Tuesday, January 31, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Sandra Sookoo

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Sandra Sookoo


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?

2. Tell me about your travels.
Hmm, well, I travelled to the tiny Caribbean island of Trinidad to meet my husband. The only place west of the Mississippi I’ve been is St. Louis. And my favorite place of all time to vacation is Walt Disney World.


3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Tea. Though I love brewing coffee just for the wonderful aroma, I’m a tea girl—iced or hot it doesn’t matter. As for milk, I don’t take it in my tea either, and don’t drink it. It makes me shiver—and not in a good way. Chalk it up to bad memories from growing up when my siblings and I had to drink powdered milk.


4. What else can you do besides write?
I’m a baker. I always joke that if I get stuck or stalled with a particular scene in writing, I pop into the kitchen and bake. There’s something about engaging my brain while cooking that allows it to work out the problems in the writing.


5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
The toughest scene? That would have to be in Dragons at Dawn, when my hero (or anti-hero in this book) struggles with a decision on whether to kill the heroine’s mother or not after the woman mortally wounded the heroine. In one respect, going through with the act would put him beyond redemption, but on the other hand, not going through with it showed he had some compassion after all. I teetered on that scene for days.


8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I’m a big fan of the outline. Why? It’s like a roadmap of sorts while I write. Sometimes they’re in-depth, sometimes not. When I actually get in and write the story, the characters will do or say something that changes the course of the outline and that’s okay. I just alter it and move forward. I also find that for me, it keeps me from boxing myself in a corner.


13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?

15. Do you still watch cartoons?
Absolutely! I think cartoons are a great creative outlet, and some of them are just mindless entertainment that makes me laugh. Looney Tunes are still my favorite.


Sandra Sookoo is a writer of romantic fiction. Her portfolio includes historical, contemporary, sci-fi and paranormal romances in full-length books as well as shorts and novellas. No matter if the heat level is spicy or sweet, she loves to blend genres and often times will add humor.

When not immersed in creating new worlds and interesting characters, Sandra likes to read, bake and travel. Her favorite place to spend vacation hours is Walt Disney World. It’s where dreams come true and the soul can play. If she’s not writing, she’s keeping things interesting at her Believing is Seeing blog or spending time with her husband, who patiently answers questions she has about men and/or sci-fi-related subjects.

You can write to Sandra at sandrasookoo@yahoo.com, visit her website at www.sandrasookoo.com or look her up on Facebook and Twitter. All links are provided on the front page of her website.

Find Sandra online at these links:

WEBSITE - http://www.sandrasookoo.com


- http://www.facebook.com/sandra.sookoo




- http://twitter.com/sandrasookoo



- Believing is Seeing - http://sandrasookoo.wordpress.com


BLURB for Fractured
What happens when beauty is the beast?

Major Rick Keenan has a near-impossible mission: repair his broken shuttle, rescue a missing crew member and get off an almost-dead planet. Angry that the U.S. is discontinuing the space program, he wants to find a discovery that will revise the government's position. Unfortunately, that discovery might just kill him.

Marin is one of the last of her people. Forced to flee to the planet in her childhood, she's kept herself hidden away in darkness, safe in a castle-like fortress, only coming out when she needs to feed--from human blood. Convinced she'll never fit in, she shuns all contact, yet taking Rick hostage as a food source chips away at her perceptions.

Though their differences threaten to tear them apart, their humanity binds them together. In a world where only the strong and determined survive, does a happily ever after stand a chance?


BOOK TRAILER - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3hiQHxMW2w&feature=youtu.be


You can buy Fractured at these links:

ALL ROMANCE E-BOOKS - http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-fractured-668700-143.html


- http://www.amazon.com/Fractured-ebook/dp/B006V4Y63Q



LIQUID SILVER BOOKS - http://www.king-cart.com/cgi-bin/cart.cgi?store=linda018&product_name=Fractured&return_page=&user-id=&password=&exchange=&exact_match=exact

Friday, January 27, 2012

SFFS: Snippet from GREENSHIFT #6

SFFS Snippet

A TALE FROM THE AMBASADORA-VERSE: GREENSHIFT

Greenshift is a novel set in the Ambasadora-verse one month before Ambasadora begins.

DESCRIPTION: David Anlow, a fleet captain forced into early retirement and jaded by an ex-lover, now spends his lonely days shuttling around a group of scientists for hire.

Boston Maribu, Mari to her friends, is one of his passengers, a young botanist who is as beautiful as she is naïve and innocent. When Mari asks David to teach her about more than just piloting the Bard, nights on their ship heat up and their feelings for each other mature into a relationship neither expects. But a suspicious new client shows up with wicked plans for Mari, and the soldier inside David comes alive, ready to fight for the young woman who stole his heart.

SNIPPET #1

SNIPPET #2

SNIPPET #3

SNIPPET #4

SNIPPET #5
--

"I'm not the flirting type," Sean mumbled.

"No kidding."

Even after they kissed that time he hadn't made any advances toward her. And that was too bad because it was a good kiss.

She studied Sean's thin lips as she thought about it. As usual, dark blonde stubble encircled his mouth and edged up his tense jaw and down his chin to his neck. In fact, she had never seen him clean-shaven. David always shaved, kept himself well-groomed in general, even his t-shirt and fatigues were crisp, not like the rumpled worker's pants and faded blue t-shirt Sean wore.

Mari had been making comparisons between the two men since David walked on board a few weeks ago. Sean was the guy she used to want, but now all she thought about was David Anlow.
--

Find more snippets from other wonderful authors at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Mark Radford

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Mark Radford


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
It has to be Midnight from Early Memory – a strong feisty woman with a troubled background who can be expanded into further books, starting with its sequel due for release in April/May.


2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?

4. What else can you do besides write?
I can use sign language quite well when in the company of the deaf community but generally I use spoken English as my main communication method – the best of both worlds.


5. Who are you reading right now?
The Timekeepers by Charles Moore – a Sci-Fi adventure.


6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?

9. Food you could eat everyday.
My biggest vice is Chocolate! – gradually cutting down on it.


10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I generally write up an outline of the story’s plot with some scenes that are clear in my mind and the characters to be used to give the book some direction. Sometimes the characters take over and direct the action to me!


13. Celebrity crush.
Jennifer Love Hewitt – a homely kind of woman with a lovely smile!


14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Photobucket

Mark Radford is a deaf author who has been living on the south coast of England for over 30 years. After many dormant years, his writing dream was revived when in mid-1998 ill health caused him to lose his job on medical grounds. He was diagnosed with Menieres. During the recovery period, he enrolled in two creative writing courses that led to writing qualifications and the publication of his debut novel ‘Early Memory’. A full biography of the author and information on his writing can be found at his Web site www.markradford.co.uk.

Buy Early Memory - http://www.amazon.com/Early-Memory-ebook/dp/B006EK6YVO

Buy Game of Justice - http://www.amazon.com/Game-Of-Justice-ebook/dp/B00642K61G

Monday, January 23, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Judah Lee Davis

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Judah Lee Davis


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
My favorite character is Madison because she’s just SO BAD. To help me get familiar with her character, I painted my fingernails black and danced around in stilettos to Beyonce songs for quite some time.

I also enjoy the way that Madison sees everything in such a negative and raunchy light. She can take the most lovely idea and twist it into something perverse. It’s almost a talent. Watching her attempted transformation from bull frog to flower is as funny for the writer as it is for the reader. I never know what she’ll get into next.


2. Tell me about your travels.
I stayed in Quito, Ecuador for two weeks with my best friend who was studying Spanish. We took a cruise to the Galapagos and also visited an Incan Indian village. I also took a solo journey throughout Costa Rica that involved horseback riding and zip-lining through the jungle.

My last major vacation was in and around the area of Nuremburg, Germany. I bicycled throughout the German villages during the beautiful bloom of Spring, and I must say that it was breathtaking. In addition, I’ve been to New York several times to see plays, and I’ve also been skiing in Keystone Colorado. My greatest vacation, though, was when my mother took me across the United States in a Winnebago RV from 1975. It broke down a lot, especially in Kansas.


3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
I enjoy drinking raw milk straight from the local dairy farm. I mix it with Hershey’s chocolate syrup for a delicious treat, straight from the teet.


4. What else can you do besides write?
5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
The most challenging thing for me was writing the sex scenes. I want them to be filthy enough to represent my character’s carnal nature, but at the same time, they really make me blush. I often look back over my shoulder to make sure no one’s watching.


8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
I always knew deep down inside, that I had a book in there. Writing a book, for me, was like being pregnant. I lived in misery with the pain of holding something in that I couldn’t get out. I would sit down to write, and to my dismay, nothing would come out but a poem or a journal entry. This was very frustrating, because I knew there was a story in there, but I would just have to wait.

Finally, beginning Oct. 1, 2008, I read the Bible from cover to cover and did a fair amount of research on it. This was my ultimate inspiration.

I was fascinated, mostly by the prophets in the Old Testament. They accused the nation of Judah/Israel of being worse than a whore, because she chased after her lovers. Lovers, in this sense, represented idol worship, child sacrifice, worshipping Baal, etc.

For me, this inspired the idea of a modern day woman, who would be worse than a whore, because she was promiscuous and sought after companionship of the darkest nature. This character would invoke the same disdain and gut wrenching emotion that I felt as I read about a harlot nation who defied God on every level. She would be symbolic on so many levels. She would represent the fall of humanity, the nation of Israel, and ultimately she would represent the sin that every individual keeps hidden in the closet.

She was to be an airing of dirty laundry that would resonate within the hearts of all, and convey the message of humanity’s great need for redemption. Even in the smallest details of Madison’s story, such as the slut signage, you can find this theme.


9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?

13. Celebrity crush.
The Rock. Every time I watch his movies, I feel as if he is looking directly at me with those handsome dark eyes. Second only to my husband, who is absolutely the world’s FINEST man (did you hear that honey?), the Rock trails in at a distant second.


14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?


After graduating in Journalism in 2001, Judah Lee Davis has furthered her career as a corporate writer for the past decade. As a result of her training in media, her non-traditional writing style is simple, easy-to-read, and accessible to all readers.

Her debut novel, She Tells All, is written from the hilarious collage of ideas that could only come from living in a small town. From strong Pentecostal undertones to vulgarity of the crudest nature, Davis contrasts the war between good and evil as she chronicles the struggles of a promiscuous girl looking for love, (or something similar) in a sleepy southern town.

Alexandria Vail, reviewer at ChickLitClub.com says,"This kept me laughing and some points on the verge of tears. It's a book with a life lesson, and a lot of humor with a little vulgarity -- in a good way."

S. Reisner, "Author of the Sorcerers' Twilight said, "There were times I was howling with laughter (as in couldn't stop laughing) - it really was that funny. There were also touching moments."

While Davis is hoping to make waves in the world of fiction with her sassy debut novel, she currently enjoys lavishing her two kittens with an unreasonable amount of affection, spending time with her family, and keeping up with her day job.

Find Judah online at these links:


- http://www.facebook.com/pages/She-Tells-All/203963509690674


- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4212900.Judah_Lee_Davis



- http://twitter.com/She_tells_all



- http://judahleedavis.wordpress.com



Buy She Tells All at these links:


EBOOK - http://www.amazon.com/She-Tells-All-ebook/dp/B003VYC3A2


PAPERBACK - http://www.amazon.com/She-tells-all-Sometimes-through/dp/1453687122

Friday, January 20, 2012

SFFS: Snippet from GREENSHIFT #5

SFFS Snippet

A TALE FROM THE AMBASADORA-VERSE: GREENSHIFT

Greenshift is a novel set in the Ambasadora-verse one month before Ambasadora begins.

DESCRIPTION: David Anlow, a fleet captain forced into early retirement and jaded by an ex-lover, now spends his lonely days shuttling around a group of scientists for hire.

Boston Maribu, Mari to her friends, is one of his passengers, a young botanist who is as beautiful as she is naïve and innocent. When Mari asks David to teach her about more than just piloting the Bard, nights on their ship heat up and their feelings for each other mature into a relationship neither expects. But a suspicious new client shows up with wicked plans for Mari, and the soldier inside David comes alive, ready to fight for the young woman who stole his heart.

SNIPPET #1
SNIPPET #2
SNIPPET #3
SNIPPET #4
--

SNIPPET #5:
"I know you didn't like the last guy," Mari said. "Neither did I." She sucked in a breath when one of the contractors closed in.

"Because he wouldn't flirt with you?" Sean's deep voice remained even, but his focus stayed riveted to David's confrontation with the contractors.

"Who?" Mari asked, trying to loosen the death grip she had on the knife.

"The last pilot." Sean was humoring her.

And she would let him because her stomach was in knots.

"You won't flirt with me either," she said half-heartedly, too distracted by the argument down the boardwalk, "and I still like you."
--

Find more snippets from other wonderful authors at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday.

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: D. A. Bale

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


D. A. Bale


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?

2. Tell me about your travels.
Oh, I love traveling! In my previous line of work, I traveled ALOT doing workshops around the country for banking and lending institutions. Many times I either went to a venue early or stayed extra days to do some sight-seeing and take in the local fare. One of the banks I worked for was anchored out on the East Coast, and I loved going into New York City to walk around Central Park, Greenwich Village, etc. I have some absolutely fantastic pictures from those years. However, my absolute favorite place is Alaska - specifically Seward, Alaska. My second trip out there I took my son and mother and had a bunch of excursions planned for them throughout the day while I worked and then we spent our last days down in Seward doing the whale-watching tours of the Kenai Fjords, dog-sled rides, the Sea Life Center, etc. I would live there in a heartbeat!


3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Does it count if I put milk IN my coffee? :-) Actually I drink all three at various times and situations, but I'd probably have to say coffee. I'm not human in the mornings until I've had at least two cups (milk and sugar please). If someone ever came up with a way to provide its benefits intravenously, then I'd sign up for it. That way I'd be pleasant the moment I stepped out of bed.


4. What else can you do besides write?
5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
That would have to be a couple of very difficult sex scenes in "Running into the Darkness". When I first approached those scenes, I kinda skittered around them and just alluded to the probability. Then I realized it didn't have the impact it really needed, but that meant I'd have to relive some very difficult circumstances in my own life - but this time from the perpetrator's POV. Getting into a pervert's psyche was very difficult.


8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
Believe it or not, a good portion of my work comes from real life - either certain things I've personally experienced (though translated into a fictionalized setting and characters) or that I've observed or others have spoken about to me. In many ways, life itself can be stranger and more traumatic than anything imagined. Then other inspirations come through some of my dreams, which can be quite vivid. I keep notebooks in my purse, on my nightstand, in my family room, etc. just for such moments of inspiration.


9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?

11. What kind of music speaks to you?
ALL kinds! When I write, I enjoy listening to soundtracks from various movies. There are specific composers I'll buy, even if I've never even seen the applicable movie. The music takes my mind much deeper into the scene I may be writing until I don't even hear the music anymore because I'm right in the thick of a back alley, a tense scene, whatever it conjures up in my mind. Case in point, last Sunday I was in my car listening to the soundtrack from Tron Legacy by Daft Punk, and a piece I've listened to several times began. The haunting strains of the cello immediately took me to a scene I'd never thought of before for my sequel, "Piercing the Darkness". The whole thing rose up like a movie scene in my mind's eye and got me so excited to get back to work on it.


12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I know, I know - everything I read seems to speak of outlining as the holy grail, but it doesn't work for me because it really ties up my inspiration and makes my writing become more rigid. My characters sometimes have other ideas. I generally have an overarching plan and some notes of what is going to happen in my novels, where I want to start and finish, but for the most part I let my story ebb and flow as the characters allow. In "Running into the Darkness", there is a principle character I intended to keep throughout the entire storyline. However, one day he came before me, laid down his weapon and told me, "Fair lady, it is best for this individual that I lay down my life." Okay, that's really cheesy, but in a way that's what it felt like to me. I fought losing him from the storyline, but in the end it was the only thing that truly seemed plausible. By changing my mind and killing off this character, I've had to also rethink how to manage another scene later on, but I think I've got it worked out now.


13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Since her earliest remembrances, Ms. Bale has used the written word to communicate images and feelings, to entertain and inspire. In her youth, she won numerous writing awards and spent countless hours entertaining family and friends with stories and plays she’d written using her parents old typewriter. Then life happened.

Through a series of personal tragedies, she once again picked up writing as a means of catharsis. This led to the introduction of a very special writers group with whom she continues to this day.

With the Midwest as an excellent origin for reaching either U.S. coast in a matter of hours, Bale has taken advantage of her centralized location. As a one-time government relations liaison, she’d been in demand along both western and eastern corridors, specifically taking in the New York and D.C. scenes.

Politics aside, her favorite haunt is the State of Alaska, with cold weather and snow and the uncommonly common Husky. Her love of weather plays into most of her writing and helps to set various scenes.

Though fantasy and the classics are her favorites for reading pleasure, Bale is comfortable writing in many genres. She believes wholeheartedly that good character development is just as important as spinning a solid storyline. Therefore, even the fast-paced thriller reader deserves to know what makes a character tick. Tragedy and foibles of the human condition are common among her characters to give them a deeper semblance of reality.

Ms. Bale currently has several novels in various genres and stages of completion with one thriller currently available, Running into the Darkness, a finalist in the KWA Scene of the Crime contest. She continues to make her home in the Midwest.

You can contact Ms. bale at this link:


- http://dabalepublishing.blogspot.com


SYNOPSIS for Riding into the Darkness:
Death follows Dr. Samantha Bartlett throughout her life until it claims everyone close to her. There's one powerful man responsible on whom Samantha sets her sights for revenge. The price is her soul. For centuries, sex has been the weapon of men...now it's her turn.

“I never intended to kill the President. As a doctor, I swore an oath to protect life – not take it. But that was before I met him.”

Second year resident, Dr. Samantha Bartlett, is swept from the frigid New York winter to once again confront the sting of death back home – and face those she left behind. But she’s not alone. A strange man she dubs Shades haunts her every step as she seeks answers to the inferno which claimed her grandmother, an eerie reminder of her parents’ deaths. The secrets Samantha uncovers forever changes her image of those she only thought she knew.

Confronted by Shades, Samantha joins a secret underworld known only as the Elite, where a web of power and control is woven deep within governments worldwide. Their sights are set on the power structure of the United States, and Samantha becomes the unlikely key to infiltrating the White House at its most intimate levels.

The quest for blood threatens to destroy Samantha. From the darkness there is no escape.

Available as an eBook on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Sony, and Smashwords. Buy Riding into the Darkness at these links:


- http://www.amazon.com/Running-into-the-Darkness-ebook/dp/B0063HIS26


- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/98766

Thursday, January 19, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Jackie Miller

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Jackie Miller


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
2. Tell me about your travels.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Mmmmmm . . . coffee for me! I can (and sometimes do) replace entire meals with coffee. To allay any guilt from this bad habit, I try to drink equal amounts of water as well. That counts for something, right? I know caffeine wakes you up, but drinking coffee is so cathartic and relaxing for me.


4. What else can you do besides write?

5. Who are you reading right now?
I'm reading The God King by James A. West and Divergent by Veronica Roth. Fantasy & Dystopian YA :-) I have pretty varied taste. I like to jump around from genre to genre so I don't get burned out on one in particular.


6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
I find inspiration in a ton of places. I used to tell my hubby, who also loves to write, that I just wasn't creative enough to come up with story ideas. Once I started letting myself be creative, the ideas became endless. My inspiration for my current novel (which is still in the works) came as I was guzzling a root beer while driving home one day. It created an image in my head, which ended up being a great scene between my two main characters. The whole story took off from there. Before you get too worried, the scene has nothing to do with guzzling or root beer, but the mind makes strange connections for us sometimes!


9. Food you could eat everyday.

10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
I love going to the gym. Running in particular. Yes, running outside is better and all that, but it just doesn't work with my schedule. I have to go late at night when the kids are in bed, and I'm not going out for a run alone in the dark! Working out generally makes me feel happier than when I'm not doing anything physical. I actually really enjoy it. Although, sometimes I want to run screaming from the building if my iPod runs out of batteries as soon as I turn it on. Music motivates me to get my buns moving, and I feel lost without it!


11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I do start with an outline in mind. I'll write out some of the main scenes or plot points on notecards and place them in the order of occurrence. I've noticed that sometimes the story twists away from what I have planned out, and that's all part of the fun. I've even had some discarded scenes develop into an idea for an entirely new story :-)


13. Celebrity crush.
Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead! I have gotten so much flak for this one, but it's true. You can't just say he's a redneck (on the show) and call it a day. If you've watched the show up until this point, you might understand. I love his type of character . . . tough shell, gooey middle. Plus, he's just a bonafide hottie, in my book!


14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Jackie Miller lives in the Dallas, Texas area with her husband and three young kids. She is currently working on her first novel, which is cas of yet untitled. It's a Young Adult zombie-esque novel, and she is overflowing with excitement to be working on it. She has a somewhat unhealthy obsession with zombies, and found herself wondering under what circumstances there could be a 'zombie' book with romance. She can't wait to share her story with the world once it is in perfect working order. When not writing or raising children, she spends her time reading and keeping up with her blog. She also thinks she is terrible at writing Bios, so please forgive her.

Find Jackie online at these links:


- http://mytowerofbooks.blogspot.com


- http://twitter.com/MyTowerofBooks

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Sheldon Higdon

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Sheldon Higdon


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
4. What else can you do besides write?

5. Who are you reading right now?
I tend to read several books at once but one of them is Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.


6. Pop culture or academia?
Is this a trick question? Because, if so, I plead the fifth. :)


7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?

9. Food you could eat everyday.
Hot Wings. Although my acid reflux wouldn't appreciate it.


10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?

11. What kind of music speaks to you?
Old school Punk and Metal. (I know. That's two.)


12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I'm trying to outline. Twisting my arm to do it more often. With that said I let the story bleed out naturally.


13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?

15. Do you still watch cartoons?
Does Battle of the Planets kick ass? Uh, yeah.




Sheldon Higdon is a member of the Horror Writers Association and has had over thirty publications appear in numerous magazines and books ranging from fiction to non-fiction to poetry. He is also an award-winning screenwriter. His work has appeared in Rue Morgue Magazine, Shroud Magazine, The Portland Magazine, Necrotic Tissue Magazine, Horrorwired, Death, Be Not Proud, Northern Haunts, and at www.darkside-digital.com, to name a few.




Find Sheldon online at these links:

WEBSITE - www.sheldonhigdon.com


- http://sheldonhigdon.blogspot.com (The Obituary of Sheldon S. Higdon)



- http://www.facebook.com/sheldonhigdon.com



- http://twitter.com/sheldonhigdon

Friday, January 13, 2012

SFFS: Snippet from GREENSHIFT #4

SFFS Snippet

A TALE FROM THE AMBASADORA-VERSE: GREENSHIFT

Greenshift is a novel set in the Ambasadora-verse one month before Ambasadora begins.

DESCRIPTION: David Anlow, a fleet captain forced into early retirement and jaded by an ex-lover, now spends his lonely days shuttling around a group of scientists for hire.

Boston Maribu, Mari to her friends, is one of his passengers, a young botanist who is as beautiful as she is naïve and innocent. When Mari asks David to teach her about more than just piloting the Bard, nights on their ship heat up and their feelings for each other mature into a relationship neither expects. But a suspicious new client shows up with wicked plans for Mari, and the soldier inside David comes alive, ready to fight for the young woman who stole his heart.

SNIPPET #1.

SNIPPET #2.

SNIPPET #3.
--

SNIPPET #4:
Many Armadans underestimated contractors—David didn't. They might not have as much bulk, but their martial arts training gave them a powerful punch.

"Ward." Killian shot a warning look at his charge.

"You on babysitting duty, Killian? Thought the Embassy would have promoted you by now. It seems to me you were babysitting another recruit that night my brother kicked your ass."

David looked at Ward when he spoke next. "You're lucky to have this guy. When my brother started wailing on the kid, Killian jumped right in and took a beating alongside him."
--

Find more snippets from other wonderful authors at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Many Genres One Craft Wins First Place at London Book Festival


I am pleased to announce that the writing guide I co-edited with Michael A. Arnzen, Many Genres, One Craft, won first place in General Non-Fiction at the 2011 London Book Festival! This is our second award for the book and comes on the heels of last month's honor from The Writer magazine, which named Many Genres #5 in Ten of 2011's Terrific Writing Books!

Congratulations to all the contributors and our publisher Headline Books, Inc. for making this book such a big success.

Friday, January 06, 2012

SFFS: Snippet from GREENSHIFT #3

SFFS Snippet

TALES FROM THE AMBASADORA-VERSE: GREENSHIFT

Greenshift is a novel set in the Ambasadora-verse one month before Ambasadora begins.

DESCRIPTION: David Anlow, a fleet captain forced into early retirement and jaded by an ex-lover, now spends his lonely days shuttling around a group of scientists for hire.

Boston Maribu, Mari to her friends, is one of his passengers, a young botanist who is as beautiful as she is naïve and innocent. When Mari asks David to teach her about more than just piloting the Bard, nights on their ship heat up and their feelings for each other mature into a relationship neither expects. But a suspicious new client shows up with wicked plans for Mari, and the soldier inside David comes alive, ready to fight for the young woman who stole his heart.

Click on this link for SNIPPET #1.

Click on this link for SNIPPET #2.

--

SNIPPET #3:
The fleet jab got under David's skin—he'd only taken the early retirement a few months ago and it wasn't exactly sitting well with him.

"I didn't think you'd remember me. Guess you do have a brain somewhere in that soft head of yours."

Must have seen my name on the entry request. That meant this was a personal vendetta and not an Embassy affair, which worked to David's advantage. He could take on a couple of grudge-carrying contractors, but not formal charges of trespassing.

"This isn't your berth," Killian said.

"Temporarily it is."

"Move your ship."

"When we're ready."

The other contractor with Killian put a hand to one of his cenders.

--

Find more snippets from other wonderful authors at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Stacey Rourke

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Stacey Rourke


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
I love Grams. I wanna be her when I grow up.


2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?

4. What else can you do besides write?
I can touch my tongue to my nose.


5. Who are you reading right now?

6. Pop culture or academia?
I consider E!, People, & US Weekly to be the news. That's academia right?


7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
9. Food you could eat everyday.

10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
I LOVE to workout! I’m borderline addicted to the endorphin rush.


11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I outline, but the story still always manages to take me somewhere I didn’t expect!


13. Celebrity crush.
Do I have to narrow it down to one?! I get "character crushes" more than celebrity crushes. Alcide from True Blood (Dear Alan Ball, if you could have him shirtless and growling in every scene that'd be swell.) , Jax from Sons of Anarchy (Dear Kurt Sutter, if you could have him shirtless and growling in every scene that'd be swell.), and of course Cap’n Jack Sparrow.


14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?

15. Do you still watch cartoons?
Bonus Question: Totally! Phineas and Ferb rocks!!!






The Conduit is the debut novel for author Stacey Rourke. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, drooly dogs. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of The Gryphon series, as well as other literary projects.



Find Stacey online at these links:

WEBSITE - http://www.staceyrourke.com


- http://twitter.com/@Rourkewrites



Buy The Conduit online at:


- http://www.amazon.com/The-CONDUIT-ebook/dp/B0062FO8KA

Monday, January 02, 2012

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Larry Peterson

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Larry Peterson


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
It's a toss-up between Father Sullivan and Beatrice Amon. Father Sullivan is street-wise and tough yet he has this childlike faith and sees God's prescence even amidst chaos. It is a beautiful thing. As far as Beatrice goes, well, she proves that often times people are not the ogres we might think they are. I'll leave it at that.


2. Tell me about your travels.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
COFFEE---it gets the old engine running; milk #2


4. What else can you do besides write?
A lot of folks have called me "Mr. Fix-it". I can do most any kind of home repair or remodeling work. I can fix cars too, if I have to. However, I have not done much of that over the last few years. Blew my back out about 15 years ago and nowadays it does not take much to set me back to square one where I can hardly move. So, I have to be careful. I can also play the harmonica and if I need to clear a room quickly all I have to do is start playing. I also have worked with the St. Vincent De Paul Society for about 20 years and have spent lots of time working with those in need. That is EXTREMELY rewarding.


5. Who are you reading right now?
I'm reading a YA book by Cynthia DeFelice titled, "Under the Same Sky". It's about a 14 year old boy who wants a dirt-bike. His dad, a farmer who employs migrant workers, decides that he should earn the money. He challenges his son and the boy goes to work with the field hands. It is about learning to face your prejudices and be with people who are different. Nice story. Teaches a fine lesson.


6. Pop culture or academia?

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
The scene in "The Priest & The Peaches" where Beatrice Amon spontaneously interacts with Father Sullivan. The scene just began to happen and, I swear, it even got to me as I wrote it. I could not believe that I had tears in my eyes. Anyway, I'll leave it at that. Don't want to give the story away.


8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I think they call someone like me a "pantser" because I do go along for the ride. I do have a potential ending in sight when I start. But it is always like some of those remodeling jobs I have done. There are always changes made as you go along and you never know when you will need to make them. Then BOOM!--you open up a wall and there are plumbing pipes staring at you. They're important but they are in the way. What to do??? So you adapt. Anyway, my outline comes after I'm finished. So does a synopsis. According to all the "poobahs" out there I'm doing it all wrong. Well, my goal is to get to the finish line. For me, getting there is all that counts, even if I fall down ten times, bust myself up and wind up bloodied.


13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?

15. Do you still watch cartoons?
(Bonus question, lol). Funny you should ask. I just watched "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" with my 4 year old grandson two days ago. It was GREAT----


Larry Peterson was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. A former Metal Lather/Reinforcing Iron-worker, he left that business after coming down with MS. He, his wife and three kids moved to Florida 30 years ago. Larry began doing freelance newspaper commentary after graduating from Tampa College in 1984.

His first children's picture book, Slippery Willie's Stupid, Ugly Shoes was published in 2011. In 2012, his full length novel, The Priest and the Peaches was released and he is presently working on the sequel.

He also has a blog (http://www.ThePriestandthePeaches.com) where he posts weekly commentary. He lives in Pinellas Park, Florida and his kids and six grandchildren all live within three miles of each other.


Find Larry at these links online:

WEBSITE - http://www.ThePriestandthePeaches.com



- http://www.facebook.com/larrytpbx


- http://www.twitter.com/slipperywillie



Find Tribute Books online at these links:

WEBSITE - http://www.tribute-books.com


- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Archbald-PA/Tribute-Books/171628704176


- http://www.twitter.com/TributeBooks


SYNOPSIS for The Priest and the Peaches
Historical fiction novel set in the Bronx in the mid-1960s

Take a seven day journey with the five, newly orphaned Peach kids, as they begin their struggle to remain a family while planning their dad's funeral.

They find an ally in the local parish priest, Father Tim Sullivan, who tries his best to guide them through the strange, unchartered and turbulent waters of "grown-up world." A story that is sad, funny, and inspiring as it shows how the power of family love and faith can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Buy The Priest and the Peaches online at these links:

PDF - http://www.payloadz.com/go/sip?id=1538819


- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006P0EYI8


- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/116166?ref=tributebooks

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: TK Toppin

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


TK Toppin


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
It would have to be Loeb, a small secondary character from the Lancaster trilogy. He's more or less on the edges and sort of looking in with mild wonderment at all the comings and goings. While he didn't get highlighted in the first book, in the second and third, he gets some air time. I like him because he's unassuming, observant, and he can kick some a** when he's ready.


2. Tell me about your travels.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Coffee - black. Tea - black or iced. Milk - intolerant.


4. What else can you do besides write?
Besides writing, I'm a freelance graphic artist...something I've been doing for so long that I remember when I did everything by hand. Thankfully, desktop publishing programmes came about and I fell in love with computers. It was love at first sight.


5. Who are you reading right now?
Right now, I'm nearly done reading The Girls from Alcyone by Cary Caffrey. It's a refreshingly exciting SF book! Reminds me of a movie (it would make a good movie). While I'd loved to have sat from start to finish and read it all, I had to take many breaks due to work-related issues. But now I'm nearly done. After that, I'm moving onto Battle Dancer by K.M. Tolan. It's the last book in his Dancer space opera series, and I can't wait to start!


6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
From everywhere and anything - from people watching to idle moments during the day. Sleeping (just before sleeping) also helps. I'm a constant and persistent daydreamer, to the point my mind wanders even while having a face to face conversation
with someone. I've learned to hide it well, though.

My current WIP (2nd draft) came to me in a tea shop looking for Christmas gifts last year. I looked around, saw posters and charts about different teas and their origins, and thought about how long tea had actually been around. Then I wondered how much longer the tea tradition would last. Instantly, my mind skipped several hundred generations into the future (let's call it an even 2 thousand years) and out popped this entirely new star system that cultivated teas like their ancestors did on Earth. Of course, when I actually wrote about it, tea was only mentioned briefly. I may add in some more tea-related things here and there.


9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
Outline, outline, outline! And lists and sub-lists. Unless I write down key notes in chronological order, I'm unable to write properly or concentrate. I once tried to let it just pantser out of me, and what came out was stupid and had no form. I hit delete and went back to my notes. However, when writing dialogue, I sort of let it free-fall out of my head (keeping in mind the general outcome of the scene), kind of like having an actual conversation with someone else.


13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?



TK has been working as a graphic artist for more years than she can remember. Based in Barbados, where she was born, writing has always appealed to her – whether reading someone else’s literary masterpieces, or doing her own disjointed ramblings.

Early in 2008, TK finally received the right motivation to just jump right in and start writing seriously. You could say she received a very strategic kick in a very specific part of her anatomy! Figuratively speaking, of course.

In 2010, her debut SF/SFR novel The Lancaster Rule was published and released by Champagne Books (and their SF/F dedicated imprint, Burst Books). In 2011, the sequel, The Master Key was released. The Eternal Knot is the last in the Lancaster Trilogy and has been released this January.

TK usually prefers writing SF/R but may be tempted to dabble in a some Fantasy in the near future.

Find TK online at these links:

WEBSITE - http://www.thelancasterrule.blogspot.com


- http://thewritersvineyard.com/


- http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Lancaster-Rule/341194164892


- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Written-by-TK-Toppin/122201824480206



- http://twitter.com/TKToppin



SYNOPSIS of The Eternal Knot

Unable to resist the lure of finding her niece, Josie picks up the crumbs of clues left behind. With her old friend and saviour, pod-hunter Quin Aguilar at her side, she seeks out Fern Betterncourt who is assumed to be sleeping for over a hundred years.

From an unlikely source, Fern’s location is discovered, and together with her husband, Josie seeks out her last link to her past. Will Fern want to be found? And will finding Fern be enough to bury the ghosts that haunt Josie? Can Josie bring herself to destroy her last remaining family in order to save herself?

The Eternal Knot, the final chapter in the Lancaster trilogy: Every question answered, every truth revealed. Will Josie finally rest in peace in the new future she lives in?