Wednesday, October 31, 2012

EVENT: Hazard Yet Forward at IMJ Halloween Blitz


Visit Ian and Jose at Inveterate Media Junkies (IMJ) for a Halloween Blitz benefiting the Hazard Yet Forward charity anthology. The IMJ Nation has generously donated three of our monthly columns (Heidi Ruby Miller's Geek Girl Underground, Irene L. Pynn's The Princess and Her PS3, Jason Jack Miller's Sound Check) to promote breast cancer awareness and introduce you to some wonderful authors. They answered some questions and talked about their stories. And you'll find out just how each of them plans to deal with a zombie apocalypse.

Now, about the anthology...

Seventy-six writers connected to the Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction program have created a multi-genre charity anthology entitled Hazard Yet Forward. All proceeds from this project will benefit Donna Munro, a 2004 graduate of the program. Munro, a teacher living in St. Louis, Missouri, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Genres represented in the book range from horror to romance to mystery - and everything in between. Some of the notable writers in the anthology are World Fantasy Award winner Nalo Hopkinson, Bram Stoker winners Michael A. Arnzen and Michael Knost, Bram Stoker nominees Lawrence C. Connolly and John Edward Lawson, ALA/YALSA Best Book for Young Adults winner Jessica Warman, Rita finalist Dana Marton, Spur award winner Meg Mims, Asimov's Reader's Award winner Timons Esaias, Rhysling Award nominee K. Ceres Wright, Ronney Award winner Jason Jack Miller, and WV Arts and Humanities literary fellowships winner, Geoffrey Cameron Fuller.

FEATURING: Querus Abuttu, Sally Bosco, Penny Dawn, Matt Duvall, Jacki King, Dana Marton, Michael Mehalek, Rachael Pruitt, Chris Stout, K. Ceres Wright

FEATURING: A.G. Devitt, David L. Day, Kristin Dearborn, Ron Gavalik, Scott A. Johnson, Meg Mims, Nancy J. Parra, Lori Pollard-Johnson, W.D. Prescott, Jessica Warman

FEATURING: Michael A. Arnzen, S.A. Check, David Corwell, Natalie Duvall, Ron Edison, Timons Esaias, Geoffrey Cameron Fuller, Karin Fuller, John Edward Lawson, Deanna Lepsch, Donna Munro

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

SFFS: Snippet #1 from Atomic Zion

Atomic Zion

This is the beginning of my SF Thriller, Atomic Zion, which is in its final revisions. It was influenced by my time as the Educational Marketing Director at Frank Lloyd Wright's House on Kentuck Knob and by reading stories from Michael Crichton, Robert Ludlum, James Rollins, and Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Back Cover Blurb...

On the night of his 90th birthday, a former Wright Apprentice is thrown from the fifth floor of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The only clue to clear his grandson of the murder is a note written in Navajo code which warns "The Bear has awakened."

These four words throw Nick Vanko into the middle of a decades old international cover-up where Wright Apprentices encoded WWII-era secrets about genetic experimentation into their blueprints. In order to stop a being who isn't quite human from unleashing a biological weapon upon the U.S., Nick must find Broadacre City, the fabled utopia designed by Wright, but supposedly never built. Searching by his side are an old Navajo CodeTalker, a woman who sees emotions as colors, and a Mossad agent who is really working for the Russian mafia. But can Vanko trust any of them?



June, 1948
Kletno, Poland

The laughter from the small group of soldiers with Jakub Skovajsa was lifeless, meant to mimic joviality in order to conceal shifty gazes and shaky hands—Skovajsa's being among the shakiest. What had Dostoyevsky said about laughing? There can be no laughter without fear. Or was it pain? Maybe it wasn't even Dostoyevsky.

In Skovajsa's case, it was definitely pain. His right boot had worn through to the shank fifteen minutes into their three-hour trek through the Polish woodlands from Miedzygorze to Kletno. Each step skinned his ankle a little more. Tripping over roots and climbing over logs only aggravated his situation. No one else seemed to be quite as miserable.


Find other wonderful snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Daphne J. Riordan


Daphne J. Riordan

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?

2. Tell me about your travels.
I totally have the travel bug! I was an Army brat growing up, and when I was little we lived in Germany for three years. My parents wanted to take advantage of our location--Europe! No airfare!--so we did a lot of traveling and managed to get to most of Western Europe. (It was the middle of the Cold War, so going to Eastern Europe was another thing entirely.)

Later, in High School, my family traveled to England, Scotland and Ireland--we'd gone there when we lived in Germany, but it deserved a second trip. And in college, I traveled across the southern part of the U.S. with my mother then spent three weeks on the Navajo reservation in Tuba City, Arizona.

It probably bears mentioning that I've also lived in a lot of places--Texas, Kansas, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, California, and of course Germany.

Since venturing out on my own after college, I've gone on a cruise around the Mediterranean, spent a week in Madrid, traveled around England looking at Regency-era sites (and dancing in Bath!), driven to the Black Hills area of South Dakota and seen Mount Rushmore, visited Disney World, rode on an elephant in Thailand, and cruised up the Alaskan coast then took a train into the interior. My most recent journey was to the Oregon Coast a few weeks ago.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Tea. I don't like coffee and am allergic to milk (although I loved it when I was little). It's only been in the last year or so that I found a tea I like enough to drink regularly--Celestial Seasoning's Bengal Spice. Kind of like chai without the latte. I add liquid stevia to make it a little sweeter.

But I mostly drink water.

4. What else can you do besides write?
My day job is in computers--I'm a data architect. That basically means I design, build and maintain the database structures needed to store and manage data for the various applications in our company. In addition, I can do some basic coding in languages like C, Perl, and a tiny bit in Java, as well as PHP and HTML on my websites.

I also like to scrapbook. :)

5. Who are you reading right now?
I just started Jennifer Estep's Mythos Academy series, and I'm really enjoying it. I'm on the second novel--Kiss of Frost. I tend to read many books at once, so in addition to Kiss of Frost, I'm also reading Inside Out by Maria Snyder, Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews, Entangled (an anthology), and Eve by Anna Carey. All of them very good. Oh, and I'm reading a couple of books about data warehousing for the day job.

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 everyday.

10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
I minored in dance in college, which is part of why I have a seemingly random subdomain on my website devoted to the history of dance. All in all, I danced ballet for eighteen years, along with a few other forms of dance--but mostly ballet.

More recently, I've gotten into strength training and have been working with a personal trainer. I love working on the weight machines at the gym.

11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
When I first started writing, I was a pantser. Then after a few books, I started thinking outlining might be the better way to go, so I outlined the next few books. But recently, I've been thinking it would be fun to pants it again, so that's what I'm doing with my current book. I think there are benefits and drawbacks to both methods. I think in the future, I'll make a decision book by book as to which way to go. Some types of books--mysteries, for instance--seem to lend themselves more to outlining, since you need to lay out all the clues and red herrings and have them all end up at the solution, while other types of books don't need that as much.

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

Daphne J. Riordan wrote her first novel at the age of twelve, long-hand. It was the story of a girl who had visions about an apocalypse, and her efforts to save her friends by getting them all to a magical island in the Pacific. Daphne would sit with her friends at lunch in sixth grade and write the story, because they insisted on seeing the next page as soon as possible.

Since then, she has written many other stories but never strayed too far from her love of fantastical worlds and scientific explanations. She eventually earned a Master's in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, with her novel Legacy of Blood as her thesis novel.

She lives in Minnesota with her cat Katniss.

Find Daphne online at these links:





DESCRIPTION FOR Legacy of Blood:
A future built by the survivors of a pandemic.

In a post-apocalyptic world twenty years after a pandemic wiped out a third of the population, data analyst Jackie Fournier searches for the location where the disease first appeared. The job has personal meaning for her; the pandemic killed her little sister.

A country ruled by a dictator.

When certain factions in the government find out what Jackie's been hired to do, they send assassin Nash Kerns to stop her. If she doesn't stop digging when the project is shut down, he has orders to kill.

Buy Legacy of Blood online at these links:



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

NEWS: Heidi Ruby Miller Editor at Dog Star Books


I am thrilled to announce that I was named the managing editor of Dog Star Books at DogCon this past weekend.

DSB is a new Science Fiction Adventure imprint from mother company Raw Dog Screaming Press, who also owns Guide Dog Books and Imaginary Books.

See the announcement by RDSP co-owner Jennifer Barnes and my speech about the imprint:

To find out more about Dog Star Books, visit the blog at

MEME: Tag! I'm it!


Tag! I'm It!

Hope your shots are up to date… I’ve been tagged by Ann Laurel Kopchik in a game of author infection!

The rules are simple:
1) Search your work in progress for the first use of "look".
2) Copy and paste that paragraph and the ones immediately before and after into a blog post.
3) Then tag five other authors:
John Edward Lawson
Deanna Lepsch
Mike Mehalek
Jason Jack Miller
K. Ceres Wright

This is from my supernatural thriller ATOMIC ZION:

Half of his comrades marching with him now had been there in Warsaw when it happened.

A tip had come in, anonymous, as all tips were, accusing a math teacher of holding anti-party meetings in his house. When they came to arrest the grey-haired teacher, Skovajsa was struck by how much the man looked like his own geometry teacher from years ago, the one who had opened the world of art to him through angles and lines.

The teacher they went after that day had put up no fight, but his wife shouted and wailed at the soldiers, so distraught at one point she picked up an ashtray and hit Borikov in the shoulder. He beat her then, angry blows pounding her to the ground so some of the others could kick her.

Monday, October 22, 2012

CAST YOUR CHARACTERS: The Haunted Housewives of Allister, Alabama by Susan Abel Sullivan





DESCRIPTION: Who knew a gaudy Velvet Elvis could lead to such a heap of haunted trouble down in Alabama?

When Cleo Tidwell said, “I do,” for the third time, she had no idea her marriage vows would be tested by a tacky piece of art. But Cleo’s not the kind of woman to let a velvet-offense-against-good-taste just hang--oh no, she’s on a mission to oust the King. Trouble is, Elvis won’t leave the building. And he’s attractin’ all manner of kooks, fanatics, and lookie loos to Cleo’s doorstep, including the entire congregation of the Church of the Blue Suede Shoes.

Everyone wants a piece of the painting, but Cleo’s starting to suspect that whatever’s haunting the Velvet Elvis wants a piece of her husband. Why else would he trade in his car for a ’56 pink Caddy, moonlight as an Elvis impersonator, and develop a sudden hankering for fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches?

Certainly it can’t be anything as simple as a mid-life crisis, because Cleo is not getting divorced again—her mother would never let her hear the end of it.

Cleo’s life is all shook up when the crazies up the ante with death threats, psychic warnings “from beyond,” kidnapping attempts, invitations to join the Blue Shoe Loonies, and even murder! Cleo fights for her life, her marriage, and the perseverance of good taste everywhere.


Sandra Bullock as CLEO TIDWELL

Cleo's 3rd marriage is all shook up when her husband gives her a haunted Velvet Elvis for their wedding anniversary. The velvet-offense-against-good-taste has got to go, but unfortunately, Elvis won’t leave the building . . . or Cleo’s husband.

Jon Corbett as BERTRAM TIDWELL, Ph.D.

Is Cleo’s husband merely obsessed with the painting or actually possessed by it?

Reese Witherspoon as MOLLY SAENGER (Cleo’s sister) - Imagine Reese carrying an extra fifty pounds.

Cleo’s sister has woes of her own. Her husband of sixteen years left her for a stripper named Candy. He also left her with a mortgage and four daughters. Single again in her thirties, Molly has the hots for her daughter’s teacher Mr. Vassals, but it’s a good-ole-boy named Elmer who steals her heart.

Jean Smart as GEORGIA TIDWELL (Cleo’s mother-in-law)

A self-confessed Elvis fanatic, Georgia's claim to fame is a bit part in the Elvis Presley movie Fun in Acapulco. She also has a family secret that she's not telling.

David Eigenberg as ELMER INGLEBRIGHT - Imagine David with red hair.

A collector of oddities, Elmer is on a mission to acquire the haunted Velvet Elvis, but he winds up with something of greater value, Molly’s heart.


A member of The Church of the Blue Suede Shoes, Dupree is dead set on getting his hands on the haunted Velvet Elvis. Key word: dead.


Is the painted actually haunted? Does it really sing “Heartbreak Hotel” in the dead of night? Or is it just a scam to dupe the gullible? There must be something to the hoax, otherwise, why would so many kooks, treasure hunters, and lookie loos want the kitschy piece of art?

Susan Abel Sullivan writes paranormal mystery and speculative Young Adult fiction, usually with a wickedly dark sense of humor. She has written a smattering of horror, and even some bona fide science fiction, and has recently tried her hand at writing songs about vampire hookers from outer space and fried zombie dee-light!

Some of her favorite authors are: Stephen King, Janet Evanovich, Peter Straub, Clive Barker, Carrie Vaughn, Sue Grafton, Allen Steele, Robert McCammon, Lane Robins, & Richard Adams.

In addition to writing, Susan holds a BS in Exercise Science from Auburn Univsersity and is a certified Group X & Water Fitness instructor, Personal Trainer, Fitness Specialist, and Health Coach, as well as a licensed Zumba Fitness instructor.

She lives in a spooky Victorian house in northeastern Alabama with a husband, two dogs, and way too many cats. Susan writes a monthly column for the Calhoun Community Press: FUNdamental Fitness and she has written for the Aquatic Exercise Association.

Find Susan online at these links:



- @susan_abel -

Buy The Haunted Housewives of Allister, Alabama:


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Event: Countdown to DogCon #6 - Jennifer Barnes



October 20-21, 2012

The first ever DogCon, hosted by Raw Dog Screaming Press, will be part Halloween party, part writer's weekend, part State of the Dog address. This is an invitation only event but if it goes well could be a public event next year!


Jennifer Barnes is co-founder and managing editor of Raw Dog Screaming Press. She graduated from the University of Maryland with an English degree and a concentration in Poetry and Creative Writing. She has had numerous poems and articles published both in print and online. Most recently her poetry appeared in The Greatest Chapbook Ever, A Little Poetry, Ascent, and sidereality. BETTER HAUNTED HOMES AND GARDENS, Jennifer's children's book with artist Kristen Margiotta, was released with Imagination Books. Jennifer is also a graphic designer with over ten years of web and print design experience.

Spy on her at the Raw Dog journal.

Books by Jennifer Barnes:
Better Haunted Homes and Gardens

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Event: DogCon Countdown #7 - Natalie Duvall



October 20-21, 2012

The first ever DogCon, hosted by Raw Dog Screaming Press, will be part Halloween party, part writer's weekend, part State of the Dog address. This is an invitation only event but if it goes well could be a public event next year!


Natalie Duvall received her undergraduate degree in English (the best subject ever) from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. While there, she was able to further the love of Jane Austen that she first developed when watching Emma Thompson's adaptation of Sense and Sensibility and reading her sister's copy of Pride and Prejudice. Through the tutelage of Dr. JoAlyson Parker, Natalie was able to experience ALL of Jane's works, though she admits to disliking Persuasion and really liking Northanger Abbey.

It was during this time that Natalie also picked up the Regency anthology, A Christmas Holiday. This was Natalie's first taste of "contemporary" Regency romance. Natalie recommends this book to anyone, especially the story "Sheer Sorcery" by Elizabeth Thornton.

Having loved the romance fiction genre since age sixteen when she stole A Substitute Husband from the desk at work, Natalie enrolled in the Writing Popular Fiction Master's program at Seton Hill University. There she met (and continues to meet) many wonderful writers and people (see the Links page for more info), including her husband, Matt. However, Natalie didn't write Regency at the time. She wrote a terrible contemporary romcom entitled O'Feurstein's Education.
Skip several years. Natalie picked up or was gifted books by Eloisa James and Victoria Alexander.

Natalie lives in a big old house (circa 1900 -- so not as old as the Regency) in a charming little town in Central PA. She enjoys walking as much as possible, unless it's cold out. She is married with cats and a kid. Her real job (the one that pays the bills) involves teaching 11th grade English (British lit!). Her non-fiction work appears in Fine Living Lancaster. In what free time is left, she trains in Krav Maga and is a lackadaisical triathlete.

She is also co-editor of the charity anthology Hazard Yet Forward.

Spy on her at

Books by Natalie Duvall:
Hazrad Yet Forward

Monday, October 15, 2012

Event: Countdown to DogCon #8 - Nathan Rosen



October 20-21, 2012

The first ever DogCon, hosted by Raw Dog Screaming Press, will be part Halloween party, part writer's weekend, part State of the Dog address. This is an invitation only event but if it goes well could be a public event next year!


Nathan Rosen, the founder and editor of, lives in a crumbling old Victorian in Baltimore with his wife Jenesta Matthews and three spoiled cats. A mild-mannered paralegal by day, by night he can be found singing and carousing with Pirates for Sail as the dread pirate Black Dog Nate. He also keeps a personal blog at, where he talks about various horror and non-horror topics.

Spy on him at his blog.

Projects by Nathan Rosen:
Toe Tags
Deadlands: The Rising
The Book of Apex: Volume 1 of Apex Magazine
Pirates for Sail: A Shot Across the Bow
Pirates for Sail: Band on the Rum

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Event: DogCon Countdown #9 - Deanna Lepsch



October 20-21, 2012

The first ever DogCon, hosted by Raw Dog Screaming Press, will be part Halloween party, part writer's weekend, part State of the Dog address. This is an invitation only event but if it goes well could be a public event next year!


Deanna Lepsch lives in Minnesota's gorgeous Twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul with her husband and two mischievous dogs, Brigs and Holly. She is a graduate of Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction program and co-editor of the charity anthology Hazard Yet Forward.

Some of her interests include (but aren't limited to):
Social Dancing - especially Swing and Polka. (Yes, polka! She's originally from the land of beer, cheese, and German music. That would be Wisconsin.); Screen Printing; Sewing; Reading; Writing; Travel; Music - both listening and performing; Vintage clothing - Mid-Century is her favorite.

Deanna can be found most Sundays curled up on the couch enjoying new and favorite movies such as: Harry Potter, Bottle Shock, V for Vendetta, The Marvel Movies, Notting Hill, Love Actually, The Day After Tomorrow (and other terrible disaster flicks) and the Shawshank Redemption, for example.

Spy on her at her blog.

Books by Deanna Lepsch:
Hazard Yet Forward

Friday, October 12, 2012

BLOG HOP: The Next Big Thing - WEEK 16

Blog Hops

The Next Big Thing - Week 16


Thank you to Broad Universe member Jennifer Allis Provost for tagging me. Check out her post, then hop on over and visit these authors, all part of my #WordWar2 Twitter crew. We're all finishing our WIPs by Halloween and checking in for daily word counts and encouragement. Then it's onto #WordWar3! I've also included their Twitter handles so you can follow them there and get in on the #WordWar action!

John Edward Lawson (@bizzaroguy) -
Deanna Lepsch (@dlepsch) -
Mike Mehalek (@MikeMehalek) -
Jason Jack Miller (@JasonJackMiller) -

What is the working title of your book?

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was the educational marketing director for Frank Lloyd Wright's House on Kentuck Knob, so I was consumed with all things Frank Lloyd Wright, including his utopia, Broadacre City, which was never built.

What genre does your book fall under?
Supernatural/Spy Thriller

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Jeremy Renner as Nicholas Vanko

Emmanuelle Chiriqui as Evangelina Hawk

Will Yazzie as Calvin Coolidge Detsoi

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
After his grandfather's murder at the Guggenheim Museum, Nicholas Vanko is plunged into a conspiracy dating back to World War II and now must save the world from a genetic experiment gone wrong by finding Broadacre City, the fabled utopia designed by Wright, but supposedly never built.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Yet to be determined.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
One year.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Think most anything by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I had access to incredible Wright archives, curators of Wright museums and buildings, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and even former Wright apprentices. With this wealth of knowledge, I had to write a Wright book.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Navajo CodeTalker, color grapheme synesthesia, Gypsy curses, skinwalkers, CIA conspiracies, Russian Mafia, encoded blueprints, non-stop action, Fallingwater, NYC, romance, violence, Prague, Arizona, polygamous compounders, insane Senator, ticking clock

Thursday, October 11, 2012



Jo-Anne Mason

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
I like them all but I guess my current favorite is Hattie the hermit crab since we have a garden full of them. They wander in and out, some have been coming for years, very social.

2. Tell me about your travels.
I love to travel! Been all over the U.S., Paris is my favorite city in the world but Barcelona is now a close second. Italy, England, Ireland and Belgium.
We love to just get a car and drive around Europe. Also been to Russia and all over the Caribbean. I enjoy the trip as much as the destination.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Coffee, actually Café con leche is my current favorite since a recent trip to Spain.

4. What else can you do besides write?
I am an artist and illustrator and I love to cook and bake. I have my own wood burning pizza oven, if you are ever in Anguilla, stop by.

5. Who are you reading right now?
Moonwalking with Einstein - Joshua Foer

6. Pop culture or academia?
Probably a little of both. I love going into the past and out into space but I also enjoy what's next.

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
The Caribbean aside from it's great beaches is a fascinating place. Everywhere I go I find something that amazes me.

9. Food you could eat everyday.
Funny thing about food, you start out eating what you want and you end up eating what you need.

10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I make the story up in my head and then write it down. Then I illustrate to suit the story. Good fun.

13. Celebrity crush.

14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
Lewis Carroll

15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Jo-Anne Mason (born August 17, 1953) lives on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. Her first book, Paddy The Goat that Saved Anguilla is about a goat who saves the island from a hurricane. Since then she has written about a tricky monkey who lives on the island of Nevis and a hermit crab who lives in Sint Maarten/St. Martin. Her next book due this fall is about a geeko that takes a strange trip. She loves creatures of all kinds, even bugs so she uses them as the characters in her books.

Her books try to capture the spirit of each island and the kindle books contain an additional section about the island and creatures in the story to give the reader information about the Caribbean.

Jo-Anne is a digital illustrator and uses a computer and a digital draw pad to create all of her illustrations.

Find Jo-Anne online at these links:



DESCRIPTION OF Patty the Goat that Saved Anguilla:

A highly illustrated children's story about a goat on the Caribbean island of Anguilla who saves the island from a hurricane.


DESCRIPTION FOR The Perfect Shell:

A highly illustrated children's story about a hermit crab who lives on the Caribbean island of St. Martin/Saint Maarten. Hattie's travel to the sea in search of her perfect shell and meets interesting island creatures along the way.


DESCRIPTION FOR Trixy the Monkey that Ate Nevis:

A children's book about a mischievous monkey living on the Caribbean island of Nevis who gets herself into trouble because of her enormous appetite.