Monday, August 21, 2017

A TRINITY OF WICKED TALES + ARTICLE BY KYLA ROSS


Title: A Trinity of Wicked Tales 
Author: Kyla Ross
Release: Available HERE!

Synopsis:

Suspicion meets desperation in this compendium of dark tales that ignite the inner demons of desperate souls and take them on a violent journey filled with rage, deception, and horrifying acts that will either make or break them. Do they have what it takes to survive or will their worlds continue to spiral out of control?



Guest Article from 
Kyla Ross


Perfecting My Writing Process-- What I learned

I’m a novice in the field of writing fiction. I don’t have an English degree, I don’t blog often, and I am not well-read in the classics. But after realizing how much fun writing was, the ideas kept flowing. Really. I have writing ideas that’ll take me up to 2027. But there is more to the trade, much more, than just having cool ideas. My first book, A Trinity of Wicked Tales—Jilted, is a collection of short, dark tales. I used this to get acquainted with my would-be audience and to fine-tune the process.
What process you ask? Writing a good book.
So, what did I learn from writing The Trinity, and how have I incorporated these lessons into my first novel, When We Swing?
Well, I’ll tell you.
  1. Write it. That’s the first step. I wrote it. It didn’t matter how bad it sounded. I wrote an outline and made sure the plot was well laid out. “What is the point of the story?” I asked myself. Don’t get me wrong, character development and story arc are just as important. But you don’t want to sit on the first manuscript too long, or you’ll find yourself sitting on it forever. There’s more than enough time for perfection after the developmental edit, during the dreaded rewriting stage.
  2. Get critiquing partners. Other writers are amazing resources for critiques. Why? Because they know what it’s like to finish a first draft and how hesitation can prolong submission to the editor. Sending my manuscript to writing buddies who wrote in the same genre eased the separation anxiety. They were honest, asked questions, and revealed blind spots that I totally overlooked. Example: “Instead of information dumping, add flashbacks.”
  3. Get a writing coach. I had a nasty telling habit that I was desperate to kick. Talking to a seasoned professional helped me understand what telling meant and how to catch myself when I was doing it. Example: “Who are your protagonists and antagonists? What type of people are they? Show how they would react to each situation. What would they say? What's their body language? ”
  4. Understand the different the types of editors. I had to learn this the hard way. For The Trinity, there was a developmental edit, a line edit, and another line edit by the same person. Then two proofreads. But for When We Swing, I did things different:
  • A developmental editor read my manuscript and pointed out inconsistencies in character development, story arc, and things that didn’t seem to fit in or make sense with the plot.
Example: “Maybe you should drop more clues about the ending by diving more into this character’s intentions. Show it by using their personality. It’ll add more suspense.”
  • A line editor went through my manuscript line by line checking for word misuse, spelling inconsistencies, and sentence structure. This is not the same as the developmental editor or a proofreader. Actually, this editor got the manuscript after the developmental edit and rewrite.
Example: “Lilly should be spelled Lily as you have spelled it this way through most of the story. There are quite of few times when you’ve spelled it Lilly.” And “’Their going to rome this Summer.’ should be ‘They’re going to Rome this summer.’”
  • Proofreaders read through the story and checked for grammar, punctuation, and spelling. I don’t think you need an example for that. I found three proofreaders at reasonable prices using fiverr.
Five sets of eyes. Three different duties. One cool story in the end. How do I know it’s a cool story?
  1. Get beta readers. Beta readers who enjoy the genre read the book before I compiled a list of reviewers. It gave me the chance to get a reader’s input on the story. They asked questions and pointed out holes and things that annoyed them. They identified likable characters and gave details about how the story made them feel.
Example:Wait. You mentioned how he loved her a few paragraphs ago. Now he hates her? I’m not understanding the subtle change of heart,” andI need a drink after finishing this. I totally didn’t see that coming,” and “This transition from past to present isn’t clear,” and “I finished this in two days. I couldn’t put it down.” For me, three is the perfect number of beta readers.
  1. Take the criticism. I agree that some criticism is arguable, but I took every question and comment into consideration. If you refuse to take criticism, you won’t learn anything. All the money and time spent on developing your product would be worthless, and you won’t grow as a writer. Period.
Writing a good book is the first step to growing an audience and becoming a paid author. With this process and doing some beta reading and critiquing for others, there has been some massive improvement in my writing skills and I've made some new friends along the way. Be open-minded, perfect your process, and remember, patience is key.


About Kyla Ross 

Kyla Ross is a horror, thriller, and dark fiction writer from Detroit, Michigan. She posts suspense and horror flash fiction on her blog at kyrobooks.com and is the author of a gruesome, suspenseful short story series titled A Trinity of Wicked Tales and an erotic thriller novel titled When We Swing—An Erotic Thriller. Kyla’s extreme horror novel, Hotel Holly, will be released fall 2017.







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Monday, August 14, 2017

THE SUN THEY CALLED THE MOON: New Novel from Joseph Persia



Title: The Sun They Called The Moon 
Author: Joseph Persia
Release: Available HERE!

Synopsis: 

Richard Michaels is a sharp, motivated, young political activist living in Seattle. But when he is informed in a meeting of political activists that he must accept that the peace movement has depleted all observed peaceful methods of change and he has to accept more radical means of change, which leads him into an immediate crisis of conscience as he risks ostracism. He must make his way through inner and outer battles for the peace he fought for so hard for while witnessing escalating violence. He finds himself hiding from the authorities in order to preserve both his life and his conscience that governs both his actions and thoughts.

After a highly charged meeting, he decides to leave behind the peace movement and the new rising violence in it. He goes on the run and ultimately winds up unknown, unidentified, and out of the sight of the authorities. However teaching in a small New England seaside town, he still can not run away from himself and what he believes to be true. Richard has highly charged encounters with a Mother Superior more than a decade his senior and with his gifted students more than a decade his junior. But Richard befriends a nun in training along with some of his gifted students and while passing through, he gradually wins their trust and admiration. 

During the year, they are together at the campus of a private coeducational school, their confrontational relationships develop into powerful forces that all are reluctant to alter. When Richard encounters a strange priest, he learns that the true nature of reality may not be what it seems.



About Joseph Persia
Born in a small town in Rhode Island, writer Joseph Persia (who wrote his first 500 page manuscript while still in high school) was always interested in written words. However,  he did not take notice until he had entered college in Boston and was the first freshman to be  invited into a study program were he studied and wrote under the mentoring of  a published poet.

However, after college he was called back to Rhode Island because of a family emergency and his direction was forced to change.  The budding writer (who never lost his passion for the written word or to live near the sea) years later decided to pursue the written language, [and] pitch his prose atop a synthesis of  confessional folk stories with a twist.




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Monday, August 7, 2017

THE JAZZ AGE MYSTERY SERIES: (Plus Giveaway!)


Title: Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play 
Author: Ellen Mansoor Collier 
Release: AVAILABLE HERE!

Synopsis

Before Las Vegas, Galveston, Texas was called the “Sin City of the Southwest.” Real-life rival gangs fight over booze and bars during Prohibition in this soft-boiled Jazz Age mystery, inspired by actual events. Jasmine Cross, a 21-year-old society reporter, feels caught between two clashing cultures: the seedy speakeasy underworld and the snooty social circles she covers in the Galveston Gazette. After a big-shot banker with a hidden past collapses at the Oasis—a speakeasy secretly owned by her black-sheep half-brother, Sammy Cook—Jazz suspects foul play. Was it an accident or a mob hit? Soon handsome young Prohibition Agent James Burton raids the Oasis, threatening to shut it down if Sammy doesn’t cooperate. Suspicious, he pursues Jazz, hoping for information and more, but despite her mixed feelings she refuses to rat on Sammy. As turf wars escalate between the Downtown and Beach gangs, Sammy is accused of murder. To find the killer, Jazz must risk her life and career, exposing the dark side of Galveston’s glittering society.

Be sure to pick up the entire series! Flappers has also been newly revised, so even if you've read it before, it's worth checking out again to see what's new! 

SPECIAL EXCERPT from 
FLAPPERS, FLASKS and FOUL PLAY! 



From the Novel: 

All heads turned as I looked up to see Prohibition Agent James Burton parade through the newsroom in my direction like the new sheriff in town—badge, hat, holster gun and all....

He was hard to ignore: All six feet-plus of golden skin and hair, he towered over my desk.

“I need to ask you a few questions. Can we talk in private?”

“What for?” I adjusted my cloche, acting nonchalant.

“Police business.” Burton scanned the hushed room. “You don’t mind discussing it here, out in public?”

He had a point. Did I want the whole staff listening in on my personal conversation? He probably wanted to ask about Sammy, who was no one else’s business.

“Let’s go outside.” Head down, I followed him past a leering Hank, feeling like a naughty kid going to the principal’s office.

Outside, I felt safe among the throng of people and automobiles passing by in a rush. 

“How was lunch?” In broad daylight, Prohibition Agent James Burton didn’t seem quite as menacing or intimidating. A group of nosy reporters peered out the newsroom, ogling us like we were a penny arcade peep show.


“Fine.” I crossed my arms, partly to cover my growling stomach.


“Sorry to barge in.” He tugged on his hat. “But I had to get your attention. You wouldn’t give me the time of day the other night.”


“Can you blame me? A raid isn’t exactly the best way to meet new people.”


“I think we got off on the wrong foot.” Burton stuck his hands in his pockets, jingling some change. “Perhaps we can talk over dinner, instead of standing out here on the sidewalk?”


Was he serious? “Dinner? Just like that?” I snapped my fingers. “You waltz in as if you owned the place—like you did at the Oasis—and expect me to dine out with you, a total stranger, because of your badge? You’ve got a lot of nerve, mister.”


“I wouldn’t be a Prohibition agent if I didn’t.” He looked smug. “How about tonight?”


“Tonight? I usually work late.”


“Every night? Don’t they let you off for good behavior?”


“For starters, I hardly know you and what I do know, I don’t like at all.” I squinted in the sun. “And I don’t appreciate the way you bullied us at the Oasis that night. I thought people were innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around.”  I wasn’t usually so bold and blunt with strangers, especially lawmen. Maybe it was his youth, or maybe I’d finally found my moxie.


“You must mean Sammy. Fair enough.” He held up his hands. “If it makes you feel any better, my gun wasn’t loaded that night.”

“Small comfort now, after you scared everyone half to death.”




The art covers and links to buy the rest of the series are listed below, starting with the sequel, Bathing Beauties, Booze and Bullets!
(Ellen’s Jazz Age mysteries are available @ regional hotels, gift shops and book stores, as well as Barnes & Noble.)






Buy it now!










Leave a comment saying which cover you prefer - art or contemporary? One of the commenting readers will receive a free eBook from the author! 




About the Author 
Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer and editor whose articles, essays and short stories have been published in a variety of national magazines. During college summers, she worked as a reporter for a Houston community newspaper and as a cocktail waitress, both jobs providing background experience for her Jazz Age mysteries. 

A flapper at heart, she's worked as a magazine editor/writer, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism and served on UTmost, the college magazine and as president of WICI (Women in Communications). 

Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play is her first novel, published in 2012, followed by the sequel, Bathing Beauties, Booze and Bullets, released in 2013. Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns, the third book in the trilogy, came out in May 2014, followed by Vamps, Villains and Vaudeville in 2015.

Collier lives in Houston with her husband and Chow mutts, and visits Galveston whenever possible. 
In her fantasy life, she’s a real-life flapper and journalist who splurges on Art Deco purses and compacts when she’s not investigating crime and corruption. 




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Friday, July 28, 2017

RUNNING WITH WOLVES: Historical Fiction from Summer Lane


Title: Running with Wolves
Author: Summer Lane 
Series: Standalone 
Release Date: September 22, 2017 

Synopsis: 



Alaska, 1898 

“They always come back,” she whispers. “Always.”
He spilled their blood. Now, she’s out for revenge.
Jenna Renee is a woman wronged. When her adoptive parents are brutally murdered by an outlaw named Conroy Parker and his gang of thugs, they take everything from her: her family, her happiness, and her money.
Determined to bring Conroy and his boys to justice, she hires a gruff but dangerous gun-slinging trapper and guide, Jeremiah Black, to help her hunt Conroy down.
But there is more to Alaska than meets the eye.

The cold touch of the arctic winter is dangerous, and the corruption of Conroy Parker and his comrades runs deep. The tundra is unforgiving, and so are the wolves. Nothing is as at seems.
If the wilderness doesn’t kill Jenna, the pack will. Revenge comes with a price, and so does love. There will be no mercy….only the hunt.
A romantic adventure from #1 bestselling author Summer Lane, set amidst the gritty and awe-inspiring setting of Alaska during the last great Gold Rush.




Q&A with Summer Lane! (Yours truly!) 

How did the idea of Running with Wolves come about? 

Quite simply, it was one of those stories that jumped into my head. I have loved wolves and Alaska and the adventure of the wilderness since I was a toddler. I used to watch Balto once a week, for years. I have been obsessed with dogs and wolves since before I can remember. As an adult, my interest in dog training and dog-sledding intensified and became something I researched and learned about as a hobby. This love became the basis for the story of Running with Wolves. 

When will the book release? 
We are aiming for a September 22 release. 

This is your first fictional departure in 5 years from the apocalyptic world you have created. How does that feel? 
Amazing! Wolves is right in my wheelhouse, because it's all about survival, the wilderness and overcoming incredible odds. The difference is that there is no apocalypse: just the barren arctic winter of Alaska. There is no Omega: just the wolf pack and robbers and corrupt mining companies. It's in the vein of an old western, with a fun twist. Plus, it's a romance, so that's really entertaining for me to write. I'm not leaving the apocalypse behind (Collapse's spin-off, Resurrection, will be available in 2018), but it's refreshing to take my work in a new direction. Change is good. 



RUNNING WITH WOLVES, coming September 2017. 

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