Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An Open Letter on Behalf of the Dyslexia Foundation UK

Dear Reader,

Although I am not a Trustee, paid employer or member of Dyslexia Foundation UK, I am a supporter of their desire to improve the reading abilities and educational skills of those suffering from dyslexia. To that end, in 2012, this registered charity, here in the UK, are commencing an audio library centred in the Liverpool and Manchester area of North West England.

My work, The Fragile Peace, has been made into the Foundation’s first audio book and will feature in the library being prepared for 2012. The book was recorded, edited, and engineered at the Foundation’s expense in a professional recording studio in Manchester and the narration was completed by a BBC producer.

I am writing to you to ask you to consider donating one of your printed books to the Foundation so that they may consider making the book into an audio version for their library. The conversion will be completed by the charity and sold by them to their members. The proceeds of the sale will go directly to the Foundation. Once a book has been recorded for the library the author may well be asked to sell copies of that book to the Foundation so that the library may be enhanced to sufficient levels.

A printed book with an audio tape is provided so that members of the Foundation might read the book whilst simultaneously listening on an audio tape. Such a procedure is beneficial to those suffering from dyslexia and others who may also be partially sighted.

I invite you to support the charity by indicating whether you are able to donate at least one book for audio recording. Subsequent copies for use in the library to be negotiated on a one to one basis between the library and the Foundation.

You cannot make a donation unless your book has a printed edition. Ebooks alone are not valid.

In order to assist in this project -

1) You will need to have both copyright and distribution rights in the work that you intend to donate.

2) Be able to provide a copy of the copyright page relevant to the work to be donated at the time of submission.

3) And be able to provide a link to your published work where a description and the book cover is available for inspection.

If you are interested in making a book donation for audio production and subsequent library development, please contact Paul Anthony in the first instance on email address

Paul Anthony is a member of the Independent Author’s Network.

Kind regards


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Marsha Canham: The IAN Interview

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, I have one son, three beautiful grandchildren, a dog and five birds. I've been print published since 1984, hit the USA Today lists with most of my historical romances and won numerous awards for "Best Book of the Year" from Romantic Times.

Hello Marsha. Please tell us about your latest book.

The newest book is an anthology, Masters of Seduction written with five other authors with whom I've shared daily emails for the past 12 years or so. We fondly call ourselves the Loopies, and came up with the idea to release a book with 6 original short stories, all of them linked by a jeweled antique pendant that travels down through the centuries from Medieval England (one of my favorite time periods) to present day Texas (Julie Ortolon's sub genre) In between we have Virginia Henley, Jacquie D'Alessandro, Jill Gregory, and Sherri Browning Erwin writing in their own sub genres, which should make for an interesting progression through the ages.

IAN. How long did it take to write your story for the book?

MC. What the Heart Sees is my first ever short story, and to be honest, I found it harder to write than a full length book. My historicals usually take a hundred pages or so to set the scene, introduce the characters, get the plot twists going. I had under 40 pages to set the scene, intro the characters, have them fall in love, arrange a battle, resolve a plot line... and... set the jeweled pendant off on the first leg of its journey *whew*

IAN. What inspired you to be a part of an anthology?

MC. It was a mutual inspiration, passed back and forth via emails when a couple of us Loopies first ventured into the brave new world of indie publishing. We'd had the idea years ago of writing an anthology together, but the hassles of multiple publishing houses, multiple agents getting involved...was just too much to overcome. When Amazon and Smashwords opened up the world to self publishing, the problems vanished. We even have the first (as far as we are aware) stepback digital cover.

IAN. Talk about the writing process. Do you write at night or in the morning?

MC. I tend to write whenever I get that tingle at the back of my neck and whenever I'm in the right frame of mind. I can't force myself to sit and write ten pages a day. On the other hand, I don't even try to stop myself when it's 3am and I'm still scribbling away.

IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?

MC. I wing everything. A new editor who was unfamiliar with the way I worked... no outline, just a finished manuscript handed in on deadline...insisted I send her an outline of a book. So I did. I slapped a paperback down on a piece of paper, traced around it and wrote my title on the "cover" and sent it to her. And yes, she was laughing when she called me and said okay, okay, no outline needed.

Q. How is Masters of Seduction different from others in your genre?

A. I have often been criticized for being "too realistic", sometimes "too graphic" when it comes to the violence and brutality of war, but when you love history and you love medieval knights and Scottish Highlanders and pirates...violence and brutality were part of every day living. Publishers Weekly has recommended several of my books to readers who don't just want the history to be wallpaper in the background. I try very hard to make the history as important as the characters rather than have characters who just change their clothing to match the time periods.

IAN. Are your books published in print, e-book or both?

MC. Three of the books currently at Scottish trilogy...are still available in print. The other 14 are ebook only. The anthology will be ebook only, as will my next new release, The Following Sea.

IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your books?

MC. A sense of having experienced an adventure vicariously through my words. I try to write each scene as if I am living through it, not just writing about it as a narrator. In the words of Willy Wonka, "Come with me and you'll be in a world of my imagination." I hope my readers enjoy it there. *g*

IAN. Where can we go to buy your books?

MC. All of my books are available at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Apple.

IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

MC. The Following Sea is a direct sequel to The Iron Rose. The book opens, in fact, the same day The Iron Rose ends. Many, many readers have written to ask me when and if I was going to be writing more of the Dante adventures and, after being retired for 6 years, what better way to return to the career I loved than writing Gabriel Dante's story.

IAN. Any other links or info you'd like to share?

MC. I often blog over at, sometimes even about books *g*. I'm on Facebook and Twitter as well as @marshacanham. My website has information about all of my books as well as upcoming projects.

Masters of Seduction: What the Heart Sees by Marsha Canham

(Historical Romance)

Thomas's smile was a little crooked. "And does the grand-daughter of this Saxon nobleman still regard us as invaders?"

She offered no immediate reply and he smiled again. Walking over to his escritoire he searched amongst the papers for a moment until he found the one he wanted. The wax seal had been broken and the page smudged through various attempts to cipher the words.

"As much as you find Latin and French to be a test of your patience, I find Saxon Englishry to be a maze of confusion. Think you it would go against your grain to read it for me? It is ancient and the script is ruined in places, but it was found along with some trinkets in this old box, which, in turn was discovered recently in the wine cellars."

Cassie approached the desk slowly. Beams of sunlight were streaming through the tall arched window behind him, making tiny dust motes that were suspended in the air glitter around his shoulders. His hair gleamed blue-black, his face was in profile and the sight made her heart leap high into her throat.

To distract herself, she looked at the box. It was old and made of wood, banded with leather straps. It bore a sturdy iron lock that had obviously been forced open, for a jewelled dagger lay beside it, the tip snapped off.

"As stubborn and unyielding as some Saxons I know," he murmured.

Cassie was about to offer up a retort when a stray beam of sunlight flashed off something inside the box and caught her eye. A frown creased her brow as she drew forward and the retort turned into a small gasp.

Nestled inside the box on a scrap of velvet was the silver mirror pendant, the one she had seen and touched not two hours ago.

"I see he finished it," she said.

"Who finished what?"

She pointed. "The pendant. The old jewel-maker was polishing it when I went to the cellars to fetch iron for my father."

"You must be mistaken. The chest and the pendant have been here, in my chambers for a sennight or more. As I said, it was found in one of the empty storerooms and I only broke through the lock last night. The parchment, the pendant and a handful of other jewels and chains were inside."

Cassie shook her head, making the pale cloud of her hair dance in the sunlight. "No. It is the same pendant. I saw your jewel-maker polishing it. There could not be two so much alike."

Thomas's eyes narrowed. "There is no jewel-maker here at Belfontaine. What you see before you is the extent of all this castle possesses in terms of gold or silver. And that, as I said, has only recently come into my possession."

"But I saw him. I spoke to him. He was at his work table and he..." she stopped and looked at the pendant again. She could see her reflection in the mirror and for one heart-stopping moment, she stared at her tousled blonde hair and thought it looked exactly the way—

"He what?"

She pulled her gaze from the pendant with an effort. "H-he said the silver had come from Damascus, the stones had belonged to a Syrian prince."

Thomas scoffed. "Who has filled your head with such tales? Did he have a name?"

"Godfrey. Godfrey the Lombard. And..."

"Yes? And?"

"And... he was blind."

Thomas folded his arms across his massive chest and regarded her from beneath an arched eyebrow. "A blind jewel-maker?"

"But I saw him." Her voice trailed away and she bit her lip. "I could not have imagined it. If so then I must have imagined the other gold and silver plates, the cups, the chains..."

Thomas's left eyebrow arched as high as his right. "Gold plate? Here, in Belfontaine?"

"In the jewel-maker's workroom. In the cellars. I saw them. And I touched this," she reached into the box and lifted the pendant, curling her fingers around it. "I held it, just like this, and... and look!" She opened her palm and pointed to the scratch on the pad of her thumb, then turned the pendant over and found the tiny rough edge on the silver that had dug into her hand. "It even pricked me."

Thomas was looking at her as if she had lost half her senses.

"You don't believe me."

"I don't disbelieve you, I just—"

"I will not be called a liar," she said, her cheeks flushing hot.

"I am not calling you a liar," he said gently. "But you have been up on a tower roof for several weeks without respite, you suffer from lack of sleep, poor food—"

"I saw him," she insisted flatly, the green of her eyes flashing as hot as the emeralds on the pendant. "I saw him and I spoke to him. His hands touched mine. He was as real as you or I."

Thomas clamped his jaw to a square ridge. "Fair enough. There is, of course, one way to verify the existence of this... this Godfrey the Lombard."

He took her by the hand and strode out of his chamber. She had to run to keep apace, hair and skirts flying out behind her. His grip remained firm as he led her down the winding steps and across the dais of the great hall. He went directly to the narrow portal that led to the covered, winding steps and dragged her round and round the steep corkscrew case until they were in the cellars below.

Only then did he leave go of her hand to take up a pitch-soaked torch and touch it to one of the candles in the passageway. When the flame burst into life, he shoved the torch into her hand and pointed. "Show me."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Jennifer Chase: The IAN Interview

I have a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s in criminology. In addition, I hold certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. I’m a member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists. I’ve published four fiction/thrillers and one screenwriting workbook.

I was born and raised in California where I currently reside with my husband, two large dogs, and two incorrigible cats. I developed a love for books and writing at an early age.

I have an intense curiosity about crime and the varied connections between the actual crime and the criminal mind. This propelled me to return to school and earn a master’s degree in 2008. My academic background has helped to prepare me to write in the thriller, mystery, and crime fiction genres.

IAN. Please tell us a bit about Dark Mind.

JC. DARK MIND is a crime fiction thriller. It’s part of the Emily Stone Series, but I write all my books to stand alone.

A Serial Killer Plagues an Island Paradise

Vigilante detective Emily Stone continues her covert pursuits to find serial killers and child abductors, all under the radar while shadowing police investigations.

Emily searches for an abducted nine-year-old girl taken by ruthless and enterprising slave brokers. Following the clues from California to the garden island of Kauai, she begins to piece together the evidence and ventures deep into the jungle.

It doesn’t take long before Emily is thrown into the middle of murder, mayhem, and conspiracy. Locals aren’t talking as a serial killer now stalks the island, taking women in a brutal frenzy of ancient superstitions and folklore. Local cops are unprepared for what lies ahead. In a race against the clock, Emily and her team must identify the killer before time runs out.

IAN. How long did it take to write Dark Mind?

JC. I’m an outliner, so I spend a fair amount of time preparing the book initially. My outline is like my choppy first draft or a book roadmap. During the outlining, I do most of my research. When I finally get to the writing part of my book with chapters and rewrites, the total (including outlining) amount of writing time is approximately six to eight months to complete.

IAN. What inspired you to write the book?

JC. The storyline for DARK MIND hit me when I was vacationing in Kauai. It’s one of my favorite places. I remember clearly, when I was sitting on a deserted beach watching the waves and thought, “what if” there was a serial killer here? How would they handle this type of investigation? I found out later that Kauai did have a serial killer in 2001. The murders stopped after three women were killed and then the cases went cold – still unsolved today. Very intriguing, I thought. I felt that the uniqueness of the island with excessive rains in areas, remote locations, and the general feeling of the island would make a great backdrop to a thriller story.

IAN. Talk about the writing process. Do you write at night or in the morning?

JC. I’m a true night owl, but I found out that I wasn’t getting enough sleep during the day when I wrote late into the night. I switched my writing schedule to daily banker’s hours and I find that I’m the most productive. I write mostly in the afternoons about four solid hours Monday through Friday unless there’s another project or commitment. I spend Saturdays catching up on work from the week and I take Sundays off.

IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?

JC. I confess! I outline, but I’ve managed after four books to fine-tune it for my choppy first draft. In writing a thriller, I need to see the general flow of the story in order to keep good pacing and enough thrills for the reader. From my outline, I can see if there’s enough storyline for an entire book or if I need to elaborate on a subplot, or anything else that looks out of place. It saves time with the long, grueling process of rewrites.

IAN. How is Dark Mind different from other thrillers?

JC. That’s a great question! I don’t know if my book is different, but I tried to give the reader some insight into the serial mind, while keeping the pacing and entertainment of the story fresh.

IAN. Is Dark Mind published in print, e-book or both?

JC. Yes, all of my books are published in ebook and paperback.

IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

JC. I hope that readers enjoy the thrill of the chase and come away with some understanding and new tidbits about serial killers.

IAN. Where can we go to buy Dark Mind?

JC. My books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and can be ordered from any book retailer.

IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

IAN. I’m already jotting down ideas and scenes for my next thriller with a working title of Revenge for Justice. Again, it’s part of a series, but will be written as a stand alone novel as well.

IAN. Any other links or info you'd like to share?

JC. I welcome questions and comments. You can find more information about me and my books.





Dark Mind by Jennifer Chase

315 pages

Thriller/Crime Fiction



Two tattered wicker chairs sat on opposite sides of the porch in front of two sash windows. The screens around the sitting area used to keep most pesky mosquitoes away had long since deteriorated, curled and ripped vertically from age and constant humidity.

First step, then the second onto the porch felt like a carnival fun house with sloping sides and uneven movement from the weight of two people.

The blonde man pushed Emily’s left shoulder with the barrel of the gun urging her into the house. The rickety screen door squeaked as Emily slowly pulled it open, it slipped slightly off at a strange angle due to neglect.

Darkness greeted her with an unknown agenda.

She contemplated her next move and waited for an opening to pounce – the sooner the better. The man didn’t expect any resistance from a woman who appeared submissive and frightened – all the classic victim behaviors that Emily was not.

The brightness outside wasn’t enough to overexpose her eyesight inside the cottage. The interior windows covered with heavy black drapes and lack of any luminescent made for a creepy entrance. Slasher movies with chainsaw murderers flashed through her mind.

The hair stood up on the back of Emily’s neck even before the pungent smell of old garbage, booze, and human body sweat hit her senses. The putrid odor kept increasing as she moved deeper into the living room and made her swallow hard to keep from gagging. She knew if she continued into the house it would be next to impossible to escape – too many unknowns not in her favor.

Elements of surprise slowed her pace. She counted down the seconds and inventoried the thrift store furniture consisting of a broken down couch with protruding springs, two overstuffed, mismatched chairs, and a small fold out table with two straight back chairs.

Pieces of mangoes, pineapples, and empty beer bottles covered the table; the fruit had turned dark around the edges allowing flies to feast on the blackened remnants.

“Company.” The British man announced as the screen door slammed shut behind them, the broken door still wobbled on its rusted hinges, squeaking for a few seconds.

Emily’s odds for escape now doubled with two people in the house, instead of just one man with a shotgun.

Her uncertainties now realized.


Small steps forward, left foot, right foot, then pivoting to the left and spinning around to face her attacker, Emily pounced on the man, pressed against him close enough to smell his sickly sweat, and shoved the shotgun upward blasting off a shot through the ceiling. Splinters and chunks of drywall sprinkled the living room like an early snow dusting of winter in the mountains.

The room echoed from the blast. A couple of seconds passed before the world had normal audible sounds.

Emily knew she couldn’t over power the man, but she used her quick self-defense moves to her advantage.

Momentarily stunned, the man blinked twice and before he could retaliate, Emily slammed the heel of her right hand into his face making direct contact with his nose. Blood instantly spurted from his membranes and she felt the slippery, warm liquid on her hand spattering her face and white t-shirt.

Rage and adrenaline pumped through her body and catapulted her forward as she landed a solid right hook on his jaw. He didn’t stand a chance and dropped to the floor. The shotgun flew, completing one full revolution, end over end, and rested next to the sagging couch.

Fighting the urge to kick his face repeatedly for what he had done to the little girl in the basement, Emily took a set of plastic zip ties from her pocket, rolled the bleeding man on his side, and expertly looped his hands. She pulled them tight – too tight. She didn’t care. He moaned, dazed by the blitz attack.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

MR Mathias Reveals The Cover Design For The Wizard And The Warlord The Wardstone Trilogy Book Three

M.R. Mathias is proud to reveal the cover design for The Wizard and the WarlordThe Wardstone Trilogy Book Three. Book One - The Sword and the Dragon, has been in the Amazon Kindle Fantasy/Mythology charts for over 18 months and counting, and Book Two - Kings, Queens, Heroes, & Fools, has been in those same charts since its release in July 2011. The Wizard and the Warlord will bring Gerard and Hyden’s story to a climactic conclusion. This final installment of the trilogy is scheduled for paperback release in July 2012. The eBook version should be available a little sooner.

Sandara of rendered the image of the baby red dragon sitting in its mother’s lap, while Gary V. Tenuta of turned the work into the wonderful cover you see here.

If you are familiar with the story then you will know who the young hatchling in the image is. If not, maybe you should pick up The Sword and the Dragon and find out for yourself.

Accolades for The Wardstone Trilogy:

5 stars - By Dr. Jamal

I have read many a dragon novel in my time. But none compare to Mathias' The Sword and the Dragon. The personal character development and attention to detail are so rich, that you are literally sucked into this novel. This massive work of a masterpiece will be glued to your hands and mind. One of the greatest novels I have read in a long time. A must read for any and all interested in the lives and times of dragons.

5 stars - Great Read

I enjoyed this one so much that I purchased the author's 'Dragoneer' series. I honestly don't know which I enjoyed more. I am eagerly awaiting the next one.

5 stars - Loved it!

This book is intense. It has suspense, romance, heartache, action, and magic. It's an incredible story that will keep you on your toes. :) I can't wait for the next one!

5 stars - Phenomenal!!!

The next epic adventure of our time! If you like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy you are gonna flip for this! M.R. Mathias's storytelling prowess is on full display here taking you on an adventure into a land you will not soon forget or want to leave. I am chomping at the bit for part two! Thank you, thank you, thank you, for allowing us to be part of yours and their world!

***A note to all fantasy fans:

Book One – The Sword and the Dragon (eBook version only) is available at Amazon and B&N for just $1 until Thanksgiving. That’s 700+ pages of pure epic fantasy for just a buck.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

D. Robert Pease: The IAN Interview

D. Robert Pease has been interested in creating worlds since childhood. From building in the sandbox behind his house, to drawing fantastical worlds with paper and pencil, there has hardly been a time he hasn't been off on some adventure in his mind, to the dismay of parents and teachers alike. Also, since the moment he could read, books have consumed vast swaths of his life. From The Mouse and the Motorcycle, to The Lord of the Rings, worlds just beyond reality have called to him like Homer's Sirens. It's not surprising then he chose to write stories of his own. Each filled with worlds just beyond reach, but close enough we can all catch a glimpse of ourselves in the characters.

IAN. Please tell us about your latest book.

DRP. Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble is about a boy who lives 1000 years in the future with his family on an immense spaceship called the ARC (Animal Rescue Cruiser). His family's mission is to travel through time and rescue two of every animal and bring them back to the future to repopulate Earth, which has been wiped clean of life by some cataclysmic event eight hundred years prior. But it's not as easy as it sounds. His parents disappear, and Noah, and his brother and sister have to find them, while taking care of all the animals, and also avoiding a man bent on stopping the ARC project at all costs.

IAN. How long did it take to write Noah Zarc?

DRP. I wrote the first draft for NaNoWriMo in November of 2008, so almost three years. Of course the version you read now, is very different than that first draft. I've rewritten it several times. Worked with critique partners and beta-readers. And worked with the wonderful folks at The Editorial Department to edit/rewrite again, and tweak, tweak, tweak to get to the point where I thought it was publishable.

IAN. What inspired you to write the book?

DRP. Well, obviously it is a take off the story of Noah's Ark in the Bible, but that was really just the genesis (pardon the pun) for the story. I loved the idea of what would it be like if the world was wiped clean, and humans barely escaped with their lives, only to discover they missed so much richness of life without the animal kingdom. And if they discovered time-travel what would it take to set things right?

IAN. Talk about the writing process. Do you write at night or in the morning?

DRP. I write whenever I get the chance. I don't have a set schedule, since I have a day job, and family. Some of my best writing takes place at coffee shops while I wait for my kids who are at various activities. I mentioned NaNoWriMo above. During the month of November, I do usually stay up a couple hours every night, cranking out words.

IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?

DRP. My first few books were written completely by the seat of my pants (Noah Zarc being one of them). But I've since discovered the joy of having at least some kind of outline before I start a new book. With Noah, I remember getting bogged down midway through the first draft, having no idea whatsoever where the story should go. And I had a whole lot of work to get the story to have any flow, or cohesiveness afterwards in editing. For my most recent project, I outlined in fairly great detail, the whole story. The first draft flew by without a big bout of writer's block in the middle, and I think the story is much closer to publishable than I've ever achieved in a first draft.

IAN. How is your book different from others in your genre?

DRP. When I first published Noah Zarc (and even before) I had a hard time finding books to compare it to. I like to refer to it as upper middle grade, because it can be thought of as almost YA in some respects (without all the snogging), but in other ways it is definitely for more of a younger audience. I finally read the Percy Jackson series and realized that there were folks writing for that kind of tweenage group of kids, especially boys. I think one thing that sets Noah Zarc apart is its serious side. I didn't want to write some superficial, fart-joke riddled book (not that I don't like a good body-humor joke) I wanted a book with some meat in it. I didn't want to talk down to kids, so I tried to make Noah Zarc as real as possible, while still making it fun and accessible for the age group.

IAN. Is Noah Zarc published in print, e-book or both?

DRP. Yes, it can be purchased in both paperback, and for e-readers.

IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

DRP. Well, first and foremost, I hope they had a good time. There's nothing worse than reading a book for several hours and in the end feeling like you just wasted part of your life. As an overall message, I hope kids see just a little bit how important family is, and just how much their parents love them. This was huge for me. I wanted to tell my kids, look right here, this is what I would do for you. I also wanted kids to maybe think a little more about a balanced view of caring for the environment. We are stewards of Earth, but we are also part of the equation. Yes, we can't destroy the ecology of Earth, but at the same time we need to remember human lives are important too.

IAN. Where can we go to buy Noah Zarc?

DRP. Just about everywhere books are sold online.


Barnes & Noble:


IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

DRP. I have two books in progress right now. One is a sequel to Noah Zarc, called Noah Zarc: Cataclysm. Just as it sounds like, in the book Noah finds himself going back in time to the moment when Earth is destroyed. Maybe he can stop it. Or maybe he caused it. It will be released in 2012. I also have another book, again based on a story in the Bible, called Joey Cola and the Stoat of Many Colors. I'm really excited about it and can't wait to get it into readers hands too.

IAN. Any other links or info you'd like to share?

DRP. To get updates and learn more about upcoming titles, follow me in one (or all) of the following places:

Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble by D. Robert Pease

320 pages

Middle Grade, Science Fiction

Walking Stick Books

California sped by in a blur below. I hugged the terrain as closely as I dared. A line of mountains in front of us made me smile.

“Computer, keep track of Haon’s location.” I slowed the ship slightly. “We want to make sure he keeps following.”

“XB Class is two-point-seven kilometers behind and closing,” the computer said. “Altitude five hundred meters.”

“Perfect,” I said.

“I hope you know what you’re doing.” Mom looked a little pale. Adina on the other hand seemed to be enjoying the excitement.

The mountain range soared in front of us. I pulled back and skimmed along the peaks.

“Missile lock confirmed.”

I accelerated over a ridge of granite.

“Two Mark 7 missiles fired.”

After we crested the ridge I plunged back down. The DUV III streaked toward a green valley below. I heard an explosion as one of the rockets clipped a peak behind us. I banked left and climbed up over another ridge. The second rocket didn’t make the turn and smashed into a granite wall.

“That was close!” Adina yelled.

Once more I hugged the terrain. The ground below was broken up by never-ending rows of sharp granite peaks.

“XB Class is still within missile range.”

“Good.” Finally the terrain below smoothed out. We sped over brown desert. I pushed the DUV III faster and pulled away from Haon.

“Just a little further.” Finally I saw what I was looking for. The desert gave way to rocky terrain again and a huge chasm came into view.

“The Grand Canyon?” Mom said.

I grinned. “I always wanted to try this.” I banked right and dropped into the canyon. Even after I lowered our speed, the canyon walls still sped by in a blur.

“XB Class closing. One kilometer.”

“Seven hundred fifty meters.”

“Missile lock confirmed.”

The DUV III screamed around a column of red rock.

“Four Mark 7 missiles fired.”

“He can’t have too many missiles left.” I skimmed over a flat butte, then dropped down toward the green Colorado River. Rockets exploded around us, smashing into ancient stone.

“One Mark 7 missile remains. Impact in five-seconds.”

I spotted the perfect outcropping of stone. I skimmed the surface of the river, mashed the yoke left, and whizzed behind it. The rocket blew a hole through the shale. Fragments of stone pinged all over the DUV III.

“Those are getting too close for comfort.” Mom dug her fingernails into her armrests.

“I need the right spot.” I banked, turned, rose, and fell while we rocketed through the canyon. Just ahead, the canyon walls came together. “That should do.”

I slowed and let Haon close in. I dropped toward the river. He followed.

“XB Class is two hundred meters back. Missile lock confirmed.”

A few more heartbeats, then I yanked back on the yoke. The DUV III groaned, but her wings caught the air and lifted her up. I kept pulling back as the ship strained toward the blue sky above, then curved back around to the canyon floor. I’d done a complete loop.

Haon’s ship was now in front of us. I dove forward. He couldn’t turn—he was surrounded by stone walls left and right. He couldn’t climb out of the canyon—I moved in to block his ship.

Just ahead, the canyon took a sharp turn left.

The DUV III skimmed above the XB Class, Haon hurtling toward the rock. We were maybe ten meters away from the canyon wall when he managed to pull up high enough to scrape over the cliff’s edge.

He smashed against our underside—and flew out from beneath us with a wrenching tear. The vertical stabilizers on his ship dangled.

I clipped an outcropping of stone and the DUV III spun left. I used up every trick I knew to straighten her out, but the ship continued to spin.

We dropped toward a plateau of rock below.

“Landing thrusters!” I yelled. The DUV III continued to twirl like a top. A loud grinding noise rent the cabin.

We hit the ground.

Dust and debris filled the air while I fought with the controls. For several long heartbeats, the ship rumbled and shook. Finally everything went quiet.

We’d crashed.

And Haon’s ship was gone.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tamsin L. Silver: Author Of The Living Dead Girl Series

Tamsin L. Silver lives in New York City with her Border Collie/Lab mix, Keziah, but is originally from Michigan. She holds a BA in Theatre and Secondary Education with a minor in Creative Writing and Shakespeare from Winthrop University in South Carolina and has taught both middle and high school drama. She works in Theatre as a freelance Director and Producer in NYC, where her writing has also been performed on stage. She is highly addicted to Twitter and rambling on her blog about her writing, her characters or just what’s on her mind.

IAN. Please tell us about The Betrayal.

TS. The Betrayal is the first book of a five part saga about a young woman, Atlanta, and her friends Jensine and Grayson. They stumble into a world they didn’t know existed, where magick and magickal creatures exist. Atlanta then discovers she’s part of that world. She’s a witch by birth. Then they discover that her existence plays a large part in the prophesied war between the two factions of the Clandestine World, The Great Order and the Superior Order.

Throughout the book, Atlanta ventures out on a journey to discover who she is, what she was born to do, and how to use her powers. It is obvious there is corruption within both of the Orders. Politics and old laws that have been in place for centuries divide the sects, creating moral issues to be dealt with. Much like the human world, the Clandestine World contains good and evil but nothing is ever just black and white. Lies, deceit and betrayal permeate this world and it is Atlanta’s job to find her way through the darkness of this new life so as to defend what she feels is right and protect the ones she loves from the danger that seeks them out.

And as with life, relationships build not only as friendships, but more than. Atlanta finds herself torn between two men who love her. Both of them are flawed but in different ways. She needs them both so as come to terms with who she is now, how that effects her life and the lives of her friends, and the consequences of being a part of this new world. It’s a war. There are casualties. Betrayal is at every turn. The question is, will she see the warnings in time to save her own life from those who look to destroy her and those she loves?

IAN. How long did it take to write the book?

TS. I started this book in the mid 1990’s and then put it down for ten years while I was in college, chasing/building my career in theatre, teaching, etc. In 2009 I decided I wanted this story out there. It was time to do it before someone else did. So I sat down to finish it over six months and then started to edit. I started to pitch it in December of 2009. I got picked up by Eirelander Publishing about 18 months later, shortly after starting to submit to e-publishers instead of agents.

IAN. What inspired you to write The Betrayal?

TS. Life, friendship, and extraordinary experiences/circumstances. I love the idea of using fantasy novels to look at the bigger issues in life. Kind of like when you watch the Lord of the Rings movies or read the books. You spend so much time thinking it’s about good vs. evil until you get into the third movie/book and you say, “Well hell, it’s about the friendship between Sam and Frodo and the lives they touch.” I wanted to do the same thing. I also wanted to use the book to stand up for things I believe in.

IAN. Talk about the writing process. Do you write at night or in the morning?

TS. I write all the time. If I have the chance, I write every day if I’m not in the editing process. I swear, editing sucks all the creative juices out of your soul. Ha! Anyhoo…my point is that I at least write five days a week. I tend to write at my office on lunch or after hours because I have a great boss who lets me AND a nice chair and keyboard there. Believe it or not, I’ll sometimes stay at the office till 9pm because I write best there. But I’ll write at home too, on my laptop in my bed, when I need to write and I don’t want to mosey down to my office in Midtown East (cause I live WAY uptown on the west side of the island).

IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?

TS. Ha! Outline? What’s that? Kidding. Sorta. See, an outline is like a curse to my creativity. The minute I go to write out an outline for something my mind goes blank. I stare at the page and go, “What am I trying to do here?” I find that just writing and letting my imagination run wild as I write the first draft produces a much better story with twists and turns I’d not thought of with making an outline. Not that there’s anything wrong with having one. I know many writers who use them. They just don’t work for me.

IAN. How is The Betrayal different from others in your genre?

TS. I twisted the vampire/witch/werewolf/shape shifter lore a bit. For example, my vampires fall into two types. They were either born that way (and age differently than humans) or they were a human who was changed. Plus, instead of them being soulless spawns of evil they were created to protect the human race from themselves, basically. They’ve been around since the days of the Bible and their “condition” is a direct punishment from God for the immense sin of one of their ancestors. They are atoning for that sin with the curse of their gifts and long life. I’ve done something similar to all four factions; given them a Biblical history and a pure purpose. Of course, just like with humans, not everyone in this world believe in the same purpose, which is where our conflicts come into play.

IAN. Is The Betrayal published in print, e-book or both?

TS. Currently it is only an e-book, but I think we’re down to 16 more e-copies to be sold and you’ll be able to get it in print through Amazon’s Print on Demand feature.

IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

TS. Three things, actually. First and foremost, a sense of being immersed in a different reality with characters they both relate to and care about. I’ve heard from some readers that the characters are so vivid to them that they find themselves thinking about them even when they’re not reading. I like that. I like books that make me think about them like they were real. Plus, these characters as flawed, like we all are. I think that adds to why you care about them. We’re all flawed. If we were perfect, we’d be boring.

Secondly, I want it to make them think. I play around with the question, who are the bad guys, really? I do this throughout the series. Because sometimes that line between good and evil is blurred and people will step over it to suit their needs. The question is, when is that step too far? When is a lie more than a lie? When is a betrayal something you can’t get past? When do you go so far over that line you can’t find it again? And most importantly, what are the consequences for that step in the wrong direction?

And third, I suppose I want people to come away with wondering what will happen next. I’ve left us on a bit of a cliff hanger. I pray people become invested enough to want to know how it turns out.

IAN. Where can we go to buy The Betrayal?

TS. You can go to my website. From the home page you can find all the links in order to purchase the book, from Amazon to B&N or from my publisher directly. The links on at the top left corner of the home page, above the book’s artwork.

IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

TS. I’m a sequel junky. Both as a writer and a reader. So, it won’t surprise you to hear my answer. I am working on multiple books right now. First and foremost, the 2nd book in the Living Dead Girl Saga. It’s called Shattered. I finished it about two years ago and I’m working on its first string of edits, seeing as Eirelander has asked for it. Which makes me thrilled! To be honest, I’ve written book three (Stained Glass) and half of book four (Destiny)…as well as the ending of book five, the last one (Redemption). I’ve also written a sequel to the LDG Saga called Moon Over Manhattan and I’m using NaNoWriMo to finish the first book of The Cameron Chronicles, which is a prequel series to the LDG Saga about how Sean became the famous vampire hunter you meet in The Betrayal. All of these books fall within the Clandestine World I created for Living Dead Girl Saga. There are characters from The Cameron Chronicles that pop up in the LDG Saga and characters from the LDG Saga that’ll pop up in both Moon Over Manhattan and Black Sunshine, which is a different sequel series to the LDG Saga that takes place in the future, so it’s the same world but instead of being Urban Fantasy it’ll be Urban Sci-Fi/ Fantasy.

IAN. Any other links or info you'd like to share?

TS. Sure! I think one of the things that makes my work different should be shared. My background is in theatre as well as writing. I took my casting and producing experience and I did something most new writers don’t get to do. I cast my characters and did a photo-shoot of them. It was a blast! I started off with doing one for Moon Over Manhattan, as it was a smaller cast. Once that went over well, I took on doing the characters for the Living Dead Girl Saga.

So check out the pictures on my website here:

OR if you want some detailed characters bios go to the October entries on my blog here:

OR you can see videos of the photo-shoots here:

Also, a fun fact: The middle initial of my pen name is in honor of my dad, Larry.

The Betrayal (A Living Dead Girl Novel) by Tamsin L. Silver

452 pages
Urban Fantasy
Eirelander Publishing

A Sample:

Atlanta woke up with a start; the scream was still caught in her throat. She sat up in bed with wide eyes and sweat soaking her hairline.

“Well hell,” she muttered, rubbing her face and shoving her hair out of her eyes. “That nap wasn’t restful at all.” She glanced at the clock. “Shit, shit, shit, I’m late.”

Throwing the covers off, she streaked into the bathroom and snagged a quick shower. On the way back to her room in a towel she stopped at her roommate’s door and banged on it. “Stoltz! You’re so fired!”

The door opened and a tall young man appeared, hands up in defense. His sea green eyes were wide with fear, “I know. I know. I just saw the time. I’m sooo sorry, Atty!” Grayson said.

“Uh huh. I’ll be ready in thirty minutes, fifteen if you’ll drive while I put on make-up.”

He ran his hand through his blondish brown curls. “I can do that. I’ll be ready by then too.”

Atlanta pulled the shower cap off her long, straight, black hair and tossed it back into the bathroom. “Call Jen, make sure she’s awake. The less time we have to spend at her place the more time we get at the club.”

“On it!”

Atlanta rushed into her bedroom and shut the door, her mind going a hundred miles a minute. Jumping between what she should wear, to what her dream meant. With a frustrated grunt, she tossed the towel and pulled out her black corset, long black pencil skirt, heeled lace-up boots and started to work herself into the outfit.

Grayson’s voice came through her door, “I woke her up. She cussed me out in two languages.”

Atlanta smiled. “We’ll call her back as we head out the door. Come in here and help me with this, will you?”

Grayson came in, a lit cigarette in his mouth. Atlanta noted he’d opted for a simple pair of black leather pants and a see through black shirt with sparkles that showed off his well-defined chest and abs nicely. As he sauntered in, Gray attached his choker behind his neck. “Corset time?”

“Yep.” She yanked the cig from him and took a drag, then spun to hold onto the tall bedpost, “Pull, girlfriend, pull.”

Grayson was used to this. Working the laces like a pro, he pulled her already hourglass figure into a more severe version and tied it off. “Can you breathe?”

“A bit.”

“Then it’s not tight enough,” he joked and took his cig back.

“Ha ha. I’d like to breathe thank you very much. Passing out on the dance floor is so last season.”

“Breathing is overrated. You look hot though.”

Atlanta turned to inspect herself in the door size mirrors on the closet. Her already ample cleavage now heaved out the top of the corset. Tucking it back in just enough so they didn’t resemble chin rests, she noted her new boots had her normal five foot ten stature now over six foot, making her an inch or two taller than Grayson. “It works. You ready?”

“Yes ma’am,” he said, his face squinched up in the mirror as he inspected her face. “You okay?”

“Fine. Why didn’t you wake me?” She said, changing the topic. He opened his mouth but she cut him off. “Never mind, it doesn’t matter. Let’s go.”

Shifting past him, she grabbed her black leather duster from the coat rack, slipped it on, snatched her purse from the table, and they headed down to the car. Atlanta unlocked the car and tossed Grayson the keys, heading around to the passenger side. “When is your Jeep outta the shop?”

“Tomorrow,” he said, getting in and starting the car. Shutting the door, he put on his seatbelt. “Call Jen again.”

“Uh uh…you get that chore.”

“Fuck.” He hit re-dial on his cell. “Hey Jen, we’re…”

Atlanta was able to hear her other best friend say something like, “I’m up! I’m up for God’s sake!”

“Excellent. We’re on our way. Be there in fifteen minutes.”

As he hung up Atlanta pulled out her make-up bag. “She only yelled in one language, that’s a good sign.”

With at chuckle and shake of his head, Gray headed out of the complex their condo was in. Once clear of it and on open road Gray pushed again, “You had another dream.”

Atlanta heard the statement of it. She flubbed up her eyeliner and cursed. “What? No. Why would you say that?” She lied. She didn’t want to go into this and even more so, she didn’t want him worrying about her.

“The circles under your eyes give it away, you know. Want to talk about it?”

She blew it off, her tone light. “Nothing to talk about.”

“Uh-huh. Okay. Just tell me, is everyone safe?”

Grayson knew about her dreams. How they were prophetic in nature and often disturbing. She’d possessed the “gift” ever since she was a little girl and other than her adoptive parents, no one but Gray and Jensine knew.

“I’m fine, Gray.” Atlanta said. He stole a glance at her and she knew he wasn’t satisfied with her answer. She didn’t want to go into it, not now. So she put on a smile, took a cleansing breath, and said, “Really, everyone we know is fine Gray. I’m just agitated ‘cause I woke up late. The dream had nothing to do with you or Jen. Promise.”

He seemed to consider asking her more but nodded. “Okay. You can tell me later, if you want.”

“You got it.”

But as they drove and she applied her club make-up, Atlanta couldn’t help but think about the dream. At least she’d not lied to Grayson—Jensine and he weren’t in it—they weren’t in any danger. She was.