Friday, February 28, 2014

#YA #Mystery #Author Ben Woodard on How Often He Writes @benswoodard

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Image of Ben Woodard

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I’ve always had a fantasy about living in New Zealand. I’ve never been there, but I’m an outdoorsman and the idea of living in a small country with mountains and glaciers in the South and tropical islands in the North definitely appeals to me.
How do you write, with a laptop, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
All of the above, and more. When I’m writing a draft, I usually dictate using Dragon Dictate for the Mac. I’m a decent storyteller and this is the quickest way for me to get the words out. However, when editing I use a Mac Mini with a large screen monitor. Don’t tell, but sometimes when editing or writing, I will get in the tub with a couple of dark beers, a pad of paper, and a pencil and stay until my wife threatens to call the fire department to get me out.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
To me success would be when reluctant readers, and especially boys, read and enjoy my books. I’ve had one boy who, according to his mother, is bored with reading. She got him to read Hunger Games and the Percy Jackson books, but he’s a slow reader and lost interest. But with tears in her eyes, she told me that when he read my book, A Stairway To Danger, he wouldn’t put it down and even hid under the covers reading late into the night. That’s my definition of success.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I like to read, to hike in the woods, to play with the grandkids, and snuggle with my wife on the couch. Oh, and not necessarily in that order.
How often do you write? And when do you write?
I write, market, and/or edit every day. Since I’m semiretired—I don’t have to go to work every day—I’m fortunate to be able to spend from eight to twelve hours a day on my books. And that doesn’t seem to be enough time.
Have you met any people in the industry who have really helped you?
Tons of them. Two multi-published children’s authors in my city have mentored me. One edits my drafts and urges me to learn more about plotting and story arcs. I get incredible support from traditional and indie authors alike on social networking. I can’t believe that there is any other profession where competitors spend so much time helping one another.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
Since I writing for teens, I hope they will get a sense of adventure and fun. There are lessons in the books, but the main reason I wrote them was to spark interest in reading from kids that don’t like to read.
How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?
For authors, they are an excellent resource—both for marketing and finding writing information. And, as a plus, they’re fun, but all of us need to be careful because they can suck away our writing time. I set limits on the time spent networking and even use a timer because I can’t be trusted when looking at animal videos on Facebook.
What’s your next project?
I’m starting a middle grade trilogy that has gotten interest from agents. Originally written as a single book, I’m now breaking it up into three books. And, for the first time, I’m writing paranormal, but there still will be two boys and their antics. The last book will feature a girl protagonist. I’ll start on the books after the first of the year and I plan to query this series to editors and agents.

Explosions, sabotage, caves, deadly warnings and a dangerous red-haired man.

Imagine The Hardy Boys meet Tom Sawyer. Add a layer of teen angst and excitement plus a mysterious group trying to stop a new dam while stirring up racial tensions.
That’s STEPS INTO DARKNESS, the next book in the Shakertown Adventure Series by Ben Woodard.

Fourteen-year-old Tom Wallace again makes plans to escape the small town in the 1923 Kentucky countryside. The town that won’t let him forget his past, when a horrific event changes his mind. He teams with his cousin Will and young FBI agent Rick Sweeney to try to solve a perplexing mystery. Attempts on the boys’ lives and a bewildering list of suspects keep them on edge and confused. An old man gives them a clue that leads to a false accusation and embarrassment until they discover the real villain, and then wish they hadn’t.

STEPS INTO DARKNESS is a fun, page-turning thriller with a hint of romance that delivers adventure and mystery while exploring the fears of a teen living with a frightful memory.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - YA/Mystery
Rating – PG – 13
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Brandon Overall on Having a Writing Schedule #amwriting #amreading #scifi

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How often do you write? And when do you write?
-While working on my book I wrote a lot.  I wrote the first draft in a month and spent 3-4 hours per day writing.  I usually write best in the mornings or in the evening while listening to music.
Do you have an organized process or tips for writing well? Do you have a writing schedule?
-Nope, I am not too serious about it so I just do it when I feel like it.  It’s not a job for me, it’s just a hobby.  If writing starts to stress me out, then it stops being fun and I stop doing it.
Sometimes it’s so hard to keep at it - What keeps you going?
-After putting so many hours into a work, it would be a shame to quit and have all that time go to waste.  I want to finish what I started!
Have you met any people in the industry who have really helped you?
-Not yet
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
-I want people to put themselves in the shoes of the main character of my book and imagine what they would do with that kind of power.
What’s your favorite meal?
-Sushi for sure!
What movie do you love to watch?
-I love lots of different kinds of movies, I can’t really pick just one, but in general I love sci-fi movies.  Especially about aliens.
How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?
-They are a great resource to keep in touch with your readers, and I think the ability for a new author to go viral through social media is great and lets talent get discovered easily.
If you could do any job in the world what would you do?
-I’m already doing it!

Superhuman Nature is Brandon Overall's first novel. It was written and published during his first deployment to Afghanistan as a 2nd Lieutenant in late 2013.
Neil Hitchens was a senior ROTC Cadet in college. He was just weeks away from graduating and becoming an Officer in the United States Army, until a strange dream set off a chain of events that would twist his life into something he could have never prepared for.
In the days following his dream, several strange happenings occurred that he began to suspect were the result of his own actions. Before long, he discovered that he had the ability to control the world around him with his mind.
What started out as an unpredictable ability quickly evolved into an extraordinary power that had the capacity to change the world. It didn't take long for the government to find out what Neil could do.
They knew having such limitless potential on the side of the US Military could give them limitless political influence, and they would stop at nothing to get Neil to do their bidding. They would find out what happens when you back a dangerous animal into a corner.
Neil spent his whole life believing he would amount to greatness, but he never expected how greatness could corrupt even the most innocent of minds.
Buy @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Science Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
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N.S. Wikarski and Her Booksigning Horror Story (Arkana Mysteries) #Historical #Fiction

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Booksigning Horror Story
by N.S, Wikarski

It was a dark and stormy night…

Well, it wasn’t night. It was the middle of the afternoon but the rest is true. My first book had been out for about a year and I was doing book signings at a series of small chain bookstores in Wisconsin and Michigan. Anyone who’s familiar with the upper Midwest knows that on summer weekends city dwellers flee their homes like rats abandoning a Warfarin-dusted high rise. They jump in their cars and head for the quaint and charming tourist towns along the shores of the Great Lakes.

It was the middle of June and I was scheduled to appear at a bookstore in one of those quaint and charming lakeside hamlets. It wasn’t an unreasonable assumption that I would be able to sell a case of books that weekend and go home happy. You know the adage about assumptions so I won’t repeat it.
I will, however, repeat the opening line of this post. It was dark and stormy. In mid-June at high noon the temperature struggled to reach a soggy sixty degrees. This is never a good sign when one is counting on a large turnout. In retrospect, the weather proved to be the least of my problems.

As I entered the bookstore trailing a case of books, the clerk looked puzzled. “Can I help you with something?”

“I’m here for the book signing,” I said cheerily.

“What book signing?”

I patiently led the clerk to the plate glass window at the front of the store where my announcement was displayed. I tapped the page for emphasis. “This book signing.”

“Oh Jeez, that was supposed to be today?”

I nodded gravely.

“Wow, I’m so sorry. We don’t have anything set up for you. We didn’t run any announcements in the paper either.” The clerk scurried over to a kiddie table near the front of the store where a Harry Potter display was arranged. Shoving the books aside, he said, “You can set up here.”

I looked at the table dubiously. It stood two feet high and two feet wide. I’m not a tall woman so it wasn’t an impossible situation, just a mildly uncomfortable one. I sat down on the kiddie bench that accompanied the table and set up my wares.

The store, which had been empty until now, began to fill with people. Very wet people who felt the need to shake rain droplets off their slickers and umbrellas as they entered. Positioned as I was, most of the rain fell on me.

Over the course of the next fifteen minutes, people continued to trickle in, shake themselves dry, and browse. One gentleman stopped at my table. I looked up at him hopefully, thinking he might have a question about my work.

“Harry Potter, huh?” He pointed to the books stacked beside my own. “I bet you wish you had her sales.”

I smiled and nodded thinking, “Today I’d be happy with anybody else’s sales but mine.”

He moved on. I continued to watch the traffic ebb and flow for the next hour. At first I felt badly that nobody was buying my books until I noticed that nobody was buying books period. About fifty people had come through the store by now. They stamped their feet on the door mat, flapped their umbrellas in my general direction, then formed an impromptu conga line that snaked around the aisles and terminated at the exit. They all left without buying a single book.

“Is it always like this?” I asked the clerk in disbelief.

He shrugged. “We get a lot of browsers.”

At that moment a teenage girl walked up to me. “Where do you keep the books on Ed Gein?”

For those not familiar with Wisconsin local history, Ed Gein was a ghoulish murderer in the 1950s. Aside from a few killings and dismemberments, he exhumed corpses from the Plainfield graveyard and fashioned trophies out of their bones and skin. Gein served as the inspiration for no less than three movies (Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Silence Of The Lambs).

I smiled wryly at the girl for a moment. Ed Gein was the perfect exclamation point to my own personal day of horror.

Instead of telling her I didn’t work for the store, I stood up and said, “I think I saw some titles about him down this aisle.” I was determined to sell at least one book that day. Even if it wasn’t my own.

THE ARKANA SERIES: Where Alternative History Meets Archaeology Adventure
Volume Four - Riddle Of The Diamond Dove
"From Kindle Nation fave N. S. Wikarski comes the long-awaited fourth book in her fascinating seven-part Arkana archaeology thriller series -- with more of the wonderful characters, sly humor, intrigue and mayhem that come together to create the absorbing world of her intricate, fast-paced mysteries." (Kindle Nation Daily)
Global Treasure Hunt
Where do you hide an ancient relic that has the power to change the course of history? As Cassie Forsythe and her Arkana team discover, you scatter clues to its whereabouts across the entire planet. Five artifacts buried among the rubble of lost civilizations point to the hiding place of a mythical object known as the Sage Stone. Thus far psychic Cassie, bodyguard Erik, and librarian Griffin have succeeded in recovering two of those artifacts.
Opposing Forces
Cassie and Company find their lives threatened at every turn by agents of a religious cult known as the Blessed Nephilim. The cult's leader, Abraham Metcalf, wants to exploit the power of the Sage Stone to unleash a catastrophic plague on the world. The quest for the next piece of the puzzle has led both sides to Africa. They must comb an entire continent--their only lead a riddle carved onto a mysterious dove sculpture. Even as the Arkana team struggles to decipher the clue, new dangers hover over their colleagues at home.
Other Dangers
Metcalf's child-bride Hannah has taken refuge at the home of the Arkana's leader Faye while mercenary Leroy Hunt creeps ever nearer to her hiding place. His search for the girl brings him dangerously close to the secret location of the Arkana's troves--a collection of pre-patriarchal artifacts which confirm an alternative history of the origins of civilization itself. While Hunt closes in on Hannah, Metcalf's son Daniel dogs the footsteps of the Arkana field team in order to claim the next artifact before they do. Daniel recruits a clever ally along the way who might be more than a match for the opposing side.
Collision Course
When the forces of the Arkana and the Nephilim converge on a ruined city in a forgotten corner of the dark continent, the shocking outcome is beyond even Cassie's powers to foresee. The quest for the Sage Stone will veer in an unexpected direction once both sides solve the Riddle Of The Diamond Dove.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Alternative History Fiction
Rating – PG
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

#YA Author Peter Clenott & How He Works Through Self-Doubt @PeterClenott #AmReading #TBR

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Image of Peter Clenott 
How do you work through self-doubts and fear? In writing I have no self-doubts. But as a shy person, I have had plenty of self-doubts that I preferred to slide past without facing. Dating was always terrible. Public speaking impossible. But since I have published and have spoken at various literary functions, I’ve discovered that as long as I’m talking about something I’m comfortable with, I do okay. And dating, of course, is a thing of the past.
What scares you the most? The end of the world, running out of money before the end of the world, forgetting to put on my pants before I run out of money.
What’s your greatest character strength? Perseverance. Through all of the rejections I have received from agents and publishers, I haven’t stopped and have finally achieved some success.
What’s your weakest character trait? Impatience. Frustration when things don’t go as planned. That goes hand-in-hand with the self-doubts.
Why do you write? The most important thing people do is communicate to one another. For me, as a shy person, writing is a way for me to communicate ideas and beliefs to people, potentially, around the world, and do so in a mind-absorbing, pleasant way.
Do you plan to publish more books? Absolutely. I have been writing for 40 years. I have plenty of books on the back shelf ready to go and plenty more in my head waiting to be written.
How did you develop your writing: I never took college courses. I read a lot of fiction and developed my own style. Through feedback, professional editing services, and a lot more reading, I learned how to research, prepare, outline and, finally, craft a well-written novel. Due to the expense of editorial services, I now edit my own novels with confidence.
What is the hardest: getting published, writing, marketing? In the old days, getting published may have been the hardest. With the internet and self-publishing and e-publishing so prolific, it is much easier for anyone to publish their novel. Marketing is by far the most difficult thing now, or, at least, the least enjoyable. I find that I am skeptical about the influences of Twitter and Facebook etc on selling your work. There are just so many other authors doing the same thing every day, how do I or how does any other author stand out in the crowd, get the notice they deserve for their fine work? How does a reader choose? I don’t know if there is a good answer.
What do you hope your obituary will say about you? He was respected as one of America’s finest authors of the 21st century.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Young Adult
Rating – PG
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Author Interview – Jade Kerrion @JadeKerrion

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What would you love to produce in your life?

A movie based on my Double Helix series!

How do you feel about self-publishing?

I think self-publishing provides an avenue for people who want to take control of their work to get that work out into the world. Unfortunately, many people don’t care enough about the quality of the work that they release, but there are many authors who do care, and who do invest a great deal of their own money in editors and cover artists to make sure that the novel they release is the best it can be.

Do you know your neighbors?

Yes, of course. The ones on the right have four kids and four dogs. The ones on the left have three kids who have all since left home, and a cat that passed away several weeks back.

How important are friends in your life?

They’re important, certainly, and I think it’s critical to point out that your family needs to be your friends too. I consider my husband my best friend.

How many friends does a person need?

Enough to enrich your life. I realize this is a bit of a cop-out answer, but the fact is that it varies for people. I tend to get by on fewer but deeper friendships. Others, I’ve noticed, enjoy more friends, but we’re both contented with the kinds of friendships we have.

Eternal Night ebook

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Genre - Fantasy, Paranormal

Rating – PG-13

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Fool for Love by Merry Farmer @MerryFarmer20

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Chapter Four

The Majestic rose up out of the water in its Liverpool dock with all the glory of its name.  Amelia held one hand to her hat and stared at its iron sides, its two dun-colored funnels and three tall masts.  The ship was a strange thing to her, a mixture of old and new, progress with hints of the past.  It had sails that could be unfurled in a pinch, but with its powerful new engines, the ship could cross the ocean in a week.

Seven days to a new world.  It was an exact description of everything her life had become.  It was every bit as daunting.

“What am I doing?” Amelia whispered, staring at the hopeful monstrosity in front of her.  It was one thing to accept an offer for a new life.  It was another thing entirely to go through with it.

She turned away from the ship, swallowing the nausea that had plagued her since she’d left her mother’s house.  This time it wasn’t morning sickness.  That was long past.  At the moment, the baby was the least of her worries.  Her stomach rolled over the idea that she was about to board a ship heading for a new life at the mercy of a stranger, a man, no less.  The last time she had trusted her life and her future to a man had been a disaster.

She paced, purse clutched to her chest, scanning the busy dock in search of her American savior.  Men, women, and children crowded the gangplanks, eager to start their journeys, excited and hopeful.  Many of the third-class passengers carried bundles that indicated theirs was a one-way trip as much as hers was.  Eric had left her there to go buy her ticket, but there was nothing stopping him from running off and leaving her stranded.  Like her father.  Like Nick.  She was a fool to agree to this.  She pivoted and marched away from the ship.

No, she stopped herself after a handful of steps, this was the best decision she could have made.  She may have felt small and lonely standing by herself, waiting, heart and stomach fluttering, but she was as much a part of the intrepid adventurers seeking a new life in America as any of her fellow passengers.  This was right.


“Well, we got a minor problem on our hands.”

The twang of Eric’s accent shocked Amelia from her worries.  She spun to face him as he approached her with wide strides, scratching his head and looking as guilty as a schoolboy.

“A problem?” she asked, voice fluttering.

“Yeah.  I went to buy you a ticket, but they’re plumb sold out.”

Amelia’s chest tightened and her tender stomach lurched.  “Oh.  Oh dear.  Well I suppose….”

She lowered her eyes, heart aquiver.  As quickly as it started, her chance for a new life was over.  All that worrying for nothing.

She squared her shoulders to face her fate.  “I … I thank you for your efforts on my behalf regardless, Mr. Quinlan.”

Eric’s brow crinkled into a curious frown.  “Regardless?”

“I suppose I could find work here in Liverpool,” she explained.  “Surely there must be a shop somewhere that would look the other way from….”  She lowered her hand to the mound of her stomach.

Eric’s lips twitched.  The morning sunlight caught in his eyes.  “I didn’t want to have to put you in third-class, so I told them you were my wife.”

Amelia blinked.  “You what?”

“I told them we’re newlyweds.  I reserved my stateroom in first class last year when I came over.  Good thing I paid for it then too, ‘cuz after this fiasco of a trip I’ll never ride first-class again.  Anyhow, when they said they didn’t have any more rooms, I told them you were my wife and that we would be staying in the same stateroom.  They sold me a ticket for that.”  He handed her a fresh, clean ticket with her name written as ‘Mrs. Amelia Quinlan’.  “Sorry.”

Amelia held perfectly still on the outside, but on the inside her heart pounded and her stomach rolled with guilt for questioning him.  He wasn’t abandoning her.  He had gone out of his way to help her.  Her heart squeezed as it never had before.  She took the ticket from him with a trembling hand, hardly noticing when her fingers brushed his.  She was rescued after all.

“Thank you, Mr. Quinlan.  You have no idea how much this kindness means to me.”  She had to concentrate on breathing, standing straight, and looking up into his handsome eyes with a smile to keep her tears at bay.

“You don’t mind sharing then?” he asked her.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Western Historical Romance

Rating – R

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

"I Don't Want Mistakes in My #Book" says #Fantasy #Authors RJ Blain @rj_blain

at 1:00 PM 0 comments

How long have you been writing?
I started writing in 5th grade, but I wasn’t exactly serious about it. I wrote stories about unicorns and gryphons, in a strange inspirational mix of Birth of the Firebringer by Meredith Anne Pierce and The Black Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon. It wasn’t quite fan fiction, but definitely heavily inspired by these two stories.
I didn’t get serious about writing until 2008 or so, though. I had written several books before then, but had never done anything with them.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
I’m most comfortable writing traditional or epic fantasy, but I have been branching out into a lot of different subgenres lately. Inquisitor, one of my current works-in-progress, is an urban / paranormal fantasy with a healthy dose of mystery, thriller, and romance. I don’t like just writing comfortable. I write best when I feel I’m being challenged by the subjects I’m writing.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
I think the hardest thing for me is to remember that no book can be perfect, but that I should still strive for perfection anyway. It’s a fine balance. When a novel is 100,000 words long, there are bound to be mistakes. I don’t want mistakes in my books. I’m pretty aggressive about correcting them, a freedom I have whenever I self-publish a novel. With Amazon’s auto-update feature, there’s no reason not to correct any and all errors as they’re found.
But, the real challenge is catching the errors before a book is released. If readers only find a handful of things I’ve missed in 100,000 words, I feel like I’ve done my job. Otherwise, I need to work harder, and write better books in general.
Fixing all of the mistakes, and taking care with my edits, is the hardest thing about writing a novel, in my opinion.
Have you developed a specific writing style?
My editor says I have a distinct style, but I write stories as I feel the story needs written. I don’t actually pay attention to my style so much as I pay attention to trying to make my characters and story interesting. I think style is something that happens as a result of all of the other parts of writing. I don’t believe in writing to create a specific style. I just try to write to my characters, their personalities, and the story they are in.
But, as a result, I think it has given a bit of a style. Just don’t ask me what that style is, I’m not sure!
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I used to get writer’s block. I don’t anymore. Writer’s block, for me, was an unwillingness to work. In short, whenever I got writer’s block, it was because I was being lazy, not because there was anything actually blocking me from working.
If I do not want to work, I ask myself why. I address the problem, and I get back to work. At most, I get stalled for an hour here and there as I work out a kink in a plot. That’s not writer’s block, that’s just making sure my story makes sense and works. That’s a totally different bucket of worms than writer’s block, also known as the complete inability to write anything.
How did you come up with the title?
Storm Without End got its title because of the opinion of one of the characters, who views war and conflict as a storm without end. It pursues the things humans, as a race, often bicker about without any actual resolution. We always have something we’re conflicted about, or in direct conflict with. I think the title reflects this human trait, as well as sets the tone for the characters who are trying to fight the inevitable storm.
It also is a reflection of how people will fight against things that can’t easily be fought against, but do so anyway, just because they believe it is something they need to do.
How did you develop your plot and characters?
The plotting process is an interesting thing for me. I don’t often start with an event or something I want to happen in the book. I often start with a question. For example: What if there was a culture where rape didn’t exist? What would the conditions for this be? What kind of people would be able to live in this sort of culture? How would men and women react to each other?
I often think about things like this, and then I take it a step further, and ask how this culture would react with other cultures. I built an entire world around this process.
Then I pick something that would put all of these people into conflict with each other. At long last, I’d then think of the type of person who might bring order to chaos, and chaos to order, and write about them.
Who designed the cover?
Chris Howard (of was the artist for my cover. I ended up doing a lot of the titling work, although I did work with Chris a lot to try to pick an edgy font that matched the tone of the book. Chris has been a great cover artist to work with. Storm Without End was the second cover he did for me. I’ve since worked with him on a third cover for an upcoming novel, The City of Clocks.
What was the hardest part about writing this book?
There is one scene during the ending chapters of Storm Without End that was exceptionally difficult to write. It involved the lengths one culture of people would go to for their beliefs, and it is something that many of us would consider a very, very evil act. It borders on graphic in some ways, and is most definitely abhorrent in the eyes of most. But it was a vital scene to the book. I left the scene out when I gave it to my betas, reworking the scenes before and after to work without it.
Every last one of the beta readers demanded its inclusion. I included it. It was the right choice, but it was a very hard choice to make, and an extremely difficult scene for me to write. I think that is part of why it worked so well in the book, though. I almost always write my best when I’m writing something that is difficult, challenging, and challenges the reader as much as it challenges me. It’s a dangerous scene in all ways.
Editing that scene was as brutal as writing it, too. Ironically, it led to one of my beta readers buying the book after its release. Things like that happen.
Will you write others in this same genre?
Yes, definitely. Storm Without End is the first in a series of novels following the adventures and mishaps of Kalen and Breton. I’m hoping for six books, although some may have to be big fat fantasies in order to keep the series to six. My goal is to release one book a year of this series until I’m finished. My main plan is to alternate writing and releasing the next part of two different series. The other is more of a traditional fantasy than an epic fantasy, although both series take place in the same world.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Fantasy
Rating – PG - 13
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2082 (The Chronicles of Hope) by Robert Breeze @robertbreeze #politics #fiction #mustread

at 10:30 AM 0 comments
People often ask me what the key to writing a book is. They haven’t yet but I’m ready with an answer if they ever do. To me the key is organisation, especially if writing isn’t your only job. Any writer, published or self published, has some responsibility to market the book themselves and alongside writing this can be an exhausting task.
If you’re willing/able to pay for such marketing services then it makes your life considerably easier. If not. Then you need to blog, interact on forums, use social media, all of which are time consuming tasks. I have a meticulous daily timetable that I usually formulate at the end of each month for the whole of the following month. It’ll include writing and marketing the books almost on a daily basis, with the flexibility to nudge things back a day or two when into the meat on the timetable if I do fancy a spontaneous social life from time to time.
I’m now realising that it it’s almost impossible to advocate organisation without appearing to be the most boring man on the planet, but I’ll plough on regardless. The organisation process for any book probably differs for each writer, and each writer will hopefully hit upon a method that works for them in terms of productivity. For me I plan meticulously (of course I do). I’ll work on all the characters maybe for a month, developing them and adding in certain dialogue that’d fit as I do so. I’ll then work on the story (although obviously most times I’ll have a vague idea to begin with), adding in any twists and turns as I do so. Love and death are always key pivots on which a story can turn so it’s always worth considering whether that fits into your storyline. From there I will usually put a word document into chapter by chapter format and then try and work things out almost scene by scene. Once all this is fed in it then allows me to play around with the order and re-read relentlessly. I’ll often have a character list and see if any character adds anything to each scene (this is also a process I add in to the edit at the end of the book).
Although I’m promoting the virtues of organisation I’m now going to be a complete hypocrite in the eyes of a lot of you and try and claim that flexibility can complement those intentions. Although the above is a blueprint of how I commonly approach writing a novel I find the process changes each time. When this happens I think it’s important to let things flow in that direction rather to interrupt any creative process in order to implement a plan.
Frank Noon divides opinion. Whilst some say he’s a philosophical genius, some say he’s a fanciful dreamer who deliberately courts controversy with his anti-establishment views about the failings of modern society.
Seemingly nearing the end of his life in politics, he reluctantly fronts an experimental inter-galactic government project late in the 21st century aimed at making life on an overpopulated Earth more sustainable. As he battles to gain control of a relative asylum, consisting of a cross section of the populous as much at odds with themselves as the situation, he unwittingly embarks on a life-changing journey of self discovery.
As they learn more about the project and its intentions how far-reaching might the consequences be for the future of humanity?
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Genre - Political Fiction
Rating – PG
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Bryan Taylor & The Three Sisters Discuss Their Favorite Movies About Nuns #satire #politics

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To celebrate the release of the book, The Three Sisters, I asked each of the three sisters to tell me what were their three favorite movies with nuns in them were, and then which movie they jointly chose as their favorite “nun” movie of all time.
Regina Grant: 
Since I like classic Hollywood films, I chose The Singing Nun (1966), Come to the Stable (1949), and Heaven Knows Mr. Allison (1957).  The Singing Nun is my favorite of the three.  It’s lots of fun in a mindless way, and Debbie Reynolds as engaging as ever.  You can’t help but like the movie, even if it is pure fiction. The nun it was based upon, Soeur Sourire, committed suicide 20 years after the film was made, after a life of financial difficulties. Come to the Stable was written by Clare Booth Luce who also wrote The Women.  It’s an engaging film in which some irreligious people help the sisters build a children’s hospital showing the spiritual and secular can work together. Heaven Knows Mr. Allison is set during World War II on an island in the Pacific, and is about a castaway marine who falls for a stranded nun. They work together to avoid the Japanese when they arrive on the island.  It is quite an engaging drama.
Theodora Suora: 
I prefer the more intellectually challenging films, so I chose Doubt (2008), Black Narcissus (1947) and Dead Man Walking (1995).  Doubt is my favorite of the three.  The first time you see it, you are inclined to view it from Sister Aloysius Beauvier’s point of view, but if you watch it from Father Brendan Flynn’s point of view, you’ll see his view makes just as much sense as hers, whence the doubt.  Black Narcissus is about a community of nuns who try to establish a civilized community in the Himalayas in the former bordello of a Rajah. It is wonderfully photographed and each of the characters is finely drawn. Dead Man Walking takes on the difficult subject of the death penalty and handles it with poignancy. Both Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn give wonderful performances.
Coito Gott: 
Since Theodora always tells me what a rebel I am, I didn’t want to disappoint her, and I chose Viridiana (1961), La Religieuse (1966) and Lilies of the Field (1963).  Viridiana is Bunuel’s take on what happens when an idealistic nuns meets the real world.  With some interesting twists and turns, she ends up helping the poor in ways she never would have if she had stayed in the convent. La Religieuse is based upon Diderot’s novel, perhaps a bit modernized, perhaps a bit slow, but nicely done. Anna Karina is wonderful as always.  Lilies of the Field is fun as you watch the sisters manipulate Sidney Poitier to get him to help them build a new chapel. After all, nuns are irresistible, aren’t they?
And which movie did we all choose as the best movie about nuns?  
The Trouble With Angels, of course.  There is a certain charm to this movie that make it difficult to resist despite its silliness. It’s based upon the novel, Life with Mother Superior by Jane Trahey, and has enough rebellion and antics in it to keep you entertained. We’re sure anyone who went through Catholic School could identify with the two “angels” in the film.  The sequel, Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows is fun, but doesn’t work as well.  You can tell it was more of a creation of Hollywood to profit from the popularity of the first movie, but it is an interesting reflection of its time.
Of course, there are many others that didn’t make our list, but deserve an honorable mention. We decided not to include any nunsploitation films or movies that are only tangentially related to nuns.  The ones that didn’t quite make our list included Sister Act (more Whoopi Goldberg than nuns), The Bells of St. Mary’s (too saccharine), The Sound of Music (more about Nazis than nuns), Change of Habit (Elvis meets Mary Tyler Moore), The Nun’s Story (Audrey Hepburn is enjoyable, but the movie is slow), Agnes of God (good cast, too somber), Nasty Habits (Nuns meet Watergate, but lousy), The White Sister (entertaining but silent), The Devils (Ken Russell meets nuns), and of course, The Flying Nun TV Show (not a movie).
The one book which would make a really, really fabulous movie someday would be The Three Sisters, but if you can’t wait for the movie to come out, be sure and read the book.
Nuns just want to have fun! But when three former Catholic nuns have too much fun and get in trouble with the law, they become nuns on the run.
Driving back to Washington D.C. where they work at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Parts, the three sisters are arrested in Tennessee. After defeating the local deputy in strip poker, they escape from jail, and are pursued by the zealous Detective Schmuck Hole, who has personally offered a $10,000 reward for their capture on The 700 Club. Little do they know that when the three sisters visit the Washington Monument, their lives will change forever.
Set in 1979, The Three Sisters is a sacrilegious satire that skewers not only organized religion, but the government, the media, intellectuals, corporate greed and every other part of the establishment. Maybe not the greatest story ever told, but possibly the funniest.
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Genre – Humor, Satire, Catholicism, Politics
Rating – R
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