Tag Archives: fiction

Progress, depends on how you define it.

Today was my flex day. I made no effort at all to wake up early, but was up around six o’clock. I took my time with chores, social media, email, and my standard AM process.

I turned to my manuscript, and started reading the last chapter plus. Fixed a few spelling errors and one double word.

Right now, the story involves moving the pirate ship into harm’s way once more, and doing some character building to help carry this section.

I need to make sure to build some tension as they face a well trained enemy with multiple ships, and that might be slow going as I work back and forth across it. This will lead right into the big finish scene.

There is a lot that has to happen in the finale. I’ve planted quite a few things that need to pay off now. Magic, cannon, swordsmanship, and a new monster will be involved. Then, of course, there is a denouement of some kind.

I’m mildly concerned about the big finish, because I don’t want it to feel like a battle scene that drags on. There are enough characters, and it’s a moving battle, so I get some leeway.

Denouement is another struggle. I have a happy ending I could go with, or one that leads into a possible sequel. My big issue with this involves my readers. If they don’t take to book one, will anyone be interested in book two? A second book would also eat time for something else I’d like to write.

Who knows how I’ll handle it. Honestly, I need to focus on one step at a time here.

Moving pieces around the board doesn’t sound like much progress, but it’s required in the story.

On the other hand, I wrote three blog posts this afternoon, including this one. One of them will post over at Story Empire next week. Blogging counts by my rules, so today was fairly productive.

Back to work tomorrow, but my next flex day is Monday. With a three day weekend I might even finish my novel, but it would be a stretch. I won’t rush it. If I have to wait another week, so be it, but I’m getting close here.

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Converging Paths, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio. The only show that brings you the characters from the stories you love. The world is balancing on the head of a pin today, and my special guest has some insight into the problem and a possible solution. “Welcome The Old Lady of Alexandria to the show today.”

“Thank you. I am very tired from having my home restored after a fire. It is good to rest a while and do what I like best.”

“Well, I suppose you can smoke in here. You know it’s bad for you, right?”

“At my stage in life, what does it matter? Would you like one?”

“I’m sure they’re fine cigars, but I don’t even have lungs. Sorry. My little bio says you own a bookstore in Alexandria. I assume something you read brought some insight into the problem we’re facing today.”

“As you know, the great library at Alexandria was destroyed by nonbelievers. A group of scientists were able to salvage many manuscripts that predicted if humankind continued in the direction it was heading, the world would be destroyed. Further texts provided solutions, unfortunately we could save only partial copies.”

“Okay, so the crisis is global warming, but the solution might be in China. Is that correct?”

“Ahem… we refer to it as Global Climate Change… It’s more accurate. China is rising. Its government is leaning more to the left and its population is demanding a westernized lifestyle. However, there are a number of old party members in the government who are fighting this evolution and want to keep China under a dictator’s thumb. China is under the world’s microscope and what decisions are made will affect the world.”

“My bio also notes that you’ve manipulated your own granddaughter to become part of this solution. Can you explain some of that to our listeners today? I mean that’s a pretty high stake.”

“Rebecca is a brilliant young woman who does not recognize her own potential. I have many friends around the world who strive for the same goals as me, but I was old and needed someone to continue my portion of the quest. I have left her my bookstore in an attempt to manipulate her into following in my footsteps. I have many allies who will help her. She is too entrenched in her job and needs a change. She needs to meet Alexander, who is in Japan, and learn of her importance as a quantum physicist in saving the world. And if she can find love along the way, it would make this ancient woman very happy.”

“Japan? I thought China was the lynchpin here?”

“It is, but Alexander is following a key player in our plan, The Seeker, who is currently vacationing in Japan. He is a prominent member of the Chinese government who is also surreptitiously studying the Japanese Buddhists and their reaction to the impending death of the Dalai Lama. As you know, because you are obviously a very intelligent individual, there is an interesting link between quantum physics and Buddhism which is elucidated in this story.”

“Okay, so snag Alexander, jet off to China, then what?”

“Oh, it’s not as simple as all that. Remember we are dealing with real flesh and blood characters here, not robots, they don’t think in a straight line and analyze in ones and zeros like you. They are far more, is it rude of me to say, emotionally complex. There are many moving pieces, just like the game of Go. We need to allow The Seeker to play out his game. Now that the Dalai Lama has been murdered, China’s global presence is teetering. How will the occupier of Tibet react to the scrutiny of the world? Will it step up onto the world stage and become a super power or will the old guard win and return China to isolationism?”

“Wait, now we’re in Tibet?”

“Now you see the importance of GO, and how territories fit in. The oldest game, and dare I say the most pleasing to the eye, teaches us to think in non-linear patterns, in circles and in wild patterns. You see in Go, borders do not matter, but controlling the board does, much like the geo-political battle that rages. It is all about control of the playing area. However, we also have a pivotal character who has been sequestered in Bhutan and now will assemble Buddhists from around the world in Tibet. Norea, or The Blue Rose will fall in love with the Seeker and accompany him through the final stages of this geo-political game that is so reminiscent of Go. The Second-in-Command of China, his nemesis will fight to regain territory on the world’s Go board while the Seeker and Norea counsel The Chairman of China in his final decision.”

“It all sounds very important and intriguing. Perhaps everyone should read this, so we can keep our politicians updated too. Any final thoughts for our listeners today?”

“Today, more than ever before, we need to remember compassion is so important to help save our planet, specifically humankind. If China can become a super power on the world’s stage and maintain compassion through its treatment of Tibet, maybe humankind deserves to survive. It is too late for me… I am long dead. My memory lives on through my granddaughter and the rich characters who help her in this quest.

“Thank you Lisa, you have been a joy to talk to. By the way, I admire your outfit…you’d make a beautiful whirling dervish.”

“Listeners can learn more by reading the novel, Converging Paths, by Lorraine Dimond & Roy Dimond. I’ll post all the important stuff on the website after I go off the air.

“Keep your friends updated too, by using those sharing buttons. I’m sure the Dimonds would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Purchase link:   http://www.blackrosewriting.com/suspensethriller/convergingpaths

Contact information:    http://roydimond.tripod.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Roy-Dimond-Author/391172050979499

http://www.authorsden.com/roydimond

https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=122268688&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

http://roydimond.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/RoyDimond2

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Quest of the Broken Hearted, 99¢ all month long

Charles Yallowitz has released his follow up story to the Legends of Windemere series. Good news for us is the introductory price. I’ll let Charles tell you all about it.

A battered soul faces a city of monsters in
Quest of the Brokenhearted!

Cover Art by Sean Harrington

As Windemere moves forward, a broken spirit falls into the shadows.

Two years have passed since Luke Callindor was lost during the champions’ battle against Baron Kernaghan. Many mourn the loss, but none have been hurt more than the fiancée he left behind, Kira Grasdon. Plagued by grief and determined to prove he is alive, she has sacrificed her business, her reputation, and her hope. Surviving on the streets of Gaia, she has become an emotional husk of her former self. It is only by chance that Kira crosses paths with an old friend and learns of a path, which will either end her suffering or revive her shattered soul. As the rumors state, hundreds of adventurers have flocked to Lacarsis and none have returned.

Will Kira meet her death in the City of Evil or will she thrive among the monsters?

*****

Book Excerpt: The Farm

The blast of warm air hits and swirls around the area to make all those in metal armor feel like they are about to faint. As the wind billows out, it carries the fog away to reveal broken fences and an abandoned farmhouse. The porch is partially collapsed with a swing sitting in the mud, its chains still connected to the fallen roof. The front door is closed, but a large hole is in the middle as if something tried to punch its way inside. Rusty pots and tools are scattered about the ground, some of them having been plunged into the ground. Not far away is a large barn, which shows no sign of damage beyond peeling paint and cobwebs dangling from the eaves. A crooked weathervane sits above the hay loft, the bat-shaped object spinning wildly even though the wind has died. Wilted crops stand in the fields among those that have already rotted into mush. Piles of hay dot the landscape, each one having turned black and become surrounded by swarms of thumb-sized flies. When the last of the fog clears, the entire area is bathed in a sickly orange light that causes the adventurers’ skin to crawl.

An animal call erupts from a nearby pasture, the grass a light brown and showing signs of being repeatedly trampled. In response, the sounds of chickens drift from the farmhouse and they are soon joined by other familiar noises. The ear-wrenching symphony continues to grow as the adventurers spread out across the road and into the fields. Most are focused on the farmhouse door, so they are caught off-guard when the attack begins. Zombified pigs, horses, goats, and sheep burst out of the barn to charge the nearest warriors. With acidic foam flying from their mouths, the undead livestock crash into the armored figures and rip into whatever flesh they can reach. The goats and pigs cause the most damage, their teeth breaking through metal and bone while the horses do more harm with their hooves. Flapping wings from the farmhouse are a slight warning before a flock of chickens and ducks explode from the windows. Lacking teeth, they have a harder time killing their prey, who swing wildly and blindly cast spells that miss half of the time. Chaos is consuming the crowd when the first animal call erupts from the right and four knights are sent hurtling through the air. Flesh dangling from its horns and blood splattered across its rotting face, the zombified bull barrels into the adventurers. The grunting beast tramples everything in its path as it crashes into one of the fields and sends a broken cart rolling away. Turning around, the animal ignores the arrows that stick into its hindquarters and charges back into the crowd.

While the others try to retreat, Kira swings her sickle at the bull’s side and gets the weapon stuck between the exposed ribs. She holds on while she is dragged and uses the blunt end to swat chickens out of the air. As she passes a stallion, she swings her kusari-gama to get the chain wrapped around its hind legs. With the horse galloping away from the bull, Kira plants her feet and pulls hard on her weapon. Her strength combined with that of the zombified steed allows her to shatter the larger animal’s ribs. Spinning around, she whips the sickle into the side of the stallion’s head and uncoils the chain as it crashes to the ground. Without turning back, the adventurer dives to the side and narrowly avoids getting gored by the bull. The moment she hits the ground, she pounces to grab the jagged hole in its body and pulls herself close enough to punch inside with the blunt end of her weapon. Kira continues striking the rotting heart until the confused animal rears back and exposes its stomach for a pair of spearmen to impale it. They are unable to support its weight and are promptly crushed while the young woman flips up to slam her sickle into the base of its skull. Hanging onto the bucking bull, she violently twists the blade until the zombie finally falls over and rapid decays. The others are about to cheer when the call of another bull bursts from the pasture.

“They just keep coming,” Kira mutters as she watches more animals pour out of the buildings.

Grab your copy on Amazon for 99 cents throughout the month of July!

*****

Interested in more Windemere? Then don’t forget to check out Charles E. Yallowitz’s first series: Legends of Windemere

All Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Or more interested vampires? Then check out War of Nytefall: Loyalty:

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

LET THE TOURNAMENT OF LACARSIS BEGIN!

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The Contract – between heaven and earth

I’m really excited to have John and Gwen stop by today. I had the honor of being a beta reader on this story, and I think you guys are going to like it.

The CONTRACT between heaven and earth

By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

Thank you, Craig, for inviting us to join you today. We are super excited to be featured on your blog where some of the most imaginative writing takes place. Also, we are so thrilled to meet Lisa Burton. We’ve wanted to try on The Hat, but we promised to be on our best behavior and besides who knows what could happen if we did. Thanks again.

The Contract

Available on Kindle and Paperback

Kindle priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

The CONTRACT is a different story for writers John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano. For either of them, it is their first attempt at co-authorship. After a year of Hurricane Harvey and other challenges, they have created, what they have termed, an inspirational thriller that bridges heaven and earth.

Here is the blurb:

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.

Trailer

Here is an excerpt.

After a few moments of silence, the general got up and walked over to a double set of windows. He pulled on his chin and appeared taken aback by the information. Then he turned to face Brad, crossed his arms, and leaned back on the window.

“Do you know who arrives in four days, Sailor?”

“No, sir.”

“The President of the United States.”

Brad gulped. “Oh, my God. They sent me here because the bomb has something to do with the President?”

“Sailor, when you went on an op, wasn’t every detail orchestrated?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Didn’t you have diversions in place, to sidetrack the guards?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Your SUV is set to explode at zero-ten-hundred hours in four days. The President will address the base at that time in the ball field. The entire Reconnaissance Wing will congregate on that ball field. Do you understand?”

“I do, sir. Equipped with our nation’s most advanced aircraft, the Reconnaissance Wing provides for our national security.”

“Sailor—” The general smiled. “You may have thought you’d have a few days of vacation here, but you’ll work with me now.”

“Yes, sir. Whatever you need, sir.”

Authors Bio.

John Howell Head shotGwen's headshot

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The last, Circumstances of Childhood is a family life thriller story and launched October 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books.

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Gwen had a lengthy career in higher education, and it was there that she published her first book, Beyond Boundaries, for students interested in volunteer work in developing countries. After she retired, she wrote her award-winning memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love.

Gwen lives in Branson, Missouri with her husband.

Gwen’s Books.

Available on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2wdXsrn

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Hodgepodge kind of day

Otto decided to get me up at 5:00 this morning. It really wasn’t in my plan, but Momma put some leftover chicken breast in his bowl, and he knew it was there. He held out as long as he could, then needed to get at it.

Across yesterday and today, I got one shtick out the door for an interview, and scheduled one for July. I have another one to schedule, and two more to move ahead in the queue. One of my guests is a planner, and needs a date in August. I went ahead and scheduled that one too. (I love planners. They can make the interview part of a larger tour.)

I managed about 2000 new words of fiction today too. Yesterday was all about cannons, swords, and action. Today was all about coming down from that. The pirate crew is starting to meld together, and it occurred to me that, as a whole, the crew is also a character. A lot of character building happened today. Fart jokes were made too.

I watched a beautiful horse race today, which led to another Triple Crown Winner. These things are rare, and there may have been as many Popes in my lifetime as Triple Crown Winners. (I’m not taking the time to count.) So excited for Justify and his peeps.

Now I’m hoping my baseball team can pad their lead in the west. This is going to be a tough series, and we’re on the road, but stranger things have happened.

I took a minute to catch up on blogs, and stumbled across some exciting news. Karen O, is the first book reviewer I ever met. Years ago, she was taken by Lisa Burton in her debut novel. She asked me if she could use Lisa in a story she was writing.

Lisa was just lounging around, and I hadn’t come up with tasks for Lisa at the time, so I said yes. Karen serialized this story on her blog, and it was a lot of fun. A while back, she asked me if it might be alright to publish it. I said yes, with no reservations, and encouraged her to do it.

Karen is doing a cover reveal today for her story, Neighbors. Lisa has a small co-starring kind of role in the story. Go visit Karen for more information at this site In A Small Compass.

If I do nothing else, it’s been a productive weekend. I plan on addressing those pending interviews, but we’ll see how it goes.

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One of those days…

The internet has been pretty quiet this week. I noticed the number of posts in my reader is down, and other forms of social media are less active too. Blogging usually slows down for the summer, but Twitter seems to never end. Whatever the reason it’s observable.

I’m in kind of a blue mood. These happen every once in a while. I’d like more sales, more reviews, more of everything. This isn’t unusual, but the summer slowdown seems to be hitting Yak Guy kind of hard. I should have released it a month earlier than I did, or held it for Fall. What’s done is done now. I think it’s a good story, and hopefully folks will read it and feel the same way.

I’ve also been fighting with finances again. This seems to be a recurring battle, and I ought to be used to it now. It makes me have strange ideas about whether publishing my stories is worth it at all. The dream is just to pad my retirement a bit in about eight to ten years. I could easily write my stories and park them in a box somewhere. They make me happy, I feel creative, but it kind of kills the improvement. Readers help me whet the edges and raise my game. Publishing costs money, even if it’s just a cover, and that creates a vicious circle.

My daughter has taken a new job that will send her back to Sun Valley. She loves it over there, and it’s a supervisory position for more money. I hope she can find a place to stay, because Sun Valley isn’t like the rest of the planet. Things are expensive there.

I kind of like Jackson the cat, but he’ll be moving with her. There is one small benefit to this too.

I need to get over my crappy mood and get ready for the weekend. I have piracy to write about, and don’t want to spend the weekend pouting. I found this somewhere on the Internet and it helped a bunch.

Mayhaps I should searcheth around and see where I can buy this needlepoint when I have a few bucks. This is a powerful message, and would look great on my wall somewhere. It’s a good reminder to get over myself and get back to work. I WILL get back to work and put the evil thoughts behind me… by Friday… Saturday at the latest.

 

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That’s a wrap

It was a very productive weekend for me. It didn’t involve any new fiction, but I got a lot done. For three days I worked on interviews for Lisa Burton Radio. I never got them all done either, but I did all I could.

I should be able to move everyone to the next level next weekend. Some of these people have been waiting a long time. I can maintain my schedule without putting all this effort in right now. A couple per week keeps the line moving. However, I’m not patient at all, and don’t want people to think I’ve forgotten them. I shouldn’t expect my guest authors to be patient either.

As far as scheduling goes, if everyone returns the stuff I sent out this weekend, I can schedule interviews through June. I’m trading one logjam for another one, but at least folks will know something is happening.

That’s the funny thing about this slot. It’s feast or famine. It’s entirely possible that sometime in August I’ll be out of authors seeking promotion. It would be great if they would tickle in about one per week. They never do.

Still, it was very productive. I also finished reading a book. I started it on the way home from NOLA, and read 7/8 of it then. A two week gap, forced me to read back a bit, but I finished it. I also wrote a very short review.

Reviews don’t have to be long. A few lines about whether you liked the book, or not, and why, is all it takes. Think about this if you’ve finished a book lately. The review counts, it’s tallied based upon how many stars you gave it, and nobody expects a lengthy book report. These reviews mean a lot to the author.

I found some things on Pinterest and saved them to my Piracy board. I’d love to write about them, but it might take a couple weeks before they hit my story. These involve sea monsters and the like. I’m excited about them, but they will have to wait their turn.

If I can get the rest of the interviews on my flex day, I might get to new fiction on Saturday. Fingers crossed.

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