Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Author Interview: Michael Reid Jr. Author of the New Release, "Sins of the Father"

A year ago in June of 2016, I won my first #bookstagram giveaway. It was a signed copy of "Debt of Fear" by Michael Reid Jr.
I quickly read the book and reviewed it which you can read, HERE
And the synopisis:
"Logan Falcone had finally stopped reliving the events in Iraq when a phone call from Samantha forced him to leave his detached reality. A terrorist attack in Paris hinted at American involvement and she feared a cover-up. A second attack, this time in Chicago, starts to open a deceitful door into a terrorist cell. Logan uses his old connections, a group of recon marines, and as much assistance as Samantha can give without compromising her job with the FBI. Leads fall through their fingers and it appears there’s a leak in the government. In the end, it comes down to Logan’s intuitive training and ability to read people. Will Logan be able to tap into who he used to be? Or will his fears of another loss dictate his actions, causing even more attacks and American deaths?"
Flash forward a year and here we are anticipating the release of the sequel to Debt of Fear, called
Sins of the Father. Check out this great cover!
You can read an exerpt from the book by clicking HERE
and if you find it intriguing, preorder the Kindle version for .99 HERE
Being that I'm a fan of Reid's books and a friend, I scored an exclusive author interview! And I know you'll enjoy it. So without anymore fuss, pretend that you are observing Mike and I on the set of my incredibly famous book related talk show with my special guest, Mike Reid:

1. Mike, It’s been about a year since I’ve read Debt of Fear, do you want to give us a refresher course on the plot before we read Sins of the Father?

Gladly.

Amir turned traitorous monster against his own country, 'Merica, then double crossed his handler Jenkins, murdering him and escaping the custody of the US government.

Meanwhile, Logan overcame some of his issues getting close to people as he solidified an old romance, but also nailed together a 4 man team, who will ultimately be tasked with hunting down Amir.

That's about as concise and spoiler free as I can make it.


2. For those of us with literary crushes on the protagonist, Logan Falcone, is there anything you want to tell us about him that we wouldn’t get from the books? Did you use a photograph for a reference? What does he look like in uniform?

I used no photograph. He's amorphic, taking on anyone's ideal soldier type. Fill in the blank with your imagination. That's who Logan Falcone is. A dreamy, mysterious hero. But have no fear. You get more of his dark and troublesome backstory in Sins of the Father. You'll love him even harder.
*Sadie's note: Here's what Logan Falcone looks like (just pretend the flag is American. It's Tom Hardy in camo, who cares where's he's from, right?)


3. This book is in the Military Thriller genre and your previous release, The Beyond Experience, is Spiritual Sci-Fi (I made up that genre classification for you, by the way, you’re welcome) which do you enjoy writing more?

That genre actually exists so quit patting your own back now. But I appreciate the love. I don't want to nail myself down to a particular genre. Reason being, this is fun for me. A great story comes to mind and I want to write it. I refuse to write a military thriller, a sci-fi whatever, simply because that's where my reader base is. That leads to poor, watered down writing in my opinion. The most flattering thing I could ever imagine hearing, is that I turned someone on to a genre outside their norm, simply because they loved my writing and wanted to follow along.
*Sadie's note: I never stop patting myself on the back.

4. Can you tell us more about your creative process? Anything unique to you? I’ve heard some weirdos get their best ideas while mowing the lawn. Isn’t that crazy? Where do you get your best ideas?

I actually get my best ideas mowing the lawn. I've heard the color green stimulates creative centers in the brain so maybe that has something to do with it. Going for walks has also helped me come to some of the exciting plotpoints and how they play out as well.

I think possibly the strangest thing I do is when I come up with a new idea. I don't write it down. That makes too much sense. I literally obsess over it for weeks, build the entire story in my mind, and when I finally want to scream because I can't stop, the story finishes itself. Then I write a brief outline, and usually, since I've rehursed it in my mind about a million times, I never forget the story.
*Sadie's note: Mike is clearly a weirdo.
5. If Sins of the Father was an ice cream flavor, what would it be?

Stupid question. But I'll answer. Moosetracks. Because it's got soft bits that pull you in emotionally, hard pieces which represent the crap the characters go through, the chocolate and caramel are the dirty deeds, and whatever. You get the point. There's a lot going on but somehow it's a symphony.
*Sadie's note: It's actually a great question. Probably everybody's favorite.
6. Let’s say some readers have never read a Military Thriller, what would you tell those readers so that they would be compelled to make your books their first try?

Ever watched Borne? How about Black Hawk Down? Band of Brothers? Zero Dark Thirty? Well imagine fusing all that together, and crank it up to 10. You're halfway there.

Still not sure? I interviewed several combat helo and f18 pilots, special operations agents, navy SEALs and government agents overseas to ensure the plot was both accurate and relevant to today's world. You won't find anything as intense and accurate, whether on screen or print.

7. What do you love most about self publishing and sub question, what do you hate about it?

I have complete control. Nobody tells me what to do. The bad, everything else. The promotions, the cost, the time. I would really love an agent ha. That way I can just write and write and write.

8. Do you have any exciting projects that you’re working on for the future and can you tease us with some details on those? If you’re not currently working on anything, what the hell is your problem?

I'm always working. Woman please. I guess I can make it official here, to some degree at least. I'm working on a massive sci-fi series, told in three books with big plans for book 1 tentatively entitled The Aurora. The series is OMEGA. It will follow an AI Droid who's tasked with assisting in the saving of humanity. But, you'll have to wait to read about how or what happened...and I promise that story hasn't been told. It's scope is incredible and I've been interviewing an astrophysicist who's excited about the idea. So you know right there it's good.

9. I heard a rumor that you know someone named Lucas Gravy. Is that right? Gravy? He sounds weird. Tell me about him.

Oh I know him. Lucas Graeves. And he's a psychopath so watch out. Just misspelling his name drives him mad. He writes some dark stuff, horror, keep you up at night sort of things. He's creepy, but I love him. He told me in confidence he's publishing in 2018. But don't ask him directly. Go through me. He's touchy.

10. Lastly, why am I the coolest person you know?

Cause you ask the questions that nobody else will. And you shoot straight with me. I appreciate that very much. Thanks for the support Sadie. Now go sell me a million books.

Well, there you have it. If this interview hasn't convinced you to buy both of these books and get on the Logan Falcone fanclub train, I don't know if you're doing your life right.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August's Nocturnal Readers Box: Infested & Infected- BLOG PARTY

You guys know all about the Nocturnal Readers Box, right? Known as NRB for all the cool kids. Well I have been a rep for them since January (I think) and I count my lucky stars every damn month that they chose me to represent this book subscription box to you guys. The theme for August was "Infested and Infected" here's what we got:
One of my favorite items is this exclusive NRB coffee mug:
design: Exhumed Visions
NRB always gives us these bad ass enamel pins and this one was inspired by Johnathan Mayberry's Patient Zero. I love that I have this amazing collection of horror theme pins for my tote bags and jean jacket.
New Release: Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones/signed.
I'm so excited and slightly nervous to try this exclusive bath bomb! I heard there's something in the middle of this thing. Yuck. I LOVE BATH BOMBS!!! This one is by the Fizzy Fairy
I think this is my all time favorite art print we ever got! I love the retro design and colors of this print. It's so creepy and gross too! I love it! Please check out Ally Burke's website! Lots of beautifully creepy artwork.
Brand New Release: The Grip of It by Jac Jemc. I'm so excited for this book!
"A chilling literary horror novel about a young couple who purchase and live in a haunted house. Jac Jemc’s The Grip of It tells the eerie story of a young couple haunted by their new home."
I love this snapback hat! It fits so well! Inspired by Stephen King's the Stand's biggest enemy, "Captain Trips" Probably my favorite wearable!!
Lastly, a previously released book This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong.
"From the writer of the cult sensation John Dies at the End comes another terrifying and hilarious tale of almost Armageddon at the hands of two hopeless heroes.

WARNING: You may have a huge, invisible spider living in your skull. THIS IS NOT A METAPHOR."
Well that's all folks! Hope you get in on next month's box! Use my code if it's your first time subscribing! "SADIEREADS15"

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Chapter One: A Strange Request

If you haven't read the Prologue to this story, do so HERE


________________**__________________

The room was absolutely as it should be. Sterile, organized and a bit on the chilly side. A small, steel table was set with a thin liner and a gleaming metal tray. Laid out on the liner were stainless steel tools; polished to a mirror shine and in their proper order of use. A large metal gurney on wheels was in the center of the room right over the drain in the concrete floor. Elsie Turner was locking down all four wheels with the toe of her boot. She was wearing her long skirts and a tight, long sleeve blouse that had a high collar. Over her clothes she wore a sturdy, white apron that was crisp and clean. Her long black hair was in its usual style for work; piled on top of her head in a tight bun secured with pins. Her gloved hand touched all the tools for a third time and straightened the liner on the gurney, then she took out her pocket watch and was surprised to see that Dr. Benton was a few minutes late already. She was just about to break protocol and retrieve the body herself, when she saw Dr. Benton and a strange man enter in through the main lobby. The two men were all smiles and chatting as they removed their jackets and hats and hung them by the door. Then they made their way to the examination room together.
Elsie suddenly didn't know what to do with herself. She was so accustomed to her daily routine with Dr. Benton, the slightest difference was causing confusion. Realizing she was standing awkwardly with her arms hanging at her sides in the middle of the room like a Neanderthal, she quickly picked up some paperwork off a side table and began shuffling through the pages. She also stole a glance at her reflection in the two way mirror at the back of the room. Elsie never wore makeup to work, but she looked pretty without it—she pinched her cheeks for a splash of color seconds before the door opened.
Elsie!” Dr. Benton entered the room, “Aren’t you a wee bit early?"
She opened her mouth to protest but thought better of it. The other gentleman was smiling at her. He looked to be her age, about thirty. He had longish, curly brown hair and thick sideburns. The men were doing that these days, growing out their sideburns in lieu of a mustache and beard. She thought the style looked very becoming on him. He wasn't attractive in a traditional sense. His eyebrows were bushy and wild, framing his dark, small eyes but he had a playful smile that caused her to smile automatically in return. Setting the papers aside and determining that Dr. Benton was forgetting to introduce his young friend, Elsie removed her medical gloves and threw them in the receptacle before crossing the room and extending her hand to the man, “Hello, I'm Elsie Turner. Dr. Benton's assistant.”
Oh!” Dr. Benton raised his hands in the air, “Where are my manners? I'm so sorry! Jacob, this is my assistant Elsie Turner. Elsie, my nephew, Jacob Benton—er, my brother's son.”
They were already shaking hands but the secondary introduction forced them to remain shaking hands until they were both smirking about it. His hands were strong and smooth.
It's a pleasure to meet you, Elsie. Uncle has told me so much about his eager, female assistant!” he gestured quotations around “female”.
Elsie blushed, “Dr. Benton has been so brave to take a risk having a woman do a man's job! He's very proud of his edgy business decision!”
So revolutionary! Clearly!” Jacob laughed. It was hearty and sincere.
Poor Dr. Benton didn't know if they were joking with him or about him and quickly changed the subject, “Elsie, Jacob just graduated from medical school and is looking to see what it is I do here as a small town medical examiner. I'm so flattered!” he clapped Jacob roughly on the shoulder, “I hope you don't mind having an extra set of eyes and hands around for awhile?” Both men looked at her.
Oh! Of course not!” secretly, she hoped this wouldn't mean that when the time came for Dr. Benton to retire, Jacob would be considered to inherit his uncle's practice. A very assumptive thought but she couldn't help thinking it. She also couldn't shake the butterflies in her stomach thinking about having Jacob Benton around indefinitely. Dr. Benton turned to his nephew, a funny pair: Dr. Benton short, bald and wearing spectacles and Jacob Benton, who stood at least four inches taller than him with his full head of hair and broad shoulders. Despite the differences, the family resemblance was strong. They had the same unique nose in profile and practically identical shade of mossy green eyes—but she wasn't staring. She was actually very busy shuffling her feet and looking like she was about to be busy.
Perhaps you could show Jacob where we keep the bodies pre-examination? I can get Jacob a coat and gloves.” she offered.
Yes!” Dr. Benton slapped his hands together, “A good plan, Elsie! Thank you. This way Jacob!” Dr. Benton led the way back out through the lobby towards the morgue. As soon as they disappeared through the double doors out the back of the lobby, the front door opened and a young girl came inside. Elsie tipped her head and approached the girl, “Hello. Can I help you?” It immediately bothered her that Jacob and Dr. Benton would be returning with a body—it would have a sheet covering it but still, a shocking sight for a young woman who already looked like she had seen a ghost.
I'm sorry to bother you ma'am. Are you terribly busy?” the girl was trembling, either cold or fear, she couldn't tell which but one thing was for sure, she didn't want the girl to be here when the body came through,
Let's step out into the hall. What's your name, Miss?” she put a firm hand on the girl's back and led her back out through the front door. It was very early in the morning, none of the other businesses that shared this space were open yet, so the hall was very quiet and a bit dark. Elsie crossed to one of the lights on the wall and manually turned up the gas a little bit. The brighter light helped the atmosphere be a little less, ominous. The girls hands were fidgeting and wiggling. She seemed to notice Elsie staring at them so she stuffed them in the pockets of the overcoat she was wearing, which looked too big for her and maybe a man's coat to boot,
My name is Madeline, Ma'am. I'm a servant girl at the Briarwood Manor.”
Elsie nodded her head. She knew the place. Everyone in this town knew of it. The large estate sat on a knoll just outside of town and could be seen bearing down on the landscape from any direction.
Madeline, why have you come here? And at this early hour?”
I'm not to start my tasks at the manor for another hour. I have a bit of time to ask you something and then be on my way for the morning duties.”
Ask me something? Do we know each other? You know of me?”
Yes ma'am, you know my ma, Pearl. She goes to that reading group on Fridays.”
Murder Mavens! Elsie went to Lady Hatfield's estate every Friday night where several women read a murder mystery book together and discussed it over whisky and cigars.
Oh! Yes! I know Pearl very well. Oh, Madeline what could you possibly need me for? Is your mother all right? Are you in trouble?”
Madeline’s eyes welled up with tears and her bottom lip trembled, “My ma, doesn't know I'm here. I got something real important to tell you. I hope you can help me?”
Yes, yes, I can try! What's the matter?”
I was hoping you could help us. At the manor. Concerning the Lady Briarwood and the Master.”
Elsie sighed and rubbed her brow, a little telltale sign of impatience, “Are they sick? Madeline, I'm very busy right now and I'm not a doctor you know?” she moved towards the door so she could open it and see if Dr. Benton and Jacob had returned but Madeline rushed to stand in front of her.

Listen, something is happening at the Manor! Something dark and sinister. I'm really the only one who notices besides just a few other staff members like the head footman, Mr. Ewliss. He let me borrow his jacket. He knows I'm here. He encouraged me to find someone who could help us.” Something about Madeline's genuine fear and the fact that she came all this way to seek her out, was adding to her desire for mystery and adventure. Elsie was a standout at the Murder Mavens get togethers. She had been silenced, by the other women, until everyone else attempted a guess at the mystery first. Perhaps Pearl told her daughter about her knack for mystery solving.
I think maybe you should tell the authorities if you think you're in real danger.” even as she said it, she knew there would be an argument.
Madeline was shaking her head, “We've tried that. Nothing happens when they're around and there's nothing to report. I cannot explain it but Master is able to deceive them.”
The door opened and Dr. Benton stuck his head out, “There you are! Is everything alright out here, Elsie?”
The two girls looked caught in something. Dr. Benton couldn't put his finger on it but there was an energy between the two that made him uncomfortable. The young girl had a desperate face he didn't like.
I'm just finishing up here with Madeline. I'll only be another minute or so.” said Elsie. There was a tone of confidence in her voice that assured the doctor that all way well, so he nodded and left them to their conversation.
Madeline sighed a big sigh. Her shoulders were slumped, extra slumped actually under the weight of the heavy coat and she looked so small and helpless in that moment that Elsie made a decision,
I'll help you.”
The girl's face lit up, her eyes wide and searching, so full of hope and gratefulness, Elsie's heart could barely take it,
I'm not sure what all I can do, I mean, I'm not an authority or a real investigator or anything!” she laughed, “I'm just a girl, Madeline. We both are. But I'm a smart girl, a wise one. And I have friends that might be interested too. I don't know if we can figure anything out but we can try.”
Oh! Thank you! Thank you!”
Madeline leapt in for a big hug, her arms squeezing Elsie hard enough to make her spine pop a few times, she returned the hug then pushed her away a bit,
Listen, I'm not sure how this is going to all work out but in the meantime, don't tell anyone you came here. Understand? Nobody! Except maybe that Mr. Ewliss.” she touched the coat.
Madeline nodded her head enthusiastically, “I think Master is always keen on hiring new help. We go through staff a lot there. Just a few of us have been there over a year or so. Maybe you could get a job there of some sort?”
We'll see. Off you go, Madeline. I have work to do.”
The girl smiled weakly and looked like she could burst into tears, “Thank you so much, again. Thank you.” then she slipped out the front door.
Elsie's head was full of the girl's odd request until she saw Jacob and Dr. Benton waiting for her in the examination room, then all thoughts were focused on her new acquaintance.
_____________ **______________


The girl in the oversized coat exited the big, brick building and flew down the long flight of stairs. As she passed by the alleyway between two buildings, a man stepped out from the shadows and fell in step behind her. She was humming a little tune and walking with a much lighter step compared to when he followed her into town this morning. Maybe she got what she came for. He stopped for a moment and put a hand rolled cigar between his lips. He lit a match and cupped his hand around the end of it while he brought the flame close. He drew smoke into his mouth, allowing it to release in thick puffs until the cigar was well lit and he could see some good ash building. The man looked for the girl. She was still on the sidewalk, just a block away. He started walking, one hand taking the cigar from his lips, the other hand fingering a blade in his pocket.
 







Friday, July 21, 2017

Sins of the Father Cover Reveal

Just in case you aren't subscribed to Michael Reid Jr.'s newsletter (which you should be! What's wrong with you??)
You can see the teaser cover right here:
Which is the follow up book to his debut novel, Debt of Fear
You can read my reviews for both The Beyond Experience HERE
And Debt of Fear HERE

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Prologue: "A Tremulous Woman"



Prologue:

Lillian stared at herself in the mirror. She ran her fingertips over the red, puffy skin under her eyes and silently scolded herself for being such a cry baby last night. Her rich, auburn hair looked dirty; greasy. She wound a strand of hair around her finger and made a perfect ringlet. The dirty quality of her hair held the curl so she made a few more.
As she tilted her head from side to side, the dim light in the room highlighted a developing rash around her mouth and under her nose. Little bumps that she could hardly see but could easily feel.
She was still in her bedclothes- a thin gown made of raw silk. The low neckline revealed the top of her breasts and she could see that the bruises had finally faded to a soft olive green rimmed with purple. She cinched up the neckline by pulling on the two velvet ribbons threaded through the gown and made a perfect bow. The bruises were no longer visible.
Her fingernails were chewed down to practically nothing and were actually quite painful. Still, she found herself gnawing on the tender skin trying to find something she could nibble off.
Her eyes began to well up with tears and sting. Her throat seizing up she tried to hold back the sobs.
No more crying! NO MORE CRYING!
The constant crying was exhausting her and making it difficult to think clearly. All day yesterday and for most of the night until she fell into a deep sleep, her body shuddered and shook with the crying. She would try to stop so that she could strategize or plan but it seemed as though her body and her mind were disconnected. Her mind wanted to regain control; her body wanted to breakdown.
Perhaps if I got some fresh air?
Her mind filled with hopeful anticipation, forcing her broken and downtrodden body out of the chair and across the room.
The floor was icy cold on her bare feet and she could feel the chill of the room pressing in against her thin bedclothes. A velvet robe that matched the ribbons on her grown was balled up at the foot of the bed. As she picked it up, a huge grey spider skittered across the floor.
Lillian gave a little yelp and dropped the robe in disgust. Instead, she pulled a blanket off the four poster bed and wrapped herself up in it. She glanced at the large stone fireplace across the room and couldn't remember the last time someone came to build a fire in it.
Lillian tugged on a rope at the left side of the bed summoning her attendant. Somewhere on the lowest floor of the manor, a bell would be ringing and an attendant would be forced to stop eating their breakfast to come see what Lillian was requesting. The house was so large, it would take several minutes for them to reach her room.
Lillian found herself in front of the large, glass doors that led to her private terrace. The curtains had been drawn across the doors for so long that when she pulled them back, she actually gasped at the amount of light that poured in. Her eyes wouldn't stop blinking and watering but she was determined to make them adjust to the new lighting. The door knob seemed to be locked but then decided that they were probably just stuck from limited use.
Finally the doors gave way and opened. A cool rush of air filled Lillian's nostrils and excited her flesh with goosebumps.
She had no idea what time of the day it was or what activity could possibly be going on around the manor. Her mind was formless; devoid of exploring any solid thoughts. This saddened her tremendously.
How out of touch with the world am I? Does anyone even know what has become of me?

The flowering vines on the terrace were out of control. They wound their way around and through almost every surface. The railing was thick with them and Lillian had to physically move the vines from her path in order to stand at the railing and peer over its edge.
“You summoned My Lady?”
Lillian jumped at the sound of a voice and whipped around to see young Madeline standing in the doorway of the terrace.
“Yes.” Lillian's voice was whisper soft and slightly scratchy from crying and misuse. She cleared her throat and tried again, “Yes! Yes, I summoned. I would like for you to build a fire in the fireplace, change the coverings on the bed and send a Gardner to manage these unruly vines.” She gestured at the thick tendrils surrounding the railing.
“Yes, M'Lady” Madeline answered softly, keeping her eyes downcast.
Lillian remembered she was only wearing her bedclothes. She pulled the blanket from around her shoulders and crossed her arms in front of her chest.
“Also, Madeline, I need you to fix me a hot bath. I'll need a gown for attending the gardens later as well. But hurry along and build that fire, a roaring fire to remedy the awful chill in this room that has lingered so long!”
Madeline blushed at the rising tone of Lillian's voice. She scurried over to the fireplace and began scooping out the heaping pile of ash and coals.
“It's not your fault, Madeline. I know I have asked not to be disturbed but someone could have checked...” her voice trailed off as she remembered shouting at Madeline the last time she came to “check” on her.
Madeline mumbled something totally inaudible and she let it go. She didn't want to hear Madeline speak of the last few weeks. It would confirm her fears that she had truly gone crazy. That she had been to the brink of utter darkness and despair and have almost been unable to return. Or survive.

Madeline managed to get a healthy fire established and then left to ready Lillian's bath. The warmth and glow of the fire drew her in and she let the blanket drop from around her shoulders.
There was a large wingback chair in the corner of the room and Lillian drug it right to the very front of the hearth and then allowed herself to sink into the cushions. She held up her feet to the flames, letting them lick at her heels.
She closed her eyes. For the first time in a long time, Lillian Briarwood felt present in this world.

_____________ **______________



Madeline was having trouble making her way down the dark corridor. Her heart was beating rapidly and she was short of breath. The lamps that usually were lit in this particular wing of the manor were so dim she could barely see.
She knew the Master was down here somewhere but she had only visited him once and had forgotten the way. She came to the end of the narrow hall and discovered that she could either turn right or left. Both directions offered nothing but rows of doors and darkness.
She was lost. The Lady was probably already wondering where she had gone. It shouldn't have taken her this long to fetch hot water for the bath.
“Which way?” she wondered out loud to nobody. She finally went left. Left just seemed right. As she passed by a door she heard voices. She stopped to listen, slightly pressing her ear to the door.
She could hear the low, familiar baritone of Master's voice but couldn't make out the words. Just as she raised her hand to knock on the door, a scream exploded from inside. Madeline instinctively went to cover her ears but the scream stopped short.
Madeline felt a panic rise up inside her and she covered her own mouth before a scream could betray her presence. Quickly, she turned to run back the way she came but ran smack into Dolger, Master's footman.
Madeline didn't know if Dolger was the footman's first or last name. She never knew how to properly address him.
“Oh! Sir! Sorry!” she went to step around him.
“Wait up missy.” Dolger caught Madeline's arm in a vice like grip, “What are you doing down here?”
“Master told me to tell him if the Lady made summons. She made summons this morning, Sir.” She wiggled in Dolger's grasp and he let her go.
“Well, Master didn't tell you to tell me, now did 'e? He told you to tell 'em” he roughly pushed her back towards the door.
“Can't you tell him? I'm to draw the Lady's bath.”
“Naw. I can't. You do it.” Dolger reached around Madeline and rapped heavily on the door.
Almost as if he was waiting, it swooped open and Master stepped into the hall.
“What is it? What happened?” Master was wiping his hands with a dark cloth. He was so tall, he stooped a little in the door frame in order to look right into Madeline's eyes.
Dolger wrapped his arm around her shoulders, “This little one 'as something to tell you.”
Madeline was trembling uncontrollably, “Lady made summons this morning. To build a fire and draw a bath. I better go, I have kept her waiting.”
She ducked out from under Dolger's arm and ran down the corridor as fast as she could go his black eyed stare haunting her the whole way. She didn't stop until she got to the West wing kitchens and then she slumped down in front of the boiler.

After she had collected herself, Madeline ran hot water for the Lady's bath and then silently employed two attendants to help bring the tub and the hot water to the Lady's chambers. Both attendants asked Madeline a barrage of questions but she would just shake her head and kept her mouth closed.
They managed to fill the Lady's bath in just under three separate trips and then the attendants left Madeline to bathe and dress the Lady Briarwood. Before they left the room, one of the attendants nudged the other one and pointed towards the fireplace. Lady Briarwood was still in her bedclothes. The glow of the fire and the nature of the raw silk gown revealed her beautiful, feminine silhouette. The attendants tittered and the taller, more mature one pleaded with Madeline to let him hide behind the curtains while she bathed her.
Madeline rightly slapped the boy square across the face and told him to remember his manners and good fortune to have landed a job at the manor.
“Control your lusty thoughts Brandon or I'll tell Master.”
The young attendant was quick to respond, “You need a good shagging Madeline. Meet me tonight behind the stables and you can help me control my lusty thoughts.”
This comment got both high praise from the other attendant and a swift kick at his private parts from Madeline which he was able to avoid by exiting the room.
She slammed the door and leaned against it. The loud noise startled the Lady from her nap.
“Ready for your bath my Lady?”
“More than you know.” the Lady sighed.

________________**__________________

**Everything on this blog is copyright protected and belongs to Sadie Hartmann

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

So You Want to Get Some ARCs?



Hey there bookstagrammers. I haven't updated my blog in FOREVER but I haven't really had anything to say that I don't already say on Instagram or Twitter.
But now I have something to say! There seems to be this assumption on social media that you have to be contacted by publishers to get an ARC (advanced reader copy). This is not the case.
I mean, yes. Sometimes people are contacted. I have been contacted by indie authors to read their books for free in exchange for an honest review. I have been contacted by Crown Publishing to be in their bookstagram partnership. (we pick out books, we thank them, we post them. No obligations or deadlines)
Example:
This book was part of that arrangement. I have also been contacted by Doubleday to read an ARC of Meddling Kids for an honest review. Of which I did. HERE. But publishers, generally, are not going to be banging on your door or my door anytime soon to beg you to take a free book. However, they do want their books read and reviewed. This is important to them and they are recently realizing the viral nature of social media micro-communities like #bookstagram
Which boasts over 12 million photos!
I'm sure you've seen some dedicated bookstagram accounts posting pictures of books that they are reading that don't come out for months! How do they do that? How do you get those? It's easy! Here are a few ways to do that:
1. You absolutely can request them from the publishers themselves. It's always good to be very professional in your approach, don't ask, "GIMMIE FREE BOOK?"
Rather, draft an email that you could copy and paste each time you make a request. Include your full name, the reason why you would like to be considered and links to your presence online. Twitter, Instagram, Blog, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. I have partnered with a small publishing house who agreed to send me whatever books I wanted if I just paid the shipping. I'm not going to tell you who they are, *laughing* I'm just letting you know I was successful doing this.
2. Join newsletters of your favorite Publishers. Often times, they have giveaways for ARCs or a request button. You might not always get one but I got two books from TOR this way
3. Goodreads First Reads has giveaways for ARCs and older titles. I have never won these but some of my friends have.
4. LibraryThing.com is like Goodreads and also has an ARC program
5. Join NetGalley and get free eBooks for reading and reviewing.
6. I've heard from two reliable sources Emily and Shannon that if you sign up for ShelfAwareness.com newsletter there are opportunities for ARCs
7. Penguin Teen loves giving bloggers ARCs! Check this link if you have a blog! HERE
8. Blogging for Books is an awesome resource if you don't mind deadlines and blogging!
9. Blog Tours- These sound a bit scary and time consuming. Bloggers are vetted and selected and if you are selected, failing to meet their demands can result in you getting kicked out of the program. But hey, if you don't mind that sort of thing, DO IT try TLC Blog Tours
10. There is one website I joined like six months ago and I can't remember the name of it because the terms were so ridiculous. You could request ARCs but if you were awarded the book, there were reading deadlines and the website actually scored you on how quickly you returned a review. The higher ranking you got, the more popular the ARC titles became. I think this sort of agreement sucks. It takes all the joy out of reading. Why would I want to read a bunch of books nobody has heard of in a very rigorous timeline and be obligated to review on a schedule? No thanks. I have books at home to keep me busy!
So there you have it folks! If you want ARCs go out and get them. You don't have to sit around and wait to be considered "special" ain't nobody THAT special. *wink*
~Sadie



Sunday, March 5, 2017

Interview with P. Anastasia, author of the Dark Diary

As many of you know, I'm working on writing a novel. It's a dark fantasy. Yesterday, the words just flowed out of me! It was wonderful! I've never had a more successful writing session. But sometimes, I feel overwhelmed, defeated and hopeless. I feel like I'll never hold my own book in my hands. So it's great that I have met some writers who have gone out in front of me and paved the way. They are all very approachable and willing to answer all of my crazy questions.

So I thought you might want to see a few questions I asked P. Anastasia recently and her brilliant answers!

Q. Are you the type that outlines?

A. I do not generally do outlines. Only periodically. I do research as I move forward (as needed), and to make effective use of your time, you simply have to write. 1 word or 1,000 words. It is better than nothing. To flesh out a story, I may write a thin draft of the scene with dialog, general ideas and actions and then on the second go-over/ first editing phase, I fill in the nitty-gritty details. Add more atmosphere, really let myself steep in the scene instead of rushing to just get it down. Imagine the place. The smells. The colors. Really let yourself be in that environment and try to convey the sights and sounds of the scene. If I find myself trapped at the end of a scene and unable to move forward, I back up a few pages and begin combing through the entire scene again --- this often helps trigger the mind to begin filling in the gaps. I’ve heard other writers tell me to never look back after I write something down until I am done with the entire piece. This NEVER works for me. I have to stop and rewind quite often to get my momentum back up. It works for ME.

Q: Can you tell me how to be effective in my writing time? Make the best use of the time I’m given?

A. Although I absolutely love writing, In general – I often have to force myself to sit down and actually do the work. As Neil Gaiman once said: “ You write on the good days; You write on the bad days.”
Sometimes you’ll write utter rubbish, but it will always be better than a blank page. Some days I wake up chomping at the bit to get to work, and other days I stare at a blank screen for HOURS, unable to stop fidgeting or thinking about the next meal I’ll be cooking or TV show I’ll be watching. I don’t outline full stories, but I do sometimes spend a day outlining certain events I know must happen and I put those parts into some logical order so I can flesh them out later.
Sometimes I skip forward to write an event and leave it for a bit as I’m not always inspired to write the tedious chapters that connect the more exciting ones. It’s OKAY if you want to write a fun bit and then get back to the less interesting stuff afterward. Write what you are called to write. Just do it. You can connect the dots later!
Setting an ultimatum for yourself every day will also help. I did this while completing my latest novel because I couldn’t get the drive together to do it. Basically, I told myself I had to write 2,000 words or I wasn’t allowed to do anything leisurely. After a few days/weeks of that, my brain kicked into create mode and I found writing the words each day easier and more efficient. Make sure you facilitate this by giving yourself a proper work environment. No distractions. Clean your desk of any and all things that get into your mental space. Use a specific computer or room for writing only and nothing more. This way, when you sit down, your body KNOWS you mean business.

"Don’t let anything get in the way. Think of it as solitary confinement for the sake of art! Stories can be shy beasties at times and need to be coaxed out of hiding."




Train yourself. Writing is like exercise. If you don’t do it for a while, you’ll get weak.

You’ll have to keep a set schedule to do this (if you can). Sometimes I end up going to bed at midnight even though I aim to be done with writing at 7 or 8PM, because the words ultimately choose when to come. Not everyone has this liberty -- so if you don’t, then simply give yourself a nice quiet hour each day to try. If nothing comes, so-be-it. If you do this over time, you’ll find your mind should begin ticking around the time you go to sit down. If it doesn’t, don’t be too hard on yourself. There will always be good writing days and bad. Don’t forget to take breaks so you don’t burn out, too.
That being said, you can EASILY go weeks and months without writing and when you get back into it, you’ll feel like a blob of can’t-write/how on earth did I ever write anything ? I’ve done this and I’ve promised myself from this point forward to never take more than a month hiatus from writing because 8 months off nearly murdered my newest novel.
Once in a while, I set a word count and stop right at the end of it, even if I’m in the middle of a rousing scene – that way, when I return the following day, I’m excited to jump in and get going on the rest of the action. Other days I’ll hit way over my quota and return the next day to a blank chapter heading and end up sitting there for an hour wondering what was going to come next.
The more you write, the better you will become. I also recommend working with an editor whenever you can. A professional editor – not a friend or friend who is a professional. Get someone who is unbiased of your work but who is interested in it. Work with them. It is worth the investment.
I’ve learned so much from my editors over the past few years that I’ve been able to catch most of the my mistakes now myself and fix them before they have to tell me to. (I still need my editors, though! EVERYONE does) My writing has become cleaner, more polished and less redundant the FIRST time around due to my experience.

I think that’s about the best advice I can give you. Write what you are called to write no matter what. Don’t let others tell you what or how to write it. Take advice from your editor(s) with a grain of salt, and do listen. They can help you substantially, but some editors can hurt you, too. This is your work, not theirs, so remember that. Always.




Good luck in your journey! It will be a rough one. Some days the sun will shine and birds will sing. Other days there will be torrential downpours and ten feet of icy snow. You have to make it past the bad days to get to the good ones.



Nothing can replace the feeling you’ll experience when the last word of the story appears on the page.



TAKE CARE AND HAPPY WRITING!

P. Anastasia just released an all ages coloring book that I think looks like a lot of fun! It's available now on Amazon HERE