Saturday, October 22, 2016

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Carrie Gessner



1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
I like all of them for different reasons! But just in The Dying of the Golden Day, even if I lean toward Aurelia, I have to go with Mira. She’s smart, funny, confident, and badass enough to have conquered an empire. She’s kind of everything I want to be (yes, including the empire conquering!).

2. Tell me about your travels.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Tea! My favorite is black Earl Grey.

4. What else can you do besides write?

5. Who are you reading right now?
For a writer, I have terrible reading habits and hop between a bunch of books at once. My primary books right now are The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years by Chingiz Aimatov, The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene, and Bombshells Vol 1: Enlisted by Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage.

6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?

9. Food you could eat every day.
Pizza. I have simple tastes.

10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?

11. What kind of music speaks to you?
Sometimes it’s hard for me to classify music genres, but I’d say my favorite is folk-pop or folk-rock, I guess, because the lyrics are often poetic and thoughtful. Stuff like The Waillin’ Jennys and The Swell Season. Right now, I can’t stop listening to the Waitress Broadway soundtrack by Sara Bareilles. It’s fun and sweet, but it also has more serious moments that make me think about life and happiness and all that. While writing, I listen to film and TV-show soundtracks to help keep me focused.

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
Outline. My writing sessions are more productive when I know where I’m going with a story. It’s worked so well that my outlines have been getting longer. My outline for The Dying of the Golden Day was a page. Very bare bones. The outlines for my current projects are all at least ten pages!

13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Carrie Gessner received a BA in English from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She writes speculative fiction and literary fiction and drinks a lot of tea. When she's not writing or reading, she likes to go for walks in the park with her greyhound.

Marked by gray eyes that prophesy the death of magic, Aurelia seeks to avert her destiny by serving as advisor to the prince of Sunniva, but a chance to reunite two broken kingdoms soon forces Aurelia to decide where her loyalty lies--with her prince or with her magic. Meeting Brennus, the first male born with magic in centuries, further complicates her choice. When Edana, the first seeress in generations, receives a vision concerning the end of the kingdom, she embarks on a mission to locate the subjects of the prophecy only to stumble upon a threat to all those with the gift of magic. As prophecy becomes clearer and the future darker, they discover there are two sides to every coin--good and evil, hope and destruction, fate and chaos. Only they can restore balance, and only they can plunge the world into eternal darkness.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

EVENT: Whiskey and Words at Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse and Whiskey Garden


We hope you can attend our upcoming event Whiskey and Words on Wednesday, October 12th from 5pm- 9pm at Wigle Whiskey's Barrelhouse and Whiskey Garden in Pittsburgh's Northside. In addition to our fabulous line-up of authors, we will also have delicious Whiskey cocktails, Burgh Bites Food Truck and the Mangini Trio.

This event is free to attend. 21+. 

Facebook page:

Hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

EVENT: PARSEC Talk "How Chronic Pain Has Made Me More Autotelic" by Heidi Ruby Miller


Meeting October 8, 2016 - Heidi Ruby Miller
"How Chronic Pain Has Made Me More Autotelic"

What started as a forced transition due to health concerns has turned into a wondrous full-circle journey as a creator, both metaphorically and globally. This is how I found my way back from writing as a daily business to embracing my words as the artistic endeavor it is.

Squirrel Hill Branch of the Carnegie Library
Room B - Next to the Rear Entrance
1:30 - 4:30 PM

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

INTERVIEW: Heidi Ruby Miller by Michael A. Arnzen at SIGMA


EXCERPT: Last year I gave a talk on “The Popular Uncanny” at Parsec, and Heidi Ruby Miller (my colleague in the MFA program at Seton Hill U, and my co-editor for the book, Many Genres One Craft), kindly interviewed me about the subject for SIGMA. I decided to return the favor, as she’s coming to speak to the group again on October 8th. If you haven’t met her before, you’ll see that Heidi is always effervescent and excited to talk about genre fiction. Here’s a taste of her wide range of interests and passions.

MIKE: Tell us briefly about your latest book, STARRIE.

HEIDI: Starrie was a nice side project within the Ambasadora-verse that adds to the main series’ mythos and sets up some events in Book 2: Scarred by Light. Surprisingly, it’s been my most critically acclaimed book so far, even though it’s not part of the original series.

Read the entire interview in SIGMA.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

EVENT: DogCon 5 at Broadkill Writers Resort


DogCon is a big shindig that publisher Raw Dog Screaming Press holds every year to celebrate books, authors and all our supporters. It’s a chance for the RDSP family to get together, meet each other, show off the latest works and begin new creative ventures.

DogCon 5 at Broadkill Beach in Milton, DE!

At last year’s DogCon we announced that we were acquiring a beach house writing resort. This year, we’re inviting you to come see it! Activities will be running Friday to Monday but Saturday, October 1st and Sunday October 2nd will be the main event.

Each DogCon is different and this one will be more about strengthening the RDSP author community than having public book events. Activities on Saturday & Sunday afternoon/evening will be aimed at the public but other times will be more for the authors. However, anyone is still welcome to hang out the whole time. Plans are evolving but here are some of the things we will definitely do:

Group meals/snacks (likely a shrimp boil, s’mores, Gooey donuts and a cookout)
Readers Choice Award winner announcement presentation of the championship belt
State of the Dog Address, what does the future hold for RDSP?
Beach bonfire (weather permitting)
Visit to Dogfish Head Brewery (tours are available but are 1st come, not guaranteed)
Guest speaker publicity expert Beverly Bambury will give tips on book promo
One-on-one sessions with Beverly will be available for a fee
A live writing Instigation led by Mike Arnzen
Story Swap: authors will swap short pieces & perform each others’ work aloud
Thunderdome death matches (just kidding…maybe)
Authors will share promo tips
Readings by RDSP authors

Eventbrite - DogCon5

For more information, follow the updates on the Broadkill Resort Blog, RDSP Webinar, and Eventbrite.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

AUDIOBOOK: Audiovile by Michael A. Arnzen


Audiovile: The Expanded Digital Edition

Audiovile was originally released as a CD in 2007 by Raw Dog Screaming Press, breaking new ground in spoken word horror. Now, this newly "Expanded Digital Edition" includes high quality digital versions of all the tracks, including those featuring Jason Jack Miller on banjo, then DOUBLES the size of the original release, featuring EXCLUSIVE performances which were not included with original 16-track CD, most appearing here for the first time. And if you purchase the full album, you get access to BONUS FEATURES: an ebook companion with stories and related articles; printable CD inserts; a photograph gallery; the "Brain Candy" music video (animated by Jennifer Barnes); and a secret bonus audio track to add to your collection!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

BOOK: Steel Magic by J.L. Gribble



Funerals are usually the end of the story, not the beginning.

Newly graduated warrior-mages Toria Connor and Kane Nalamas find themselves the last remaining mages in the city when a mage school teacher mysteriously falls ill and dies. But taking over the school themselves isn't in the cards. They're set to become professional mercenaries-if they make it through the next 18 months as journeymen first.

The debate over whether to hunt mutated monsters in the Wasteland or take posh bodyguard jobs is put on hold when a city elder hires them to solve the mystery of the disappearing mages. Toria and Kane's quest brings them to the British colonial city of New Angouleme, where their initial investigation reveals that the problem is even greater than they feared.

But when a friend is kidnapped, they'll have to travel to the other side of the globe to save her, save themselves, and save magic itself.


By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing.

Previously, Gribble studied English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and Steel Victory was her thesis novel for the program. This is her debut novel.

She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (, on Facebook (, and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

EVENT: Heidi Ruby Miller at Mt. Pleasant Writer's Circle (Photos)


Had a wonderful time at the Mt. Pleasant Library giving my talk "Paths to Publication" to the Mt. Pleasant Writer's Circle. I told the story of my career so far through my publications (below). It's been quite a ride and I look forward to much more coming soon.

Thanks again to Fred Adams for having me out.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

EVENT: Doors to the Universe Book Signing at Copyleft Gallery (Photos)


Thanks to Diane Turnshek, Barb Carlson, and Parsec for throwing a lovely event at Copyleft Gallery in Pittsburgh. The Doors to the Universe exposition combined science fiction and fantasy art and literature for a fun evening of food and conversation. Among the writers who were signing their books were Timons Esaias, Heidi Ruby Miller, Jason Jack Miller, Ellen Roth, Henry T. Lund, Stephanie Keyes, and J.D. Barker.

Here are some more photos from the event.

Friday, May 13, 2016

CAST YOUR CHARACTERS: Sabotaged Desires by Rebecca Airies





Suz Lore thought she had everything she wanted, a job as an engineer and a position on a colony ship headed to another planet. That was before her arranged ménage marriage with Robert Smith and David Bradford turned into a disaster. She’d thought they were building more than a sizzling sexual relationship, but all they do is argue now. She isn't surprised when they're sequestered in a room in order to reignite the passion between them and learn to trust again.

Robert believes she betrayed him while David is stuck in the middle of their conflict. Getting Robert to talk about what made him angry is difficult, but they discover there's far more behind their problems than a message with misleading information. A virus has overtaken the ship's computers, put them on a different heading and cut them off from all communication. They must work together to find a way to survive and rebuild their relationship.

Emilia Clarke (specifically as she looks when playing Daenerys) as SUSANNE LORE
She’s the heroine of Sabotaged Desires and an engineer on the ship. She likes fixing things, but isn’t quite sure how to fix her marriage. She married both Robert Smith and David Bradford shortly before they left Earth on a mission to colonize another planet. But lately she and Robert have been at each other’s throats. She doesn’t like taking orders and demanding alpha personalities on a good day, but since Robert jumped to that conclusion, her nerves have been stretched taut.

Shemar Moore as ROBERT SMITH
Robert Smith is a Captain to the T. He’s in charge of the Heraste and ensuring the colonists get to Ahbell, their colony planet. He’s accustomed to giving orders and having them followed immediately. He also has a past that makes any perceived betrayal or cheating a hot button issue for him. There are some facets of the situation that he’s missed because he’s so angry about what Susanne did.

Michael Shanks as DAVID BRADFORD
David is a doctor, one of the medical officers aboard the Heraste. He’s normally calm and decisive and he’s not enjoying the tension surrounding him the last few days. He’s stuck in the middle between Robert and Susanne and realizes that they need to make Robert listen, because even he can see that everything isn’t as it seems.

Adrien Brody as JOSH DUNN
Josh Dunn is a communications specialist. He finds himself in the middle of a situation no one planned for when they discover their colony mission won’t go as planned.

Jessica Chastain as JENNY FOLEY
Jenny Foley is one of the navigation specialists on the Heraste.

Aaron Diaz as TYE LASH
Tye Lash is a data technician aboard the Heraste and one of the colonists eager to build a new society.

Anne Hathaway as MONICA HAMILTON
Monica Hamilton is a system tech and one of the people responsible for discover the sabotage aboard the Heraste

The man who sent the message to Robert that started the argument between them.

A voracious reader since childhood, Rebecca Airies has always enjoyed getting lost in the fantastic worlds of science fiction, horror, fantasy and romance. When she began to write her own stories, they always had a romantic edge.

Rebecca currently lives in Texas and writes with the help of a couple feline critics. She’s a multi-published author whose muse loves fantasy, sci-fi and the paranormal, as well as strong heroines who are sometimes as stubborn as their heroes. She loves to here from her readers. Email her at

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RHAcafe FBpage:
New Release Newsletter:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

BOOK: The Curiosity Killers by K.W. Taylor



In the twenty-second century, a second Civil War is decades past. The states of the New British Empire have been reduced to working with Victorian-era technology—that is, except physicist Edward Vere, who invents time travel with a little help from aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright.

Vere partners with historian Ben Jonson to monetize the invention, founding the first time travel agency. Unbeknownst to them, a serial killer is using the technology to murder without detection. When Ben discovers the killer has targeted the woman he loves, the mild-mannered academic must become brave enough to change history rather than merely observing it.

What They’re Saying About The Curiosity Killers

“Taylor’s first foray into science-fiction borrows from her urban fantasy and horror background for a unique spin on the time travel novel. The Curiosity Killers is an exciting adventure set in a beautifully detailed alternate United States with enough serial killers, monsters, and mystery to keep readers on their toes.”
—J.L. Gribble, author of the Steel Empire series

“Wholly original and a hell of a lot of fun!”
—Tim Waggoner, author of the Nekropolis series

“From the moment you read that first paragraph, K.W. Taylor zaps you through time and space and alternate history at a thriller pace with some of the most engaging traveling companions anyone could ask for.”
—Heidi Ruby Miller, award-winning author of the Ambasadora series


K.W. Taylor is the author of the urban fantasy Sam Brody series, about a dragonslaying disc jockey (The Red Eye and The House on Concordia Drive, both 2014 from Alliteration Ink). She has an MFA from Seton Hill University. Taylor lives in a restored Victorian home in Ohio with her tech writer husband and—unlike every other novelist in the world—an insanely photogenic kitten. She teaches college English and Women’s Studies and blogs at The Curiosity Killers is her first science fiction novel.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

EVENT: Doors to the Universe Book Signing at Copyleft Gallery


As part of their awesome Popup Art Event: Doors to the Universe, Copyleft Gallery
is teaming up with PARSEC, Pittsburgh's premier speculative fiction organization, to host a multi-author book signing and party on Friday, May 13, 2016 from 6-10 PM.

Come see our world!

The event is free and open to the public. No registration or RSVP necessary.

Venue is wheelchair accessible at 127 Brownsville Rd, Pittsburgh PA 15210.

Featured authors include:
Timons Esaias
Heidi Ruby Miller
Jason Jack Miller
Ellen Roth
Henry T. Lund
Stephanie Keyes
J.D. Barker
Editor Barb Carlson with Parsec Ink books

Thank you to Diane Turnshek for coordinating this event!

Thursday, May 05, 2016

ARTICLE: The Dubai Betrayal by Jeremy Burns at The Big Thrill by Heidi Ruby Miller


Jeremy Burns travels…constantly, but right now he’s settling into his new office and celebrating the release of THE DUBAI BETRAYAL, a geopolitical spy thriller featuring Wayne Wilkins, a fan favorite from Burns’s acclaimed first novel, From the Ashes. As if providing the soundtrack to this fierce new book—in which Wilkins leads an elite group of black ops soldiers into Dubai to rescue the U.S. Ambassador to Israel—the adrenaline-pumping Celldweller comes up on Burns’s playlist while he sifts through photos and other mementos of his travels...

Read the entire interview in The Big Thrill Magazine.

And, check out more about Jeremy Burns and his books.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

BOOK: Sehmah's Truth (Beneath the Willow Book 1) by A.J. Culey



She created his world and made him the hero of her story. Now she's living that story with him.

Samantha and her twin brother spent their childhood creating an imaginary world beneath the willow tree in their backyard. In the aftermath of his death, Samantha writes one final story destroying their creation. Two years later, she is unexpectedly transported to their fantasy world, where she is immediately targeted by assassins. On the run, with danger at every turn, she meets characters she once created and recognizes storylines she herself wrote. However, this story is darker than she remembers, and no longer follows the path she originally penned.

Desperate to make amends for certain storylines and to prevent others, Samantha joins forces with Takeem, the hero of every story she’s ever written. As they travel through his world, they learn truths about his past and the loss of his world’s ancestral magicks. As these truths are revealed, Samantha and Takeem are faced with difficult choices that will impact their world forever.

A.J. Culey is a teacher, world traveler and writer whose imagination is often out of control. When driving around town, standing in lines at the grocery store or doing chores around the house, her brain is frequently filled with images of cats in flight, antlers on a rampage and rabbits wrestling with tigers. She regularly gets caught giggling at nothing and when asked for an explanation simply says, “I crack myself up.”

An avid animal lover, A.J. volunteers for local rescue organizations and participates in Trap-Neuter-Release programs for feral cats. If wrangling cats and bunnies were a sporting event, she’d be an Olympic gold medalist.

A.J. recently completed her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Her thesis project was the YA fantasy, SEHMAH’S TRUTH, and perhaps the only thing she’s ever written that was completely serious in nature.

To learn more about A.J.’s books, visit her website at You can also follow her on Facebook at or follow Rex on Twitter @Tyrabbisaurus (Disclaimer: A.J. takes no responsibility for the rabbit’s ridiculous tweets.)

Thursday, April 07, 2016

CAST YOUR CHARACTERS: Notes of Temptation by Rebecca Halsey





DESCRIPTION: Together they take the stage. Together they must defend it to the death.

When Carrie Cooper leaves her small gold-mining town to seek her fortune, it’s not until she arrives in L.A. that she learns her college certificate is a fraud. The only work available is in a less-than-respectable speakeasy.

The job comes with the opportunity to take the stage with Oz Dean, the club’s captivating bandleader. But rivals out for her blood along with her place in the spotlight lurk behind the curtain.

Oz Dean has the rare ability to “see” music as brilliant colors, but nothing has ever dazzled him like Carrie’s pure, choirgirl voice. With a mob debt hanging over his head like a guillotine, he organizes a revue that will launch them all to stardom. Unfortunately, his bold move attracts exactly the kind of criminal attention he’d like to avoid.

Mired in Hollywood’s underbelly, caught off-guard by their growing attraction, Carrie and Oz are forced to consider the cost of success. Or their one chance to make beautiful music together could be their last.

Louise Brooks as CARRIE COOPER
Carrie is a small-town girl who moves to the big city to get a respectable job. Instead, she finds herself in the behind-the-scene scandals of the West Edge, one of Hollywood’s most notorious nightclubs. Although she looks like the epitome of an ingénue, Carrie has the grit of a girl raised in a rough-and-tumble Western town.

A young Clark Gable as OZ DEAN
Oz is the dynamic bandleader for the West Edge band. Determined to launch his orchestra to fame and fortune, he finds renewed inspiration in Carrie’s pure choir girl voice, but first he must escape a mob debt.

The Marvelous Minnie Mitford has headlined the West Edge stage for the last year. She is not about to let new girl Carrie Cooper take away her spotlight.

Todd Duncan as ELLISON Wade
Following Uncle Jim, their de facto father figure and musical mentor, Ellison and Oz grew up as brothers. Whether on stage or in the streets, Ellison has Oz’s back.

Carmel Myers as RUBY THOMSON
Ruby is the first friend Carrie makes in Los Angeles. She may be a party girl, but she has a heart of gold.

Errol Flynn as DORSEY O’TANNER
Dorsey O’Tanner has a deep baritone and good looks. On the outside he appears to be your typical Hollywood heartthrob, but Oz suspects he has plans to take his place at the West Edge.


Rebecca Halsey is the author of historic and contemporary romance. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Georgia. When not writing, she works as a cybersecurity researcher and reporter. She enjoys running, cooking, travel, and painting portraits. She resides in Maryland with her husband and three children, all of whom tolerate her immersion into jazz music and black-and-white movies. Notes of Temptation is her debut novel. Interact with her on Facebook: writer Rebecca Halsey and Twitter: @rae_becky.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

BOOK: Look Before You Jump (Bartender Babe Chronicles Book 1) by D.A. Bale



When scandal comes calling and Vicki leaps into the fray, you know it’s gonna be big. This here’s Texas after all.

Meet Victoria Bohanan, a twenty-six year-old Dallas debutante turned bartender babe who rejected her father’s saintly sinner ways and struck out on her own – well, sort of. Her mom’s credit card comes to the rescue on occasion, but Vicki is still her own woman, with less than lusty – er, lofty – aspirations and a mind constantly limping from the gutter.

But Texas moms don’t raise fools. Vicki will earn that twenty dollar tip by guessing the mistress’ name and your favorite drink faster than you can belly up to the bar. That sharp wit has gotten her out of more than one disastrous situation – until the mouth sinks her right into another.

When an old high school flame returns to town with a pregnant wife in tow and a pastorate position lodged under his belt, life quickly becomes tangled. This time we’re not talking between the sheets. Sooner than Vicki can down a shot of Jack, her former boy-toy is embroiled in scandal that threatens to implode the megachurch his parents built – and send the gossiping gaggle into a tailspin faster than a quarterback sack on Sunday.

Join the fun in book one of the Bartender Babe Chronicles. Light on mystery and long on – well, you know.

Sometimes life emulates fiction.

Life is filled with tragedy and Ms. Bale's writing reflects this reality. However, there is always a silver lining...even if one must spend their entire life searching for it.

In her previous career, Ms. Bale traveled the United States as a Government Relations Liaison, working closely with Congressional offices and various government agencies. This experience afforded her a glimpse into the sometimes "not so pretty" reality of the political sphere. Much of this reality and various locations throughout her travels make it into her writing.

She dreams of the day she can return to visit Alaska.

Visit her blog - leave a comment or send a personal message at

Monday, March 28, 2016

GIVEAWAY: Starrie (From the World of Ambasadora) by Heidi Ruby Miller (Goodreads)


You can win a signed paperback of my novel Starrie (From the World of Ambasadora) at Goodreads. This is an international giveaway that ends on April 30, 2016.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Starrie by Heidi Ruby Miller


by Heidi Ruby Miller

Giveaway ends April 30, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Sunday, March 27, 2016

BOOK: Trinity Church Tales to Remember by Meg Thompson


Trinity Church Tales to Remember

A collection of historical stories, legends, myths and more from the Trinity United Presbyterian Church of Uniontown, Pennsylvania. The semi-gothic church building near the center of downtown has been a wonder to visitors and locals alike for over a century. When was it built? What are its secrets? The tales in this volume span the life of the church in its entirety. Photographs that were not seen for many decades scatter the pages. Meet the people who lived, loved and worshiped within the walls, to include "Coal Baron" J.V. Thompson and other notable characters. Delve into the captivating mysteries that surround the magnificent meeting house, such as the case of the famous Tiffany windows. As you learn about the structure from its tower tops to its acclaimed interior along the way, decide for yourself what you believe about the riveting accounts of bygone days and the stories that have been handed down through the generations.

Photographs by Max Grimm

Megan Thompson is the secretary of Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Uniontown. Her love for old church buildings and ecclesiastical history inspired this her first book. A Uniontown native, she enjoys taking walks in the beauty of the laurel highlands and learning about local lore. She also has a passion for fairytales, her dog, studying Biblical history and serving Jesus Christ.