Thursday, October 30, 2014

Welcome to the Author's Cave Halloween Blog Train

                    Welcome to the Author's Cave

                      Halloween Blog Train

1. Include a picture or video of yourself in a Halloween costume.
I do not have a picture of myself in a costume. If I were going to come up with a costume, it would look something like this.

2. What's your favorite scary movie?
Ringu. It's scary and it has a plot with a bit of mystery that goes beyond 'people died'.

3. What scene from a book or movie scared you more than any other?
I don’t actually have any specific scenes that stick with me that way. The most scared I’ve been because of a movie was after the very first slasher film I saw. I grew up fifty miles from the town where the murders that inspired Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” happened. I can’t remember the name of the movie, but when I got home from my date, the house was dead quiet. My parents never go anywhere, especially when I’m out with a guy and there’s a curfew to be observed. Freaked me out. I made it as far as the dining room with a butcher knife before I bolted and drove myself into town.
4. If all of Stephen King's bad guys were after other, who would win and why?

I'm not a huge Stephen King fan. I would have to go with Christine because it's one of the few I've read, it features a cool car that regenerates, and since it is metal, it feels no pain. She's just going to run you over to a worthy ballad like a bad girl should.

5. Give a Treat!

  Witch Fingers

1 c. butter                                    2 2/3 flour

1 c. powdered sugar                     1 tsp baking powder                  

1 egg                                           ¾ c. whole almonds

1 tsp almond extract                     1 tube of red decorating gel

1tsp vanilla                                           Preheat oven to 325

Beat first column of ingredients together then slowly beat in remaining flour and baking powder.

Use wax paper to roll a heaping tsp of dough into the shape of a finger. Pinch near the end and near the center to create knuckles. You can etch wrinkles in if desired.

Put an almond at one end for the fingernail and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. The blunt end can be dipped in the decorating gel to resemble blood, or you can remove the almond, fill the depression with gel and replace the almond, making the gel ooze around the ‘nail’. You can also color the dough with food coloring for a different ‘skin tone’.
6. Provide an elevator pitch for one of your books.
Girl Found: It's a novel of paranormal suspense. A girl who can see the past when she touches objects has to decide if she's going to keep hiding or fight to return home.



7. Blog Train Halloween Story! Members of the train will follow in the order of their cars to complete the following Halloween story. Follow the train to see how the story goes and to get to know some new authors!

WHOA! If you are just starting the story train, click here to go to Train Car #1 for the beginning.

Buried Alive?

How does one kill a man who's already dead? Perhaps Lord Hampshire killed men in the war, but this was a quite different situation he found himself in. Dark magic permeated this affair, and none of it to do with me. He was, however, ensconced in this body with me, a female body.
Lord Hampshire felt his back go up. “Oh, I dare say she will.”
He’d noticed Barlow’s reaction to my defense. If I could kick the man, he could do more. Lord Hampshire reached for the rogue, imagining his hands around the man’s throat, his finger’s squeezing as the man’s face turned red, then purple, his tongue and eyes bulging…
For the next stop on the blog train and the rest of the story
-Lisa Hall

p.s. If you enjoyed this post, please click the g+1 button below here or reshare so that others may enjoy it too. Authors' Cave celebrates Halloween for the commercial spirit and there is no relation with beliefs or non-beliefs about any pagan or other traditions.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

No Heaven by Lex Allen

It's been a while since I spent most of a day reading, but today was that day. The book I finished in the morning was a bit of disappointment. The book I expected to only be starting tonight was anything but. It's been a while since I picked up a book and read it straight through.

Jack Schmidt, blogger and self-professed atheist drops a twenty onto a random bum, and gets a note in return. A note addressed specifically to him. A note that invites him to mass on Saturday.

Elizabeth Washburn, a theologian and author who has lost her faith, receives a note to meet Jack Schmidt at mass on Saturday, from a hippie attending one of her lectures.

The man they both meet claims to be Jesus. That Jesus. The Jesus And according to him, he hasn’t come back to fulfill biblical prophecy. He’s come back to set the record straight.

I opened this book thinking to read a couple chapters. I finished the book in one setting. No Heaven is a smart piece of speculative fiction, mixing elements of religion, quantum physics, and current events into an engaging read that encompasses a redefinition of humanity and history.
If you followed the Elevator Pitch series, this is a cover you'll recognize. I came across more than a couple of potentially good reads to explore. This was one of them.

The Magicians Guild by Trudi Canavan

What to say about this book. I floated between a two and a three on this. I don't think the book was supposed to be YA, but it read like one. The story only holds together if you don't look too deep. If you are young and new to fantasy, you might find yourself liking this story. If you’ve spent the last forty years reading like I have, this story hasn’t a tremendous amount to recommend it. I settled on a two for my purposes.

The story begins with our protagonist, Sonea, heading back to the slums, her family having been run out of their current home, the place where they'd finally gotten a leg up on life and found decent housing inside the city. While trekking through the mean streets in search of a new place for the family to live, Sonea overhears the guards talking about a trap, and not wanting her old street friends to get caught, she goes to warn them. In doing so she puts herself on the front lines of the yearly slum purge conducted by the magicians.

Furious at the injustice of it all, Sonea joins the other dwells, those who dwell in the slums, and throws rocks at the magicians. The magicians are behind a barrier and none of the missiles being launched are having any effect. That infuriates Sonea as well, and then as if by, well, magic, the rock she throws goes through the barrier and takes down a wizard.

Sonea is stunned. She doesn't understand what happened, why her rock got through the barrier. She's not a magician. There are no magicians that come from the lower classes. The magicians are stunned too and she's been noticed. As one of the magicians points at her, several magicians incinerate a boy standing next to her. Sonea runs, returning to the streets below the slums, and her old friends, for safety as the Magicians Guild searches for her.

The world build is inconsistent, as is Sonea’s character. There’s a strong magic practice in this story that sets itself up to be a power to be controlled and heavily monitored. It’s known to be inherited and yet the idea that a girl from the slums exhibits the power is seen as an extreme oddity. The dwellers of the slums aren’t tested for power even though it’s known that the magicians seek out female company there and that the people of this particular country ‘breed’ more magicians than any other.

There’s a yearly purge of the slums by the magicians to keep population numbers under control and run out bad elements, but there’s no rhyme or reason, people are just herded, and herded where? There’s an insinuation that the people are being killed, but the author dances around this. That dance becomes furious once Sonea ends up at the guild and the magicians begin convincing her to join them.

Sonea hides from the guild with the thieves, the same thieves who are hiding a rogue magician. Do they take her to him immediately for help to train her to control her growing power? No. And by the time they do take her, she’s becomes dangerous, too dangerous for him to be of any help. He doesn’t explain anything to her. I don’t know why he was even mentioned.
It becomes obvious that being on the run was nothing but a big contrivance that never had a chance of succeeding. Even one of the magicians says later that the thieves turned Sonea in to them. Magic is a known quantity in this world. The thieves knew what would be required to keep Sonea in the beginning and didn’t do it. I don’t buy the rogue magician not being able to train her and it doesn’t match what happened when Sonea did get to the guild.

Once she gets to the guild, she still doesn’t know control and she’s now with the very people who have once a year killed off dwells in the slums, but without training, she is suddenly calm enough that random, dangerous outbursts of magic stop occurring. Contrary to what the rogue magician said, power doesn’t factor in when it comes to mentoring or training on the part of the trainer. After hating magicians for a lifetime, a short lifetime but still - in a matter of weeks they convince her they’re good and she joins up.

There was a real potential in this story for the class, gender, and power divisions to really be strong themes that told a dramatic tale, and the author shied away from them and instead gave us a lot of little conflicts that didn’t add up. I would give other books by Canavan a try, but not this trilogy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cleaning Out Your WIPS

No, you won't need leather cleaner for this step, but if you write anything like I do, you have a lot of twisted tales inside of tales you need to unravel, like extension cords in the garage, or whips at a whip store. Honestly, I didn't realize there this big a market for whips.

But I did recognize when my WIP - that's work in progress for you non-writer types - needed to be untangled, trimmed back, and worked out. A WIP is what your story is before you're done working on it. I'm a pantser. I start with an plot idea or a character that interests me and I let it flow. There's very little editing in my first draft. Often I let it sit and I add to it a little at a time as ideas occur to me, playing with different plot devices and characters until I have a feel for the story I really want to tell.

Then comes the second draft. That's the draft where I start organizing and often realize I still don't know what kind of story I want to tell. This is where I take that first critical look at what I've got. I read through, I see what I think works and what doesn't. I add some detail at this stage, but not much. I'm still working on character and plot.

The third draft involves sticky notes and a good section of wall. This is the point where some well-meaning person tells me how wonderful Scrivener is. Trying to explain to people how much of this story is in my head is difficult. I don't check notes as I write and the story doesn't come to me in bits and pieces. Scrivener confused the heck out of me and trying to use it to organize the story literally shut me down. I like my sticky notes and the random bits of paper that cover my desk. It works for me.

Anyhoo, draft three is where the editing process begins. This is where I start paying attention to structure. This changes the story. There's no help for that. As I'm writing out sticky notes, I also noticed I have five ships in this story. I knew that, in an esoteric, I-need-action-to-happen kind of way. I really only need three ships. My story is overloaded. Cut and cut. Write the entire eco warrior theme out. Like that stack of unread cooking magazines on the end of my desk, it's in the way and accomplishing very little. Like two extra ships, it's story clutter and now it's gone.

I'm on my fourth draft for my latest space opera, Crane's War. The most obvious missing element from this story is the war itself. It's in my head and on a few notes after draft three, but I still have to work it in, bring out the class warfare angle I really want to press into the forefront of the story without taking my soldiers completely out of the military corp.

Or do I want them out? In or out? Where does each decision lead? More diagrams and sticky notes, more short snippets regarding the options. Hmm. I'm really leaning toward out today. Is that because that's where the story is taking me? Or is the fact that I'm ready to move on my real time life affecting the decisions I make inside the story?

Does it matter? Possibly, if I do a series, but a stand alone? Not so much. Permission to bring it, Commander Crane. Bring it. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Night of the Living Deed, by E.J. Copperman

After a harassment lawsuit pays out, Alison Kirby buys an old Victorian house on the Jersey shore, thinking to turn it into a guest house, a business that would pay the bills for years to come. The house is in need of repair and Alison is on a schedule. She has to be. If the guest house isn't ready by April, she'll be paying a mortgage on a house she can't afford, but work done the previous day is undoing itself overnight. Alison can't imagine who's messing with her, until a bucket of joint compound falls on her head and her first 'guests' become apparent to her.

 She hadn't counted on spectral roommates. She hadn't expected to find out they'd died in the house, or that she was slated to be next.

This is a great little story. Well written and energetic with a light, humorous tone the story engages the reader as Alison finds out there's more to life, particularly hers, than she ever imagined. Alison Kirby is a capable, strong character. Her daughter Melissa is the not-so-typical nine year old and her mother drives a Dodge Viper. I admit to a certain amount of envy when it comes to the car.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is the first book in what becomes a paranormal detective series. E.J. Copperman has found a place on my reading list.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Let's Talk Ugly Covers

"Never judge a book by it's cover."

This metaphor has no place in an author's head. Ditch it. Every book is judged by its cover. Honing your craft and writing an excellent book that you've had edited and proofread are but the first steps in moving your baby out into the world.

You have to dress them. And by this I mean dress them properly. Covers are a marketing tool. They are the 'smile on the phone' that your customer sees. They are the reason book catalogue browsers stop and click. A catchy title doesn't hurt either, so don't name your child strange things no one can pronounce. I don't care how much sense it makes in the book.

Indie Cover mistake #1 - Justifying a bad cover or title using the phrase "It makes sense because these elements are in the story."

Reality - Guess what? The only person who knows that is you. The person looking at your cover as they make a purchase decision is wondering why there's unicorn on the front of a murder mystery. This is confusing, not intriguing, and they move on.

And just because I haven't been humiliated or flogged lately, let's take a look at the cover journey for my first book, Girl Found.

Isn't it special? I did it myself, as in, it's a watercolor. Yeah. It should be on my refrigerator under a pineapple. Let's make a game out of all the elements from the book that you find here.

1) Blackbird. Originally Ellen's talent was seeing her dead ancestors, who were always in black, and were sometimes birds, which leads us to...
2) Gravestone with the main character's real name on it. In the first several drafts of Girl Found, Ellen didn't know who she was. But the reader did, without even reading.
3) The floating pages - of a contract that would seal her fate.
4) The title font. It had something to do with being processed formally through government channels...?

See what I mean?

It told a story. That's not the purpose of your cover. Your book does that. Your cover is supposed to catch the eye, exemplify the genre, and look professional doing it. I'd give myself a six or a seven out of ten for genre, it does convey paranormal, but the other two I can't be that nice about.

This cover was professionally done by graphic artist Amalia Chitulescu.

Major difference. The entire expectation of what you will find inside the cover changes dramatically.

The futuristic backdrop of the story is represented. The heroine with attitude is present. And the elements all form one synergistic picture that catches the eye.

The paranormal angle in this cover is light, and it's all centered on the trident 'U' in Found. The blurb or the pitch conveys the majority of the paranormal element. The tag line is "She can see the past with a touch of her hand." Technically, that is not part of the cover.

So, if I were rating this one, I'd say eight or nine for visual interest that results in a click. Five or six for Genre, based on the Paranormal tag, but there is a strong space opera thread running through the story as well. Eight or nine when considering that. Ten for professional appearance.

Much better. I'd send the other one to my mother, but she quite hanging kids art up around the house.

Thank you, to all the people who beat into me that covers are nothing to compromise on.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Elevator Pitch 5: Show us Yours!

Elevator Pitches, have you got one?

Carol Kauffman, author of Bentley Square

"Strangers meet on the train. She, a beautiful, wealthy businesswoman. He, a down on his luck office manager. They have nothing in common. And yet, they are drawn to each other with an undeniable hypnotic magnetism."


This is the story of Rebecca Robbins, daughter of one of the wealthiest men in the country, and Mark Ramsay, a man shrouded in dark mystery and hiding in the shadows from death squads and international intrigue.

Carrie Aulenbacher, author of The Early Bird Café.

"A unique romance between two long-term friends, Jim and Eve."

For years, Jim and Eve have shared breakfast every morning at the Early Bird Café. Their constant friendship, however, is thrown into chaos when Jim begins writing his second novel. Their friendship strained, the novel takes all of Jim’s focus, and a grievous string of events coupled with Jim’s manipulative new lover put their friendship to the ultimate test.

As Jim struggles with the darkness in his own life, Eve attempts to negotiate her feelings for Jim and their strictly platonic relationship. In the midst of the turmoil, both find themselves wondering if their feelings for each other actually run deeper than the friendship they thought they once had.


Debby Nelms, author of Dancing Skeletons.

"I you cannot hide the family skeletons, you might as well make them dance."

These stories are just a slice of life, showing one person's unique perspective on how to find humor in the everydayness of everyday. What seems ordinary and mundane to others become an opportunity to find humor in any situation. No one or no thing is safe or sacred; from riding lawn mowers to grumpy husbands to crazy cats to imaginative teenagers - the more dysfunctional the better story!


Gerry Pirani, author of The Search For Intelligent Life on Earth: A Story of Love

"The lives of three young men collide in their search for love, sex, and meaning."

While visiting his estranged father in Europe, nineteen-year-old Mark meets Jacques, a young Parisian socialite who performs as a drag queen. Conflicted by the undeniable attraction, Mark returns to his home country of Kenya—only to learn from Jacques that their mutual friend, John, has attempted suicide. Accompanying Jacques to England, Mark soon finds himself falling in love.

As John struggles with his manic-depression, Mark and Jacques begin an explosive affair that threatens to engulf them both.

When Mark’s violent temper erupts, he flees to his Native American grandmother in the Plains, where he works with a shaman and discovers things about himself he never knew were possible.
Eventually Mark and Jacques meet up again in London. While their passion is instantly rekindled, Jacques now hesitates to trust his heart. Can people really change?

And that's it for the Elevator Pitches for October. Continuation depends on level of interest. Hope you all enjoyed this series and found a book to love in the process.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Elevator Pitches 4: Show us Yours!

What's the one line you can throw out there when that question, "What's your book about?" comes up in mixed company? You have thirty seconds to hook them. Go!

Gemma Farrow, author of Under the Willow

"Thomas promised not to bury her deep, but he did. He swore to dig her up in eight days, he didn't. Now the nightmares have's much harder to keep his girlfriend buried in his mind."

Thomas loves Keziah. He'll do anything for her . . . at least he believes that. But all it takes is one shattering moment to change a belief; a few nights is more than enough to kill it. The world Thomas knows changes when he gets a phone call. It's Keziah. She's hurt. She's scared. She needs him. He gets Keziah home, but the horror has just begun. From that moment a darkling world embraces him. Keziah believes she has been bitten by a vampire. Thomas doesn't believe it. At first. But when one belief dies, it's because a new one is forming. As he fights to discount her story, Thomas tries to nurse her back to health, but it isn't working. He can no longer ignore the truth. She isn't solely Keziah anymore. Heartbroken, maddened, and hollow, Thomas has to make a difficult choice. Accept what his girlfriend has become or turn against her. Both choices demand a high price, but which is Thomas willing to pay?


Ginger Gelshiemer, author of The Dark Days

"The Dark Days explores the disaster that led to the formation of the thirteen districts and inevitably the rebellion. She will change everything you think about the games."

Inspired by a Hunger Games prequel. Want to know what could have caused the formation of the 13 districts and what led to Game 1? This is that story.

End of the World - Episode 1: Nineteen-year old Claudia Sheeplord is aboard an airplane flying to Denver when she discovers that all attempts to destroy the Death Asteroid before it hits Earth have failed.

While still in the air, one of the asteroid masses hits Earth. The sky turns dark, full of particles. When Claudia lands, chaos has flooded the airport. She makes a promise to her new friend, a 13-year old tinkerer named Benjamin Willoby, and together they must fight their way through the destruction and find their own means of survival before it's too late.


Heather Osborne, author of Illicit Corruption

"Promises of passion and new adventures turn sinister in this dark, erotic thriller."

Into Christine's day to day drudgery, secret messages begin to arrive. A strange yet tantalizing man sends her notes, dripping with promises of a better and more fulfilling life, filled with exotic adventures and dark pleasures, hers for the taking. Certain that she is meant for bigger things, Christine wants desperately to believe them. Even darker, however, are her admirer's secrets. Will this mysterious stranger be her savior or her doom?


Alan Steele, author of Plague Seed: Book One of the Plague Fall

"A hero is built, not born; forged in the fires of chaotic happenstance and tempered by fear."

Drayvus Varden, handsome elven scoundrel, assassin, and professional mischief maker, falls victim to a perilous case of mistaken identity and is forced to take a job escorting Katelyn Shar, the unfaithful wife of the regional governor, to the place of Dravyus’ birth—the elven forest, Oldenhome.

With her husband’s men giving chase, Drayvus, Katelyn, and the drunken dwarven priest Tahlkin bicker and snark their way south through the Wild Lands, as an army gathers in the north set to begin a war that will change the face of Talandria forever.

When Drayvus discovers that Katelyn is to play a part in the oncoming conflict, he is forced to either become a hero or let all he has ever loved wither and die—destroyed by the Plague Seed.

And that's all for this trip down the tower. Stay tuned, more coming Monday. Until then, keep reading, there's some great books out there.

River Marked, by Patricia Briggs

Yes, this was supposed to be out yesterday. I wrote too much ( is there such a thing?) and I read until the wee hours. Are my words blurry to you too? No? Okay, coffee then Briggs.

First, let me say that I'm a Mercy Thompson fan. She's one of my favorite heroines and Briggs is one of my favorite writers. There's a divide in the fan base on this one. This is either your favorite Mercy or you think something felt a little, well, off.

I'm in the latter camp. Don't get me wrong, picked it up and read it straight through, but measuring Mercy against Mercy, River Marked had a palatable aura of change to it. There were some interesting non-paragraph breaks in this book that were out of character and therefore stood out as well. You can almost split this book into two parts; before the monster appears and after. On to River Marked.

Shapeshifter Mercy Thompson has finally nailed down her werewolf Alpha Adam Hauptman, or should I say he finally nailed her down. Mercy was the one heading to the altar with lukewarm feet. Not because she doesn't love Adam, and certainly not because he isn't worth it, but because she's always felt a little bit outside of things and being this included sends the hairs on her neck rising. Mercy Thompson is independent, strong, and having grown up in a pack, knows exactly how possessive and dictatorial things can get.

In River Marked she makes it down the aisle. We get snippets of the ceremony in flashbacks while she and Adam are on their honeymoon in the Columbia River Valley, as isolated from the chaos that is their lives as they can get. But Mercy being Mercy, the tranquility doesn't last for long. She has a vision of her dead father, a character we knew existed - he's the one that she inherited her coyote from - but so far in this series we hadn't met.

Until now. The first part of this book was all about Mercy and Adam, and yet I still got a sense of distance between the two characters. That disappears after an ancient River fae starts killing innocents and Mercy and Adam jump into action. These two simply are not meant to be on vacation. As an Alpha, Adam makes a pretty good sidekick. This leads us into the second half of the book, the typical Mercy story we all love.

Protecting people on the Columbia River leads Mercy on a journey into her past and the past of her father's people. That's what I loved about this book. We're well into a series and we're still learning who this character is and why. So is she, and that's part of what makes Mercy so darned interesting.

The next book in the series, Frost Burned, is on my TBR shelf. If you're new to this series, Moon Called is the first book, and I highly recommend all of them.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Elevator Pitches 3: What's Your Book About?

If you've been following the series - and you should have, if for no other reason than there are great books to be found here - you know what the elevator pitch is, and if you're writer and you don't have one, you're working on one. Keep it around thirty seconds, conversational, and hook your listener. Want to see more examples of what real-life authors say when a stranger asks, "What's your book about?"

Jim Davis, author of No Tears for Jack

"A young widow and her children find an unlikely hero in a man who has been told by a psychic he has a year to live."

In this quirky romantic comedy, an elderly psychic, who has been missing for over thirty years, returns to help a bachelor who has everything a man could want, except love, family, and friends.

Jack Lamont, the co-anchor of a regional television station, is told to get a psychic reading for an upcoming broadcast. Not one to play fair, he plans to deceive his boss by claiming to have visited a psychic, reported missing for years.

There is only one problem with Jack's plan. Zelda's old trailer, preserved in its original location as the only tourist attraction in a small town over a hundred miles away, holds a huge surprise. Zelda has returned, and she is expecting him. Unfortunately, The Psychic Queen of Cricket Falls, does not have good news for Jack.

The lives of many are about to change, beginning with Jack's.


Claudette Alexander, author of Sunrise from an Icy Heart: A Memoir.

"A story of survival, determination, and the lower to smash through the fence of fear and fly."

Alexander chronicles her transformational journey into womanhood from age 22 to 59.

Her first love left her alone and pregnant. She searched for love but encountered stormy weather until her heart grew as frigid as the North American winters. It would take a special man to crack through her icy heart. After four failed relationships and two sons: Terence, as charming as a sunrise and Kriston, her sunshiny star, she struck gold with Malcolm whiles battling chronic kidney failure.

A story of survival and determination, from St. Lucia to Canada through a midst of rejections, abandonment and the power to smash through the fence of fear and fly.

A sensual, amusing, and fun read that will stimulate your senses, make you laugh, cry and learn some essential life lessons.

This book is intended for mature readers.


Chameleon, author of Three Days in Paradise.

"Sometimes, the only way to get back your life, is to lose it - literally."

After an accident leaves Dani stranded in the middle of nowhere, a helpful stranger happily drives her to Paradise. Though the residents are warm and friendly, and seemingly eager to make her happy there, she begins to suspect foul play as every means of leaving is blocked by one thing after another.
As she begins to experience a series of strange, supernatural events, she's convinced she's somehow managed to take a wrong turn off the main road of reality, and becomes increasingly alarmed as memories of her life before Paradise begin to fade.

   Her eventual escape from Paradise comes about in a most unusual way, and through no effort of her own. Once back home, she's compelled to unravel the mystery of Paradise, but as the frightening secrets are finally revealed, she'll stop at nothing to get back there.

Unfortunately, there's one thing standing in her way...


Lita Burke, author of Ephraim's Curious Device (Clockpunk Wizard, Book 2)

"A wizard seeks a magical thingummy to free his kidnapped familiar."

Wizard Kadmeion struggles with getting his magician-for-hire business off the ground. With their funds running low, and his familiar Furgo missing, the wizard and his clockmaker assistant Sir Bright answer a summons from a powerful local lord. Finally, they have a job.

Not true. His Lordship has kidnapped Furgo. Kadmeion must find the magical gadget called Ephraim’s Curious Device and use it to buy Furgo’s freedom. He and Bright have a few short weeks before the noble executes Kadmeion’s familiar.

With no information except a coded map, clues lead them to an oracle’s riddle with three impossible tasks. Even worse, they must go to one of the dying lands--a floating island heading for oblivion in the Rim Winds of their plate-shaped world. The island’s magic has soured, and Kadmeion struggles to save his companions and the island’s desperate fey-folk.

Fighting off seductive swamp inhabitants who feed on wizard’s flesh, and keeping His Lordship’s thick-witted bodyguards from getting them all killed, are constant inconveniences. Bloodthirsty harpies and worse opponents delay Kadmeion and Bright from locating Ephraim’s Curious Device and saving their kidnapped friend.

The wizard and his clockworks man know that time is not on their side. They must deliver Ephraim’s Curious Device to His Lordship before time runs out. If they fail, then tick tock. Furgo dies.

And that ends the third day of elevator travel. Stay tuned book fans, there's more to come on Sunday. Saturday's post will feature a review of this week's read, River Marked, by Patricia Briggs.

Like Paranormal, but up to your chin in Vampires and Werewolves? Check out Girl Found.

Also available at Scribd and Oyster and other fine ebook distributors.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Elevator Pitches 2, Show us Yours!

What do you say when a stranger corners you with the "What's your book about?" question? Can you condense your story into a thirty second conversation starter? These authors can.

Jonathan Cotty, author of Triangle, a Raymond Jackson book.

"When a high ranking police officer is abducted and a potent grade of heroin hits the streets, a dangerous game of cat and mouse unfolds between a rookie detective and a young street dealer. The testimony of a homeless teenager could change everything."

With elections looming, the British government rolls out Operation Virtus, a massive investigation tasked with tackling the issue of illegal immigration into the UK. As punishment for previous insubordination, DS Raymond Jackson is assigned the apparently mundane task of collating information on behalf of this cross-divisional operation. In addition, he is ordered to simultaneously handhold a greenhorn throughout the process in the form of new recruit, DC Jason Stephenson.

But when DI Rosie Blake mysteriously disappears and a new, potent grade of heroin starts hitting the streets, Tarnside police force suddenly find their resources stretched to the limit. As increasing numbers of users become victims of an accidental overdose, it becomes clear that it is a race against time to prevent more people dying.

Then an horrific murder is committed.

In short order, the local force receive an outrageous ransom demand – one million pounds for the safe return of their officer.

A local, small-time street dealer and a young, homeless girl with a speech impediment hold vital clues ultimately separating life from death. Manning a skeleton team and with limited experience, DS Jackson is caught in a race against time to decipher the connections.

In the end, he will have to take a leap of faith…


Candace Lafleur, author of Prescription for disaster: The Funny Side of Falling Apart.

"The only difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude. "

A book about the hilarious side of being ridiculously diseased - laughing at life and encouraging others to do the same.

This is not a book about a disease itself, nor does it have any ‘woe is me’ or forced epiphanies on the meaning of life and health. It’s a book about sobbing student nurses wielding sharp needles, falling hospital elevators, having to be surgically removed from your own sweater for an X-ray and support group brawls. About getting my whole family pulled off into a cement bunker at British customs for being more radioactive than a truck full of Russian nails. It’s about sneaking nachos into the hospital at seven in the morning and making sweet, sweet love to the back of a parked taxi while having a stroke. This is a book about laughing and joyfully embracing the bizarre and the truly funny side of being ridiculously, incurably diseased.

So sit back, take a hit off your oxygen tank and get ready to laugh at the funny side of falling apart. At the very least you’ll never look at a bed pan or an IV pole the same way again.


James Gordon, author of Hi, My Name is Bobo. (A Weekend in the Life of Fifth Grader.)

"Take a trip back to a time where TV didn't cost to watch, families ate together, and ten dollars could not only get you into the movies, but buy popcorn and a soda as well."

Sometimes a weekend can seem like a lifetime to a growing child. He may experience like, fear, anticipation, and other emotions without smooth transition or even realizing it.

This is the life of Bobo, a fifth grader, who loves his family, the Superfriends, and chocolate milk. As he introduces himself, get to know him, and you will absolutely love him!!


Lex Allen, Author of No Heaven.

"Jesus has returned, but who he really is and the reasons for his appearance will turn the world as we know it upside down."

Thirty years ago, scientists discovered additional letters in the human genome that seemed unconnected. They dismissed these as "junk." Not so long ago, a man named Eloah interrupted the Easter Mass at Germany's famous Kölner Dom to announce that he was extraterrestrial and that he had visited our world before as Yeshua ben Josef.

Eloah shows amazing paranormal abilities that baffle people until an FBI forensics team connects these abilities to the DNA letters once dismissed as "junk." Eloah's arrival and apparent mission threaten the global geopolitical status quo as he offers a future free from fear, oppression, war and poverty. But, powerful political, corporate and religious leaders want him destroyed and they aren't the only ones. An alien being in human form, an apparent equal to Eloah, is determined to stop him. He has his own plans for global conquest.

And that's it for today folks! Check in tomorrow for another round of Show me Yours!