Friday, September 28, 2012

Pictures with Color - R. Mac Wheeler

If you've been following my blog you'll know that I love scenery photos.  So, as I was emailing back and forth with my friend, Mac, I suggested we maybe do a photo post together.  He sent me some of his pictures to put up and I've decided to leave mine out.  His are so wonderful they deserve their very own post.

If you are interested in seeing more of Mac's pictures you can find him over at his blog:

If you haven't already seen my previous posts with mentions of Mac, you should know he's a talented author as well as a great photographer.  So, if you aren't just into the eye candy and you enjoy a good story - check out his books.

He didn't specifically say, but I'm going to guess that all of these pictures are from beautiful Florida.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Recently Read - Wool by Hugh Howey


Thousands of them have lived underground. They've lived there so long, there are only legends about people living anywhere else. Such a life requires rules. Strict rules. There are things that must not be discussed. Like going outside. Never mention you might like going outside.

Or you'll get what you wish for.

I've heard a lot of talk about Hugh Howey on the author circuit and a lot of talk about his title, Wool. 

The type of talk I've been hearing is about personal observations of Hugh Howey or general statements about the story like...   "I really liked it," or "It was okay," or even some "Not my favorite."  

I've not had any personal contact with Hugh Howey through my circles so I have no stories to relate.  Nor had I done any research on the book.  But, I figured it was time.  

I went to Amazon and purchased a copy and started reading.  I knew nothing of the story and the cover didn't really pull me in, I was reading as research.  It's horrible of me, but I didn't even read the book description, so I had no idea what kind of book I'd be reading.

It didn't take me long to realize that this was a sci-fi story and I like sci-fi!  Howey did a great job of making me want to keep reading.  What was going to happen next?  I even caught myself thinking, I really should go to sleep, I have to get up early in the morning.  Just a little more.

That just a little more lasted for about an hour.  At the end of that hour I had finished reading the story.  The book is not a book.  If I had done my research, I'm sure I would have known that, so that admission is not a complaint.

I thoroughly enjoyed the short story.  Obviously it kept me interested enough to finish the entire thing, even when I thought I'd have several hundred pages to read I just couldn't quit until I knew.

Now I know and I'm very happy I took the time to read Wool and would recommend it as a good story.  I think it's only 99¢ at Amazon.

Click here to buy your copy at Amazon for Kindle

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Whatever Wednesday - Canning

Fall.  I used to be strictly a summer girl but as I grow older I realize all the great virtues of each season.  Look at some of the things that fall brings.

 We went to the farmer's market this past Saturday and spent a whole bunch of money.  We bought a HUGE pumpkin.  If you look closely, you'll see a one ounce shot glass for comparison.

I brought it to my dad's bar called The Barn.  I'm letting people guess how much it weighs so I can't tell you anything more than that thing is HEAVY. 

We ended up buying a whole lot of produce.  In the picture below you can see these from left to right and the front row first.  A pinkish pumpkin, some Sweet 16 apples (SO GOOD), another pumpkin that's supposed to be really good for bread.  The back row is nothing but tomatoes, twenty-five pounds of red and 25 pounds of orange. 

I am writing this post on Sunday for public viewing on Wednesday and have only just processed the tomatoes.  I'm hoping to make the bread soon, but pumpkins keep a very long time. 

So, onto what I did on Sunday.  My daughter and I canned 17 quarts and one pint of tomatoes.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Release - Dark Corners by Michael Bray


Dark Hall Press is proud to present

Dark Corners by Michael Bray.

What lurks within the darkness? What crawls outside of our perception? What happens when the world as we know it stops making sense? When reality isn't what it seems, and the rules no longer apply...
Dark Corners is a collection of twelve interlinked short stories plotting the darkest reaches of the human psyche. 
Dark Corners is now available for purchase via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other such sites, in both eBook and paper editions.  

About the author: 

Michael Bray has been writing horror fiction for over fifteen years, honing a unique and accessible style. He is also a musician and a father, and resides in his home city of Leeds, England with his wife Vikki and daughter Abi. 

You can find more information here:

Click below to get your copy from Amazon for Kindle

Click here to get your copy from Barnes & Noble for Nook

Dark Corners - Twelve Tales of Terror

Monday, September 24, 2012

Featured Author - R. Mac Wheeler

I haven't done a featured author post for a while - so here you go.

I came across Mac when I received a Google Alert for a new review of my book, Color Me Grey.  It helped that he liked my book, but what inspired me to make actual contact were his threats to my health if he didn't like the other two books in the series.  He made me laugh so I had to, just had to thank him for his review.

Since then, I've tried to keep up with his blog and have read a couple of his MANY available novels.  I know I've found a great author and a great friend.  I hope some of you will try his novels.  I'm sure there is something he's written that will be right up your alley.

Author Bio:

R. Mac Wheeler (skip the 'R' if you're calling him for dinner, or most anything else) has jumped out of planes, driven motorcycles like an idiot, shot lots of guns (never with ear protection, what?), ridden helicopters, rappelled down cliffs, explored mine shafts, skied on water and snow, kayaked, had surgery on both knees and shoulders (thanks mostly to basketball), and moved across the continent. Most days lately though his weekly excitement entails a two hour motorcycle ride with his Labrador, Molly (she wears Doggles; gets lots of camera action). Otherwise he mostly sits quietly eight hours a day allowing his rather sane but free flowing mind to cast plot ideas one after another.
A native Texan (and proud of it; don't mess with Texas), Mac has called South Florida home for the past twenty-five years (ahh, no dust storms, just inconvenient hurricanes), where he and his wife lovingly bicker about most everything (like folks in their fifties are supposed to) between laughing at their three goofy dogs.
A former computer programmer, project manager, and all-around nerd, Mac now focuses full time on science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal that leverages the quirkiness and emotions of real life more often than the farfetched.

You can click any of the covers to be taken to Amazon to purchase a copy of these books for Kindle.

 The Black Lake Series

The Covenant ended generations of war between the races, separated the combatants to the points of the compass, and delegated the Range as a buffer between them for two hundred years.

Now the rich highlands draw adventurous pioneers who brave the cold peaks to start new lives. They stake claims, watch their neighbors with a wary eye, care for their flocks, and hope to store away enough reserves to survive the brutal winters. The majical waters of the Lake evoke fear, but the gorges teem with game, which draws the dreaded orcs and goblins from the eastern desert.

EXPIRING COVENANT unfolds in chapters that read like short stories, slices of each character's life. But they flow end-to-end to chronicle the saga of a people setting down roots as they become a community, mix tales of shenanigans, tragedy, duplicity, tolerance, friendship, love, and personal growth. The settlers learn their neighbors (little people, humans, giants, and majical kind) might not be the monsters tales are told of 'round winter hearths.

If Laura Ingalls had been an ogre and her neighbors trolls, HAMLET THRIVING might have been her story. But the characters of this fantasy novel live in the highland Range, not on a prairie. They belong to races that had been mortal enemies for millennia. The rich textures of their differences, from tusks to dreadlocks and fuzzy feet, bring them together as they battle the harsh living in the high peaks, and the prejudice that seeps in from outside—still lingers in their own hearts.

In this sequel to EXPIRING COVENANT, the second eccentric generation is making its place in the valley, while the bulls of the first continue to snarl at their neighbors over the checkerboard, and the hens compete to make up the best lies during their quilting bees.

The chapters weave an overlapping mosaic of tolerance, friendship, love, tragedy, personal growth, and whimsy from the perspective of each unique character’s point of view, like the gruff-talking dwarf who can’t hide his enormous heart, the precocious ogreling who annoys and entertains the entire valley with his antics, troll Eina who sees every hamlet resident as hers to protect with an iron fist, Iza, conflicted by her role as dominating queen dragon and loving companion to her bonded human friend.

The first time Morgan saw the human woman she almost crushed his ogre skull with a rock from her sling. The warlock reached out to the secretive female over the years, but she never wavered in her distaste in having an ogre as a neighbor. She would have died alone in her cabin if Morgan hadn’t seen the disaster. She should have escaped the flames on her own, but was delirious, the first to fall ill to a plague that would spread through the Range.

This sequel to EXPIRING COVENANT and HAMLET THRIVING is a love story, a tale of the arcane, an epic of friendship, jealousy, mistrust, and caring. The reclusive ogre is beguiled by a creature he knows can never be his. Yet Morgan endeavors to impress her and gets mired into affairs outside his world, surrounded by forces preparing to clash.

As the epidemic spreads through their community the two come together to wield the one thing they have in common, the ability to draw from the ethereal, to heal. The witch and warlock must also deal with secrets that torment and alienate them. Pulled from one crisis to another, Morgan watches helplessly as the witch befriends a dragonrider Morgan tries to hate, but can’t.

The threat of war and plague compels Morgan from recluse to leader, protector, warrior, and negotiator. 

Ogres and trolls aren't so much beasts as they are quirky neighbors with severe underbites who dislike footwear. In this sequel to EXPIRING COVENANT, HAMLET THRIVING, and OGRE WARLOCK HEALER, a young man learns of character, integrity, and family—that all creatures are individuals despite the generalizations he's been raised with.

Mourning his mother's death in a recent plague and his father's desertion, Paul has chafed long enough at the high peaks lair of the ogre dragonrider where he's been stranded. The sixteen-year-old dares a mountain escape to search for his father, but finds Northerners don't embrace strangers, especially young men on the road alone, and it almost costs him his life.

The Black Lake residents, giants and little people he's been raised to distrust, nurse Paul from near-death, and offer him a home. Morgan, the local warlock healer, claims Paul can reach the ethereal. That's a surprise to Paul, but it explains the strange sensations he's been experiencing, the visions and emotions that made him question his wits. The warlock offers to apprentice him, however the wizard council wants no others wielding the majic of the ethereal, especially an ogre and commoner from the Range.

Paul and Morgan join a wizard with his own issues and are drawn into northern intrigue when the ancient queen dragon tells them they're fated to put down a plot that threatens war. Paul and Morgan defy a council death sentence, rogue wizards who hold Morgan's sweetheart hostage, a conspiracy, and fickle dragons tempted to snack on them. Paul's majic must mature quickly if he's to survive.

Revenir Series

The night the five-thousand-year-old shapeshifter found the human trespassing on her ranch, Renee was more in the mood for company than killing. After all, she hadn't taken a lover in four decades.

Mating within her kith is complex, and she doesn't get out of her plains stronghold much. The modern world's contrivances sear Revenir flesh—as though her kind's reaction to sunlight isn't bad enough. Besides, modern humans tote too much baggage for her taste. Neither do they cope well with the bloodletting Revenirs like with their sex. Also, they're fragile, their lives terribly short. She's just getting them broken in when they age out on her.

But this indulgence couldn't have come at a worse time. Her clan is going to war, kithmen will die. Are her adversaries humans out to eradicate Revenirs, half-breeds scheming to overthrow their lords, or other Revenirs threatening her position as queen?

Regardless, she accepts the blame, for turning a blind eye to the endowed who've flaunted their race's existence. Retribution looms. Dear friends and her new human lover are abducted. She throws all of her resources into their return, the identification of her enemies, and revenge.

REVENIR is an immortal fantasy with adult situations, violence, and lusting inappropriate for children. 

Sixteen-year-old Caitlin, privileged member (spoiled brat) of a secret society she has no interest in, shares her overly-honest opinion in her junior essay (she doesn't know how to keep her mouth shut), which places her under her queen's scrutiny.

Instead of spending her summer on the beach, she ends up working nights wearing an armored vest, crisscrossing the nation chasing vampire hunters and miscreant kithmen, noshing Nerd candies with her tweener sidekick.

The queen (who loathes the term vampire) leads her clan in a two-front war against rogue Revenirs (immortal shapeshifters), and humans determined to exterminate what they believe is an insidious race. The clan's battle meant nothing to Cait, but becomes personal after she sees another side of her heritage, and learns more of the kith's complicated world.

Hanging out with macho guys draping cannons from their shoulders is less irksome than she expects. She survives a number of deadly scrapes, creating a reputation for herself as she searches for her abducted roommate.

REVENIR INTERN is a paranormal adventure that moms and dads will be borrowing their daughters' tablets to read. Contains gratuitous wisecracking and enough violence to generate a gross-out or two.


 Shadows Series

Every interaction, decision, and social influence can drive a man toward good or evil, love and hate. The good can go bad, lovers can hate. The turning point can be subtle or dramatic.

Half-brothers John Ruud and Tony Rollins are as distinct as two raised under the same dysfunctional roof can be. One is an introverted, suicidal underachiever, the other a talented athlete, focused and driven student. Once best friends, they grow to resent and hate each other.

One sells dope. One is senior-class president. One commits murder and the other goes to war. Their diverged paths writhe-chaotic into a future neither planned, their careers seemingly chosen by others, always at odds, fate determined by mistaken identity and the death of friends.

The women who love them bizarrely weave their lives together.

Two Brothers is contemporary fiction, a story of coming-of-age, going to war,family, love, mentors and motivation.

Whoever murdered Bea Ruud's rapist didn't do her a favor. The investigating cop hounds her and her family, and they have skeletons four decades old they'd prefer remained buried.

The man who drugged and raped her had the kind of business associates that weren't above knee-capping and castrating a double-dealing attorney. So why's the cop obsessing about her?

Being a victim has overwhelmed Bea for a year and her nightmares have resurfaced. Her entire life she's battled overlapping shadows, but this latest is the darkest. To move on she must fight a war with obscure rules.

Living in Shadow is contemporary fiction-suspense, a sequel to Two Brothers Two Shadows, contains adult dialog and situations, with the promise of romance the protagonist seems incapable of grasping.

Persona Kory May Series

Dying is a crappy way to launch a new career. Waking up in a body cast with cracked vertebrae sucks. Befriended by a man that hurls her into the middle of galactic intrigue, running for her life, downright bites.

As though being born a dwarf in the fourth millennium wasn't bad enough. Toni Tegaris started life in an institution, unwanted, endlessly bullied. Luckily, she has a single edge—being very, very bright.

Her lonely career path as a merchant space captain suits her. She busted her butt to afford her own ship, one she designed, more advanced than anything in the galaxy. Before she has the chance to take ownership of the EUMV Kory Mae, her plan goes terribly wrong. Toni is forced to rely on another for the first time, her self-exile from humanity interrupted.

Her protector has baggage of his own, which embroils Toni in espionage and terrorism, between fanatics fighting annexation by the Earth Union, and security forces willing to leverage anyone for their own means.

Avoiding laser blasts and abduction attempts, she finds herself in love with two men. Could they love her back? She doesn't know how to let them.

A potty mouth dwarf-eccentric-scientist, a fur-covered alien, and a sexy Navy pilot are an eclectic trio to bring peace to a sector of the galaxy that has been in turmoil for a millennium. Caught in three-sided intrigue, they're asked to transport negotiators to a summit many don't wish to take place.

With elements in each of the factions trying to kill them, Toni Tegaris will risk everything in a scheme to isolate empire builders and unite men seeking real peace.

Two brothers in opposing camps are either smitten with her, or self-serving money-grabbers willing to kill her if she gets in their way.

Latch your seat harness, you'll experience multiple gees and enough time distortion to send you reaching for an analgesic.

L1060 ACCORD is a sequel to PERSONA KORY MAE, followed by FIRST CONTACT and TAIL KICKER.

In the first exploration outside the galaxy, the crew of the Kory Mae travel to the dark edge of the universe, to a rogue solar system, searching for the origin of a telepathic greeting.

The two-year mission challenges the seventeen, each with dreams and hopes, relationships and baggage, lives placed on hold. Isolation and the physics of accelerating by the speed of light every quarter of a second will punish them. They confront isolation, greed, politics, disease—and most surprising, arcane forces.

If they fail, there is no rescue. To survive, everything must go right. They have two advantages: the most advanced craft ever designed, and the brilliant physicist who built it, commanding the mission.

FIRST CONTACT is the third volume of the PERSONA KORY MAE series – science fiction meets fantasy.

This SF adventure ricochets between prison breaks, conspiracy, shootouts, assassins, corrupt cops, conflicted love, and arcane mysticism, tempered by a motherly artificial interface.

Angel careens from her safe career managing cargo in the Merchant Corps to dodging plasma charges and bombs. She's been stalked by a peculiar savant with an eerily similar history, who recruits her into the Marshals Service to corral the EU's gamier residents in the galaxy's frontier.

As marshal-pilot of the newly commissioned Tail Kicker, Angel stumbles from one ohcrap to another. The royal-blue armored vests the marshals wear are more like bull-red targets. They attract bad guys with a profound hatred for the elite officers of the Service. Angel's never taken a last name—Claypigeon would fit.

TAIL KICKER is the fourth volume of the PERSONA KORY MAE series.

Other Novels

The world is facing Armageddon, and Margarite's brother is responsible, at least for the three discoveries that make the destruction possible. Reggie is a medical researcher and he's engineered a targeted bio-weapon that can be distributed by the most common kitchen pest. As thanks, he expects he and Margarite will be killed to tie up loose ends. They don't know who they can trust, but they're committed to sabotaging the trial release, finding and destroying all trace of the bacteria.

As though Margarite doesn't have enough on her shoulders, she totes around a ton of family baggage. Her parents were unloving, alcoholic wackos who splattered themselves into a highway abutment two years ago when she was fourteen. She was left alone with Reggie, who is sixteen years older than her, a genius with Asperger syndrome incapable of sharing the love Margarite craves. They face multiple conspiracies and authorities who consider Reggie a terrorist. Their neighbor could be a spy using his own son to get close to them. The father figure she is drawn to may not be who he appears.

They are lucky bunglers, if you consider being bludgeoned, exposed to a deadly pathogen, shot, isolated, and pursued by maniacs, as lucky. Margarite repeatedly stumbles into the midst of thugs, witnesses ruthlessness and competence she couldn't imagine from her brother.

The remnants of society rot. The privileged get a five-hundred calorie meal pack every day. The dead are dumped in landfills, or left where they fall. Thirty-three years after extremists released the engineered virus, the Centers for Disease Control is the last governing body. The transition from finding a cure to administering what is left, never set well with anyone. The resentment may drive the rumors of conspiracy. But too many CDC administrators survive, and any focus of finding a cure appears abandoned.

Jason Kates believes he’s searching for a way to feed the starving that remain in the Eastern cities, but his assignment to cross the lawless lands to reach the American heartland may be a pretense to get him killed. He's an outsider to the CDC hierarchy, and there are dangerous secrets to be kept.

Clueless to what he's facing, and suicidal, Jason partners with a road-wise girl who tries to carjack him. He needs the value of her harsh experiences. She needs the nutrition bars he carries. Their sarcasm-laced relationship grows as they careen through evermore dangerous obstacles. They discover little more than empty prairie until they stumble upon the proof of conspiracy, which propels Jason into a far more challenging role.

Appearing in the spirit world with no memory is like a jagged shank in the eye. No one met him to show him the ropes. No user guide. Worse than having no name: unable to sense the passing of time—the disjointed emotions, history and future of the live-ones he's near flowing into his head uninvited.

Once he adjusts to his depression, he seeks purpose in his perpetuity. A fellow spirit insists they can't interfere with the live-ones. It makes things worse, the ancient teen claims. That appears true quickly enough when his meddling throws those he tries to help from irritating situations to life-threatening ones. As though it isn't tough enough to fall in love with someone who can walk through him.

Wheezy, the local medium, though sweet as can be, is no help. Actually, she enables his tampering.

And, there's the six-year-old he knows will become a serial killer.

WHEEZY is a paranormal novel filled with quirky characters, live and dead thugs, evil lawyers, conspiracy, unrequited love, and a passel of spirits each with unique abilities.

An autistic man living in a group home, a slacker, and two brothers with an ocean under the bridge between them are an unexpected foursome recovering bail jumpers and fugitives. More unexpected, their success. And luck staying alive.

It helps that one of them has a little unnatural help.

And that he can hack any computer network.

SEEker tilts with masculine wise cracking, guns, weight rooms, and basketball gyms, balanced with the sentiment of tough guys accepting a challenged man and his wimpy friend, insight in what creates bonds between men. There's gratuitous lusting, shooting, falling in love, shooting, pickup trucks, shooting, a sexy FBI agent, beefy men, and of course an evil antagonist.

SEEker is a suspense, adventure, paranormal, bounty hunter tale that leaves open the possibility that the dork can get the babe.

Whew!  He's got a few books out there, doesn't he?  If you are interested in any of these titles you should be able to go to the purchase page simply by clicking the cover.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Picture Post

I'm actually just filling up days.  I plan to let this post run through the weekend as I try to find other things/books to post about. 

I haven't gotten any submissions lately that I haven't already listed, so I'm going to do a search of all the books out there (I'm sure I won't be able to browse them all), but I'm going to give it a shot and post some of the ones that look interesting to me.  Until then, here are a few of my favorite pictures.