Saturday, March 25, 2017

Superheroes, Anyone?

Digital Preorders Now Available!
Our third volume of short stories is coming your way March 28, and you can preorder your digital edition now and save some cash. Purchase a digital edition today, and we'll email you your copy of this incredible collection on release day!

Some pursue heroism, others are thrust into it. 







Superheroes. They live among us, some hidden in plain sight, others as well-known celebrities. All carry a burden and a purpose: to destroy the evils of this world and keep the common man safe from harm. 

But evil is a strong thread that refuses to be cut. How much sacrifice will be demanded to destroy that which seeks to destroy us, and are there enough heroes to do the job? 

Experience a collection of short stories brimming with the struggles of heroism and the dark side of villainy, where real-world content merges with Christian fiction to produce a unique storytelling atmosphere.

Includes:
The Bald Man by Timothy G. Huguenin
The Last Call by Kristin L. Norman
sinEater by D.A. Williams
Hierro by Jen Finelli
Living Proof by Michelle Levigne
Airfoil: Hotspots by Steve Rzasa
Someone Is Aiming For You by JD Cowan
Without Blemish: A Philosophy of Preaching by Nathan James Norman
The Trojan Initiative by Clayton Webb
Fly Like A Bird by Rosemary E. Johnson
Chronostream’s Father by Adam David Collings




Taste the Book: GROWING UP NEIGHBORLEE

April release from Uncial Press.

A shout of "Cannonball" and hard slaps against our shoulders interrupted our talk. Ricky-and-Donny, the bullies, jumped over us, hitting us with their feet, and landing in the pool with high, far-reaching splashes.

Yes, I hyphenated their names. They were a matched set and did everything together. Where we saw one, we saw the other. They were cousins and had been dumped in the orphanage until an uncle in the military came back from active duty overseas. They went away after a while, but not soon enough for Kurt and me.

We got up and moved away when Ricky-and-Donny stayed right there in the shallow end and splashed us and crowed about "Kurt's got a giiiirlfriend!" Seriously? I was five and Kurt was eight. We were barely aware that he was a boy and I was a girl, much less what we were supposed to do about the differences.

The bullies followed us. When we retreated behind the locker rooms, they followed us. Only they ran outside the fence and got hold of all the old pine cones and shells of acorns and other trash that fell down under the trees surrounding the pool. Then they threw that junk at us. Kurt and I ducked for cover and ended up hiding under the picnic table on the far side of the locker rooms, where nobody could see us. With all the shouting and laughing and whistles blowing, nobody could hear us call for help.

"Y'know, this is really stupid," Kurt said after we sat there for about fifteen eternal minutes. "We're superheroes. We should be able to fight back. Those jerks should be running away from us."

"Can you make a machine out of this junk?" I winced when another handful of debris got between the table top and the bench by my head.

Kurt just looked at me. Then he grinned. I liked that grin. It was nasty and it was like laughter was going to explode out of him and he knew something wonderful.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Taste the Book: SANCTUARY

April release from Desert Breeze Publishing.

“Let me rephrase that -- you need guidance.” He braced himself on the thickest of the vertical struts.

“In what? I’m working my way through all the books Athena has assigned me. I’ve written down everything I can remember from when we cleared out Granny’s and Grandfather’s offices and the archives in our house, and all the visitors we had around the time Uly vanished.” For punctuation, she slapped the journal sitting next to her. “Do you know how depressing it is, to consider that some of the people they welcomed into our home were using that welcome to plot treachery against them?”

“Yes, Odessa, I know exactly.” Ford’s usual cheerful expression went unusually somber. “It’s been eating at me since my team ran into trouble on our last expedition. Hindsight made us realize we were given just enough contradictory pieces to guarantee we would meet with disaster. Just like Uly was sent after us, with false information, to get him out of the way. Some clues found in our treacherous Mr. Stryker's personal effects … well, they suggest the plot had a specific focus on your family. We’re in a tangled position, needing to move quickly to reduce the damage, when we would prefer several years to prepare for this battle.”

“My family.” The back of her head ached as thoughts swirled through so fast she thought she might get dizzy. “You mean my parents might not have died in an accident on their last expedition, but they were murdered?”

“The hands that built the trap that killed your parents have been dust for centuries. However, I fear that someone knew about those traps and dangers, and they made sure your parents got the information that sent them, specifically, into the tunnels.”

“Why would someone want to kill them? I know the Revisionists want to wipe us out, to try again to rewrite history. But why does it seem my family, specifically, is in the rifle crosshairs?”

“Blood and crystal, my dear.” He bent and offered her his hand to raise her to her feet. “Your bloodline has an unusual affinity for the crystal at the core of the Machine.”


“So does Athena. So do a dozen or more people.” Ess put her books and the stoppered inkwell and pens away in her satchel before she stood. Ford gathered up the blankets, and pushed the cushions tightly enough into the gaps in the wires that it would take hurricane-force winds to pull them out.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Taste the Book: GROWING UP NEIGHBORLEE

April release from Uncial Press.

Thanks to that we've-got-a-secret smile from Angela, I decided I needed to practice my kinda-sorta flying, to show her what I could do next time we met up. I found a sheltered spot at the far end of the field where the older kids played baseball and soccer, in the thick clump of trees enclosed by the fence encircling the orphanage grounds. My practicing consisted of rising up as high as I could get before I got scared and then hanging there until the ground started to look a little fuzzy before I came back down. At five years old, twenty feet off the ground was the equivalent of Mount Everest. I had just worked up the nerve to try some sideways shifting when Kurt walked into the little clearing where I was practicing, and looked up at me. Fortunately, I was wearing shorts, rather than a skirt. Skirts were for church and school.

"You hum really loud." He was grinning at me.

"No I'm not." I was rather indignant, because I knew enough to keep quiet while I was practicing, so the bullies and bigger kids who might make fun of me wouldn't see me.

"Yeah, you do, but it's not the kind of humming that people can hear."

"That's stupid. How can you hear it if people can't hear it?" I came down a little faster than I intended and my knees wobbled when I hit. Kurt caught hold of me, and a funny buzzing sensation kind of shocked me where his hand touched my bare arm.

"Like that." He grinned wider, gray eyes sparkling, and rubbed the hand that had touched me on the front of his t-shirt. "It's okay, I hum too."

"Are you laughing at me?" I had already run into the two chief bullies who reigned during my time at NCH. They had overheard Miss Abby talking with another houseparent, so delighted with my reading ability, and came running to inflict their new nickname on me: Lanie Brainy.

"Nope. We're superheroes."

"Huh?"

That was my introduction to the amazing world of comic books and superheroes and mutants and super powers and saving the world.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The War Room

And the word for today is: PRE-ORDERS.

Two books are now available for pre-ordering, and with one, that means saving $$ on the cover price once the book is officially released.

First off is GROWING UP NEIGHBORLEE, coming in mid-April from Uncial Press.

You can pre-order from Amazon for your Kindle by clicking here.

What's it about? Well, if you've read any of the Neighborlee books, you've probably already met Lanie Zephyr, who tells her story in her own words.

Lanie was a Lost Kid--a toddler found by the side of the road, with no one to claim her. She ended up in the Neighborlee Children's Home, where her long journey to become a semi-pseudo-superhero began. She and her friend Kurt, and later Felicity, made up the "rules" for what they were and what they could do as they went along. Most of the time, they borrowed them from comic books.
Lanie could kinda-sorta fly and move things with telekinesis. Kurt could invent and make broken machines work when all mechanical laws said they shouldn't. Felicity gave off uncontrollable EM bursts and controlled dogs. Where the trio came from and how they got to Neighborlee faded into the background when faced with the really big questions: Why were they the way they were and how could they do the things they did? Were they aliens? Genetic experiments? Mutations? Should they look for a spaceship? Should they fear the Men in Black or the CIA?


Adventures and misadventures tested their imagination, their loyalty, and their courage as they explored their abilities and their world. And one thing became perfectly clear: the Lost Kids were as necessary to guard Neighborlee from the rest of the world, as they were vital to protect the rest of the world from the everyday weirdness and magic of Neighborlee.



And the other book you can pre-order now -- and save money on at the same time:

The Crossover Alliance's third anthology deals with superheroes!
Coming your way March 28. Pre-order your digital edition now and save some cash, and get your copy via email on release day! Click this link here.


Some pursue heroism, others are thrust into it. 

Superheroes. They live among us, some hidden in plain sight, others as well-known celebrities. All carry a burden and a purpose: to destroy the evils of this world and keep the common man safe from harm. 

But evil is a strong thread that refuses to be cut. How much sacrifice will be demanded to destroy that which seeks to destroy us, and are there enough heroes to do the job? 

Experience a collection of short stories brimming with the struggles of heroism and the dark side of villainy, where real-world content merges with Christian fiction to produce a unique storytelling atmosphere.

Includes:
The Bald Man by Timothy G. Huguenin
The Last Call by Kristin L. Norman
sinEater by D.A. Williams
Hierro by Jen Finelli
Living Proof by Michelle Levigne
Airfoil: Hotspots by Steve Rzasa
Someone Is Aiming For You by JD Cowan
Without Blemish: A Philosophy of Preaching by Nathan James Norman
The Trojan Initiative by Clayton Webb
Fly Like A Bird by Rosemary E. Johnson
Chronostream’s Father by Adam David Collings


Monday, March 6, 2017

Off the Bookshelf: STORM FRONT, by Jim Butcher

Thanks to Patrick Carr for recommending the Dresden  Files series during a workshop he taught last year at Realm Makers. Harry Dresden, private investigator and wizard, is a fascinating character you can't help rooting for -- and wincing along with -- as he deals with magical problems and bureaucracy of all kinds, and hopeful allies who might be helpful, might be a royal pain and a liability.

When the story starts, Harry needs work fast, because he's behind on some bills, starting with the rent. Then there's the constant lack of respect. People think when he advertises as wizard in the phone book that he does party tricks. Far from it. Fortunately, one police detective believes in his ability and values his talent. She's got problems of her own, starting with police superiors who don't quite respect her job of investigating the weird and dark and dangerous. Magical things. Harry's specialty. Unfortunately, Harry has some problems with other wizards that kind of tie his hands and effectively enforce a gag order on him. When he has to refuse to help and refuse to explain why he can't help, he damages a valuable friendship.

Then there's the rogue wizard using magic to kill people. The problem is that Harry is already under suspicion for being a rogue and a danger himself, and simply trying to figure out how this wizard is killing people could push him over the line, and result in a termination order. Then there's the reporter for the local newspaper devoted to the dark and magical and inexplicable, who could turn into a romantic interest, if she and Harry don't get killed at the start of a date he forgot they had.

Lots of twists and turns and I'm hooked after the first book! I'm interested enough to look into the TV series based on the books. Not sure if they're available on DVD, if I can borrow them from the library, or if I can find them on iTunes, but well worth ... ahem ... investigating. Check out STORM FRONT, and don't blame me if you get hooked immediately

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Taste the Book: SANCTUARY

April release from Desert Breeze Publishing.

 “You need a distraction,” Ford announced.

He had to shout, because at this altitude, the wind whistled past the many bracing wires that turned the open observation deck into a birdcage. Most people tended to find the constant whistling and moaning irritating. Ess couldn’t understand why. She liked the background sounds. Something about it held a promise of turning into music, maybe even words. If she listened long enough, she thought she might finally have the key, or the code to decipher what the music of creation tried to tell her in the ethereal, high-altitude song. Maybe it was just her imagination, but the sensation of memories poised on the brink of bursting into consciousness confirmed her aching suspicion that her memory had been tampered with just as her brother's had been.

Besides, she found the song of the guy wires and the wind actually helped her remember more clearly what she had just read. The song, more felt than heard, seemed to open up deeper recesses of her mind and assisted in subconsciously sorting the information. Athena wore a thoughtful expression just last night over dinner, when Ess told her why she preferred studying in the chilly observation deck, rather than the forward lounge. When that tiny vertical line formed between Athena’s elegant brows and her eyes took on a distant look, Ess had learned she could expect something interesting.

“I don’t need a distraction,” she said, scooting around to find a more comfortable nest among the pile of seat cushions and five blankets she had brought up with her. The gray clouds threatened rain, and she looked forward to discovering just what changes rain would make to the song of the air. “I’m up here to avoid distractions.”

“Let me rephrase that -- you need guidance.” He braced himself on the thickest of the vertical struts.