Sunday, December 16, 2018

Ingrid St. John HaUNTED






Since her childhood, Ingrid has been in love with thriller, mysteries, and horror. She grew from reading Nancy Drew and Francine Pascal to reading Brandon Massey, Michael Romkey, and Tananarive Due. It was after watching A Nightmare on Elm Street that inspired her into writing her own stories. In addition to her love of writing, she is the founder of 1287 Pictures, a production company that will produce horror and thriller films.

Ingrid currently resides in Northern California, and is looking forward to thrilling, and scaring you with more to come...



AUTHOR INTERVIEW 

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 
In 6th Grade when I wrote my first soap opera. It was something for fun to have my friend’s read during recess. It was solidified the same year when I wrote a book of poetry for an art project and it won an award.
For my novella, it took three months.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing? g?
Mainly at night, sometimes between 2-4 hours per night.
I like building dialogue where physical altercations follow afterward. 1980s' Dynasty was excellent in that regard.

How do your books get published?

My debut novella HaUNTED is published independently through Southern Owl Publications.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Research for medical and police based dialogue, the news and scenarios that I concoct in my head.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

10 years old.

What do you like to do when you're not writing? 

I love watching horror movies. Cam and Pooka are on my watch list as a must see. Collecting vinyl, music is such a vital part of my life. Baking, hiking, playing really bad pool, collecting and reading graphic novels and comic books.

What does your family think of your writing?

When my mother threw away my soap operas when I was younger I did bother to share with her anymore. Fast forward to 2018 and she asked if she could read HaUNTED and she really liked it. My niece enjoyed the book as well, along with my boyfriend who promotes it every chance he gets.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That I can be as descriptive and intense as I want. 

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

HaUNTED is my first and my favorite, naturally. 

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Be yourself. Create characters and stories of your choosing. Every writers' approach to drafting the story will be different. Some like to outline, others may work on the essence of the characters. Dedicate to write even if it is an hour a day. Make your area where you write a haven that you want to come to until the book is completed.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Sometimes, most post their reviews online. One reader said they really enjoyed the story and did not put the book down until finished. Others want a sequel.

Do you like to create books for adults? 

Yes. The subject matters in my books are adult themed.

What do you think makes a good story?

The plot, tone, characters, and the overall universe the story is in.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Become an actor, which I did.

Any books in the works?

Yes. It will be the second book to HaUNTED. Not necessarily a sequel, however, it introduces a character that is mentioned in HaUNTED.

What are your plans for the future? 

Staying focused on the present, one day at a time, as I have a lot planned.


HaUNTED: A Novella

You never know who you can trust...

Camille Isaacs has all that Hollywood devours - likability, looks, talent, and mass appeal. Her career is on the verge of stardom until a savage attack leaves Camille scarred and uncertain of her future in Hollywood. Now on the mend and getting her life and career back on track, Camille finds herself prey to a predator as she is faced with another demented attacker. Camille has a choice to make. Take her life back, or succumb to the perils that have been thrust in front of her yet again. Is the attacker coming for revenge, or is it a copycat? It's survival of the direst circumstance. Can she make it out a second time?







Monday, August 6, 2018

Katie Holland "Nykara" A thrilling fantasy series

Pre-order Nykara for only $0.99!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G6PRZGM

Alix had lived in the small town of Sunset Creek her entire life. A town where nothing exciting ever happens. That is until the day before her senior year started. A new family moved into the abandoned place at the end of the road. Ben and his family seem nice enough but since the day they arrived strange things started happening. It seems like only Alix and her best friend Shay could see it though. And stranger yet it all seemed to be centered around Alix. Her life changes forever when on her seventeenth birthday she learns who and what she really is. But can she become the person the world needs? Can she really save them all?
Join Alix, Shay, and Ben as they start their magical journey in the world of the Nykara.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Gumshoe Girl by Andi Ramos



How do I get in the mood??

I know where your mind went… and rightfully so, but I am referencing writing here. Explicitly writing those scenes I want to impact readers whether it be a funny scene, a suspense scene, an emotional scene or a love scene. I want the readers to feel what my characters feel, to laugh, to cry, to feel wanting. So, how do I make all those emotions come out on the computer screen? My secret is music. I have playlists for whatever mood I want to portray. Now I usually listen to music as I write, but it’s serene spa sounds, babbling brooks, ocean waves, with some instrumental in the background. For my mood setting scenes, I listen to intense music with impactful lyrics. I close my eyes and type away. I try to let the music take me to the place I need my characters to be, more often than not precisely I get what I need on the screen. I want to thank Zrinka for hosting me today to help introduce my debut novel, Gumshoe Girl.


Book Blurb:
Sheagan O’Hare got more than she bargained for when her newly inherited detective agency lands its first case; a missing person, embezzlement, and murder. Sheagan’s out to prove she can hang with the pros, despite the constant reminder of her amateur status from an annoyingly attractive FBI agent, Colin 'Mac' MacEvine, who’s forced himself into her life.

How does she feel when an old high school friend hopes to ignite a new romance?

Will she be able to discover if detective work and love can mingle before someone gets hurt?






Book Excerpt:
Sheagan blinked back the sting in her eyes as sweat drizzled from her forehead. Her shoulders and forearms cried out as determination inched her body forward through the tin walls that framed her slender figure. The narrow shaft rendered her legs useless as they dragged behind her like dead weight. She made a vow to start working out as she approached her destination, the metal grate that looked down into the sweetheart suite of the Eliot Hotel.
She shimmied her binoculars out of her bag and clutched them in her sweaty palms as she readied herself to delve into the world of private investigating. The friction of her movements caused her mahogany mane to cling to all the surfaces of her temporary confinement. Perched behind the filigree frame, peering like a caged animal, she was a mere 20 feet from her target. Her target? The Rat Bastard, who up until this very moment she’d called boyfriend.

She wasn’t there to kill him, even though the thought had crossed her mind; no, she was there to catch him in the act. She suspected he had been cheating on her for some time, so proof would end her suspicion or the relationship. Spying on her significant other through an air-vent of a swanky hotel room was hardly a promising start to her so-called glamorous career as a private detective. But it snapped her back into the reality that her new chosen profession would often be messy and difficult.

She peered through the grate and envied the spacious room below, but her viewing angle was no good for the task at hand. She could feel the heat in her cheeks rise along with her anger as she scanned the room and soaked in the extravagance–the hardw
ood tables, the Italian marble fireplace, the opulent sheen of the fabric on the overstuffed furniture that glimmered in the soft candlelight. The Rat Bastard was not known to overindulge on frivolous expenses, unless it was on her dime. Thoughts of killing him resurfaced.

What is wrong with me? Why did I wait so long?

She immediately regretted the fleeting question. She knew why. The answer brought back the pain and significance of her father’s sudden death. He had been the only family she had left, and he was gone. All that was left behind was his detective agency. She had thought about giv
ing it up, but she couldn’t; it was her only connection to him, to her family.

She closed her eyes briefly, realizing that now she was facing more loss–even if he was a lying, cheating Rat Bastard.

No! It’s better this way, stay focused.

She choked in a breath and turned her attention back to the room. His secret love nest was finished with soothing tones on the walls and thick, plush carpeting.

What is that on the end table?

Her gaze was drawn to the bottle label as it bobbed upside down in the melting ice. She sharpened the focus of her binoculars, and her eyes widened in recognitio
n.

Her cheeks flushed. Cristal, she scoffed. Who is this Bimbo, anyway?

As if she had room to criticize this girl’s intelligence, when Sheagan was the one sweating her makeup off in a four-by-four-foot air-duct.

Yeah, who’s the stupid one?

She heard passionate sounds coming from the right of the room and recognized his tone. Leaning sideways, Sheagan pressed her face to the grate, but her limited view revealed only a portion of the bed and unable to make out major details, like faces.

Crap, I can’t see anything. Damn! She needed to get a better look

As she shifted her weight, the metal walls started to reverberate and Sheagan stifled a gasp, willing the rumbling to cease. Her breathing became labo
red as the musty air stole the aroma of the sweet perfume wafting up waft from the suite below. She stilled her movements and did the only thing she could think of… nothing. Nothing but stare at the heap of blankets and wait.

Come on, bimbo, come up for air. I know he do
esn’t last that long.

Her discomfort increased as the noise from their passion became more intense.

Ugh, that’s it, I’ve had it!

She mashed her cheek and upper body against the grate.

I just need a peek to confirm.

She pressed harder, ogling the bed. Finally, she caught a tiny glimpse.

Just a little further.

She pushed and heard a chirring sound, then a scraping. She froze in place, but the grate gave way with a creaking groan and crashed to th
e ground. Time stood still as Sheagan realized there was nothing between her and the floor except air.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Gumshoe-Girl-Andi-Ramos-ebook/dp/B07CMZVJ9Z
  Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Gumshoe-Girl-Andi-Ramos-ebook/dp/B07CMZVJ9Z


Author Bio: 

Andi Ramos grew up in central Massachusetts where she still lives today with her family, goat, and Boston Terriers. Her love for reading grew into a passion for writing. She dabbled with pen and paper for a long time and eventually stopped pushing her amusements aside and started developing those stories into novels. One of her favorite things to do is to hop into her motorhome with her family and write while traveling down the road as they journey to various destinations.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Ghosts of the Sea Moon by Anita Stewart






 
Book Info:

Title: Ghosts of the Sea Moon (Saga of the Outer Islands Book 1)
Author: A. F. Stewart
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publication Date: January 13th, 2018
Paperback Price: $12.99
Digital Price: Pre-order and Release Price $0.99. Will go up to $2.99 on February 14th

TAG LINES:
Come set sail with ghosts, gods and sea monsters.
Ghosts, Gods, and Sea Monsters.


Free companion prequel story, Sea Bound: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/Ge8gj

Ghosts of the Sea Moon Blurb

 
In the Outer Islands, gods and magic rule the ocean.
Under the command of Captain Rafe Morrow, the crew of the Celestial Jewel ferry souls to the After World and defend the seas from monsters. Rafe has dedicated his life to protecting the lost, but the tides have shifted and times have changed.
His sister, the Goddess of the Moon, is on a rampage and her creatures are terrorizing the islands. The survival of the living and dead hinge on the courage and cunning of a beleaguered captain and his motley crew of men and ghosts.
What he doesn’t know is that her threat is part of a larger game. That an ancient, black-winged malevolence is using them all as pawns…

Come set sail with ghosts, gods and sea monsters.

Buy Links:

Books2Read link (all non-Amazon retailers): https://www.books2read.com/u/ml5GvM


Author Links:
Newsletter Signup: http://eepurl.com/OGrTT

Author Bio:
A steadfast and proud sci-fi and fantasy geek, A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada and still calls it home. The youngest in a family of seven children, she always had an overly creative mind and an active imagination. She favours the dark and deadly when writing—her genres of choice being fantasy and horror—but she has been known to venture into the light on occasion. As an indie author she’s published novels, novellas and story collections, with a few side trips into poetry.






Excerpt:

The Captain



Captain Rafe Morrow paced the quarterdeck of his ship, Celestial Jewel, the signs of an oncoming squall setting him on edge. Blustering wind rattled the sails and the crew’s nerves, their usual jaunty hubbub reduced to grumbling and snipes. Trouble travelled on that wind. Rafe could smell it woven in the air, and his blood prickled with a sense of worry. The ship trembled as if with warning. He glared at the sky and its darkening clouds painted amber and crimson from the setting sun. A storm sky coming ahead of a full moon meant dark magic and sea monsters would prowl the waves this night.
The Moon Goddess will hold sway tonight.
A trickle of blue energy raced across the back of his hand at the thought.
Damn her…and her beasts.
On the breath of a sigh, he whirled to face his crew. “Storm’s coming, boys. Doesn’t bode well, not with the moonrise tonight.”
“How long, Captain? Will we be in the thick of the weather or just what comes after?” A rough-edged sailor, Pinky Jasper, spoke up, but all ears of the deck crew listened for an answer.
“It’s coming within an hour or two, out from Raven Rock, by my reckoning. After nightfall by certain. We’re heading in, boys, but we’ll likely hit the edge of it.” He heaved a breath, exhaling. “It’ll be a bad one even for this crew so expect trouble.”
A shiver of tension settled over the deck. Some of the crew cast worried glances at the sea and each other. Others shivered, and a few more whispered prayers. Storms brought bad memories and nervous anticipation to the sailors of this ship.
“Which port then, Captain?” The mariner at the ship’s wheel chimed in. “Might make Abersythe if we head north.”
“We might, Anders. But we head east. We’ll race the edge of the tempest, but it’s closer and the ship will find better shelter anchored at Crickwell Island.”
“Aye, sir. Laying in course to Crickwell Island.” One-Eyed Anders turned the wheel and the ship’s bones groaned. Others of the crew adjusted the sails, and the Celestial Jewel leaned into her new bearing headed east.

Instafreebie preview (download the first four chapters free): https://www.instafreebie.com/free/cu9nx




Monday, November 13, 2017

Meet Garth Pettersen and his novel The Swan's Road




In the eleventh century, Cnute, the Viking king of Engla-lond and Scandinavia, sails with his son, Harald, and his shield brothers to Rome. Thrown off course by a storm, they follow the route up the Rhine. When Harald hangs back to assist Selia, a beautiful Frisian woman, his path turns perilous. Newfound enemies, retainers of Robert the Devil, Duke of Normandy, pursue them. Harald, Selia, and their companions fail to rendezvous with King Cnute, and are forced to travel cross-country on horseback. If Duke Robert's plan to assassinate Cnute succeeds, an invasion of Engla-lond will follow. Can Harald and Selia reach Rome in time to warn the King?

A Rose by Any Other Name…

          Words interest me. I love learning new words and researching word origins (etymology). Words have two aspects: how they sound and what they mean. When it comes to names, what they mean no longer matters to us, but there is a third aspect, what associations they have for the reader.
          As a writer, I have a number of resource books at hand such as Chambers Slang Dictionary, Medieval Terms and Phrases, and Dictionary of Surnames. One useful resource is The Baby Name Survey Book, by Bruce Lansky and Barry Sinrod. The subtitle reads, "What people think about your baby's name". So you're writing a romance novel and you have a male character who is a sloppy ne'er-do-well and you want to call him Freeman. This reference book tells you "people picture Freeman as a handsome, neat, well-dressed, proud, and wealthy black man." Several examples are listed: football's Freeman McNeil, actor Morgan Freeman. I won't dwell on this; the point is to consider associations the reader may have with a name.
          Historical fiction is a genre I write in and the time I spend choosing character names is enjoyable. One story I am writing has the protagonist wash up on the Falkland Islands in the early nineteenth century. I don't wish to have him struggle with Spanish speakers, so I make the patriarch of the family who find him Irish––having first researched and discovered many Irish soldiers settled in Argentina after a failed invasion by Britain. My naming process is to google Irish surnames, read through the lists, and pull out several possible choices. I narrow the list down to four or five. In this case, they were:
·        MacGuigan
·        MacGrealish
·        MacKigo
·        O'Hehir
·        O'Hagan
          Then I do the same with Irish male Christian names. I found so many good ones.
·        Darragh
·        Ciaran
·        Cleary
·        Clooney
·        Murtagh
·        Ruari (Rory)
·        Tierney
          What becomes important to me now is the sound and rhythm of when first and last name come together. I came up with one of the most rhythmic names: Clooney MacKigo. Say it aloud a few times. Feel the rhythm? You could probably tap it out on a drum. And I'm getting a sense of the character. Clooney will have a sense of humor, but MacKigo is strong-willed and a force to be reckoned with.
          I have used this process with The Swan's Road, my novel set in eleventh-century Europe. I have had to find names for medieval Saxons, Danes, Frisians, Normans, Welshmen, European Jews, and Italians. Usually, I have an idea for the character and I search for a suitable name. I named my female protagonist, a determined and confident beauty, Selia Fehr––forgive me the play on Selia the Fair, I just loved the name. One good thing about a period and ethnic names is they do not carry the baggage discussed earlier.
          Here is an excerpt from The Dane Law, a sequel to The Swan's Road, and a work in progress. My protagonist, Harald, and his friends are kidding another Danish friend, Yngvarr about how the king will reward him.

            "…so he may give you gold…"
            Yngvarr's eyes opened wide.
            "…or land.."
            Yngvarr took on the look of a puffed up grouse in full courtship. He took another swig of ale.
            "…or he may do you the ultimate of honor of marrying you to my ugly cousin, Gullborga."
            We three doves aside as Yngvarr sprayed his mouthful of ale across the table.
            "I beg of your pardon," Yngvarr said to Selia as he wiped the table with his sleeve.
            "It is all right," she told him. "Harald must have his jesting." She gave a look to me and shook her head slightly.
            "You don't have an ugly cousin Gullborga, do you, Harald?"
            "No, Yngvarr. In truth, I do not."
            "Well then, that's good."
            "No, her name's Bothilda and she's twice your size!"
            "Ah, you won't be catching me twice on that one," said Yngvarr, "besides, the bigger the woman, the warmer the bed. I've always admired a woman with plenty to hold on to."

         This is a playful scene that only works because of the choice of particularly unflattering names for the imagined cousin. I hope it ended on a positive note for bountiful women.
          One other important thing a writer should do is keep track of names and avoid using ones that look similar or are the same. I have read novels where they have two Michaels or a Michael and a Michelle. I keep an alphabetical list and try not to double up on monikers starting with the same letter. A fast reader may mix up the names. You would not have a Terry and a Jerry, even if they were twins.
         I'll end with a few of the fictional character names I used in The Swan's Road and let you determine what kind of character qualities each conjures up.
·        Alric
·        Bertran deZouche
·        Floriano Roncalli
·        Ravya ben Naaman
·        Urbano Pupo
         To see if you are right, you'll have to read The Swan's Road. I hope this article gives you a greater appreciation of well-named characters. And if you were to change your name…

#


Bio:
             Garth Pettersen is a Canadian writer who lives in the Fraser Valley near Vancouver, British Columbia. When he's not writing, he's riding horses and working with young, disabled riders.Garth's short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies, and in journals such as Blank SpacesThe Spadina Literary Reviewand The Opening Line Literary 'Zine. His story River's Rising was awarded an Honourable Mention for the Short Story America 2017 Prize, and his fantasy novella, River Born, was one of two runners-up in the Wundor Editions (UK) Short Fiction Prize. His debut novel, The Swan's Road will be released November 15th, by Tirgearr Publishing.
           

Links:

Friday, October 13, 2017

#OctoberFrights - Day 4 - Lucky Friday the 13th

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Ever wondered why we regard number 13 unlucky? And especially Friday the 13th?
Friday the 13th occurs at least once every year, and up to three times a year. In 2017, it occurs twice, on January 13 and October 13.There will be two Friday the 13th per year until 2020, where 2021 and 2022 will have just one occurrence. I bet you didn't know that.
The fear of the number 13 has been given a scientific name: "triskaidekaphobia" (how's that for a tongue twister?); and on analogy to this the fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia (and if the first word haven't got your tongue in a knot, this one will for sure), from the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή, meaning "Friday"), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς, meaning "thirteen").

The superstition surrounding this day may have arisen in the Middle Ages, "originating from the story of Jesus' last supper and crucifixion" in which there were 13 individuals present in the Upper Room on the 13th of Nisan Maundy Thursday, the night before his death on Good Friday. While there is evidence of both Friday and the number 13 being considered unlucky, there is no record of the two items being referred to as especially unlucky in conjunction before the 19th century.
An early documented reference in English occurs in Henry Sutherland Edwards' 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, who died on a Friday 13th:
He [Rossini] was surrounded to the last by admiring friends; and if it be true that, like so many Italians, he regarded Fridays as an unlucky day and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday 13th of November he passed away.
A suggested origin of the superstition—Friday, 13 October 1307, the date Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar—may not have been formulated until the 20th century. It is mentioned in the 1955 Maurice Druon historical novel The Iron King (Le Roi de fer), John J. Robinson's 1989 work Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry, Dan Brown's 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code and Steve Berry's The Templar Legacy (2006).

Social impact

According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day, making it the most feared day and date in history. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. "It's been estimated that [US]$800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day". Despite this, representatives for both Delta Air Lines and now-defunct Continental Airlines have stated that their airlines do not suffer from any noticeable drop in travel on those Fridays.
In Finland, a consortium of governmental and nongovernmental organizations led by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health promotes the National Accident Day (kansallinen tapaturmapäivä) to raise awareness about automotive safety, which always falls on a Friday the 13th.The event is coordinated by the Finnish Red Cross and has been held since 1995.

Rate of accidents

A study in the British Medical Journal, published in 1993, concluded that there "is a significant level of traffic-related incidences on Friday the 13th as opposed to a random day, such as Friday the 6th, in the UK." However, the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics on 12 June 2008 stated that "fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home. Statistically speaking, driving is slightly safer on Friday the 13th, at least in the Netherlands; in the last two years, Dutch insurers received reports of an average 7,800 traffic accidents each Friday; but the average figure when the 13th fell on a Friday was just 7,500.

Source Wikipedia

Happy Friday the 13th



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