Welcome A.M. Manay with She Marches Through Fire #Vampires #NewRelease #RRBC

I’m delighted to welcome A.m. Manay, sister author with RRBC to my blog today. She’s here to share some background on her newest November Snow novel. I’ve already read the first two books in this series and have pre-ordered book 3, She Marches Through Fire, which releases in just a few days. The amount of world-building Anne Margaret has put into this series is phenomenal. Highly recommended by moi. 🙂

In the meantime, please say hello as Anne Margaret shares some background about a unique setting in her books…

~ooOOoo~

“Sanctuary Setting” 
by A.M. Manay

In both She Lights Up the Dark and the forthcoming She Marches Through Fire, November hides in the basement of an historic church in Oakland, California.  Churches have a long history as places of sanctuary for those hiding from persecution or arrest, so I found it thematically appropriate to make a church November’s place of refuge.  The church is based on the one I actually attend, which continues to be a beacon for social justice even as its membership has dwindled since its heyday following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.  I wonder if the internet sleuths among you could identify it based on the details in She Lights Up the Dark . . .

The sanctuary building of my church was constructed in 1913, and the heating system is thus based on century-old technology.  The basement chamber where November and company hide is part of that system.  A furnace heats steam, which is sent into coils that form blocks of copper tubing several feet deep.  An enormous fan the size of a bedroom blows air past those heated coils.  The hot air fills a half-height chamber, then it rises through vents into the sanctuary above.  This photo is of that short chamber, where November and company hide.

dark basement room of old church

As you can see from the photo, the accommodations for November and her companions are not exactly lavish.  It’s dark and damp down there.  The ceiling is criss-crossed with old pipes and sharp bits ready to scratch the unwary and to test the efficacy of tetanus shots.  The space is littered with old, rusting equipment.

And yet, unsightly as this basement room is, it keeps us warm every Sunday in real the real world, and it protects my characters in the pretend one.

It’s a testament to my characters’ desperation that no one complains much about their hiding place’s physical condition.  Otherwise, it would be hard to imagine Luka, in particular, choosing to rest somewhere so beneath his station in life.

In She Marches Through Fire, November and Luka wind up spending the day beneath the church having just survived an enormous vampire brawl, a car chase, and a multi-vehicle collision at high speeds, after weeks of the enemy constantly nipping at their heels.  That’s probably about what it would take to get me to sleep down there.  How about you?

To find out just how much November needed sanctuary, pre-order your copy of She Marches Through Fire, arriving March 28th.

Book cover for She Marches Through Fire by A. M. ManayTitle: She Marches Through Fire (November Snow Book 3)
Series: November Snow
Author: A.M. Manay
Cover design: A.M. Manay
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Genre: Supernatural fantasy

Mini-blurb:
Psychic vampire November Snow must battle grief, injury, and her own family as she fights evil on all sides. She seeks a cure for the poison sapping her strength and a fairy weapon as powerful as it is dangerous to wield. When it is time to save the innocent and gain justice for her maker, will she find the strength to march through the fire?

EXCERPT:
Luka woke, and his body jerked as he registered the presence of the silver bindings holding him helpless on the floor.  He looked up at his companions: Pine, Hector, Raina, and Gul.

“Oh, dear,” he commented bleakly.

“Tide has turned a bit, you worthless bastard,” Hector said, unable to resist the urge to needle the man he despised.

“Indeed, it has,” Luka admitted.  “The wheel of fortune does turn.  One day at the top, and the next . . .  Well, here we are.  Are you going to torture me, Hector?  Make me beg for death?” he mocked, widening his eyes in fake fear.

“He wouldn’t stoop to your level,” Pine replied tensely.

Luka looked from Pine to Hector and back again before a grin spread over his face without reaching his eyes.  “My, my.  How deliciously perverse.  Whatever will your Grandma Hazel say?  Did you know she used to keep a werewolf head mounted on the wall of her bedroom?  You have to do some kind of special magic on it so it doesn’t turn back into a human one when the creature dies.  I’m not really familiar with the details.  At any rate, it was quite the conversation piece.  Do you suppose she still has it stashed somewhere?  In some ratty storage facility in suburban Nevada or something?  Can you imagine?  That would make a very special episode of Storage Wars, don’t you think?”

“Shut up, murderer,” Hector said, his hands balling involuntarily into fists.  His knuckles glowed white against his brown skin.

“And speaking of murderers, dear Pine, has Hector told you how old his father was when I so cruelly had him slain?”  A cloud crossed Pine’s face.  “He hasn’t?  Well, that should make for an interesting tale, indeed, but I don’t think you’ll much enjoy it.  Might give you bad dreams.  You know, if fairies slept.”

“I know how old Carlos was when you murdered his family and stole his childhood,” Pine managed to reply, in a voice that shook more than he’d intended.  “You’re vile.”

“Tell me, Hector, do you mutts still leave your defective children to the elements?  Poor little cripples who’ll never turn—  freezing to death in the snow, or burning up with thirst?  Mauled by vermin?  Pecked at by razor-beaked birds before they even expire?”  Luka had dropped his pretense of jocularity, his fangs now peeking out of his snarl.

“Enough,” Raina declared.  “I need to see to November, and I may need Luka’s help.  Savita may need him as well, if Greg will allow it.  Nobody is torturing or killing anybody today.”

“What’s wrong with November?” Luka asked, the hostility suddenly gone from his voice, replaced by concern bordering on fear.

“I told you, William shot her,” Raina said impatiently.

“So, you pull the bullet out, and she heals.  What’s the problem?” Luka asked, increasingly agitated.  “Even a baby can take a bullet or three.”

Gul and Raina exchanged a look.  “William poisoned the bullet, which shattered in her leg,” Gul finally explained.  “Some exceptionally strong werewolf toxin.  I believe you’re familiar with it, since he got it from one of yours,” he added pointedly.  “It would be quite helpful if you could give us the antidote.”

Luka looked stricken.  “I had plenty of it.  In the house.  Before it burned to the ground.”

“That is highly unfortunate,” came Gul’s understated reply.  “For both of you.”

 

SHE MARCHES THROUGH FIRE is available for pre-order at most booksellers

Connect with A.M. Manay at the following haunts:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter

The Monday Buzz from Story Empire 3-20-17

old world type map with script writing laid over top and words Story Empire set off as a bold headerNot only is it Monday and the start of a new work week, but it’s the first day of spring. Although it doesn’t look or feel spring-like in my corner of the world, I’m hoping mild temperatures return soon, bringing the flora and fauna that go with them.

In the meantime there is always the Monday Buzz from Story Empire to distract me.

And speaking of distractions, SEer Joan Hall has a great post today about blocking them when you’re trying to write. This one was an eye-opener for me. Hop over and check it out!

The Monday Buzz from Story Empire 3-13-17

old world type map with script writing laid over top and words Story Empire set off as a bold headerAnother week and another Monday. What’s the weather like in your part of the world? Two weeks ago we hit 75 degrees, an oddity for March, but a pleasant one. Tomorrow, a snow storm is poised to strike, Originally, the forecast was for six inches or more, but it’s since been upgraded to 10-18 inches.

Seriously? I have daffodils budding, and I saw my first robin yesterday. That all seems meaningless with the great white winter bearing down.

In other news, I’ve started working on a book proposal/draft that has me jazzed. It’s my second go round. The first proposal didn’t have pizzazz, but this one has me hooked. It’s progressing slowly, but progressing, and that’s reason to celebrate.

Another reason to celebrate is broadening our scope as authors. Today, on Story Empire, P. H. Solomon gives an introduction to Scrivener. This is a program I’ve had on my computer for a while but haven’t taken the time to learn. I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to see what insights P. H. has to share. While you’re roaming about the blogosphere, hop over and have a looksee.

P.S…to my early readers who may have seen the link about branding, I apologize, I had my dates mixed up. Didn’t I tell you it was a Monday! 😀

A Friday Visit

It’s Friday and that’s always a cause for celebration for me when the work week winds down to a close. Not that I don’t love my career in the working world, just that the weekend means I have more time to devote to my other enterprise—building my brand as an author. With that in mind, I’m excited to be the featured guest at Teri Polen’s blog, Books and Such, for Indie Author Friday.

Teri invited me over to answer a handful of questions about my writing habits. Granted, I’m not sharing the secrets of rocket science, but it’s all good fun. Hop over and say hello if you get a spare moment while you’re roaming the blogosphere. And while you’re there, poke around Teri’s blog and consider giving her a follow. Not only is she an author, but she reads a ton of books, too. There’s no better combo in my mind! 🙂

Did He Really Say That?

Happy Wednesday! The idea for today’s post came about from watching an old TV show. It made me realize that even when some things are wrong, they’re right.

Let’s talk dialogue and social attitudes. When I wrote my Point Pleasant series (set in 1982 and 1983) I had to stop and remind myself of words and expression that weren’t in use at the time. Even the morals and attitudes of the era were different.

Edward Mulhare and Hope Lange

Edward Mulhare and Hope Lange by NBC Television (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Lately, I’ve been DVRing a few old TV shows. When I was kid, I was hooked on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.  The idea behind the series came from a 1947 movie by the same name, but I didn’t know that at the time. Although the TV series was short-lived—two seasons—it was enough for me to fall madly in love with Edward Mulhare in the role of Captain Gregg. He was the “ghost” in the series title, a dashing sea captain who finds his home invaded by a young widow, her two small children, their maid, and a dog. Although the original movie was drama, the TV series played for comedy with romantic sparks flying between the stalwart Captain Gregg, and Mrs. Muir, the lovely widow. Watching it now, it’s horribly dated, but still makes me smile. Hubby, on the other hand can’t see the attraction.

Johnny Crawford and Chuck Connors of The Rifleman TV western

Johnny Crawford and Chuck Conners of The Rifleman by ABC Television (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

We do, however, enjoy another old series, produced before I was born. The Rifleman is a western about Lucas McCain, a widower and Civil War veteran who is raising his young son, Mark, on his own. Although Chuck Conners in the title role gets to do a lot of fancy shooting with his specially modified rifle, the heart of the series is about the relationship between father and son. I’m a sucker for that stuff.

I was completely unfamiliar with The Rifleman until my husband found it on an obscure channel and got me hooked. The other night we watched an episode that aired in 1962. Mark and Lucas are cleaning up dinner dishes. Thoroughly enjoying the episode, I made the comment to hubby that “I’m gone on this series.”

This is the dialogue exchange between Mark and Lucas that immediately followed my comment:

Mark: (standing at sink and looking at a dirty dish) This isn’t clean, Pa.

Lucas: I guess that just goes to show the best dish washer is still a woman.

*Hysterical laughter from my husband*
*Yelling at the TV from me*

Husband: Are you gone on it now?

When I got done yelling (and he wiped his eyes from laughing so hard), I reminded myself the episode aired in 1962. Not only that, it reflected a time frame not long after the Civil War. Even if the episode was remade today, the mentality would be correct for the time period in which the show was set. Hard as that dialogue exchange is to swallow, there is nothing wrong with it when placed in perspective.

I remember writing a short story set in the 70s and cringing when I had to use the term stewardess instead of flight attendant. But I grew up hearing that term and it was correct for the time.

We all try to be authentic in our writing, but are there phrases you’ve had to use (based upon an era or time period) that made you cringe? Can you think of any example like mine from The Rifleman that made you roll your eyes or laugh? Heck, maybe you just want to tell me what silly old TV show you still remember fondly, despite the fact it would send PC monitors shrieking into the wild.

Let’s have some fun in the comments!

The Monday Buzz from Story Empire

old world type map with script writing laid over top and words Story Empire set off as a bold headerIt’s my turn in the wheelhouse at Story Empire today. With tax time in full swing and April’s deadline looming around the corner, I thought I’d share some thoughts on writing as a business versus a hobby. At some point or another we all have to cross that line. When I signed off on the dotted line of a publishing contract in 2012, the writing venue transitioned from hobby to business and I found myself faced with a whole new set of information to track.

I’m sharing a few things I’ve found helpful in establishing the business side of my writing. I’d love to get your input and any tips you may have too and invite you to join me for Writing: Business or Hobby?

The Monday Buzz from Story Empire

old world type map with script writing laid over top and words Story Empire set off as a bold headerIt’s Monday. *yawn* I know it might be still early as you read this and you haven’t wrapped your head around the idea of another week stretching ahead. That’s normally me—still in weekend mode, and wondering what became of those few short days of bliss. Pff! I swear they get swallowed up in a time vacuum before I can blink.

My whining aside, may I suggest a jaunt over to Story Empire for today’s Monday post? Harmony Kent is on board with a unique take on creativity and lateral thinking. I’m headed there now, and invite you to join me for Harmony’s look at Droll Definitions.

Just let me grab another cup of coffee…

Are You Ready to Join? #RRBC #SpecialToday

You’ve heard me talk about Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) before. You’ve hear me bang gongs, blow trumpets and babble incessantly about how much I love being a member of this fantabulous organization. It’s the ULTIMATE social media platform for small press and indie authors, hands down.

And guess what?

Today only, you can join at a discounted price. Normal membership dues are $25.00 for a year, but today you can sign up for the discounted price of $20.00. That’s a paltry sum for the amount of support you’ll receive as a member.

Oval logo for Rave Reviews Book Club, white letters on blue oval with red border

Want to meet new authors?

Want to discover new books?

Want to have your own books read and reviewed by other club members?

Most of all, do you want to be part of an author community where the key word is SUPPORT?

As with most things, the more you participate in RRBC the more you’re rewarded through friendships, reviews and support.

Hmm…I do keep harping on that word “support,” don’t I? It’s there for a reason. It’s the backbone on which President, Nonnie Jules, has built her organization.

If you’ve been sitting on the fence, thinking of joining, now is a great time to take the plunge.

Still not sure how the whole thing works? Check out my RRBC page, and my blog post Let’s Talk Book Clubs  which explains the workings of RRBC in a nutshell. Then hop over to the RRBC sign-up page, and tell them Mae Clair sent you! We’d love to have you as a member.

IT’S NOT ABOUT ME…IT’S ABOUT US!

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