Category Archives: Great Reads

II. I Will Greet Each Day With Love in my Heart.

Why do I write?
More specifically why do I pursuit a career in writing fiction?

Am I in it to get rich and famous? Maybe even be dubbed the next J.K. Rowling? Nice dreams…but no. That is not why I write.

Quite simply, I write because I love it. I love to write, and am in love with the whole process of writing and publishing from beginning to end. It is my passion.

A very wise woman who I respect, and fellow writer and poet once told me “You have to love what you do for a living…”
And she is right. I’ve had a lot of unpleasant jobs with bad career decisions, and have learned to steer clear of those. A day job (especially for a writer) is a necessity, but the more pleasant a day job you have the better off you are.
I like retail, and have really enjoyed retail loss prevention…
But more than that, I love writing.

As I focus now (more so than ever) on making writing my full time career, I am writing with a new fervor each day for minimum 2 hours…and before I know it those 2 hours have become 4…then 5.

I Start each day doing something that I love.

And, it has changed my attitude and outlook for the better.
Suddenly, I don’t mind the rest of my tasks so much.

Dishes, laundry, even Algebra homework. 😉

And when I’m all done with my other daily tasks, I just might find time to write again.

Start every day with love in your heart.
Do something that you love,
Spend time with someone that you love…

And the rest of the day will seem that much brighter. 🙂

~K. Crumley

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Filed under authors, creativity, day job, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, Great Reads, schedules, self-confidence, self-discipline, Staying focused, time management, Uncategorized, writing

I. Today I Begin a New Life.

“Failure will no longer be my payment for struggle.”
Here starts the first of my blog posts inspired by one of my favorite books, The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.

If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it…

I’ve really felt the need to re-read this book, considering that my writing career has been on a downward spiral due to procrastination, lack of confidence, and paralyzing insecurities. Let alone the lack of marketing (which I think correlates to my lack of confidence, as well as my lack of money.)

Sometimes you just need to start fresh.

This is that time for me.
Do things differently–do things better. Put my days of mediocrity behind me; start anew.

It’s never too late to start fresh.

It’s not–and never shall be–too late to revive and resurrect my writing career. It’s never too late to breathe new life into old stories, long neglected and half-written on my laptop’s hard drive and on my flash drives. It’s never too late to do things better the next time, with the next book and the book(s) after that. Nor is it too late to set new goals, and work toward achieving them.

I will start by forming good habits and becoming their slaves as the first scroll instructs.

For example, getting up each morning and writing at least 2,000 words. I will make that part of my daily agenda, and will no longer slack off in doing so.

Also, I have already formed a good habit of reading each night; craft books in addition to books in my genre of Fantasy.

This is my pledge to myself, and to my writing.

I challenge you all to do the same…make a new good habit, and stick to it. Whatever that habit may be…And whatever goals you may have in your life, I wish you all luck in reaching them. 🙂

I hope you continue to read the rest of the blog posts in this series, and appreciate those of you that follow this blog.

~K. Crumley

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Filed under changes, creativity, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, Great Reads, Recommendations, schedules, self-confidence, self-discipline, Staying focused, Uncategorized, writing

Reasons People Give for Not Reading Indies.

As an indie author, there are several things that annoy me on internet message boards, blogs, and other online forums. People claiming they “don’t read indie authors.” They’re “tired of searching through the muck” for something “readable,” “well-edited,” or enjoyable. While these arguments used to really irk me, and evoke my pro-indie rants I decided that in order to rightfully respect other people’s opinions I can look at their reasoning. Yes, most of the time it’s just a cop-out excuse. But the other side of the coin is that they realize that (most of the time) indie authors are responsible for our own quality control, and they are holding us accountable.

So, without any further ado here are the five reasons I hear most often from the “LYK OMG I DON’T REED INDIEZ” camp. Only two are really worth listening to.

1. All indie books are bad, poorly written, un-edited, typo-laden, etc. This commentary to me is not worth listening to. Stereotypes are formed of ignorance. And, saying all indie titles are bad is no different than saying that all traditionally published books are bad. ALL books have errors and typos. And, there are good and bad books on both sides of the fence. MANY indies hire editors, proofreaders, etc. MANY indies do care about quality control. I happen to be one of them.

2. It’s too hard of work for me to weed through all of the crap to find something worth reading. That’s a lazy, cop-out answer. Sorry, but that’s my opinion. It’s not really all that hard to find good books whether traditional or indie. It’s not hard to download a sample, or use “see inside.” It doesn’t take that much time out of your busy day to read through even the first 3 pages. When you buy trad books, don’t you sample first? When you buy a paperback at B&N don’t you skim through it first?
Here’s a tip: The best indie books are in the TOP of the lists on Amazon. AND, you can narrow it by genre. The worthy titles (in both publishing formats) are in the top 100; other worthy reads are in the top 1,000 – 3,000 range. And, they are NOT at the bottom. If you’re “bottomfeeding” and finding nothing worth reading, then you have no one to blame but yourself.

3. Negative Nellies Many of the people who’ve made the above comment are victims of their own negative energy. If you go around thinking “all X is crap” when you search through indie titles, you’ll see only the crap. Every typo, misspelling, ugly cover, horrible blurb will jump out at you screaming “here I am!” Even in good books, the flaws will jump out at you and look just as awful, because you’ve pre-ordained it to be so.
And, I confess I’m speaking from experience here–not in regards to SP books, but in regards to TP ones. When I first embarked on my indie journey, I adopted the “all TP books are crap” mantra. Every error, every page printed crooked, every little typo and Mary Sue character nearly turned me against ALL books regardless of publication method. Thank Heaven that phase was short lived. 😉 The power of positive thinking. Try it some time. It won’t hurt…I promise.

4. Authors behaving badly. I confess this is hard to argue against. I’ve been turned off of writers for this (both TP and Indie). People in the arts should watch what they say and do as a rule, to be sure they don’t turn off their audience, full of consumers who will buy their product.
I only argue against the idea that “all indies do X thing.” That’s a stereotype, and stereotyping is just wrong. There are badly behaving authors on both sides of the fence. Case in point: Anne Rice.
Regardless, the need to police ourselves is apparent–because we don’t have publicists telling us “don’t do that.” There’s nobody in place to slap our wrists with a proverbial ruler, like a Catholic School Nun. I have a list of dos and don’ts in place, but I’ll save that for another time.

5. But I don’t know of any indie authors…and all the ones I’ve heard of have already traditionally published by now. This is a good argument, and a very plausible one. Maybe, it’s even a call-to-arms for most authors to get the word out about our books.
It’s very important to spread the word, and have our “street team” (readers, friends, relatives, co-workers, fellow authors, etc…) help spread the word about you and your books.
Even good books go unnoticed because of lack of advertising, marketing and ineffective promo.
There’s also a chance that some of these people read an indie/sp book without realizing that they were. Whether that’s due to the author being discreet about her publishing methods, or the fact that the book is just that professional from cover-to-cover and nothing stands out as looking “indie” it’s hard to say.

In closing, I’ll just say this: (and it applies mostly to #4) Don’t judge the whole lot of us based on the actions of a few. There are good indie books, and there are not-so good ones. There are sensible authors and ones who fly off the handle at every perceived slight. And, not every author engages in seedy publicity tactics, or sock puppet review scams. Most authors I know steer clear of doing that. Authors are people, and people make mistakes…it’s a shame that so many get judged on the actions of a few, but that carries over into ALL walks of life, not just authors.

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Filed under authors, competitiveness, creativity, flame posts, Great Reads, internet, nuisances, pet peeves, Recommendations, self-publishing/indie publishing, shameless self-promo, trolls, writing

Friday Five: Short Story Collections

Friday Five: Short stories

Today’s Friday Five features short story anthologies. As a short story writer myself, this topic is very near and dear to me. And, I’m pleased to feature some great ones here, in varied genres.

1. Ten bits From My Brain by Stuart Jaffe

Author Stuart Jaffe takes you across the Fantasy and Science Fiction landscapes with ten wide-ranging stories including three all-new tales. From the tiny life of a fly to the far reaches of space, from an elderly witch in WWII’s Lublin ghetto to a dragon detective in the modern world’s harsh streets, from tattoos and chess games to robberies and betrayals, these stories are packed with action, drama, and a bit of the weird.

“Stuart’s work defies pigeon-holing. The man who hosts the podcast “The Eclectic Review” with his wife, demonstrates a talent that is as facile and varied as his intellect. All of these pieces, though, show a master storyteller at the top of his art.” — from the introduction by David B. Coe
Available at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0056P1D5U/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_g351_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0XXCP1JVF9J8G7HJ6KBR&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

BN.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/10-bits-of-my-brain-stuart-jaffe/1103842820?ean=2940012892348&itm=8&usri=stuart+jaffe

2. Maybelle’s Revenge by LB Gschwandtner 
A short story collection with an edge. Paranormal events, vengeful attacks, payback for past pain — and lots of other quirky tidbits are the stuff of this collection, including a love stricken parrot and a town that takes on an electric glow. It’s all in here but, to start, there’s Maybelle’s Revenge. And she is out to get some payback.
Available at amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Maybelles-Revenge-ebook/dp/B0053TSX1Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1307110288&sr=1-1

3. Extinct Doesn’t Mean Forever Edited By: Phoenix Sullivan

Genre: Anthology and/or Science Fiction

Description:
Echoes of yesterday touch the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways in 19 provocative stories by some of the best up-and-coming authors of mainstream and speculative fiction around the world. Extinct Doesn’t Mean Forever is an eclectic mix of variations on the theme, including literary spec fiction, humor, and hard and soft science fiction stories that feature thylacines, dinosaurs, Neanderthals, alien races and more.

Available At:
http://www.amazon.com/Extinct-Doesnt-Mean-Forever-ebook/dp/B004SUOWMU
http://tinyurl.com/extinctantho-uk
http://tinyurl.com/extinctantho-bn
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/50769

4. The Space Hotel Series Collection by Alain Gomez
Hotel Moonwalk is earth’s first outer space hotel. Designed to be the ultimate party experience, it’s a dream come true for the the world’s wealthiest celebrities. But unbeknownst to its guests, an alien science vessel lurking nearby is also using the hotel… 

Contains the complete Space Hotel Series. Titles include “Celebrity Space,” “Doctor Fleicher,” “Hotel Moonwalk,” “Director of Human Resources,” and “The Hall of Immortals.”

Short Story Collection, approx 14,000 words total

Available at:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0057HD64S
BN.com: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Space-Hotel-Series-Collection/Alain-Gomez/e/2940012883544

5. The Flirts: Five Romantic Short Stories by Lisa Scott
Flirts! 5 Romantic Short Stories to squeeze into your busy life. Fun, flirty, sweet, and sassy—always with the perfect happy ending. Discover the link that ties the stories together.

Each story is 8,000 to 11,000 words in length (approximately 32-44 typical book pages in length. 53,000 words total, or 210 typical book pages.)

The stories include:

“The Hot Girl’s Friend” 
How can a plain Jane find love when her best friend is a curvy blond man magnet? 

Jane usually busies herself during a night on the town, fending off the men lusting after her gorgeous friend Miranda. When Brady the bartender overhears her inspired, ludicrous excuses, he resolves to hook up Jane with his friends. But Jane would be quite happy with him. Pine along as Jane tries to find her own happily ever after.

“Wrong Place, Right Guy”
She’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. Can the guy who saves her be Mr. Right? Or will his past keep them apart?

When Kristen is jumped in a parking lot, Tony jumps in to save the day. While she thinks her hero could also be her heartthrob, Tony’s worried his past is reason to stay apart. Will the good guy get the girl in the end?

“Not You” 
One night with a stranger…gets even stranger the next day.

Single, lonely Carly thinks the best way to handle her mother’s third wedding is by throwing her own bachelorette-party-for-one the night before. What’s the harm in her first one-night stand ever? She’ll find out the next day.

“Desperately Seeking Cupid” 
Does she finally have the key for finding love?

Brianna has tried everything to find love—with no luck. So she’s turning to feng shui to bring romance to her world. Too bad the guy she’s after thinks its bunk. Will her formula for love work—or blow up in her face?

“Never Been Dumped”
It’s a relationship with an expiration date and it’s going to go bad.

Rachel hates breaking hearts. She’s never been dumped, and she’s tired of being the one to walk away. But a handsome stranger in town for the summer promises he’ll dump her after their summer fling. Will they be able to say goodbye?

Flirts! Five Romantic Short Stories to make you smile and swoon—buy the collection now for 2.99 or buy single stories for .99 each.

Available at:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Flirts-Romantic-Short-Stories-ebook/dp/B0056VBOCQ/ref=pd_sim_kinc_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

BN.com: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Flirts-5-Romantic-Short-Stories/Lisa-Scott/e/2940012904300

If you enjoy a good short story every once in a while, feel free to check these out!

To have your book included in a future edition of Friday Five, please email me at karenlynn1225@comcast.net with “Friday Five” in the subject line.

~K. Crumley

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Filed under Friday Five, Great Reads, Recommendations, self-publishing/indie publishing, Uncategorized, writing

Very Special #FRIDAYFIVE: Five books by L.C. Evans

The indie author & kindleboards community lost a sweet, honest and helpful person yesterday.

Author LC Evans, who has touched as many hearts with her kind nature as her wonderful works.

Today’s Friday Five I will feature Five books from Linda “L.C.” Evans.

She was a truly gifted author, and will be remembered well by all.

My Planet or Yours
Nora Bryant is a single Earth woman out to ban men from her life after a recent breakup. Triskam is a strikingly handsome extraterrestrial, who crash lands near her remote Arizona home. Add to this mix, a couple of misguided thugs looking for a gold rush, an overly friendly, not-so-guard dog, and a communications device that thinks it’s a nanny, and you have My Planet or Yours?, a delightful new romantic comedy by LC Evans, author of the Kindle bestseller, We Interrupt This Date.

Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0066QAR0K/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_g351_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=0359YGXEC64PM2RE57HR&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938811&pf_rd_i=507846

We Interrupt This Date
Since her divorce a year ago, Susan Caraway has gone through the motions of life. Now she is finally coming out of her shell. Just when she decides on a makeover and a new career, her family members decide she’s crisis central. First there’s her sister DeLorean who has come back from California with a baby, a designer dog, and no prospects for child support or a job. As soon as DeLorean settles in at Susan’s home, Susan’s son Christian returns from college trailing what Susan’s mama refers to as “an androgynous little tart.” Then there’s Mama herself, a southern lady who wrote the book on bossy. A secret from Mama’s past threatens to unravel her own peace. But not before Mama hurts her ankle and has to move into Susan’s home with her babies—two Chihuahuas with attitude. Susan would like to start her new job as a ghost tour operator. She would like to renew her relationship with Jack Maxwell, a man from her past. But Jack isn’t going to stand in line behind her needy family.

Amazon Link:
http://www.amazon.com/We-Interrupt-This-Date-ebook/dp/B002CQU14U/ref=pd_cp_kinc_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Night Camp
A spooky graveyard. A creepy basement. A pair of coffins. Thirteen-year-old Shane Andrews hates summer camp. When his parents allow him to choose, Shane decides to pick the worst camp he can find. Night Camp must be terrible. For one thing, activities take place at night and campers sleep during the day. That can’t be good, Shane reasons. His parents will realize Night Camp is even worse than they thought and they’ll come back to get him. Then Shane’s plans for summer freedom fall apart. His cousin Brad, a boy with a huge collection of tabloid magazines, convinces Shane that two of the camp counselors are vampires. Shane enlists the help of Brad and a girl camper named Nicole. The three set out to save themselves and the other campers. Then Shane uncovers the secret of Night Camp…

Amazon Link:
http://www.amazon.com/Night-Camp-L-C-Evans/dp/1442124385/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_2

Jobless Revovery

Dave Griffin is a poster boy for the American consumer. He drives a blood-colored Behemoth model SUV, has a new home in the suburbs, a beautiful girlfriend, a computer programming job, and all the benefits that come with middle class life in America. Then Dave’s employer replaces American computer programmers with cheaper imported labor in order to increase company profits. Soon Dave is out on the street. But he still believes in the system. All he has to do is bring the problem to the attention of the media and the people in Washington to get results. This move only deepens his trouble.
Meanwhile, Dave’s friend Joe Tremaine, a former FBI agent who lost his job after suffering a head injury, is struggling to stay sane. Cynical Joe knows better than to trust anyone in Washington or in corporate America. He embroils Dave in his fraudulent money-making schemes, and when Joe decides to educate the powerful senator who has been the driving factor in eliminating American jobs, his plan goes awry. Can an unemployed computer jockey manage to keep Joe–and himself–out of jail? Or will the oddly-shaped bundle in the back of Joe’s truck lead the cops to haul them both to the slammer?

“Jobless Recovery will push all your buttons as it tells a story that is too close to reality for many of us. It was a real think piece for me and I recommend the book highly.”–Sandy Nathan, award-winning author of Numenon and former Economic Analyst, Santa Clara County, California

“A brutally honest look at corporate America’s flaws and desperate people caught in the middle, Jobless Recovery is a masterful, gripping piece of fiction that rings true with every word. Candid, suspenseful and moving. Jobless Recovery was a very enjoyable read, one of the best novels I’ve read in a while. I think it would make an awesome movie.” –Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling author

Amazon Link:
http://www.amazon.com/Jobless-Recovery-ebook/dp/B0041KL5C2/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

The Witness Wore Blood Bay

In Talented Horsewoman, the first book of the Leigh McRae horse mystery series, main character Leigh McRae discovers a body. She also ends up solving a murder. Along the way she helps her cousin Sammi, who is dating a burglar, and she manages to get out from under the control of her overbearing ex-husband.

Now Leigh’s friend Candy, a fellow horsewoman, finds herself accused of murder. Who else would she turn to for help except Leigh? After all, everyone in small town Del Canto knows Leigh has body-discovering experience. Never mind that Leigh is busy finding out who’s poisoning dogs in Sammi’s neighborhood and she’s trying to renovate her home without going broke. Or that her ex-husband Kenneth and former ranchhand Doug Reilly have become roommates in Leigh’s guest house.

There’s a murder to solve. And her friend won’t take no for an answer.

Amazon Link:
http://www.amazon.com/Witness-Wore-Blood-Bay-ebook/dp/B004KNWHX6/ref=pd_sim_kinc_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

If you haven’t already, check out these great books by L.C. Evans.

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Filed under Friday Five, Great Reads, Recommendations, special memorial post, Uncategorized, writing

Being True To Yourself

Be true to yourself as a writer. Be true to your muse, your voice, and your spirit.
Don’t try to fit into someone else’s “box” or waste your time trying to emulate others…or worse yet, imitate them.
Yes, they say “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” But, too much “flattery” and your writing won’t be your own. Your stories won’t be your own. Your voice will not be your own.

Tell the stories YOU want to tell, not what you see as being a big seller, or popular trend. Trends come and go…
And, who knows what comes next after this vampire trend ends. It just MIGHT be your story. And, even if it isn’t there’s always someone out there–or maybe several people out there–who aren’t chasing fads, but want something new, fresh, original, and above all else a GOOD STORY.
Focus on the art and craft of writing, get in touch with your Muse…
Don’t sell out your art, in pursuit of a “get rich quick” scheme.

Don’t focus on unreachable goals like becoming an overnight millionaire, or being dubbed “the next so-and-so.”
Set attainable goals, and reach them one at a time. Remember “you have to walk before you can run, and run before you can fly.”
You may not have “overnight success” but you will have some success, whether it being able to live fully off of your writing OR just some small personal goal that you’ve reached.

Take this all for what it’s worth.

Write with pride. Pride in yourself!

~K. Crumley

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Filed under changes, competitiveness, creativity, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, Great Reads, phases, self-publishing/indie publishing, stumbling blocks, time wasters, writing

Friday Five: Fantasy

Friday Five: Fantasy

YAY! My favorite genre. I am so happy to share these titles with you, today.
And, I’m also happy to be back on a semi-regular schedule from my other job, so I can start blogging on a normal basis again.

1. The Great Altruist by Z.D. Robinson

Genesis is nine inches tall, travels through time, and never wears clothes. She’s brash, cocky, and even a little arrogant. But when people have a mistake from the past they want to fix, she’s ready. It doesn’t matter if she’s trying to help a Holocaust survivor find her lost parents and prevent World War II, or help a lonely young man reclaim the love of his life and save his parent’s marriage. Genesis has the power and desire to help!

But when she mysteriously loses her powers, becomes a normal woman, and decides to settle down, the leader of a secret organization is planning to travel into the future and destroy all of humanity!

Can Genesis rise to the new challenge and save seven billion lives? Or will the organization’s most twisted agent prove too much for even Genesis to handle?

Filled with ruthless secret societies, backstabbing parents, and a vicious battle across time and space, The Great Altruist is the story about a powerful woman whose only limitation is her compulsion to serve others.

This 100,000-word epic adventure is fast-paced, funny, and stays with you long after the pages are turned.

Available at: Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005AZHVI4/?tag=kindleboards-20

2. The End of the World by Andrew Biss

Accustomed to a life of cosseted seclusion at home with his parents, Valentine is suddenly faced with making his own way in the world. His new life is quickly upended, however, when he’s mugged at gunpoint. Finding shelter at a mysterious inn run by the dour Mrs. Anna, he soon encounters a Bosnian woman with a hole where her stomach used to be, an American entrepreneur with a scheme to implant televisions into people’s foreheads, and a Catholic priest who attempts to lure him down inside a kitchen sink. Then things start getting strange…

In this story based loosely around the state of Bardo from The Tibetan Book of the Dead – an intermediate state where the dead arrive prior to rebirth – dying is the easy part. Getting out of Bardo and returning to the land of the living is a far more perilous proposition, and unless you know what you’re doing…you might never leave.

An odd, yet oddly touching tale of life, death, and the space in-between.

Available at: Available at:
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004RZ26E2
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004RZ26E2
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/end-of-the-world-andrew-biss/1100240706

3. My Sparkling Misfortune (The Lakeland Knight) by Laura Lond

Product Description
***1st place winner of the Reader Views Literary Award 2010 in the Young Reader category***

Lord Arkus of Blackriver Castle readily admits that he is a villain and sees no reason why it should stop him from being the protagonist of this book. After all, Prince Kellemar, an aspiring hero, has defeated him in a rather questionable way. Bent on revenge, Arkus attempts to capture a powerful evil spirit who would make him nearly invincible, but a last-minute mistake leaves him with a Sparkling instead—“a goody-goody spirit that helps heroes, watches over little children, and messes up villains’ plans.” Bound to Lord Arkus for five years of service and sworn to act in his best interests, the Sparkling is not easy to get rid of, and of course his understanding of “best interests” is quite different from what Lord Arkus has in mind.

My Sparkling Misfortune is approximately 33,000 words (126 pages in the printed edition). Includes 10 black-and-white illustrations.

Available at: Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004JXVYR2

4. Eon’s Door by J.G. McKenney

Eon’s Door should not be open.

Two thousand years after three clans flee the world of humans through Eon’s Door to find sanctuary in a realm called Erla, a prophecy left to them by the ancient race that created the tree portal is coming true. A trusted sage has stolen the portal’s key and is using the awesome power that separated the worlds to tear apart the very soul of Nature. The key must be taken back and Eon’s Door closed–before it’s too late.

Hope lies with a “child of doubt” from the world the clans left behind and the courageous young Erlan who’s been sent to find him. Together they must retrieve the key and close Eon’s Door. It won’t be easy. Abominations of beasts and trees stand between them and their goal. Even worse, the sage knows the prophecy and is expecting them.

Available at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Eons-Door-J-G-McKenney/dp/0987682318/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1310752430&sr=1-1
Also available at Smashwords.

5. A Place Beyond The Map by Samuel Thews

Phinnegan Qwyk thought he knew everything there was to know about fairy tales. But when the notorious Faë Periwinkle Lark snatches him from his cozy home in Ireland to a Place-Beyond-the-Map, Phinnegan discovers that reading a fairy tale and living in one are two altogether different things.

When Phinnegan escapes from the mountain prison of Féradoon, he must travel a treacherous path riddled with dangers both fair and foul – where the wild hounds of the Faolchú await a single misstep and gholems stalk their quarries unseen from the shadows. Forced into a daring match of wits with a beautiful troll, Phinnegan may find the way home if he wins – but if he loses, he will be her pet. Forever.

Available at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005C2CMAW/?tag=kindleboards-20

Also available at: B&N and Smashwords

Feel free to check these out!

Happy Reading…and Writing 🙂

KC

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Filed under creativity, Friday Five, Great Reads, Recommendations, self-publishing/indie publishing, Uncategorized, writing

Friday Five: Horror

For today’s FRIDAY FIVE I’m featuring five cool, creepy horror reads:

FRIDAY FIVE: HORROR

1. Mental Shrillness by Todd Russell

Review
“Very twisted and I question my sanity for enjoying it so much!” –SeattlePI.com
Product Description
The Mental Shrillness ward will shock with six twist ending horror tales:

Memorial Day Descent – experience a showdown between an old mansion and a soldier’s painful, recurring war memories. A first place story contest winner.

Pains in the Glass – Tim and Wanda love each other but neither sees the cracks in their flawed marriage looking glass. Today is the day one learns of betrayal so powerful that it will shatter, cut and bleed the other to pieces.

Dead Warmed Over – learn if it’s possible that a tortured man can love his wife too much. Ben’s intense love for wife Jackie is realized in a haunted bathtub. Another first place story contest winner.

Falling the Bobbitt Way – Tracy and John’s sweet marriage vow warps into sinister sadomasochism. Find out if they can break the vow and ever be the same.

Dueling Eyes – GAZE upon an unmoving glass eye compelling its host to entertain self-mutilation tendencies. WATCH as Madison tries to save Killroy in the dark, dirty alley from the glint of a malevolent mugger’s blade. STARE helpless as the cold steel and the glass eye attempt to complete a shocking mission.

The Illusion – There are things Damon Brooks wishes he could change about his life. He thinks he has it bad until a dying, misshapen creature shows him that the other side wants much more to change their deaths. Prepare for a nightmarish struggle at a carnival between good and evil.

At the end of Mental Shrillness author notes are provided for readers interested in each story’s history and what motivated the author to pen these strange, dark tales.

BONUS MATERIAL
– Includes four additional stories written during the same era:

Father Knows Winners Best
The Clock Called Fate
$$$ Knowledge & Power $$$
Politically Correct – exclusive e-book story!

– Bonus Mental Shrillness Author Notes

Available at: Amazon US
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004U7FI6A/?tag=kmrenterwebsited

Amazon UK
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004U7FI6A/?tag=kmrenterwebsited

Amazon DE
http://www.amazon.de/dp/B004U7FI6A/?tag=kmrenterwebsited

Amazon US (paperback)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1461170303/?tag=kmrenterwebsited

Barnes & Noble (eBook)
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Mental-Shrillness/Todd-Russell/e/2940012295460?r=1&itm=1&usri=mental+shrillness&if=N&cm_mmc=VigLink-_-k244266-_-j12871747k244266-_-Primary

Apple iBookstore
http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/mental-shrillness/id433814981?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Smashwords (all e-formats)
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/49957?ref=toddrussell

2. The Damned by William Ollie

It came on a Friday afternoon, wiping everything good from the land. It came, followed by Hell on earth, bands of brutes and nightmarish creatures, the hopeless and… The Damned.

Scott thought it had to be a joke when a raving lunatic heralding the end of the world broke onto the airwaves. Then an incident of bullets and blood left him in a place devoid of light, where rasping screams and whispered moans bubbled up from the darkness.

Now Scott has woken next to a bloated corpse in a deserted rehabilitation center. Outside, the world is dust and ash. People are screaming, people are dying.

And Scott Freeman’s nightmare has just begun.

Available at:
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/THE-DAMNED-ebook/dp/B005BFW5AM/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

3. Threads of Darkness by J.R. Leckman

Threads of Darkness is a collection of 4 horror stories by J.R. Leckman. Starting with an old fashioned ghost story in “They Don’t Exist,” Threads then explores the mysteries of the “Anasazi”, the end of the world in “Bucketheads,” and ends with an old west ode to H.P. Lovecraft in “The Quick and the Unholy.”

Availabe at: http://www.amazon.com/Threads-of-Darkness-ebook/dp/B005C6CF2I

4. The Kult by Shaun Jeffrey

Review
“Shaun Jeffrey hits one out of the park with this creepy, character-driven thriller that starts with a jolt, stays in the fast lane, and plunges into the darkest territory of the human mind.”
–Jonathan Maberry, author of PATIENT ZERO

“Part mystery, part police procedural, part horror story, it’s one thrilling ride.”
–Nate Kenyon, author of THE REACH and THE BONE FACTORY

“The Kult is a creeping stalk through a shadowy labyrinth of thrills and terror. Shaun Jeffrey delivers a pulse-pounding novel of superb skill and unequivocal horror.”
–Jon F. Merz author of PARALLAX and the Lawson Vampire novels.
Product Description
People are predictable. That’s what makes them easy to kill.

Detective Chief Inspector Prosper Snow is in charge of an investigation into a serial killer called The Oracle who turns his victims into macabre works of art. But Prosper harbours a dark secret of his own. He and his old school friends were members of a group called The Kult who made a pact to dish out their own form of vengeance on bullies. Now a member of the group puts their friendship to the test when he makes a far darker request: that they murder someone that raped his wife.

To get away with murder, the friends decide to blame it on The Oracle, but events take a chilling turn when the instigator turns up dead, his body fashioned into a disturbing work of art. Now, one by one, the members of The Kult are being hunted down.

Just when Prosper thinks things can’t get any worse, his wife is kidnapped and he knows that if he goes to his colleagues for help, he risks his dark deeds being unearthed. If he doesn’t, he risks losing all that he holds dear.

Available at:
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Kult-ebook/dp/B004TGT3S6/

5.The Act of Laughing by Patrick Walts

Summary:
Evan Barnes and his wife Audrey have just moved into their dream home, located within the exclusive gated community of Blackwell Estates. As they begin to delve deeper into the lives of their strange and somewhat eccentric neighbors, however, dark secrets are uncovered that will quickly transform their dream into an unimaginable nightmare as an ancient evil, resurrected from the sands of the Tunisian desert by retired archaeologist Dr. Donald Raines rears its ghastly head in the suburbs of Chicago.

About the author:

Patrick Walts currently resides in Oklahoma City with his wife, Kara and their ever-expanding menagerie of dogs and cats.

Available at: Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Act-Of-Laughing-ebook/dp/B0059XFPFS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1311509180&sr=8-2

B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-act-of-laughing-patrick-walts/1104144812?ean=2940012823335&itm=1&usri=act%2bof%2blaughing


Thanks to all the participants in this week’s Friday Five!

Please check out my blog each Friday for more great selections.

If you are an author and would like your book to be featured in a future edition of Friday Five, please respond to: karenlynn1@verizon.net with “Friday Five” in your subject line.
Please include title, author name, genre, brief blurb, and info as to where your book can be purchased.

Thanks for checking us out!

KC

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Filed under Friday Five, Great Reads, Recommendations, Reviews and Reviewers, self-publishing/indie publishing, Uncategorized, writing

FRIDAY FIVE: Paranormal Romance

Today’s features are great Paranormal Romance reads.

Spell Checked by CG Powell

Great storytelling, and CG Powell’s writing voice brings everything to life in your minds eye.
*Broken relationships were a constant in Mae’s life, causing her to swear off men forever. Unwittingly lured to Ireland, Mae finds herself knee-deep in a hidden world she never knew existed and head over heels for the very man that tricked her to coming there. His deception is complicated by his own feelings for the one person that holds the key to merging the ancient races that once ruled the ancient word.
Mae finds herself in an underground world of witches, and vampires, which are half-breeds of aliens long gone. She learns about her own unique parentage and powers, which she must study in order to control, before they consume her.
Beck and Helen’s love for one another spans across a millennium, her human soul reincarnated to match Beck’s own immortality. This time however the body she occupies is of a being that cannot be eclipsed by her return. After waiting two hundred years, Beck finds himself tormented by Helen’s inability to return and his growing love for her new host.
Some of the underworld creatures welcome her with open arms as a savior, while others seek to destroy the abomination they believe her to be. Will the knowledge of her existence cause a race war when the true power of her blood is discovered? Or will love become her ultimate downfall?

Available at:

Amazon
B & N
Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/70974
Createspace (Paperback) – https://www.createspace.com/3648553

Blood Awakening by Wenona Hulsey
Wenona’s character development skill is awesome. For a short story, these characters are so REAL you’d swear you knew them…
*Nicole, a small town Alabama girl, and her best friend Kat take a weekend trip to Panama City, Florida. Kat looking to have a good time and Nicole hoping to escape the pain of losing her mother for a little while. Little did Nicole know, the escape would awaken a ancient power that is hidden in her blood. A power that evil wants for its own and will do whatever it takes to have it.

This short story is a look into best friends’, Nicole and Kat, life before a centuries old grudge and Nicole’s emerging powers rips them apart. A power that Nicole wants no part of as it brings her to her knees and forces her to walk away from her small town life and everyone she loves.
Available at:
Smashwords– http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/71994
Amazon–http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Awakening-ebook/dp/B005BQY68A/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1
B&N–http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Blood-Awakening/Wenona-Hulsey/e/2940012857309

Blood Lust by Zoe Winters.
Three pararnormal romance novellas. I love the way the stories blend together.
* KEPT—As a cat therian (shifter), Greta’s blood is already sought after to enhance spells and potions, but due to a quirk of her birth, her blood is potent enough to kill for. When her tribe plans to sacrifice her, Greta must ally herself with Dayne, the dangerous local sorcerer, and the only person strong enough to protect her.

* CLAIMED—For a vampire, Anthony isn’t a picky eater, but he’s drawn to Charlee’s blood more than any other. Like a fine wine saved for a special occasion, he’s denied himself this pleasure. But one night, high from the potent magical blood of another, he claims his prize and loses control. Ashamed of almost killing the one woman who means anything to him, he wipes her memory of the event. When Charlee awakens with complete amnesia, Anthony is the only one who can clean up the mess he’s made.

* MATED—Because of the vampiric blood that has run through her veins since birth, Jane has been a target for vampires who resent a human being “kindred.” She’s forced to disguise herself as a vampire groupie to appease them and safeguard her life. When she’s abruptly given to Cole, the leader of the werewolf pack, to satisfy a gambling debt, she discovers the blood running through her veins has a far greater impact on her destiny than she ever imagined.”

Available at:
Amazon— http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Lust-Paranormal-Romance-ebook/dp/B004183MZM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1311368475&sr=1-1
B&N–http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blood-lust-zoe-winters/1027751992?ean=2940011914294&itm=4&usri=zoe%2bwinters

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
Okay, I confess it’s not indie and it’s not exactly PNR but it is one of my favorite books, and a very passionate love story. It has some paranormal elements—mostly on a spiritual level. I highly recommend it!
It’s a story of undying love—literally—between a severely burned and disfigured hedonist and a beautiful, but eccentric sculptress. It will make you question everything you think you know about love, sanity, and reincarnation.
Available at:
Amazon–http://www.amazon.com/The-Gargoyle-ebook/dp/B001DOHZBY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1311369787&sr=1-1
B&N–http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gargoyle-andrew-davidson/1100292319?ean=9780307388674&itm=1&usri=the%2bgargoyle

Kiss Me, Kill Me (A Paranormal Romance Anthology)
Great anthology for a great cause.
Featuring stories by: H.P. Mallory, Zoe Winters, Susan Bischoff, Kait Nolan, Lori Brighton, M.T. Murphy, Toni LoTempio, Daniel Arenson, and Stacey Wallace Benefiel.
Available at:
Amazon–http://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Paranormal-Romance-Anthology-ebook/dp/B004PLNQ88/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1311370339&sr=1-4
B&N–http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kiss-me-kill-me-h-p-mallory/1030177664?ean=2940012231338&itm=1&usri=kiss%2bme%2bkill%2bme%2ba%2bparanormal%2bromance%2banthology

Each of these titles I highly recommend. Check back each Friday for more great reads.

AUTHORS: To be included in a future edition of FRIDAY FIVE, please submit title, genre, your name and a short blurb, and links to where it is available for sale to: karenlynn1@verizon.net with “Friday Five” in the subject line.

Thanks,
K. Crumley
Disclaimer: If I don’t get enough responses for a particular week/genre, I will include books I’ve recently read and enjoyed.
* From the Amazon product page, © the author/publisher.

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Filed under Friday Five, Great Reads, Paranormal Romance, PNR, Recommendations, Uncategorized