Thursday, July 30, 2015

THE TORRENT by Simone Pond

THE TORRENT
by Simone Pond, award-winning author of young adult dystopian fiction.

Grace has survived Chief Morray’s attempt to keep her trapped inside the mainframe, but at a terrible cost: leaving her mother behind. Giving up training at the academy in order to wait for Ava’s return. Grace wants to do the right thing, but it’s never that simple. While Ava struggles against Morray in the virtual reality, Grace is left alone in the real world to fight her own battles. There’s a new corrupt authority figure. A regional council to sway. A war to stop. And a promise to keep to a precious young soul. How can Grace save everyone, including herself? The Torrent is the final book in the New Agenda Series.

~Buy it on Amazon.

GUEST POST
In my dystopian book series, the elite class has annihilated modern society in order to manufacture a new world in a highly modernized and controlled environment. THE TORRENT is the fourth and final book in the New Agenda series. The story continues following the main character, Ava, as she fights against her enemy Chief Morray. He wants to keep society locked away, but Ava refuses to let him win. Below is an excerpt from THE TORRENT.

EXCERPT
Ava loved classic films from the twentieth century. The art form had died centuries ago with the Repatterning, but when she lived inside the Los Angeles City Center, she’d get films off the dark market. It was worth the risk of getting caught for breaking Morray’s strict rules. After the walls came down, she made sure to instill classic films back into culture—one of her smaller, but more satisfying, contributions when she worked on the council. She didn’t like the city, but she enjoyed taking her daughter to see a movie once or twice a month in New Los Angeles. That was before Grace turned into a teenager, when hanging out with her mother was still fun. When the theater lights would lower and the screen filled up with endless possibilities of new adventures, Grace’s eyes would dance. She missed their special bonding moments. She missed everything about Grace.

“That was a good one.” Morray’s voice broke into her thoughts.

“What?”

“Barefoot in the Park.”

“Mm hmm. Always loved watching characters overcome their greatest obstacles within a two-hour time frame. Gave me such hope.”

“I was obsessed with the classics when I was younger. Audrey Hepburn was my dream girl,” he said.

“Roman Holiday is my favorite!” Ava’s enthusiasm shocked her, but she was happy to finally talk about something they could agree upon.

Morray stared at Ava, a longing in his eyes. “After the Repatterning things changed. I didn’t have time for movies.”

“Hard to find time when you’re destroying the world, huh?”

“That’s simply not true.”

“Your denial is astounding . . .”

“You saw my archives. I didn’t destroy anything. Why do you continue to badger me?”

“Back off.” She shoved him away and took a step back.

He moved in closer and poked the top of her head. “I know you’re an obstinate one, but for once, I’d like you to get this straight: I never wanted to annihilate anything. That was my father’s master plan. He and his bastard elites were the ones who implemented the Repatterning and the New Agenda. I wanted to fix what he broke.”

“You could’ve stopped it, Morray. Locked up the elites and let them die off instead of doling out life extensions.”

“I didn’t have a choice.” His voice turned sharp. “The elites held Phoenix over my head.”

“But Phoenix died so early on. You could’ve ended it then.”

“You think just because he died they wouldn’t go after his family, his bloodline? I had to protect them. Who knows, your precious Joseph might be of his decent.”

Ava didn’t want to think about her husband possibly having traces of Morray’s genes. “Okay, I guess your effort to protect the Outsiders was a noble cause. But there was still Ret-Hav––your glorious retirement package that included experiments on anyone who no longer fit into your system.”

“Yes, I admit, I got carried away with that one. But my intentions were always to advance society. To make things better.”

“By destroying life.”

He rubbed his temples. “I rebuilt a new society. And with Dickson’s assistance, we created new life. I didn’t take it. We’ve been over this enough. Will you please let it go?”

Anger roared in Ava’s ears as she remembered the irrevocable acts against thousands of innocent city center residents. He was asking her to let it go? She wanted to pummel Morray to the ground. “Never.” She sneered.

ABOUT SIMONE
Simone Pond is an award-winning author of dystopian fiction. Her current series includes The City Center, The New Agenda, The Mainframe, and The Torrent. She also has a short story series called Voices of the Apocalypse.

She grew up in Kensington, Maryland - a small town just outside of Washington D.C. As a young girl, she loved writing in her journal and making up stories, but after reading S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, everything changed. Amazed that a woman could write so convincingly from a teenage boy's perspective, Pond became determined to become a writer as well.

Pond currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their Boston Terrier.

Find her online:

-website
-Goodreads
-Twitter @SimonePond
-Facebook
-Instagram
-Mailing list

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-Kit ‘N Kabookle posts on Twitter @desantismt. Tag me for retweets.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Demon Road by Derek Landy

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week’s eagerly awaited release is…

DEMON ROAD
by Derek Landy

Release date: August 28, 2015

Goodreads Summary
Full of Landy’s trademark wit, action and razor sharp dialogue, DEMON ROAD kicks off with a shocking opener and never lets up the pace in an epic road-trip across the supernatural landscape of America. Killer cars, vampires, undead serial killers: they’re all here. And the demons? Well, that’s where Amber comes in...Sixteen years old, smart and spirited, she’s just a normal American teenager until the lies are torn away and the demons reveal themselves.

Forced to go on the run, she hurtles from one threat to another, revealing a tapestry of terror woven into the very fabric of her life. Her only chance rests with her fellow travellers, who are not at all what they appear to be…

Why?
Derek wrote Skullduggery Pleasant. Skullduggery Pleasant is my favorite series ever. Derek also wrote this.

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-Kit ‘N Kabookle posts on Twitter @desantismt. Tag me for retweets.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Nerd Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s list is…characters that are book nerds.

Here’s my top ten in no particular order.

1. Matilda

One cannot discuss book nerd characters without mentioning Matilda. The girl developed magic powers from reading so much. If only…the things I’d be able to do. *sigh*

2. Diana Bishop from A Discovery of Wishes

Admitedly, this wasn’t my favorite book ever, but our leading lady works in a library that has hidden magical books. Yes, please.

3. Katie from the Lux trilogy

She’s a book blogger. Enough said.

4. Belle

Okay, so I’m cheating a little. She’s from a movie, not a book. But she’s Belle, the quintacential Disney princess who reads. She’s also my result whenever I take a “which Disney princess are you” quiz. Go figure.

5. Thursday Next

She’s a literature detective. Why can’t I have that job?

6. Kathleen Kelly

Again, it’s a movie, but this movie is so fun. Plus, Kathleen owns an independent bookstore. More power to independent bookstores.

7. China Sorrows from Skullduggery Pleasant

China is a wonderful character. Aside from owning a bookstore full of ancient, magical, and rare books, she’s the most beautiful woman in the world, which has a hilarious effect on men and the plot.

8. Gordon Edgely from Skullduggery Pleasant

Gordon Edgely is a writer who is dead for most of this series. Despite this, he manages to play a part (read it and see). I make note of him because a. he’s funny, and b. he writes dark fantasy/horror, Fun stuff.

9. Hermione Granger

I couldn’t end this list without mentioning everyone’s favorite book-reading witch. Hermione practically lives in the library. She’s a book nerd if I’ve ever read about one.

10. Jo March from Little Women

And finally, a classic “book nerd.” Not only is Jo a writer. She’s a writer before her time who believes in writing what she wants, rather than what’s popular. I applaud her for doing so.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

OF GODS AND MADNESS by Justin D. Herd

OF GODS AND MADNESS: THE FAITHFUL
by Justin D. Herd

The right hand of the dominant mob family, Raine Morgan is tasked with hunting down two miscreants messing with the bottom line. He finds them on the docks, but, in the confusion of the fight, accidentally kills their victim and lets them escape. Horrified at what he's done, Raine seeks redemption as well as revenge.

Things spiral out of control when a greedy middleman overthrows Raine's mob organization. It's only with the help of a friend inside the crumbling mob as well as a streetwise artist that Raine remains undetected as he searches for the men who started this all. Raine doesn’t realize, however, he has caught the attention of a disparate conclave of gods in the process.

As the pantheon returns to the city they'd abandoned, old conflicts re-emerge, causing divine civil war. Both sides try to pull Raine to their side, expecting to find a naive god for them to manipulate. Instead, they find a man stripped of everything, intent on playing both sides as they learn an awful reality - even gods can die.

EXCERPT
Turrell planted his hand on the table as he leaned in, allowing Raine to fully inspect every flaw in his wretched face. His features had been rearranged multiple times and looked all the better for it. His ragged beard helped hide this from a distance. He smiled, a grin of shattered teeth, and let out a deep breath, wafting over Raine like broth bubbling from a cauldron. “Take a big whiff.”

Raine made a big production of inhaling deeply. Not bad actually, a familiar mixture of hard liquor and tobacco. His breath probably smelled similar at this point in the night. “You should really go see a doctor, Turrell.”

“Why's that?”

Raine drove the glass into Turrell's hand, twisted.

The room fell silent as his scream hit the air.

Raine pivoted back, planting his foot on Turrell's chest and shoving with all his might. Turrell's hand shredded as the glass ripped through the flesh. He hit the floor.

Jaiden swung with his left; Raine raised his arm, deflected the blow. He pressed forward as Jaiden attacked again. Raine ducked under, throwing his whole weight into Jaiden's body. Jaiden slipped past as Raine toppled over Turrell. A whimper accompanied the contact as Turrell cradled his hand.

Raine hit the ground, scrambled to his feet, rebounded off a table. He spun on his heel, avoided Jaiden's fist, returned with one of his own. It connected with his jaw. Jaiden crumpled.

~Buy OF GODS AND MADNESS:

-Amazon
-B&N
-Smashwords
-iTunes
-Google Play
-Kobo
-Create Space

AN INTERVIEW WITH JUSTIN
-What inspired you to become a writer?

I wish I had something a little more inspiring, but honestly I cannot remember. It’s just been something I’ve been doing for years, something I even did as a child once I discovered my love of reading horror. I can tell you my first stories were published on KidPub.org, though they’ve lost anything from the six years I was on there. I also regularly spent time on KidMUD and FoxFire, if I remember correctly, and spent hours describing rooms, everything from the way the door creaked when someone entered the room to hidden passages. I think from that moment on is when I knew I’d be a fantasy writer.

-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?

That’s a tough one. Sandhyanen is not a very hospitable place – but I think I’d go traipsing around the old temples of the gods. Most had either been abandoned or repurposed, so it’d be like going along Route 66 or something like that. It might be a bit hard to infiltrate Na Creidmhigh, the local mob family, but at least I’d die trying.

-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.

I used 1800s and older maps of Boston to help give me a working map for my city. It doesn’t follow it topographically, but more as a construct to adapt. But I found out that Boston was originally more of an island that got filled out with landfills as time went on. What that allowed for me, in using those maps, is to plot out a course for the future stories in Sandhyanen where the effects of the last half of Of Gods and Madness: The Faithful help forever alter the landscape.

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

That’s a tough one. I think Raine would give me a good view of the town, though he tends to prefer dive bars. He’d be able to trade on his reputation alone, even if he hated himself the entire time. Theon, on the other hand, would be fun to go out with in a group, to see who he messed with and took advantage of, but I wouldn’t want to be out with him alone because I would be his obvious target.

-If you could go back in time and give your pre-published self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Trust your gut. Don’t slice and dice in an effort to be more PC. Instead, write what fits the story, what fits the characters. That would’ve saved me possibly three years off the development of the book.

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

Honestly, I think it’d be slice-of-life literary. For some reason, cars and general every day life doesn’t sit well with me. I feel uncomfortable putting it on the page, as if I’m going to miss some small facet that will make everyone realize I’m really faking it all.

ABOUT JUSTIN

Justin D. Herd is a Fantasy Noir author, who has been writing novels for ten years. He absolutely loves dark, twisted stories that take readers into unexpected places. Horror movies are his passion and he often takes stories to task for not logically thinking out their concepts. His home has been invaded by three eccentric cats, one of which is obsessed with all things digital. He is married with two children.

Find him online:

-website
-Facebook
-Twitter @justindherd
-Patreon
-Amazon

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Hey, readers,

Join me in thanking Justin for an awesome interview!

Follow the rest of the tour

And enter the giveaway.

Justin D. Herd will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, July 24, 2015

INK by Glenn Benest and Dale Pitman

INK
by Glenn Benest and Dale Pitman

His studio has become his refuge and his prison - a place of boundless imagination and lonely isolation. Brian Archer, creator of a series of successful graphic novels about a vengeful supernatural being called “The Highwayman,” has become a recluse after the adoration of a female fan turned to rage and violence.

But all that changes when he meets a renowned and beautiful illustrator, A.J. Hart, who carries emotional scars of her own. Their work together is fueled by the unrequited passion they share and a mysterious bottle of black ink that arrives one day at Brian’s doorstep.

The impossibly dark liquid has mystical properties, making their characters appear so real they eventually come to life, reigning terror on those who mean them harm and if not stopped—threatens to unleash an apocalypse on all mankind. Brian must break free of his self-imposed exile and solve the mystery that

~Buy INK on Amazon or at the book’s website.

~Add it on Goodreads.

GUEST POST
This post has to do with creating great characters, a topic I think about a lot, now just as a novelist and screenwriter but as an writing instructor as well.

I just read a quote recently from Edmund Burke, the great statesman, which got me thinking about this subject.

This is what Burke said: “We must obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature.”

It reminded me of Darwin and what he discovered about survival. That it wasn’t the most powerful species that survived (like the dinosaurs) or those that were most intelligent, but those which could adapt.

This dynamic element of survival relates most directly to us as storytellers. What makes a great story? Is it great dialogue? Yes, that helps of course. Or is writing great narrative? Of course, we want that, too. Or do we think most often of great storytelling when we remember those fictional characters that truly moved us emotionally?

For me, that is really the heart of what makes great movies and novels and plays.

And what makes a great character? One that truly grabs us where we live. Why do we bond with that character on a visceral level? Because they are facing something that truly challenges them as individuals. They become heroic because they are willing to face those demons and as result of that struggle they change.

This is also what we call the character arc. It is at the very heart of what makes a story work. We can never overlook that in writing screenplays or novels or stage plays. The heart of the human condition is whether we can change when faced with adversity. And that ability to show that change realistically is what makes for great writing.

So when you devise your outline it is not just about creating a plot – and that doesn’t mean we don’t want a good plot. But even more importantly we want a character who goes from one extreme to another – from cowardice to bravery, from trust to betrayal or from hate to love. That is the heart of what we’re trying to accomplish.

The more extreme the change the character goes through the better it is for your story. When we think of the great novels and the great movies, the protagonist has a huge mountain to climb, they have to evolve or they will fail. And that is what truly makes a hero or heroine, the ability to change in the face of adversity. Your plot is simply there to force them to change. It’s not there as a thing in itself. And if the character arc is extreme, then that’s what you’re truly writing about. You need to understand yourself and others to write about it truthfully. It’s at the heart of every great work of fiction.

Study the great novels, observe how people change, see how you’ve done it yourself and most importantly, create characters who are forced to change, step by agonizing step.

AN INTERVIEW
-Did you have to do any special research to write this book?

Our book is set in downtown L.A. and we did scour the area looking for interesting places to set our scenes – Central Market, the Higachi Buddhist Temple and other places a lot of even the locales don’t know about.

-Since this book is in the horror and paranormal genres, was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and embellish on the situation?

The Protagonist is a graphic novelist so the fact that both Dale and I are writers we had a lot to relate to here. Brian Archer is also a recluse and I have to confess, I can be pretty reclusive myself at times. That fueled a lot of his issues.

-Other than yourselves, If you could work with any author, living or dead, who would that be and why?

We mention a great many writers in our book, but the central figure hovering over them all is Edgar Allan Poe. He fascinates me and always has. In fact, I wrote a play about him some years ago. I know how he tortured he was and yet he was able to produce so many great stories, poems and even some novels. He was also a book critic which a lot of people don’t know about. There is no greater genius than Poe, who was given very little praise in his own life but turned out to be one of the greats.

-Did you find anything challenging while writing this book?

Because Dale and I were primarily screenwriters before we began this journey, we had no idea what it really took to produce a good novel. A screenplay is only 110 pages, this novel is over 300 pages. When you do a rewrite, it’s not like you’re re-writing a hundred pages. A novel really challenges you in a way a screenplay doesn’t. Not to say, it’s easy to write a screenplay. But you don’t have to worry about who’s telling the story, should it be first person or third person or omniscient, or any of the vexing problems you need to conquer in a novel.

-Are there any books that influenced you while writing this book?

I do love Dean’s Koontz’s books and of course Stephen King. I read Doctor Sleep for example, the sequel to The Shining and that gave me some things to think about. But as I mentioned earlier, Poe is the real source of inspiration here and H.P. Lovecraft.

-What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of the book?

We’ve gotten fantastic early reviews from book bloggers around the country and in England. The reviewers really seem to respond to our characters and even to one of the unexpected narrators of the story – Deke – the protagonist’s white German shepherd. Some of the novel is told through his point of view and readers really seem to love that.

-Any closing remarks?

This is a horror novel but it also has a very strong love story between the protagonist, a graphic novelist and his new illustrator, A.J. Hart. They have both been damaged to some degree and together they find a safe place to heal and are able to love again.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

HUNGRY AS A WOLF by Elizabeth Einspanier

HUNGRY AS A WOLF
by Elizabeth Einspanier

Wolf Cowrie is back in his second adventure! In the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory in 1865, tensions run high between white settlers looking for gold and the Sioux people who consider this region their holy ground. When Wolf is hired to find out what happened to the workers of a mining outpost in the area, the general theory in Goldwater is that they were slaughtered by the Sioux. Wolf discovers something far more sinister lurking in the Black Hills, an ancient evil whose unending hunger drives sane men to ghoulish extremes.

EXCERPT
It was a young woman of perhaps nineteen years of age, with auburn hair and brown eyes. She was well-dressed in a white blouse with leg-of-mutton sleeves and a narrow column of ruffles down the front. A dark blue skirt respectably covered her ankles and black boots, and her hair was pulled back in a style he could not readily see from this angle, with wisps curling delicately around her face. She was a pretty little thing as well, and Wolf wished he could have made her acquaintance under better circumstances—like, say, fully-clothed, rather than stark naked with only his hat to conceal his shame.

The two of them stared at each other for maybe half a minute—him in a state of poker-faced, heart-pounding embarrassment, her in open-mouthed shock. Wolf’s heart and his stomach had lurched in opposite directions when he saw her—his heart upwards to lodge in his throat, his stomach downwards to gurgle in low panic somewhere around his knees. He swallowed hard to try to clear the lump of nerves behind his larynx. Somehow, Wolf was the first to find his voice.

“Ordinarily, miss, I’d be the first to tip my hat to a lovely young lady like yourself,” he said as politely as he could manage, with a glance down at the hat in question. “But I don’t think either of us wants that right now.”

She blushed bright scarlet and whirled out of the bathroom without a word, revealing the bun that secured her hair and slamming the door behind her. Wolf put his free hand over his face.

ABOUT ELIZABETH

Elizabeth Einspanier is the self-published author of the Weird Western novella Sheep’s Clothing and the upcoming sci-fi romance novel Heart of Steel. Her short stories have been published in Down in the Dirt and Dark Fire Fiction. She is a member of the St. Louis Writer’s Guild and an associate member of the Horror Writers of America. She lives in St. Louis, but frequently spends extended periods in worlds of her own creation.

Find her online:

-website
-blog
-Twitter @GeekGirlWriter
-Google+
-Amazon Author Page

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Hey, readers,

Well…that’s embarrassing. Lol

Follow the rest of the tour

And enter the giveaway.

Elizabeth will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn commenter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Waiting on Wednesday #1: FOOL'S QUEST

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week’s eagerly awaited release is…

FOOL’S QUEST (The Fitz and the Fool, #2)
by Robin Hobb

Release date: August 11, 2015

After nearly killing his oldest friend, the Fool, and finding his daughter stolen away by those who were once targeting the Fool, FitzChivarly Farseer is out for blood. And who better to wreak havoc than a highly trained and deadly former royal assassin? Fitz might have let his skills go fallow over his years of peace, but such things, once learned, are not so easily forgotten. And nothing is more dangerous than a man who has nothing left to lose…

Why?
Fitz. Fool. Enough said.

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