Monday, May 23, 2011

Indie Author Showcase 15: Tessa Stokes

Before we get to the featured author, I wanted to let everyone know that my new short story "Lane 8: A Tale of Death & Bowling" is live on Amazon. It's a quick read and it reminds me of some of the shorter Stephen King pieces from the 1980s. Plus, there's some murderous mischief. What's not to like?

Today's featured author is Tessa Stokes, who brings us a series of fantasy and paranormal romance novels. She has several books to share with you, so you'd better free up some reading time this week.

And now, from the author herself...

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Title: The Seven Spell Saga

Genre: Blend of paranormal romance and fantasy

Your Book in 1000 Words or Less:

Suitable for eighteen years and up, the book's dynamics of romance, time travel, adventure, magic and paranormal romance make for some interesting plot twists and turns.

Written from the viewpoint of the main female character in the first three books of The Seven Spell Saga, it provides a picture of her life and thoughts as she moves to a different country, encountering a fantastic adventure.

Chloe McGarry moves from her home in California to a village and estate in England steeped in history and mystery. She has never been lucky in love, and to her surprise she meets not one, but two lovely guys. They are both interested in her and become her dearest friends. She falls in love with both of them and they both fall in love with her.

One of them, Tristan, is especially enigmatic. He has been keeping a secret for eight hundred years and as Chloe forms a relationship with him she helps him unravel his heritage. There are dangers around every corner as her other love, Oliver, is mistaken for Tristan by an ancient family of Magi bent on collecting a debt owed by Sir Edmund Dearing.

The three, brought together by danger and adventure as well as love, become friends.

Life goes on around the estate but the magic that has followed Tristan all of his life continues to threaten his very existence. Chloe must travel in time to save him as she realizes how much she loves him. Oliver helps her in the quest to free Tristan from the magic spell, only to lose himself.

The romantic adventure has many twists and turns. Ordinary life is peppered with magic and love.

Book Links:

Something Unique About Your Writing Process:  

I write mostly at night, sometimes all night; I can make notes during the day sometimes if I have an idea that I want to record, but mostly I can only write after about six pm . I also have a favorite room for writing; it's a place where I can see far into the distance of woods and fields. I have to edit my own work, and so I edit backwards through the book in thirds so as not to become engrossed in the story and miss editing needs.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Indie Author Showcase 14: Scott A. Kinkade

A few quick things before the showcase below. First, my new short story will be available on Amazon later today. It is called "Lane 8: A Tale of Death & Bowling". As soon as the link goes live, I'll have it posted on the sidebar to the right of the page. And heads up... there will be a few more short stories going live in the next few weeks. It's all in preparation of my new novel.

Secondly, I'm adjusting the price of "Prismatica" now that it has a mate on the virtual bookshelf. Since it is a longer book and was more difficult to create, I think $2.99 is a fair price. That's the great thing about this epublishing business... you can experiment with price so easily. I'd like to see someone try to sell an ebook for some ungodly price as part of a charity fundraiser. I'm talking hundreds of dollars. It would be interesting to see the results.

On to the showcase! Today's featured author is Oklahoma native Scott A. Kinkade, who offers some great science fiction for your reading pleasure. You can also get free stories at his personal blog, so head over there for a taste of what he can do! Support this author, leave reviews and spread the word. Indie authors unite!

And now, from the author himself....

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Book Title: Mirai: a Promise to Tomorrow

Genre: Science fiction

Your Book in 1,000 Words or Less: 

In a post-apocalyptic future, apathetic rebel Zaq Martial runs away from everything and everyone one he knows. He thinks life in the wilderness is all he has to look forward to for the rest of his meager existence.

However, he soon finds himself pursued by friends and enemies alike. He must save the world from the ruthless Benefactors, but in order to do so, he'll have to survive a vengeful ex-girlfriend, a murderous split personality, the eccentric rebel group the Scholars--and those are his allies. Throw superhuman enemies into the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster. Does he have what it takes to be a hero, or will be crash and burn along with humanity's free will?

Book Link:

Mirai: a Promise to Tomorrow
My page:

Something Unique About My Writing Process:

Well, basically what I do is plot out the story in my head (and maybe write down some notes as they come to me), and I try to write at least a page a day. I try to research things as much as I feel is necessary, and then I bring that research to the story.

Once the first draft is finished, I re-read it and make notes of what works and what needs to be changed. I try to edit thoroughly. I don't know if this is unique (I kinda hope not), but there you go.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Indie Author Showcase 13: Melinda Clayton

Today's Indie Author Showcase features wife, mother, psychotherapist and writer Melinda Clayton. In addition to having written the book featured below, she also published and contributed to the anthology "Passionate Hearts".

And now, from the author herself...

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Book Title: Appalachian Justice
Genre: Historical Fiction/Commercial Fiction
Book in 1000 words or less:

Billy May Platte is a half Irish, half Cherokee Appalachian woman who learned the hard way that 1940s West Virginia was no place to be gay. As Billy May explains, "We was sheltered in them hills. We didn't know much of nothin' about life outside of them mountains. I did not know the word lesbian; to us, gay meant havin' fun and queer meant somethin' strange." In 1945, when Billy May was fourteen years old and orphaned, three local boys witnessed an incident in which Billy May's sexuality was called into question. Determined to teach her a lesson she would never forget, they orchestrated a brutal attack that changed the dynamics of the tiny coal mining village of Cedar Hollow, West Virginia forever. Everyone, from Gerald Smith, the elderly owner of Smith's General Store, to Sue Ann Leary, the spoiled daughter of the town's only doctor, to Corinne Pruitt, Billy May's childhood friend, was affected by the event in ways they could never have anticipated.

Thirty years after the brutal attack, living in solitude on top of Crutcher Mountain, Billy May discovers the hideout of a young girl - a girl who just happens to be the daughter of one of the boys who attacked Billy May so long ago. No one knows better than Billy May the telltale signs of abuse, and she must quickly make a decision. Will she withdraw into the solitude in which she has lived since the horrific attack, or will she risk everything to save the girl from a similar fate? Billy May's choices will once again change not only her own future, but the future of Cedar Hollow as well, and certainly the future of the young girl.

Billy May tells us her story in her own words, as she lays dying in a hospice in Huntington, West Virginia in the spring of 2010. "From the top of my mountain, I seen that girl runnin'," she remembers, "and I understood even then that my decisions might very well be the death of me."

Book link: Appalachian Justice

Author website:

Something unique about my writing process:
I'm a licensed psychotherapist, and I like to draw upon those experiences in my writing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Indie Author Showcase 12: J.R. Tomlin

Happy Hump Day, everyone!

Before I get to the Indie Author Showcase, I wanted to say two things. 

First, I'll be making some music available on the website very soon. You see, I'm also a musician. You can find music from my former band DeepSkyTraveler here. In fact, the newer of the two albums, "The Sacred Science of Souls", actually comes with a short story and some other supplemental goodies I created for anyone who buys the whole album. For the record, I created the rhythm guitar, drums, and some spoken word in all of those songs. The other musicians (who never even met me in person... we were based entirely on the Internet) created bass guitar, lead guitar, and vocals. So what about the new music? Some of you may remember how I previously talked about redefining the short story... making it as memorable as popular television, giving it a little bit of a rock star bump? Well, I'm working out some ideas that meld my music and my fiction. So, stay tuned.

Secondly, I wanted to point you towards Sarah Allen's blog. She's a rather creative person who has been detailing her journey as a writer on her blog for the past few years. She's about to break the 500 followers milestone and I'd really like to help her in this achievement. So, after you've read about our featured author below, please go visit Sarah's blog and show some indie author love!

Today's featured author is J.R. Tomlin. She is a writer of historical and fantasy fiction; she's originally from southern Texas and now living in the Pacific Northwest. Ms. Tomlin's work has been featured in the online magazine Sorcerous Signals as well as in the anthology Arcane Whispers. Her blog features samples of her work as well as insightful posts about the craft of writing. My favorite post so far? Her thoughts regarding the mechanics of a fictional battle. It forced me to rethink some scenes in my upcoming novel... and eventually led to a few rewrites. Thanks, JR.

And now, from the author herself...

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Book Title: Freedom's Sword
Genre: Historical fiction
Your Book in 1000 Words or Less:
Before William Wallace... before Robert the Bruce... there was another Scottish hero...

In 1296, newly knighted by the King of the Scots, Andrew de Moray fights to defend his country against the forces of the ruthless invader, King Edward Longshanks of England. After a bloody defeat in battle, he is dragged in chains to an English dungeon.

Soon the young knight escapes. He returns to find Scotland under the heel of a conqueror and his betrothed sheltering in the hills of the Black Isle.

Seizing his own castle, he raises the banner of Scottish freedom. Now he must lead the north of Scotland to rebellion in hope of defeating the English army sent to crush them.

Book Link: Freedom's Sword
Author Website:

Something Unique About Your Writing Process:
My writing depends heavily on the research process. It is fiction, so of course fiction is woven in, but I consider the art of historical writing to be weaving fiction into the facts, not bending the facts to suit my fiction.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Changes & Inspiration

I'm changing things at the blog just a little bit.

I have a huge back log of indie authors to be featured on the Showcase and up until now, I've posted them three times a week. At the same time, I have a novel that I am trying to push through the editing process and that is quite time-consuming. Until I can hire a professional editor to do it for me (leaving me with more time to play Angry Birds conduct important research online), I'll have to do it myself. It is, without a doubt, my least favorite part of the process; but it's also the most important.

So what are the changes?

I'm only doing two Showcases a week from now on. That pushes the back log well into August or beyond, but I'm okay with this. I have to free up some time for the novel. Sometimes, I may feature two authors in one post... some weeks, I may only do one showcase. And once I'm done with the final edit of this novel, I'm sure the blog activity will change again. So, just bare with me. I'm a Noob.

Speaking of Noob, I want to point your eager little eyes towards THIS GUY.  Michael R. Hicks is a science fiction and fantasy writer who provides a great blog about marketing for indie authors. His most recent post is basically a break down of his own Kindle sales figures over the past few months.

This man came to chew bubble gum and sell some books... and he's all out of bubble gum.

Take a look at his sales figures and pay particular attention to how they've steadily increased in just a matter of months. That's inspiration, folks. You're looking at pure inspiration.

As I tell friends and family about this project... no, not a project... this publishing paradigm shift I find myself a part of, I am frequently asked, "So, can you make money doing this?"

Five years ago, I would have sheepishly answered, "Maybe." And my friends or family would have rolled their eyes and talked about something more meaningful than my publishing pipe dreams.

But things are different now. Writers are making this work. And it's not just a few examples like Amanda Hocking or JA Konrath or John Locke. It's happening to writers who don't have the legacy publishing experience. Every week, I find two or three new reasons why I shouldn't quit doing what I'm doing.

And the example set by Michael R. Hicks is reason number one for this week.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a novel to prep.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Guest Post: Gayle Carline

We have a special treat today. Instead of a simple Indie Author Showcase, humor writer Gayle Carline approached me about doing a guest blog post here. In return, I am featured on Gayle's blog as a guest writer today. So once you're finished here, jump over to her site and read my reasons for choosing to write

I'd love to hear from other authors who are interesting in doing guest posts in the future. Just e-mail me at ldhesler (at) hotmail (dot) com so we can set up the next big blog swap.

And now... Gayle Carline!

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When I first met David (or, can I call you "L"?) on an Amazon discussion thread, his offer of an Indie Author Showcase sounded like a lot of offers: a really nice thing for someone to throw out there, but if you didn't hunt them to the ground, they wouldn't follow through. Imagine my delight when he sent me an email! He told me I could talk about anything here, but since he writes horror, I want to talk about that.

My acquaintance with horror is limited. I blame this on my mother, who would not let me watch anything scary, lest I have nightmares. Perhaps she was correct - I had a vivid imagination as a child. Hearing "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford frightened me to tears (I don't know why), and even as an adult, I fight the image of a slimy, cold hand grabbing my shoulder late at night when I'm taking out the trash.

But over the years, I've found some horror enjoyable, like a roller coaster ride that leaves you excited yet spent. You may or may not agree with me - my rules are completely subjective and I understand if horror fans have a different viewpoint. I'm just saying, as a non-horror person, if it meets these criteria, I'll read it (or watch it):

1. The monster is not seen. I love those old B-movies where you saw the shadow, heard a throaty female scream, and knew… just knew what happened. I like the build-up of suspense. Don't give me the monster's POV and don't show me what they look like until- until- EEEEEK.

2. The monster must be beatable. You cannot end it with the monster/killer/Jason/Freddy triumphant, or even just escaping. Screw the sequel. There is a hero. They must prevail. I'm a Teflon-coated, glass half-full, things-can't-be-as-bad-as-they-are, kind of gal. Give me hope for a brighter day.

3.  The writing (book or script) must be good. I know that should go without saying, but without a clever plot and smart characters with interesting dialogue, I just can't get into the action. Scaring me isn't enough.

I did write one little horror piece. It was a flash fiction contest, for Halloween, and I won. I called it "Almost." Enjoy.

“This place creeps me out.”

“Stop whining, Harold,” Ken snapped. “We’re almost there.”

Three pairs of feet shuffled through the trees, crackling leaves and churning dust. Suddenly the forest halted and the trio spurted into the open. Standing on the grassy ledge, they were greeted by the pale white moon, staring at its reflection in the lake.

“Is that moon full?” asked Harold. “It looks full to me.”

“It’s not quite full,” Ken said.

“It looks very full to me,” Harold continued. “If it’s full, there could be werewolves out here.”

“It’s not full,” Ken repeated, “and werewolves aren’t real, you moron.”

“They are so real, Ken. My cousin’s dentist’s niece says her neighbor saw one.”

Ken sighed. “Your cousin’s dentist’s whatever is a moron. Tell him, Lydia.”

The auburn-haired girl stood silently, her thoughts engulfed by the giant orb.


Still watching the moon, she answered, “It doesn’t matter if there are werewolves or not, Harold. See how fuzzy the bottom of the moon is? That means it’s not full.”

Harold studied the sky. “You sure? No werewolves tonight?”

“No, Harold,” Lydia said. “No werewolves tonight.”

“Shut up about the werewolves!” hissed Ken. “You are both insane!”

The three friends started down the path to the lake, Lydia bringing up the rear. She strolled slowly, watching the boys and rubbing her ears.

“No, no werewolves tonight,” she whispered to herself.

Fingering the tufts of hair that had sprouted, Lydia smiled. “But maybe tomorrow.”

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Gayle Carline contributes humor articles to the Placentia News-Times in California. 

Also visit her websites below:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Indie Author Showcase 11: James Everington

Happy Monday to you all!

Today's Indie Author Showcase features James Everington, a writer from Nottingham, England. He specializes in dark, supernatural fiction. According to the author, his work tends to be ambiguous and unexplainable.The work featured today is a short story. Be sure to jump over to his blog where he has been posting some notes about the origins of his own short stories; I always find it fascinating to discover the kernels of reality behind an author's fiction. James offers such gems in his most recent blog posts.

And now, from the author himself...

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Book Title: Feed The Enemy

Genre: Literary/Psychological

Your Book in 1000 Words or Less: A short story about a woman attempting to flee London due to a terrorist threat. Her husband, who works for the government, encourages her to leave. But as the day goes on it becomes apparent he has his own reasons for wanting her out the way, and the real source of her fears might be closer to home...

Book Link: Feed the Enemy

Author Website:

Something Unique About Your Writing Process: I mainly write short stories, and I'm interested in blurring the boundaries between so-called 'literary' fiction and so-called 'genre' fiction. Influences are people like Shirley Jackson and Ramsey Campbell.