Guest Post from Jake Bible!

stone-cold-bastards-200x300x72There are endless blog posts and workshops and seminars about character, plot development, voice, cutting passive voice, and all that authory stuff. There are entire websites devoted to spotlighting great covers and mocking the not so great ones. Authors jabber on about their muse and their depressing childhoods and how they had that moment in the shower where their entire novel came to them in a flash and they had to jump out all soaking wet to write it down.

But, you know what?

You don’t hear much about the titles of novels.

Yes, sometimes authors complain on social media about not being able to come up with a title. But the reality is, the title is just as important as everything else, yet it’s almost a throwaway item. An afterthought.

For me, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I’m all about the title.

The vast majority of the time, I’ve come up with the title before I even have a concept of the novel. I will admit that sometimes the title is the concept. Take Roak: Galactic Bounty Hunter, for example. Can you guess what that one is about? Or a new project I’ll be working on in a couple of months, Mech Corps? Not exactly brain surgery to figure that one out.

Now we come to Stone Cold Bastards.

This title slammed into my brain and I instantly made a note on my phone. I loved the name. Stone Cold Bastards. It brought to mind Lee Marvin and The Dirty Dozen. It conjured images of 1970’s WWII grindhouse action flicks. I knew someone in that book had to be chomping on a cigar. Oh, they had to be.

But, what was it about?

Again, it was right there in the title. Stone and cold.

Gargoyles.

Oh, hell, yes! Gargoyles!

I hadn’t done a gargoyle novel before. I mean, I hadn’t even read a gargoyle novel before, but, damn if I wasn’t going to write one!

So, I channelled all that Lee Marvin cool swagger and set to work creating a world where a ragtag team of misfit gargoyles have to protect the last of humanity from the demon-possessed hordes that have taken over the world. I created a n apocalyptic setting and wrote in a genre that I wasn’t all that familiar with. I brought those bastards to life.

And all because three words popped into my head one night.

Folks can have all their character analysis and plot development and other authory stuff they want. For me, it all begins with a smashing good title.

Stone Cold Bastards is now available from these retailers:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2mgq4ua

About the Author:jake_bible-jpg

Jake Bible, Bram Stoker Award nominated-novelist, short story writer, independent screenwriter, podcaster, and inventor of the Drabble Novel, has entertained thousands with his horror, sci/fi, thriller, and adventure tales. He reaches audiences of all ages with his uncanny ability to write a wide range of characters and genres.

Jake is the author of the bestselling Z-Burbia series set in Asheville, NC, the bestselling Salvage Merc One, the Apex Trilogy (DEAD MECH, The Americans, Metal and Ash) and the Mega series for Severed Press, as well as the YA zombie novel, Little Dead Man, the Bram Stoker Award nominated Teen horror novel, Intentional Haunting, the ScareScapes series, and the Reign of Four series for Permuted Press.

Find Jake at jakebible.com. Join him on Twitter @jakebible and find him on Facebook.

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Anthony Francis – Guest Post!

jeremiah_willstone_and_tctm-200x300x72The Philosophy behind Jeremiah Willstone and the Clockwork Time Machine

Jeremiah Willstone is a special novel for me, because the smallest of inspirations blossomed into a project that reflects my deepest values. I fell in love with steampunk at Dragon Con 2009, where I saw many amazing steampunk costumes, in particular a young woman with a steam-powered gatling gun. My training as a science fiction writer makes me pick at the loose threads of imagined worlds, so I started to wonder not just what technology could power that gun, but what social changes could have enabled a young woman to become a Victorian soldier.

I’ve been interested in women’s rights since I was a child. Most of the protagonists I write about – Dakota Frost, Cinnamon Frost, Serendipity the Centaur – are female. I once even described myself as “hyper-feminist” until I met some genuine radical feminists with far more militant views, and to whom I gladly donate the term for use in their cause. Still, without trying to crimp the style of men who enjoy being men, women who enjoy being women, and people of all stripes who enjoy their differences, I’ve always been committed to the proposition that everyone in our world should get a fair shake no matter their gender – and always appalled as I learned more and more about the history of oppression of women.

So I decided to make the liberation of women a central feature of the Jeremiah Willstone world. During my research I was surprised to find that the mother of Mary Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, was a women’s liberation pioneer over a century before modern women’s suffrage; I was also surprised to find that Queen Victoria was a renowned women’s rights opponent. I researched the whole Victorian era, becoming quite appalled at how married women could be forced to work by their husbands – who could then confiscate all those earnings and go drink them away. The Victorians made great progress over the course of their era, mind you, but I wanted to create a society where those problems were already solved.

Thus, in my world, Mary Wollstonecraft survived to pursue women’s rights. Her daughter, Mary Shelley, changed her name to Mark Willstone to make the case for full liberation. Her daughter in turn became the first in a line of female soldiers that eventually produced my protagonist, Jeremiah Willstone. I imagined a world every bit as liberated as ours – perhaps moreso – but with key differences. For example, rather than collapsing male and female pronouns into a generic “they”, the people of Jeremiah’s world always say out “men and women” or “gentlewomen and gentlemen” as a way of writing inclusion into their everyday language.

Writing this world from Jeremiah’s perspective was difficult. After all, I’m a “guy” – technically speaking, a hetero-leaning bisexual male presenting a cis-normative appearance – and no matter how much I try to learn and empathize, I don’t have the experiences that a woman has growing up in an often male-dominated world. So I did research from a variety of perspectives, trying to give voice to real arguments by feminist scholars into the story. I didn’t get everything right. I probably still didn’t, but when depicting the clash of cultures between Jeremiah’s world and our own, I inadvertently made Jeremiah act as the stand-in for her entire world, and made the women she met as a stand-in for our entire world.

But one person is not the whole world. Our world is filled with Queen Victorias and Mary Wollstonecrafts and a whole spectrum of people between. I listened carefully to all the comments of my friends and beta readers, some of whom had strong opinions, which led to long conversations. I shaved off some of Jeremiah’s prickly edges and added nuance, but it wasn’t enough. Finally, in conversation with my editor Debra Dixon, we had a brainflash: to flip many of the arguments that I wanted to make. Instead of having Jeremiah come off as a full-of-herself lecturing crusader, I instead expanded the world, creating new characters and new situations that challenged Jeremiah to respond with respect and nuance.

The world you and I share has made many advances in women’s rights, but it’s still a world where a young woman recently won a Nobel Prize for getting shot in the face for advocating the radical proposition that she should be allowed to go to school. Jeremiah Willstone and the Clockwork Time Machine is a novel of derring-do and steam, action and adventure – but one in which issues of women’s rights are first and foremost, even as the novel recognizes and respects the broad spectrum of opinions of people on this fundamentally important topic. I hope your visit with Jeremiah makes you think about the history and progress of women’s rights – but those issues never get in the way of having the fun on her adventures. Enjoy!

Jeremiah Willstone and the Clockwork Time Machine is now available at these retailers:

About the Author:author-pic-for-book-color-adjusted

By day Anthony Francis studies human and other minds to design intelligent machines and emotional robots; by night he writes fiction and draws comic books at the collision point of hard science and pure fantasy. He was inspired to study artificial intelligence by Douglas Hofstadter, to become a writer by Isaac Asimov, and to write urban fantasy by Laurell K. Hamilton and Richard P. Feynman. He got his Ph.D in AI and his brown belt in Taido from Georgia Tech; he currently supports his out-of-control reading and writing habits by working at the Search Engine That Starts With a G. Anthony lives in San Jose with his wife and cats but his heart will always belong in Atlanta.

27 Thoughts I Had During My Week-Long “Game of Thrones” Obsession

***WARNING SPOILERS BELOW***

Man, people weren’t kidding. Death, sex (including, incest and rape), children being injured, the works! All in the first episode!

I had never watched GoT before or read the books. COMPLETELY new fandom for me. I was enthralled.

2. Joffrey gets hit more than anyone else I know.

And those screams of peril! “Ahhh!” I’m sure you’ve all noticed the girl screams and had quite a thrill.

3. Wait, who’s Sansa and who’s Cersei? Why are their names so similar???

4. There’s no way they’re killing Ned, he’s a mai—OMGOMGOMG!

5. Joffrey is the worst….well you know what they say about inbreeding…..

The other two seem normal enough. Well except the whole Myrcella, “I’m glad you had sex with your sister, dad.”

6. Cersei’s name is pretty and she’s pretty, but they are nasty af…

7. Wait, I thought Catelyn didn’t like Snow….oh wait, that’s Robb. Too many lookalikes!!

8. Wait, who’s this? And this? And this?

Why does everyone look the same??

9. I’m such a girl. I’m only paying attention to Sansa, Daenerys, and Arya’s stories. What are the dudes doing?

10. Wait…did he just…? No. no. no. NO. *Looks up spoilers on internet* BETTER NOT BE BRAN AND RIKKON, YOU JERK!!

Although later I do feel suuuuper bad for Theon but come on, Alfie Allen is fire as all get out. He is ACTING as Theon Greyjoy who is ACTING as Reek who is ACTING as Theon Greyjoy. What a time to be alive.

11. Okay, I feel like I heard about this red wedding a couple years ago, right? So if there’s five seasons, must be somewhere here in season three? But when? HOLY FFFFFFF THE BABY!

My mouth literally dropped open when they started just stabbing Talisa in the stomach. I could not believe what I was seeing. And I never knew how much I loved Robb until he wasn’t alive anymore. The more you know.

12. JOFFREY IS CRAP. SERIOUSLY WHEN IS HE DYING??? Oh thank god.

I have never been happier to see a teenager die in my entire life. What a fitting, nasty, ugly end. Good riddance.

13. I knew those Tyrell’s were up to something. I support it. 😀


14. TYRION DIDN’T DO IT! GAAAAAAHHHHH. GO TALK TO THE OLD LADY!

15. Daenerys is seriously my fave character. DIGAF what anyone else thinks? Nada.

The thing is, people say she’s spoiled and whatnot, but she is a GODDESS and a WARRIOR. And she’s gonna win the whole damn thing. AND DRAGONS!!!!!

16. Did they change that actor? Oh, they did.

17. I need to read these books. I’m reading them. *buys book one* this is different, this is different, this is different, I LOVE EVERYTHING.

18. I KNEW SHAE WAS A WHORE, BUT I DIDN’T THINK SHE WAS AN ALL OUT SKANK. CALL HIM LION ONE MORE TIME, HOE!

19. You know nothing, Jon Snow…

But for real, though when Melisandre knew the line. FORESHADOWING……

20. I really hate creepy church people. Leave me alone.

21. I accidentally read spoilers and I know you die, but I love you, boo. (Basically me to every character.)

22. WHERE IS BRAN??

23. Arya is a badass. You get that revenge, girl.

“OYSTERS, CLAMS, AND COCKLES!!”

24. ICE DEATH MONSTERS ARE SCARY AND ARE IN MY NIGHTMARES, THANK YOU GEORGE

No thank you, White Walkers.

25. Is it just me or are we kinda feeling bad for Cersei now? How are they doing this to me???


26. NOT JON. Dude. They are just killing these Stark kids in order, huh?


27. I need to re-watch episode 1……or just the whole show again…..ONWARD!!!

^^ Me watching/reading GoT. I can already tell that I will never not be totally obsessed with this show and book series….here comes the niki fandom. 😉

Val Shapiro’s 10 Tips For Living With a Hellhound by Parker Blue

  1. Val FaceSet boundaries right away—you are not your hellhound’s servant (no matter how much he treats you like one).
  1. Never, ever feed him dog food. Keep a good pizza delivery place on speed dial—it’s the best way to shut him up and keep him occupied. Besides, with his constitution, he can eat anything.
  1. Get used to having your every thought listened to and commented on. If you can’t take it, move out, ’cause he’s not going to. There are benefits, though—he can read other demons’ thoughts and clue you in.
  1. If you own a motorcycle, get him his own seat and a pair of goggles—he’ll want to go everywhere with you, so you both might as well be comfortable.
  1. Don’t lie to yourself or him, even a little bit—he’ll definitely call you on it. Repeatedly.
  1. Find him a hellhound girlfriend—it’s the only way to get him out of your hair for a bit so you might be able to have a normal relationship with a guy. It helps if the hellhound girlfriend is a self-involved diva, so she’ll keep him hopping.
  1. Teach him how to use the remote. TV is a great babysitter when you’re too busy to entertain him.
  1. Buy lots of lint rollers—the shedding is a pain!
  1. Praise him constantly—his ego needs it. Plus, he usually deserves it.
  1. Keep him happy, ’cause he’s the best friend you’ll ever have. Sometimes he even offers good advice.

BITE ME is on sale for FREE til January!! I know I’m picking it up, are you?

Bite Me

And the best part is that it’s a series! Grab the rest of The Demon Underground novels at the links below! I’m totally fan-girling right now. ;D

 Try MeFang MeMake MeDare MeCatch Me

About the Author:

ParkerBlueFace

 

Parker Blue lives in Colorado Springs with three rescue dogs, one of whom resembles her favorite character, Fang, the snarky hellhound.

 

Christian by D.B. Reynolds Excerpt (NEW RELEASE)

CHRISTIAN – book ten of The Vampires in America Series – is publishing November 15th! Read an exclusive excerpt below and make sure you order CHRISTIAN by clicking the link! 😀 Christian - 200x300x72


It’s too dangerous for you to stay here…”

Natalie’s unease at what he was saying overrode her irritation at his tendency to give orders. “Dangerous? Do you really think—?”

“That Anthony would hurt you?” Christian studied her for a moment, as if trying to decide if he should tell her the truth, as if wondering whether she could handle it.

“Tell me the truth,” she demanded.

His lips tightened briefly, and he said, “Yes.”

“But he’s never done anything like that before.”

“And he’d probably regret it. But in the final analysis, only one person matters to Anthony, and that’s Anthony. I don’t believe for a minute that he plans to retire quietly to New Orleans. He has a game in play that will maximize his own power and wealth after the succession. We just don’t know what it is yet. But whatever it is, I’ve spoiled it for him, and he’ll do what it takes to get rid of me. He wants you for

himself—”

She opened her mouth to protest, but he continued.

“—I can see it in the way he looks at you. He covets you, as if you’re already his. He may even have convinced himself he loves you, or that you love him. But if he gets angry enough, he’ll hurt you. Either to claim you for himself, or to get to me.” He stepped closer in the confined space, cupping her cheek in his big hand. “You matter to me. Anthony knows that.”

Natalie looked up at him, unable to stop herself from leaning in until her breasts nearly touched him. Her chest felt constricted, her heart too big for the space, pounding in her ears until it was all she could hear. Christian tightened the fingers of his other hand around her hip, pulling her in until there was no space between them, and the tips of her breasts scraped the thick muscles of his chest. His gaze traveled over her face, lingering on her lips, and she knew he was going to kiss her.

When his mouth met hers, her lips were already open in welcome. She expected to be ravished, but was enticed instead, his lips caressing hers with delicate, sliding kisses, his tongue quick and teasing, until she went up on her toes, and pressed her mouth to his to demand more. She felt his smile against her lips, felt him shift the angle of her head as he sank deeper into her, as his tongue swept forcefully into her mouth, stroking, tasting. Natalie wrapped her arms around his neck with a pleasured sigh. She couldn’t remember wanting anyone the way she did Christian. She was hungry for him. Every inch of her longed for him, from the ache between her thighs to the swell of her breasts, and everything above and below.

But he was being so careful with her. As if she were something fragile, as if he had to hold himself back. She wasn’t terribly experienced. Hell, she’d never experienced a man like Christian. But she wasn’t going to break, either. And she didn’t want him to hold back.

She boldly closed her teeth over his lower lip, stopping just short of drawing blood, shivering as his growled response rolled down her throat, trembling deep between her thighs, and knotting her nipples into hard peaks. His arm tightened around her back as he jerked her even closer.

“Careful, ma chére, or you’ll get what you ask for.”

“Good,” she whispered fiercely.


Whoa, baby! Ya know, I’ve been wanting to get around to this series for a while and if the rest of it is anything like that, I think I may have to start tonight! 

giphy (1)


Author PicAbout the author: 

D.B. Reynolds is the RT Award-winning author of the Vampires in America series of paranormal romance, and an Emmy-nominated television sound editor. She lives with her husband of many years in a flammable canyon near Los Angeles, and when she’s not writing her own books, she can usually be found reading someone else’s. Visit her blog at www.dbreynolds.com for details on all of her books, for free stories and more.

Thanks everyone! Happy Friday the 13th! 😀

Fox Forever by Mary E. Pearson

51259IvKTlL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_ (1)

In the conclusion to the Jenna Fox Chronicles, Locke is returning to Boston in order to make good on his favor. It’s a top secret mission that only Locke can accomplish. To succeed, he must get into the inner circle of a government official and his daughter – Raine. As Locke completes this task, he will meet new friends and enemies, learn new secrets, and fall deeper into the resistance.

This final book of the Jenna Fox Chronicles is well worth the wait. You finally get to see how and where everyone ends up. All of the questions (some stemming from the very first book) are finally answered. Of course, like any good series, it leaves you wishing it wouldn’t end and wanting more. Which is exactly what we look for, right? 😀 It definitely has the most action out of all three novels and it’s got a good bit of romance as well. It did take me a while to read because I was just not ready for it to end. Lol!

The one complaint I have is that there were so many other things I wanted to know about Jenna. Yes, the first book was entirely her, but I just don’t feel like she was around enough for the last bit.

How about you guys? If you read, comment and let me know what questions you had that didn’t get answered. Let’s chat! 🙂

The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson

51Q+1-n+EZL._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_

For 260 years, Locke and Kara have been trapped in total darkness. Alone, except for each other, with no one to hear their screams. Now they’ve finally been let out and put into new bodies. Treated as scientific discoveries rather than people, they find a way to escape. They’re searching for answers, and the only one who can help is Jenna. But have they been trapped for too long? Can they handle this new world without the people they knew and loved before? Has the darkness taken over?

I can’t believe I went seven years never knowing there was a second book in the Jenna Fox Chronicles! I didn’t even realize they were chronicles! But boy, am I glad they are! The Fox Inheritance answers a lot of questions about what really went on the night of Jenna, Kara, and Locke’s accident. It also gives the reader insight on what happened to Kara and Locke after. Mary E. Pearson creates an incredible world in The Fox Inheritance. Obviously it’s set (at least if not more than) 260 years into the future. There are new places to discover, robot servants and cab drivers, new ways of communication, and a ton of new (and surprising) characters. Super thrilled with this book in the series. There’s one more and that review will definitely be up next week!

In the meantime, take a look at the short story surrounding Allys’s operation called THE ROTTEN BEAST. Free to read here.