Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Mystic's Song- Writing Prompt

It was a dare, but you never back down from a good dare. When your friends told you to go into that tent at the fair, you never expected to enter another one. A world of mystery, perfumed air, and a smoke-filled crystal ball. The woman knew your name. She told you to sit in the velvet chair. What did she tell you about your future? Or, did she have a quest for you?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Book Nymph **Holiday Special**

Friday, December 20, 2013

**Cover Reveal** A World of Worlds

Welcome, Travelers! You are about to embark on a journey of discovery!

A World of Worlds, the first anthology of all new, never before witnessed stories of Science Fiction, Fantasy, or an amalgamation of both.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Scratch Your Musings- a poem

Scratch Your Musings
K.N. Lee

Scratch your musings
In dirt or gold
Immortalize your dreams 
And stories untold

The Chronicles of Koa Review "Best Vampire Story Around"

5.0 out of 5 stars Best Vampire Story Around, December 19, 2013

Amazon Verified Purchase

This review is from: The Chronicles of Koa: Netherworld (Kindle Edition)
I am not a big fan of vampire stuff, but this story really has changed my whole view of the vampire world. I was captured by the engrossing Koa, the funny Raven, and the plot of the story that pulled me by the ears right into the story. I read this story twice just because it reads so fast. I found multiple symbols and I could actually write two or three essays on just this book alone! I highly recommend everyone to read this book, even if you are not a fan of this genre. You may find yourself drug in just like I was! I am highly anticipating the next book to come out! I am waiting and waiting to see how it compares with this story and how the story will continue! 

What would you do if a demon threatened your mother's life? If you're like Koa, you'd sharpen your enchanted sword and hunt him down... 

Our world is threatened by the creatures of an alternate land called the Netherworld. Koa and the Netherworld division are there to keep the vampire and demon population in check. Koa is a powerful half-blood vampire. Her best friend is her boss, she has a cursed mother, an enchanted sword, and an attractive human pet. 

Koa also has a problem. A Netherworld serial killer, that targets little girls for the power they give to him, threatens everything Koa has worked hard to protect. Not even Koa's boss, Halston can stop him. But he knows one prisoner that can. He is locked away in the Ivory Tower where the most notorious supernatural criminals are kept. The Ivory Tower... is in the Netherworld. 

Is Koa ready to journey to the Netherworld to release the one creature that can break her mother's curse and protect all that she holds dear? 

Prepare for an adventure into an action-packed thriller! 
Includes Chapter 1&2 of Dark Prophet: The Chronicles of Koa Book Two 

**Bonus Material** 
Someone has stolen classified documents from the Netherworld division's vaults. Read the secret interviews that were leaked to the press, and discover the hidden clues of Dark Prophet and Lyrinian Blade (The Chronicles of Koa #2 & #3) 

Editorial Reviews: 
“The Chronicles of Koa is a wonderful story full of likeable characters, a clear world, and a fun mission.” Kirstin L. Pulioff, author of The Escape of Princess Madeline 
“It has a fantastic story, twists and turns throughout, and some mysteries you won't see coming. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books as she writes them. The Chronicles of Koa #2 will certainly be a day one purchase for me!” 
Thomas Ray Manning, author of Energize (From the Logs of Daniel Quinn) 
“The ending had me on edge. I have to say I have not read a vampire novel like this one before.” 
Glenna Maynard, author of Beautiful Strangers 
“The author has created an engrossing world with vampires, angels and other mythical creatures. And not just any mythical creatures, her creations were... awesome!” 
Morgan Jane, author of the Sanguis City series 

"K.N. Lee has exceptional talent and has created a fascinating, exciting and dangerous world with characters that I connected with so deeply that I was rooting for them from the beginning." Sorcha O'Dowd, Old Victorian Quill

Monday, December 16, 2013

Divide by, Shane Hogan

Shane Hogan

Through the eyes the world is seen;
Picturesque mountains painting clouds serene, 
Watching rivers run so slow;
Off to valleys 
Where the green grass grows 
In my distance I observe the plain,
Over there, and back again
Humble hornet's bat weighted wings,
But cure my eyesight with their potent stings;
I gradually change my view and line of sight 
And  cast my vision on coastal night
The wind catch's water,
And wave catch's rock ,
And on the great beach 
Each pebble is dropped
Time gives abrasion, 
And structure gives way; 
All that is great and titanic 
Will brake down to clay  
So all that's left to wonder 
Is true life ,
  To bind a soul 
With its embodied wife,
Or foresee a path so drenched 
With its ink-less strife, 
But I'll hear the moment 
Great or small 
And my dumb, deaf heart 
Will transcend the call  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ugly as Sin **Book Blast**

Book Description

November 29, 2013
Nick Bullman was a wrestling superstar. His alter ego, The Widowmaker, was the monster heel all the marks loved to hate.

Now, after a brutal encounter with two psychotic fans left his face horribly disfigured, he's just a monster.

Yanked from the spotlight and thrust into the shadows, these days Nick tries to live the life of an average Joe. He avoids mirrors. He's angry. He's alone. And he likes it just fine that way...

Until he receives a desperate phone call from a young lady he barely knows--his daughter.

For the first time in over thirty years, Nick returns to his hometown of Midnight, North Carolina. There he will come face to face with old demons, forge new friendships, and make enemies far more dangerous than those who ruined his face, all in a quest to save the granddaughter he's never met...and maybe find a little bit of redemption along the way.

Ugly As Sin is an electrifying tale of "white-trash noir," a taut page-turner that skates the razor edge of a familiar, horrifying reality. At times heartbreaking, funny, and terrifyingly suspenseful, Ugly As Sin is Newman's best work to date.

5.0 out of 5 stars Return to Midnight December 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
Describing this story as White Trash Noir might make one think that James Newman has decided not to write a horror story. Think again.

Ugly as Sin returns to Midnight , NC and leads the reader along what seems to be a simple kidnapping. But it is more. And when you find out how much more it will slap you in the face and punch you in the gut and you'll look around bleary-eyed and and ask yourself how you missed that.

More, sir. Please, Mr. Newman, may I have more?

Highest recommendations.

5.0 out of 5 stars Well done December 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
I was a bit worried when I purchased UGLY AS SIN that it would be about wrestling. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

James Newman hits a homerun with this novel that begins with a cringing horror beyond belief. Nick “The Widowmaker” Bullman is a wrestler who becomes horribly disfigured. Shortly thereafter he assaults the CEO of the Wrestling Association and barely escapes going to prison, but his wrestling days are over. Then his estranged daughter calls and tells him his young, teen-aged granddaughter he didn’t know about is missing. Newman takes us through a twisted, tangled story of interesting characters using prose that elicits imagery and pace. One character I had grown to like had me shouting (and cursing) in one particular scene.

Newman has a twisted imagination and he applies it to this contemporary story in ways that are life-like, believable, and can wring out strong emotion of profound regret and redemption. Tightly plotted, UGLY AS SIN is a fast read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Newman earns one of my rare 5-stars.

5.0 out of 5 stars As emotionally gripping as a story can get! December 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
I've come to realize that the one thing James Newman's stories have in common is that he doesn't use "characters", he uses REAL people. The people in Ugly As Sin feel as real to me as people I've known for years. Newman infuses his stories with life--I have yet to read a book of his that didn't grab me in an emotional context. I FELT for these people, so much so that it's hard to take a break and go back to your day-to-day activities without knowing what is in store for them.

This story starts out explosively with Nick (aka "The Widow-maker") getting ambushed by two delusional wrestling fans. After that, things take a decidedly downhill turn for the worse. Without any spoilers, I can honestly say that this was a brutally shocking, emotional story that will stay with you long after you've finished. The "people" here have a real presence, and will not simply leave your mind after you've moved on to the next book. This is the type of story that you will keep going back to, both mentally, and to re-read.

A solid 5 stars.

Highly recommended. 

Available on Amazon
Photo by Kim White
Check out an interview with the author, James Newman! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

One Word...Morocco!

Pardon the delay, friends. Author, K.N. Lee is currently exploring Morocco. Expect intriguing poetry, stories, and photos very soon! Au revoiur! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

An Interview With Author, James Newman!!

Photo by Kim White
K.N. Lee: I'm pleased to introduce one of my mentors, author of Midnight Rain and Ugly As Sin, James Newman!

Where are you from?
     Hendersonville, North Carolina, in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.  Born and raised, and I don’t think I’d ever want to live anywhere else in the world.

What inspired you to write your first book?
     Dreams of wealth and fame.  But things don’t always turn out the way we expect them to, do they?
     I’m totally joking.  I just love a good story, always have, for as far back as I can remember.  I guess it was a natural progression that I would eventually want to make up my own.

Do you write full-time or part-time? How do you balance your writing life with your family/work life?
     Part-time.   And I’m cool with that, because I have a day job that I love.  As for balancing the writing life with work and family, it’s never easy.  I have a toddler running around these days, so it’s probably never been as difficult as it has the last few years.  But you just have to find the time to write whenever you can.  Excuses don’t cut it, because plenty of better writers than myself make time to hone their craft every single day.  And if I tried to tell you that I don’t have the time, my wife would call me on it.  She would accuse me of having plenty of free time to play on Facebook when I should be writing. 

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?     Well, I’ve heard that phrase -- “ugly as sin” – my whole life (no, not directed towards me, har-de-har-har), and it just worked so well for this one.  In the Prologue, the main character of my novel, a professional wrestler by the name of Nick Bullman, is horribly disfigured at the hands of two psychotic fans.  I love the double meaning there – “ugly” as it relates to poor Nick’s facial disfigurement and the way the public views him now, but also as it relates to the bad business he finds himself caught up in after he gets a phone call from his estranged daughter.

Do you always write horror, or do you experiment with other genres?
       Actually, most of what I’m writing these days isn’t really horror.  That’s true where my long-form work is concerned, anyway.  I do still lean towards horror when I’m writing short stories or novellas, but more and more when it comes to novels I find I’m gravitating towards stuff that’s more suspense/thriller-oriented, although usually with a streak of pitch-black humor running through it.

What are your favorite horror movies and books? Which influenced your writing the most?
     A few of my favorite books (not just in the horror genre but “dark fiction” in general):  Christine, The Shining, Psycho, Cage of Night by Ed Gorman, Lightning by Dean Koontz, The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum, The House Next Door by Anne Rivers-Siddons, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, University and The Store by Bentley Little, Joe Lansdale’s Mucho Mojo and The Two-Bear Mambo . . . I could go on and on.
     Movies:  Invasion of the Body Snatchers ’78, The Exorcist, The Exorcist III: Legion, Return of the Living Dead, the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, John Carpenter’s The Thing, David Cronenberg’s The Fly, Let the Right One In, Se7en, Requiem For a Dream.  I’m also a huge Star Wars nerd, a Dr. Who geek, and a Tarantino fanboy.  Oh, yeah . . . and I have a thing for movies about bank robbery.
     As much as I love to read, I’d almost say that books and movies have influenced me equally.  John Carpenter, in his prime, was one of my biggest inspirations.  I’ve always been a horror film fanatic.  As a matter of fact, 2014 will see the release of my first non-fiction project, a book called 666 Hair-Raising Horror Movie Trivia Questions!.  That’s gonna be a lot of fun.

K.N. Lee: Yes! I recall bonding over the film Let the Right One In. It’s one of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen. Good choices!
So what book are you reading now?
     I just started reading Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep for the second time (I’m so in love with this novel; it’s the best thing he’s done in twenty years, in my opinion).  I’m also finishing up a few single-author collections, such as Koontz’s Strange Highways, Brian Hodge’s Lies and Ugliness, and a re-read of Richard Chizmar’s Midnight Promises.

K.N. Lee: I’m buying Doctor Sleep today! Stephen King is incredible.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
     I’m ashamed to say I’m very much out of the loop with the “new blood” coming up.  Let me get back to you on that.

What are your current projects?
     I’ve slowly but surely started work on the follow-up to Ugly As Sin, a new “Nick Bullman” story.  There’s also a long-overdue collaboration that I’d like to jump into soon, a novella that I’ve been planning with a friend and fellow writer I admire a lot.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
     My readers.  I was very lucky in that my first novel, Midnight Rain, was accepted by the first publisher I sent it to; it did well, and created a decent little fanbase for me that continues to grow with every new book.  So, at the risk of sounding like I’m kissing their butts, the folks who read my stuff and keep asking for more . . . they’re what keeps me going.  There’s no feeling like it, and it never gets old.

K.N. Lee: That’s not surprising at all. I enjoyed Midnight Rain!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
     The desire to tinker with it just a little bit more is always there, even after it’s published, no doubt about it.  Some writers probably struggle with it more than others – I’d be willing to bet I’m one of the worst.  I agonize over every word, every sentence, every paragraph, until I finally say, “ENOUGH!  It’s DONE.  You have to STOP now.”  Sooner or later you have to tell yourself that your work is as good as it’s going to be, and you can’t afford to miss another deadline.  (laughs)
     By the time each it’s published, though . . . I’m usually 99% happy with it.  There’s some “distance” between myself and the work at that point, so I’m no longer overthinking things or second-guessing myself. 

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Why not.  Here’s a taste:
     Nick Bullman sat alone in his cell, breathing through his mouth so he didn’t have to smell the clogged-up toilet a few feet away, thinking on what he had done a few hours ago.
       He felt no regrets.  Would have done it all over again, if given the chance.
       In fact, as he recalled the look he’d seen on Darcy Devereaux’s face while his fists came down again and again like two meaty ball-peen hammers bludgeoning her husband’s skull . . .
       . . . he felt proud. 
       He knew that should have made him a little sick.  It should have turned his stomach more than the shitter full of putrid brown water left behind by the cell’s last tenant like a cruel gag gift.  But it didn’t.  He felt only a twisted sense of self-righteousness.
       What did that say about him as a human being?
       Nick didn’t know.
       All he knew was, he had to get out of here before Paulie “Pencil-Dick” Deveraux woke up in the hospital room.
       If he didn’t, if either Paulie or his wife talked to the boys in blue before he had a chance to do so himself, there wasn’t the slightest doubt in Nick Bullman’s mind . . .
       All three of them were fucking dead as Elvis.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
     Once upon a time, I would have told you that I struggle the most with creating realistic dialogue.  These days, though, I think dialogue is one of the things I do best.
     So, again, I’d have to say that I always find it difficult to stop tweaking, to decide that it’s time to let my “baby” out into the world ‘cause it’s as perfect as it’s gonna get.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? 
     Joe R. Lansdale.  I’ve always loved his “voice”, which is not only real, it’s about as Southern as it gets.  I can relate to that, of course, even though Lansdale is from Texas and I’m from North Carolina.  I also admire how he can describe something horrible, yet somehow leave the reader laughing out loud even as he or she squirms with discomfort.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
     With Ugly As Sin, I went into this book without an outline or anything remotely resembling an outline.  I’m usually a “plotter”, not a “pants-er”; at the very least I have a list of scenes that I plan to write (even if I do write them out of order, which I often do, I know what’s going to happen in every – or at least nearly every -- chapter).  This time, I didn’t do that.  For the most part I knew how Ugly As Sin was going to end, I knew who was behind the mystery, how it would all be resolved, all that stuff, but early on I decided I was gonna throw caution to the wind this time, and try flying by the seat of my pants as far as I how things would progress from point A to point Z.  It was scary, and although I don’t mind a little spontaneity – you’ve gotta have some, or it’s no fun – I’m not sure I’ll do that again.  This novel took me a lot longer to write than most.  I missed deadlines.  And I remembered along the way exactly why I need to have some sense of structure.  It’s just the way my brain works.  My version of an “outline” is not anything that’s set in stone by any means, but it’s at least a lighted path that keeps me from stumbling around in the dark, if you will.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
     Don’t fly by the seat of your pants anymore, Newman, unless you want to finish one book every ten years.  Get yourself an outline, ‘cause that’s what works for you.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
     Have a thick skin.  Be professional.  Negative reviews are going to happen, and you should know that going into this.  I’ve seen folks who have been in this business for years -- people you’d think would be above such behavior -- act like complete infants because of a negative review.  No good can come of arguing with someone who gave you their honest opinion.
     My second bit of advice:  read your work aloud.  Multiple times.  You think it’s ready for publication after a draft or two?  It’s not.  Read it aloud, especially the dialogue, and you’ll find the stuff that still needs work.

K.N. Lee: I personally want to thank you for helping guide me in my early days of trying to become a published author. Your advice really helped me!
Now, is there anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
     Yes . . . THANK YOU.  I’ve been writing “seriously” for about 13 years now, and it still blows my mind that there are folks out there – folks who aren’t related to me! – who not only buy my work, who not only enjoy it, but then beg for more.  That’s awesome beyond words, man.  I wish I were more prolific, and could give you what you want more frequently.

What do you think about e-publishing versus technical publishing?
     I know, as a reader, I prefer a good, old-fashioned book.  I want to hold it, feel it, SMELL it!  I have no desire to read on a computer screen.  But that’s just me.  It’s the wave of the future, and if that’s what folks want then we’ve gotta give it to them.  It took me a while to dive into the e-publishing pool, I guess because of my own bias against reading fiction in that format.  From a business standpoint, that was extremely foolish on my part . . . royalties don’t lie!

K.N. Lee: You’re right. Royalties don’t lie! But, an old-fashioned paper back will never go out of style! So, we’re dying to know if you have an agent?
     Not at the moment.  And I’m cool with that. 

Quick Fire!
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
     Like I said, right here at home.  I love it here.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
     To heal the sick and injured.  Imagine how cool that would be, and the smiles you could put on people’s faces.

Favorite food?
     When my wife cooks Mexican (fajitas, quesadillas, burritos, whatever that might be).  There is nothing finer on this Earth.

Favorite hobby?
     Hoops.  Despite a lifelong aversion to sports in general, I am a die-hard college basketball fan (go Tar Heels!!!).

Guilty pleasure?
     80s pop.  I love that stuff.  My favorite song from that era:  “Cruel Summer”, by Bananarama.
     No, I’m not kidding.

K.N. Lee: You’re not the only one, sir. That’s a great song!
Best movie you’ve seen this year?
     Well, it wasn’t a 2013 release, but one I saw recently that was just released domestically earlier this year was an Australian horror film called The Loved Ones.  Advertised as The Breakfast Club meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (believe it or not, that’s pretty fitting), it’s the scariest thing I’ve seen in years. 
     Movies featuring psychotic women usually strike a chord with me, though.
     What can I say.  You scare me.

K.N. Lee: Excellent! I cannot wait to see it!
Favorite book?
     Boy’s Life, by Robert R. McCammon.  At the risk of rambling on and on about it, I’ll only say this:  it’s PERFECT.  If you haven’t read it, folks, please remedy that as soon as you finish reading this interview. 

What could you not live without?
     My family.  My wife, Glenda, and our two sons, Jamie and Jacob.  They are my everything.

K.N. Lee: Thank you for sharing with us, James!

More on James Newman: 
 James Newman is the author of the novels MIDNIGHT RAIN and THE WICKED, and the short story collection PEOPLE ARE STRANGE. 2014 will see the release of the paperback and e-book editions of his novel ANIMOSITY, as well as a horror movie trivia book. By the time you read this interview, the paperback/e-book editions of his novel UGLY AS SIN should be available via Shock Totem Publications ( James invites readers to keep up with him on Facebook, Twitter, and his official website,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

“Ignite” Blast Something Just for YOU Giveaway!


You've arrived at the "IGNITE" BLAST Hop & Tour...

Something just for you I'm excited to be part of the launch celebration of "Ignite!" a book of tastefully erotic short stories written especially with moms in mind! By the way, my treasure hunt word is "SPICY" CLICK THE COVER TO SEE IT LARGER! CLICK THE COVER TO SEE IT LARGER!           
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