Posts Tagged ‘author’

The Secrets of Hawthorne House
by Donald Firesmith
Genre: Teen Paranormal Mystery
Fifteen-year-old Matt Mitchell was having the worst summer imaginable.
Matt’s misery started when a drunk driver killed his mother. Then Matt’s father
moved him and his sister to a small town in rural Indiana, as far as
his grieving father could get from the ocean that his mother had
loved. At the new high school, three bullies were determined to make
Matt miserable. And to top it off, Matt learned that the recluse who
lived in the dilapidated Victorian mansion next door was none other
than Old Lady Hawthorne, the town’s infamous witch and murderer.
Matt’s terrible summer was turning into an awful autumn when
something quite unexpected happened. Old Lady Hawthorne’s niece and
her three children moved in next door, and Matt met Gerallt.


EXCERPT

Clayton Cartwright

Spotting Matt as the only familiar face in the room, Gerallt walked over and sat at the empty desk next to him. It also happened to be the chair directly in front of Clayton Cartwright.

Waiting for the teacher to face the chalkboard and turn his back to the class, Clayton leaned forward, stretched out his arm, and poked a sausage-sized finger into Gerallt’s back. “Hey, new kid,” Clayton whispered. “Where’d you get the Halloween costume? What’re you supposed to be, some kind of Goth druggie?”

Gerallt ignored Clayton. Matt glanced sideways, the memory of his own initial run-in with Clayton still fresh in his mind from the first day of school.

“What’s the matter with you?” Clayton continued, leaning forward to poke Gerallt again. “I’m talking to you. You deaf? Or stoned!”

Gerallt glanced over his shoulder, gave Clayton a look of utter contempt, and then turned back to read what the teacher was writing on the chalkboard.

“Oh, I get it,” Clayton whispered, giving Gerallt a third poke in the back. “You’re one of these Amish kids who don’t believe in fighting. Believe in turning the other cheek, do you? Or maybe you’re just a coward.” He gave Gerallt a shove to the back of the head. “Just wait ‘til after school, Bible boy, and I’ll give you a little something on each cheek.”

This time it was Gerallt who made sure the teacher was still busy at the blackboard with his back to the class. Then he turned and whispered in the same unusual accent as his sister, “My great ahnt warned me about you, Clayton Cartwright. It will take more than the likes of you tah frighten me. And I promise you this. Poke me one more time in the back, and you won’t be poking anyone for a very long time.” Then Gerallt turned his back on Clayton, swiftly slipped his fingertips between the wooden buttons of his shirt and began to whisper something too softly for Matt to hear.

“Is that so, Bible boy?” Clayton replied angrily, just loudly enough for the teacher to hear. Mr. Thompson turned around just in time to see Clayton lean his considerable weight forward to poke Gerallt once more in the back.

Clayton’s finger had barely touched Gerallt’s back when there was a loud crack as the front legs of Clayton’s chair snapped. Suspended motionless for an instant, his entire body pivoted forward on the chair’s remaining legs, and his nose smashed into the back of Gerallt’s chair with a sickening, yet strangely satisfying, crunch. Next, his outstretched index finger, driven by the whole weight of his body and desk, hit the floor with such force that the resulting snap was heard clearly by everyone in the room. This was followed instantly by the crash of Clayton’s desktop, body, and books onto the floor followed by an unexpectedly high-pitched scream of pain. After a second of shocked silence, the class erupted as everybody started talking and yelling at once.


A geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer
helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive
systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books,
written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers,
and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He’s
also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the
Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered
somewhat by his fear that the term “distinguished” makes
him sound like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer
whose beard is still slightly more red than gray.
By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal
fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and
relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and
mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical
Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick
Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his
wife Becky, and his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs, cats, and
birds.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
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The Witch’s Touch
by Rosie Wylor-Owen
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Criminals are going missing. Felons or not, Detective Meeks is duty-bound to
find them, with little to go on but a suspicious encounter between
the latest missing person and a local business owner. As the case
unravels, Meeks struggles to make sense of a world he thought he
understood. Yet this twist of fate could be his chance to truly
making a difference to the community he holds dear.
Amanda Solanke is used to making waves, but never with the police. The last
person to see the latest missing criminal, she is dragged to the
heart of a police investigation. A small business owner in the eyes
of the community, behind closed doors Amanda and her partner Leona
guard a magical secret. The closer they are watched, the closer
Amanda and Leona come to facing the ultimate danger: exposure.

Guest Post

4 Reasons Why Reading is Better than Watching TV

I’ll admit, I’ve binge-watched my fair share of awesome TV shows. Westworld, Charmed, Avatar: The Last Airbender (<<< THIS). Their plots are mind-blowing, with characters you just want to set off an adventure with, even if their special effects don’t always stand the test of time.

While a TV licence isn’t worth the price tag these days, Netflix subscriptions definitely are! For anyone outside the UK wondering what on earth I’m talking about, yes, we have to pay $183 a year for the privilege of watching TV. Scandalous, isn’t it?

But here’s the thing about books – they are arguably the better way to escape reality. Before the TV fandoms throw rocks through my windows, let me explain why. (I’m just kidding fanboys and girls, we know you’re all a lovely bunch.) Here are four reasons why reading is way better than TV.

We Can Read Anywhere

I’m not just talking about reading in the bath – we have phones and WiFi now, we can’t pretend we don’t watch TV while swimming in bubbles. The only real difference there is that we risk electrocution.

But are the flight attendants going to tell you to put your book away when the plane comes down? If they do, they’re just jealous of your hardback. Say goodbye to Brooklyn 99, and whip out the Prison of Azkaban until you are safely at the landing gate.

Where else are our electronics banned? Phones off in the hospital, people. They say it’s for safety – though we’re not sure how – so, we’re forced to pick up a magazine and the latest John Grisham. Forced? What am I saying? We GET to.

The Special Effects Are Never Outdated

Sorry, Charmed, but your orbs and fireballs just don’t stack up against the special effects we have today. Jurassic Park has stood the test of time, and even twenty-five years later, the quality holds up. Though it usually depends on the budget, TV shows and films run the risk of losing their quality over time.

Books? They’ll never have that problem. Our imaginations set the standard when we read, and for that reason, we are never disappointed by the special effects. The content might be disappointing sometimes, and that isn’t easy to work with, but how we imagine the worlds we read about is always satisfying to us. You won’t find any bad CGI here!

It Makes Us Look Smart

We could be watching documentaries, but it doesn’t matter. We’re still staring at screens and looking like zombies on ritalin. Head down, staring at our phone screens, some Cheeto dust in the corners of our mouths. It’s not the most intellectual look.

Imagine instead sitting on a train, book in hand and holding your chin as though you are considering something incredibly thoughtful. When in fact we’re actually reading Manga tucked into the pages of “The Great Gatsby.” The public perception of reading is generally good – if you read, you look like you’ve got a few brain cells to rub together. Until we can make watching TV look just as intellectual, people are going to judge us more favourably for holding a paperback than our iPads.

We Don’t Need Electricity

Can I get an amen? Electricity is cheap and so are chargers, but if our Kindle dies when we’re out and about and there are no outlets, what are we going to do? Wait until you get home to finish watching Love Island, that’s what.

Books get tatty and worn but their words don’t change, and they certainly don’t disappear entirely if they run out of battery. We are in no danger of boredom on our 9 hour flight to New York when we’ve got our trusty, tangible and electricity-free books.

In my opinion, books will always triumph over TV. We learn more, they don’t carry on without us when we fall asleep and they stand as a material reminder of our love for literature. In any case, one day our first editions are going to be worth a fortune!


Rosie Wylor-Owen was born in Worcester, England at the height of baggy
jeans and boy-band popularity. Her work has been featured in the
literary magazines The Fiction Pool, Anti-Heroin Chic and Ariel
Chart, and the Manawaker Studios Podcast. Her short story “Arm-in-Arm
with Alchemy” was accepted for publication by Otter Libris for
inclusion in the anthology “Magical Crime Scene Investigation.”
In February 2018 she won third place in the Fiction Writer’s Global
flash fiction contest for her story “In Exchange for Your Sins”.

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

The Shades of Winter   A Novel of the Averraine Cycle

 

An aging band of sea raiders set out on one last voyage of revenge, and get a whole lot more than they bargained for.

Tam Isliefsdottir wasn’t planning to end her life in a futile attempt for vengeance, but when your brothers- and sisters-in-arms need you, what can you do? Leaving her son and her granddaughter behind and sailing to the shadowy island of Alvandir, she expected to die gloriously for the sake of her country, her king, and her own reputation.

Nothing is as it seems, however, and it hasn’t been for the last twenty years. Tam and her Kyndred are in for the surprise of their lives.

Click HERE to read more or buy the book on Amazon.


The Agony and the Ecstasy of writing Your Third Novel

I must confess, I found writing my first novel (A Spell in the Country) incredibly easy.

Seriously: there was no pressure. I had a pretty simple plot, a good main character, with her own unique voice, and since I had no intention of ever publishing that book (it was the 90s and my chances, I knew, were in the negative numbers for getting a publisher) (and I was not wrong) so all I was doing was entertaining myself.

And Casting in Stone went together in about six months, because I had been telling myself that story almost since the day I typed “The End” on the first book.

But this one?

The Shades of Winter was two years of handwringing, whinging, and angst.

The first bit wasn’t so bad – I knew (I thought) who these people were and what they were doing.

And then, just past the mid-point, one of the characters threw me a plot twist that was so incredible, so interesting, so trope-twisting, that I HAD to run with it…

But for eight months, I wrote and deleted and wrote and deleted and wrote and deleted, groping to find the road back to the story I wanted to tell.

And you know what?

It isn’t over yet. There’s more to the Kyndred’s adventures, and more to all of the Averraine Cycle.

I hope you all come along for the ride.

 


About the Author

Morgan Smith has been a goatherd, a landscaper, a weaver, a bookstore owner, a travel writer, and an archaeologist, and she will drop everything to travel anywhere, on the flimsiest of pretexts. Writing is something she has been doing all her life, though, one way or another, and now she thinks she might actually have something to say.

You can discover more about Morgan Smith by visiting her website HERE, or go to Amazon HERE. Follow on social media: Facebook and Twitter.