Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WereWolves Among Us by Martin Gonzalez




My older son was the inspiration for, Werewolves Among Us. At the age of twelve I would help him with his paper route. He had seen a news segment on TV about the, chupacabra (goat-sucker), and the next morning he brought along this large flashlight to scare off any creatures of the night, and the, chupacabra. Needless to say I got a good chuckle at his expense.

A few months later I took over his paper route & expanded it to include some backwoods, hard to get to areas. Being a fan of horror since I was a young boy, I nervously laughed at myself when I too imagined strange creatures coming for me in the pitch black of the countryside. Thus Werewolves Among Us was born.

Although I was very familiar with the folklore of, werewolves, vampires, etc. I thought I would modify the perception of the werewolf myth and ideology a little, and though it’s been done before I changed a few things in my story. Some were, consequence of be injured by silver, the full moon, and the memory loss during an attack by the werewolf.

I’ve had little success with traditional publishers, as well a ebook publishers. I decided to publish on my own, and that too was not successful and heartbreaking. With the advice of fellow writer’s, I decided to add my book to Amazon Kindle & other readers available and see what happens. So far it’s been a slow-go, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed, and as promoting, I again have taken the advice of other writer’s.

I currently have two websites, www.werewolvesamongus.com & www.martinagonzalez.com.

I also promote my book on, FaceBook & Twitter.

About the book:

One chilly early October morning, the body of a newspaper carrier is found brutally mutilated. He's the first of more killing to baffle the detectives of the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office. NYC police officer, Mike Serrano, decides to visit his sister in the small town of Liberty, NY for some peace and quiet after the death of his fiancée, who was killed in a shootout.

Mike inadvertently becomes involved in the investigation with his brother-in-law, Marty Pietri, a Sullivan County Sheriff's deputy - Mike's former partner with the NYPD. Mike also meets a young woman with a secret of her own, as well as some of the town folk of Liberty, NY.

Bio:

Born and raised in New York City, Martin A. Gonzalez is a member of the Public Safety Writer’s Association, a graduate of SUNY Empire State, a U. S. Navy veteran, and a retired police officer with the New York City police department where many of his stories and ideas come from.

Martin lives with his wife, Angie, and their German shepherd mix, Timber in the Catskills of Sullivan County, NY, and the father of two grown boys, Martin Jr. and Michael.

Martin is currently working on his second novel, a sequel - Werewolves Among Us: The Hunt

Marilyn, thank you very much,

Martin

Author of:

WEREWOLVES AMONG US

WWW.WEREWOLVESAMONGUS.COM






Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Pluses at Killer Nashville

One of the major pluses of any conference is meeting new people and seeing friends you've made at other conferences, and Nashville was no exception.

Though this photo was taken at the PSWA conference, it is of a friend I've made because of the conferences--Shauna Washington. Mystery author Michael Black introduced her to me at Mayhem in the Midlands, and we met again at another PSWA conference and this past weekend at Killer Nashville. She has become a special friend to me. We sat together during a couple of panels and had lots of fun visiting with one another.

A bitter sweet connection we made at this conference was with the Nehrings, John and Radine. We've become great friends over the years at many conferences. Radine is like a best friend that I always know we can pick up right where we left off. We both admire one another's writing and we have a lot more in common. When I went to a conference without hubby, John always took it upon himself to look out for me--and I appreciated it. It's possible that this may be the last time we'll be together. You see, they live in Arkansas and we live in California. John and Radine only go to conferences they can drive to. Hubby and I have decided we're not going to make any more long exhausting flights to go to a conference. (If Mayhem were resurrected, we'd reconsider.) In fact we've about decided, that with the exception of PSWA in Vegas, we're going to stick to events in California.

I also got to spend a lot of time with my Oak Tree Press publisher, Billie Johnson. We always have fun with her--and she and I did talk business too.

Other friends I hadn't seen for a long time were Luisa Buehler, Randy Rawls, Chester Campbell and his lovely wife. So much fun to chat with them all.

And of course, meeting new friends is always a big plus. Because Killer Nashville is a long way from home, I was tickled to make new friends who I hope will keep in touch via email or Facebook.

And to me, though I participated on a couple of panels and enjoyed many others, the connection with people was to me the big pluses of Killer Nashville.

Marilyn

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Visit from Mitzi Kelly, author of the Silver Sleuths Mysteries


Mitzi Kelly

Author of The Silver Sleuths Mystery Series

From Mitzi Kelly's keyboard:

I grew up in El Paso, Texas in an idyllic childhood setting. We were always encouraged to use our imagination, to stay active and to read anything and everything we could get our hands on.

I moved to San Antonio, Texas in my late teens and eventually met my husband of 30 years. We have one terrific son and five very spoiled dogs.

I started my writing career doing feature articles for magazines and soon discovered that really wasn’t what I wanted to do. True stuff was boring! I wanted to create a world in which I had control of the characters and the drama. I used my love of creating fiction to start manuscripts in different genres: romance, mystery, drama. It was a ‘hit and miss’ process, though, because I was busy raising my son, holding down a full time job and helping my husband in his construction business.

Thankfully, my dream of writing novels never waned and I was officially published in 2010. Classic Revenge, the first book in the Silver Sleuths Mystery Series published by Avalon Books, is a cozy mystery with delightful, eccentric characters.

Classic Revenge...an excerpt

Trish looked over at the open window and grimaced. So much for luck. She went to the window and opened the drapes fully. Just as she had hoped, the screen was old and not secured by any security measures. She pushed hard and it flopped out onto the open ground. “Okay, I’m going first so I can help you on the other side.”

Just then they heard the front door open. Millie was jumping nervously from one foot to the other. “Just hurry, for goodness sakes!”

Trish landed on the ground with a thud. It was further down than she had anticipated, but it was still manageable. Millie’s head poked through the opening. “No!” she whispered loudly. “Legs first! I can’t catch you if you take a dive head first.”

“Oh.” Millie’s head ducked back in and then one leg jutted out. Soon, she was sitting on the ledge. “Ready?” It was a pointless question because Millie jumped at the same instant she uttered it. It wasn’t quite what Trish had in mind. She hadn’t planned on actually „catching‟ her friend, she was going to help her crawl down. Instead, all she managed to do was break Millie’s fall with her body as they both tumbled to the ground, arms and legs akimbo.

“Are you okay?‟ Trish asked breathlessly. The thought of Millie breaking an arm or a leg . . . or worse, had Trish worried.

“I’m fine. Now, get off of me so we can get out of here!”

Trish’s eyes widened and she held a finger to her lips. She thought she had just heard the bedroom door open. Oh, oh. Gesturing frantically with her hand, she motioned for Millie to follow her. They scrambled over to the next door neighbor’s trailer and ducked behind it a second before a stream of obscenities flew out the open window.

But then the cursing stopped, followed by only low muttering, and then nothing. Grabbing Millie’s hand, they made a mad dash through the mobile home park – well, as mad a dash as two old women could make – ducking between trailers and keeping an eye out for anyone following them. It seemed that all they left behind, though, was a wave of barking dogs.

What seemed like an eternity later, they saw Edna sitting in the car at the entrance of the mobile home park just as she had been instructed. “Let’s go,” Trish said breathlessly as she practically pushed Millie into the car and then fell in after her.

Edna looked at them in shock. “What . . .”

“We’ll tell you in a minute. Just get the hell out of here!”

* * *

And Mitzi shares with us:

This series is so much fun to write and thanks to the people that are, and have been, in my life, I’ve got enough material to keep this series going for years! Both of my grandmothers were spunky, independent women who never lost their sense of humor regardless of the trials in their lives. They were truly an inspiration. The second book in the series, Deadly Policy, is scheduled to be released in April, 2012.

I’m in the middle of the third installment in the Silver Sleuths series and I’m also working on a contemporary romance trilogy. In addition I’m drafting the outline for a family saga. I don’t stick to any one particular genre and that’s one of the benefits of writing fiction. The world out there is a blank page, waiting to be captured and formed into limits only defined by the imagination!

The most important writing tip I can offer is to not feel rejected when you receive a rejection notice. It’s going to happen. Do not get defensive or feel depressed. It’s not personal and you have to look at it as a process. When you receive that dreaded letter, turn right around and get another query out. Someone out there is interested in your work and it’s only a matter of finding that special editor who likes your idea.

I was very fortunate finding my publisher. I had this great idea of three older women stumbling into amateur sleuthing to help a friend who was accused of killing his wife. So I wrote a query letter describing my idea and pulled out my trust Writers Digest reference book. I started at the beginning of the alphabet and soon I received interest from Avalon Books. I dearly love the editors I’ve worked with there and the relationships we’re developing as this series continues is something I’ll always treasure.

I love to hear from people and can be reached at http://mitzi@mitzikelly.com/. There is more information on my webpage, http://www.mitzikelly.com/.

And from me:

Thank you so much, Mitzi, for visiting with me today and sharing about your delightful series and some insight into yourself and your writing.

Marilyn





Sunday, August 28, 2011

Killer Nashville

Had a great time at Killer Nashville. Everything was great but most of all seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

We were tickled to spend lots of time with the Nehrings and my Oak Tree publisher, Billie Johnson. We also enjoyed spending a bit of time with Mike Black and Shauna Washington.

The panels were good and learned a few things and shared whatI knew on the panels I was on.

We also made new friends we hope to see again.

We will be leaving early tomorrow morning.

Marilyn

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Creep by Jennifer Hillier

Just finished Creep by Jennifer Hillier categorized as a thriller--and is that and more. The heroine, Dr. Sheila Tao is a professor of psychology who is addicted to sex. While engaged to a wonderful man she continues having an affair with a grad student and her teaching assistant, Ethan Wolfe. When she finally tells Ethan it’s over, she finds out things are not going to go as she hoped. Ethan’s obsession turns darker and darker and it isn’t long before she not only fears for her job, but her plans for marriage, and even her own life.

A warning: the sex in the story is explicit and the suspense never ending. This is a well written tale with a truly surprising ending—that may lead to a sequel. This was a real page-turner. The book was sent to me by Simon and Schuster or I probably wouldn’t have chosen to read it. Once I got started, I couldn’t put it down.

Marilyn

Friday, August 26, 2011

Why Dave Knop Chose the eBook Publishing Route




I’d like to say it’s because I get to keep more money. That is partially true, but no, the real reason is I really wanted to get published.

Oh, I did all the things you were supposed to do. I am a long-term member of a great writing group. I had friends outside of the group edit my manuscript as well. I did all the good writerly things (rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite), and I went to all the writers’ conferences in San Diego and LA. I talked to agents. I talked to editors. I talked to Big Name authors.

I did my research. I went online and found agents and editors who would be interested in my genre. I think I developed a list of nearly one hundred, or so. I sent out query letters, and when requested, I sent out synopses, bios, chapters, and manuscripts. Whatever the submission guidance of a particular agent/editor required, that’s what I sent them. Most of them answered my letters. Some were form-letter responses, some looked like a human had composed them. Most of them said the same thing: “Not for my list.”

Now, as a writer, I appreciate feedback from any and all sources and I use it to improve my writing. You got to admit “Not for my List,” is not a useful comment. It also meant to me that the list maker did not read my manuscript. I did find one publisher who actually read it, provided very good comments and recommendations, and proposed to print my book. When we got to the final negotiations, it turns out he wanted me to pay him to print and distribute the book.

This is not what I had in mind. Writing is my hobby. I love making up characters and situations. Writing a novel is like living in a world you invented. What’s not to love? So, as much as I enjoy my hobby, I’m not going to pay someone to print my book.

This is where ebooks come in. At most conferences I have attended, invariably at least one panel addresses the growing market share of electronic books which is currently about 30% (dollar amount) of the total non-education book market. Some panel members welcome this technological innovation, while others, most notably editors from the bigger publishers, view ebooks as a threat. As a retired Marine officer, I like to compare (mostly in jest) this view with the concern of US naval officers who talk about the Chinese developing an aircraft carrier.

eBooks have many advantages for most new writers because you can do the whole thing yourself and avoid print book roadblocks. You don’t need to find an agent. You don’t need a publisher. You still have to pay someone to get the book online, but not a lot.

To publish an ebook, you need to translate the digital manuscript to a reader compatible language (epub), something you can do with the proper software, or you might want to chose one of the many vendors on the Internet who specialize in that sort of thing. Some charge for translation (varies around $100 or so), some take a percentage of your future earnings, but there is no 15% cut to any agent. In most epub translation shops, no one edits your manuscript, so there are no mouths to feed there. I’m not suggesting that you don’t need to edit your manuscript. A good writer always submits professional work.

So once you are online with your new ebook, the advantages of the Internet kick in. Books stores may have thousands of customers, but the Internet is available to tens of millions. Distribution is instantaneous and complete. No more “not in stock” for anyone and no mailing costs. Impulse buyers have to wait seconds, not weeks, for an ebook.

Most new authors have to promote their own books (If you just received a $100,000 advance, why are you reading this? Get back to work.). Promoting an ebook on the internet is really no different than the effort required to promote a print book. Promotion costs money, but not always. When doing an Internet search for promotional opportunities, be sure the first word in the search phrase is the word “free.”

So you excite a customer with your promotion and now it comes decision time: buy a $27.00 hardcover from an unknown author, or a $10.00 ebook? Not a difficult choice, is it? An author gets up to 8% royalties from the print book and up to 80% from the ebook, that’s $2.16 versus $8.00. Everybody wins.

So, now I get bragging rights as an (e)published author and I get to keep most of the money. In the world I’ve invented, I have ordered an Aston Martin Virage Coupe. What’s not to love?

David E. Knop’s thriller ‘Mining Sacred Ground’ available now on ebooks.

Modern Native American detective steps into the world of his ancestors.

Mining Sacred Ground is a gripping tale of threatened Apache, Anasazi, and Aztec archeological treasures. In Arizona’s harsh land of enduring legend, former Marine and Cochiti tribal policeman Peter Romero witnesses his cousin’s violent death. Seeking vengeance, he battles a deranged sniper, drug-dealing bikers, and angry local Apaches. As the investigation continues, the all-too-real intrusions of his heritage draw him into the world of spirit warrior, a world that threatens his way of life

Mining Sacred Ground was a semi-finalist in the 2010 Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Contest and finished top ten in the prestigious Killer Nashville Claymore Award contest.

David E. Knop is a retired Marine officer and a lifelong student of Native American mythology. Dave is a member of Sisters in Crime, Southwest Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and Public Safety Writers Association.

Look for Mining Sacred Ground in ebook format at iBookstore (iPod, iPad, iPhone), Sony Reader Store (Reader), Barnes & Noble (Nook), and Amazon (Kindle), now.

Bio:

David E. Knop is a retired Marine officer with twenty years of service. He saw two tours in Vietnam as an artillery forward observer and naval gunfire support officer. As a staff officer, he wrote and edited numerous military operations plans. Dave also authored feature articles for the Field Artillery Journal and Marine Corps Gazette.

In civilian life, Dave became a technical writer and produced many electronic and automotive manuals for industry leaders such as SAIC and Computer Sciences Corporation. Dave’s work for the Eighth Air Force received an award of excellence in a Northern California Society of Technical Communications competition.

Dave’s first novel, The Smoked Mirror, a supernatural thriller featuring former Marine Cochiti Pueblo police officer Peter Romero, placed honorable mention in both the Maryland Writers' Association and Reading Writers contests. The manuscript also qualified top ten in the Wahmpreneur Books Fiction contest. Dave’s second mystery, Mining Sacred Ground, brings the role of spirit warrior to the subgenre of Native American detectives. This novel was a semi-finalist in a recent Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Contest and placed top ten in the Killer Nashville contest. Dave’s third novel, Poisoned by God’s Flesh is in progress.

An alumnus of Book Passage Mystery Writer’s workshops, Taos Institute of the Arts, Maui Writer’s Retreats, Dave is a lifelong student of Native American mythology.

Contact:

David E. Knop

miningsacredground@me.com

See the book trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0bqhdLtBPI

Visit the webpage at: http://davideknop.net/

And from Marilyn:

Great post, David. I wish you the best with your new venture into e-publishing. I've been a far of e-publishing long before the majority of people knew what it was and before any kind of e-reader.

Keep us posted on how it all works out for you.




Thursday, August 25, 2011

Blacberry vs iPhone

Today I'll be flying from Bakersfield to Nashville TN to attend Killer Nashville.

So while I'm doing that, I thought I'd leave my thoughts about the Blackberry and the iPhone.

I started out with a Blackberry and I loved it. I loved the keyboard that it had and it was easy to use. I was able to set up everything on my own. Time passed and I used the heck out of that little phone--except not much as a phone, though I didn't have any trouble using it that way.

Some thing went a little haywire with it after a lot of use, don't really remember why, but it was time for an upgrade so I marched myself down to the ATandT store. The goodlooking young salesman told me it was time to have and iPhone. "You'll love it," he said and she showed me all the wonderful things I could do with it. Unfortunately, he didn't tell me how to turn it on.

A friend of my grandson's stopped by the house and showed me how to turn it on. However, neither of us could figure out how to hook up the email to my server. I also couldn't figure out how to type on the keypad. I clicked away with my fingernails and nothing happened at all! Grandson's friend pointed out I had to use my fingers themselves.

To get hooked up to my Internet server I had to go to the server itself and one of the young women in the office hooked me up. Once I learned how to use it, I did alright. I even got to like it, everything but the keypad. Much too touchy.

I used my iPhone a lot--not for phone calls but emails, the Internet, playing Solitaire. One day it went wonky. It wouldn't hold a charge--maybe it did, but it wouldn't show that it was holding a charge. Back to the AT and T store. Actually I'd been back there a lot because there were so many things I couldn't figure out. Usually they could help me, but not this time. I was told I'd have to take it to the Apple store, nearest on an hour plus drive away.

But I was ready for an upgrade so said I'll have a Blackberry this time. We'll what do you know, the store was able to set up my email account. The Blackberry had both kinds of keypads, I could choose which one to use. Things were fine for awhile, then letters started disappearing out of sentences in my emails making them impossible to understand. The good old store fixed it--by rebooting--but it only lasted for awhile. I rebooted, same thing, only lasted for a short
time.

The store told me to go to the Blackberry site on the net and get my Blackberry upgraded. Took a long while, and I lost some stuff, but it's working again.

Technology, isn't it great? Well, at least when it's working.

Marilyn

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Birthday

Yep, I'm another year older--how old I'd rather not say. It's pretty easy to figure out though since I'll be married 60 years this October. Yep, 60 years to the same fellow. How he's managed to put up with me, I'm not sure.

Not going to do anything special because we're headed off to Nashville TN in the early a.m. I'll call that trip my birthday present.

I don't feel as old as my birthdays tell me I should--at least not inside. I realize it when I have to hurry up, climb up stairs, try to stay awake to watch a TV show.

Anyway, it is my birthday today.

Marilyn

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nipomo Book and Craft Fair


I'm glad this photo is so small, because I look a lot like I felt. I'd been ill the night before--all night--from eating wild mushrooms in a salad. That's what I get for wanting to try something new.

The highlight of being in Nipomo at this book festival was seeing good friends, Barbara Hodges, Victoria Heckman and Sue McGinty. Besides all being authors, they are also members of the Central Coast chapter of Sisters in Crime--and I am too.

Hubby and I stayed at the Santa Maria Inn, always a fun place, but our Saturday night dinner at the Inn wasn't so great for me either. The chef was heavy handed with the salt in both my Oysters Rockefeller (which I had last year and they were wonderful but not this year) and my Tortilla Soup.

Breakfast is part of the hotel deal, and I will say the oatmeal was terrific. That's what I had both days.

I'm glad to be home, even though we'll only be here for three days, then we're off again. Am determined to go with only two carry-ons. We'll see how that works out.

Marilyn

Monday, August 22, 2011

Widowhood is Not Funny by Alanna Kvale



Feb. 23. 2004, after 35 years of marriage, my husband, Mel, had a sudden heart attack & I found myself a widow, unprepared, uncertain what came next & terrified of a future without him.

I was fortunate that my children were grown when this all happened, though my daughter still lived at home with us. I'm actually grateful that she did, she really helped me with everything, including supporting me in my desire to write this book.

My husband Mel and I were working together on his custom engraving business, making big plans for our future, looking forward to our last child leaving the nest. Our son was already married & had a son of his own at that time.

I was working doing copywriting jobs for Mel, helping him market his business, & acting as his office manager and as he called me "his creative director." In a single heartbeat, all of that disappeared. I had no husband, no business partner, no income. All our carefully laid out plans and dreams were gone. I just hope I can help other women going through this journey, to show them that though it looks bleak now, there is a future and they can get through this, they're not alone

In the next 3 years, I learned a lot & read everything I could lay my hands on about widowhood. As a writer, I knew I'd have to put it down on paper & I knew there were so many other women out there with the same pain, fear & uncertainty.

Widowhood Is Not Funny
is a guidebook & is intended to help the new widow make it through her grief, find her new purpose & move forward into her new future.

Alanna Parke Kvale
This is an e-book and is available at:
http://www.amazon.com for the Kindle
Sony Reader
iPad

Alanna Parke Kvale
APK Copywriting Services
http://www.alannaparkekvale.weebly.com

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Love Affair with E-Mail Has Waned a Bit

Don't get me wrong, email is one of the many things I do right away everyday. Though I get a lot of junk mail every day, I also receive some interesting letters, often a request to be a guest on my blog, or the information I've requested for someone to guest on my blog.

I love hearing what friends and family are up to, but Facebook has mostly replaced email for that kind of interaction.

I'm on a lot of lists which I enjoy reading and often get ideas for books I'd like to read, a new promo idea to try, a request for a program design for someone wanting to open a residential care facility, and much much more.

In the not so olden days, after snail mail, email was the next best thing for sending out invitations, finding out how someone was doing, letting people know what I've been doing, announcements about my latest book. Again, Facebook and Twitter and other social sites have taken over--and quite nicely at that.

I still carry my Blackberry along with me where I go and I check my email faster than I check Facebook. And by the way, I seldom use my Blackberry as a phone, in fact I seldom get a phone call on it and when I do I fumble around trying to figure out how to answer it.

So how do you feel about email?

Marilyn

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Great Granddaughter, Kay'Lee


Kay'Lee is now eight years old. I don't usually babysit anymore, there are lots of grandmothers around who can do the job.

The other day though I had a call from my grandson who asked if his daughter could come and stay at my house until he got off work. Kay'Lee had spent the week with her mom and two sisters camping way up in the mountains and she'd had enough sleeping in a tent on the hard ground.

When she arrived she wanted lunch--her choice, a whole can of tuna mixed with a little mayo. After she polished that off, she ate 6 Oreo cookies and two glasses of milk.

She'd never played checkers before so I taught her and once she caught on, she won. I wasn't surprised.

It was time for me to go get my haircut so her grandma came over and they watched a movie together.

From my house she was going to her another grandma's. This girl has more grandmas then anyone I ever heard of, some of them for real, others who've become grandmas for one reason or another.

She's a fun kid and so happy school is going to start on Monday, though she assured me she's had a great time this summer--except for a little too much camping.

And that's how I spent the afternoon, a bit different than most afternoons.

The baby on top is her brand new little brother, Julius--my number 12 great grandchild.

Marilyn



Friday, August 19, 2011

From Shadows and Nightmares




From Quintin Peterson:

I am a contributor to a recently released anthology of tales of horror and the paranormal; From Shadows and Nightmares, edited by Amber L. Campbell, which is available at amazon.com, BN.com, et al.

James Dorr, Jeffrey Wooten, and Michele Wyan are among the 22 authors featured in this anthology, which has something for everyone who enjoys creepy stories. My contribution is ‘Round Midnight, a cop/ghost story. Hard-boiled chills and thrills.

I am known for crime writing – “the retired DC cop who pens crime fiction” – but considered it an interesting challenge to generate a ghost story rooted in the crime fiction genre. So, I combined a cop story with a ghost story and came up with ‘Round Midnight, the story of a DC cop’s on and off-duty ghostly encounters with a childhood friend who died in his youth. It begins:

Police work had taken everything from me and over time had left me virtually hollow. Seeing humanity at its worst on a daily basis had taken its toll and left me jaded and faithless. And yet the biggest case of my career, a murder involving a childhood friend who died decades earlier, changed my outlook and renewed my faith.

I’m sure fans of both genres will enjoy it.

From the Publisher:

Travel through the darkest shadows and twisted thoughts of a group of talented authors. From the traditional werewolf to an ancient curse to brain eating zombies, the authors' imagination will make you squirm in your seat. Your stomach will clench as you read one, and then you will question just how depraved our fellow human beings can be as you read another. The talent gathered in this latest addition to the Nightfall Publication anthologies present to you spine-tingling, blanket clutching stories, all brought to life from their own Shadows and Nightmares.

The anthology is published by fledgling independent book publisher Nightfall Publications, which is still going through growing pains. This is only its third anthology. Currently, the publisher has only released ­­one novel and three thematically different anthologies, but more books are in the works. I support what Nightfall Publications and other indie book publishers are trying to achieve.

Link to Amazon webpage for From Shadows and Nightmares:

http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Nightmares-James-Dorr/dp/098372041X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313103044&sr=1-1

Bio:

Quintin Peterson is the author of several plays and screenplays. He is a native Washingtonian.

As a junior high school student, he attended the Corcoran School of Art on a scholarship. While still in high school, he was honored with the University of Wisconsin’s Science Fiction Writing Award and the National Council of Teachers of English Writing Award. Upon receiving the Wisconsin Junior Academy’s Writing Achievement Award, his name was included in Who’s Who Among American High School Students of 1975.

As an undergraduate communications major at the University of Wisconsin, he wrote and performed in two plays for stage and videotape and received a Mary Roberts Rinehart Foundation grant for his play project, Change. A National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship and a playwriting grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities followed. Subsequently, two of his radio plays were aired on WPFW-FM Pacifica Radio as productions of the Minority Arts Ensemble’s Radio Drama Workshop ’79.

Mr. Peterson was a police officer with the Metropolitan Police Department for more than 28 years, where he was assigned for most of his career to its Public Information Office as a media liaison officer and as the liaison between the department and members of the motion picture and television industries, acting as a script consultant and technical adviser. In December of 2010, he became an employee of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Department of Safety and Security.

An Active Member of Mystery Writers of America, Police Writers, the Public Safety Writers Association, and the National Press Club, he is the author of a book of poetry, Nativity; two crime novels, SIN and The Wages of SIN; is a contributor to the crime fiction anthology D.C. Noir, edited by George Pelecanos, and the John L. French edited crime fiction anthology, Bad Cop, No Donut, and an anthology of supernatural stories, From Shadows and Nightmares, edited by Amber L. Campbell; and has penned several e-stories available exclusively from Kindle via Amazon.com.


--

Quintin Peterson
Author Noir
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BMCR2E

http://www.google.com/profiles/quintinpeterson
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/02/AR2008040201404.html

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/crime-scene/clarence-williams/for-the-dc-police-public-infor.html


Thursday, August 18, 2011

In Honor of Kay Dibblee




My daughter recently sent me the obituary of an old friend, Kay Dibblee. I hadn't thought about her in years, but as I read what was said about her, memories and tears flooded me.

Kay was one of the professionals who worked for Ventura County Camp Fire Girls way back when I started as a Blue Bird leader. Back then, trainings were held for the leaders on all sorts of things. Kay was often the person who did the training. As time went on and my girls grew older we started camping. It was Kay who taught me everything about camping and cooking out doors. I spent a lot of time with her at Camp Cielo and visiting her at her home and once she and her great husband came to visit us.

But it was other things Kay taught me that have stuck with me throughout my life. Kay was fearless. Once a bunch of leaders were headed to above Santa Barbara for a weekend training. The head honcho of CFGs didn't want us to go because the weather was horrible--it had been raining for days.

To get to the camp we had to drive across a creek which had turned into a river. I drove a VW bus at the time. Kay's solution was that I drive everyone across the raging creek in the bus. It took several trips to bring everyone across and all our supplies. I never thought twice about it. Kay knew the bus would make it and she was right.

I don't remember everything about that weekend, but I know we had fun in the big lodge, learning new ways to cook in a fireplace, sleeping on couches and the floor, singing Camp Fire songs and playing silly games.

Kay was a good friend to all the women who had decided to be Camp Fire Girl leaders. She gave us great ideas, she taught us to be brave and try new things. With my own group of girls which I had for ten years until they graduated from high school, we did all sorts of exciting things. We camped at Cielo and in public campgrounds, we camped in the snow, we back packed into Rose Valley following trails none of us had ever been on before, we made trips to San Diego, Hollywood, and we put on plays to earn money for our biggest trip of all, to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas via our own Greyhound bus.

Kay was the one who instilled in me the fact that I could do anything if I just tried.

I haven't seen Kay in years. My Camp Fire Girl days are long over. I've had all sorts of jobs since then, teaching little kids with developmental disabilities, working in day care centers in ghetto areas, and living in and running my own licensed residential care facility. While I was doing that, I also organized and developed training for administrators of residential care which I continued to do for about fifteen years.

And of course I've been writing, teaching writing, and traveling all over doing promotion for my books.

Thank you, Kay, for being my friend, a mentor, and just being you.

Marilyn

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

John Bray's Latest, The Confidential


My newest novel, my second, is entitled THE CONFIDENTIAL, released this July by BeWrite Books.. The story is a fictionalized version of events that took place in the early 1970's.

I was a lieutenant in the NYPD, admitted to the bar and recruited to work in a unit known as the Department Advocates Office. Our task was to prosecute charges brought against members of the department which were tried before a Deputy Commissioner of Trials acting as judge.

During that era the NYPD went through major upheavals i.e. Serpico and a detective named Robert Leuci, His story was made into a movie entitled PRINCE OF THE CITY. Tim Dees played a clip from the movie at the PSWA conference.

I left the department after 17 years, taking a vested interest pension and opened my own law practice. Some of that experience in my law practice filters its way through the book.

Much of THE CONFIDENTIAL is pure fiction but I used events and people I had dealings with to form the framework. Not much research was needed but I began to wish I had kept copies of the files I worked on. For some reason the trauma of seeing the dismissals, suicides and lengthy imprisonment of cops caught up in the scandals and observing the hypocrisy of the department from the inside became too much.

The general theme of the book is how disillusionment drives some cops (and agents) over the edge.

The title of my first book is THE BALLAD OF JOHNNY MADIGAN. Both books are available through BeWrite at http://www.bewrite.net also Amazon, B&N and in all the e-media, nook, kindle,etc.

BIO:

John Bray has a BS in Police Administration from John Jay College (1966), a Juris Doctor from Broolyn Law School (1970) and an MA in Theology from Immaculate Conception Seminary on Long Island (2004). !7 years NYPD and 30 years private law practice. Married 52 years, now live in Williamsburg, VA



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Headed to Nipomo

Isn't that a great name for a city? Never heard of it before? It's on the Central Coast, just south of Santa Maria.

Truthfully, I don't know a whole lot about Nipomo except for their library and I have a good writer friend who lives there, Barbara Hodges.

Because of Barbara, for the last two years, I've participated in a sale the library has had. In the front yard crafters and other vendors put up tents and sell their wares. Barbara and I set out tables up with our books on the covered porch. (My husband loves this one because he only has to haul a table and two chairs and help me with selling my books.) Inside, the library sells used books.

This fun event is on Saturday, August 20th. Because we must set up quite early, we'll head over to the coast the day before. We love going to the coast, the weather is great and we know we'll get some great food. We're planning on staying at the historic Santa Maria Inn once again--in the old and possible haunted part.

Years ago, this was a popular hangout for the movie stars of the past. In fact, the rooms have plaques with the names of the actors how stayed inside. If you're young, you might not recognize the names like Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon. The rooms themselves, in the older part of the hotel, are small but comfortable--and the only place to stay if you're hoping for ghosts.

Last time we were there we ate in the elegant dining room. We also had dinner one night with Barbara Hodges and her hubby. We usually only see each other one or two times a year, this year we've already spent some time together at the PSWA conference.

I'm looking forward to the weekend, and hopefully selling some books. If you happen to be in the area, be sure and stop by.

Marilyn

Monday, August 15, 2011

PEACE AT THE EDGE OF UNCERTAINTY by Neil Hanson




PEACE AT THE EDGE OF UNCERTAINTY

In this story told in the form of a letter from a middle-aged man to his deceased father, Hanson invites us to journey with him through the final days of the father’s life, finding a magical transition waiting at the end of that journey. With a style that is highly personal, the narrator describes revelations, discoveries, and growth, as well as evolutions of family relationships during this period of transformation.
The story weaves end-of-life reality and spiritual questioning into a sensitive and revealing tapestry of Truth and Wisdom. The tapestry is colored with true stories of mystical experiences that inform the spiritual path of the son.
Like so many families today in our world of highly effective medicine and life-support, the family in this story faces the difficult and wrenching questions our culture must face: When does life begin and end? What are the complexions of distinction between bare and primitive "life" on the one hand, and "human-ness" on the other hand? Where and when and how do we "play G-d" with our decisions to withhold feeding tubes and respirators? How do we face these questions, and work our way to effective answers?
Woven through the story are descriptions of magical and mystical encounters that inform and guide the life of the narrator, helping to open honest questions about how "religion" aids or obstructs the journey through Faith that most people are called to explore.

Short Bio
Neil Hanson spends time these days in both his native Kansas and his adopted Colorado. In addition to writing, his passions include hunting, fishing, gardening, and long-distance bicycling. His blog postings usually revolve around these passions, often within the context of his love of the outdoors and strong sense of spiritual “place”.
Neil publishes and distributes a free email newsletter periodically (usually about monthly) that highlights a short essay, with links to other posts and articles recently published. You can sign up for this newsletter at http://neilhanson.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=dc84e3ae4ab8ed51c731f1898&id=49b8e02cc0.
He’s easy to find at his website (http://neilhanson.com), and through his blog (http://neilhanson.com/blog).
His book can be purchased directly from him by contacting him through his website or email (neil@neilhanson.com), or through Amazon and other retailers.

From the pen of Neil Hanson:


Inside each of us are stories that need to be told. Some of us have a gift with words, and the stories come out as words on a page. In the “olden days”, the gifted storytellers didn’t need a page to let the words come out. For others among us, the stories reveal themselves through paint on a canvas, or from within wood or marble, or on the screen or stage.
I’m convinced that the greatest source of stress for many of us these days is our refusal to allow the stories within us to find the path out to the rest of the world. I guess it’s possible that there are folks within which no stories are trying to emerge, but I’ll bet not many.
When I sit at the keyboard, my fingertips are the tool through which the stories within me “escape” into the world around me. It’s truly a joy when this happens, nearly always leaving me with a sense of wholeness and satisfaction.
The story within Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty gnawed at me for a long time before I finally released it through the words on the page. It felt to me like it was a bottleneck of sorts, and until I released this story, I’d continue to feel the pressure of other stories building inside.
Now that the story is “fledged”, so to speak, I’m like a kid in a candy store when it comes to writing. I’ve got several “next projects” underway, each calling to me in its own way. I’m writing a book about long-distance bicycle tours I’ve been taking, another book that walks the reader through the Passover journey (essentially a Haggadah for non-Jews), and have been playing just a bit with fiction.
The idea of fiction is most intriguing to me, as it allows the most pure sense of storytelling. While I like writing non-fiction that is highly focused on the spiritual sense of place I find around me at any given time, the platform of fiction would allow nearly endless adaptation and creation around those places. I suspect a work of fiction is 2 or 3 books in my future though...
I feel quite lucky to be at a point in life where I can begin to let these stories emerge from me. The feeling I get when I’m writing is like nothing else I know. It’s a deep sense of satisfaction, maybe like scratching an itch that’s in a hard-to-reach place, like a dog must feel when you scratch behind his ear. I suppose all “creativity” is like that - a sense of satisfaction at allowing yourself to be the path through which something emerges for others to enjoy.
I’ve rarely felt happier and more at peace in my life, and I think this is in large part due to the “therapy” I get when I write, one of the many good symptoms of which is less stress in my life. I’d encourage everyone to find that “thing” within them that is the path for stories to emerge, and find a way to spend more and more of each day giving them-self over to that “thing”.

Giveaway
For a week following this post, anyone who signs up for my email newsletter or leaves a comment on this post on my blog (with their email address) will receive a coupon for a free eCopy of Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty. Note that all recipients will be receive future issues of High Prairie Reflections via email at no cost.

Thank you so much for your guest post, Neil. The story sounds fascinating.