Friday, 27 September 2013

2013 - not a bad year, all things considered.

I know there are another few weeks to go before we welcome 2014, but I think now is the right time to let you know how 2013 has been treating me. 

Sales of the Tom Gray thrillers have exceeded all expectations.  In fact, I was forced to register for UK VAT earlier this month after reaching the threshold.  The early months were nothing special, but once Gray Justice went onto the Amazon free list in late February, they exploded.  Gray Justice spent over 8 weeks as the Amazon UK number 1 free download, which led to bumper sales of Gray Resurrection and Gray Redemption.  To everyone who purchased a copy, I'm truly grateful.
Sadly, the tax man will get roughly half of the royalties, and my wife has her eye on a new bathroom and kitchen, so I can kiss goodbye to the rest.  I was hoping to use the money to fund a 2-year hiatus from the day job so that I could write full time, but after the above have had their share, I’ll be lucky to get two weeks off.

In the meantime, there’s good news and bad news for Tom Gray fans.  I’ve been working hard all year on his next adventure, and I’m glad to say I've finished it.  The bad news is, it isn’t going to be released until July 2014.
Why not, I hear you cry?
It’s because I was approached by Thomas and Mercer, an Amazon imprint, and offered a 4-book deal for the Tom Gray series.  I penned the agreement in October and they are currently working to edit and proof the first three books prior to a re-release in January 2014, along with some brand new covers.  Book 4 is going to be put through the wringer, too, and while that’s going on I’ll start work on my next title.  At this stage I don’t know if book 5 will be another Tom Gray thriller, but I’ll keep you all posted.  As it is an Amazon company, the books will be exclusive to that site, so if you’ve previously purchased the Tom Gray books from other distributors, I’m afraid you’ll have to download the Kindle app to continue enjoying the series.

I’m really excited about this deal.  Every author wants to get noticed on Amazon, and my books should get a fair few days on the front page.  You can’t ask for better exposure than that.  I may realise my dream of paying off the mortgage and quitting work to write for a living, I may not.  I guess I’ll know in the next 12 months.

So, all in all, not a bad year for Tom Gray and the gang.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Book Launch - A Difficult Mirror

Four-year-old Justine has been lost to the world and with her an ability feared by many. But the balance of power has been shifting for years, and Justine may be able to tip those scales for good...if someone can find her in a pitiless place of sorrow and pain.

When Marie Evans meets a strange man on a deserted road and a body is found mutilated in the desert, a deep resentment teetering on the edge of release is about to explode. Someone, somewhere has drawn a line in the sand, and when Harlan Reese, Marie's ex-lover, enters a forest in central Arizona looking for his daughter, that line will be crossed.

In a world between Heaven and Hell, the past becomes the present as Harlan and Marie find each other once again. Their journey across an unforgiving land to find a way home with Justine by their side will be wrought with both pain and triumph.

Life is, after all, A Difficult Mirror.

Launch date: September 23rd 2013


"Combining horror, fantasy & mystery with elements of the traditional hero's journey, A Difficult Mirror contains a unique & detailed plot, rich characterization & a very real sense of danger..."
- Michael K. Rose, author of Sullivan's War, Chrysopteron and Darkridge Hall

"...Wretlind conjures visions beyond your wildest nightmares"
 - Bruce Blake, author of the Icarus Fell series and Khirro's Journey epic fantasy trilogy

About the author

Benjamin X. Wretlind ran with scissors when he was five. Consequently, he likes llamas, although it's widely known that llamas don't care one way or another. He is the author of Castles: A Fictional Memoir of a Girl with Scissors, Sketches from the Spanish Mustang and Regarding Dead Things on the Side of the Road: Collected Stories.
He lives in Colorado with his wife and kids...but no llamas (yet).

Where to find Benjamin:

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Book Launch - Creatus by Carmen De Sousa

In every myth there is a modicum of truth…
The reason we believe in Fairy Tales—and Monsters.

As the sun’s rays peeked above the horizon, lighting the abyss below her, she inhaled a deep breath, closed her eyes, and jumped. She didn’t scream; she didn’t look down. As much as she hated her life, she hoped it wouldn’t end this way. She’d really like to see him one more time.

Her life didn’t flash before her eyes as she’d always heard. Just an image of her mother covered in blood and her Dark Angel telling her he was sorry.

Creatus, by best-selling author Carmen DeSousa, is a new romantic-suspense novel with a supernatural edge that answers the myths and fairy tales you’ve heard about preternatural sentient beings.

Prepare yourself to believe.

Download Creatus:

In order to spread the news, we are also giving away a $50 gift card! In order to qualify, just share this post’s URL in the Raffle Copter and share via Twitter. You can enter once a day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Contest ends midnight, Monday September 2, 2013. The drawing, which includes all participating websites, will be held Tuesday, September 3, 2013. The winner will be posted the same day.

Thursday, 11 July 2013


Elise Stokes, author of the Cassidy Jones series of books, invited me to participate in the launch of a new website about tween literature called Emblazon.
Emblazon is a blog written by a collection of indie and traditionally published authors who care about producing high quality stories for kids, with a particular focus on middle schoolers, those kids ages 11 to 14 (tweens) in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. The purpose of Emblazon is to celebrate tween literature and to draw attention to this subgenre, interact with other enthusiasts whether child or adult, and encourage new writers.
The list of contributing authors is impressive.

 The Emblazoners

Recognize a few? You should. They are some of the best the subgenre has. While you’re at the site, don’t forget to check out the tab where you’ll find a list of free books!
If it sounds like something you’d be interested in, then what are you waiting for? Check outEmblazon. I’m inviting you to read their very first post: What Characterizes Tween Literature?

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Split Decisions by Carmen DeSousa

Split Decisions is a follow-up novel to the romantic-suspense bestseller She Belongs to Me. While you do not have to read the first book to enjoy the second, we believe you should have the option, so click here to avoid spoilers.

If you’re still here, read on for a first peek at Split Decisions and a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Book Description:

Sometimes you want something so badly you are willing to abandon everything you’ve ever known—including yourself.

Eighteen years ago, Jaynee Monroe married the man of her dreams, became the mother of four, and fulfilled her career goals. About to turn forty, she senses something is missing from her idyllic life. While Googling her name in an attempt to find herself, she unearths something so impossible, she contemplates her own sanity. Seeking answers, she embarks on a journey to discover the truth, only to end up abducted by a deranged stranger who insists on calling her Caycee.

Caycee took the road less traveled. Rejecting a marriage proposal from the only decent man she ever knew, she ventures to California to become famous. Eighteen years later, success has left her alone and miserable. Attempting to locate her lost love on Facebook, she discovers his infatuation with her. Not only does his presumed-dead wife have Caycee’s uncommon middle name, it appears he has photo-shopped her face over hers.

Never could Caycee and Jaynee have imagined decisions they made years earlier would threaten not only their lives but also their loved ones. Caycee must now reunite with the southern gent she dismissed eighteen years ago and convince him to accompany her to New York to locate his wife, the most important person in both their lives.

Download Split Decisions here:

Now all you have to do to register to win the $10 Amazon Gift Card is share this page via Raffle Copter. Contest ends 7/1/13 at 12:00 a.m. EST and you can share daily if you want. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Book Launch: Cassidy Jones and the Seventh Attendant

Cassidy Jones and the Seventh Attendant  cover

For fans of the Cassidy Jones Adventures, created and written by Author, Elise Stokes, the day you have been waiting for is finally here! The third book in the series, CASSIDY JONES AND THE SEVENTH ATTENDANT, has been released, and just in time to be added to summer reading lists.

Some Secrets Are Better Left Buried…
When the mysterious Gavin Phillips returns to Seattle after a prolonged and unexplained absence, he threatens to expose fifteen-year-old Cassidy Jones’s incredible secret: she is a superhero. But his presence is far more sinister than she realizes, for it soon becomes apparent that his hidden agenda holds a dark and dangerous intent that will unleash an unparalleled evil upon an unsuspecting world. Can Cassidy stop him before all is lost?

A police car screamed past me as I veered off Fifth Avenue and into an alley. Sirens came from every direction on their way to the museum. I ran until I was sure no one was pursuing me and slid into the shadows of a doorway to assess the damage. A small cry of panic tore from my throat when I saw the ravaged costume, spotted with blood. I had been shot so many times, it was a miracle I hadn’t been cut in half.
“No, no, no, no,” I chanted, worming a trembling finger into a bullet hole. Due to the hardness of my skin, I couldn’t feel anything through my numbed fingertips, so I ripped away the costume and lifted the black tank underneath, exposing my stomach, which was peppered with bullets. They reminded me of corks lodged in wine bottles. Small amounts of blood burbled up around the bullets, as if they plugged a dam.
Tears of relief smarted my eyes. This was one of those rare occasions when I was grateful to be a mutant.
“It’s going to be okay. These can be removed. I’ll heal.” I dried my eyes with my forearm and suddenly realized I couldn’t hear Emery in the earpiece, nor the background noise of the coffeehouse. We had somehow lost our phone connection. I retrieved my phone and punched the speed dial.
“Are you all right?” Emery answered. The sounds of sirens,the museum’s alarm, talking, shouting, and a police officer on a megaphone flowed through the receiver along with his voice. “Cassidy,” he said again when I didn’t answer.
“I don’t know what to do.” I wiped back a sudden flood of tears with the tattered sleeve of my mummy costume. “My head’s scrambled. I can’t think straight.”
“Do you know where you are?”
“Yeah.” I glanced around. “No. I’m not sure. It’s weird that I can’t feel any pain. I should feel pain.”
“Cassidy, listen carefully,” Emery said slowly and calmly,which meant he wasn’t calm at all. “You’re only four blocks from Riley’s office—”
“How do you know—” I began to ask, then remembered GPS. I struck my forehead with my palm in an attempt to clear the haze.
“You’ll be fine,” Emery soothed. “I’ll take care of you. Please concentrate.”
He explained how to get to the back of Riley’s building through alleys, avoiding the main streets. I would have known this if I could think properly.
“There are a lot of people on the streets now, so take care not to be seen. I’m only two blocks away from Riley’s office. I’ll let you in through the emergency exit in back. Everything will be fine, Cassidy. This is almost over. Repeat back to me everything I just told you.”
I tried but couldn’t. The bullets felt heavy in my stomach. A horrifying thought struck me: What if my skin suddenly softens and the bullets get swallowed up in my flesh?
“Hurry, Emery.” I disconnected the call and shot toward the street. We need to get these bullets out of me!
At the street, I looked around, recognizing where I was—or believing I did. Spying an alley, I ran across the street toward it, leaping over a parked car. I saw two men and a woman in the alley ahead. One man held a switchblade to the other man’s throat while the woman riffled through his pockets. I moved so fast, none of them saw me until the mugger with the switchblade was yanked off his feet by the back of his jacket collar.
“Help!” he screamed as I dragged him behind me, arms flailing, boot heels bumping along the asphalt.
I emerged from the alley into a street bustling with activity and flung the mugger toward an oncoming police car. Lights flashing,siren blaring, the police car screeched to a halt and the mugger hit the hood,tumbling over it with the switchblade still gripped in his hand.
I jammed the cell phone between my teeth and took a flying leap at the nearest building, catching a windowsill on the second floor. I scaled the protruding bricks as swiftly as a spider scurrying up a wall and heaved myself over the ledge and onto the roof. Pausing to catch my breath, I spat the phone into my hand and looked down. A small crowd had gathered below to gape at me.
The dazed mugger, sprawled atop the police car, dropped his switchblade, which clattered across the hood and onto the asphalt. The officer in the passenger’s seat stared up at me with a radio microphone to his mouth,but his lips weren’t moving, as if he were at a loss about how to call in what he had just witnessed.

Elise Stokes photo

Elise Stokes lives in Washington State, with her husband and four children. She was an elementary school teacher before becoming a full-time mom. With a daughter in middle school and one in high school, Elise’s understanding of the challenges facing girls in that age range inspired her to create a series that will motivate girls to value individualism, courage, integrity, and intelligence. The stories in the Cassidy Jones Adventures series are fun and relatable, and a bit edgy without taking the reader uncomfortably out of bounds. CASSIDY JONES AND THE SECRET FORMULA and CASSIDY JONES AND THE VULCAN’S GIFT are the first two books in the series.


Monday, 8 April 2013

Regret No More

Nothing is safe from the past

Fellow author Seb Kirby is releasing his latest thriller on April 9th and it is my great pleasure to share it with you.  The first book in the series reached the amazon UK bestseller list and I'm sure Regret No More will be equally successful.

The mystery deepens as the tragic events in Florence return as a matter of life or death for James Blake and his family. A stolen Picasso used in an art swindle lies at the root of an international conspiracy that reaches into the life of a prominent US politician with devastating consequences not just for him but for so many of those caught up in the crime.

Wolfgang Heller, a ruthless assassin, is seeking to eliminate those who have any knowledge of the swindle. James has to leave the secure life he has established and become involved in this new threat to the future.

REGRET NO MORE combines thrilling action with a thought-provoking story line centred on international art crime.

Amazon links:






REGRET NO MORE is the second book in the bestselling James Blake series of thrillers. The first, TAKE NO MORE has been widely praised for its innovative and knowledgeable depiction of art crime. The final book in the series, FEAR NO MORE, is to be published later this year.

Praise for TAKE NO MORE

‘I loved the inclusion of a more modern evil …. along with the search for lost classic art and the romantic tale of James Blake, who loved his wife very much…’

‘Kirby's spare yet rich prose, his perfect word choices, made this a work that appeared to be effortlessly constructed. That seamlessness is the hallmark of a gifted writer.’

‘I really liked the main character, James Blake and his fearless pursuit of the truth.’

'It was a few pages before I realized what I was reading: a sort of modern noir. I walked in the hero's shoes, was privy to his thoughts and intruded on his emotions

‘Memorable characters with murder, organised crime, Italy and art….’

‘Mystery and the arts – a great combo. The art world depiction was fascinating….

'From the first pages 'Take No More' held me enthralled and it delivered on every promise it made. It is a rich story set in a complex tapestry of characters and settings.'

Author Links:

Amazon Author Page:
Facebook Author Page:


Seb_Kirby Interview (please use as much or as little as required)

What attracted you to writing?

I was raised with books but not in the usual sense – my grandfather ran a mobile library in Birmingham
and my parents inherited a random selection of the books. They weren't much interested in them; they were piled up in a box room, gathering dust. I would disappear in there and resurrect much read classics. I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s always seemed a natural thing to want to do – to write.

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

I write thrillers and I write sci fi. That’s probably because those are the genres that I get the most enjoyment reading. I’ve written quite a lot of non fiction, as yet unpublished. I have a hankering to write comedy one day but that’s a hard call since you don’t know if what you write will be funny until you try it out on an audience.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?

I had a tough upbringing in Birmingham. I think that gave me a lifelong understanding of what really matters in everyday life. But I received a good education that gave me a grasp of cultural tradition and the importance of maintaining it. I try to address both these aspects in my writing.

Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from?

Ray Bradbury put it best: ‘My stories run up and bite me in the leg - I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs away.’ I feel the same. The best ideas come when a story is in full flow and the characters take on a life of their own.

Do you have any writing rituals or listen to “mood music” when you write? Where is your favourite place to write?

I carry a notebook. I write whenever it feels right – on trains, on a flight, in a hotel room, at home. I listen to jazz a lot but I’ve never been able to do that while I’m writing. I prefer silence and I’m lucky to live in a place that has real silence.

What’s your favourite place in the entire world?

That’s a tough one. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to travel and find places that resonate and that I want to return to as often as I can. With the exception of Ambleside (The English Lake District) all are cities: Florence, London, Venice, San Diego, Paris, San Francisco (in no particular order).

What was your favourite part of REGRET NO MORE to write? Which part was the hardest?

I enjoyed recapturing the ascent to Sandia Crest that I made some years ago aboard the Sandia Peak tramway outside of Albuquerque. I find those cable cars very scary. The view over the Rio Grande plain was memorable but the descent over TWA valley was something of a challenge. What I found hardest was synchronising events in Austin, Texas with events in London. There’s a six hour time difference in Summer and it was challenging to make sure that the characters were doing what they were supposed to be doing at the right time of day – sleeping, having breakfast or dinner. I hope I got it right!

Give your fans three fun facts that they may not already know about you.

Not sure how many of these are fun but here goes: I try to walk 15 miles each week; I think Miles Davis was a musical genius; I’m a lifelong vegetarian.

Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry?

It’s just got to be chocolate. I’m a chocoholic, so ‘more than 70% cocoa solids’ is the kind of off the wall talk that appeals to me!

If you could invite any 6 people to dinner who would you choose?

Being a writer, I wouldn’t expect all to be living right now, so I could delve back into history as much as I like. That would make things interesting! I’d like to meet Pythagoras, the guy who invented music,
mathematics and vegetarianism amongst much else. I’d like to hear him bounce ideas off George Gershwin, the guy who just about invented modern jazz. Then, I’d like to introduce them to H G Wells, one of the forbearers of modern science fiction (who, long ago now, had a profound influence on my grandfather when they met and talked in the bookish circle surrounding my grandfather’s lending library). I think they should have some female company and that would have to be Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein and all round woman ahead of her time. That would leave just two places and one would have to go to Leonardo Da Vinci. I’d like to hear how a man like him could have done so much in so many fields of endeavour in such a short time. My last invite would go to Albert Einstein. Where would modern science be without the great man? Some dinner party!

So what’s next for you as an author?

I’m ready to develop my sci fi novel DOUBLE BIND with a sequel but the next thing on the list is to complete the James Blake trilogy. The full extent of the corruption merging from the Landos in Italy is a story yet to be told. The working title is FEAR NO MORE. I’m hoping to complete this before the end of the year, or sooner if the creative process goes well.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

One Shade Of Red

When good friend Scott Bury asked me to create a post for his new novel, I jumped at the chance.  I read and thoroughly enjoyed his first book, The Bones Of The Earth, and I knew he was going to follow up with something special.

Thank you, Alan, for agreeing to kick off the One Shade of Red launch blog tour.

One Shade of Red is my sexy spoof of the inexplicable best-seller, Fifty Shades ... well, you know what it is. Once I read it (I bought it as a present for my wife — really!), I could not resist the idea of turning it upside down and then trying to write it better.

Where 50 Shades is about an unbelievably naive young woman who finds the perfect man — incredibly rich, unbelievably beautiful, smart, self-made and with one deep, dark flaw for her to fix — One Shade is about a believably naive young man (a 20-year-old virgin for a believable reason) who meets the ideal woman: a little older, beautiful, independently rich, smart, sophisticated and sexually voracious. In other words, there’s nothing to fix.

One Shade of Red hits the e-book retailers on April 2. For links, check out the author’s blog,

The blog tour begins with an excerpt from Chapter 1, where boy meets girl.
The tour continues on March 27 at Siggy Buckley’s Writers Get Together blog.

Scott Bury is a journalist, editor and novelist based in Ottawa, Canada. His articles have appeared in magazines in Canada, the US, the UK and Australia, including Macworld, the Financial Post, Applied Arts, the Globe and Mail and Graphic Arts Monthly.

His first published novel is The Bones of the Earth, a fantasy set in the real time and place of eastern Europe of the sixth century. He has also published a short story, Sam, the Strawb Part (proceeds of which are donated to an autism charity), and a paranormal story, Dark Clouds. His work in progress is tentatively titled Walking from the Soviet Union, and tells the true story of a Canadian drafted into the Red Army during the Second World War, his escape from a German POW camp and his journey home.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Thrills, Chills and Kills 4

Thrills, Chills, and Kills #TCK4

On March 20 to March 22, my YA mystery-thriller, GONE AT ZERO HUNDRED 00:00, will be FREE through “Thrills, Chills, & Kills” Book Event, #TCK4. I have joined with the following bestselling authors to offer amazing deals on incredible books.
Velvet Rain by David C. Cassidy
Pit Stop by Carmen DeSousa
The Depot by Carmen DeSousa
Gone At Zero Hundred 00:00 by C.R. Hiatt
Gray Justice (Tom Gray #1) by Alan McDermott
Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula by Elise Stokes
Amelia’s Story by D.G. Torrens
She Belongs to Me by Carmen DeSousa
This Time Forever by Patricia Paris
Letters to Gabriella by Patricia Paris
Double Bind by Seb Kirby
Take No More by Seb Kirby
While you’re there, check out the Tales and Treasures #TTWIN event, and enter for a chance to win one of those amazing jewelry pieces designed by @deevinehammer.
Bullets, Brass, and Badass…

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Guest Post: Broken Wings by D. G. Torrens

My good friend Dawn Torrens tells me her novel Broken Wings is going to be released very soon, and I'd like to share her fabulous news with the rest of you.

Take it away, Dawn...

I have been writing BROKEN WINGS for a few months now and I am pleased to report it is coming along nicely! Albeit slowly, I have cmpleted the first draft and now on the second of my war/romance novel. Finding the time to write is very challenging at best and with a four year old in tow you can imagine time is very precious..
BROKEN WINGS is set in the beautiful setting of Cumbria specifically, Lake Windermere and Kendal town where my two main characters Joshua and Angelina first meet before he is posted on a five month tour to Afghanistan. This is an intense love story full of angst, passion and drama that will evoke all kinds of emotions. It is by no means predictable and will have you guessing right to the very end! My book cover has once again been designed by the talented cover designer Ares Juan. I am predicting the release of my novel to be during the spring 2013. So for those of you who are looking forward to the release of BROKEN WINGS please see an excerpt below which will give you an idea of what to expect. Enjoy…

They stood naked in the shimmering cool water; the warm September night was calm and still, with the moon shining beams of light onto the vast lake. The curves of their naked bodies were shadowing the water. Neither one said a word as they looked deep into each others saddened eyes, their united silence saying so much. Angelina did not want to let him go fearing she would never see him again.
Joshua smiled, “I will come back to you I promise” Angelina placed her head on his chest, tears falling down her reddened cheeks. “I could not bear it if I never saw you again, please don’t go,” she pleaded with all her heart. “I have no choice. You knew when we met that this would be a possibility Angelina. I will be back before you know it. This is my duty as a soldier, I have to go.”
She felt her heart closing in, the tightness was suffocating. All those young men who never made it home alive… She did not want her Joshua to be one of them; however, she also understood that he needed to go along with the rest of his regiment. This knowledge did not make it any easier to bear. She had a bad feeling about this posting in a way she never had with the others. Angelina just could not shake it off. Joshua was not able to disclose the whereabouts of his deployment, although he wanted to with all his being. He had an urge to share his inner fears with her, but he held off knowing this would make his leaving far harder for Angelina to deal with.
This was their last night together and they decided to spend it down by the lake, their very special place. This was where they spent their first date together eighteen months ago. That first date had sealed their rare and irrevocable feelings for one another that could not be denied. They have never looked back. When they were together it was as if the rest of the world didn’t exist and time stood still. Joshua fought his undeniable feelings with all that he had, not wanting to get involved with anyone knowing he was being posted soon. But the draw was too strong and the fight was over before it began. He was mesmerized by her. Angelina was deep and sensitive and was the suffer-in-silence type. He liked that about her. She was unlike anyone he had ever known, she understood him in a way no one else ever had before.
Angelina wanted to hold Joshua, never let him go and to keep him safe from harm. She held him so tight as if her own life depended on it. “I love you so much Joshua, please come back to me.” She cried uncontrollably now. He took off his ring that was passed down to him by his grandfather many years before and placed it on her finger. “I promise you when I return I will make you my wife.” With that Joshua kissed her gently on the lips. He hated leaving her; he knew this was as hard for her as it was for him.
“Joshua, when you’re gone time stands still until you return to me. I can’t move forward or backward. I can’t sleep because of worrying about you. There are so many soldiers returning back home in boxes. Every time I turn on the TV there is a news item about a young soldier not making it back alive the families left behind tormented by their grief.”
“Last week there were two soldiers from the West Midlands who were killed by a road side bomb in Afghanistan headlining the news. What if you get posted there again Joshua? I know the loss you suffered on your first tour of Afghanistan that could so easily have been you. You are my very reason for existing so you better come back to me. Do you hear me? ”
Joshua looked into Angelina’s beautiful almond eyes. He knew it would break her heart if she found out he was being posted there for a second tour, but there was nothing he could do or say. He wrapped his large arms around her and held Angelina tight. “I love you with all my heart. I promise I will be back for Valentines Day and then I will be back for good. I will not be extending, I promise you, it’s only six months. It will fly by. I promise I will write to you all the time.” Angelina could not control the flood of tears falling down her pale cheeks, she could hardly breathe fearing this could be the last time she ever saw him alive. Joshua ran his finger slowly over the small scar etched into her right eyebrow. He held her face in the palm of his large hands and kissed it, brushing the tears from her sodden cheeks. He felt her pain. He was feeling it too. No words could take their pain away; it was something they had to endure together until his return.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Guest Post: Seb Kirby - How I Write

This week I asked Seb Kirby - author of Take No More and Double Bind - to share his thoughts on the writing process.  Take it away, Seb...

Well, first I think that's a very personal thing and that every author will have their own take on this. There's no right or wrong way. As W. Somerset Maugham said: 'There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no-one knows what they are.' 

Basically, I prefer the Stephen King approach as set out in his 'On Writing'. You know, the book he wrote after he was hit by a truck when he was out walking to clear his mind after a writing session. The truck that nearly killed him. You get the idea that he felt he had to put it all in that book, just in case. 

I take his approach to be something along the lines of: If you're not surprising yourself when you're writing your book, how can you hope to surprise your readers when they're reading it? So, I try to be excited at what's coming out as I write and let the novel plan itself. With this approach, you don't start with a detailed, worked-out plot or anything more than a part-glimpsed plan, you really do let the characters tell you what should happen next. 

Generally, I don't believe in heroes. I wouldn't want to trust one. I get more from ordinary, flawed, people in situations that take them out of their normal lives. Then things get interesting as you see how they struggle with what seems for them the impossible. And I want to resolve things in the end in their favour. My way, if you like, of righting some of the wrongs, albeit in a small way. 

There are two of Stephen King's aphorisms that I take seriously. The first: 'The road to hell is paved with adverbs.' So, where at all possible I don't use them. The second: 'Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.' I never use a dictionary or a thesaurus. 

Finally, I'd emphasise the importance of the 'polishing' stage in the writing process. Once the words have formed themselves out of the characters' wishes, once the story has been told, the real work begins. Writing and rewriting, working and reworking the text to give it as much shine and polish as you can muster. And there's then always the hope in discovering another of the goals suggested by Stephen King – that seldom achieved 'gem' where you contribute a striking and novel turn of language that lights up the whole show.

You can read more of Seb's musing on his blog:

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Guest post: C. R. Hiatt

Over the coming weeks I plan to add a few posts by fellow indie authors. To get the ball rolling I am proud to present an excerpt from Fireworks on the 4th by C. R. Hiatt.

Excerpt from Fireworks on the 4th

With the NVGs guiding us in the dark we crossed the desert by timing our moves with the guards alternating walks around the perimeter. Jake kept watch while I crawled through the fence then he followed and we jogged silently in the direction of the guard shack. A couple feet away, he signaled me to get flat on the ground. I complied.
Through the NVGs, I watched as one of the security guards stepped out of the shack and began to make his rounds. When he disappeared behind the building, Jake pulled the M9 from his hip and moved in silent, but stealth-like mode toward the shack. He sidled up alongside the building, staying just underneath the windows. Took two steps until he was square in the opened door, and raised the weapon.
Before the guard even got the chance to raise his head from his magazine…THWAP – Jake fired.
A dart protruded from the weapon and hit the guard center chest. Several seconds passed before the guard’s lanky frame slumped down. Jake quickly moved him out of view. At the same time, he signaled me to run toward the back of the building.
I took flight, and hid behind one of the four-wheeler’s. When I glanced back, Jake was no longer at the shack and disappeared from my sight.
The first security guard reappeared from the other side of the building, and made his way back toward the shack. He stopped in his tracks when he noticed his partner was not at his post and automatically reached for his weapon. Before he could, Jake unexpectedly rose up out of the ground where he was buried in the sand. The M9 was raised.
THWAP – a dart hit the guard in the neck.
Jake caught him before he slumped down, lifted him off the ground and returned him to the shack. He grabbed supplies from his side pocket, quickly bound the guards’ wrists with plasti-cuffs, and covered their mouths with duct tape.
The take down was so methodical and quick, I knew my father had been doing missions like this for a very long time. I couldn’t help but watch in awe. He signaled me to join him as he entered the garage.
“Now, we move fast. They’ll be out for a while, but no guarantees how long.”
We did a quick search of the garage, checking inside the white box truck. He signaled me to get behind him as he double-checked the office then we met up at the door to the basketball-sized room I referred to as the kill house.

Thursday, 17 January 2013


TCK have once again collaborated to bring you the event of events!

From Jan 17th -Feb 27, 2013 this is your chance to win a brand new KINDLE FIRE… That’s right, a brand new FREE kindle fire!  All you have to do is enter to win. You have seen it, you have heard about it, now how about owning it!

Just some of the authors involved in this great event are as follows: Elise Stokes, Seb Kirby, Patricia Paris, Cathy Carson, Carmen DeSousa, D. G. Torrens, David C. Cassidy,  Claude Bouchard, R.S. Guthrie  and of course myself!

Just click here for your chance to WIN!!!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Best-selling Reads is here!!

The best authors in New Fiction are celebrating the grand opening of with a February promotion:

Best Selling Read’s February Deal

Prize for winning reader entry: iPad Mini with Wi-Fi 16GB plus 1 eBook from each BSR author

$300 gift card plus 1 eBook from each author (if winner received eReader holiday gift)

2nd & 3rd place winners: $25 Amazon gift card

Winners will be chosen February 28th by Rafflecopter. No purchase necessary.

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