A haunting nightmare
by Emma Right
The thing with dreams and nightmares is that it can haunt you long after you’re awake. I’ve had several of those in the past– and it came complete with that disoriented feeling when you first wake up and can’t even tell reality from your dream world. It’s so disconcerting, right? We’ve all had our fair share I am sure.
One of the scariest, or maybe I should say, disturbing dreams I’ve ever had left me waking up shivering. It wasn’t even as if I was chased by monsters, or had to go to a dirty public restroom without any shoes on–yes, I’ve had that yucky dream! No, those could be dismissed with less pain.
In this particular incident, as I awoke, after what felt like someone had pulled my legs and I’d jerked out of my sleep with a start, I sat up and stared at my dark surroundings. I couldn’t even figure out where I was. The one thing that filled my mind was the horror of the news I’d heard. My mother had just confessed that I was not really her biological child.
Even in the nightmare, which had seemed so normal and boring even, until she dropped the bomb on me, I couldn’t grasp what she’d said. Then it all hit me–I had another biological mother? Who was she? And then the realization that I was not who I thought I was all these past decades struck me, like a slap in the face and my world came crashing down around me. Have you ever felt this way? The power of a dream to obliterate all you’d believed in?
It’s interesting that even as an adult child, my connection to my mother, who lives too far away for me to visit each year even, was so powerful. What is even more troubling was the fact that the awful feeling I had when I awoke from my dream, persisted throughout the entire day after that–like a bitter taste that’s stays in your mouth even after you’ve drank tons of water or sucked on peppermint in an attempt to rid that horrible aftertaste.
Which brings me to my point–that the most haunting nightmares do not even have to be about ghosts or ghouls–and I’ve actual encountered a couple of these, I kid you not. (I might write about these true stories some day.) The things that touch us at the core are usually related to family and loved ones: People who have the power to invade our dream state and live in our subconscious, sometimes long after they have left this earth. Now that, to me, is real haunting.
Dead Dreams by Emma Right
Genre: Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Young Adult
Published: August 26th 2013
Eighteen-year-old Brie O’Mara has so much going for her: a loving family in the sidelines, an heiress for a roommate, and dreams that might just come true. Big dreams–of going to acting school, finishing college and making a name for herself. She is about to be the envy of everyone she knew. What more could she hope for? Except her dreams are about to lead her down the road to nightmares. Nightmares that could turn into a deadly reality.
Dead Dreams, Book 1, is a young adult psychological thriller and mystery.
Emma Right is a happy wife and homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast. Besides running a busy home, and looking after too many pets, she also enjoys reading aloud to her children and often has her nose in a book. Right was a copywriter for a major advertising agency during her B.C. years. B.C.meaning “Before Children,” which may as well have been in the B.C.era, as she always says. Please feel free to contact Emma. She’s always happy to hear from her readers.Read More
I originally planned on spotlighting RESILIENT back in September, but due to personal obligations it had to be postponed until now. Please check out these character profiles of Patricia Vanesse’s main characters in RESILIENT!
GUEST POST- Tell us about your main characters! Looks, personality, some background story, and/or maybe a few quotes from the story?
Height: 5 ft 6 in
Hair: Long wavy black
Eyes: Turquoise blue
As far as Livia knows, her biological parents abandoned her on the footsteps of a Catholic Church convent in New York City. She was adopted by the Berwick couple and raised with all the love she needed. Now she’s in search of her biological parents because she believes they have the answer to why she develops strange new powers every couple of years.
The first ability she developed was Empathy, which is the ability to feel emotions, thoughts, hopes, desires, and dreams of others. As cool as it sounds to be able to do something no one else can, Livia wishes she couldn’t. It affects her life making it difficult for her to live a normal teenage life. She has a strong personality and is very determined. Nothing will make her give up, until she wishes she had.
“Why would Mom think my abilities are gift from God? Why does Dad seem to think the opposite? Being able to heal fast is my fifth ability to develop. What will be next? Or will this be it? I need to find my biological parents—someone, somewhere has to know who they are and what I am. I wonder if I was born different and they knew they had to get rid of me. It would explain why they left me at a church; they thought only God could have mercy on me.” (Livia Berwick.)
Height: 6 ft 0 in
Hair: Dense and smooth Brown
Adam is the older son of Mr. and Mrs. Cooper, among his three younger siblings. He is the only one who doesn’t have red hair and green eyes. Adam believes he has gotten his father’s looks, but that’s all they have in common. Adam’s relationship with his father is hanging from a thin thread. The closer he gets closer to the truth about himself, the more he understands his father’s indifference toward him. To everyone’s eyes, Adam has a picture perfect life; his friends think he has it all. Adam is smart and athletic. He’s the captain of his school wrestling team and the quarterback for the football team. However, he’s constantly fighting a battle within himself. He can do things no human should be able to do. He keeps his love interests at arms length so they won’t see him how he sees himself—a freak with unexplainable abilities that would make him the perfect lab rat if discovered. That is until he meets Livia and starts to believe he’s not alone in his supernatural world. Adam is patient and he’s willing to wait for the truth to reveal everything.
“Something is off, but I can’t bring myself to look deeper. It would only make me hope that she might be different like me, and I know it’s impossible. It’s just an empty wish from my childhood—that I would find someone who has the same secrets so there would be no secrets” (Adam Cooper)
Resilient by Patricia Vanesse
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Pants on Fire Press
Published: September 2nd, 2013
Livia has never felt like she fits in. As normal as it sounds, Livia is anything but ordinary. She can feel every emotion of every single person around her, and it’s maddening. In pursuit of some psychic quiet, she moves with her family from New York City to Whidbey Island in the lush and sleepy Pacific Northwest. But when a horseback riding accident in her new home gives her a broken leg that heals in a day, she finds that another unexplainable ability has manifested, and her life isn’t about to get any easier.
Adam has no problem fitting in and making friends. In fact, he’s the top of the school, the boy everyone knows and loves. However, people only see what he allows them to. No one knows what Adam is truly capable of. After witnessing Livia’s accident, Adam sees something intriguing in her quick recovery, something that gives him hope that he’s not alone.
Adam is the only one whose emotions Livia can’t read. Afraid of not knowing what goes on behind his dark eyes, Livia decides to keep him at a distance. Yet the more she tries to ignore him, the more alluring he becomes, and while their personal quests for identity will inevitably bring them closer together, it is the confirmation of what they really are that threatens to tear them apart.
Resilient, told in alternating point of views, is a gripping story of survival and romance, in which two teenagers face the consequences of being anything but normal.
Patricia Vanasse was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Now she lives on Whidbey Island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two adorable children, and two crazy dogs. She has been trough Culinary Arts, Psychology, LawSchool, and now has finally found her passion in creative writing. She also loves traveling, cooking, and is an avid reader. Her strength- believes that everything is possible.
Have you read RESILIENT? What do you think of Livia and Adam?Read More
How To Write Funny
by Lance Manion
I’ve never really been impressed with authors that write long teary-eyed novels about people dying of terrible diseases or uplifting stories about the armless boy who made the wrestling team. That may be exactly what the reading public is looking for I don’t think it will be too long before computers can crank that crap out without the need of a frumpy middle-aged woman tapping away.
Same goes with the glut of teen wizards and werewolves that seem to be choking every shelf in the few remaining book stores.
It’s all 50 shades of the same stuff.
If you want to impress me … make me laugh.
Now I realize that the thought of impressing me is far down on your to-do list and with good reason. You’ve probably never heard of me and just the implication that I feel that you should be trying to impress me to begin with probably has you raising the trembling fist and strongly considering abandoning this post altogether. I understand completely.
That being said, you’re probably in need of some advice on how to make people laugh so stop your bellyaching and listen up.
Let me start with a joke you’ve probably heard before.
*Celine Dion walks into a bar. The bartender says “Why the long face?”*
Funny. No denying that.
It’s not just because Celine Dion has a long face. It’s because the joke doesn’t describe the bar. It just says bar and lets the listener picture any bar they want in their head. The perfect bar for Celine Dion to be walking into. The same goes with the bartender. When I heard that joke I, no doubt like yourself, had a very vivid image of what the bartender looked like and I’m guessing our two bartenders looked nothing alike.
It doesn’t matter. We both pictured just the right bartender to deliver the line “Why the long face?”
Rule #1: Don’t over-write.
Let the reader fill in as much detail as they can. They will image a much better scene in their head than you can possibly write. Get over yourself. Unless it’s critical to the story, just give the basics.
This next one is the most important rule and I’m regretting not making it #1 but to change it now would involve a lot of copying and pasting and frankly I’m just not up to it. Suffice to say, make a little mental note that this rule should be #1 but I’ll go ahead and call it #2.
Rule #2: Write to the right audience.
There are people out there that you’re never going to amuse. You need to keep your writing out of their miserable hands. What you want to look for is people who have an imagination similar to your own. Ideally you want people that have at one point in their lives looked down on an odd little plant they’d never seen before and felt the need to bend over and uproot it, took a closer look to confirm that it was in fact from another planet and was sent here to sprout and consume everything in its path, destroyed it and then said to themselves “You’re welcome Earth” as they walked away.
These are outstanding readers and exactly what you’re looking for. I cannot stress this enough. If you can’t find any of these than people who know that the time difference between the United States and Australia doesn’t mean that things happen at different relative times but still think to themselves they should find a friend in Australia to let them know how all the football games turned out before they were played so they can bet on them will do.
People with a healthy appreciation of a good run-on sentence don’t hurt either.
Got it? You have to accept that you’re not really that funny and you are completely dependent on the reader to find something redeeming about anything you come up with.
Rule #3 isn’t as important as Rule #2, which should be Rule #1, but it’s more important than Rule #1 so it really should be Rule #2.
And that rule is?
Rule #3: You have to connect.
You have to put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to be honest and never shy away from the stuff that makes you who you are. Funny writers have to make the reader feel like they are simpatico. For example, if you really like John Hughes movies don’t be afraid to burn 16 Candles at both ends.
See what I did there? The line itself isn’t funny but the connection to a beloved movie makes you find it redeeming (Rule #2).
Or, you hated the line and hate me and now wish you’d have abandoned this post back before Rule #1 (again, Rule #2 in action … you miserable bastard).
Rule #4 is truly the least important of the four so I’m happy to address it last.
Rule #4: If you’re going to use the word cornucopia in a sentence, the sentence better have to do with corn.
People are really touchy about that.
Well, I hope these four simple rules will help you in your attempts at writing funny stuff and that you return to review them often. Please let me know if you write something funny and go on to publish your own humorous short story collection. Obviously I’m far too busy to ever read it but it will give me the warm fuzzy feeling that I’ve helped a fellow writer blossom.
Homo sayswhaticus by Lance Manion
Published: May 16th, 2013
With this newest collection of irreverent short stories Manion once again asks the reader to get off the bench and into the game as he dishes out laughs, offense and even a few poignant moments. There is no point to be made here. Only the hope that somewhere amidst all the run-on sentences, unnecessary profanity and poor grammar, readers will come away with some unique thoughts of their own. Perfect reading for artists, commuters and people who spend an inordinate amount of time on the toilet.
Some writers pander to their audience and write whatever it is they think will sell. Others are bold enough to say what needs to be said.
Lance Manion is the author of four short story collection; Merciful Flush, Results May Vary, The Ball Washer his latest one Homo sayswhaticus. The book is available free for your eReader at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. He contributes to many online flash fiction sites and blogs daily on his website www.lancemanion.com . He finds the na at the end of banana as annoying as you would if it were bananana.
I’ve toyed with the concept of this post for six months. All my previous attempts I deleted, because they seemed too preachy for me. So, here’s my try number #122412 on…
10 Things that the Organizers of Book Tours Should Do
– to make life easier on your tour hosts
1) Personalize your blog tour invites.
Hi, my name is Lizzy. Lizzy likes to feel special. Tour invites addressed to Lizzy makes her feel like the tours were specifically tailored to her book interests. This makes Lizzy want to hit the sign up button.
2) Don’t host authors with sucky books.
Simply put, read something the author has written. In order to attract veteran book bloggers who will have the most promotional reach for the authors, you need to have a reputation of offering books that the bloggers will think are amazing. Two bad books from a tour company and they lose all credibility for me. I don’t want to be put in the situation of having to write a promotional piece for an author I don’t enjoy. I don’t want to suffer through books that are horribly edited.
3) Never, ever give two hosts the same guest post.
It’s like showing up to a party and seeing someone in the same outfit. Totally, not cool!
One company I was with in my early months used to give an option of 3 guest posts for the tour hosts to pick from. They were short, crappy, and everyone seemed to pick the same guest post.
I felt completely embarrassed to post something that had been posted before and I only did so because I felt compelled to honor my commitment. I didn’t sign up for any more guest posts from that company after that experience.
3) Send everything in one email.
The more emails you send me, the more likely I am to lose some part of the tour information. And when I’m writing up my post 3 hours before my scheduled date, I hate shifting between multiple emails just to find everything I’m looking for. If you absolutely must send information in separate emails. please resend everything.
4) Don’t make hosts hunt for information.
Please give us all the links, covers, author information, blurb, and publishing details. If you don’t take the time to make sure that we get all the information, then the information that ends up on our post may be missing or wrong.
5) Remind hosts 24 or 28 hours before scheduled tour date.
Sometimes, we forget. Optimally, if I see a reminder email, I always check to make sure that my scheduled post is set for the right date. Realistically, I’ll frantically search my email for my review copy and 12 hours later write up my review post for the tour. But, it is better for this frantic occurrence to happen before the scheduled date and not afterwards.
Because if I miss a my date, then I’ll spend the next 12 hours hunting for an alibi and you’ll have to explain to the author why you have deadbeat tour hosts.
7) Let hosts know if the author is expected to comment on tour stops.
I like to know if I should expect the author to comment on my post. I’ll make sure to comment back within a couple hours. If you don’t tell me, then there’s a chance that the author would stop by when I’m not home (aka at my computer) and that’s just an awkward feeling for both me and the author.
8) Expect and forgive last minute problems.
Things happen. Sick kids. Sick us. Lost email. Computer failures. Limbs falling off. Emotional breakdowns. Alien abductions. Et cetera.
We’re volunteers. Your blog tour is not our first priority in life. If you want priority, then you either need to pay us or offer free chocolate with blog tours. I am definitely motivated by free chocolate.
9) Understand that we promote what we like.
This might be about money for you, but this is about passion for us.
My promotional effort with each author is directly related to how much I love the author’s books. If it’s a ‘meh’, then don’t expect much more than a standardized tweet and Facebook post on my schedule date. If it’s great, then I’ll notify all my friends about it. If it’s amazing, then I’ll probably buy a copy to share with people. If it’s the greatest book ever written, then I’ll write the main character’s name on my next kid’s birth certificate.
10) Don’t beg for hosts.
If no one responds to your first email, there’s a damn good reason. It is one of three issues:
- The cover sucks.
- The description sucks.
- The author has a negative reputation. Either the author has a reputation for putting out sub-par books or the author has not been nice to reviewers in the past.
If you beg, then you’ll make me feel guilty. If you make me feel guilty, then I’ll either sign up for the tour with a book that I probably won’t enjoy and then I’ll unsubscribe from your mailing list. Or, I’ll skip the tour sign up and just unsubscribe. I have a hectic enough schedule without 5 emails in one week about a tour that no one wants to participate in.
Next time, make sure the book is good before you take the money. Quality over quantity. Passion over purse.
EDIT: I also wanted to add that a three star review is NOT a negative review. It often means that the ‘book was good but not for me’. This type of review still sells books. I refuse (on principle) to sign up for tours that do not allow three star reviews. I have dropped out of tours if I’m informed that a three star review isn’t good enough for the author.Read More
Step aboard with an exclusive look at the DWRC ENDURE STATION, the setting for the sci-fi/romance ENDURE series by S. A. Huchton
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UNCLASSIFIED FOIA PRESS RELEASE
PUBLIC INFORMATION ON DWRC ENDURE STATION INFORMATION
Welcome to the Deep Water Research Command Endure!
This ten-story compound is home to over five thousand UN, military, and civilian personnel, all dedicated to peace and furthering the scientific understanding of our world. Built in less than one year, the Endure is the crowning jewel of the UN’s subaquatic outpost network. Its one-mile, cylindrical frame supports not only human life, but is home to its very own dolphin pod, who are an experiment in partial captivity. If you look closely, you may see them utilizing the outer tubes as we approach, and might even get lucky and catch a glimpse of them in the open water surrounding the facility.
Running along the perimeter of the Endure are also the channels for the Station Access Train. Over thirty-one miles of electromagnetic track run around each of the ten floors of the station, providing the inhabitants with a convenient way to get from point A to point B. Also upon approach, you will note the large, clear dome at the very top of the construction. This addition is new and completed only recently. Visitors and staff alike can now enjoy a three hundred and sixty degree view of the surrounding ocean from the Observation Deck.
The Depot is the heart of the Endure. All shuttles, transports, supply craft, and expeditionary vessels are docked here, allowing for the constant flow of goods and personnel. There are eight autotransporter tracks running down the center of the Depot; four for cargo and four for passengers. Cargo goes to the warehouse levels below for distribution, the others will take you to one of ten other gates, all scattered around the station.
Depto Gate 9 leaves you on the level with the Pod Research lab, where researchers study the resident dolphins inside the Endure, the largest of the three medical facilities on board, Med Bay 1, and the Bridge, where all of the life support, defense systems, and communications are handled. Over twenty personnel man these stations around the clock, keeping the station running in perfect order.
The remainder of the station is comprised of laboratories, crew berthing, and facilities for the detachment of deployable military personnel who function as first responders in crises within the Endure’s area of operation.
The various labs aboard research everything from technology to biology, with applications reaching far outside the scope of subaquatic living. Among the researchers are some of the most brilliant minds of our age, including young Nobel Laureate, Dr. Lydia Ashley and computer prodigy Daniel Brewer, son of the Endure’s Commander, Captain Samuel Brewer.
Each berthing level consists of multiple sectors, all including their own crew lounge where the inhabitants can relax and unwind after a long watch or day scientific study. Here, personnel can unwind with over five-hundred entertainment feeds broadcast onto wide screen displays or engage in an assortment of video games or books. Enlisted personnel have shared berthing aboard the Endure, with private staterooms for senior officers, research staff, and VIP visitors. All are equipped with comfortable beds, private bathrooms, and personal computer terminals for placing private calls, watching entertainment feeds, or accessing the station’s internet. Three galleys and an officer wardroom provide the best in food service for the Endure’s hungry population, and a new addition is in the beginning stages of construction to accommodate families for the elite personnel stationed here.
All of this and more await you in this exciting step in man’s exploration of the uncharted reaches of our planet!
Maven (The Endure Series, Book 1) by S. A. Huchton
Genre: Science Fiction Romance (New Adult)
Published: June 3rd, 2013
Formats available: print, .mobi, PDF, ePub
Cover Artist: Starla Huchton
How far would you go for love?
Since losing her parents at 14, young prodigy Dr. Lydia Ashley has focused on one thing: an appointment on the Deep Water Research Command Endure. Now 21, she’s about to realize that dream, but nothing is how she imagined it would be. Her transitional sponsor forgets her, her new lab is in complete chaos, and, as if that weren’t enough, she’s about to discover something so horrific it could potentially destroy all life on the planet.
Daniel Brewer, a noted playboy and genius in his own right, may be exactly what she needs… Or he may make everything worse.
Has she finally found a puzzle she can’t solve?
Nemesis (The Endure Series, Book 2) by S. A. Huchton
Genre: Science Fiction Romance (New Adult)
Published: August 26th, 2013
Formats available: print, .mobi, PDF, ePub
Cover Artist: Starla Huchton
Print copy: Amazon
Tech genius Daniel Brewer isn’t the only one with a romantic history. Already weighed down with the impossible problem of the Maven Initiative’s plans for world domination and disaster, Dr. Lydia Ashley is finding it more and more difficult to keep things in balance. With an old flame reappearing and the schemes of a vindictive new rival thrown into the mix, her hopes for a life with Daniel may be on the brink of annihilation.
When Lydia’s past is brought to light, one big secret could destroy everything.
Starla Huchton released her first novel, The Dreamer’s Thread, as a full cast podcast production beginning in August 2009. Her first foray went on to become a double-nominee and finalist for the 2010 Parsec Awards. Since her debut, Starla’s voice has appeared in other podcasts including The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, The Drabblecast, and Erotica a la Carte. She is also a voice talent for Darkfire Productions, and narrates several of their projects, including The Emperor’s Edge series, This Path We Share, and others. Her writing has appeared in the Erotica a la Carte podcast, a short story for The Gearheart (earning her a third Parsec nomination), and an episode of the Tales from the Archives podcast (the companion to Tee Morris and Philippa Balantine’s Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series), which garnered her a second finalist badge from the 2012 Parsec Awards. Her second novel, a Steampunk adventure entitled Master of Myth, was the first place winner in the Fantasy/Science Fiction category of The Sandy Writing Contest held annually by the Crested Butte Writers Conference. Maven is her third completed novel and the first in a planned series of four, being released under the name S. A. Huchton, with Nemesis being the second in the series.
After completing her degree in Graphic Arts, Starla opened up shop as a freelance graphic designer focusing on creating beautiful book covers for independent authors and publishers. She currently lives in Virginia where she trains her three Minions and military husband.
Expect a review of Maven in the upcoming months!Read More