Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Broken World, a post-apocalyptic zombie novel

When a deadly virus sweeps the country, Vivian Thomas sets out for California in hopes of seeing the daughter she gave up for adoption. Then her car breaks down and she’s faced with a choice. Give up, or accept a ride from redneck brothers, Angus and Axl. Vivian knows the offer has more to do with her double D’s than kindness, but she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to reach her daughter.

The virus is spreading, and by the time the group makes it to California, most of the population has been wiped out. When the dead start coming back, Vivian and the others realize that no electricity or running water are the least of their concerns. Now Vivian has to figure out how to be a mother under the most frightening circumstances, cope with Angus’s aggressive mood swings, and sort out her growing attraction to his brooding younger brother, Axl.

While searching for a safe place to go, they pick up a pompous billionaire who may be the answer to all their problems. Trusting him means going into the middle of the Mojave Desert and possibly risking their lives, but with the streets overrun and nowhere else to turn, it seems he might be their only chance for survival.


The diner is crowded. I have to squeeze my way between waitresses and patrons, dodging trays and elbows. I bet they haven’t had a crowd like this in here since the 1950s.
There’s a line for the restroom. I stand at the back and dig through my purse until I find Emily’s picture. She smiles at me, and my heart aches.
I didn’t want to give her up, but I was sixteen. It wasn’t safe in my home—if you could even call it that—and there was no way I could bring a baby there. It was just me and my dad. Mom had run off with a neighbor when I was ten. Not that I can blame her for leaving, but I do blame her for leaving me. She must have known dad would need a new punching bag if she left. She obviously didn’t care. That hurts even more than the beatings did. That she didn’t care about me.
I loved Emily the moment I saw her. She was so tiny and pink, and her face was all smashed in from birth, so ugly-cute like all newborns. I loved her enough to give her to the Johnson’s. They sent me updates for a while. Nine months, to be exact. Then they stopped. I can’t blame them. It wasn’t an open adoption, and they never got a single response from me. Maybe they thought I didn’t care. Truth was, it just hurt too much.
The woman behind me coughs on the back of my head. Hot, moist air hits my hair and brushes it forward. I start to turn around so I can yell at her, but I freeze. She’s not the only one. Half the people in this diner are hacking their heads off. People slump over in booths, their breathing raspy and their faces bright red. A woman moans and shivers. She has on two jackets, but she still shakes so hard her teeth clang together. Her face is covered in sweat. The man next to her urges her to eat something. But he coughs too.
My stomach aches. I’m going to be sick. It’s here.
I forget the bathroom and head back to the table. I have to pee, but I can do it on the side of the road. We need to get out of here. Joshua is back. The three men are tense. They look up when I walk over.
“It’s here,” I say, but they already know.
“We’re gettin’ our shit to go,” Axl says.
He’s pale. So is Angus. His face isn’t as hard as it was before. Death tends to do that to a person. Turn them into spaghetti.
Even Joshua shakes, and he knows he’s immune.
I sit down and wait, wringing my hands on top of the table. My hands tremble so hard that when I pick up my glass to take a drink, it spills everywhere. I set it back down.
“We still need supplies.” Angus’s voice is hollow.
“Why don’t you and the Doc head to the convenience store and grab us some stuff? Vivian and me’ll wait for the food,” Axl says.
Angus gets to his feet, and I stand to let Joshua out. People cough on them when they go by. Angus clenches his fist when a man sneezes on him. But the anger melts away and all the color drains from his face. He walks faster.
“Guess we’ll know soon,” Axl says.
I nod, but I can’t make my mouth work to say anything. My insides curl into a ball. They grow tighter each time I think about it. I should be relieved. Soon the suspense will be over, and I’ll know whether or not I’m going to die. But I’m not. I don’t want to die, and the thought of it happening makes me want to hurl.
Axl and I don’t speak. We just stare at each other. The diner is amazingly quiet, considering how full it is. People cough. There are a few quiet conversations. Otherwise it’s silent. Deathly silent.
“Thought the end of the world would be more dramatic than this,” he finally says. It makes me jump.
I look around. It is the end. It’s written on the face of every person in the diner. I’m sure it’s on mine. “There should be chaos or panic. Something.”
“Probably is. In the cities.”
He’s right. Here the people are too disappointed. They were so close. They passed their physicals and thought they were in the clear. That they were going to make it. Is that what’s going to happen to me? The thought sends a shiver down my spine.

About the author

 Kate L. Mary is a stay-at-home mother of four and an Air Force wife. She spent most of her life in a small town just north of Dayton, Ohio where she and her husband met at the age of twelve. Since their marriage in 2002, they have lived in Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and California.
Kate enjoys any post-apocalyptic story – especially if zombies are involved – as long as there is a romantic twist to give the story hope. Kate prefers nerdy, non-traditional heroes that can make you laugh to hunky pieces of man-meat, and her love of wine and chocolate is legendary among her friends and family. She currently resides in Oklahoma with her husband and children.

Buy links:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Revenge the Cowboy Way by P.A. Estelle

Hi everybody.  I’m Penny Estelle.  First let me thank my good friend, Jeanne Bannon for allowing me to barge in and leave a teaser of my new book Revenge, The Cowboy Way.


I was a school secretary for 21 years, retiring in 2009.  We moved to our retirement home in Kingman, AZ.  We live on 54 acres in a very rural area.  Actually we live “off the grid”, on solar and wind only.  A real adjustment for a city girl.  I love it.  Nothing like walking out your front door and hear coyotes howling and seeing a sky bursting with stars.  It is breathtaking!


I write for all ages – from the very young, to the “Young at Heart” older folks!  From time travel adventures to family drama and romances.  Find out more about my books and myself at:


                                       Teaser for Revenge, The Cowboy Way


He put his hands on both sides of her head, trapping her and leaning in close, his face inches from hers. “Listen carefully. I don’t give a damn about what you demand. You made the biggest mistake of your life when you chose to rob me, and now you will suffer the consequences of that choice. Now, unless you have other ideas on how to entertain me, you will high-tail it over to that bed and get in it so I can get some sleep.”


His voice was like steel, and Joanna wasted no time doing exactly what she was told. She hadn’t taken two steps before Brian grabbed her arm. “Take that bulky robe off first.” Defiance filled her face, but before she could respond, Brian continued. “Don’t test me. It’s been a long night.”


Hate glittering in her eyes, she untied the sash and took the robe off, throwing it on the floor, leaving a pink-flowered flannel nightgown as her only barrier. She got in the small bed and hugged the wall. The bed was barely big enough for Brian, let alone both of them.

Blowing out the lantern, Brian lay down, reaching for her. She struggled as he scooped her next to him, his arm snug around her waist. Tears of frustration gathered in her eyes as she tried to escape his hold.


“All this squirming around is giving me ideas, Jo.”


Links to purchase the book:





Thursday, May 15, 2014

Interview with Chrystal Vaughan

Why did you decide to write a mystery/thriller?

My first book was a thriller...more of  a horror novel really. My students were upset that they couldn't read it since it had adult content, so I wrote Dead in the Water specifically for them. I really had to dial back the content to make it YA friendly.

What genre does your book fall into - cozy, mystery/thriller, suspense, police procedural, etc.?

My second book is a Young Adult paranormal thriller (through Solstice Publishing). I self published my first book, Sideshow.

What prompted you to write this book or series?

It was all about the students, who are very thrilled that I'm a writer. I've had a few of them ask me to sign their copies, which is so strange but kind of neat.

Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?

I think my book is character-driven. I really tried to capture the attitude of a teenage girl with the character Eva. Part of the book is excerpts from her journal, and the other part is told from the point of view of her boyfriend, Jesse. It was harder to write from a teenage boy's perspective, not having ever been one of those myself, but I had ample material to study for character development.

What makes your book unique?

I think my book is unique because it focuses on the romance between Eva and Jesse but not in an explicit way. The book also focuses on what kids are capable of doing to each other, the horrible mean things they can say and do to those who are different. While there is an element of the paranormal in the book, the biggest threat to the protagonist is her peer rather than any paranormal entity.

Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?

I plot ahead of time...and then the characters decide if they like what I plotted. When I wrote my first book, I had an outline of every chapter, how I wanted it to go and where I wanted the book to end up. It totally did not go according to plan. For Dead in the Water, it began with the seed of an idea and took off from there. I didn't plan any of it.

How did you develop the names for your characters?

For Dead in the Water, I took the names of some of my students and used them for my own evil purposes. Some are anagrams; Eva (Evalyn) is the combination of several initials for several students, which is fitting because her personality is a combination of those students' personalities. I stole part of  Jesse's name from one of my fellow educators. And the character of Natasha Milligan is specifically stolen from my friend of the same name, who begged me to put her name in my book, so I did and I made her the bad guy too.

Do your characters swear? Why or why not?

In Dead in the Water, the characters don't swear much because I was trying to keep the content YA friendly, but yeah there is some swearing. If you could hear what I hear in the halls of the high school I work at, you would know that my characters are saintly as far as their language is concerned.I included some swearing because I wanted to keep the characters real, and teenagers swear an awful lot.

How did you decide on the setting?

I love Brookings, Oregon. I have made a personal vow to one day live there in a cottage near the beach and write books all day. Something about the wildness of the Pacific Ocean in that area really speaks to me. Even though some of the events in the book are disturbing, that doesn't sully the lure of Brookings for me.

Do you have a writing mentor?

I don't really have a mentor, per se, as in another author that guides me along the way. I'm very thankful to Kathi Sprayberry, Editor in Chief at Solstice Publishing, for her guidance and encouragement. She is also an author so it's nice to have that camaraderie.

I wrote a lot when I was younger, even won a few awards. Then I had kids, had a full time job, had gone back to school...I just didn't have the time anymore. My creative writing class for my bachelor's degree kickstarted the writing again. After that, I was addicted. I wrote all the time. One day, I was editing some pages on my first book and the teacher I work with (Annette) realized I wasn't proofreading a student's paper. She insisted on reading it. At that point I had never really shown many people my work but she was very persistent. And she loved it. She's been my cheerleader ever since and reads everything I write. She gives me feedback and advice, so I guess she could be considered a mentor.

What's your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?

Recently, I started writing my books longhand, so that means I can take my notebook anywhere, anytime and write as the characters demand. My favorite place to write is in bed but I get some of my best ideas while I'm driving. I have a voice recorder app on my phone to dictate to while I'm driving.

What’s the first mystery you read?

The very first one was Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Case. That was a while ago!

What’s next?

I'm in the middle of editing my third book, Conspiracy of Ravens. Look for a release at the end of June. I'm also writing my fourth book as yet untitled. And I have about seven more books that are either partially written or waiting for me to put pen to paper.

Anything you'd like to add?

I can't thank my friends and family enough for their support, and also the folks and fellow authors at Solstice Publishing. It's a lonely business, writing, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one that is reaching for the dream.


Twitter: TheChrystalShip

Chrystal (Christina) Vaughan (1976-present) was born in Ashland, OR and grew up all over Southern Oregon where she currently resides. She is married and has two daughters and a son; she enjoys teaching others and imparting her love for the written word to her students. When she is not writing, Mrs. Vaughan enjoys spending time with her family and various pets, knitting items of clothing she forces her family to wear, and is a voracious reader.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Meet author, KateMarie Collins


Looking At the Light: The companion to A Stab at the Dark, Looking at the Light focuses on what is good in the world around us. Be it a young woman finding a way to escape her sheltered home, an old toy welcoming a new owner, or a gremlin exterminator. The stories inside are meant to be uplifting, humorous, and give the reader hope that not all is bad in this world.



A Stab At the Dark: The companion to Looking at the Light, A Stab at the Dark focuses on what is wrong in the world around us. Be it a different type of guardian angel, the strange figure in the dark alley, or what lurks deep within the forest. The stories inside are mean to be creepy, make you shudder, and face your fears.


Born in the late 60s, KateMarie has lived most of her life in the Pacific NW. While she's always been creative, she didn't turn towards writing until 2008. She found a love for the craft. With the encouragement of her husband and two daughters, she began submitting her work to publishers. When she's not taking care of her family, KateMarie enjoys attending events for the Society for Creative Anachronism ("SCA"). The SCA has allowed her to combine both a creative nature and love of history. She currently resides with her family and two cats in what she likes to refer to as "Seattle Suburbia".


You can find KateMarie at the following sites:

Twitter:  @DaughterHauk

Buy Kate's books here:


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Writing Process Blog Hop

I would like to thank my friend, Tina D.C. Hayes for tagging me for the Writing Process Blog Hop.

1. What are you currently working on?

I have three works in progress, however, one is more “done” than the others. It’s a romantic thriller titled, Love, Lies and Deception (the title has been changed from Undercover Hero).

The tagline for the novel is, “What’s a girl to do when she falls in love with the man whose mission it is to bring her down?”

My other two novels are paranormal thrillers which is my usual genre and the genre I’m most comfortable writing in.

2. How does your work differ from others in the genre?
I don’t think Love, Lies and Deception is much different than other works in that genre. It has all the typical elements of a romance, but I do bring in aspects of the paranormal into everything I write. So, even though LL & D is, at its essence, a romance, it definitely has a touch of the paranormal.

3. Why do you write what you do?

I love writing about the paranormal because I’m fascinated with what happens after death. As a teenager, I had a brush with death and ever since then, I’ve been obsessed with the question of where we go after we die, if anywhere at all.

As well, I love to teach, uplift and inspire people with my writing. My first novel, Invisible is a YA paranormal romance with elements of magical realism. It’s about bullying and how one girl escapes the torments of her abusers and learns to love and value herself in the process. The tagline for that novel is “Lola’s not pretty. Lola’s not popular. Lola wishes she could disappear … and then one day she does just that...”.

4. How does your writing process work?
My writing process is as varied as the day is long. It all depends on the mood of my muse. She’s usually quite helpful and ready to work, but at times, seems to disappear, leaving me in a panic, worrying she’ll never return.

Generally though, I try to write every evening and on weekends. I limit my television time as that sucks away the hours and leaves me disappointed that I didn’t put my time to better use. My first drafts are all about just getting down the bones. The later drafts are about fleshing out the story with description and narrative. The final draft is more of a copy edit than anything else. Usually five or six drafts will do it, however, I’m on my 13th draft of Love, Lies and Deception as it’s a story that has taken me out of my comfort zone.

Now, it's Snow Tigra's turn. Anyone else out there want to participate, just let me know.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cover Reveal and Giveaway for Heartless by Janet Taylor-Perry

Cover reveal and GIVEAWAY for Heartless, book 2 in Janet Taylor-Perry's The Raiford Chronicles.

Yep, Ray Reynolds is back!

Chief Reynolds thought there could never be a more brutal killer than Latrice Descartes. Then two very gruesome bodies show up. One is an old married friend, a United States Senator. The other is an unidentified young lady.

And they are both HEARTLESS.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mark your Calendars

Don't miss the 99 cent sale on Amazon - January 17th

on selected Solstice books

Many of these novels are best sellers and some have even been optioned for film. Don't miss this opportunity to snatch up one or several at rock bottom prices. Load up that Kindle. You won't be sorry.

Obstacles, by Chris Reardon:
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Obstacles-Chris-Reardon-ebook/dp/B00EVVIOSE
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Obstacles-Chris-Reardon-ebook/dp/B00EVVIOSE
Lost Through Time (sequel) by Jessica Tornese:
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Through-Linked-Jessica-Tornese-ebook/dp/B009ZUKKR4
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Through-Linked-Jessica-Tornese-ebook/dp/B009ZUKKR4
Due Date, by Nancy Wood:
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Due-Date-ebook/dp/B00876174M
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Due-Date-Nancy-W-Wood-ebook/dp/B00876174M
Her Cracked Heart, P.A. Estelle:
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Her-Cracked-Heart-P-Estelle-ebook/dp/B00DZ34T0G
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Her-Cracked-Heart-P-Estelle-ebook/dp/B00DZ34T0G
Yours, Mine, and Ours, by Jackqueline Diamond :
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Yours-Mine-and-Ours-ebook/dp/B00AB1Z7L0
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Yours-Mine-Ours-Jacqueline-Diamond-ebook/dp/B00AB1Z7L0
September Wind, by Kathleen Janz Anderson:
USA: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BJ8ET2M/?TAG=viewbookat0e-20
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/September-Wind-Kathleen-Janz-Anderson-ebook/dp/B00BJ8ET2M
Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback, by Michael L. Thal:
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Koolura-Mystery-Camp-Saddleback-ebook/dp/B00GXE1B4G
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Koolura-Mystery-Camp-Saddleback-ebook/dp/B00GXE1B4G
Invisible, by Jeanne bannon:
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Jeanne-Bannon-ebook/dp/B005LW21CC
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Invisible-Jeanne-Bannon-ebook/dp/B005LW21CC
Nadia’s House, by Mary H. Collins:
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Nadias-House-Mary-H-Collins-ebook/dp/B00F8NSEXE
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nadias-House-Mary-H-Collins-ebook/dp/B00F8NSEXE
Waking Up Dead, by Margo Bond Collins:
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Waking-Dead-Margo-Bond-Collins-ebook/dp/B00HKQQRJA
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Waking-Dead-Margo-Bond-Collins-ebook/dp/B00HKQQRJA
Hustle Henry and the Cue Ball Kid, by Jack B. Strandburg:
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Hustle-Henry-And-Cue-Ball-ebook/dp/B00BJ83O5K
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hustle-Henry-Cue-Ball-Jack-Strandburg-ebook/dp/B00BJ83O5K
Sinking Ships, by Michelle Knowldon :
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Sinking-Ships-Abishags-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00H8CLEHG
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sinking-Ships-Abishags-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00H8CLEHG
A Pride of Lions, by Mark Iles:
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Pride-Lions-Mark-Iles-ebook/dp/B00HQODPK0
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pride-Lions-Mark-Iles-ebook/dp/B00HQODPK0
The Four Kings, by Scott Spotson:
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Four-Kings-Scott-Spotson-ebook/dp/B00G2J1W32
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Four-Kings-Scott-Spotson-ebook/dp/B00G2J1W32
Take Chances, by K.C. Sprayberry:
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Take-Chances-K-C-Sprayberry-ebook/dp/B00FIOX1MW
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Take-Chances-K-C-Sprayberry-ebook/dp/B00FIOX1MW
Tidal Surge, by Francene Stanley:
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Tidal-Surge-Francene-Stanley-ebook/dp/B00DX5YLXQ
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tidal-Surge-Francene-Stanley-ebook/dp/B00DX5YLXQ
Eden’s Mark, by D.M. Sears:
USA: http://www.amazon.com/Edens-Mark-D-M-Sears-ebook/dp/B00HQOK8RI
USA: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Edens-Mark-D-M-Sears-ebook/dp/B00HQOK8RI