Tuesday, May 31, 2016

TERRAPIN: A New Young Adult Fantasy

A.C. Troyer
(Nordic Airre, #1)
Publication date: May 30th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Eighteen-year-old Charlotte (Jinx), fights her past to chase her dream of becoming an Elite Nordic Airre pilot, yet her rebellious attitude hinders her hard-earned lead status. Overcoming a string of life-altering events and the unwanted advances of Ghost Allen, a smooth talking pilot, is one thing, evading death at the hands of two comrades is another.
When Jinx comes face-to-face with an unlikely ally, she is forced to trust him in order to escape the clutches of those who want to silence her. Can a once broken girl transform her past into an iron will, or will she ultimately crumble under the destruction?

“Hold still,” he said.
I froze. My thoughts instantly drew a large coiling snake at my feet, but then a gentle wipe of his thumb swept across my cheek. I jerked away in response. “What are you doing?” I covered his path with my hand, as if the man-germs burned me.
“Hold still. You made it worse. And don’t look at me like I’m your favorite dessert, it’s not helping the situation any.”
There was a tease in his tone. “What situation?” I asked. “And I’m not. Trust me.” I displayed the most repulsed expression I could. The hem of his shirt pulled up over his crossed arms and cleared his head. “Whoa.” My palms few up. “You’re reading the signs all wrong. Put your shirt back on,” I pleaded to him. My eyes widened, soaking up the definition of his stomach. Holy abs.
“You like what you see?” He laughed, waggling his eyebrows.
I gained my composure and mocked a laugh. “I was just thinking you’re almost as toned as I am. Close, but not quite there yet, big guy,” I said, patting his stomach.
His closed lipped dimpled smile awakened something inside of me. The same smile I saw the morning on Senders Rock, the one that sent tingles through my body. I wanted to pull my eyes away. But he was beautiful.

About the Author 
A.C. grew up climbing trees and spying on her siblings. When not writing, A.C. can be found cheering on her favorite girls at a softball field or sitting in her car reading at practices and eating her hidden stash of chocolate. She enjoys family time, traveling, random road trips, watching movies, decorating, and trying new cocktails. She lives in the mitten state with her husband, two daughters, and their furbabies. Terrapin is her first novel.


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Friday, May 27, 2016

MIRROR IMAGE: What if YOU were the killer? (Psychological Thriller)

Mirror Image
Michele Pariza Wacek
Publication date: May 27th 2016
Genres: Adult, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

Which would be worse, knowing that your dead sister has come back to life and is now a serial killer or that someone else is the killer….and that person is you?

Six months after Linda’s sister Elizabeth killed herself, Linda has finally gotten her life back to some semblance of normalcy. Until a killer appears who is stalking men … a killer who resembles Elizabeth … a killer who seems somehow familiar to Linda.

And, to make matters worse, Steve, her old high school crush and now a detective, is assigned to this case. He’s asking Linda all sorts of questions, questions Linda couldn’t possibly have an answer to.

There’s no reason for him to be investigating Linda. She couldn’t possibly have anything to do with this.
Could she?
When Elizabeth was born, her mother knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the hospital had made a mistake.
It had been a difficult pregnancy. Marie spent most of it in bed, nauseated, uncomfortable, exhausted. She barely kept anything down, subsisting mostly on tea and saltine crackers. When the time came to deliver, the doctors performed an emergency Caesarean section, so she wasn’t able to actually watch the birth.
She couldn’t explain it, but the first time the nurses presented her with Elizabeth, she refused to even hold the baby. “There must be some mistake,” she insisted.
“There’s no mistake,” the nurses said, their approach firm and no-nonsense.
Blond and pale, Elizabeth looked nothing like the other dark haired members of the family. But it was more than that. Elizabeth felt wrong. Marie sensed it every single time she looked at Elizabeth, touched Elizabeth, smelled Elizabeth. The baby was alien to her. Elizabeth was not her baby.

But she could do nothing about it. Her husband hadn’t seen the birth. He had refused to attend any of his children’s births. The nurses kept assuring her that no one had made, could possibly have made, a mistake. So Marie had little choice but to bring her home.
Elizabeth was different, always — strange. Marie hated to use that word about any of her children, especially her youngest, but she could find no other word to describe her. Elizabeth was strange. Period.
From birth, the baby kept quiet. Rarely fussed. Hardly cried. She started talking at six months, much earlier than the rest of her children, and started forming full sentences at just over a year old.
She spent most of her time alone or, once she learned how, reading. In fact, Elizabeth remained such a quiet child, Marie could easily forget about her. It made her nervous. Elizabeth was too quiet.
Even her scent was all wrong. Babies smelled warm and sweet, of milk and talcum powder. Elizabeth’s scent reminded her of meat just beginning to spoil: thick and rotten.

But there was something else wrong with Elizabeth, something more serious than her near silence, her behavior, her scent. Even more serious than that alien feeling, which Marie had tried to dismiss as simple post-partum depression, although it never did go away entirely.
When Marie was really being honest with herself, which didn’t happen often, she could admit what really disturbed her most about her daughter.
Her eyes. Elizabeth had silver eyes.

Not always. Most of the time they looked gray. But sometimes, they changed to silver. Occasionally, Marie even thought she could see them glowing, like a cat’s. Especially at night. There Elizabeth would be, lying on her back, perfectly quiet in her crib, her eyes strangely open, shining faintly in the darkness. Marie would tell herself that Elizabeth’s eyes merely reflected the nightlight in a bizarre fashion. After all, none of her other children’s eyes ever glowed. But it still didn’t make her any easier to face, late at night, as silver eyes stared at her from the darkness. They seemed so old, so ancient. Eyes that had seen thousands of years and hundreds of lifetimes. Those eyes peered out from her newborn’s face, watching her every move, strangely calculating, full of adult understanding and knowledge. She felt afraid, if she were being honest … all alone in the room with those peculiar silver eyes watching, watching, always watching.
Nonsense, she reassured herself. Surely, she could not be afraid of her own infant daughter! What would her husband say? Plenty probably, and most of it with his fists.
Still, she found herself checking on Elizabeth less and less. She argued with herself: Elizabeth didn’t fuss much anyway. Marie didn’t need to check on her so often — not like she did with her other, noisy, “normal” babies.

Her other children. Such a joy they were, her four boys and other girl — Peter, Mark, Mike, Chad and Linda. All healthy, regular children, with coarse dark hair, brown eyes and a little bit of baby fat on their bones. They looked the way children should look, the way her children should look, like their parents. But more importantly, they acted the way children should act — loud, boisterous, rough, needy. Marie loved them for it, loved how she couldn’t get a moment’s peace when they played together. Even when their play turned to fighting, she still preferred it to Elizabeth’s silent, eerie presence.

But Marie loved Elizabeth, too. Loved her fiercely, with the same passion she felt for her other children. Marie knew she did. She told herself she did, time and time again. The fact that she felt relief when Elizabeth wasn’t around meant nothing. She just needed time away from her children, after all. Almost all mothers welcomed the time they had away from their constant, children-related responsibilities. It didn’t mean she loved them any less. It didn’t mean anything at all.

About the Author
When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly.
As you can imagine, writing has been a driving passion throughout her life. She became a professional copywriter (which is writing promotional materials for businesses), which led to her founding a copywriting and marketing company that serves clients all over the world.
Along with being a copywriter, she also writes novels (in fact, she just published her first novel, a psychological thriller/suspense/mystery called "The Stolen Twin" and her second novel "Mirror Image'" is set to be published in May 2016) plus, she is also the author of the "Love-Based Copy" books, which are a part of the "Love-Based Business" series and cover both business and personal development.
She holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and her border collie Nick and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016


Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani 

(The Sunbolt Chronicles #2) 
Publication date: May 30th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult


In the year since she cast her sunbolt, Hitomi has recovered only a handful of memories. But the truths of the past have a tendency to come calling, and an isolated mountain fastness can offer only so much shelter. When the High Council of Mages summons Brigit Stormwind to stand trial for treason, Hitomi knows her mentor won’t return—not with Arch Mage Blackflame behind the charges.
Armed only with her magic and her wits, Hitomi vows to free her mentor from unjust imprisonment. 

She must traverse spell-cursed lands and barren deserts, facing powerful ancient enchantments and navigating bitter enmities, as she races to reach the High Council. There, she reunites with old friends, planning a rescue equal parts magic and trickery.
If she succeeds, Hitomi will be hunted the rest of her life. If she fails, she’ll face the ultimate punishment: enslavement to the High Council, her magic slowly drained until she dies.

(Both Sunbolt (Book 1) and Memories of Ash sale for 99 cents until release day!)
Purchase book 1 - Sunbolt:


The author has a Thunderclap campaign set for release day, May 30, and wanted to share the link with you in case you would also like to support it. You can find the campaign HERE.

Exclusive Excerpt!

“It needs a meal,” the mage says, voice rasping, “and it won’t be me.” He yanks me off balance. I cry out, jerking away from him and lashing out with my glowstone. I manage to smack him hard across the face, but then his boot comes between my feet. For a sickening moment I teeter on the edge of the stairs.

Get back!

I barely register the words ringing in my mind before the mage shoves me, hard. I swallow a scream, throwing my arms up to shield my head as I fall. I slam down the stairs, bouncing toward the mass of tentacles.

Feet first—get your feet first!

I follow the shouted advice mindlessly, twisting my body as I come to a stop amidst a tangle of three or four great tentacles.

Don’t move.

Someone is talking inside my head, and it’s not me. Somehow, that’s almost worse than lying surrounded by the talons of a nightmare monster. Almost.

About the Author 
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Intisar's current projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, featuring the heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife, and The Sunbolt Chronicles.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Curse by Steven James 

(Blur Trilogy #3) 
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: May 24th 2016
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult


Don’t miss this intriguing and climactic conclusion to the Blur Trilogy.

As Daniel Byers prepares to attend a basketball camp before his senior year of high school, the terrifying blurs that’ve plagued him for the last nine months return.
Dark images begin to haunt him—creatures crawling from the deepest pits of his nightmares, glimmers of chilling memories from his early childhood. But before he can unearth the meaning behind his mysterious hallucinations, Daniel must team up with two other extraordinary teens to save a young woman who has been abducted by a scientist obsessed with enacting his own warped form of justice.

This atmospheric mystery picks up where Fury left off and takes readers into the uncharted regions where reality and madness intertwine.

About the Author
Best known for his high-octane thrillers, Steven James is the award-winning author of eleven suspense novels. The Blur Trilogy is his first mystery series for teens. Steven has taught creative writing around the world and loves rock climbing, science fiction movies, and chicken fajitas. Find him at www.stevenjames.net.

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Monday, May 23, 2016


Imagine that your high school has turned into a gladiator arena. Not only is every day a fight for survival...but it's a fight to maintain humanity, too. This is the fictional world that Lex Thomas has built, beginning with Quarantine: The Loners, the first installment in a series of post-apocalyptic thrillers for young adult readers. Lex Thomas is actually a writing team comprised of two men, Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies. The Huffington Post says that Quarantine is "one of the best books I've ever read." Quarantine has been a top 10 contender in BookLists's sci-fi and fantasy books for teens. I was so excited to talk with the two men about their writing and upcoming projects; they have some interesting insight into the realm of survivalist fiction, as well as what it takes to co-write an entire book, and by extension...an entire series. 

First of all, I love the idea of your book, a "modern day Lord of the Flies," as it says on the back cover. Where did the idea come from, originally? 

Tom had the seed of the idea when he thought what if, instead of cliques in high school, there were gangs that fought to the death, so just walking down the hall would be an adventure. It kept developing and the more we talked about scenes and characters, the more we realized we could really make something fresh in the teen rebellion genre. 

I remember the initial excitement of the idea occurring to me, but I’m not sure what the inspiration was. My best guess is that I watched a high school movie I really liked and a horror movie I really I liked in the same week, and they mated in my head and popped out a kid. Wherever the spark came from, the idea of taking the world of high school, that everyone can relate to and has strong feelings toward, and making it into a nightmare, with life or death stakes, and no adult supervision-- that sounded really fun. 

How did you decide to co-write this novel? Did you think, at the time, that it would be a series (or is it a trilogy?)? 

We’d been screenwriting partners for years before selling Quarantine as a series of novels. Initially, we thought of Quarantine as a single story, but as the world developed, so did its potential for more books. By pre-selling the trilogy, that really locked us in to seeing these characters through their initial arcs and into their series arcs. Try as you might, there’s really no predicting what your characters will become when you’re still two books away from the end. It’s such a different style of storytelling than what we’d been accustomed to because it requires you to leave strands of the story open-ended — and you need to find a way to repeat the premise while reinvigorating it. That took some getting used to, but now it’s become a big part of the way we conceive stories. The biggest reward of writing a series is that the characters and the world gain more dimension with every installment. They become real, and at a certain point those elements are guiding the story, not us.

What is your process like for co-writing a novel? How do you decide which person writes each scene? 

When we first started working together, we were writing screenplays, and we were almost always in the same room, figuring it out together, with one of us on the keyboard. When there aren’t that many words on the page to fight over, that works pretty well. If you tried to write a novel that way, I don’t know how you’d ever get anything done. And we have deadlines. 

So, for novels, we outline together and then write chapters separately. It can change as to who is doing the rough draft of a given chapter, or section of the story, and who’s revising. But either way, it’s a challenge. It’s hard to take a hatchet to the other person’s chapter, and it’s hard to be revised on something you just wrote, even when you think the revisions are sound. All that aside, working with someone else closely on a story allows you to problem-solve more effectively when you’re confronted with a problem (or millions of them) that feels un-crackable.

I know firsthand that creative endeavors can be difficult! If you guys disagree on a plot point for your stories, how do you work it out? 

Like Tom said, we have deadlines, and if we want to see our books published, we have to find a way to keep moving. That’s usually enough incentive to find common ground, but generally the person who’s most passionate about a particular issue gets his way. 

What books or stories inspire you to write?  

When I was a kid, my dad would read me high adventure books like Treasure Island and The Hobbit. Both of those editions had tremendous illustrations that captivated my imagination, the first by NC Wyeth and the second by Michael Hague. I must have ranked books with amazing illustrators high, because one of the books I remember first reading on my own and carrying around with me everywhere was Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark by Alvin Schwartz. The black and white drawings by Stephen Gammell were nightmarish and gruesome, and I would study them intently as I read and re-read every short story inside. The book was a collection of horror-based folklore, ghost stories and urban legends that, I can see now, was a gateway to reading all the Stephen King and Ray Bradbury that followed.

Bill the Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison. That was the first novel I remember reading for pleasure. My brother told me about the story and I had to read it. Bill was a space marine who had two left arms. He was tricked into enlisting, was always trying to get laid, and always making me laugh. I thought the book was fun and hilarious, and until then I had no idea that a book could take me into such an odd, funny, imaginative world like that.  

What is each of your guys' favorite character from Quarantine (Book 1)?
I think I’d say David. I relate to his sense of responsibility. I have a family, and I can’t help but evaluate every decision I make with my wife and kids in mind. Life is a fine balance between selfish and selfless, and that’s the essence of David’s struggle. What I’m proud of is that characters in this book aren’t always awarded for doing the right thing (in fact, often they’re punished) but they still keep fighting.

I’m more into Will. He isn’t necessarily heroic, but I have a soft spot for characters that are a little broken, the ones who try their best but can’t seem to stop making the wrong choices, and can’t seem to think before they act. I’m not like that, I tend to over-think things, so maybe that’s why I gravitate toward the misguided impulsive one.  

What's next for your series? Any more books planned? 
QUARANTINE: THE GIANT hits bookstores September 4th. It’s a spin-off featuring one of our favorite characters from Book 1 — Gonzalo, the ax-wielding Loner — on an epic journey outside McKinley High to find the girl he loves. You can find out more at lex-thomas.com.

Thanks for visiting with Writing Belle. Best of luck in all of your future writing endeavors! 

About Lex 

Lex Hrabe received a BA in Drama and English from the University of Virginia. On the path to being a novelist, he’s been a farmhand, a bartender, a library assistant, an executive assistant, a personal assistant, an unwitting assistant at a thinly-veiled criminal enterprise, a very nervous waiter, a pizza delivery guy, a furniture mover, an actor in commercials you can YouTube, and a screenwriter. He lives in Virginia with his wife and two daughters. 

About Thomas 

Thomas Voorhies received a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he paces around in a loft downtown, writing, painting, watching movies, and listening to comedy. He spends the rest of his time silently watching people or joking around.

Author Links: 

TWITTER: @lexthomasauthor

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Z Tailgate - Interview with Clive Riddle (In Which He Discusses Zombies)

Title: The Z Tailgate: The Sequel to the Burning Z by Clive Riddle 

Publication date: March 12th 2016
Genres: Adult, Horror, Zombies

Zombies go to a Raider tailgate and bleed silver and black. The Z Tailgate is the sequel to the Burning Z. In the Burning Z, Zombies went to Burning Man. The sequel begins back in the Black Rock Desert before zombies invade a cruise ship and a tailgate party. In The Z Tailgate, the Burning Man site is now an internment camp for zombies and our heroes, Alan Gorman, Conner and Bruce, consult with the Department of Homeland Security, who oversee zombie affairs. 
Alan and Conner are sent to a cruise ship to investigate a possible new zombie outbreak. Bruce and Cassie – Conner’s girlfriend – are kidnapped along with a truckload of zombies by Chinese-backed henchmen intending to stow away some Zs to China. 

The zombie truck becomes the subject of a manhunt, ultimately hiding out in the Oakland Coliseum parking lot, where a football game is about to take place. The zombies escape and invade the tailgate parties, leading to a climatic battle in the Coliseum parking lot.

Interview with Clive Riddle 

What’s the Z Tailgate all about? 

The Z Tailgate is a sequel to my second book – The Burning Z.  In the Burning Z – zombies invade the Burning Man festival, after a mysterious alien meteor-like object begins infecting people in the desert. Our protagonists set out to warn and save those inside Burning Man. So in the Z Tailgate, two months later, the Burning Man site is now an internment camp for zombies and our protagonists have contracted in different capacities with Homeland Security, who is now charged with dealing with the zombie site. The Chinese want to procure some of the interned zombies for their own experiments, and arrange a zombie kidnapping that goes awry. Two of our protagonists are kidnapped along with the zombies. The kidnappers end up the subject of a manhunt, and take refuge in the Oakland Coliseum parking lot, where a football game will soon be taking place. Meanwhile, our other two protagonists are dealing with a new zombie threat on a cruise ship, before they are whisked away to help consult in dealing with the zombie tailgate at the Coliseum.

Will readers first need to complete The Burning Z in order to make sense of The Z Tailgate?

While I’d love for anyone to read both in that order, you can certainly enjoy The Z Tailgate as a stand-alone story. Enough relevant background is provided in the sequel so it stands on its own.

Why Zombies? Why Burning Man? Why Cruise Ships? And why a Raider Tailgate?

These are all things I’m passionate about. Who doesn’t love zombies? They’re so soft and cuddly. I love a good zombie movie or The Walking Dead, despite how they ended this season. Burning Man is such a unique, wonderful experience – I consider it the best alternative to visiting another planet if you can’t afford space travel. Cruise ships can be so much fun if you’re with close friends or family and I’ve become a frequent traveler. And the Raiders – I’ve been a season ticket holder since 1995, and there is nothing like the Coliseum tailgate crowds. Burning Man, cruise ships, and a Raider tailgate – they all seemed such great venues to plop a herd of zombies into.

But aren’t the Raiders probably leaving the Oakland Coliseum after this upcoming season?

I deal with that in the story. And I do think the zombie incursion in a final game at the Coliseum is something that all Raider fans can relate to, given all the fans have suffered through in rooting for their team the past two decades.

About the Author
Clive Riddle is a life-long Californian, married and father of three. At age 26 Riddle became CEO of a regional HMO. After a decade, he went on to found MCOL (www.mcol.com), a leading health care business information company. Riddle has authored a variety of health care reference books and business articles. He is a noted speaker at national events regarding key health care business issues. Dorris Bridge was his first novel, The Burning Z was his second, and the Z Tailgate is his third. Find out more about Clive at www.CliveRiddle.com.

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