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Renovo

G Wakeling terrified me with his book Inside Evil, now he’s back with an amazing sci-fi novella, Ronovo, which of course isn’t scary at all. I mean what could be scary about waking up on a spaceship that’s falling apart!!!! Needless to say I’m still having nightmares.


Up to her eyeballs in debt, Dr. Rachel Galliance jumps at the chance of a last-minute rotation on Mars, despite being terrified of hypersleep. This is her last chance to get life back on track, and it’s only one stint on Mars – how bad can it be?

When she awakes, her vessel – the Renovo – is eerily quiet; that’s before it begins to disintegrate around her. Fighting for her life and struggling to save her crewmates, Rachel realises something is very wrong. The question’s not will they reach Mars, but will they ever see Earth again?

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December on Limelight

I love Christmas. I love the food, the decorations, endlessly wrapping presents. For some this is a religious festival, for others it’s a time to just celebrate being with the people you love and, for me, this is the perfect opportunity to take a step back and think about those that have supported you along the way and show appreciation to them.

As an indie writer there are so many people from all corners of the world who have helped me produce my books and develop my writing. My beta readers, my proofreaders, my reviewers and all those lovely people who help me promote my work have made this year for me.

These people have made me want to change my approach in the industry and have been an inspiration behind this blog. I wanted to create something that helped other indies, just like people have helped me and I’ve only been operational for a few months, but it has been a great few months.

I am also celebrating a year of The Running Game being published and so what better time to concentrate on tips and ideas that made my book what it is.

All this month I will be posting tips and articles, from myself and other authors, especially for indie writers and readers to help you guys get your work out to the audience you deserve. Please, please, please feel free to comment on all posts, or email your own articles to me for posting (which will be linked to your own sites/books) and of course I will still be showcasing indie talent so if you have a Christmas release or promotion let me know.

Regardless of whether you love Christmas or not Limelight is the perfect place for all indie enthusiasts this month.

And to get in the spirit here is one of my favourite Christmas songs, take it away Frank:

 


Authors Needed

Advertising and promotion is so important for all indie authors but my God it’s also the biggest headache imaginable too. Any author will tell you getting your work to as many places a possible is a priority and that’s why I set up this blog which has been showcasing indie talent since August.

If you are an indie author and you need some more exposure then maybe I can help. All you need to do is send me a promotional piece, it can be an extract or an article or details of a promotion along with a link to where the book can be bought and I will put it up for you.

All work featured on the blog is promoted through my social networks and I’ve noticed that a lot of posts that go up get widely spread by authors following this blog.

Also on the first week of December I am going to be posting articles about indie writing, self-publishing and promotion from a variety of authors. If you would like to contribute to this then please contact me. Any article posted will also feature the author name, network links and a short bibliography.

So what are you waiting for?

(For more ideas please see the promotions page)


Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead

Today it’s the turn of Scott Larson and his coming of age novel Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead – have a read!

Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead is your new book about two teenagers, Dallas and Lonnie, taking a road trip. What are these boys like and what is their relationship?
Dallas and Lonnie have grown up in a small farming community. They are both kind of oddballs and so when it comes to friends they have mainly had only each other. They know each other better than they know anyone else. As they graduate from secondary school, they are feeling a bit alienated. A lot of people their age are already getting married and starting a life of hard work. They’re not really mature enough yet to want to settle down. Also they have grown up in a conservative religious environment which they have rebelled against. They are not particularly political, but they are definitely rebels by nature.
The book is set in 1971 for those of us too young to know anything about the 70’s, too old to remember, or those who were in the 70’s and therefore can’t remember, can you tell us what was culturally happening at the time and in particular what Dallas and Lonnie were facing?
Yes, I would in the third category: I was there and thus it is all a blur! More seriously, for much of the United States–and in much of the rest of the world, for that matter–in that year there was a lot of turmoil going on. The Vietnam War was still being fought and university campuses were roiling with protests and resultant police crackdowns. Because of the rural setting of where they live, Dallas and Lonnie are largely sheltered from all of this. It is a politically conservative area where most people are supportive of U.S. policy. But what the two young men are not sheltered from is conscription. They have a lot of uncertainty hanging over them because, having turned 18, they could now be drafted into the army and sent to fight in the war.
 
The boys are hitting the road under the pretence of looking for a missing friend – can you expand on this?
A few years before the story begins Tommy Dowd, a young man that Dallas and Lonnie were acquainted with, went to Central America as some sort of freelance journalist and then disappeared. Lonnie has always been bothered by not knowing what happened to him and so, after a period of bad behavior and boredom and family problems, he cajoles Dallas into the totally daft idea of driving down to Central America to look for Tommy. They both understand that the idea is completely crazy but each wants to see how far the other will go before insisting on turning around. Basically, it is all just an excuse to run away from home, engage in a lot of bad behaviour and let off steam before they have to finally grow up.
But this isn’t a book about missing people – what happens to the boys and how do they change throughout the story?
Lonnie, who is the more self-destructive of the two, seems to be on something of a downward spiral. But for Dallas the travelling opens up a whole new world to him. On the way to the border they pick up a younger Mexican boy and he becomes a window for Dallas on Mexican language and culture. Dallas even manages to have a brief but intense love affair before the journey leads to a series of difficult situations. They run into muggers in Tijuana, become stranded in the middle of nowhere, get arrested by a corrupt policeman and eventually wind up separated. By the end of the story Dallas finds himself on his own in a very dangerous situation with no one else to rely on but himself. In the end Dallas and Lonnie have opposite reactions to their experiences. While Lonnie’s reaction is to want to retreat to the places and people he knows, Dallas is fascinated by the wider world that he never knew that much about.
This is a story based on some of your own memories, are you Dallas or Lonnie? And what memories contribute this story?
Well, I am the exact same age as the two characters and grew up in the same place, which made the research a bit easier. The details of the draft and the lottery by which draftees were selected were (and are) all still vivid in my memory. Both characters are composites of various people that I knew, but I suppose I drew more on my own personality for Dallas. And there is a lot of the best friend I grew up with in Lonnie. But we never got into nearly as much trouble as these two characters! And while I had some interesting road trips with my own best friend, we never went to Mexico together. I did go down across the border a few times with other friends during my misspent youth but never as far south as Dallas and Lonnie go, so I had to do some research on Mexico. I have always had a fascination with Latin American culture so that informed Dallas’s awakening to that world. And I lived in Chile for a year, so that will explain why references to that country keep cropping up. And, given that I have lived in Ireland for the past decade or so, I had to introduce an Irish character along the way. After all, you can’t go anywhere in the world without running into the Irish.
The setting is the South down to Mexico for those of us who have never seen that part of the world can you describe it to us (please feel free to use an extract).
The region where the story begins is more accurately described as the Southwest. (In the U.S. “the South” somewhat illogically refers to area bordering the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico and evokes the old Confederacy and plantations and Gone with the Wind.) The Southwest is very dry and very hot, alternating between deserts and mountain ranges. The following passage from the second chapter describes a journey I made often, climbing into the mountains and looking back at the flat floor of the San Joaquin Valley:
As Lonnie’s Impala strained its engine climbing the Ridge Route toward Tejon Pass, I turned to look back at the lights on the San Joaquin Valley floor. When it came down to it, I hated the valley. I always had a feeling of escape when I drove up out of it. Even hell isn’t as hot as the San Joaquin Valley in the summer. And it’s flat. It has to be the most boring place on the face of the earth. As we got higher into the mountains, things felt different. We were headed to places that weren’t boring and hot. We were headed to places that people had actually heard of. We were less than two hours from Los Angeles. I had only been there a few times, and that was only straight to my uncle Jack’s and back with my parents. Now it was just me and Lonnie heading down there, and anything was possible.
And finally what is next for Scott R Larson?
In a total departure from the first book, I’m currently working on a fantasy novel. It’s a story I first wrote in high school and which evolved into a recurring bedtime story for my daughter. In some ways it is a variation on Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead in that it is a road story and a coming-of-age story. After that I plan to write a novel set in the burgeoning software industry in Seattle in the 1980s, another time and place that I lived through. And I keep going back and forth about whether to write a sequel to Dallas’s story, specifically where is he and what is he doing nine years after the events of the first book.
You can read more about Scott and his other works here

Surviving the Fog- Kathy’s Recollections

Who is up for some dystopia? Here’s Stan Morris telling us all about his YA Dystopic sequel Surviving the Fog – Kathy’s Recollections.


Surviving the Fog was the first book in your series, can you tell us about the plot of this book?

Forty eight teenagers attend a quasi-religious camp in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  The camp has an unusual purpose; to preach sexual abstinence and to teach and demonstrate various methods of birth control.  After a week, the cell phones stop working and the mail is not delivered.  The Camp Administrator leaves one counselor in charge of the teenagers and takes the rest on a short trip to find out what’s wrong.  They never return.

Mike, one of the youngest teens, is convinced something terrible has happened.  He asks disturbing questions and gradually convinces others to help him prepare to survive without help.  Then Jacob discovers that the Earth below is covered by a mysterious and dangerous brown fog.

You then have gone on to write about Kathy, one of the teenagers on the mountain. What was it about Kathy that made you want to give her her own story?

The most common complaint about the book came from female readers.  They liked the story, but they were annoyed that the girls did not play a larger role in the development of the story.  An exchange of messages with a woman at Goodreads caused me to consider the girls’ role in the story.  I had never been satisfied with the role of one character, Kathy, age fourteen.  I began to imagine the story from her viewpoint.

It was a  turning point in my writing and in the story.  I learned new techniques of story telling, how to show jumps in time between scenes, and how to do better segues.  The story became much fuller, and unanswered questions were answered.  New characters were introduced, and unnamed characters from the first book became major characters in the second book.

This is a dystopian story but can you expand upon the atmosphere you are trying to create?

What I was trying to show in this book was the evolution of these teenagers, and how they went from being children of an advanced civilization to becoming young adults capable of doing things they had never dreamed of.  It’s a story of community, and how the society of these teens evolved from a gang to a tribe and eventually to a village. It’s a story about grim reality, but it’s mostly about hope.

By the time we got to the bridge, Leah and I were separated by the mass of people trying to get across the small wooden span.  I started running, not knowing where I was going, and I ran and I ran.  The numbness of witnessing Pete’s death was wearing off, and I was having a panicked reaction.  For some reason tears began to drip down my face as I ran, and I could hardly see.  I ran past the mess hall, past Chief’s Headquarters, and continued up the grassy slope.  When I came to the hollowed cave, I climbed onto its rocky floor, and then I spied a small cavern to one side.  I ran into the cavern and came to a halt at the face of a rock wall.  I slumped to the ground with my back against the rock wall and my knees bent.  I folded my arms across my knees, and I laid my head against my arms, and then I sat there and bawled.  I wanted everything to go way.  I wanted to be home.  I wanted my mom to hug me, and to lecture me, and to tell me that it was all just a bad dream.

I’m not sure how long I stayed in that small cavern at the side of the open cave, but it could not have been too long, for the sun was just at the zenith when I rose, left the cave, and went down to the mess hall.  I was all cried out.  And a strange thing happened to me while in that cave.  As my crying died down, I got angry.  Like Douglas’, it was partly an irrational anger, for I was angry at my parents, angry at the missing Admin, even angry at the government, and especially angry at the men who had killed Pete.  And I was angry at myself for crying, and for feeling so helpless and so sorry for myself.

I stood up and walked out to the rocky ledge in front of the cave.  The sun was still shining and high above, the sky had cleared, although a few low puffy clouds had drifted in from the west.  I wondered where the Chief was.  I could see that he had been right, all along.  Whatever had happened meant that no one was coming to save us.  We would have to take care of ourselves.  If we were going to survive, we had better learn how, and we had better start looking ahead.  I looked over the bowl shaped valley, and I knew that if I continued to live, this would be my home for a long time.

 

The book is about teenagers, but is that your target audience or is this a story more suited to older readers?

Surviving the Fog is aimed at teenagers 15 and up, but I have received email from younger readers, and I have received many reviews from much older readers.  Some people don’t like the idea of a camp that is about abstinence and birth control, but I’ve received email from parents who gave the book to their teens.  I find that satisfying.

There are sexual situations between teenagers and young adults, and some people object to that.  It’s hard for me to imagine a post apocalypse world in which that does not happen.  There is a scene of violence in both books, and in Kathy’s Recollections a girl recounts her rape to a minister.

Without giving too much away can you tell us how the kids cope without their parents and what do they have to go through to survive?

The two necessities are food and shelter.  Both are provided by adults the teenagers meet, but the adults must have the help of the teenagers, and without help from the teenagers, it’s doubtful the adults would have survived.

The teenagers are subjected to an attack on their camp.  They fight back.  They have to deal with emotional loss, with digging graves, and with punishing those of the tribe who commit serious infractions.  They have to make and follow rules.

The fog is the known danger in your book – what else threatens these children and their survival?

They are threatened by outsiders and sometimes by wild animals.  They have to deal with freezing weather and low food stocks.  They must learn how to make simple things like soap.  They learn the real meaning of recycling.

Is there any scene or character that you would like to share with us?

Here is a scene.  Mike makes some rules.  The scene appears in Surviving the Fog, but this version is from Kathy’s Recollections.

.  “As of tonight, I’m making a new rule about sex.  From now on, no one can have sex unless they’re at least sixteen.”

That statement startled us, but some of the kids started laughing, and some people said some foul things.  Not me.  I was glad to hear the Chief say that.  None of the boys in our camp acted like they wanted to have sex with me, but you never know.  I wasn’t interested, that’s for sure.  Now if anyone asked, I could just tell them I was fourteen, and I couldn’t have sex, even if I wanted to.  I looked around and saw that a lot of younger girls were nodding their heads, just like me.

Maybe some people thought that the Chief was just being foolish, because one of the older boys stood up and said with a smirk, “How are you going to enforce that?”  Some other boys laughed when he asked that.

The Chief stared at him, and then he said in a very menacing voice, “I’ll enforce any rule I make.  Don’t test me.”

And just like that, the laughter ended.  Suddenly people remembered that this was the Chief speaking.  A couple of the Spears, who were always standing at the sides of the crowd during Meeting, happened to choose that moment to bounce the shaft end of their spears off the concrete floor, causing a couple of boys to look over at them apprehensively.

“I have another new rule,” the Chief said. He waited until the buzz in the crowd died.  “This is it.  If any guy forces a girl to have sex, I’ll hang him.  Do you understand?”

The Chief looked directly toward a certain group of boys when he said this, and almost involuntarily he received some small nods.  No one in our camp thought for a moment that he would not do what he said he would do.  He had already proven that at the Hanging Tree.

Finally what is next for Stan Morris?

I always have a lot of projects going.  That is a good way to avoid writer’s block, because if, on a particular day, one project does not interest me, I can always switch to a different project.  I’ve published two books in the Surviving the Fog series, and I’m working on three more.  A short story from the Surviving the Fog series has just been published in an anthology titled, Wyrd Worlds II.  I have books in progress from my other series including some in Tales of the Ragoon, an alien colonization of Earth series, and in Mackenzie’s World, a science fiction series set in a far away solar system.

Meanwhile, I love to garden, read, listen to music (old rock and roll), and watch hours and hours of sports.

Download this book and others by Stan Morris from Amazon now.

 


Presence (Phillip Brunn Stories Book 1)

Let’s start the week with an interview from B D Fiala who is talking all about Presence, the first book in his Phillip Brunn series.

You write a series of short stories about Psychologist Phillip Brunn, can you tell us a bit about Phillip and the type of man he is?

Phillip is basically a lost soul. He is still trying to cope with the fact that he lost his job and his marriage, even though it happened almost two years before the story begins. He is doing what a lot of people do when they can’t deal with reality; they look for refuge in drinking and that’s what Phillip does as well.

Phillip encounters a ghost in your first story Presence, how does this affect Phillip?

It scares him, but he tries not to think about it as he keeps thinking about his past more than about his present. This ghost is not the first he encountered and it reminds him of tragic events that happened couple years before the story begins, but they are not completely revealed to us and we learn about them as the story progresses. He doesn’t seem to understand what exactly is going on and even though he is skeptical about ghosts, he feels that there is something there and that there is something strange going on.

Where is your story set, what is the feel of the location?

Story goes on mostly in England and also some other parts of Europe like Prague (some parts have not yet appeared in the published material). It goes on in everyday environment, there are no old abandoned houses or anything cliché like that. Everyday homes by everyday people who for some reason encounter the unexpected and disturbing events and Phillip ends up looking for explanations.

Are there any other characters in the story that are important to Phillip and can you tell us about them?

There is Lisa. That would be Phillip’s ex-wife and probably the only important person to him even though his agent and his assistant seem to care about him since they regularly take care of him and help him get out of trouble. Lisa is special for Phillip, she is the love of his life and she is gone, out of his life for good. Phillip has a hard time accepting that.

Presence is a short story rather than a full length novel, why did you write it this way and what do you think makes it better than reading a full length novel about Phillip Brunn?

There are two reasons. Number one is that I am an impatient person and since I decided, after a few years of preparation, to finally start writing and publishing stories online, I simply could not make myself wait until I finish a full length novel. Writing a short story each month and publishing it right away seemed like a better idea. Also, the reader gets to read a part of the story (depending which part he stumbles on over the internet) and he has a chance to decide whether to read the rest or not. I guess I’m saving money for someone who decides to give it a go but then realizes the story is not for him, so he doesn’t have to pay $5 for a novel, but instead pays $0.99 for a part of the story.

Do you ever plan to write a full length novel, featuring Phillip Brunn?

So far I have five stories planned and I intend to finish them. It’s possible that there will be additional stories in the future, so a novel is a possibility as well.

Outbreak is book 2 of your Phillip Brunn series, where he is encountering more ghosts – without giving any spoilers how has Phillip changed in this later novel?

Outbreak is setting up the rest of the story. There’s less ghost action perhaps and more meeting some new characters and starting certain subplots. Phillip realizes that being a paranormal investigator is a job that he has to do in order to make a living. He doesn’t really change his opinion, but he accepts the situation he is in.

What is your favourite part of the series so far (feel free to use a snippet)?

I like the general idea that was the basis for the series. The ideas is that I am trying to find a different answer to the most common question every man asks himself: ‘’What happens after death (if anything)?’’. Even though I’d describe myself as agnostic atheist, I am proposing an idea of an afterlife that people might find intriguing. I find it intriguing, but I don’t want to say anything more, just read it and wait for it to develop.

There are five books due in the Phillip Brunn series, when is the next book out?

The idea is to publish a book a month. ‘’Presence’’ came out in August, ‘’Outbreak’’ in September, so the new book named ‘’Voice’’ is coming out in October. ”Frequency” will follow in November and the grand finale ”Collision” is due around Christmas.

And finally, after Phillip Brunn what is next for B D Fiala?

I am writing a Sci-fi novel that goes on in the future, on a colonized Earth like planet. It’s called ‘’Brand New Earth’’ and it’s a story about a small tribe that is trying to survive deep in the woods, as far away from other people and Earth’s old technologies as possible. Of course, things are never that simple, and people are more or less always driven by the same needs, a need for love and a need for power and consequently end up fighting wars and suffering because of it.

I am also developing ideas for three different novellas, writing poems and trying to find someone who would like to draw a comic based on some of my crazy ideas, so if someone happens to be reading this and wants to collaborate, look me up as I’d be glad to hear from you. I am open to different genres, but I would like to work with someone who draws fast since ideas seem to be coming to me on a daily basis.

All in all, I’ve got a lot of creative work in front of me that I’m looking forward to.

In the end, I wish to thank you for this interview and wish you luck with your web page!

You can pick up the first and second book of the series here: http://www.amazon.com/Presence-Phillip-Brunn-Stories-Book-ebook/dp/B00MHYJHE2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1407473449&sr=8-2&keywords=b.d.fiala

Or add the books to your Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8440690.B_D_Fiala

 


The City of the Mirage

It’s the end of the weekend and today we’re featuring author Jerome Brooke who has kindly taken the time to answer some questions about his book The City of the Mirage.

 

 

I think with any fantasy novel setting is always important. Can you describe to us your world and the influences you have had in creating such a place?

My Dark Empire of Astarte is set in the Multiverse. We live in a Cosmos that is one among many. Over the eons our children will sail to the stars and seed them with life. Astarte is one of the last born on our world, Sol III. She is the Great Queen, and is worshiped as a goddess in her realm.
We sometimes speculate that our reality is only one plane of existence – a cosmic cluster of galaxies. We also ask – where is everyone? A civilization should expand and fill the galaxy. Are we the very first, with a cosmic destiny?

What type of character is Astarte?

I wanted someone who was unlike the usual hero armed with a sword, with our own conceptions of right and wrong. She can be cruel, a “Dark Lord.” Her story is a Dark Fantasy. She has lived for eons, and seeks mortal lovers to amuse her. That is, she seeks to find a warrior to make her life interesting for a time. She needs a hero to fight and conquer for her entertainment.

The Conqueror is an ally to Astarte what is their relationship like?

The Immortal Astarte is a really Older Woman. The Conqueror is repelled by her savagery. However, she is powerful, and passionate. She gives him fine garments to wear, and delights to see him triumph in battle.

She is proud of her lover, and delights in war as a way to excite her, and as a cure for boredom.

A lot of people are put off by huge fantasy books, but The City of the Mirage is quite short for an epic fantasy – is it still packed full of adventure (and can you tell us some of the things that happen).

The hero is one of an Archetype. His adventures are akin to those of Beowulf. He leads her army into battle, and displays the valor expected of a hero. He also is handsome, and women respond to his valor and battle scars in an atavistic fashion (an instinct?).

The novel appeared as a serial in a magazine. Each chapter can be read as a separate, like the Conan or Sherlock Holmes tales. There were at one time long and short versions, and it all depends of what publishers will like and buy.

Astarte is obviously a name taken from Greek mythology, are there other Greek influences?

In the Empire, people wear garments like those of the classical world. These are tunics and capes, and loincloths. The weapons and armor are also taken from the eras of Rome and Sparta, and the Teutonic tribes. I imagine the same for the Conan and Gor series.

Are there any films or books that you would say are similar to The City of the Mirage?

I use the Conan and Gor books as a model. The Conan stories can be read alone, but share the same age and world. They have elements of a novel or saga. The same is true for the many books and stories of the Dark Empire of Astarte series, and also my other related series.

What is your favourite part of the story?

The final battle to serve Astarte is one I like. The enemy lord is beheaded, and his head is placed on a pike. The lips of the man still move, as if animated by an otherworldly vitality.

The City of the Mirage is part of a series called The Dark Empire of Astarte Collection, how many books are in this series and how many (include titles) are available to readers.

Under various pen names I have hundreds of books, stories, poetry chaps, collections and anthologies. The F&SF is mostly under the Jerome Brooke byline. There are 15 books on Amazon in the series (search under Brooke Dark Empire). However, there are related spin offs and related books and series.

How big is this series going to be and where do you hope to go with it?

I like the universe I have created for Astarte, and I issue new editions or revised versions as time permits. However, I am working on new unrelated series – series that are much more popular. So, the adventures of Astarte may or may not continue.

What about Jerome Brooke – after The Dark Empire what’s next for you?

I am writing the newer Kitti Katzz series, a series of sexy stories that are much more popular with readers than my F&SF. For example, I have recently put out a collection of “Sister Wives” books written as Kitti Katzz. Another resent series is my “Ladyboy and Her Girlfriend” books. Other like sets are ones that focus on Boss Ladies, Fantasy Maids, Uncensored Case Sexology Studies and so forth.

Another related series are the “Sister Severa” and “Mother Superior” series written as Juliet Baranne. Still another recent series is my Voodoo books of paranormal genre written as Joan Barron.

I am able to write the Kitti Katzz books quickly, and they are usually more popular among readers than the F&SF. However, The F&SF has some appeal to some readers, so I may do more if time permits. I live in Thailand, and have a family here. These are unsettled times, in this Kingdom of Siam.

 

You can download this book here from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/City-Mirage-Empire-Astarte-Collection-ebook/dp/B00JEVEDS6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411169996&sr=8-1&keywords=city+jerome+brooke

And read more from Jerome Brooke: http://runesofthebard.wordpress.com/


Mexican Radio and Other Short Stories

This week I’ve been chatting with Jaysen True Blood and he has been telling me all about his book of short stories. Here’s what he has to say:

 

 

Mexican Radio and Other Short Stories is a real mix of genres, is there a running theme or style that unites each story?

Not really. I am a “stream of consciousness” writer.

This book is in two volumes, should the stories be read in order and how are the volumes different to one another?

The only stories out of order in the book are the westerns, and I didn’t realise it until after publication. Other than that, the others that are part of a series are all in order. But as a whole, the stories can be read in any order.

So let’s pick your favourite of the short stories – tell us a bit about it.

I would have to pick the title story, “Mexican Radio”. I had the silly song running through my head when I began and thought: “wouldn’t this make a great story? Then, I put the main character in the most impossible position I could-a staged prison break that he uses to his own benefit, and that of the female lead. Although there are so many excellent stories in these two books.

Who is your favourite character in all of the stories and what sets him/her above the others?

I would have to say either Fancy Marsh or Guy Marlowe. Fancy, because he carries a buffalo gun and knows how to use it, and Guy because he is fast with both guns and at cards.

What locations feature in your stories, are they based on real places?  

Most of my stories could be located anywhere, except a few sci-fi, but I do mention L.A., Baton Rouge, and a few other US cities, but there is only one-the historical fiction piece-that is based solely on fact…with conjecture mixed in.

Overall how many stories feature in each volume and how big on average is each story?

Book 2 has 23 stories and the Book 1 has 14.

Who is your target audience for Mexican Radio and Other Short Stories?

Anyone who likes a good story and loves adventure, no matter where the action takes them.

So you have your favourite but is there a particular scene you can show us from any of the stories?

As I raised up out of my hiding place in the backseat, she looked in the rear view mirror. As I scooted to a position right behind her, she thrust her can of mace in my face and commenced to sprayin’. I bellered in pain and surprise. Even though she was chokin’ on the mace herself, she didn’t let up until I knocked it loose from her grasp.

“Are ya stupid?!?” I exclaimed, eyes, nose and throat burning as if I’d swallowed a match and splashed gasoline in my eyes.

(From “Mexican Radio”)

And finally what is next for Jaysen True Blood?

I have two novellas, “Bad Company” and “The Faust Syndrome”, due out in a couple months and am working on a third. I also have another collection in the works.

 

You can download Mexican Radio and Other Short Stories now from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mexican-Radio-Other-Short-Stories-ebook/dp/B00FLL00GM/ref=la_B00IUNJWFI_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411485010&sr=1-4


The Science of Loving

Before we go any further I have to put up a warning. The following contains scenes of a sexual nature and adult language. The Science of Loving is an erotic novel from Candace Vianna so if this is your thing then read her exclusive extract.

Him:
I woke next to a sleeping angel. Her lips pursed as her eyes shuttled back and forth beneath her eyelids—that had better be me she was kissing in her dreams—her hair was a disarming mess, sticking out in some spots, dried sweat gluing it flat in others; her creamy skin was patched with beard burn. I liked her wearing my marks, but the idea of other guys seeing them didn’t sit well with me. Last thing I wanted was some tool seeing how fuckable she was, or worse, looking down on her thinking she was easy. She was mine and I wasn’t sharing.

Shit, my bladder was ready to explode, but after yesterday morning’s freak-out there was no way I was letting her wake up alone. Grinning, I tickled her nose, her lips, making them twitch. She rolled over, burying her face in her pillow, leaving me no choice, but to go looking for other things to tickle, starting with her shoulders. I began tracing little circles over her skin.

“Mmmmm…” She stretched sleepily, rolling over, sliding her leg around me making my cock jump as the duct tape bands scratched my skin. She stopped breathing, her body no longer relaxed. I guess she noticed.

“Morning, sweetness.”

“Morning,” she mumbled, shyly burrowing into me.

“Much as I would love wiling away the morning in your arms, nature’s been calling me for a while.” Flipping the sleeping bag open, I took a moment to admire my properly fucked woman. I fingered the band on her wrist. “I really hate removing these, but they might raise a few eyebrows, not to mention some really uncomfortable questions.” I crawled over her, returning with my penknife. “Wrist.” I slipped the knife under the band, sawing until the tape gave way. I briefly massaged her wrist—I need to find something that doesn’t leave marks—then went to work on the others until she was band free.

“I hear you awake in there.” The tent rattled from Danny’s abuse. Fuck, I hate early risers.

“Yeah. Yeah… Give us a minute.”

After tossing Angie her jeans and last night’s tee, I yanked my shorts on and left to thwart any further assaults on our tent.

“Morning Biggie.” Danny smirked.

“Morning,” I grumbled. “Where’s Brett.”

“He went for a walk. He’s been up for a while.”

“I take it he’s another early riser.”

“Boy howdy.” The pleased look on her face was warning enough to change the subject.

“Avery?”

“Car.”

“Shit, I’d hoped he’d crawl back under his rock during the night. I guess we’re breaking camp early.”

“Yeah, I figured as much. Before you leave, we should make sure Dad can get the RV closed, just in case, ya know?”

“Uh huh,” I said, dropping Angie’s shower shoes at her feet after she climbed out of the tent, steadying her while she squiggled her toes under the straps.

“Morning Brain, nice hair.” Danny grinned at Angie’s bedhead. This was definitely a Kodak moment. Dammit, where’s my phone?

“Same back at ya, Pinky.” Maybe I should lend her a hat. Naw… This is too funny not to share.

“Ooh, someone’s feeling feisty this morning. I knew Biggie’d be a good influence.”

Angie blushed. “I need a shower.”

“No shit, you guys reek.”

“Fuck off.” I said after faking a silent laugh. I turned, offering Angie my arm, “Come Angelina, let us ignore this philistine and attend to our morning ablutions.”

Strutting off with our noses in the air—well, my nose anyway—we ambled through the campground, enjoying its unique flavor at the start of the day. The night’s dewy softness had yet to burn off, and snores and groaning, hung-over murmurs drifted on the shifting breeze, mixing with notes of smoke, trees and mold, along with occasional dashes of vomit and latrine.

Her:
“I wandered into the showers not really thinking. Apparently Mat’d found an on/off switch that led directly from my mouth to my brain. Shit! I almost had a heart attack when I spied the dark haired disaster victim walking next to me. I spun, and stared at my reflection. Now Danny’s ‘nice hair’ remark made a lot more sense. Frizzy clumps of hair were sticking out from my head at odd angles while other spots were smashed flat, making me look something like the Elephant Man—yeah, if he stuck his finger in a light socket—this wasn’t my typical bed-head. I didn’t know what this was—Fuckhead. I had fuckhead—shit, Mat’d seen me like this—oh, my God, he let me walk around like this! That asshole.

I jumped in the shower without thinking, letting out a girly squeal when the frigid water bitch slapped me—Bitch slapped? I’ve been spending way too much time around Danny; my inner voice was beginning to sound like her. If I wasn’t careful, I was going to end up with intimate piercings and covered in tattoos—I scraped my scalp vigorously then turned to my body, noting more than a few tender spots. I wasn’t sore exactly—okay I was sore, but in a good way—and the water burned where it struck raw patches. Muscles unaccustomed to use were tight, and my groin felt deliciously bruised. All in all, I could finally say I’d been well used and thoroughly debauched.

I was just bundling my dirty clothes in my towel when the fem-bots strolled in. “Hey guys,” I said, not wanting to be rude.

“Hey.” Suzi grinned. She was by far the nicest, if not too terribly bright. The others’ just ignored me. Like I care.

Mat was waiting tensely outside. He blinded me with a broad smile when he saw me and I melted—then frowned. Wasn’t I mad about something? But it was impossible to be mad at someone who looked and smelled so yummy. “Hey baby.”

“Hey.” His eyes roam over me, his smile widening when they reached my curls. Shit, my morning fuckhead. You rat bastard.

“I should be mad at you.” His smile faltered.

“Should be? Does that mean I’m forgiven?”

“Yes, not that you deserve it. Good thing you’re so pretty.” I swiped at him lightly. I couldn’t bring myself to beat on him the way Danny did.

“Care to share what offense my manly charms have overcome?” he said as I made a half-hearted attempt to escape his ogre arms.

“I looked in the mirror.” His smile returned full force then grew so wide his eyes crinkled. “I can’t believe you let me walk around like that. It’s your fault you know. It must’ve been all that hair pulling last night.” The fem-bots walked out just as that comment left my mouth. Shit.

“But baby, you wear just fucked hair so well,” Mat drawled, tugging one of my curls, earning me another round of nasty looks from the lingering bimbos. Awkward…

“That wasn’t just fucked hair. That was rode hard and put away wet hair,” I hissed making him laugh. “Thank God, everyone was still sleeping when we walked over here—oh, shit, Danny… She’s going to tease me for months.”

“Naw.” The bald headed freak grinned. “Years.” That damn smile didn’t leave his face the entire walk back. Jerk.

There was more activity around us now. Our fellow campers were emerging from their tents and RVs, turning wisps of smoke into clouds as campfires were stirred back to life. Pots clanked and excited Spanish blared from a radio tuned to a Mexican station. Avery cut a forlorn figure as we approached, huddling dejectedly under the canopy. The men didn’t acknowledge each other. Mat just continued on to the camper’s open door, dragging me in after him, the spicy scent of chorizo immediately making my mouth water.”

 

You can buy this book from Amazon now: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MXC0E2C

And find out more about Candace Vianna here: 

https://www.goodreads.com/Candace_Vianna
https://www.facebook.com/candaceviannawrites

http://candaceviannawrites.tumblr.com


Other Victims

Other Victims by Rachel JanLynnette McCormick is a fictional story about the Holocaust and Rachel has very kindly prepared a character introduction for us today. So allow me to introduce Namib Mushelenga.

 

 

Namib Mushelenga is the main character of my novel, with the story revolving around her and her experiences as she tries her best to live her life in the infamous Nazi Germany. Her name is short for the African country Namibia, which her black Namibian father, Omir Mushelenga, named her after. Namib’s white German mother is named Lody Mushelenga. When Hitler comes up with the devastating Death or Divorce Law, targeting interracial couples with death in a concentration camp or divorce instead, the couple and their daughter are forced to go into hiding, living in an apartment abandoned by a Jewish family. Namib is just three-years-old at the time in 1933. Now Namib is fifteen-years-old in 1944, rather small for her age and pretty thin due to stress. Because she is not an Aryan, she cannot do a lot of the many things people tend to take for granted. She can never vote, go to school, or marry an Aryan man if she wanted to. However, Namib does go to an underground school at an undisclosed location. The fact that she has to go out of her way to go to an underground school further from her home, but cannot go to the one closer to her home shows how the Nazis did not want nonAryans to be around and live productive lives. Something as simple as looking out of the window, can be life-threatening to her, for fear someone will see her and make trouble. Because she is of mixed race, Namib must deal with Aryans who don’t like her because she is half-black and then with blacks who do not like her because they feel she is half-Aryan. Understandably, she suffers a lot emotionally, being sad about her unfair circumstances. The only few things in her life that she has to make her happy are her Jewish boyfriend named Aven Beneluz, her best friend Damara Nande who is an black, African girl from Namibia, her Polish aunt named Anka von Bon that she wishes she could see more of, her God, and the hope that she and her father will soon flee from Nazi Germany and her mother, who has been growing abusive to her. Namib learns over time to try and weather the storm of her life and country.

 

Read more about Namib here: http://www.amazon.com/Other-Victims-Historical-Experiences-Persecution/dp/1492188905/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411047267&sr=1-1&keywords=rachael+janlynnette+mccormick