No pressure

#5MinuteFictionI’ve been invited to serve as judge for the #5MinuteFiction contest hosted by Wendy Strain on her WriteOnWendy blog.

Of course I’m terribly flattered to be asked, but I also find it funny. I couldn’t write a grocery list in five minutes much less a worthwhile story but that’s just what the contestants will do.

Tuesday, July 29, at 7:30 p.m. CST, Wendy will post a writing prompt. Sparked by that prompt, contestants will write their best short piece of fiction and submit it in the blog’s comments section by 7:45 p.m. Wendy will call time and close the contest. I as judge will read the entries and by 9 p.m. the same night I’ll chose the top five.

Throughout the evening and the following day, Wednesday, July 30, the finalists’ entries are available to read on the blog and judging is open to all readers who can vote for their favorite. Readers, get ready for some highly entertaining morsels, complete stories in one yummy bite.

Voting ends at 7:30 p.m. CST on Wednesday, July 30. At 9 p.m. on that day, Wendy will announce the winner.

So writers, sharpen your pencil, put a fresh cartridge in your pen, or fire up a New Document in your favorite word processor and get ready to write, fast! Your rewards are the fame and glory of being a celebrated #5MinuteFiction writer PLUS I’m awarding the winner a gift certificate for a free ebook copy of The Lost King.

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Take care out there

Even with back-to-school ads suggesting vacations are soon coming to an end, we still have lots of summer tourists here, lots of traffic and unfortunately some accidents. It’s a reminder to think about car insurance to protect drivers and the people with whom they share the road. With some judicious shopping it can be affordable too.

These days, it does not take long for people to find themselves in serious financial trouble. Most often, financial problems happen because of a lack of proper planning. In order for individuals to avoid falling into a financial crisis, it’s essential for them to budget carefully and spend within their means. One way to save tremendously is by purchasing necessary car insurance coverage at a cheaper price.

Determine the Amount of Coverage Needed

Many people often make the mistake of purchasing coverage they do not need. For instance, a driver who is looking to purchase auto insurance Austin may be talked into buying coverage that costs $800 a month when in reality, the driver only needs a plan that costs $200 a month. Such a decision is usually made because these individuals feel that they will need to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Insurance companies will sell to these types of people because brokers can easily sell to them many types of insurance they will never use, which will then have the effect of racking up monthly premiums. Careful drivers have no need to buy coverage that is designed for people who are constantly getting in accidents.

Compare Quotes and Then Purchase

Once the amount of necessary coverage has been determined, shoppers need to compare quotes. There are a number of ways that quotes can be compared. One way shoppers can compare car insurance quotes is by visiting a website that is designed to allow consumers to view a wide range of quotes within a few seconds of generating the search. Also, customers can speak with a broker. After specifying to the broker what type of insurance coverage is desired, the broker will help the shopper find the plans that have the best possible rates. Finally, consumers can choose a preferred company and check that company’s website for plans that offer outstanding rates based on their options. Once customers find the perfect plan along with the perfect rate, they can then make their purchase.

When customers purchase a good plan that offers a nice rate, they can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on auto insurance. The money they save can be put into a savings account for a rainy day, thus significantly improving their personal financial situation. When a financial crisis does arise, it can be dealt with in confidence because the necessary resources will be there to deal with it without causing serious financial problems.

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Unbeatable

I’m so proud to tell you about this awesome box set. There’s no beating this deal. It’s only around for a limited time, so now’s your chance to get your hands on this RARE collection before it’s gone!

pandora 2PANDORA, a best-selling box set of wicked paranormal reads, is brought to you by twenty exciting, best-selling, and award-winning authors!

Ready for a touch of magic?

Whether you love paranormal in the form of romance, suspense, mystery, horror, or fantasy, this box set will have something to entice your preternatural sensibilities. Supernaturally thrilling and engaging, this box set has it all: ghosts, vampires, mind-readers, shape-shifters, demons, faeries, werewolves, and more.

For a limited time, you can enjoy books from today’s New York Times, USA Today, Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestselling authors and many more. It includes everything from titles that are slated for the big screen to stories from Pulitzer Prize and Bram Stoker Award Nominees! When purchased separately, these books cost over $50! But they are yours today for less than $1.

Professionally formatted, no cliffhangers, and no short stories. Every selection in this rare, limited edition paranormal box set are full-length novels and novellas! A few are “First in Series,” but the editors carefully selected only those which can still be enjoyed as a standalone!

Available for Pre-Order Now!

Kobo

Nook

iBooks

Coming August 5, 2014

Do you dare to open the box?

pandora

What’s included:

THE BREAKER’S CODE

by Conner Kressley

Cresta’s the kind of girl who thinks everything is the end of the world. Turns out, she might be right.

 

SHADE

by Kelly Anne Blount, Amazon Best-Selling Author

Coming soon!

 

THE FORGOTTEN ONES

by Laura Howard , Amazon Best-Selling Author

Truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother’s sanity.

 

INTO YOU

by Riley J. Ford, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

What if you could know exactly what your friends are thinking? High school student Winter Reynolds can, but there’s a catch… She can only read people’s thoughts when she’s kissing them.

 

DEAD GIRLS NEVER SHUT UP

by Susan Stec<, Amazon Best-Selling Author

Toni’s grandmother is a psychopath. Her sister is a ghost. Her boyfriend is possessed. And she has no idea who she is.

 

LIE TO ME

by Angela Fristoe

As a Truth Teller, Phoebe knows a lie when she hears it.Knowing what to do when her best friend lies is the problem, because in lies, intention is everything.

 

FOUR IN THE MORNING

by Christi Goddard, Amazon Best-Selling Author

When a smart-ass magical creature invades Kathleen’s life, a boy she hates turns up dead and her mother goes missing.

 

TRUE CONNECTION

by Rachel Walter

With the help of supernatural friends and protectors, Jazzy thinks she’s safe until what remains of her family is put in danger. Does she have what it takes to save her family, life, soul, and soul mate, or will all be lost?

 

INVISIBLE

by DelSheree Gladden, Amazon Best-Selling Author

Being invisible won’t hide Mason for long.

 

THE AWAKENING

by Apryl Baker, Amazon Best-Selling and Film-Optioned Novelist

Snap…crackle…pop. The sounds of bones breaking and shifting and of muscles tearing haunt Alexandria Reed. Aided by her new friends, who have some dark secrets themselves, can she and Jason survive long enough to figure out the secret behind the secret?

 

WHAT TRULY KNOWS

by Louise Caiola, Amazon Best-Selling Author

She was born with the Magical Knowing – a gift, some said. A curse, said others.
But for Truly, it was the very thing meant to save her life. If it didn’t kill her first.

 

SUMMONED

by Rainy Kaye, Amazon Best-Selling Author

A dark twist on genie folklore, SUMMONED follows a reluctant criminal as he unravels the mystery of the paranormal bond controlling him.

 

HER SWEETEST DOWNFALL

by Rebecca Hamilton, Amazon Best-Selling and Film-Optioned Novelist

Ophelia’s initiation into the supernatural council won’t be complete until she kills the man she loves.

 

MADE TO FORGET

by Samantha LaFantasie

After waking up in a hospital with no memory, Elsabetha quickly learns those who claim to be her friend are anything but.

 

A PRESCRIPTION FOR DELIRIUM

by Noree Cosper, B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree

Demons, werewolves, possessed bikers, madness spreading like a virus, and a revenge that has waited for over five-hundred years. What more could Gabby look for in a vacation spot?

 

THE WATER WOLF

by Thomas Sullivan<, Pulitzer Prize Nominee

A global quest by a cynical adventurer searching for links in a colossal subterranean network he has stumbled upon lead him from the ancient fortress at Cuzco, Peru, to the Pyramids of Giza to a dangerous churchyard in Connemara, Ireland, where he falls in love with a woman of more than mortal roots and encounters the strange magic of a small village.

 

CLEOPATRA’S NEEDLE

by Carole Lanham, Amazon Best-Selling Author and Bram Stoker Award Nominee

“There are monsters in this world, I’ve learned, and sometimes I have fallen victim to them and sometimes I have been one.” A story of Welsh witchcraft, love, and murder.

 

EYES OF THE SEER

by Peter W. Dawes, Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Award winner

It all started with a murder, but what laid in wait would turn a man into a monster.

 

THE TRAITORS’ TRILOGY

by Heather Kenealy, winner of MTV’s “Stan Lee presents the Seekers” contest and Cinescape’s Short Story Contest

Betrayal comes with a price. For these betrayers, it also comes with an opportunity.

THE PORTRAIT OF ALATIEL SALAZAR

by Steven Katriel, Amazon Best-Selling Author

When Gabriel Holland’s beloved Helena vanishes from his life, he journeys to the home of disgraced artist Cristian Salazar, the man he holds responsible for her disappearance and the death of several friends.

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Love this deal? Wanna spend a few moments of your time to help spread the word? Here’s a few things that you can do:

Support our Thunderclap Campaign

Join the PANDORA mailing list

Join the PANDORA Pre-release Facebook Party

Follow on Twitter

Add to your Goodreads #tbr list

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DIY made funny

I am so proud to share this news. Hope Sutherland, a fellow author and member of the South Texas Scribes, was named a Finalist in the 1st/2nd Quarter 2014 “America’s Funniest Humor!”(TM) Writing Contest held by HumorPress.com, one of the Internet’s highest-ranking humor contest sites. If you need a chuckle, click here to read her delightful “Blueprint Blues.”

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The author’s vacay

“New York, New York, a helluva town. The Bronx is up, but the Battery’s down.”

I just returned from a visit to the Big Apple state but I didn’t go anywhere near the sites mentioned in “New York, New York,” the Leonard Bernstein/Betty Comden/Adolph Green tune from the soundtrack for “On the Town.” New York is more than bright lights and big city. There are farmlands and forests, mountains and valleys, lakes and rivers. Not the least of those rivers is the Hudson and the mid-Hudson Valley is where I spent a week’s vacation.

Walkway over the HudsonRunning north to south through the eastern half of the state, the Hudson River is 315 miles long and over two miles wide. I know it is because I walked across it on the world’s longest footbridge, the Walkway Over the Hudson, a state historic park. Formerly the Poughkeepsie Bridge, a railroad bridge that burned in the 1970’s, it has since been restored and converted for pedestrian use. The view is stunning.

Culinary Institute of AmericanCulinary Institute of AmericanAll that walking worked up an appetite which I sated at the Culinary Institute of America. The CIA’s gorgeous Hyde Park campus is planted with not only trees, shrubs, grass and flowers but also herbs, fruit and vegetable gardens and has a number of student-staffed restaurants and cafes. Reservations are suggested for all of them except for the Apple Pie Bakery Café but I managed to get seated at the Ristorante Caterina de Medici. I had a Portobello Panini with hummus and goat cheese followed by tiramisu and washed down with Prosecco, all served by Diane, a most charming student. Now that’s a lunch worth writing home about.

The Hudson River is the site of a lot of history. Named for Henry Hudson, the Englishman who explored it in 1609, it became the gateway to the American interior. It inspired an entire school of landscape painting and writers like Washington Irving. The Hudson’s lower half is tidal so the river flows both ways which makes it hard to navigate. Nevertheless it became important to shipping, trading and industry and its control was hotly contested during the American Revolution. Originally home to the Mahican and Munsee Native Americans it became the address of wealthy families whose estates still line the shores. Many of those have been turned over to the state or federal government and now serve as parks, such as the mansions of the Vanderbilts, Ogden Mills and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

I did quite a bit of touring at the FDR home, now a national park, and the FDR library and museum, a National Archives and Records site. It’s not that I’m a big FDR fan or a history buff. My trip to the mid-Hudson Valley was primarily to visit family. I am, however, working on a novel inspired by a trip that I made over 20 years ago and for which the FDR park and library are important settings.

My trip took me to other mid-Hudson Valley cities like Rhinebeck, Kingston and Saugerties, to which I’d been before, and to Hudson for the first time. Once a major New York city (as late as 1820 it was the fourth largest city in the state), Hudson acquired a reputation in the late 19th and early 20th century for drinking, gambling and prostitution. Now it’s undergoing a revival. I really liked strolling Warren Street and reading the placards on the multistory brick and clapboard facades that gave the buildings’ ages and named the architectural styles which ranged from Dutch, Federalist, Greek and Gothic Revival to Italianate and Victorian. I had a wonderful cup of coffee in one of Hudson’s fine coffeehouses and a terrific lunch of falafel, hummus, cucumber salad and olives at the Pita Palace.

I was fortunate to be visiting during a week of splendid weather. Daytime temps in the 70’s and low 80’s were perfect for long walking tours.

No, I didn’t see any Broadway plays or shop Fifth Avenue or visit MoMA. Instead, I made my sister squire me around to obscure locations like Staatsuburg so I could absorb local color. That’s the price she pays for having a sibling who’s an author. I came home with lots of photos and notes for my current work-in-progress, a historical thriller slated for release this winter. Meanwhile, my latest novel, “The King’s Redress,” is getting five star reviews. If you missed my July 4th weekend launch parties, you’ve got another opportunity to get a signed copy. I’ll be at the Family Center IGA, 416 S. Alister St. in Port Aransas on Saturday, July 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. I’ll be signing copies of “The King’s Redress,” the latest release in The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, as well as all my other books, and I’ll have some specials on hand like discounts and handmade bookmarks. Come on by. I’ll see you there.

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Super news!

AUTHORSdB Top 10

Thanks to you all, my books have been named to the AUTHORSdB TOP 10.

TOP 10, yeah! Go ahead, brag to everyone you know about your award-winning author friend.

AUTHORSdB is also running a cover contest. Voters are giving high marks to my 2014 entries, Naked Came the Sharks and The King’s Redress.

You can vote too. Just click on the book cover titles above to follow the links. The book covers are separated into categories, Mystery/Thriller/Suspense for Naked Came the Sharks and Science Fiction/Fantasy for The King’s Redress. Then the book covers are displayed in alphabetical order by title so you have to scroll through a few pages. Then just click on the stars below the book cover.

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Read all you want

If you’re an avid reader, you probably are enrolled in any one of several subscription services out there, like Inkbok, where a small subscription fee entitles you to unlimited reading.

Now there’s Kindle Unlimited, a new subscription service for readers in the U.S. Customers will be able to read as many books as they want from a library of over 600,000 titles while subscribed to Kindle Unlimited. All books enrolled in KDP Select with U.S. rights will be automatically included in Kindle Unlimited.

The King’s Redress is enrolled in the KDP Select program and I hope that through the Unlimited service more readers can enjoy King Bewilliam’s bewildering world.

 

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Where in cyberspace is Devorah?

The King's Redress by Devorah Fox Blog Tour 2014Today’s stop on The King’s Redress blog tour takes me to Inkspokes.

Here you’ll find a handy wrap up of the entire series of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, plus other features like interview, reviews and the Writers Roundtable.

Where will the tour take me next? Be the first to find out. Sign up for my email newsletter. You’ll get news, invitations and specials delivered right to your mailbox. To get your name on this prestigious list, just complete this form.

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Launching another book

The King's Redress by Devorah Fox Blog Tour 2014I kicked off this month with signings and parties to celebrate the launch of The King’s Redress and I’ve got a party invitation for the end of the month, to ring in Echoes of Memories.

It’s Book Two in the Nepherium series by Samantha LaFantasie, author of Made to Forget and Heart Song.
Samantha’s hosting a big virtual party on Facebook on July 31.

Echoes of MemoriesWhat’s Echoes of Memories about?

Traitor. Liar. That’s what they call me. No one believes me. Not even my team. I know it’s up to me to get the answers. To stop the corruption and unlock my memories. I’ll do anything to get them back. Even if my hands will be covered in blood.

Elsa’s every move is scrutinized. She’s labeled a traitor by those she sought for protection, and kept from her family and team. Regaining memories has been a slow process. Too slow for the Council’s liking, taking matters into their own hands.

The new captain has history with Elsa and operates with a hidden agenda. Even Elsa’s team reacts differently toward her. If only she could unlock her memories. Everything is playing right into Alexander’s hand, even amassing an army with unconventional methods, designed to annihilate the Nepherium—starting with Noah. Elsa will do anything to stop Alexander … even kill.

Samantha LaFantasieA Kansas native, Samantha LaFantasie spends her free time with her spouse and three kids. Writing has always been a passion of hers, forgoing all other desires to devote to this one obsession, even though she often finds herself arguing with her characters through much of the process. She’s primarily a fantasy writer but often feels pulled to genres such as sci-fi, romance, and others.

Among her writing credentials, a member of the Kansas Writer’s Association and has authored works such as Heart Song (her debut novel) and Made to Forget.

Samantha loves to take time to enjoy other activities such as photography and playing her favorite game of all time, Guild Wars 2.

Want more from Samantha? Keep up with her at any of her digital hangouts.

Goodreads

Facebook Fan Page

Author Central

Twitter

Google+

Pinterest

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On the blog tour trail

The King's Redress by Devorah Fox Blog Tour 2014I continue to bounce around the blogosphere, sharing the news about the release of The King’s Redress.

Lokte by K. J. BryenOn the trail, I met K. J. Bryen also launching her new book, Lokte. It’s the story of Marianne Garcia, a struggling actress in New York City. With a dead career and her mother dying of cancer, she begins to lose faith in a better life. That is, until Logan Lokte shows up.

The mysterious Logan offers her everything she has dreamed of, promising that he can not only make her a famous actress, but can stop the cancer spreading in her mother’s body. All Marianne has to do is sign a contract.
Marianne doesn’t believe in magic, and she has lost all faith in miracles. But why does she find herself strangely drawn to him? Who is Logan Lokte? And if she were to sign his contract . . . what would the consequences be?

In this tale of passion, murder, and deceit, Marianne’s decision thrusts them both into a spiral where choices are crucial, and evil comes from within.
But they also must learn that, in life, not every door is locked.

Here’s an excerpt:

            They sat at a little red booth, tucked in a corner against the wall. Marianne wore a pretty, white sundress with a tan belt and wedges, her hair pulled back and cascading into perfect waves down her shoulders. Logan had on a loose, black shirt that formed a V on his chest; the short sleeves showed off his defined biceps, which seemed to flex every time he moved. He finished off the look with a pair of dark wash jeans, black shoes, and a plain black bracelet that clipped on his wrist. Even in his casual apparel, he looked like a rock star.
            They began with small talk. They talked about the weather and how great Amy’s Café was. By the time their food came out, Marianne was more curious about him than ever. She leaned forward with interest.
            “So what is this proposition you were telling me about?” she asked. “You wouldn’t tell me the other day.”
“It is something that needs to be heard . . . in doses.” His eyes met hers, and he smiled. “But before I tell you anything, you have to tell me something. What is it in this world that you want most?”
            She stared at him blankly. “I’m sorry?”
            “I know that is a personal question, but it must be answered before I can explain my proposal. What do you want most in this world?” When she was reluctant to reply, he placed a gentle hand on hers. “You can trust me.”
            She hesitated. She had never been asked that question before. It was like telling a deep, dark secret to a complete stranger.
But Logan wasn’t a stranger, was he?
            “. . . I want my mother to be cured of cancer. And I want to be a famous actress on Broadway.”
            He nodded. “Well, Marianne, I can give you exactly that.”
            She gazed at him incredulously. “How?”
            “Oh, all will be revealed in good time. But today, I want you to think about that. Think about what it would be like to have all your dreams come true . . . and realize that it’s possible.”
            “. . . What are you?”
            To that, he simply smiled.

I asked Ms. Bryen where she got the idea for the story. She said,

Well, I honestly can’t remember where I got the idea for the story. It all stemmed from a spark in my head, that just kind of tumbled into this much bigger story.  But I will say, the setting was entirely based off of my own trip to New York City when I was fourteen. I loved everything; Times Square, Central Park, Broadway. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to write a book set in New York City.

K. J BryenK.J. Bryen lives in Oklahoma City with her loving husband, Adam. By day, she works at a news station. By night, she is a writer of young adult novels and supernatural thrillers. She loves any book that immerses her into a world she doesn’t want to leave, and she hopes to be able to do that for her readers. She’s also a coffee addict and a Joss Whedon fanatic. She loves to meet new people, so hit her up on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads. You can also visit her website or blog to find out more about her books.

You can find out more about her at:

  • kjbryen.moonfruit.com
  • plungingintothenovel.blogspot.com
  • facebook.com/kjbryen
  • @KJBryen on Twitter
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