Category Archives: guest post

BOOK TOUR GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: Destroyed by Krys Fenner


by Krys Fenner

YA Thriller

Book Description

Bella has lived a rather boring life, but that all quickly changes. A new position in school forces her to take charge. A new boyfriend (her first), Jeremiah, hands her a confidence she has never known before. A new role in her church’s Fall Production makes her a leader. But that all gets destroyed when an attack by her father’s enemy turns her into the center of attention. Bella believes things couldn’t get worse, but they do. Can she survive the road of destruction and emerge stronger? Or has all that she gained been destroyed forever?


Using Psychology in Writing

by Krys Fenner

There are two ways to use psychology in writing. One gets very technical, while the other is more descriptive and action-oriented. There are two questions I would ask. Whose perspective is the story being told? And who is your audience? Once those are answered, then you’ll know how much terminology should be included in the manuscript.

Theoretically a work of non-fiction directed at a psychology student, psychologists, psychiatrist, or any counselor will be filled with more terminology than say a work of fiction intended for a young adult (12-18), new adult (18-25), or adult (25+) audience. Pieces of fiction are more likely to be action-based than using terminology. However, this again depends on the point of view character and your audience.

If the novel is written from the perspective of a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist then the use of technical terms is highly probable. But if the book is written from a character suffering a particular psychosis, the character isn’t going to think “I have an adjustment disorder with a depressed mood.” Instead, actions and words of that character will display the psychological issue. If I was an author writing this character, then I would take into consideration how to demonstrate their problem.

Let’s say Jane has just gotten divorced. To describe an adjustment disorder with depression, I would reference her problems sleeping or lack of appetite. I would write about Jane’s refusal to spend time with friends. Or how she misses time from work. I could show her crying a lot or getting frequent headaches. All of these things would be symptoms of the psychological issue without verbally giving it a name. So, what if the point of view were changed?

With all that is going on, Jane recognizes she has a problem and decides to go see a psychologist. The doctor Jane chooses consults with another psychologist in their practice. We’ll call Jane’s psychologist, Dr. Tracy. If I were writing the scene from Dr. Tracy’s point of view, then I am more likely going to use technical terms, especially if she is speaking to a colleague. However, as a writer I will take into consideration my audience. Who am I writing the story for? Do I expect people who read the novel to understand these terms? If not, I have two options: define the terms in the book or dumb the terminology down.

It isn’t hard to write a book using psychological issues without technological terms. You just have to know who your audience is and whose perspective the story should be told from. The difficulty is in making sure the actions and feelings the character displays are accurate and appropriate for the situation. If you can do that successfully, the terminology won’t matter; the story will.

About the Author

At the age of 16, Krys Fenner fell in love with Psychology and Creative Writing. At that time she wrote her first short story dealing with sexual abuse and forgiveness. Psychological issues in her family filled her with the desire to help others using her own experiences. So in 2004, she earned an Associate of Arts in Psychology. And while her sister is the one with dreams of becoming a Psychologist, Krys Fenner returned to Creative Writing. She is currently working on a Bachelor of Arts and plans to continue on to a Masters degree, where she can major in her first love (Creative Writing)  and minor in her second (Psychology).

Author Links:

(Destroyed is on sale through 5/15/15 and a portion of the proceeds is be donated to Women’s Center of Jacksonville.)
Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN only)
  • 3 Grand Prize Giveaways: Each includes books from other authors, signed copy of Destroyed, plus swag.
  • 5 paperback copies and 5 e-books
  • 5 T-shirts



Xpresso Book Tours

BOOK TOUR GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: The Last Changeling by Chelsea Pitcher

 The Last Changeling

by Chelsea Pitcher

Faerie Revolutions Series, Book One

Book Description

A Kingdom at War . . .
Elora, the young princess of the Dark Faeries, plans to overthrow her tyrannical mother, the Dark Queen, and bring equality to faeriekind. All she has to do is convince her mother’s loathed enemy, the Bright Queen, to join her cause. But the Bright Queen demands an offering first: a human boy who is a “young leader of men.”
A Dark Princess In Disguise . . .
To steal a mortal, Elora must become a mortal—at least, by all appearances. And infiltrating a high school is surprisingly easy. When Elora meets Taylor, the seventeen-year-old who’s plotting to overthrow a ruthless bully, she thinks she’s found her offering . . . until she starts to fall in love.

Why I Chose to Write About Faeries

by Chelsea Pitcher

I’ve always loved faeries. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been reading stories about the different kinds of fae. Tall, elegant, soulless faeries. Elemental beings who resided in the petals of flowers and the trunks of trees. I read old, epic poems and modern interpretations. I read urban fantasy and magical realism and paranormal romance.  And somewhere along the line, I started to get an idea of what faeries really were—I mean, if they did exist, I started to understand the “who” and the “why” of it.

Their origin story, if you will.

I also started to accept that some faerie stories made more sense to me than others. For example, the idea of faeries-as-elemental-beings resonated with me much more than faeries who didn’t have souls. And, in all of my readings, there was one theory I just couldn’t make sense of no matter how hard I tried: the high faerie courts.

Now, don’t get me wrong; the idea of faerie courts is incredibly compelling. But I never understood the reason for them. If faeries are anarchic, the physical embodiment of nature, why would they need rules? Why would they need courts?

In my idea of Faerie, the creatures are wild, streaking through the trees, eating, dancing, and making love as they please. To me, this was much more exiting than the idea of courts. Certainly, the gowns would be beautiful, but why bind yourself up when you could run naked through the forest? Why sit, with a rigid back and a stony face, in an uncomfortable throne, when you could be diving into icy waters and soaring through the sky? Why confine yourself when you could be free?

These were the questions that raced through my mind as I sat down to write THE LAST CHANGELING. On the one hand, I could’ve just written about these chaotic, free-spirited faeries from the start. But I didn’t want to discard hundreds of years of literature that spoke of faerie courts. I didn’t want to be disrespectful to the mythology. I wanted to understand it.

And so it went. Instead of writing about a faerie realm without courts, I started to ask myself questions: why did the courts come into being? Who did it benefit? Was it a communal decision, or were a few corrupt players pulling the strings? Soon, answers began to blossom in my mind, and my story unfolded. The courts were in place, and I understood the deep, dark secret that led to their creation.

After that, I just needed a faerie who wanted to take them down . . .

About the Author

Chelsea Pitcher is a karaoke-singing, ocean-worshipping Oregonian with a penchant for wicked faerie tales. She began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can draw out some light. She is also the author ofThe S-Word (Simon and Schuster, 2013).
Be sure to enter the tour wide giveaway to win a copy of the book! US/CAN only.




Itching For Books

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: The Divinicus Nex Chronicles by A & E Kirk

 The Divinicus Nex Chronicles

by A & E Kirk

YA Paranormal

Book One: Demons at Deadnight

Book Description

For seventeen-year-old Aurora Lahey, survival is a lifestyle.


Aurora has the crappiest superpower on the planet. And it’s just unleashed a hit squad from hell. Demons are on the hunt, salivating to carve her carcass into confetti.


The Hex Boys—mysterious, hunky, and notorious for their trails of destruction—have the answers Aurora needs to survive. But their overload of deadly secrets and suspicious motives makes trusting them a potentially fatal move.


The battle to save her family, herself, and stop demonic domination may cost Aurora everything worth living for, and force her to reveal her own dark secrets. But no worries. She needs the Hex Boys to pull this off, and, chances are, teaming up with these guys will get her killed anyway.

Book Two: Drop Dead Demons

Book Description

Survival. It’s an on-going battle.


Aurora Lahey finally knows why supernatural slayers salivate to slaughter her, but how to stop them? Not so much. Sure, she’s discovered her own lethal powers, and has six sexy, super-charged, demon hunting Hex Boys watching her back–the hottest one watching every part of her. But when a seductive stranger delivers a deadly ultimatum, Aurora and the Hex Boys plunge into a do-or-die hunt for a legendary Mandatum treasure, which will finally shift power in their favor. Or unleash hell on earth.


Pursued by demons of mythical proportions, Aurora and the Hex Boys race deeper into the shadowy world of a centuries-old mystery and brutal conspiracy, where no one and nothing is what it seems. Where love and betrayal go hand-in-hand, and trusting the wrong person not only breaks your heart, but gets you killed.


Uncovering shocking secrets from the Hex Boys’ past, hiding her Divinicus Nex identity, lying to her pretend-wish-he-were-real boyfriend, dodging demons, breaking into ancient tombs, taking the unexpected side trip to the dark depths of the Waiting World, tracking a traitor, and passing Physics…Aurora could do that in her sleep. Or more likely, die trying.






Like a mini-firework, a glittering orb of pale purple burst above Tristan’s head. From the sparkling puff, a lavender fairy materialized and flitted in spastic figure-eights, dust flying, tiny wings humming a nervous beat.
“Her dad’s coming,” she said, voice shrill.
“What?” we all said in unison.
Tristan, Ayden and the fairy looked at me and said, “What?”
“What?” I repeated, panicked and irritated at my lack of control in responding to a fairy I wasn’t supposed to see or hear.
“What?” came their reply.
“What?” I continued the theme of repetition because I lacked any form of explanation.
Ayden held up a hand for silence. “Why are you ‘whatting’?”
The hand again. “Okay, stop that,” Ayden said. Tristan smirked. “Why did you just say ‘what’?”
“Beeeecaaause,” I stalled. “I want to knoooooow,” pause, “whaaaaaat,” another pause, “you thought I saw?” The last came out in a rush as I finally thought of a sensible thing to say.
“Aurora, dinner!” Dad called from the garage. He saw our group and headed our way before I could stop him. “Oh, hi, Tristan.”
Super. “Nothing about the…thing,” I whispered.
Dad shook Tristan’s hand and Ayden offered his. “Hi, Mr. Lahey. I’m Ayden Ishida. You probably don’t remember me.”
Dad took his hand. “Of course I do. You’re one of Aurora’s old boyfriends.”
Oh, just tie on the anchor and throw me overboard.
To his credit, Dad quickly discerned my embarrassment and did his best.
“Well, not boyfriend-boyfriend.” He twirled his hands in a backward rotation like he could erase his error in word choice and my mortification. “You know, just a friend. Just an old friend.” He clapped his hands and rubbed them together. “So what’re you guys up to?”


About the Authors

This mother-daughter duo were in and out of inter-dimensional paranormal prisons until they finally quit making up cover stories for secret societies and started writing novels. The Supernatural Continuum Warlords of the Supernatural Continuum Warlordian High Command had pity upon them, and instead of having them slaughtered by the slow, tortuous flesh eating underwater, earthworm squid, they transported them into a habitationally friendly dimension called OOARCHTOHUTHLAMADILFRUMP, also known as 21st Century Earth.

Due to a demon infestation in their sleepy mountain California town, and a lack of sexy Hex Boys to stop them, Alyssa and Eileen were forced to relocate to Los Angeles. The Amazon best seller, DEMONS AT DEADNIGHT, is book one in the DIVINICUS NEX CHRONICLES series, and the first of their exclusive re-creations of supernatural society secrets. You can uncover more paranormal, inter-dimensional classified information at and

Citizens of Earth, you are welcome.

Website | Twitter Alyssa | Twitter Eileen | Facebook | Pinterest


Demons at Deadnight:
Drop Dead Demons:
Be sure to enter the tour wide giveaway for the chance to win books, an Amazon gift card, or even a character named after you in the next book!



Daily Question:

Logan, dancer Hextraordinaire, is the new pro on the Dancing with the Stars TV show and you are his partner! What is the dance you most want him to teach you?




Kismet Book Touring

GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: Ellie Jordan: Ghost Trapper by JL Bryan


Ellie Jordan: Ghost Trapper

by JL Bryan

Paranormal Urban Fantasy

Book Description

Ellie Jordan’s job is to catch and remove unwanted ghosts. Part detective, part paranormal exterminator, Ellie operates out of Savannah, Georgia, one of the oldest and most haunted cities in North America.

When a family contacts her to deal with a disturbing presence in the old mansion they’ve recently purchased, Ellie first believes it to be a typical, by-the-book specter, a residual haunting by a restless spirit. Instead, she finds herself confronting an evil older and more powerful than she’d ever expected, rooted in the house’s long and sordid history of luxury, sin, and murder. The dangerous entity seems particularly interested in her clients’ ten-year-old daughter.

Soon her own life is in danger, and Ellie must find a way to exorcise the darkness of the house before it can kill her, her clients, or their frightened young child.


Tools of the Ghost Trade

by JL Bryan

Are you tired of slogging away at the same old dead-end day job? Do you want a career with flexible hours, iffy benefits, and lots of contact with angry dead spirits? Ghost catching might be the job for you!

At Metaphysical Manufacturing, Ltd., we fully support and encourage your efforts to enter into the dream job that we’ve just now suggested! Part of the reason is that you’ll have to buy lots of products from us in order to be a professional ghost trapper, but we also care about you as a person and stuff.

So what will you need?

Ghost Training: We recommend you order our complete twelve-book, nineteen-video training course, which includes such useful manuals as Boogeyman Basics and How Not to Get Your Soul Ripped From Your Flesh. After filling out our correspondence-course exam and sending us a large check, you’ll get your official ghost-grabber certification!

Ghost Sensors: Several devices can help you determine whether a ghost is in the room with you…maybe even right behind you! The most basic is an electromagnetic frequency (EMF) meter. Ghosts have electromagnetic fields, probably, and these can be detected with modern scientific instruments, maybe. Definitely buy one! We recommend you also pick up our special motion detectors and ghost thermometers—which measure how warm or cold the room is!

Ghost Goggles: Sooner or later, you’ll want to see the ghosts you’re hunting. We recommend sooner! We offer both night vision and thermal imaging goggles to help you find elusive spirits. You can buy one or the other, but it’s best if you buy both!

Ghost Microphone: Use a high-powered, ultra-sensitive microphone (like the ones we sell!) to help you pick up whispers and guttural threats from the Other Side. Spend hours recording, and countless more hours listening and trying to find voices in the static! You’ll never have so much fun again!

Ghost Trap: This is the final “must-have” piece of gear. Your customers will pay you to remove unwanted spirits from their homes, so you’ll want some way to do that. We sell a range of affordable traps, from simple lead-glass jars to phone-booth-sized Faraday cages that create a solid electromagnetic barrier no wicked wraith can escape! We recommend you buy them all.

With these simple purchases, totaling less than eighty thousand dollars, you can become a professional ghost trapper, too! Visit our website to learn (or buy) more!

About the Author

J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on the English Renaissance and the Romantic period. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He enjoys remixing elements of paranormal, supernatural, fantasy, horror and science fiction into new kinds of stories. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, his son, and some dogs and cats.

To hear about future books by J.L. Bryan, sign up for his new release newsletter:

Twitter: @jlbryanbooks

One commenter will win an ebook copy of Ellie Jordan: Ghost Trapper! Open Internationally.



Xpresso Book Tours

GUEST POST: Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader for Kids by Bathroom Readers’ Institute


Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader for Kids

by Bathroom Readers Institute

Children’s Nonfiction

Book Description

Here is an exciting chance to own the very first Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader For Kids Only! in a hardcover edition with all new illustrations!
When our younger readers demanded a Bathroom Reader of their own, Uncle John put together this brain-boggling easy-to-read collection of facts, fads, quotes, history, science, origins, pop culture, mythology, humor, and more! Plus it’s full of wacky and fun illustrations and Uncle John’s famous “running feet” — those fun and fascinating facts on the bottom of every page.
Curious young readers will learn about the real Dr. Seuss, baseball superstitions, the birth of The Simpsons, how carnival games are rigged, the history of dining on scorpions and tarantulas, shocking truths about thunder and lightning, and disgusting bodily functions like ear wax production and digestion (and why they’re important), and much, much more..
Movies I Wish Had a Blooper Reel
by Uncle John

Normally, a blooper reel is a collection of outtakes from a comedy. What I’d like to see are funny outtakes from movies whose topics are so serious that I can’t imagine any of the actors laughing or having fun. With that in mind, here are five movies I wish had a blooper reel.

1. The Godfather
2. The Shining
3. 12 Years a Slave
4. Ghandi
5. Silence of the Lambs

About the Author

The life of Gordon “Uncle John” Javna, editor-in-chief and publisher of the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader series, reads like one of his books. There’s a lot of fun, intriguing—often odd—information lurking around every corner. He went to art school, and then went on to become a musician, real-estate developer, writer, restaurateur, president of a pre-school, brew pub owner, and editor—not all at once, mind you, but he has been all of these things.

Eventually, though, he realized that because of his love of fascinating facts (and being a bathroom reader himself), he was naturally suited, perhaps even destined, to bring the joy of trivia to the world in a fun, informative way. He assumed the pseudonym Uncle John for the Bathroom Reader series and since then, Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader has become the longest-running, most popular series of its kind in the publishing industry.  To date, there are more than 15 million Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers in print and his fanatical flock of followers span from Australia to the United Kingdom and beyond.

Guided by their obsession with unusual trivia, amazing origins, and forgotten history, Gordon “Uncle John” Javna and his staff at the Bathroom Readers’ Institute have made Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers a must-have for book and gift stores worldwide for over two decades.  Gordon continues to expand his porcelain province from his throne room in Ashland, Oregon.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Google+


Be sure to follow the entire tour for more fun bathroom facts and guest posts!

Tour Schedule

Monday, June 30th –  Candace’s Book Blog
Tuesday, July 1st – Cindy’s Love of Books
Wednesday, July 2nd – Proud Book Nerd
Thursday, July 3rd  – Bumbles and Fairy-Tales
Friday July 4th – Cassandra M’s Place

Monday, July 7th  – Sweet Southern Home
Tuesday, July 8th – Confessions of a Book Addict
Wednesday, July 9th – Little Red Reads
Thursday, July 10th  – Me, My Shelf and I
Friday July 11th  – Bewitched Bookworms

Monday, July 14th – Kindle and Me
Tuesday, July 15th  – Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Wednesday, July 16th  – Hott Books
Thursday, July 17th  – alwaysjoart
Friday July 18th – Captivated Reading



Kismet Book Touring

Summer of Zombie Tour: Glimpses of the Undead by Julianne Snow

The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 33 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

I’m super excited to be a part of this year’s Summer of Zombie Blog Tour!

Today I would like to welcome Julianne Snow and her novel Glimpses of the Undead to Sweet Southern Home.

Book Description

From the mind of Julianne Snow comes an undead collection of stories that feature the gamut of emotions and situations. Presented in flash fiction and short stories, the tales are sure to leave you wanting more and checking over your shoulder.

How would a group of children handle an uprising of the undead? What would you do to save a loved one only to find out that you’re facing a different threat altogether? How would a country react to a timely warning at the end of a war? What happens when a vampiric Romeo hits on an unsuspecting human? In a world where the undead are common place and protected, what happens when speed dating produces a love match?

The Treehouse
Vanier’s Blueprint: A Zombie Tale
Must Love Zombies
Flash Fiction Duo: Fight and Hunger
Love Bites: A Valentine’s Day Misadventure
An Excerpt from Days with the Undead: Book One


There’s Diversity in the Zombie Genre—I Swear!
by Julianne Snow

Zombie stories are like people.

No really, they are. Every story is different, unique, and for the most part so are people. Sure you have roving hordes of cookie-cutter copies, but you can find that within the genre as well if it’s what you’re looking for.

What does this mean for the reader? Well it means you have a lot to choose from, that’s pretty obvious. But it also means there are numerous stories and series for you to fall in love with. Characters to root for and undead action to wish you never live to see. The diversity is astounding and indicative of the creativity that exists among the talented authors who pen tales of walking corpses intent on spreading the infection.

So what sets my short story collection, Glimpses of the Undead apart? Why should you take a chance on it?

Well, the tales are written by yours truly and they cross a few different genres. What you’ll find are stories that take place during the impending disaster, those that develop once zombies are a part of society, as well as a tale that explores the possibility the undead aren’t out to infect us. Oh and I’ll mention there’s just a smidge of an erotic story line thrown in for good measure—just a little something to make you wonder what would happen if Zombies (and I capitalized it here for a reason but you’ll need to read the story to find out why) couldn’t and wouldn’t infect us if we were to come into contact with them.

So let me leave you with a little something to whet your appetite for some Zombie action:


Above them they hear the shuffling, the halting steps over the rough boards. There is nothing they could do but wait them out.
A small, soft whimper escapes the lips of the smallest child. A hand roughly flattens itself across the offending mouth, startling her even more. A louder cry is somewhat muffled by the fingers but it’s too late.
They’ve heard and are trying to locate the source of the noise.
Panic spreads quickly through the bodies cramped into the space, a palpable feeling that sets more nerves on edge and creates additional nervous energy.
The energy translates into more panic, and more panic into noise. The clamour from above is deafening as the dead scramble to get at the living.
There is nowhere to go but up. Their earthen cellar nothing but a tomb they now want to escape.
And then it is quiet. No sound, no scraping. Just the absence of noise.
It is the calm before the storm. The moment before the fall.
With a resounding crack, the wooden planks overhead crumble downward, pinning some, killing others. Pandemonium ensues as the living try to fight, but they have been relegated to the bottom of the food chain.

About the Author

Julianne Snow is the author of the Days with the Undead series. She writes within the realms of speculative fiction, has roots that go deep into horror and is a member of the Horror Writers Association. Julianne has pieces of short fiction in publications from Sirens Call Publications, Open Casket Press, James Ward Kirk Publishing and Hazardous Press as well as the forthcoming shorts in anthologies from 7DS Books, Phrenic Press, and the Coffin Hop charity anthology Death by Drive-In. Be on the lookout for her contributions to a number of collaborative projects to be announced shortly.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #SummerZombie


Summer of Zombie Tour: Path of the Dead by Timothy Baker

The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 33 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

I’m super excited to be a part of this year’s Summer of Zombie Blog Tour!

Today I would like to welcome Timothy Baker and his novel Path of the Dead to Sweet Southern Home.

Book Description

Nestled on the foot of Tibet’s sacred Seche La Mountain is the village of Dagzê. The normally quiet streets are bustling with the steady stream of arrivals and preparations for the coming Festival of the Medicine King; a time of celebration, healing, and renewal. But a shadow is sweeping the world, a plague of apocalyptic proportions—the dead are rising and devouring the living, and no place is safe where humanity thrives.

As Dagzê burns, overtaken by the hungry undead, five people come together: Lama Tenzin, an elder monk; Gu-lang, the silent warrior nun and Tenzin’s protector; Cheung, a private in The People’s Army, driver and escort of the Lama; ten-year-old Chodren Dawa, witness to his sister’s death and rising; and Dorje Cetan, a Shaolin-trained hermit monk of Seche La and a dreamer of a dark portent. Together they must fight their way out of Dagzê to an abandoned Buddhist hermitage clinging to the mist-shrouded cliffs of Seche La.

With the undead following and gathering at Eagle’s Nest gate, they barricade themselves inside their dead-end haven, and are soon forced to battle the beasts without, as well as the ones within.


Zombie Times
By Timothy Baker

One of the most memorable scenes from a zombie film, and one of the most telling, is out of Shaun of the Dead. The apocalypse of the undead is in high gear, the streets populated by zombies, walking where they once walked alive. Our protagonist is oblivious to it all, stepping out his door on a hangover morning, walking to the corner store for a cold drink and a Nutter Butter cone. There and back, he walks, head down, unaware of the smashed car windows, the body in the bushes, and the walking dead shuffling on sidewalks and in the streets. One he even mistakes for a panhandler, brushing him off with an I’m broke line. He makes it home unscathed and still unaware, plops on the couch, pops open his drink, and turns on the television. It makes me question his obliviousness. It could be that he just doesn’t care. That is, not until they’re clawing at this door.

Zombies are everywhere. Not a news flash, right? They’re almost ubiquitous. You can’t turn around without their rancid breath in your face. We’re getting pretty used to them, though, and only pay attention when their particularly mangled or doing something goofy like trying to play a trombone or when they’re eating someone’s fake boobs off. But we love them little flesh eating scamps like we love kittens. We’ve made zombies the biggest, most famous monsters in the history of horror.

And as horror writers that delve into the zombie genre, we are set to the difficult task of keeping it fresh and interesting. It’s not easy. For one thing, zombies are generally boring as characters. Frankenstein’s monster had more personality than a corral of zombies. Bub from Romero’s Day of the Dead was a fracking zombie genius, somehow learning to control his hunger for fleshy humans. Now that’s interesting. But how many of those are you going to come across in the land of the dead?

So in general, a writer can’t use a zombie as a character. They are what they are, singular in their hunger, a monster too big to see whole. They become a condition of the world, a natural event–albeit a gruesome, horrific one–no different from the events in disaster stories like Earthquake and Deep Impact. We have to turn to the survivors for our drama, and that’s what readers really love, the hook that keeps them voluntarily locked in that nightmare world.

Shaun of the Dead is a parody, of course, but it stays true to what came before it: this western perspective of the undead event, an urban world-view of our existence, tainted and cynicized by a media-monster onslaught of violence–it’s at your door–a time in which no one can be trusted, and everyone is on an existential journey of survival of the fittest.

Now this brings me to my debut novel, Path of the Dead (Hungry Ghosts). (See? I finally got to the point, my hidden agenda revealed. Here comes the pitch…) When I warily approached the idea of writing a zompoc novel, it had to be different or it wasn’t happen’n. I began to wonder how rural survivors would view and react to the worldwide disaster, with a culture steeped in a religion of myths and gods and demons and the living spirits of rock, tree, and animal. Would they act so different from us, the western urbanite? What would be the implications for them? Would they be aborigines? An Amazon River jungle tribe? Eskimos? Naaawww. Tibet? TIBET–top of the world, modern and rural, the culture of Maoism and Tibetan Buddhism in clash. Now that would be interesting and different.

Take that world, a place on the opposite of the globe, and throw a good old Romero zombie plague upon it, complete with gnashing teeth, horrific dismemberment, headshots, and zombie gorging. Then add the unexpected spice of a skeptical Chinese soldier; a mute warrior nun, with a flashing, boomerang blade; a young boy in shock after witnessing the death and rising of his sister; and a Shaolin trained monk whose yearning for a lost love stands in the way of his search for Nirvana.
Path of the Dead is a flat out battle with chaos, a tale of survival, and a spiritual journey that promises possible transcendence, or eternal walking death.

It’s not your Daddy’s ole zombie story.

About the Author

Timothy Baker is a retired firefighter and an aspiring, perspiring, horror writer.  Here to rant on random subjects and the art and pains of writing.  He is published in Fading Light: Anthology of the Monstrous, published by Angelic Knight Press and edited by Tim Marquitz. Tim also received a commendation in the Australian Horror Writer’s Association 2009 Short Story Competition.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Amazon

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #SummerZombie


BOOK TOUR GUEST POST: Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell

Summer on the Short Bus

by Bethany Crandell

YA Contemporary

Book Description

Cricket Montgomery has been thrown under the short bus. Shipped off to a summer camp by her father, Cricket is forced to play babysitter to a bunch of whiny kids—or so she thinks. When she realizes this camp is actually for teens with special needs, Cricket doubts she has what it takes to endure twenty-four hours, let alone two weeks.

Thanks to her dangerously cute co-counselor, Quinn, there may be a slim chance for survival. However, between the campers’ unpredictability and disregard for personal space, Cricket’s limits get pushed. She will have to decide if suffering through her own handicapped hell is worth a summer romance—and losing her sanity.


By Bethany Crandell
A muse, as defined by, is a goddess that inspires a creative artist. I’m not sure that I’d consider myself an “artist”, at least not in the traditional sense of the word, and I’m positive I wouldn’t consider my muse a “goddess”, in any sense of the word, but together my muse and I have concocted some pretty ridiculous awesome stories over the years, and it didn’t seem fair to celebrate the launch of SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS without giving some public recognition to the fuzzy little guy who inspires all the magic.
So, without further adieu, I’d like to introduce you to Melvin,
hamster who lives inside my brain.  
(Yes, there is a brain under all that
Most of Melvin’s time is spent in a steady state of this: sloppy, hung
and totally content to strive for uselessness.  
(The weapon is for
the protection of intellectual property, obviously). 
hamster photo: Gun Hamster hamsterguncute.jpg
But once I get him under the white noise of my beloved Revlon Ionic Pro hairdryer *pauses to receive product endorsement check* like I do every morning, well…that’s when the near-comatose behavior goes out the window and Melvin
actually proves himself as a hamster of worth.
His steps are slow and steady at first–it takes a minute to work the kinks out–but soon he’s at a full sprint and that’s when the magic happens, people.  
(Melvin was a stunt hamster in a former life. His sudden ejection from the wheel has nothing to do with the pints of Guinness he threw back at a St. Patty’s Day party the night before this video was taken)
hamster on wheel photo: Hamster hamster.gif
New characters take shape while old ones are revived with exciting new story lines.
Plot holes are miraculously filled and dead ends are rerouted into territory I never knew existed. It’s like he’s morphed from standard issue hamster into a rodent Jedi or something. The force is always with Melvin….
hamster photo: hamster hamster-1.jpg
 (I have no idea who Phil Steak is, but I thank him for this image)
Anyway, there’s so much activity going on in those ten minutes I spend under the dryer each morning, it’s no wonder Melvin has to gorge himself when he’s done.
(Carrying that much poundage on those teensy, tiny little toes isn’t easy, folks)hamster photo:  homyak_34.jpg

I could say that he’s awesome, talented, ambitious, inspiring, loyal…

but there really aren’t enough adjectives to accurately convey my love for this little guy.
Instead I’ll leave it with this:
Quick side note: *whispers so Melvin can’t hear her*
 Hamsters only cost like $5, so coming up with replacement parts,
*coughs* three year life span *coughs*, should you need them,
won’t be a burden on your wallet.
About the Author

I wish I had some mysterious secret to reveal about myself in hopes that you’d find me interesting…but I don’t.  When it comes to me, what you see is what you get. And what you get is an irreverent, sarcastic and emotional girl who writes stories about characters with these same traits.

I live in San Diego with my husband, two kiddos, and a chocolate lab who has no regard for personal space. I’m slightly obsessed with John Hughes and the wonderful collection of films he left behind, and I’m confident that Jake Ryan will be showing up on my doorstep any day now…

I firmly believe that prayer solves problems, and that laughter is the best medicine. Along with avocados. Avocados make the world a better place.

I’m represented by Rachael Dugas of Talcott Notch Literary Agency.

Website |  Blog | Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


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2 Summer Camp Survival Packs and Signed copies of the book! US Only.
3 sets of signed swag! US ONLY



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GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: The Tallent & Lowery Series by Amy Lignor

Today I’m spotlighting the adventure/fantasy series by Amy Lignor, Tallent & Lowery!  Let me tell you about each of the books.

13–Book One


In 1902, in a dark room on the fifth floor of Carnegie Hall, thirteen people came together to continue a tradition that had been set in stone thousands of years before.

In 2012, Leah Tallent is Head of Research at the New York Public Library. Stoic and stable, brilliant and cynical, she has forever enjoyed her existence among the book stacks. But even with her unparalleled intellect, there was no way to know that on the historic steps between America’s famous lions, she would become involved with a crazy man on a fanatical quest.

Gareth Lowery has spent his life searching for the ultimate artifact that he is certain exists. His life’s pursuit has been to retrieve twelve keys hidden by men whose job it was to protect the single biggest secret ever kept. To find the keys he must enlist the help of an unwilling guide who, unfortunately, knows much more than he bargained for.

From the first page to the last word, this fantastic duo become immersed in a whirlwind treasure hunt with historical and passionate repercussions. From the strange and eerie Winchester House to the blustery darkness of Loch Ness, Gareth and Leah will quickly learn that the theory of duality is correct: For every bad there is a good and, for Heaven, there most assuredly exists…Hell.

The Sapphire Storm–Book Two


After going up against a man who believed he was the Devil, himself, the beloved characters from 13 – Leah Tallent and Gareth Lowery – are beyond exhausted. Now they are about to embark on the most terrifying journey imaginable…a trip to meet Leah’s parents.

When Leah arrives where the ‘home fires burn,’ her sarcasm burns even brighter, while Gareth Lowery – the handsome adventurer – uses his charm to sway the ‘odd’ Tallent clan. But when a frightening call from Gareth’s sister arrives telling him that her love has disappeared, the daring duo is soon running away from one horrific situation directly into another. A new puzzle from the past has come to life. Following clues left behind, the courageous couple becomes embedded in a world filled with liars, killers and greed.

And when the riddle of a famous ‘Bard’ is solved, a strange woman appears who has far more in common with Leah than she can possibly imagine! The heart-stopping suspense of this new quest takes them from Coptic Cairo to the magical world of Petra, in search of a cave deep underground that once housed a true ‘Illuminator.’

Yet again, they must find the answers and stay one step ahead of true villains who are determined to make sure that – this time – Tallent & Lowery do not survive.

The Hero’s Companion–Book Three


With their second battle behind them, Leah Tallent and Gareth Lowery find themselves still knee-deep in hell. What should’ve ended with a celebration of passion wrapped in each other’s arms becomes a nightmare once more, as a mysterious man demands Leah to return home, or else her beloved father will be found at the bottom of the sea.

Scrambling to figure out what’s happened Tallent & Lowery walk in on a family that has literally gone insane: A mother filled with accusations, three sisters who wish them nothing but certain death, and a frightening story of a blood-red eye that leads to a puzzle with immense repercussions. The woman named Anippe who readers questioned in The Sapphire Storm is back, with an item in her possession that will have Tallent & Lowery heading out on an adventure based on pure emotion and ultimate fear – where victory may just depend on their willingness to sacrifice each other.

The time has come for Tallent & Lowery to go head-to-head with the mysterious voice from 13, as a villain is unveiled…and a war begins!




Creating a Famous Duo in Fiction

by Amy Lignor

Personally, my own favorite duo out there in America is the same duo that brought about ‘Tallent & Lowery’ in the first place. Patience and Fortitude, the majestic lions that sit in front of the NYPL, not only greet millions everyday, but they also protect the home, so to speak, of Leah Tallent.

Sherlock and Watson are probably the most famous detective pair out there in the literary world; when it comes to other media venues, you have everything from Crockett and Tubbs to Scooby-Doo and Shaggy to Batman and Robin. Various daring duo’s have always graced the screens – big and small – and have always served up the perfect banter and wit in books we’ve come to love.

With Leah Tallent & Gareth Lowery, I wanted to draw on all of these pairs in very subtle ways. With Leah’s happy (sometimes not) sarcasm and dryness, mixed with Gareth’s easy-going manner and love for her – their combined passion for solving these puzzles have drawn readers to their sides. To me, no matter what unique web they find themselves trying to unravel, it’s their strength as a duo that makes the book a success.

When the partners happen to be male and female (Nick and Nora Charles, for example), they can also bring a true bond into the book, which adds to the power of the story. Leah Tallent has certainly gotten into some dire situations in books; 13, The Sapphire Storm and now, The Hero’s Companion. Yet, it’s not her intelligence or her way of reasoning things out that saves her – it is her partner, Gareth Lowery, who makes sure that Leah always has something worth fighting for.

Gareth, of course, is the one who basically ruined Leah’s quiet librarian life in the first place when, in 13, he appeared inside the basement of the NYPL to retrieve a frightening book that’d been buried in the cornerstone of the building. He expected to discover the next steps he had to take in order to complete a lifelong mission of his. What he never expected was to discover the hard-headed, smart-mouthed, warm-hearted librarian who would literally be the brain and soul he needed for the rest of this life.

Being able to take the detective aspects and combine them with the romantic aspects of literary partners (insert pretty much all of Jane Austen partners here), has allowed ‘Tallent & Lowery’ to become far more than just banter and wit. And…with the next four novels to come, readers will be more than surprised when they find out that this pair may just have to live with the fact that their adventures and puzzle-solving could lead to a break-up that neither saw coming.

When it comes down to duo’s, the literary world has offered more than its fair share. ‘Tallent & Lowery’, hopefully, will become one of those teams that will never be forgotten.

Until Next Time, Everybody,


About the Author

Being the daughter of a Research Librarian, books and information were always a ‘gift,’ and there is nothing I like more. In fact, if the NYPL would let me live in their basement, that’s where I would be. I am very proud of my books – especially the ‘Tallent & Lowery’ series – which has been so well-received that I am beyond humbled. Being able to ‘link’ historical locations together and create puzzles that bestselling authors have called, “The Da Vinci Code With Heart”; “Action/Adventure Gold”; and “The Best of the 21st Century” has been beyond my wildest expectations. I am the Owner/Operator of The Write Companion; and I recently was beyond honored to be asked to take on the role of Editor-in-Chief of Hallowed Ink Press – an amazing traditional publisher that will break new ground in the industry. Life is busy…but it’s good. And I have a wealth of friends, family and fans to thank for allowing that to happen! My favorite advice? “While I live, let me LIVE!”



Amy is offering one commenter an ebook collection of all three books in the Tallent & Lowery Series!


BOOK TOUR GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: Dead Dreams by Emma Right

Dead Dreams

by Emma Right

Dead Dreams Series, Book One

Book Description

Eighteen-year-old Brie O’Mara has so much going for her: a loving family in the sidelines, an heiress for a roommate, and dreams that might just come true. Big dreams–of going to acting school, finishing college and making a name for herself. She is about to be the envy of everyone she knew. What more could she hope for? Except her dreams are about to lead her down the road to nightmares. Nightmares that could turn into a deadly reality.


On Being a Mom and a Writer

by Emma Right

“How do you find time to write with such a busy schedule and homeschooling?” or “How do you find time to write?” These are the two most common questions people have asked me time and again. And I always say, “you want the short answer, the true answer, or the practical one?”

So here goes:
Any which way i can make the time is the short, simple answer.

The more truthful answer would probably be: I pray for strength and motivation everyday, many times during the day, sometimes it feels every second of the day! Often I’ve thought if I were God (and I’m glad I’m not!) I’d say, “Not her again!”

For the in depth and more practical answer I’d say this:

As a busy mom I feel it’s important to carve out a small piece in my life for personal growth. To me being organized is the key. When life is a chaos it’s hard to be organized, but it is possible and in fact needful to arrange our lives, as busy moms, into manageable sizes to stay sane–at least for me it has been that way. I’m not saying it’s easy–my husband travels about 60% of the time, and it can be emotionally draining dealing with whiny kids–but if we can lay railroad tracks for our daily lives it’d be easier to function.

On a week to week basis I have my tracks laid down-I know which kid is doing what, when and what meals to be served throughout the entire week–this would cut down on unnecessary time making extra trips to the grocery store. I do most of my shopping on the internet–like books, supplies, clothes, and make-up, to save on time–and it’s less expensive too, with free shipping.

Also, on my site, I have some blogs on using free things to give the kids a great education (and I hope to input more of such things) but still give us, moms, some time to gather ourselves before we fall apart at the seams. One example is using Netflix movies to help in the homeschooling–make movie nights a meaningful and educational experience. And a mom can take a break as the kids watch something that would benefit them.

I’d advice young moms to audit their time–find out when or which time block they spend their time on doing meaningless tasks–it’s like budgeting with time as your currency.

Another advice I have, and this may seem unrelated, is to stay away from negative people as much as possible. There is something draining about being around negativity and this mental torture will translate to stress, illnesses (which will make us even busier and serves no purpose) and there is something about negative words that even suck out whatever little time and energy we have.

But having said that, about the homeschooling, it’s good to have a schedule but if things fall apart and some kid really didn’t finish up whatever task was given, I’d learned through almost 17 years of homeschooling that the best thing is to just move on and not fret. There will always be another day, and in every stormy cloud there truly is a silver lining.


Chapter One
It started on a warm April afternoon. Gusts of wind blew against the oak tree right outside my kitchen balcony, in my tiny apartment in Atherton, California. Sometimes the branches that touched the side of the building made scraping noises. The yellow huckleberry flowers twining their way across my apartment balcony infused the air with sweetness.
My mother had insisted, as was her tendency on most things, I take the pot of wild huckleberry, her housewarming gift, to my new two-bedroom apartment. It wasn’t really new, just new to me, as was the entire experience of living separately, away from my family, and the prospect of having a roommate, someone who could be a best friend, something I’d dreamed of since I finished high school and debuted into adulthood.
“Wait for me by the curb,” my mother said, her voice blaring from the phone even though I didn’t set her on speaker. “You need to eat better.” Her usual punctuation at the end of her orders.
So, I skipped down three flights of steps and headed toward the side of the apartment building to await my mother’s gift of the evening, salad in an á la chicken style, her insistent recipe to cure me of bad eating habits. At least it wasn’t chicken soup double-boiled till the bones melted, I consoled myself.
I hadn’t waited long when a vehicle careened round the corner. I heard it first, that high-pitched screech of brakes wearing thin when the driver rammed his foot against it. From the corner of my eye, even before I turned to face it, I saw the blue truck. It rounded the bend where Emerson Street met Ravenswood, tottered before it righted itself and headed straight at me.
I took three steps back, fell and scrambled to get back up as the vehicle like a giant bullet struck the sidewalk I had only seconds ago stood on. The driver must have lost control, but when he hit the sidewalk it slowed the vehicle enough so he could bridle his speed and manage the truck as he continued to careen down the street.
My mother arrived a half minute later but she had seen it all. Like superwoman, she leaped out of her twenty-year-old Mercedes and rushed toward me, all breathless and blonde hair disheveled.
“Are you all right?” She reached out to help me up.
“Yes, yes,” I said, brushing the dirt off my yoga pants.
“Crazy driver. Brie, I just don’t know about this business of you staying alone here like this.” She walked back to her white Mercedes, leaned in the open window, and brought out a casserole dish piled high with something green. Make that several shades of green.
I followed her, admittedly winded.“Seriously, Mom. It’s just one of those things. Mad drivers could happen anywhere I live.”
She gave me no end of grief as to what a bad idea it was for me to live alone like this even though she knew I was going to get a roommate.
“Mom, stop worrying,” I said.
“You’re asking me to stop being your mother, I hope you realize this.”
“I’ll find someone dependable by the end of the week, I promise.” No way I was going back to live at home. Not that I came from a bad home environment. But I had my reasons.
I had advertised on Craig’s List, despite my mother’s protests that only scum would answer “those kinds of ads.”
Perhaps there was some truth to Mother’s biases, but I wouldn’t exactly call Sarah McIntyre scum. If she was, what would that make me?
Sarah’s father had inherited the family “coal” money. Their ancestors had emigrated from Scotland (where else, with a name like McIntyre, right?) in the early 1800s and bought an entire mountain (I kid you not) in West Virginia. It was a one-hit wonder in that the mountain hid a coal fortune under it, and hence the McIntyre Coal Rights Company was born. This was the McIntyre claim to wealth, and also a source of remorse and guilt for Sarah, for supposedly dozens of miners working for them had lost their lives due to the business, most to lung cancer or black lung, as it was commonly called. Hazards of the occupation.


About the Author

Emma Right is a happy wife and homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast. Besides running a busy home, and looking after too many pets, she also enjoys reading aloud to her children and often has her nose in a book. Right was a copywriter for a major advertising agency during her B.C. years. B.C.meaning “Before Children,” which may as well have been in the B.C.era, as she always says. |


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