Monday, July 16, 2018

Book Feature : A Graveyard Visible by Steve Conoboy


by Steve Conoboy

There's a graveyard visible from Caleb's bedroom window, and it grows a little bigger every day. He sees funerals there each evening, but nobody's dying. He investigates, he measures. Misha, the strange girl who lives there with her grandfather, takes an unwanted interest in Caleb, and he can't shake her off. But he's sure those peculiar mourners, the same ones at each graveside every time, are forcing her into rituals against her will. He finds himself deep in a world of the dead, and it may be too late to climb back out.

This is a shivery story that takes a fresh look at a very familiar location - the graveyard. No mere zombies or vampires here. These revenants are being ripped from their final resting place, and all will be punished.

We meet Caleb, thirteen and still reeling from the death of his mother. He deals with this grief alone - his father is shut off in a world of work, and his grandfather is sinking rapidly into dementia. Misha, outcast by the other kids, could be his last chance at a friend - how far will he go for a shot at friendship? She is not easy for him to deal with. Misha has no love for a world that has labelled her as victim. Caleb, then, is in for a big shock when he expects her help in saving the town. These kids, already struggling to find their place in the world, will be tested to their limits as the horrors escalate...


OUT NOW on Amazon, and any online book store you can think of :)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Book Feature: The Dim Zone by Chris Turner

The Dim Zone

How far is too far?

Mercenary Yul Vrean is hired by billionaire CEO Mathias of Cybercore to bring back alien samples from a remote planet in the Dim Zone. It’s a region rife with murderous space pirates and slavers, the warlike Zikri and Mentera.

This alien technothriller is full of deadly space battles, extreme action, bio-mechanical fusion, killer aliens, a touch of the bizarre and fantastic… it will certainly intrigue fans of Alien, Predator and The Matrix.

In a race for mechnobot technology, genius Sigmund Hresh has engineered a prototype for what may be the holy grail of AI. The uses of such technology vary from the sinister to the saintly. Yul and his space thugs may be the only link preventing the next galactic war and saving the human colonies from hostile aliens.

The Making of The Dim Zone...

The booktrack audio component was based on many space classics with similar textures to Alien Covenant and Life. I created composite alien effects from mixes of digital samples and animals, using pitch effects and warping. All in all, an eerie backdrop to the alien planet Xeses, and later, the corridors inside the starship Orb of the Zikri hunters.

Enjoy The Dim Zone, the next book in The Timelost series:

Monday, July 9, 2018

Book Feature: Political Dirty Trick by James R. Callan

Political Dirty Trick, A Crystal Moore Suspense, Book #3
James R. Callan

Crystal’s good friend, Ron Drake, is a shoo-in to win the gubernatorial race in Texas. Two volunteers in the opposition camp(George and Ginnie) believe  their candidate’s only chance is a political dirty trick that will sink his numbers in the  polls.  They construct an elaborate hoax and with a source in the D.A.’s office, leak fake news to the media.
The dirty trick is successful and Drake’s numbers plummet. But things go wrong and a man is killed. Ginnie is determined not to get caught for the man’s death, and to cover it up, another man is killed.
Crystal sets out to find who is leaking the unfair information. She has no idea the murders are connected to the fake news. But as she begins to gather clues, Ginnie decided no one is looking for her or George - except Crystal. To Ginnie,  Crystal must be eliminated  and she makes several attempts on Crystal’s life.
Drake’s once invincible lead evaporates and on election day, he comes in second.  But the election isn’t over. The attempts on Crystal’s life aren’t either. Drake may lose the election.  And Crystal may lose her life.
Political Dirty Trick is the third of the Crystal Moore Suspense Series, but it can be a standalone read.  Nothing from the previous books in the series is needed to fully enjoy this book.
Senior Reviewer D. Donovan of Midwest Book Reviews said, “Powerful in its characterization, plot, and narrative interactions, Political Dirty Trick is the item of choice for thriller readers who like their stories steeped in realistic scenarios and possibilities.”

Thriller writer William Doonan said, “It’s tight, it moves along at a nice clip, the characters are engaging, and the tension is real.  It reads like a fast-paced James Patterson cliffhanger.”

It is available in digital, paperback, and hardcover formats from Amazon  or from IngramSpark.    

Friday, July 6, 2018

Book Feature: Saving Paludis by Clayton Graham

‘Saving Paludis’ by Clayton Graham

Over one hundred and forty light years from Earth, Paludis sits in the Pisces constellation, on the frontier of human exploration. It is verdant and beautiful – a world to be treasured. It has also been scarred by wars of colonization.
In the year AD 3989, human invaders control the planet and have done so for hundreds of years. Paludis is the planet's Earth name; the indigenous population, reptilian in nature, call their home Musk.
The Muskans are now restricted to a remote peninsula in the north-east of the main continent. The humans have taught the aliens their language and some of their ways, but the Muskans prefer the traditions of their ancestors. Or do they?
So what can go wrong? Well, quite a lot actually.
Mankind maintains a tentative footprint on this world, surviving on the proceeds of bauxite mining, with most living a hand-to-mouth existence. But when scientists from Paludis share a technological breakthrough with the Earth authorities, peace swiftly escalates to conflict.
Stefan Lattanzis never expected Paludis to become a battlefield, nor Earth for that matter. To try and save his home world, Stefan must team with two strangers, a botanist, Clare Cavanna, and mysterious seer Serpentine. As embattled factions vie for control of the universe, the trio must trust in each other to keep the new technology from ripping time and space apart.
            ‘Saving Paludis’ is not just an interstellar war novel. It reflects human nature in all its extremes: hate, jealousy, control, love and sacrifice. And what about the aliens – do they share these traits? In some ways yes, in others no. They are, after all, alien. But retribution is high on their agenda; an overwhelming desire to regain their planet. Quite how they attempt to do that must remain a secret! 
            If you like futuristic technology, alien political intrigue, and high-octane, paranormal action, then you’ll love this electrifying interstellar adventure!
I invite you to enter deep space, use the Einstein-Rosen bridges, and touch down on Paludis. Join Stefan and his friends to help save their world. You’ll love it!

For more on Clayton Graham and his books, visit his website and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. You can also join him on Goodreads.


Monday, July 2, 2018

Illustrator Interview with David Hillman

Today I'd like to welcome a very talented illustrator, David Hillman!

What made you want to be an illustrator?

I’ve been drawing since I was six years old, but it didn’t occur to me that I could make a living at drawing until I turned 13 and went to my first comic book convention. I was at the show, sitting in a corner just doodling a comic book character, and someone came up to me and offered to buy what I was drawing. I sold him the piece, and that’s when I realized I could make a living at drawing. I’ve been doing it ever since.

David, I can tell you put a lot of time into your illustrations. They are detailed and exceptional quality, how long does it typically take for you to complete one color illustration of a book?

A simple line drawing with flat colors typically takes about a day or two. A fully painted illustration can take between two or three weeks.

I am sure you have learned a lot over the years, what tips would you give a new illustrator starting out?

Be adaptable to changing taste, and be diversified in your skills. Try your hand at watercolors, pen and ink, colored pencils, markers, and computer skills. Explore as many fields of illustration as you can, whether it’s picture books, storyboards, comic books, and so on. The more fields you work in and the more diversified your skills, the more marketable you become.

Do you have any warnings could you give an author looking for a new illustrator? 

Before shopping for an illustrator have a fully prepared concept, business plan, and a budget. Beware of just going with the cheapest bid; you will get what you pay for. Talk to some of their clients to be sure they are reliable.

When an author contracts with you, do they own exclusive rights to the images, or does that have to be purchased separately?

Usually the images remain mine, but there is always room for negotiation.

Do Illustrators offer revisions of their work?

 I do. Usually the first round of revisions is included in the original quote, but any revisions afterwards would require additional compensation. It’s always best to ask before settling on a fee and signing any contracts.

David, any last words?
Do what makes you happy, and you’ll be much better off for it.

Thanks so much for sharing. Check out more of David and his work at the links below. Happy Reading!!

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Friday, June 29, 2018

13 Exciting July Middle Grade Summer Reads

I had some requests after my fantasy summer reading list to do another list including more genres. So here are some other titles to help you get your kids reading this summer. Check out all the fantastic authors below, these are in no particular order.

  Middle School Horror Club / Tales from the Middle School Horror Club
           Candy Darque, Eighth-Grade Vampire

Meet Candy Darque, a typical eighth-grader who just happens to be a vampire. All Candy wants is to have her proposed Horror Club accepted as an official school organization. But how can she concentrate on her campaign when her fangs pop out in the cafeteria? Or when she accidentally hypnotizes her entire class? Or when one of her best friends starts sabotaging her work? It's enough to make a girl want to bite someone!

A free preview of this book (first two chapters) is available on Bookfunnel. It is called  "Candy Darque, Middle-School Vampire: The First Day"  and tells about the day Candy first got her fangs.


  The Dragon Keeper Chonicles Book 1 CRIMSON 

Norterridane, a canine race of Genorrdia, have protected dragons for generations. But the dragon young are in danger. The Schorl serpents have found Genorrdia and threaten the lives of the dragons and their keepers. 

Crimson wants nothing more than to be a dragon keeper and follow in her father’s footsteps. When she stumbles upon two rare Obsidian dragon eggs and claims them as her own, she is thrown into a life she is not ready for. With little knowledge or experience about dragon keeping, Crimson sets off on a journey to protect the hatchlings. 

Crimson must learn to harness the powers of her dragons or lose everyone she loves.  

Elephants Never Forgotten

A hundred years in the future, twelve-year-old Nigella receives a shipment from her deceased grandfather. Her inheritance is a herd of micro-elephants. While a lot of her friends have micro-pets, Nigella is at a loss on how to care for them. Why are her micro-pets so different from everyone else's? What was her grandfather up to? With the help of her best friend, Kepler, the girls set off on an adventure to discover the truth.


The King's Ransom Book One

In Medieval Wales, three young friends are stunned when their mentor The Wild Man is accused of murder and theft. Determined to prove his innocence, they swear a Knight's Vow to succeed in freeing him or die trying.

Bound by loyalty and friendship, the three face danger and death as they embark on their Knight's Quest. In confronting their fears, hidden secrets are revealed, and lives are changed forever.

The Night I became a HERO {StoryKeeping Series 1 of 2}

This summer, story time with grandpa will change everything. 

Inside a glowing book, Space Spy Drift Elwick must defeat intergalactic pirates and save earth. But is it just a book? Riles, Sissie, and Finn want to help, but how? 

Will they find a way before it’s too late?

Find out in this action-packed, humorous, adventure chapter book receiving high praise:

“The best book for kids I've ever read. An immersive adventure that gave my daughter and I a magical experience.”

"Somewhere between The Boxcar Children and Harry Potter, this series follows a sibling set in and out of books, saving happy endings. A delightful read for middle grade boys and girls."

“A wonderful read filled with adventure, suspense, courage, and bravery!”

“The Story Keeping Series is Magic Treehouse meets The Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja.”

                                    Tunnel of Time

Do you think it's possible to be one place one minute, and then a completely different place the next? I'm talking a REALLY different place. My name is Gracie Hitt, and I did just that along with my sisters, Lizzie and Reba Dee. A normal Saturday at the County Fair turned out to be the most extraordinary time of our lives.

                                       Ruby Lane

Ruby is overexcited again, and her brain is spinning creative ideas so fast it feels like her head could explode!
Luckily, it's school holidays, so she's allowed to stay up late, reading adventure stories and playing dress-ups with her cat.
But when things get out of control, Ruby decides that helping a crazy pirate cat return a malfunctioning book to its rightful owner is the only logical solution...

                                  Autumn Eternal

Of all the places to grow up, Kip Carringer spent his youth in the secluded little town of Arno. Strange things were common there but no one seemed to notice, except for Kip that is. There was a witch living in the woods and all year long it was Autumn. And as if that's not strange enough, all the birds around the town and through the woods mooed like cows, instead of chirping or squawking like birds are supposed to do.
Kip was determined to uncover the secrets of the town, all while trying to convince his best friend Marleigh that he wasn't crazy. However, unknown to Kip, adventure was waiting for him just around the corner. Adventure that would be filled with pie stealing creatures and a dark, dark looming shadow. 

                       The Cowboy and the Unicorn

Siblings Micah and Sarah visit their grandmother’s lake house every summer, but they never imagined that a seemingly ordinary jaunt to the beach would lead them to an adventure of a lifetime.

A remarkable find holds the key to a magical world known as Hogar Haven, a strange world where goblins rule and visitors are forced to fight for their freedom. When they befriend a cowboy in the magical land, they soon discover just how difficult life is for those trapped in Hogar Haven. 

Soon, they find themselves working with the cowboy to help him save his horse, but they don’t have much time. If they don’t hurry, they just may find themselves trapped in the mystical world.

Can they find a way out before it’s too late?


                     The Rabbit Ate My Homework

Eleven year-old Drew Montgomery has not, does not, and will not ever want a stupid old rabbit. All they do is sit in their cages, eat carrots, and poop. Then his annoying little sister blackmails him into hiding a bunny in his closet. She knows what really happened to his "stolen" bike and she's threatening to tell. Now Drew’s in a real jam. If his "No pets!" parents find the rabbit or, worse, his sister blabs the truth, he'll be grounded till grade seven for sure.

And if that’s not enough trouble, two girls at school drag him into a prank war that goes from bad to worse--and it's all the rabbit’s fault. Plus, the weirdest girl in his class wants to be his science partner. If she tells him she wants to be his girlfriend, he just knows he’s gonna die.

Drew must find a way to outwit the mean girls, wiggle out of the blackmail deal, and get rid of the rabbit before it destroys his bedroom and his life.

Currently it is free at most retailers.


Daniel Green is a typical ten-year-old boy with just one difference – when he goes to sleep at night, he travels to Dreamland, a magical place where he can create amazing adventures using only his imagination.
But he is not alone. An evil being follows him into his enchanted world and joins forces with Stregona, the powerful witch who reigns over the Dark Forest. Together they are determined to destroy Dreamland.
Who is this dark entity, and what does he want with Danny?

A magical story for children age 9-12.

All Other Retailers

Confessions of A Nerdy Girl

First zit … first bra … first kiss …

A self-professed nerdy girl shares her deepest secrets and fears in a diary dedicated to her birth mother.



The Order of the White Boar

How well do you know the story of King Richard III? Not as well as Matthew Wansford.

Matthew, a 12-year-old merchant’s son, has always longed to be a knight. And his chance comes in the golden summer of 1482 when he arrives at Middleham Castle, home of King Edward IV’s brother, Richard, then Duke of Gloucester – valiant warrior at the age of 18, loyal brother, loving father, good master.

Soon Matt encounters a dangerous enemy. Hugh, a fellow page, is a better swordsman, horseman, more skilled in all the knightly arts – and the son of an executed traitor. A vicious bully, he aims to make Matt's life hell.

Yet Matt also finds the most steadfast of friends – Alys, Roger and Edward, the Duke’s only son. Together they forge a secret knightly fellowship, the Order of the White Boar, and swear an oath of lifelong loyalty – to each other and to their good lord, Duke Richard.

But these are not times to play at war. Soon Matt and his friends will be plunged into the deadly games of the Wars of the Roses. Will their loyalty be tested as the storm looms on the horizon?


 Happy Reading!!