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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. – 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,, 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, Follow us online on Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads, or drop me an email at 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.


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 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.!/pages/Rue-Volley-Blood-Light-Series/166002266766880 ...facebook fanpage. website. publishers website (Vamptasy Publishing) the books, on 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 and I am currently writing another series in the erotic fetish genre called "The Razor Saga"!/pages/Razor-Saga/248345401874913 (facebook fanpage) and (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"!/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" . 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: