Extra Innings: Can You Go Home Again? by Don Massenzio #bookreview #timetravel #scifi

Joe McLean hates his life. A lonely, divorced, middle-aged man, stuck in a cramped apartment, the only bright spot in Joe’s life is cheering on his hometown baseball team. Now, the local stadium, the place of many childhood and adult memories is being replaced. Joe desperately wants a piece of this iconic venue to preserve his memories and have some memorabilia from his happier past. That’s when unusual things begin to happen, and Joe begins to rethink the direction his life has taken. Can Joe take a different path in life? Can he use the special ability that he has acquired to change the course of his life? Will he realize the truth about old adage, you can never go home again? Follow the twists and turns in this supernatural story, Extra Innings, to find out.

When I first saw the cover for this book, not being a sports fan, I nearly passed on it.  But when I read the blurb and saw it was about time travel, I snatched it right up.

I immediately wanted to root for Joe.  With a failed marriage, a thankless, dead-end job, and not much to go home to at night, the guy deserves some happiness.  Upon realizing the seat he purchased from a baseball stadium that held wonderful memories for him is a time machine, endless possibilities are at his fingertips.  If you could travel back in time, what would you change about your life?  Anything?  Would those changes have unexpected ripple effects?

Joe encounters several surprises along the way, and I laughed out loud at some situations he found himself in.  Extra Innings is a fabulous, enjoyable story with several layers to include family drama, organized crime, and corporate mergers, and I was captivated throughout.  The ending isn’t something I expected, but will leave you thinking about it for days after.

#BadMoonRising: Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind by Darlene Foster #childrensbooks #supernatural

Today’s guest is the author of a wonderful series of children’s books.  Readers call them ‘delightful armchair travel’ and a ‘fantastic adventure’.  As a bonus – they’re educational!  Amanda in New Mexico touches on the supernatural, and that’s the book Darlene Foster shares with us today.  She also tells a Ouija board story that will send tingles down your spine.  Welcome Darlene!

You’re in a horror movie.  Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

I would be the comic relief. I’m usually the first one to crack a joke when things are tense. This can be annoying to some people who think it is no laughing matter.

Have you ever played with a Ouija board?

My aunt and I played with one when we were children. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I do recall that my grandfather thought it was interesting and asked if he could have ago. He asked the board how old he would be when he died. It spelled out 78. He seemed content with that. He died at age 78 many years later. I have always assumed it was a coincident but now I wonder.

If you were paid to spend the night in a haunted house, would you do it?

I don’t think so. I get spooked quite easy. It would have to be a lot of money and I would have to be able to bring my hubby along and maybe my dog. Mind you, the money would come in handy. I may be able to collect material for another book. Ummm, I may have to think about this.

How do you develop your plots and characters?

I start with a location, usually a place that I have visited and found intriguing. Once I have the setting, I decide on an issue that a young person may encounter and work from there. I am a panster so the story develops as I write. Amanda is the main character and her personality develops with each book. She stays pretty well the same age but matures a bit as she travels and learns more about the world and herself. In Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind, she finds her disbelief in the supernatural challenged. I visited New Mexico and loved it, but there was certainly an air of something other worldly about. In particular when we stopped in at The St. James Hotel in Cimarron which is well known to be haunted. I said to my travel companion, “I have to include this in an Amanda story.”

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing I like to read, bake, walk on the beach, drive in the country, take my dog for walks, go for coffee with hubby and chat with friends. Of course I am always collecting ideas while doing these “non-writing” things.

What are you working on now?

The seventh novel in the Amanda Travels series, Amanda in Holland-Missing in Action, is completed, has been beta read and edited a number of times. It is now at the publishers and will be released in 2019 after a few more edits. While waiting for its release, I am, as we speak, working on Amanda in Malta, which is turning out to be a great adventure for my main character. Amanda has many more places to explore yet.

Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit an ancient and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past. Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps the Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda’s travels.

Excerpt

She opened her mouth to scream. Her throat seized up and nothing came out. Amanda walked through the swinging doors into the restaurant. No one was there either. She went out a back door to the outside eating area and surveyed the empty tables and chairs. She stopped to listen. It felt like something was beside her. As she slowly turned to look, a huge bear leaned out a window holding a pie.
She opened her mouth to scream. Her throat seized up and nothing came out.
“What’s wrong with you, Amanda?” Cleo appeared from around a corner. “You look like you just had a run in with a ghost. Oh, that’s right, you don’t believe they exist.”
Amanda gave her head a shake. The window with the bear holding the pie was just a mural painted on the wall.
She laughed nervously. “For a minute I actually thought that bear was real. That’s a good painting.”
Cleo shrugged her shoulders up to her ears. “You thought the bear was real, but you don’t believe me when I tell you I see ghosts?”
“Where is everyone, anyway?” asked Amanda.
“They’re in the gambling room, listening to stories about the guys that have been shot here in this hotel. The boys think it’s cool but I think it’s depressing.”
“Did they talk about T. J. Wright, the cowboy from Room 18?”
“Oh, yes. Apparently, he harasses guests here all the time. But the ghost of Mary Lambert, who is called the protector, often chases him away. She doesn’t like her guests being upset. He sometimes goes into the room next to his and bothers whoever is in there. Room 19, I think it is. It used to be the room of Mary Lambert’s daughter.”
“Really?” Amanda paled. She remembered the rose scent in Room 19 and wondered if Mary Lambert had chased T.J. Wright away. That is if it was him, or rather his ghost, in the room with her.
Amanda flapped her hand. “No way! I don’t think so. It’s probably just a publicity stunt to increase business for the hotel.”
“Whatever,” mumbled Cleo.
The courtyard filled up with the other students.
“There’ve been some cool shootouts here.” Caleb walked over to the girls. “Have you two been ghost hunting? This would be the perfect place.”

Buy links

Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Amazon.co.uk
Kobo

Author Bio

Darlene Foster has dreamt of writing books, travelling the world and meeting interesting people for as long as she can remember. It’s no surprise that she’s now an award-winning author of the exciting Amanda Travels series featuring spunky Amanda Ross, a twelve-year-old Canadian girl who loves to travel. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in unique destinations. An avid traveler herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Spanish Costa Blanca with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot. She believes it is never too late to make your dreams come true.

Social Media

Website www.darlenefoster.ca 
Blog https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter/
Twitter https://twitter.com/supermegawoman
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster

#BadMoonRising: Glimpses by Hugh W. Roberts #shortstories #supernatural #paranormal

Happy Hump Day!  If taking on a horror/paranormal/supernatural book all at once is a bit daunting, maybe testing the waters with short stories is a way to ease into the genre.  Today’s featured author gives you that opportunity.  He also confirms why it’s best not to leave arms and legs uncovered while sleeping – you never know what’s waiting under the bed.   Welcome Hugh Roberts!

You’re in a horror movie.  Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

I’d be the killer. I can remember being cast as the ‘bad guy’ in a school play. It was set in a haunted house, and I had to wait for my victim to pass by before I came out of the dark and wrestled him to the ground. What most struck me about this, though, was that whilst the struggle went on, I had to wait for somebody to say the words “Cut! That was excellent.”

That line stuck in my mind for many years because I went on to use it as the twist for one of my short stories in my book, Glimpses. I suppose it also shows that I wasn’t really the ‘bad guy,’ but just an actor on a film set. That also stuck on my mind when I thought about it because I’ve also used a film set as the scene in another of my short stories in the book.

It’s amazing what memories stick with you, and how they can go on to become a big part of something later on in your life.

Have you ever played with a Ouija board?

Yes, but only when I was in my teens. It wasn’t a real Ouija board because we’d cut out the letters and placed them on the kitchen table. There were six of us, including me, and I remember how I wanted to frighten everyone in the room by moving the glass around. The problem was, somebody else also had the same idea, and we ended up frightening some of the younger children.

When my parents came home and found out what we’d been doing, they were not best pleased. My mother tore up all the letters and threw them in the dustbin.

A few months later, it was all forgotten about until my mother was cut badly by the glass we’d used. She swore that something had hit the glass along the kitchen countertop towards where she was washing the dishes. The glass smashed as it entered the water, cutting both her hands quite badly.

Creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone?

In the first ever apartment I owned, I was once woken by the sound of scratching coming from beneath me. To my utter disbelief, I watched as the duvet was slowly pulled down the bed. I grabbed it and tried pulling it back towards me, but something at the other end of the duvet was also pulling and it was a struggle to pull it back.

Eventually, I switched on the bedside lamp and found the duvet still over me. I put it down to a bad nightmare, and it never happened again.

However, a few years later, when I moved out of the apartment, one of the removal guys pointed out to me that some of the wooden slats under my bed (which the mattress laid on) were badly scratched. I had no idea how the scratches got there as the bed was delivered new when I had moved in, and I’d assembled it myself.

I ditched the bed and slept on the floor of my next home until I was able to afford a new bed.

How do you develop your plots and characters?

I’m very much a ‘Pantser’ when it comes to writing my stories. As soon as I get an idea in my head (often the ending of a story) I start typing and allow the story to reveal itself to me.

Of course, the first draft is never the final version, but I tend not to change too much as it then becomes a completely different story.

Characters seem to fall into the story as I write it. I don’t think about them too much. They’re just a part of the story which, for me, is the most important part.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

Rod Serling, who created and presented the TV show, The Twilight Zone. He also wrote some of the episodes.

What captivated me most, was the way Rod wrote the stories. They always had a twist at the end that I never saw coming. He may have sprinkled each episode with clues, but they were always well conceived and gave little away of what was to come.

I see this has an incredible way to write stories, leading the reader up the wrong garden path, so to speak. The Twilight Zone gave me inspiration to write stories on a similar based theme, and I like to think that the style they are written is very much that of the way Rod wrote.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on my next collection of short stories which will be published in early 2019. There are 32 new stories in the book, many of which I have never published on my blog before.

My editor returned the book to me in early September and I’m now working on the edits as well as making some of the stories even better. I can reveal that the book will be called ‘More Glimpses.’ Here’s the blurb –

After publishing some of his short stories on his blog, Hugh W. Roberts, who suffers from dyslexia, received numerous requests to publish his short stories in a book.

Here, at last, are 28 short stories that will take your mind on a rollercoaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns.

‘Glimpses’ allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax.

If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories from Hugh.

Dare you take a glimpse into the lives of these unsuspecting characters?

Buy Links

Universal Link for buying Glimpses

Author Bio

Hugh W. Roberts lives in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. He shares his life with his civil-partner, John and their Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Toby and Austin.

He has always enjoyed writing even though he suffers from a mild form of dyslexia. However, he’s never allowed being dyslexic stop him from having a positive outlook on life. Shortly after retiring, Hugh thought it about time he let his writing become public. Becoming a blogger seemed to be the perfect way for him to do this.

He started writing short stories at school but was never encouraged to continue writing them. In February 2014, when he discovered blogging, he wrote and published several short stories on his blog. They soon became hits and Hugh was encouraged by some of his readers to publish some of the stories in a book. Now, finally, his dream of becoming a published author has come true with the publication of ‘Glimpses’ the first volume of 28 of his short stories. If, like Hugh, you enjoy shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and Black Mirror,’ then his short stories will take you on plenty of twists and turns to unexpected endings.

‘Glimpses’ is available to buy on Amazon and has already received excellent reviews. Hugh is now in the process of writing a second volume of short stories which he will publish in early 2019. If you decide to buy and read Glimpses, then Hugh would be delighted if you would consider leaving a review on Amazon. Reviews help all authors and feedback is vital to improving writing.

Hugh’s blog, Hugh’s Views And News, covers a number of subjects, the most popular of which are his blogging and social media tips. He is a keen photographer and enjoys helping to promote other authors and writers on his blog. Despite considering himself to be an introvert, he also considers himself as a ‘peoples’ person. Please do feel free to contact him via his blog.

Social Media

Blog: Hugh’s Views and News
Twitter: @HughRoberts05
Flipboard
Mix.com
Instagram
Google+
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads

Atonement in Bloom Book Launch Party Bus! #newrelease #urbanfantasy #supernatural

Atonement Blog Party Bus Loaded

All aboard! Beep-beep, yeah! The party bus is here. (Click here for theme music Magic Bus!) Our first stop is in Connecticut to pick up Dan Antion, who has a handy guided tour of Atonement, TN. Dan agreed to be a relief bus driver too, since bus-driver-Lilith the calico, sometimes has to take a break to give Deme or Honeybell a head bath.

Where “atonement” begins

It’s best if you read the first book first. So, for the launch of “Bloom,” Atonement, Tennessee is on sale for 99¢ (e-book). Click Atonement book covers for purchase links.

Residents of my fictional town might be of any race and from any ancestry. So author and translator Olga Núñez Miret translated the debut novel to Spanish! For that language I changed the title to Expiación y Magia!

Cover Expiación y Magia ― Una Fantasía Urbana
Atonement, Tennessee in Spanish

Speaking of the otherworldly pigs, I should mention the order of the Atonement stories. Your first visit to the town is Atonement, Tennessee. It’s an urban fantasy — set in our present-day, real world but with magical elements. Aside from the heroine and her neighbor-friends (or as Diana Peach likes to call them, the gall palls (Diana’s review here), you’ll meet the grumpy sheriff, Robin Warden.

Includes the prequel

The first “snort” in The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee is about a very young Deputy Robin. (Review by Dr. Phuong Callaway here.) That particular story is tied to the novel I’m launching today, Atonement in Bloom.

Long awaited sequel to Atonement, Tennessee

Here’s the blurb!

The quaint town was stranger than Ralda Lawton could have imagined. The local population included supernatural beings of the fae variety. Although only she and a few others knew about that.

In a past life, Ralda ― Esmeralda had been involved in something with those supernaturals and it had carried into her present life. In Atonement, Tennessee, that almost got her killed. Now she has new problems, and new supes to complicate matters.

Atonement in Bloom continues the misadventures of Ralda, her friends, and neighbors in the small (but far from peaceful) town of Atonement, Tennessee. Her old house and cemetery are still there, along with Lilith the cat, quirky townsfolk, and assorted supernaturals.

Now Lilith the calico sniffs out a strange beast.

Fae foolery backfires. A friend is abducted.

On a cold December day, Atonement, Tennessee comes into bloom.

The Unfolding Of An Orange Rose Bud

I don’t know why the party bus is stopping. Oh! It’s a delivery of flowers in honor of the book launch from Kirt Tisdale of The Wall Gallery! Wow… beautiful blue roses. Thank you, Kirt. The blue rose of the impossible is an important element of Atonement in Bloom.

We’re back on the road, and Dyanna at Ravenhawk’s Magazine has plenty of music for our road-trip. Lilith, slow down. I see Melissa from Today You Will Write at that bus stop up ahead.

Hang on to your seat-belt. Lilith just took a sharp curve and we are magically in Kentucky. Deme wanted to check out Teri Polen’s October horror and suspense book fest, Bad Moon Rising! You’ll find 31 authors and their books there!

Welcome to Atonement, TN! Everybody in town is taking part in the fun. Annie’s Antiques is hosting an exhibit of Art by Rob Goldstein.

My Blue Heaven

What’s that on the next table? It looks like an Aladin’s lamp. And a puff of colorful smoke! Oh, it’s the Lamp Magician. Welcome, Magician. I’m glad you could join the party bus!

My stomach is growling. Thank goodness Carol Taylor and Gerlinde de Broekert have catered the book fair. There are delicious foods at every booth! However, Deme and Honeybell love to read, so they ran straight to the Atonement, TN Book Fair. They’re in hog heaven with so many great books!

Heartfelt thanks to everyone for supporting this Bloomin’ Party Bus. Click the author names for more info.

(If anyone wants to share a link to a review of your book, or anything about yourself, please leave a comment with the link.)

D. Wallace Peach

Image result for legacy of souls d wallace peach

Chris Graham (for Agnes Mae Graham)

My Vibrating Vertabrae cover

Olga Núñez Miret For this book see here.

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters Now available as an audio book too

D.L. Finn

Image result for dl finn the button

Jan Sikes

Image result for jan sikes flowers in stone

Mary J McCoy-Dressel

Mary J McCoy-Dressel, western romance author, Book Three Canyon Junction: Hearts in Love Series, Blog Post Cover Reveal

Sally Cronin

Jacquie Biggar has a sheriff too…

jacquiebiggar_thesheriffmeetshismatch_800px

Valentina Cirasola will help you tour Atonement, TN in style.

The Road To Top Of The World: Short Stories In The Land Of Puglia

Barb Taub will keep you laughing the entire way.

Resa will help you find the right thing to wear. She’s a costume designer. She would have enjoyed helping Ralda, Bethany, and Lacey search through the antique clothes in Sunhold’s closets (scene in “Bloom”).

Staci Troilo

Tortured Soul

Mae Clair

Book cover for End of Day, mystery/suspense novel by Mae Clair shows old dilapidated church with bell tower and a cemetery in the background overgrown with weeds

John W. Howell

Annette Rochelle Aben

Image result for booku Annette Rochelle Aben

Robbie Cheadle

Image result for robbie cheadle while the bombs fell

Chuck Jackson

Image result for chuck jackson what did i do

Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Teri Polen

Image result for teri polen sarah

#BadMoonRising: The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee by Teagan Geneviene #IndieAuthor #urbanfantasy @TeaganGeneviene

Friends, today is a special day – Teagan Geneviene is here, and she’s brought her glowing pigs, Deme and Honeybell!  And it gets even better – the second book in her Atonement series releases today!  Join the Atonement in Bloom Book Launch Party Bus, which will follow this post.  Welcome Teagan!

Pigs Magia n Teagan

The “universe” of Atonement, Tennessee, created by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene continues to expand. In advance of releasing book-2, she has recently released the Spanish translation of “Atonement” and renamed it for that audience — Expiación y Magia.

Synopsis. The Glowing Pigs — Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

When I realized that several years ago I wrote a whimsical short story that was a prequel to anything else in my quirky supernatural town, and that it was strongly tied to the story-line of the next novel, Atonement in Bloom… Well I was in a bit of a pickle about how to handle the situation. When it occurred to me that I had several short stories with some “characters” from that prequel, I decided to collect them into a little book.

By the way, those characters were pigs — otherworldly, glowing, mischievous little pigs. Their pig tales or snort stories continue the adventures of pigs (Deme and Honeybell), and the residents of the quirky town. You’ll get better acquainted with the “Bardolator” sheriff, and a minor character, Marge Tipton. Admittedly the snort-stories are not as suspenseful as the novels. The most frightening thing in them might be bacon… or it is if you’re a pig.

Pigs Road Moon unsplash composite
A “Bad Moon” glowing pig style

Fun Questions

You’re in a horror movie. Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

Ha! That’s a fun question, Teri. I would have probably been the comic relief. Although after six (out of 10) years of failing to escape from my horror story of a job, I could almost imagine a ahem… different role. Limited strictly to the imagination, of course!

Have you ever played with a Ouija board?

You’d think I had, since Ouija board was one of the random things in my blog serial “Hullaba Lulu.” However, I had never used one, so I bought one because of the serial. Although I’m not set up to have a group over to try it out…

Lulu Valentino in the control room
The diesel-punk train in “Hullaba Lulu” uses an Ouija board as part of its controls. (Art by Rob Goldstein)

If you were paid to spend the night in a haunted house, would you do it?

A night? Horsefeathers, I’d probably try to buy the place!

Writing Questions

What is the hardest part of writing?

The hardest part is to keep going after that initial spark. My real-life job drains me of all creativity. That’s why it has taken me years to finish Atonement in Bloom. Although I’ve finished some other things along the way. Like I said… initial spark.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

It’s not for everyone, but my personal “must-have” is a character matrix. Except for short stories, I create a complex spreadsheet that helps me keep up with all the details.

character-matrix-tabs
Part of the character matrix for the unfinished “Delta Pearl,” a steampunk novel

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Since I have a full-time job, writing is what I do when I’m not working. Outside of the job, when I’m not writing, I’m still doing things that support my creative writing. I like to make illustrations and book-covers. I’ve made all my own covers.

What are you working on now?

For the past ten months, every month I’ve thought I would release book-2 in my “Atonement” series, Atonement in Bloom. At this point I’m afraid to mention it. As of this writing, I’m doing the final proof read. Or I hope it’s final…

So, what I’m working on is re-running a #SteamPunk serial from 2015 while I finish up Bloom. That serial is “Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.” I post chapters on Wednesday for Hidebound Hump Day and on Straightlaced Saturdays. I’m running that as a prelude to launching an all new “3 things” style serial, where readers leave random “things” to drive the pantser story.

Cover Copper Alchemist Woman n Trousers

As you saw in the introduction, this summer I released “The Glowing Pigs – Snort Stories of Atonement Tennessee.” I also released the Spanish translation of the first novel, Atonement, Tennessee. I renamed the translation, done by Olga Núñez Miret. The Spanish version is called Expiación y Magia. (International Amazon Link: relinks.me/B07HBM7L71)

Teri, heartfelt thanks for allowing me to participate in Bad Moon Rising again this year.

You can also visit me at these sites:

Teagan’s Books

Amazon Author Page

Amazon UK Author Page

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene/

#BadMoonRising: The Contract by John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano #thriller #supernatural

Today’s featured author is a familiar face in the blogosphere.  Many of us drop by his blog several times a week to read his top ten lists, see pictures of his community, read his Wednesday story updates, and visit with Lucy, Bailey, and Twiggy, his adorable fur babies.  Below, he’s listed the top ten things not to do in a horror movie.  Take note, friends – you never know when Jason, Freddie, or Michael Myers might come calling.  Welcome John W. Howell!

You’re in a horror movie.  Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

In a horror movie, I am the comic relief. I’m the one who seems to know what the audience is thinking about what is going on. I say out loud the top ten things not to do in a horror movie. When the characters do them in the movie, the audience can say “See he told them so.” Here they are:

10 Do not go through a doorway while looking back.

9 Do not go into the cellar alone

8 Do not call “Who’s there?” at the first noise.

7 Do not suggest a beer blast in a cemetery

6 Do not go to a creepy cabin in the woods.

5 Do not tell someone you know what they did last summer.

4 Do not lure your boy or girlfriend outside to make out.

3 Do not suggest telling ghost stories.

2 Do not play with an Ouija board

1 Do not pick up and examine the massive blood covered knife on the kitchen table.

Vampires, ghosts, werewolves, or zombies – which would you least want to meet in a dark alley?

In a dark alley, I would hate to meet a zombie. The reason is pretty apparent. I don’t want my brains eaten. Everything I have heard zombies are tough to kill as well. So, if I met one, I wouldn’t know how to defend myself, and I would face the possibility of being rendered brainless. The actuality of that would not be so sad if it were not for all the story ideas I have floating in my brain. This would beg the question, “Like marijuana baked into a brownie continues to provide the benefit, can stories continue to survive if a zombie eats the brain in which they are stored?” A corollary question could be, “Will the said zombie be able to tell the stories or importantly write them down?” Nope. Don’t want to meet a zombie in a dark alley.

You’re home alone, but you hear footsteps in your house–what do you do?

The first thing I don’t do is yell, “Who’s there?” That is just asking for it. No, I would lay low and try to find an object that can be used as a weapon. The last time this happened I was stuck with a Swiffer. I figured I could do some real damage with the dusty end. After all who would want that in their face? The next thing I would do is try to find whoever is making the noise. I know it might be smarter to stay hidden but if it turns out like last time and is the dog’s plastic ball being pushed along the floor by the ceiling fan, remaining hidden for a long time might be a problem. If it turned out to be a stranger in my house, I would probably scream hoping the person will realize it might be easier to go somewhere else. Of course, as I think about it, I could explain I’m a writer, and the person will go somewhere else.

How do you develop your plots and characters?

I have a basic story idea which is in my head. The character development takes place as the story unfolds. The plot is pretty much character driven, so it too tends to follow the leads of the characters. The one thing I do to help myself is to write down the last three lines of the story. This gives me some overall direction for the destination of the journey.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

The tools I consider must-haves for a writer are simple really. The first is a dedicated workspace. I find it very hard to do a sustained quality job without a place to work. I think it is also essential to have the area be single purpose and not part of the family use space. The second is a long and varied playlist of songs that can serve as background noise. I find music to be an effective way to stay focused on the writing. The music tends to fade into white noise while the creative process is underway. I use Spotify for this purpose.  The third is an excellent grammar and spelling checker. No matter how many English courses we take, an author needs to have a program that is partial and thorough. I have to say there is not a program available that can take the place of an editor to buy a good spell checker and grammar program will go a long way in your relationship with your editor.

What are you working on now?

Gwen Plano and I are working on the sequel to The Contract. It is a story that continues where The Contract left off.  Some questions were raised in The Contract around just how significant was the threat to the world? Who was ultimately behind the plot was another piece of the puzzle. Gwen and I are working to answer these and other questions. The book should be ready by the first quarter.

The earth is under the threat of a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits of the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped. 

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.

Amazon

Author Bios

John W. Howell began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the story, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. John’s fourth book, Circumstances of Childhood, is a fictionalized memoir and published in October 2017.  The latest, THE CONTRACT, is written in collaboration with award-winning author Gwen M. Plano. It launched in June 2018. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Gwendolyn M. Plano, aka Gwen M. Plano, grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. Recently retired, she now lives in the Midwest, where she enjoys writing and travel with her husband. Gwen’s first book is an award-winning memoir. Alternately heart-wrenching and joyful, Letting Go into Perfect Love is a powerful story of triumph over adversity. Gwen’s second book, THE CONTRACT between heaven and earth, is a thriller fiction novel, co-authored by acclaimed writer John W. Howell.

Social Media

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Authors db –http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell

LinkedIn –http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/

Google +https://plus.google.com/+JohnHowellAuthor/

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

 

#BadMoonRising: Cusp of Night by Mae Clair #supernatural #suspense

Today’s guest is no stranger to this blog.  I just hosted a cover reveal a few weeks ago for the new book in her Hode’s Hill series, End of Day, releasing in January – and it’s just as eerie and beautiful as Cusp of Night.  I read also Cusp of Night and it gave this horror fan wonderfully warm fuzzies.  Welcome, Mae Clair!

Teri, thanks so much for bringing Bad Moon Rising back again. I always enjoy following the posts and discovering new authors and books. It’s a pleasure to be here and I enjoyed answering your questions.

In the spirit of Halloween:

Have you ever played with a Ouija board?
When I was a kid, probably tween years or early teens. I remember being creeped out and intrigued at the same time. We stopped playing with it when it went to GOODBYE during one session. I don’t remember the question we asked. I do remember a friend’s parents being skeptics, so we all gathered at their table and just the parents used the board with the planchette. It took a while but the planchette did move and my friend’s parents grudgingly admitted there was something to it.

I had several of my characters use a Ouija board in A Cold Tomorrow, book two of my Point Pleasant series, but there’s no way I’d touch one today.

Are you superstitious?
Absolutely! Not about things like walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, or black cats. (I own a black cat named Raven). But I am superstitious about Ouija boards, haunted houses, and things I consider better left alone. At the same time, I love exploring old cemeteries…just not at night.

If you were paid to spend the night in a haunted house, would you do it?
No way! I won’t even go in a haunted house during the day with a group of people. Just my luck something would latch onto me and follow me home. Weird, because I had no qualms driving down a deserted road in the TNT to look for the Mothman. I guess you could say I have few reservations about urban legends, but the supernatural stuff freaks me out.

In the spirit of writing:

What is the hardest part of writing?
For me, it’s not about writing, but finding the time. I think most writers juggle that problem, trying to balance family life and in many cases, a full-time job. And don’t get me started on promo, LOL. It’s never ending. I do most of my writing on the weekend, carving out a huge chunk of hours on Sunday afternoon. I’ve worked that way for years and it’s been a good fit, although there are plenty of times I still end up chasing a deadline.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read. Honestly, it’s my favorite pastime. I constantly have my nose in a book, and if I’m not reading for pleasure, I’m reading for research. In the summer, I enjoy spending time by my pool (usually with a book). And as introverted as I am, if I’m out somewhere with music, I love to dance.

What are you working on now?
A supernatural mystery/suspense novel called Eventide. It’s book three of my Hode’s Hill series. Book two, End of Day, releases January 19th, and the first book, Cusp of Night, is what I’d like to share with your readers today. All three books feature dual timelines, one in the past and one in the present, with both stories coming together in the end. The past timeline for Cusp of Night is rooted in the Spiritualism movement of seances and table-tilting of the late 1800s. It was fascinating research.

BLURB for Cusp of Night:
Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.

Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house–a woman whose ghost may still linger.

Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to unearthing the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .

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