Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guest Post: Richard Hebert

Okay, here is a fun guy, witty and sharp. I had the pleasure of meeting Richard at the annual Florida Writer's Association banquet. We shared a few laughs and talked shop (writers do that, ya know). So, I tell Richard that I write fiction, mostly fantasy. He tells me he writes metafiction.

What? What is that?

Oh, it's fiction that is aware of itself. As the kids say these days, "Mind=Blown". I must be living a sheltered life, I've never heard of it before that night. It sounds fascinating and I want to try it. In the meantime, here is Richard telling about his novel and a little about himself. 

MINDWARP, A Novella …And Other Strange Tales

A committee of muses sits about the living room of my brain, discussing matters of no great import. A motley group they are, having just finished their pizzas—one pepperoni, one vegetarian, one combo—hold the anchovies.
“Why in the world is he doing this?” asks the chair-muse, finger-flicking crumbs from her robe….

Thus begins a journey into the mind of a “deranged author” (it says so on the back cover!) and his collection of short fiction, MindWarp, a Novella…And Other Strange Tales. Kirkus Reviews, the self-described “World’s Toughest Book Critics,” described the novella and accompanying eight short stories by author Richard Hébert this way:

This scintillating collection…uses offbeat character studies to wrestle with snaky issues of identity and self-knowledge. Hébert’s loquacious, usually anonymous narrators are obsessed with penetrating the riddle of the people around them.

In “MindWarp,” a nameless writer battens for inspiration on Guy, a working-class barfly who is almost elemental in his beaten-down ordinariness. Things get complicated when Guy begins an affair with the feisty, appealing Yolanda; the couple pushes back against the writer’s determination to “warp” their reality into a fictional celebration of heroic failure—until the writer himself seems to become the unstable, increasingly desperate creation of his own story.

Quirky, opaque figures abound in other stories; “Ana, Always,” about a Yugoslavian youth’s efforts to fathom the tragic mystery of a middle-aged woman, is a meditation on family and exile; “Silence,” a somewhat affected tale about a guilt-burdened war veteran who acquiesces in his wife’s affair with an ex-comrade, finds power in the evanescent fracturing of its hero’s personality. Only in “Azazel,” a comic gem about a mythical desert herdsman who tends the world’s scapegoats until the powers that be decide he needs a ritzy California estate in which to receive humanity’s atonement, do we meet a man who thoroughly knows himself.

The author delights in mind games; the title novella is as much a commentary on the conundrums of fictional representation as it is a fiction. Fortunately, Hébert’s writerly conceits are rescued by the quality of his prose; his deadpan realism, mordant wit and acute powers of description ground his flights of abstraction in the soil of experience.

A beguiling blend of high-concept narrative and old-school literary chops.

Kirkus subsequently named the collection to its top 50 list of 2011 “Indie” books.
Hébert is a former award winning investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize nominee; a media relations manager and consultant; a nationally published magazine feature and documentary film writer, and world traveler. Many of his works of fiction, including the stories in MindWarp, were inspired by incidents encountered during his travels in Europe, Africa and North, Central and South America. He currently also writes a political blog – Richard’s Take – from his retirement home in St. Augustine, Florida.

His other published books include a memoir, Life Is Good; a novel, The Questing Beast, and Highways to Nowhere: The Politics of Urban Transportation

Mindwarp is available on Kindle:

It is also available in paperback, BN Nook, and directly from the publisher, Author House.

Signed copies are available directly from the author:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

One Step Closer

With the release of Episode Seven, Olivia and I are one step closer to the end. In fact, it is...

Sons of the King
Episode Seven
Beginning of the End

This is the penultimate episode of our Christian Sci-Fantasy story. The three brothers are on the verge of meeting their destiny.

I asked Olivia what she thought of the experience so far, writing with her father.


I prodded her, "That's it. You don't have anything else to say."


There you have it. It has been fun for both of us. One more episode next month. Until then, you can get Episode Seven: Beginning of the End right here:

About the book: Episode Seven is the beginning of the end. All of the choices of Ekron’s life are coming together in one fateful meeting. Esephis’s true plans are revealed and it looks that no one can stop him.Ekron left friends behind and even his older brother Taro. He has one last hope in finding his younger brother who has spent the last five years in the company of Esephis. He has no idea what he will find or how to stop the evil that is destroying Mysstira.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blog Tour: TK Harris has Phantom Dreams

Today, I have the privilege of launching the Official Blog Tour of author T. K. Harris. She starts by sharing how her novel, Phantom Dreams, was born.

It started with a dream. I know cliché right? But it really did. I had a dream that I was walking through a large crowd of people, surrounded by white canvas tents. I am moving quickly but don't know why, when suddenly the crowd parts and there is a man in front of me, carrying a sword and it is aimed right at me. Then, just as quickly, the woman is no longer me and I am now watching. I woke up before the sword drove home. And that's how Phantom Dreams was born.

I wish I could say that I wrote it all down in a flash and everything just worked itself out. But, that didn't happen. First it percolated in my brain while I went about being a full-time mother while working a 60 hour a week job. (And that was a short week!). And then, I began writing down bits and pieces late at night in between trying to write and publish other stories. And I began to become more and more frustrated.

First, the stories that I had sold to date were short stories. In fact, the first publication I had ever been paid for was a 1200 word mystery sold to But it is a very different skill set to go from short stories to a full-length novel. I was good at cutting to the chase, getting to the point and well, you know the rest. So, I floundered. Second, I let my book slip in my priorities. I spent the next few years putting my effort into my work, family, a multitude of personal projects (I'm a Gemini and we can't help it), subsequent divorce, the 2008/2009 layoffs, and the many other awesomely awful and wonderful things that life carelessly threw in my path and laughingly under my feet to see how many times it could make me fall.

And then, one day, I realized I was frustrated for another reason. Nothing ever seemed to get done! I got mad. I wasted a little more time and then I did the only thing I should. I got focused. I made myself sit down and write a list of what I wanted out of life. My ideal job. My ideal partner. My ideal finances. My projects. And I wrote those lists and decided to start focusing. My first project was paying of debt (still working on that!). The second was finishing the d*m# book! The right way. (Or is it the "write" way? – Feel free to groan.)

I put the book out to beta readers and got feedback. And then began the arduous task of editing, rewriting and editing some more. And then began putting it out there on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, etc. I got a great review on Kirkus Reviews and started getting great comments.

I have marketed, tweaked it, re-edited it and developed a new book cover since it first launched but I still remember my first real sell. Not the books that were bought by friends and family. No. It was that one sell when you realized someone you didn't know, had just purchased your book.

And now, all I can ask myself is, 'why didn't I do this sooner?'

About the author: T.K. Harris was born in California and lived a gypsy sort of life traveling the world as a military brat. She has been writing since she was a child and as had several short stories published by various magazines, including one in Woman's World. She currently lives and works in Colorado as a Senior Solutions Architect and IT Instructor and has recently had her first novel, Phantom Dreams, published. She is looking forward to her next two books, already outlined and partially written. You can find out more at:

About the book: A scorned serial killer on an old vendetta. An FBI agent who has been chasing monsters for too long. A woman whose nightmares start invading her waking life. 
FBI Special Agent Jack Matthews finds himself on yet another serial killer case, having barely recovered from the last disastrous hunt. Still stiff from a gun shot wound in his leg, under investigation for a botched job, and having lost his fiancée when she walked out on him, Jack is beginning to wonder if it isn’t time to move on to something new. But, for Jack, these cases are personal and he can’t say no. 
Marketing specialist Kathy Gilliam leads a fairly boring life. If she’s not working or caring for her ailing father, then she is doing whatever it takes to avoid going anywhere near crowds of people. Her few distractions include her friend Margo Longfellow, occasional hiking trips, and her increasingly alarming dreams of women dying.
As her nightmares cause her to begin to doubt her sanity, the media releases news of the “Coast-to-Coast Killer” and Kathy discovers her dreams may be related. In a moment of panic, Kathy does something that places her on the FBI’s “persons of interest” list. Suddenly, her life is set on a collision course with Jack who must decide if Kathy is the killer or destined to become a victim.

You can get Phantom Dreams 
on Amazon Kindle for only $2.99

Also available on Nook and Kobo

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New and Different

So Giovanni had this idea and he issued a challenge to me. The result:

The Defective Amish Detective
Volume 1
The Whoopie Pie Affair

I entered a new world with this one. The G-Man is known for his zany ideas, so together we developed a story which is unlike any other I have done. It is both hilarious and heartfelt. Giovanni's bold personality shines through, making it hard to believe he is not a fictional character. The story is crafted in such a way as to blur the line between fiction and reality. 

The events are outrageous, but the characters are honest and direct. I enjoyed building the relationship between Gio and Eli. Their connection is such that they were practically life-long friends from the moment they accidentally met.

My writing has always been Christian influenced, but this is my first big step into Amish fiction. Aside from one other WIP on the subject, I am learning a lot about the Amish. It is important to me (and Giovanni) to treat the people and their beliefs with great respect, while still having fun. I think we managed that.

The story is simple, a cozy mystery with an unlikely culprit. We may go a little more complex in future stories, but the goal is to have fun.

The Defective Amish Detective
Volume 1
The Whoopie Pie Affair

ONLY 99 Cents
For a LIMITED time!

Get it here:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blog Tour and Contest: Keith Rommel

Today, I am hosting a fellow Floridian author, Keith Rommel. He's originally from New York, but he moved to sunny climes and is hard at work on his series Thanatology. With the release of the second book in the series, Keith is having a contest on Pinterest. Read below to find out how you could win!

What happens after we die? Are we given choices based on how we lived our lives? It’s an age-old question pondered by just about everyone.

Author Keith Rommel dared to explore the answer by creating his newest novel The Lurking Man, a story of dark suspense that unmercifully reveals the life of a self-deluded, neglectful mother who caused irreparable damage to her family and ultimately struggles with death as much as life. It’s the second novel in his suspenseful and thrilling Thanatology series that began with the eerie, spine-tingling The Cursed Man.

“Imagine Death knowing your deepest, darkest secrets and all of your private pain,” said Rommel about The Lurking Man. “Now imagine it wants to use what it knows against you so that you bend to its will.”

In The Lurking Man, main character Cailean stands beneath a spotlight in a blinding snowstorm. She has no idea where she is or how she got there, but she senses something moving around her in the darkness outside the light.

When the ominous presence calling himself Sariel makes himself known, he declares that he is Death Incarnate and that Cailean has died. He has taken her to the Aperture, a place between the living and the dead, where he will force her to face the sins of her past in exchange for twenty-four hours of life to try and right her wrongs. But what she must do in return for this precious time is unthinkable.

Rommel’s series is titled due to Thanatology being a study that explores death and dying. Rommel has taken this science to a fictionalized, gothic-style horror level that may leave you breathless and unable to stop your mind from contemplating how you live your own life.

The books are grouped in the series due to the nature of the theme, but each book may be read independently. “Those who read in order will be able to catch glimpses from previous book(s), but it is not dependent upon each individual story,” Rommel said.

The Cursed Man and The Lurking Man are released by Sunbury Press. Book three in the Thanatology series is on schedule for a summer 2013 release. The Cursed Man is currently being considered as a feature film.

Get involved in Keith Rommel’s book tour by taking part in his Pinterest contest! If you don’t have Pinterest go to to sign-up!

For those of you already pinning, make a board titled something like “Book Contest~The Grim Reaper” or you can make your own title. It doesn’t have to be morbid, just make it fun! Especially with Halloween month upon us, there are all kinds of things out there that will make it fun.

You MUST at least pin the photos with link to The Cursed Man and The Lurking Man, Keith Rommel’s two books in his Thanatology series, and pin the link to his blog tour dates.

You can find the books with links to re-blog on the example board at:

You can find the blog tour schedule to pin at

You have until 11:59 p.m. EST the final day of the tour to create your post. Be creative, the best board wins an ARC paperback copy of The Cursed Man, an e-book of The Lurking Man and some cool bookmarks! This is for USA and CANADA only.

You must leave a comment back here, or under the post at Keith’s blog, that you did the contest with the link and with your email so we can get in touch with you! And if you had a great time and read the book be sure to click "like" on book seller sites and let us know what you think.

Some ideas to get you started:

*Think outside the box!
*Think about all the psychological horror movies relating to cheating Death.
*Think about fun creatives like food or clothing for a book party (for a book launch or book club).
*Think about colors, art, music, visuals that relate to stories of the Grim Reaper.
*It doesn’t have to be morbid, make it fun especially with Halloween parties coming up!

Keith Rommel’s books are about how Death comes in different bodily forms and shapes—sometimes in the shadows…hiding in the darkness, hiding in our minds, making us think back on our lives, yet sometimes in the daylight, haunting and maddening our mental state.

About the Author: Keith Rommel is a native of Long Island, New York and currently lives with his family in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Rommel is a retail manager and has enjoyed collecting comic books since he was a child (a hobby inspired by a teacher in grade school to help overcome a reading comprehension disability).

Rommel is the author of two books in his Thanatology series entitled The Cursed Man and The Lurking Man. The Cursed Man is currently being considered as a feature film. He enjoys offering his experiences to other authors, writing several articles about writing and publishing, and is currently fast at work on the third novel in the Thanatology series which is scheduled for a summer 2013 release.

He also has several other novels in the works. Besides writing, he also enjoys watching the New York Giants, scary stories, and spending time with family.

You can get The Cursed Man on Kindle here: 

You can get The Lurking Man on Kindle here: 

Both books are also available in paperback.

You can find Keith here:

Twitter: @keithrommel

Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

My good friend and author Sudè Khanian is hosting a giveaway to celebrate the holiday. She asked me to join the celebration and I had to say yes!

For my part, I am contributing the first story from the One series. Meant To Be introduces the series, but also tells the story of a small miracle in my life.

But wait, there's more!

Ellen C. Maze's best-selling story of a devoted priest cursed for all eternity.

And Sudè's own story, The Magical Rose

Follow the link below to join the celebration!

Leanne Herrera Has a Story to Tell

I am happy to be part of Leanne Herrera's blog tour today! She is about to share a little story.

This is how I write. This is how I have always written. This is how I will always write. Not because any other way is incorrect, but because this is what works best for me.

I power write. I start the story on the page, and let it flow until I am too tired to write, or I run out of words to say. (Those that know me know that this is near impossible.) I do absolutely no research.

I can remember sitting in front of one such story teller and was amazed by the story he told. It was not about his era, which was far from modern, or about something he experienced. It was simply, a story, a notion from his head, something he made up on the fly.

The ideas that come to me are, often, something I cannot get out of my head until I put it on paper. So that is exactly what I have always done. I thought it, and then wrote it down.

I have tried several other ways. I have tried breaking apart a story and defining characters, main ideas, objectives, conflicts, the climax and the ending. Once I was finished, I felt I was prepared to finally sit down like a grown up author and write a story.

Then I realized I could no longer write the story. I no longer had a story to tell. Why, you may ask? I had already written it. I had written it in pieces. A part was for characters and all the other sections, formally excusing the story from my head and therefore losing all of it.

I effectively lost interest and the actual story was never written. While this method works for other authors, it is simply not what I am capable of. It was then I realized I am like the old man that sits on his porch, amusing the children. I am a story teller, so let me tell you a story.

About the author: Leanne Herrera is a mother and grandmother with a BFA in ceramics sculpture. She has always loved telling stories, whether it be in the form of her art, poetry or the written word. She has a love for books and animals. She has traveled the world, first with her father when he was in the military and then with her husband of twenty years who was also in the military. Right now she lives in Florida but one day hopes to own a farm with lots of rescue animals, where she can write and throw clay.


Get Mirror Bound on Kindle for $3.99 (free for Prime users)

or ONLY $6.00 in paperback

Monday, October 1, 2012

Guest Post: Dawn Colclasure Escapes

My guest today, Dawn Colclasure, shares her thoughts on writing poetry and how the author can escape into his/her own special world.

When it comes to writing poetry, one rule of fiction applies: There are several types of genres to choose from. You can write romantic poetry, horror poetry or fantasy poetry. Writing futuristic poetry is another option – even poets like to envision what kind of world we may one day live in.

And sometimes, it’s not even our world that we write about when we write poetry. It could be any kind of world at all, one of our own making that can exist in fantasy poetry. This is where the poet has the chance to “escape” to a world where we can only dream about certain things actually happening. A cure for a disease? It’s there. A magical potion to take the burn scars away? Find it in the mysterious cellar. Something to use against nightmare monsters compromising our ability to sleep? It’s just a wish away.

Writing fantasy poetry offers the poet another benefit: We have the chance to step into a world where we can be ourselves without criticism. If we always dreamed of traveling the world as a dancing magician, it can happen with fantasy poetry. Another benefit is that writing fantasy poetry allows the poet to be seen by others for who we are on the inside – someone who is big, brave and magical – and not how we are on the outside – scarred, broken or slow.

That’s one thing writing fantasy poetry does for me. With fantasy poetry, I can be beautiful and not scarred or I can hear instead of being deaf. And I can do anything with two good strong hands when I only have one hand that has all five fingers on it (the other hand has three). My poetry chapbook, Follow That Dream, may have poems about what it’s like to be in a hospital so much and teen angst, but it also has fantasy poetry where I got to be a maiden or a sea captain. Poetry brought those worlds to life. Fantasy poetry allows me to create the kind of world where the scarred and disabled are not so limited and completely accepted just as they are.

When the poet sits down to write, no matter what kind of poetry that will be written, it is a chance to create a world where anything is possible, even a cure. Even acceptance. It’s a world where magic happens, and that’s the greatest kind of world to escape to of all.

About the author: Dawn Colclasure is a writer who lives in Oregon. Her articles, essays, poems and short stories have appeared in several newspapers, anthologies, magazines and E-zines. She is the author of seven books, among them BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: How We Survive as Writing Parents; 365 TIPS FOR WRITERS: Inspiration, Writing Prompts and Beat The Block Tips to Turbo Charge Your Creativity; Love is Like a Rainbow: Poems of Love and Devotion and the children’s book The Yellow Rose. She is co-author of the book Totally Scared: The Complete Book on Haunted Houses. Her Web site is at

About the book: Follow that dream. Take a few moments to read poems meant to seek refuge from the harsh realities of life, from pain, confusion and loneliness. Allow these poems to take you on a journey of wherever your imagination may lead you. The poems in this book share coming-of-age struggles and the fantasies created in order to offer a temporary escape from the real world.

Follow That Dream

ONLY $5.99 in paperback


ONLY $2.99 for Kindle

Kate Tenbeth is "Unlucky"

My friend, and author, Kate Tenbeth has an exciting new release! Here is the official story from her publisher:

Hello everyone! GMTA Publishing has a new YA novel set to come out on October 1st by Kate Tenbeth! Here's your first look at the amazing cover by UK artist Elizabeth Eisen!

About the book: There are always high stakes to play for in the world of gambling, but it’s a world 15 year-old Holly Maddon knows nothing about until her step-mother tries to kill her. The race is on as she tries to discover what her step-mother is up to and whether her father was murdered. She comes up against gangsters, multi-million pound land deals, treachery and deceit, she’s kidnapped, shot at and loses just about everything she loves – it’s a rollercoaster of a ride and Holly's intent on turning the tables.

About the author: I live in Essex with my son, who is studying at University, and my two cats, Puzzle and Bud. I’ve always loved writing and in January 2011 I got together with some friends and set up a writers’ group at our local library. One of our first guest speakers was a young lady called Penelope Fletcher who talked to us about self-publishing – I was so inspired I went back home, found some stories I’d written for my son when he was young and started the process of learning how to self-publish. I published 3 books in the Burly & Grum series and then in July 2012 was lucky enough to be signed up by GMTA. I’ve enjoyed every single second of my journey so far, learnt an incredible amount and I’m looking forward to the future!

About the artist: Elizabeth Eisen is a 23 year old freelance illustrator from North London. She graduated from the University of Westminster with a BA Hons in Illustration in 2011 and has since worked on commissions ranging from album artwork to editorial. Further examples of her work can be found at

Get Unlucky Dip by Kate Tenbeth today! 
ONLY $3.99 on Amazon Kindle 
(FREE to Prime users)