Talking Story

Adult Fiction

Front Cover-Old Scratch

I wrote a gritty short story called Red. It’s published in a collection of western horror by Griffin Publishers and available as a trade paperback and eBook through Amazon and other retailers. It’s not for the faint of heart–my son refused to read past the opening paragraphs because–well, he’s a gentle soul and at first this story is shocking and raw, but there’s a pay-off that puts the whole thing in a different light. I’ll be signing copies in February at LTUE and advanced copies will be available in January at FanX in Salt Lake City, UT.

From the back of the book:

The West has always been a symbol of the wild frontier, rugged adventure, and dangerous exploration. However, if it wasn’t for fear of the unknown, the West would just be another cardinal direction. Old Scratch and Owl Hoots delves into that fear and captures it in fourteen tales of terror set in the West ranging from the 1800s to the present day. Take a gander inside and you’ll find stories dealing with… …a strange creature on Antelope Island that can never satisfy its hunger… …a young girl kidnapped by highwaymen; but she carries a dangerous secret… …a woman’s vacation to Zion National Park that takes a dark turn when she can’t stop hearing the cries of a newborn baby… …an outlaw on the run from Porter Rockwell who finds more than he bargains for in the Utah wilderness… …a war veteran who carries a darkness inside him that threatens his very own family. Experience these stories and more in Old Scratch and Owl Hoots. All the stories in the anthology are written by authors with Utah connections. Some are veterans at the craft, while others are making their debut. Cozy up next to a campfire and delve into these fourteen stories and find out why it’s dangerous to be out and about in the West when the sun goes down.

ha_cover (1)

Heart of Annihilation by C.R. Asay is an electrifying military black ops thriller with a sci-fi twist that challenges ideas of nature vs. nature and cold war politics.

It’s a little complicated, so bear with me. U.S. Army Specialist Kris Rose has her own hidden agenda when she’s plunged into a military secret. She discovers that our world is home to several societies living in different dimensions with different technologies and philosophies. The most advanced is 13 and it’s been known not to play well with others. Someone in  number 12 has developed a weapon—the Heart of Annihilation—that has the potential to take care of number 13’s proclivity to end other dimensions.

12’s a mannered, pacifist society, so there’s some (ahem) disagreement between factions about whether or the Heart of Annihilation is a good thing. Most of the time, 12’s solution to conflict is a quick serenity break. For those who can’t chillax, 12 relocates them to a penal colony more their speed—our everyday world. Medium bad guys keep their memories. Really bad ones gets the ultimate reboot with their memories wiped and are regressed back to infants. They aren’t human, but can usually pass.

Did I mention the Heart of Annihilation is lost?

You can see where all of this is heading.

C.R. Asay’s own military experience shines as so many of the details from wounds to the interior of a C-130 to tactical mind-sets are spot on. Lovers of stories within stories will find much to enjoy here along with a lot of shoot-‘em-up-cloak-and-dagger action. As fun as the guns and camaraderie are, it’s really a story that explores the nature of evil and questions how much a person can be nurtured away from destiny.

With such big concepts and worlds to explore, Heart of Annihilation is the first in a series. Looking forward to the next book!

Heart of Annihilation by C.R. Assay is published by Wido Publishing and is available in trade paperback and eBook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble

cr_asayConnect with C.R. Asay

Blog/Website: http://www.crasay.com/

Facebook: C.R. Asay

Twitter: @Stauna

eyes-final

Eyes of Persuasion by Adrienne Monson is an afternoon’s escape into a world of dressing for dinner, marriage as high finance, and a lady who intends to stay that way despite her uncle’s gambling debts. It’s a romp through polite English high society that isn’t afraid to take a side trip down the steamier side of the docks.

Lady Isabeau Maybrick’s got a deeper secret than playing detective or dress-up—a paranormal superpower that would put her life in jeopardy if anyone knew about it. She’s a modern thinking woman in a repressive historical past, so it’s no surprise that the unconventional Everette Radcliff turns her world upside-down.

Eyes of Persuasion is the kind of book that’s best read with a hot beverage and a plate of cookies. It’s an easy, entertaining read that will leave you wanting more. Readers who like historical romances are sure to enjoy the paranormal twist on an (almost) bodice ripper plot.

Eyes of Persuasion by Adrienne Monson available as an eBook or trade paperback from Amazon.

 

Authorpic smallConnect with Adrienne Monson

Web site: http://www.adriennemonson.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/adriennemonson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/adriennemonson

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6584385.Adrienne_Monson

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/adriennemonson

 

Black_Moon_Cover

Teri Harman’s Black Moon, book two of the Moonlight Trilogy, continues the story of Willa and Simon, young adults taking those first steps into a grown-up world of magic, witches, soul mates, trials, and too many talents. It’s a fast-paced and engrossing read that expresses all the confusion of perfect love that isn’t perfect, leaving home to share one’s life with another, completing magic trials to prove one’s worth, and, oh, saving the world.

I won’t mention the guilt Simon oozes because of the deaths in Blood Moon (book one) or Willa’s anguish in wanting to save someone who won’t let her in. I won’t say a thing about the balance of light covens and dark covens and how truly twisted the dark can be when it seeks to control the powers of the earth on the night of the black moon. And I can’t tell you about the whole terrifying plot around being extraordinarily gifted magically and the suspicion and doubt having too much talent can cause. I can’t tell you any of these things because that would Ruin the Story.

And this is one you’ll want to read for yourself.

Black Moon by Teri Harman is a New Adult paranormal thriller with a romance twist sure to delight readers 16 and older. Published by Jolly Fish Press, it’s available in trade paperback and eBook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other purveyors of fine books.

teri_photoConnect with Teri Harman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTeriHarman

Website: http://teriharman.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeriHarman

Brenda-Corey-Dunne I recently interviewed Brenda Corey Dunne about her newest book, Dependent. This was a big summer for Brenda and her family as they sold and bought houses, renovated the new one, and moved the whole family–horses and all–across Canada to her husband’s new military posting. Somehow between the move, the new book launch, and discovering where to buy groceries and back to school clothes, Brenda found the time to answer a few of my questions.

In Dependent Ellen makes many sacrifices for her family and husband. Do you think that’s typical of all women or something special about Ellen?

That’s a tricky question to answer! I’m not a fan of the ‘the woman’s place is in the home’ stereotype. Women should be able to do whatever they want. This is the 21st Century for goodness sake! And so many husbands make sacrifices for their wives careers.

But I DO believe women take on the nurturing role more often than men. And I live in a world of military relationships. It takes only quick mental review of all of my friends to realize that almost all of my married female friends and closer acquaintances have sacrificed for their husbands in some way. They’ve given up good paying jobs to follow their spouses. Most of them have had to start at the very beginning at least once in their careers. They’ve moved thousands of miles away from family and friends. They’ve scrubbed and staged houses over and over again for a quick sale. They’ve smiled bravely as their husband shouldered his bag and walked away for another deployment. And they’ve done it willingly.

Dependent exposes some of the unique challenges military families face. How can non-military families reach out and support military families more?

Another tricky question. Military families are often strong and proud. They don’t want charity and they don’t want pity. And they won’t ask for help because that would be considered weakness…so they suffer in silence. I think the best way to support them is to put yourself in their shoes. Imagine you are a thousand miles away from home, your house is full of boxes, you have two toddlers and are pregnant with the third, and your hubby has just left for a two month ‘refresher’ course in a different state. What would you like most?

A friendly smile. A cup of coffee. Help getting the trash to the curb on the right day. Knowledge of where the local library is. Hot brownies. Someone to talk to while your kids play at the park. A line on a good daycare in town.

Really, the best way to help a military family is to extend the hand of friendship. I have made so many wonderful friends over my 25 years associated with the military. Some came and went, but most will always have a place in my heart. Those friendships have sometimes been my lifeline—the only thing that helped me cope when things went downhill. That kind of support is the priceless.

Without giving too much away, how do you imagine Ellen’s life now?

I think Ellen is realizing that university is a lot different at 46 than it is at 19! I think she’s dealing with different issues, still trying to figure out how everything works in her new life. Not sure I can give you much more than that!

cover 1Thanks, Brenda for stopping by. Click here to see my review of Dependent. Dependent by Brenda Corey Dunn is published by Jolly Fish Press and is available as a trade paperback or eBook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other purveyors of fine books.

Connect with Brenda Corey Dunn

Blog: http://brendacoreydunne.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://twitter.com/overdunne

Twitter: https://twitter.com/overdunne

 

 

copper-descent-front_cover

It’s gonna be a tough day when you discover Satan’s been searching your whole life for you so you can bear his child.

It gets even rougher when bad feels soooo good.

On the surface, Copper Descent, the New Adult debut novel by Angela Hartley, is a love story about teens Nina and Nate who meet while working at an upscale vacation resort in the wilds of Midway, Utah. But Nina faces much more than a simple love triangle when Sinclair Devereux, lead singer of Revelation, rushes in to sweep her off her feet.  Copper Descent is really a story of fate, redemption, and the power of free agency as Nina learns her true identity and the role she’s destined to play in the multiverse evolution of mankind.

Nate is full of real world charm, but Sinclair offers the forbidden. Mix Native American folklore, mean girls, murder, suicide, a love triangle, and an old dude who just may be God and you’ve got a hint of what this book is all about. It’s a richly textured story about temptation and desire, the first in an epic series of seven novels by Angela Hartley that weave a new narrative about the genesis and ultimate destiny of mankind.

Copper Descent by Angela Hartley is published by Fox Hollow Publications is available through Amazon.

angela_photoConnect with Angela Hartley

Blog: http://angelahartley.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Angela-Hartley-Author/267442633281341

Twitter: @GoldAngelHart

Goodreads: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Angela-Hartley-Author/267442633281341

cover 1Dependent, the stunning new novel by Brenda Corey Dunne, is an unusual coming of age story about a forty-five year old woman finding herself after making hard choices at nineteen that set the course of her life.

Ellen Michaels has been an officer’s wife for twenty-five years. Living in the military’s shadow, all of Ellen’s decisions have been influenced by her husband John’s career—where she lives, what she does, and who her friends are—as well as the choices she makes to protect her family. Lumped in with John’s worldly goods as “dependents, furniture, and effects,” it’s profoundly shocking for Ellen to discover that with John’s death her future is her own again.

Much of  Dependent is told in flashback, and we see Ellen grow from a young teen to a mature woman. We see the struggles every young mother faces and typical challenges even the best marriages go through. With John’s death we see the devastating effect of losing a partner and father. But Ellen also has a terrible secret she’s kept for twenty-five years, and she fears this secret is what killed her husband.

Told from an insider’s perspective, everything from early marriages, frequent moves, and long absences to the culture of rank and stiff upper lip is vividly portrayed. It’s these military culture conventions—and the idea that everything is happy, happy, happy!—that keep Ellen prisoner until she finally realizes that she independent and powerful.

And when she does you’re going to want to stand up and cheer.

But I’m not going to spoil it!

Dependent by Brenda Corey Dunn is published by Jolly Fish Press and is available as a trade paperback or eBook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other purveyors of fine books.

Brenda-Corey-DunneConnect with Brenda Corey Dunn

Blog: http://brendacoreydunne.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://twitter.com/overdunne

Twitter: https://twitter.com/overdunne

copper-descent-front_cover

Available for purchase as an eBook and to order as a trade paperback is the first novel in Angela Hartley’s Sentient Chronicles, Copper Descent.

From the back of the book:

The tale of Sinauf was a secret nineteen-year-old Nina Douglas’ ancestors kept hidden for eighteen generations. But the truth has been brought into light.
The dark god of legend is real.
Caught in an ancient war still raging strong in the modern world, Nina is confronted with Sinauf—the embodiment of all she fears and desires. Like a moth drawn to a deadly flame, Nina must resist the seductive charm of a beautiful monster, or prepare to lose everything she holds dear.
Temptation has a name, and he is coming for her.

I’ve read bits and pieces of this novel as it was being written and can’t wait to read it in its entity. Copper Descent is a New Adult speculative fiction story that weaves Native American mythology into a modern world. Central to the story is the question of fate–can one change it or are we doomed to the future forecast at our birth? Looks like I’ll have to get cracking to find out how Angela answers that!

Copper Descent, the first book in the Sentient Chronicles by Angela Hartley, is published by Fox Hollow Publications and available from Amazon.

angela_photoConnect with Angela Hartley

Blog: http://angelahartley.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Angela-Hartley-Author/267442633281341

 

 

coverSet in the same world as Beatrysel, Johnny Worthen’s novelette Dr. Stuart’s Heart delves into the world of lost love, longing, and an academic approach to modern magick. Dr. Stuart is a history professor and hopeful necromancer who believes a talented graduate student’s research project may bring him his heart’s desire. It’s a quick read that will satisfy Beatrysel fans and introduce new readers to the deep, dark, occult worlds Johnny creates. Call it literary horror or a love story with a twist, it’s a great momentary escape with an icy Diet Coke and a bag of chips.

Dr. Stuart’s Heart is available through Amazon.

Johnny WorthenConnect with Johnny Worthen

Blog: http://johnnyworthen.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JohnnyWorthenBooks

Twitter:  @JohnnyWorthen

cover

From the popularity of movies like Fatal Attraction to the TLC reality series My Strange Addiction, it’s no surprise that we’re fascinated by the extreme forms love, hate, desire, fear, and need take. Little Visible Delight is an anthology of darkly twisted obsession tales written by eleven talented novelists from the Omnium Gatherum Media stable.

Like most anthologies, the stories are varied in tone, pacing, and style. A couple of them stand out for their literary echos: A Thousand Stitches by Kate Jonez and The Point by Johnny Worthen. I particularly enjoyed these two for the thought-provoking themes that stayed with me long after I’d read them.

The one that still keeps me up all night is JP by Brent Michael Kelly. You’ll never look at people who carry little dogs everywhere the same way again.

The most difficult for me to relate to was An Unattributed Lyric, In Blood, On a Bathroom Wall by Ennis Drake. The story form is on the experimental side, and it explores the futility of trying to capture the human experience in literature. Perhaps it hits a little too close to home.

A special bonus and one of my favorite things about this analogy are the authors’ notes at end of each story that explain their inspiration and how particular themes continually reoccur—obsess them, really—as writers.

Perfect for late night reading, Little Visible Delight is sure to take the reader on paths seldom traveled. Flashlight under the covers recommended.

Little Visible Delight is published by Omnium Gatherum Media and is available in paperback and eBook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Sign up for

Talking Story Newsletter

and receive free Lauele Universe bonus material and tips from the Lehua Writing Academy.

Click here to go to
The Niuhi Shark Website.

Get the Books

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

When you’re allergic to water,
growing up in Hawaii
isn’t always paradise.

With Niuhi sharks,
even out of the water,
you’re not safe.

Everything you thought you knew
about Zader is a  lie.