Literary Love

This month’s topic is Literary Love. I think this topic is awesome because I get to talk about new books, authors and covers that I’m currently obsessed with. I had a long list of potential winners. They were all so awesome, the only fair way I could narrow it down was to do a bracket system like the Sweet Sixteen. And the winners are….

Best Cover:
Huber-Hill-Golden-Staff

Blurb: Cíbola, the city of gold, is just a myth—or is it? As Huber and his friends search for a magical golden staff, they must believe in the legends and follow the clues that will lead them to this fabled city. But with a madman and a deadly secret society right on their trail, it quickly becomes a race for their lives! Huber’s final installment will keep any adventurer captivated.

Seriously, look at that cover.  How could you not want to read it? Huber Hill and the Golden Staff can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Best Book

17406847Blurb: A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king’s army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince’s guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can’t prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she’s sworn to protect.

I had such a fun time reading Defy.  It’s one of the best books I’ve read all year. Larson does a amazing job at world building, you’ll lose yourself in this book. Defy is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Aaaannddd, last but certainly not least, newest author I’m excited about is…..

Jonathan Ryan!

j.ryan

His latest novel, 3 Gates of The Dead released this fall.  I found his writing style unique and intriguing.  While I normally stick to the YA genre I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried 3 Gates of The Dead.  I don’t have a ton of time to read, but I found myself completely losing track of time when I read it.  I couldn’t wait to unravel the mystery and was shocked at the ending.  Find out more about Jonathan Ryan on his Website. 3 Gates of The Dead is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

November Preview!

Hey all! In light of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday (for those of us in the States) the topic for this month will be Thankfulness and Gratitude – any way our lovely authors would like to spin it 😀 Can’t wait to see what they come up with!

We also have an awesome release this month! Sherry Ficklin and Tyler Jolley’s EXTRACTED releases from Spencer Hill Press on the 12th!

Extracted_cover_120Extracted: The Lost Imperials (Book 1)

Welcome to the war.

The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it.

The Hollows is a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens–their only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream.

Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war.

When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It’s there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back.

Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both…again.

Come Play With Me

A few years ago, while starting my practice on the Western Slope of Colorado, I would travel to my hometown of Vernal, UT to work a few days a month. Nothing scary there. Nothing, that is, until I was forced to sleep in my sister, Britain’s, old room. Britain, like most children of the 80’s was a huge fan of the cabbage patch doll. So much so, that she had about 200 of them that lined the top third of the room in two rows. That’s right, 200 old, moldy, weirdly slumped cabbage patch dolls staring at me from every direction. And let’s face it; have you ever seen a cabbage patch doll that didn’t look like Phil Collins? Creepy. After a long drive and feeling very tired I called it a night and fell asleep without incident even though 200 mini Phil’s were watching me.

“Come play with me,” a high-pitched voice beckoned. I sat straight up, wondering where the heck the voice came from. I looked around, saw nothing, and decided it was just a dream. I laid back down, feeling slightly jittery and tried to go back to sleep. A few minutes passed and once again I heard, “Come play with me.” I jumped up and turned on the light, my heart was racing. My ears hadn’t deceived me, I was awake and knew I heard someone asking to come play with them. What this the start of a Chucky movie? “Come play with me.” I whipped around, realizing the sound was coming from behind me. That’s when I came to my senses and realized that one of the little Phil’s batteries were probably dying and just needed to be removed. I found the offending doll, ripped out the batteries, and for good measure drop the doll unnecessarily hard on the floor. Just to be sure.

A few months later I was staying at my parents house again, and this time they were out of town. I was showering and heard a knock at the door. Not a regular knock, a loud, angry knock. It startled me, I had shampoo in my hair and was soaking wet. I turned off the shower and grabbed a towel. I looked opened the door, looked out, and no one was there. Irritated and cold, I got back in the shower. A few moments later I heard it again, but this time it sounded even louder and more urgent. I was more than annoyed so I stomped out of the shower, butt-naked, stalked to the front door and opened it. Nothing. No one was there.

So, yeah, I’m afraid of my childhood home. Maybe it’s the dolls, or something else. Either way, I don’t want to find out.

And no, Phil Collins, I don’t want to play.

patch
Actual photo from Britain’s room

Transitions

Extracted.  It’s been all about Extracted for the last year.  It was my first copy edit, the first time I worked with an editor…basically it was my first everything.  Now I’m transitioning onto book two of the series.

When I wrote Extracted, it was all fun and games.  Now it feels like work.  Not because of pressure anyone has put on me, just something internal.  I feel the transition to book two is hard because I pulled out all the stops I could on book one. In book one, I had the luxury of creating a world and I could do pretty much whatever I wanted, as long as Sherry approved it.  Now I’m limited to the world I’ve created in book two. I could write something and knock the socks off my editor.  Now I HAVE to knock my editor socks off.  Rediscovering new and creative ways to continue on with the story and make it fun is a difficult transition. As I write, I wonder if I’m giving them what they want.

I guess the real issue is that I surprised myself with Extracted and didn’t realize I could write for more than just a hobby. I’m afraid I’ll let Sherry, my new fans, or everyone at Spencer Hill Press down.

I’ve been through so many transitions in my life.  Single to married, zero kids to four kids, bought and sold lots of homes, heck I moved three times in 2012, but this transition seems to be the hardest.  I know once I get past this horrible head game that I’m playing with myself, the words will flow.  But it’s like Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…”

To Write, or Eat Donuts, that is the Question.

The topic this month is “Mayday, Mayday: obstacles, unseen dangers and challenges.” My biggest challenge is life. Well, not life itself, but finding balance in life. I have a busy career, a bunch of kids and lots of hobbies. So, my friends, let’s go on a picture tour of the things I do instead of writing.

Baseball
Four hour drive each way to a Rockies game, why not?

Comic Book
Working on the first chapter of Extracted but in comic book form…so that sort of counts as writing.

Donuts
Some people get distracted by shiny things, I get distracted by fattening things.

Hunting
Much to the dismay of my office (and to the dismay of the birds) I require many hunting trips.

Reading
Writers have to read.

Rock Jam
Deep down, I’m a rocker at heart

Snowboarding
Can’t write on the slopes.

Tractor
Home, home on the range, where writing is impossible.

Warrior Princess
To write, or play with my warrior princess? Is that even a real question?

Work
Oh yeah, work

Work 2
Two of my four offices are about an hour away, so that commute really chips into my writing time.

So, I , like everyone have a busy life outside of my writing life…but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

When You’re Having 2nd’s I’m Having 23rd’s

Spring always makes me think of two things, mountain biking and spring break bodies. I have the amazing ability to consume thousands of calories in a matter of minutes; it’s a talent really. In my early years I could exercise my talent with little consequences. Until I realized something was wrong when I went to Brazil and looked at all my pictures. Yikes! This reality came after living four years in Philly with a regular diet of cheesesteaks and tasty kakes.

fat

After I returned home from Brazil and got back in my routine the fat melted off faster than butter on a hot skillet. I do love butter.

Tyler Hunting

As I got older I started an intentional routine every year: fatten up in the winter and get back in shape when mountain biking season rolled around. It was perfect and seemed to work just fine for me. But as I’ve gotten older, had more kids and gotten busier with life, I find there isn’t much time left for biking.

So now I’m faced with the dilemma of not utilizing my impressive ability to eat 24 doughnut holes in 12 minutes because I’ve run out of time to mountain bike. Maybe I should eat and bike at the same time or I’ll have to become Man-orexic.

Does anyone else fatten up in the winter and lean up in the spring?

Luck vs. Perseverance

My road to writing started in college after I saw an interview with Nicholas Sparks on Oprah. Yes, I watched Oprah when I was in college…well my wife Jeena watched it and I happened to be in the room. Nicholas was talking about how he was able to pay off his student loans from pharmacy school by writing. At the time I was in dental school so the student loans were enormous.

I has always been a sci-fi nerd and loved all things Star Wars. I even had a full size Han Solo cardboard cut out in my bedroom. Frustrated with some of my professors I decided to write a sci-fi novel about an intergalactic foreign exchange student and mirror the teachers after a few problematic professors. I quickly realized I loved writing and it helped me relax and take a break from the intense curriculum. Since I was in school I was left with little time to sleep, let alone write and it took me a few years to write my first book, but I persevered. By the time I had finished the book I was done with school, had three kids, and opened two offices in Colorado. It was time to find a publisher and it turned out finding a publisher was the hardest thing I’d ever done. I just kept getting doors slammed in my face. I even read, “How to get Your Book Published for Dummies.” Finally, after two years I found Double Dragon Publishing and they accepted my book. Nothing seemed to come easy when it came to my first book Neto Lexan and the Impox Secret, but I accomplished my goal and I was a bona fide, published author.

Neto Lexan Cover

Then luck came upon me. As I was trying to navigate getting my book published I was introduced local author, Sherry D. Ficklin. She pointed me the right direction and gave me pointers with editing my book, her help was invaluable. Then one day she approached me about a book she wanted to write. She was having a hard time nailing the teenage male character. At first I thought she just wanted some input. Being a perpetual kid, and with my patient base being mostly kids, I was the perfect go-to person. Then I realized she actually wanted me to co-author the book. Right place, right time…and my Peter Pan Syndrome was finally paying off. Extracted was born and it’s been the wildest ride. We had not one but two publishing companies trying to publish our book. No doors were being slammed in our faces. It was such a different experience than Neto Lexan.

So the question luck versus perseverance, in my case I think it’s a marriage of both. Everyone has a unique story, but my experience has been this: Those who persevere will find luck.

Extracted_cover_120

***
Welcome to the war.
The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it.
The Hollows are a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens–their …only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream.
Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war.
When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It’s there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back.
Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both…again.
***

Add EXTRACTED to your Goodreads list

Discover the world of The Lost Imperials on their Official Website