Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spotlight Feature on JH Glaze! Special Horror Challenge, Just For Us!

Please welcome jh glaze and his next horror challenge

Review of The Spirit Box
I’m not sure how many of you have heard of JH Glaze, but by now, you seriously should have!  For me, he is one of the best horror writers out there!  Be prepared for your mind to be gutted, your skull to be warped, and hopefully put back together again by the can hope, but I make no promises.  Oh, and if you decide to skip over the prologue, you’re missing out on one of the best written legend that I have read. Just saying...
Welcome to the world of The Spirit Box, a clay box emblazoned with the likeness of the soul that lives within.  Hundreds of years ago, a spirit was trapped within the box; waiting for his time to be released back into the world...the only problem is he needs souls to do that.  Murder is on the menu for this demented spirit and it seems he has found a new helper: Walt.
 Walt, the quick-tempered, foul-mouthed character, living above his now-deceased mother’s antique shop, is one of the wormiest, slimiest characters I have run across.  You can help but love him and hate him at the same time.  Literally, I wanted to smack him with the turn of every page. 
John Hazard is one of those straight-talking, no-nonsense detectives that I love to read about, but JH Glaze takes him a step further, causing the reader to shudder at some of the things that he does.  It’s refreshing to have a detective within a story who isn’t a full-out “hero” like you will find in most books.
So, the spirit box is hungry for more, and so am I.  I loved the detail and the time spent luring the reader into this gruesome setting, stripping you of any semblance of normalcy at the same time.  There is literally nothing better than having your nerves wracked and your mind blown by a book about a box...I mean, who would have thought?? Guess that’s why his Horror Challenges are so amazing!  He is my go-to guy for horror now.  If you hear my screams tonight, don’t worry: I’ve just opened the box for a little bit of fun...

JH Glazes Horror Challenge
An Original Story by JH Glaze

Horror Challenge Topics: Frog and Tiara
Suggested by Ruthi Kight and MaryAnn Inabinet

To Kiss a Frog

Danika was like a lot of ten-year-old girls. For as long as she could remember, she had dreamed of being a princess. She had many costumes and accessories for pretending, but she was coming to an age when she had other interests. Boys specifically.

When she was younger, what had bothered her most about being a princess was the whole prince thing. After all, boys were disgusting, weren’t they? They were always getting dirty, fighting, and doing mean things to her and her friends. If that wasn’t bad enough, they often wandered over to bother her and her friends. Frequently, it would lead to being chased around her yard while the boy threatened her with some disgusting creature.

Now, she was old enough see boys in a different light. In the stories about princesses, sometimes the girl would kiss a frog and he would turn into a handsome prince. If only that were true, she could have her prince and bypass all the nasty things about boys.

When Danika’s brother Todd came home from college during summer vacation, she helped him unload his stuff and carry it up to his room. As he put his things away, she sat cross-legged on the bed and talked to him about school. She told him all about her friends and, to her surprise, he told her about his new girlfriend. It was fascinating to hear how he talked about the girl he was dating, a Brazilian girl. It seemed she knew a lot of history about her country.

Danika had missed her brother. She had always enjoyed having him around and now she was contributing more than her share to the conversation, but when he unpacked the small glass aquarium holding a large green frog, she went wide-eyed with curiosity.

“Is that a frog? It’s huge!” She put her face up against the glass and watched the frog turn to look into her eyes. “He looks friendly enough. What kind of frog is he?”

Todd laughed at his sister making faces at his pet and finally replied, “He’s a magical frog.”

Danika gasped. “Really? Is that what they really call him, magical?”

“Well, he’s a Colorado River toad, but he’s kind of magical.”

“What do you mean?” She started lifting the lid of the aquarium.

“Don’t touch him!” Todd sounded panicked.

“Why can’t I touch him?” She quickly set the lid back down as though he had hurt her feelings.

Now what? He couldn’t exactly tell her that he and his friends used this green toad to get stoned. Nor was he going to explain that if you squeezed it just right the liquid it secreted was hallucinogenic. Oh yeah, Dannie, he thought, it’s just like being on acid. Right! That is not something that you want to tell your little sister.

Instead, he simply said, “Uh, well, you know how those stories go? The princess kisses the frog, and he turns into a prince? No way do I want Bart turning into a prince. He’d break his tank if he grew that fast, and I’d lose my pet. Besides, what would we do with a prince?” He laughed. “Go on now. I want to go see the gang before it gets too late.”

Danika looked as though he had slapped her. “Todd, I wasn’t going to kiss him! I just wanted to hold him for a minute.”

“Not a good idea. Look, I’m gonna go hang out with my friends for a while. Maybe when I get home I’ll take him out and you can watch him eat. Now get going, I need to change my clothes.” He chased her out of the room and got dressed to go out.

About an hour later, she was watching a show on the TV when it came to her. Since no one was home, it wouldn’t hurt if she went and just looked at the frog. She might even pick it up if she dared. Through the bay window, she checked the driveway to see if Todd’s car was there before running upstairs to his room.

The bedroom was dark except for the light in the aquarium, which lit up the dresser around it. She flipped on the light and walked over to peer in at the olive green reptile through the glass. She hadn’t noticed the golden dots covering its skin when she had looked at it earlier.

“Hey, Bart,” she called to it in her sweetest voice. “Todd says you’re a magical frog. Is that for reals?”

The toad merely looked at her and blinked its eyes.

“You can understand me, can’t you? Blink if you know what I’m saying.”

The toad blinked again.

Danika was excited now. It actually understood her. She had to find out if it really was a magical frog. She went to the window and checked again for Todd’s car. Satisfied, she returned to remove the mesh lid from the tank and reached in to grab hold of Bart. He was sitting very still until she lifted him from the tank. Slimier than she had expected, he easily jumped from her hands and landed on the carpet with a ‘thunk’.

Now she was panicked. The toad was jumping around on the floor while she scrambled and tried to catch it. No sooner would she get her hands around it, than he would slip from her grasp again. Over and over, she tried to catch him. Before she knew it, the slimy secretions from the toad were all over her hands. At last, she managed to hold him in her grip and get him back into the tank. She closed the lid with a sigh of relief.

Danika was glad to put him safely back where he belonged, but she was beginning to feel strange. There were colors waving around the ceiling light and the room seemed to sway as she stood there leaning against Todd’s dresser. Bart was looking at her through the tank and that was when he spoke to her. “I’m hungry, Princess. Could you bring me something to eat?”

She went a little cross-eyed as she looked at him more closely. “Did you just talk?”

“I’d like a sandwich,” the frog replied.

“He just asked me to make him a sandwich!” She smiled to nobody there. Giggling, she said back to him, “Yes, my lord.”

Curtsying like one of the princesses she saw in a movie, Danika headed down to the kitchen. She was having trouble with the stairs, so she got down on her hands and knees to crawl down backwards. When her foot touched the floor at the bottom, she turned and wobbled into the kitchen.

The lights seemed so bright and the colors much more intense here. She squinted as she looked around. Why was she here? She couldn’t remember. “Oh yes, a sandwich,” she said. Without a thought about the slime on her hands, she opened the refrigerator. Pulling out a plate of leftover ham, she set it on the counter. Bread, mayo, and tomatoes, soon she had all of the ingredients. Leaving the refrigerator door open wide, she was ready to make the sandwich if only she could get the room to stop spinning.

Her stomach was hurting, and she guessed that she must be hungry, too. She put a piece of ham in her mouth and chewed it. Pretty good, she thought as she swallowed, but making the sandwich was another story. No matter how she tried, the ham would not go onto the bread. She even tried pressing it into the bread, but it curled up and yelled at her. “No!” It startled her so much that she ended up dropping it on the floor. And, forget trying to get the lid off the mayonnaise jar. The whole thing slipped out of her hands and fell on the floor rolling away. “Darn!”

Suddenly, the whole thing struck her as funny. Sliding down to the floor with her back to the cupboard, Danika laughed so hard she thought her chest would open right up. When she tried to stand up again, she did not have any feeling in her legs. She grabbed hold of the cabinet door handle to pull herself up, but instead she managed to open it. She let out a gasp.

Inside the cupboard was the most beautiful diamond tiara she had ever seen! She must have it. Her head was reeling as she reached in and pulled out the metal spaghetti strainer. She hugged it to her breast for a moment as she received the applause and cheers of all the people she imagined around her. With a tip of her head, she put it on.

She was so happy. Now she had everything any princess could want. Her loyal subjects, a prince who was waiting upstairs, and now she had this beautiful tiara. Too bad her stomach was hurting, and the colors drifting down from the light were so thick. They swirled like strokes of paint around her.

Was she scared? She laughed at that. She had so many friends here with her. She just needed to sit for a minute. Somehow, she got to her knees and crawled into the family room where the TV was still on. It was so beautiful! The dog on the screen seemed to be running through heaven, and then it jumped right out of the television and onto the sofa.

“Nice… dog… Good… dog,” she managed to say as she pulled herself onto the sofa to sit down with the dog, but it was gone! “Doggie…” she rasped as she straightened her tiara and leaned back. She was tired. She needed to rest for a minute.

A few hours later, her mother came home from work. She came in through the kitchen carrying groceries and found the bread and ham out on the counter along with the unopened jar of mayonnaise on the floor. The television was playing in the next room. She called out, “Dannie? Are you okay?” There was no answer. “Dannie?”

She took up a large knife from the wooden block on the counter and crept slowly into the family room. As she came around the sofa, she saw her daughter sitting slumped on the sofa, a spaghetti strainer tangled in her hair. There was a trail of vomit down the front of her shirt, but Danika did not move. Her mother screamed trying desperately to revive her lifeless daughter.

Just then, Todd returned home and ran to his sister, pushing his mother aside as she continued to scream. “No, Dannie!” “Call 911!” he yelled. It didn’t take long to guess what had happened. He lifted Danika’s eyelids as he patted her cheek, then he checked for a pulse but he couldn’t feel it.

“Please, Dannie, wake up!” Why hadn’t he told her the truth about the excretions from the toad’s skin? It was a psychedelic substance, but very poisonous. Maybe then, she wouldn’t have touched it. “I’m so sorry!” Todd began to sob uncontrollably.

Unfortunately, he never knew that his sister had been overwhelmed with a desire to fulfill the dream she had carried for most of her young life, to kiss a frog.

Copyright ã 2012 by JH Glaze. Reprint permission granted to

Bio & Contact

JH Glaze is the Author of “The Paranormal Adventures of John Hazard” series (The Spirit Box, NorthWest & Send No Angel), The Horror Challenge series of short stories, and other books. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Susan and their two dogs. 

Visit his website for more information. His books are available exclusively on in print and eBook formats.

On Twitter @themostcoolone

Watch for new stories coming soon! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spotlight Feature of Mike Wech and his novel, SEVEN-X...get ready for a scare!

Make sure you check out Mike’s website for his KindleLight Vigil!  You don’t want to miss out on the chance to win some amazing prizes, while getting to know Mike and his book!!  Check out his website here SEVEN-X Make sure you download your FREE copy of SEVEN-X Right now on Amazon until the 31st!

Review (Be prepared for fear!)
I am always on the lookout for a book that can curl my toes, make my hair stand on end (worse than normal), and ultimately make me wake up in a cold sweat every night for a week.  In other words: I love to have the stuff scared out of me! And that is exactly what I found in this book!
SEVEN-X introduces us to Los Angeles Times Investigative Reporter Eddie Hansen who is on a mission to find out the truth about a missing death row inmate by the name of Annette Dobson (known as the SIDS Killer).  He follows his lead to a remote area on the outskirts of Dell City, Texas, to Uphir, a psychiatric facility that seems to be recruiting notorious killers who are supposed to be dead.
While Eddie investigates the facility and the men who run it, he begins to experience things that shouldn’t be possible.  Things that the Reverend Billings has determined are demons.  These demons are possessing individuals, but the Reverend and Dr. Haworth both believe that they can be exorcised...which brings us to the title of this book.  According to the theory, when a demon is exorcised, it will return with 7 more demons in tow. Can you imagine how torturous it would be to have 8 demons inside of you at one time? All of them controlling your thoughts and feelings...yea, Eddie gets to see these occurrences for himself.
Now, I think that’s enough to whet your appetite and get you ready to read this spine-chilling novel.  I was literally glued to this book, shaking and wanting to yell at Eddie to run like hell!!  The ominous shapes that hover above a sleeping man...those made my own imagination start running wild.  Let’s just say that this book has exceeded my expectations and then some! 
If you are a fan of both horror and psychological thrillers, then you NEED to check out this book.  There is no reason not to! It’s free on Amazon until Halloween, when Mike will be doing a KindleLight Vigil online for all of his readers!  Make sure you download your copy and get ready for a night filled with terror! I’ll be there! Will someone hold my hand? Please? 

Interview with Mike Wech:

Can you tell us an interesting fact about you, your writing, or anything at all?  Or, is there anything in particular you want the readers to know about you?
Writing SEVEN-X was a challenge from the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of writing a story. Most of the book was written during the night. I usually spent all night long working through until the morning. There were times when my wife would run out of the bedroom in the middle of the night screaming that she had a nightmare or the bed shook so hard it woke her up.  We felt like it we were being attacked at times and all kinds of crazy stuff was happening during the writing of SEVEN-X.  Another interesting fact is that the death scene in SEVEN-X is based on my real life or should I say real DEATH experience. I was stabbed through the chest in Medellin Colombia and left my body after I suffered severe blood loss. The knife bounced off my heart without puncturing it, but it collapsed my lung and I couldn’t breathe. I was rushed to the emergency room where they blew my lungs back up with a straw. I passed out watching the blood spurt out and woke up a couple of days later in the hospital bed.  Full details on the event will be told soon.
When did you first know that writing was what you wanted to do as a career?
I started writing stories when I was about five. I used to write poems and tell stories to my friends. In school, I always liked writing and began to purse it professionally after college.  I wrote plays, skits, spec television scripts and film scripts, before finally getting paid to write.  Writing then became a full time job and I was always writing for clients, commercially and corporately, neglecting the stories I wanted to tell. Finally, I took enough time out of my schedule and decided it was time to do my thing.  I took twelve weeks off work and wrote SEVEN-X.
When you are working on a book, do you plan ahead, or do you let the story flow as you write?
Usually I meticulously plan ahead and create an outline; along with character bios and a flow chart for plot and structure. SEVEN-X was completely different. I felt inspired with the story and it was all in my head. I did a lot of research and consulted with psychiatrists, medical doctors and exorcists before writing. I also went to a few exorcisms. Then with all the knowledge and story in my head, I sat down and interpreted the vision I was given it.  I wanted to go inside the asylum as Eddie and discover what happened as he did without any pre-ordained thought. My characters were created and I knew who they were, so then I let it all flow out. For ten weeks straight I sat in my writing chair and dictated what I saw and felt. And as needed, I would continue researching and asking questions to make sure everything was authentic to the experience.
Is there a special place in your home that you work at?
I have a great therapeutic massage chair that I love to write in. I plant myself on that baby and write away.
Are any of your characters in your books based on people that you know in real life?
Usually my characters are hybrids of people I know and people I observe.  I take their most interesting traits and insert them into the character I am constructing. There are also varied traits of my own personality spread across various characters.  It’s taking what I know fits into the essence of a person and building the character from the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual aspect of what that character sees as truth and is authentic to their behavior. Then I put then into the situation and let them live out the story.
Do you have an interesting writing quirk? Maybe something that you have to do while writing, or something that you have to do before you start writing?
I like to do a lot of research before writing. I need to know as much as I can about a subject before I get started. I need to know as much as I can about my characters too. I need to get to a place where I can think and act like them before I begin writing. I also like to pray and ask for inspiration before I begin each writing session. I feel being inspired trumps being creative any day. The best works of art are inspired.
What is your opinion on Indie publishing versus mainstream publishing?
Indie publishing is much quicker in reaching and testing an audience for a product. It also gives the author an opportunity to refine the work and take into account the public opinion, then make changes as needed.  Mainstream publishing is trying to fight your way past all of the “no’s” and place guards put in place to keep new talent out. Mainstream publishing is great for all the promotion, and marketing you get, but the time it takes to reach the market is lost time.  Indie publishing takes a lot more work, but the control and reward is in the hand of the author.
Do you hear from your fans a lot? If so, what are some of the best & worst things that you have heard?
Fans are mostly positive and support my work. Some reviewers can be harsh, but I take all criticism into account and try to put myself in that person’s shoes to see things like them.  I use the negatives to make positive changes. I never take it personally. It’s too much of a roller coaster. I’m either the next great writer or some hack idiot who sucks and can’t write.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family is great. They support me, but they really don’t understand the business or what it takes to get a product to market. I personally don’t blame them. This is a rough and crazy business that any sane person should avoid at all costs. My wife hasn’t been able to finish SEVEN-X yet. She got too scared about 80 pages in and it was too intense for her to handle. But she fully supports me and the book.
How has being published changed your life, if any way?
Publishing SEVEN-X has been a great stepping-stone for me. It was the right path for getting this story to the public and preparing for the film version of SEVEN-X.  The real change came from my realization that I don’t need to only write screenplays, if I want to make films. A novel is the best way to premiere a story. It allowed me the freedom to take off the barriers of film writing and opened up a new way of telling stories for me. I really enjoyed the process of writing a novel.
What are you currently working on?  We would love to know what is coming next from you.
Right now I am editing a TV show for a client and a feature film entitled, “Dead Drop Sugarcane.”  I’m also beginning prep for the SEVEN-X film. I wrote my business plan, secured the location and am in the process of attaching investors and talent to the project. Next I’ll adapt SEVEN-X into a screenplay and begin work on the next book after filming.  Volume 2 of SEVEN-X will be out in 2013.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a writer?
Write!!!  Forget everyone else. Don’t worry about anything. Just write. Let it all out, and then take all feedback and criticism you can get into account. Figure out how to make your work better, then re-write.  Learn all you can from any writing resource you can find. Then write again. Keep learning. Keep getting better. Keep writing and never stop doing it, if this is what you really want.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing SEVEN-X was coming out of it.  I took Eddie’s journey into insanity and lived through him, feeling his despair, pain and torment.  Going into such a deep, dark place was excruciating and terrifying. I scared the crap out of myself and coming back to reality was a process of having to ease in and out of living through Eddie. If you read this book alone at night, you will begin to understand where I went to write SEVEN-X.  My body also had bad reactions. I almost went into cardiac arrest twice and felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest on several occasions.  I had to go to the hospital to get checked out. Thankfully my heart tests came back fine, but the stress and pain of writing this book took its toll. If it weren’t for prayer and mercy, I might not have made it through.
What hardships have you encountered while writing your books?
Anytime you write on spec, the biggest hardship is the loss of time and money. You are sacrificing a big chunk of your life to get a story out. So for me, I better be inspired and the story better be worth the sacrifice.  In other genres, like comedy, the writing is a lot more fun.  And the sacrifice of time is offset by the fun of the work. SEVEN-X was not fun to write, but it was a story that I needed to write. I felt like I was in a battle from the beginning to get SEVEN-X completed.  I experienced physical pain, mental anguish and spiritual warfare to finish.  But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am very happy with the result. Nothing good comes without sacrifice and hardship.
What books (or authors) have influenced you the most during your career?
Writing horror was something completely new to me, so I read The Exorcist and The Shining before I started writing SEVEN-X to get a feel for what made them so popular and such good movies. SEVEN-X was always intended to be a film and was written to be easily adapted into a screenplay. I decided it was a better business decision to start with a novel and I want to write a series of novels to support the films. Other books that I read before writing were One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest and The Lovely Bones.  All great books from great authors, which made great movies. I’m hoping to follow in their footsteps.
Fun Questions:
Favorite flavor of ice cream:  Mint chocolate chip.
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite animal: Tiger
Favorite season of the year:  Fall
Favorite Author:  STEPHEN KING
Favorite drink:  Beer
Favorite food:  Sushi
Favorite Halloween Candy:  Chocolate

Author Bio:
Mike Wech is a writer, director and editor living in Los Angeles CA. Originally from Buffalo, Mike began his career in New York as an actor with appearances on Liquid Television, America's Most Wanted, One Life To Live and All My Children as well as numerous stage plays.
Moving behind the camera Mike began work as a writer crafting television commercials and shows like VH1's Fairway to Heaven. Mike worked as a writer, producer, director, editor, camera operator and in various other capacities learning his craft as he moved into feature films.
His first feature, the post apocalyptic "The Moment After2, TheAwakening, directed by Wes Llewellyn sold over a million dollars onDVD. More features and television shows followed including the critically acclaimed docu-drama "South Dakota" with Star Wars Producer Howard Kazanjian and Director Bruce Isacson, and the gritty crimedrama, "The Exodus of Charlie Wright" starring Andy Garcia, Aidan Quinn, Gina Gershon and Luke Goss, directed by R. Ellis Frazier.
Mike's goal of creating his own original content was realized with Seven-X, his debut novel. While reading the Bible, he noticed a scripture about demons written by two separate authors with the exact same words. The story immediately came to him and a few months later he was able to write for ten weeks and finish the novel. Seven-X is Mike's debut novel and the first in the forthcoming Seven-X series of books and films.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Spotlight Feature on Author Kevin J. Howard and His Novel Faithful Shadow

Review of Faithful Shadow

Let me start off by saying this: Faithful Shadow by Kevin J. Howard left me with my heart pounding and wondering what would lay in wait for me in the darkness.  This novel will truly make me think twice about stepping out in a dark forest for a while.
The book is based in Yellowstone National Park.  There is a wildfire in the park that is running rampant.  But that is not the only thing running out of control in this horror/suspense novel.  Something lurks in the darkness with glowing green eyes snatching people from around the park.  No one seems to know what is happening, as missing people within the national park are not an unheard of issue.  But as the numbers begin to increase along with the suspicious demise of one of the firefighters, clues start adding up to a disturbing conclusion that Park Ranger Joe Rand must deal with immediately.  Will he figure out what is in the dark?  Will he be able to stop it before more people disappear?  What is it lurking out in the darkness?  All these answers and more are answered within the pages of this, in my opinion, highly disturbing novel.
I began reading the novel a few days ago, unsure of what I would discover within the pages of this novel.  I began to be pulled into the story, as Kevin does a remarkable job of allowing the reader to get to know the characters in a relatively short time frame, but he does so in a way that does not come across as rushed.  Time passed, and before I knew it I was half way through the novel.  I was horrified by the disappearances and began to wonder what was dragging people off, never to be seen from again.  There were several passages in the book in which the victims terror is clearly communicated as well as their dawning understanding of what has happened to them.  Several times I felt my stomach try to jump up my throat, but I swallowed and soldiered on.  Horror is not a particular favorite genre of mine, but the tale crafted by Kevin J. Howard kept me riveted to the end.
If you are a fan of horror and suspense, then this book is right up your alley.  I got my attention even though I would admit that I am a wimp when it comes to things that are scary in nature.  If this is what Kevin can do as a debut novel, then I see a long bright future for him in the writing world.  So, take a chance and pick up your copy of Faithful Shadow today and discover what lies in wait for you in the darkness!

R&M’s Interview With Author Kevin J. Howard!

1. Can you tell us an interesting fact about you, your writing, or anything at all?  Or, is there anything in particular you want the readers to know about you?
My first novel, Faithful Shadow, is based in Yellowstone National Park where I was once an employee.  In fact, I almost died there in the park.  One morning I took my car for a drive where I saw an animal dart onto the road from the corner of my eye.  As an instinct, I pulled hard on the wheel which caused my vehicle to flip several times.  The car then proceeded to slide down a steep hillside upside-down and crash into a tree.  I managed to step out of my car without a scratch.  There are many magical places within this world, places where miracles happen every day.  Yellowstone serves as a strong inspiration for my writing, even now.
2. When did you first know that writing was what you wanted to do as a career?
In fifth grade I read Stephen King’s Salems’ Lot for a book report and I knew I wanted to be a writer.  My friends and I started writing horror short stories and passing them out to our classmates.  I then wrote my first novel when I was in seventh grade, but I must admit it was terrible.  Ever since then, writing is all I’ve ever wanted to do and I have to do it every day.
3.When you are working on a book, do you plan ahead, or do you let the story flow as you write?
I pretty much write all my novels the same way.  I get hit with an idea like a bolt of lightning.  It just hits me from out of nowhere.  I like to map out each chapter in a brief paragraph with very little description.  Then I take all my characters and create a background, writing several pages on each of them.  Once I’ve done this, I sit down to what I call the ‘vomit draft’.  I know it doesn’t sound pretty, but it describes it pretty well.  I just sit there and let each paragraph of basic description spew from my mind until I have ten or so pages.  If I can average seven to ten pages a day then it’s been a pretty good day.
4.Is there a special place in your home that you work at?
I do most of my writing from my favorite reclining chair downstairs in the living room.  I’ve written my last two novels in the same chair in the wee hours of the night.  I did just finish setting up my home office and have started an excellent writing schedule.
5.Are any of your characters in your books based on people that you know in real life?
I always like to put a few of my friends in all my novels.  In Faithful Shadow my main character, Joe Rand, is named after my uncle.  In my next novel, Precipice: The Beginning, the first woman on Mars is named after my best friend Hillary.  Most of my characters are made up on the spot, but I like to use a few friends here and there.
6. Do you have an interesting writing quirk? Maybe something that you have to do while writing, or something that you have to do before you start writing?
Every book I write is done in a ten font, single spaced.  I like to write the novel to completion before I change the spacing and font size.   I usually like to do all my writing very late at night when I’m really tired.  Sometimes I like to drink some wine or a large can of Fosters while snacking on something bad for me.  I wear headphones and choose the music that matches my mood at the moment, ranging from classical to techno.  I always have the television on in the background, but it’s always something I’ve seen a million times and don’t mind missing.
7.What is your opinion on Indie publishing versus mainstream publishing?
I think Indie publishing is an excellent way for new writers to find their audience in a terrible economy.  I had a literary agent that sent my work to all the major publishing houses and they all said the same thing: “we just can’t take a chance on a new writer.”  Indie Publishing and Mainstream Publishing both require an author to do a large amount of promotion, but at least Indie publishing won’t pull your book off the shelf if it’s not successful in the first year.
8.            Do you hear from your fans a lot? If so, what are some of the best & worst things that you have heard?
I’ve only heard from a few fans and mostly it’s just on how much they enjoyed the novel.  One fan did go on and on about how such a monster couldn’t really exist.  I encourage anyone who’s read the novel to contact me to tell me what they liked or didn’t like.  It’s great to hear an unbiased opinion on my work.
9. What does your family think of your writing?
Most of my family thinks it’s great, but I haven’t had as much support as I would have liked.  My wife and friends offer a lot of support.  Most of my family has yet to purchase a copy of my most recent novel.  If I was able to stop writing I probably would have done so a long time ago, but I can’t stop.  It’s like an addiction.
10.         How has being published changed your life, if any way?
It really hasn’t.  I’m still the same person today as I was last year.  I still spend all my time working on the next novel.  There has been a lot more travel.  My wife and I have been driving up and down the state dropping off promotion material at any bookstores along the way.  I do find that I have to check my e-mails at least three times a day now, but other than that there isn’t a whole lot of change.
11.           What are you currently working on?  We would love to know what is coming next from you.
Right now I’m working on the third and final novel in my Precipice series.  Precipice: The Beginning and Precipice: The Retrieval have both been written and are soon to be released.  I’m also working on a Fantasy novel titled The Seedling.  There is never a shortage of work.  I will also be releasing a sci-fi novel title Whirlwind in the next year.
12.          What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a writer?
Write every chance you get and never give up.  Never listen to anyone that tells you your idea won’t make a good novel, or that it’s been done before.  I always say that everyone has a story to tell, so just sit down and write it out.  I also tell them to take the time and outline your work.
13.          What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I find that writing the novel is the easiest part, but finding the time to do so is hard.  All of my novels, up until now, have been written in what little time I can find in between raising two small children and working a full time job.  That’s why laptops are so wonderful.  I’d write a chapter on my lunch break or when I can’t sleep at night.  I’d go to work an hour early so I can squeeze a chapter or two in before I’m on the clock.  Luckily I’m working full time as an author now, so when I clock in it’s nothing but time to write.
14.          What hardships have you encountered while writing your books?
Negative comments from my family have made me want to stop all together, but the problem with being a writer is that you can’t stop.  No matter how many times I’ve put my computer away and told myself to focus on other things, the next day I’m typing again.  It’s very tough in this economy to have to raise a family and promote a novel.  My wife and I spend all our free time calling bookstores for a book signing or printing bookmarks and posters.
15.          What books (or authors) have influenced you the most during your career?
Stephen King has been my number one influence.  I’ll never forget how impressed I was after reading Salems’ Lot and how it changed my life.  I’m also a huge fan of Ray Bradbury, Michael Crichton and Philip K. Dick.

Fun Questions:
1. Favorite flavor of ice cream:  Gold Medal Ribbon
2. Favorite color:  Changes from Blue to Purple…Red (depends on the shade)
3.Favorite animal: This changes all the time…darn discovery channel…I guess Grey Wolves
4.Favorite season of the year: Winter
5.Favorite Author: Stephen King
6. Favorite drink: Dr. Pepper
7.Favorite food: Pizza
8.            Favorite Halloween Candy:  Bite sized Snickers and Kit Kat Bars.

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Viper's Creed Blog Tour Stop!

Blurb for Viper’s Creed:
Sora is having visions. Strange, terrifying visions brought on by her Cat's Eye necklace, an ancient and magical device. Spurred to action, she leaves her mother's cabin to find Crash, the mysterious assassin who once changed her life. She is certain that together, they can discover what the necklace is trying to tell her.

Crash is still on the run from the dark sorcerer, Volcrian, but now a plague is spreading across the land. Volcrian's quest for vengeance has awakened something far more evil than himself; a force that could destroy the entire kingdom. Together, he and Sora must harness the power of the Cat's Eye and kill the sorcerer before it's too late....


Before being asked to be a part of this blog tour, I had never heard of T.L. Schreffler, so I had no idea what I was truly missing out on.  Yea, I was seriously missing out on A LOT!

I read the first book in the Cat’s Eye series, Sora’s Quest, and I knew then that there was no turning back for me.  No, there’s not love story, which is something that is usually a big draw for me, but there was just something about the chemistry between Sora and Crash that had me begging...literally begging!...for there to be more between them. But alas, I was not granted that piece of mind by the end of Sora’s Quest.  But this isn’t about Sora’s Quest. 

This is about Viper’s Creed, book 2 in the Cat’s Eye series.  I’m not going to rehash the entire story for you since there is a book blurb up top for you to chew on.  I will simply state that I will now be stalking (in a good way!) T.L. Schreffler’s page on Facebook to find out when I can get my hands on book 3...just saying...

Viper’s Creed was an action packed story, filled with more information on the many races that have nearly been wiped out. (That was definitely one thing that I wanted to know more about)  There are dirty little secrets that Crash must decide whether or not to share with Sora...and he must decide what, exactly, he has been feeling for Sora.  Their relationship has blossomed into more than simple trust...and it made me quite anxious the whole time I was reading it!

I have become a super geek, absolutely falling in love with fantasy books, so this series definitely won my heart.  I have to admit, I also have a very big book crush on Crash, no matter his faults.  I think it’s the strong, silent type that always gets me. 

The best part of this whole series is the imagination and creativity that went into building this world that they live in.  The different races, the mythology that surrounds them, and the world itself are so well done that you will question whether or not this is real...I questioned my own sanity once, or twice, while reading.  I fell into this world, head first, and I feel like it is now a second home.  If you are looking for a fast paced, exciting, and amazing read, you should definitely check out this series.  You won’t be disappointed...AT ALL! Two thumbs WAY up!!

Author Bio:
Ms. Shreffler is an author and journalist living in Los Angeles, CA. She loves diversity, fantasy, romance, iced tea, long walks, philosophy and thrift store shopping. She currently holds a BA in Badass (Creative Writing) and her poetry has been published consecutively in Eclipse: A Literary Journal and The Northridge Review. She is the author of two published series, The Cat’s Eye Chronicles (YA fantasy) and The Wolves of Black River.

She also puts her creative talents to use as a graphic designer, painter and illustrator. By day, she works as the assistant editor for Tinsel Tokyo Magazine, a fashion magazine specializing in the LA underground art scene.

"T. L. Shreffler definitely has a writing style that I love to read and the ability to draw me into her world with an ease that I don’t find often. She manages to find the balance that so many other writers don’t achieve in their work, scenes were neither over written nor understated and I enjoyed every page. I was eager to reach the end to learn the outcome but at the same time I was sad for the story to be over." - Lindsay and Jane's Views and Reviews

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Sora's Quest- Amazon 

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