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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Random Interview Saturday! E J Willis

DISCLAIMER
The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.
There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.

What is this knock, knock, knocking on our chamber door? QUOTH THE RAVEN: IT'S E J WILLIS!
EJ Willis

Author Bio:


I’ve lived in Kansas, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, and Illinois. There was also a summer spent in Wisconsin. I attended three different high schools due to moving. Many assume my family is military, but nope, I’m a pastor’s kid. I discovered a fondness for fantasy after picking up The Horse and His Boy from The Chronicles of Narnia. I know, I know – I read the series in the wrong order the first time! I have since corrected that mistake.

I currently reside with a dog, two cats, and a leopard gecko who thinks he rules the house from the safety of his lair. The cats beg to differ.


The Interview

Who is your favorite superhero and why?
My favorite superhero would have to be Spiderman. I mean, he doesn't just get out of sticky situations. He creates them! 

 Who wrote the book of love?
Wouldn’t that be Solomon? Although, I don’t know that people really understand Song of Solomon, but in the end, love is a mystery.

Write me some Vogon Poetry (for those not in the know, Vogon poetry is so awful you’ll want to rip your ears off and eat them. It’s considered a method of torture in many corners of the galaxy. So give us your worst).
Well, I would write some, but I wouldn’t want to put the readers through that kind of torment. I prefer them to remain alive. Dead readers can’t buy books.

Who is your fictional best friend and what activities do you choose to do together?
That would have to be Kiarra, the black jaguar guardian spirit who has hijacked my novel. We write together, or more like, she tells me what isn’t working. She also smirks at me … a lot.

You find a talking animal. What sort of animal is it and what’s the first thing you do?
It’s a dragon, of course. I’d take cover.

Are you the sort who sticks with the bird in hand? Or goes for what's behind door number two?
Depends on the day. Some days I like to play it safe, other days I prefer the little sense of adventure that comes with taking a chance.

You have to trade places with one of your characters for a day. Which and why?
Can I pick which day too? Seriously, I’m not sure I’d want to trade places with any of them. They endure a lot I wouldn’t want to go through.


   What is your ideal writing space?
I’ve never tried writing on the beach, but I sure would like to! Guess I will have to stick with under a nice shady tree on a warm summer day.

If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?
What is my book about? Why, I’m glad you asked! Battle for the Throne features Alaina, a young lady who is determined to free her kingdom from a tyrant who has taken control.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tricky Treats: Scary and Not-So-Scary Seasonal Reads



Sometimes we like a good scare. Other times we just want a good laugh. Here are some seasonally themed books which just may provide both.
For your convenience I've included a "rating" system of sorts. (Note: I haven't read all the posted titles, so use your own discretion about whether it looks to be something that would suit your particular tastes. Ratings are provided by the authors.)


  1. Casper, the Friendly Ghost. These stories are mostly harmless and good for all ages.
  2. Afraid of the Dark. Slightly scarier stories or those containing content more appropriate for preteens and up.
  3. Sleeping with the Lights On. Good for those who really want a good scare or who can handle a little darker/mature content. 


Casper, the Friendly Ghost


This short story is more funny than frightening, 
but with a trick or treat theme, it might just put you in the holiday mood. Free to download at time of posting.



Three For Hallowe'en

It's perfect for those who like the fun of Hallowe'en but don't want to be creeped out. Three light, amusing stories, with twists. Free to download at time of posting. 




A lonely girl, a desperate ghost boy, a saw-playing street musician, a psychic, and an oddball library page: friendships are formed that will change the lives of all—here and in the hereafter.



Ghost Whisperer Pepper Connelly has only two weeks to prove her friend Willie’s innocence, and she discovers the key lies with four ghosts who have their own haunting agenda.





West Virginia's Dark Tourism

"Travelogue of Horror brings the elements of fall scares into living color with over 70 vivid photos and amusing (and sometimes creepy) anecdotes. It reveals a vista of scenes from the world's creepiest movie sets, including The Exorcist, Silence of the Lambs, The Shawshank Redemption, and The Evil Dead. Urban's travelogue documents his journey to see each of these sets with brilliant story-telling, creating the perfect setting for your October scare-o-meter."


Afraid of the Dark


This book features a house of horrors complete with killer robot. While it has limited gore, there are some creepy thrills within. 



Bakaly

A young Russian expat on a trip home stumbles into an underground casino, to discover a winning streak he never knew he had. But it’s not the kind of “golden jackpot” story you might expect… or ever want. Compared to the chilling narratives of Franz Kafka, “Bakaly” reads unforgiving and raw, just like the hard, cutting vodka its two main characters drink during the fateful game of roulette they play on that dark, dark night.


If a half-Fae fighting human predators for the lives of children is not enough, try tackling the task during the country's oldest and largest Halloween festival. The first story in this set was nominated for both the Pushcart Prize and Year's Best Fantasy.



Zombies aren't real, but when Pranthi photographs a man turning zombie, everything changes.




Robots, vampires, werewolves, and an epic love story between a teenage zombie and an ordinary girl. What could be better? Imagine Twilight meets Divergent and throw in a huge helping of sarcasm.



A collection of spooky and spoofy short-stories, just perfect for the whole family.



Haunted (or not) house.




As Halloween looms, friendships are tested when magic and first love collide. The perfect October page-turner. 





Five retellings of Beauty and the Beast - ranging from cursed pirates and vengeful mermaids to ghouls and living gargoyles to a curse that turned all the inhabitants of the castle into living stone to a talking jaguar and ending with a more traditional retelling set in Scotland complete with a witch/druid.

Sleeping with the Lights On


A Coon Hollow Coven Tale is about a 20-yr-old female witch who must fight a cursed banshee before Samhain ends.





Violetta Tancetta thinks that her parents were killed in a freak accident by an escaped tiger, but actually lives in a town where zombies, vampires and werewolves are the more likely culprits. On All Hallow's Eve, the darkness will begin. Werewolves will turn, and only the league of Butchers will be able to hold them back.



Hollow is perfect for women who like a cup of creepy and a pinch of gore in their cozy romantic mystery.



Leopard's Heart

Shapeshifters, elves, and half-elves fight assassins to prevent the exposure of the Therian race. But even Therians might not win against the monstrous Wendigo. A perfect page-turner for the things that go bump in the night. 



The Pinocchio Factor

Do you like to dress up for Halloween? The Pinocchio Factor has a masked ball near the beginning (including an automaton costume that comes to life and tries to kill its wearer) and people who are disguised as Pinocchio and the Blue Fairy.



Thicker Than Water

What would you do if the one you loved was turned into a monster?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Random Interview Saturday! Janeen Ippolito

DISCLAIMER
The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.
There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.

It was a dark and stormy night. Lightning flashed and suddenly ... JANEEN IPPOLITO!

Janeen Ippolito


Author Bio: 

Janeen Ippolito is an idea-charged teacher, reader, writer, book reviewer, and the Fearless Leader (president) of Uncommon Universes Press. She writes quirky nonfiction writing help and speculative fiction laced with horror, humor, and cultural tension. Her co-written illustrated novella, Blood Mercy: Thicker Than Water, releases on October 29th.  In her nonexistent spare time she reads, cooks, and sword-fights. Two of her dreams are to eat a fried tarantula and to travel to Antarctica. Go to janeenippolito.com for world-building resources and off-the-wall insights from this sleep-deprived author.


The Interview 

On a scale of 1 to 10, what do you think your chances are of surviving the zombie invasion?
Depends. Our  current plan is to grab the car and use the last of our gas to get to my in-laws. Safety in numbers. Plus, my mother-in-law is great with gardening and plants, and my father-in-law is well-trained ex-military with a gun safe. 
Teleportation or telekinesis?
Teleportation. Definitely. I have so many people I want to visit and cool places to see!
Write me some Vogon Poetry (for those not in the know, Vogon poetry is so awful you’ll want to rip your ears off and eat them. It’s considered a method of torture in many corners of the galaxy. So give us your worst).

Sadly, I'm having to use my 'serious writer brain' a lot, so my 'bad poetry brain' is a little flabby. I'm calling in my husband to pinch-hit for this one.

The horse will gallop, my heart will beat
And Ralph lives on, and I have feet
We pine for being in a forest and sigh the deepest of sighs
And Ralph lives on
I slam the door and am as mad as the floor
And yet Ralph still lives on.
I am so hungry, I am singing
Open the cold freezing fridge, brrr
Hot water is really hot (but not THAT way)
Ralph is dead
Yay

Favorite flavor (of what? EVERYTHING!)?
Bacon. Strawberry. Chocolate. Ranch dressing. Steak. Whipped cream. Not all at the same time, unless I was being paid or very, very bored.
You can rescue a fictional character from certain death or resurrect them to live again. Who do you save? Alternately, is there a fictional character deserving of death who you would like to destroy?
I do have a long-standing grudge against D'Artagnan for being such an idiot. I never finished The Three Musketeers because of him. 
If you favorite historical era had an ice cream flavor made in its honor, what would it taste like?
I like all the historical eras, so I'm going with "everything ultimate triple-fudge chocolate sundae. With strawberries and whipped cream." Because chocolate.
During an alien invasion, what would be your weapon of choice?
Lightsaber scythe with a blaster fuction hidden in the handle.
Which natural element (earth, wind, fire, water) do you feel the greatest kinship with?
I like fire and phoenixes. So fire.
If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?
What would you name a pet tortoise?

Answer: Groot


Social Media Links
Twitter: @TheQuietPen
Instagam: janeen_ippolito
Pinterest: Janeen Ippolito


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Nyssa Glass and the Electric Heart



Nyssa Glass and the Electric Heart


Reformed cat burglar Nyssa Glass fled her home in New Taured after being framed for murder. Settled safely on foreign soil, her life finally seems back on track. However, fate soon throws another wrench in the clockwork. A determined detective tracks Nyssa down and threatens to drag her back for trial. 

Nyssa's desperate to shake off her past ... or at least the aggressive lady detective. A mysterious note promises hidden evidence to finally prove her innocence, but she can't tell anyone, even her beloved Ellis. 

Surrounded by new enemies as well as nearly forgotten old friends, Nyssa must fight to keep her freedom and clear her name once and for all.



Nyssa Glass and the Electric Heart is the fifth book in a series featuring
Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors
Nyssa Glass and the Juliet Dilemma
Nyssa Glass and the Cutpurse Kid
& Nyssa Glass's Clockwork Christmas

Click to add on Goodreads!Nyssa Glass and the Electric Heart


If you would be interested in receiving a free advance copy, fill out this application (Limited time offer). 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Random Interview Saturday! Kristi Cramer

DISCLAIMER
The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.
There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.

Today's guest has brought a mix tape of sweet tunes. Let's see what she's rocking out to ... Kristi Cramer!

Kristi Cramer

Author Bio

When Kristi isn’t riding her Harley or delivering nuts (and bolts) around town for her “day job”, you can find her in front of her computer, hammering out exciting suspense stories for anyone willing to read them, or slumming around on social media. (She’s a great procrastinator that way.) While she has worked on her writing craft for +30 years, like many authors, she had to work other jobs to make ends meet. She has a strange and varied work history, having held jobs in a hotel, a car wash, an insurance company, an electronics assembly line, an auto parts warehouse, a blueberry nursery, and as a truck driver and owner of her own trucking company. Now she’s a delivery driver for a fastener store/warehouse while she pursues her writing career in earnest. She got married for the first time at 38, skipped being a mommy and went straight to Grandma. She says, “It’s best for everyone that way.”


The Interview


Who is your fictional best friend and what activities do you choose to do together?
Malcom Reynolds, Captain of Serenity. We would misbehave together, epically. Of course, the whole crew of Serenity would have to be there. Especially Wash. (Still haven’t quite forgiven Joss Whedon about that.) And I kinda have a crush on Jayne.
Teleportation or telekinesis?
Teleportation, totally. That way I could escape any time I wanted. Wednesday night blues? Tahiti! Monday break time Arghhhh? Margaritaville for Margaritas. Bonus if I can teleport an annoying co-worker to the Artic for 5 minutes so they can chill out!
Write me some Vogon Poetry (for those not in the know, Vogon poetry is so awful you’ll want to rip your ears off and eat them. It’s considered a method of torture in many corners of the galaxy. So give us your worst).
Pickles, wrote the eldest bird, taut chickens fade the embers roll.
Beetles, tittered the farthing vonk, thou hast willow-wonked six fathom tolls.
Quark! the pithiest wormsell whistled, dig dig dig and swim.
Lightning, shouted the unambitious millennial twerk, I win!
Augh! Augh! Augh! Shlurpfizzle donk!
(Thanks for that – it was a fun exercise. I hope it is suitably horrifying. I’m afraid I can’t stop laughing at it.)
If you had a store, what would you sell?
I do have an eBook store, but if I had a brick and mortar store, in addition to my books, I’d also sell teleportation trips (see above), dragon poop (I’d say it had magical properties), and singing crystals (to soothe your aching chakra). If you meant real stuff... Um, I’d have to say I’d sell tools. I don’t get excited about shoe stores or clothing stores, but turn me loose in a hardware store and I get giddy. Especially about flashlights for some reason—probably harking back to caveman days when we had to build a fire to see at night.
If you had to get stuck inside a television show, what would it be?
Can I say Firefly twice? If not... Hmm. I’d say Justified, because Raylan is just soooo cool, but I’d probably end up shot or killed in some other horrific, ironic way. So... Ooooh! I know. I’d like to be on Doctor Who, as The Doctor’s most epic companion yet. I’d be his mistress (since he’s already married to River Song) and he’d love me more than he loves Rose Tyler. Our greatest case would be... Spoilers!
If your favorite historical era had an ice cream flavor made in its honor, what would it taste like?
Roman Rocky Road would be a lot like Rocky Road, only made with chocolate gelato, with ribbons of real vanilla ice cream. Instead of peanuts it would be hazelnuts, there would be chunks of truffles, and the marshmallows would be...eh, it’s hard to improve on marshmallows. Now, this is in honor of the end of the Roman occupation of England. One of my favorite authors is Rosemary Sutcliffe, who wrote about King Arthur as a clan chieftain who was uniting the tribes after the Romans left Britain in about 400AD. (Not the classic French Arthurian stories!) My favorites of these are Sword at Sunset, The Lantern Bearers, and Dawn Wind. “They” recently made a movie based on one of her books. “The Eagle”, starring Channing Tatum, was based on her The Eagle of the Ninth. (The book was much better – my hubby calls the movie “Batman and Robin” for the cheesy ending.)
During an alien invasion, what would be your weapon of choice?
I would get a giant boombox and blast Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” at them. They’d get it stuck in their heads and be rendered completely harmless by an earworm.
What mythical creature do you most wish to be real?
Pegasus. What’s not to love about a horse with wings? Want to have a gallop on the beach? Check. Want to go flying over the Grand Canyon? Check. Want to swoop down and conk Medusa on the head with your hammer? (G rated for the kiddies!) Check.
If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?
It would be a four part Earworm question.
Q1) Do you “suffer” from earworms and why do you think that is?
A1) I have no idea why I am blessed with this curse when people like my husband almost NEVER get earworms. I ALWAYS have some song on my mind. Like a soundtrack to my life. It’s not always a good thing (see Q3).
Q2) What is your current earworm?
A2) Right now I have John Hiatt’s “Wrote it Down and Burned It” on my mind. Came out of nowhere, and it is one funky song. Check it out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ftzdr5Be58
Q3) What is your longest running earworm?
A3) I once had a mashup of songs from Les Miserables on my mind for three weeks straight.
(One Day More, mashed with Red and Black, A Little Fall of Rain, and the Finale.)
Q4) What is your worst ever earworm?
A4) So I can ruin your day...mwahaha! Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space”. It’s not a horrible song or anything...until you’ve heard it in your head for three days straight.
Bonus answer: My solution for earworms is that I have an entire playlist of my favorite earworms and I play it. It’s about 6 hours’ worth of them. My brain gets so overwhelmed with them that it doesn’t know what to do, and it jars me out of the long-running, crazy-making earworm.







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