Monday, September 30, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Corvids: Autumn by Lisa Ann Brown

The Corvids: Autumn
(The Corvids #1)
The Corvids is a four-part paranormal romantic suspense series. Delve into the depths of darkness, magic and love in this murder mystery/coming of age quartet!
Arabel Spade, a young girl living in the strange and mystical land of The Corvids, determines to solve a brutal series of murders using her unique paranormal abilities. Through her perilous journey, Arabel learns about herself, the dark secrets which stain her family history and the passions and rigors of first love.

Lisa Ann Brown
Lisa Ann has been involved with storytelling and entertainment, in one form or another, her entire life. Beginning her creative journey as both a writer and an actor, Lisa Ann spent many years immersing herself in innumerable books, countless theatre productions and earning a degree in Musical Theatre. Shortly after college, she attended the Vancouver Film School to learn the finer points of screenwriting. This study culminated in the writing of a few feature length scripts and an overwhelmingly potent desire to move from Canada to Hollywood. Once ensconced in East Hollywood however, creative inspiration lured Lisa Ann away from screenwriting and returned her to her original writing intentions: to be a novelist. In three months, Lisa Ann had completed her first novel, I Raid, and there has been no cessation of her novel writing ever since. Moving back to Canada, she spent many years working as a talent agent in Vancouver before retiring from the film industry to focus on writing full-time. Lisa Ann derives great personal satisfaction by delivering her characters through the twisting arcs and unexpected tribulations of their imaginary lives. She strives to keep her readers on edge while enjoying the suspense and surprise of their literary journey. She resides in picturesque Vancouver, BC, Canada where she is happily nestled in between the Pacific Ocean and the Coastal Mountain range.

Blog – Twitter – Facebook – Goodreads – Amazon

Saturday, September 28, 2013

AL's Review - The Second Shadow by Elizabeth Arroyo

About the Book

Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Date Published: 9/5/2013

Jake thought being demon meant a shredded humanity, stripped of all human emotion. Chaos and self-preservation dominates a demon’s instincts. But Jake feels every ounce of pain and despair around him.

And it’s driving him deeper into Hell.

Gabby’s choice to save him last summer left a fissure in Hell’s gate that released a malevolent evil. When Jake’s given a mission by the demons to shadow a human girl who may know the whereabouts of an ethereal weapon, he doesn't expect to see Gabby. But Fate has her own agenda.

When Jake and Gabby are thrown together on a camping trip with a group of delinquent teens, Jake begins to grapple with the haunting choices he made in the past.  When the evil finds them, the group begins to battle for their lives, alliances are made, and truths revealed. 

As the evil begins to influence Jake, he questions his link to the demons, his purpose, and his love for Gabby.

But the answers to those questions are only found in Hell. And it may cost him his soul.


Old, dead things

 Gabriela Vega was going to pay. It was all Tasha could think about after the little freak soaked her in mop water—as if. No one in the cafeteria had lifted a finger as Tasha pounded on the new girl. They wouldn't dare. Suspended after she tackled the little swine, Tasha knew she’d be in deep shit when she got home. Grams was going to have a fit.

Wiping her dripping nose as she stepped onto the bus, she took a seat near the window in the rear. Tasha hated riding on the bus, but Robin refused to take her wet ass home. He didn't want to ruin the polyester upholstery in his car. Asshole.

But Tasha hadn't left the fight empty-handed.

She lifted the chain in front of her eyes and scrutinized the small silver angel pendant. The pendant made the fight worthwhile, even the suspension. Wait until Gabby saw Tasha wearing it. Let the little shit try to take it back. Rubbing the warm pendant with her thumb, she felt tiny vibrations under her skin. It felt good.

A strong odor caught in her throat from the guy sitting next to her. The smell of old, dead things. Scooting away from him without jumping out the window didn't help. His shoulder nudged hers, forcing her to turn and face the dark, hollow pit that replaced his face. She tried to move, to pull back, to scream, but her body and her voice wouldn't comply. The fabric of his dark trench coat fluttered, as if caught by an unfelt wind.

And then he began to lean toward her. The air grew thick, pressing against her as if she’d fallen into a deep ocean trench and the pressure threatened to crush her. Implode.

She couldn't breathe.

No one noticed her dying on the bus. No one noticed the thing beside her, with its hollow face inches from hers, and stench of death. It whispered words in her ear and a cold wetness draped her in fear. Tears leaked from her eyes and pain exploded inside her skull. Then she did move. She pulled away from him, closed her eyes to keep them in her head, and rubbed her forehead with her palm.

“Are you okay?”

Tasha looked at the woman sitting beside her.

“Huh?” Tasha rubbed her head again. A splitting headache tightened its nasty clamp around her head. 

“No, I feel like crap.” Tasha stood up as the bus reached her stop, and she got off.

She arrived home with no memory of the bus ride or the walk. She needed to crash. Cold sweat forced shivers throughout her body. The buzzing in her head wouldn't stop. Sick. She was getting sick. The flu maybe. She rubbed her ear and felt a wet sticky substance. Black goop on her fingertips made her stomach roll. She stepped inside the apartment she shared with her grandma and sister and a foul smell forced her eyes to water. Her stomach lurched, and she ran to the bathroom.

“Are you sick?” Grandma’s voice tore into her brain as she stumbled back to the couch. Moaning, Tasha threw herself on it, her limbs heavy, her breathing hard. She needed sleep. Rest. Peace.

“I asked you a question!” Grandma hollered.

There is no peace for the wicked.

About the Author

Elizabeth Arroyo

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Elizabeth spent most of her younger years as an avid reader with a wild imagination which led her to write her first manuscript at the age of fourteen.

But, life got in the way. Elizabeth completed a Bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice at Northeastern Illinois University and works in the community strengthening families.

But her love of stories held, and in 2008 she found herself back into her storytelling roots and began writing again. In 2012, Elizabeth signed with Sapphire Star Publishing to release her debut novel, THE SECOND SIGN.

Elizabeth still resides in Chicago’s south west side with her family, a household of kids, and the bliss of chaos. The good kind.  She continues to work in the community. 

A.L.'s Review

The Second Shadow, by Elizabeth Arroyo, is the sequel to her first book titled The Second Sign. Arroyo has an interesting take on Angels, demons and the apocalypse. The age old story of Good and evil, but in this rendering, the lines are blurry. You don't always know who you can trust. 

If you like fast paced, high action, supernatural books, then this one is for you. There is never a dull moment when this band of angel demons are trying to save humankind from the end of the world.  There is plenty of action and just enough romance mixed in. There is a whole lot packed into this book. Not only angels and demons, but other beings from the paranormal world find their way into Arroyo's creative story telling. 

My only complaint would be that I tend to enjoy a slower paced book. I enjoy getting to know the characters as if I really know them. I do feel more connected after reading this second book and I look forward to a third?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 27, 2013

KL - Smart People Read

I just saw a post by a friend on Facebook about the best and worst habits of people with a high IQ.  One of the best habits was that they read.  Along with it was a blurb that caught my attention.  If you read just 15 minutes a day, by the end of the year, you will have exposed yourself to 1 million words!

When I was teaching middle school, I read an article on vocabulary acquisition that was very startling.  Only 20% of vocabulary acquisition is through direct instruction.  The other 80% is acquired through reading.  Is there any doubt that each generation seems to sound more and more unintelligent as reading takes a bench seat over video games and social media?

Surely you have noticed that avid readers usually have a better vocabulary.  It’s true, and it’s inevitable.  Am I the only one who finds that I start using words like the characters in the stories I read?  You can always tell when I’m reading Jane Austen.  My language adapts to the cadence and vocabulary of that time period for a while.  It’s actually probably pretty annoying.

Anyhow, my point I ponder is concerning the chicken and the egg.  Is it really that a person reads because he is smart, or is a person more intelligent because he reads?  I am more inclined to believe the later.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Promo - Incurable Insanity by Simi K. Rao

About the Book

Her heart fluttered when she heard the sound of the key turn in the lock. She quickly adjusted her maroon silk sari with the yellow border, the one that had caught his eye, and waited eagerly for his footsteps.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven... Yes, exactly seven steps before he stopped, hesitated for a few moments, then removed his shoes one by one and arranged them neatly side by side on the shoe rack.

She smiled. He had been mindful of taking his shoes off every day now. 'I am not used to it, but I will if you want me to. It's probably a good thing to do anyway.'

As he settled down, he would pick up the TV remote and, without looking at her, would say in his smooth baritone, 'So how did you spend your day, anything interesting?'

Shaan Ahuja found himself bowing to tradition and agreeing to an arranged marriage to the beautiful Ruhi Sharma. He went through the motions but had no intention of carrying through on his vows. His last foray into matters of the heart with an American girl had left him scarred and unwilling to try again. Thoroughly disillusioned and disgruntled he wasted no time in making his intentions clear to Ruhi on their wedding night. But, he was completely unprepared for what his new wife had in mind.

"In Rao’s debut novel, an arranged Indian marriage sets the stage for an intimate look at the exasperating madness of love.

Shaan Ahuja and Ruhi Sharma’s arranged marriage has an inauspicious start. Shaan spurns his new wife on their wedding night, still pining over the American lover he left back in Los Angeles. However, the begrudging spouses soon make a pact: Ruhi will stay with Shaan in the United States just long enough to avoid embarrassment. The young bride hopes she can use the time to win Shaan’s heart, and although Ruhi’s beauty and attentiveness do change Shaan’s feelings, his immaturity and inability to express himself—and Ruhi’s lingering mistrust—keep them from reconciling. As they attempt to be “friends without benefits,” they start to reveal their true selves, including her needling puckishness and independent spirit and the reasons for his reserved nature and impulsive jealousy. Their eventual reconciliation comes not from forgiveness but from acceptance and understanding. The novel trades in a certain amount of melodrama that, thanks to its light tone, comes across as indulgent but satisfying. ...The novel seems highly aware of its influences, using cultural expectations and delayed gratification in the same spirit, if not with the same deftness, as Jane Austen. Shaan and Ruhi also sometimes mirror the star-crossed lovers from Casablanca (a film that the book directly references). 

An often intoxicating,  will-they-or-won’t-they tale." - KIRKUS 


1: Disillusion

Ruhi Sharma was a blushing bride, practically a newlywed, locked up in this glittering cage for almost a month, twenty-nine days to be exact; an object of envy of all her friends and family.

Twenty-nine days ago, she had signed her name beside his on the marriage certificate. She had gone through all the miscellaneous ceremonies associated with the typical grand Indian wedding—the engagement, the Mehendi, the Sangeet, the Haldi, and the grand finale (her father had spared no expense) until finally her betrothed had staked his claim by placing the Sindoor on her forehead and tying the Mangalsutra around her neck, and she had quietly and blissfully followed him around the sacred fire carefully listening to and reciting the Saath Pheras in her mind.

She was the very beautiful and accomplished daughter of Amrit and Devyani Sharma, the apple of their eye, and they had left no stone unturned in raising her the best way they possibly could.

Friends and family were surprised for not only had Ruhi been provided with a very good education, she held an MBA from a leading institution, but her parents had also made sure that she was adept in all other various skills, which a well-bred traditional Indian girl is desired to be proficient in. Therefore, nobody marveled when marriage proposals came pouring in from all directions.

But the Sharmas were choosy; they wanted only the best for their golden child, and they did get it, or so they surmised.

The idea of giving their daughter’s hand in marriage to the well-accomplished son of the most well-known family in Chandigarh was beyond their wildest imagination. It was wilder because they hadn’t gone in search of it, rather it had come and landed on their lap.

Shaan, the youngest and most eligible of the Ahuja clan, was twenty-seven, a fresh aerospace masters grad from a premier engineering institute located in the Los Angeles county of United States, California, who had already bagged a plum job in a leading aeronautics and space exploration company in sunny LA.

“My son makes interplanetary spacecraft. He’s the man of the future” had become the proud and frequent rant of Mr. Shiv Ahuja, who for some odd reason seemed to be trying to paint his son in the most rosy of tones even though he really didn’t need to, for as soon as Ruhi saw her future husband’s likeness, she lost her heart, and there was no question of a retrieval.


“Huh? Yes please with just a pinch of sugar. Thanks!” He took the cup from her hands, careful not to touch her fingers.

Ruhi closed her eyes; she could now repeat every movement, every word by rote. He was a creature of habit…and she was bored. What was supposed to be the most exciting time in every young woman’s life had turned out to be the worst…Well, not really. He wasn’t mean, rather he was the perfect gentleman, too perfect!

Oh how she wished he would rather be screaming mean and nasty. At least that would bring some excitement into her not so-happening life! She laughed, pausing as she brushed her long black hair, rather hysterically.

The bombshell had dropped on their wedding night. He had walked into the room late as she sat there, a shy bride in all her wedding finery waiting, nervous yet excited at the same time, to meet the man she had hardly spoken to or looked at. What would he say, talk about, or do?

She had heard a lot of stories about what to expect, some factual and some fabricated (her friends had prepared her well), but she wanted her own to be special, unique, and it was…

Sitting down on the bed in front of her, he had taken her hand in his and said very gently, as if to tone down the trauma, “I bet you are one of the most beautiful brides in the world, but I’m sorry I cannot make love to you. There is someone else.”

Not sure if she’d heard right, Ruhi had watched puzzled as he lay down on the mattress and turned his back to her. Is that it? A plain and blunt dismissal of her dreams, her life? Was that all?

About the Author

Simi K. Rao was born in India and has been living in the United States for several years. This book is her first foray into writing. The inspiration for the story came from what she has seen transpire among and within the immigrant community.

Some of the experiences included are her own; some have been garnered from friends and casual conversations with acquaintances. She also writes poetry, is an avid photographer, loves to travel, and is a practicing physician. She currently lives in Denver with her family.

You can connect with the author and read more of her work on her website at

Twitter: @simikrao

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

KL - Read by Example

As a mother of two, I so want my boys to be book geeks.  When baby boy #1 came along, my husband and I almost always had a book in hand reading to him.  Then baby boy #2 came along, and #1 was in full-blown toddler mode.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t sat down with him and a book nearly as often as I should.  I’ll be even more honest in the fact that I keep the television on a whole lot more than I ever thought I would.  I’m a reading teacher for crying out loud!

Against all odds, both boys love books.  If #2 ever gets really quiet, I can usually find him sitting in the floor flipping through one of many board books scattered through the house.  My #1 likes books and stories in all shapes in sizes.  His current fad is a Jack and the Beanstalk book app on my Nook.

Maybe it is just part of their genetic make-up.  Hubby and I are both avid readers.  Most nights will find us reading to wind down from the day.  His preferred reading materials are news and outdoors magazines.  Of course, I’m a fiction junkie.

What we read is really of no importance.  I could be reading cereal boxes and junk mail.  The point is, that we read, and we read often.  Reading to your kids is special, important, and a time of great bonding, but reading by example will instill a legacy of reading in your children.  If you don’t believe me, just ask my mom!

Monday, September 23, 2013

All about AL

Hi there! My name is A. L. Mabie and I am E. M.'s older and wiser (by reason of years) sister.  I am married with 2 children.  Being a mom and a wife is my greatest joy.  Most days.  I mean come on, its not fun and games all the time but its worth it.  I love to read.  And cook.  Oh and eat, I really like to eat.

But this is a book blog so back to reading.  I love to read.  I have labeled myself as a book nerd.  I am in no way a book snob.  You know, you meet those people who can't find anything nice to say about any book they ever read.  I wonder sometimes where all the perfect books are that they have written.

I read a lot of popular books.  Ya know the ones "everybody" is reading.  I like to keep up with the conversations people are having.  Did I mention I love to talk.  I really like to talk and it helps if I have something to talk about or my ADHD gets all crazy and who knows what I will talk about.  It can be embarrassing really.

But, oh yeah, book blog.  I do like the popular books but with the electronic readers that have become so popular (I really think they might catch on) and with what seems to me a huge influx of new writers trying to make a name for themselves by offering their material for free, I have found a new love.  I LOVE reading free stuff on my Ereader.  I recognize that there are usually typos.  Probably not a great picture on the cover.  But I love all of this creativity.  It makes me so happy to see how many people out there will go after their passion and put it out there for the whole world to see.  They are so passionate that they will take the criticism along the the acclaim and keep pressing forward.  When I am reading these books I often am so overwhelmed with their imagination.  Sometimes I am scared of it to and I usually quit reading those books.  I mean really, you might need help, where did that come from?  But for the most part I am impressed.  I am also cheap and don't like to spend a lot of money so that may be why I like free books.  Just sayin'!

I really like a lot of different types of books.  I used to think I didn't like sci-fi or steampunk but E.M. kinda changed that for me and I am broadening my scope!  Now as for my favorite type of book I would have to say "ZOMBIES"!  I love zombies.  I don't know why exactly but I do.  So hopefully I will be able to review some really great free or almost free zombie books for you in the near future.  Thanks for letting me tell you all about me and I look forward to being part of E.M.'s blog!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Get to Know KL

What You Need to Know

1. I’m the baby sister.  I’m whinny, I’m spoiled, and I like to get my way.

2. My sisters beat me on purpose at games when we were growing up just so that they could make me cry.  True story.

3. I used to tie myself up when playing imaginary games as a child.  The game was called “Capture”.  Fortunately, I was always able to get away.

4. I once blew up a can of chili in the oven.  Long story…nobody was hurt.

5. I’m a fiction glutton.  I will read almost anything, and it has to be really, really, REALLY bad for me to say I didn’t like it.  Or just not a genre that I’m particularly interested in (like that Truman Capote book about the murdering, BLECH!)

6. Anne Shirley is my fictional mentor.  I’ve even died my hair red on several occasions just to be more like her.

7. My love of reading eventually lead me to teach middle school reading for 6 years. I now teach pre-K 4.  The only difference is that you just have to make sure the 4 year olds go to the bathroom and occasionally you have to help one wipe.

8. I married the outdoorsman of my dreams, and we have two boys.

9. I helped E.M. edit Fate Wars.  So you can blame me for all of the typos and grammar mistakes.

10. My sisters, E.M. and A.L., are my real mentors and best friends.  They are two of the best women I know, and I hope that I can be just a little like them.  Cheesy, but true.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

EM's Review/Interview of The Dream Metropolis by Miles Cressman

About the Book

The Dream Metropolis is a science fiction novel that posits the idea of dreams becoming reality, and reality fading away into obscurity. It explores the relationship people have between their real lives and the escape that only dreams can provide. 

The Dream Metropolis delves deep into the mechanics of dreaming, all inside of an abstract, ever-changing city of dreams. The people inside this artificial dream world see everything before them as real, even though they do not know that they are dreaming of each other, of other real people. 

They are part of a project that works to exploit their limitless, dreaming imagination in an attempt to separate the mind from the body forever, to create a real world inside of the mind. 

However, for a drug addict named Ash spending his last moments inside the Metropolis, dreaming forever doesn't sound so appealing.


“Ash fell down from a hazy, overcast sky and he coated the rooftops with a gray thickness; even as the sunlight filtered in it did little to warm the air, warm the people, bring the life back. He could smell fire, an intense fire that roasted and ached and called out to everything around it hoping for solace. He opened his eyes and for a second never thought he could feel alive again. The gunshot? Completely gone, only some residual scar still freshly fading. And even though the memories were hammer strikes upon the anvil, the pain of it all had begun to recede. Had he died? Was he in the afterlife? Nothing gave him an answer.

            He stood up to survey his surroundings. The building he was on top of was alone, surrounded on all sides by a thick forest. However, peering deep into their green veils he could see other buildings, like a city.”

About the Author

Miles Cressman was born in Arizona, but raised in Portland, Oregon, where he grew up enjoying complex fantasy and humanist satire such as Kurt Vonnegut. While attending the University of Oregon he started work on his first full-length novel, The Dream Metropolis, which would later go on to be part one of a four-part series entitled A Paean to Dreams, with its final, conclusive novel released in June of 2013. Miles graduated the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in English, and now works on novels in his spare time. He has been featured in the Eugene, Oregon based literary journal, The Watercourse Journal, and has a short story featured in Kindle All Stars: Resistance Front, which also features the talents of Bernard Schaffer and Harlan Ellison.

Twitter: @Azure_Horizon



I was privileged to be able to interview Miles Cressman, the author of Dream Metropolis. This is what he had to say. 

E.M.: What was your inspiration behind Dream Metropolis? 

Cressman: My main inspiration was a blend between the film Inception, my father's recent death, and The Void, an obscure Russian videogame that puts you in the role of a lost soul in limbo, searching for a way out of a nightmare whose only life force is color itself. I wanted to take elements of each, and combine them into the complicated fabric of dreams and their uniqueness for every individual who experiences them. At the same time, I wanted to create a dark tale where the dream becomes a reflection of the reality it seeks to usurp. To this end, I used a variety of characters all with different vices, sexualities, pasts, connections, religions, and perspectives to create a world of dynamic characters that reflect the shifting dream-verse they find themselves trapped inside.

E.M.: I'm sorry to hear about your father. I find writing many of my stories has helped me process events or grand questions in my life. I hope Dream Metropolis was cathartic for you.

From your description, I think you did exactly what you set out to do with DM. It definitely has a dream quality to it; a very surreal disconnected feeling. In this movies-and-tv-generation, where readers want immediate plot, immediate action, immediate pay off, and immediate connection to the characters. Do you think that this disconnect feel is going to hinder your readers from really getting behind your characters?  

Cressman: From feedback I've received from readers, I think it's actually created an investment in the characters. The series has multiple payoffs that don't occur until well towards the final book, but the personal narrative arcs that each character goes through mimic a lot of real-life struggles. I think the disconnection lends itself to the fact that all the books, with small exceptions like when characters reminisce about their pasts, all take place within dreams. In other words, I looked at it more as feeding the setting, which in turn is fleshed out, subconsciously, by the characters. What feels like a disconnect between the reader and the characters is intentional, until they too begin to see the truth behind the veil. As each book burrows deeper and deeper into the dreams, so too will readers who hopefully become further immersed in these other-worlds.

E.M.: I really like that idea, of connecting more with the characters as they connect with themselves. A truly original approach. I recently published a book under Visionary Fantasy. The way you describe the book feels familiar. Do you think DM falls under that category as well or do you see it as straight science fiction?

Cressman: I've been changing my approach to the novel (and series) as a genre work. It has elements of science fiction, noir, philosophy, psychology, and fantasy. Putting all these together, I actually see DM and the series in general as more speculative fiction.

E.M.: Well, that was a mouth full! I had to do a lot of explaining about what Visionary Fiction is because it's not your standard, Romance, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, etc. Can you explain what speculative fiction is?

Cressman: Speculative fiction is basically taking science fiction/fantasy and expanding upon it into a modernist sense. It's fiction that isn't hamstrung by the conventions of either genre. Sometimes it's used as an umbrella term for fantasy/sci-fi/horror/dystopian fiction/post-apocalyptic fiction, but in my case I use it to explain that DM as well as the A Paean to Dreams series operate within the realm of multiple genres at once.

E.M.: Very cool. So this is your debut novel, right? When did you start writing? Was it always a passion of yours?

Cressman: The Dream Metropolis is my first novel, yes, of the four I've written. I started writing in 2008 or so, doing short stories for writing challenges. It was something that I didn't feel I had a passion for until I received a lot of positive feedback for my writing. I'd say that it's definitely the thing I'm most passionate about.

E.M.: Is writing already your career or do you envision it being your career?

Cressman: I work a day job in hospitality, but I am working towards making writing my career. It's a tough industry to get into, though, and self-publishing requires a lot of marketing effort. I'm getting there, though, and using every opportunity I can.

E.M.: No Kidding! I spend entirely too much of my time marketing. I know you'll make it work though. You're already ahead of the game with a series of books out. Hugh Howey, author of the Wool series, gives just that advice to indie authors. Write more books! So Hugh is my literary Yoda, do you have one?

Cressman: I do! I contributed a short story to the Kindle All Stars: Resistance Front anthology spearheaded by popular Kindle author Bernard Schaffer. He's who I look up to when it comes to marketing novels and writing in general. His novels are fantastic, and I definitely recommend them.

E.M.: So Bernard Shaffer is a favorite author, do you have a favorite band? (I know you have an answer to this. I've been following you on Twitter!)

Cressman: Right now, it would definitely be Janelle Monae and the Wondaland Arts Society. She's a multifaceted R&B singer with a fantastic voice, even better dance moves, and the ability to move between musical genres with ease. She defies every label put on her and releases fantastic music rooted in the past but remade for the present and future. Love her!

E.M.: Okay, favorite TV Show....Duck Dynasty, Jersey Shore, or Honey Boo Boo? 

Cressman: Is none of them an answer? I'll go with Mad Men. :)

E.M.: Of course it's an answer! But I think I just broke the rule, "There are no stupid questions".  So with that, I ask, is there anything else you want our readers to know about Dream Metropolis or the series? 

Cressman: I would like people to know that it's not a linear series. The plot skips around the timeline of the universe often, so don't be worried if things seem out of place or confusing. There are more than a few plot points that take the whole series to answer, with much of that being contained in the third and fourth books. It's also a very personal series, and a few characters and events are a fantastical rendition of things that have happened in my own life, most obviously in the final novel.

E.M.: Thanks Miles for taking the time to do this interview. I really enjoyed Dream Metropolis, and I wish you the best of luck with it and A Paean to Dreams.


If "What Dreams May Come" and "Inception" had a baby, and Andy Warhol and Minecraft had a baby, and those two babies grew up, got married and had a baby, then THAT baby grew up and moved to Colorado to live with Mary Jane; their life is what The Dream Metropolis is like.

Mr. Cressman weaves an intriguing tale with a great command of the English language. This is a beautifully written, highly descriptive novel that will immerse you into the dream world. 

It is unlike any story I've ever read. This is both positive and negative. While the intrigue of something new and unpredictable lures the reader in, it's also missing some main ingredients that make the book fulfilling. The ending in particular left me frustrated. Mr. Cressman did tell me that might be an issue at the onset. Dream Metropolis is the first in a series of works that revolve around this dream construct, and there may not be closure until the last book (all  are available on Amazon!). 

Still, I enjoyed the world and the characters. He makes them very human, very real. I think the skill with which he constructs his characters actually lends to the disappointed feeling at the end. You really care about where they went!

There are also some punctuation mistakes and typos. If you are one to be overly dramatic about such things, I would suggest you take a deep breath and jump into Dream Metropolis anyway. You'll be missing out on one of the most original and poetically written works I've read in a while.

Overall, a thought provoking tale for adults only. There is some moderate language, and while there are some "love" scenes, they are tastefully and beautifully written. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Interview with Evie Woolmore of Allonym Books

I had the great experience of being interviewed by Evie a few months ago. I've been waiting patiently for it to appear on her blog and it's finally up!  Please take some time to visit her site and read all about Magical Realism, Visionary Fantasy and our thoughts on genres.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Man Nipple

Made ya look!  I bet this post gets like ten times more views than any other.

But seriously, I'd like to take a moment to discuss the nipple on yesterday's post. Firstly, because I think it's funny that every time I use the word nipple, some of you are cringing...every.time. And that makes my day. Nipple.

And to those who shall remain nameless (KL), who took issue with said nipple...well I just think that's funny too. I mean...forest for trees anyone? Quit looking at the trees cause your missin' the forest. And it's a pretty nice forest. Nipple.

One more thing. Before you go criticizing a perfectly fine nipple, you might think about the owner of the nipple. He could be overly sensitive about his nipples. Your harshness and teasing might cause him to be hardened towards you or even his career.  His ego could really take a lickin'. That would really suck.

So just to let you know, from time to time I will be doing these cover reveals and promo blitzes. Sometimes they might contain man nipples. I won't post anything too raunchy though.

And one last thing....


Monday, September 16, 2013

Promo Blitz - Wolf Creek Enforcer by Jo Ellen

Wolf Creek Enforcer - Mega PROMO Blitz
By Jo Ellen
Paranormal Romance
Date Published: 6/27/2013

 Ian is the head enforcer for his pack. Something is pulling at him until he hits the road, looking for his mate. He finds Melanie, a free spirit hitchhiking in New Mexico. Once he gets her to his home in East Texas, he has to protect her from a wizard who wants her for her magical abilities. Melanie couldn't wait to explore this feeling that led her to take to the highway. Finding Ian was more than she could have hoped for. The difficult part would be telling him of her family's legacy and the job she was entrusted with.


 “Baby?  Come on, wake up.  I’ve got you.”

Ian maneuvered his body to where he could sit on the shelf.  He didn’t notice the cold mud against his backside.  Holding her in his lap, he ran a finger down her jaw.  She was burning up, her face flushed.  While her body was pale, her face was not. 

Ian stiffened when he saw the bruising on her cheek.  He was going to kill that fucking wizard.  

He had to get her out of there and to a doctor, fast.  Something wasn’t right.  She could not get this sick from a virus so quickly.  Then again, what the hell did he know?  He was not a doctor.  His mind was swimming.  Kill the bastard later, he had to get Melanie to a hospital.

Ian howled for Devlin.  “Tear this den apart so I can get her out of here.”  No way would he take her down into the water. 

While Devlin worked, Ian spoke softly to her.  “You have to wake up, Babe.  I cannot live without you.  Come on, babe, I love you.”  He gently kissed her lips. 

“I’m not sleeping beauty,” Melanie growled.  Her voice was rough with fatigue.  “That’s two, Fluffy.” 

Hearing his pack, he shouted, “Help Devlin tear this den apart, we’re sitting on a shelf above the waterline.”  

The guys made quick work of removing the sticks and debris the beavers had used to build their home. 

Melanie had trouble keeping her eyes open, she felt horrible.  Something was wrong, she could feel it throughout her body.  This was not the common cold virus or flu.  The best description she could come up with was that she felt contaminated.  She was so weak she could barely keep her eyes open.

Feeling the sun on her face, she squinted and saw seven naked men standing in the water.  As weak as she was, she could not leave well enough alone.

“I must be dead, cause I see seven naked men surrounding me.  Cool,” with that, she passed out.

About the Author

Jo Ellen

Jo Ellen is the mother of three, two in college and one in high school. Before becoming a stay at home mom, she worked for a publishing company dealing with trademarks. She has always loved books in almost any genre. Her favorite being romance, but a couple of books she enjoyed were "With Malice Toward None" and "The Right Stuff." She stays busy with her writing and taking care of her family, which, besides her husband and children, includes a dog, two cats, a bearded dragon, and one koi in the backyard pond. Jo Ellen loves baseball, professional and amateur, and of course watching her son play in high school. Breast cancer slowed her down somewhat, but now that her chemo and radiation are finished, she is looking forward to getting her writing back on track. Her Wolf Creek series are contemporary romance, supernatural/fantasy books about werewolves, witches, shifters, mates, druids and wizards. 

Author Links

Buy Links

This Promo is brought to you by Reading Addiction Book Tours

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Sunday, September 15, 2013

You know you're a writer when.....

You have a stomach virus and...

5. While your insides are trying to become your outsides, you are analyzing how it feels to be able to better describe it should you write a scene with vomiting...and you kind of hope it will come out your nose too so you can see how that feels as well.

4. you think...YIPPEE!  I'm sick! I get to stay in bed all day and edit!

3. You begin to come up with a back story for the's not just a regular virus, it's an alien take over. The virus engineered to.....

2. You get kind of excited when dehydration induced delirium sets in because you know your mind is going to come up with some freaky plot lines.

1. In a few moments of lucidity, you drag your laptop into bed and write up a top 5 list on your blog so your genius will not be forgotten when it's all over.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Just in case you were wondering how everyone was doing.....

Des watching me write while I wait for my daughter to get out of ballet.  Waiting on kids to get out of activities is the only extra time I have to write.

Oh...and Jon is all back to normal. Just some major bruising.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

More Than a Motto: Troop 413 Family Campout

I've heard it said that you see your life flash before your eyes in a near death situation. I can verify that this is entirely incorrect. When your life or the life of someone you love hangs in the balance, you live four life times per second. Every divergent path that moment could take flashes through your mind like lightening and crashes into inevitable oblivion as a new and worse outcome is conjured in your thoughts. How do I know it’s exactly four?

Last weekend was family camp out. Our Boy Scout troop, Troop 413, planned the whole event. All us moms and siblings had to do was show up. They pitched our tents, cooked our food, and cleaned our mess. What more could you ask for?  The answer is canoeing on the Illinois River in Tahlequah, OK.

On Saturday, while us moms lounged in the pool, the group of nine boys and two scout masters took a few canoes out and worked on their canoeing merit badge. Jon, my husband, has had a lot of experience in a canoe and on this river in particular. When he got back, he said it was going to be a fun trip, the boys were going to do well, but he was worried that the water levels were too low for our twelve mile float.

We continued on with our evening of hobo dinners and Dutch oven cobbler, but while preparing for bed, Jon stepped in a hole and twisted his ankle. It wasn't really bad, but enough to put him off kilter.

The next morning dawned with a roosters crow echoing off the foothills of the Ozarks. The boys were moving slow, but part of the Scouting experience is to let the scouts do everything themselves, so they learn…you know…how to do everything themselves. We didn't actually get on the river until noon for our four to six hour trip down the river.

The campground bus had already left by the time we got everyone in the water. Jon and I were the last ones to push off our canoe that held our six year old son Caedon, our Chihuahua Despereaux , and all the food and water for the trip. About ten seconds into the trip we realized things weren't going to go smoothly. We started taking on water. We weren't too worried with the slow leak. We would just tip the boat at lunch time and continue on.

A leaky boat was only the first hurdle. Another ten minutes into the trip, Jon’s worry about water levels were confirmed. They were very low. This caused two problems. First, we spent half our time pushing canoes over the rocky bottom of the river in the shallows. The other and more dangerous issue, is that the low levels create islands in the middle of the river. This forces the flow of water to consolidate along the edges. If you know your physics, a smaller area for the water to flow through, means a faster current. For amateur and even seasoned canoers, a faster current can spell trouble.

We’d already had one serious accident with two moms in a boat. Our certified dark water lifeguard, Darien, saved the day. By the time we made it to the halfway point and lunch, we were exhausted from carrying the canoe, bailing, and fighting currents. Jon’s ankle, which he figured he would be resting in the canoe, had gone from a nuisance to serious from walking on the rocky, uneven bottom of the river. And all our food was wet because our canoe had sprung more leaks from being dragged across the rocks.

We discussed calling the float company and having them pick us up. Thankfully one person had brought a cell phone in a dry box. Our trip was already supposed to be over, but instead we were only halfway through and it was getting late. Instead we decided to press on.

We all got into our canoes. I tossed my life jacket behind me, thinking I’d put it on in a minute when we got underway. Jon and I, with Caedon and Des, were toward the front of the pack. We had only gone about 250 yards when we came up on another shallow area. Ahead of us we saw the assistant scout master, Chad, walking his canoe over the rocks with his little girl and our little girl in tow. We decided to follow him to the left where it looked to be a little deeper.

What he had seen, that we didn't, and why he had jumped out to walk the boat, was that the shallow area dropped off into a fast channel just past where he was. This in itself was not a problem; however, a tree had recently fallen from the bank and completely blocked the channel.

Jon and I both thought in a few seconds we would be grounding the canoe and walking like Chad. Instead, in a few seconds we were caught in an incredibly strong current heading for the downed tree. We both worked together but we collided with the tree. The canoe turned sideways, and already being partially filled with water from the leaks, tipped and swamped.

I went under.

Here is where I can tell you why I know how many lives you can live in a split second. As the current pulled me under the canoe, my first life entailed me getting stuck under the canoe and how my family would cope with my drowning. My second life was all about being swept away while my child was stuck under the canoe. In the third life we lost our wonderful dog Des. The fourth was the loss of all of us. I didn't think about losing Jon. I knew he would be okay.

I came up a second later on the downstream side of the canoe under the leafy green branches of the tree. I do not know how I found my footing the swift current. Just a half hour before, in a slower current, it had taken me four or five tries to dig in. But there I was on firm ground. I believe angels held me there as I can’t even remember my feet touching the ground when I think about it.

“Where’s Caedon!” was my first scream when I saw Jon on the upstream side of the canoe, a branch partially blocking him from my sight.


He pointed to my left where Caedon had just popped up screaming. He grabbed the bow of the upturned boat and latched on like a spider monkey. I reached out for him, but he wasn't going anywhere. He just held on for dear life and screamed.

“Where’s Des!” was the next question I shouted over the roar of the water.

“I don’t know!” Jon yelled back.

I looked downstream hoping to see him doggie paddling toward shore.

No luck.

“There!” I heard Jon yell.

I turned back around to see Des emerge on my side of the canoe, but his head was barely above water. He wasn't making any headway toward me. I reached out to grab him, but he was firmly stuck in the tree. I didn't have time for that. I grabbed him by the collar and head and pulled. I spared only a thought for possible injury. Des latched on to my shoulder. I turned my attention back to Caedon who was still crying in fear.

Jon had to unstick the canoe and the only way for him to do that was to get Caedon off. I tried to pry him. He wasn't letting go.

“Look at me!” I yelled at the panicking child. He still didn't respond, only continued to cry.

“Look at me now!” I yelled again and again.

In the seconds it took to gain some reason from him, I lived a few more life times. Some of my past cane forward too. The current was sucking on my shorts, and I thought they were about to be pulled off. I remembered as a child watching people pulled from floods that were naked. I recalled thinking how embarrassed they must be. I realized at that moment they didn't care. I wouldn't have cared if I came out of this naked, as long as we were all alive.

“Look at my eyes!” I got more specific and took Caedon’s face in my hands. He finally made eye contact and responded.

“Let go and hold on to me Caedon.”

He finally let go and came to me.

“I’m going to the shore.” I yelled over the din of rushing water and turned to go.

The last thing I saw before the current dragged me away was another canoe, the one that held my fourteen-year-old son and his friend Mason, slam into my husband’s back and tip. The last thing I heard before the branches pushed us under will haunt me for the rest of my life. My husband’s painful scream tainted with fear.

I was under only a second. In that second I lived another four lifetimes. They all included a life without my son or husband or both. Then I surfaced for air. I saw Chad’s camouflage t-shirt and his feet splashing across the shallows towards me.

“Take Caedon!” I managed to say before I went under again.

I felt the weight of my child lifted off me and rocks scrape against my knees. I surfaced again to Chad trying to grab me.

“Take Caedon to the shore and help Jon!” I said and pushed him away as much as I could with what little traction I had. I saw him run toward shore, and I was under again. I felt hands on me, and I came up again to see our lifeguard, Darien, trying to help me. Now I could feel rocks all along side of me, and I knew I could get my footing.

“I’m fine! Leave me alone! Help Jon!” I scream and him. He tried one more time to assist me, and I slapped at his hands. “Help! Jon!” I yelled at him.

I gained purchase in the shallows and turned to see Darien cross the river in three super human strides. Then my attention was drawn back to Caedon sitting on the shoreline, alone, crying.

I dragged myself to the rocky beach and gathered him in my arms. I put Des down, and he stood there shaking like only a Chihuahua could do. Across the river, I see my older son and his friend clinging to the opposite bank downstream from the tree. I knew my sons were okay. I saw my daughter downstream in a beached canoe. She was okay.

I couldn't see Jon. I could only see a mass of boys trying to pull a swamped canoe against the current to free him. I believed he was underwater. I sat in the rocks trying to console Caedon. The next three minutes, or 180 seconds, allowed for 720 lifetimes to be lived. All of them without my soul mate.

Finally I heard that haunting scream pierce through the chaos. I knew he was at least not underwater, but he was in pain. I couldn't see any headway being made at all from my vantage point so I continued my wordless prayers.

Then, from behind me, two young, very muscular men appeared. They crossed the river and joined the battle. In moments the second canoe was free and Chad pulled Jon from the tree. I didn't see anything else. I just watched as my husband walked across the river with help. My superhero husband being assisted. That still rocks me.

They made it to the shore, and he collapsed. My daughter, Charis, immediately sank to his side and laid hands on him and prayed. Caedon was worried so I gave him the job of making shade for Daddy’s face. I bent and kissed my love’s lips, still not knowing what the outcome of this would be.

Darien was doing triage and trying to decide what first aid actions to take with Jon. It was apparent he was in shock from being crushed between hundreds, if not thousands of pounds of water and metal. Jon answered as best he could. Then broke my heart.

“Both my boys right there,” he said and began to cry.

I knew what he meant. He had lived the same 736 lifetimes I had, and in them he was completely helpless to save his children.

I told him everyone was fine. All the scouts were fine. We lost no one, and he slowly came out of shock.

I sat there with him as we decided what to do and watched Troop 413 do what they had learned. Each boy was taking it on themselves to help in the situation. Some had lent their strength to freeing Jon. Others, the smaller boys, gathered bottles, shoes, and paddles that were floating away. Some pulled canoes higher on the beach to make sure they didn't float away. One boy was checking on the others as they came ashore, asking triage questions just as he had been taught.

Not one of them panicked. They acted with cool heads and strong hearts. I couldn't be more proud of those boys.

I suddenly remembered the two strangers that had appeared. I asked if anyone had seen where they went. Most people didn't know who I was talking about. Someone pointed down the beach, and I saw them walking away.

“Thank you!” I yelled, and one turned around and waved. I was distracted for a moment but when I looked back, I didn't see them anymore.

Jon was pretty banged up, but we were all safe. Those boys showed amazing courage and valor as well as the adults with us.

I asked myself when it was all said and done, “Is this worth it? Doing things like this? Being involved in Scouting?”

I consider the alternative; sitting at home, doing nothing, being afraid of life, teaching my children to be afraid of anything new. That’s not the life I want for them. That’s not the life I want for me.  And when my time on earth is through, and my life flashes before my eyes, I want it to be full of wonder and risk, adventure and adversity. I want it to be more than a seconds worth of stories. So if I’m going to go adventuring, I want to do it with a group of Boy Scouts.