Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Announcing Carol of the Tales and Other Nightly Noels!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I am so pleased to be a part of the Carol of the Tales Christmas Anthology. My story "Sweet Singing in the Choir" is inside. This anthology is full of great stories for a great cause. All the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated toward Autism research and advocacy.

Christmas carols capture the spirit of Christmas, and Carol of the Tales and Other Nightly Noels brings beloved carols to life like never before. Throw your cares away with the tales from sweet silver bells. Find out how Santa Claus dabbles in time travel, and feel the redemption of a dying wife's parting Christmas gift. Experience all this and more in these heartfelt, entertaining tales donated by a team of authors from across the country, working together for a good cause. 

Anthology authors include: Shirley Bahlmann, C. David Belt, Rebecca Carlson, Loretta Carter, Madonna D. Christensen, Danyelle Ferguson, C. Michelle Jefferies, Theric Jepson, Ryan Larsen, Angie Lofthouse, Betsy Love, J. Lloyd Morgan, Janet Olsen, Teresa G. Osgood, Brian Ricks, Jennifer Ricks, Peg Russell, and Michael Young.

Carol of the Tales is the 2nd book in the Advent Anthology series. Both anthologies are available in paperback and Amazon Kindle formats from 

Purchase “Sing We Now of Christmas”:
Purchase: “Carol of the Tales”:

To kick off the release of the second anthology, a Christmas concert will be held at American Fork Junior High on December 7th, 2013. The concert will feature the Saltaires Barbershop Chorus. All proceeds from this concert will be donated to charity as well. Purchase: Tickets for the Concert:

Blog Tour Giveaway!

Use the rafflecopter below to enter to win wonderful prizes, such as tickets to the concert and copies of the anthology. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other Blogs on the Tour:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

One Word Interview with R.L. Drembic

Today  we have R.L. Drembic, author of The Knights of the Caers. Take it away!

You're trapped in a dark alley with the bad guys on your heels. Which one of your characters do you want by your side?

He must be quite the character!

Zombie apocalypse! Weapon of choice?

Excellent choice! That should stop them.

If you could travel to any period in history, where would you go?

That would be an interesting and exciting time to visit.

What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with?
Sir Robert Peel

He sounds like an interesting man.

You're performing on Broadway! What show are you in?
The Phantom of the Opera

Good choice. Maybe I should have asked which character you'd play.

Thanks for being with us today!

R.L. Drembic has loved reading from an early age. It wasn’t until shortly after high school that he got the idea for a book of his own. Inspired by a friend’s courage to try and get her own novel published, Drembic began writing and has continued through his college career. Drembic has plans for a dozen more books and hopes for a chance to share these adventures with avid readers everywhere.

Excerpts from The Knights of the Caers
     The flames danced and weaved intricate and ever-changing patterns in the desert breeze.  The light flickered and cast shadows from the rocks around the fire.  Edric sat on an old fallen tree, mesmerized by the dance.  This is where Edric found the closest thing to peace these days, the only place where he could come close to forgetting the past.  But the past was kept near by the bear tooth necklace that always hung like a weight around his neck.  Edric would never stop carrying this necklace though, it meant too much.

      The Knights fought desperately side by side.  The Freemen's charge had been valiant, but now their dwindling group was completely surrounded by the [enemy].  Their chant had also died away as the tide of battle turned against them.
     Edric fought with a dagger in his left hand and a sword in his right.  He furiously tried to hold the [enemy] back, blocking swords left, right, and overhead.  Beside him, Cal fought with two swords.  His skill was magnificent as he whipped the swords around, in unison but individually as well.  On the other side of Cal were Stephen and Quint.  Stephen was still fighting with a single sword but Quint had dropped his and was using the two daggers he favored.
     The [enemy] pressed in on them, but they were no match for the Knights of the Caers.  More and more [enemies] fell, but it seemed like there was an endless supply; each time an [enemy] fell, another one stepped forward.
      With the shift in focus to Captain Madiba, Edric and Cal found themselves at the back of the group.  Edric leaned over and whispered, "Why don't we get to be captains?"
     Cal rolled his eyes.  "Remember that time when Osgood let you plot the course back to Eliada. and we ended up in Avid?"
     "Oh, right."
     "However, I'm not sure why I don't get to be captain," Cal shrugged.
     "How 'bout the time Osgood gave you the helm during the mock battle and you almost sank both ships."
     "Yeah, I was never any good at sea tactics," Cal admitted.
     "Why don't I get to be a captain?" Quint asked, having heard their earlier conversation.  "Captain Quint, it has a nice ring to it, don't you think?"  He said with a grin.
     "You don't get to be captain because you'd paint the Storm Cloud orange," Edric replied, remembering the horrid orange robe Quint had bought back in Eliada.
     "I would not," Quint said indignantly.  "Maybe blue..." he shrugged, mostly joking.
     "So why is Stephen the captain?" Cal asked suddenly.  "It's his fault..."
     "Yeah, but otherwise we wouldn't have a ship and therefore no need of a captain to captain the ship that we wouldn't have anyways," Edric answered quickly.
     "I guess that makes sense... sort of," Cal said, still pretty confused.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Guest post: Terry W. Ervin II--Research: Even the Little Things Add Up

 I am pleased to welcome sci-fi/fantasy author, Terry W. Ervin II back to the writing chair to talk to us about the importance of research. (You can read Terry's One Word Interview here.) His latest novel, Relic Tech, is an action-packed sci-fi adventure I highly recommend. Take it away, Terry!

Research: Even the Little Things Add Up
When readers decide to pick up one of my novels, they’re committing both time and money—valuable commodities that they could easily spend elsewhere. Because of that fact, I strive to tell the best story I can, which includes doing the necessary research. To me necessary means not only the getting the big things right, but the small, peripheral ones as well.

For example, in my debut novel, Flank Hawk, one of the factors that led to the post-apocalyptic setting was handful of nuclear warheads penetrating the U.S. ballistic missile defense systems and detonating. Pulled from two chapter starts:

Nestled in Cheyenne Mountain, NORAD had been on full alert. Coordinated satellites viewing the earth in the infrared part of the spectrum recorded the demise of one ballistic missile while radars, including the Cobra Dane early-warning on in the Aleutian chain and the X-band floating on a nearby platform, tracked the two surviving sub launched missiles as they climbed…

…A battery of six interceptor rockets from silos at Fort Greely in Alaska and four more from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base raced skyward. An experimental tracking and intercept aircraft from the Vandenberg base was already aloft. While it strained for altitude, airmen activated its advanced tracking and targeting systems, and prepared its powerful laser should any warheads survive the kill vehicles housed in the interceptor rockets.

To get it right required hours of research, learning the basics of the USA’s missile defense systems and equipment, capabilities, and locations along the West Coast. Only a fraction of what I dug up and organized actually made it to the pages of the novel, and only to a few paragraphs on a few pages, but the point of research isn’t to show off all the work an author did. It’s to incorporate only the necessary details to enhance the story.

As an author, I want to get it right for the reader, not only for the story, but because the readers out there have varied knowledge and experience. I’d be embarrassed to receive an email from a disappointed reader, telling me I’d gotten it wrong—especially something that I could’ve gotten right.

Another example comes from my most recent release, Relic Tech. It’s a science fiction novel that involves some interstellar space travel. One of the things I incorporated was time dilation, which is a phenomenon that occurs as a ship travels through space. The closer a ship comes to approaching the speed of light, the greater the time variation there is between those aboard the traveling ship as compared planet side individuals.

In Relic Tech, the time dilation was along the lines of minutes and hours, rather than months and years. Still, Security Specialist Keesay (the main character) uses a 20th century watch not controlled by the ship’s chronometer to track the phenomenon. It’s only a minor point in the plot, as Specialist Keesay attempts to predict when the civil transport Kalavar will actually emerge at its destination, as opposed to what’s been told to the crew.

Not only did it take considerable time and effort to research and calculate the time dilation based on the Kalavar’s rate of travel, but it was also important to remain consistent with the distances between the star systems and exoplanets, (only a few fictional) incorporated into the storyline, and how long the actual travel between them would take based on a ship’s or message rocket’s speed.

All of this took time, a lot of time—time that some might argue wasn’t really necessary. Nevertheless I did it, all the charts, figures and calculations, and had it double-checked by my former college roommate, who majored in physics and minored in astronomy, and then went on to earn a Master’s degree in mathematics. You might guess, in addition to internet research, I’m a firm believer in consulting experts in fields where my knowledge isn’t adequate.

Would the a reader know if I made it all up…remained orderly and consistent, but sort of played a little fast and loose with the rate of travel and distances, and ignored the relatively minor time dilation? Probably not. Would they have cared? Maybe not. But I owe it to the reader, to get as much right as I reasonably can. Even the little things, because I believe they add up, giving my novels, such as Relic Tech, depth, authenticity, and consistency.

Terry W. Ervin II is an English teacher who enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction. His First Civilization’s Legacy Series includes FLANK HAWK and BLOOD SWORD. He is focused on completing SOUL FORGE, the third novel in the fantasy series.

His newest release through Gryphonwood Press is RELIC TECH, a science fiction novel packed with action, adventure, aliens and even a bit of a mystery.

In addition to writing novels, Terry’s short stories have appeared in over a dozen anthologies, magazines and ezines. The genres range from science fiction and mystery to horror and inspirational. GENRE SHOTGUN is a collection containing all of his previously published short stories.

To contact Terry or learn more about his writing endeavors, visit his website at and his blog, Up Around the Corner, at (with information on where his newest release is currently available)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

One Word Interview with Yolanda Renee

Today we have mystery author Yolanda Renee in the writing chair. Thanks for being with us Yolanda!

House is on fire! What do you grab first?
Patches! (Our house did catch on fire last March, and Patches, my Boston terrier is the only thing I grabbed. I never thought about my laptop, or my purse. I panicked.)

Aw. That's a lucky dog. And I sure hope your house was okay!

You've been called upon to solve a murder. What fictional detective do you want by your side?
Walt Longmire. He has that stoic demeanor that almost but not quite masks a hidden passion.

Sounds perfect!

Which of your characters is most like you?
Mavis.She's a meddler, always right, and has all the answers.

Heehee. That's terrific.

What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with?

Interesting. I think that's the first time a still-living historical figure was named. I hope someday you get the chance!

You're having your favorite author over for dinner. What are you serving? 
Shepherd's Pie. (To have Margaret Mitchell and Stephen King in the same room at the same table – how awesome would that be?)

That would be awesome indeed. And Shepherd's Pie is one of my favorites!

Thanks for asking me Angie, this was a blast!

Thank you for being here, Yolanda!

Yolanda Renée really wanted to be a drummer, or a racecar driver. Obviously she's neither, but they are on her bucket list, that, and owning her very own fire breathing dragon! Renée claims to have always loved books, and that it was through books that she escaped and experienced all the things she'd only been able to dream about. Through the stories, the characters, and the places created by talented authors, such as Caroline Keene, Margaret Mitchell, and Stephen King. She now reads K J Larsen , Jennifer Hillier, Joanie McDonell, J D Robb, and well, pretty much everyone and anyone who gets their words in front of her! SHE LOVES BOOKS! Renée says she's always been a writer, and that making things up gets her through the day - a crazy imagination is a good thing - right? An adventurous spirit took Yolanda Renée to Alaska where she hiked the Brooks Range, traveled from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and learned to sleep under the midnight sun. She claims her vivid imagination as a blessing, a habit, a hobby, a calling and sometimes a curse. Renée now resides in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, two sons, and Boston terrier, Patches.
You can find Renée here:
~ Defending The Pen ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~

Memories of Murder
Decades ago, the seeds were planted …
Today, dark, fathomless eyes rake the image before him. One final task and the transformation is complete. Steady fingers screw intricately carved horns on each side of a stiff brow, and a gargoyle suitable for Notre Dame scowls from the smokey mirror in satisfaction. A jagged smile rips through his smooth, hairless face, and inked, reptilian scales caress his naked body. A laugh of hideous resonance emanates from his gut as the demons of hell welcome Lucifer into their fold. In a dungeon-like chamber, his Lilith awaits. The kidnapped daughter of a nun, groomed to fit the final piece in the complex puzzle for world domination. Will Lucifer marry his bride, on the summer solstice? Only two things stand in his way ...His greed ...
And ...
Detective Steven Quaid.
***** ***** *****
~ Memories of Murder ~&~ Murder, Madness & Love ~
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