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Monday, December 5, 2011

What Every Crime Writer Needs To Know - By Jennifer Chase


If you want to write a crime story with a forensics expert like Temperance Brennan or Kay Scarpetta, you're going to need familiarity with police protocol, the subsequent crime scene investigation and what a lab uses to process the evidence. Taking you from the crime scene to the lab, award-winning author Jennifer Chase shares her expertise on the subject.

What it Takes to Solve a Crime

From what we see on television, in the movies, and in some books, it seems relatively simple to solve a crime. Or, is it? Let’s break it down in three simple categories: crime, searching the crime scene, and comparing clues to find the perpetrator.

1. Importance of First Officer at the Crime Scene

The first police officer that arrives at a crime scene is the often the driving force behind a successful crime scene investigation. The crime scene locale is where most of the physical evidence associated with the crime is obtained. Evidence is located, documented, and collected.

The most important task for the first officer on the scene is to protect the integrity at the scene. That means ANYONE not directly related to the investigation should not be allowed to enter the area - ever. The perimeter should be cordoned off with crime scene tape, rope, or barricades. Anyone coming or going should be documented on a list. Evidence should be untouched and left for crime scene technicians or investigators.

While waiting for the investigating team to arrive, the first officer should always:

• Write down names of witnesses and anyone else at the scene. • Note who was at the scene when the officer arrived. • Establish the basic facts. • Keep ALL suspects and witnesses separated. • Instruct the witnesses not to discuss the events or compare notes. • Do not discuss the crime scene with witnesses or bystanders. • Listen – sometimes an officer can pick up subtle clues by being a good listener. • Protect evidence that might be in danger of being destroyed (weather poses a big problem for crime scenes). Sometimes, it’s important to expand the crime scene area as an added precaution.

2. Searching the Crime Scene

Cooperation. Dedication. Experience. Crime scene examination must be done in a careful and methodical manner. A crime scene is three dimensional, it’s imperative that it be looked at it from that perspective.

Body

Never move the body or position the body prior to the investigation. Each investigator should approach the body one at a time, not in a group. This helps to determine if it has been moved, altered, or staged. Take detailed notes of everything. Sketch what you see. Describe the clothing, condition, new or old wounds, defense wounds, position, signs of struggle, evidence, etc.

Photographs

Fingerprint Evidence

Fingerprint evidence is the most delicate evidence and should be searched, documented, and collected first. Weather and other environmental factors play an important role.

• Latent, visible, and molded or plastic prints can be found at or around the crime scene area. • Photograph the prints before lifting them. • Prints from other sources can also be found at the crime scene, such as wrist, palm, foot, and lip or ear prints.

Expanding the SearchOnce the body has been removed from the crime scene, investigators should begin to systematically check the remainder of the area, whether it’s a house, business, vehicles, etc.

Curious Onlookers at the Crime Scene
• Keep onlookers away from the scene in order to prevent contamination. • Keep detailed notes of evidence, make sure that outside onlookers didn’t leave anything that might be misconstrued as crime scene evidence. • Keep other officers out of the scene that aren’t working the area. • In large common areas, such as streets and walkways, cordoned off several areas for searches. • Make sure there is only one way in and out of the crime scene to make sure that it can’t be contaminated.
3. Comparing Forensic Evidence

From any crime show that we’ve viewed on television or in the movies, there is that moment where the evidence matches and the suspect is then brought to justice. They make it seem so easy and it only take a few moments. It’s definitely much more complicated than it looks and the forensic professionals who make that positive distinction are nothing less than exemplary in their work.

The microscope is the key piece of equipment in a forensic lab. It’s an optical instrument that uses a lens or a combination of lenses to magnify and resolve the fine details of a particular object of interest.

There are five main types of microscopes that are used most frequently in examining forensic evidence in crime scene investigations:

This microscope consists of a mechanical system that supports both the microscope and optical system. It illuminates the object and passes light through a series of lenses to form an image of the specific specimen as seen by the eye. There are a number of magnifying powers, such as 10x, 20x, 200x, or 450x.

Comparison Microscope

This is a common microscope used in forensic labs because it offers a side-by-side comparison of specimens. It’s basically two compound microscopes combined into one unit. The unique feature allows it to use a bridge incorporating a series of mirrors and lenses to join two independent objective lenses into a singe unit. This microscope is effective in comparing bullets, hair, and fibers.

Stereoscopic Microscope

This type of microscope is used to characterize the structures of physical evidence that do not necessarily need a high magnification. It’s generally in the magnification range of 10x to 125x. It gives a distinctive three-dimensional image of the object. It is no doubt the most commonly used microscope in the forensic lab.

Polarizing Microscope

This type of microscope uses the polarizer by transmitting light vibrating in the vertical plane only. It’s similar to Polaroid sunglasses and it appears no different to the eye from ordinary light. The result makes the specimen readily distinguishable by allowing the polarized light to pass through the analyzer. It will then produce vivid colors and intensity in the contrasts, such as with soils and crystalline substances.

Microspectrophotometer

This microscope device is essentially combining and linking a new dimension of the computer to the microscope. It assists with visual comparison by enhancing color as with specimens such as paint, fiber, and ink evidence.

* * *

Whether or not the crime is solved today, tomorrow, or sometime in the future, it’s important that every crime be taken seriously and all the appropriate steps are taken to ensure the integrity of the evidence, and hopefully the guilty will be brought to justice.

Please check out Jennifer's fictional crime novels here:

http://jenniferchase.vpweb.com/

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Birthing a New Series: The Lakota Brothers


Raven Wolf is a new author of Paranormal Romance. She shares a description of a forthcoming novel which will birth a series of six books.

Gary, first of all, I want to thank you for giving me an opportunity for being able to express how important it is as for a Native American writer to share the meaning behind my works. When I first began writing the” Lakota Brother’s series”, the original title was actually: “The Lakota Blood Brother’s Series” I began writing a diary to a man who I only knew in dreams. As an avid reader myself, I decided to flesh him out and the only way to do this was to create a story line for him, for us.

The Lakota Brother’s Series is a story that contains not only the spiritual, but cultural essence of a nation. A legend called, “The White Buffalo Calf Woman” is told to the audience - a story that was told many moons ago of a woman who brought the seven sacred rites to the people, thereby becoming the dominant figure of the Lakota Nation. This woman, Raven, a mother of three, runs from those who call themselves the “Chosen” which is a secret worldwide organization that has sent their best to track her and take her out.

Following her Lakota beliefs, struggling to stay alive, she flees from one state to another, heading to Night Fall, Colorado. There, she finds love. She begins to realize that dreams do come true even in the mist of darkness.

Michael Thomas was chosen by the Wakinyan (The Thunder Beings) to lead the pack. With just a mere glance, Raven and Michael fall into a deep love they have never experienced. Due to that one stare, something changes. She feels a strong connection for a man she hardly knows. Raven begins to find out the true identity of Michael, the man from her dreams. She begins to realize events are about to happen which will change her life.

Raven finds it hard to handle truth; that her creativity, with the power of the moon, will bring premonitions to reality. Afraid and not fully understanding this power, she runs once more, not from the “Chosen”, but from love instead. Michael is aware of the dangerous situation that Raven and her family are in. He is put to the test struggling with his inner emotions. He is unaware Raven is not just a regular woman. Soon, he’ll find out she is more then he bargains for. His senses heightened with anticipation, his interest grows for her. She is not like the women he’s used to.

He decides to become her protector. Under his rebel command, his Lakota brothers follow Raven wherever she goes. Unaware that she is being followed, Raven takes off heading to Pierre, South Dakota. That’s when Michael and his brothers begin to discover that Raven isn’t really alone in her journey; it seems that supernatural forces are escorting her. They are warriors of Lakota, Dakota and Nokota territories. Raven just happens to stumble into a town where they are visiting. Was this a coincidence? Or was it destiny that brought them together?

The “Chosen” continues to track Raven. These dark, sinister supernatural forces are skin walkers and they are far from home. They are an enemy that won’t stop or compromise.

In all six of the Lakota Brother’s series, Raven reminds the brothers of what was long forgotten and needs to be brought back in order to live again. There will be many struggles - fighting evil and working side-by-side with a government that has no control of natural forces or understanding of the spiritual realm. 2012 is coming. Many things are beginning to shift. Many must unite by putting their differences to the side for the survival of human kind. Those who were enemies become close allys. The brothers must learn the meaning of what it is to be true warriors. By bringing back the old ways and blending them with the new, Michael begins to learn the true meaning of his existence. In the same time, he begins to understand the true meaning of unconditional love. Through Raven, he begins to unlock her hidden secrets that soon will be revealed when the moon is full.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Villians of Paranormal Fiction


This Writers' Blog features musings about villians by Heaven Liegh Eldeen, author of the DEMON SIDE. It seems today's villains are not as recognizable as they were in the past.

We hate them and we love them. No, I’m not talking about our spouses. I’m talking about the ever evolving villains of today’s fiction world. The writers of our generation have slyly and creatively blurred the lines of good and evil to the point of confusion. The villains they have created stand in the grey area between right and wrong. One page has you falling in love with the character, then comes the grand betrayal. Your once chivalrous knight suddenly transforms into the treacherous troll under the bridge.

Gone are the days when the bad guys were easily detectable by the huge hairy moles on the end of their freakishly protruding noses and maniacal hack saw teeth. Replacing their hideous appearance, now stands an ultra-sexy, uber-fit, flesh statue carved by the gods themselves.

With the mad-scientist lab coat in the trash, they don expensive tailor made suits and evening gowns that most of us wish we could afford to sniff. Their plots of evil doing no long involve taking over the tri-state area. Their conspiracies still centers around ruling the world, but for an understandable reason. Some great injustice haunts their past, forming their future as a force to be feared and reckoned with.

And say goodbye to the times when they hid away in the shadows, watching their henchmen completely fail at carrying out their dastardly plans of destruction. As full fledge respected members of high society, super villains today have Ivy League educations, unlimited resources, and employ a full state of the art army of highly trained mercenaries. And this just covers our human arch nemeses.

Our world is filling more and more with the ever growing paranormal fiction phenomenon. No longer do we care for the clichéd everyday anthropoid. We crave fangs, claws, and powers beyond our wildest understandings. But these traits banish them to the edges of our world, watching from the outside in.

With their super natural abilities, they suavely manipulate you into trusting their labyrinth of lies, wanting them carnally, believing in their campaign of annihilating innocence and willing to do anything for them, short of suicide. I am guilty of falling in lust with my fair share of bad boys and sulking in a pit of jealousy over the bad girls before and after their intentions were revealed.

But for the new twists on how we perceive villains, I am thankful. Without the trailblazer’s of yesterday’s paranormal fiction world, my novella, The Demon Side, probably would have been laughed out of the writing world.

To learn more about Heaven go to: www.heaveneldeen.com

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Research and Writing by JL Oiler


Prolific novelist JL Oiler shares some cautionary advice on story preparation with us. She also shares an excerpt from her latest book.

Research and Realism in the Romance World…..by JL Oiler

I am one of those readers who devour books that I enjoy. There is nothing like climbing into a story regardless of sub genre and being able to connect with the characters. However, I can’t help but notice that with the increase of availability of reads due to the e-book revolution, that a great number of authors fail to truly think or research the topics/genres they write. I truly believe to grab the author that a story requires elements of realism regardless whether you write paranormal, BDSM, historic, Sci-Fi, or any other of the zillion sub genres out there.

Honestly, if you’re going to give me a story about Rodeo then you should research the topic. Learn as much as possible so you’re not just blowing smoke. Believe me readers can peg a fake. It only takes a few careless mistakes to have it all come crashing around you. The same could be said about locations. If you select a real setting, you should at least checkout a map. Nothing worse than discovering the writer has made Garden City Kansas, ocean front property.

Time seems to be the biggest mistake made by authors. I once read a historical book that was great other than one sticking point for me. She had referred to a zoo in that country a good 75 years before the first opened. A simple mistake easily corrected with just a bit of research.

Well enough of my rant, on to something filled with a load of unrealism (I do love paranormal!). My latest release….

Title: Dead Force Rising

Publisher: Rebel Ink Press

Cover Art: Carl Franklin

Blurb:

Sergeant John Rose planned to make the military his life, at least until an eye condition threatened to rob him of that goal. Now the Army has another plan for him and four other soldiers that find themselves in the same boat. Together they will form the government’s latest weapon in a war John didn't even know they were fighting. A war on the monsters most people believe are just a figment of their imagination.

Thorn Grant lost her only brother a year ago when he was serving in Afghanistan. Now the paramedic finds herself doing a bit of civilian recon to help support his widow and small daughter. However, being a part-time spy is one job that isn't nearly as simple as she thought. After her mark catches her watching him, Thorn discovers not only is there more going on than she suspected, but that she has a connection with a certain Sergeant that goes far beyond just a physical attraction.

Excerpt:

Thorn looked at her watch and frowned. She still had another four hours until the end of her shift. She’d worked three days straight on the 3pm-3am shift and was anxious to call it a night, not that it had anything to do with it being Wednesday, well almost Thursday, and her having the next three days off. The radio squelch made her screw the lid back on her bottle of water and head for the ambulance. At least a call would make the time go a bit faster.

“Unit three respond, alleyway behind First, and Gordian Street South, report man down,” the dispatcher announced across the units speakers as both she and the driver fastened their seat belts.

Great, Thorn thought to herself as she grabbed the jump kit she kept between the seat and her driver, Keith Boyd, as he pulled out onto the ice-covered streets. It had been snowing off and on for the past few days but tonight Mother Nature seemed to be throwing everything she had on the roads. Most likely, this call involved yet another person succumbing to the bitter weather and was another slip and fall on an icy patch of ground. She’d taken in three such cases in the past five hours.

As they approached the scene, however, Thorn noted that no one was around the body, which was lying face down in a snowdrift the wind had created alongside a decaying stone wall. She thought it strange that the caller didn't hang around. When Keith pulled about twenty feet away, Thorn climbed out the door and headed for the body as the Keith went to grab the cot and some warm blankets from the back.

The bitter, cold wind cut through Thorn's uniform, making it feel as though she were wearing nothing at all. Kneeling beside the body she could now confirm as male, she felt the victim's neck for a pulse. Feeling nothing, she withdrew her hand, grabbed the body by the shoulders, and rolled the man face up. The site caught her off guard and Thorn stumbled back landing on her ass in the snow. The man’s entire neck had been torn open, his dead eyes locked wide in what appeared to be absolute horror.

A loud thump and yelp from Keith drew her attention from the body. Jumping back to her feet, she hurried around the ambulance fearing he might have fallen on the icy street. Instead, she came to a sliding stop at the back of the unit with her eyes wide. Keith was on the ground about five feet from the back doors of the ambulance, her jump bag lying on the ground, its contents spilling across the snow. Her driver lay sprawled across the cold ground, eyes staring into the sky, a silent scream on his face as a man dressed in jet black leaned over his throat. Blood turned the snow around Keith a bright red in the flickering lights of the dim street lamp.

Thanks for having me. It was an honor! Folks can stop by and visit with me at my site www.joiler.weebly.com or look me up on facebook!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Natasha Larry, writing the supernatural...


Guest author Natasha Larry paints a vivid picture of how she breathes life into her creations in this blog about her latest book: DARWIN'S CHILDREN. I am proud to have her as my first guest post on this new writers' blog. This is a forum for all authors of fiction to have a haven to post blogs about writing and their works. Giveaways are coming soon. For now, enjoy this blog!

The Glass Room

I started writing Darwin’s Children after a two-year stretch of writer’s block. At times I would start to write what was originally intended for an adult audience, but all I had was my passion for the topic and a list of characters that were too hard to write. I almost gave up on my writing at the time until I had a very disturbing daydream.

I was sipping coffee in my living room when suddenly; I saw a large glass room filling up slowly with dark smoke. As the smoke dissipated, I could see a man pleading with a beautiful young girl, who had one hand placed on the other side of the glass, staring inside, with her emerald green eyes. Then I saw a lithe, ivory figure with violet-blue eyes that clearly weren’t human, grab the man as he pleaded for his life. Her fangs extended as she bit into his neck viciously, and I knew that this was the vampire Sasha Gray.

Here is the prologue that sparked a series of books.

From the other side of the glass, Mason Lerner watched Haylee Mitchell circle the monster like an aerial hunter while Sasha Gray stood like a statue, waiting. The revulsion Haylee felt was visible in the air around her. Mason had to stop himself from going in there and killing the man himself – his perverted and cowardly thoughts were sickening.

Mason watched Haylee’s mouth move. Her eyes were cold and unforgiving. She leaned over the man who’d stolen her very soul and whispered something that filled his face and thoughts with terror. Then silence filled the room. Mason could tell that Haylee had said everything she needed to say. He stuck his head in and met her eyes. There was something there he couldn’t place ... something that worried him. “Haylee,” he entreated, trying to keep the emotion out of his voice. “I don’t think...”

Haylee glared him to silence. He already knew she wanted to be there in the room when it happened. He hesitated until he saw the need in her mind. She had to do this her way. It was her battle to fight.

He nodded to Sasha Gray and retreated from the room, closing the door behind her. He watched her move with an unsettling grace, like an undead ballerina preparing for the hunt. Her alien blue eyes flashed with thirst.

Sasha gave Haylee one last questioning look. Haylee nodded, and Sasha went to her victim. It looked as if the vampire was simply giving him an intimate kiss, but Mason could hear her razor-sharp teeth ripping the flesh away from his neck. Mason had deliberately shut himself off from the man’s mind, but he could still see the utter agony in his eyes. Being burned alive by his own daughter would have been a serene death compared to this. Mason knew the pain accompanying a vampire’s bite was so incomprehensible that the living world held no equivalent to it. No one had even given voice to it. It was the physical equivalent to Haylee’s internal pain. Possibly even worse.

The man’s face twisted in agony and, despite his psychic defense, Mason still heard a whisper of the scream inside his head that never escaped his lips. His body offered no relief. The pain was trapped inside. He couldn’t go into shock or pass out. He felt every ounce of his blood being sucked out of him. His organs gave out, one by one, and he quickly went mad from the pain.v
The dying man looked up at Haylee smiling down at him sadistically. As his body fell to the floor with a dull thud, he finally understood Haylee’s pain. His body was drained, and his life was over.

So, I had to work backwards because I knew this was my book. I wrote the first book of Darwin’s Children, trying to explain the glass room. Within ten minutes I worked out that the reader wanted to watch him die, and as soon as I knew that, I knew how it would unfold. From then on, this has been the most fulfilling body of work I’ve ever written. The characters: Jaycie and Mason Lerner, Allison Young, John Gramm and Haylee Mitchell were so easy to write that it felt like I literally, put no thought into it. My experience writing this series has been indescribable and I hope readers come to love this world at least half as much as I do.

I’ll leave you with insight from one of the five characters I listed above, because his insight describes the world his family lives in better than I can.

John Gramm theorizes that, as the supernatural world increases in strength and number, the human race will, out of necessity grow more powerful with it. He also believes that the key to this change stems from the amygdala because “it is the heart of the human brain.”
vI hope readers find Darwin’s Children surprisingly original, and thank you again for having me here!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A New Publishing Option for Indie Authors


I came across this publishing service - geared for indie authors - during a visit to Good Reads. Amelia was happy to provide a description of her publishing service known as EZRead. In a publishing reality where many books are now both independently and electronically published, I felt this information would be good for the readers of my writers' blog.

EZRead.com – Your Friendly Online eBookstore and Publisher

There was a time, not too long ago, when independent writers were shunned for taking the uphill road less traveled, and digital books were viewed as 21st Century fads that would fizzle-out as mere gimmicks for the digital era. First impressions can be misleading, though.

Today, independent authors can be seen on New York Times Best Seller lists, and eBook sales are steadily increasing while paperback and hardback book sales are dropping. My my, how times change fast.

My name is Amelia, and I’m a bookaholic. Lucky for me, I work for the online eBookstore, EZRead.com, that has a love of independent authors and books in the digital era that match my own. As a publisher of indie authors, EZRead’s goal is to give indie authors the same chance at success that mainstream authors have.

Realizing that indie authors have their work cut out for them, we at EZRead do our best to help promote indie authors. Displaying indie books alongside mass market books, providing book reviews, author interviews, and creating special sales/promotions – these are just some of the ways that EZRead gives our indie authors more exposure. Our authors may be independent, but they don’t have to work independently. We’re here to help.

Getting work published with us is as easy as creating a log-in, and selecting the Publish Book icon. It is really that simple. There’s no need to cry over rejection letters with us. We send indie authors a contract to keep for their records, covering all of the EZRead stipulations. Authors have no fees in publishing, no fee for ISBNs, they receive 70% of their book sales, have an opportunity to publish on iTunes, retain all of the rights to their books, and receive promotion through reviews and interviews.

In addition, since EZRead was founded with the intention of breaking the rules of format restrictions on eReaders, indie authors have their eBooks published in formats that are accepted by the majority of eReaders, finding books easily, listed under our Indie Author Marketplace section.

We like to think of ourselves as your friendly online eBookstore, which is why we communicate with our authors and readers via email and social networks. EZRead doesn’t discriminate against any authors who want to publish, so feel free to dry those tears of rejection. As long as the rights of the books, novels, short stories, poetry, etc. are owned by the author, original and not illegal, then the work will be accepted and published. In short, nearly anyone can publish with us at EZRead.

So, say good-by to rejection letters, and say hello to your friendly online eBookstore and indie publisher, EZRead.com. Follow us online on Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads, or drop me an email at ameliaa@ezread.com to get more information.

We look forward to meeting and publishing with you.
-
EZRead Staffer, Amelia

Monday, October 10, 2011

Military Romance, A Genre Most Certainly Filled with Conflict

Military Romance is the featured genre in this new writers' blog. The work of Lee-Ann Graff Vinson is highlighted with Love's Trust. This excerpt certainly engages one in the drama of this genre; it's no surprise Lee-Ann is a firm believer in 'what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger.' Enjoy.

'Love's Trust' - Military/Romance

Daphne threw the car into reverse and backed out of the driveway. She could see her now ex-boyfriend, Mike, yelling at her, but the driving rain drowned out the possibility of hearing his scathing comments as it thundered down on the canvas roof of her Mercedes. Daphne would have laughed at the comical nature of Mike’s actions if it hadn’t been for the last six months of crap she had taken from this man. Another relationship bites the dust, and along with it another chance at happily-ever-after ground out like a spent cigarette. The possibility of finding a man who would treat her with the respect, hell even the common courtesy she deserved; seemed non-existent. As the car reached the edge of the driveway, Daphne turned the wheel and took one last look at Mike, standing there in his boxer shorts, giving her the finger. She felt dead inside. She focused on the road ahead and drove away from the promise of love.

Daphne wondered how she had ended up here again, how she always ended up here. She’d worked hard and won scholarships to put herself through university, graduating from Harvard with a degree in journalism. Daphne was smart and successful, so why could she not seem to find a man who appreciated her instead of always belittling her efforts? She shook her head as she drove along Pine Street, very thankful now that she hadn’t given up her apartment downtown when Mike had told her to. That had caused yet another argument but Daphne was not about to let go of her rent controlled, fully furnished apartment a mere two blocks away from her job as a reporter for The Boston Globe. No man was going to dictate where she lived or what she did again. Ever.

Daphne pulled into her designated parking spot at the newspaper. She turned off the engine and dropped her head back against the leather seat. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught the glitter of the parking lot lamplight reflecting off her stall nameplate in the downpour. Her boss had tacked a metal replica of a purple heart to it to remind her how close she had come to losing it all on her last assignment.

Daphne had been a slave to reporting the military political injustices of the world for the past eight years. She loved her job, which included travel to many war-torn areas. She’d seen the devastation caused by years of bullets and brutality. Her most recent trip to Iraq was one she’d steeled herself for. This time, instead of simply observing, Daphne got the chance to become part of the troops, and live the life of the American soldier. The assignment was one of the most difficult she’d ever taken, and she’d found that studying up on a topic and actually living it were two different things. She’d seen the terror on the faces of small children when the MRAP vehicle she was in rumbled along the dirt roadway through their village. Daphne had witnessed the missing limbs and scarred flesh of the civilian Iraqi men, women and children as she walked the dirt roads looking for (Improvised Explosive Devices or IED’s) with her assigned platoon. She was shown pictures of the enlisted friends of her troop members who no longer walked alongside them, but would never be forgotten. She saw first-hand the pain and suffering caused by militant war-mongers and it sickened her.

In her three months in Iraq, Daphne had gotten to know the soldiers very well. She’d watched as four young, vibrant, enthusiastic recruits became despondent shells of their former selves dealing with their injuries and the pain of being knocked down so early in their military career. In their eyes, the stigma of failing their country was worse than the injuries. The minds of soldiers were directed to giving their all for their country, and being sent home alive but crippled left them with a feeling of inadequacy almost unbearable to behold.

Daphne also remembered Sergeant John Romero, a well-respected leader amongst the men and women in his platoon, and the man who saved her when their patrol had triggered an IED. John lost his leg getting Daphne to the safety of the following MRAP vehicle. Two soldiers lost their lives on a day that was supposed to be a routine sweep. It continued to haunt Daphne that the IED wasn’t found when Sergeant Romero walked over it with his bomb detector. She wanted to do a follow-up story delving into the equipment failure rates of the military, but decided against it. She didn’t want to cause John any further angst over an incident he blamed himself for. John was thorough in his job. He never made errors. The day the explosion took the lives of his platoon members, his friends, he shut down. Daphne had tried to get him help, tried to make him keep the appointment with the psychologist the Army set up for him, but he refused.

John and Daphne were close, as close as the Army allowed without a reprimand. They drank many bottles of water together and shared a lifetime of memories in those months. Daphne was impressed by this quiet leader of men, who gave his all for his country and his platoon. He was the type of man you never forgot. Honorable. Courageous. Worthy.

Shortly after her return, Daphne wrote an award-winning article about her time in Iraq. It was an in-depth piece compiled from hours of interviews Daphne had conducted with the soldiers while they were in the field. It was her way of trying to help them heal. Once the piece was done, Daphne lost touch with the four wounded soldiers she flew back with after the accident, as well as with John. He’d told her that he needed to get away, needed to make sense of things. Daphne let him go, but her heart broke the day they said goodbye.

Still sitting in the car, Daphne closed her eyes and thought about one of the first nights she and John were on duty together. It was shortly after she had been trained to use the M9 9mm pistol. There was no way Daphne was going to be the weak link in this platoon. If she was going to live the life of a soldier, she needed to be trained as a soldier. Given the time constraints, she worked harder than she ever had at anything in her life. She was not going to let her platoon down. It paid off, she was a damn good shot with her weapon, even Lieutenant Jekholf was impressed.

John led Daphne around the perimeter of the camp, on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary. John had stopped to speak with one of his platoon members who had a few questions about the next days mission. Daphne thought she spotted movement behind one of the buildings. She did not want to interrupt them if it was nothing so, armed with her M9 and ready to shoot, Daphne walked in the direction of the possible intruder. She knew she was a decent shot and she momentarily got a little excited about the possibility of showing off her newfound talent. Daphne was close to rounding the corner of the building when common sense kicked in. The hair on the back of her neck stood up. The thought of coming face to face with the enemy scared the hell out of her. Sweat trickled down her back. She needed to pull it together and fast.

There was no way she was going to allow herself to lose it here. If mere kids could handle the stress of this type of situation, so could she. Daphne rounded the corner and could hear some rustling coming from a small shack that held sandbags. Before she could take aim, she was pressed roughly against the wall of the building and told to be quiet. Daphne’s heart was racing before, now it damn near exploded in fear. Her mouth was scared shut. She recognized the voice to be John’s and prayed that her stupid decision to go off alone wasn’t going to get them killed. John’s movements were quick and efficient. His gun was drawn and pointed as he silently made his way across open ground, and stood to the side of the doorway.

John nudged the door open further, using the tip of one boot to keep his hands free and on his weapon. Lighting was minimal in this area. Daphne felt her pupils dilating to compensate, almost willing herself to see something before it was too late. The shape was fast as it shot out past John’s boot. Daphne held a scream in her throat as she pulled her weapon to cover him. John took aim and shot. In less than a second, the form lay limp on the ground. Men and women came running from all directions with their weapons drawn.

Daphne was shaking and unable to move. Her hands trembled from the tight grasp on her weapon still aimed in the direction of the lifeless body. She stared at her platoon members now gathered around it, hearing a few of them laugh. She watched as someone patted John on the back before turning away and walking back to the camp. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. They were laughing. Someone was dead, and they were laughing. Daphne felt the heat as it rose within her. Her anger forced her shaking limbs to close the distance between her and the rest of her team.

AVAILABLE NOW THROUGH GYPSY SHADOW PUBLISHING, AMAZON, BARNES AND NOBLE AND SMASHWORDS
>br>http://www.amazon.com/Loves-Trust-ebook/dp/B004UN6AJI

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Meet Rue Volley, author of Blood & Light


This new writers' blog features Rue Volley who authors a vampire series. The story how Rue came to write and subsequently relate to her character is a candid one. Maybe you will feel the line is blurred between author and character, fantasy and reality, as you read this account in Rue's own words...

I am Rue Volley and I never expected to be a writer. My backstory is as complicated as anyone else's and I claim no great fame. I am just an artist who has created things my whole life. When I was younger I liked to sketch a lot and as time passed I stopped drawing and moved on to playing music. I have played violin and guitar for over 20 years and love them both. When I graduated from High School I was torn, I either wanted to go in to cosmetology, become a veterinarian or join the peace corp. I ended up joining a band and played and toured in that band for 12 years. After I lost my interest in touring and never feeling like I had one place to call home I settled down and started working in retail, it was then that I met my wonderful husband Von and within a year and a half we were married. I would guess that I was a handful when we moved in together as I was not used to getting up, sharing housework, going to work and not driving from state to state playing shows. My hats off to my husband who patiently watched me settle into a normal quiet life, which I absolutely love now (but in the beginning it was a huge adjustment).

For years after that we simply lived quietly, enjoying our mutual love for Japanese anime and visiting parks and art museums and then in February of 2010 I had a birthday that I thought was no big deal, but come to find out it was. I turned 40, and with this something strange happened with me...I started to write. Now people often ask me if I had written before and if you count High school papers, then yes...other than that I had written lyrics for my band. This was different though. I wrote the first two chapters of book one in my series (Blood & Light) in a journal, and quite honestly I had no idea what I was going to do with it. It was a story of one girls life...that of my own, but I mixed my favorite things into the story making it about vampires and anything else in the paranormal genre. I read, and re-read the first two chapters and realized that I was in fact writing the story of my life, as I based the main character on myself and the characters in her life on the people that I love in my world.

Then I received a call from my mother that my biological father had passed away on vacation from a sudden heart attack, they had not found him for 13 days as he was at home and a very private person in life. Suddenly I found myself helping to arrange a funeral for a man who I had not seen since I was seven years old and with that came many mixed feelings. I had always felt a deep remorse from his absence and a feeling of abandonment and as I sat there in the funeral home, staring at his urn, I lost it. Everything I had buried deep inside of me suddenly became a reality and when I returned home I started to sink into depression. I tried to function at my retail job but everyday became more of a struggle for me and within a couple of months I left that job and stayed at home, staring out the window and hoping that the feeling would pass, but it did not. I considered therapy but one day I pulled out my journal and there it was, "Blood & Light" and I purchased a laptop, transferred everything I had started to write into it and then I wrote, and when I say "wrote" I mean every single day for months on end. When I started to write book three in the series I was honestly at my lowest point in my depression and because of that my main character spent 11 chapters in an insane asylum as I felt that was where I trapped. Now I can say that the Blood & Light series is not depressing, although there are points in the story that you will feel the sorrow, it is packed to the brim with sarcasm, romance, battle scenes and everything else in between. What I did with this 6 book series (which I wrote in 11 months) is save myself. It was a do or die situation and any close friends to me will attest to that. I dumped everything of myself into it, how I feel about family, love, sex, loyalty, stories from my past and things that happened during the writing of the books. All I did was wrap the story of me in a veil of vampires and paranormal situations. So...this series is my legacy, and a testament to the will that we each have to survive everything we endure.

I appreciate anyone who gives the series a chance, as I am a new author...but I guarantee that reading it will be something you will never forget.I wrote every single word from my heart, in fact no one will ever know me better than reading this story that spans 5 years and beyond in the main characters life.

About Blood & Light...

Blood & Light is a conceptual series, a painting if you would like to think of it like that. Each book follows "Rue" from one birthday to the next as she tries to navigate her way through a world that she was not aware that she was even a part of. She is the author of the books and I think of her as a "recorder of time" more than an actual writer. Each book changes slightly in writing style as she matures and you will notice that as I wanted it to feel as if you were growing up with her. In book one Rue is struggling with abandonment issues as her Mother "Grace" has been committed to an insane asylum and her Father "William" has moved out to sit at her Mother's side, hoping for her recovery. This leaves Rue with her only sibling "Kai" who is only a year older than her and not mature enough to step into the parenting role for her. Rue is a private person, spending more time at the library than with friends and Kai convinces her to step outside of her self made box and attend a party with him. She reluctantly agrees and at this party the first paranormal situation occurs giving you the first clue that this story is not your typical teenage "finding your way" novel.

Rue is in a fact a vampire, as is her family...from an ancient race that lived in a city called "Valon". Rue's parents escaped the city and basically hid their children away from a group of vampires that felt as if humans were cattle, to be used as a food source, and not wanting their children to grow up this way they moved to a small town, using spells to glamour their existence. Protecting them from those who would want to do them harm for rebelling against the vampires in Valon. In my story the vampires do not receive their full powers until they turn 21, thus the reason that Rue and Kai are unaware of what they truly are. Now, I also wanted to add a new twist, so my vampires mainly feed on energy from people and the earth's core (as I practice in energy myself, that of the Chakra) and I mixed this element into it, blood is still a factor but it is mainly something that pops up when a sexual situation occurs or for some of the more devious vampires in my story...they also feed on the blood, even though they do not have too. Now, each vampire in my story is assigned a "color" based on the chakra, each color represents a "strength" so if you lead with your heart in life your color is red, with your mind...it is green and so on and so forth. The reason I mention this is because these vampires can see the colors swirling in the air when they track for food or track each other, it also swirls on their skin (like oil in water) when they are battling or in a sexual situation, they also "draw" this energy from the earth's core and into their katana's when they battle, poisoning the blade to any they stab with them. The colors swirl on the blades too. This is the reason it is called "Blood & Light".

There is also a love triangle going on in Rue's life in book one and a pretty intense one at that. She is trying to handle her new realization of what she is, her old infatuation with a boy by the name of Johnathan Graph and a new boy, who is one of my favorite characters in the series...that of Joshua Barrington, a vampire himself who has a beautiful way of anoying Rue right into insanity and seduction. Book one is an introduction to a deep and epic story of Rue Volley, and it twists and turns taking you on a wild ride. Each chapter is written as if you are watching a television series and each book a season. I invite you to take this journey with the characters of Blood & Light and become engulfed in a world of vampires who are relatable, struggling with their own problems as we all do. You will laugh, cry and never forget it...I can guarantee that.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Rue-Volley-Blood-Light-Series/166002266766880 ...facebook fanpage.

http://ruevolley.moonfruit.com/ ...my website.

http://www.vamptasypublishing.co.uk/# ...my publishers website (Vamptasy Publishing)

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/74866 ...buy the books, on smashwords.com

http://www.amazon.com/Blood-and-Light-ebook/dp/B005DSAQRG/ref=sr_1_14?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1311282173&sr ...amazon.com

http://www.youtube.com/user/ruevolley#p/a/f/2/Kt6qMeUtG18 ...youtube book trailers for my books.

Other information...

I am signed to Vamptasy Publishing in the UK. Currently I have two titles out, that of book one & two in the Blood & Light Vampire series with them. "Blood & Light" and "Smoke & Mirrors". Both are available in ebook, but book one will soon be available in print, book two will print in November 2011 and book three will release in ebook form in October. Book four will release after the first of the year and the final 2 books in the series will be out before the end of 2012. I am also one of four authors of a book that just released through vamptasy called "Red Wine" available on vamptasypublishing.co.uk and I am currently writing another series in the erotic fetish genre called "The Razor Saga" https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Razor-Saga/248345401874913 (facebook fanpage) and http://therazorsaga.moonfruit.com/ (website). This book series will also be out very soon straight to print, it is a mini series and adult in nature. The Blood & Light Vampire series is also adult in nature with language, sexual situations and violence and as the series progresses it gets more graphic in nature as the characters mature.

I am also the owner of "Volley View Photography" https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Volley-View-Photography/186452858074246 (facebook fanpage) and I have been shooting the characters and designing book trailers, posters and book covers for the last year and a half.

I also have an online group called "Volley View" https://www.facebook.com/groups/174661032606225/ . Which is a wonderfully talented and very supportive group of artists in all genres to network and help each other out. Please feel free to join.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Quest for Adventure, Amy Lignor's latest novel


Read about author Amy Lignor's adventurous new novel.

The Masters of Action and Adventure Are Now Joined by a Mistress!

Adventure is a chance for the imagination to soar, adrenalin to rise, and sweat to form on the upper lip as a reader becomes a part of history. Clive Cussler is a master at this art form, and now a book has come along that bestselling authors are calling, “The DaVinci Code with Heart.”

This incredible series -Tallent & Lowery - has just debuted with the first action-packed book released titled, 13. From the get go, reviewers and readers have been captivated and entranced, with more than one reviewer saying that if these books aren’t turned into movies than the production companies in America have literally lost their minds.

A slightly sarcastic, extremely witty librarian is the main character of this thrill-ride. Leah Tallent has been the Head Research Librarian at the New York Public Library for years. Her mind houses a seriously large card catalogue that allows her to reference every single facet of history, and all she loves to do is be alone in the book stacks behind the doors that are guarded by patience and fortitude. But what Leah really needs is to find the patience and fortitude she will need in order to get through the adventure that’s about to come knocking on her door.

Gareth Lowery is a man on a real-life treasure hunt. And the one thing he knows that Leah Tallent does not, is that there is something hidden in the New York Public Library that has been three since the cornerstone of the library as set into the ground. The only other person who knows this artifact is there is a man by the name of Andrew Carnegie - one man responsible for the building of the Library back in the early 1900’s. Here, in his beloved cathedral, he placed an artifact that leads to one of the most miraculous finds that any adventurer could possibly stumble upon
.
When Lowery and Tallent meet up at Library event, these two characters come together for a very definitive reason - a reason that will soon lead them to the haunted Winchester House in San Jose; the streets of Whitechapel where an artifact was left behind in the last known location that The ripper walked. From there to a location of pure miracles and then on to the home of the Devil, himself - a self-proclaimed genius who lived on the shores of Loch Ness and knew far more than people ever thought he had.

Leah Tallent & Gareth Lowery must follow the clues that will lead to the ultimate treasure - a treasure that will have readers gasping as the real-life historical characters and real-life historical locations all come together to form a mystery of monumental proportions. THIS is the book for the masses. And readers will be “running to Google to take a look at these amazing pieces of history to see if the author was right. Was she? You will be amazed!

Yes, the vampires of Twilight have ruled the screen for a good long time, now, but now the world of nonstop action and adventure is back! There are even some reviewers who think viewers may just see one of the beloved fanged-ones pop up in the screen adaptation of Tallent & Lowery: 13. But perhaps this time, he really will be a bad guy!

The first in a series of books that will blow the mind and make fans hungry for more! Check out Tallent & Lowery: 13 as fast as possible. If you are a book lover you will be over the moon with happiness; if you’re not a book lover - with Tallent & Lowery - you are about to become one!

A thrilling beginning to what will be the ultimate ride of your lives!

By Amy Lignor

Link to book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12576713-tallent-lowery-13

Monday, September 26, 2011

Will artificial life spawn artificial love?


My inspiration to write the novel, Gods of the Machines, basically comes down to one word of inspiration: sentient. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sentient as ‘feeling or sensation as distinguished from perception or thought.” The ability to feel defines our consciousness as humans. It is what distinguishes us from other devices capable of thought or calculation i.e. computers. And although that line of separation, the inability of your laptop to feel emotion, is pretty thick at the moment, there may come a time when that line will either be blurred or crossed. Maybe you are skeptical that robots or perhaps, androids – beings that resemble humans – will ever exist in the way we see them in movies such as I Robot. But there are signs that technology is advancing and that robotics is becoming more and integrated into our everyday life.

The latest cutting edge cell phone operating system is called Android or Droid for short. Although a phone is a long way from a walking, talking android, it seems to show the very idea of such technology is seeping into the consumer consciousness. In Japan, actual android/robots have been created! They have skin made of silicon, and sensors allow them to react. They appear to blink and even breathe! But what they don’t possess is sentience. And because they don’t, I believe these creations will be ripe for exploitation. Robots are already in use in battlefields. Androids such as the life-like creations in Japan may be used for servitude as well, perhaps as nursing aides.

So the idea of robots is really not that extreme or fantastical. For the most part, they are here. Will it be all right to use them for servitude? Most every science fiction story of the last half century portrays them in that manner. Think of Bicentennial Man. But in that movie, there is a difference because that robot evolves, so much, that it actually becomes human. Still, the robot is portrayed as a servant, although its owner treats it with respect.

Will humanity treat robots with respect once they grow in number? People who perceive them as mere machines such as a computer will probably dismiss the idea of expending emotion on objects. But others may feel compelled to interact with androids as if they were human, even if they don’t possess self awareness or are unable to feel genuine emotion.

In Gods of the Machines, the androids James Starkman and Juanita Lopez will find love. Each sympathetic to the other’s plight, neither find themselves totally accepted, and worse for Starkman, he is the prime suspect in a murder investigation. In this future, robots have yet to attain the full rights of humans. But as they inch closer to this goal, the idea that androids can love each other and that humans have had sexual relations with them almost makes it absurd that these beings aren’t considered humans. They are just another kind of human; instead of biological, they are artificial. But both can love.

Find out more about Gods of the Machines at www.garystarta.net

Comment and you may win a book!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Heidi Ruby Miller: UPCOMING RELEASES

Heidi Ruby Miller: UPCOMING RELEASES: NEW IN THE AMBASADORA-VERSE IN 2011

Fragger: Book 2 of Ambasadora
"I believe the problem stems from her bio-lights," Yul said.

Sea...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

As part of the Out of this World Blog Tour 2011, I am proud to host author Lisa Lane. Lisa likes to mix up genres, something I am partial to myself. She also intends to convey a message in addition to entertaining. I will let Lisa say it best, in her own words. Remember to comment for a chance to win one of her books...
Writing with Reason

Writing multiple genres can get complicated, not because of differences in voice and style, but because of thematic and literary ones. Moreover, as an eclectic gal, I’m often tempted to blur the lines a little more than I should: politically charged speculative tidbits find their way into my romantic sci-fi; my satire is rarely humorous; and I’ve been known to throw in a splash of erotica into my dystopia and horror.

So why not just pick a genre and stick with it? Sounds simple, right? It would be simple—if I had just one reason for writing—but the fact of the matter is my reasons for writing are varied and many. Among the most important are:

Reason #1: Not to abuse Maugham’s famous quote, but I write because I must. The words started piling up in my head when I was eight or nine. At that time, I found myself no longer content just reading what others wrote, but compelled to record the stories I began to experience in my own mind’s eye. I found that the stories would begin to haunt me if I did not “release” them in a timely manner.

Reason #2: I want to bring entertainment and joy to others. I get giddy when I learn that a reader has enjoyed one of my stories. It is one of my greatest delights.

Reason #3: I want to change the world. Yeah, that’s about a cliché as it gets, but it’s actually the strongest driving factor behind my writing. As a speculative fiction writer, I have at my fingertips the potential to touch people in ways I might not be able to otherwise. I can write about alternate worlds with governments similar to ours, about worldwide wars over aliens’ religious differences, or about worlds destroyed by human-like greed. Saying something, making a point, is important to me in my writing.

As a result, I have novels and short stories that range from literary to erotic science fiction romance and horror. My two most recent releases, Myths of Gods and “Super Nova” exemplify this.

Myths of Gods is a dramatic sci-fi satire that spans from the Big Bang to present day, speculating God’s thoughts on the various beliefs, conflicts, and holy wars that have existed since the dawn of humankind. A prologue and epilogue, each subtitled “The Beginning,” frame the story, which in itself is a fictitious account of an infant, fallible deity that stumbles upon creation and then struggles to make sense of it all.

“Super Nova,” on the other hand, is a spicy sci-fi short included in an anthology titled Three’s a Charm, edited by Lori Perkins. While I secretly tucked in commentary on sexual tolerance, using a hermaphrodite alien species to represent bisexuality, make no mistake that “Super Nova” is a work of erotic romance—meant to entertain, amuse, and arouse.

I often write two or three stories at a time, much like some avid readers will read multiple books at a time. For me, it’s a good way to work around writer’s block, as a shift in genres helps me to let go of whatever over-thinking might be holding me back in any given story. It works well for me; however, I have found the need to use different pen names—purely to delineate my “adult” works from my “literary” ones. I am 100% transparent about my use of them, hiding from no one that Lisa Lane and Leigh M. Lane are one in the same. I’m proud to be eclectic.

So, my question for all of you readers today is this: What are your expectations when it comes to authors and genre? Do you appreciate consistency, or do you like a little variety in your favorite authors’ works? Leave your thoughts for a chance to win an electronic copy of one of my published books. Leave a particularly insightful comment, and I might just send you a signed paperback (sorry, continental U.S. only, due to shipping costs).

Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to chatting with you.

Lisa (Leigh M.) Lane

For more information on my writing, stop by my website: http://www.cerebralwriter.com For more about my erotica, go to http://newsensuality.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Author Jennifer Chase, Crime/Suspense Writer

I am honored to host guest blogger Jennifer Chase, criminologist and award-winning author. Here is some pertinent background on Jennifer. I find it fascinating that when Jennfier writes about profiling a killer, she really knows her stuff. I am hoping she will be back soon to talk about crime scene investigation.
Jennifer Chase holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s in criminology. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She’s a member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.
Jennifer is an author, freelance writer, and a criminologist. She has authored three thriller novels Compulsion, Award-Winning Dead Game, and Silent Partner. She has authored a non-fiction book How to Write a Screenplay, incorporating a step-by-step process to write a screenplay. She currently assists clients in publishing, ghostwriting, book reviews, blogs, articles, screenwriting, editing, and research.
Jennifer was born and raised in California where she currently resides with her husband, two dogs, and two incorrigible cats. She developed a love for books and writing at an early age.
She has an intense curiosity about crime and the varied connections between the actual crime and the criminal mind. This propelled her to return to school and earn her master’s degree in 2008. Her academic background has helped to prepare her to write in the thriller and true crime genres.
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SILENT PARTNER
One Cop, One Serial Killer, One Witness
Who Will Survive?
K9 Units Northern California’s elite Police K9 Units arrive at an abandoned warehouse after a high-speed chase and apprehend two killers after they have fled a grisly murder scene. This barely scratches the surface of a bloody trail from a prolific serial killer that leads to unlocking the insidious secrets of one family’s history, while tearing a police department apart.
Jack Davis, a top K9 cop with an unprecedented integrity, finds himself falling for a beautiful murder suspect and struggling with departmental codes.
Megan O’Connell, suffering from agoraphobia, is the prime murder suspect in her sister’s brutal murder.
Darrell Brooks, a psychopath who loves to kill, is on a quest to drive Megan insane for profit.
Everyone is a suspect. Everyone has a secret. Someone else must die to keep the truth buried forever. Silent Partner is a suspense ride along that will keep you guessing until the bitter end.
Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com/
***************************************************************************************************************************** Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com/
*********************************************************************************************************************** Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
************************************************************************************************ Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Silent Partner by Jennifer Chase is 2011 Silver Award Winner - Best Suspense - Readers Favorite
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Thursday, September 15, 2011


Guest author Natasha Larry paints a vivid picture of how she breathes life into her creations in this blog about her latest book: DARWIN'S CHILDREN. I am proud to have her as my first guest post on this new writers' blog. This is a forum for all authors of fiction to have a haven to post blogs about writing and their works. Giveaways are coming soon. For now, enjoy this blog!

The Glass Room

I started writing Darwin’s Children after a two-year stretch of writer’s block. At times I would start to write what was originally intended for an adult audience, but all I had was my passion for the topic and a list of characters that were too hard to write. I almost gave up on my writing at the time until I had a very disturbing daydream.

I was sipping coffee in my living room when suddenly; I saw a large glass room filling up slowly with dark smoke. As the smoke dissipated, I could see a man pleading with a beautiful young girl, who had one hand placed on the other side of the glass, staring inside, with her emerald green eyes. Then I saw a lithe, ivory figure with violet-blue eyes that clearly weren’t human, grab the man as he pleaded for his life. Her fangs extended as she bit into his neck viciously, and I knew that this was the vampire Sasha Gray.

Here is the prologue that sparked a series of books.

From the other side of the glass, Mason Lerner watched Haylee Mitchell circle the monster like an aerial hunter while Sasha Gray stood like a statue, waiting. The revulsion Haylee felt was visible in the air around her. Mason had to stop himself from going in there and killing the man himself – his perverted and cowardly thoughts were sickening.

Mason watched Haylee’s mouth move. Her eyes were cold and unforgiving. She leaned over the man who’d stolen her very soul and whispered something that filled his face and thoughts with terror. Then silence filled the room. Mason could tell that Haylee had said everything she needed to say. He stuck his head in and met her eyes. There was something there he couldn’t place ... something that worried him. “Haylee,” he entreated, trying to keep the emotion out of his voice. “I don’t think...”

Haylee glared him to silence. He already knew she wanted to be there in the room when it happened. He hesitated until he saw the need in her mind. She had to do this her way. It was her battle to fight.

He nodded to Sasha Gray and retreated from the room, closing the door behind her. He watched her move with an unsettling grace, like an undead ballerina preparing for the hunt. Her alien blue eyes flashed with thirst.

Sasha gave Haylee one last questioning look. Haylee nodded, and Sasha went to her victim. It looked as if the vampire was simply giving him an intimate kiss, but Mason could hear her razor-sharp teeth ripping the flesh away from his neck. Mason had deliberately shut himself off from the man’s mind, but he could still see the utter agony in his eyes. Being burned alive by his own daughter would have been a serene death compared to this. Mason knew the pain accompanying a vampire’s bite was so incomprehensible that the living world held no equivalent to it. No one had even given voice to it. It was the physical equivalent to Haylee’s internal pain. Possibly even worse.

The man’s face twisted in agony and, despite his psychic defense, Mason still heard a whisper of the scream inside his head that never escaped his lips. His body offered no relief. The pain was trapped inside. He couldn’t go into shock or pass out. He felt every ounce of his blood being sucked out of him. His organs gave out, one by one, and he quickly went mad from the pain.v
The dying man looked up at Haylee smiling down at him sadistically. As his body fell to the floor with a dull thud, he finally understood Haylee’s pain. His body was drained, and his life was over.

So, I had to work backwards because I knew this was my book. I wrote the first book of Darwin’s Children, trying to explain the glass room. Within ten minutes I worked out that the reader wanted to watch him die, and as soon as I knew that, I knew how it would unfold. From then on, this has been the most fulfilling body of work I’ve ever written. The characters: Jaycie and Mason Lerner, Allison Young, John Gramm and Haylee Mitchell were so easy to write that it felt like I literally, put no thought into it. My experience writing this series has been indescribable and I hope readers come to love this world at least half as much as I do.

I’ll leave you with insight from one of the five characters I listed above, because his insight describes the world his family lives in better than I can.

John Gramm theorizes that, as the supernatural world increases in strength and number, the human race will, out of necessity grow more powerful with it. He also believes that the key to this change stems from the amygdala because “it is the heart of the human brain.”
vI hope readers find Darwin’s Children surprisingly original, and thank you again for having me here!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Guest Author Natasha Larry talks about DARWIN'S CHILDREN

I am excited to PREMIERE the launch of Gary Starta's Writers' blog - a forum for novelists... I am guest hosting author NATASHA LARRY who paints a vivid picture of both creating her characters and bringing them to the page. Hope you enjoy it! The Glass Room I started writing Darwin’s Children after a two-year stretch of writer’s block. At times I would start to write what was originally intended for an adult audience, but all I had was my passion for the topic and a list of characters that were too hard to write. I almost gave up on my writing at the time until I had a very disturbing daydream. I was sipping coffee in my living room when suddenly; I saw a large glass room filling up slowly with dark smoke. As the smoke dissipated, I could see a man pleading with a beautiful young girl, who had one hand placed on the other side of the glass, staring inside, with her emerald green eyes. Then I saw a lithe, ivory figure with violet-blue eyes that clearly weren’t human, grab the man as he pleaded for his life. Her fangs extended as she bit into his neck viciously, and I knew that this was the vampire Sasha Gray. Here is the prologue that sparked a series of books. From the other side of the glass, Mason Lerner watched Haylee Mitchell circle the monster like an aerial hunter while Sasha Gray stood like a statue, waiting. The revulsion Haylee felt was visible in the air around her. Mason had to stop himself from going in there and killing the man himself – his perverted and cowardly thoughts were sickening. Mason watched Haylee’s mouth move. Her eyes were cold and unforgiving. She leaned over the man who’d stolen her very soul and whispered something that filled his face and thoughts with terror. Then silence filled the room. Mason could tell that Haylee had said everything she needed to say. He stuck his head in and met her eyes. There was something there he couldn’t place ... something that worried him. “Haylee,” he entreated, trying to keep the emotion out of his voice. “I don’t think...” Haylee glared him to silence. He already knew she wanted to be there in the room when it happened. He hesitated until he saw the need in her mind. She had to do this her way. It was her battle to fight. He nodded to Sasha Gray and retreated from the room, closing the door behind her. He watched her move with an unsettling grace, like an undead ballerina preparing for the hunt. Her alien blue eyes flashed with thirst. Sasha gave Haylee one last questioning look. Haylee nodded, and Sasha went to her victim. It looked as if the vampire was simply giving him an intimate kiss, but Mason could hear her razor-sharp teeth ripping the flesh away from his neck. Mason had deliberately shut himself off from the man’s mind, but he could still see the utter agony in his eyes. Being burned alive by his own daughter would have been a serene death compared to this. Mason knew the pain accompanying a vampire’s bite was so incomprehensible that the living world held no equivalent to it. No one had even given voice to it. It was the physical equivalent to Haylee’s internal pain. Possibly even worse. The man’s face twisted in agony and, despite his psychic defense, Mason still heard a whisper of the scream inside his head that never escaped his lips. His body offered no relief. The pain was trapped inside. He couldn’t go into shock or pass out. He felt every ounce of his blood being sucked out of him. His organs gave out, one by one, and he quickly went mad from the pain. The dying man looked up at Haylee smiling down at him sadistically. As his body fell to the floor with a dull thud, he finally understood Haylee’s pain. His body was drained, and his life was over. So, I had to work backwards because I knew this was my book. I wrote the first book of Darwin’s Children, trying to explain the glass room. Within ten minutes I worked out that the reader wanted to watch him die, and as soon as I knew that, I knew how it would unfold. From then on, this has been the most fulfilling body of work I’ve ever written. The characters: Jaycie and Mason Lerner, Allison Young, John Gramm and Haylee Mitchell were so easy to write that it felt like I literally, put no thought into it. My experience writing this series has been indescribable and I hope readers come to love this world at least half as much as I do. I’ll leave you with insight from one of the five characters I listed above, because his insight describes the world his family lives in better than I can. John Gramm theorizes that, as the supernatural world increases in strength and number, the human race will, out of necessity grow more powerful with it. He also believes that the key to this change stems from the amygdala because “it is the heart of the human brain.” I hope readers find Darwin’s Children surprisingly original, and thank you again for having me here!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Out of this World Blog Tour Begins soon!

OUT OF THIS WORLD BLOG TOUR BEGINS....Sci fi/Romance authors will be guest posting on these blogs...Come and visit and maybe win a free book... September 16 Greta van der Rol at the Cerebral Writer http://www.cerebralwriter.com/blog.html September 17 Paula Dooley at Amber Norris’ blog http://sci-fiadventures.blogspot.com/ September 18 Gary Starta at Melisse Aires’ blog http://melisseaires.blogspot.com September 19 Frances Pauli at Paula Dooley’s blog http://dianedooley.wordpress.com/ September 20 Amber Norris at Joe Vasicek’s blog http://onelowerlight.com/writing September 21 Lilly Cain at Anne Kane’s blog http://www.annekane.wordpress.com/ September 22 Joe Vasicek at Frances Pauli’s blog http://francespauli.blogspot.com/ September 23 Lisa Lane at Gary Starta’s blog http://godsmachinesandroids.blogspot.com/ September 24 Melisse Aires at Lilly Cain’s blog http://www.annekane.wordpress.com/ September 25 Anne Kane at Lisa Lane’s blog http://newsensuality.blogspot.com Let's make this year's tour even better than the last!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Android rights... Artificial vs. Organic...

GODS OF THE MACHINES EXCERPT – Android Rights “What are we doing here?” Sam posed the question not really prepared for the answer. He could hear his heart pound. He licked his lips for moisture. “I think we should just cool it until we’ve settled this investigation.” Sam didn’t like Sandra’s answer. But it was logical. “And I’ve got to hand it to you Sam. You’re doing a swell job of crucifying Mr. Starkman.” “Hey, I didn’t know I was being monitored. I only wanted evidence. I didn’t know Mikasa would propose any recall.” Sam leaned back on a recliner, his new favorite resting space in the commune’s living quarters. The bedroom had somehow been transformed into a land mine of sorts over the past few days. For the past two nights, Benson had dozed on the recliner for half the night, waiting for Sandra to fall sound asleep. He feared intimacy right now, believing any attempt would only further estrange his fiancé from him. “You’ve helped to set a precedent – a very dangerous one I may add,” Sandra reminded Sam as he slid out of his cleats. “If the Earth governments allow this, the manufacturer can recall the androids at any time. It could destroy the whole rights movement.” “Well, I don’t like this Mikasa – his ‘generosity’ bothers me. I don’t think his objective is to take away fear. I think it’s about control.” “I’m glad you at least see that, Sam.” “I see things pretty clearly.” His upper lip twitched. He felt like breaking down. It seemed every word he uttered sent him another step away from Sandra – even here in the living room. He cringed, hoping his comment wouldn’t invite further verbal retaliation. But Sandra remained silent. “You know.” Benson stated pensively, “I spent our wedding day chasing a damn bee.” “It’s all part of the job.” Sandra laughed, but it came out sarcastic. “You know I don’t hate all machines, all artificial life. I do think the android might have been manipulated.” “How? By Mikasa, by Abassian?” “That’s possible. But I think the answer’s closer to home. I think some jealous spouses put Mr. Starkman up to this. But the evidence will bear this out once the search is conducted. And either way, I think Abassian will show the android is not defective.” “But Sam, Abassian’s bees were made by Mikasa’s firm. He’s not going to refute the man who made his dream possible.” “I already know as much. I talked with Abassian today. But what if Mikasa is holding something over Abassian’s head? If we establish guilt on the part of Mikasa, Abassian might reconsider his loyalty.” “Well Sam. What be Mikasa’s motive?” “He’s been awfully cooperative about passing the android bill of rights. I find that odd since he currently benefits from their free labor.” “How about if he changed his game plan? A savvy CEO would change with the times…” “So, Sandra, are you suggesting that Mikasa is after Starkman’s programming?’ “It makes perfect sense. Starkman’s technology is not patented. It couldn’t have been because Dr. McElroy created it illegally. So that leaves a big door open. Mikasa can simply take the technology McElroy created, patent it, and then become the exclusive manufacturer.” “Not if I can help it, Sandra. I’m not going to allow the recall. I’m still in charge of this investigation. If Starkman is guilty, he’ll be sentenced like any human. I won’t allow him to be violated. You’ve got my word on that.” “I hope so for Starkman’s sake.”

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Praise for Gods of the Machines: Praise for Gods of the Machines, romance/sci fi/cr...

Praise for Gods of the Machines: Praise for Gods of the Machines, romance/sci fi/cr...: What Humans are Saying
About Gods of the Machines

“Gary Starta has his own style, and he is destined to be among the greatest names in...

Praise for Gods of the Machines, romance/sci fi/crime

What Humans are Saying
About Gods of the Machines

“Gary Starta has his own style, and he is destined to be among the greatest names in science-fiction literature…his description of the characters and the environment of the new planet is so rich that he make us cheer for our heroes and participate in his fiction as if we were there, living the moment.”
- Roberto Mattos - Books and Movie Reviews

“Gary Starta fleshes out his futuristic tale, Gods of the Machines, with a kind of robot romanticism. Starta's novel drew me in with both his ongoing dichotomy between robots and humans, and this subtle sexual tension between all of the male and female characters. It was like crime/science fiction…”
- Monique Muro – Bookbum.com

“This novel explores the relationship between man and machine as it sends chills up your spine, while introducing sizzling romance.”
- Geraldine Ahearn – Geri’s Reviews

“Gods of Machines offers readers something from almost every popular genre. Characters that you love, hate, or really make you think. Sexual tension, romance, heroics, adventure, creatures, and science keep you turning the pages. The descriptive prose Starta pens is entertaining and wonderfully imaginative.”
- Jennifer Chase – Award Winning Crime Author

“Occam's razor should never be accepted so quickly. ‘Gods of the Machines’ is a fun and hard to put down science fiction thriller, recommended.”

- Midwest Book Review

Starta's writing style is fluid and precise. He very effectively creates another world for the reader to climb into, and paints emotional scenes that are hard to let go off. After the first few pages, the pacing is perfect, the characters are compelling and the author steps out of the sometimes stiff genre of science fiction, and gives readers a heart pounding romance with a sense of "what the hell is going to happen next?"
- Natasha Larry, author and reviewer

Gods of The Machines exhibits Starta's finesse for blending mystery, murder, romance, and adventure. His writing demonstrates a quality previously only exemplified by my favorite author, Jules Verne, where the reader is sucked into a mythical world that leaps from the pages. Starta's spellbinding imagination is magnificent and his dynamic character of Sam Benson offers a page turning read that draws the reader into the pages of this fantastic talea
- At Your Fingertips Reviews
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Gods of the Machines and his latest book can be found at Gypsy Shadow Press.