Monday, July 30, 2018

Book Feature - The White Arrow

The Mystic Order of Withlings

The Bow of Hart Saga is set in the world of Denaria with its own history, people-groups, religions and history. Part of the back-drop for the first book of the series, The Bow of Destiny, is the history of the mystic order of Withlings. This religious order worships their deity, Eloch, by learning to spiritually abide in his presence. Their catch-phrase, "What is needed is given," best describes the outlook of Withlings; they can only serve as Eloch provides.

While this premise seems limiting, it isn't for Withlings who are capable of performing astounding miracles and speaking prophesies. Often, they will not speak of anything or act unless they determine from their mystic discipline that it is Eloch's will for them to do so. It is the basis of their lives that they best serve by learning total obedience. However, this does not make them infallible as they are just as apt as anyone to misunderstand the meaning of their actions and prophesies. Only the wisest of Withlings have learned to withhold their speculations regarding any action taken or events experienced.

At the time in which The Bow of Hart Saga is set, there are few Withlings left in Denaria so that few people have even met one in generations. Tales are remembered from past centuries of these once well-known servants of Eloch, but few know much of them anymore except for the longer-lived people-groups such as elves and dwarves who still revere Withlings.

One of the main characters from The Bow of Hart Saga is the Withling, Hastra. Part of Hastra's story is told in the short story, What Is Needed, which explains the events surrounding the demise of the Withlings. Interested readers are invited to read What Is Needed as well as the other prequel short story, Trading Knives.

The Bow of Destiny takes up the story of the Withlings amid much mystery and magic, focusing upon the young ranger of Auguron named Athson. This ranger is drawn into a quest involving a Withling prophecy about a mythic bow. Fantasy readers are welcome to join the hunt for the Bow of Hart by accompanying Athson on his adventure.

An Arrow Against the Wind continues the quest for Athson as he must determine the best course he should take in matters regarding his past and present, including the shared wisdom of Withlings. But Athson's distrust of Withlings and his familial past create a set of challenging choices which he determines to navigate on his own, almost heedless of consequences.

Once The White Arrow begins, Athson is faced with a new choice regarding Withlings, one which will seal his destiny. The march to the final confrontation leads Athson on a far different path than he anticipated and a far different answer to the questions of his past, his relationship with the Bow of Hart and the prophesied White Arrow.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Book Feature - Journey

What happens in Journey?
Carl wakes up naked and confused on a deserted beach, his last memories of being abducted by aliens. As he slowly begins to explore his new surroundings, he is greeted by a strangely dressed woman who offers to lead him to her village. He agrees, hoping the village has a means for him to contact home.
But the village is not what he expected. The people live in primitive conditions, without electricity and certainly not anyway to contact the outside world. In fact, most of the people in the village were not born on Earth. The woman, Tanya, informs him she is the Witchdoctor’s daughter and that the peninsula they live on is all there is. They can never leave with an impassable desert blocking a land escape and sea monsters blocking the water.
But Carl is different than the rest of the villagers. The aliens, unlike the other abductees, left his with his memory of Earth fully intact. He is determined to journey to the mainland and find a way to return home. His second task is to win the heart of Tanya, who is forbidden to have a man in her life.
To see Journey on Amazon please click here.

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!!

Linked In