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Last night Helen and I finished the final story for our upcoming anthology!

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Thank you!  Thank you!  You’re all being too kind.  But today’s post is not to talk about the anthology itself, as much as what went into making it.  How did it differ from writing full-length novels?  Was it easier?  Was it harder? What was the process like?  Where did we get all the stories for it, etc.?

Well, for starters, coming up with a decent number of stories was and wasn’t hard really.  Helen had been writing stories long before e-books and well before I tried my hand at penning a tale.  I can easily say I learned so much from her earlier attempts at getting published, and let me tell you she got damn close to seeing some of her work in print.  But, that’s a tale for another entry.

What I want to say is that I learned a lot about what to expect when I decided to try  going the traditional published route.  Although in my case, I started shortly after the birth of e-publishing and after 2-3 years of trying to get an agent to represent and hearing over and over again “You’ve got something here, but you crossed several genres and I wouldn’t know what publishing house to try and sell it to.”

You see, at that time (and this still seems to hold true today) publishers don’t like to take risks on unknown authors or mixed genres. They want a straight up “Mystery”, “Thriller”, “Horror”, “Science Fiction”, etc.  They’re not keen on trying to sell a book that crosses multiple genres like the Para-Earth Series which we classify as “Paranormal/Sci-Fi”.

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Now some of you may be pointing out that they do it more often these days, but most of those authors are well-known like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, J. K. Rowling, etc. who all have proven sales track records.

Anyway, getting back to how our upcoming anthology came to be a reality.

During that 2-3 years I tried to get published the traditional way, more stories were taking shape.  New characters and ideas were forming.  One of them was vampire I called Nathan Eoghan (pronounced Ewan) Steward.  I swore I’d never do a vampire character, unless I could introduce new angle or angles to the character.  Yet I still wanted to keep a lot of the traditional trademark strengths and weaknesses people have come and know and recognize.

By this time, I had already been blogging for several years and had learned from other writers the concept of giving sneak peeks into upcoming works, and even sharing short stories.  This is done to introduce characters and concepts to prospective readers and build a demand for them.  So, after creating a vampire character that would fit nicely into our paranormal/sci-fi concept, I began doing short stories with Nathan over on a new blog called “The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition”.    Over the course of 3 years we had a number of tales about Nathan and introduced a number of his friends who appeared with him in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.  And we’re still making new stories.  And that presented a problem, how many people want to wade through 4-5 years of blog posts to read all those stories?  Furthermore, most of those tales are rough 1st drafts and it shows.

During this time, I noticed some of my fellow authors who had created short stories on their blogs were bundling them into anthologies and that got us thinking.  With all the stories we’d already created, why couldn’t we create an anthology centered around all those stories on the blog?  While it sounded nice and easy, it also didn’t feel completely right to me.  While having all those earlier stories put into a more convenient format, shouldn’t we give the readers more?  Shouldn’t there be new never before seen stories in the collection?  Furthermore, should the stories not be just about Nathan but his friends, and even characters from our first two novels “The Bridge” and “The Ship”?

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This led to Helen coming up with the idea of recycling some of her earlier works which were firmly established in the realm of the macabre.  With a little reworking and adding scenes, she felt a number of those pieces could easily fit in with our Para-Earth Series, while also giving those unread tales a chance to finally see the light of day.

*Now I want to pause and say one thing.  Remember how I told you all, many posts ago, never to toss out your unfinished works, or fragments because you never knew when they might fit into some new idea/concept?  This is a perfect example of why you do that.  You just never know when that day might come.*

So right there, we had some brand new stories to slip into the anthology.  But we didn’t stop there, we went ahead and created several more brand new stories just for the collection itself.  The result?  One third of the tales appearing in this anthology are completely brand new.

Plus, we also added an afterthought following each story, sharing some of the who, what, where, and how each tale came into existence.  We thought it only right to share some of what the writing process can be like and hopefully inspire others to take that next step in whatever creative endeavors they are involved in.

Now, seeing how long this entry is getting and knowing there’s still a lot more to share, I’m going to end this one here.  I know I covered a lot of background areas today and haven’t really gotten to more of the technical and details of actually what went into the building of the anthology.  But rest assured that will be covered in the next installment.

Until then take care and keep writing everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Words of wisdom from a very wise man and great writer Seumas Gallacher.

Seumas Gallacher

…blasphemy?… heresy?… ravings of a mad writer?… signs of an author finally succumbing to the madness that years of tilting at imaginary characters bring?… that this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler should posit that the purpose of creative writing is NOT to achieve perfection?… p’raps, Mabel, but just hold on a minute with that frantic phone call to the lunatic asylum to come and cart me away… in a lifetime of reading, my choices of literature have been as broad as can be… Steinbeck, O’Hara, Ruark, Christie, Dickens, Eco, Fitzgerald, Child, Austen, Churchill, Burns, Chaucer… an endless list of library index heroes… every name there acknowledged as classic in his or her own metier, regardless of genre… sparkling storytellers all… but equally, I have noted in many instances, flaws, sum’times, in their narratives… incomplete closure on certain endings… use of language occasionally misplaced… part of that may be attributed to…

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Thank you cardFirst I’d like to thank all the guest bloggers, authors, and reviewers who were so kind to supply our blog with posts. It gave me some much needed time to get some rest and help family members who had suffered a terrible loss. It also allowed us to get back to work on our anthology “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At a Time” which will be coming out in early October, a perfect time for creepy stories and tales of encounters with strange beings. With only two stories left to be completed and edited, we will soon be lining up Beta-Readers and then doing our final edits.

Work has also been progressing on “The Door” latest full-length novel in the Para-Earth Series, and “The Pass” the first installment in a brand new series co-written with Richard Caminiti.

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In the meantime, I have been studying and purchasing the necessary equipment to begin audio-readings. As you can see below I’ve been slowly setting up a “Recording Studio” in our office/guest room.

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Now some of you may be asking “Why are you doing this? Don’t you have enough writing to do?” Well the answer is simply, a growing number of people have been telling us that they’d love to get our books but they prefer “Audiobooks” because they don’t always have time to sit and read. Or they lose track of the book they’re reading, etc-etc. This I can believe because I know a number of our co-workers are driving from over the hill from San Jose or Monterey, you name it. Plus, there are a number of folks who always have earbuds on and are not always listening to music.

“Why do it yourselves? Why not hire someone to do the reading and converting them into audiobooks?”

Once more I refer back to a number of folks who’ve actually heard me doing public speaking and reading aloud who insist I should be the one to do the audio-readings. And there are a number of readers who would prefer to hear the words spoken by the one who actually wrote them. This is a preference I share, I love hearing the author bringing their work to life because who understands the story better than they do?

As for how soon will any of our books be ready for audio? I’ll simply say that we’re just experimenting with audio-readings at this point. I’m going to try my hand at some classic short stories by others like HP Lovecraft and share them here and on YouTube to get feedback and maybe some tips from those who are more experienced in doing audiobooks. Furthermore, I want to know what it’s like doing audio recordings, who knows it may lead to a new character or even a storyline. After all they say write what you know, and drawing from life is always a much more satisfying for me when I’m creating a story.

Now if any of you are interested in hearing what happens on this little journey, I am planning on sharing in detail what I experience and learn as this adventure continues. I’ll be starting with the equipment and why some of it was chosen in an upcoming entry. And as I said before, I’ll be sharing some of the actual audio recordings for you all to get a taste of what the results are like.

Minions

Again some of my first attempts will be short pieces by other authors some which are in the Public Domain. I’m choosing those first because there is a volunteer project called LibriVox which is similar to Project Gutenberg which takes books/stories in Public Domain and are making them available for free here on the internet. However, it’s much easier to reproduce typed words than it is to get audio versions and LibriVox depends on volunteer readers to record and submit works for public enjoyment, especially for those who are blind for instance.

So, that’s all I have to report for now. In the meantime we’ll finish getting the anthology “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At a Time” ready for release, as well as getting other writing projects closer to finished first drafts.

Until next time, keep writing!


Cover Three Bags Full

REVIEW BY HELEN KRUMMENACKER

     Mystery stories have to work hard to set themselves apart from the crowd. Some do it with an underlying nonfiction theme, such as mystery novels/recipe books. Special settings can be useful. Most of all, characters are a way to be distinctive and memorable. There’s an entire bookshelf in our house of mysteries with animal detectives.

Cats make up the majority of animal detectives, able to roam freely and unobtrusively. Three Bags Full takes a different, and possibly unique path. As the name suggests, the mystery is being worked on by… sheep.


It begins with the discovery of the death of their shepherd. Even they can tell it is not natural causes, because he has had a spade stuck in his body. Whether it is the cause of death or not, it is a definite sign of violence and took place in their pasture, at night, while they were in a barn. They are disturbed; it is very like and yet unlike a wolf attack. The sheep vow that, as he protected them and cared for them in life, they would see his killer brought to justice.


From early on, it is evident the sheep are unusual (and some of the most interesting subplots come from the secrets of the sheep themselves being revealed). Even so, they are terribly unsuited for the task ahead of them– to solve a murder, one must understand how human society functions, and they start out knowing so little about it that they draw conclusions like the priest’s name is God, because they heard him welcome people to the house of God. He seems to talk about himself a shocking amount. (I find their attempts to understand religion quite amusing.) They also have to understand those parts of their shepherd’s life that don’t involve them, and, indeed, we the readers are somewhat puzzled by the parts that do. He seems to have deliberately brought in sheep that might have been in danger elsewhere, won’t sell any of them, reads books to them, and wants to take them on a tour of Europe.

The best thing, for me, is that the write, Leonie Swann, puts so much empathy into working out the way sheep might think. They aren’t little humans in wool coats; they are nervous, social, forgetful (except for Mopple, the Memory Sheep, who acts as a sort of living notebook for the flock), and they can gather information through their sense of smell. They also have their own culture; human society may be a mystery to them, but they have their own aphorisms, superstitions, and generational knowledge. Within the flock, each sheep still has individual identity. Miss Maple is extremely clever, Othello is brave, Cloud is kindly, Zora has imagination, and there are many more special traits and sheep.

     I would recommend this even without having finished it yet. It is the kind of book where the experience of reading and thinking about it make the journey a joy, regardless of how the plot wraps up in the end.


Death Light Moon

REVIEW BY HELEN KRUMMENACKER

Death by the Light of the Moon by Joan Hess was something I picked up from a Friends of the Library sale, a paperback mystery marking itself as A Claire Malloy Mystery. I’d never heard of the series, but the description was interesting. An eccentric, rich elderly lady dies the evening of a party that was meant to reveal her heirs. The protagonist is there by virtue of being a daughter-in-law, and barely knows the family.

The basic plot is grounded in the “cozy” style of mystery– the murder takes place in a somewhat remote area, limiting the suspects mostly to the family, with a few hints about something more being afoot. The protagonist is not a professional detective, just someone with a knack for coming across trouble and ask questions. As the story goes on, it becomes a bit less cozy in both the genre and descriptive sense, as more bodies turn up and the protagonist becomes a target, giving a bit more of a thriller vibe at times.

I found this to be not only satisfying as a mystery. The author has a sense of humor and a way with words. The prose makes for a light, easy read, and yet there are digs, gentle in some cases, hard in others, at real ways in which worse aspects of human nature tend to surface, reminiscent of Jane Austen, or perhaps P.G. Wodehouse. From the self-absorbed digressions of a teen, to the small-town police who almost prioritize getting along over getting answers (but who do change their approach appropriately as events unfurl), to the sexism and racism causing real, secret problems for a family of Southern aristocrats, the foibles are observed with wit and honesty. The protagonist even has her own failings

It would have definitely been worth buying at full price, and I look forward to finding more of the series.


 

The-Handmaids-Tale

REVIEW BY HELEN KRUMMENACKER

I’m starting this book review with the book still unfinished. It’s the kind of book that you think about a lot while reading it, even as you itch to turn the pages again. I can’t compare it to the movie or TV show, as I wanted to read it rather than watch it. I would advise this, although the adaptations may be excellent. The voice of the narrator is crucial.


The voice of the narrator is crucial to the story’s style. We begin, a little scared, a little confused, picking up meaning from tiny details– because that is what she can give us. Her voice becomes clearer, gradually, as she moves farther from the drugging and brainwashing and has time to rebuild her story and factor in the new things. But even ¾ of the way through, I still don’t know what goes on in the colonies that has her worried about being sent there, or what the real fate of Unwomen is. Sometimes, it sounds like she’s afraid of being executed and sometimes it sounds like there is something worse in store for her. The people in charge probably like to keep everyone uncertain, because it makes them more pliable.

The voice of the narrator is also an important part of the story itself. There are many women in this story, but the narrator’s story is very much hers, very personal. She finds joy in little things, and fear in them as well. She was left with a pillow that has Faith embroidered on it, but reading is forbidden to women… so she stands, when she finds the pillow, reading that one word over and over, enjoying breaking one of the stupid rules, but wondering if she will be held responsible for a pillow she did not choose. Internal moments like that are a tremendous part of the narrative, and they make the dystopia seem far more real than an external storytelling would.

One thing that is difficult in reading it is that she speaks in the present tense even when recounting dreams and memories. We don’t always know what is real until we have read enough to place it in her timeline. But this reflects her own struggle to handle it all. Her memories, her reality, her hopes and fears jumble together when she is left to sit alone for hours with nothing to do.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept, the story takes place in a near future time when theocrats take over. There are wars and perhaps disasters as well that have left the majority of people unable to create healthy children. The narrator had a healthy child, before the theocrats took over but after some of the pollution events, and so she is seen as proven fertile, and eligible for status as a Handmaid, a caste of women who are, in theory, to be honored for trying to keep humanity alive by acting as breeding vessels, but are in fact despised for having a life defined by their sexual potential. They are circulated in assignments among the elite, and if they give any of the Commanders a healthy child, they will have a future. If they do not, at a certain age or after a period of time, they are removed from Handmaid status and death or exile seem to be their fate.

This is part of a larger theocratic totalitarian state, but the Handmaids are important not only because this is the story of one, but also, I must say, Gilead (the state they are in) is both correct to be desperately trying to make more citizens and at the same time, doomed by its methods. The rules controlling the Handmaids, the infertile Wives, and the men of all ranks, makes it less likely there will be successful offspring. Cheating leads to death (and I suspect some Handmaids are trapped into it by angry Wives), but the Commanders often are sterile. The atmosphere of fear and mistrust seems unconducive to reproduction. At best, stress hormones aren’t great for a pregnancy, while at worst, the people are actively undermining the possibility. If Gilead really wants babies, it should make procreation fun and free rather than coercive, but the people in charge want to control everything more than they really want another generation.


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Now that I’ve finished the book, I’m finding myself surprised by some things I heard in the past. I have to wonder if people saying, “Serena Joy was worse than the Commander” were talking about the movie, because my feeling about her in the book is quite different. She was unhappy and oppressed as well, and sometimes showed some genuine kindness in spite of her general jealousy. Even when she had something specific to be jealous about, she didn’t want the Handmaid destroyed– she alone had the nerve to make a slight protest when the narrator was led away.

The ending, I won’t say exactly what it was, but this book manages to pull a The Lady or the Tiger end which I look at from the optimistic perspective, finding it more in keeping with the way I interpreted a couple of characters. It certainly gave more room for optimism than 1984 or Brave New World, mostly within the personal story, but also, I believe that Gilead is doomed/ They have no real ability to convince the people they are oppressing that their regime is the best thing around. They have only existed for a few years and already they are riddled with corruption, resistance, hypocrisy, inconsistency, poverty, and a death rate much higher than the birthrate. Either the regime will be pulled down or it will collapse under its own failure to work with human nature.

I wonder if the people who found the book more depressing than I did mostly identified with the narrator more. I don’t say she was difficult to identify with. Actually, she’s a fairly normal woman. I’m just not normal, and found myself more drawn to side characters. I also kept thinking that in that world, I would have been sent to the Colonies (forced labor areas), if I wasn’t killed outright,  and wanted to know more about life there.


     Linda’s inspiration comes from her favorite authors and life itself. Her women’s fiction highlights characters that peel away outer layers of life to discover the heart of their dreams with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. Her writing integrates humor found in everyday situations, as well as touching moments that make readers connect with her characters.

     Linda has an Associates Degree in Interior Design and a Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts with undergraduate work in Elementary Education and Fine Arts. Linda has two grown sons and lives with her husband and rescue dog in Michigan. You can follow her at her WebsiteFacebookand Twitter

Linda

When did you write your first book?

     I wrote and illustrated my first book in grade school. My elementary school had this contest called “Calbery”. The term “Calbery” was derived from the names of the Caldecott and Newberry Awards. Students wrote and illustrated their books each year. The winners received awards and the winning books were sent on to compete with other students from surrounding elementary schools. It was a big deal and I looked forward to making my book each year. I still have the ribbons and certificates in my writing box that’s followed me from place-to-place. That deep-seeded passion for writing shadowed me through life, got pushed to back burner, but surfaced later on when my boys were young. I wrote my first women’s fiction manuscript about ten years ago. Time flies when you’re having fun.

How long did it take to write your first book?

     To be honest, I’m not sure how long it took to write that “first” full length manuscript. It’s still sitting in a binder on my shelf. Probably a year or so. Maggie’s Way is a different story, though. Maggie’s Way was my debut novel and I completed that manuscript in about three months.

What was your motivation to write your first book?

     Cancer was my catalyst. Being published was on my life’s list of things to do, so I buckled down upon being diagnosed. I put all my other projects to the side and let new characters drive my stories. When I began writing Maggie Abernathy and Chloe McIntyre, I found my voice. Within a year’s time, I’d written first drafts for the three books in my Montana Bound Series. (I’m happy to report, it’s been five years since radiation and I’m cancer free. Grateful!)

What is the best thing about being a writer?

     Connecting with readers, most definitely!

What is the worst thing about being a writer?

     The characters that won’t leave my head until I entertain their story. It’s very difficult for me to turn off my brain, even if I’m exhausted.

Do you ever think of the next book whilst writing?

     All. The. Time.

What are some of your favorite books on writing?

  • On Writing by Steven King
  • the 90-day novel by Alan Watt
  • Storytelling Made Easy by Michael Hauge

What are you working on now?

     I’m finishing a Women’s Fiction short story with paranormal elements. It’s in the final stages of editing and it’ll be out mid-June 2018. Here’s the blurb:

     Burdened by heartache, can a whisper from beyond give middle-aged Paula Murphy the courage to just pedal?

     Coming back to her Bay View summer home in northern Michigan means more than planning beach picnics and working in her daughter-in-law’s bicycle shop. Her avoidance to embrace her grown son’s death isn’t the only tribulation weighing on this self-reliant social worker’s mind. Reluctant to believe the unfathomable, Paula Murphy’s world is turned upside down when she’s reunited with the only man she’s ever loved.

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Linda is a multi-published author. In 2016, her debut novel, Maggie’s Way was a finalist in The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Award and the Greater Detroit Booksellers Best Award.

Maggie's Way Fork montana xmas

Linda’s books can be found at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2bakz7T

Barnes and Noble:

Maggie’s Way: https://bit.ly/2rJwNhs

Maggie’s Fork in the Road: https://bit.ly/2Inq0R3

Maggie’s Montana: https://bit.ly/2L4kzIy

A Montana Bound Christmas: https://amzn.to/2iprs9w


      Today we have the pleasure of welcoming Author Sheryl R. Hayes as our guest blogger who shares her insights about writing and tells us about her exciting debut book “Chaos Wolf”.  Take it away Sheryl…  

Sheryl R Hayes Author Photo

Stringing Words Together To Create A Yarn

    Aside from using tools that are stick-shaped, you wouldnt think that theres much similarity between writing and knitting. Believe it or not, there are a lot of parallels.

      I have been a knitter and crocheter for about ten years, and creating costumes for the last six. I have been writing in some form or another for over twenty years, but started my novel about six years ago. My processes for writing a book and creating a costume are strikingly similar.

    I start by deciding on what I am going to make. Be it a Cruella De Vil or an urban fantasy novel about werewolves and vampires, I need that seed idea to nurture.

Cruella De Vil

    Next I figure out how I am going to do this. I study other costumes similar to what I want to do. I choose my yarn and pick out patterns to modify. I read other novels in my genre. I make up my characters and write my outline.

     You would assume this is where I dive in, but Im not quite there yet. If Im not sure if this will work, I make a few samples. Ill make what is called a swatch by knitting a four by four inch square. From that I will get an idea of how the finished project will look and can estimate how much yarn it will take. I will write a short story or a few scenes to get the feel for my characters. Once I feel comfortable, I begin the actual creation.

     Now begins the hard part. I begin the fabrication, which takes up the bulk of the work. At first its cheery because I am MAKING SOMETHING AWESOME. (Yes, I think about it in capital letters.) But as my fingers start to get sore and my brain stops providing the words, I start to wonder WHY DECIDED TO DO THIS and WILL I EVER FINISH???

     Then, I start noticing the errors. Plot holes appear in my beautiful prose. I discover on row ten that I knit row seven twice, or worse yet, dropped a stitch. Sometimes they are small holes that you can fix easily with a few stitches or a few words. Occasionally they are large holes that require you to rip parts out and, in a bad situation, start over. I pull the yarn off my needles, open a new file, and begin again. Lather, rinse, repeat until to my surprise, I have all the parts made. No more holes to fill. Now it is time to put it all together.

     Once I have all my pieces in place and all my prose written, I work on assembling the finished product. I start sewing pieces together to create the base of the costume. I pick any accessories that I need to add that finishing polish. I send my writing out to editors and beta readers to find out what needs to be rewritten to make the prose sing. Ill hire a cover artist and write the bits and pieces that will be used to promote the book.

     And when Im done with all the knitting and the typing, I have something I am proud to show off to the world.

Bio:

     Sheryl R. Hayes can be found untangling plot threads or the yarn her cats have been playing with. In addition to writing, she is a cosplayer focusing on knit and crochet costumes and works full time at a Bay Area water company. You can follow her at her blog http://www.sherylrhayes.com, on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/sherylrhayes, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sherylreneehayes

Chaos Wolf:

Bitten by a werewolf. Taught by a vampire. At this rate, shes going to start a war.

     Literature major Jordan Abbey ordered a double mocha latte, but it wasn’t supposed to come with a side order bite by a love-sick werewolf. When a vampire comes to her rescue, gut instinct tells her he has questionable motives. But hes the only one she can trust to help get in touch with her inner animal.

     Within a week, her smart mouth lands her in trouble with the hostile alpha of the local pack and the stiff-necked vampire elder. She now has less than a moon cycle to master shape changing… or else. And the besotted werewolf who started this whole mess is stalking Jordan and killing her friends. He won’t take no for an answer.

     In the Northern California town of Rancho Robles where the children of the Wolf and the Bat share an uneasy coexistence, one woman makes an epic mess of the status quo.

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Chaos Wolf Excerpt:

     He gestured toward the couch. “Would you like tea, coffee, or soda?”

    “Soda, please.” Although she wasn’t thirsty, accepting what he offered seemed the polite thing to do. She sat down on the leather couch and rested her elbows on her knees. “Don’t you only drink… um

     “Blood?” Montgomery finished the question for her. “No.” He stepped into the kitchenette. “I can and do drink and eat other things. It’s kind of like eating junk food. There’s no nutritional value. I enjoy the flavors and textures. I don’t like to do it too often, though.”

     Jordan tilted her head to one side. “Why not?”

    His lip curled into a half smile. “I can’t digest matter like when I was mortal,” he explained. “I have to purge it in a different way.”

    She blinked, puzzling it out. Understanding dawned on her face. “Oh… Oh!”

    One red-and-silver can in hand, Montgomery stepped out of the kitchenette. “When I last saw you, you were hightailing it out of here, never to return.” He gave her the soda and took a seat in the chair sitting at a right angle to the couch. “What happened?”

    Jordan stared down at the soda and rubbed her thumb over the frosty top. “After I left, I went home. I didn’t tell anyone about you.” She gestured in Montgomery’s direction. “I went out to try to forget what happened. When I came back, I found out my roommate’s boyfriend had been mauled to death.”

    Montgomery stiffened. “Did you see the werewolf?”

    “No,” Jordan said. “I didn’t even think he was real until” She paused and shivered, sloshing the soda in the can. “All I could think about was finding you.”

     Montgomery’s lips moved to form a curse. “Did you come directly here?” He stood up and crossed the small space separating the chair and the couch. “Focus. It’s important. Do you think you were followed?”

     “No. The police took me and Molly to the station. We’re not allowed to go back to our apartment until sometime tomorrow after the super gets someone in to” Jordan’s voice broke. She swallowed. “Clean up. I spent two hours getting on and off buses to make sure I wasn’t followed.”

     Montgomery sat down on the couch. “Good thinking. If the werewolf was following you by scent, that should have thrown him off your trail. If he was tracking you by sight, you would have spotted him. Or he would have broken in here by now. You’ve been lucky.”

    “Lucky?” Jordan’s shoulders tightened and her fist clenched, denting the can inward. “I’m being stalked by something out of a horror film and you think I’m lucky?”

     “Yes,” Montgomery countered. “If you had been there instead of your friend, the werewolf would have finished what he started.”

     “Finished what he started?” Jordan put the soda on the table unopened. “You make it sound like he let me live.”

     “He did,” Montgomery stated, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

     She stared at him with an open mouth. All the movies and books she had seen taught that a werewolf would rip out her throat as soon as look at her. The female victim never survived the attack. “But why?”

     “You haven’t figured it out yet?” Montgomery appeared nonplussed by her reaction. “He wasn’t trying to make a meal out of you, Jordan. He was claiming you as his mate.”

Universal Book Link: https://www.books2read.com/chaos-wolf

 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B2RTFCV/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1


“THE BRIDGE” – Book 1

Alex Hill buried his psychic talents for eighteen years. But with the scream of tires and twisting metal all this changes…

His girlfriend, Police Sergeant Veronica Ross, is nearly run down by two teenagers who wind up crashing their car and are pronounced dead at the scene. After calming his love down they get a call from the Coroner’s office stating that both the driver and passenger of the wreck had NOT died at the scene, but had been dead for almost twelve hours as a result of drowning.

Upon hearing this he feels his powers stirring again and insists on accompanying Veronica to the coroner Morgue to learn more. Upon their arrival Alex finds himself psychically assaulted by an unknown force. Taking the attack as a warning, he tries to resist getting involved further. But, his talents soon lead him directly to a stream underneath an old stone bridge which turns out to be where the teens had died. Unfortunately for him, both the bridge and stream are on the Graham Estate, a property he is now representing as a real estate agent.

Soon the body count begins to rise, and each new death is somehow attached to the stream. To make matters worse, Alex finds himself on the suspect list because he since has the most access to the property and no alibi for any of the incidents.

Now, in order to clear himself, Alex must decide whether or not to embrace the very abilities he has shunned for so long…

What readers are saying:

– “A spellbinding story with paranormal elements…”

– “The Bridge” is a paranormal novel of highest quality.”

– To fans of the “Paranormal”: This book definitely is a “must-read”!

– “Reminds me of the old Outer Limits shows.”

– “What is most impressive however are the characters. The authors really took the characters one step further than one would expect”

– “A tale that kept me riveted and drawn in.”

– “The characters were great, with witty banter that had me cracking up. You will not be able to put this down!”

– “Wonderful story reminiscent of my Dean Koontz days.”

– “This book should be made into a science-fiction movie.”

– “The Bridge was a real nail biter.”

Available Now For Just $2.99:

AMAZON:

https://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Something-waits-Para-Earth-Book-ebook/dp/B00B86DR9G/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

AMAZON UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bridge-Something-waits-Para-Earth-Book-ebook/dp/B00B86DR9G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1525622566&sr=8-2&keywords=allan+krummenacker

“THE SHIP” – Book 2

What starts as a simple surfing lesson, turns into a struggle for survival for billionaire heiress Cassandra Elliott and her new love interest the Seneca shamaness Julie Cloudfoot…

Cassandra is knocked off her board by an unseen assailant that leaves a terrifying gash in her wetsuit, along with a small red mark on her leg. Soon, terrifying visions of a ghost ship begin haunting the heiress’ dreams. She begins to feel strangely drawn to the sea whenever a strange fog bank appears in the distance.

Is something hiding within the miasma, and what connection does it have to the legendary “Lost Colony of Roanoke”, and the tribe of Tuscarora Indians, that Julie is distantly related to…

What readers are saying:

 – “An original tale from two highly imaginative minds.”

 – “I cannot wait for the next book in the series.”

 – “This is a great book, one that I have no qualms recommending to all readers. Please give The Ship a try. You won’t be disappointed.”

 – “The story thunders on like a steam-roller…”

 – “If you’re into fantasy, paranormal mild horror and a little romance thrown in, you will like this book.”

 – “I laughed, I gasped, and marveled at the breeze with which the Krummenackers paid homage to the likes of H.P. Lovecraft.”

 – “The authors needs to keep writing, because I (and others) want to follow whatever is next in store for the intriguing characters we have met in The Ship and its predecessor The Bridge.”

 – “A page turner…”

 – “As a fan of the Paranormal I would definitely say: Read the book – it’s excellent!!”

 – “Kept me on the edge of my seat…”

“I love paranormal and it certainly satisfied that thirst in me.”

Available Now For Just $2.99:

AMAZON:

AMAZON UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ship-Every-needs-navigator-Para-Earth-ebook/dp/B00K3A7XG6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

 

“THE VAMPYRE BLOGS – COMING HOME” – Book 3

In 1861 sixteen year old Nathan Steward joined the 7th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment to help end slavery and preserve the Union. Before he left, Nathan promised his sister Isabella that he would not let the war change him… he was wrong.

While serving in the Union Army, Nathan found himself fighting on many battlefields. But his toughest fight took place on a parallel version of Earth (a Para-Earth) where evolution took a very different turn. Although he managed to get back to his own world, this particular battle left him so altered there was no going home. For now he needed to drink blood, sleep in the ground, and avoid sunlight.

Today, after 150 years of wandering and touching the lives of others, he is finally coming back to claim his family mansion which has stood empty for decades. However, unknown to Nathan, his homecoming will not be as lonely as he anticipates. For someone has been waiting all this time to welcome him back.

But, there is another who wishes to meet up with Nathan again as well. A creature he faced in that Para-Earth back in 1862, has found its way into this world and has caught his scent. Now it is drawing closer to his hometown, bent on his destruction. For this foe knows he is the only force that can stop it from enveloping this world and its dead.

What readers are saying:

– “Do not pick this book up if you think you know everything about vampires! It will completely change your thinking about them.”

 – “This is the 1st book I have read by these authors and I was hooked!”

 – “The story is rich, with plot twists that keep you guessing…“

 – “It keeps you enthralled with the story, constantly making you want to turn the next page.”

 – “This was the first time I read myself through a story built on blog (diary) entries… but then I realized it worked for the story, for the characters and it developed the entire storyline right before my eyes.”

 – “Pick this up if you like vampires!”

 – “A little Twilight, a little Bram Stoker, a little Stephen King…”

 – “Such a different approach to the ‘birth’ so to speak and the para earths are fascinating!”

 – “Nathan is a fascinating take on the immortal vampire. His family and friends are as dysfunctional as any modern group.”

 – “I look forward to the next installments!”

Available Now For Just $2.99:

AMAZON:

https://www.amazon.com/Vampyre-Blogs-Coming-Home-Para-Earth-ebook/dp/B01MDO8SLO/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

AMAZON UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vampyre-Blogs-Coming-Home-Para-Earth-ebook/dp/B01MDO8SLO/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8NOOK:

 


     Today I’m turning the reins over to guest blogger Tanmay Jain, who has just finished reading another one of Dan Brown’s famous Robert Langdon novels.    Take it away, Tanmay…

Angels and Demons – Dan Brown

Book Review

About the Author:

     Dan Brown is an American author of thriller novels, most notably the Robert Langdon stories: Angels & Demon, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, Inferno and Origin. His other books include Deception Point and Digital Fortress. He is mostly known for the book The Da Vinci Code. Three of his books, Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and Inferno have been made into successful films.

Plot Introduction:

     The story starts with Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor and art historian being called down to Switzerland by CERN Director, Maximilian Kohler, when one of his most brilliant scientists, Leonardo Vetra, has been murdered with an ambigram seared into his chest, ‘Illuminati’. Robert Langdon, being a specialist in the satanic group, teams up with Vittoria Vetra, the daughter of the deceased to stop a seemingly-impossible plan of the Illuminati to carry out the plan they dreamed of for centuries, the destruction of their biggest enemy, the Vatican.

Book Review:

     Dan Brown is no doubt a mast of his game. His books are laden with intricate and complex plots filled with detailed and accurate research. Angels and Demons is no less.

     As with the majority, I read The Da Vinci Code before Angels and Demons. While the previous was a pure masterpiece, the latter obviously did not meet its standards. This book’s beginning was no that interest-ingiting. The first fifty pages are a little bit of a bore. One has to go through those to reach the real fun that begins after Robert Langdon reaches Vatican City. Before that, the book does not resemble the page-turning flavor that is usually found in Dan Brown books.

     One great marvel about the book’s narration is what a collection of short stories it is. In between the main narrative, which itself is joined with a few other smaller story-lines, there are little stories strewn in. The background stories, Langdon giving a brief about relevant history as the plot progresses really increases the depth of the story and helps in connecting the reader to the characters. The books I also quite informative about art history which is its main theme. The workings of the Vatican, art history of the Illuminati, and certain masterpieces are brilliantly added to the narrative without making it tedious.

     While the main suspense about the plot, that is, the identity’s of the killer is kept until the end, many smaller surprises are revealed and many smaller questions are answered regularly to keep the reader hooked. The book quite easily inspires an unnecessarily loud ‘WHAT?’ from the reader.

     The characters of the book were well-written and deeply explained. While Kohler remained a big mystery and Janus and Hassassin’s character showed the much darker tone of the book. The merging of the multiple story-lines and similarly a single story-line being divided into two story-lines is radiantly maneuvered.

    The writing is filled with creative metaphors and similes, some of which, again introduce small stories of the character’s past. The plot of the book while deeply informative and thrilly is not as complicated as the other books. The ambigrams in the book were quite a delight and seem to be the main flair of its popularity.

     The title of the book is quite poetic and resemble the two different tones of the book, as aforementioned, that of Langdon and Hassassin’s. While the original cover was not available to me, I saw it on Wikipedia. The title was also an ambigram.

Plot – 7.5/10                                                 Research – 10/10

Narrative – 9/10                                         Cover – 8.5/10

Title – 9/10

Thanks so much Tanmay.  For anyone wishing to see more of Tanmay’s insights and writings, here are some links:

Until next time my friends, keep writing.
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