Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Gremlins, luck and opportunity ~ GUEST POST by SARINA , SWEETHEART author MEGAN CARNEY

Out from Under You

I call it my gremlin rule: never send email after midnight. I’ve learned the hard way that even though what I type during the witching hours makes sense to me, it’s better not to send it until I can read my words in the light of day.

I wasn’t thinking about my gremlin rule around midnight in 2013, when I discovered the ABNA for the first time. The manuscript was done, right? I mean, it had been done for months. Just a little tweak to the first sentence and… can you guess the ending? A few weeks later when I was working on the manuscript again (the one that was done, remember?) I noticed the first sentence of my submission had something terribly wrong.

“Navy payed out more rope as Sara took climbed another step on the waterfall of ice that clung to the forty-foot, irregular tan cliffs.”

I forgot to delete ‘took’ when I replaced it with ‘climbed.’ (Many readers trip over ‘payed’, and that’s been replaced too. Even though it’s actually correct.) 

It was not surprising that the manuscript fell out during the first round. If I read a first sentence like that, I probably would have thrown the manuscript out too. I’m sure one of the Amazon readers had a good laugh at my expense. 

I was so embarrassed that I almost didn’t enter Sarina, Sweetheart in the 2014 ABNA. I could always enter it next year, I told myself. The contest had been around since 2008; it wasn’t going anywhere. Luckily, I didn’t listen to the procrastinator in me. 2014 was the last year Amazon ran the contest. My manuscript made it as far as the quarterfinals. 

A cushy publishing contract would have been nice, but I did get a good review out of it. Plus some constructive feedback. And both of those things encouraged me to push a little further, into self-publishing. 

There are a lot of things I don’t love about self-publishing. Hiring editors, finding cover art, marketing, and puzzling out the eccentricities of ebook formatting are things I’d rather leave to a publisher. But what I do like is that my book that is out now, instead of eighteen months from now. I feel incredibly lucky that I got that last, one little push.
Out from Under You
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction
Her name is Sarina Wocek. Her breath is poison. She was not born out of love.
Twenty-three years ago, government officials traced the budding epidemic of hemorrhagic fever HF186-2A in south Florida to the Wocek family and their adorable six-week-old daughter, Sarina. Her father, Gregory, admitted his role in genetically engineering a biological weapon with pride. She was taken to a lab hidden in a rural area of New Hampshire. She hasn’t left since.
Her government keepers could cure her, but they won’t. Genetically engineering a child to be a weapon of mass destruction, that’s unethical. Refining a weapon of mass destruction that someone else created? That’s just being clever.
After twenty-three years of captivity, she escapes. She crosses an ocean to put her father and the lab behind her, but it’s not enough. When she sees the first bleeding sore, she knows she didn’t leave the virus behind either.
The only way she’ll be free is by destroying every trace of the lab. She only has one advantage; she doesn’t care if she makes it out alive.

Megan Carney is an author, geek and amateur photographer living in the Twin Cities. She has ten years of experience in the field of computer security. Her previous short story publications include: ‘Flighty Youth’ in the Raritan, ‘Modern Mayhem’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Swing By Close’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Directions’ in the Bell Tower. ‘Swing By Close’ and ‘Directions’ both won first prize in the fiction sections of that issue. The Christian Science Monitor dubbed her self-published photography book, ‘Signs of My Cities’ as having “youthful zest.”
Her non-literary creations include: a robot to clean the bathroom tub, Zim and Gir costumes, No-Dig tomato stakes, StickFriend the bear bag hanger, and a burning coal costume so she could be Katniss for a night.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, June 29, 2015

Unlikely Allies a Contemporary Romance



What happens when a single mom’s four-year-old daughter falls in love with Mr. Right and she doesn’t?
Maggie Tyson’s rule: no bad boys. Her incarcerated ex-husband broke her of that attraction. Needing to escape his threats and the scrutiny of the people in her hometown, Maggie relocates to New York City. Determined to not make the same mistakes, she has a mile-long list of dos and don’ts. Unfortunately, her daughter, Cecily, doesn’t like to follow them. When Cecily wanders away from her and right into Rick Stone’s office, Maggie knows he’s the exact type she’s been trying to avoid. Can she resist him or will she succumb to his willful charm?
Rick Stone’s rule: bed them don’t wed them. Running a multi-billion dollar business doesn’t leave him with much time to do anything else, particularly with an overbearing grandfather breathing down his neck. But when a man works hard, he needs to play even harder. Voted America’s most eligible bachelor, Rick doesn’t have any problems getting women into his bed—except one.
Two auburn beauties stumble into his life.
One will break his heart.
The other—heal it.
Will he love or leave them?
C.C. Koen writes contemporary romance with a twist. An avid reader who enjoys mystery and suspense, her stories will never be what you expect. Determined to find adventure in her dreams and life, she enjoys skydiving, sailing and any activity that challenges her. Teacher by day, romance writer at night produce an active imagination that comes to life in her writing.
Website: www.cckoen.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/authorcckoen @authorcckoen
Blog: www.authorcckoen.com     

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Author and retired Army vet. Scott Meehan

Scott A. Meehan is a retired Army officer teaching at a university.  Scott Meehan was born in Baltimore, Maryland and attended 12 schools, public and private, throughout the United States and South America.
For twenty-five years he served in the U.S. Army as both an enlisted soldier and commissioned officer. In 2005, he retired after serving a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm and two tours of duty in Iraq where he received a Bronze Star for his actions in 2003-2004.
Scott writes books and enjoy traveling. Married to  Trena for 32 years and has two grown children and one grandson. Find Scott Meehan in @

Stone in a Sling: A Soldier's Journey
STONE IN A SLING: A SOLDIER'S JOURNEY is the extraordinary story of a young man who enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1980 and retired as a Major in 2005. He shares his experiences as the son of a missionary jungle pilot who survived a Marxist terrorist plot in Bogota, Colombia and then four years later joins the US Army Special Forces. Then, he falls in love with an American teacher from Roanoke, Virginia while in the Amazon jungles of Ecuador and begins a family.

An unlikely set of experiences and people accompany him along the way - from living among the indigenous people in Latin America, to behind the wall in East Berlin, tangled in a game beyond his control with a Soviet KGB officer. He takes you from the joys and struggles of fatherhood, to gathering intelligence from Iraqi prisoners during Desert Storm. He forms relationships with the Iraqi people during two tours of Operation Iraqi Freedom, relationships that would lead to the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Out of a 25-year Army career, Meehan emerges victorious over his doubts, fears, and the hatred of his enemies. Ultimately, amidst the loyalty and freedom that accompany true love, he discovers remarkable truths and rekindles his faith in God.
Stone in a Sling: A Soldier's Journey

Saturday, June 27, 2015

FENG SHUI for WRITERS and an interview with author MC SIMON

Feng Shui For Writers book tour

Book Details

  • Title: Feng Shui For Writers
  • Series: How To Master Your Life
  • Author: M.C. Simon
  • Genre: Non-Fiction
  • Format: Paperback and Kindle
  • Length: 152 pages
  • Publication Date: June 16, 2015
  • Publisher: IML Publishing
  • Regular Price: $7.99 Kindle

Hello MCV, and hello to all your readers!

It’s an honor to be interviewed by you.


MCV: What is your book Feng Shui For Writers about?

MC: First, this book is the product of my love for all the writers. While being an engineer, one year ago I decided to begin writing. Not only to write as a hobby, but to do it so I can quit my job. I even drew a two-year plan for quitting. Now after one year… this book has officially been born. I poured all my heart into it. Suddenly finding myself into a new world, the writers’ world, I fell in love with it. Being an eternal student, I started researching this world and… a passion arose; the passion of helping writers fulfill their dreams.


And now here comes my book…


In many cases, to understand what something is, it is easier for us to start grasping what that thing isn’t. When I talk about Feng Shui, somehow I find it inappropriate to start with this; for the only reason that Feng Shui can be all things. It is a concept, a technique, an ancient art that finally stands behind everything; that is because all is energy and Feng Shui masters energies.


It approaches the architecture of the so-called Chi, the invisible force that populates the universe, earth and man altogether. Feng Shui is, in fact, an art of improving the quality of life through analysis of the person’s environment.


In our days, most of the people consider that Feng Shui is a fashion and a decorating art. In truth, it is not and will never be related to fashion; more than this, Feng Shui is a science, one of the most ancient sciences we know. It is about Chi in the living environment and it explains how to use this Chi to help with specific goals.


This book doesn’t intend to address the writer’s work or artistic skills but rather it addresses each writing category. We have to do this because what is harmony for a romantic novel writer is different than what is harmony for a journalist writer and for sure very different than for the writer writing for the horror domain.


To bring the Feng Shui technique into the writer’s life, it is not enough to only explain general principles and ideas; we have to dig deeper because the branches of writing are so numerous.


MCV: What inspired you to write this particular book?

MC: To make the explanation short, while I was working on a novel, I realized that my surroundings didn’t influence me as I wanted.


I suddenly noticed that the Chi flow around my desk and office was stagnant for what I needed to write. Instantly the cogwheels in my brain started working at a high-speed level, and a new creative idea was born… I have to Feng Shui my office, to let the Chi flow freely, to accurately boost my environment for this writing project. I did it… and for some time I wrote like never before; I almost couldn’t be stopped by any external influences.


But… after a while I realized something; I couldn’t keep this information only to myself. I had to share it with my fellow writers. Thus started the process I dubbed “the birth of my second first book”. Yes, like this I referred to my project through which the book “Feng Shui for Writers” was born. I called it “the birth” because even the smallest ideas we have, cross through a birth process before manifesting into this world. I called it “my second first book” because it is my first published book, but the second one to be implemented and emerge from the embryo phase.


And this book was born for YOU - the Writer!


MCV: Describe your writing in three words.

MC: “Writing between words” is probably the most accurate description.


MCV: What projects are you working on now?

MC: There are two books on my plate right now, and most likely they will be completed during the next NaNoWriMo camp that starts on 1st of July.

One of the books will reveal to the reader what is and how to use a Chi ball. The second book is an anthology of a few short stories based on the wondering process. Its title will be “Food for Soul”. I believe that wondering and contemplating brings a special fuel to our souls.


MCV: Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?

MC: Some time ago, an idea suddenly came to mind. The real power of transforming this world is in the writer’s hands. We all have a writer inside us. We all have a story that can bring light to humanity. If you wish to see a better world, if you wish to see happy people around you, maybe now is the time to start writing. I did it, and this was the best decision I’ve ever made.




Feng Shui For Writers How To Write Creatively Guide
FENG SHUI FOR WRITERS provides all the dots that you have to connect to control the flowing Chi for each writing category. What is harmony for a romantic novel writer is different from what is harmony for a journalist writer, and for sure very different than for the writer writing for the horror domain. To bring the Feng Shui technique into the writer's life, it is not enough to merely explain general principles and ideas; we have to dig deeper because the branches of writing are so numerous.

Find Out HOW TO:

  • Attract productivity, successful publishing and money using Feng Shui
  • Overcome writer's block with Feng Shui help
  • Organize your writing place to achieve your goals
  • Influence your writing life through colors
  • Use crystals for creative writing
  • Use lighting to Feng Shui your writing space
  • Choose the plants that will boost your creativity
  • Influence your "writer's zone" and the creative mind
  • Boost your children's creativity (yes… children are young writers also)
And much more.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon IN



Feng Shui For Writers Mentoring And Coaching
To understand what a writer's zone is, you must first experience the previous state called a writer's block. Then and only then will you understand how you can face it and how you can move to the writer's zone. This zone is exactly the opposite of a writer's block; it is the optimal phase in which a writer can find himself. It is the phase in which Chi flows freely on the writer's path, the creativity is boosted and the writing productivity reaches maximum level.
Having knowledge about both states, a writer's block and a writer's zone, you can save the wasted time between these two phases.
There are some elements that influence your entering into this zone.
  • One of these is your location. Depending on where you live, you must find a writing environment that boosts your writing mood. Find a place suitable for you that you feel relaxed in and totally prepared to let the words flow.
  • Take a walk in the park or the woods, go for a drive on a long unpopulated road. Don't forget to take the camera with you and take pictures that will help you relax the next time you need to enter into the writer's zone without having to walk again. A walk in a quiet and relaxing place is a good Feng Shui method to un-clutter your mind of stress.
  • Do some brainstorming for your future book; try to prepare a good plot for your novel. Do some research on the theme that you want to write about.
  • Avoid emails, other online temptations, phones and any other distractions that are blocking the Chi flow of your creativity and productivity.
  • Listen to some music and prepare a playlist with your favorite relaxing songs. Use this list until it becomes a habit that is helping you enter into the writer's zone.
  • Breathe! Yes, breathe. Fill your lungs with fresh air until they expand to the point where they touch, take a small pause then exhale slowly. Learn to breathe again, so the good Chi also enters your body.
  • Burn some incense and use aromatic lamps for fragrance.
  • Find a writing retreat in your area. Make it a part of your writing process. This will always get you into the zone. There are two kinds of retreats: solo retreats (suitable for writers who prefer solitude far away from any distractions including other writers) and group retreats (provides a chance for face to face group brainstorming). The best writing retreats are those that include both solo and group retreats. When you go to a writing retreat, be sure that you are applying the Feng Shui principles in that place also (you can even take a Bagua map with you).
  • If your mind feels unclear in ideas, use a yellow vase where you place orange flowers. This will boost the intensity of your writing and will give you the necessary clarity.
  • Don't forget to always include the water element in your space.
  • Avoid too many electronic devices in the moments when you write because they will drain your energy, and soon you'll have to face another writer's block.
  • Hang a wooden chime near you so its movement will activate any stagnant Chi.

Previously Published Excerpts

Who Is A Writer?
3 Things You Should Do Before Using Feng Shui

About the Author

Author MC Simon
Writer, translator, engineer, researcher, project manager, blogger, eternal student... these are only a few words to describe MC Simon.
She strongly believes that energy is ours to use freely, and we need only to open our hearts to regain the lost perception of our true powers. She thinks that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. For this reason, M.C. Simon has never hunted the information but rather waited for the right moment when she would be ready for the information to find her. In the same way, she knows that when someone needs her, the Universe will proceed in such a way that the meeting will take place.

Contact The Author

Amazon Author Page
Facebook Fan Page


Giving away a copy of "Feng Shui For Writers" E-book to 10 lucky winners. :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 26, 2015

Unleashed by Liz Coley

The Defiance

(Tor Maddox #1)
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
When sixteen-year old Torrance Olivia Maddox, self-confessed news junkie, figures out that the mysterious and deadly New Flu is being spread by dogs, she has one question—if the danger is that obvious to her, why hasn’t the government revealed the truth and taken action?
Her search for the answer will take her farther than she ever imagined. But then again, she never imagined that man’s best friend could become public enemy number one, that men in black might show up in her cozy suburban neighborhood, that she’d spend her sixteenth birthday as a teenaged runaway, and that her effort to save one dog would become a mission to save them all.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

UNTIL IT DOESN'T a Romantic Comedy by Zoë Marshall


glitterbase (9)

Bailey Swanson is relentlessly addicted to ice cream, hates jeans - yet thinks leggings are basically just colored sausage casings - and would be completely lost without her best friend Mark. He’s the only one that gets her, and sees through her difficult-to-love exterior. 

Mark has known Bailey since they were both children. As her manager, he handles her failing acting career and is always there for her. As her friend, he's held her hand through her most recent break up, all the while wondering if she'll ever be whole again. 

But Bailey is a disaster when it comes to romance — and while she’s trying to move on from her cheating ex, she can’t drown her sorrows forever in Ben & Jerry’s. She knows she has to get past this eventually... right? Unless a happily ever after just isn't in the cards for her, in which case her plan to swear off all relationships forever is a good one. 

Or maybe the answer is right in front of her face. Things aren't always as they seem when it comes to the heart. That fickle little thing tends to get the best of all of us at one point or another...

glitterbase (4)

“I feel better,” he says as he gets up from the swing and stands facing me. He’s standing so close, it feels like something has shifted, as if the balance has been tipped slightly in an unexpected direction. Wait a second. What am I even thinking? This is Mark, for Christ’s sake.

I take a step back and let out a deep breath. The smell of the flowers surrounding us washes over me and I feel a weight lifted. “So, where does that leave you guys? Are you going to try to be friends?”

He looks up at the sky. “We’ll never be friends. I don’t think any exes ever are. There’s always something there, lying in wait. It can be disguised, but never destroyed. You can pile as much shit on top of it as you want, but in the end, it’s always there.”

I smile at Mark. “I’m proud of you, kid.”

He rolls his eyes and replies. “Who do you think you’re calling ‘kid’? I’m four months older than you are. You’re the kid.”

“Ok then. I’m proud of you, old man.” 

He laughs and walks over to me, then gives me a playful punch on the arm. “Well, I’m proud of you too, jerk.”

We spend the next few minutes standing next to each other in silence, staring at the few visible stars. That’s something I love about Mark. We can be silent together. No matter how crazy fast the world is spinning, we can always just stand still. Together.


glitterbase (1)

authorZoë was born in Santa Rosa, California, but spent the majority of her "growing up" years in San Francisco. After high school, she attended University of California, Santa Cruz, where she graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Business Management Economics and Accounting. She tried the corporate thing, working at two of the Big Four accounting firms, but cubicles just weren't her thing.

 She's currently living the ultimate cliche- an aspiring writer working two jobs, one as a server and one as a bartender. She's living in San Ramon, California, spending her limited free time reading and writing. Her biggest vices are pizza and ice cream, which is why she lives in yoga pants and leggings. And she thoroughly believes jeans were invented by the devil.

glitterbase (2)


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Celtic Sister by Meira Penterman

Captionless Image
Celtic Sister is a tender portrayal of a woman propelled on the journey of her life - both literally and spiritually. Told with a compelling mix of realism and humor, the sensitive issues of marital abuse and alcoholism are woven into an unsolved mystery. The result is a meaningful tale of courage and love.
A man looking for his sister meets a woman running from her past. A notebook filled with cryptic clues leads them on an unexpected adventure. 

Meira PentermannOn slow, snowy days in her Colorado home, Meira Pentermann enjoys cozying up on the couch with a novel. Naturally, snow is not a requirement; neither is the couch. In fact, she sees no reason not to indulge in reading three-hundred-and-sixty-five days a year. Dystopian science fiction, mysteries, and young adult titles top her Kindle list, but legal thrillers and chik-lit make an appearance now and then.

When not absorbed in writing or reading, Meira enjoys life's little moments with her family - the love and devotion of her black lab, the quiet wisdom of her artistic twenty-five-year-old, the trials and triumphs of her petite ninth grader, and the unlimited encouragement offered by her Dutch husband.

Meira strives to write stories that deliver the unexpected. She prefers down-to-earth characters that look and behave like regular folks. The prom queen and Adonis take a backseat to reclusive, soul-searching heroines and quirky, introverted gentlemen.

Celtic Sister
Firefly BeachCeltic SisterNine-Tenths (English)Sarah and the Magic Mayonnaise Jar

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

TAMING the TIDA by Eslynne Smith

Welcome to the tour of Taming the Tida by Eslynne Smith.  The full tour schedule can be seen at http://www.elitebookpromotions.com/book-tours/.

In 2014 the nation was in crisis. Partisan politics were the rule of the day, stifling and sabotaging meaningful change in Washington. Americans were desperate for someone—anyone—to offer them hope, to show them there was indeed a light at the end of the tunnel.
That hope came in the form of Sharmin Smith, a contestant on the breakthrough reality show Who Wants to Be President? Designed to increase voter participation and heal a deeply divided nation, Who Wants to Be President? pitted contestants against each other in speeches on America’s most pressing issues, from abortion and health care to immigration and the economy.
Smith, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, caught the country’s attention, delivering her unusual, groundbreaking opinions with two service dogs by her side. She gave a nation hope, and in return, Americans gave her their trust.
The first book of the Change the World trilogy, Taming the Tida gives hope to those tired of contemporary political gridlock and looks to a brighter tomorrow.

Eslynne Smith is the Author of Taming the Tida, a fictional story about politics, religion and a Reality TV show. Eslynne was born in a naval hospital in Newport, RI just after the Navy’s 200th birthday. She has been following politics ever since her mother told her she was related to James K. Polk, the 11th President of The United States of America. She comes from a long line of military spouses and has been an enlisted spouse, a commissioned spouse and she is currently a retired spouse as her husband recently retired after 22 years of naval service.
She has held professional positions for over 20 years in the financial services industry, including the “Big 3”. She began by working in the accounting department for a computer company before she moved into auto finance and finally on to the mortgage industry. She obtained her Direct Endorsement from FHA to underwrite government loans in 2005 just before Hurricane Katrina hit. She held training and leadership roles where she did everything from write policies and procedures for default and collections to manage underwriting and repurchase teams during the recent mortgage crisis.

Eslynne was diagnosed with PTSD in the summer of 2008 from traumatic childhood events.  After years of multiple therapy techniques she accepted the advice of a trusted therapist and stepped away from her professional life to focus on her personal life. It was during this time that she embraced writing for pleasure and decided to undertake the Great American Novel. 
“There’s a meme out there stating that people who cuss are actually more trustworthy. If that’s true, then I’m the most trustworthy fucker you’ll ever meet in politics.” The announcer slides his arm around her shoulder as they both laugh at the remarks. He looks at her and their eyes meet for an uncomfortable moment. She slides out from under his arm and squares her shoulders.
“You look amazing tonight.”  He breathes.
Sharmin rolls her eyes and drops a little accent as she responds “Thank you, I clean up alright.  It helps when you have a team of pros that knows what they’re doing. I don’t even recognize myself.  It’s so itchy.  I can’t wait to get it off.”
“It’s a good look on you, you should do this more often.”  He smiles and tries to be charming.
Sharmin smirks at him and nods her head “I’ll keep that in mind.”
He continues “One question please. If you are elected as President, do you want to be called Madam or Mrs.?”
Sharmin looks him in the eyes and said “Ms. please, I’m not marrying it. It’s a title I won’t just have to earn it, I’ll have to prove I deserve it. Not as a Madam running a whore house, but as the President running our White House.” then she walks away, leaving him to stare after her as she walks out on stage.

GIVEAWAY: There is a giveaway for this tour. The author is giving away an e-book. All you have to do is follow me on Instagram (@iammolashae), Pinterest (@iammolashae) or Twitter (@MLSexton). Once you’ve done so, email me at moniquasexton@me.com with your handle and which social media outlet you followed me on. Plain and simple. The deadline is June 26.

Novel Publicity DARK INNOCENCE

June 22 – 27!

NEWWe’re looking for a few good hosts to help announce the sale of a moving fantasy novel and the release of its sequel. Sign up to host your choice of a guest post, interview, or excerpt–we have lots to choose from.
Prizes include:
  • $25 gift card to one random bloggers as a thank you for hosting
  • 2 autographed books via Rafflecopter
  • 2 special swag T-shirts via Rafflecopter
  • A special surprise giveaway that will be revealed the week of the event
Of course, as a host for this event, you are also welcome to review copies of one or both books, so you can find out for yourself why readers are comparing the Star-Seers’ Prophecy to the works of J. R. R. Tolkien and Ursula K. Le Guin.
To sign up, just complete the form below. That’s all you have to do. We’ll send out the tour information, posts, and giveaways on Saturday, June 20.
Thank you for volunteering to host this event. You should receive an email confirmation shortly.

Walter Rhein A character Interview fromhis short story in Heroika: The Dragon Eaters

Character Interview

*Who are you?

I am Aquila of Oyos, the all-king, the scourge of man. This world is mine and the creatures that scuttle and crawl across the charred surface do so at my indulgence. I will bear no slight, not from a dragon, and certainly not from a man. The immortal law is that the ancient wyrms must not slaughter one another, but I know well that the laws, even the most ancient laws, were only ever meant as binding to the lesser creatures.

Where are you from?

This is a young world, still hot from creation. Rivers of liquid stone pool into glorious and glowing molten ponds. When I stretch my wings and fly, the night air is hot beneath my wings. The heavier elements bubble to the surface, and can be taken in claw and set upon the topmost peaks where they cool into a bed almost worthy of my repose.

*Tell us about dragons in your world.

We are the dominant creatures. It is a dragon world and I am the king. All other life is there only for my sustenance or entertainment.

What is the best way to kill a dragon?

Ahhh, that’s the secret isn’t it? Do you think I am so foolish that I would reveal such a thing here? That, the most revered knowledge of our species. My official answer is that there is no way to kill a dragon. We are immortal, we are all-powerful, we are gods. That having been said, I do know a few tricks which have proven useful when my brothers and sisters have overstepped their position.

Where do dragons come from?

Dragons pre-date the universe. We are the fragments of the first creator that took nothing and forged it by force of will into creation. In the resulting explosion of that first magnificent, defiant act of creation, the dragon form was instilled into the very fabric of reality. We are the mirror image of immortality, dominance and perfection. The darkness of the night is our eternal shadow, the glimmer of the stars is the reflection of our collective, beating hearts.

Author questions (choose from):

*Who are you?

I am Walter Rhein, the author of the fantasy novels “The Reader of Acheron,” and “The Bone Sword.” I’m also the author of a humorous travel memoir about cross-country ski racing titled “Beyond Birkie Fever.” I am published with Perseid and Harren Press and maintain a blog at HeroicFantasyWriters.com as well as operate the accompanying Facebook Group. I have a book coming out in a few months about 10 years spent living in Peru, and can be reached at: walterrhein@gmail.com.

How do you define a hero?

A hero is a criminal with a good public relations team.

Heroika: The Dragon Eaters is a dark heroic fantasy - how do you define that genre?

How much research did you need for your story?

Have you written for anthologies before? How does it differ from writing a novel?

Heroika is a little different because it’s not quite a shared world anthology, although there were a set of very general ground rules to follow. I was in the middle of writing the sequel to “The Reader of Acheron” when this anthology opportunity came up. At first I wasn’t going to participate because I was so busy with “Reader 2,” but I found myself daydreaming about the project and stumbled upon an idea. It was really relaxing to take a break from the larger thematic arcs of the novel I was working on and just crank out a self-contained story. I’m glad that Janet liked it and included it in Heroika.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I used to be a pantser but I’m moving more and more towards being a plotter. It’s good to have a general idea where you want to go in a story, but your chapters have to also have that spontaneous feel. There always have to be room for movement in case your characters decide to take you places you hadn’t anticipated. That should happen because it means you’re being true to how you’ve defined your characters (when that starts happening, the books write themselves). Sometimes it can be a bit unruly to end a novel the way you anticipated, but if you can’t find a solution it might mean that the ending you hoped for isn’t within the make up of your protagonists.

How important is the fantasy genre to our society?

I think it’s very important because you can get away with so much. Fantasy also allows you to make social comments that would be dangerous if you tried to say them in other genres. I’m actually a strong believer that fantasy is the dominant genre of literature. People don’t realize how many of the greatest works of literature can actually be labelled as fantasy (I could apply the label to just about anything). 


Aquila of Oyos contains some characters with names that might be familiar from Greek and Roman mythology. That’s not an accident.

Walter Rhein was born in Wisconsin, but moved to Lima, Peru in his twenties. There, he supported himself by writing, teaching, translating and editing. He currently splits his time between Wisconsin and Peru.

Author Links


Book One of the Slaves of Erafor series: Reading is forbidden, and the penalty for non-compliance is a life of slavery enabled by the forcible administration of a mind rotting drug. Yet, there are those possessed of the will to seek illumination. Kikkan, a former slave on the run, and Quillion, a mercenary and self-taught scholar. Together they seek out a small band of rebels living in hiding who offer the promise of a better world. Their leader is a mysterious figure known only as The Reader of Acheron.


Cross-country skiers are hearty folk. The compulsion to race marathon-length distances in subfreezing conditions requires an eternally optimistic and fiercely independent spirit. The fear of blinding snow or paralyzing cold does not deter them, and it has been said that skiers do not merely laugh at adversity; they are completely oblivious to its existence. America's greatest cross-country ski race is the American Birkebeiner or "Birkie" for short. Every year, thousands of people journey from all over the globe to Hayward, Wisconsin, for a world-class celebration of life, winter, and the competitive spirit. Prior to the race, local participants find themselves in the throes of a unique and natural euphoria. They thrill at the prospect of participating shoulder to shoulder with elite international competitors in a wild race through the great Northwoods wilderness. Beyond Birkie Fever is the story of how America's magnificent cross-country ski marathon can expand your horizons and be the gateway to experiences beyond anything you'd ever hoped to imagine!
Nine tales of heroic fantasy by some of the most exciting authors working today. Stories include: Black Sword by Janet Morris and Chris Morris The Act of Sleepless Nights by Walter Rhein To Kill a Myth by Jesse Duckworth No Life Too Small by Douglas R. Brown To Live by Tom Barczak Dozen by Shane Porteous Just One Mistake by A.L. Butcher Witness to Death by Teel James Glenn Through the Sting of Fairy Smoke by R.A. McCandless
Deserter on the Run Malik emerges from the swamps of Plaiden seeking only shelter, food, and the time necessary to take the chill from his bones. But after a barroom brawl lands him in trouble with the local authorities, he flees to the mountains with two orphaned children who have the power to heal.

Pursued by the vicious Father Ivory and his Nightshades, Malik and his charges become the center of a grassroots movement that quickly blossoms into a full-fledged revolution. Their problems are compounded when news of their exploits draws the attention of Malik’s former Captain, a swordsman of legendary prowess who will not stop until Malik and his followers are dead.

As the final battle approaches, Malik must face both his inner demons and his former master in a duel that will determine the fate of the free people of Miscony. 

"Heroika 1: Dragon Eaters is an anthology [...] spanning across cultures, centuries, and even the dimensions of time and space, each contribution has its own distinct charm. In essence, this book is a colorful bouquet of bold stories about one of the darkest primal forces in mythological lore. [...] The collection begins with The First Dragon Eater by Janet Morris and Chris Morris, which reads like a classic saga of the Gods form Greek mythology. Having lost his heart and eyes to the dragon Illuyankas long ago, the Storm God Tarhunt capitalizes on the vulnerability and hubris of his own children to get his organs back, and in turn he sets out for revenge on the winged beast who almost killed him.
In the Legacy of the Great Dragon by S.E. Lindberg, readers will discover another use for the dragons in getting one's sight back, but here we cross the fine line between man and god, and see how the twisted significance of the word "legacy" can define both.
Writers Janet Morris and Chris Morris join forces again for Bring Your Rage. But this tome is less about the gods as in their previous entry and more about how raw barbarism can be played out in a poetic quest to slay a dragon and define the true meaning of a hero.
Aquila of Oyos by Walter Rhein is an emotional twist of honor and subservience between two dragons facing each other in a man's world. Just as complex but from a different perspective, The Wyght Wyrm by Cas Peace is an intricate story of dragon magic and the cruelty of man when it is harnessed for war.
Though the ending of the next story was surprising yet thought provoking, The Old Man on a Mountain by Jack William Finley is a fulfilling adventure of one man's quest for revenge and a dragon's acceptance of fate. Of Blood and Scales by A.L Butcher is a story of lies and deceit behind a girl's long journey to the throne while Night Stalkers by Travis Ludvigson is a tale of a man's loyal dedication to serve his Lord, the ruler Charlemagne.
Forged by Tom Barczak is a fairytale adventure with good versus evil, eventually allowing readers to discover the hidden magic of dragons that lies in the soul of a young girl and how "love" works its magic in unexpected ways. And The Rhyme of the Dragon Queen by JP Wilder is another enchanted story following a rhythmic song with prophetic implications and the colorful cast of characters who try to avoid its dark predictions.
Joe Bonadonna's ability to draw on all five senses of the observant reader gives the story The Dragon's Horde a dimension often left to the device of the characters. What this does is let the story of battling mythological creatures unfold with just enough realism to allow the tightly developed characters to act naturally on the stage of such an epic adventure.
Wawindaji Joka (The Dragon Hunters) by Milton Davis is a unique story where the dragon hunters might be as precarious as the dragons they hunt. Just as innovative, M. Harold Page brings a rare Steampunk version of dragon lore in Against the Sky Tomb of the Earth Kings where the battle is taken high into the clouds. Red Rain by William Hiles gives readers a fast paced Civil War perspective in the battling dragons. If the War-Between-the-States can pit brother against brother, what will happen when the mythical creatures are thrown into the mix?
In La Bétaille by Beth W. Patterson, the dragon fight is taken to Cajun country in the south. Yet in Bruce Durham's tense story Arctic Rage, readers find themselves in a frosty post-nuclear apocalypse Inuit setting where the hunter and the hunted play dual roles.
"[...]  In what first looks to be the near future and some hard charging marines, we are surprisingly taking way back in time where the modern fight emerges as a bit prehistoric in Sic Semper Draconis
 by Mark Finn." -- Ricky L. Brown in Amazing Stories Magazine

Monday, June 22, 2015

GUEST POST ~ Identifying With A Race Is Different Than Being Part Of It by Loukia Borrell

The controversy over former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal, the new media “it” girl who has gripped headlines all week, is dying down as other, more important news stories take her place. The nation’s obsession over Dolezal, who stepped aside from her NAACP role in Spokane amid a whirlwind of media and public scrutiny, will likely linger, but it shouldn’t be about why a biologically white woman is going around telling people she is more black than white. The issue with Dolezal is that she misrepresented herself. She claimed to have black heritage, but her white parents and others have said Dolezal is not a black woman. She insisted to Matt Lauer on the “Today” show that she identifies with blacks and, since that interview, has boldly continued to move as far away as possible from portraying herself as a white woman, even though old pictures of her reveal a blonde girl with alabaster skin.

Racial and gender lines, in today’s society, have become so blurred that it is difficult to define a norm.   We can look all around society and see people who are crossing over into different arenas, wearing their hair, dressing or acting in ways that are from cultures or ethnic groups different than their own. There’s Caitlyn Jenner’s recent transformation from Bruce Jenner into a woman, complete with a come-hither Vanity Fair cover and television coverage as heavy-duty as her makeup. Years ago, before Barack Obama ran for president, Michelle Obama wore her hair in its natural kinky style. Today, she prefers the straight, sleek look. Then, there’s the late Michael Jackson, who went to extraordinary lengths to appear less black as he became more famous. And it can be argued that Madonna, who is nowhere near being a natural blonde, wants to distance herself from her Italian heritage by continuing to dye her hair.

All of those people, along with the ones who live privately, have a right to live their lives, dress their bodies, and find common ground in whichever ethnic, cultural or gender group they feel most comfortable. If Dolezal feels more closely connected to the black community spiritually and emotionally, let her. Just don’t tell people you are black. You feel black. You like black people. That doesn’t make you a black woman.

One of the questions I asked myself prior to publishing my first novel, Raping Aphrodite, was whether I was “Greek enough,” to write the historical novel. The book centers around the July and August 1974 invasion and division of Cyprus by Turkey. At that time, I was an 11-year-old spending my summer in Virginia Beach, playing in our neighborhood, safely away from the crisis, while my relatives in Cyprus were running for their lives. Some, including my maternal grandparents, didn’t make it. Those who did became refugees. As I got older, I began to think more about my family in Cyprus, the island and its deep, rich history. My history. Eventually, I matured to a point where I could write a book based on one of the darkest summers in the island’s 10,000-year history.  I was born in the United States but the blood in my veins is 100 percent Cypriot. My parents, their parents and on back to the mid-1800s, were all from small villages in North Cyprus that were inhabited by Greek farmers and shepherds. I haven’t been able to trace back to the 1700s, but it would be highly unlikely that we have a rogue relative from Norway or South America. As time has marched on, I have decided that I would have to be dead not to feel the pull Cyprus has on me. I was born and raised in America, but I also strongly identify with Cyprus and my Cypriot heritage.

Having said all that, I also have to be careful. I am an Americanized version of my Cypriot relatives. I look like them, but as soon as I appear and open my mouth, they can see and hear the American in me – from the way I dress to how I pronounce my Greek. I have to make sure I don’t pass myself off as a native. I don’t tell people I lived there (I haven’t) or that I experienced the 1974 invasion (I didn’t) or that I know my way around the island (I don’t). But that doesn’t stop me from feeling the connection. The island is where all my roots are. I just have to keep it real.


Loukia Borrell is a former journalist and the author of two books, Raping Aphrodite and Delicate Secrets. Both books are available on Amazon and BN.com. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their three children.