believe that it is quality that’s being churned.  I have noticed some that put out books so quickly, simply because they’d like to be able to profess that “I’ve written 15 books, etc.”  In their minds, they think having several books published, makes them more credible as a writer. Again, people, stop believing the hype. I’m sure of their reason, because every time they speak, they’re quick to share with you that magic number.

If you had promised your fans a book by a certain date only to find that your book wasn’t the best it could be, would you go ahead and publish your book just to meet that self-imposed deadline and deliver as promised, or, would you disappoint your fans and shelve the book until it was absolutely ready? No matter your reason, please explain why?
You know, I once wrote a poem called “We Live, We Learn, We Grow.”  When I published my first novel, I was trying to meet a deadline…I failed at meeting that first deadline, but I came pretty close to the second one. I didn’t know any better at the time, but let me share this, I am re-editing that book as we speak, and will be replacing it shortly with the un-rushed version. I got it. I took my own advice that I’m always sharing, and I’m big enough to say that since I first published, I’ve Lived, I’ve Learned and I’ve Grown…immensely!  Mind you, if I weren’t presiding over this extremely busy book club, these things would have definitely been done a lot sooner.  So, you see, I’m so busy making everyone else’s books grand, that I’ve forgotten I need to take the time to do the same for my own.

In your opinion, what makes a book “a great book?”
To me, a great book is one with a storyline so good, so well-written and so well-told, that I want to see it on the big screen!  Notice I’ve highlighted the so well-written part of this.

If you received a review of your book which stated that there were editing & proofing “issues,” what’s the first thing you would do? And the second?
Let me give you all the steps.  The first thing I’d do, would be to thank the person who was sharing this info with me, then immediately head to find some of their published work, to ensure that they were credible. Remember, I always say, there are some you should take to heart, and there are some you should ignore. Reason being, if you can’t write and all of your published work is a mess, you can’t critique anyone else’s work. I’ve seen some horrible reviews given to some books and the reviewer couldn’t write to save his/her on life. Do you think I’m taking to heart their opinion of my work? NO!  Moving on, the next thing I’d do, would be to head to re-read my own book, from start to finish. IF I did find that there was some validity to their claim, I would begin the work of the re-edit. IF the hiccups that were pointed out were so bad that they might affect the enjoyment of the read for another, I would pull it immediately until it was completely ready. As I said, I’m a MUCH BETTER WRITER now than I was when I first published and am not at all ashamed to say, that I’m going thru some re-edits as we speak.

~ooOOoo~
Book cover of If Only There Was Music by Nonnie Jules shows a musical notes at an angle

I hope you enjoyed Nonnie’s interview and post. I encourage you to check out her  books:

IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC

“THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love 

SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS…YES I SAID IT!  

 


Connect with Nonnie on Twitter (@NonnieJules)
Or her blogs:
Watch Nonnie Write
Books by Nonnie

Thank you for supporting our RWISA RAVE WRITERS-INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS Members!  Please follow and support the entire tour by visiting 4WillsPub.

Welcome Tammy Tate with The Homecoming #ShifterRomance

Today, I’m welcoming back Tammy Tate with her latest release, a shifter story, and the first in a series. Take it away, Tammy . . .

The Homecoming (Book One of Bayou Shifters series)

 Mae, thanks so much for having me as your guest. I’m thrilled to be here and excited to share my new release, The Homecoming. It’s part of a series I’m working on called Bayou Shifters. For the most part, it takes place deep in a Louisiana alligator infested swamp and is only accessible by boat. The perfect place for a clan of shifters to thrive and go unnoticed.

The Homecoming is packed with romance, revenge, and a strong will to live. All the ingredients necessary to keep the pages turning. WARNING: Depending what time of day you start it, it may keep you up at night or ignore household duties during the day! You’ve been forewarned…

And, if The Homecoming leaves you wanting more…then you’ll be happy to know, I have started book two! Book cover for The Homecoming by Tammy Tate shows young dark-haired couple embracing facing camera, dark night sky behind, wolf at bottom

Blurb
Sydney is half human, half wolf, and has fallen in love with Kyle, a full-fledged shifter who for the last six months has been appearing in her dreams.

The next full moon, Sydney makes her first shift from human to wolf. The transformation won’t be easy. Thanks to her human genes, it could leave her disfigured. Or, worse. Dead.

Edward knows he can’t rush Sydney to the hospital if something goes terribly wrong, so he sends his only daughter to live with his late wife’s wolf clan deep in Louisiana’s alligator infested bayou. Despite holding Edward responsible for her sister’s death, Susan agrees to help.

Sydney learns Kyle is in Bayou Fontaine. But, for the sake of the pack, the council has already chosen Emily, as his mate. The relentless she-wolf will stop at nothing to claim what is rightfully hers and teams up with Kyle’s twin brother, Justin, who’s hell bent on revenge.

The clock is ticking…

Excerpt
Sydney frowned at her internal beast. “Look. I know you mean well, but the evil ‘Ms. Thing’ might just show herself if I call her name.”

“It’s easier to go against something we can see, rather than something we can’t,” her wolf protested.

Her canine had a good point.

Her wolf spoke again. “She’s out there. Don’t believe me? Call her.”

“Do you have a death wish? Because if you do, I must inform, I don’t.”

“Lisa’s life may depend on us.”

“What if Emily shifts into her wolf? Should I remind you, I can’t do that at will, yet?”

“You could try—”

“I could get us killed, too!”

“I’ll help…”

Sydney clenched her fists. “I thought you understood. I’m the boss. Obviously, you don’t get it, so let me refresh your memory—”

“Shhh…” her wolf said in a low growl. “Wolf. One o’clock…”

Sydney rolled her eyes a tick to the right, and whispered, “I swear if Emily doesn’t hurt you, I might.”

AVAILABLE AT AMAZON 

BOOK TRAILER:

Author Tammy TateAUTHOR BIO:
Tammy Tate was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida but has lived most of her adult life in Texas. Her passion to write began in high school. It follows her everywhere she goes…creating a world where anything is possible. She’s been married to the same wonderful man for over thirty years. Her secret to a long marriage? It’s easy when you marry your best friend. In her world, Friday night is still date night.

Before she became a full-time author, she was an Executive Secretary, a Computer Consultant/Technician, and a Communications Officer (Police Dispatcher). She doesn’t mind a challenge which has allowed her to race a late-model in a women’s powder puff race, run barrels and poles in a play-day rodeo and drive an 18-wheeler. Somewhere in between, she and her husband raised three wonderful children. When she’s not breathing life into her characters or jotting down ideas for a new book, she and her husband are exploring country roads on their Honda Gold Wing.

Since she believes reading is the next best thing to writing, she enjoys romance, fantasy, science fiction and thrillers. In December of 2013, she signed her first book contract with a traditional publisher. Her books have made Amazon’s Best Seller list.

Connect with Tammy at the following haunts:
Facebook Fan Page   

Goodreads   
Blogspot    

Welcome Teri Polen with Sarah and #WritingTechinques

I’m so happy to introduce new friend, Teri Polen, who writes YA fiction and has recently released her debut novel Sarah. Teri and I met when she hosted an October/Halloweenish promotion for multiple authors on her blog and was kind enough to include me.

Since then, I’ve come to realize we have many common friends in the blogosphere. In addition to that, she held me glued to the pages through Sarah, a spooky YA novel centered around a vengeful ghost. You can find my five star review for Sarah on Amazon, but before you go gallivanting off, check out Teri’s post on writing techniques. The character quirks section really made me stop and think!

~ooOOoo~

Epiphanies (for me) in Writing Techniques

I’ve never had any ‘formal’ training in writing – both of my degrees are in business, and learning how to interpret balance sheets was worthless when it came to crafting a story.  Over the years, I’ve taken advantage of the free writing workshops at the annual book festival where I live (and discovered how horribly wrong I’d been doing things), attended numerous webinars, and read Stephen King’s On Writing so many times I could probably recite some passages from memory.  Once my brain had been rewired with the basics, I had to sift through various techniques to discover what worked for me.

One of my online classes required me to complete an extensive questionnaire about my characters – things I’d never thought about, like boxers or briefs, nervous habits, did they like long walks on the beach, and fav flavor of pop-tarts.  Okay, maybe not exactly those questions, but they seemed just as obscure at the time.  All I saw were pages and pages of homework – but once I started interviewing my characters, everything changed.  The deeper your understanding of your characters, the easier it is to breathe life into them and make them come alive for your readers.

Outlining – your either love it or hate it, but it seemed like a waste of time when I already had the general plot direction in my head.  Then I’d wind up in places I’d never planned, wrote myself into corners, found minor characters leading the story, and had no idea how I’d gotten there – raise your hand if those surroundings look familiar.  But I wasn’t a complete pantser either, so when I came across the Basic Beat Sheet at http://jamigold.com/, I knew I’d struck gold (pun totally intended).  A beat sheet is the road map of a story broken down into three acts that include the inciting incident, pinch points, midpoint, crisis, climax and resolution.  After typing in the projected total word count for your book, it calculates the page count and word count where these plot points should occur – which also helps with pacing.  You can print it out and fill in the blanks from there.  Every writer has their own process, but this one helped me focus and stay on track.

It all comes down to personal preferences and motivations and can be trial and error, but researching, talking to other authors, and reading about the craft of writing will help you find your path – there’s no magic formula to writing a novel.  And keep in mind, the learning never stops – there’s always room for improvement.  Now head to your writing caves!

Author, Teri Polen, outdoors and smiling for cameraAuthor Bio:
Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy.  The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium.  She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat.  Sarah, a YA horror/thriller, is her first novel.  Visit her online at www.teripolen.com

Connect with Teri at the following haunts:
Website

Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads 

~ooOOoo~

Book cover for the novel SARAH shows girl with long black hair hiding her face crawling down steps from attic doorBook Blurb for SARAH:
Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

Purchase SARAH from:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

 

Cover Reveal: A Desolate Hour by Mae Clair #RRBC Author

Happy Monday, everyone! I’m kicking off the week by doing a cover reveal for A Desolate Hour, the third and final book in my Point Pleasant mystery/suspense series focused on the Mothman of urban legend.

Book cover for A Desolate Hour by Mae Clair shows a small town overlooking a river at night, full moon overhead, cover in wash of green red and black with white lettering

A DESOLATE HOUR
Book 3 in the Point Pleasant Series
Genre:
 Suspense/Mystery
Length: 79,000 Words
Publisher: Kensington Publishing/Lyrical Underground Imprint
Publication Date: July 18, 2017

BLURB:

Sins of the past could destroy all of their futures . . .

For generations, Quentin Marsh’s family has seen its share of tragedy, though he remains skeptical that their misfortunes are tied to a centuries-old curse. But to placate his pregnant sister, Quentin makes the pilgrimage to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, hoping to learn more about the brutal murder of a Shawnee chief in the 1700s. Did one of the Marsh ancestors have a hand in killing Chief Cornstalk—the man who cursed the town with his dying breath?

While historian Sarah Sherman doesn’t believe in curses either, she’s compelled to use her knowledge of Point Pleasant to uncover the long-buried truth. The river town has had its own share of catastrophes, many tied to the legendary Mothman, the winged creature said to haunt the woods. But Quentin’s arrival soon reveals that she may have more of a stake than she realized. It seems that she and Quentin possess eerily similar family heirlooms. And the deeper the two of them dig into the past, the more their search enrages the ancient mystical forces surrounding Point Pleasant. As chaos and destruction start to befall residents, can they beat the clock to break the curse before the Mothman takes his ultimate revenge? . . .

~ooOOoo~

This book was challenging for me, the hardest of the three to write, but I’m pleased with the way it turned out. If you’ve been following the series, all those questions about the Mothman are finally answered with the conclusion of this novel. Caden Flynn is back, along with other regular characters, Eve, Katie, and Ryan. There’s also a few new ones you’ll be meeting and one character, who had a minor role in A Cold Tomorrow, is now front and center.

I hope you’ll join me for the conclusion of the trilogy.

A Desolate Hour is now available for pre-order from all major book sellers. Pre-orders help tremendously with a book’s launch, so both the Mothman and I would be highly jazzed should you like to place an order now. 😀 Just click here to pick the bookseller of your choice.

And if you happened to miss books 1 and 2, the purchase links are below.

A Thousand Yesteryears (Book 1) is on sale for .99 until February 4

A Cold Tomorrow (Book 2)

Welcome D. S. Nelson with A Deadly Orientation

Please welcome D. S. Nelson who is here with her latest release, A Deadly Orientation. She has a fabulous post that takes a look at an ancient myth and the practice of geocaching—something that has always fascinated me. And who can resist a treasure hunt? 🙂 Read on….

The Ultimate Treasure Hunt 

First of all I must give a huge thank you to Mae for inviting me over to talk writing, myth and legend with you all. To set the scene I’d like to tell you a story:

‘The moon is full and the lake lazily licks the shore in harmony with the gentle hum of voices from the hillside. The Balsa Muisca, a golden raft, is adrift in the middle of Lake Guatavita. Glistening in the light of the moon a naked man stands proudly on the raft, head held high his skin covered in golden dust. He is the new king of the Muisca people and this is his coronation.

Four burning torches stand at each corner of the raft. The air is heavy with the smell of incense. Strewn across the raft are gold, jewels, plaques, crowns and sacred items. The new king’s consorts reach down and throw the offerings into the water, the gold sacrificed to the gods and the lake. This is the lost gold of El Dorado.’ 

When I decided that the theme for the next Blake Hetherington Mystery was going to be geocaching I needed a way to link it to an interesting back-story. Geocaching is contemporary treasure hunting for the cool and as a geocacher you follow a set of co-ordinates to a cache. You can swap SWAG  (Stuff We All Get) at the cache and log your find on a central website. If you’re lucky you may even achieve the highly coveted FTF (First to Find). What better than to tie all of this together than with the ultimate treasure hunt: the search for the lost gold of El Dorado.

An Aztec drawing of figures in black on a gold background

Image courtesy of Pixabay

There are many theories as to what the lost gold of El Dorado actually is. Some think it is in the ‘House Of The Night’, a place where the sun sets, others believe the lost city has never been found, but the most popular line of thought is that the lost gold lies at the bottom of Lake Guatavita. The lake was used for the coronation ceremony of the new Muisca king and, as the story above describes, there was plenty of gold thrown into the lake.

By Andrew Bertram (World66) [CC BY-SA 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Andrew Bertram (World66) [CC BY-SA 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 Lake Guativita is high up on top of a steep sided hill in Columbia. Approximately five different attempts have been made to drain Lake Guatavita, the earliest of which was in 1545 when the conquistadors arrived in pre-Columbia.

A blue green lake surrounded by mountains

By Masanalv (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Antonio de Sepulveda made a second attempt in the 1580s and he used forced labour to cut a v shape into the side of the lake to try and drain it. Both these attempts failed. Interest was ignited again when in 1801 a German scientist, Alexander Von Humbolt, worked out that there could be as much as $300,000,000 at the bottom of the lake. Twenty years later Jose Ignacio Paris attempted the same strategy as Sepulveda again to no avail.

A more successful attempt was made by ‘The Company For The Exploration Of The Lagoon Of Guatavita’ when in 1898, they dug a tunnel into the side of the hill. This worked but within twenty-four hours the mud at the bottom of the lake was baked dry in the scorching sun. All the plunderers had amassed was approximately £500 nothing like the millions they had been promised.

In 1965 Lake Guatavita was declared a National Park, protecting it from any further interference. Is there more gold at the bottom of the lake? We’ll never really know, but the opening scene of ‘A Deadly Orientation,’ finds us on the lake with a group of people who’d like to find out.

To me the legend of El Dorado and attempts to drain Lake Guatavita are fascinating and this research formed the bases for the seventh Blake Hetherington Mystery.  Thanks again to Mae for inviting me over and I’d love to hear what you’ve heard about the lost gold of El Dorado.

Book cover of A Deadly Orientation by D. S. Nelson shows gold compass and knife over an old treasure map

‘A Deadly Orientation’ is available in e-book and paperback and you can get yours here.

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