Friday, November 23, 2012

Guest Blog with Bastian Caldwell, Author of The Complete Lily Lansing

Living my dream life at the beach with my family and my poodles.
Publisher:  Wild Child Publishing

Lilike Avrill Lansing is damaged. She is also unemployed, barely surviving a loveless marriage, and hiding a secret so painful that it’s eating her alive.
  The damage began when, as a student, Lily, inhabited a unique and dangerous world: Whitman College. Located in a small city with big murder and crime rates, it is nothing like the suburb she was raised in. But the harsh city is not nearly as dangerous as the predators that roam the Whitman campus, preying on innocence and leaving a trail of ravaged souls in their wake.
  The damage culminates ten years later at a dinner party where in the span of an evening Lily destroys her marriage and alienates her friends. She finally realizes that she must tell everyone the truth about what really happened during her years at Whitman.  But can her marriage, her friendships, survive the truth?
  The Complete Lily Lansing takes you on an emotional and often humorous journey of one woman's life as she struggles to overcome the secret of her college years.  But is the support of friends, the belief in honesty, the sharing of tears, the power of love, and especially the ability to laugh through the hard times enough to help her become whole again?   

Book Excerpt:
Let’s Go

Lily spent Friday afternoon at the library, trying to study for a quiz on the Romantic Period. But the hours passed and she didn’t read more than two pages. The only thing she wrote was “Romance Sucks,” which she doodled on her notebook.
She returned to her room and began arranging her school supplies on her desk but her efforts were pointless. Thoughts of romance occupied her mind to the extent that there was no room for ballads, sonnets or odes. When I find a boyfriend, the first thing we will do together is study, she thought. She sat down at her desk and narrowed her list of potential boyfriends:
Her friend Ben was quiet and sweet, but she thought he might already have a girlfriend. Randy, a senior and the captain of the Whitman football team, had asked her out a few times before.
She couldn't think of anyone else to add to the list so she leaned out of her window and observed the buzz of activity at the Omega Delta Fraternity. The brothers circuited the house like ants, carrying kegs of beer in, overstuffed trash bags out, cleaning, sweeping. She smiled, like a spider admiring its well-spun web. Chances were good that she would see both Ben and Randy at the party. And if the night went well she would have a date for Saturday, maybe even a boyfriend by Sunday.
She closed the window and flopped down on her bed. It was all so confusing. If her heart belonged to Seth, how could she still be attracted to both Ben and Randy? They were all so different.
Seth kissed her greedily like he was devouring a delicious cake, losing interest when his hunger was sated. She knew it would be different with Ben, and smiled as she pictured kissing him over a bouquet of buttercups, like a scene in one of Erica’s favorite movies. The blooms would tickle their chins, sweetening the kiss.
Her face grew warm when she thought of Randy’s hands on her; she couldn't picture him kissing her chastely. It occurred to her that maybe Randy was another Seth, a taller, bolder Seth, who only wanted to eat her cake and be done with it. She would have to be careful.
Lily was so absorbed in her thoughts that she didn’t hear Petra enter her room, even though Petra's stilettos cracked like hammers on the bare wood floor. A tight black miniskirt stretched to cover Petra’s ample derrière, worn with a shiny pink blouse and enormous gold hoop earrings.
“I can’t believe you’re not ready!” Petra said with a toss of her thick auburn hair.
Lily rose from the bed and went to look at herself in the mirror. “I’m ready. I just need to brush my teeth.”
“Didn’t you wear that outfit to school today?” Petra sized up Lily’s jeans, blouse, and loafers.
“So? It’s still clean.”
“I thought you might want to wear something a little more sexy. We’re going to a frat party, not the library.”
Lily took in Petra’s outfit, which seemed more appropriate for a street corner.
“I’m not trying to impress anyone,” Lily said.
“Not even Seth?”
Lily frowned, drawing her brows together as if she were in sudden pain; she had been hoping to see Seth at the party, but would never admit it to Petra. “I don’t have anything like what you’re wearing,” Lily said, and suddenly wished that she did.
“Well I don’t feel like waiting around for you to fix your face, and there’s not much we can do with your hair. What other shoes do you have?”
“I have black sneakers and tan cowboy boots.”
Petra touched three red-tipped fingers to her forehead as if it were all too much to bear.
“And sandals,” Lily added in an apologetic voice.
“That’ll work. Here, give me your brush.”
Petra wet the brush with hairspray and made a deep side part in Lily’s flaxen hair, coaxing each strand into place. “Keep this side tucked behind your ear, and let the rest fall into your eyes. That’s sexy.”
“Thanks.” Lily said, pleased with what she saw in the mirror.
Petra unfastened two buttons on Lily’s demure blouse, revealing a peek of her pale lace bra.
“Still a little Debbie Gibson, but much better. Put your sandals on and let’s go. You can put on your lipstick while we walk. Let's go.”
As she walked, Lily admired the clear sky, crescent moon, and luminous sampling of stars. She always mourned the end of summer, and knew this was one of the last soft nights of the year before the low gray skies set in. Petra marched heavily beside her, eyes fixed straight ahead, and Lily shot her a superior look, wondering how she could be so impervious to the beauty around her. And she thinks I’m clueless. She stopped walking to better smell the night air, earning a scowl from Petra. If I’m lucky, Lily thought, there will be one more perfect night like this, and I’ll have someone special to share it with. She focused on a shining star and made a wish, careful to keep walking. “Star light, star bright, please grant me a wish tonight.” Lily whispered to herself. She closed her eyes briefly and when she opened them, the star that she had wished upon blinked and appeared to be headed for Philadelphia International Airport. She cursed herself for choosing the brightest.
* * * *

Links to Buy:
Wild Child Publishing:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's Write-Along Wednesday!!

Each Wednesday I will post the beginning of a scene, then each of you can leave a comment to continue the story from there. Be sure to read all of the comments before posting as they will build on each other. Only rule is to keep the comments PG rated. Let's see where the story takes us!!

Another Devereaux Thanksgiving in all its splendor.
My brother David and our father had already assumed their positions on the couch in front of the flat screen, in spite of our mother’s complaints that dinner wasn’t finished. My closet-anorexic, want-to-be-Goth sister Jamie was hard at work pushing food around in circles with her fork—as if that was fooling anyone. And if my criminal defense attorney sister-in-law didn’t shut up about her latest case it wouldn’t be at all fair to hold me accountable for my actions. I mean seriously, sharing all the gory details about a double homicide while we were eating? What the hell? My appetite had bailed on me before the stuffing made it half way around the room. If she’d only brought the machete-like murder weapon with her. Damn.
“You okay, baby?” Aaron whispered, giving my thigh a nervous pat under the table. After five years of marriage he knew all the signs that I was about to go postal—from the rocking of my right foot to the continual running of my fingers through my hair.
“Can we go yet?” I begged, keeping my voice low enough so only he could hear.
That earned me one of his snort-like laughs. “I’d make a break for it with you, but you know we’d never make it. Your mom moves like a Ninja.”
True enough. Even now she was watching us out of the corner of her eye. Besides, we had rather big news to share if I could only get up the nerve. Of course, I’d also have to convince my father to drag his eyes away from the Lions game for a few seconds so I could tell him he was going to be a Grandpa. I rested my hand protectively on my belly while I debated what to do.
“Holy Shit! Crocodile Dundee knocked you up!”
The room fell eerily silent as all eyes shot to my slightly distended stomach. I’d considered a hundred different ways to tell my parents over the last four months, carefully weighing the pros and cons of each, and in one microsecond my bitchy-ass sister had stolen the moment from me. But it was her derogatory nickname for my Australian husband—one she knew I hated—that pushed me over the edge.
“God damn you, Jamie!” Aaron and David’s wife had to work together to restrain me while I took reckless, roundhouse swings at her across the table.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Guest Blog with David Huffstetler, Author of Blood on the Cards

Blood on the Cards
A brotherhood of powerful men, a self-proclaimed prophet, and an ancient goddess hover over a series of murders that start with a game of Texas Hold-em. Are they to blame, or is it the embittered Comanche outcast set on revenge against Jack Harden for the death of his niece? Elsie and Jack try to salvage what’s left of their relationship, as a canvas of death unfurls around them.

Can they stop it?

A single candle cast its light on his nude body as he stood staring at the new moon. He passed his hand over his salt-laden chest, bowed at the altar, and sipped hot tea from a red canister. It flowed warm and dark down his throat. He opened a satin cloth and sniffed the white powder deep into his nose, releasing the inhibitions that held him captive in a body he detested. His hand slid across his groin. “Curse the man that I am, the body I was born live in.”  He closed his eyes. The darkness comforted him. “Inanna, hear me,” he prayed. “Release me. Help me find the shadow of who I am beyond this body, the self that you meant for me to be. Let the cloud of the dark moon fall on your servant.”
     He lifted his gaze to the altar, to the figure of a woman standing on reclining lions, bordered by owls, and he raised an ancient plea. “I invoke you, Mother of the Darkness. I invoke you, Mother of the Night. Let your angels open my heart and fly inside. I shall make a place for courage, a golden fire. I shall put my heart in your lap to be caressed by your hands of blessing. Inanna, Lady of the Evening Star, Lady of the Morning Star, give me courage that my soul may find its destiny. Make it so. Make it so.”
     He rocked back and forth on his knees, chanting, “Make it so, make it so.” Twenty minutes passed as he worshipped at the altar. He came to his feet, with sweat crawling down his body, and walked to the pool. He stepped into the water, deep enough to cover his loins, washing over the vagina his surgeon crafted the year before. “Oh, dark pool, receive me. Lilitu, cleanse me.” He doused himself completely, his mind alight with drugs and the fervor of his faith. He rose refreshed, his heart open. His gaze turned to a figure, nearly obscured by the darkness. There was something there, no someone there, seated with her legs crossed and gesturing for him to come closer. Her long, dark hair tumbled over bare breasts. Her legs stretched to feet fashioned like eagle talons. Again, she waved for him, and he stepped closer. He came to the edge of the pool, reached for her, and she was gone.

Blood on the Cards is available at,,, and other online vendors.

David W. Huffstetler – Bio

Educated in Dallas, North Carolina, David Huffstetler holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has worked in the area of human relations and spent fourteen years weaving through the maze that is politics, including participating in a Federal Law suit with a sitting governor. David has served on Boards of Directors for numerous professional organizations and has advised governors and legislators on matters of public policy and legislation.
He turned the frustrations and rejection that plagues thousands of yet-to-be-published authors into the heralded mystery/thriller Blood on the Pen, with a serial killer disposing of literary agents. Blood on the Cards follows his tradition of thrillers, and it stands on its own merit as a novel with a hint of the paranormal.

His books receive praise from mystery readers across the globe.
“David W. Huffstetler crafts gripping crime thrillers that can only be described as a riveting roller coaster ride from its ‘okay, you’ve got my attention’, beginning, to the suspenseful ‘I’ve now chewed my nails to the quick’, conclusion.”   -Book Lovers, Inc.

As an editor, public speaker, and seasoned professional, David has appeared on television and radio, and has lectured on the East Coast, California, Canada and Mexico.

David currently lives in Lexington, South Carolina with his wife, Trudy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blog Hop-Interview with C.M. Michaels

The past few years have been full of high profile reads—50 Shades of Gray, Twilight, and more. Love them or hate them, you have to admit you have at least heard of them.

As Independent Authors we all dare to dream we will be next, and well let’s face it, you never know ... right?  With some hard work and the right marketing any one of us could be the next most talked about Author.

With that thought I jumped on this Hop, what is a blog traffic hop? Well I didn’t know until I asked. Basically, it’s an Independent Authors game of tag.

One author posts, and then tags five other authors, who each link back to them. Exponentially it is a marketing gold mine, and you my fair reader have hopefully just increased your to read list. Finding new and exciting authors you may never have found otherwise. Some of us are still writing, others are just being released.

Either way, for you Fiction Lovers, a treasure trove awaits. I’d like to thank Carol Marvell and Terry Tally Venters, who included me on their blog hop last week. You can read their posts here:

You can buy Carol’s books and learn more about her here:

You can buy Terry’s books and learn more about her here:

In this particular hop I have answered 10 questions where you get to learn about my current WIP (Works in Progress) as well as some goodies as to my process. I hope you enjoy it!
If this or any other items pique your interest, please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions.

1: What is the working title of your book?
Dangerous Waters
2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
It all started with my female protagonist. I envisioned a kindhearted, naive women with plenty of emotional baggage leaving her small, suffocating town to attend a big city college. I wanted the supernatural characters to play a central role in the story from the beginning, and to have the audience fall in love with them in spite of what they must due to survive. And I wanted something far different from the typical (and predictable) girl meets boy paranormal romance. The stakes are much higher in my novel, no one fully understands what is happening or what it might mean, and love interests emerge from the most unexpected places.
3: What genre does your book fall under?
I consider it Urban Fantasy, but the unique supernatural elements, steamy romantic trysts and gripping action will appeal to fans of the urban fantasy, paranormal and suspense genres alike.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
    I’ve got to be loyal to my wonderful cast who participated in the cover shoot.
5: What is the synopsis of your book?
For Emily Waters, a nature loving small-town girl with an overprotective father, heading off to Boston University to study conservation biology is a dream come true—until a chance encounter catapults her into a mythical world she’d do anything to escape.
The latest victim in a rash of abductions near campus, Emily is brutally attacked before being rescued by a powerful new friend, whose family takes her in and prepares her for the unimaginable life she must now embrace. Clues soon emerge that Emily may not be entirely human, and her physical transformation awakens goddess-like powers that her new family cannot begin to explain. Dealing with her human first love, the not-so-platonic relationship with her coven “sister” and her new supe sort-of-boyfriend further complicates matters. Not to mention being secretly hunted by the psychopaths who attacked her. And as the only known offspring of a once all-powerful race, the climactic battle is only the beginning of her journey, one that ends with her leading a war against all humankind.
6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Dangerous Waters is being published by Freya’s Bower, part of Wild Child Publishing.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Roughly four months. The second revision actually took longer due to the extensive editing.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The best comparison I can think of is Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series.  
9: Who or What inspired you to write this book
            I credit my amazing wife for giving me the kick in the rear I needed to quit talking about writing my own novel and do it. If not for her encouragement and support Dangerous Waters would never have been written.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
            The Prologue provides a tantalizing glimpse into what’s to come further into the series while leaving the reader with more questions than answers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's Write-Along Wednesday!!

Each Wednesday I will post the beginning of a scene, then each of you can leave a comment to continue the story from there. Be sure to read all of the comments before posting as they will build on each other. Only rule is to keep the comments PG rated. Let's see where the story takes us!!

“Sit down, April.”
I stood frozen in the doorway, my eyes locked on the bitch-extraordinaire Ashley Wainwright. Seeing the head of HR huddling next to your boss was never good. “What’s this about?”
Alex grunted and tossed a newspaper across the desk. “Care to explain why our new advertising vice president is grinding herself against some college tramp in a sleazy-ass bar? “
Steph – my closet partner and inseparable friend since our freshman year—had her hands firmly planted on my spandex encased butt, pressing me tight against her as we lost ourselves in the thumping beat. I’d pulled back from her searing kiss only a split second before the picture was taken. Our lips were still almost touching. Oh joy.
“She’s a friend,” I growled, shooting him a scathing glare filled with pure hatred. “And we were just blowing off some steam to celebrate my promotion. Not that it’s any of your damned business.”
He actually laughed at me. “That’s where you’re wrong. If you’d have bothered to read your contract, you couldn’t have missed the section on behavior clauses. This most definitely doesn’t represent Aspire in a positive light.”
It was all I could do to keep from leaping across the table and tearing his throat out. “Are you seriously firing your most brilliant ad executive because I’m gay? Jesus, I’ve landed over seventy percent of our clients. The Foster and Riley account alone brought in over two million last year. Besides, I’m pretty sure that’s a protected class.” By the time I was through with them, I’d be a full partner and they’d be kicking his fat ass to the curb.
“No one is firing you,” he said with a sneer. “You’re going to resign, leave behind all of your clients, and sign a non-compete agreement to never work in this industry again.”
Now it was my turn to laugh. This was totally ridiculous.  “And why in the hell would I do that?”
I’d barely gotten the words out when someone grabbed my chin from behind, wrenched my head back and placed a large knife against my throat. “Because if you don’t we’ll kill you.”