Sunday, May 28, 2017

Six on Sunday - JONES & JONES, an Urban Fantasy/Sci-Fi Romance

Six paragraphs from Jones & Jones, a sci-fi, urban fantasy, romantic suspense.

1. He was vaguely aware of his mother splashing her way toward him. Her hands dipped under the surface and he felt a hard tug on the straps that were keeping him pinned to his seat. There was a solid jerk and the straps floated free. She grabbed him under the arms and lifted him upward, flinging him over her shoulder. He landed on his belly and another gush of water pumped out of him. His mother pounded him between the shoulder blades. Overcome with his body’s reaction, and the pain of struggling to breathe, Slone started to cry.

2. Slone returned the smile. “It does. But we can’t allow it to overwhelm us to the point where our day job suffers.” He glanced over at her. “It’s also affecting our personal lives. We’re not getting enough rest. We’re not eating properly. Between the stress of trying to do both, the bounty hunting and being superheroes, as the old saying goes, we’re literally burning the candle at both ends.”

3. A soft kiss touched her temple. “We were just starting to feel those feelings. Those grown-up feelings. But we didn’t know what to do. We didn’t know how to handle them, so I went to talk to Papa Pugg, and you went to see Mama Mary. Then we talked afterwards. That’s when we decided our future, what to do with our lives. And that’s when we chose to take it to the next level…to become intimate.”

4. She nodded. “I know. Those poor, poor people. I just wish I could come with you.” She started to say more, when a sudden sneeze came upon her. She barely had the chance to bring the pillow to her face when it came. It was followed by two more in quick succession. When it was over, foam pellets were scattered across the living room like miniature balls of snow. Embrie sniffed. Jerking several tissues from the box she kept beside her, she tried to blow her nose without causing more havoc. “Sorry. Geez, if it’s not one thing, it’s another.” She gave a soft moan of pain as she placed a hand to her wound. “Ow, that hurt.”

5. “Listen. We know you wanted to be like your original parents when you grew up,” Papa Pugg admitted. “Slone, I can’t count how many times you told me you wished you could become a pilot like your mother, or a navigator like your father. Same for you, Embrie. You wanted to be a scientist like both your parents. But you understand that this world has barely stepped into outer space. Yes, Slone, you could probably enlist in the Air Force. Maybe even go into the astronaut program. Embrie will be eighteen and you’ll be nineteen on your next joint birthday. But, again, you know you’ll run the risk of exposure by unintentionally or accidentally revealing your powers.”

6. There was a snort of laughter. “You have no rights, Miss Jones. Last warning. You and your brother steer clear of MacElroy, or else you might accidentally end up in the line of fire again.”

Sunday, May 21, 2017

New! JONES & JONES, an Urban Fantasy Romance

Urban Fantasy, Romantic Suspense
Word Count: 37.2K
$2.99 e

Bounty hunters by day. Superheroes by night.

Slone and Embrie have known each other since birth, and after crash landing on Earth, they know they are the last of their kind. Intergalactic refugees, and extremely young, they are discovered and taken in by an older couple who teach them how to survive and fit in.

With powers no human possesses, the two decide they should share their strengths with the world, and Falcon and Hawk are born. Saving lives is their calling and the right thing to do, but unfortunately it doesn’t pay the bills, so bounty hunting by day it is. Unfortunately, living a double life takes a toll on a person, superhuman or not, both physically and emotionally. And with exhaustion comes mistakes.

So when Embrie is injured, leaving her weak and vulnerable, Slone must make the decision to expose who they are to save her life or lose his love forever.

Until a job from the past resurfaces, threatening to make that decision for him, as well as destroy everything they've sacrificed and worked for. 

Warning! Contains a dozen red roses, a desire for Italian food, emergency surgery, a hostage crisis, a debt paid, a Level Four contagion, burning a candle at both ends, sonic booms, and two childhood friends who survive to become eternal lovers.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Fabulous Fakes

Fake - The top image is widely circulated as being a Bigfoot.- The second and third images are edited to show flaws in the image. The bottom image set is an example of someone editing the image of a bear to show the similarities to the Bigfoot image. 2015-10-23 ------> The new last image is the original Bear!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Auto-Buys: When Does an Author Become an Automatic Buy For You, the Reader?

When Does an Author Become an Automatic Buy For You, the Reader?

I have a couple of questions for readers over at the Here Be Magic blog.

Click the link here to read and give your opinion.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Now Available as an Audio Book! MY STRENGTH, MY POWER, MY LOVE

Sci-Fi Romance
Word Count:  73.9K
$3.99 e / $9.99 p / $19.95 a

Narrated by Mister Plug
Length: 7 hrs, 58 min

Listen to a sample.

Once in every one million births, a child is born on Bellac with the Synergistic gene. These children are taken from their parents and raised, trained, and prepared for the day when they will find their Synergistic other half. For when that happens, an entity is created from the combination of both male and female who holds unbelievable powers. An entity who is trained to protect and defend its home world.

Grey Dansis is a Synergian. She has reached the time when she must meet the others like herself and hopefully find the male who will become her life-long partner from a crowd of strong, prime adult males who are ready to join the war as soon as they are united with their female halves.

Unfortunately Grey has secretly harbored a longing for Rowe Maine. But the man is five years her senior and considered long past acceptance. He is an Unmatched Synergian who has lost his chance to become one of the rare new entities.   By law he is no longer able to seek his mate.  Now the man is a trainer and teacher at their special school.

It won’t be long, however, before their world is again attacked by marauders. The creatures bent on domination are a species the Synergians have never encountered before. And this time the creatures’ goal isn’t just to conquer Bellac, but to totally wipe the planet's population and its army of Synergians out of existence.

Grey has no idea that Rowe, the man she has long been in love with, is her fated other half.  Or that the power coming from their union would be the only force strong enough to save Bellac from complete annihilation.

Because the law won't even let them touch.

Warning! Contains human weaponry, alien attacks, unapproved use of pudding, overly-aggressive males, excessive sex as a health benefit, badly fitting uniforms, trial by antagonistic rulers, and a love that defies the laws of man and nature.

Excerpt and buy links.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Now Available in Print! ORRORA, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Deep in the heart of New York City, a killer is stalking a select group of individuals. A killer whose M.O. matches a series of murders that have been going on for more than eighty years.

Orrora Dalca is brought in by the U.S. Government to identify and find this murderer...but there's a problem. Orrora is hiding a dark secret. And although she's met with the task of finding this killer, she must also hide that person's identity from ever becoming known.

Joel Powers produces independent horror films, and he gets many of his ideas by tailing the police when he gets wind of an unusual homicide. When he encounters Orrora at one of the crime scenes, there is something about her that draws him inexorably to her. These cases intrigue him, as does the girl. But the more he uncovers, the more he isn't sure he wants to put the pieces of this puzzle together.

Determined to see her again, he does everything he can to learn all about her, not realizing there will be a price to pay for his curiosity.

Warning! Contains raw meat, a gold button, discombobulation, ancient history, untruths, a rare medical condition, and the possibility that a decades-old longing for love may finally be over.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mooney's Monday Movie Review - EMBERS

Some of my favorite movies, other than sci-fi, are dystopian/post-apocalyptic movies. Some of my favorite include The Book of Eli and The Road. 

Now comes Embers with a premise I wish I'd thought of. Instead of a virus turning people into creatures, etc., it has erased people's memories and affected their brains to the point where their current memories only last a few hours. They cannot recall the past, nor can they exist in any other moment except the Right Here And Now.

This film follows several different characters, and how this inability to think back or ahead becomes their complete future. We see the lovers, who wake up every morning asking each other, "Who are you?" We see the little boy wandering through the crumbling city. We see the angry young man working out his aggression on everything and everyone. We see the brilliant scientist reading his tome over and over, unable to understand what he wrote minutes after he reads it. And we see a young woman who's being kept almost a prisoner inside a deep, underground bunker, to protect her from breathing the air where the virus is still prevalent.

This is a slow-paced film, and it has many scenes that are thought-provoking. There is violence, but the overall feeling is that there is no hope for humanity. Eventually everyone will die because no one knows how to feed themselves beyond scavenging and looting amid the decaying buildings.

Yes, this movie is a downer. There is no miraculous "cure". We feel sorry for these people, and we are rewarded with one lone upbeat moment. But otherwise there is no hope for mankind surviving many more years.

Although I rented and watched this film over a week ago, it continues to stick with me. That in itself is why I give this movie 4/5 stars.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Guest Author Post: Sparrow Beckett - Catching Readers with a Catchy Cover

Everyone knows the old saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover” isn’t true anymore. Not with the fast-paced world of digital publishing where every time you turn around there’s a new, interesting book release.
In this world, readers have to judge a book by its cover. Which means you need a kickass cover.
So what makes a kickass cover?

      1.      It has to look professional.

There are a lot of authors making their own book covers, which is super cool IF they know what they’re doing. But graphic design takes a lot of skill and training most authors haven’t put the time and effort into. And believe me, readers can tell. This is also true for cheap pre-made covers. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing up a pre-made cover that matches the book IF it’s professionally done. But I’ve seen a lot of amateur book covers being sold for $30 and the images are stretched, the font is plain and doesn’t stand out, and the resolution is terrible. Remember, you get what you pay for.

If you want to be taken seriously as an author, you have to come right out of the gate looking like a professional. You have to compete with thousands of traditionally published authors who have covers made by industry professionals with the help of a sales team. That means putting the time and/or money into a cover. It’s the very first thing readers see when they browse books.

      2.      It has to stand out.

Thousands of books are being published every single day. The market is flooded now more than ever. It’s awesome so many people are getting their stories out there into the world, but it also means there’s a lot of competition for yours to stand out. So how do you stand out in the crazy world of digital publishing?

Do something unexpected. Use a bright color for a horror novel. Or a dark color for a sweet romance. Stay away from trends.  Or if you want to go with a trend, put your own twist on it. Or be a minimalist and make good use of dead space. Look at what’s flooding the market and avoid it. Change the angle, desaturate the photo, use a funky font, just do something different.

      3.      It has to project the right tone.

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen authors make with their covers is trying to do too much at once. Your book cover doesn’t need to tell exactly what it’s about. If it’s a paranormal romance about a single mom who falls in love with a werewolf on vacation in Hawaii, you don’t need a wolf, a palm tree, a child, and a couple kissing on the cover. There IS such thing as too much of a good thing.
Think about the tone you want readers to pick up on. Prioritize. Remember, standing out is important but in a way that makes sense for the book. What’s the mood? What’s the genre? Is it funny and flirty? Is it dark and horrific? Is it a deep, emotional memoir? Each of these would use a completely different set of colors, fonts, and effects to create a tone that will give readers an idea of what they’ll experience when they open the book.

When you hire a cover artist, make sure you communicate clearly how you want readers to feel when they look at your book cover. And how they will feel when reading your book. A good cover artist should be able to match the inside to the outside and combine that with standing out and looking professional. With this formula, you should be well on your way to a successful career (in whatever way you define it).

 Thank you for having me and I hope these points help you design (or choose a designer) the perfect cover for your book! Remember, pay for a professional (or take a class!), keep it simple but unique, and communicate clearly with your designer.