15 Dec 2014

“Murder Most Deadly” by Simon Okill

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“Murder Most Deadly” by Simon Okill is a fun-filled horror story that will have you in stitches. 23634121

Blurb: “It is an earthy British horror comedy in the style of Carry On, Monty Python, Blackadder all wrapped up in a Hammer Film.

Bianca Penhale, celebrity author, has a dark secret that must be protected at all costs. Her delightful Cornish fishing village is proud to have her, but the gossips have already started. Then Maldini the Magician discovers her secret and blackmails her. This triggers Bianca’s dark side but Maldini has a few tricks up his sleeve.

Bianca’s troubles go viral when her conniving cousin, Hugh, arrives begging for money. His devious antics attract all manner of problems that soon spirals out of control, sending poor Bianca into despair.

And if things weren’t bad enough, she must do battle with witches, ghosts, werewolves, vampires, zombies and Piskies. Bianca’s once cosy life has been turned upside down. Can she hold on to her dark side and survive the onslaught?”

Just like the publicity for this story promises, there is a distinct hint of Hammer Horror in this, although better plotting and characters that are a little more evolved than Hammer occasionally delivered. Set in Cornwall, which has its own history of ghosts and spook, the story centers around the Bianca and her boyfriend, failed Magician Maldini, who soon turns into an enemy. This murderous and thrilling mayhem will scare you as well as it entertains and keeps you at the edge of your seat. Okill has a unique talent for combining hilarious fun with darker elements and proves that genre crossing can work. A truly great read and a must for fans of hammer, horror and dark comedies.

Find the book on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Link to my interview with Simon and a link to my feature on his other work

Simon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/tassyoneill his website http://facebook.com/simondokillwriter twitter username SimonOKill

SImon author pic
Simon Okill lives with his wife, Shirlee Anne in a pretty coastal town in South Wales, UK. After a serious accident at work, he was forced into early retirement due to disability. Simon used his newfound skills as a writer to help with his depression. His writing became more serious as certain A-list actors expressed interest in his scripts.He is presently working on his teen adventure series Phantom Bigfoot Series.Phantom Bigfoot Strikes Again is book #1 of the series where superhero Duane Dexter has to use all his powers to save the day in Big Beaver.Phantom Bigfoot & The Vampettes from Venus is #2 where Duane must use his powers to save Big Beaver from sexy space vampire.

Phantom Bigfoot & The Haunted House #3 has Duane outfoxed by a devious spook, full of paranormal romance.

Luna Sanguis is the story of Eternal, a 19 year old woman – an amnesiac vampire treated in an asylum in France 1925.

Luna Aeturnus follows hot on its heels as Eternal must face her dreaded enemy in a battle of the vampires.

SSteppenwolf is a supernatural retelling of WWII involving the Occult Warfare department run by Himmler.

‘Flip Side’ is one of Simon’s most exciting screenplays to date with its unusual slant on a supernatural gangster story that encompasses music and dynamic dance sequences to portray the action. The script has been optioned by Tasha Bertram of Brodie Films and Stuart St Paul has come on board to direct and co produce this fascinating piece of work.

Apart from ‘Flip Side’ Simon has several screenplays all in varying stages of development and predevelopment.

‘Nightmare Circus’ is a supernatural revenge mystery script set in the Australian outback.

‘Dark House’ another of Simon’s screenplays set in Massachusetts, US, where a lonely female artist must overcome her agoraphobia to escape from three kidnappers holed up in a haunted house.

‘Circus of Blood’ is a horror script set in Rome AD79.

‘Hunter’s Moon’ is a contemporary supernatural western script set on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall.

The Last Warlord is set during WWII and tells of Major Stewart of MI6 who must find the Nazi’s secret Atlantis base in Antarctica or the entire world will be doomed. Currently in the hands of a major Hollywood producer.

 

26 Feb 2014

NEW RELEASE: BENTWHISTLE IN A CHILLING REVELATION

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“Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Chilling Revelation” by Paul Cude is the second book in his great fun dragon themed fantasy adventure series.A-Chilling-Revelation-Cover-Reduced (1)

The story begins with a thrilling sequence about Aviva, a dragon who infiltrates the human world at the time of Alexander the Great and Ptolemy, trying to interfere with humans and their world. Other dragons have to interfere with her plot and restore what has been disturbed unwarrantedly.

This turns out to be a story told by Peter, a dragon who is currently stuck in human form due to an injury from a precious adventure. The world we live in is that of young dragons at school, part of a society of dragons living underground in a parallel world to humans. There is a king and his council and dragons who can take on human form. The setting is magical, imaginative and great fun. Particularly enjoyable to me were the Laminium Ball matches between the dragons. Cude has given his new world a lot of thought and created a detailed and colourful environment.

The story of this book’s main adventure begins with a mission in the Antarctica and includes a complex terrorism plot.  The opponents in this book are nagas, a new race with their own agenda.

Interesting characters, suspenseful action and great humour are plentiful in this book. There is action, adventure and also young love, making this a rich feast of a novel., that should appeal to old and young fantasy fans alike.

I don’t often read fantasy but this is a series I am thoroughly enjoying and one that I’d highly recommend.

FIND THE BOOK ON YOUR AMAZON SITE: http://bookShow.me/B00ILPLFNW

Paul Cude is no stranger to my blogs. Here are links to previous posts

 Here is his blog: http://www.thesoberhockeyplayer.co.uk/

Download ‘Benthwhistle The Dragon In A Threat From The Past’ free from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/286035

Download ‘Bentwhistle The Dragon In A Chilling Revelation’ from Smashwords:https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/394788

Bentwhistle The Dragon Website: http://www.bentwhistlethedragon.co.uk/

Bentwhistle The Dragon on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/Bentwhistlethedragon?ref=hl

Follow Paul on twitter: @paul_cude

Paul’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paul-Cude/e/B007339206/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Bentwhistle For Nook At Barnes & Noble:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Bentwhistle-The-dragon?keyword=Bentwhistle+The+dragon&store=book

21 Jan 2014

“The Succubus in a Red Dress” by Daniel Garcia

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succubus

 

 

“The Succubus in a Red Dress” by Daniel Garcia is a very entertaining short novel about a woman who turns into a succubus. While we follow Delilah and her personal transformation and her adjustment to the new lifestyle there is also some complicated romance and the evil succubus Queen and her ‘society’.
Written in a refreshing and often humorous style this is hugely enjoyable. Colourful characters, unexpected twists and a great pace made this a big pleasant surprise on my reading list.
Highly recommended, not just to the many fans of the supernatural and paranormal.

Interview with the author:

Tell us a little about yourself as writer and a person.

My goals as a writer are to make others laugh and to surprise them. After reading my stories, I hope people say “I didn’t see that coming” or at least “that was different.” As for knowing something about me, I’m a fairly private person, so I love the idea of being enigmatic and cloaked in mystery. I probably need to get over that. One thing I will offer up is that I’m a bit of a clown in real life, too.

What made you become a writer?

Ideas kept popping into my head, and they wouldn’t go away until I jotted them down. I actually started off writing screenplays, but I didn’t feel in sync with the Hollywood process. Everyone wants to re-write you. It finally occurred to me that I should turn my stores into novels and go the independent publishing route, and I’m much happier with this process.

Have you always written?

No. Though I’ve always had an over-active imagination, I never thought of myself as a creative person, not until college, when I had an internship reading screenplays for a production company. After doing that for five years, I grew tired of critiquing others’ creativity, and couldn’t resist the idea of telling my own stories.

When did you decide to write paranormal humour?

When I started writing “The Succubus in a Red Dress.” I never plan things out, I just write what pops into my mind, whatever genre that may be.

Do you have a favourite genre? 945793_1388606571365439_573633095_a

I can see myself trying out different genres, but what I particularly enjoy about paranormal is that it allows one to take the world around us, and deal with it in a slightly heightened, fantastical fashion.

Tell us a little about the history of “Succubus”! How long did it take you to write and publish?

I had thought about “Succubus” for years, it was one of those ideas that lingered in the back of my mind. It all stemmed from the alley scene, after Delilah’s date with Ken, and also the vision of Chloe charging up in a red Ferrari to save her. I had a break over the holidays last year, and wrote the whole thing in 10 days. I spent another two months perfecting it, and published in a couple days.

What was the easiest about writing the book and what was the hardest?

“Succubus” leapt out of my mind almost fully formed, perhaps because I carried it around for so long. However, the hard part for me was that it’s a bit short. I kept wanted to expand the idea, but in my gut, I knew Delilah’s adventures would be more fully developed in the sequels. Yet, it was still a struggle for me to leave it the way it was.

Would you say there is a message in the book beyond the story?

For me, it’s all about empowerment. Though the succubus myth is an interesting one in certain ways, I wanted to subvert the idea of these women being evil or demons. I love the idea that maybe they could be heroes. I also enjoy that Delilah constantly rebels against what people assume she is or the labels they might try to slap on her. I love that she simply refuses to be what’s expected of her, and forces the people around her to re-examine what they believe.

Do you find it is well received and picked up by the reviewers?

I don’t think any reviewers know “Succubus” exists. I am happy that readers on Amazon and Goodreads have left some positive feedback.

What do you like most about your characters?

I love it when they say something that makes me laugh or do something that surprises me, which happens quite often.

Which one is your favourite?

Chloe and Benito were my favourite characters for the longest time, but Delilah eventually took the top spot. I find something endearing about the fact that she has superpowers, yet is shy and awkward. I also like the idea that the world conspires to make her a hero, when it seems like the last thing she should be.

Who would play the characters in a film?

Selena Gomez for Delilah, Armie Hammer for Ken, Becca Tobin from “Glee” for Chloe, Julianna Margulies for Ken’s mom, or maybe Sigourney Weaver. I would love to see the Succubus Queen played by Salma Hayek or Monica Belluci … maybe even Jennifer Lopez.

What are your next projects? Tell us about your other books.

My next project is the sequel to “Succubus.” It’s called “The Succubus and the Crown.” Delilah finds herself having to navigate the world of paranormal politics over the course of one very long night. I also have another book out called “The Meridian Gamble.” It’s about a woman who falls for a vampire, who realizes that they have known each other over her various past lives.

What is your life like?

Sleep, eat, write, dream of being able to write full-time. Rinse and repeat.

What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

Sleep is my favourite hobby. I play a bit of videogames, mostly ones that aren’t too challenging, like Animal Crossing, and sometimes World of Warcraft. I also watch some TV shows on the Internet or rent movies on ITunes, but mostly I write.

Who are your literary influences?

Though he’s not literary, I love Joss Whedon. I enjoy his snarky sense of humour, and the balance of comedy and drama he creates. He strikes a certain chord of silliness that still allows you to get caught up in the drama of his stories. If they did another season of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” I would be ecstatic. Or maybe he could just turn “The Succubus in a Red Dress” into a series. Hmmm …

What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

Favourite book; “The Life and Loves of a She-Devil.” Favourite films; “Pitch Perfect” and “Enchanted.”

What are your views on independent publishing?

Indie-Publishing is a powerful medium. It’s amazing to be able to get your book in front of millions of people without having to hear “No” from agents, managers, publishing houses. I can’t even imagine wanting to sign a publishing deal if one came my way, because of the freedom self-publishing allows.

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

“Jack Who?” by Lisa Gilles, “The Casquette Girls” by Alys Arden and “Bad Company” by Wendy Nelson, “The Key to Erebus” by Emma Leech, “Diviner’s Prophecy” by Nicolette Andrews.

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

My friend’s might say my best quality is my wry sense of humour. My oddest would be that I sometimes tell people things before they happen. I have a pretty strong intuition.

What are your favourite animal/colour/ outdoor activity?

I love cats, but I’m horribly allergic to them. Favourite colour is blue, outdoor activity – walking to wherever I have to go.

What would you take to a remote island?

A laptop with cellular connection.

Who would you like to invite for dinner and why?

Chelsea Handler, the talk show host. I think she’s hysterical, though I would be crushed if we didn’t wind up becoming BFFs.

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

I’m writing the sequel to “The Succubus in a Red Dress,” which I’m hoping to finish by January 1st. That will make my New Year very happy. The best way to find out about my projects is to buy a copy of Succubus and join my mailing list. I use it exclusively to announce a new book, so those on the list get to hear first.

What else would you like us to know about you and your books?

That you can visit me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/dan.garcia.58958343

And on twitter at: https://twitter.com/ddgbooks.

And on Amazon: http://bookShow.me/B00CN3ZWNW

28 Nov 2013

Aaron David: “The Almost English Dictionaarony”

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Aaron dictionary

“The Almost English Dictionaarony” by Aaron David is a selection of eight intriguing and very funny shorts.
The author has a very quirky and unique sense of humour that he has already proven in a full length novel, The Tale of the Ancient Marina.
In this book he explores some obscure but clever ideas, such as space travel gone wrong, acting ambitions pushed to the limit, monkey vertigo and a set of hilarious made up biographies. Some stories are actually quite meaning- and thoughtful and show the author’s ability to serious reflection but the main purpose of the collection is valued entertainment.

Short, concise and very enjoyable.

 

 The Book is FREE 28 -30 Nov 2013

 http://bookShow.me/B00GT1HK5W

 

Interview with Aaron David:

 

Tell us a little about yourself as a writer and a person.

OK try to stay awake; I’m 48 years old, married 28 years, three kids; 20, 18 and 16 (unusual names). I’m a tradesman running a 24 hour call-out service. I live in Bolton in the north west of England.

What made you become a writer?  Aaronpic

In 1997 we were awaiting the imminent arrival of our third baby in four years. My wife worked strange shifts so I based my work around hers. Thankfully this meant we never had to rely on anyone else for childcare; the kids were always with one or both of us. Anyone who’s been through the whole “baby thing” will know you spend a lot of time waiting; for them to wake up, for them to be hungry etc. I thought I could use this time productively so embarked on writing a novel. Sure enough, a mere ten years later it was finished! The rest is geography… Physics… Double-French… History.

Have you always written? Was it always going to be comedy?

I always wanted to write, I was the class clown at school then later at work and in the pub. It HAD to be a comedy. I was genuinely shocked when my readers told me it was a thriller.

Can you be serious?

I can but prefer not to.

What was the easiest about writing the book and what was the hardest?

I found it easy because it was enjoyable. When you write you discover what your opinions are. I didn’t treat it as a job; didn’t sit down to write eight hours per day. I’d write when I felt inspired then stop when I wasn’t. I would go months between writing bits. I think over all the book benefitted from that.

Would you say there is a message in the book?

No.

Do you find it is well received and picked up by the reviewers?

So far (touch wood) I’ve only had positive reviews. The only criticism was that it’s too short; which is kind of a compliment. Means the reader wanted more.

What do you like most about your characters?

They’re all fictional but could be real. None of them are based on real people except Mike, Ken, Clare & Judith. If I’d ‘nicked’ real peoples’ personalities I’d feel I owed them something.

Which one is your favourite?

I have a very soft spot for Nobby; In the face of adversity (being incredibly thick) he muddles through life somehow.

Are you like any of them?

Ken is an idealised version of the older me, Mike is an un-idealised version of me in my twenties

Who would play the characters in a film?

Steve Coogan would be a brilliant Tony, Peter Kaye could play Nobby better than he’s written.

What are your next projects?

The Almost English Dictionaarony; a collection of short stories is available on Amazon now. I’m running a free promo’ 28 – 30 November.

What is your life like?

Hectic!

What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

My work and family keep me busy, writing is my only ‘hobby’.

Who are your literary influences?

My readers would be the best judges of that. Several reviews have mentioned Tom Sharpe. I’ve never read any of his work but must get around to it some time.

What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

I don’t get nearly enough time to read. I’ve re-read the Red Dwarf novels several times, heartily recommend them (except the third one; “Backwards”; not rubbish but not as good as the other three). “A Matter of Life and Death”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Toy Story 1, 2 and 3”, “Aliens”, “Terminator 2”, “In the Line of Fire”… I could go on for weeks. The best album ever is “Bat Out of Hell” by a loooooooooong way. The two ‘sequels’ were AWFUL!!!

What are your views on independent publishing?

Very hard work and very time-consuming but ideal for control-freaks like me.

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

Your good self obviously, Ian Hutson, Tony Gilbert, loads of others

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

Friends?

What are your favourite animal/ colour/ outdoor activity?

Dog, black, playing football/ tennis/ badminton on a warm beach with my wife and kids + girlfriends/boyfriends.

What would you take to a remote island?

A boat and a map to get back home.

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

The sequel to “Marina”; “All the Loft Insulation you can Eat” is an ongoing project. I write short stories when an idea hits me.

What else would you like us to know about you and your books?

They’re brilliant and worth every penny. J

 

Thank you so much, truly an honour and a privilege. As you know I’m a big fan of your work.

 

The Tale of the Ancient Marina on Amazon: http://bookShow.me/B004C05C98

An Almost English Dictionaarony on Amazon http://bookShow.me/B00GT1HK5W

13 Oct 2013

Amy Metz: “Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction”

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Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction

“Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction” by Amy Metz came with high recommendations from a friend. I am not a great fan of murder mystery, but this one was as good as I was promised.
Cleverly told in separate narratives jumping between 1932 and 2010, there is the story of an old bank robbery that is connected to an unsolved murder, and there is the story of Tess.
Tess recently divorced her philandering husband and is trying to make a fresh start in a Southern town, aspiring to write a book. With help from local celebrity writer and unexpected love interest Jack Tess investigates mysterious break ins into her new home, which leads to the past.
Tess is an engaging character, as are her companions. The setting in the South sounds authentic and endearing to my European eyes and the plot is well paced and intelligently unfolded.
This is a very charming and entertaining read and one that I am sure may fans of the genre will follow through the entire series as it is being written. Great fun and highly recommended.

 

Interview with Amy Metz:

Tell us a little something about yourself as both a person and an author:

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Well, I have a husband, two sons, one daughter-in-law, one dog, two granddogs, and two grandcats. I am a former first grade teacher and PTA mom. I’m currently writing a humorous mystery series, a chick lit book, and a thriller (when I’m not dealing with a crisis with my mother, who has dementia). I started writing about four years ago, and I have one published novel that is a cozy mystery.

What made you decide to be a writer?

Necessity. It was either start writing or go insane. I chose the former, but the latter might have chosen me. I started writing as therapy when I became a caretaker for my mother who had just been diagnosed with dementia—that’s what I meant by necessity—but halfway into a memoir, I started writing a humorous southern mystery as an escape from real life. I found I really like living in imaginary worlds and talking to imaginary people, so that’s what I do most days now. And nights.

What made you decide to write comic crime fiction?

The memoir I mentioned was therapeutic to write, but it was also like immersing myself in depression. I needed something to laugh about. When I started thinking about writing a mystery, stories from my childhood came to mind about murders in my family’s history. The need to laugh and the need to tell the story of those murders just melded into a humorous mystery novel.

Tell us a little about your latest book.  GPJbackpainting

My latest published book is Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction. As I said, it’s based on real life and told in two different time periods—the 1930s and the present day. The 1930s are flashbacks to the murders—one unsolved—and my characters in the present day try to solve the cold case. My main character, Tess, is a Yankee, new to the town, and she’s a little culture shocked as she gets to know the folks in town. That’s where Jackson comes in—he helps translate the southern speak, helps her investigate the murder, and becomes a temptation Tess doesn’t want.

Did you have it all planned out before you wrote it or did the characters and story surprise you?

My characters absolutely wrote the story. I knew the basic premise, and I kind of knew how I wanted it to end, but they did all the rest.

How do you come up with your ideas?

My characters whisper them to me. Sometimes they knock me upside the head with them.

You also write in other genres. Could you tell us about those projects?

Waxman is a thriller set in the South. It’s also based on a true story—something I experienced, combined with a real serial killer on a college campus that someone told me about years ago. The killer was disguised as an old man, and he’d ask unsuspecting college kids for help. Who wouldn’t help an old man in need, right? Then, he’d get them alone and kill them. Cut to several years later when I was at the park with my sons and we were approached by the creepiest old man I’ve ever seen. He still makes me shudder, and I wonder if he really was an old man or just disguised as one. Creepy doesn’t begin to describe him.

Anyway, Waxman is set at a resort in Alabama, and someone is killing the women guests. The hotel hires a private investigator—Kate Pepper—to find the killer before word spreads and the hotel loses all its business. Of course there’s a handsome FBI agent assigned to the case, and sparring and sparks ensue.

My children’s book is called That Would Taste Better In Your Mouth, and it’s about Louie, who is a very picky eater. His mother tries everything to get him to try new foods. It’s told with alliteration and repetition—two things my kids loved in books when they were little. This is going to sound redundant, but it’s based on real life too. My oldest son was a very picky eater (hence, the storyline), and once when we tried to get my youngest son to eat something new, he said, “I think that would taste better in your mouth” (hence, the title). I’m working on the Guinness world record of rejections for that story, but I’m not giving up on it.

How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?

Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction was published by a small press. It would not be hyperbole to say my experience with them has been a nightmare. The highs? That’s got to be when I was on Amazon.com’s bestsellers lists for mystery authors, mysteries and women sleuths. I don’t care how simple my little book is, it is absolutely thrilling when you see your book ranked in between James Patterson and Janet Evonavich.
The lows? Let’s see…maybe when the publisher pulled my book from Amazon and B&N. Or maybe it was when I got the umpteenth bad comment on the poor formatting of the eBook. No, maybe it was when the eBook was pulled from Amazon for two and a half months while the publisher “fixed” the formatting. No, it was probably when the publisher filed for, and got, the copyright to my book. There have been a lot of lows. If your readers want to read about my experiences with publishing, they can check out these blog posts:

http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/guest-blog-amy-metz-when-bad-publishers-happen-to-good-writers/

Did you have any actors or people in mind when writing your characters in Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction?

No, I really didn’t. In my mind, my characters are unique people. I find it hard to pair them with actors when I’m asked to do so in interviews.

What is your writing environment like?

It varies, but it almost always includes a big comfy chair. At home, I write either in my office or my bedroom, both of which have big comfy chairs. But I also like to go to a local dessert café that has big comfy chairs and couches. I love a lot of natural light, and the room is surrounded by floor to ceiling window. I love going there during the week when it’s not very busy. Besides the bright, comfortable room, it has pie. My philosophy is life is always better with pie.

 

But I had the absolute best writing environment last July when I stayed in the Berkshires for a month. Every day, I went to the Stockbridge Library, up to the top floor, which was rarely occupied. And I had thousands of books, lots of history, and a big, beautiful room all to myself. It was wonderful. I worked on GPJ3 while I was there.

 

Tell us about your blog.

 

Stockbridge Library

When I first started promoting my book, I contacted a lot of bloggers. Some were very kind and hosted me with an interview or agreed to review my book. Some said no, and some just plain ignored me. I learned that it’s not easy for an Indie author to promote their work. I saw a need to help authors market their books. So I started A Blue Million Books, in a pay it forward spirit, and a desire to help Indie authors connect with readers.

What is your advice to new writers?

Oh my goodness, how much time do you have? My first bit of advice would be to join a writers group—either online or locally—and get feedback on your work. Beta readers are essential in helping you strengthen your story. I also recommend reading your work out loud after you’ve edited the heck out of it. A final read through out loud will help you see/hear things you might otherwise miss. And if you think your work doesn’t need to be edited—by you or anyone else—don’t quit your day job. Editing can sometimes be painful, but it’s part of the gig. If you can’t edit or can’t take constructive criticism, put your work in a folder for your family to read. Because they’re the only ones who will.

My next bit of advice is read, read, read, and write, write, write, but don’t stress if you get stuck at times.

And my last bit of advice is to thoroughly investigate a publisher before you submit your work to them, and investigate even more if you’re offered a contract. Pick apart the contract, and if you can afford it, have a lawyer, or someone who really understands contracts, read through it too. Whatever you do, avoid at all costs a first right of refusal clause or a contract that binds you to the publisher for longer than two years.

Buy Links:

Amazon US:

http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Mayhem-Pimple-Junction-ebook/dp/B009FR8ZO2/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=murder%20%26%20mayhem%20in%20goose%20pimple%20junction

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/amy-metz


Social Media links:
Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/AmyMetz

Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/AmyMetzAuthor

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyMetz

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/authoramymetz

Blog:

http://abluemillionbooks.blogspot.com

Website:

http://amymetz.com

07 Oct 2013

NEW RELEASE: “The Village Idiots EBAY CLUB” by Charlie Bray

3 Comments Book Reviews

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“The Village Idiots EBAY CLUB” by Charlie Bray is the first in his new Laugh Out Loud at Life series and concerns a bunch of very odd and idiotic e-bay users. Their inventive and original silly names are most likely their handles for their interactions on e-bay and their `club’ has the nature of an AA meeting. Having read Bray’s “Open House” I am amazed at his versatility to change the tone of his humour so easily.
I am probably not experienced enough with e-bay myself to get all of the clever, sarcastic, ironic and laugh out loud jokes but from what I gather the items traded, the prices paid, the uselessness of some of them, the addiction, the bidding wars and the clever traders taking advantage of the `idiots’ are all themes found in one way or another in this often hilarious and wonderfully absurd story. I found many parallels to other internet groups and forums that I use, so even if you like myself are not too familiar with e-bay, the principles and characters are very similar everywhere.
In this regard the book is a great reflection on modern society as well. Our village idiots, avoided in public and ridiculed by their peers have now found a new forum on the internet where their extravagant, eccentric and weird qualities, habits and characteristics find a new and sometimes rather unsuspecting audience. Everyone can be someone on the internet, Bray gets them to meet in their club and you can see what can happen when they do.
Bray has taken a great idea and with original imagination and sadly probably with quite a lot of material based on real experiences and characters has made this a very entertaining farce.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FFF6C02/?tag=wwwtheindietr-20

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00FFF6C02/?tag=funboo04-21

LINK TO A PREVIOUS INTERVIEW WITH CHARLIE:
REVIEW OF CHARLIE’S PREVIOUS BOOK:
“Open House” by Charlie Bray is the first in his Cove Castle Comedy Series and it is off to a promising start. An aristocratic family runs into financial difficulties and has to open their house to the public, at least for certain people and projects, such as a hunting party, a film crew and ghost tourists.
Charlie Bray portrays the British class system and its difficulties to stay intact in modern society extremely well. The family concerned struggle in hilarious situations with the outside / real world and with the decay of the conservative values amongst their own ranks. Catalogue brides, tree hugging activists outside their premises and rebellious family members provide an excellent mix of adventures for the reader and the author tells it with great wit and talent. A must read for any fan of the genre and anyone in need of a good laugh.
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26 Jul 2013

The Mandrake Hotel and Resort (to violence if necessary) by Jarod Kintz

1 Comment News

Today I am participating in a blog tour. Please find a link to the other blog events and to the rafflecopter at the bottom of this page, as well as a similar post on my original blog, which will be phased out over the next months or so.

Without further ado, please meet Jarod Kintz!

 

Right versus wrong, good versus evil, and peanut butter versus jelly—these are just a few of the many eternal struggles this book tackles.

But don’t worry, based on the NFL’s recent concussion scares, all this book’s characters were made to wear helmets before these hard-hitting issues were tackled.

Some central questions will be answered, like:

Who is Dark Jar Tin Zoo, and why is he trying to take over the world?

Will Jackson Jackson Jackson be able to thwart Dark’s diabolical plans? And why does he have a last name for a first and a middle name?

Is Abby Norma Sykes simply too sexy to be featured in such a dramatic thriller such as this book clearly is?

Finally, is it improper to refer to a dwarf as a midget? And what is the shortest height you can be without technically being a dwarf? Is it really as tall as 4’11”? Does that make a person who’s 4’10” the World’s Tallest Dwarf?

This book doesn’t actually discuss such serious social issues as I alluded to in the last paragraph, but it should. I’ll speak to the author immediately, and maybe he’ll address them in the sequel.

My review:

“The Mandrake Hotel and Resort to violence if necessary” by Jarod Kintz is one of the oddest books I have read in a while, but fortunately I mean this in a good way.
Combining absurd, farcical and surreal humour with some more serious and thoughtful musings the book is a firework of clever lines and quirky episodes.
The Mandrake Hotel has a room for everyone, whatever your desires, hobbies and preferences are. It is a madhouse and a world of liberty: Whether you want a room made of sand, one with specific collectibles or a floor full of nudists – the hotel has got it.
I wondered for a long time if the hotel was written as a fantasy world for lazy and hedonistic people (as one reviewer suggested) or as a wider symbol for the world as it is; a statement not unlike the questions of all questions in Douglas Adams book. The world population is exploding, so are we sitting on a powder keg that will go off once the resources run out? Can humanity survive? Are we sane in doing what we are doing?
A lot of ideas are covered in this book at a fast pace, highlighting absurdities and having a good laugh at them.
The author draws you into the book with his wit and once I had handed over total logic to the valet and stopped trying to make sense of every line that was thrown at me – at times very fast paced and confusing – I eased in to the rhythm of the story. It reminds me of the great Eugene Ionesco and Haruki Murakami, without wanting to imply that the style is close to either of them.

So much about the Hotel part.

‘Resort to violence’ refers to the plot as it thickens. Our hero of many names and his date Abby decide to fight Dark, the villain of from the 13th floor and here a more structured narrative continues.

The book is hugely entertaining, clever and will probably divide the audience into those who appreciate it and those who may not ‘get it’. Luckily I was part of the latter group. My mother in law would say : It is different. I agree, it is, and it is good. Try it!

4157885

 

Interview with Jarod:

How long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I’ve been writing for about 12 years, and it started one day on a plane back from Denver when I decided I wanted to write for Saturday Night Live. I liked the idea of only working one day a week. That really appealed to my Puritan work ethic.

I really love your book but found it difficult to put in any box of sorts. What genre would you say it would most fit in?

This book is hard to classify, but I’d call it dystopian humor. There is a very serious issue I address, the one about exponential growth, but I didn’t want to close the book with that reality so I brought in a surrealistic and absurd ending to distract from the bummer idea I’m trying to bring awareness to.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

The title of the book, “The Mandrake Hotel and Resort to violence if necessary” just sort of occurred to me randomly. I wanted the name of the hotel to sound both luxurious and sinister, and then I decided to make the play on words to give a hint at what the book was about, so people didn’t mistake it for a hospitality or travel book.

How did you create the plot for this book?

The plot is loose and fun, and as I mentioned before, I structured it so that I got my message across early, then continued on so people could have fun and not have to dwell on the grim reality facing the world.

How do you come up with your ideas? Who or what inspired you?

This book was inspired mainly by the current global economic depression, coupled with exploding population growth, with a touch of conspiracy theory mixed in.

Did you have it all planned out before you wrote it or did the characters and story surprise you?

I let the story develop organically, and I didn’t have a set plot outline developed when I started writing it. I wrote the book in about two months, and at the beginning of that time I had no idea how the book would turn out.

Is your main aim to entertain or relay a message?

Normally my main goal is to entertain, but this book I really had a few messages I wanted to get across. But I’m not a preacher, so I tried to camouflage the density of the ideas with some good old-fashioned nonsense.

Would you say your book has a message and could you hint at it – for the confused?

The overriding message is the unsustainability of the world, given our current path. Couple that with the lowering of standards of living for the many, and the rising power of the few, I wanted to subtly call out the cartels that control the world. Nations are being replaced by corporations, and behind the curtain is a tiny select group of unelected people that are literally ruining the world.

What do you like best about writing? What’s your least favorite thing? 

My favorite thing about writing is it’s like fishing. You sit and sit, waiting for that catch. You can’t see under the waters of your subconscious, so when you hook a great idea and you reel it to the surface, you feel the excitement of capturing a part of you that you didn’t even know could swim or breathe underwater. My least favorite thing about writing is getting seasick.

Did you have any say in your cover art? What do you think of it? Tell us about the artist.

I make all my own covers, and for this one I took a picture of myself wearing a fedora. I pulled the hat low so you couldn’t see my eyes, both to disguise the fact that it was me, and not my alter ego Dark Jar Tin Zoo, but also to add a sense of mystery and shadyness to the portrait. Then I converted the image to grayscale before tinting it red, to give it a menacing, evil look.

What is your writing environment like?

I write in bed, either with a pen and paper, or on my computer. Usually I have my writing partner, Cap’n, curled up next to me so I can pet him in between paragraphs.

Do you need silence or music to write?

I need silence to write. I can’t have a movie or music playing or else I’ll get no writing done at all. I am easily distracte—oh hey, what’s that over there? Let me go take a look.

How do you edit and quality control?

Editing is the toughest part for me. I like to print the pages out, because it’s easier for me to spot typos for some reason. Also I can mark the page up with a pen.

How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows? 

Self-publishing on the Kindle platform is amazing. I have nothing but praise for that program. No complaints from me. It’s easy to use, and the royalty percentage is remarkable. I really am very thankful for both Amazon and Goodreads.

What is your advice to new writers? 

I don’t really have any advice for new writers other than to just keep on writing. Write, write, and write some more—and when you think you’ve written morefully, that is the perfect time to write some more. Even when you’ve been writing for a long time, writing continually is still all you can do to keep getting better.

Who are your favourite authors?

I like Oscar Wilde and Nietzsche, among many, many more. Too many great authors out there.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

Right now I’m reading Boomerang, by Michael Lewis, and this is the third book I’ve read by him. I really like his style, and I am very jealous of his success. I hope he gets the plague and dies soon.

What three books have you read recently and would recommend?

Not read recently, but I like to recommend a few books:
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance;
If You Meet Buddha on the Road, Kill Him; and
Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

Who would you say are the biggest influences?

My biggest influences are probably Monty Python, Gary Larson, and Jack Handey.

What books have you read more than once or want to read again?

That reminds me of a great book and author I forgot to mention: Richard Brautigan. Trout Fishing in America I’ve read twice, and I’d love to read it a fourth time—but not before I read it for the third time.

Tell us about your other books?

My other books are nonsense. They are not to be taken seriously—and indeed, they are not to be taken at all. Don’t take them, don’t buy them, and don’t recommend them. Just kidding. Well, sort of. You can take them, just so long as you don’t pay for them.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

I really enjoyed writing Jackson J. Jackson and Abby Norma Sykes, because they got to engage in witty banter. What I really liked is how each character sounded like the other, and both sound exactly like me. Also, did I mention that Dark Jar Tin Zoo is an anagram of my name? It’s true! Jarod Ora Kintz equals Dark Jar Tin Zoo. So every character in the book is based on me, and that’s what makes it great. It’s also what makes it terrible.

<strong>What would your character(s) say about you?</strong>

Asking what my characters would say about me is like asking what my clones would have to say about me, and though I can’t be certain, I’m sure they’d all have glowing things to say. Either that or they’d feel threatened by my existence and try to kill me.

What song would you pick to go with your book?

I think the perfect theme song for this book would be “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” and to accompany Bette Midler singing it would be Jackson J. Jackson, dancing The Flamingo. Do you think she’d let me be one of her backup singers?

How do you handle criticism of your work?

Not all criticism is bad, so it depends on the intent of the critic as to how I react. If the criticism is constructive, and meant to build up, then I listen to it and perhaps implement change. If the critic is just being spiteful and nasty, then I ignore it in the same way I’d ignore an invisible and inaudible person. That makes me wonder: if you were invisible, would you still have a shadow? And if you were silent, would your shadow be able to speak for you?

Tell us one weird thing, one nice thing, and one fact about where you live. 

Weird thing: Florida is the retirement capital of the world. Nice thing: I’ve never had so much sex as I have since I started working in a nursing home. Fact: I just made that up—I have no idea if Florida is the retirement capital of the world.

What are you working on now?

Working on another book of love quotes, this time written by Dora J. Arod, who’ll appear in the next Mandrake book.

Please visit the Facebook Event Page

A youtube Video:

Jarod Kintz’s Social Media Links:

Website: http://jarodkintz.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jarodorakintz
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4157885.Jarod_Kintz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jarodkintz1

Enter the Rafflecopter for a copy of the book:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/09fc7f4/

Excerpt:

People come from all over the world to stay at The Mandrake. The building
is an architectural marvel. Hidden passageways, secret hallways, doors
that lead to nowhere, windows to the soul, stairs that wind like windmills,
rotating walls, beds disguised as couches, sink handles that open doors,
elevators that double as community showers, a dungeon, a torture
chamber, and even a screening room that plays an endless loop of the
movie “Battlefield Earth.”
Though more people rent out the torture chamber every year than the
screening room, the screening room is booked for two weeks solid every
year in June for the annual Scientology Convention. The Scientologists
also rent out the dungeon and the torture chamber, presumably for training
purposes.
The Mandrake is a boutique hotel and resort that caters to the passionate
enthusiast. Every room is themed, and targeted to a hobbyist of some
specific sort. So let’s say you’re an avid golfer, and instead of
sleepwalking, you sleep putt. Well, The Mandrake has a room for you.
Room 1422 to be specific.
Room 1422 has one king sized bed with green sheets, green pillows, and
a green duvet, one green dresser, two green nightstands, and not
including the walk-in closet or bathroom, the room has the square footage
of Monaco.
The room has two lakes, one with an island hole (par 5), hills, dunes, sand
traps, bunkers, greens, fairways, waterfalls that loop around endlessly like
escalators, and even a couple of alligators and a fog machine.
Room 1422 is particularly challenging for the housekeepers, because
some of them are never quite sure whether they should be mowing the
grass—or vacuuming it. One elderly gentleman even spent his entire shift
trying to sweep up the sand trap using a broom and dustpan. He was
almost done too, when James Braid walked in and explained the game of
golf to him. I wasn’t there, but the conversation probably went something
like this:
James: A man who has gathered that much sand must have a lot of time in
his hourglass.
Housekeeper: Who are you? James: I have been asking myself that question my whole life. Who I am is
a mystery to me. The closest I have come to answering it is I am a being of
love, with a body built for golf, and a mustache that I wouldn’t want to take
a chip shot out of.
Housekeeper: I haven’t been able to grow facial hair since my father died. I
was more of a farmer, and I grew all my hair on his face. Who handles
your facial irrigation?
James: It seems you not only have all the sand in all the hourglasses in the
world, but you also have all the time. Well, I don’t. I’m a busy mustache
attached to a golfing machine, and I came to perfect my craft before the
Masters next month. So if you don’t mind, unsweep all you’ve swept, and
I’ll swoop off and sweep this whole conversation under the rugby match I’m
off to see. Don’t be affronted, but when I come back, all this better be back
the way you found it. Incidentally, which way is the closest trap door to get
back to the lobby?
Housekeeper: It’s right under the very spot where I’m going to put all this
sand back.
James: So the trap door is under the sand trap? Clever.
Housekeeper: What’s all this sand for anyway?
James: The better question is, What’s the sand not for? It’s not for hitting
your ball into. But it’s there to hit your ball into.
Housekeeper: So the sand is there to hit the ball into, and not hit the ball
into?
James: Precisely. A sand trap is like a politician in its duality. It represents
two opposing viewpoints. You see, it was designed to trap your ball. So it
exists to have balls land in it. But it was also designed to be avoided. So it
also exists to not have balls land in it. This is the beauty of golf. The game
of golf is a Zen koan in action.

 

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