Saturday, 29 November 2014

P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Debbie Manber Kupfer grew up in London and lived in Israel, before somehow ending up in St. Louis, where she works as a puzzle constructor and writer. She lives with her husband, two children, and a very opinionated feline. She is the author of P.A.W.S and Argentum and has short stories in several anthologies including FauxpocalypseShades of FearDarkly Never After, and Sins of the Past. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything!

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When Miri’s grandmother dies, she takes with her the family secret. Miri finds herself alone and abandoned in a St. Louis boarding school. But she is about to discover the secret isn’t dead.
Taunted by bullies, Miri is shocked to learn she possesses a secret power. It can save her… but can it save those she loves? After she is befriended by others with the same strange, magical powers, her history comes alive. And with it, Miri’s fate becomes more dangerous.
Join Miri on a mysterious and supernatural journey with her new friends, members of an underground St. Louis society called the Partnership for Animagi, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters, better known as P.A.W.S.


Vienna, October 20th, 1941, today was Celia’s tenth birthday. This was not how she imagined celebrating it. She was with her family - her mama Miriam, her papa David, her elder brother Issel and her baby sister Liza. They were huddled together in the back room of their tiny two-room  apartment in Grosse Spielgasse, in the dark, barely breathing.
Outside the building, the boot steps got nearer and nearer – Celia heard shouting, screaming, gunshots. She crouched down even closer to the ground, wishing that somehow they could all melt away into the shadows. Celia clutched her cat Max tightly in her arms, feeling his warmth, his soft tabby fur close to her skin, willing him to stay quiet.
Her mamma cradled little Liza at her breast, nursing her so she would not cry out. Outside the pounding footsteps get closer, closer: “Juden, Juden, Heraus, Heraus, Schnell, Schnell!!” Now they are at the door of the neighbors – the Wassersteins.  She heard crying and a single gun-shot.
Miriam beckoned to her, “Celia, mein Katzerl , come here,” she whispered, “I have something for you, for your birthday.”
Celia approached Miriam cautiously, still clutching Max to her, “What is it Mama?” she said gazing into Miriam’s blue, blue eyes – studying her prematurely wrinkled face, memorizing every crease. Mama, my mama, she thought.
Still holding baby Liza with her left hand Miriam reached round the back of her neck with her right and unclasped the chain that she always wore beneath her clothes, close to her heart. It was a silver chain with a cat charm on it. “Take this Celia, mein Katzerl, wear it always, remember I love you. Ich liebe dich.”
“I love you, Mama,” she whispered as she fastened the chain around her neck, just as the doors burst open – six gestapo soldiers rushed into their home – “Juden, Heraus, Heraus . . .” Celia watched as her family was herded out of the door . . .

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ARGENTUM-CONCEPT2-FrontArgentum (P.A.W.S. Book 2)

The death of Alistair has brought a measure of peace and calm to those at P.A.W.S., but his silver charm remains in Miri’s possession and it seems to almost have a life of its own.
Nightmares and questions torment Miri until the charm mysteriously disappears and Jessamyn seeks help from Quentin, who claims to have repented his past association with Alistair. But can he be trusted?
And what of Jenna, a young girl once held captive by Alistair who carries a terrible secret—a secret that could determine the future of P.A.W.S.


Out of the darkness came a face more terrible than any Miri had ever seen before: huge fangs dripping with blood, eyes once blue, now glowing yellow and red, reflecting the blood that flowed all around them. Miri tried to scream, but nothing came from her lips. Echoing through her head was terrible laughter.
“You thought you were done with me, Miri, but I am immortal. I can never die. And now I am inside you! Thank you, Miri. Once, long ago, I gave you life and now you are returning the favor. How thoughtful of you! Oh, what fun we are going to have together. You have brought me into P.A.W.S.—exactly where I want to be.”

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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Release Tour – The Fifth Watcher by Melissa Barker-Simpson

The Fifth Watcher by Melissa Barker-Simpson is a book I’ve been waiting for. Granted, I got to beta read an early copy, but I’m still so excited to read the final version and see how it all came together. It’s a great story and I think you’ll all enjoy it a lot. Today I’ve got some info about Mel and her new book, and she has also written a guest post that I will share with you. I’ll also be writing a review for The Fifth Watcher that will be posted on the DKC site this weekend and also on my blog later this week.
Also don’t forget to check out the rest of The Fifth Watcher Blitz event page on Facebook!

image for websiteA Bit About Melissa

Melissa Barker-Simpson fills her days with language and words so she doesn’t get lost among the clouds. She is an interpreter by day, and a pen-wielding conjurer by night. Of course the only thing she conjures belong between the pages of a book, but it doesn’t make them any less compelling.
Her most important job, as far as she sees it, is being a mother to two impish teenagers. They keep her feet firmly on the ground, are a huge source of joy (despite the rampant emotions) and allow her to live out her fantasy of being a musketeer!
She spends her time living between different communities, one of them being the (mostly) online writing community and giving back the magic that has touched her life.
Melissa runs a series of blogs, has a thing for collaboration, and enjoys to support others as often as possible.

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Fifth Watcher - High Resolution - Without UFOA Bit About The Fifth Watcher

At the moment of Audrey Montgomery’s birth a new world came into existence. It is a barren place, a catalyst for the darkness spreading through the multidimensional system. The shift in power makes Audrey an invaluable pawn in a war between those who want to protect her and those who will go to extraordinary lengths to eliminate her.
As a result, she has spent her life on the run, unaware of her true origins. When her father dies and leaves her with a shocking legacy, her life is irrevocably changed. If she has any hope of surviving, Audrey must embrace her new reality and trust a man who is as dark and uncertain as the future itself.
Lieutenant Keith Delany, an Interdimensional Officer of the Law (IDOL), is tasked with bringing her in. It is an assignment his entire team is invested in, having spent years searching for her. As a senior member of the squad, Keith is charged with protecting her, with showing her the truth about her past, and with preparing her for an unknown future. As an IDOL he is responsible for every life, for every traveller who navigates the system. But his connection to Audrey is unprecedented, and he soon discovers she alone holds the power to prevent the continuum’s collapse.

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Some Words From Melissa Barker-Simpson

Though I’m not a planner, I try to find balance in my work and have developed some useful techniques over the past two years. As I write a number of different series, I obviously have a system which allows me to keep track of the characters and their respective backgrounds. I like to know everything about them, so each gets a chart I can refer to and reflect on, if we’re having ‘communication problems!’
The Fifth Watcher needed a chart all of its own! Not only are there a number of worlds, but each one is unique, as are the travellers who belong to each world. For the first time I created a visual representation, which looks a little like a quadruple helix, so I could track the worlds and the journey itself.
I tried plotting the story and had a loose plan when I went into NaNoWriMo last year, but the characters had other ideas and the plan went out of the window!
The best thing about being part of a community of writers is that I learn something new every day. I’m friends with both plotters and pantsers, and it has enabled me to adapt and grow. I’m truly grateful for the support my friends offer me – I’m a better writer because of it.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Cover Reveal of The Fifth Watcher by Melissa Barker-Simpson

Although I’ve been helping with blog tours, I’ve been wanting to start doing something more regularly to help fellow indie authors. So after seeing it being done on a few other blogs I decided on doing Author Spotlights. I’ll probably start by doing it monthly, but eventually I’d like it to be a weekly thing.
My friend Melissa Barker-Simpson, author of the Morgan and Fairchild Series, has written her first fantasy novella called, The Fifth Watcher. She’s agreed to being the guinea pig for my first Author Spotlight with her cover reveal for her newest book, being released at the end of the month. I’ve had the privilege of reading an early version of the book and I have to say I’m really excited to read it again once it’s been released.
I’ve got a blurb and excerpt of The Fifth Watcher to share with you, as well as a first view of the book cover, of course.

Fifth Watcher - High Resolution - Without UFOBlurb

At the moment of Audrey Montgomery’s birth a new world came into existence. It is a barren place, a catalyst for the darkness spreading through the multidimensional system. The shift in power makes Audrey an invaluable pawn in a war between those who want to protect her and those who will go to extraordinary lengths to eliminate her.
As a result, she has spent her life on the run, unaware of her true origins. When her father dies and leaves her with a shocking legacy, her life is irrevocably changed. If she has any hope of surviving, Audrey must embrace her new reality and trust a man who is as dark and uncertain as the future itself.
Lieutenant Keith Delany, an Interdimensional Officer of the Law (IDOL), is tasked with bringing her in. It is an assignment his entire team are invested in, having spent years searching for her. As a senior member of the squad, Keith is charged with protecting her, with showing her the truth about her past, and with preparing her for an unknown future. As an IDOL he is responsible for every life, for every traveller who navigates the system. But his connection to Audrey is unprecedented, and he soon discovers she alone holds the power to prevent the continuum’s collapse.


I shook my head to clear the hum in my ears. The sounds were duller now, my vision blurry. I was looking through some kind of membrane and it was closing in on me. It pulled me further and further inside until I wanted to scream for it to end.
My father hadn’t prepared me for this. If I could see the enemy I could fight, but I had no way of defending myself against this.
Heat travelled along my skin, but it didn’t burn. There was no pain. I held onto that as everything faded and I was engulfed by a shocking blast of light. It was everywhere. Even when I closed my eyes it pierced right through me.
I couldn’t deny the strange pull; a demand in my blood that told me to let go. I had little choice but to obey.
In the next moment a wave of nausea caught me unaware and I clenched my teeth to control it. The light receded, little by little, and my skin felt clammy now, rather than hot.
The silence was deafening and though I was afraid, I opened my eyes, holding my breath until the spinning stopped. The world settled around me slowly, sharpening as I exhaled the air caught in my lungs.
I was no longer at home. I was out in the open, somewhere strangely familiar.

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Friday, 14 November 2014

Release Tour – Godmode by Quan Williams

I’m really excited to be participating in Quan William’s blog tour today for his new novel, Godmode. It looks a lot different from what I usually read, but it’s got me curious, in a I need to know what’s going to happen kind of way. Today I’ve got some information about him and his book, plus he was kind enough to write a guest post for me to share with you all on what to do with all those story ideas that you’ve set aside. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of those, so it should be a very useful article to read.

photoAbout Quan

Quan Williams was born and raised in Flint, MI, and has always had a love for stories. He honed his writing craft at the University of Michigan, where he studied creative writing under the tutelage of novelists Jonis Agee (Strange Angels, South of Resurrection) and Tish O’Dowd Ezekiel (Floaters). He also found time to write and illustrate three comic books and work as an entertainment journalist for the Michigan Daily Newspaper for three years.
Since graduating, Quan has jumped at every opportunity to bring his wild ideas to life. He wrote the short story “That Weird Kid” which was published by the web magazine, before writing the young adult novel The Leopard Man. He wrote and illustrated two webcomics, one of which (The Seizure) was collected and published as a trade paperback. He also wrote the business/family melodrama Double Entry.

godmode-coverGodmode Blurb

Elijah wakes up in a cage, and can barely remember anything about himself or his situation. He fights his way alone to escape a building full of bizarre and deadly monsters, while learning disturbing truths about himself. Once he finds the way out, he has to pass it up and keep fighting to rescue his wife and child from his nemesis.

How to Connect with Quan and Buy His Book

Social Media Links:

Purchasing Information:

Amazon Kindle
Also available @ B&N, Nook, and iTunes

Picking Through the Remnants: Choosing Old Material to Recycle

by Quan Williams
Like most writers, I have gotten a lot of story ideas. We get bombarded daily by “what if” questions that are begging to be answered in our own particular style, with our own particular voices. It would be foolish not to record these ideas. Even if you cannot utilize an idea now, it is something you very well might want to revisit at a later date.
Sometimes, that “later date” actually arrives. I was in the midst of promoting my sci-fi horror novel “Godmode” and I had gotten the itch to start writing a new story. Problem was, I didn’t have any new ideas to explore at the time, not that I wanted the hassle of building on an idea from scratch anyway. So I picked up my old archive of unused ideas and undeveloped concepts and thumbed through them to see if there was anything that struck me at the time. It is always good to keep some kind of record of your unused ideas, whether it be some kind of database, or a journal, or a folder of notes, or something. I have folders of unfinished comic books in storage, as well as CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs full of stored ideas and unfinished manuscripts. It was my unfinished comics that game me inspiration this time, and I decided to adapt one of them into a series of novels.
Some of my best projects have come from recycled ideas. All of my webcomics were continuations of ideas I had come up with back in my college days, and the current stories I am working on now are ideas I had ten years ago but never did anything with.
Sometimes an idea you come up with can be literally ahead of its time, so it might need to sit and percolate for a while as you mature as a writer and as a person. Once you’ve built up skill and confidence in your craft, and acquired more knowledge and wisdom, then perhaps you might be ready to tackle that idea and give it the attention it deserves. This was the case with the book I’m working on now, an urban high fantasy epic with very deep political and socioeconomic themes. When I first drew up this story as a four-issue comic book series back in the year 2000, I was only scratching the surface of what I could do with this story. But 14 years later, I’ve grown a lot, learned a lot and seen a lot, and now I’m more prepared to plumb the depths necessary to truly tell this story.
So when sifting through your pile of lost ideas, how do you choose which one to dust off? It’s not an exact science. You can go by feel. Which of your old ideas is speaking most to you at that moment? Writers have a mysterious intuition for stories, where one idea or concept burrows its way into your mind and won’t leave you alone until you do something with it. Does one of your old unfinished stories do that to you? Is it begging you to come finish it and won’t get out of your head until you do? Then that is obviously the story you need to be picking up. Or your motivation could be purely financial. Which of your story ideas is the most marketable? Compare your ideas to what is popular now, or what might be popular in the future, around the time you finish your story. As of this writing, there’s a big surge in popularity for Young Adult adventure books starring white, teenage females. Before that the hot thing was Young Adult high fantasy starring white, teenage boys. If your idea fits what’s popular now and you can crank a book or three out of your idea within the window of that genre’s popularity, then go for it. Otherwise, think about the future and try to gauge what the next trend will be, and see which of your book ideas fit. Of course, some concepts are timeless (re: anything that can be easily adapted to a movie). So if that’s the way you want to go, then you might want to consider that.
Okay, so now you’ve picked your story to rehash…now what? You need to look your idea over and figure out what it was that made you abandon the story in the first place. Maybe the subject matter was too personal, or maybe the story has a character in it you can’t quite figure out. Maybe the concept was too big to wrap your head around at the time. I have one story idea in mothballs because it would involve extensive worldbuilding and research into a foreign culture – in my case, feudal China. I also would have to delve into a myriad of different kung-fu fighting techniques, and figure out how to portray them properly in prose. And that’s in addition to the usual character and plot development stuff – involving nine different protagonists (yeah, my story idea is a little on the ambitious side). I’m not ready to do all of that…not yet, at least. Regardless, once you figure out what stopped you the first time, you need to attack that issue head on and figure out a solution. Or work around it, and develop all of the other aspects of the story you are more comfortable with. For instance, if one important character is an enigma to you, then develop everybody else first. Sometimes, working on another aspect of the story will actually present you the solution to the aspect that is bothering you.
Once you open your mind and focus on that story, you will be surprised at the things you notice around you that will help you develop it. Information in the news, or in conversations with your colleagues, or stuff you see in other media, will feed your idea. There were stories I’ve found on the internet that I otherwise couldn’t have cared less about, but now that I’m in tune with my new/old story idea, those articles particularly stand out. When you think like a hammer, everything becomes a nail. So start hammering away!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Release Tour – Angelic Confessions by Jan Marie

Today I have the pleasure of participating in Jan Marie’s blog tour for the release of her new novel Angelic Confessions Book 1. I have some information about her and her new book, as well as a guest post written by JanDSC09564called The Issues of Writing Well.

A Little About Jan

Jan Marie resides quietly in the Forest City of Illinois with her three little cherubs: Zachery(9) and twins Aidan and Zane. Oh! And their guardian kitty cats Kitkat and Heizey.

Connect with Jan

Follow her Tour on Twitter: #AngelicBlitz

Book CoverAbout Angelic Confessions

In a world where the Father created all, I was born…an angel. A new breed, I was meant to overthrow the children of heaven. To prevent this I was taken and raised as Father’s own. My memories wiped, the dark beast inside me caged. Memories never stay buried though…

Where you can purchase her book:
Paperback @ Amazon
Amazon Kindle

Issues of Writing Well

by Jan Marie
I write therefore I am. Do I write well? I’m not sure. I would like to think I do. There are two key issues to writing well in my book. One is having good grammar of course, and the second having magic with words to write something spellbinding.
Key 1: Grammar
The issue of if I am writing well in the grammar department is always on my mind. I have this problem with my brain going faster than my fingers can type, so yeah my rough drafts are a hot mess. The issue of if I am writing well can even kill my creative flow for I am constantly worried did I word that sentence correctly. Sadly I’m a C student in grammar,. My words are magic though. You sometimes forget I had a conjunction in that sentence!
I know the golden rule is not to worry about all that at first. The mission is to just write leave grammar to the wayside, just let the words flow from you. Once you have completed a chapter then you can go back and edit if you’d like, or you could end up like me with a terrible case of writers block!
Key 2: Magic with Words
The Second key to writing well is having magic with words, and a spellbinding story to share. You could have a polished piece, and it actually suck because it was not engaging. Everyone can write we learn to write in school. To be a WRITER you have to have an unnatural imagination, and way with words. Especially if you want to be a novel writer. For example say you want your character eating soup. Writing, “Sally eats soup.” is boring. As a writer we have to have this bond with words to make it spellbinding!
“Sally lifted the quivering spoon to her lips. The smell of chicken broth burning in her nostrils.”
I am not a structured writer either. I think I break every Writing 101 book out there. I just write. In fact I am working on book 2 of Angelic Confessions, and I really do not know how the book it going end. The story unravels as I write it. To be an article writer imagination is not much needed. You do though have to have that connection with words to make what your are talking about extravagant that someone want to read it, or read it and buy what you were writing about.

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