Thursday, October 27, 2011

Geoff Gander, author of The Tunnelers

I'd like to welcome, Geoff Gander to my blog today. Take it away, Geoff...

Hello everyone, I’m delighted to be here!

First off, I’d like to thank Jeanne Bannon for being so kind as to host me on her blog (yay!)  I’m excited that my first major release is out, and I appreciate every opportunity to spread the word.  I’d like to talk a little bit about myself, before treating you to a little excerpt of The Tunnelers.

Growing up, I didn’t have any siblings, so whenever my friends weren’t available I just turned to the nearest book to entertain myself.  That wasn’t a problem, because there were books everywhere, about nearly everything.  The books that interested me most, however, were the ones about dinosaurs, the universe, and world history (especially if they had a lot of maps).  I remember staring at the pages, and imagining myself flying to other worlds and doing all sorts of fascinating things.  I guess you could say I got hooked on stories.  I still am.

I’ve always preferred fiction, and the more fantastic, the better.  Starting with Dr. Seuss, I worked my way through the Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings, the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and rounded things off in adulthood with P.G. Wodehouse and others.  But all the while, as I went deeper and deeper into the world of fiction, I composed my own stories – first in creative writing class in school, and then on my own time.  It was the most comfortable way for me to show my creative side and express my thoughts.

Writing became a fundamental part of who I am, so I suppose it was natural that I would try to “go pro”.  Thanks to the great people (editors and fellow authors) at Solstice Publishing, I’ve taken that first step, and the world is a much more exciting and interesting place because of that.

And now, without further ado, I would like you to think about something…

Conventional science would have us assume that humanity, with its cities, cars, airplanes, robots, and computers, is not only the dominant species on the planet, but the first species to build a true civilization.  We are the caretakers of the world, which will thrive or die by our actions.

But what if that assumption is wrong?

Doctor Vincent Armstrong, a clinical psychiatrist, thought science and logic explained everything.  But when a traumatized mining foreman with a case of amnesia is placed under his care, Armstrong’s comfortable assumptions are shaken.  As he works with his patient to reconstruct what happened, Armstrong makes a series of discoveries that threaten to tear apart his carefully constructed view of the world, and show in horrifying clarity that his patient is anything but delusional.

As Armstrong’s world falls apart, his recovering patient learns that he has not escaped the horrors he encountered underground, and that no place on earth is truly safe from the “Tunnelers.”

The Tunnelers, by Geoff Gander – available from Solstice Publishing!

Are YOU safe?

Contact Information:

Facebook Author Page:  Scribblingsby Geoff Gander



The following document, as well as a bundle of newspaper clippings, was found among the personal effects of Dr. Vincent Armstrong, a community psychiatrist in the Evaluation Unit at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care Center, whose disappearance in Montreal is a matter of public record.

Although the police dismissed this package as being immaterial to their investigation, I believe that this information has a profound – almost sinister – significance when considered in relation to recent events of a more personal nature. I will let the reader decide.

Testimony of Vincent Armstrong, M.D.

My name is Vincent Armstrong. I have been practicing psychiatry at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care Center for twelve years; the last five of which have been with the Evaluation Unit. Over this time I have treated mental conditions that many would find horrifying, but a recent case has forced me to confront something so terrifying and so far outside my experience, that the world is now a much, much darker place for me. Other people need to know, so I have compiled my notes in a format that I hope others might find useful.

June 14, 1992

8:00 p.m.

Mr. Michael Kirkwood, an employee of Argus Minerals, was referred to my care from the Ottawa General Hospital Emergency Ward as an in-patient today at 6:22 p.m., under restraint and in a state of acute agitation. The accompanying report, written by a doctor posted at the site where Mr. Kirkwood had been working and amended by the referring physician from the emergency ward, indicated only that he had witnessed a particularly horrific industrial accident, and that his resulting psychological trauma was the basis for his referral to our facility for an assessment period.

When I first saw him, Mr. Kirkwood was pleading with a nurse to be kept high above ground. He calmed down after I assured him that we would do as he asked, and I took that opportunity to administer a heavy sedative. After he was brought to his room, I examined the patient and then ordered that he be placed under close observation.

Based on that preliminary examination and a review of Mr. Kirkwood's medical records that I had requested from his employer, the patient appeared to be a healthy man in his mid-forties, with no history of mental illness or substance abuse. His previous medical exam, conducted four months earlier, showed that he was in excellent physical and mental health. With no other information available, I called Argus Minerals to request all additional information regarding the accident, as well as copies of his performance assessments, because I wished to cover all possible causes of Mr. Kirkwood's breakdown. By that time, my shift had ended, but I left instructions that I was to be contacted should his condition change.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Please help a wonderful charity - Read for your Future

I've recently had the pleasure of making an online friend who has started an excellent literary program to help teens who are in need of books for their school libraries. If every YA author who reads this could send just one copy of their novel to Lora, it would make a huge difference to the lives of those kids.

Bloggers, I give you permission to reprint this blog post in the hopes of helping Lora and the Read for your Future program.

Take it away, Lora...

My name is Lora Wiedenheft and I’m a book reviewer and the founder of a program called Read for Your Future.
The program works like this. I contact authors and publishers who I think will donate a book in exchange for a review. Once I receive the book, it’s put on a list from which students at two different high schools are able to choose from. The students then read and review the book. There are links on my website which lead them through the process. When the review is complete, the book goes into to the library at their respective schools where it is catalogued and is given a new home for years to come.

The students are excited about this program. They are building up their library. And it helps them to feel good about themselves for helping out their school.

About our city

Middletown, Ohio is a low income community and not unlike other communities right now, we have little or no work. Families are struggling. The last thing on their minds is buying books for their children The teenagers here love to read but up until recently, the school hadn't had a new book in almost four years. Our program changed that. The students are now reading again.

The schools gets very little money and what little they do get is used for updating computer software. We used to have a steel mill here, AK Steel, but they moved to Georgia and took their money with them. This year Middletown City School will only have one librarian for all the schools and they are closing two more schools this year.

About me

I dropped out of high school in the tenth grade due to pregnancy. I’m now 44. I hadn't read a book since high school until I saw a movie at Walmart called Twilight. I decided to buy it and LOVED it. As a result, I had to read the books in the Twilight series and have been reading every since. I only read YA, but I read a lot. I now have a GED and a LPN License.

After acquiring a large collection of books, I decided to donate some to the public library. I found out that they were operating in conjunction with two other libraries and in order for the children in town to enjoy them, they had to be put on a waiting list for the book they wanted. This really bothered me.

My daughter, who’d just graduated high school suggested I give them to the Middletown High School library. I called and discovered the school hadn’t had a new book in four years. They jumped all over them. But I still had books that needed reviews so I set it up a system whereby when a student read a book they would write a review and then give the book to the school library. This was a great success, so successful in fact, that the principal of Franklin High School called and asked if they could get in on it. So I designed a website where I keep a list of books and a place to submit reviews. Once reviewed, the students turn the books over to the library and tell the librarian that it’s a Read for Your Future Book.

Call to authors

I’m asking for authors to donate a copy of your book(s) to our school library in exchange for an honest review and a permanent home. Also, any swag that you are able to spare could be used for grade incentives. We would be forever in your debt.

If it’s no trouble, would you please place us on your ARC list for future books?

Read for Your Future is dedicated to putting books in the hands of teenagers. Won’t you please help in our fight against illiteracy.

Thank you for your time
Lora Wiedenheft
1512 East Street
Middletown Ohio 45044

Thank you, Lora. I wish you the best of luck with your program :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Surprise for Christmas by Lizzie Stevens

Samantha wasn’t expecting what she got for Christmas this year. Her doorbell rang and there sitting on her porch was a baby in a basket. This changes her life for the good. But then something happens. The baby’s father comes for his child. How can Samantha convince him that she is the best thing for the child?

This Book Previously titled:
"Somebody Else's Child" Won 4th place in The Love is In The Air Contest.
Hosted by Reader Jack

Price: $0.99
Buy link

Find Lizzy:!/profile.php?id=100001030391242

Monday, October 17, 2011

Interview with author, Andrea Buginsky

I'd like to welcome Andrea Buginsky to my blog today.

What is your most recent novel and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?

My most recent novel is The Chosen, Book 2: Nature’s Unbalance which is still on spec with my publisher. It’s about The Chosen searching their world for the cause of a shift in nature that has everyone spooked, and learning how to put a stop to it.

What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?

My own imagination, I guess. I’ve always been an avid reader, and enjoyed writing papers in school. I started thinking about writing as a career in college, and decided to try my hand at books after I graduated.

What book are you reading right now? And in what format?

Come Back to Me by Melissa Foster in PDF on my Kindle.

Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?

Just start. If you get stuck, take a break, and then go back after doing something else. Read what you’ve written so far, and continue from there. Move on to another part of the story and come back to where you were later.

The best advice I was given was to never give up.

Tell us a little about your road to publication. Was it a long one?

It took a few years. I first with children’s stories, but they kept getting rejected. I decided to try to write for YA, because I thought I could write that voice better than a younger child’s. When I got the idea to try fantasy, I worked on my first book for three years. After it was done, I began searching for a place to submit it. Then I had the opportunity to pitch it to several publishers at the Muse Online Writers Conference in October 2010. I was offered a contract with Solstice Publishing, and The Chosen was published as first an ebook and then in paperback. I love having my first book published!

Anything you’ve found to be particularly helpful in marketing your books?
Not yet. That’s still something I’m learning how to do. I have an event coming up with several other authors at the beginning of November as part of a book launch for another author: It’s the Come Back to Me Launch Party through Women’s Literary CafĂ© ( We’re hoping it will reach many readers and gain a lot of interest.

Where can readers find you?

Facebook Author Page:
Twitter: @andreabuginsky
Solstice Publishing:

Thank you, Andrea. Best of luck with all your endeavors!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Interview with author, David Diamantes

Tell us a about DEAD PEN PALS?

We’ve all heard stories about people who were mislead or taken advantage of by criminals who misrepresented themselves on the Internet. Very few people grasp the fact that every mouse click leaves an indelible footprint that never goes away. Every site you visit, every email, blog post, or tweet lives on. When crimes are committed, particularly a murder, the police sift through the victim’s computer, or online email accounts. Sometimes the search leads to some pretty high profile members of the community. I wanted to write a story where that is the central issue.

Do you have a favorite character you have written?

My favorite character in DEAD PEN PALS is Detective Andy Debbs, one of the “supporting characters.” He’s politically incorrect and a good, no B.S. cop. He doesn’t pull punches, but doesn’t mind having fun. I enjoyed writing dialog between Debbs and his fellow detectives.

What are you currently working on?

A follow-up, involving the same detectives investigating the death of a punk rock musician on tour (among other things); and a work of historical fiction involving a Civil War spy.

How long have you been writing? What influenced you to start?

 I’ve been writing since childhood, undoubtedly, in response to a traumatic childhood. Why else would anyone subject themselves to it?  

How do your family/friends feel about your writing?

Supportive (I think). When I dedicated my first book to my wife years ago, she said she’d wait for the movie to come out rather than read it. 

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

 Still in the saddle, working as a fire protection consultant and writer, writing novels on the side.

Do you have any advice for new or aspiring author?

If you want to make money, get a job paying below minimum wage and spend the time you would be writing working. You will make more money.

If you can’t resist the temptation, write, rewrite and persist. Be persistent but remember, even the most successful writers have real day jobs.

What is your favorite book? Why?

I’m all over the place reading, but I have to say Ross Thomas’ MISSIONARY STEW sticks in my mind, as does CHICAGO LOOP by Paul Theroux. They both involve subjects that make people squirm. I’m one that can’t resist opening a body bag. I actually did that a few times as a young firefighter.

 On the fun side, what is your favorite television show and why?

SONS OF ANARCHY of course, because I’m so straight-laced in person, and MODERN FAMILY because I’m politically incorrect enough to appreciate a TV show that celebrates stereotypes.

David Diamantes is a fire protection consultant, writer and beekeeper. He lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cate Masters: Jeanne Bannon in the Author Spotlight

Cate Masters: Jeanne Bannon in the Author Spotlight: Cate: Please welcome Jeanne Bannon. Jeanne, will you please share a short bio with us? Jeanne: I’ve worked in the publishing industry fo...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Interview with author, Alexandra Lanc

I'm pleased to welcome Alexandra Lanc to my blog today to talk about her novel, Shadows of Past Memories.

Alexandra Lanc writes YA fiction, and is the author of Shadows of Past Memories, the first book in the Foxfire Chronicles series, as well as the Christmas novel Clara Claus, available Holiday Season 2011. She lives in Florida with her family.

Her novel is the first in a Young Adult science fiction series, and is called Shadows of Past Memories. It's about two best friends who are trying to untangle their ugly pasts as they make their way towards their futures, all while one of them is being hunted by an otherworldly madman. Though it is science fiction, there is also a bit of romance, old-fashioned horror, and fantasy. The book is an emotional journey through memories, and the effects they have on us, with a science fiction twist.

If you would like to read the official synopsis, or a few chapters from the book to get a better idea of questions you might like to ask, visit her website and go to the Foxfire Chronicles page:

In a nutshell, what is Shadows of Past Memories about?

This story is about two best friends, Terren and Aura, beginning to find their place in life. They are about to graduate high school and start making their way into the world when the unexpected and unbelievable happens -- Terren discovers that she is at the middle of a plot to destroy the world -- and not just her world, but another world as well. And as Terren discovers a past she didn’t know she had, Aura’s secret, ugly past is also uprooted, and has consequences she could have never imagined. Really, it’s the start of a series that focuses on life and all its craziness, with a few added twists that will shock you out of your skin.

How long did it take you to write Shadows of Past Memories?

Shadows of Past Memories took me a grand total of four years to write/edit. I started the story at a time in my life where everything was chaotic, and it was sort of a coping method for me, and then it developed into a story that I wanted to share with others, so I kept working on it. Seven revisions and re-writes later, I finished it, and now I can look at the finished copy, sitting on my bookshelf, and smile at the conclusion to all my hard work.

Can you tell us why we're going to love your hero(s)?

I think the greatest thing about the heroes and heroines in SOPM (my loving nickname for my story) is that they are realistic. They may be characters in a story, but they act like real people would. They have real emotions and real problems, real memories and joys. There is also diverseness in the character’s personalities and even the ones that you’re supposed to love are far from perfect.

Tell us a little about your road to publication. Was it a long one?

Very long. I can’t count the number of times I cried or decided that I wanted to give up and throw in the towel (though an hour or so later, I changed my mind again). I think that pursuing your dreams is often a hard, long process that most of the time turns out to be ugly in the beginning. But, I had the great support of my friends and family, church, and my fellow writers, who always reminded me that things take time, and who challenged me to never give up.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned on your journey to publication?

That not everything happens overnight, and that some things are worth waiting for. When I first finished SOPM, I wanted to publish it right away. I sent in a slew of query letters to agents and waited anxiously for their replies. In the end I was turned down and frustrated, but looking back, I know it was for the best. If the book had been published right away, I would have never re-written and revised it, and I would never have the version I have now -- which is what the story was really meant to be, what I really wanted to say. Waiting gave me time to learn more about the art of writing, and time to grow myself, and figure out what I really wanted to across to my readers.

Do you have any words of advice for people just getting started on the road to publication?

Definitely! For anyone starting on the road to publication: be strong. Don’t give up. There are so many options and different routes now, so be patient and look hard for the one best suited to you. Your story is worth the effort, and your future readers deserve the best you can give them.

What’s next for you?

 A lot of things. Currently I’m working on the rest of my Foxfire Chronicles series (of which SOPM is the first), as well as some stand-alone novels, and the sequel to one of my next releases. But, other than that, I’m also working on a few surprises -- some things that I’ve always wanted to try my hand at, and that hopefully my readers will be excited about.

How much of the marketing do you do?

Most of it. As a self-published, Indie author, I do most everything myself: from my book covers, to my editing and layout, to marketing. I do my best with everything, though, and honestly, I have fun at marketing. I love talking to new people and spreading the word about my book. I also have friends and family to help me with marketing, etc., and I’m very grateful to them.

Anything you’ve found to be particularly helpful in marketing your book?

There are a lot of great websites with communities of writers/readers. These are great ways to chat with fellow writers and spread advice, as well as gather new readers who are interested in your genre. Books trailers are another favourite of mine, and work very well.

Where can readers find you?


Thank you, Alexandra for stopping by. Best of luck with Shadows of Past Memories and all your other endeavors.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Review of Sheila Dalton's THE GIRL IN THE BOX

Former bar singer and Buddhist meditator Caitlin Shaughnessy, a Canadian journalist, discovers that Inez, a traumatized young Mayan woman from Guatemala, has killed Dr. Jerry Simpson, her partner of many years.

Caitlin struggles to understand what happened, and why. In the process, she confronts her own demons, as well as the innocence and wonder within Inez which seem to belie the young woman's violent actions.

For a chance to win one of three free copies of THE GIRL IN THE BOX, enter to win at Goodreads Contest ends November 18th.

Shelia Dalton’s THE GIRL IN THE BOX is a wonderfully constructed and intricately woven tale of a mute, seemingly autistic teenage girl who is rescued from a deplorable existence in the Guatemalan jungle. Chained and made to live in a windowless shed by her parents, Jerry, a Canadian psychoanalyst on vacation, rescues the girl by bringing her back home with him to Canada.

The novel begins with Jerry’s murder at the hands of the girl, Inez. This story is not a who dunnit, but instead delves into the why of it. After Jerry’s murder, his life partner, Caitlin is compelled to explore the workings of the damaged girl’s mind in an attempt to put the pieces together. Did the beautiful teenager kill Jerry because of something he did? This question haunts Caitlin and drives her to find answers.

Dalton takes us from Guatamala to Toronto to Labrador and we go willingly, unable to put the book down until we discover, along with Caitlin, the truth behind the murder.

THE GIRL IN THE BOX is a wonderful read. Dalton possesses genuine literary talent and I was greatly impressed. A five star read that I can’t recommend highly enough.

About the Author:

Sheila Dalton was born in England and came to Canada with her family at the age of six. She studied English Language and Literature at the University of Toronto. After dropping out for a year she sold arts and crafts on the streets of Toronto.

Sheila was a Contributing Editor for OWL magazine, and a Project Editor for a kids' science magazine called Discovery. Somewhere along the way, she earned a Masters of Library Science degree, and currently works as an Adult Services Librarian for the Toronto Public Library. She lives in Newmarket, Ontario with her husband and two cats.

The Facebook page of The Girl in the Box is at
You can find Sheila on Amazon, and also at Dundurn:
Sheila's Goodreads author page is:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Apocalypse Gene Blog Tour

It's my privilege and an honor to be a stop on The Apocalypse Gene Blog Tour.

One lucky commenter will win a print copy of the novel. The winner will be chosen at random with the aid of Please remember to leave your email address along with your comment. Good luck!


Welcome Suki Michelle and Carlyle Clark.

Tell us a little about The Apocalypse Gene. What inspired you to write it?

The Apocalypse Gene takes place in the near future during a time of global pandemic. Our protagonists (Olivya and Mikah) are a pair of highly gifted psychics, Olivya with aura-sight and Mikah an elite Empath from a clan of demon hybrids called The Kindred. Mikah learns that the Kindred are linked to the pandemic, but without initiation, he is barred from learning their truths. When Olivya’s mother falls ill, Olivya and Mikah embark on a quest to uncover Kindred secrets. In the shadow of the Kindred leader, a monstrous brooding immortal, and with the arrival of a long prophesied winged being, the two kids discover that the pandemic is far more than a mere disease.

Suki: As for the inspiration – I type medical reports all day. With my wild imagination and low tolerance for boredom, I entertain myself with the what-if game.  One day I asked myself, what if the cure for a disease was outside the realm of science and squarely in the hands of kids and mystics – and what if it went pandemic? 

What inspired you to write a book together?

Suki: Carlyle and I have weirdly compatible skill sets. He’s a mad man when he writes, intrepid, happy to lay it out fast and free, knowing he will go back and fix things.  It’s what he calls the “spray and pray” technique. I spend hours tweaking a single sentence, a perfectionist. Carlyle has a great feel for story elements, how to unwind a plot, where to plant reveals.
Carlyle: Suki is happiest following characters through real-time thought and action, establishing voice, and creating settings. With my insane energy and Suki’s obsessive perfectionism, The Apocalypse Gene couldn’t have been written by either of us alone.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing with a partner?

Suki:  We both came up with truly bizarre ideas and scared each other badly. We discussed them (argued), made the case for keeping or rejecting (I pouted, he bristled) and eventually reached consensus.

Carlyle: Sometimes when Suki wrote a scene featuring Mikah, I’d have to “man him up”.
Suki: Yeah, but when Carlyle wrote a scene with Olivya, I had to remind him she’s not a pugnacious dude. 

Carlyle: I never bristle! 

Suki: Uh huh.

Carlyle: Nuh uh!

Both: See how it went? But we still love each other.

Where do you get your ideas?

Suki: I get my ideas daydreaming while I work and in the early insomniac mornings when I think about the odd people I’ve met, the outcasts, the unusual, the often-judged – they inspire me. I put them in all kinds of conflicts and adventures.  

Carlyle: Anytime I'm talking to someone, watching something or reading, things spring into my head, and I just run with it. I've always lived more in my imagination than the real world.

Did you work with an outline, or just write?

No rigid outline but an idea of major plot points and a solid premise around which we built the story.  We knew what had to happen but not always how to get there.  Sometimes Carlyle would hash out a scene, the basic what-happens-next, and I would walk the characters through second by second.  We’d end up with a ton of extraneous stuff, which would eventually be deleted.  Other times, I’d write a scene first and show Carlyle, and we’d go back and forth until it was distilled its essentials.  That’s why it took three years to write.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your book published?

Suki: The relentless flow of rejections from agencies and publishers was tough to take, though Carlyle handled it with equanimity. He’s the calm one of the two.  While many commented that the book was well written and compelling, some found it too dark for the YA market (have they not read the Hunger Games?) or they questioned if they could find a wide enough audience, since it’s an unusual story. 

Carlyle:  Then we found Parker Publishing who felt our story was perfect for their Moxie imprint.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

Suki: Carlyle and I will be famous, of course, living in a fully-equipped luxury Winnebago on a perpetual coast-to-coast restaurant-to-restaurant tour with state-of-the-art laptops for writing and a big screen TV in the back with all the movie channels, oh . . . and a freezer filled with ice cream.  How’s that for a dream?

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

Carlyle: Largely online - Facebook, Goodreads, and fine book blogs like this one.  We will also get out in the community, make presentations at local high schools on creative writing and publishing, and humbly requesting everyone who reads our book to leave a review at Amazon and Goodreads.  

What project are you working on now?

Suki: Carlyle is finishing up his novel, The Black Song Inside, which was a semi-finalist in the Faulkner Wisdom Competition.  I have two novels in the works, one literary fiction, and one YA speculative fiction.  We’re also busy drafting the sequel to The Apocalypse Gene.

Where can readers find you? (Primary Website) (Blog) (Olivya’s fan page) (Co-author’s profile page)
www.Storymavens/ (Author blog)

The launch party for The Apocalypse Gene starts October 1st

We want to thank you for giving us the chance to share. We truly appreciate it. We wish you love, success and fabulous adventures.

Best of luck to the both of you. Again, it was my pleasure to host you. You're welcome back anytime. The next stop on the blog tour is: