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TC_Phillips by TC_Phillips @ in Book Plugs
TC_Phillips by TC_Phillips @ in Book Plugs

Book Cover Reveal - Kingdom City: Revolt by Ben Ireland




Xchyler Publishing have just released the cover art for Ben Ireland's upcoming 2nd book, Kingdom City: Revolt, the follow up to his exciting dystopian novel Kingdom City: Resurrection

Check out the book trailer below:



About Ben Ireland

Ben churns out his prose from his home in Southeast Texas, where he lives with his wife and three children, and works in IT. When he isn’t writing, he’s either thinking about writing, or he’s driving his winfe insane talking about his novel ideas. His work has appeared in two X-anthologies: “Kissed a Snake” in A Dash of Madness: a Thriller Anthology (July 2013), and “Fairykin” in Moments in Millennia: a Fantasy Anthology(January 2014). His first novel, Kingdom City: Resurrection was published in February 2014.
TC_Phillips by TC_Phillips @ in Book Plugs
My friends over at Xychler Publishing have gone and done it again....

Check out their new anthology release and learn a little more about contributing author F.M. Longo



OF MICE AND MONSTERS by Tirzah Duncan: Troubled by ghosts within and without, Benjamin struggles to become the man his girlfriend needs instead of the monster he is.

GO GENTLE by Julie Barnson: After the death of her boyfriend, a young musician uses her talents and a fabled violin to stop the fatal accidents at a dead man’s curve.

DEAD WATER by Amanda Banker: A stalled truck, an abandoned graveyard, and a town not found on any map take two brothers on a detour they’ll never forget.

COLD SPOT by Jay Barnson: When a laptop is stolen from their computer security company, two high school buddies go to extremes to investigate. But, will they manage to return?

THE WEEPING LADY by A. F. Stewart: Eva Douglas must face her mother issues, past and present, when the disappearance of her sister forces a confrontation with a terrifying ghost.

THE POLTERGEIST AND AUNT BETTY by Ginger C. Mann: Aunt Betty is eccentric, but how much is ghost, how much is medication, and how much is just plain crazy?

THE ‘GRIM’ REAPER by L. K. McIntosh: When a soul reaper loses the source of their power,
they must either find the witch who stole it or a new purpose for living.

SHRINE OF MIRRORS by F. M. Longo: A spy on a mission becomes a believer in the supernatural when the theft of three ancient relics threaten to bring down the empire.

DEAD MAN HOCKING by T.N. Payne: A world-weary zombie learns to beware what you wish for, and not all sure bets are worth the gamble.

ST. PETER’S FISH by Alex McGilvery: Sam is a walking disaster of biblical proportions, but how much is he willing to sacrifice to escape, and will the Powers That Be allow it?

THE DIORAMA by Sebastian Bendix: A play set turns life around for Martin Taper, but things take a turn for the worse when he neglects it and the lonely child obsessed with it.

DATE DUE by Danielle E. Shipley: A magic library’s guardian determines to protect her treasured books, whether their authors elect to do things the easy way . . . or the fatal one.

Meet F.M. Longo author of SHRINE OF MIRRORS



F.M. Longo grew up surrounded by books. He started his own personal book collection at the age of seven, filling his shelves with The Hardy Boys and Tom Swift, Jr. It wasn’t long before he read his way through the entire works of Christie, Queen, Sayers, Gardner, and Wolfe. He started working in commercial kitchens from the age of fifteen, but he traded his whites for a blue pin-striped suit when he started working in Lower Manhattan, developing financial and communications software for banks, brokerages and other Wall Street companies. He later went back to the kitchen, working as the banquet chef for a large resort, and later, as the executive chef and general manager at a fine-dining restaurant. He is also an accomplished jazz drummer, playing professionally for many years. Now retired, he advises non-profit groups in his area on publicity and advertising. Originally from Stratford, CT, where his four children and seven grandchildren still reside, he currently lives in Woodbury, CT.

What is your preferred writing genre?

 Mystery - because everything I write turns into one. Actually, you can create a mystery in any other genre - paranormal mysteries, romantic mysteries, historical mysteries.

What is your advice to writers?

Find your own voice. If your writing sounds like you speak, then you’re there. If it sounds like someone else is speaking, go back and rewrite it. Don’t change your voice because it’s more marketable, or closer to what a specific market is looking for; find the market that matches your voice.


Just for fun nerd list:

Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Trek

Hunger Games or Divergent?
None of the above

James Bond or Jack Ryan?
Jack Ryan

Sherlock: Robert Downey, Jr. or Benedict Cumberbatch?
Benedict Cumberbatch

Spock: Leonard Nimoy or Zachary Quinto?
Leonard Nimoy

X-Men or Avengers?
X-Men

Aliens or Predators?
Neither

Minions or Penguins?
Neither

Batman or Superman?
Superman

Harry Potter or Pirates of the Caribbean?
Harry Potter

Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Beatles

Peter Jackson or James Cameron?
Peter Jackson

Steven Spielberg or George Lucas?
George Lucas

Vampires or Werewolves?
 *YAWN*  Both are so last year


LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BOOK MORE HERE
TC_Phillips by TC_Phillips @ in Book Reviews


A long time ago in a corporate boardroom not too far away...

Disney executives and Lucasfilm creatives were contemplating a new future for the newly acquired Star Wars franchise. A sequel trilogy, spin-off films and a plethora of cartoons, comics, games and novels lay before them – there was just one problem. The events which happened after the teddy bear picnic on Endor following the destruction of the second Death Star were already well known. Ever since Timothy Zahn’s ground breaking Heir to the Empire trilogy of novels (which amongst other things was actually the genesis of the capital planet Coruscant which Lucas would come to feature so heavily in the prequel films), the Star Wars extended universe continued to grow and deliver fresh Star Wars stories to a rabid fan base desperate to know more about the continued adventures of the Skywalker line following Darth Vader’s untimely demise.

So with their own plans for the future of the Star Wars universe, Disney targeted these tales with the callous abandon of a Grand Moff armed with his very own superlaser. With a simple “You may fire when ready” the Star Wars extended universe was blown completely out of the sky and Disney was left with a blank canvas for them to tell their own tales.
Fast forward to present day, and we’re mere months away from the release of The Force Awakens, the first film in a new sequel trilogy set 30 years after the end of Return of Jedi. Yet between Episode VI and a new Episode VII there are three decades of questions left to be answered. Hence the release of a new series of books and other media which has been dubbed The Journey to the Force Awakens. First amongst these is Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath, itself the first in a planned trilogy intended to bring audiences into the new slate of films.

With all the weight of the now defunct extended universe and the pressure of a looming sequel film trilogy, Wendig certainly has a lot riding on his shoulders as he has essentially been tasked with rebooting the entire Star Wars universe from Jedi onwards. So with all this in mind, does he pull it off?
Sadly, not quite.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually quite enjoyed Wendig’s work (my own misgivings about the stylistic choice to write the whole thing in present tense aside), but to me it seemed to suffer from the enormous constraints under which he inevitably would have laboured under. A few decades ago, when Zahn was allowed to add his own contribution to the Star Wars universe, he really went for broke and delivered what we all wanted from a post Return of Jedi Star Wars – namely Luke’s continued development as a freshly minted Jedi Knight, Han and Leia producing offspring and a REALLY cool villain in the form of the unforgettable Grand Admiral Thrawn (one who many would have loved to see make it to the silver screen – myself included).

In comparison Wendig gives us a much more scaled down tale. One which focuses on a former rebel pilot returning home to reunite with her son and finding out that her homeworld has become the site for a clandestine meeting of some of the shattered Empire’s few remaining power brokers. It’s relatively well written and fast-paced, but the book’s biggest problem is that it goes practically nowhere near the questions we really want answered – no doubt due to strict guidelines Wendig would have had to comply with in writing the novel. So don’t go in expecting to learn much more about the fates of Luke, Leia, Han and Chewy after their little celebration on Endor (though we thankfully get a very small glimpse of the later two hatching a last minute plan to help liberate the Wookie homeworld of Kashyyk using their own merry band of scoundrels and scruffy looking nerf herders). Leia only pops up in a recording and Luke is conspicuously absent all-together. In fact, the only OT characters to feature properly are fan-favourites, X-Wing pilot Wedge Antilles (who spends most of the book unconscious anyway) and Admiral Ackbar (who really needed to say “It’s a trap!”).
You can tell this must have chaffed a little – god knows being handed the reins to one’s very own Star Wars novel and then being forced to produce a story of practically little consequence to the saga’s main arc. Wendig even tried to stretch out a little, offering little glimpses of the Star Wars universe at large through a series of small Interludes which broke from his main tale. For me, these interludes were probably the most exciting thing about the book – because whilst they didn’t go anywhere near as far as answering the big questions we have, they at least gave us a small taste of the saga’s new direction.

Whilst I’m here – there’s another part of the book I want to talk about. Unless you’ve been living in a cave on Dagobah, you’ve probably heard the backlash Wendig has copped in regards to including gay characters in the book, and I wanted to add my own two cents in.

Yes Wendig has included gay characters – if this offends you, get over it.
Seriously, if I hadn’t been aware of the backlash Wendig has received as a result of this I probably would have read right past the references altogether. With these inclusions, what Wendig has done is offer a glimpse of a fictional galaxy which is a genuine reflection of the real world – one in which same-sex oriented people live. Personally I find it odd that people will happily accept that a giant overweight slug can force a member of the Alderaanian nobility into a highly sexualised slave girl role, but get all bent out of shape when a male character politely declines the advances of a female bounty hunter because he doesn’t like women “that way”.
Anyhow – what do I think overall? Aftermath was a decent effort, but one which has been too far hamstrung by the need for it to steer away from the saga’s main arc. The use of first-person is a little off-putting at first, but you quickly get used to it as the action takes hold. By all means, pick it up – but don’t expect the sort of big revelations we’re all desperate to get our hands on.

Three and half Death Stars out of five.

TC_Phillips by TC_Phillips @ in Book Plugs


Hi all,

A little while back I helped in giving a sneak peek at the cover art of A.J. Campbell's debut novel "Sigil of Wyrm".  This great new fantasy, which is also the first book in Campbell's "Into the Weirding" series is now out and ready for you check out!  

Buy it here on Amazon
or Check it out on the Xchyler Website

What's more, it is my privilege to be able to introduce you to this great new author and give you the opportunity to learn a little more about her. Here are a few quick questions with A.J. Campbell.



1.    What is your preferred writing genre?
 
Fantasy. With a side order of mystery and adventure. Someday I’d like to write a historical novel, but even then I think that elements of the fantastical are going to worm their way in.
 
2.    Who is your favorite author? Who has most influenced your work?
 
Jointly, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I have always loved Pratchett’s humour, irreverence and humanity; he was an absolute genius for putting real people into a fantasy world. And I started writing Sigil of the Wyrm just after reading Gaiman’s Neverwhere: I wanted to do for the North East what he had done for London.
 
3.    When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
 
I honestly don’t know. There was never a lightbulb moment that I can remember, I think I’ve always wanted to write, ever since I understood where books came from. I still have, somewhere, a “book” I wrote when I was about 5, which was basically a list of woodland animals who all went on a picnic. It’s nice to look back and see how far you’ve come…
 
4.    Given unlimited resources, what would be your ideal writing environment?
 
A warm, shady spot outdoors with an unlimited supply of whichever beverage I’m in the mood for. No internet – unless I need to fact-check something in a hurry – no mobile phone, and no time pressures.
 
5.    Where do you actually write? Do you write on a schedule?
 
I do a lot of writing in cafes, pubs, libraries, parks - out and about generally. Anywhere I can set up with a pad and a pencil. Then all the drafts get typed up later when I’m back home.
I don’t write to a schedule – I know I should, but I don’t – not until the editing stage. At which point I have proper deadlines and other people who will poke me if I don’t make them.



Want to win some goodies?  Check out the Rafflecopter Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More fun is planned for this great new release - follow the blog tour below:


Saturday, Aug. 29
Alex Campbell
Perpetual Chaos of a Wandering Mind
Sunday, Aug. 30
Lurking Musings
Slithers of Thought

Monday, Aug. 31
The Deep, Dark Library
Cobblestone Scribe

Tuesday, Sep. 1
Lucy Ayrton, Performance Poet
T.N. Payne, Author

Wednesday, Sep. 2
Richard A. Usher, Media Creative
Alex McGilvery's World
Thursday, Sep. 3
Scott E. Tarbet, Author

Are You Afraid of the Dark

Friday, Sep. 4
OMega W
Danielle E. Shipley
The Author Visits

Saturday, Sep. 5
R. A. Ridley
Didi Lawson, Author
Musings, Amusings, and Bemusings





TC_Phillips by TC_Phillips @ in Book Plugs
Here comes another great upcoming release from my mates at Xchyler Publishing... check out the cover reveal and book trailer below:




Want to know more?

M.K. Wiseman can be found in various corners of this dang fangled interwebs thingamebob.  Connect with her here:
Website - www.mkwisemanauthor.com

or here
Goodreads -  www.goodreads.com/MKWiseman

or here if you're a bit of a Twit
Twitter - @FaublesFables

or here
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/FaublesFables

and here...
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/faublesfables/


Wow! When does she actually find time to write?



TC_Phillips by TC_Phillips @ in Book Plugs
My fellow X-team author will shortly be releasing the last book in her Wilderhark Tales series - check out the new cover and details for its' release below:





 

For Gant-o’-the-Lute, “ever after” has been less than happy. With the last of Carillon’s charm over him gone, the minstrel-king puts royalty behind him in pursuit of the music he once knew and the lifelong dream he let slip through his fingers. But dark whispers on the wind warn that time is running out – not only for Lute and the apprentice in his shadow, but the whole of earth and Sky.
 
The Story’s End
Book Seven of The Wilderhark Tales

 
<> ~ <> ~ <>
 
An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast; a princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell; bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk – all within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.
 
You’ve heard the stories – of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel; of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball; of frog princes, and swan princes, and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea. Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love.
 
Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark’s.
 

Author bio:
 
Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing, publishing, and all that authorial jazz, she’s probably blogging about it at www.EverOnWord.wordpress.com.
 
 
General info:
Genre = fairytale novella
Release date = October 13, 2015
Available to add to your Goodreads shelf = https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25958863-the-story-s-end
Future availability = Paperback (Amazon and CreateSpace) and e-Book (Kindle and Nook)
 




TC_Phillips by TC_Phillips @ in Book Plugs
Check out this awesome cover and trailer for the upcoming release "Sigil of the Wyrm" by A.J. Campbell

Due for release August 25th - PRE ORDER NOW!!!!!!



TC_Phillips by TC_Phillips @ in Book Plugs

Here's a brand new release from JD Spero and the team from Xchyler Publishing - check it out..

Pre-Order link:


 Johannah Davies (JD) Spero was born near a pristine lake in the Adirondacks and has lived in various cities such as St. Petersburg (Russia), Indianapolis, Dallas, and Boston. She has pursued her love of narrative through degrees in English, Russian, and teaching—and has worked as an actress, a yoga instructor, a web design entrepreneur, freelance writer, and a high school English teacher. She lives in the Northeast with her husband and three young sons.

Drawing on her experience as a high school teacher—this time with a social concern, Spero infuses the rites of passage for the teenager—cliques, first kisses, peer pressure, and bullying—with magic. This stresses how tenuous and critical this time is for young people in a new, fascinating way. Written from Sami’s point of view, Spero’s narrative puts the reader into the mind of a fifteen-year-old who must navigate the tumultuous waters of being the new girl—the underdog who starts to win and is intoxicated by it. Truly a page-turner, this action-packed story will have readers of all ages eager to see what happens next. 


Spero’s debut novel, Catcher’s Keeper, was chosen as a Finalist in the 2014 Indie Excellence Book Awards contest and also made the top 5% out of 10,000 entries in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.  


Facebook, Twitter: @jdspero, Goodreads


The Author Visits


Excerpt

Main character, Sami McGovern, a natural musician is recruited to try out for volleyball.

 

Finally, the time has come. I ride the giant wave to the locker room, letting myself get sucked into the energy. It’s like every single freshman girl is going to tryouts. The excitement is contagious. The locker room has transformed into a sort of primping party. It’s a more amped up version of backstage before one of my piano recitals. I’m giggling as I change into gym clothes and follow the others onto the court.

But I stop short on the sidelines.

Payne has the girls running the court lengthwise, tapping the endline paint with their fingers, and running back. What’s this exercise called again? I see Maddie, Shaunie, and Thalia. Pixie is here too, looking miserable. She’s not awful, though.

“Nice work, Maddie,” Payne calls across the gym.

Okay, so Payne has favorites. No biggie. Has she already made the cuts? I have better chances trying out for the New York Philharmonic. What am I thinking? I’m no athlete. They’re all going to laugh at me. Maybe it’s not too late to make a quick exit.

“Are you playing?” asks a voice beside me.

My eyes don’t leave the court. “I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just watch.”

“Me, too, then.”

“Why?” I turn and am startled to see it’s the girl with the scarred neck.

“I thought you might want a friend.”

The scars look terrifying up close—shiny, raw strings of bumpy tissue that used to be skin. My mouth is stuck open, and I blink like mad.

“I’m Brenna,” she says with a huge smile. “Sports aren’t really my thing.”

“Sami.” A tiny wave. “Me, neither.”

“What are we doing here, then?” She laughs.

“You have a really nice smile.”

“You sound surprised,” she teases.

I must turn redder than her scars, my face is so hot. Because it’s true. I was surprised. Am surprised. It’s wrong, but I can’t help it.

Payne’s whistle interrupts us. “You girls joining tryouts or just socializing in your gym clothes?”

No time for apologies. Payne’s eyes are focused solely on me. “Come on. You’ve missed the warm up. On the court now. Let’s go.”

A nervous laugh with Brenna, and I concede. Whatever. This tryout is another orientation thing, right? A rite of passage for the new girl. It will be over soon, and I’ll go home and use my fingers the way they were meant to be used. Piano. What kind of tune will I conjure, what will my muse inspire? I’m daydreaming as I wander into the middle of the court.

Payne’s voice rings louder than her whistle.

“No, Sami. Right in front.”

In front? Me?

Payne grasps my shoulders to place me at the net when I feel something strange. My chest tightens with panic—a force enters me, making my insides quiver. What’s happening?

Zap!

A jolt, vibration. A charge surging out from my chest to my fingertips, my toes.

Zing!

The faces around me blur, but the ball is radiant. A blue glow. The ball sails over the net. Bumped. Set. To me? I leap, and it’s like my feet sprout wings. Out of nowhere I reach and—

Pow!

It slaps the opposite court untouched. A clean strike.

“Point,” Payne cheers.

My body tingles. How on earth did I do that? And then I do it again.

I zone in. That neat leather ball leaves a laser-blue contrail as it’s punched into the air. I know what will happen next. I can predict its path! Am I the only one who sees it glow like that?

Bump, set, spike!

Wahoo! I’m a giant, tapping a ping-pong ball with my big paw. Easy. I’m above everything. Everyone. Even Brenna—the one person who’s tried to be my friend—now wears a worried grin. Something has separated us.

I’m separate from everyone.

The ball comes again. Soaring, my hand curved in perfect form, I guide it over at cheetah-speed that somehow feels slow. My arm retracts within a millimeter of the net, but it feels like yards away.

Pow!

Everyone cheers. For me.

How did I get so good?

My eyes go to Payne, who’s already studying me. As much as I want to, I cannot turn away. My arms and legs tingle—itching to move, to play ball. The veins in my wrists pulse like a heartbeat. My birthmark throbs on my hand, ready to throttle that volleyball. I make fists, trying to contain it.

I stare back at Payne, the question ringing loudly in my mind: Did you do this?

She gives me a slow, wry smile. Goose bumps rise on my suddenly-athletic arms.

I think I’ve just made the team.






Official Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/569741183164962/

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TC_Phillips by TC_Phillips @ in Book Reviews


I have a certain special place in my heart reserved for detective fiction, and as such I jumped at the opportunity to get my hands on an advanced copy of RM Ridley’s new White Dragon Black Anthology, his latest addition to the growing case files of his paranormal PI Jonathon Alvey. Brooding, cantankerous, and so deeply flawed he’s almost on the verge of shattering completely, Alvey is a fantastic homage to the hardboiled detective fiction of old with a fresh insertion of the mystical and arcane.

Conjuring images of rot-gut bourbon, duplicitous dames and dangerous foes, Ridley manages to channel some of the best traditions left over from the old school of detective fiction, long before the current obsession with forensic scientists, psychoanalytic profilers and savant anthropologists polished the genre to a fine gloss and (sadly) caused it to lose its trademark, rust-pitted edge. Thankfully Alvey, however, is detective made purely of rust-pitted edges, the kind of man more content to have a beer for breakfast and leave his office unlocked to save him having to pay for the repairs caused those seeking to break in. What truly sets Alvey apart though, is his unique field of expertise. A practitioner of the arcane arts, Alvey’s typical case load involves a hefty amount of hex and spell work, along with dealing with the odd reanimated corpse, poltergeist and mysterious tome. And amongst all of this, the biggest danger Ridley has made his character face is his insatiable addiction to the magic he barely controls – an addiction Ridley potently describes as making “heroin look like chewable children’s aspirin”.

Full of intrigue, danger and bleak humour – the stories in Blondes, Books and Bourbon not only expand on the world Ridley introduced us to in his debut novel Tomorrow Wendell, but rather supersede it. To me, detective fiction has always been best captured in the form of the short story, and I relished the opportunity to learn more of Alvey in this format. Whilst I’m excited to see more of Ridley’s PI in his forthcoming second novel, I also sincerely hope to see more of Alvey in future anthologies – to me the short story is where he really shines.

Overall a great read, particularly suited to be enjoyed on a dark night with a cheap bourbon sloshed into a dirty coffee cup.
I whole heartedly rate this anthology five fingers of the finest, cheap bourbon you can stomach.


R. M. RIDLEY
R.M. Ridley, author of The White Dragon Black series R.M. Ridley lives with his wife on a small homestead in Canada, raising chickens and sheep. He has been writing stories, both long and short, for three decades, the themes of which range from the gruesome to the fantastical.

As an individual who suffers from severe bipolar disorder, Ridley is a strong believer in being open about mental health issues and uses his writing to escape when his thoughts become too wild.
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