Guest Post + Giveaway: Edward Lorn (Author of Life After Dane)


Edward Lorn is an American horror author presently residing in the southeast United States. He enjoys storytelling, reading, and writing biographies in the third person.

Once upon a time, during a session of show and tell, a seven-year-old Edward Lorn shared with his class that his baby brother had died over the weekend. His classmates, the teacher included, wept while he recounted the painful tragedy of having lost a sibling. Edward went home that day and found an irate mother waiting for him. Edward’s teacher had called to express her condolences. This was unfortunate, as Edward had never had a baby brother.

With advice given to her by a frustrated teacher, Edward’s mother made him start writing all of his lies down. The rest, as they say, is history.

Edward Lorn and his wife are raising two children, along with a handful of outside cats and a beagle named Dot. He remains a liar to this day. The only difference is, now he’s a useful one.

Edward’s page on RAP: http://redadeptpublishing.com/edward-lorn/

Edward’s blog: http://edwardlorn.wordpress.com/

The Reality of Ghosts

Something goes bump in the night, and the hairs rise on nape of your neck, as well as on your forearms. A slight bolt of electricity courses through you. Your interest is piqued, whether you believe in ghosts or not.

You tell yourself, “It’s the house settling,” or, “It’s just the wind,” and you go back to sleep.  But in the back of your mind, you’re wondering if you could actually be haunted.

Ghost stories are unique in the way that people can believe the fiction and not look insane. A few people believe that vampires, werewolves, and/or zombies are either real or forthcoming, but those individuals are often marked as unstable. Whether or not the R/Edward Cullen/Jacob Black apocalypse is coming is irrelevant, because it has yet to come. Ghosts, however, are rather commonplace. Almost everyone has a ghost story, even those who don’t believe in specters and spooks. Personally, I am on the fence regarding the supernatural, yet I have experienced unexplained phenomena that could very well be described as ghostly activity.

Then you have the personal connection. Before books like Twilight and Warm Bodies, we were all mostly scared of the undead and shape-shifting sorts. But ghosts have always been a little bit of both good and bad. My wife and I believe that her aunt is watching over our kids. Though it’s impossible to prove or disprove, it’s a pleasing thought. Even if it could be proven false, we wouldn’t care. After all, how is it hurting anyone? Some find the idea of ghosts to be sacrilegious, blasphemy even, because when you’re dead, you’re dead. Heaven or Hell: that’s the only choice for your soul. Alas, I won’t go any further than that. Friends shouldn’t discuss religion, politics, or cheese preferences. My point is that a haunting isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

In my newest novel, Life After Dane, Ella May Peters is dealing with the death of her son, Dane. When her son seemingly returns from the grave, everything she’s ever known and believed is challenged. Is Dane a hallucination, or is he really haunting her? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, there’s something for everyone in Life After Dane. One thing’s for sure, though. Like Dane Peters, this one stays with you.

E.

Life After Dane releases on August 2013. Be sure to check it out!

A mother’s love is undying… and so is Dane.

After the state of Arkansas executes serial killer Dane Peters, the Rest Stop Dentist, his mother discovers that life is darker and more dangerous than she ever expected.

The driving force behind his ghostly return lies buried in his family’s dark past. As Ella desperately seeks a way to lay her son’s troubled soul to rest, she comes face to face with her own failings.

If Ella cannot learn why her son has returned and what he seeks, then the reach of his power will destroy the innocent, and not even his mother will be able to stop him.

Here’s where you can buy the book:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Life-After-Dane-ebook/dp/B00DVR2DEK/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/life-after-dane-edward-lorn/1115994993?ean=2940148310594

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Life-After-Dane/book-8nxUhaB_iUmISuGQ22Vfgg/page1.html?s=ipu8d4jClkGqF8qr59p6NA&r=1

Goodreads Page:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17929809-life-after-dane

**GIVEAWAY**

There is also an awesome giveaway for The Dane Tour. Click on the link below to go to the Rafflecopter page:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0510ed16/

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Guest Post + Giveaway: David Litwack (Author of Along The Watchtower)


Please enjoy this guest post by David Litwack, author of the gripping contemporary novel, Along the Watchtower, and the deep, dark dystopia, There Comes a Prophet. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $650 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

The Virtual World of Gaming and the Plight of War Veterans: A Guest Post by David Litwack

Gaming and war would seem to be as far apart from each other as you can get. But while you’re in the midst of them, they share one thing in common—a sense of being in an alternate reality.

I’ve always been fascinated by how much of what we consider to be reality is subjective, how each of us bring our own experiences and biases into play. But when we’re ripped from our normal lives and placed in extreme circumstances, our reality becomes totally fragmented. Such is the case with hospitals and war.

A couple of years ago, I became engrossed in the online game, World of Warcraft, thanks to my son. I’m on the east coast and he’s on the west, so we’d meet every Wednesday evening in the virtual world of Azeroth, where our avatars would go on quests together. I was struck by how immersed I became in the mood of the game as we wandered through castles and crypts, solving riddles and vanquishing demons, how for a short period of time, I could totally buy in to the alternate reality.

The fantasy gaming experience has a dream-like quality to it, which led me to wonder: how would this experience affect the dreams of someone whose reality has been fragmented by the trauma of war? These concepts—war, hospitals, and the fantasy world of online gaming—came together in Along the Watchtower.

I began to research the effects of war on returning veterans. I learned that 30% are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress. That means after six months they’re still dealing with flashbacks, disturbing dreams, depression and difficulty re-assimilating into their former lives. And that doesn’t account for the many others who are seemingly able to adjust but continue to deal with inner turmoil. The war experience changes all forever. Many have suicidal thoughts (the suicide rate among veterans is triple that of the general population. More soldiers have died by their own hand than in the war itself). Many struggle with dark thoughts and have difficulty forming relationships, unable to “turn off” the normal flight or fight syndrome, leaving them suspicious in crowds and always on alert.

And then, there are the physical injuries. One of the ironic successes of these recent wars is the advance in battlefield medicine. The result is that far fewer die of wounds than in prior wars. The ratio of wounded to dead in WWII was 1.1/1, in Vietnam 1.7/1. In Iraq, it’s 7/1. More are saved, but more come home with debilitating, lifelong injuries. And 68% of the wounded have some form or brain trauma, penetrating injuries from shrapnel or non-penetrating concussions from the blasts of IEDs.

To learn more about brain injuries, I read In an Instant, the story of Bob Woodruff. The brilliant Woodruff had just been named co-anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight. Then, while embedded with the military in Iraq, an improvised explosive device went off near the tank he was riding in. Bob suffered a traumatic brain injury that nearly killed him. The book describes his recovery and recounts how fragile the human brain can be. At one point, the erudite Woodruff could rattle off the names of all prior U.S. presidents but couldn’t remember the names of his own children.

And I read about post traumatic stress. One of the best books is Achilles in Vietnam. Written by Jonathan Shay, a Vietnam War era PTSD counselor, it compares his clinical notes from patients to the text from Homer’s Odyssey, showing how we as human beings have dealt with war trauma across the millennia. He shows how war disrupts our moral compass, leaving re-entry into normal life as a brutal and agonizing experience.

Playing a make-believe fantasy game and going to war both have a surreal quality that takes us out of our normal reality. But for war veterans, the sense of normality doesn’t return without a struggle.

The Wounded Warrior Project is a wonderful organization, dedicated to helping veterans adjust. Their stated mission is: “To foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.” How successful we’ll be at achieving that goal will tell a lot about who we are. It’s one of the most important stories of our time.

Watchtower Tour BadgeAs part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, both Along the Watchtower and There Comes a Prophet by David Litwack are on sale this week. What’s more, by purchasing either or both of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $650 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Pick up Along the Watchtower at its discounted price of $2.99 on Amazon
  2. Get There Comes a Prophet at its discounted price of 99 cents
  3. Enter the Rafflecopter contest below
  4. Visit the featured social media events
  5. Leave a comment on my blog for a chance at a $100 prize.

Along the Watchtower tells of a tragic warrior lost in two worlds; a woman who may be his only way back from Hell. Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.

There Comes a Prophet A thousand years ago the Darkness came—a time of violence and social collapse. Nathaniel has grown up in their world of limits, longing for something more. For what are we without dreams? Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.

David Litwack, the once and future writer, explores the blurry line between reality and the fantastic. Visit David on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

You can also enter in the following giveaway to win many AMAZING prizes. So, enter away!

Character Interview: Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden


Hello again people! I’m so excited to bring you an awesome character interview from the book, Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective by Christine Amsden today. Evan Blackwood sure does sound like a character I would like to read more about. 😉

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        Print Length: 260 pages

Publisher: Twilight Times Books

Print ISBN: 978-1-60619-275-7

eBook ISBN: 978-1-60619-274-0

Publication Date: May 15, 2013

Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Evan Blackwood

My name is Christine Amsden, author of the new urban fantasy novel Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective. This first volume in a (completed) four-part series introduces us to Cassie, the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers. Amidst mystery, romance, and family feuds, this “new adult” series shows us that there are many types of strength, and many ways to be a hero.

With me today is a more traditional hero from the novel. It is my great pleasure to welcome Evan Blackwood, a young sorcerer with a great deal of talent and potential. Plus, he’s really good looking, even if I did create him myself! 🙂

The 21-year-old Evan hails from Eagle Rock, MO, where the existence of magic is accepted, if not exactly understood. Evan, like most sorcerers in the area, is tight-lipped when it comes to what he can do and how powerful he is, but he graciously agreed to talk to me as long as I don’t try to pry into his family secrets.

Christine: Evan, thank you for being here. I understand you’ve known our heroine, Cassie, for a long time. How did you two meet?

Evan: Cassie and I met in the first grade. I had never been to school or spent much time around other kids, and I made a fool of myself. She helped me out. Took me on as a project, you could say. That’s sort of her style.

Christine: Did you know at the time that your fathers were enemies?

Evan: No. I was six, and I don’t think I was that aware of what my father did unless it had something to do with me. He told me later in the year, but by then it was way too late.

Christine: So you and Cassie have remained friends this whole time?

Evan: Sort of. Things got a little awkward after I accidentally sent  Paul Ellerson to the hospital. She never said so, but I think she was a little afraid of me after that. She was hardly alone. She got over it, but between that and some rumors that started flying around about me, we weren’t quite as close in high school as we were before.

Christine: Are you talking about the rumors that you cast love spells?

Evan: (Glares) Yes. Those rumors.

Christine: Sorry. Sore spot. I assume they weren’t true?

Evan: Do you have any other question?

Christine: Where have you been for the past three years? After high school, you kind of fell off the map.

Evan: Magical apprenticeship. Henry Wolf took me on.

Christine: Henry Wolf? Isn’t he a little crazy? Lives in a cabin in the woods with no running water or electricity?

Evan: He’s brilliant. He just thinks modern gizmos interfere with magic.

Christine: Is that true?

Evan: The first thing I’m going to do when I finish my apprenticeship is buy a cell phone. Then watch movies, starting with the Star Wars trilogy. The original trilogy, not the prequels.

Christine: Why do you like Star Wars so much?

Evan: It’s a great fantasy. Good on one side. Evil on the other. I wish the real world was so easy to figure out.

Christine: Is there anything in particular you’re trying to figure out?

Evan: Lost of things. But mostly, I worry because of the way my father and Cassie’s father hate one another. They both think they’re right and the other is wrong. I suppose I should side with my family and I do, but I wish I didn’t have to pick a side at all.

Christine: Because you’re in love with Cassie?

Evan: I didn’t say that.

Christine: No, of course not. So, what are your future plans? After you watch Star Wars, that is?

Evan: I want to do some good in the world. I’ve got a few ideas, but nothing concrete yet. There are a few things I need to work out first.

Christine: And those few things are…?

Evan: Private.

Christine: I see. And I will leave you to that privacy, but first I have one last question. Is there any advice you would be willing to give us about how to deal with sorcerers?

Evan: Don’t.

Christine: What if we can’t avoid it?

Evan: (Pauses) Ivy. Plant some ivy to protect your home. And don’t leave any blood lying around.

Christine: Those sound like good tips. Thank you for sharing your secrets.

Evan: They aren’t secrets. You can learn some basic magical self-protection on the Internet. Although there’s a lot of crazy stuff, too.

Christine: Any way to know the difference?

Evan: For the average person? Not really. But the average person probably isn’t going to be in danger. It’s far worse if you have a tiny bit of talent you don’t know what to do with.

Christine: That sounds like something we should talk about when the next book comes out. I hope we’ll see you back then.

Evan: Wait. What happens in the next book?

Christine: Don’t worry about it. You’ve got to survive the first book first.

Evan: My grandmother is a seer, you know.

Christine: I know. I created her, too. But there are so many possible futures, I don’t know how much she’ll be able to help you. I did rewrite the series several times, after all.

Evan: (Glares again) I got to go. Master Wolf is calling me.

Christine: Well then, you’d better go. Thank you so much for being here with me today.

Evan: You aren’t going to hurt Cassie, are you?

Christine: Henry Wolf is calling you.

Evan: All right, but for the record, we’re not done.

Christine: Absolutely not.

How did you like Evan guys? He sounds amazing, doesn’t he? And I have to say this book certainly piques my interest because Urban Fantasy is, like, one of my favorite genres. Hope you had a good time reading about Cassie and Evan. Until next time then! 😀

Interview + Promo Post: Angella Graff (Author of Alexandra Fry, Private Eye)


Hey guys! So, I’ve been a little busy and haven’t been able to write the review for the book I just finished, That Ghoul Ava and the Queen of Zombies, but I will have it ready in a few days. I promise! In the meantime, I have an interview with an amazing author, Angella Graff who is the lady behind the book, Alexandra Fry, Private Eye. There’s also a promo post following the interview where Angella talks about her book and the Tucson Alliance for Autism. Hope you enjoy!

INTERVIEW

Hi Angella! Welcome to That Artsy Girl’s Book Blog. I’m so glad to have your here. 🙂 Why don’t you give us a little intro about yourself?

Hi!  Thanks for having me, I really appreciate it.  Well I’m a pretty simple person.  I’m married to a wonderful man and we have three gorgeous kids.  I work as an editor for a publishing house by day, and when I’m not doing stuff with the kids, I’m usually writing (or at Zumba!) or spending the evenings digging away in my garden.  Nothing extraordinary, but I definitely feel like I hit the ground running from the moment I wake up!

Your book, Alexandra Fry: Private Eye sounds like a supercool book. Tell us what the book is about.

Well Alexandra Fry, Private Eye is a young adult series about a girl, Alexandra, who has a very unique gift.  She can see ghosts.  The ghosts who visit her are some of history’s most famous, and they come to her for help in finding items that used to belong to them that have been stolen.  She gets into a lot of sticky situations trying to recover these items, but with the help of her friends Penelope and Jack, they get the job done.

Alexandra is your typical twelve-year-old girl dealing with Middle School, too.  She experiences things like bullies and embarrassing moments, and her first sort-of crush.  Her best friend Penelope is pretty quirky, and Jack has his own, very interesting secrets.

Fifty percent of the book’s proceeds are also going to my local Autism Alliance, so every purchase of the book is a donation.

What inspired you to write the story? Was it a sudden spark or something that has been on your mind for sometime?

Actually my ten-year-old daughter inspired me.  She was joking around, playing pretend, and made up a rhyming name for her pretend character.  It was something like Melanie Proctor, Future Doctor, or something, and I started brainstorming on what would be catchy and cute.  Then my daughter and I started coming up with plot ideas on what kids would like to read, and that’s how Alexandra was born.

Who is the lead character of your book modeled upon?

She’s a compilation of many things, really.  I draw a lot of her experiences from my own from middle school, and I try and take inspiration from my daughter and her friends, watching them interact with each other, paying attention to the trends they like and don’t like.  I like to think Alexandra is her own, very unique person, but my kids are definitely in there as well.

What is the very first story you wrote and when did you write it?

The first story I wrote was this 700 page epic fantasy about dragons when I was about sixteen.  That’s not counting a lot of the short stories I had been writing since I was in first grade.  I’d always wanted to be a writer, so trying to track down my first ever is tough.

What is your artistic muse?

Oh that depends because my muses are all over the place.  I’m three books in to an Urban Fantasy series for adults, also with a bit of detective mystery and mythology thrown in there, so it really depends.  A lot of time a phrase, sentence, song lyric, almost anything, will spark my interest and I’ll just sit down and write for hours.

Favorite authors and books?

Oh this is always such a tough question for me because I don’t read a lot of fiction books.  I have a degree in Medieval Theology, so I read a lot of theology theory books.  My favorite is Elaine Pagels, who wrote the Gnostic Gospels, one of my favorite.

I will give a shout out to Phillip Hall, who wrote Memories of the Dead, which was the first “vampire” book I’ve read in years that I actually enjoyed.

To you, what is the best thing about writing?

For me, writing is so many things.  It’s a way to unwind after a hard day, it’s a creative outlet, and sometimes it’s a way to escape.  Writing for me is like reading for a lot of other people, where I can just get lost in another world, and sometimes I forget where I’m at until one of the kids comes up to me and drags me out of it.

What do you do when you don’t write?

Oh a ton of things.  Right now since it’s summer, I spend a lot of the day trying to entertain my three kids who are on their break, which isn’t easy since where we live it’s boiling hot outside.  I edit during the day, so I spend a lot of hours in other people’s manuscripts.  In the evenings I’m usually out in my garden, and three or four nights a week I do Yoga and Zumba just to throw in some “me” time.  Late nights the hubby and I try and spend an hour or two together after the kids are asleep, but it always feels like there’s not enough time in the day.  Sometimes I wonder how I actually find time for writing!

You mentioned that half the proceeds from the sales of your book will go to your local Autism Alliance. What made you take this decision?

Well truthfully, it was always something I wanted to do.  I moved to Tucson in 2004 when my son was three.  He’d been at several doctors and we’d spent over a year trying to give him a proper diagnosis.  His pre-K teacher was the first person to notice some of his symptoms, and once he was diagnosed, the Tucson Alliance for Autism was invaluable in their help when it came to parenting techniques, coping mechanism, and peer therapy for him.  The information I got there really helped relieve a lot of the stress caused by trying to parent an Autistic child without knowing what steps to take.

He’s an amazing kid, at the top of his grade and with the coping skills he’s learned from the Autism Alliance, he’s been able to be more social, and even joined the band this year which is something I never thought he’d do!  I felt like giving back to the Autism Alliance was the least I could do for them.

If your book was turned into a movie, who do you think would be apt choices to play the lead characters?

Oh gosh that’s also a tough one.  I hadn’t even thought about it that far, which is probably terrible.  I’m sure if I gave this question to my daughter, though, she’d have the entire cast-list written out in five minutes!

And finally, what is the one thing that you would change in the world if you could?

In all honesty, I think that people are way too focused on forcing other people live up to other’s values.  I believe strongly in freedom of choice, as long as the choice you’re making doesn’t take away the choice from another person, and doesn’t cause them harm.  If more people participated in a live and let live philosophy, I think there would be a lot more peace and tolerance in the world, leading to happier, and more productive people.

PROMO POST

Alexandra Fry, Private Eye: The Curse of the Lion’s Heart will be free on Amazon.com/Amazon.Co.UK starting June 26th and June 27th .

As 50% of the proceeds are being donated to autism, the free books will not count toward any donations.  If you download this book for free and enjoy it, and want to make a donation, please do so here at http://angellagraffbooks.wordpress.com/donate-to-the-tucson-alliance-for-autism/

$1.00USD will go toward the donations for the Autism Alliance. 

Alexandra Fry is just your average seventh-grader.  Or is she?  Starting a new school, Alexandra hopes to leave her old life, and old reputation of “Loopy Lexi” behind.  But it’s not so easy when Alexandra is the kind of girl who sees ghosts.  And not just any ghosts, but history’s most famous.  They come to her to solve mysteries, when things from their past life fall into the wrong hands.

Desperate to be normal and make some friends, Alexandra is devastated to be visited by none other than Queen Elizabeth the First during a lesson in school.  But Queen Elizabeth doesn’t just have your average, run of the mill problem.  The thing that was stolen was a locket– a cursed locket, and if it’s not returned to the museum, the entire world will be in danger.  It’s up to Alexandra and her new friends Penelope and Jack, to find out who took the locket and why.  Ducking security guards, breaking and entering, and finding out someone isn’t who they said they were is just your average day for this seventh grade girl.

Fifty percent of the proceeds for Alexandra Fry, Private Eye series will be donated to the Tucson Alliance for Autism.  The Tucson Alliance for Autism is a wonderful organization helping parents and kids with all levels and types of autism.  They provide services, counseling and peer support.  My twelve-year-old son is Autistic, and when he was younger, I wasn’t sure what to do.  But the Tucson Alliance for Autism provided me with so much material and support that my son is now a flourishing sixth-grader with friends, activities, and he’s even joined the band at his new middle school– something I thought he would never do.  I’m thrilled and excited to help give-back to my community and this wonderful organization that has helped so many people here in Arizona.

Thank you in advance for your purchases and support of this amazing cause, and for any information please visit their website at www.tucsonallianceforautism.org

To make a flat donation to the Tucson Alliance for autism click here.