Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The War Room

Done!

Yesterday, I turned in MUSIC IN THE NIGHT, the final book in the Guardians of the Time Stream series, published by Desert Breeze Publishing.

MUSIC is due out in October.

What happens in it? Well, if you read SANCTUARY (and if you didn't, go do that right now) we left Ess and her friends gearing up to search for the daughter of Anna, a Revisionist woman who joined the Originators and was friends with Ess's mother, Vivian. Both women owned a rose carved from the crystal used by the Originators, and several times when they were children, Ess and Carmen, Anna's daughter, met in their dreams. Ess has to find Carmen before the Revisionists do, and enslave her and the incredible talent she inherited from her mother.

Also, there's a faint touch of "Phantom of the Opera" in the story, with singing and an underground community.

Enough said!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Book Lovers Party!


Are you coming?

It's time for the SPRING EDITION of the Buckeye Christian Fiction Book Lovers Facebook party.

Lots of book talk, real-time communication with REAL authors -- you can ask questions, get samples of the books featured, and maybe even win some cool prizes. Who knows?

TONIGHT
On Facebook


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Taste the Book: GROWING UP NEIGHBORLEE

April release from Uncial Press.

"Well it's like--" Kurt scowled and I could almost hear humming, he was thinking so hard. "There was this one TV show where this guy had to learn how to do it and the guy who was teaching him said to think about his power like an extra hand."

"What does that mean?"

"Just think really hard about what you want the superguy power to do, and... I don't know, just think really hard."

Simple enough, right?

Wrong?

I'm still not sure to this day how I made the mental connection, and how I switched over from kinda-sorta flying to grabbing all the trash the bullies had been throwing at us, and with the power of my mind flinging it back at them. With interest. All that really mattered right then was that I did it.

While the bullies ran away screaming and whining and then tried to claim that Kurt and a whole bunch of the big boys ganged up on them, I curled up with my first superpower-induced sick headache, and a nosebleed. That taught me and Kurt a huge lesson that day.

Actually, a number of lessons. We were too young and inexperienced to put it all into words or separate the factors and different variables. The important part was that we shouldn't try too much or work too hard, when it came to using our superhero powers. Fortunately, Kurt had already figured out another important rule: fuel! He ran to the concession stand and bought two creamsicles and three packages of cookies. He had already learned that using his gizmo talent made him achy-hungry, and if he didn't eat something right away, it turned into a killer headache like I had.


I inhaled the treats, leaving just the one creamsicle for Kurt. By the time Mrs. S blew her whistle to round us all up to climb back on the bus to go back to NCH, I was feeling almost normal. Almost, because once my headache went away and the nosebleed stopped, I felt like I was floating about four inches off the ground. It was a heady feeling of power, to know I had beaten the bullies at just five years of age.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Off the Bookshelf: WIRES AND NERVE by Marissa Meyer

Glory! Another book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

What's really cool?
Iko, the snarky, fashionista android is the heroine.

Even more cool, and stepping slightly outside of my usual reading zone ....
It's a GRAPHIC NOVEL.
That's grown-up geek speak for comic book, but a huge comic book. As in, the whole story is there in one volume, instead of having to wait a month in between each measly chapter.

The story takes place after Book 4, WINTER, so if you haven't read the book yet (like me, because I'm trying to read down my electronic "stack" of to-be-reads before I can justify buying a new ebook -- and yeah, I'm cheap and waiting for the price to drop a few more bucks ... and I got this book using my Amazon reward points, so technically I didn't spend any money ...), this one might be kind of a spoiler. But you knew our heroines, Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter and their assorted heroes were going to triumph, didn't you?

Anyway, Iko is now in the curvaceous and pretty tough, strong body of an escort android and hunting the wolf-hybrid Lunar soldiers who are skulking about on Earth and making everybody scared and sort of miserable. Life ain't easy for an independent-minded android, even though she has a lot of friends who consider her a person. There are the android manufacturers who keep offering to "fix" her personality chip, and the wolf-hybrid soldiers and the people who won't admit she's a person and oh, yeah, the wolf-hybrid soldiers. They kind of get in the way of figuring out if she's just malfunctioning, or she might have genuine feelings after all.

Love it -- so will you.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Taste the Book: SANCTUARY

April release from Desert Breeze Publishing.

Ess took the rod and pressed it between her hands, to keep it from picking up the deliciously fearful shivers vibrating in her breastbone. Ford stood and opened the door, then waited until Athena and Dr. Sylvia stepped outside.

“How long?” She wasn’t quite sure herself what she was asking.

“As long as it takes,” Dr. Sylvia said. “As long as you feel comfortable working on it. I highly recommend regular breaks for fresh air and food, exercise and rest. Especially rest.”

“Take as long as you want,” Ford said. “But try to finish before we reach Cleveland." He chuckled when Athena sighed loudly. “Once those lawyers get hold of you, I doubt you’ll have any room in your head for experiments.”

“He’s right, in a way.” Athena made a shooing gesture with her fingertips. Ford grinned, bowed, then sauntered away. “Take your time. Expecting miracles in a matter of days will simply put up a barrier. This secret has waited for centuries. Your family has been working on it for generations. It would be ridiculous to expect you to unlock it in a few days. And it would be equally ridiculous not to try, while we have time and opportunity.”

With a smile, she stepped out and closed the door.

Ess inhaled, raising her fingertips again to press, to relieve the sensation of increased pressure in the bones around her ears. When that dissipated, she put the crystal rod down on the table, wrapped it in a fold of the acoustic cloth, and reached to open the box of dust.

The shimmer of sound wasn’t as strong this time, compared to the first time she encountered the dust in the canopic jar. Likely an effect resulting from both the acoustic cloth and the reduced amount of dust. Ess played with the amounts, spreading a little on the table, then tapping the rod, listening to the sound that resulted, gauging the reaction in her sinus bones, then adding more dust. She repeated the process until all the dust lay on the table. Then she experimented with arranging the dust, drawing furrows, piling it as high as she could get it, then spreading it out as thin as she could.

She discovered that while the crystal rod continued to vibrate, it made the dust stick together, so she could guide it into shapes. She had fun with that for a while.

When her thoughts wandered, the next thing she knew she had created a three-dimensional copy of the lotus, without quite knowing how she had done it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The War Room

I've re-released an old book, previously published with By Grace Publishing.

This book started life as a proposed Easter pageant script for my church, which used to do a big, blow-out, cast-of-thousands production for 13 years, with sold-out crowds and 5 or 6 performances every year.

ELISHEVA was originally called THE PRICE, and was an alternative, focusing on the impact Jesus had on the lives around Him.

Now titled ELISHEVA, Part 1, The Price, this book will be followed up next year (at least, that's the plan!) with Part 2: The Journey. After all, Elisheva's life goes on after she leaves Jerusalem and heads out into the world that is decidedly unfriendly towards the followers of the Messiah.

STARTING TODAY!!!

FREE in Kindle format

Until Friday, April 14.

Actually, Kindle is the ONLY format available for this book.

So, my Easter gift to you -- ELISHEVA as a free download for 3 days only -- Wednesday through Friday, April 12 through 14.

Enjoy.

And have a blessed Easter!


Elisheva's life as the sheltered daughter of a rich, highly respected rabbi, changed in a matter of months. First, her father was censured by the Sanhedrin and fell from grace. The humiliation and his anger destroyed his health, and when he died, Elisheva was left at the mercy of her reckless, rebellious brother, Simeon. He threw in his lot with the Zealots, and when a raid failed, Simeon was captured and crucified for his crimes. 

Elisheva learned that when a man committed the crime of rebellion against Rome, the Romans punished his entire family. Their home and farm and vineyards and servants were confiscated. Elisheva was sent to be sold as a slave. None of her father's former friends and students spoke up for her, or offered to redeem her.

Facing a short, unhappy future as a harlot, Elisheva went to the auction block. Then the unthinkable happened. Benjamin, one of her father's former students, sold everything he possessed to buy her. He had vowed to marry her, but had been turned away because he was poor. 


Elisheva vowed she would make him happy, so he never regretted the risks he had taken, the mockery he endured for her sake. She thought they would be happy, and they were, until a rabbi from Nazareth came to Jerusalem and turned the world upside down. With success and security and wealth within their grasp, the choices Benjamin and Elisheva made next would affect the rest of their lives, and might tear them apart.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Off the Bookshelf: TURBO TWENTY-THREE, by Janet Evanovich

Yeah, I love Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books.

Sometimes it's really, really hard to make myself wait until the paper edition comes out. (With all the books waiting to be read in my to-be-read bookshelf, plus e-readers) Which is why I love being able to borrow electronic editions from the library -- or in the case of this book, find them for sale used.

Who'd'a thunk I'd find a 2016 book in a stall at an antique mall near Hocking Hills, Ohio?

Okay, these books are over-the-top fun, and can get silly, and it's just not a genuine Stephanie Plum unless she gets messy and embarrassed and Grandma Mazur makes Stephanie's mother reach for the bottle in the cupboard and at least one of Stephanie's cars gets totaled. But Ranger makes an interesting comment that kind of supports why Stephanie kinda-sorta succeeds despite her flailing around and having Lula for a sidekick (love Lula, but she lost her grip on reality centuries ago) -- Stephanie pays attention to details. She notices things. She might not put them together in a usable way, but she ends up being very useful for others. Which is why Ranger keeps her around. Among other reasons, of course.

One mishap after another, resulting from chasing totally stupid, sloppy, single-digit-I.Q. crooks who don't understand why they have to show up for court after committing a crime, gets Stephanie and her friends involved in solving a murder. Yeah, things get kind of serious. In fact, the series is getting more serious as time goes on. Stephanie gets hurt, she's in danger, real crooks with real guns and some competence -- or at least efficient henchmen -- threaten her. From the dead body found turned into an over-sized ice cream treat at the beginning, Stephanie comes close to being turned into another ice cream bar at the end. That's enough to make you scared of the Good Humor man ...

Love the series. I don't know how Janet Evanovich does it, book after book.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Taste the Book: GROWING UP NEIGHBORLEE

April release from Uncial Press.

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.

"If you can lift yourself up in the air, maybe you can lift other stuff?" he finally said.

"But I don't know how."

"Come on, don't be a girl!"


"But I am a girl."

He stared at me for a few seconds, then he grinned, but it was a different kind of grin.

"Can any of the superheroes in your comic books do it?"

"Yeah." He yelped as a pinecone got him right in the eye, and slid back farther under the table, rubbing at his eye. "Hold on, I gotta think."

The problem with the comic books Kurt had read was that they showed but didn't explain. Later, he gave me all the comic books where a superhero had telekinetic power, not that either of us knew that particular word at the time. Usually the only instructions we got consisted of a kind of greenish ray shooting out of someone's head, and blasting a car or tearing a wall apart.

"I don't know," he finally said. "It's kind of like... You know how on TV they show people with superpowers."

"No. We don't get to stay up that late."

"Well it's like--" Kurt scowled and I could almost hear humming, he was thinking so hard. "There was this one TV show where this guy had to learn how to do it and the guy who was teaching him said to think about his power like an extra hand."

"What does that mean?"

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The War Room

Okay, have you all checked my 2 new releases?

SANCTUARY, Book 2 in the Guardians of the Time Stream series, from Desert Breeze Publishing. 

Ess Fremont and the Blue Lotus Society know the Originators have been infiltrated by Revisionists. The treachery has reached even to their headquarters, Sanctuary, an underground complex near San Francisco.

Problem: The Society can't contact Sanctuary, or risk putting power into the
enemy's hands. Yet Ess must go there to claim her heritage and learn how and why her grandparents vanished seven years ago.

Solution: Ask her family lawyers to "turn her in," and on the train ride cross-country, begin her education.

The journey launches revelations that threaten everything Ess knows as truth. As she uncovers schemes within lies within treachery, the fulfillment of her family's destiny rests heavy on her shoulders.

Who can she trust when her own grandparents blocked her memories, and the means of saving -- or destroying -- them all are hidden in the vaults of her mind?

OR

The 3rd Crossover Alliance anthology: SUPERHEROES

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


BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?

I have ANOTHER title coming out next week.

GROWING UP NEIGHBORLEE, coming from Uncial Press.

Another Neighborlee, Ohio adventure, told through the eyes of Lanie Zephyr, someone you've met before in other stories. From the day she's found abandoned by the side of the road as a toddler, Lanie tells how she learned to be a semi-pseudo-superhero and one of the guardians of the wonderful, magical weirdness that is Neighborlee.


Monday, April 3, 2017

New Release: SANCTUARY, Guardians of the Time Stream series

Just released from Desert Breeze Publishing:

SANCTUARY
Book Two of the Steampunk series
Guardians of the Time Stream

Ess Fremont and the Blue Lotus Society know the Originators have been infiltrated by Revisionists. The treachery has reached even to their headquarters, Sanctuary, an underground complex near San Francisco.

Problem: The Society can't contact Sanctuary, or risk putting power into the enemy's hands. Yet Ess must go there to claim her heritage and learn how and why her grandparents vanished seven years ago.

Solution: Ask her family lawyers to "turn her in," and on the train ride cross-country, begin her education.

The journey launches revelations that threaten everything Ess knows as truth. As she uncovers schemes within lies within treachery, the fulfillment of her family's destiny rests heavy on her shoulders.

Who can she trust when her own grandparents blocked her memories, and the means of saving -- or destroying -- them all are hidden in the vaults of her mind?


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Taste the Book: SANCTUARY

April release from Desert Breeze Publishing.

“I thought the race to find the parts of the Machine was only a recent development.”

“Oh, yes, the race. However, the determination to be ready for when the pieces came out of hiding has been going on since the Machine was disassembled. Our ancestors learned then it was impossible to destroy a single fragment of crystal.” He winked at her. “Which is why that intriguing box of dust you delivered to us has been driving Vulcan and her team to distraction.”

“Theo thought it might be lubrication or something like that,” she said, as she led the way down the corkscrew stairs, two levels, to the main deck.


“Lubrication for what? The emerging theory is that there are really no moving parts.”

“How can a machine not have moving parts? How can it do anything if it doesn’t move? What kind of energy does it need, to do what it’s supposed to do? I just assumed it used the same kind of energy that made the Zeus guns work, or the lights, or all the incredible devices that make the light bulb and steam engine seem rather clunky and filthy by comparison.”

“That’s just it. Energy. The crystal doesn’t require energy, so much as it generates energy, and that energy opens the way, moves the material of space and time, to allow travel through time. The more the Machine comes together, the bigger the clumps of it, the more frustrating the whole conglomeration becomes. Because it defies what we know and understand of science and engineering.”

“Vulcan must be thoroughly delighted with the puzzle,” Ess murmured, pausing at the doorway into the main deck area.

“We’re taking bets on how long it takes for her to pull out all her hair, and how she will do it, a strand at a time or in great clumps.” He reached around her for the latch. “Care to place a wager?”
Ess stuck her tongue out at him. Ford just chuckled and thumped her on the shoulder as she pushed the door open.

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. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The War Room

March 28 is the release date for the SUPERHEROES anthology coming from the Crossover Alliance.

You can order your copy starting March 5.

What's it about?

Well... SUPERHEROES, what else? The trials and tribulations, the weird stuff that happens, and maybe even some griping about costumes or lack thereof. And then there's the whole secret identity thing. Y'know? It ain't easy being a superhero. Just as Spidey.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I am delighted to be a part of the anthology.

"Living Proof" is a story set in my weird little town of Neighborlee, Ohio. It's told from the viewpoint
of Lanie Zephyr, one of the residents and guardians of the town of Neighborlee. If you've read any of the Neighborlee stories, you've probably run into Lanie. You can't miss her -- she's in a wheelchair, and has a wicked sense of humor. Besides being a newspaper reporter, Lanie is the town's resident sit-down comic.

Ain't this a great cover?

I hope you check out all the stories and authors in the anthology, and you're excited about this release as I am!

And even more exciting ... Lanie's first story, how she met her semi-pseudo-superhero friends and became a guardian, is told in GROWING UP NEIGHBORLEE, an April release from Uncial Press. Look for it!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Off the Bookshelf: 3-MINUTE J.R.R. TOLKEIN, by Gary Raymond

Cool concept book.

The subtitle is: "An unauthorized biography of the world's most revered fantasy writer."

How can you get the biography of a man who has had such an impact on fantasy writing and movie-making, in 3 minutes? Easy -- when the pieces are small, so each bite takes 3 minutes at a time to take in.

3 chapters: Life. Works. Influence.
Each chapter is broken down into small pieces that only take up a few paragraphs of text, accompanied by lots of photographs, maps, artwork, links to other sections in the book.

I recommend just paging through the book the first time through. Enjoy the pictures and the captions and references to other areas, other books, quotes from people. Then go through it again, studying the sections that catch your attention. Then sit down and read through leisurely, pulling it all together.

A lovely tribute to a great, influential man, and a small peek into his life and mind and the things that shaped him -- and shaped one of the most incredible worlds and works of fantasy of our time.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Taste the Book: GROWING UP NEIGHBORLEE

April release from Uncial Press.

That day in Divine's, though, I cast my five-year-old caution aside and was ready to raise myself up for a closer look at the Wishing Ball. I was still attached to Mrs. Silvestri, like a kite on a string.

Angela walked in just as my feet got about three inches off the floor. She smiled at me, winked, and gestured down at the floor with a flick of her fingers. I settled back down and she came around the counter, pulled out a four-step ladder, and put it next to the counter on the end, giving me a more ordinary path up to the Wishing Ball. Right that moment, I knew this pretty blond lady who smiled at me like we had an enormous secret--and who didn't shout in astonishment at what she saw--was going to be a very good friend. Mrs. Silvestri introduced me to Angela while I climbed up, my gaze on her the whole time, and that was when Angela told me it was called the Wishing Ball.

Angela was, is, and likely always will be, one of those ageless women, with long, oval face and sculpted cheekbones. She has an incredible, thick, long fall of hair in a dozen shades of gold, with hints of strawberry in it, and big eyes that are usually blue--different shades, depending on her mood--but can sometimes seem gray and sometimes hint at green. The day I met her, she wore her usual handkerchief print blue dress with draping sleeves and no waist, what some might call a granny dress or hippie dress. Since it was August, she wore sandals.

"Do you know what a wish is, Lanie?" Angela asked me, once I was settled on the counter, with my legs hanging off the edge, braced on one arm and gazing into the Wishing Ball.

"It's something you want really bad lots, only it's kind of hard to get." I saw her reflection next to mine in the dark rainbow swirling surface of the ball, and tore my gaze away from it long enough to meet her incredible blue eyes. "And sometimes it's something you want really bad lots for other people, because they need it a whole lots more than you."

"Really? Like what?" Her smile softened and turned thoughtful, and she glanced at Mrs. Silvestri, who was standing behind me with one hand resting on my back. Like she thought I might fall off the counter?