Jolly Fish Press
Isn’t gorgeous? This is the cover for Mojave Green, the second book in the Dimensions in Death series by the Brothers Washburn. Here’s the blurb.
Camm and Cal thought they had killed the unearthly creature that preyed upon the people in their isolated mining town deep in the Mojave Desert. Off at college, they feel safe, until they hear news that Trona’s children are still disappearing. Caught in that nightmare since childhood, Camm feels responsible for the town’s children. As her life-long best friend, Cal feels responsible for Camm. With unsuspecting friends in tow, they return to warn the town’s innocent people, but things have changed.
Death comes in a new form. The dimensional balance is altered. Crossovers multiply. The situation spirals out of control, and Cal is pulled into another world where his chances of survival are slim. Without Cal, Camm seeks help where she can, even from the dead. Soon, she is on the run from relentless federal agents, who are hiding secrets and pursuing their own agenda. The mysterious depths of the Searles Mansion may yet contain a key to stopping alien predators, if it is not already too late.
It sounds amazing. Be sure to pick up Pitch Green if you haven’t read it. You won’t want to miss a word.
A. L. Washburn and B. W. Washburn are licensed lawyers and full time writers, residing in Colorado and southern Utah. They grew up in a large family in Trona, California, a small mining community not far from Death Valley, and spent many happy days in their youth roaming the wastelands of the Mojave Desert. After living in Argentina at different times, each came back to finish school and start separate careers. Living thousands of miles apart, they worked in different areas of the law, while raising their own large families.
Each has authored legal materials and professional articles, but after years of wandering in the wastelands of the law, their lifelong love of fiction, especially fantasy, science fiction and horror, brought them back together to write a new young adult horror series, beginning with Pitch Green and Mojave Green. They have found there yet remain many untold wonders to be discovered in the unbounded realms of the imagination, especially as those realms unfold in the perilous wastelands of the Dimensions in Death.
I’m really excited about Eleanor by Johnny Worthen, available Spring 2014. Johnny says, “Eleanor is a modest girl, unremarkable but extraordinary, young but old, malleable but fixed. She is scared and confused. She is a liar and a thief. Eleanor is not what she appears to be.” Eleanor is a young adult paranormal novel published by Jolly Fish Press. Isn’t the cover beautiful?
My friend and fellow Jolly Fish Press author Elsie Park just published her debut novel, Shadows of Valor. (My review here.) Elsie stopped by to talk story with me as part of her blog tour.
You’ve been a wildland firefighter, a police officer, a musician and composer, a poet, a botanist, a zoologist, an ex-pat Christian missionary living in Italy, a stay-at-home-mom with three little ones, and now an author. I’m exhausted from just typing that! Any other careers on your bucket list?
I know that on several sites my author biography stated that I was a zoologist and botanist, but I actually only minored in those fields in college. I’m far from a scientific expert – LOL. Before I die, however, I’d LOVE to go on different trail hikes around the world to see castles, old monuments, ancient cities, natural structures, forests, wild animals and to try all the different, wonderful cuisine from all around the globe, but I’d like to stay in a hotel every night while I do all these things – LOL – I’m not a “happy camper.” My body doesn’t rough it very well. I need a mattress and pillow.
Me, too! (Showers and room service are nice!) We’ve all been fascinated by stories of people living double-lives, from superheroes like Batman to sleeper agent spies like Mr. & Mrs. Smith to the Count of Monte Crisco. What inspiration helped you tap into your inner secret identity when crafting the backstory to The Shadow?
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy is a story (and movie) I grew up with, and one that I absolutely love. I could watch the film with Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour again and again. When I was working on my hero’s story and the challenges that came with being a spy, I often thought of Sir Percy from The Scarlet Pimpernel harboring his dual identity and having to keep it secret from the one he loved. My hero’s backstory, however, came to me from hearing and reading about the evils of modern smuggling and how it hurts innocent children and others.
In your novel you deal with themes of love and redemption. Tell me, does true love heal all wounds or are some betrayals too deep?
I believe we need to forgive others, leaving the ultimate judgment to God, but I’m the first to admit that forgiveness is easier said than done. I’m not perfect at this principle, but it’s a trait I endeavor to uphold. I believe true love CAN heal all wounds, regardless of the betrayal, and no matter how long it takes, but ONLY if all persons involved are working together toward the same goals: Repentance, restitution, forgiveness and becoming better. True love must encompass both sides of a partnership or this will fail. I believe that where betrayal occurs on one side, true love never really existed or was replaced by selfishness and greed. These can be remedied only through hard work, persistence and love. If half of the partnership doesn’t return love, betrays the love, doesn’t do his/her part to make the relationship work, or doesn’t change his/her ways, then the wounds inflicted will fester, but only on the part of the betrayer. True love can only help heal the people holding onto that love. The selfish people will not heal, but will suffer until genuine changes are made. Though true love on the part of the injured can aid eventual forgiveness for the other, it doesn’t necessarily mean trusting the betrayer again or remaining with that person in a relationship that’s harmful. Trust needs to be earned back by the genuine actions of the wrongdoer to repent and remain penitent.
Wow, did I just deliver a sermon? Sorry for that. *chagrin*
Your debut novel is out, yay! So what’s next?
I’m working on another story that takes place several years after Shadows of Valor. I’ve taken a minor character from Shadows of Valor and weaved a story around him. The story takes place in England again, but ventures into Scotland as well, drawing on the historical happenings and battles that took place between the countries at that time. You don’t need to read Shadows of Valor to read my next book. Though they share a common character, it’s not a sequel. It’s a separate story. I will, of course, compose a song for it (probably not three like I did for Shadows of Valor) and it will be another PG-rated romantic adventure.
Connect with Elsie Park
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorelsiepark
My friend and fellow author Eric Bishop just published his debut novel, The Samaritan’s Pistol. (Click here for my review.) We’ve had long conversations that have twisted and turned like an old cow trail about writing, literature, and ’80s rock bands. One of my favorites is our Dude vs. Chick Lit debates. Eric graciously wrote some of his thoughts on this topic.
Me: Dude vs. Chick Lit. Is there such a thing and if so, what are your favorite he-man titles?
Eric: Dude vs. chick lit? I think there is, or at least used to be, such a thing. As for my favorite he-man titles I really don’t have any, but I’ll offer an explanation. I’ve never seen any data to support it, but I think boys read more as teenagers in the eighties. Even as an author, I read less now than I did then.
Janilee and I have four daughters. The oldest is twenty-one and my baby is fourteen. They’ve grown up on the Twilight, Hunger Games and, of course Harry Potter series to become voracious readers.
Their reaction to Katniss was similar to my experience reading Louis L’amour in the eighties. We all love tough resilient heroes and heroines, who problem solve their way through some crucible. The western stories I read as a teenager tapped into something primal. The heroes were usually in their twenties or early thirties. I related in a personal way, wondering who I’d become. Would I grow up to be capable like the protagonists who cleaned up a corrupt town or chased down the runaway herd?
Eventually, I tired of Louis L’amour’s formulaic stories. The names and towns changed, but there was the same tough loner cowboy, fighting a stacked deck in the form of a corrupt sheriff, rancher, or crazed killer. I still like stories with these elements, but as a middle aged guy, I want something more than formulaic good and bad reflected in what I read. I’ve wondered what Louis L’amour’s protagonists would do with a biker gang who was trying to extort them, while going through a custody dispute with their third wife, some way of showing me the complexities of life.
While I enjoy the work of lots of different authors, The Samaritan’s Pistol is the story I look for in book stores but can’t find. I wonder if there isn’t an untapped market right now for guy or dude fiction.
Some say teenage boys don’t read because books can’t compete with over the top action and graphics of video games. I wonder what picture a great action author could put in the reader’s head if “Tour of Duty” or “Grand Theft Auto” was in paperback. Done right, I think teenage boys will read again in droves. Just like I did in a decade long, long ago!
Me: Rock on, Eric. I think you can define Dude Lit as more adrenaline action and less sparkly vampires and there’s a real need for that in bookstores and libraries. Like Harry Potter proved, kids (and guys) are willing to read good fiction that sparks the imagination and speaks to the secret inner hero in all of us.
By the way, if you’re looking for the perfect read for the hardworking, rather-be-fishing, what-these-moody-vampire-kids-need-is-a-job man in your life, The Samaritan’s Pistol fits the bill.
Book 2 is heading to the copy editor where all the commas get put into the right places!
Until then, here’s a little taste of One Shark, No Swim.
I climbed on the toilet tank and stuck my head out the window. The drop was near the front door to Hari’s store. A little below me and to the left was the hand railing for the upstairs lānai that ran along Uncle Kahana’s living room. I was pretty sure I could make it.
I was holding onto the window frame hugging the outside wall with the ball of my right foot resting on the railing when I heard a plop. I looked down. A young haole girl with a sunburned nose was looking up at me. A large yellow and orange shave ice was melting at her feet.
“Mom!” she yelled. “There’s a naked boy covered in lipstick climbing out a window!”
I froze. I couldn’t go back and I couldn’t go forward.
“Jeanie!” a woman’s voice scolded from the store.
“Mom! He’s got weeds wrapped around his ankle and wrist!”
Please, let me die and end this, I prayed. But whatever happens, please don’t let anyone show up with a smart phone or camera. If this gets out I’ll never live it down.
“Go away!” I mouthed at her.
“He wants me to go away!”
“What did I say about telling stories?” the woman said.
“But Mom, this time it’s true!”
I sensed more commotion under me, shadows and light flickering like schools of fish on the reef. I peered down.
“Jeanie! Look what you did! Your snow cone’s all over—” the voice trailed off.
Bleach blond hair and mega-sized sunglasses stared up at me. I closed my eyes.
Next to me the sliding door swept open and a strong brown arm wrapped around my body, lifting me over the railing and onto the lānai. Uncle Kahana leaned down.
“Aloha! So sorry about the shave ice! Tell the girl at the counter Kahana said to give you a new one! On the house, of course! Have a nice day!”
As he pushed me through the open door and into living room I heard the woman say, “Hush, Jeanie, hush! I told you it’s another culture! The whole island is like going to Chinatown in San Francisco. Now do you want a free snow cone or not?”
All excerpts and short stories copyright © 2012 by Lehua Parker. Excerpts from the Niuhi Shark Saga by permission of Jolly Fish Press, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of these excerpts may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. No part of these short stories may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the author.
My good friend Teri Harman’s book Blood Moon, book 1 in her Moonlight Trilogy is publishing June 22, 2013 by Jolly Fish Press. Teri stopped by to answer a few of my niele questions.
Blood Moon is about witches, covens, good versus evil, and strength in numbers. It’s also a love story. Which ideas came first?
The witches came first. I was inspired by an epic Halloween party I threw in 2010 at a creepy 100 year old school house. I’d read all this literature on witches to draw inspiration for games and decor so I had a great knowledge base to start from.
Willa and Simon came next because who doesn’t love some romance. But I also wanted it to be about finding your true self and defeating the odds. For witches that usually means an opposing force, hence the good vs. evil plot. Plus, I really love a seriously bad bad-guy and wanted to take a shot at creating one. I think Archard, the Dark witch, fits the description rather well.
The magic in your Moonlight Trilogy is based on six gifts of magic with each witch being adept or gifted in only one: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Mind, or Dreams. Are some rarer or more valuable than others? Which gift would you choose and why?
The elemental gifts, Earth, Air, Fire and Water are more common. The two psychic gifts, the ones connected to the Otherworld (the realm beyond our own), Mind and Dreams, are much rarer. Because they are rare and tap into the unknown they are also more powerful or have the potential for more serious magic.
I think I’d want to be a Dreamer, or a witch with the Gift of Dreams, like Willa. I actually based her gift on my own wacky dreaming experiences. Some of her dreams in the book are inspired by my own. Plus how cool would it be to dream of the future and past and, like Willa, see and talk to ghosts?
I know you love reading as much as I do. When you’re looking for sheer escape and entertainment, which authors or titles do you look to?
As an official story addict, I’ll take anything that has a fabulous tale and interesting characters. But when I sit down to read for pure pleasure, I usually chose something with a magical twist, whether it’s obvious magic or magic realism. Some of my favorite authors are Sarah Addison Allen, Paula Brackston, Eowyn Ivey, Roald Dahl, Erin Morgenstern, and Kate Morton.
What can we expect in book 2?
Book #2, Black Moon, is all about Simon’s struggle to control and understand his wicked-powerful magic and Willa’s fight to find a way to help him. Everything that happened in book #1 is thrown into question and evil abounds in expected and unexpected forms.
The story has taken some pretty incredible turns and I hope readers love it as much as I do.
Thanks so much, Lehua! I always love ‘talkin’ story’ with you.
Connect with Teri Harman