Monday, October 22, 2018

HALLOWEEN EDITION #3: THE CRUX OF REVENGE, by Derek Brown (FREE ON KINDLE NOW)


Halloween is only a couple of weeks away. As it gets closer, my temptation to buy a supersize bag of trick-or-treat candy from Target grows larger. I've promised to cut back on both sugar and salt in my diet (due to being quite pregnant and quite anemic, and the salt causes my poor, overworked extremities to swell), so Halloween, for me, has been a bit of a challenge. I mean, should I buy the celery or the five-pound bag of Candy Corn? These are the decisions that make or break our lives, people. 

This week, however, we're featuring Derek Brown, author of the horror novella, The Crux of Revenge. You may have guessed by its title that it's about vengeance, among other horrifying things (much to the delight of horror fans). Derek's novella will be FREE on Kindle starting today, with the sale running for five full days. Give his book a try - you may find that it's just the read you've been searching for this October!


Title: The Crux of Revenge
Author: Derek Brown
Series: Novella
Release: Available NOW on Kindle for FREE!

Synopsis:

Can revenge truly get us what we desire? 
Or will it destroy all we love in it's path? 

Generations ago, the city of Louisville was young, and on the brink of greatness. Industry was booming, and people from all around were flocking to its opportunities. Deep in the ever diminishing Bernheim forest, a hidden threat is imminent. Three sisters, fueled by a growing hatred for the mayor and his council, are ready to unleash a horrible nightmare on the city. A century old struggle comes to its head in this thrilling tale of magic, greed, and forbidden love. 

Also grab it on Paperback!
About the Author 


Derek Brown was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but around the age of six, his family moved to the small farm town of Stamping Ground. This mix of northern liberal ideas and southern conservative traditions has given him a unique perspective on life. He is a life long lover of books, on both sides of the page, and hopes to add his voice to the literary world. His work has been featured in Blood Moon Rising Magazine, on drunkenpenwriting.com, and he also writes a series for channillo.com titled ‘Carla and Cleidus’. When Derek isn't writing, he spends his best moments with his wife, Nikki, and their daughter, Alexis.

Author Blogs:
Author Blog




Also check out Derek's twitter page, @KyHorror , to keep up with his horror-writing!



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Monday, October 15, 2018

HALLOWEEN EDITION #2: THE GIRL WHO DIGS GRAVES, by Willie E. Dalton


How's October treating you so far? Our second edition of Spooky Halloween Reads is here, which means Halloween is just that much closer! While I'm not a big horror-movie person (I like thrilling movies or slightly scary movies, but not straight-up horror), I do like a good scary book. This week's featured author, Willie E. Dalton, is bringing plenty of scary to the table with her Gravedigger Series, which is a blend of humor, Gothic delight, and downright Halloween-spookiness. 

Today I'm featuring all three of her books in the series, and I hope you'll give this author a chance. Her novels are available on Amazon. They're free for Kindle Unlimited members and 2.99 otherwise (which is still a great price!). 



Title: The Girl Who Digs Graves
Author: Willie E. Dalton
Series: Gravedigger #1
Grab it: Amazon!

Synopsis:

My name is Helena Pierce, Hel for short. I’m a gravedigger... well I was when I was alive anyway. 
I had a rough start in life, losing both my parents before I was even a week old. Thankfully, Ray took me in and taught me his trade. I grew used to death, just another part of life. 
I enjoyed being the caretaker of the old mountain cemetery, and one day while I was out digging a fresh grave, I met someone. Raphael was dark and mysterious, and I fell for him hard enough to consider changing everything I’d ever known. Then, I was murdered.
Waking up dead with a grumpy Viking shining a light in my eyes was the last thing I expected. Even more surprising was meeting the vampires that roam the streets of the underworld. 
The job assigned to me here is reaping souls in the fields of the dead. Basically, I went from digging graves on one side, to digging them up on the other. I’m the only female reaper, but I don’t mind, and my boss, Soren, is warming up to me...a little. 
I still miss my Raphael with everything inside of me and am trying to adjust to this new life of being dead. It’s not all bad, but it certainly isn’t what I thought death would be like. It isn’t restful and my soul definitely isn’t at peace.




Book Two of The Gravedigger Series
Grab it on Amazon!

Synopsis:

“Reapers, vampires, and… zombies?”

I wasn’t sure just how much more emotional upheaval I was capable of handling. I never knew this would still be an issue after death. I was still coping with the latest trauma, when my best friend, Grace came to me with startling news. Boude, her boyfriend, was missing. 
Vampire affairs is something I try to avoid, after all, the vampire Rasputin had tried to kill me more than once, and had been the one to take Grace’s eye and disfigure the side of her lovely face. I had a sneaking suspicion he was also the one behind our missing friend. 
Not one to sit idly by while my friend suffered, I started investigating the inner workings of the Vampire Quarter; a breathtaking and sinister area of the underworld. 
In the fields of the dead, bodies were disappearing as fast as the other reapers and I could dig them up, and things at the Assignment Hall were profoundly more strange as all of the employees suddenly had fangs.
The deeper we kept digging into the bizarre events, a terrifying plot unfolded that could bring down the underworld as we knew it. And when the bodies in the field started clawing their way out of the graves, I realized we were up against something more powerful than we could ever have imagined.

Book Three in The Gravedigger Series
Grab it on Amazon!

Synopsis:

“Sometimes when everything goes to Hell, you have to go in after it.”

When Persephone left Helena in charge of ruling the underworld, the last thing Hel expected was to be taken prisoner by Hades.

After a lovely and intriguing new face offers unexpected help, Hel emerges from her confinement to find nothing is as she left it. The doors between underworlds are open, and gods are competing for new souls to claim. The fields are empty because the living aren't dying, and new souls are pouring in from other afterlives. 

Once reunited with those she holds most dear, Hel learns the whereabouts of the one person she's never stopped looking for, Raphael. Now she's on her way to Hell to get him back, and learning that no one is who they seem to be, not even herself.



About the Author 

Willie E. Dalton is a full-time writer at her home in Duffield, Va. She is the author of Three

Witches in a Small Town, The Dark Side of the Woods, and The Gravedigger series. When she is isn’t writing, Willie is an active volunteer for the local cat rescue “Appalachian Feline Friends.”


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Monday, October 8, 2018

HALLOWEEN EDITION #1: MIDNIGHT NEVER ENDS, BY THOMAS AMO


Happy October, friends! I don't know about you, but I am so ready for fall this year! As I'm writing this, it looks like it's about to rain outside, and I'm adequately prepped: I've got my mug of hot coffee and my dogs snuggled up in the office beside me. I've even got the itch to go buy a pumpkin. 

This month at Writing Belle, I'm featuring ALL spooky or autumn-themed books and their authors to celebrate our arrival into the season of all things orange, red, and yellow. 

Our first author this month is Thomas Amo. I've featured him before (you may recall his book, Forever Me, which I featured here this past spring), and this month, he's back with a horror novel that's sure to scare the socks right off your proverbial feet! He says he gained inspiration for the novel from a show that was on TV during the 1970s called Rod Serling's Night Gallery. Here we are: 


Title: Midnight Never Ends
Author: Thomas Amo 
Release: Available NOW

Synopsis:

Four twisted tales of horror from author, Thomas Amo, that pay tribute to master writer of the macabre, Rod Serling, and the gothic, little salon, where sinister artwork tell the stories, in a place known as, the Night Gallery. 

You're invited to join us as we display four new original canvases for you to observe and study, each with its own dark story to tell. We only ask that you do not touch the exhibited works. For very frequently, they touch back. 
{RATED FOR ADULT HORROR}

(all images courtesy of the author)
Interview with Thomas Amo



Those who may be familiar with you from 92.7 The Blitz may not realize that you have written a horror novel! Why horror - and how did you get interested in the genre? 
"I have always been a huge fan of this genre. Whether it be going back to the Universal horror films of the 1930s and 40's, or reading ghost stories, or a really good horror novel that left me chilled and unnerved. 

What inspired the creation of Midnight Never Ends? 
A sleepless night. Where I used to live there were a lot of sirens from emergency vehicles and this would cause our dogs to howl at the worst times during the night. So, after one of many treks down the stairs to quiet the dogs, I couldn't sleep. It was 2 a.m. and I turned on the television and Rod Serling's "Night Gallery" was just starting. This was a show I hadn't seen in years. When I was a boy, it terrified me. By today's standards it's fairly campy, and not too terribly scary. However, as I watched I always found the part I liked best about the show was Rod Serling introducing each story and the painting that would accompany the evening's tale. Just his monologue alone was enough to get your imagination going. As I sat there watching an episode I don't recall now, I thought to myself, I've never attempted to write short stories before. The idea of writing an anthology in the style of "Night Gallery" would be fun to try. 

So, I set out working on how many stories there would be and in addition each story needed it's very own piece of artwork just like in the Rod Serling series. I contacted an artist I had been working with since 2010 from Jakarta and I explained to her the concept and showed her the website where all the Night Gallery paintings were featured, so she could get an idea of what I was attempting to capture. She said she knew what to do right away. And boy did she deliver. I still love to just look at each piece of art prior to the story and I'm still fascinated and taken away to that creepy Gothic salon where supernatural tales are told around gas lamps or candles.  In the end I was quite happy to learn, I could write short stories and it was a perfect exercise for me as an author.

Why do you think there is such an entwined fascination with spooky things once Autumn rolls around? 
I think because it tends to be the season of storms, dark overcast skies, leaves that have died and when we come across those elements around
an abandoned house or mansion sitting off in the distance, you mind wonders if there are ghosts about? Halloween is obviously the big catalyst for the season of all things scary, but as it gets darker earlier, it allows the sinister atmosphere to begin to display its hold on our collected imaginations.
What authors inspire you? Any favorite books or publications that have influenced your career? 
Yes, several. The first horror novel I read was Jay Anson's "The Amityville Horror." I read this book in 1978 and it really did scare me. I think it's all hocum now but at 15 years of age, it made a real impression on me. From there I read  "The Exorcist" by William Peter Blatty. In hindsight I was too young to read the book, but the film was such a raging phenomenon I didn't want to miss out. Richard Matheson, was another author I enjoyed. He wrote many "Twilight Zone" episodes, even some "Night Gallery" too, but he also wrote the novel, "Hell House" which was disturbing. He also wrote the original television movie, "The Night Stalker" (another boyhood scare.) I also became attracted to Stephen King novels. Being a teen at the time "Carrie" came out, it seemed liked there was a new Stephen King novel out every other week. I don't particularly care for his work anymore. A real joy a few years back was reading Ira Levin's "Rosemary's Baby." My wife found me a hardcover first edition and, it's amazing because 95% of the book is in the film. Roman Polanski used the novel as his source material for the script and deviated very little from the novel for the screenplay, which makes the book much more entertaining.  

What do you think is the key ingredient to writing a good horror novel? 
I like the subject matter to be something that could be real. Something that could actually happen. I also like to be
creeped out. When the writer can make me begin to look around and wonder if the doors are locked, I'm really pleased.
I don't respond to gore. I think trying to gross the reader out is nothing more than laziness and a cheap gimmick on the author's part. It doesn't ring true
and doesn't really move the mood along. In fact, If I'm reading about torn limbs or zombies tearing bodies apart I find I start skipping ahead.  

Where can readers find you online? 
I'm on Facebook and Instagram, but that is mostly for my work in radio. But it's still the best way to find me. I have a Twitter, but
I no longer use it. And you can hear me Monday through Friday 9-10:30am EST on the radio. www.926theblitz.rocks Drop by and say hello. I'll shout your name to the listening world! 


Thank you so much for visiting with us today! Have a great and spooky-fun October! 


About the Author 
Thomas Amo is the author of the 1920's adventure romance, "Silence" and the stage-play of the crazy British farce, "Bob's Your Auntie!" This former full-time theatrical producer and playwright has written over 20 comedies and farces for the live theatre. Outside acting, directing and producing, his first love has always been writing. Novels include: "Forever ME." "An Apple For Zoe" When Thomas is not writing books, he is radio personality, Tom Slick, on Radio Rock 92.6 The Blitz. "Midnight Never Ends" is available on Kindle, iBooks, and in paperback on Amazon.




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Monday, September 24, 2018

LOVE IN THE NUMBERS: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE FROM AUTHOR S.R. MULLINS


Title: Love in the Numbers
Author: S.R. Mullins
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release: Available NOW on Amazon!
***
Official Synopsis
Lucy has one rule, no dating coworkers. After being burned, she swore never again would she let herself fall for someone she works with. 
Then she meets Mason. 
Will she break her rule and let love in? If she does, will she also break her heart?
Mason is home from Seattle, ready to take over his father’s accounting business. Meeting Lucy was a happy accident but the beautiful girl wants nothing to do with him. 

Can Mason show Lucy that love is worth taking a chance on?
Special Excerpt
(Courtesy of the author)

I open the door to enter the garage and turn the corner to the left towards my car, and I hit a hard wall of muscular chest and the iced coffee that muscular chest was carrying. It takes me a second to realize what has happened. 
The cold coffee is seeping through my clothes and I start to shiver. I drop my purse and start to unbutton and peel the jacket off hoping to get the worst of the cold wetness away from my skin.
“I’m so sorry. I was on my phone and not…” The deep voice starts but cuts off without finishing. 
I look into the face of the owner of that muscular chest and I am instantly transfixed by the most beautiful icy blue eyes. They are unlike any I have ever seen before. They seem to be changing the longer I am looking into them, becoming darker and even more alluring. 
He is the most handsome man I have ever seen. He must be at least a foot taller than my 5' 2", with a high sculpted chin and wide strong nose. His dark brown beard is thick but well-trimmed. His dark hair is slicked back away from his handsome face. It’s the kind of hair that is too long on the top and short on the sides, but still long enough to get your fingers tangled in. 
My heart starts to go a mile a minute the longer I stare at him. His mouth starts to move, and my eyes are drawn to his lips. Holy crap, the things that man could do to me with those lips. 
WAIT. His lips are moving… is he talking to me?


About the Author 
Growing up, S.R. Mullins was always told to "Write what you know." So, living in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, this beautiful backdrop was inspiration for her books. Born in Arizona, she moved to the Inland Northwest to explore a new area and the beautiful weather that Northern Idaho provides. 
S.R. is an avid romance fan herself, who reads as much as she possibly can. When she isn't reading, writing or taking long walks around the lake, S.R. is baker and a particular foodie.  
Thanks to the help of her self publishing expert mother, she is grateful for the opportunity to create and share stories of love with the world.



***


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Monday, September 17, 2018

WRITE WAY HOME - "WRITING MY WAY BACK TO A MEANINGFUL LIFE;" GUEST AUTHOR HEDLEY DERENZIE


"After a failed suicide attempt, author Hedley Derenzie decided rather than escaping life, she would write her way through it, every day for the next thirty-one days..." I'm so pleased and honored to be able to share Hedley's book with you this week at Writing Belle. We connected because of the author program here, and after doing some research into her book, Write Way Home, I can honestly say that I am amazed. It takes a lot of strength to do what she has done, and to share a deeply personal story with the world. Non-fiction is striking to me because there is no fictional characters or situations to hide behind. Non-fiction demands total exposure, and it takes a special person to be able to share tales from their own life in that way. Please check out her contributed article below, the introduction from Write Way Home.

Here is the official synopsis of the book:

What started out as a simple yet challenging exercise soon turned into a life-changing adventure. It became an exploration of the creative process and what it means to find true fulfillment.


Write Way Home is a personal, engaging story about one writer’s quest to navigate her way back from the brink with the help of a daily creative practice. Written in clear and simple language, it offers insights and practical suggestions to anyone who might be feeling stuck or lost and looking for a way out — as in, a way back to life.
Get it on Amazon


Writing My Way Back to a Meaningful Life 
Contributed by Hedley Derenzie

Outside my apartment in the black sky above, a ‘blue moon’ shone amid a dusting of stars. It was the evening of 31st July 2015, five months after the night I attempted to end my life. Not knowing what a blue moon was, I sat up in bed and Googled it, hoping to find some magical and symbolic explanation that would propel into some much-needed action. A blue moon is the second full moon within the calendar month. On a symbolic level, it’s supposed to be a powerful time of transition, an opportunity to make some significant changes. This was good news. I’d been given a second chance at life but since returning home from the hospital, I still wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with it. Perhaps this blue moon would help!
It was a Friday night and, apart from the blue moon, I was spending it like most Friday nights these days – in bed with my head buried in the pages of a book. I did a lot of staying home and reading books during this time as if reading about other people’s lives would help me forget about what I was going to do with mine. On this particular evening, I was deeply engaged in Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling book, Wild: A Journey From Lost To Found about her quest to walk 1,100 miles across the Pacific Crest Trail. Personally, I couldn’t imagine willingly choosing to walk across two states on my own, yet her story captivated me.
Cheryl’s journey took approximately three months and, based on her personal account, every ounce of strength, courage, and determination she had to complete it. She was 26 years old at the time and had fallen into an abyss of drug addiction and anonymous sex following the death of her mother, the disintegration of her family and the ending of her marriage. With her life spiralling out of control, her decision to walk the PCT with no training or experience was a kind of self-redemption, a way of ‘walking her way back to the person her mother had raised her to be.’
Something about Cheryl’s remarkable and courageous story spoke to a place deep within me. At thirty-seven years of age, most of my friends were married with kids and getting on with busy lives. I, on the other hand, was at home googling ‘what is a blue moon?’ While I wasn’t engaged in any self-destructive behaviours as Cheryl had been, I wasn’t doing much of anything. I was a writer who wasn’t writing. And since ending my life was no longer an option, my days revolved around doing whatever was necessary to get myself through to the next one. Life had become something of a long, monotonous plod, with the occasional astrological event thrown in for good measure.
            Turning the pages of Cheryl’s story, I could feel something turning inside me. Perhaps I could set myself a challenge? I wondered. Although what that challenge would be was the big question. When you’re feeling stuck and unmotivated, it’s difficult to come up with a challenge that’s going to unstick you and get you motivated again. A part of me couldn’t be bothered, happy to keep reading books about other people overcoming adversity. Yet Cheryl’s story kept nudging me towards action. I needed to do something to lift myself out of the hole I’d fallen into. It needed to be something that would lift my spirits and help me rediscover my passion and purpose for life.
For a second, I contemplated purchasing a backpack and walking across Australia. This idea lasted about a second before I quickly came up with a dozen reasons why this wasn’t an option. For starters, I’m not much of a camper and trekking across Australia on my own doesn’t exactly spell S-A-F-E. Plus, I’m still recovering from my last camping adventure when I ended up in the middle of the Australian desert with a urinary tract infection.
No, I needed to come up with a challenge that was safer and closer to home. Ideally, one that I could complete from the comforts of my bed if necessary. As much I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zones, I didn’t want to push myself too hard or too far. While I had built some emotional resolve over the past five months, I was still fragile. This wasn’t about setting myself up for failure, and I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks. This needed to be a challenge that would help build my emotional strength and confidence, not destroy it. It had to be hard, but it also needed to be something I could enjoy and even have some fun with. That’s when I had an idea.
It was 11.56 pm, four minutes before a new month would begin when I sat upright in bed and grabbed my notebook. With the blue moon shining above outside, I committed the idea to paper:
I will write two thousand words a day for the next thirty-one days.
            I hadn’t written anything in over year. This is despite writing being the only activity in which I experience complete joy and freedom. I’ve had several careers over the years, but I’ve always been a writer. This would be the perfect challenge, and not just because it meant I could stay in bed if necessary. This would challenge me not only as a person but it would return me to the one thing I love doing more than anything else. I decided to call it 'My Creative Pilgrimage.' Rather than walking, I would write my way back to the person I was and knew myself to be.
            Excitedly, I began listing a set of guidelines to follow during the month. If this was going to be a real challenge, there would need to be real guidelines. Aware of my tendency to bend, stretch and break the rules, especially if they’re my own, I needed to make these guidelines unquestionably clear. There would be no escape routes and no short cuts. I was going to follow through on exactly what I set out to do, and that was to write two thousand words every day for the next thirty-one days. No. Matter. What.  
            The guidelines included starting each day with a twenty-minute meditation. I would then set an intention for the day as this was also something I had stopped doing but which I used to derive great pleasure from doing. Also, it was important that what I wrote was inspired by the day’s events and situations which occurred within each twenty-four-hour period. This challenge was about re-engaging with the present, not the past. Therefore, the writing needed to reflect this. In addition, there was to be no rolling over of words. If I wrote more on one day, I couldn’t then count those extra words the next day. Each day had to stand on its own. The day would finish with the intention of gratitude.
To make the challenge official I signed my name at the bottom of the page. I also posted my intention on Facebook, figuring a public declaration would help keep me accountable should my personal signature fail, which was possible. I have started and abandoned several projects in recent years, so my word, even if it's just with myself, has lost some of its credibility. Having family and friends as my witness would help keep me on track and committed to reaching my destination, especially when things got hard which, they were bound to do.
            This challenge wasn’t so much about the number of words I could write in one day – mind you, two thousand did feel like a lot of words – it was about doing something consistently for thirty-one days. I hadn’t done anything consistently in what seemed like years. As a result, my self-confidence had suffered. Thirty-one days may not seem like a long time but when you’ve lost confidence in yourself and the motivation to get it back, thirty-one days feels like a lifetime. And after the events of that February night, a lifetime was the perfect length of time. Plus, it was also the number of days in August.
It was right at midnight when I closed my notebook and placed it back on the floor beside me. I slid back under the covers, wrapped in a haze of excitement and fatigue and nervousness. Could I do this? It didn’t matter whether or not I could. I had to. In a way, my life depended on it.
            The next morning, I set out on the first day of ‘My Creative Pilgrimage’ and boy, did it turn out to be an adventure. Not in the way I could have predicted, however. The next thirty-one days were unlike anything I could have imagined or had ever experienced to date. Each day was like a voyage into the unknown, an exploration of the concept of creativity and what it means to live a creative life. It was brilliant and beautiful. It was also one of the hardest challenges on which I’ve ever embarked. This project tested me spiritually, emotionally, mentally and even physically. Especially physically. On reflection, trekking across Australia would probably have been easier!
            I didn’t start this project with the intention of publishing a book. My focus was on following the guidelines and completing the task I had set out for myself. Sometime during the middle of the process, I came up with the title, Write Way Home. I loved this title because it encapsulated what I was doing. I was writing my way ‘home’, back to who I was and wanted to be again. Only after completing the did I decided to turn what I had written into a publishable manuscript. When something has a profound impact on your life, there’s an inherent tendency to want to share it. I wanted to share what I had gained from this process. I wanted people to know that even when you’re at your lowest and most hopeless point, there is another way. It’s the way of creation.
            Turning what I had written into something worth reading was not easy. With no plot or ongoing narrative, my challenge was to bring each day together into something that would be interesting and meaningful for you, the reader. While I wanted to remain faithful to the original diary format, I didn’t want the book to be series of rambling journal entries. Therefore, I’ve taken some liberties and made some changes to the original writing. Each day stands alone as a chapter. While I gained many daily insights, at the end of each chapter I've included one central idea that encapsulates my experience of the day. In the end, what took thirty-one days to write has taken over twenty drafts and two years to publish. My hope is that by sharing my story, others will be inspired to explore their own.
            This is my story about my return to a meaningful and authentic life via a daily creative practice. In my case, this is done through writing, although for others it might be something else. Creation is, after all, expressed in infinite ways. You therefore don’t have to be a writer to derive value and meaning from this book. Although if you are, then I’m sure you will relate to some of the battles and dragons I faced. Yet this book is for anyone who is looking for more inspiration in life or another way to get through those difficult times and who doesn’t want to wait for the next blue moon to experience it.

Hedley Derenzie

About the Author 
Hedley Derenzie is an Australian-born writer and the author of four books, including two on public speaking. Her latest book Write Way Home is a personal story about her quest to rediscover a sense of meaning and purpose in life by developing a daily creative practice. Her other book Finding Paris is the first instalment in her travel/romance memoir series. Her work has appeared in Nature & HealthThe Huffington Post and Thought Catalog, among other publications. She is currently based in Bali and is slightly obsessed with her dog Licu.

Learn more on her OFFICIAL WEBSITE!


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