Monthly Archives: November 2015

Book Tour – ELLA and AN UNEXPECTED WISH

Ella and An Unexpected Wish

Title: Ella
Author: Virginia Taylor
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Ebook

ELLA

Ella Beaufort knew better than to rely on a sexy stranger. But with two sisters to support on the modest earnings of the family sheep station, she accepts shearer Cal Lynton’s help—along with his intoxicating kiss. The most Ella can hope for is an affair. Something a woman in her situation wouldn’t dare—or would she?

Heir to his family fortune, Charlton Alfred Landon Lynton abandoned his privileged life to prove his independence. He doesn’t have time for a woman, but once he woos the lovely Ella into his bed, he is ready to make her his wife…until she shocks him with her refusal, claiming she can only marry a rich man! Angry and brokenhearted, the heir in disguise leaves the beautiful golddigger behind…

But amid the breathtaking landscape of South Australia, Ella and Cal are destined to meet again. Will their heated reunion lead to cruel confrontation—or the kind of passion that lasts a lifetime?

Be sure not to miss the first book in Virginia Taylor’s South Landers series!

ORDER INFORMATION

Ella is available for order at:
Amazon
B&N
Kobo
GooglePlay
Add to Goodreads

 

About The Author

Virginia Taylor

Virginia Taylor is an Australian writer of contemporary romantic comedy, romantic suspense, historical romance, short stories, and children’s stories.

After a stint at the South Australian School of Art, I worked for an advertising agency,  re-trained as a nurse/midwife, and then married the man of my dreams. Two children later, I began writing romance. While awaiting publication, I painted and designed various theatre sets with a fellow School of Art graduate.

In 2013 I sold my first novel-length story.

For More Information

Visit Virginia’s website.

Connect with Virginia on Facebook, and Twitter

An Unexpected Wish

Title: An Unexpected Wish
Author: Eileen Richards
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Ebook

Love Is In The Air

Anne Townsend doesn’t ask for much. Plain and poor, she’d settle for the funds to put food on the table. Making a wish on the fabled Fairy Steps is hardly a solid solution, but to see her two sisters taken care of, Anne’s willing to try anything. Yet when she finds herself suddenly surrounded with suitors, romance is now a possibility for the spinster everyone always ignored—except with the one man who will never want her…

Nathaniel Matthews has no time for courting. As the eldest, he has his family’s lost fortune to rebuild, and his reckless brother to manage before he gambles his future away. Odd that Nathaniel can think of little but kissing bright-eyed Anne, who seems to be fighting off admirers from all sides. Is it the country air, or is Nathaniel ready to discover that love has a magic all its own?

ORDER INFORMATION

An Unexpected Wish is available for order at:

Amazon
B&N
Kobo
GooglePlay
Add to Goodreads

About The Author

Eileen-Richards

Eileen Richards has been writing for most of her life. Poetry, totally inappropriate answers to essay questions in school, and interesting error codes during her 30 year IT career has prepared for the manic world of publishing.

She writes sassy regency romps set in the small villages of England where the rules are bent a bit and gossip rules the day.

Eileen resides with her husband and their diva of a greyhound in North Carolina.

For More Information
Visit Eileen’s website.
Connect with Eileen on Facebook  and Twitter.

 

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cover reveal – Calasade: Sanguinem Isle

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About the Book

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Title: Calasade: Sanguinem Isle

Author: Mark Stone

Genre: Fantasy

Caderyn Fortis has been many things—loyal husband, soldier, war veteran, public servant. Now he is a fallen nobilis and gambling addict, an alcoholic who never got over the murder of his wife. In his darkest hour an opportunity comes that can help him recover his self-worth and make up for the mistakes that cost him his wife. All he has to do? Discover who kidnapped a young woman and where they took her, then rescue her. He must do this while not alienating his employer—the best suspect—or falling in love with the woman helping him.

Author Bio

Mark Stone lives in the United States and Spain with his greatest inspiration, his wife Cinta. Having written award-winning Flash Fiction, he is now a novelist writing tales of Fantasy that take place in Calasade, a world heavily influenced by Ancient Rome. You can find him at:

Links

Regularly priced at $5.49, Calasade: Sanguinem Isle is on sale for Kindle during this tour. Cost? $1.99. Purchase your copy of this acclaimed novel at amazon.com.

Other places to purchase:

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KEEP UP WITH CALASADE

Visit http://www.authormarkstone.com to learn about new and past Calasade publications.

Book Tour – THE HEART’S JOURNEY HOME

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The Heart’s Journey Home
by Nikki Jackson

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GENRE: Young Adult

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BLURB: It’s summer vacation, and all seventeen-year-old Tori Logan wants to do is hang out with her two best friends, practice her mixed martial arts and go to FBI spy camp. Summer means freedom (mostly from adults) and Tori plans to fill every spare moment of her last summer before graduating from High School with all the fun things she and her best pals can come up with.

Tori, whose mom died of breast cancer when she was young, has always relied on her own strength to get by – especially because her Archeologist father tends to leave her behind with his live-in girlfriend while he gallivants around the world on digs. Thankfully, Tori can take care of herself. She knows exactly who she is and what she wants to do with her life. Her Lakota Sioux grandfather, a former Navy SEAL, trained Tori in self-defense from a young age. Now, as a teenager, Tori excels at mixed martial arts and the use of various weapons. During the summer she will be attending an FBI sponsored Summer Camp which she hopes will lead to her dream job – becoming an FBI serial killer profiler.

With her two best friends at her side, Tori believes she can handle anything. And with summer vacation stretching before them, the trio plans to find plenty of adventure.

But while Tori is determined to be independent, life has other plans for this fierce young woman, and they include coming to grips with some hard – and surprising – truths about both her past and her future.

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EXCERPT

I could really use a belt. Fin thought as he jumped from the porch, bounding over the five steps. Running down the graveled drive at break-neck speed he cursed the fact he was wearing tennis shoes – that along with the baggy, beltless pants was hemming up his stride.

The sound of shrieks and a male voice yelling at him in a foreign language didn’t help the matter. Fin tripped over his own size 12 feet, rolled and got up running. After gathering his wits about him he heard a muffled roar zoom past him followed by a streak of green. He was unsure of what it was but he was too scared to try to figure it out – he was running now – minus the jeans and a tennis shoe.

Fin all but dove into his Camaro thankful he’d left the keys in the ignition and not in his pants pocket. He turned the key and sped down the drive, kicking dirt and gravel in his wake. In his rear-view mirror he could see the crazy man chasing him with the longest, sharpest sword he’d ever seen.

Making it to the end of the drive, Fin did a complete donut, spun the vehicle around in the right direction and then tore off down the street. Tori had grabbed his errant shoe and AJ leaned down to scoop up the jeans, then the two of them tore down the drive after Fin.

 

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AUTHOR BIO:

Ever since she was young, Nikki Jackson has loved reading and the way that books allow you to journey on wonderful adventures without ever leaving the comfort of home. She decided at a young age that she wanted to become a writer to enable others to experience the magic of books—and The Heart’s Journey Home is the result.
In addition to writing, Nikki Jackson is a contract worker for General Motors. She and her husband currently live in the Detroit metropolitan area.

Links
The Heart’s Journey Home Blog is currently under construction and will be online soon.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Hearts-Journey-Home-California-ebook/dp/B01551MLZA
Twitter – https://twitter.com/journey4home

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GIVEAWAY

Nikki Jackson will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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INTERVIEW

Tell us about you
I’m always challenged trying to figure out where to start when someone asks this question.  Do I start with I’m Black, female, have gray hair in my dreads.  Do I say I’ve been on a few mission trips with my church to places like China, Thailand, Peru and Pakistan. I could say I’m married, lost my only child almost two years ago, I’m a contract worker for General Motors.  It’s weird isn’t it how we can sum up so many years of life with written sound-bites?  Notwithstanding the aforementioned I think I’d like people to know me as a writer. A good writer.  A great writer.  A writer with a career that endured.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Probably fear.  What if I miss something exciting?  Is there something earth-shatteringly important I could be doing that will be left totally undone if I don’t show up and do it?  Am I leaving anything behind that will leave a mark or an impact?  There was a time when I thought it was my kid.  My husband and I raised our son Trey with values and ethics and a moral base.  We wanted him to love and care about people regardless of what color they were.  Like any parents we believed he would be an asset to society and a wonderful citizen, he would be the best of us to leave behind.  Well he died.  The day after Christmas 2013 he simply didn’t wake up.  Wow.  So what do I do now?  I just don’t want to leave this planet with nothing left behind to show I was ever here.  Trey was our only child so the line of my husband and I will go no further.  When we’re gone we’ll really be gone.  That’s a crazy thought.  So fear probably inspires me to get out of bed each day – that and the desire to leave something behind.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Wow, this is a good question.  It would probably be Anne Frank and I would have just this one question.  How did you keep from hating?  Here you are hiding from an entire nation of people who want you not only dead but you and your people exterminated off the face of the planet.  You’re in 24/7 hiding and in danger of being found any minute.  Whatever teenage hopes and dreams you imagined for your life have been dashed against the rocks, your future appears bleak to non-existent and you have the crazed audacity to say – “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”   I would spend the day trying to get into this teenager’s head.  I’d want to know the mind and the heart that can go through what she went through and not have it taint her and make her angry and bitter.  I’d like to talk about her diary and her inspiration for writing it.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
The Heart’s Journey Home is a series following the life of the main character Tori Logan and her relationship with her two best friends AJ and Kalea.  She’s 17 and is still mourning the loss of her mother (she was 7 years old at the time).  Her father is a millionaire archeologist so he’s away from home a lot on digs leaving Tori at home with the live-in girlfriend who she barely tolerates. Book one of the series – California Blend Summer Vacation introduces the story, the characters and the major and minor plot lines.  It’s a thick book (700+ pages) yet I assure you the reader is getting their money’s worth.  There are twists, turns and revelations involving Tori that the reader gets to see before Tori does. Things aren’t necessarily what they seem.

Tell us your writing process
I write long hand on yellow legal pads so when I’m in writing mode I’ve always got a pad with me.  I write everywhere – any spare moment I can grab I’m writing.  I work full-time, I’m married, I have a dad I have to check up on, all this life is competing for my time so I have to factor writing in.  I get to work an hour early to write.  I eat lunch at my desk so I can write.  I get up early on Saturdays and go to Panera Bread where I write till about noon.  I do missions with my church so I did some marathon writing on the 20 hour plane ride to Thailand, the 6 hour plane ride to Peru and the 9 hour van ride to New York.  The process is to write – anywhere and everywhere.

Do you have any advice to other writers?
Oh my gosh this promoting is no joke!  You would think the hardest part of being an author was writing the book, no way!  It’s promoting the book.  The Heart’s Journey Home debuted September 12 and I have been promoting it almost every day since.  I kid you not. We self-publishers don’t have the luxury of having a publicity machine like the traditional publishing houses so your sales are dependent on how far you can fling your book.  I would advise a writer to think about promotion while they’re still writing the book and definitely while the book is going through the publishing process.  You need to know your genre and then figure out where that base hangs out.  Facebook your book and ask people to share it on their sites.  Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, wherever your social contacts are. Use social media but don’t depend on it exclusively.  I haven’t had the success I initially though I would with social media.  Look for online book clubs in your genre, most of them have a homepage where they sell ad space and some will even let you up-load your cover and a short blurb for free.  Many of these online book clubs have a newsletter that goes out to their subscribers.  I’ve probably had most of my success targeting my specific genre this way.  Also don’t forget word of mouth.  I have my siblings and my husband promoting my book in their circles and that’s generated some sales.  Lastly, most definitely sign up for a book tour.   I wished I’d done this the first month my book was out but better late than not at all.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Thinking back I almost can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer.  I remember though when it crystallized for me – I was eight years old and had just finished the last book in a kid series I was reading – The Boxcar Children.  I wiped the happy tears from my eyes and proclaimed to the world I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.  Okay, maybe not the world but my seven year old sister Shelia heard me and believed in me.  That’s where it began.

Tell us about your main character:
Tori Logan is 17 and extremely proud of her Lakota and Norse (Viking) backgrounds.  She sees herself as being the product of two strong warrior groups and as such she has a warrior spirit that she feeds into.  Her dad’s a millionaire archeologist and she’s followed him around on many of his out of the country digs.  As a result she’s fluent in various languages and she’s been trained in a number of martial arts in these foreign lands.  In addition, her Lakota grandfather is an ex-Navy SEAL so he’s trained Tori from an early age in the military-type things he’s learned.  As a result of all this Tori feels she’s strong and can handle and take care of herself.  She’s lonely for a parental presence in her life (her dad’s often gone) and she barely tolerates the live-in girlfriend Rachael.  In that Rachael has lived in the home for nearly nine years they’ve forged somewhat of a peace.  Tori loves her two best friends AJ and Kalea.  She’s known AJ the longest, they met when they were bout about 8.  The pair met Kalea when she transferred into their high school.  Though she’s almost three years younger than the pair her geeky sweetness endears her to them.

What are you working on next?
Right now I’m working on book two of the series – A Layover in Doppelganger-ville.  I’m really enjoying it and it gives me a nice break when I need to think about something other than promoting the current book.  What I like about this second book is that it delves into Tori a little bit more.  Due to circumstances outside her control she finds herself in a setting where her lone wolf, independent ways are more of a hindrance to her than a help.  As a matter of fact her attitude can put her and the people around her in danger.  The major task for her is being able to trust and rely on the adults in the setting to take care of her instead of her relying on herself.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I have to laugh.  Outside of writing, no.  I wish I could sing or play an instrument.  But I don’t have the voice or the tempo for either.  If I could have a special talent, I would want to be able to inspire people to see greatness in themselves.  I’d be like a little fairy flitting around blowing ‘be great’ dust into people’s faces.  I’d hang around and watch as self-awareness came upon them and they charged out of the room to pursue great and mighty things.  I love this about teens, their ability to believe in the greatness within the human spirit.  They’re so unjaded and so open to possibilities and the impossible.  They’re incredibly strong and honest and true.  Some might say well what about the bad teens, the ones who hurt other people and abuse substances and get into trouble?  I have to believe that the good outweighs the bad.  I would not have survived as a Black female in this country if I didn’t believe that – that the good in humanity outweighs the bad.

Who are your favorite authors?
If I had to pick an author I would have to say Stephen King.  I go out of my way not to see any of his scary stuff but he’s my favorite career-wise.  King has written tons of stuff and all of it has been good.  It amazes me that this stuff came out of his head (okay, maybe it scares me a little too).  Through-out his career he’s been consistently good.  I don’t think he’s written a bad or lame story.  He shows up for it all and that’s what I like about him.  He’s straight-up a writer.  He owns his craft and you can see it in the finished product.  I envy that he not only writes books but he pens screen-plays for TV and movies.  I so want that for myself.  To be so fully ranged!  I’m not looking to be a one hit wonder, I want longevity.  I want to be stretched out on my deathbed, two seconds from leaving up outta here and I want to yell out – “wait, one more word…!”

What do you like to do with your free time?
I love going to the movies.  My sister will send out a text blast and about five or six of us will get together and go as a family.  Afterwards we go out to eat and talk about the movie ad nauseam.  I love it. My nephew is just on the edge of his seat waiting for the new Star Wars movie so I know that’s going to be the next big ‘to see’ movie for the group.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I’d seriously love to write a sci-fi series.  Strong teen female lead character and a group of aliens.  I’ve got something in the works in the back of my mind so I will definitely be penning it.  I want to get ahead a couple of books on the current series I’m working on.  If I can manage that then I will definitely start working on the sci-fi series next year.  I’d love to have it published by the end of next year.  That might be ambitious but I think it’s do’able.

Where can people find you on the web?
I have a blog – theheartsjourneyhome.net.  I’m on twitter @Journey4Home and I’m on Facebook.  I’ve never really been one for social media and chatting people up over the computer but I’m getting used to it.  I’ve got friends now in other countries so I think that’s especially cool.

Any final thoughts?
This has been fun, thanks.  To you aspiring authors out there I can’t encourage you enough to keep chipping away at it.  Believe it yourself and your abilities more than you expect or hope anyone else ever will.  Pick a favorite and allow their work to inspire you to carry on.  Write something every day to keep the writing muscle worked out and limber.  Be true to the craft.  Do your best.  To you readers – please support us.  Especially those of us who self-publish.  We’ve put everything and all of ourselves on the line to get our words to you so be gentle.  Give us constructive reviews and encourage us to get better.  This is a collaboration – the reader and the writer. One really couldn’t exist without the other.

Book Tour – The Journals of Bob Drifter

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About the Book

Title: The Journals of Bob Drifter
Author: M.L.S. Weech
Genre: Paranormal Thriller / Urban Fantasy

Bob Drifter is a substitute teacher with a secret. He seems like no more than a polite young man who loves to read and mentor students in his free time. Yet, on the side, Bob takes part in some rather strange extracurricular activities that soon attract the attention of local police. For some reason, people have a way of dying around him.

It’s not his fault. Maybe he just hangs around people who are already dying. Maybe he has bad timing. But Bob knows better. He has a secret mission that must be completed before he ends up in prison or raises the ire of the most frightening individual in the supernatural world. No pressure.

A terrifying new force has set foot into Bob’s life, and a string of ghastly mutilations follows this figure wherever he goes. Now, Bob has to keep his own secrets, protect his students, and fulfill his mentor’s wishes. Welcome to the world of those who watch over the dead.

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Author Bio

L. S. Weech was born in August 1979 in Rapid City, South Dakota. He fell in love with fantasy and science fiction at an early age. His love of writing quickly followed when he tried to write a sequel to his favorite movie. He didn’t know what copyright infringement was. He can’t remember a time he wasn’t working on some sort of project from that day on. He wrote for a junior high project. The only way his freshman english teacher could get him to settle down was to let him start writing a book. He completed what he calls his first manuscript when he was 17.

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He got a ton of feedback that was honest, helpful, and not much fun to listen to, but instead of quit, he simply wrote another, and then another.

He fell in love with reading in high school when he was introduced to Timothy Zahn and the Star Wars novels. Then he was handed Anne McCaffrey, Robert Jordan, Dean Koontz, Brandon Sanderson and so many more. He went from reading to complete homework to reading more than three books a month.

He joined the U.S. Navy as a journalist in 2005. He served on aircraft carriers and destroyers. He served in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan.   He finished his time in the Navy in 2015, and currently teaches future Navy Mass Communication Specialists at the Defense Information School.

When he wasn’t taking pictures or writing features or news stories, he was writing fiction. Photojournalism was a hobby he enjoyed getting paid for, but writing fiction has been and remains his true dream.

He’s completed six manuscripts and is already planning a seventh. He took his third project to Archway Publishing, who helped him turn his life-long dream into a reality.

Links

www.mlsweech.com

http://www.amazon.com/Journals-Bob-Drifter-M-Weech-ebook/dp/B00UI3XQ3C/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1446593114&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Journals+of+Bob+Drifter

https://www.facebook.com/MLSWeech/

https://twitter.com/MLSWeech

Interview

Thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you –
I recently ended a 10-year enlistment with the U.S. Navy. I served proudly, but it was time for me to follow a new dream. I still love it though, and that’s why it’s so great that my day-job is to teach journalism at the Defense Information School in Maryland, where I learned how to tell stories for the Navy and I currently help the next generation of mass communication specialists learn the skills they’ll need for their job.

I’m 35 years old. I was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, but all I remember about that place was how cold it could get. I was raised in Yuma, Arizona, (where I’ll never forget how hot it gets), and I call that home.

MLSWeech

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The hope that if I work fast enough I can get back in bed? Kidding. My primary motivation is my family. (Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews). From there it’s my students, my friends and my passion for writing. I usually have something I center my day around, that “something” is one of those things. Going back to Yuma to see the parents. A particular lesson plan that I feel good about. Just recently I got to take one of my nieces to see a movie. On days when I have life all to myself, I have a entirely different group of people I love just as much. Those people are the characters in my books. I’ve spent a bit of time away from writing here and there, but eventually, the characters are louder in my imagination than I can stand. Those are pretty much the reasons I look forward to each day.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I’ve been to conventions, and even had an awesome chance to meet some people I look up to. If I could sit down and talk with anyone for a day, I think I’d choose Jim Butcher. I haven’t had a chance to meet him yet. I’ve heard nothing but great things. His storytelling ability is amazing. I like the idea of just sitting down and chatting with someone like that. There are many others I’d be honored to meet (or see again) from different walks of life:

  • Frank Gore
  • Carol Guzy
  • Brandon Sanderson
  • Jennifer Aniston
  • Joss Whedon
  • Peter Dinklage
  • Matt Smith (could I just arrange the largest Doctor Who party in history?)

That list probably rotates at infinite speeds with another hundred names. There are a lot of cool people. But at this moment I’m looking at my library at a Jim Butcher book thinking, “Man! Wouldn’t it be cool to talk to him about writing, role playing or just anything in general.”

What’s the story behind your latest book?
A couple things happened. The first thing was I saw my dog playing with my dad. The dog was getting old, and I started thinking about what life would be without him, and didn’t really enjoy the mental trip. That got me thinking about death, which inspired a short story. The short story bounced around a few people, but never landed in any publications. I’d moved on to a few other ideas, but when I told my brother (and the artist for the chapter icons in the book) about how I’d always envisioned the main character of that short story running into a big, scary version of Death, he demanded I write the book.

It was the first book I ever finished writing that I felt was undeniably a good story. I fell in love with the characters, and I felt the twisting of stories was a pretty fresh idea. So when I realized I was going to put something out there, I chose this book.

Tell us your writing process.
I’m still growing as a professional. I’ve written six books, and I’m 25,000 words into the seventh. I had to try different things, and I make it a point to try something new with each book. I do that just to see how well I can refine my process. I feel confident my basic process works for me, but I think it’s important to note that people try new things because thats how they’ll grow. If I break it down into simple steps it is:

  1. Develop characters
  2. Worldbuild
  3. Refine characters based on worldbuildng
  4. Plot each character individually (at least the ones that have distinctive roles in the book)
  5. Weave plots together into a single outline. Here, if I come upon a scene I’m particularly in to, I go ahead and write it. I let anything that comes naturally happen. The editor in me can hack away whatever it wants, but this is where the dreamer in me has the most fun.
  6. From there I write what I call my discovery draft. I’m a discovery-writer at heart. I follow my outline, but I let things flow here. I only revisit my outline if I come up against a wall. This is usually what happens if I don’t spend enough time worldbuilding or developing characters.
  7. The discovery draft becomes either the worlds most ridiculously-large, detailed outline or the smallest, most-shallow draft. I re-read that about twice, annotating gaps I need to fill in. Then I begin the revision process. I usually type another two drafts for content, then a few editorial passes. I’ve never written a book less than four times, and I’ve written one book 27 times. I think the “right” number is somewhere in between those numbers. I still don’t think I have that part down.
  8. As a note, I also think I have a ways to go with world building. I tend to discovery write my world. I’m usually very familiar with my characters, but now and then I need to take a step back and think about things in terms of the world, environment and (what I’d say is my weakest area) description. If I make a draft for each of these issues, I usually feel like I’ve at least addressed them in some way.

Do you have any tips for other authors how they can get the word put about their book?
Unfortunately, I have a LOT of advise. I could spend 10,000 words talking about all the things I wish I knew, and all the things I still don’t know. I’ll keep this to the top 5.

  1. Market well before the book is out: You have to generate some sort of steam for your novel. the biggest hurdle I’m up against now is the fact that I’m just not known, and neither is my book. When people read it, they like it, but getting it out there has proven a challenge I wasn’t prepared for. I think I can recover, and the more success I find as an author, the more this book will spread. But life is much easier when you have people anticipating your book.
  2. If people call you, they only want your money: This is also true of some self-publishing companies. They offer you marketing packages. The simple truth is this is how they make their money, not from selling your book. I’ve invested nearly $15,000 in marketing. I can’t point to very many sales from any of it. I found the most success in live appearances and word-of-mouth. But a significant amount of that money I’ve lost started with a phone call where someone says: “If you just give us this amount of money, we’ll promote your book to all of these people.” It seems great. But what I’ve learned is people are either going to buy your book or not, and everything someone has done isn’t something I couldn’t have done myself.
  3. Find out what you don’t know: I don’t like marketing. It’s one thing to get out and meet people and talk about my book, but marketing is a skill I don’t have and don’t enjoy. Regardless, the bottom line is you have to research it. You have to learn how to reach the people you want to reach, and if you’re resisting that fact, you’re setting yourself up for some hard lessons.
  4. Try a lot of things: This seems contradictory of number 2, but it doesn’t negate the necessity. The balance is keeping the risk within an established budget. I saved up quite a lot to get this book out and market it. I’m not necessarily sad at the spending of money, I’m horrified at the lack of returns on my investments. So try a lot of things, but track how those things translate into sales. Try it, evaluate, try something else. Note what works, and do it again. If something doesn’t, I haven’t had any experience that’s shown me doing it again will yield different results.
  5. Social media is a friend: Oh that friend is more annoying than nails on a chalkboard in some ways, but you have to do it, and do so constantly. Network, put your product out there and be consistent. The more people see you, the more likely they are to acknowledge you. That last statement was horrifically vague, but I don’t know another way to say it. The point is, if you want to get out there, you have to get out there, and stay out there.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was 8 the first time I wrote something. I tell the story a lot. I was watching what turned out to be (and remains) my favorite movie. I cried as my favorite character died, and my biological father scoffed, telling me to write a better movie if I didn’t like this one. So I tried to do just that. Fourteen hand-written pages later (front and back), I learned writing was hard. I never let it go though. I have some sort of project from every major phase of my life.
One that comes to mind at this moment was the first time I showed my first book to my brother (who was only my best friend at the time). He read it and made some comments. I took the book back, rewrote it (and have another 26 times since). His encouragement means a lot to me. He’s my number-one reader and number-one fan. He’s also incredibly patient with me. I’m honestly the most stubborn person I know, and he deals with that in ways that continue to amaze me. There are a lot of conversations where I gnash my teeth and bark, but I do always listen, and he keeps reading my work and offering me feedback. That first time was when I realized not just how much I enjoyed writing, but how much I wanted to do it well.

Tell us about your main character.
Bob is a man who’s caught in a world that doesn’t fit him. He wants to be average. He wants to live life. He’d be over the moon if he could just teach all day, read and drink hot chocolate. But he’s in this hyperbolically-important supernatural circle. He’s tried to counter that by simply doing what must be done without asking too many questions. This book is built around what happened when he tried to do more. He wasn’t trying to win employee of the year in the supernatural world, he just didn’t want people to fear what everyone knows is coming sooner or later. He’s just a guy stuck in a position where everything he tries is going to disappoint, piss off, or kill someone.

What are you working on next?
My next book is called Caught. It’s a paranormal horror about a group of people stuck in reoccurring nightmares. I plan for this to be out next year, and I’m almost done with another set of revisions.

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Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I jokingly refer to my radar. I have a knack for looking at a situation or group of people and accurately predicting how that scenario will work out. The joke continued to grow to the point where it’s eerie. No, I don’t in any way think I’m clairvoyant. What I think is I’m incredibly perceptive, and that leads to a fairly reliable ability to anticipate what’s going to happen.

I can also do a pushup without putting my feet on the ground. I saw someone do it in the 1994 olympics and wouldn’t stop trying to do it until I figured it out. It’s easily my most impressive physical ability.

Who are your favorite authors?
That list is fairly standard, but there are a few names out there on my radar too. But, as it stands:

All respect is due to Stephen King. His book, “On Writing” was my call to action. I work very hard to make his philosophy on the craft my own.

Anne McCaffrey
Leo Tolstoy
Robert Jordan
Brandon Sanderson

What do you like to do with your free time?
There’s no such thing. But, I sacrifice much needed sleep to play guitar and watch football. Other than my family, those are the two things that have the power to distract me from writing.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I’m growing as an author. I have too many ideas to count, but I have a clear idea on my next ten books. (These aren’t books I’ve written or plan to revise, but books I’m writing and plan to write. So they’re not books 1-10, but 7-17)
Perception of War: A Science Fiction fantasy series based around the crew of one particular ship. I’m currently writing the first book in that serial series. It’s about a young photographer who ends up on a special forces space vessel conducting operations in a war zone in which I blend WW II with the war or terror.
Chased and Betrayed (These are the working titles to the planned sequels to Caught)
The Sound of Freedom: This is a trilogy based on the idea that music (and the subsequent magic based on that music) is how God interacts with his children. So what what is the reaction to those born deaf? In my world, they’re excommunicated. They’re sent to this city of the forsaken until a former priest comes along trying to prove those people aren’t forsaken after all.
Those (and many more) are books I will write if life permits. Books I’ve already written and intend to publish are:
1,200: A book about a homeless veteran using his magic to help other homeless vets, only to come across a creature that eats anyone he uses that magic on.
The Nick of Time: A young-reader book about a little girl who’s trying to help her father discover why the world is ending.
New Utopia: This one book will actually become a set of two books. It centers around a post-apocalyptic planet (not Earth). Humanity lives on a city in the sky, but the city has a flaw that will doom them all if the main character can’t learn what that is. Giant creatures, magic, science fiction and political intrigue for everyone!

 

Any final thoughts?
I just want to thank you for offering to host me on this tour. I’m incredibly thankful to anyone who’s willing to give me the chance to talk about my book and help me live my dream. It means a lot to me. These words seem insufficient to me, but they’re all I have. Thank you!

Excerpt of “Viral” from Gristle & Bone

“You are looking into the Walker disappearance, is that correct?” Constable Nadeau dropped into the chair behind her desk with a squeak. She spoke with a heavy Quebecois accent, the English slightly stilted; th becoming t or d, depending; lone hs dropped; emphases in all the wrong places.
“Yes, that’s right,” Tara said. “Do you mind if I record this?”
Nadeau waved the question away.
“How long has she been missing?”
“Two week,” Nadeau said. “The Bamber girl reported she had not seen her the afternoon Daria made her video.”
“Nor her parents.”
Nadeau wore mysterious smile as she shook her head. “Oh no. MacKenzie was supposed to meet Daria to work on a video project for school. I suspect it was this video you see on the internet, which she had uploaded later that day.”
“You think these kids worked on it together. That it’s just special effects.”
“Oh, I have no doubt, Ms. Maxwell.” She folded her hands over the desk, leaning forward on her elbows, reminding Tara of Hal Waterman. “And you? Surely you don’t think it’s real?”
“Of course not.” Her indignation seemed forced even to herself. “Why did you smile when I asked about her parents? Did they—?”
“Greta and Anson Walker are… unique.”
“Unique? How so?”
Nadeau raised her sharp eyebrows. “Let us just say, it’s no wonder to me why Daria Walker disappeared,” the detective said, then frowned a little at the unintentional implication, and corrected herself: “Went missing. The girl’s father didn’t even remember what she was wearing that day, not that it would have helped one way or the other.”
De udder was how it sounded in Nadeau’s accent, and Tara couldn’t help but grin. “Why not?”
“The thing is, Daria left a pile of clothes in front of the computer before she slipped out of her bedroom window. The hoodie, her jogging pant, a pair of socks and underwear. All the things she wore in the video. There was even an earring and a little beaded bracelet—”
Tara seized on it: “A friendship bracelet?” Left her clothes. Left her bracelet, and her jewelry… everything she couldn’t take with her to the Great Beyond.
“Maybe.” Nadeau shrugged. “She’d just left it there on the carpet beside her desk chair. Like she want us to believe she literally disappeared…”

Book Tour – Travel Bites by The Hungry Traveller

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Travel Bites
by The Hungry Traveller

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GENRE: Non-fiction travel literature

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BLURB:

Travel Bites is a collection of anecdotal travel stories that crisscross the globe. It is the first work by The Hungry Traveller who has combined his two great life passions: travelling and eating! The Hungry Traveller has been travelling for the last fifteen years and, along the way, has experienced many different sights, tastes, and cultures. Central to his travel experiences has been the role of food. Through his unique and very personal style of storytelling, you too can share in the highs and the lows of his stories from around the world. At the end of each story is a recipe for a dish inspired by his adventure. Travel Bites will capture your imagination and curiosity; and will leave you yearning to plan your next holiday, adventure or escape!

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Book Excerpt:

My Most Memorable Burger Experience
Location: Meknes, Morocco

I consider myself somewhat of a burger connoisseur. I believe that my teenage years spent flipping burgers is as good a grounding as any to this claim. And to be clear, the basic definition of a hamburger is a broiled ground beef patty IN A BUN.

AUTHOR BIO:

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The Hungry Traveller is a travelling enthusiast who loves to eat! When travelling, he enjoys meeting new people and engaging with locals to learn about their culture, history and the food that they eat.

Excerpt: http://travelbitesbythehungrytraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Travel-Bites-excerpt-americanized-text2012.pdf

Twitter: @Travel_Bites

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHungryTraveller

Website: www.travelbitesbythehungrytraveller.com

Please link to Publisher Twitter: @wattlepub

Publisher Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WattlePublishing?sk=app_190322544333196

Publisher website: www.wattlepublishing.com

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Buy Links:

Kindle Edition:

US http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007D92F0Y/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwwattlepubl-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B007D92F0Y

UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007COBA74/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=wattlpubli-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B007COBA74

iBooks:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/travel-bites/id508894628?mt=11

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/travel-bites/id508891669?mt=11

Kobo:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/travel-bites-americanized-text

Paperback Edition:

US http://www.amazon.com/Travel-Bites-The-Hungry-Traveller/dp/1908959134/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412162248&sr=8-1&keywords=9781908959133

UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Travel-Bites-The-Hungry-Traveller/dp/1908959134/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368378279&sr=8-1&keywords=Travel+Bites+by+the+Hungry+Traveller

Wordery: https://wordery.com/travel-bites-the-hungry-traveller-9781908959133

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GIVEAWAY 

The Hungry Traveller will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Day Party ~ Sexual Confessional

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About the Book

Front Cover ArtTitle: Sexual Confessional: Confidential Admissions from Social Media

Author: Nicole Delacroix

Genre: Non-Fiction Humor / Essay

Discovering secrets is titillating.

Everyone wants to peek under the covers, be a fly on the bedroom wall, or read someone’s diary. The juicier the secret, the more people want to know it, and sex is the most taboo of all subjects.

It’s human nature to be curious about what everyone else is doing. What do people like about sex? What are their fantasies? How far are they willing to go to please the one they love? These questions and more are explored, where everyday people offer up their most intimate secrets about sex.

One part social experiment – one part personal journey mixed with a little shock value, a whole lot of confession, laugh-out-loud comedy, deceptively thought-provoking questions and answers, all in the name of self-awareness. A foray into the inappropriate Sexual Confessional is a brash, unfiltered look at sex in the new millennium as seen by social media. A cautionary tale that warns “be careful what you ask the internet for, you may just get it…”

Author Bio

Author Portrait - newNicole Delacroix was raised with a deep love for words and literature. This appetite for reading was the foundation fuelling her creative passion for writing. With a strong will and precocious nature, she is the atypical Texan Southern belle, preferring the fantastical, science and reason. Growing up in the buckle of the Bible Belt, writing was her saving grace.

A fan of all genres, she will most often be found buried in fantasy, science fiction or nonfiction, favoring George RR Martin, Douglas Adams and Michio Kaku, while Joan Rivers, Mae West, Madonna and Audrey Hepburn are personal role-models, each possessing a strength she admires. Diversity extends to her writing as well, as she writes about anything that strikes her interest, with a keen eye for character and the absurd.

A blogger, author, and IT professional for a major ISP, she is consistently sought out to provide guest blogs and the oft-maligned tech manual, and receives many requests to review new works from fellow authors. She believes life is about possibilities, which challenges her to write outside her comfort zone, trying new projects and meeting new people.

Fiercely loyal to friends, family and pets, she is a proud member of the Atlanta Writer’s Club, avid Tweeter, and closet Anglophile with addictions to British Tea, Doctor Who and Soccer. Above all, she maintains sarcasm is a legitimate art form and strives to challenge conventional thinking.

Publishing History
Books:

Glimpse of Darkness, April 2014 – October 2014

Blog Posts:

Common Misconceptions About Literary Agents, January 21, 2015 Link

Guest Post: How Many Frogs Do I Have To Kiss?, January 19, 2015 Link

Guest Post: Books Vs. E-readers, December 21, 2014 Link

Guest Post: Using Createspace, December 21, 2014 Link

Guest Post: Author Social Media Checklist, December 6, 2014 Link

Links

www.nicole-delacroix.com
http://www.facebook.com/writer.nicoledelacroix
http://twitter.com/NicoleDelaCroix
http://www.google.com/+NicoleDelacroix
http://instagram.com/nicoledelacroix/
http://www.pinterest.com/wrtrndelacroix/
http://nicoledelacroix.tumblr.com/

Book Tour – The Torment of Rachel Ames

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About the Book
Title: The Torment of Rachel Ames
Author: Jeff Gunhus
Genre: Thriller / Horror

Suffering from writer’s block, novelist Rachel Ames escapes to a lake cabin to calm her mind and regain a sense of herself. The location is perfect. Isolated. Beautiful. Inspiring. It even comes with a good-looking landlord who shows an interest in her. But she can’t shake the sense that something terrible has followed her to the lake, something just beyond her consciousness, something out on the edge where the sounds of a raging fire and sirens linger whenever she slows down to listen. Determined to make the cabin work, she tries to settle in and give her new life a chance. But when strange things begin to happen around her, she wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake. As the darkness that’s followed her manifests itself in inexplicable ways, her concept of reality is stretched thin and she realizes nothing at the lake is what it seems. As she fights to survive with her sanity intact, she understands too late that the location she’s chosen for herself is far from perfect.

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Author Bio

JeffG.

Jeff Gunhus is the author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Jack Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 100 on Amazon and have been Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists and Gold Medal Winners.

After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active lifestyle in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.

Links
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Torment-Rachel-Ames-Jeff-Gunhus-ebook/dp/B015545GBI/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26308383-the-torment-of-rachel-ames?from_search=true&search_version=service
Author Site: www.Jeffgunhus.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jeffgunhusauthor
Twitter: @jeffgunhus

Book Excerpt

Rachel Ames knows she’s making a terrible mistake, but that’s never stopped her before. Even as she speeds down the empty highway, she’s certain nothing good will come of this trip. She can’t say why she has this belief, only that it’s deeply rooted, part of a visceral animal instinct clawing away at her insides. Call it intuition. Or call it common sense, doesn’t matter. Can’t change the fact that it’s the truth.
She refuses to change her destination, even if the rising sense of dread causes her heart to beat right out of her chest. She’s committed, this much is a fact, so she pushes aside all thought of turning around and focuses on the road ahead.
She checks the map on her phone, taking comfort in the little blue dot on the screen that symbolizes the exact spot in the world occupied by her aging Honda Accord with faded red paint, bad muffler and squeaking brakes. The dot sails along a straight white line surrounded by an ocean of green. She appreciates the simplicity of the image, the perfection of it. An object moving at a steady rate along a direct path toward a specific destination. No hurdles. No obstacles to navigate. Not even an intersection or a fork in the road. There are only two decisions to make. To continue forward or stop the car and go back.
And there’s no chance in hell she’s going back.
Her two gentlemen passengers are the perfect companions. Silent, good-looking and only there to cater to her whims and needs. They sit together in the seat next to her, sharing the seatbelt. That might have been overdoing it, but strapping them in together makes her laugh, so she forgives herself the indulgence. This is her journey, her time, so acting odd is her prerogative.
Besides, the two of them are the perfect complements. Daniels and Underwood. Booze and typewriter. Soul mates bound by common history and mutual reliance.
The Underwood typewriter was a great find her sophomore year in college, given to her by Professor McNeely’s widow soon after his very public death from a massive aneurism. It’d happened right in the middle of her creative writing class, just as the old bastard was finally saying something nice about her novel-in-progress. Mid-sentence, he’d slapped a hand to his head, made a small grunt and rolled his eyes back in their sockets. At first, she’d thought he was mocking her work, but then his back arched and he collapsed to the floor. After that came the convulsions, followed by the shit and urine filling his pants as her classmates screamed. Then, as the good book says, the lights went out and Elvis left the building.
But unlike Elvis, the man wasn’t much loved. A taskmaster who hated any writer beside himself, he used critiques as an assault rifle to mow down any young soul with the temerity to attempt the art that, in his mind, belonged only to him and a handful of his peers. Sure there were the appropriate candlelight vigils and the church service to honor the brave soul who died fighting the good fight in his ivory tower, but right under the surface, the humor rolled dark and furious.
I heard that the last pages he read really blew his mind.
You know that saying, would it kill you to say something nice?
Rachel guessed it had.

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Book Tour – The Beast of Barcroft

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Title: The Beast of Barcroft
Author: Bill Schweigart
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Horror

Fans of Stephen King and Bentley Little will devour The Beast of Barcroft, Bill Schweigart’s brilliant new vision of dark suburban horror. Ben thought he had the neighbor from hell. He didn’t know how right he was. . . .

Ben McKelvie believes he’s moving up in the world when he and his fiancée buy a house in the cushy Washington, D.C., suburb of Barcroft. Instead, he’s moving down—way down—thanks to Madeleine Roux, the crazy neighbor whose vermin-infested property is a permanent eyesore and looming hazard to public health.

First, Ben’s fiancée leaves him; then, his dog dies, apparently killed by a predator drawn into Barcroft by Madeleine’s noxious menagerie. But the worst is yet to come for Ben, for he’s not dealing with any ordinary wild animal. This killer is something much, much worse. Something that couldn’t possibly exist—in this world.

Now, as a devilish creature stalks the locals, Ben resolves to take action. With some grudging assistance from a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and the crackpot theories of a self-styled cryptozoologist, he discovers the sinister truth behind the attacks, but knowing the Beast of Barcroft and stopping it are two different animals.

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Author Bio

Bill Schweigart is a former Coast Guard officer who has drawn from his experiences at sea to write the taut nautical thriller, Slipping The Cable. Schweigart’s debut is a modern entry to the rich tradition of the sea novel: everyone is confined aboard ship, tensions run high, and the setting itself is deadly, but not nearly as deadly as his characters. If you have ever suffered an impossible boss, ever wanted to fall off the grid and start over fresh, or just wanted to lose yourself in a high seas and high stakes adventure, Slipping The Cable is a must read. Schweigart lives in Arlington, VA, where he is currently finishing his second novel, a supernatural thriller set in the shadow of Washington, DC.

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Website: http://www.billschweigart.com/

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

Links

Penguin Random House

Amazon

B&N

Books a Million

Google Play Store

iBooks

Kobo

Book Excerpt

The sun had set and all that remained of the crimson sky was a thin red line over the trees to the west. It was November, just after the dreary end of Daylight Savings Time, which had freshly sliced an hour of sunshine from his day. Too dark too early, he thought. He turned his back to the trail and was on the short path back to the road when he heard it again.

A baby crying.

He brought his hand to his mouth and called out. The crying continued at the same volume, as if the child had not heard him. It was difficult to get a bearing on it. It sounded like it came from inside a well but it also seemed to drift down from the branches overhead. A trick of the autumn wind, he told himself. For a moment, he thought of La Llorona, the Crying Lady, who drowned her children in the Rio Grande to impress a suitor. When the man was understandably not impressed, she had killed herself, but her spirit roamed the riverbanks, wailing and taking children after nightfall ever since. It was just a bit of folklore his father told him to keep him from falling into the river, but he shivered. He called out again and closed his eyes to listen harder. The crying floated around him. He had started for his truck to get a flashlight when he cursed himself.

The stream. He had not checked Four Mile Run.

He sprinted back down the path and crossed the trail to the edge of the valley. The stream was thirty, maybe forty feet below, and the steep face was choked with vines and roots, rock outcroppings jutting out and obscuring the bank directly below him. Stream my ass, he thought. It looked like a river. Water, from a week of heavy rains up north, roared over the rocks. It was so loud you could barely hear yourself think, even at this height. In the valley, it was darker and harder to see, and a corner of his mind nagged at him to get the flashlight, but the crying was clearer now, pinpointed. And insistent.

“Hang on!” he yelled. “I’m coming!”

He clambered down as quickly as he could. Halfway down, clinging to the undergrowth, he wiped the sweat from his eyes. He peered over the lip and spied a figure below. “I’m coming.”

The figure turned and sniffed the air between them.

Manny swiped his eyes again and blinked. What he saw should not be here in Arlington.

He moved faster scrambling up than climbing down, using every limb and muscle to get back to the trail, to his truck that would take him away. Promises and prayers jumbled his thoughts. If I make it, Madre Mía, I’ll exercise, he thought. His heart burned, but he shot up the tangle as fast as his body would allow. He got his head over the edge and raked at the valley wall with his feet to clear it, but the thing caught his ankle and pulled. For a moment, he could see the trail, just feet in front of him. Beyond that, the small beaten path that led to the guardrail, the border between the woods and Barcroft, between this nightmare and the real world. Then came a sharp, wrenching pain. Manny hollered, but in a split second his leg was blessedly free again.

He pumped it but found no purchase. He looked down and saw his foot was gone.

With the little air left in his lungs, Manny threw back his head and screamed. Maybe someone on the trail would hear and come running, but it was November now and too dark too early. There was no one to flag down, and the rushing water drowned out his screams just the same. He wasn’t going to make it to the truck or the trail or out of this valley. It had him by the knee now. The trail slid from his view. Overhead he saw the stars beginning to reveal themselves on a clear night, framed now by the walls of the valley. Then the beast pulled him down into the stream and he saw nothing. The last thing he thought before losing consciousness was his inability to distinguish the icy sting of Four Mile Run from the teeth

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