Thursday, March 31, 2011

Recently Read - The Summoner

 Recently Read
The Summoner
by
Layton Green

The Summoner (The Dominic Grey Novels) 

I want to thank Keryl Raist, author of Sylvianna, for submitting a recently read post.  The book she talks about today is  The Summoner by Layton Green. 

Here is what she has to say: 


What does 87% cocoa dark chocolate and The Summoner, by Layton Green have in common?  Both are black, rich, bitter, and exquisitely satisfying if you want something really dark.

The Summoner is a mystery wrapped in a paranormal thriller.  William Addison walked into a Juju religious ceremony in the bush outside of Harare Zimbabwe, and never came out.  Dominic Grey, a member of the American Diplomatic Mission in Zimbabwe has been put in charge of finding him.  But, this is Zimbabwe, so he can't just go it alone, Nya Mashumba a shadowy member of Mugabe's Government has been assigned to keep an eye on him.  And, to help them thread their way through the maze that is Juju, Professor Viktor Radek.

They rapidly find themselves wrapped in a tangle of religion, superstition, violence, and murder.  They'll have to learn to trust each other if they're going to solve the mystery, let alone get out alive.


Book Description:
A United States diplomat disappears in front of hundreds of onlookers while attending a religious ceremony in the bushveld of Zimbabwe.

Dominic Grey, Diplomatic Security special agent, product of a violent childhood and a worn passport, is assigned to investigate. Aiding the investigation is Professor Viktor Radek, religious phenomenologist and expert on cults, and Nya Mashumba, the local government liaison.

What Grey uncovers is a terrifying cult older than Western civilization, the harsh underbelly of a country in despair, a priest seemingly able to perform impossibilities, and the identity of the newest target.

Himself.

The first work in a globe-hopping series whose protagonists investigate the world's most bizarre and dangerous cults, The Summoner is a stylish, haunting novel of mystery and suspense that will linger long after the last page is turned.  335 Pages (95,000 words).




Thanks again to Keryl for submitting today's Recently Read post.  If you'd like to read more about her and her books you can visit Keryl at her website:   www.topublishornotto.blogspot.com

Click below to buy your copies 
 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Whatever Wednesday

Whatever

Here I am to talk about whatever again today.  I seem to get more interest in posts with some of my pictures so I'll upload a few more.

I love photography and would love to take more and more picture.  Some people like to photograph people, some like scenery and some like abstract.  I'm a bit of a mixture.  The people part, not so much, but the scenery and abstract - yep!  Bring it on!





I like the black and white photos - especially with snow.  Now that our snow has melted AGAIN, I feel it's okay to post a picture or two with snow.  

This picture is of our lamp post outside my dad's bar - The Barn. 

My neighbors horse - I changed the photo to black and white but could hardly tell a difference so I've posted it here in color.

A small path not far from my house.  The limestone had a beautiful orangy/red tint to it that day.

A little further along the path - before our footprints marred the trail.

Devil's Tower isn't very far away.

Yes - I photoshopped - but not a whole lot.  Fall colors are fun!  This is taken on my dad's property near his dam.

This tree has special meaning to me and my family.  Again, it's on our property and stands guard over my mother's grave.  Morbid, I know.  But, I love my mother and her being buried at home is a good thing.

Well!  I added one of Devil's Tower - might as well add one of the monument that I live near!

This is a panoramic view of one of the "pigtail" bridges in the Black Hills.  I spliced this one so if you make it bigger you'll notice some odd color shifts here and there.  I'm not the best with my photoshop, but I'm practicing.









Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Featured Book - Dogs of War

Dogs of War
by
Bradley Convissar
 

Description
Dog's of War: A Ghost Story is a stand-alone, 25,000 word novella.

After divorcing his wife of two years, Gary Lettner thinks he has found the perfect house for himself and Molly, his eight-year-old daschund.  

But when the throats of the dead begin to cry out in a voice that only Molly can hear, and when evidence of past atrocities committed in his new home begin to surface, Gary finds himself an unlikely participant in a brutal quest for vengeance.



Author Bio 
I am a 33 year old dentist from NJ with 2 young kids and a diabetic, mostly blind daschund named Friday.  I attended college in New Orleans, where I earned my degree in evolutionary biology, and I earned my DMD in lovely Newark, New Jersey four years later.  

I write mainly horror/thriller/dark fiction, though no zombies and no slashers and no gore for gore's sake.I am the author of the four-volume Pandora's Children short story collection; the first three books are currently available (Volumes 1-3, In The Chair, Too Young To Die and Death Bleeds Into Life, respectively), and the final volume (Book 4: The Wretched Ones) should be available by mid-April.

I recently had a short story, Naughty and Nice (a twisted Christmas tale), published in Suspense Magazine.

Connect with the author at his website: Pandora's Children


Click below to buy your copy


















  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Recently Read - California Schemin'

California Schemin' 
by 
Kate George
California Schemin' (The Bree MacGowan Series) 
Today's Recently Read post is brought to you by Stacy Juba, author of Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim.
I recently read and enjoyed the new release California Schemin' by Kate George, in which a California vacation sounds like a great idea to Vermonter Bree MacGowan until a dead woman falls into her life, she's abducted from her bed, and her boyfriend disappears completely. It's enough to make a girl wish she'd never heard of California.
I previously enjoyed the first mystery novel featuring Bree MacGowan, Moonlighting in Vermont, and it was a treat to read a second book starring the likable Bree. The character has a humorous voice and she is loyal to her friends. Somehow, she always manages to get herself into trouble.  Kate George writes in a fast-paced, light style and tone similar to Janet Evanovich. In this latest installment, readers are along for a suspense-filled ride. Why is Bree kidnapped? Who can she trust?  Are all of the bad guys equally bad? How will she escape?  I read this book in a couple of days and was always reluctant to put it down. Bree lives in Vermont, and having visited Vermont myself, I also liked the rural New England descriptions and imagery. If you enjoy suspenseful mysteries with a bit of romance and light humor, then I would suggest this book.        
Stacy Juba is the author of the mystery novels Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and Sink or Swim (Mainly Murder Press), as well as the patriotic children’s picture book The Flag Keeper. Her young adult paranormal thriller Dark Before Dawn will be released by Mainly Murder Press in January 2012. She is a former journalist with more than a dozen writing awards to her credit.
You can visit her web site at http://stacyjuba.com/blog/ 


Click Below to Buy Your Copies
  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Whatever Wednesday

I haven't done a Whatever Wednesday post for ages.  I'd say it's about time.  But... what do I talk about?

Whatever - that's what!

It's snowing today.  I've lived in this area my whole life and I'd miss the snow if it never came, but I'm ready for spring!  At this time of year, snow is quite depressing.  Hopefully it won't be here much longer.

This is what my tree in the front yard looks like today.  It certainly makes for a glum mood.








Maybe posting some different pictures will lighten my mood.

This is a Monkey Flower we found in Yellowstone, last May.











This is the picture I use for my blog background.  It was taken last summer.  My camera said it was January of 2006, but - It Lies!
















Nothing says spring quite like tulips with water droplets on them!













I feel a theme coming on - flower, fog, flower, fog. This was taken at Yellowstone last May (2010).  It was wonderfully creepy and alluring.


















Where does the red fern grow?  In Yellowstone, that's where!  This was an especially cool find for us since my daughter had just finished reading Where the Red Fern Grows.











And... I have to post one more of Yellowstone.  The colors are just so amazing!













I have two more pictures I'd like to include for something different.  I just love the moss on the huge trees in my dad's front yard.

















And here is the last one.  If you can't be nice - talk to the hand!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Featured Book - Dancers in the Sky

Dancers in the Sky
by
Barry Eysman



Description:
Broken eyes, a brain that commands falling, these stories are of escape and hope and magic, using the very things that are crushing me.

Click below to buy your copy

Available in paperback at Lulu.com  

Available as a download at Lulu.com   

Monday, March 21, 2011

Featured Book - Foxy's Tale

Foxy's Tale
by
Karen Cantwell
LB Gschwandtner

Foxy's Tale (The Reluctant Vampire Series, Book 1)  



Karen Cantwell, author of Take the Monkeys and Run and The Chronicles of Marr-nia and LB Gschwandtner, author of The Naked Gardener, decided they would like to collaborate on a project. They wanted it to be a book for and about women, but it had to be fun and they really wanted to throw a vampire into the mix.  But their vampire would be . . . different.  The result, now available for readers on Amazon’s Kindle, is Foxy’s Tale:

Foxy Anders has a list of problems as long as a shopping spree receipt from Neiman Marcus. She’s a retail spender with no money to spare and a former beauty queen with no man in her life. After a nightmare divorce she’s left with one asset, a building off Washington, D.C.’s classy DuPont Circle. By turning the ground floor into an antique shop, Foxy figures she has an excuse to spend money … that she doesn’t have.

Foxy also has a teenaged daughter, Amanda, who likes to blog secretly about her biggest problem – Foxy. At least, she thinks Foxy is her biggest problem. But that’s all about to change when she hooks up with Nick, a cute guy at school who evidently has a gift for attracting older women. Amanda just doesn’t know HOW much older they really are.

When Foxy rents the garden apartment to stylish, shoe-fettishista Knot, who turns out to have a knack for talking wealthy Washington A-listers into Foxy’s antiques, it looks as if Foxy will make it on her own after all. Except that Knot is also a genius at creating problems … in his love life.

They’re a quirky threesome to be sure, but when mysterious, bumbling, Myron Standlish arrives on the scene with a suitcase full of Yiddish-isms, he brings along his own set of problems, larger and stranger than all of theirs put together. Oy vey. How will Myron’s personal journey affect their lives? Well … that’s Foxy’s Tale.

A comic, chick lit, coming-of-age, vampire tale (sort of) where family triumphs over adversity and mother and daughter learn how to face the world as grownups – together.

Here’s a little excerpt:
Myron has put a small kettle on the electric stove to boil water. He opens a cabinet and pulls out a tin of tea and a tea strainer.



“You like lemon in your cuppa? Sugar? Honey? Milk? Vaht?” Myron asks.



Amanda shrugs. “I don’t know really. I never had tea before.”



“Ach,” Myron sniffs, “a child who never had tea. Vaht a country. I think sugar and milk for you then.



As he goes to the refrigerator, Amanda walks to the kitchen entryway. It’s just an open space at the end of the short counter. Myron doesn’t seem to know she’s followed him over and, as he opens the refrigerator door and bends down slightly to take a carton of milk from inside the door, Amanda has a clear view of the inside shelves.



“What are all those?” she asks and comes right up behind him to peer over his back at box upon box of vials of blood each set in its own hole row upon row in the boxes, as if some lab had dropped off blood drawn from dozens and dozens of patients. Amanda points at the vials and then sees, on the bottom shelf, flat bags of blood. The kind she’s seen at blood drives at school. “Wow,” she says. “That’s a whole lot of blood.”



Myron snaps up, the carton of milk in his hands. He almost collides with Amanda as he tries to hurriedly shut the refrigerator door. “”Nothing. That is nothing,” he mouths but it comes out dry as if he has a cough in his throat.



“But it’s a lot of blood,” Amanda insists. “What’s it all for?”



“Come, ve have some tea, now, and ve talk about things of interest.” He pours hot water into a tea pitcher and drops the strainer inside. He bustles over to get two mugs and brings out a bowl of sugar.



“But that is interesting. You have no food except milk and sugar and tea and all that blood?”



“An old man like me, what do I need but tea and a little milk now and then? You’ll see. Vehn you are getting old like me. So many disappointments in life.” He shakes his small, bald head. “You are young. Your disappointments are ahead of you. Come, ve drink tea, ve talk about life’s disappointments, eh?” Myron pours the tea and shoves the sugar bowl over to Amanda. They sit on bar stools at the counter facing the kitchen. Amanda glances warily at the refrigerator. She’s not about to let this go. But she’ll think about another way to find out what’s going on later. She sips at the tea. It’s sweet and milky and a little spicy. She likes it.

_______

What people are saying about Foxy’s Tale … 

“Full of snappy characters, laughs, and mystery, peppered with lively details of Washington, DC., and brimming with enough shoe shopping to satisfy any fashionista. This new joint effort from Karen Cantwell and L B Gschwandtner is guaranteed to please! Can't wait for the next installment in this lively new series!”
– Misha Crews, Author of Her Secret Bodyguard

"Foxy’s Tale is irresistible fun – full of lively characters with a knack for trouble, laugh-out-loud dialogue, and story twists that will keep you reading deep into the night."
– Kim Wright Wiley, Author of Love in Mid Air

From now until April 25th, Foxy's Tale is available for just .99 cents, so if you’re looking for a light, fun read, give it a try today!


Click any of the links through out this post to buy your copy for only 99¢ until April 25th!
     

Friday, March 18, 2011

Current Giveaways March 18th, 2011

To submit to my blog for giveaways, contests and sales please check out my Submissions page for more information.



Blog Giveaways!
Click on the blog name to be redirected to that blog to enter.



JohnHartness.com

Win a Kindle or a Nook!

Now through March 2011, I’m accepting entries into a contest to win a brand new Kindle 3 or Nook e-reader! That’s right, kids, just for being cool and commenting on this here blog you could win almost $200 worth of swanky electronic toys! And to make it better, I’ll load my books onto the device for you, so you don’t have to do anything but take it out of the box and start to enjoy it! This contest will run through the end of March, 2011, and here’s a sweetener for those of you who already own e-readers - if you win and decide you don’t want a Kindle or a Nook, let me know and I’ll send you a $200 Amazon gift certificate! So no matter what, you can get some cool stuff!

How to enter:
1) No Purchase is necessary. You may earn an entry into the contest by simply commenting on this blog post. You will earn one entry for commenting here. You will not earn multiple entries for multiple comments.
2) You can earn multiple entries, and this is how you do that. You earn two entries for each copy of my books you buy, no max. Just send me an email with the Amazon/Apple/BN order confirmation and your name. Please block out confidential information like where you live.
3) You can earn multiple entries by answering trivia questions about the books, and those will be posted below. You get one entry for each correct answer. Please don’t share the answers, the whole point is to generate readers. That said, if you borrow the book from someone, you can still get all the entries for the correct answers.
4) You can get two entries for posting a review on Amazon, regardless of whether you liked the book or not. If you hate it and give it a review (must be at least 100 words, and no bs like “I hated it” 34 times) I’ll give you two entries. That’s two entries per book reviewed, so the more reviews you write, the more entries you get. Obviously you can only review each book once, because to do anything else skews the review process. And I really do want honest responses, so if you think it’s crap, don’t be afraid to tell me. I’ll just curl up under my keyboard any cry, that’s all.
5) You can win extra entries by donating to 24 Hours of Booty on my page. This is a bike ride to raise money for cancer that I participate in with some folks from work. For every $10 you donate, you get one entry!

Please visit the site for the trivia questions.

JohnHartness.com


***************



Goodreads Giveaways


Giveaway dates: Feb 22-Mar 22, 2011
1 copy available, 496 people requesting
Countries available: US 
Brand new copy, signed by author.

After witnessing the murder of one of her dearest friends, Khalida finds herself caught between doing what she knows is right and letting go of her past. With the help of the Network, an organization created to keep her secrets buried, Khalida will battle enemies as old as time. But will the secrets of her past destroy everything she knows and loves? Soon, another friend is facing his death, and she will have to save him. Others will follow, and she will have to make the hardest decision of her life. There is only one way to save her friends from this enemy. As she races against time, Khalida will learn that sometimes your past comes back to haunt you, even when you are a vampire.
Giveaway dates: Feb 22-Mar 22, 2011
1 copy available, 413 people requesting
Countries available: US
 
Brand new copy, signed by author.

After being forced to kill her own son, Khalida begins to spiral into a deep depression. With Jake gone and the Network in danger of falling apart, she runs away from Mack and everyone else she loves, hoping that they will be safer without her near.
However, Fate has something else in mind for Khalida, and soon she learns that Vyktor had a secret that he was keeping from her. His secret becomes her chance at redemption.
But atonement doesn't come without a price. She will have to risk everything to find the answers to the mysterious events surrounding her. Has Vyktor come back from the dead to exact his revenge?
The only way to find out is for Khalida to face her fears. She must fight the monster that haunts her and save the one person that holds the key to her past.
Giveaway dates: Mar 09-Mar 28, 2011
25 copies available, 611 people requesting
Countries available: US 
 
The highly anticipated sixth book of Jean Auel's Earth's Children® series, THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES, is the culmination fans have been waiting for.

Continuing the story of Ayla and Jondalar, Auel combines her brilliant narrative skills and appealing characters with a remarkable re-creation of the way life was lived more than 25,000 years ago.

THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES is an exquisite achievement by one of the world's most beloved authors.  
 

***************

 




Smashwords Giveaways


The Yellowstone Caldera has erupted once every 600,000 years. We’re 40,000 years overdue. Lava flows stretch for hundreds of miles. A cloud of ash billows east, burying the Midwest, destroying crops, and falling upon the Pacific Coast like a warm, dead snow. The remnants of the United States flees south as the global temperatures plummet. These are the stories of the survivors.
Jacob Cox is 18 and finds himself running his family's new business, a dilapidated bar in a forgotten seaside town. Jacob longs to escape his family of villains, liars and psychopaths. Could the bar be his last chance to make money and get away from everyone he despises? Is his family really that bad or is he actually worse than all of them put together? A screwball comedy about family.






A collection of my first five short stories, plus two new ones, all in one place! the new stories include "By The Teeth Of His Skin", a dark tale of the wicked way the mind works, and "Naughty and Nice", a twisted Christmas tale.








***************
Specials 
 
 
Foxy's Tale (The Reluctant Vampire Series, Book 1)  
On sale now!
99¢ at Amazon
 
 
 
Foxy Anders has a list of problems as long as a shopping spree receipt from Neiman Marcus. She’s a retail spender with no money to spare and a former beauty queen with no man in her life. After a nightmare divorce she’s left with one asset, a building off Washington, D.C.’s classy DuPont Circle. By turning the ground floor into an antique shop, Foxy figures she has an excuse to spend money … that she doesn’t have.

Foxy also has a teenaged daughter, Amanda, who likes to blog secretly about her biggest problem – Foxy. At least, she thinks Foxy is her biggest problem. But that’s all about to change when she hooks up with Nick, a cute guy at school who evidently has a gift for attracting older women. Amanda just doesn’t know HOW much older they really are.

When Foxy rents the garden apartment to stylish, shoe-fettishista Knot, who turns out to have a knack for talking wealthy Washington A-listers into Foxy’s antiques, it looks as if Foxy will make it on her own after all. Except that Knot is also a genius at creating problems … in his love life.

They’re a quirky threesome to be sure, but when mysterious, bumbling, Myron Standlish arrives on the scene with a suitcase full of Yiddish-isms, he brings along his own set of problems, larger and stranger than all of theirs put together. Oy vey. How will Myron’s personal journey affect their lives? Well … that’s Foxy’s Tale.

A comic, chick lit, coming-of-age, vampire tale (sort of) where family triumphs over adversity and mother and daughter learn how to face the world as grownups – together.