Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat


Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:

Page 65

“The man behind the counter stared at him, but not in amazement, or in wonder at the discovery of another being. He stared in boredom, the stare of a man taking no joy in his job. Somehow, that stare added to the familiar warmth of the environment.”

Prelude to Mayhem by Edward Aubry

On May 30, 2004, the world transformed. Nearly all signs of civilization vanished, leaving in their wake a bizarre landscape of wilderness, advanced technology and magic, and leaving Harrison Cody very much alone. After weeks of surviving in solitude, he hears a voice on the radio, beckoning him to cross a thousand miles of terrifyingly random terrain to meet her, and any other survivors, in Chicago. Eager to find any remnants of humanity, he sets forth, joined by an unexpected—and inhuman—companion.

For Dorothy O’Neill, the end of the world means she will never finish ninth grade. On her own, she builds a home in the ruins of a strip mall, relying on her ingenuity and hard work to maintain some semblance of creature comforts. When another survivor arrives, he brings futuristic technology and stories of monsters he has encountered. Armed with this information, she takes a new interest in exploring her world, but she is not prepared for what awaits her, and the new arrival has brought his own set of problems.

On their separate journeys, Harrison and Dorothy begin to piece together what has happened to their world. Their questions have answers to be found in what remains of Chicago, and from the mysterious voice on the radio offering the hope that civilization can be rebuilt.

Book Tour · Giveaway

Midnight’s Edge Book Tour and Giveaway

Book 1:

Genre: Horror, Supernatural Suspense
Publisher: Melange Books
Date of Release: October 31, 2015
Pages: 213 pages
Links: PublisherGood ReadsAmazon PrintAmazon KindleBarnes & NobleSmashwords

The title, Midnight’s Edge, comes from the time of night where the veil between the living and the dead disappears and, for a brief moment in time, the dead can return to the mortal world and live again. It is a story of a vile, evil man named Jeremy Wickcliff, whose wife, Lucy, arranged his death years ago to save the town from his wrath of destruction. In present time, he has been plotting from the spirit realm, a place of purgatory, to return to the mortal realm to seek revenge on those who wronged him and reclaim the life ripped away from him.

“Why me? Why did you target me?”
He ignored my question as he so often had. “Open the door and go inside.”
I grasped the knob of the attic door. Unable to stop myself, I opened it. The air was dusty, thick. I could hardly breathe.
He was right. Once beautiful and full of life, I was now meager and weak. I had lost all control of my body and mind, and it was all thanks to him. He’d made my life miserable. He’d convinced me that I was a burden to all that I loved and that my life was meaningless to the point where I started to believe him.
I put my head down recalling the events of the last five years. I thought about everything I had lost because of Jeremy. My husband, my sanity, my life. Even though I tried not to show it, I couldn’t control the flood of tears that blinded me. Jeremy knew that my losses had become too much to bear, and he knew he’d beaten me.
“You got what you wanted,” I said, scanning the room. “I’m broken. Are you happy now? Why don’t you just leave me alone?”
“Destroying your life was just for fun,” Jeremy said. “Watching you squirm, cry, and beg were just things I used to amuse myself until Midnight’s Edge was upon us, and I was finally able to return to life. That time is upon us, my dear, and soon you’ll understand my true motivation. You should be honored, you’re an essential part of my plan.”
“How? Tell me. Enough with the games. What are you going to do to me?”
“I’m going to help you. I told you I could make your pain stop. The pain of a lonely, empty, meaningless existence.”
I felt the warm tears on my cheeks, and my breath grew heavier. “It’s that way because of you and only you. If you can make it stop, then do it.”
“First there’s something you must do for me.”
I felt as if he were suffocating me; as if he were holding a pillow against my face as I slept.
“I’m not going to do a thing for a sick bastard like you. Not anymore. The influence you had over me is broken. Do you hear me?”
He cackled. “I don’t believe that, and neither do you. I wouldn’t waste my last few precious breaths with a lie if I were you.”
I put my hand on my chest. “Last breaths? What do you mean?”
“I’m going to live again. You’re not.”
“You plan to kill me?”
“Not exactly. Think back to what I said to you earlier. Think back to what you said to your daddy dearest when you were in hysterics on the phone with him a while ago. You can remember.”
I tried desperately to block out his voice. “No. I won’t listen to this anymore.”
“You don’t have a choice. You never did. I’ll never stop tormenting you until I get what I want. You have to know that by now. Try to resist me if you want, but I promise you I won’t give you a moment’s peace. Now let’s get started. Look at what you’re holding in your hands.”
I glanced down at my hands realizing that I had been clutching a rope. His goal was finally clear to me. Jeremy hadn’t planned to kill me. He wanted me to kill myself. “I’m not going to die because of you. You may have taken everything else from me, but I won’t give you the satisfaction. I won’t take my life. I’ll never do it you sick son of a bitch. It doesn’t matter what you do to me.”
“You have two choices. You either do what I tell you to, or I’ll drive you even more insane. You won’t even know your name after I’m through with you. What kind of life is that?”
I realized that he was right. I’d known Jeremy was ruthless, but it was clear that his cruelty had no limits. I tried to be strong, to face him head on, but in the face of my death, I’d become just as scared as a little girl.
“I don’t want to die, Jeremy,” I said, wiping the tears from my face. “Please.”
He ignored me and continued to give commands. “Throw the rope over the beam above you.”
“You can pretend that you aren’t afraid, but I know you’re weak. You don’t have the will to resist me. If you did, I wouldn’t be inside your head now. Stop prolonging the inevitable and just do it, damn you.”
I clutched onto the rope tighter. “I have a family, a son. I’m not going to leave them.”
“They’re better off without a pathetic loser like you. You can’t even be a mother to your son, always pawning him off on your parents and the help.”
“That’s not true.”
“He’s not here with you now, is he?”
Freddy Wickcliff was my five-year-old son. I’d asked my parents if he could stay with them for a little while. I couldn’t tell them why. I couldn’t tell them that I couldn’t care for my son because a psychopath that was inside my head was driving me slowly insane. I hadn’t wanted Freddy to see me this way. I thanked God he hadn’t.
“That’s your fault, not mine,” I said. “It’s your fault that I’m like this. That I don’t have a normal life anymore.”
“Is that so? You can’t even take responsibility for your problems.  You’re a sad, pathetic waste. Everyone’s sick of always having to tiptoe around you, always covering for you.”
I wiped the tears from my cheeks. “Shut up!”
“You’d be doing everyone a favor if you put an end to this. If you truly loved them, you’d take the burden off.”
“You can’t control me anymore. I won’t let you.”
“Oh really? Look at what you’ve done.”
I looked around me. Without even realizing it, I’d fashioned a noose from the rope and threw it on the beam above where I stood. I’d also moved a chair underneath and stood on it.
“See?” he said. “You know I’m right. For your sake and for the sake of those you supposedly love, end this now.”
I stood there, finally defeated. Long soaked strands of my dark hair drenched with sweat and tears dangled in my face. I had thought that if my life were over, I’d never have to listen to him again. Maybe he was right; maybe my family was better off without me. Maybe I could find peace if I were dead, and so could they, no longer having to deal with my problems.
With no more will to fight, I slipped my head into the noose and took a deep breath.
“Good girl,” were the final words I heard as I stepped off the chair.

Book 2:

Horror, Supernatural Suspense
Publisher: Melange Books
Date of Release: March 1, 2016
Pages: 232 pages
Links: PublisherGood ReadsAmazon PrintAmazon KindleBarnes & NobleSmashwords

Successful in his plan to return to the mortal realm, Jeremy Wickcliff believes he’s found his son, whose body will allow him to continue to live, and he has brought back his sister, Rachel, as part of his resurgence plan for the Wickcliff family. However, the son that he thinks is his isn’t, and Rachel isn’t exactly his ally. Trapped in the Wickcliff mausoleum in the spirit realm, the Wickcliff ancestors have their own plan to return to life in the mortal realm, with or without Jeremy’s help.
As the witches begin to piece together Jeremy’s plan after a visit from his wife, Lucy, in spirit form, they realize that they must band together in an attempt to stop him from bringing his family back and to banish him back to the ghost realm. With a battle between good and evil takes place on the grounds of the Wickcliff cemetery, the outcome will change the lives of the residents of Sleepy Meadows forever.

Kasey hadn’t realized the extent of the danger his mother was in as he went up to her kitchen door and entered the house without knocking. She’d told him to come over in a hurry, and while Kasey was only five years older than me, the worry I saw as I studied his face made him appear much older than he was.
“Mom, I got here as quickly as I could. You sounded so strange on the phone. I could tell by the tone in your voice that something’s wrong. What is it?”
Gracey stood up slowly and pointed to Hilda. “Kasey, this is an old friend of mine, Hilda. You remember her.”
Kasey gave Hilda a nod, acknowledging that he did remember her. Hilda was one of Gracey’s dearest friends, but he hadn’t seen her in fifteen years. No one had until recently after she’d taken an extended absence from Sleepy Meadows. Much like his mother, he’d noticed that she hadn’t aged well. Her gray eyes still showed the kindness he’d always remembered she had, but now the shade of her hair, pulled back in a bun, matched. Her skin had withered, and while he hadn’t known what happened in her life while she was away, it was obvious that her experiences had weathered her. She appeared weaker and more frail than he remembered.
“Yes, I do,” Kasey said, smiling. “Mom talks about you all of the time. It’s nice to see you again.”
“I haven’t seen you since you were a teen,” Hilda said, her voice lower and not as feminine as Gracey’s. “I didn’t expect you to remember me at all. Your mother didn’t tell me what a handsome young man you’ve become.”
He blushed. “Thank you.”
“Please sit down,” Gracey said. “I need to talk to you.” He sat. “Would you like something to drink?”
“What I’d like is for you to stop stalling. I know that something’s bothering you, I always know. Just tell me what it is.”
Gracey smiled. “We do have a special connection, don’t we, son?” She lost her smile and winced.
“Are you alright?” Hilda asked.
“My leg’s bothering me,” she said, sitting down. “I’ll be fine.”
Kasey began to stand up. “Where’s your pain medication, Mom?”
Gracey put her hand on his arm, and he sat down again. “Don’t worry about that now. It makes me groggy. I need to talk to you clearly about this. All those years I spent taking care of you as a boy, I never expected that the roles would be reversed. You take such good care of me.”
He patted her on the knee softly. “I figure I owe ya one…or two…or fifty. When Ethan left, and I started drinking more, you were the one that was there for me.”
She rubbed his hand that was still on her knee. “I know what a burden I’ve become.”
He shook his head. “No, you haven’t. I do what I do because I love you.”
“And I love you, son. That’s why I need to tell you the truth now, for your sake.”
He removed his hand. “The truth about what?”
“About your biological parents, and how I became your mother.”
His eyes widened. “I’ve asked about them before, and you never gave me a straight answer. Why do you want to talk about them now?”
She sighed. “I’ve kept the truth from you because it’s what your mother asked me to do. When you were born, she made me promise to take you and keep you safe. However, you’re a man now, Kasey, and you can protect yourself. To do that, you need to know where you come from.”
He turned to Hilda. “Did you know my biological mother too?”
She nodded. “Let your mother finish, Kasey.”
He looked back at Gracey. “What were you keeping me safe from?”
She took his hand. “Not from what. From whom. Your mother was afraid of her husband.”
“Who was she? Why was she so afraid of my father?”
“Your mother’s name was Lucy Sheldon. She married a Wickcliff. He was ruthless.”
“I know the story of Lucy Wickcliff.” He took his hand back, exhaled sharply, and looked away from the women for a moment. He ran his hands through his dark hair, remembering the story he’d heard as a child about how she’d died. “She was married to Jeremy,” he said, meeting eyes with them again. The next thought he had sickened him. “Are you telling me that he’s my father?”

Book 3:

Horror, Supernatural Suspense
Publisher: Melange Books
Date of Release: November 15, 2016
Pages: 228 pages
Links: PublisherGood ReadsAmazon KindleBarnes & NobleSmashwords

In the third book of the Midnight’s Edge series, Kasey Menze has found himself misplaced from his life in the mortal realm. His body has been possessed by the vile spirit of Jeremy Wickcliff; His life has been stolen. He awakes in the spirit realm, a place of purgatory for those who have died, and encounters the spirit of Shelly Wickcliff, whose suicide was the result of Jeremy’s machinations to use her body as a vessel to return his sister Rachel from the grave. Together, with the help of Damon Shields, a mortal man with the shamanic ability to transcend his life force between the two realms and Shelly’s husband Rory, also a spirit, they must formulate a plan to exorcise Jeremy from the mortal realm so that Kasey may reclaim his life, and so that Jeremy can be stopped from fulfilling his prophecy that he’ll return his ancestors from the dead.

At first, Kasey Menze saw nothing but darkness. Slowly his eyes adjusted to his surroundings in the Wickcliff mausoleum. A shiver coursed through him from the dampness of the cold, stone floor on which he found himself.
He rubbed the top of his head, feeling dizzy, and confused. He tried to get up, but his legs didn’t hold him. At first, he thought he was dead, yet as his mind cleared, he quickly pushed those thoughts aside and was convinced that Jeremy hadn’t inhabited his body.
He tried to stand up again, this time, more carefully. He felt weak and wasn’t sure he could depend on his legs to support his weight. He stumbled forward a few feet and reached out in front of him, hoping to find something in the darkness to hold on to as he attempted to steady himself.
“Graham, are you there?”
His voice echoed within the room. He expected Graham to answer him, remembering that he’d been in the mausoleum with him and Jeremy before he lost consciousness.
“Careful,” a man’s voice said, coming out of the darkness. “You don’t want to hurt yourself.”
The voice startled Kasey, and he scanned the room. “Who’s there?”
“Guess,” the man said, with a sarcastic laugh.
“I don’t have time for games. Just answer me. Graham, is it you?”
“I’m not Graham, but close.”
He stood in silence for a moment and then gasped. “Reed, is that you?”
“That’s right. Give the man a prize.”
Reed opened the inside shutters of a cracked window and stepped to the side. The face Kasey saw in the moonlight that shone through stunned him. Reed appeared beyond his years. At 30, Kasey was five years his senior. That wasn’t evident now. The usually slender and attractive young man breathed heavily and appeared bloated. His once shiny reddish-brown hair was dull and straw-like; dark circles appeared under his once sparkling eyes, now cloudy, dull and lifeless, like those of an old teddy bear dumped to the bottom of a child’s toy box.
He wasn’t positive because it could’ve been the moonlight’s reflection, but Reed’s skin appeared gray, as though it were decaying and falling off the bone. Kasey hadn’t realized how accurate that was. The smell of death filled the air as Reed got closer, and Kasey covered his nose.
Reed gave him a peculiar stare. “You okay, Kase?”
“I am now… I think.” He ran his hands over his forehead and through his hair. “I’d ask you the same thing, but I think I know what you’re going to say. Forgive me for saying so, but you look like hell, and you smell even worse.”

David Chappuis was born in Waterloo, Iowa, the fifth child of six, and grew up on a farm outside of Madrid, New York. He received a bachelor’s degree in English/Writing and Art/Studio from Potsdam College and later took professional development courses in Interactive Multimedia at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
He has made a living as a professional web designer, designing Radio Station websites across the U.S. He designs, develops, and hosts his own websites and blogs for his writing endeavors.

As well as web design, he co-writes fan fiction blogs for the defunct daytime serials, Another World and Dark Shadows, and runs Facebook groups for readers to actively participate in the stories. He also interviews the real-life actors from the shows as well as other talented people.

He is the co-author of “Midnight’s Edge: The Secrets of Sleepy Meadows”, a supernatural book series, that will be published by Melange Books, LLC in September 2015. He also pens his self-published mystery series called “Jenny’s Not Dead” which is currently available in all popular ebook formats.

He works from home as a full-time writer and graphic artist in southern Virginia.

Website | Instagram | Facebook

Michael Klinger – Co-Author of Midnight’s Edge, Jenny’s Not Dead

Michael Klinger was born in Niagara Falls, New York. He received an associate’s degree in human services from Niagara County Community College and a bachelor’s degree in human services management from the University of Phoenix. He has made a living as a professional benefits specialist.
He co-writes fan fiction blogs for the defunct daytime serials, Another World and Dark Shadows, and runs Facebook groups for readers to actively participate in the stories.

He is the co-author of “Midnight’s Edge: The Secrets of Sleepy Meadows”, a supernatural book series, that will be published by Melange Books, LLC in September 2015. He also pens his self-published mystery series called “Jenny’s Not Dead” which is currently available in all popular ebook formats.

He currently resides in southern Virginia.

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Spotlight Interview · Spotlight Interview Thursdays

Spotlight Interview with author John A. Heldt

glow in the dark

Hi Readers, I have a lovely interview with author John A. Heldt and his novels Indiana Belle and Class of ’59.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I grew up in Oregon and Washington, the third oldest of six kids, and began writing professionally when I got out of college. For about a dozen years, I wrote and edited sports articles for daily newspapers. I switched careers in the late 1990s and have worked in libraries ever since. When not writing and marketing novels, I like to walk the dog, watch sports, and make homemade beer. I turned to novel writing in 2012 with the publishing of The Mine. I am a married father of three grown children.

What inspired you to write?

I write because I like sharing the stories. Writing is a release. It’s a way of expressing myself.

What inspired your novel?

The 1961 movie Splendor in the Grass was an inspiration for Indiana Belle. So were The Great Gatsby and Legends of the Fall. I wanted to set at least one of my books in the Roaring Twenties.

What is the genre?

Indiana Belle, like all of my novels, is a multi-genre work that spans everything from historical fiction, romance, and time travel to adventure, humor, and fantasy.

What draws you to this genre?

I like taking fish out of water — literarily and figuratively. I like putting 21st-century protagonists in 20th-century settings and seeing how they react.

How did you develop your plot and your characters?

I outline the plot extensively before writing a single word and develop the characters as I go. More often than not, I will add description to the story in later drafts. I have begun doing just that in Class of ’59. I expect to publish that book, the fourth novel in the American Journey series, by the middle of September.

What inspired your protagonist?

No one person or thing inspired Cameron Coelho, the protagonist of Indiana Belle. He is a fresh creation, even though he resembles the American actor Adrian Grenier and acts like a typical graduate student. Quiet, thoughtful, and gentlemanly, Cameron is also a lot like Kevin Johnson, the protagonist of The Fire, my fourth novel and the fourth book of the Northwest Passage series.

What inspired your antagonist?

I drew inspiration from villains I have seen in movies and television programs.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?

The beginning was the hardest. When you write books in a series and all the books have the same departure point — in this case, a mansion in Los Angeles — you have to be creative. Both Indiana Belle and Class of ’59 start out much differently than September Sky and Mercer Street, the first two books of the American Journey series.

What was your favorite part of your book to write?

I enjoyed writing the chapters where Cameron interacts with Candice Bell, the heroine of Indiana Belle. The two complement each other and click from the beginning.

Are you a full-time or a part-time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?

I’m a full-time writer in that I spend more than 40 hours per week on writing and marketing. But I also work part-time as a reference assistant in a university library.

What are you currently reading?

I’m listening to the audio edition of Ken Follett’s Edge of Eternity, the third book in his Century Trilogy. I listen to books more than read them these days.

Who would you say are your favorite authors?

Ken Follett, Nelson DeMille, Vince Flynn, Stephen King, Clive Cussler, and John Jakes top my list of favorite authors.

How about your favorite books? What would be your top 5?

My top five are: “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand, “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett, “Wild Fire” by Nelson DeMille, “The Firm” by John Grisham, and “The Hunt for Red October” by Tom Clancy.


Blog: http://johnheldt.blogspot.com



Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaheldt/


Tumblr: http://timetravelauthor.tumblr.com


Book Tour · Giveaway

Warpaint Trilogy Book Tour and Giveaway

Book 1: Warpaint by Stephanie A. Smith

Genre: New Adult
Publisher: Thames River Press
Date of Release: October 15, 2012
Pages: 206 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazon








Warpaint is a haunting tale of friendship and rivalry between three women artists, who’ve known each other for years, who must come to terms with imminent mortality and artistic frustration: Liz Moore, born poor in Minnesota, fought her way to New York in the 1920s, but isn’t “discovered” until late in life; C.C. Davis, a well-to-do New Yorker is Moore’s only student, and rival, who, just after WWII achieves some small success, but feels, as she faces cancer in 2002, a failure; and Quiola Kerr, part Ojibwe, once C.C.’s lover, who is caught in the middle, and who, as a painter in the 21st century, has the most doubts about art’s value in an electronic world. In April 2002, all three meet a week before C.C.’s mastectomy at a MOMA retrospective for Liz Moore, but their reunion is tense. Still, they try to cope, until C.C. makes an unexpected and controversial choice, one which nearly breaks the bonds these three took so many decades to forge, and forces Quiola to try to confront Liz, who she believes deliberately sabotaged C.C.’s career.

Warpaint features American women painters, native american or American Indian (Ojibwe) history; it has a lesbian couple at the heart of the story; it’s about trying to survive breast cancer and choosing suicide; it features New York City, Paris, Minnesota and Connecticut. The Indian character, Quiola Kerr, shows up in the next book…

Book 2: BabyRocket by Stephanie A. Smith

New Adult
Publisher: Thames River Press
Date of Release: June 1, 2013
Pages: 223 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazon








In 1966, a child is found abandoned in a rocket ride on Cape Canaveral. Traumatized, she could not speak when the police found her, only a few yards from her dead mother. So first responders called her “Baby Rocket.” As an adult, this child (Clementine “Lem” Dance) has no memory of this event. She only discovers her past when her adoptive father, James Walter Dance, Jr. has a fatal heart attack. Lem, a women’s historian who is writing a book about the Mercury 9, finds files while cleaning out her father’s apartment that he had been collecting in order to tell her the truth. Without him, she must piece together her story—why was she abandoned? What happened to her parents? How did her mother die? Who is her biological father? Doing so will take her from California back to the Tri-State area, where she now lives; to Florida, where she will find her mother’s roots and her mother’s life-story; and, finally, to Martha’s Vineyard, where she will come to terms with what she can recall and what she has uncovered about the wrenching facts of her early years.

Book 3: Content Burns by Stephanie A. Smith

Genre: New Adult
Publisher: Thames River Press
Date of Release: September 1, 2014
Pages: 185 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazon








“Content Burns” chronicles the parallel stories of two women from the same family who bear the same Puritan name, Content Burns, and who are separated by three centuries: One born a Pequot Indian, originally named Ásawanuw (Corn-silk), who converts and marries into the English Burns family in 1637, and one, nicknamed Cabbi, in modern-day New York. They are unknown to each other yet both women must learn how to survive an historical trauma that changed the course of American history, and their lives: the massacre of the Pequot tribe in 1637 and the loss of the Twin Towers on 9/11.

Stephanie Smith took her PhD from Berkeley (1990), and attended the Haystack Creative Writing Workshop in 1981, with Ursula K. LeGuin. Prior to UF, she worked as a free-lance journalist, an editor for Western Imprints, an assistant at Glamour and Mademoiselle magazines; at Representations and at David Godine Publications, and is presently a consultant for Feminist Studies. A novelist, she is the author of: The Warpaint Trilogy, Warpaint (2012), Baby Rocket (2013) and Content Burns (2014) (Thames River Press); Other Nature (TOR,1995), which was short-listed for the Tiptree Award; The-Boy-Who-Was-Thrown-Away and Snow-Eyes (Atheneum 1985/87), along with a number of short stories, which have appeared in such magazines as New Letters, Asimov’s and SF&F. She has won multiple fiction residencies at the Martha’s Vineyard Writer’s Residency at the Noepe Center for the Arts, Hedgebrook, Norcroft, Provincetown and Dorland, and she has been featured in a number of magazines and online blogs.
Examining the intersection of science, literature, politics, race and gender, her essays appear in such journals as differences, Novel, Criticism, Genders, Genre, American Literature and American Literary History. A 1998 Visiting NEH Scholar at UCLA, she is the author of Conceived By Liberty: Maternal Figures and 19th-Century American Literature (Cornell 1995), nominated for the MLA First Book Award; Household Words (Minnesota, 2006) excerpts from both books have been reprinted in several collections. A creative non-fiction “A Meditation on Brit” appeared in Remaking Moby Dick an international multi-modal story-telling performance, both in print as a special edition of Pea River Journal (2013) and online. Currently, she is finishing a new critical book about aesthetics and the publishing industry in the United States, titled The Muse and The Marketplace, a chapter of which, “Union Blues: Melville’s Poetic In(ter)ventions,” is in the spring 2014 journal Genre; she is also finishing a new novel, Strange Grace.


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50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Sunday Short and Sweet Review · Uncategorized

Rebirth of the Gangster by CJ Standal and Juan Romera (Issue 4)

Short and Sweet

Crime, Comic
Publisher: CJ Standal Productions
Date of Release: November 8, 2016
Pages: 23 pages
Format: PDF
Links: WebsiteFacebookTwitterBlog








My Rating:
4.50 Stars

4 Stars

About the Book:

“This issue kicks off with a bang as Andrea, Marcus’s mom, commits a horrible crime and tries to hide it, possibly even from her husband Curtis.

Meanwhile, Detective Lorena Sanchez interrogates Hunter after last issue’s revelations.

And Marcus goes gun shopping…”

I received this comic from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Issue 4 brings Andrea, Marcus’s mother, to the forefront and introduces us to her. Shockingly, she commits a crime that she is clearly trying to hide.

Meanwhile Marcus is clearly spooked enough to buy a gun. Unlike his own mother, heh.

Hunter is confronted by Detective Lorena Sanchez because she recognized his signature tag from their childhood.
Plus a small dip into Hunter’s parent’s past with a young woman who looks a lot like a young Andrea. Hmm.

So many questions unanswered. I look forward to issue 5!

Where to Buy:

Amazon CAN | Amazon US
Issue 1-3: Amazon

About the Author:

I love writing in all sorts of playgrounds: Rebirth of the Gangsters  is my first comic book, and I’ve been published by Slant magazine: https://www.slantnews.com/user/cj.standal

You can also find me on Philip Smith’s site promoting indie authors:

I’m also a high school English teacher: next year I’ll be teaching a graphic novel course; in the past I’ve taught a hip hop course; and I educate the youth about other valuable things, like Shakespeare.


50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Uncategorized

DarkChylde: The Ariel Chylde Saga by R. Queen

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Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Horror
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release: October 31, 2016
Pages: 236 pages
Format: ePub
Links: Dark ChyldeGood ReadsInstagramTumblr

My Rating:
4.85 Stars
4 Stars

About the Book:

“Ariel Chylde is haunted by horrible dreams, and on her eighteenth birthday sheds her skin as the nightmares emerge to act out her deepest, darkest impulses.

But before Ariel can save her small town from the terror of her dreams,
she must first save herself from the sinister secret of her subconscious.

A secret guarded by unspeakable evil.”

I received this eBook from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Well damn, I am glad I placate my inner child with chocolate, video games, and art therapy involving markers, pencil crayons and colouring books. I am also glad that my nightmares don’t come to life. Or that I don’t become a manifestation of my nightmares.

This played heavily into the inner psyche and the inner child. For some reason, Ariel Chylde is plagued with darkness.

“It’s not weakness to admit sadness- it takes strength to drag pain kicking and screaming into the light.”

This reminded me a lot of Silent Hill in the sense of the nightmares and the bringing it out into the world somewhat. But the psychological side reminded me more of The Cell.
(I know, Silent Hill movies did not do the games justice!)
The fact that Ariel could manifest her dreams, or nightmare if you will; and reach her inner child, Miss Happy, and still be sane is amazing. Penance was terrifying. The Crimson Devils, no thanks. I choose life!

Despite suffering the loss of her mother, horrific nightmares and being tormented by her classmates, Ariel is a great main character and heroine. Just when she is at her lowest, along comes Perry or “CuteFace”, wanting to be her friend.
Ariel’s inner child, Miss Happy. My goodness, what spunk she has! She survived Ariel’s nightmare landscape. She was chilling in her poetry. But she was such a comedic relief, it was worth it.

“She points at the webbed neckline of my dress, switching gears from sad to ominous as she makes circles in the air over my heart. ‘Let this warning be upon you then, what breathed before will breathe again, they’ll borrow your bones, they’ll borrow your skin, you’ll bridge these worlds, indeed they’ll mesh, you’ll host them with your very flesh.’ Great, now I’m even more spooked.”

Those nightmare monsters were incredibly intense. I do not want to tangle with Penance at all. It was amazing Miss Happy survived without being horribly damaged.

This wasn’t just a fantastic read, it was also a tough, dark and gritty story. It hits you right in the feels.
I would totally love to see this in a video game and I would completely play the crap out of it!

Highly recommended even if you are unfamiliar with the comics, as I was. I may have to search out these comics now!

Where to Buy:

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

About the Author:

R.Queen is an accomplished comic book creator, poet, fine artist, and writer.

In this, his first novel, Queen brings a visual power and a lyrical sensibility to one girl’s struggle with loss, identity, and nightmares beyond imagination. Shining a light into the darkest depths of the heart to illuminate the courage of the human spirit. A courage found only by facing the fears which dwell hungry and ancient within us all.

Spotlight Interview · Spotlight Interview Thursdays

Spotlight Interview with J. Michael Gallen

glow in the dark

Hi Readers, I have another Spotlight Interview with author J. Michael Gallen about his novels and novellas Saga Terra: OdysseusSaga Terra: Judge of the HavenSaga Terra: Judge of StellasolumSaga Terra: Jordan the WandererSaga Terra: The Lone Star Adventure. Enjoy!

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a high-functioning autistic adult who lives with my family in Central Texas, and have lived in my town since I was four years old, having beforehand spent four years with my military family in Wuerzburg, Bavaria, Germany, and before then for a few months in Ft. Riley, Kansas, where I was born. I’ve always had a fascination with videogames and talking animal literature, and when I’m not writing I enjoy playing primarily Japanese roleplaying games, which I also write reviews of, and reading other author’s work.

What inspired you to write?

The late Brian Jacques’ Redwall series was one of my favorite series when I was in grade school, and I definitely want to follow in his footsteps with my own series, which is geared primarily towards grade-school students.

What inspired your novel?

Mainly, the question of who would succeed humans as inheritors of the earth, and I began what would eventually evolve into Saga Terra: Odysseus when I was in ninth grade, and have rewritten it several times.

What is the genre?

Fantasy, science-fiction, and adventure.

What draws you to this genre?

The escapism of imaginary worlds.

How did you develop your plot and your characters?

I modeled many characters after real-life family members and public figures, and as the title of the latest version of my first novel, Saga Terra: Odysseus, indicates, Homer’s Odyssey was the original inspiration for the book, although I would heavily deviate into Norse mythology, which I know has inspired other fantasy such as Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series.

What inspired your protagonist?

Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey, with his full name being Ieremia Odysseus Deerlord Otterland. I got the idea of hybriding vastly different species, which plays a big role in my novels, from Disney’s old animated cartoon The Wuzzles, with Prince Odysseus being a deer-dolphin-otter hybrid.

What inspired your antagonist?

I named the main adversary Alec Gogh after two public figures, a celebrity and a politician.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?

The events that follow the characters’ encounters at Malice, which were not originally part of earlier version of my novel, and I newly added a few years back.

What was your favourite part of your book to write?

The battle scenes, which some scenes from movies and video games inspired.

Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?

I’m definitely part-time since I devote time heavily to other hobbies such as playing and reviewing video games, and reading other authors’ work, chiefly fantasy and science-fiction.

What are you currently reading?

Kathryn Lasky’s Guardians of Ga’Hoole series and the late Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga.

Who would you say are your favourite authors?

Brian Jacques, Terry Goodkind, and George Orwell.

How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?

George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, Phillip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, Brian Jacques’s Redwall series, and Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth saga.

What are your future projects, if any?

I eventually plan to continue the story of Judge Victor Piers Bucks, the titular protagonist of the Judge of… subseries, and write a few prequels, one of which will take place about sixty-five hundred years before Odysseus.

What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?

Definitely email, jmgallen@hot.rr.com, and I’m always seeking beta readers for my work, particularly Odysseus, which I’ve heavily revised in recent time, so I know how to improve and make them better. My first book can be reached on Amazon and I also have a DeviantArt account at http://jmg124.deviantart.com and a videogame review wiki at http://jmgreviews.wikidot.com.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Keep on writing, and get advice from fellow authors and readers.