Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Ghosts of Aquinnah and the Gay Head Lighthouse

As I've mentioned on this blog before, my upcoming novel The Ghosts of Aquinnah is set on the island of Martha's Vineyard. The original idea for the novel came to me when I was looking at this webcam of the Gay Head lighthouse, which sits atop the cliffs of Aquinnah and is the oldest lighthouse on the island.

I have a sentimental attachment to the lighthouse for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that my great-great-grandfather Samuel Flanders was the principal keeper of the light from 1845-1849 and again from 1853-1861.

Horace Greeley wrote a story about a summer in New England and on the Vineyard in an 1860 edition of Harper's magazine and Samuel, who was known around the island as Squire, was featured in the article. Based on the information in the article, Squire was quite a colorful character. Greeley wrote:
In short, notwithstanding some eccentricities of appearance and manner, no one can long sojourn with Squire Flanders without being touched with his obliging and amiable character, and impressed with his substantial worth and honesty. It is a matter of conscience with him to keep his lamp always trimmed and his light always set upon a hill.

When I visited the island back in May I learned that the lighthouse is now in danger of being demolished because of safety concerns due to the erosion of the cliffs. In June, the lighthouse was placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of the most endangered historic places in the United States. The light now stands less than fifty feet from the edge of the cliffs and needs to be moved within the next two years due to the ongoing erosion and the fact that the move will require at least forty feet of space in order to accommodate the necessary equipment.

Islanders and Aquinnah residents have started a campaign to save the lighthouse and raise the money needed to move it to a safe and sustainable location on the cliffs.

I have heard arguments that the cost of the move is simply too high and the lighthouse should be let go. While there's no question the move is going to cost a great deal of money, I think the alternative would be a terrible loss to the island and to the maritime history of New England.

I visited England some years ago and one of the things I loved the most about the trip was seeing all of the old buildings and structures that date back hundreds or even thousands of years. As a history buff, that appeals to me and I think we are often too quick to tear things down in this country.

When I am on the Vineyard and see the Gay Head lighthouse, I love to imagine my great-great-grandfather Squire and all the other people who have been there before me. I also think of how many countless people have been out in the Atlantic ocean during a dark night and seen the lighthouse beacon guiding them. I can't imagine going to Aquinnah in the future and not seeing the red brick lighthouse on the cliffs.

With my mom and dad at Gay Head - 1976

Are there any historic landmarks or sites that are particularly meaningful to you? Do you think historic preservation efforts are worthwhile?

On a side note, I am taking some vacation days this week and don't expect to be around the blogosphere for the rest of the week. I hope you all have a good one and I'll see you next week! :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Untethered Realms Spotlight: Bonnie Rae

I'm excited to be helping with the cover reveal for Bonnie Rae's upcoming novel, Nether Fire. Congratulations to Bonnie!

Book Blurb: 
After being gravely wounded by her little sister, Ava awakes in Arcadia and the City of Angels isn't so welcoming. She is, after all, Lucifer's Angel of Death and she has only one mission. Open the portal between Arcadia and the Nether World allowing Lucifer's army to penetrate the gilded walls of Heaven. Too bad Arcadia has other plans. Before she has the chance to set Lucifer's plot in motion, they send her and Devon hurtling back to Earth. Now, stripped of their powers, the two must put aside their differences and race against time to save Christa's soul and the shattered remains of Mankind. If they fail, darkness will rule their two worlds and obliterate what is left of Earth. If they succeed, Ava could still lose everything.

Find Bonnie and learn more about her books at her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

I can't believe this is the last day of the Blogger Book Fair. It's been a crazy and very fun week! Huge thanks to Kayla Curry for putting it all together, it's a great event and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to learn about so many great books and to meet some new friends.

This week's Celebrate the Small Things is an easy one - I'm celebrating the completion of a fun and successful Book Fair. Thanks again to everyone who came by here and to the authors who hosted me on their sites.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Interview with Shah Wharton

I am happy to be featuring author Shah Wharton today for my last interview of the Blogger Book Fair. This has been such fun and I'm grateful to Jeff, Leslie, Cathrina, and Shah for hosting me on their sites and for hanging out with me here this week. But now on to Shah!

Shah is a speculative fiction writer and the author of Finding Esta. She is holding a giveaway as part of the Blogger Book Fair so see below for details on how to win a copy of her book!

 1.    Tell us about Finding Esta.

This is the first volume of The Supes Series and combines a coming of age story with a more literal search for identity through the murky and often dangerous supernatural and alien world Luna finds herself in, while researching the disappearance of baby Esta, who was taken 20 years ago.

Here’s a ridiculously short synopsis:

Psychic flaws curse a fledgling journalist who seeks validation from loveless parents, and peace within a cruel world. When her investigation into child abduction leads her to a supernatural Cornish community, her sense of identity implodes as each incredible revelation steers her to a singularly mind-blowing question: “What am I?”

2.    What genre or genres do you enjoy writing in?

I love horror, satire, humour, supernatural, mystery, paranormal, thriller ... speculative fiction basically.

3.    When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

My father turned me onto writing poetry as a child and generally nurtured a love of words and story. I never dreamed of being a fiction writer, but I did want to be a female version of Bob Dylan. :D I started taking my fiction writing seriously after allowing myself to just try to write a few shorts, and asking for feedback from an online writing forum. I loved it. I haven’t been able to stop since.

4.    Do you write full-time or do you also have a “day job?” If so, what is it?

I have bipolar disorder and stopped working (after a major breakdown post multiple bereavements) 2010. I miss it. I used to work in social work / care/ mentoring / counseling.  I struggle with concentration and focus, and my moods often take over. Sometimes for the better (I become incredibly productive in bouts of hypermania, for example) but then I peter out and it’s like my body and mind slows down, almost to a stop. I get stuff done in the middle of these peaks and troughs though, and mostly, I’m healthy and function adequately. I would return to work, but it’d have to be a solitary job. It is people who make me ill (or rather their effect on me). I wasn’t made for socialisation, especially the dreaded small talk. I think that is why I love writing complicated characters like Luna, and about the darker side of life.

5.    What do you enjoy most about writing?

Seeing a new world come alive on the page ...a world only I can control and only I truly understand. It’s the complete opposite of the world in which I live, where I feel little control, and there is a glaring lack of understanding. These worlds are those I dream about, the characters are no doubt extensions of myself, and I can play out my dreams on paper, to share with others who may feel the same and appreciate them.

6.    Anything you don’t enjoy or struggle with when it comes to your writing?

I so wish I could have a team of super-experienced editors to work with. I see some books on Amazon and look at their editors, such as Rebecca Hamilton who had five editors to work on her Forever Girl novel. I think, no wonder it was well written. How could it not be with all that support and all that experience. That book is well worth a read by the way :D I have to make do with one, and lots of beta readers / critique partners (always searching for new of both if anyone’s interested?), so I’m always reading about how to effectively edit. I have two great books (Editor-Proof Your Writing: 21 Steps to the Clear Prose Publishers and Agents Crave (Great Books for Writers) and  Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print) which have taught me so much, and I use them as a reference as I do revisions.

7.    What other passions or interests do you have besides writing?

I love theatre and movies. LOVE them. Oh and red wine, great tea (black, green and white) and food. Travel is also a big love, as are my most precious husband and dog: Bobby the German Shepherd. He is enormous and 1 ½ years old!

8.    Glass half-full or half-empty?

According to my moods, but my personality is glass half full. I always try to see the best in a person or situation. The opposite makes me ill.

9.    What would you consider your dream vacation?

I had it - Thailand/Phuket a few months ago. DREAMY!  But as we live in Dubai, any trip back home to the UK is ALWAYS wonderful.

10.    Which of your characters would you say you are most like? Least like?

I am very much like Luna, though not in every way. I’m nothing at all like Lucy, and can be a little like Eliza. I’ll let readers work out who they are and which of my traits match (or not). :)

11.    What can you tell us about your next book?

The next book I’m working on is Finding Luna and should be ready to published Spring 2014.

Here’s the working ridiculously short synopsis (this may change).

Imagine a broken young woman whose world is left in ruins. Imagine horrific identities forced violently upon her, to trigger a growing, often frenzied desire for blood, bouts of extreme hirsutism, and (ahem) embarrassing dental issues. Imagine two love interests and the supernatural community insisting she’s not only their prophesied saviour, but also the defeater of Queen Vampire Lucy ...her sire-sister. Then …imagine she is you! What’s your next move?

Thanks, Shah for being here at my site today!

About Shah and The Supes Series:

Shah Wharton is offering a give-away for one print version (available Fall 2013) OR one ecopy, (available now ) of Finding Esta, an urban fantasy, paranormal mystery.
For the Book Blogger Book Fair GIVEAWAY: Finding Esta: #1 The Supes Series
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The Supes Series - Ridiculously short synopses. 


Finding Esta Book Cover

Book 1 of The Supes Series: Finding Esta (Published)

Psychic flaws curse a fledgling journalist who seeks validation from loveless parents, and peace within her cruel world. When her investigation into child abduction leads her to the supernatural Cornwall community, her sense of identity implodes as each incredible revelation steers her to a singularly mind-blowing question: “What am I?” For a larger description, trailer, reviews, images of characters ,and links to various interviews etc, please visit the My Book page on Shah's website.


Shah pens "Finding Esta" in a well written plot with plenty of twists and turns to keep your interest. Her characters are totally interesting and believable in this paranormal fantasy. I totally loved the book and even with the cliffhanger at the end, now I can't wait for the next book to come. Highly recommended for all adult paranormal readers. My Cozie Corner {Book Reviews}

“Finding Esta is an urban fantasy tale with a riveting plot that hooked me from the very first page. [...] and cleverly weaves both mystery novel and supernatural tale together.” Valerie S. Fowler {Book Reviewer}

" It's a great tale that's part Nancy Drew, part Harry Dresden, and part Underworld, with a dash of Weapon X thrown in for good measure [...] and my favorite line was, "The ego of a God, the wit of a goldfish." Tom Winship, {Author of Vaempires.}

"From the onset of the story, the prose is dripping with the voice of a character I could spend eternity with. The story is laced with beautiful but nicely paced descriptions, and the characters breathe life into the pages." BooksForever {Editor / Author}

Finding Luna (working cover)
Finding Luna (working cover)


Book 2 of The Supes Series: Finding Luna (re-writes)

Due for publication early 2014 (this is the working synopsis) Imagine a broken young woman whose world is left in ruins. Imagine horrific identities forced violently upon her, to trigger a growing, often frenzied desire for blood, bouts of extreme hirsutism, and (ahem) embarrassing dental issues. Imagine two love interests and the supernatural community insisting she’s not only their prophesied saviour, but also the defeater of Queen Vampire Lucy ...her sire-sister. Then …imagine she is you! What’s your next move?
  * Interesting fact alert: Shah designed this cover, and the fur texture in the title does have significance. :) This may or may not be the cover used at publication. She'd love your input and ideas.


From Chapter Two of Finding Esta
When Flo died, she lost her bipolar disorder and found telepathy. Cool swap. I could have asked her to read Helen’s thoughts, to help me locate her, but nothing’s ever that simple. Awkward things like morals came into play. My nosey tendrils liked to seep out, ingesting and reading all forms of emotional energy, unrestrained. It took focus to keep my guard up, to keep them tethered until required, because I’m exposed to the darker side of humanity every day. They’re mostly strangers who I care little about, but my folks are different. When I tuned in to mother-dearest years ago, it felt like swimming through vomit. As soon as I could, I learned how to avoid Helen and Jack’s revolting verves. For my emotional and physical wellbeing, I haven’t read my folks for years. How could I expect Flo to go poking around their minds? People can be terribly exhausting. Having to remove my gloves to conform to Helen’s rigid house rule of ‘no outdoor wear indoors’ meant I had to stuff my hands deep into the pockets I’d had fitted on every all-in-one, sun-shielding outfit I had made. It’s the safest place for them, without gloves. While I searched for vegetables, I touched something, and I should never touch anything. Tsk! “Ouch.” I yelped at the sharp sting. What is that? Must be new. Each object has its own energy and the potential to tell me its history through touch. It's amazing really, but that process feels like significant electric shock from a plug socket, or a nasty paper cut. The pain worsens depending on its age, power, story. Eventually, I adjust to new energies, but have to suffer it first. I therefore avoid touch altogether. Especially people. Touching people hurts most. I fell back against the wall, "Helen only went and got new tea towels, Flo. Duplicates of the old ones. No imagination. When did she get them?” The pain of touch usually comes complete with a vision. This time it brought the overwhelming stench of faeces and sweat, a gnawing hunger, fatigue and melancholia, and the irritation of persistent flies cruising my face. "Doesn’t that witch have a soul?" I waved my hand like an idiot, hissing and wincing to reduce the pain. Never works, but everyone does it. “You all right?” asked Flo. “Yeah." I staggered to the kitchen sink. "If I didn’t know better, I’d say she did that on purpose.” I used my long sleeves like a barrier, albeit a flimsy one, and filled a glass with tap water and gulped it back. “What I’d give for a Merlot.” I staggered to the table and chairs, feeling woozy. Thankfully, my internal flesh is safe from the dangers of touch, unlike the external. I fantasised about being turned inside out, more than once. For a breathless moment, I had to sit, my hands restored safely to their pockets. I gasped and fought back tears for tiny brown bodies, slaving away across oceans, working long hours for scraps. “Remind me to sign up to a charity for kids in sweat-shops.” “You did. Calm down, they'll wanna know whats up if they find you in this state.” "Okay," I snapped, aloud. Really not a good idea. Humanity is a mixing pot of light and dark. A rainbow of auras and emotions continually flow around us and through us, unnoticed by everyone but me. It is both inspiring and depraved. It can also be boring, confusing, and bloody painful.


Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk and internationally.
Draft2Digital distributes to many outlets on all formats, including
Barnes & Noble (for NOOK) | KOBO (for ePUB) | iBOOKS (for APPLE) |

Author Bio

Shah’s father nurtured her love of the written word as a child, although her words remained private until recently, when she decided to apply her imagination to short stories, in 2010. One of which grew into Finding Esta, the beginning of Luna’s tumultuous journey of self-discovery. Finding Esta is her debut novel, and the first volume of The Supes Series. Shah enjoys all good speculative fiction and is an avid Kindle abuser and cinema fan. She adores her fans, the indie writing community, and is thrilled to be part of the e-publishing revolution. She lives between Dubai and United Kingdom with her husband and their beloved dog, Bobby. On her blog, she discusses her writing, publishing, books and storytelling, and supports other authors. She is always happy to accept feedback so please do get in touch.



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Interview with Cathrina Constantine

I'm so excited to be interviewing my friend Cathrina Constantine today for the Blogger Book Fair. Cathrina and I got to be friends last year when we were both learning the ins and outs of getting our books published and it's been fun to share our journeys together.

This is a doubly exciting time for Cathrina because her debut novel is going to be released in just a few weeks! Wickedly They Come will be published on August 24, 2013 by Black Opal Press. I know I will be ordering my copy as soon as I can.

But now without further ado, here is the interview. Thanks for being here, Cathrina!

1.    Tell us about Wickedly They Come. 

My debut novel is a YA/Adult, gripping, dark fantasy. Here is a short blurb:

Haunting visions, unusual strength, and special paranormal talents are the norm for Seeley and her sixteen-year-old daughter Jordan. Their lives become perilous when the leader of The Black Order stalks them, trying to fulfill a prophecy to consecrate Jordan to his lord—Lucifer.

Previously homeschooled and na├»ve, Jordan is inducted into the social culture of teendom at Elma High, where she encounters Mark, a mysterious new classmate, who is hell bent on keeping her unscathed from the forces of evil. But the battle between Heaven and Hell is escalating—and Earth is their battleground.

2.    What genre or genres do you enjoy writing in?

I typically like to write young adult.

3.    When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I always liked to write, but never felt qualified. A few years ago I put my heart and soul into my writing and after considerable honing, I might have created something decent.

4.    Do you write full-time or do you also have a “day job?” If so, what is it?

I work part-time for a local College University.

5.    What do you enjoy most about writing?

Like most writers, my characters seem to come to life, and I’m happy when the story comes together. 

6.    Anything you don’t enjoy or struggle with when it comes to your writing?

I don’t like the blocks in my mind. I can stare at a sentence or a paragraph for hours and I reword and revise because I can’t seem to get it just right. During the editing process I become agitated due to my lack of experience. And now the promotional aspect is not my cup of tea, but it must be done.

7.    What other passions or interests do you have besides writing?

My biggest passion is my family and friends. I also spend an inordinate amount of time with my pets. I like to sew and quilt, bake, and read.

8.    Glass half-full or half-empty?

Always half-full!

9.    What would you consider your dream vacation?

I’ve never had a vacation where I didn’t have to cook and clean. So a week’s vacation being pampered and served upon would be great!

10.    What’s your favorite place you’re ever visited?

Colorado—Our Honeymoon! We rented a car and bought bologna, bread, and beer and drove around the state. It was fabulous!

11.    Which of your characters would you say you are most like? Least like?

If I had to pick, I’d say the mother, Seeley. Easy for the least like—Lucifer.

12.    What can you tell us about your next book?

My next book is in its second phase of editing. It’s a dystopian tale, titled TALLAS. It’s completely different than Wickedly They Come. Also, my third book, CATALYST, is in the hands of my literary agent, Sharon Belcastro of The Belcastro Literary Agency.

I’d like to thank Julie Flanders for featuring me on her blog today during the Blogger Book Fair!

You can find Constantine here:



Cathrina and I swapped blogs for the day so you can find her interview with me here. I'm also at Jeff W. Horton's site today. It's been such fun to share space with so many great authors for the Book Fair!

In addition, Shut Up & Read is hosting the BBF Reader's Choice Awards and I would so appreciate a vote for Polar Night! I am listed in the "Fantasy - Mature (1)" category. My Untethered Realms mate M. Pax is listed in the "Science Fiction - New Adult" category for her great book The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear, so we are both pimping for Untethered Realms! 

Go here to vote for us and all of your favorites. Thanks! :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Interview with L.R. Wright

I'm excited to interview L.R. Wright, author of Basement Level 5: Never Scared, today for day two of the Blogger Book Fair. Welcome and thanks for being here, Leslie!

1.    Tell us about your latest book.

Basement Level 5: Never Scared is about a woman torn between her past and her future. 

Alexa Martinez is in danger and she must make some hard decisions to ensure her children's safety.

Blurb:  Alexa Martinez was raised to believe that murder, deceit, and lies were a part of life. A trained killer, she follows in her father’s footsteps, specializing in political assassinations for Martinez Security—contracted through the CIA. She thrives on the power, money, respect, and—most of all—the adrenaline rush.

Despite the danger associated with her profession, Alexa strives to give her children a normal life. But when her past catches up with her, they become pawns in a deadly game of revenge. Operating from a secret base, five levels below ground, Alexa struggles to unravel the puzzle, uncovering secrets that will alter their lives forever. Now she must make a choice—is she willing to die to give her children a life outside the bullet-proof glass?

2.    What genre or genres do you enjoy writing?

I write romantic Women's Fiction, romantic suspense, and contemporary romance

3.    When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was a little girl, I often made up elaborate stories with my Barbie Dolls.  Eventually, I decided I wanted to pen a soap opera.  I never thought I’d actually write a book.

4.    Do you write full-time or do you also have a “day job?” If so, what is it?

I work full-time as a Judicial Service Officer.  Basically, I write child support recommendations.  Can’t say much more, but I can definitely write 50+ books based on the things I’ve heard. Lol

5.    What do you enjoy most about writing?

I’ve always been a dreamer.  I love writing because it allows me to put my dreams on paper.  I enjoy taking a flawed character and making them root-worthy. 

6.    Anything you don’t enjoy or struggle with when it comes to your writing?

I guess my biggest struggle is time.  I am so busy with kid’s schedules, husband, work… I wish I had more hours in the day to write.  I try to write every day, but I may barely even get in one hour a day or writing. 
7.    What other passions or interests do you have besides writing?

I have an awesome family, so I LOVE hanging out with them.  I also enjoy planning events.  In fact, I plan several per year.  It’s kind of like a side-job for me. 

8.    Glass half-full or half-empty?

Half-empty.  What can I say, I tend to be more negative than positive.  BUT I’m working on it.

9.    What would you consider your dream vacation?

I’d love to go to St. Thomas.  I’ve never been to an island. 

10.    What’s your favorite place you’re ever visited?

Um…. I guess I could say Chicago.  I love the city, the shopping, and the food.

11.    Which of your characters would you say you are most like? Least like?

I’m most like Sydney (she’s the main character in my WIP, It’s Complicated).  Sydney is intelligent, but she’s all over the place (LOL).  Trying to do TOO much (that’s the story of my life).  And she’s WAY too dramatic (that’s me, but I’m working on it).

I’m least like (although I would love to be like her) Alexa.  She’s confident, brave, fearless, loyal.  While I’m loyal, I haven’t really mastered her other characteristics.  I’m a work-in-progress.

12.    What can you tell us about your next book?

It’s Complicated is the story of a woman torn between two brothers.  Sydney only put 3 things on her Run-Away-From-Suffocating-Boyfriend-List:  Career first, Avoid scandal, and Stay away from relationships that suck the life out of you. 

She’s enjoying her uneventful relationship with her new boyfriend, Caden, until one betrayal, two fifths of Patron, and three years of pent up lust threaten to destroy everything. 

She wakes up with a hangover and… Morgan, Caden’s brother.  Oops.  So much for avoiding scandal.

Excerpt from Basement Level 5: Never Scared:

Whoever was trying to kill her didn’t know her very well, or they’d have sent enough men to do the job...

As Alexa neared the street, a shadowy figure turned into the alley. She froze. The sun had already gone down, so she wasn’t sure if he’d noticed her. Cautiously, she slipped behind a trashcan and leaned against the wall of the store.

“Did you see her?” a male voice asked.

“No, I didn’t,” responded another man. “I checked the whole store. She’s nowhere in sight.”

“How did she slip past us?”

“I don’t know.”

She closed her eyes and wondered how she was going to get out of this. Grabbing an empty pop bottle, she pitched it behind her. Footsteps raced toward the sound. Once they were passed her, she bolted for the street as fast as she could go. It seemed too easy, but she went with it—until she ran right into a third man, who grabbed and hauled her off her feet. She struggled, kicking and punching him. Finally, he lost his grip and dropped her.

She immediately socked him in the balls. It stunned him, but not enough to disable him. He grabbed her hair as she slammed him in the knee with her good foot. His leg buckled, but his grip remained steady. She grabbed another stray bottle and bashed him in the face. Releasing her, he collapsed to the ground with a thud.

Another man advanced toward her and she kicked him in the chest. Yanking her knife from its hiding place, she thrust it into his neck. As a third man charged her, she pulled the knife out and plunged it into that man’s leg.

A groan pulled her attention back to the first man, who was struggling to his feet. She slapped him across the cheek with the butt of her gun. He slumped back to the ground. She leaned down and peered at his face. “Who the hell sent you?”

Basement Level 5: Never Scared can be found at:

Where to find Leslie:

Facebook: Leslie Wright Author
Twitter:  @LWrightAuthor

Thanks again to Leslie for being here with me! Visit Leslie's blog for the interview she did with me. I am also visiting with Shah Wharton today as part of the fair so please visit me at her site here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Interview with Jeff W. Horton

I am happy to be interviewing author Jeff W. Horton today as part of the Blogger Book Fair. Jeff and I were paired up for the fair and have enjoyed interviewing each other. One of the best things about this fair is that I've had the chance to get to know a few more authors.

Jeff is the author of five novels:

  • Cybersp@ce (1/1/2013)
  • The Way of Nacor: Tales of Eden (9/1/2012)
  • The Last Prophet (2011)
  • The Dark Age- Survivors of the Pulse (2011)
  • The Great Collapse-Survivors of the Pulse (2010)

Visit Jeff's Amazon page for all of his books.  And please read on for my interview with this talented and prolific writer.

1. Tell us about your latest book.

CYBERSP@CE-The novel is a mind-blowing, sci-fi espionage story, with ingredients of international intrigue, artificial intelligence, action, suspense, and romance. Set mostly in the Nevada desert, Cybersp@ce includes cyber warfare between nation states, the fantastic virtual world of an alien computer, and the hunt for one of the world's greatest spies.

From inside their home located outside the small town of Corona, New Mexico in 1947, a young boy and his parents, while watching a freak lightning storm, hear a loud crash, after young Henry Summers witnesses what he thinks is an alien spacecraft falling from the sky.

Many years later, Nick Reynolds is appointed as the head of a Cyber Command taskforce established to deal with the increasing cyber warfare threat from China. Soon afterwards a new, disturbing type of cyber attack emerges, just as Nick learns that an imminent massive Chinese cyber attack against the United States infrastructure might be imminent. When the evidence suggests that the threat is real and that the attack will kill millions of people, Nick discovers that his team will not have enough time or the technical resources to stop the incredibly advanced attack when it comes.

Nick soon learns of another top-secret project, however, one which might offer a way to stop the attack and spare the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Dr. Henry Summers works with his scientist daughter, Kate, inside Area 51 at Groom Lake, Nevada. After years of trying to reverse-engineer an alien spacecraft, the team has a breakthrough when they discover how to interface with an alien ship's computer, by using a cybernetic helmet to enter a fantastic, virtual world.

2.    What genre or genres do you enjoy writing in?

I just really enjoy writing fiction, particularly with a Sci-Fi thriller edge. To date, I've written apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic novels (The Great Collapse and The Dark Age-The Survivors of the Pulse Series), and a book based on Revelation Chapter 11, the end of days, the Antichrist, and the return of Jesus Christ (The Last Prophet). I've also written a science-fiction/fantasy Christian allegory for children (The Way of Nacor: Tales of Eden Series), and I've been working on the Cybersp@ce Trilogy, which includes Cybersp@ce, Frontiers, and New Beginnings, which is a science-fiction/thriller trilogy that chronicles humanity's pioneering journeys into interstellar space.

3.    When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I guess I realized I wanted to be a writer while I was in college, though it was decades afterwards before I would first publish a novel. I took a creative writing course and really enjoyed it.

4.    Do you write full-time or do you also have a “day job?” If so, what is it?

I still have a day job working with information technology, though I hope to one day take my writing full-time. I really enjoy writing, so it's a dream.

5.    What do you enjoy most about writing?

Writing for me is like reading a novel or watching a movie, but it's one that I can help determine the outcome. I say "help" because it seems like stories often take a on a life of their own. That and a true sense of accomplishment!

6.    Anything you don’t enjoy or struggle with when it comes to your writing?

When I first started writing I had difficulty developing an outline long enough to encompass my novel. I started writing and would eventually be able to flesh out an outline for the remainder of the story. Eventually, I was able to start fleshing out outlines for the entire book. That's when I believe my writing really started to improve.

7.    What other passions or interests do you have besides writing?

I enjoy reading, family, the Church, and the outdoors.

8.    Glass half-full or half-empty?

Half-full, always. We have to always be mindful of how much we have to be thankful for and focus on that, rather than on what we don’t have. It's good advice, I wish I could follow it myself.

9.    What would you consider your dream vacation?

Oh, that's tough. I suppose a year in a beautiful, relaxing tropical climate with a cool breeze off of the ocean, writing my next novel!

10.    Which of your characters would you say you are most like? Least like?

I can definitely identify with a number of characters from my novels, especially some of the protagonists like John March from The Last Prophet and Conrad Simmons from The Great Collapse. I probably feel like I have the least in common with the antagonist from The Last Prophet, the Antichrist, Abe Addon.

11.    What can you tell us about your next book?

In Cybersp@ce, alien technology helps save the day when the world is threatened with nuclear war. In Frontiers, humanity builds its first interplanetary spacecraft based off of that same technology. In New Beginnings, the Earth survives a near-catastrophe when a rogue planet barely misses the Earth, prompting humanity to establish it's first interplanetary colony.

Thank you, Jeff, for being here today!

About Jeff: 

Jeff Horton was born in North Dakota, the youngest son of a career Air Force master sergeant. A voracious reader growing up, he read the Bible, and stories by many popular authors including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Michael Crichton, Tom Clancy, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Jeff Horton's novel, THE GREAT COLLAPSE-SURVIVORS OF THE PULSE, a story about the coming of the pulse and the end of civilization, was published in 2010. THE DARK AGE-SURVIVORS OF THE PULSE, the sequel to The Great Collapse, was published in 2011, as was THE LAST PROPHET, a fictitious story about the life of John March, one of the witnesses sent by God to warn humanity about the antichrist, and the end of days. Released on September 1, 2012, THE WAY OF NACOR:TALES OF EDEN is a tale about four children, who find themselves lost and stranded on a strange alien planet and struggle to find a way home. Jeff Horton's fifth novel, entitled CYBERSP@CE, is a techno-thriller, in which the world is brought to the brink of nuclear war after a string of deadly cyber warfare attacks against the United States.

When he's not penning his next novel, he enjoys reading, going to church, and spending time with his family. Jeff Horton is a member of the North Carolina Writers Network.

For more information visit www.hortonlibrary.com or his Facebook Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/Author.Jeff.Horton.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Blogger Book Fair and Friday Celebrations

Next week I'm participating in the Blogger Book Fair, which runs from Monday the 22nd through Friday the 26th.

The fair is the brain child of Kayla Curry, who puts in hours of work to get the event up and running. There are literally hundreds of authors participating in the BBF and many are hosting giveaways and other promotional activities throughout the week.

Next week I'll be interviewing authors Cathrina Constantine, Shah Wharton, Jeff W. Horton, and L.R. Wright here on my blog and in return they will be interviewing me on their sites. So please stop by and check us all out!

Click here to see all the authors and book bloggers taking part in this fun event.

For this week's Celebrate the Small Things hop, hosted by Vikki at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author, I'm celebrating the fact that I got my own website up and running. I can't deny it made me kind of giddy to see my own domain name. I've been kind of quiet online this week because, in spite of the fact that weebly did "everything" for me, it still took me forever and a day to get the site to a point where I wasn't embarrassed to share it. I went round and round trying to get the hang of what was clearly supposed to be a very simple process. Simple for everyone but me, apparently.

I'm still playing with the site and will be adding to it but if you'd like to take a look at it, you can find me here at http://www.julieflanders.net/. :)

I also finished my latest (final?) round of editing and polishing my Ghosts of Aquinnah manuscript. I was thrilled to be able to get to the last page and beyond thrilled to be able to say that I still love the story. I also wrote a blurb for the story for my new site. So it was a productive week!

Finally, I'm celebrating that another week of summer is over. I know I'm in the minority, but I really don't like summer. I HATE the heat and humidity and I have such fair (some may say translucent) skin that sun is my nemesis and can burn me to a crisp in a matter of minutes. By this point in the summer, I've even tired of the long days when the sun doesn't set until after 9:00. So while I may regret saying this in the winter when it's dark and freezing and I'm trying to drive on ice, for now I am happy that we are one week closer to autumn, which is my favorite time of the year. 

Happy Friday and Happy Weekend! :)