Friday, August 31, 2012

Tattoo Artist Interview : Gail from Gailz Tattooz

Thank you, Gail, for allowing me to hang around your studio and ask invasive questions while you worked. :-)

Gailz Tattooz is the place to go if you want to get a tattoo in Yellow Springs, OH. She's done three of my tattoos and they always look great and heal quickly. During the course of her career, Gail has inked around 16,000 tattoos. That's a lot of ink!  

Gail of Gailz Tattooz

Let's jump right into the interview, shall we? 

Me: "Have you ever told a client you would not tattoo them with the image they wanted? Why?"

Gail: I like to do positive tattoos. I won't ink a tattoo on someone's face, genitals, eyelids or lips. I also don't tattoo profanity or anything I'm fairly certain the client will eventually regret. I've gotten pretty good at telling people "no" over the years. 

Me: "What is the most surprising client reaction you've seen? Any big bikers passing out?"

Gail: Sure. The kids who come in, 16 or 17 years old, with their parents, always surprise me. They sit there and take the pain with no complaints or theatrics. It's like they're determine to take it because they want to prove to their parents they can do it. The parents think they'll feel a touch of the needle and back out, the kids prove them wrong. 

Gail, working on a tattoo.

Me: "This is a tough question. Have you ever made a mistake while tattooing?" *She's actually bent over a client, inking a design when I ask this question.*

Gail: (She's totally unruffled by the question and honest when she answers, despite having a client under her needle.) Yup. Skin is a moving canvas. The client moves, jumps, twitches, sneezes, or their friend bumps into the chair the client is sitting in. Usually it's something very simple like a line that will be thicker because of the needle moving a bit. One time, someone came in and wanted their nickname tattooed on them. She wrote it out, spelled it aloud, I asked her several times if it was correct. I made the stencil, transferred the image to her skin, had her look in the mirror and okay it, then inked the design. As she's walking out the door, she says, "Hey! The name is spelled wrong." That was a little tougher to fix. 

Me: "How did you learn to tattoo?"

Gail: I trained myself, practicing on grapefruits in my bedroom and eventually moved on to friends and relatives. I have a degree in computer graphics and was always an artist and illustrator so the artwork came easily to me. 

Me: "If you could go back in time and give yourself advice when you first started as a tattoo artist, what would you say?"

Gail: I'd tell myself that people pass out all the time. Don't flip out. 
When the first person passed out while in my chair, I almost quit all together. I thought I'd killed him! He started jerking around and his eyes rolled back in his head...I didn't know what to do. Now, I wouldn't say I'm used to it, but it's expected sometimes. Oh, and the person will usually puke when they wake up, so be ready for that! 

Me: "What are some of the most common tattoo themes at the moment?"

Gail: Cherry blossoms, birds coming out of feathers, birds coming out of dandelions, birds coming out of just about anything or something turning into birds. I'm not sure how that theme started but it seems everyone is asking for one of those designs. 


A BIG THANKS to Gail of Gailz Tattooz! She specializes in portraits and cover-ups, so be sure to check her out online if you need either. She also shares her shop with her husband who is an experienced piercer, so stop by when you're feeling adventurous, and tell them S.J. Drum sent you! 

        115 Glen Street  
      Yellow Springs, OH 45387

       (937) 767-7144

Monday, August 27, 2012

Guest Posting on Mina Carter's Blog

I'm guesting today over on Mina Carter's Blog. Stop by and meet Emile, one of my favorite characters from Surprisingly Supernatural.

Emile from Surprisingly Supernatural

Monday, August 20, 2012


Monsters do exist...and they’re the good guys.

Lillian Rosewood leads an ordinary, boring life working as the manager of a psychiatric hospital. The highlights of her day, other than her skinny hot chocolate, are the hunky guards who work in the secure section. Until a late night emergency is wheeled in.

Captain Jack Harper is insane, drop-dead gorgeous...and just had his abdomen shredded. Despite the fact they're not an emergency room, Lillian can't turn him away and risk a death on her hands. Unable to get the handsome soldier out of her mind, Lillian sneaks into the restricted area to check on him. What she finds is beyond belief. Somehow Jack has managed to heal himself from a near fatal wound in mere hours.

When one of the doctors, Walker, attempts to rape her, things go from bad to worse. In the blink of an eye, Jack is loose and Walker is dead... and Lillian must accept a truth about her rescuer that will change her world forever. What if the patients aren't insane? What if their stories of secret government experiments and monsters are true?

Warning: Contains blood, mayhem and nude werewolves operating heavy weaponry. Large amounts of sarcasm, and smart-ass vampires may offend some readers. No civilian hospital staff were harmed in the making of this story.

Coming August 21st, 2012 from Samhain Publishing
Pre-order from Amazon | Amazon UK

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Excerpt:  Perfect Mate by Mina Carter
Copyright © 2012 Mina Carter
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

She couldn’t believe she was crying. Lillian didn’t cry. Ever. She was tougher than that. Tougher than the stereotypical little woman who fell apart at the first sign of danger… Or the mother who couldn’t cope after the death of her husband and hightailed it to her lover with teary demands to “make the nightmare go away”. And conveniently forgot the fact she’d left her baby daughter behind.

She was not that woman, nor anything like her.

Once in the corridor, away from the stench of death and the sight of all that black, wrong blood, she stepped away from Jack and swiped at her tears with the back of her hand. Despite the fact he’d just killed a man, there was something about him that made her feel safe. Safe with a murderer. Okay, now she knew she was losing it. Perhaps insanity ran in her family and they’d just never told her?

“I’m sorry. I’m not normally like this,” she apologized as she looked up and offered a small, teary smile. Her mouth already open to explain, she stopped.

He was gorgeous.

She’d known that. When they’d brought him in, her mind had told her that he was sex on a stick. But he’d been injured, a patient. Even though she was the hospital manager, she was bound by the patient-doctor thing, surely? The one that said “thou shalt not lust after the patients”.

Now though, without all the blood and the ragged uniform—even in the hospital gown that did nothing for anyone—he was so good-looking it took her breath away. She shook her head slightly, waiting for the hidden cameras and some cheesy reality show host to burst out of the supply cabinet in the corridor next to them. He couldn’t be for real. Soldiers just didn’t look that good.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I'm giving away 2 free e-book copies of Surprisingly Supernatural! Exciting! Enter to win below. Also, keep an eye out for the paperback copy contest, coming soon! 

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Interview with Author Tony Thorne

Welcome Tony Thorne, Author of POINTS OF VIEW

Author Tony Thorne

Do you have any rituals when you write? A certain pen to chew on, a particular drink, or something like that?
  • No, I really cannot think of anything at all… I just get on with it whatever.

How do you edit a manuscript? On your computer, by making notes on an e-reader, or do you print out a copy and attack it with a good ‘ole fashioned red pen?
  • I use my computer, often with a separate extra window, and then I jump around between the two. I have to confess that this does occasionally confuse me..!

If you could send a message back in time to yourself as you’re writing your first book, what would you tell yourself? 
  • Don’t be discouraged when the rejections arrive… you’ll get there eventually.

Do you have a significant other, and if so, do they read your books? What do they think of them? 
  • I’m English and no good at reading German. My wife is Austrian and not very good at reading English … but she enjoys knowing that other people appear to like what I write.

Who is your favorite character in the book you’re currently promoting? Why?
  • I like young Horace Mayberry, in my novel POINTS OF VIEW.  His outlook on life is how mine should have been, and occasionally is.

Where can we find you online?
  • On my website, is best, but I’m starting now with Twitter, FaceBook, LifeStream, LinkedIn, and everywhere that will have me.

Tony Thorne

Points of View was released by Eternal Press on August 1st

It’s about a blind young Londoner, Horace Mayberry, who gets fitted out with some nanotronic eyes.  They are inherently intelligent and can develop various functions to assist in whatever awkward situations the lad gets into. Horace is a cautious lad, who also occasionally experiences vivid dreams.  He is recruited into a secret government agency as an apprehensive assistant to an experienced agent and embarks on a series of adventures, including being abducted twice by an international gang of crooks. The main villain, Rudolph Beckman, is a billionaire financier who is after the secrets of the laboratory that developed the nanotronic eyes.  He uses a trio of henchmen to do his bidding.
Each risky situation Horace encounters causes his eyes to develop something new, and enables his introvert personality to evolve too.  His dreams become more meaningful as he becomes somewhat impulsive and headstrong. The exciting finale covers an attack by the two agents, backed up by a Spanish SWAT team, on the crooks hideout in Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Author Ross S. Simon and THE SNOW

Welcome, Horror Author, Ross S. Simon. Mr. Simon is one of my fellow Eternal Press/Damnation Books authors, and author of the thrilling novel THE SNOW. 

Do you have any rituals when you write? A certain pen to chew on, a particular drink, or something like that? 
  • The only real ritual I have when writing is deciding arbitrarily how many pages/lines I'm going to write of the script in a single quota.  Oddly enough, I decide this by doing elementary mathematics with some saved numbers on a calculator, and/or rolling multi-sided D&D dice.  I have a particular system of it.
How do you edit a manuscript? On your computer, by making notes on an e-reader, or do you print out a copy and attack it with a good ‘ole fashioned red pen? 
  • My editing is mainly on the computer.  Almost all of it is, in fact; the details to edit, I rely on my natural, cerebral wetware to acknowledge as I observe them on the screen.
If you could send a message back in time to yourself as you’re writing your first book, what would you tell yourself? 
  • What I would say to myself in the past when writing, depends on what would count as my first book.  If I were writing this fanfic based on the character of Spaceman Spiff from "Calvin and Hobbes," I would say: "You're playing with legal voodoo." If it were this humorous story for young adults (more or less) called "Sly Raxx," I would say: "If you ever get around to publishing this, make sure you keep it cool as the times change." If, however,  it were the first book I legitimately published—"The Snow"—I'd say: "Both before and after any potential publishing, just keep pushing like a bulldozer on this one."
 Do you have a significant other, and if so, do they read your books? What do they think of them?
  • My closest significant other happens to be my mother, who is still doing well.  She doesn't read horror, but admires my achievements in my chosen field of writing, as would have my late father for certain (who was a genuine scholar of Latin American history).
Who is your favorite character in the book you’re currently promoting? Why?
  • The character I admire most in "The Snow" would be any number of them.  Capt. Wykler of the Eau Froid Township Police because of his stalwart struggling in the face of paranormal mayhem; FBI Agent Robert Squilder because of his cold, no-nonsense endurance; or Loki himself because he reflects the ultimate vengeance of my angst and frustration, on a certain level.  But if I have to hop on board the cornball train here, I'd say Donald Holly himself, because I deliberately made his issues reflect my own...and because he finds the guts to persevere against Loki (for a while, anyway).
 Where can we find you online?
  • Under my real name of Samuel Ridings, I have a Facebook page.  That, and the Author forums on Yahoo! for Eternal Press, are about it.  Still, I've been wondering how to go about slapping together a

It's a bloody cold winter...

Throughout history, he has secretly visited this world again and again.  The Prankster, the mischief-maker, of Norse mythology…Loki.  And now, one Donald Holly—an ordinary, lonely man living in northern Minnesota—comes to be possessed bodily by the Asgardian deity of evil, robbed of his will…and of his very humanity, as horrific death and bizarre destruction blossom from the Trickster’s power, in the town of Eau Froid in the dead of freezing winter.  And even Federal experts cannot separate Holly from this parapsychological parasite that manifests in him, as Loki is just too powerful.  Yet, Holly himself might just find the will to overcome the evil magic of the demon who would be a god, even if it means the destruction of all that he is…
"The Snow" was released March 7, 2012.  It is available in ebook format from,, and in paperback at Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, as well as various other sites and bookstores.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Blog Switch with Author James Hatch

 Adam and Eve’s In-laws

A Guest Post by James Hatch

         I respectfully point out that God creates Adam and Eve in the biblical story presented in Genesis 2. Soon afterwards, in Genesis 4, they lay together to produce Cain and Able. To my way of thinking, these would be the first four people on earth, right? And then, soon after Cain and Able are united in brotherly love, Cain slays his brother and is cast out into the land of Nod east of Eden. It’s true, siblings don’t always get along, but this is where things get curiously interesting because, by verse 17, Cain lays with his wife to produce a son, Enoch. What’s wrong with this picture?
The sequence above troubled me for years because, at risk of blasphemy, if Adam and Eve were the first two, and Cain and Able were the third and fourth, where did Cain’s wife come from? Apparent inconsistencies like this give me pause; therefore, it seemed an appropriate question to address as part of the basis for Aftermath Horizon.
Now, I realize if God created two people, he could equally well have created more, but I tend to view the Genesis story more metaphorically than in terms of actual events. In that sense, it doesn’t trouble me that it only took six days to create the world and everything in it, a day being simply a period of time, and perhaps a very long time at that. Who’s to say day one wasn’t a few billion years in current time? But the creation of people was singled out and, if many people were created originally, I assume that might have been mentioned. Instead, the biblical account implies that many women existed as it traces the lineage of Enoch, in fact, so many that four generations later, Lamech took two wives. So where did the women come from?
Yes, it’s all speculation, but it’s fun speculation. I will attempt to answer the question, but before I do, let me introduce the concept of a “horizon.” In evolutionary terms, a horizon is where it all ends, where one species dies and is probably replaced by something more prone to survive. Like the event horizon of a black hole, the evolutionary horizon is a point a species should avoid at all cost. Yet, evolutionary horizons happen all the time. If they didn’t, we’d still have dinosaurs.
And now back to Cain’s wife. I could speculate that there was a lot of inbreeding. After all, Adam lived 930 years and had many sons and daughters. Some of those might have liked each other (a lot), and it’s quite possible that Cain wandered around for quite some time before bumping into one of his sisters in the land of Nod. I can’t really say because no timeline is given. OR, maybe Genesis is actually just a story of a new beginning—perhaps even of a new horizon? And if that’s the case, then Genesis might be the story of the survivors of a species that came…before.
As I consider the horror facing the world today, it’s not difficult to think of a future time when people as they are today will not exist. Some might survive a bio-warfare atrocity, but those survivors would be different in fundamental ways, if only in their immune systems. The threat of bio-weapons, combined with the potential horizon I read into Genesis, led me to write Kill Zone, “The Final Experiment” and Aftermath Horizon. All three are G-rated, all are reviewed at and all are available at

Kill Zone: Dr. Marcy Whites overcomes enormous genetic engineering obstacles to resurrect a prehistoric bacterium, V5, capable of creating renewable oil, and reclaims the love of her life in the process. V5 is designated a national resource and Marcy’s team is sequestered in Cheyenne Mountain, but bio-terrorism quickly overshadows her successes. People die by the millions when genetically-engineered beta-hemolytic streptococcus (BHS) is inadvertently released, a pathogen specifically developed for bio-terrorism. Carried by fanatical Ambulatory Infectious Agents seeking martyrdom, the flesh-eating disease spreads like wildfire with a 100% kill rate, while Predictive Antiviral Project (PAP) scientists in Cheyenne Mountain race to develop a cure. Out of desperation, countries agree to sanitize the infectious outer perimeter of the Kill Zone with nuclear weapons, even as Dr. Whites joins the PAP team to adapt V5 as a BHS antidote. Their deadline passes, and Operation Sanitize releases mankind’s most powerful weapons against its smallest enemy. Nuclear detonations temporarily halt expansion of the Kill Zone, but Dr. Whites continues antidote refinement, knowing BHS-laden dust will eventually settle. Kill Zones soon crop up worldwide, the entire world is inoculated with V5, and energy independence is achieved; however, one year later, birth rates begin declining. Marcy and other scientists locked inside Cheyenne Mountain gird for an extended stay – until the anomaly can be explained.     

“The Final Experiment”*:  Following worldwide biological warfare, a small number of people survive inside Cheyenne Mountain. Sixty-two years later, genetically modified experimental human E12-B is released to see if he can exist among the toxins outside. He barely survives, but returns to a face a nightmare of medical testing…where only love can save him. *This short story is abridged from the first five chapters of Aftermath Horizon.

Aftermath Horizon:  In a world struggling to recover from biological warfare, Cultural Anthropologists, Beth Gooding and Professor James, work to resurrect the technology of the past without the brutality of the past. They lead austere lives typical of the early 1800’s frontier, until they become explorers in Old World Syria – where they investigate further back in time than anyone ever dreamed, and discover they can move their society further forward than anyone ever imagined. David and Beth endure many brushes with death, but with each experience their love grows stronger. They come to realize life without the other wouldn’t be living at all.
Aftermath Horizon Excerpt (told from the POV of the 16-year-old heroine):
As I step from the bus with my backpack slung over my shoulder, a man holding a sign that reads “Miss Gooding” in one hand and a dark green plastic bag slung over his shoulder with the other catches my attention. It must be Professor James. At six foot with ruddy complexion and sandy brown hair, he’s not what I pictured in my mind. In fact, if he weren’t twice my age, he’d be really cute.
I size him up as I walk toward him. He has a slight build, piercing blue eyes, and muscular arms, probably from digging up trash. As I get closer, I note the rough hands characteristic of all settlers. Life is not easy on the frontier. He’s dressed in blue jeans, a red plaid flannel shirt, and calf-high black rubber boots. Mud squishes beneath my feet with each step I take. I’ll probably need boots like that, too. I boldly step in front of him and extend my hand, “Hello, Sir, I’m Beth Gooding.”
He smiles broadly, revealing off-white, straight teeth, sets his sign down in the mud, and shakes my hand firmly. “Good to meet you, Miss Gooding, ready to get to work?”
Wait a minute; I HAVE been working! I ignore my thought and smile sweetly. I’m here to learn, not to quibble. “You bet! More reading assignments?”
He hands the bag to me and points to a nearby public toilet, a small building that looks like an outhouse. “Not now. We’ve got a little field work to do.” He hasn’t said so, but I think I’m about to be tested to see if I can stand the grime of hands-on garbage retrieval. Butterflies fill my stomach. I didn’t expect this “opportunity” so soon.
The bag contains clothing similar to what everyone here wears, but the size two jeans, small shirt and jacket, and size six boots probably means he has access to my personnel records. The 34B bra confirms it. Privacy be damned, everything fits, although the odor in the “changing room” is not suitable for human breathing! When I emerge with my new duds, Professor James and a horse drawn buggy await. I feel like I’ve stepped back in time to the Old World 1800’s.
The first order of business is a familiarization trot around the colony. The highlights are the communications center, the power generator, the infirmary, and the general store, but we don’t stop at any of those places. Instead, we go to the Energy Reclamation Center and proceed immediately to a large green dumpster behind it. Professor James grins impishly. “This is your stop.”
My face turns pale. It’s squalid. It stinks worse than the changing room, “The dumpster?” Frankly, I’d rather see the generators, fourth generation motors that use a mixture of reprocessed Strategic Reserve oil and man-made oil from re-cycled organic materials. I’ve read about V5 and V6 for years, the microbes responsible for oil production, but didn’t get to see any of that technology in Salvation.
“Yeah, the big green thing there. See if you can learn anything from what you find in it.” He remains on the buggy seat. The horse doesn’t move. The dumpster remains grimy.
I push back lightly. “Why would there be anything of value in there. This is a colony. No one in his right mind would throw anything of value away!”
He smiles and bats his eyes almost comically. “One would think. Check it out.”
The mud is four inches thick as I step off the buggy. Even with rubber boots I can feel the cool muck slither around my foot and over the top of my toes. Professor James watches with interest as I pull up a nearby wooden crate and push it against the side of the dumpster. I suppress the urge to vomit; it smells like dead animals inside.
I’m not deft at this sort of thing. Even from the crate it’s all I can do to lift my foot to the edge, slip my leg over, and pull my body up and over the side. I might as well kiss my new, clean jeans goodbye because they’ll never be the same. As I drop down into the gaping cavern, I hear Professor James and the buggy pull away, but that immediate concern is quickly overcome by the stench inside. I gag involuntarily and begin breathing through the sleeve of my shirt. It makes a lousy air filter but it’s better than nothing. I hope he moved the buggy because he was in a “no parking zone” and that he’s not actually leaving me here.
I’m not sure what I’m looking for, but find a sturdy stick and begin pushing stuff around with it, hoping to find anything that will buy my way out of this nightmare. After about five minutes, I absolutely must have fresh air and poke my head out of the bin at exactly the same moment an elderly lady is trying to put more trash in. She’s startled but quick witted. “Why, who would throw a pretty young thing like you away, dear? You look like you’ve got lots of kilometers left on you.”
Not knowing how she can possibly know what I look like with half my face covered by my arm, I grin sheepishly, motion to the edge of the dumpster with a sideways flick of my head, and choke out a muffled greeting through my sleeve, “Just set your box there by the side, Ma’am. I’ll go through it later.”
The old woman winks. “My, you are a feisty one; looks like ‘Mule’ got a winner this time.” She sets her box where I indicated and ambles off, leaving me to ponder what she really meant by “this time”.
After a few priceless gasps of relatively pure air, I dip back inside but still can’t come up with much. Mostly the bin contains organic recyclables, inputs for fuel pre-processing at the energy center. The foul odor isn’t from the contents in the bin but from the bin itself. Apparently it was used recently for holding carcasses, another energy recyclable.
Professor James returns an hour later, helps me out of the bin, and with a cheery attitude asks, “I can hardly wait, what did you learn?”
I pick up the box left by the old woman. “Hold that thought a minute, Sir, I’m not quite finished.”
The contents of the old woman’s box are quite typical of what I found in the remainder of the dumpster: small wood chips and plant trimmings, a few crumpled pieces of paper, a few strips of tattered muslin, some spoiled berries, and several wads of horse hair. After inspection, I empty the box into the bin and climb onto the buggy with the re-cycle box in tow. I’ll leave it at the front of the center with all the others.
Professor James waits patiently for me to get comfortable, but I can tell from his flinch I’ve brought the dumpster’s aroma with me. I can’t let the moment pass. “What? You don’t like my perfume?”
He chuckles under his breath, moves the horse a small distance from the bin, and stops again, being careful to position me downwind. “Now that you’ve begun dumpster diving 101, what’ve you learned?”
I assume there’s more to this “test” than a passing fancy, more than determining if I can get filthy with the best of them and still come out swinging. “I’ve learned people here still don’t know how to segregate garbage correctly. Hair is an animal byproduct; it shouldn’t be in that bin. There were also a few shards of broken glass, a recycling no-no and a clear indication more recycling education is needed. There were only a few edible organics, indicating most of that material is buried in gardens locally. It’s also pretty clear they don’t wash the dumpsters out after using them to collect animal by-products.”
Professor James looks disappointed. “That’s it, after an entire hour?”
I shrug. “There’s more, but it’s personal.” He nods while rotating his hand toward himself in a “give me more” motion, a clear indication I should continue. “Okay then, from a scrawled note that was probably passed between two teenagers; I think Dianne McCarthy is pregnant. She probably hasn’t told her parents, or Central Population Control, or she would’ve passed that information to her friend electronically instead of on paper.”
Professor James smiles thinly, looking up from the stalled horse directly into my eyes. It gives me goose bumps to be looked at so intently…so personally. “That’s better. Now, if you had to guess, what would you think some future Cultural Anthropologist might glean from that trash?”
Think, Beth, think! A long silence follows. I didn’t expect such a question. The horse waits; Professor James waits. I finally come up with something that seems reasonable. “Ah, probably nothing. None of that trash would last very long. It’ll all be converted to energy or re-used in some way, even the plastics and toxics. A future anthropologist wouldn’t know we existed at all, at least not from that trash.”
“Good Beth, excellent! Now, do you consider our current civilization more advanced or less advanced than the one we replaced?”
Where is he going with this? Why should that matter? I sigh; the question seems inane. “I guess more. The previous civilization might have had more fun, but they choked on the party.”
He smiles broadly, like he really liked my answer. “So a truly advanced civilization might not leave clues to their existence at all, like the one we replaced did, right? And without a remnant of trash, they’d be pretty hard to detect after they vanished into the annals of history!”
My eyebrows dip and I look at him with as much curiosity as I can muster. “I suppose so, unless they left things for future generations to find, either intentionally or accidentally. I’d consider the pyramids an accident, because they weren’t left specifically for future generations, but time capsules full of relics were intentional, because they were.”
He taps the horse’s butt with his long crop and commands, “Giddyup!” The reluctant horse moves forward without the slightest hint of enthusiasm, and Professor James asks, while continuing to stare at the horse, “What was the most significant thing you learned in there?”
It’s good to be moving again. The light breeze seems to strip away the outer layer of stench. “If my interpretation from that single scrap of paper is correct, probably the pregnancy, but that required some inference. Our language isn’t all that clear when people want to disguise their true meaning. I mean, it’s pretty easy to talk around something so completely that the true meaning is lost and only inference remains.”
We stop at the front of the center and I place the old woman’s recycle box on the stack with all the others. “You’re very astute, Beth, but what if you weren’t familiar with our language or didn’t know it at all, what conclusions could you draw about us then?”
Considering I only had an hour in the dumpster, he’s asking some pretty deep questions. “I suppose, because there was so little paper, one might conclude we aren’t a paper-based society. Also, because the paper WAS there, with writing on it, that we are driven to communicate, as a people. That alone might spur me to look further…for something we might have left on purpose, something like a time capsule.”
His eyes twinkle as his smile broadens, “My thinking exactly, Beth! Now let’s get you to the office and cleaned up. When you’ve learned Old Persian more completely than anyone in history, then I’ll show you something beyond your imagination. Something left behind intentionally that’ll blow you away, something that might re-write history as we know it forever.”

Thank you, Sara Jane Drum, for allowing me to bring this blog to your site, and a big thank you to all you readers who slogged your way to the end. Please feel free to comment on this blog, or write to me at


James L. Hatch
Author for, Solstice Publishing and Eternal Press

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lemons, Meet Lemonade. An Unusual Book CONTEST


This is a strange contest, and one I'm not sure has ever been done before, but why the heck not?


I'm aware of two typos on the first few pages of Surprisingly Supernatural. The first is on page two and the second is on page four. In both cases, it appears a word has been omitted from a sentence. *This book was edited to death by me, an editor, and the publisher, but errors are bound to happen. Even superstar, best-sellling authors have typos in their published books. Please keep this in mind.*

If you spot these mistakes (or, God forbid, others...) send them to:  
and I will snail mail you a super awesome, reading related mystery prize! Could be a book by a best-selling author, could be author promo swag, could be a poster or a pickle or a pear. It's a surprise and everyone will receive something different!

Find Surprisingly Supernatural on ...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Book Spotlight: FLY AWAY PETA by Juanita Kees

Introducing fellow Eternal Press author, Juanita Kees, and her newest release, FLY AWAY PETA.

Blurb: Fly Away Peta by Juanita Kees

The time has come to face her worst fear and the clock is ticking…

Peta Johnson will go to extreme lengths to protect her daughter Bella. When the Bella is kidnapped, the search for her takes Peta back to the small Australian country town of Williams, a place she’d vowed never to return to. The town where her dreams were shattered and her nightmare began. Back to the place she’d been destined to meet two very powerful, yet very different men. One would break her heart, the other would destroy her soul. Both would change her life forever.


     Peta snatched the photo from his hands and put it back in her purse. Her spine was ramrod straight. Ice dripped from her tone. “How magnanimous of you, Jaime. I’m quite capable of taking care of my daughter financially.”
     “Yes and by keeping your mouth shut, you endangered her life and your own!” Jaime regretted the words the moment they left his tongue. He saw Peta flinch as the shutters descended in her eyes. He felt her retreat. The flimsy bough of peace was broken, destroyed by his angry words.
     The door opened as they both stood, facing each other angrily. Tension sprang between them like a coiled snake, ready to strike at the smallest provocation.
     “We didn’t have much luck with the tape of his call.” Mark didn’t notice the tension until he looked up from dropping the room key on the table. “No background noise, nothing to identify his whereabouts.” He watched as Jones bent to wipe up the soapy puddle on the floor near the kitchen sink, then looked at Peta and Jaime curiously…and spotted the still damp patches on their chests. “World War III or just a minor disagreement?” When they both glared at him, he continued, “Okay, then, on to the plans for tonight. We’re looking at putting a substitute in Peta’s place for the drop off…”
     Peta dug her heels in. “No!” she said. “I go or the deal’s off.  I’m not putting Bella’s life at stake any further.”
     “Peta, he’s unstable. Who knows what he’s likely to do? The drop off could be a trap. It’s too risky. He knows there’s no way we’re letting you go in there on your own. He’ll be ready for us...and you.”
     Peta looked at them, chin raised, her stubborn expression leaving them in no doubt. “It’s my daughter’s life at stake here. I go tonight or you don’t get the evidence either!” She held up her hand as Mark began to protest. “It’s me he wants. I know how to handle him. I did it for ten lousy years! I’m done being scared.”



     Juanita is a freelance writer and writes blogs, web content, advertorials, newsletters and business documents.  Having recently graduated from the Australian College QED, (New South Wales, Australia) with a diploma in Proofreading, Editing and Publishing, she proofreads and edits manuscripts, manuals, standard operating procedures and other business tools. You can find out more about Kees2Create Writing, Proofreading and Editing services at
     Juanita escapes the real world by reading and writing romantic fiction. She conducts interviews with fellow authors and writes book reviews, as well as the odd blog about the frustrations and delights of being a writer.
     When she’s not writing, editing or proofreading, Juanita is the cleaning fairy and mother to three boys (hubby included, his toys are just a little more expensive). Her not-so-miniature Daschund, Sam is her critique partner and keeps her company while writing.
      Juanita loves to hear from fans and would love for you to enjoy her writing journey with her at:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Author Spotlight : Aaron Dennis

I'd like to Welcome Science Fiction author Aaron Dennis to my blog. He's been kind enough to offer us an honest and humorous bio along with info and an excerpt from his new book, LOKIANS. 

Author Bio, by Aaron Dennis
            I attempted writing fiction once, about 10 years ago. At that time the internets, yeah I said internets, wasn’t as prevalent as today. I ran into a wall after being unable to research what I was writing about. I gave up.
            Years later, in college, I wrote various term papers, exposes, etc. I hadn’t ever considered writing as a career path until the beginning of 2011. I had some weird dream where in I was lucid enough to view it from two perspectives; myself and a character. The dream was disturbing enough to compel me to attempt jotting it down. So I did.
            The completion of one piece, even though very short, jump-started something within. Since then I’ve plugged away practically everyday. I’m 29, I’m broke, and I choose to work only part time so I can spend all my time writing. (Hey! Something Aaron and I have in common. I, too, am 29, broke, and a slave to writing. Nice to know I'm not alone! -S.J. Drum)
            Science fiction became a passion but any story I can generate is fun to write. Currently I have Lokians: Book1 Beyond the End of the World at as well as Shadowman at Then there are a couple of shorts up on I’m trying to start a new sci-fi movement with my Lokians series so I also threw up a wikia page, where anyone interested in sci-fi can check me, and others, out or contribute their own stuff. (Awesome idea, Aaron!)
            Currently I’m refining two books at once, Lokians: Book2 They Lurk Among Us and An Enchanting Tale. The latter is a fantasy story and going up piece by piece at based on The Elderscrolls game series. Lastly I can be found on twitter @authaarondennis and have a FB author page at

LOKIANS by Aaron Dennis, Book Blurb

            A menacing threat appears from the far reaches of space. Humans, only recently able to colonize outside the Sol system, discover ancient alien beacons on planet Eon. Earth Navy and her special operations team led by Captain Riley O’Hara form an alliance with the Thewls, a benevolent people from the Spider nebula. Together they go in search for the elusive travelers.
            As the impending threat approaches, two strange Humans join the Thewls and Captain O’Hara’s team. Agent Adams and Agent Franklin claim they are from The Bureau, a privatized organization that deals with any subject extraterrestrial. Together they heed the words of the Thewlian Ambassador, Weh. He tells them of Lokians, a radical race of insects hybridized with the technologies of the peoples they previously eradicated.
            Many centuries ago the Lokians came and attacked the benevolent Thewls. After one defeat by Thewlian hands, they came again. They were stronger, faster, deadlier. Thewls and Lokians fought for weeks. Suddenly dancing lights appeared in the sky. The travelers had come to turn the tides. Seeking help once more and convinced the Lokian threat will target Humans, Ambassador Weh advises Captain O’Hara to help find the travelers.
            After a harsh battle in space and the frozen outskirts of planet Sahagun, Captain O’Hara and crew find only one traveler. He helps the allied forces secure an ancient traveler vessel. With the new ship the Human crew can travel into subspace and battle the evil Lokian queen. Will weapons be enough? Can the Captain, his men, and the two Agents defeat a force as powerful as the Lokians? Find out in Lokians: Book One Beyond the End of the World, the first installment of the new science fiction series.

LOKIANS by Aaron Dennis, Book Excerpt

“Break away!” The Admiral’s voice came in the pilots’ earpieces again.
“What now?!” Sara yelled.
“Stay calm and listen to him.” The younger voice said.
“O.K.” Sara said quietly as she and the Thewl fighters scrambled to brake off.
The enemy fighters followed the transporters. They massed about the Thewl Carrier creating a full dome around the massive ship. In response the Admiral gave orders to fire the arc laser. The Thewl fighters eased away to avoid friendly fire. The white beam spiraled cutting through the Lokians like a hot laser knife through bug butter. Determined and single minded, the Lokians held firm. They kept firing at the Carrier. The field generators started overloading under the pressure of attack. While the field itself did not take damage the generating components were frying from angry red beams. A few patches were shutting off and the vessel started taking surface damage.
The bridge was alive with buzzing sounds and flashing lights.
“Admiral! We’re taking damage.” A Thewl screamed.
Admiral Yew took the broad speaker, “All hands ordered to the center-most decks aboard the ship. We’re taking some fire but we’re giving back double!”
The external decks were designed to operate with lockouts. This not only conserved power but saved lives. Outside those lockout systems the arc laser continued to shred through the enemy as the friendly fighters kept their distance.
“Absolutely brilliant” Sara said amazed.
After a moment the arc laser powered down.
“Engage men!” The coordinator ordered.
Sara nodded to herself. She moved in as she fired. Below her, on the cannon deck, a Thewl let loose his own blasts when he found the opportunity to hit an enemy transporter. Still the battle raged on as the Thewl fighters concentrated their fire on the small Lokians killing three, four, and sometimes five at a time. Rapidly the enemy dwindled in numbers and power. Suddenly they disbanded. They were hurling themselves towards the planet.
“They’re fleeing? No. They’re engaging the ground crew!” Sara yelled.
“Stay calm, Human.” The coordinator replied.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Urban Fantasy with Steampunk Elements

Surprisingly Supernatural is now available on Kindle! Yay! It will also be on iTunes, Nook, and in paperback soon. 

Also, I'm blogging on Queen of the Night Reviews today and introducing Ellis, one of the two leading men from the book. Stop by and learn his stats, favorite song, and a few secrets.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Author Interview: Jayne Kingston

Today, we have the amazing Jayne Kingston here, answering a few questions and giving us insight into the mind of an author. Her newest book, INK LUST, is part of the Ellora's Cave Pricked series.

Do you have any rituals when you write? A certain pen to chew on, a particular drink, or something like that?
  • It’s funny, but I seem to do my best writing first thing in the morning before my brain is completely awake—cup of coffee in hand and slippers on my feet. (I have flip-flop slippers for summer) I have to have music playing quietly in the background. I have several playlists on my iPod that I listen to depending on the mood of the scene. That’s about it, though. No lucky knickknack to rub or anything like that.

How do you edit a manuscript? On your computer, by making notes on an e-reader, or do you print out a copy and attack it with a good ‘ole fashioned red pen?
  • Paper, highlighters and pen, for sure. I have the best collection of Sharpie highlighters. I’m a Sharpie junkie in a big, BIG way. I don’t know what it is for me, but I see so much more when the words are printed on paper as opposed to just on the computer screen.

If you could send a message back in time to yourself as you’re writing your first book, what would you tell yourself?
  • RESEARCH MORE! Learn the process of writing. I thought it was just as easy as sitting down to the computer and stringing words one after the other. I love the characters in that first book—written oh so many years ago—but their story had absolutely no direction. (We won’t talk about the fact that it’s a grammatical nightmare!) I was clueless back then.

Do you have a significant other, and if so, do they read your books? What do they think of them?
  • No significant other at the moment. When I do find myself an SO, I hope he’ll be interested enough in reading my books. If not, so be it.

Who is your favorite character in the book you’re currently promoting? Why?
  • I love my little sweetie heroine Leni, but my favorite is definitely my tattoo artist, Jamie. I catch myself worrying about what other people think too much, and I really admire people who just aren’t affected by anyone outside their inner circle. He just does not get caught up in general public opinion—of him or anyone else. At the same time, his family, close friends and his woman mean the world to him. And he makes pancakes. Who doesn’t love a hot tough guy that makes pancakes?

Where can we find you online? Website, blog, social media links.

Check out Jayne Kingston's latest release, Ink Lust

Leni Brewster should have been disappointed when her twin sister had to bail on holding her hand during her first tattoo, but going to her appointment solo means time alone with the sexy-as-hell tattoo artist who falls into the Dot Not Touch category two-fold.

Only Jamie Rodriguez isn't as off-limits as Leni thinks. Privately single for months, Jamie finds himself more than looking forward to having the hot little librarian in his chair. And when she accidentally reveals a naughty secret about herself, he can't get his hands on her fast enough--he has to find out what else she's hiding under that buttoned-up exterior of hers.

What he discovers sets his blood to boiling, igniting a burning determination to test every single one of the boundaries, both personal and physical, that she's set for herself.

Available Here: