Sunday 31 March 2013

Book Impressions - Mirrors

I've just finished Damien J Nash's new story 'Mirrors',it is the first book in his new London Town series. In a bold move he isn't releasing this via Amazon,but exclusively through his own website.At the end of this post you can find out how to get this, but first my impressions of the story.

The story starts with a scientist who has created technology to see into parallel universes. It's an interesting story that I enjoyed reading. The pace is good, although the story is short, although for free I can hardly complain.

It's certainly whet my appetite for more stories in the series.

What would today be like without all the science and technology that runs every aspect of our lives? Jackson Rockstone knows. He has created a window through the barriers between realities alternate to our own. From his laboratory he observes a thousand Londons, all different, all unique. His favourite London has no electricity, no cars or commuters, but it does have him. He’s not a scientist in this other London, but a murderer, the master of a criminal underworld. He can only watch, sharing his double’s life as if it were the ultimate reality show. That is, until the betrayal of a woman catapults him into his new city. Scared and alone in a strange yet familiar world, what choice does he have except to find the only man he knows?

Join in the discussion about this Damien's new release on KUF.

Mirrors is available free from the London Town website.

Universal Truth? (New 100 Word Story)

A new drabble (100 word story) written by me has been posted in the Indie Bargains newsletter - visit to sign up for the daily newsletter of  free and bargain Kindle books.

Universal Truth?

I've been told that light is good and evil is darkness. If this true then I discovered something. Imagine you are in a room filled with light. Look at the floor and you'll see your shadow. Your being in the light has introduced darkness, a mar on the light's perfection.
Now turn the light off. It's dark isn't it? But note how you can no longer see your shadow. It seems that evil remains unchanged by the presence of something, where the good is automatically changed.
What does this mean? I don't know, but it keeps me up at night.

Guest Post - Across the Stars by Laurel A Rockefeller

Across the Stars:  Bringing music to Beinan

By Laurel A. Rockefeller

When most people think of music in science fiction or fantasy, odds are really good one of two things come to mind:  1) background scores for motion pictures and tele-pictures or 2) J.R.R. Tolkien.  Except in dedicated poetry books music is rather scarce in literature.  We just don’t typically see characters – in any genre – breaking out in song.  Until this year, I too never thought of music and novels as really going together.  Aren’t the two mutually exclusive?  Books might be adapted into operas or musical theater or films (Les Misérables is a nice recent example), but we just do not see regular books including music.

I am a singer songwriter.  I am also author of the Peers of Beinan series books and a long-time member of the Society for Creative Anachronism where I’ve been singing for over twenty years.  Medieval and Renaissance music from both Europe and Asia infuses my consciousness.  When I am feeling something strongly and need to express myself, I make up a song and sing.

The Peers of Beinan is science fiction/fantasy, but it’s also infused with my vast knowledge of medieval history.  Beinarian culture is a feudal culture based in part on Anglo-Irish history with a constitutional monarchy and “great council” that is a sort of melding of today’s modern parliament and monarchy in London with its medieval predecessor.  The so-called “high middle ages” saw the debut of the troubadour and songs of personal, romantic love.

Half way through writing my second book, “Ghosts of the Past” I found myself singing – or more exactly – my characters started singing.  The first songs in the novel appear in situations where culturally we expect to hear music:  a wedding, an inauguration, and a memorial service for those killed in a terrorist bombing.  Embolden by finding my voice in these very logical situations, more music followed.  A daughter finds her father murdered, pierced with five crossbow quarrels.  Not knowing how to react and with dozens of courtiers around her, she sings in response.  Those of you who have seen the trailer for “Ghosts of the Past” on ( have heard me sing this song,

“He was a strong and noble lord
With piercing eyes of grey
He sat upon his noble throne
Shining like the dawn
His sword flashed like the brightest star
He led our people well
Yet here and now he lays
In blood pierced with arrows

He was the friend of many knights
He loved the warrior games
His heart was won by a lady fair
For marriage they did wait
A kindly prince, his duty carried
Him to another's bed
And on her death true love returned
Finally they wed

He felt the grief of children lost
To murder and to pain
I was the youngest of his blood
I'll never be the same
Here lays my father and my lord
I know not what to say!
Except my father and my lord
Was slain here on this day!

Here lays my father and my lord
I know not what to say!
Except my father and my lord
Was slain here on this day!”

It is a song of sorrow, but it is also very much true to the medieval European tradition – Germanic and Celtic.  J.R.R. Tolkien gave me permission to write this song; certainly the Lord of the Rings is also filled with such ballads of heroism, love, and sorrow.

And yet it remains the great exception to the rule to write music into novels.  Is it for a lack of talent by authors to write lyrically? I think not; I know many fine musicians across the world, including published authors.  But it is perhaps more due to people not considering having their characters sing, especially in the science fiction genre where the idea seems oxymoronic.

Perhaps it is the history-grounded nature of my writing that makes it easier?  What are my songs but a continuation of Anglo-Irish musical traditions flowing through the same contexts that made our ancestors sing?  “Beowulf” was such a song, after all!

Perhaps it is time to re-think music and literature and realize, as our ancestors did, that music and stories go together like music and lyrics!

Until then, I hope you enjoy my songs from across the stars and across time and will, from time to time, allow me to indulge you with song and the melodies that never cease to flow through my mind and heart.

Laurel is also the author of 'The Ghosts of the Past':

The Ghosts of the Past
Planet Beinan is falling apart as healing centers across the planet are bombed by an unseen assailant. Only one knight of Ten-Ar can find the truth before all hope is lost forever.

And what of the new queen's youngest daughter, Princess Anyu? Will she escape before Lord Yelu can destroy her?

Spanning four generations and nearly two thousand Earth years, the fate of an entire planet hangs in the balance in this courtly epic of love, courage, murder, and mystery.

Book two of the Peers of Beinan series. Part two of the Anlei's Legacy arc.

Parental guide:
Language: no profanity
Sex/nudity: mild
Violence: non-graphic
Adult situations: murder, terrorism, sexual violence

ISBN: 1482794489

About the author:
Laurel A. Rockefeller was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. A natural singer-songwriter from an early age, Laurel's interest in physics and astronomy were inspired by both early visits to Lincoln's Hyde observatory and by the 1977 release of George Lucas' "Star Wars" which caught her imagination alongside with Arthurian legends and medieval songs and tales.

During her freshman year at the University of Nebraska, Laurel discovered the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, inspiring her to write her sonnet "Why Bilbo?" which the American Tolkien Society published in 1991. More publications followed as Laurel's skill for writing increased with her education and life experience.

Today, Laurel is mostly known for her non-fiction work, particularly for Yahoo Voices on everything from movie reviews to historical research to science, frugal living, politics, and beyond.

The Peers of Beinan is Laurel's first science fiction series.

To view more of Laurel's work, please visit: and

Buy now from Amazon

Last Day Of The Tour

And we come to the last day of the 'Conversations in the Abyss' blog tour. We end the tour at Elizabeth Rose's blog 'The Singing Roses':

Thanks to Liz and thanks to everyone for their support with the tour. I've visited some excellent blogs and met many wonderful people. Thanks again!

Guest Author Interview - Uzuri WIlkerson

For the third day in the in the Easter guest author blitz we welcome Uzuri WIlkerson:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hello, my name is Uzuri Wilkerson. I am a school secretary and store manager at a natural food store. I am also an author. After graduating from Wellesley College in 2005 where I studied film, I eventually moved back to fiction writing. I always try to find time throughout the day to write. My notebooks are full of musings and story ideas that I hope to translate at some point into novels. I moved to Boston with my family when I was nine and I try to use the city as a backdrop in all of my stories.

I still find it so exciting saying that I’m an author, I just had to repeat it.

What first inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always been a reader. I love good plots and exciting characters. It was only natural that I would try writing my own stories because I have such a vivid imagination.

Do you have a favourite place where you write?
No, I generally find time at my job to write or I’m on my couch at home typing away on my computer. When I was younger I would go to my room with the lights down low and soft music playing. I need to find a space like that in my adult life.

If you could work with any author, who would it be?
James Patterson popped into my head first, I think because I just recently finished one of his books. Although I didn’t like that particular one, I do enjoy his non-series books. I can tell there’s a formula and I’m intrigued by how the bad guys always get their comeuppance. I like thrillers and mysteries so I think he would be a good person with which to work.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I like rereading and finding little pieces that make me emotional. It could be an encounter or a snippet of dialogue. Anything that brings out a laugh or makes me go, “When did I put that in?” is gratifying.

And the least?
Probably the research part. Most of my stories take place in modern times but when there’s a setting or something that occurs in the past, I have to stop and research to make sure things make sense. And with this series, I have to plan what will go in each book. I have to work harder to make sure it all comes together properly. I have to basically stand back and view the entire series from afar, not just each book.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
I would say to figure out that one thing that will start your story—whether it’s a character or setting or event. That usually sparks an idea for me. Then you can either do an outline or just start writing like I do.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m doing the final editing touches on Sour, the second volume in my vampire series. It is due for release in June.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My novel is called Sweet. It is adult paranormal fiction set in modern day Boston, Mass. Our main character Celia is dating a vampire. She enjoys what they have but when doubts about their future creep in—he’ll outlive her, he drinks human blood—she starts to stray. That’s when she meets Jay, a Texan hunter in town on the pursuit of a dangerous vampire. Jay is rugged, sexy, and opinionated, and when he joins up with a local bunch of hunters, he becomes a danger to Celia’s boyfriend Victor. The fight between vampires and hunters for control of Boston has just begun… with Celia caught in the middle.

You can stay up-to-date on all things Sweet through my website ( You can also follow me on Facebook (, Twitter (, and Goodreads. Sweet is for sale through Barnes & Noble and Amazon, including the Kindle store.

Buy now from Amazon

Saturday 30 March 2013

Guest Author Interview - Elizabeth Rose

For the second day in the guest author interview blitz we welcome Elizabeth Rose.

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I write under the name of Elizabeth Rose. I write mostly woman's fiction at the moment (though I've always had a love affair with fantasy), and I also write poetry under my real name.

What first inspired you to start writing?
When I first wrote fiction, it was mostly for entertainment. I was really into the creating of worlds, like Tolkien and Paolini, and into big fight scenes full of sensual gore. I have a good half-dozen of those kinds of stories stored up, but I could never finish them. Because I could never finish my fiction, I abandoned it for awhile and turned all my attention to poetry.

I recently got back into fiction as a kind of counter-reaction to the current mainstream woman's fiction available today. I truly believe in the power that stories have over the way that we see the world- and these novels that glorify abusive relationships and repeatedly fail the Beschdel test just don't seem empowering or life-giving to me at all. I wanted to have something for women to read that was digestible, but not vacuous. So I ended up trying to write it myself.

How do you get yourself in the mood for writing?
I pretty much just force myself to do it. With 'Till the Last Petal Falls I made myself write for no less than ten minutes each class period (I'm still in college), and did this every day. If I felt stuck, I might go do something else creative to 'unblock' myself, such as decorating or cleaning my house, writing a poem, sketch(I painted the rose used on the cover art). I basically refuse to let myself stagnate creatively.

If you could write anyone's biography, whose would it be?
Oh man, hands down- Terry Pratchett. I was raised on his Discworld novels. My biggest influences in life, in order, have been God, Terry Pratchett, and my mother. I would give almost anything to spend time with him and know more about him and how the Discworld, and my favorite characters, came to be. I think it would be the most fruitful discussion.

Where do you get your best ideas from?
From real life, probably. Every character I write is, at the least, a mash-up of a bunch of people I know. I've been blessed to have a ridiculously diverse set of experiences throughout my life- both really fun and also exceedingly horrifying- and it gives me such a wealth of things to write about. I also draw inspiration from the stories that were told to me as a child. I'm fascinated with the myriad of ways that one story can be told in order to provide different meanings. It excites me.

What is your favourite book? And why?
Oh, man- you're going to make me choose? If I could list all of Pratchett's novels, I would... but I'm going to limit myself to something I've read recently, and that would be 'Good Omens', which was a collaborative effort between Pratchett and Gaimen (another favorite), taking a satirical look at the impending apocalypse and what it truly means to be a 'good' or 'bad' person. I'm a very devout Catholic, and seeing the mature theological view of an atheist/agnostic like Pratchett really challenges my way of thinking in so many good ways. I feel like 'Good Omens' is a call to action- like every good book should.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Don't settle for writing something 'entertaining'. Write from the heart. Write something that you are completely passionate about. If that happens to be mainstream romance, go for it. But there is plenty of fluff fiction out there- we don't need more. We need more writing for the heart!

What are you working on at the moment?
I'm currently working on the second title of the 'Once Upon a Reality' series, which will take a look at post-partum depression through the lens of Sleeping Beauty. It's tentatively titled 'To Dwell in Dreams', and I'm about half-way through the first draft. I've taken a step back in order to put more work in on my Honors thesis (I graduate December 2013), but I should be going back to it full steam this summer.

Tell us about your latest work and how we find out more.
Till the Last Petal Falls is a dark re-telling of Beauty and the Beast that challenges our notions of how far romantic love can take us in regards to redemption. Though that may sound charming, it is not a story for the faint of heart.

To order the book, selling at the retail price of $16.95, visit

For more information on me, visit:

Buy now from Amazon

Thanks to Liz for sharing her thoughts with us, tomorrow we welcome Uzuri Wilkerson to the hot seat.

Day 30 - Review Posted On Damien J Nash's Site

For the penultimate stage of the 'Conversations in the Abyss' blog tour we visit Damien J Nash's site where he has posted a review of the book:

Thanks Damien!

An Odd Quartet Is Available For Free Download

An Odd Quartet is available for free download over Easter.

 [Image: q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B009QJMMPC...pacenet-21]

A quartet of dark short stories (10,000 words) to thrill and chill.

The Yellow Lady
Grave robbing is a dirty business, in more ways than one. When he disturbs the grave from a childhood scary story he discovers it's not always treasure to be found.

This Empty Place
At the heat death of the universe, Death contemplates his existence.

Forced Entry
Terrorists seize an average suburban house. A Special Forces hostage rescue team is sent in and encounter more than they were trained for.

The Reluctant Demon
A young demon prepares to take his possession exam.

I'm pulling all my books out  of Select so this is likely to be my last free promo,so grab a copy while you can!

Download now from Amazon

Friday 29 March 2013

Guest Author Interview - Sean Pol MacUisdin

There's nothing quite like a freezing cold day to welcome the Easter weekend, still I have the day off, which is nice although I'll be back in the office tomorrow. Today is the first post in the guest author interview week long blitz as part ofmy Easter celebration and to start us off, we meet author Sean MacUisdin, read what he has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Sean Pol MacUisdin and I'm an independently published author and a sailor in the Royal Canadian Navy. In between, I have a wife and child that I spend as much time as I can with them and with my Highland Collie, Ajax.

What first inspired you to start writing?
Writing is an outlet for me - it allows me to release the fantastic and sometimes wondrous imagery in my head.

What attracted you to writing science fiction?
Science fiction (and fantasy) allows me an opportunity to combine what is sometimes the banal with the fantastic to create a unique world. Whether it's tundra camels and paddlewheelers on the colony of Samsara 20 light years from Earth or life onboard a NASA frigate investing the disappearance of a ship beyond Jupiter, science fiction gives me a range of possibilities and extremes that lets me tell my stories and have a lot of fun with them.

If you could work with any author who would it be?
Patrick O'Brian. By far the best writer of historical fiction, in my opinion, and a guy who really knew how to tell a story with an eye for detail.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I enjoy the process. For me, a story begins with a series of basic scenes which I will spend weeks repeating in my head, adding dialogue, emotion, and detail until it is ready for me to type it out.

And the least?
Marketing. Mind, I'm getting to like it a bit more, but I'm still a bit out of my depth with it. Plus it takes away from my writing time.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Write. Get it on paper first and worry about the rest afterwords. That and start right away researching marketing. Getting a leg up may help make this your day job.

What are you working on at the moment?
I have two projects on the go. I am finishing up my third novella; a sci-fi adventure telling the tales of the United Nations Off-World Legion on Samsara in orbit around Delta Pavonis 20 light years from Earth. It's called Tongs, Tartan, and Tin Pot Battleships. I also have my first urban fantasy project, called Aeonghus Dubh, which tells the story of two unlikely souls that meet on a hill top in Victoria, British Columbia. Jennifer Brodie, a young girl crippled by grief after her father and brother died in a car accident that she cannot remember, and Aeonghus Dubh, a Scottish faerie wracked by guilt who fled the old world 150 years before in the hold of a Royal Navy warship to find solitude in the wilds of the new colony of Vancouver Island.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
All my books can be found on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Kobo through my website

My books are also located on iBooks.

My latest book is Jupiter Rising - The Columbus Protocols, sequel to Europa Rising - The Divine Hammer, which has been entered in Amazon's 2013 Breakout Novel contest.

Buy now from Amazon

Thanks to Sean for sharing his thoughts, tomorrow we welcome Elizabeth Rose to the hot seat.

Win A Signed Copy Of Conversations in the Abyss

There's only a couple of days left to enter a chance to win a signed copy of 'Conversations in the Abyss' on the Kindle Users Forum. Click the link below to enter:

Good luck!

Day 29 - Interviewed On The Luna Risen Blog

We're drawing to the end of the 'Conversations in the Abyss' blog tour. It's been a fun journey, but we're not quite finished yet! Today an interview with me has been posted on the Luna Risen website:

Thanks Matt and if any readers are fans of fantasy fiction they should check out his books while you are there.

Thursday 28 March 2013

Day 28 - Interview & Review By Sara Boyd

For today's blog visit I'm welcomed by Sara Boyd on her blog. She has posted an interview with me and a review for 'Conversations in the Abyss'. I've been receiving some great reviews for books, which is quite simply awesome :-)

Thanks Sara!

Wednesday 27 March 2013

The Dance (New 100 Word Story)

A new drabble (100 word story) written by me has been posted in the Indie Bargains newsletter - visit to sign up for the daily newsletter of  free and bargain Kindle books.

The Dance

We're condemned to the dance that never ends. With the exaggerated etiquette of the cursed we hold hands and bow. The same every night we dance, watched only by the sentinels of stone that circle this barren hilltop. There's no light to guide our feet, only the howl of the forlorn wind to provide our rhythm.
Unseen in the dark we spin and pray. Always begging for release from our unjust punishment. A celebration of love long damned by Heaven's sight. A love now faded with roses of blood. Our prayers left unanswered and so on dead limbs we dance.

Day 27 - Five Things I Hate

In today's blog visit we do something a little bit different. Over on M T McGuire's blog she's posted five things I hate. Take a read through and then vote on which items should be consigned to box 010:

Thanks MT!

Book Impressions - Creatures of Appetite

Creatures of Appetite is a thriller centred around the hunt for the Iceman, a killer of children. It clips along at a good pace and the story unfolds nicely. It goes a little crazy at the end, but it worked well. 

I have a minor issue with the writing. There is some tense confusion, although looking at the pattern I think it might be a style thing. Either way it didn't work for me and stood out in what was otherwise a well written book. However you shouldn't let that put you off as it is a enjoyable story, especially if you enjoy tales of serial killers.

They call it the Heartland Child Murders. 
Everyone else calls it a nightmare. 
Locked doors don’t stop him. 
He leaves no trace behind. 
He only takes little girls. 
His nickname… 

The Iceman. 

A deranged serial killer roams wintry rural Nebraska targeting little girls with a demented purpose that no one can fathom. 

Special Agent EMMA KANE, a former DC cop and damaged goods now with the FBI, is assigned to baby-sit burned out profiler JACOB THORNE, once the best in the business but now said to have lost his edge, as they both fly to Nebraska to catch this maniac. 

Thorne is erratic, abrasive and unpredictably brilliant, but what he and Kane find in the heartland is much more than anyone bargained for, especially when the Iceman challenges them personally, where it hurts most. 

The clock is ticking and a little girl’s life is on the line. 

And maybe even more with that, once they find out what he’s really up to. 

Buy now from Amazon

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Day 26 - Guest Post On Geoff Wakeling's Site

As we roll into day 26 of the 'Conversations in the Abyss' blog tour I visit Geoff Wakeling's site where he has posted an article from me about how I put together this blog tour. Sounds a a bit meta :-)

While you are there, make sure to check out out his books. I posted my review of Inside Evil recently and highly recommend it!

Thanks Geoff!

Monday 25 March 2013

Day 25 - Review On Ignite Books

Twenty five days into the tour and we're into the final week (shame!) and a five star review has been posted on the Ignite Books. I'm chuffed at getting such a favourable review!

Thanks Kath!

Guest Author Interview - Ronald Klueh

The snow is almost gone, but it's still pretty chilly here. Anyway, welcome to a new week and a new guest author interview, today we meet Ronald Klueh.

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?

Besides writing and wanting to some day be introduced as a novelist, I am a scientist by training with a PhD in Metallurgy and Materials Science. I spent many years as a research metallurgist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and at present, I am a materials consultant. Being self-employed, I now have more time for writing.

What first inspired you to start writing?
I think I liked reading action stories when I was a kid, and I did a lot of day dreaming back then—I look back at them as novels of the mind. After two years in the army, I was still interested in writing, and I was accepted by the Indiana University Journalism School and the Purdue University School of Engineering. Although the idea of writing appealed, I chose Purdue—more money and jobs in engineering. I thought if I flunked out of engineering I could always go to journalism.

As a scientist, I wrote and published many technical papers, but I still wanted to write for a general audience. I began to write science articles for the layman, which branched into short stories. Since there was little demand for such stories, I turned to trying to write a novel.

I have used my scientific background in my fiction, especially in Perilous Panacea, which involves nuclear terrorism. My scientific career as a metallurgist developing steels for nuclear reactors gave me a background that was useful for the novel. I think of the book as fitting the techno-thriller genre popularized by Tom Clancy.

If you could write anyone's biography, whose would it be?
That is an interesting question. Although I have at times searched my mind for a non-fiction book subject, I don’t think I ever considered a biography. People who interest me are successful people who started out in an environment or with some other condition that by all outward appearances would seem to condemn them to never escape their circumstances. My brother was born with spina bifida that caused his body to be unable to function below the waist. He had many problems as a child and through his school years. After high school, he became a linotype operator at a newspaper. From there, he worked himself up to becoming a writer and eventually an editor for a newspaper. I regret that I didn’t really recognize his accomplishments until after he passed away at a young age.

Stephen Hawking is such a well-known person. Sixty years ago he contracted motor neuron disease and was given two years to live. That didn’t stop him from going to Cambridge University and eventually become a brilliant theoretical physicist and professor where he obtained the chair first occupied by Isaac Newton. There are many such people, for whom I have a deep admiration, and it is biographies of such people I like to read and would want to write.

Where is your favourite place to write?
I have an office in the loft of my home to which I can escape to and think and write.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
When I get into the story I am writing and the words are flowing, I find myself completely relaxed. It is an amazing feeling that seems to last well beyond the period I spent putting the words on paper—or on the hard disk of the computer. I actually started writing back in the days of typewriters, onion skins, and carbon paper (many young people probably know what these items are), and I do not remember that relaxed feeling in those days. I would first write the story in long hand with a pencil and then type it. I was always making typos, which had to be erased or covered with “White Out” liquid. On occasion I read about older writers who never made the transition from the typewriter and say they could never write except on that typing machine. Although at the time I wondered if I could make the change, I found the transition quite easy.

And the least?
I guess it would be trying to get people to read the book. As a salesman, I am a failure—perhaps because I never tried hard enough, although I hope not.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
When I finished my first novel back in the typewriter age, I got an agent, and I began dreaming of how great it would be to be a full-time novelist with the money and fame. Despite several agents, fame and fortunate never appeared. From the time I started Perilous Panacea until it was published took about thirty years. That journey is described in the “Road to a Novel” section on the Perilous Panacea website.

Therefore, my advice to the new and aspiring writer is: have fun writing, and worry about fame and fortune. If money and fame are your goal, the probability is very high you will be greatly disappointed. As I said, I once had such dreams, and they occasionally still seep out of the nether regions of my mind, but I eventually realized it wasn’t going to happen. I kept writing because I enjoyed the process.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am writing a coming of age novel about a fifteen-year-old Tennessee boy who gets in trouble and is forced to enlist in the army, where he struggles for maturity and love in post-World War II Japan before being transported to war and heroism in Korea. This is different from what I’ve tried before, and it is challenging since I don’t have my technical training to fall back on.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
Perilous Panacea begins with an Israeli raid on Iran’s nuclear weapons complex that destroys Iran’s nuclear capability. Shortly thereafter, an American computer genius approaches an Iranian agent with an ingenious computer-driven plan to hijack National Nuclear Security Agency carrying plutonium and enriched uranium. Once they have nuclear material they will build atomic bombs within the United States. To manufacture the bombs, an Iranian expatriate scientist is blackmailed and two U.S. scientists are kidnapped. They know they must escape to stop the plan … escape or die. Meanwhile, bureaucratic interference and media leaks spread chaos in the corridors of power in Washington and hinder the FBI pursuit of the missing nuclear material.

The novel’s title refers to the dichotomy of nuclear science. The panacea: nuclear reactors with unlimited energy without the pollution and carbon dioxide of fossil-fired plants that produce most of the world’s energy. The perils: nuclear weapons and destruc¬tion and chaos for the world. Unfortunately, Fukushima in Japan highlights another peril, and in Perilous Panacea, this peril is unleashed on an unsuspecting town.

Readers can find out much more about the book and about me and the 30 years it took to write the book at the Perilous Panacea website.

The book is available at (Kindle and paperback), Google eBooks (Adobe.pdf, Tablet, iPad, Nook), and Barnes and Noble (Nook and paperback). It is also available at Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Japan, Amazon Italy, Amazon Spain; Amazon Austria, and at Bookadda India.

Thanks to Ronald for sharing his thoughts with us, on Wednesday we invite Sean MacUisdin to the hot seat. As a special treat for Easter I'll be posting interviews this weekend as well.

Day 24 - Interviewed By Sherrie Cronin

Ok, so I'm a day late posting this, but in my defence I was feeling poorly last night so had an early night. Anyway, the 'Conversations in the Abyss' blog tour continues (with or without me!) and yesterday we visiting Sherrie Cronin's blog where she has posted an interview with me.

While you are there check out her latest book - thanks Sherrie!

Sunday 24 March 2013

Follow My Releases On Indie Bargains

The Indie Bargains website now has a feature where you can be notified of author's new releases. To sign up for mine, click on the link below:

I've Joined The Facebook Crowd

I have finally given in to peer pressure and joined Facebook, feel free to pop by my page and say hello!

Saturday 23 March 2013

Day 23 - Interviewed On Caledonia Lass's Website

Continuing the 'Conversations in the Abyss' blog tour I am interviewed on Caledonia Lass's website:

Thanks Mel!

Wonderful Review For The Cult of Me

I've received a wonderful review for 'The Cult of Me' I'd like to share with everyone:

It's reviews like this that make the effort worthwhile :-)

The Accused (New 100 Word Story)

A new 100 story has been posted in the Indie Bargains newsletter - visit to sign up for the daily newsletter of  free and bargain Kindle books.

The Accused

You stand before this court accused of crimes against humanity.
The charges against you are first the one billion deaths of genocide by drowning. In addition there are several counts of biological warfare and spiritual terrorism thought the world over a period of several thousand years.
The lesser charges include writing material likely to cause offence. There are also several million counts of inciting racial and religious hatred. You are also accused of the false imprisonment for over 100 billion souls. Last but not least, is the complicit conspiracy in the murder of your own son.
How do you plead?

Book Impressions - The Troll Trap

Let me start by saying that this book probably wasn't written for me. You see I'm not a child and this is a children's story. There are some that would argue that really I am still a kid who has just kept growing over the years, but what do they know?

Now some would also say that an adult shouldn't read a story intended for children and to them I say "Phooey! You're talking out of your pooh hole!" If people listened to such talk then they would miss gems like this. In some ways it was quite refreshing to read a story that is essentially pure, it lives in the imagination. Although on a few occasions I did wonder if it was actually a clever allegory about immigration and new people adjusting to life in a strange land.

Whether that is the case or not is irrelevant, this is a fun story. Well written and full of the wonder I remember seeing in the world as a young boy. The book is illustrated with some charming cartoons. Well worth a read no matter what size child you are.

Rufus Sebbleford is the only boy in the world to have ever seen a real troll. So, when he finds out that trolls plan to attack Sludgeside School, he must stop them with the help of his good friend Polly. Meanwhile, the Super-Troll-Knobbly-Foot family decide to turn their backs on smelly bottoms and eating children. They don't want to be bad any more. So, they paint themselves orange and try to live like humans. However, being enormous, horned and slimy makes it difficult to blend in. Will Sludgeside ever be safe from the disgusting bad trolls and their horrifying leader, The Ogre of Uggle? A stinky, squelchy adventure packed with secret dens, tree climbing, troll traps and lots and lots of revolting smells. Reading age 8-10. Ideal to read aloud to younger children.

Buy now from Amazon

Friday 22 March 2013

Guest Author Interview - Bob Craton

To celebrate the end of the week we meet Bob Craton in the guest author interview:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I’m Bob Craton and I’m retired from a long and boring career in the corporate world. When not writing, I volunteer at a nature center and stay active with my grandsons, plus I’m a decent amateur photographer.

What first inspired you to start writing?
I started as a hobby, just to please myself. I have always had a hyper-active imagination dating back to childhood – which was a long time ago. Often I invented stories just for my own entertainment. When I finally had time (‘retired early’ is a euphemism for ‘got laid off at 57'), I decided to actually convert my stories into written words.

And what was your first story?
It’s a science fiction novel titled ‘Jesika’s Angel’ and it began as one of the ideas I had years ago. Starting was a little awkward since the stories in my head were visual – in the form of scenes from a movie – but I figured out how to transform them into text.

If you could work with any author who would it be?
Among fantasy authors, my all time favorite is J.R.R. Tolkien, but from what I know about his personal life, I suspect that his real world was in no way as exciting as Middle Earth. Anyway, I would avoid major professionals like him and stick with some indie writers that I have met.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
Creating worlds and characters. I guess it’s a sense of power thing. I decide what the world is like and who the characters really are – and what they must do. Well, most of the time anyway. Sometimes they argue with me and I need to change their roles. (Don’t fictional characters talk back to everyone?)

And the least?
It isn’t the writing I don’t like but what happens afterwards. I have neither the skill nor inclination for marketing. I started by contacting agents and compiled a serious list of instantaneous rejections. I will say, however, that I’ve met some other writers who I really like during the process of establishing myself and an indie author.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
First, please yourself. If you don’t like the stories you create, what’s the point? Once you get comfortable with writing, then you can tailor your work for the market.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m trying to piece together a YA sci-fi novel. It isn’t easy, but I like to think that my mental age is about 50 years less than my actually age (in other words, around 15). It isn’t true, of course, but I do enjoy fantasies.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
I call my novella ‘A Princess of Faë’ a fantasy/comedy. It’s satirical, pun-full, and a bit crude (but only PG-13 crude, not R rated). To find out more about is, please read the review by D.E.M. Emrys on my Goodreads page. Just so we’re clear, I did read one of his books, but we have never met in real life, he’s not a relative of mine, and I did NOT pay him money.

Thanks to Bob for sharing his thoughts with us, on Monday we invite Ronald Klueh to the hot seat.

Day 22 - Guest Post On Will MacMillan Jones' Blog

Today we visit Will MacMillan Jones' blog where he has published a guest post about spreading the word for a new book:

Thanks Will!

Thursday 21 March 2013

Guest Author Interview - Sara Boyd

In what can only be described as a technical failure on my part my guest author interview with Sara Boyd missed it's scheduled release (don't ask!). What that means is that you lucky people get an extra Thursday special. Sorry Sara!

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hello, my name is Sara Boyd.  I'm a translator, author, DIYer, cook and child school and activity driver, in a particular order.  The particular order depends on the day.

What first inspired you to start writing?
Boredom.  Sounds weird but that’s how it started.  I was bored at school and instead of text messaging/tweeting I wrote stories where my best friends and I were main characters.  Then they would read it.

And what was your first story?
My first complete story was a screenplay about a woman forger and a rogue secret agent.  I lost that manuscript and the backup disc where I kept it.

If you could work with any author, who would it be?
There isn't just one author I would like to work with.  I think it would be interesting to do apprenticeships with different authors to practice various aspects of writing: Martin Amis for style; I like his command of the English language.  I would like to have a tour into Stephen King's mind and I like Margaret Atwood's dystopian worlds.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
The best part is when a new story is fully formed and ready to write.  However, I love every bit of the process, the going over the drafts and versions, correcting it, re-doing scenes, everything.

And the least?
Promoting my books is what I most dislike.  I'm shy and I feel lost in the virtual world.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Write for the pleasure of writing, write because you love telling stories.  Believe in your writing, your characters, your story.  If you don't, nobody else will.  If you want to self-publish, join the group.  It's a beautiful nightmare, well worth the ride!

What are you working on at the moment?
Since I lost that first screenplay I wrote, and since technology has evolved a bit since then, I'm writing a novel loosely based on that lost manuscript.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My latest novel is a coming of age romance, the love story between foster siblings.
Fate is what you can’t choose and the lives of the Cooper family and young Nick Stewart are changed when Nick’s mum dies.  He is left behind by his diplomat father to live in Argentina with the Coopers, a family of British expats.  Mia Cooper and Nick become soul mates, sharing games, jokes, and holiday adventures in Patagonia and the Andes mountains as they grow together through their teenage years.

But when Mia and Nick fall for each other, neither of them dares to declare their feelings and both must suffer the agonies of unrequited love and seek comfort in second best love affairs that turn sour and may even become dangerous.

They also have to deal with Mia’s jealous sister Sam, her stormy relationships of deceit and mistrust, and the trials of approaching adulthood. In a story that roams from Buenos Aires to New York, will Mia and Nick learn that, once they have each other, nothing else matters?

My book is out on Amazon:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

You can visit my blog:
I'm on Twitter @saraboydauthor and on Facebook Author Sara Boyd

Day 21 - Interviewed On Christine Rice's Blog

Continuing the 'Conversations in the Abyss' blog tour I visit fellow author Christine Rice's blog where she features an interview with me:

Thanks Christine!

All In A Row (New 100 Word Story)

A new 100 story has been posted in the Indie Bargains newsletter - visit to sign up for the daily newsletter of  free and bargain Kindle books.

All in a row

I've never shown anyone my collection before. I've spent years putting it together. I designed to display stands myself, perfect for showing a treasure so fine.

No, don't look over there. They were my early attempts. Miserable failures compared to my recent efforts. It's not as easy as you might think. It took a lot of practice before I perfected the technique.

Now hold still, this will hurt a lot. First a delicate slice along the jaw and up past the ears. Next a clean cut along the temple and then gently peel back the skin and we're done.


Book Impressions - Ballet of the Bones

After reading the previous collection 'The Mask of the Macabre' (if you haven't read that yet - you should) I picked this up immediately hoping for more of the same and I wasn't disappointed. While it follows on loosely from 'Mask of the Macabre', you don't need to have read that to read 'Ballet of the Bones', but as I've already said, if you haven't you should.

'Ballet of the Bones' follows the same format of four short stories that weave in and out of each other. My favourite was the story about the grave digger, but they were all good. The setting is Victorian London and the writing matches that of the period.

This is traditional horror at its finest, a must read for horror fans.

Four short tales of Victorian terror, each bound to the other by a chilling thread.

London suffocates under the festering reek of its bursting graveyards. 

Ballet of the Bones – The curtain goes up on the greatest show on earth, but is everything all it seems?

The Bone House – The grave digger reflects on his morbid life, but what does his future hold?

The Engineer – His creations are beautiful, intricate and for a discerning palate.

Encore – The director makes ready for the end of the show.

13,700 words.

Buy now from Amazon

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Day 20 - Review On Joo's Book Review Blog

We're now two-thirds the way through the tour and we've visited some great blogs and met many wonderful people. The tour continues with a review on Joo' Book Review blog:

Thanks Joo!

Guest Author Interview - Jenelle Schmidt

Jenelle Scmidt is today's featured author being interviewed, read what she has to say to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Jenelle Schmidt. I am a full time author and stay-at-home mother of two delightful little girls. It can often be hard to balance writing and life, but most days I feel like I manage alright.

What inspired you to start writing?
I have loved books and stories for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories revolve around listening to my dad reading stories out loud (or making up stories) to my siblings and me before bedtime. I started writing stories almost as soon as I learned to write. I recently discovered a short “story” I wrote when I was six or seven about my little brother, so apparently I began writing pretty early. I dabbled in writing poetry and short stories, and even a longer sci-fi novel through high-school, but the thing that really set me on a “career” of writing was my father’s challenge to me in college to write an adventure story (and finish it!) during the summer between my freshman and sophomore year.

Are you a planner? Or do you prefer to dive straight in to writing?
I prefer to dive straight into writing... but I have discovered the wisdom of planning. My first few books I dove into with reckless abandon, and paid dearly for it in editing later on down the road. Now, I spend a lot more time planning out the story: outlining, world-building, character-creating, before I ever start writing the story. It’s more work at the front end, and I sometimes find it tedious, but it’s better than having to do massive re-writes later on.

If you could work with any author, who would it be?
Without question Timothy Zahn. He’s one of my favorite authors, and if I had to pick an author I would like to resemble in my writing career, it would be him. I don’t want to be known only for one gigantic series, I would rather have many trilogies with a stand-alone novel here and there, and I want them all to be fantastically written and unique from each other. I marvel at his skill to create all-new worlds and story-lines that are so dissimilar and yet all have his signature style and voice.

What is your favourite part of writing?
When the story starts to take off and almost writes itself. I’m sure other authors have said this before, and I’ll not be the last, but there are moments when the story surprises me. A character shows up before I meant them to, says something I never consciously decided to have them say, or the story takes a twist I didn’t know I had thought of. Moments like that, for an author, are magical.

And the least?
Promotion and marketing. I wish there were moments when the books could promote themselves... but I guess that only happens when your readership pool is larger than... well, mine.

What advice would you give new or aspriring authors?
I have three pieces of advice: 1. write as much as you can, daily, if possible. 2. Read! Become an expert in the genre you wish to write. Read books outside that genre, too! 3. Learn how to accept honest, unbiased criticism without bursting into tears. You don’t have to change anything just because one person doesn’t like it, but until you can accept that sort of wound without flinching you will never be ready to put your work out there for the public to read it.

What are you working on at the moment?
Currently I am working on editing SECOND SON, the second book in my Minstrel’s Song series in hopes of being able to publish it this Spring (2013). I am also working on the first book in a new trilogy, and hoping to have it finished by this summer so I can get it into the hands of my editor.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My latest work that I have published is also my first: KING’S WARRIOR is the first book in a four-book series. The series is complete, as in I have finished writing the books, and editing on the subsequent books is currently in progress. You can learn more by visiting my website:

Available from Amazon

Thanks to Jenelle for sharing her thoughts with us, on Friday we welcome Bob Craton to the hot seat.

Elite: Dangerous - Newsletter 3 Released

The latest newsletter for Elite: Dangerous has been posted. You can read the newsletter via the link below. As well as the usual game updates it now also includes a drabble (100 word story). I will be writing these for each newsletter that comes out every 2 weeks.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Interviewed On The Drunken Penguin Blog

An interview with me has been posted on the Drunken Penguin blog:

Thanks Ashley!

Day 19 - Review & Interview At Top Of The Heap Blog

Day 19 of the 'Conversations in the Abyss' blog tour takes us to the Top of the Heap blog, where Joe has posted an interview and a review:



Thanks Joe!

Book Impressions - A Rat's War

A Rat's War tells the story of two young boys in Germany in the last days of World War II. The perspective on the story makes it different to many similar tales which interested me. It paints a vivid picture of the horrors of the day. It's quite short, but don't let that put you off as it is an excellent read and a good story.

My only minor complaint is that I would like to have read a bit more about their survival at the beginning. A good story and well worth a read.

In the dying days of the Nazi regime, two teenagers are conscripted into the home guard to fight the Russians, but one of them possesses a dangerous secret…

Buy now from Amazon

Monday 18 March 2013

Guest Author Interview - Jonathan Mitchell

Welcome to the start of a new week. To celebrate (or at least disguise the sad fact it is Monday) let's meet Jonathan Mitchell in the latest guest author interview.

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Jonathan Mitchell, and I published my first novel "The Agent" as an e-book in October 2012. I have also written several short stories.

What first inspired you to start writing?
The first time I was inspired to put pencil to paper was in second grade--I would have been seven or eight years old. The teacher was reading to us from a book that didn't particularly interest me until she got to a passage with a very elaborate description of an old vagrant sewing up a hole in his coat. It was so vivid and that fascinated me. I could see the man's gnarled fingers, the needle and the thread, and as soon as the reading was finished I took out a piece of paper and tried to reproduce the scene in my own words. From that point on, I was crazy about describing things--I loved descriptive writing and still do. I also wrote descriptions of scenes in my favorite movies. It took me a few years to come up with plots of my own, though.

And what was your first story?
It was called 'Crossroads', sort of a Lovecraftian thing about a reanimated corpse. Not bad for a kid but pretty awful by any other standard, ha ha.

If you could work with any author who would it be?
Peter Straub is my favorite author. I think that working with him would be unbelievably intimidating but, given the chance to collaborate with one of your heroes, how could you possibly say no?

What do you enjoy most about writing?
The initial inspiration is wonderful. I guess that's probably every writer's favorite part of the process.

And the least?
Outlining and editing can be tedious, though I'm a big believer in meticulous editing! It's something that has to be done and you'll never regret it, even if it feels like a chore at the time.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Have lots of patience, lots of discipline and be prepared to risk rejection.

What are you working on at the moment?
I have a little collection of stories that's ready to go, but it'll be another few months before I lift the curtain on that.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My novel is called "The Agent". It's a horror tale about an emotionally adrift man in his late twenties who, through supernatural means, learns of a series of gruesome murders which were committed when he was a child. Eventually he becomes obsessed with the case, and is tasked with bringing the killer to justice--all while wrestling with the allure of evil and the effects of loneliness and depression on his values.

"The Agent" is available at's Kindle Store:

Thanks to Jonathan for sharing his thoughts with us, on Wednesday Jenelle Schmidt joins us in the hot seat.

Day 18 - Featured On Ken Magee's Blog

For the day 18 of the 'Conversations in the Abyss' blog tour I visit Ken Magee's blog and wax lyrical about how wonderful indie authors are. 

Thanks to Ken for the post and thanks to everyone who has supported me in the adventure that is indie publishing!

Book Impressions - Inside Evil

Last night I finished Geoff Wakeling's 'Inside Evil'. This is a horror tale about an ancient curse that is killing people in a small village. The story progresses well, at a good pace. Some of the details were interesting, but I would have liked to have discovered more about the monster itself and the setup around it.

Still, it was a good horror read that I would recommend.

Life in the secluded town of Ridgewood is charming, simple, safe - isn't it? The bubble that isolates the hamlet protects, or so the eclectic residents believe. Lurking in the background of every day life is a curse that comes in cycles and picks off the innocent as it pleases. But this time there's something different,this time the curse wants more. 

Roberta Arlington's life changes the moment she finds one of
her pupils, pale, frozen, DEAD. Her mind is filled with uncharacteristic thoughts, dreams and visions create bizarre scenes, and her blood boils as she lashes out at those she loves. Amidst her turmoil there are friends, and enemies, who come to her aid, piecing together the puzzle laid before them. 

But with the ancient evil having struck down so many through
the centuries, Roberta will have to muster every ounce of strength she has to survive. An entire world, a strange land, has unveiled itself. If Roberta knows one thing for sure, it's that she alone won't be able to escape as death comes calling.......


Inside Evil is a paranormal mystery set in a small town on the borders of England and Scotland. Like so many similar places, its residents cannot help but be drawn into each others
lives, as they rarely venture from their seclusion. But, with such isolation comes danger, and whilst the world is blissfully unaware, an ancient terror is preparing for murder.

Buy now from Amazon

Sunday 17 March 2013

Day 17 - Interviewed On The Hidden In Plain Sight Blog

I've been interviewed by some of Don Martinez's characters on his Hidden in Plain Sight blog. See the craziness unfurl at:

Thanks Don!

Saturday 16 March 2013

Day 16 - Interviewed On Jonathan Hill's Blog

My next stop on the 'Conversations in the Abyss' blog tour is on Jonathan Hill's blog, where he has posted an interview:

And if you haven't met Maureen yet, then that is another excellent reason for you to visit his blog!

Friday 15 March 2013

Elite: Dangerous - New Concept Art

Here we have new concept art for the internal centre line of the Federation cruiser.

And a new progress diary to boot!

On The Prowl (New 100 Word Story)

A new 100 story has been posted in the Indie Bargains newsletter - visit to sign up for the daily newsletter of  free and bargain Kindle books.

This one had a slightly different challenge, we had to write a drabble with "the robin was in suspenders again" in the text, so here is what I put together.

On The Prowl

The sparrow hopped nervously across the grass. His favourite water dish stood proud in the centre of the manicured lawn. It glanced at the neat bushes that bordered the garden. This was cat territory. It paid to be careful. Many a small bird had met its end trying to reach the water. The risk was worth it though, sometimes there would be bread.

It skipped and leapt into the air, taking a snaking path through the air. In the last moment it veered away. A flash of colour, not a cat this time, but the robin was in suspenders again.

Day 15 - Editor Feature With Kristen Stone

Kristen Stone is the lovely lady that helped edit and proof read 'Conversations in the Abyss'. As part of the blog tour she's written an article explaining what she does. Many authors send their work out without being checked, I think it is essential.

Thanks Kristen and I'll hopefully have a new book for you to go through soon :-)

Guest Author Interview - Abha C

I might be in the office again tomorrow, but I still have that Friday feeling :-) For the last guest author interview of the week we meet children's author Abha C:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My simple belief is that every child deserves to be read to. To that end I started to look for books that not only were interesting for my one-year-old but also had a learning component to them. This proved to be an impossible task and led to the creation of this book.

I am a freelance writer who specializes in children’s books. I now reside in Fremont, Calif. with my husband and daughter. My daughter is the inspiration for “The Little Ant”.

What first inspired you to start writing?
I just felt that I needed to get this story out and decided to put it on paper. Before I knew it, it was done.

And what was your first story?
The Little Ant is my very first story.

What attracted you to children's books?
I have always liked happy stories and stepping into motherhood just made it a natural transition for me.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I just enjoy reading as the story develops, its almost like a dream that you have while awake.

And the least?
I don't think there is anything that I don't enjoy about writing. I love it all!

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Just keep at it. The amount of satisfaction you get once the story is done the way you want is awesome. You feel so accomplished when even one person likes what you write.

What are you working on at the moment?
I want this to be a series of children's picture books with the ant as the main character. That is something I am working on currently.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
This is the story of a little ant, a little girl ant, who wears a bow in her hair and shoes that match. She decides to go explore the park. Toddlers like bright colors, baby animals, insects with cute faces, and picture books. The facial expressions throughout this book are delightful. The colorful, simple drawings make it easy for children to follow along with the words. The little ant has more of an adventure than she had planned.

You can find it on Amazon.

and Barnes & Noble

Some excerpts above are taken directly from US Review of Book's review by Cynthia Collins. The review can be found at:

Thanks to Abha for sharing her time with us, on Monday we welcome Jonathan Mitchell to the hot seat.

Goodreads Conversations in the Abyss Giveaway

Two signed copies of 'Conversations in the Abyss' are available in a Goodreads giveaway.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Conversations in the Abyss by Michael  Brookes

Conversations in the Abyss

by Michael Brookes

Giveaway ends April 30, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win