Dara England – Accomplished In Murder

Title: Accomplished In Murder

Author: Dara England

ISBN: No ISBN but Amazon ASIN is B004SUOZTA

Page count: 17,000 word novelette (ebook)

Genre: Historical Mystery

Price: $0.99

 

Author Bio:

Dara England is the author of the “Accomplished” books, a series of historical mystery novelettes set in Victorian England. She has also written several works in the fantasy and chicklit genres. A graphic designer and SAHM of two girls, Dara loves her Kindle, her husband, and her Yorkshire terrier.

If you’d like to get to know her a little better you can find her on Facebook or Twitter or visit her home on the web at: http://www.daraenglandauthor.com.

 

Tell us about your book:

Murder was never so refined…

When her holiday on the coast of Cornwall takes a deadly turn, it is up to Drucilla Winterbourne to uncover the dangerous secrets the inhabitants of Blackridge House will do anything to conceal. But can a proper young lady from London society comprehend the dark motives of a killer?

Accomplished In Murder is the first in a series of historical mystery novellas featuring intrepid Victorian heroines up to their bustles in crime. These works are only loosely connected and can be read in any order.

 

How long did it take to write the book?

I’d been playing with the idea of writing a Victorian mystery for some time, so the characters were already in my head. That meant I just had to figure out the plot and put it on paper in a way that made sense. Since this is a fairly short read (the digital version is roughly equivalent to about fifty pages from a print novel) it only took me around a month to write the first draft. After that, there were some rewrites, before I sent the story out to my editor, who suggested still more changes. In all, I’d say the entire process took around two months to complete.

 

What inspired you to write the book?

I’ve always been a huge fan of historical mysteries, long before I ever thought of writing them myself. From Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, I just love a good detective story in a non-modern setting.

 

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

Due to a bit of stress in my life, I had allowed myself to take the previous year off writing, the only rule being that I had to spend that time doing something at least writing related. So, because I had long been feeling the urge to write in a historical era, I devoted my year long break to researching the Victorian era, specifically Victorian London during the latter part of the century. I was particularly interested in middle class people and day to day life. I’m a research nerd anyway, so I loved finding out random facts about what people were eating and drinking, how their postal system worked, and what ingredients they used to make detergent for their laundry. Not much of that made its way into the actual book but I think it helped me get a stronger grasp of the world my characters would inhabit.

 

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

I hope they come away feeling entertained and intrigued enough by the characters and setting to dive right into the next novelette in the Accomplished series.

 

Where can we go to buy your book?

Accomplished In Murder is available from Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Accomplished-in-Murder-ebook/dp/B004SUOZTA or from B&N at: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/accomplished-in-murder-dara-england/1030528615

 

Any other links or info you’d like to share?

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Dara-England/184966707313

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Dara_England

 

Excerpt from book:

Celeste shivered as the wind cut through her hastily donned shawl. Overhead, thunder rumbled and dark clouds blotted out the moon, casting the empty rooftop where she waited into sinister shadow.

All at once, she became aware of another presence, one whose footfalls were so soft she hadn’t heard them over the wail of the wind. The familiarity of the approaching figure did nothing to still the sense of dread within her. If anything, her heart pounded a little harder.

“You’re late.” How she hated the way her voice trembled! Not that it mattered. Not that he didn’t already know she feared him. His mocking eyes said as much. She had never trusted those eyes.

He raised a dark brow. “You were so eager for my arrival?”

She refused to rise to the bait this time.

“Of course I’ve been impatient. It is positively frigid out here; I think it’s about to rain. Whatever possessed you to suggest a meeting in such a place?”

He moved nearer and leaned casually against the rail beside her. Together they peered out into the darkness, down to where the craggy rocks met the angry surf far below.

He said, “This was the only rendezvous point I could think of where I could be certain we would not be observed alone together.”

Celeste wiped suddenly sweaty palms against her skirts and tried to smother her rising alarm. She raised her voice above the gale. “And what have we to say to one another that must be kept secret? This had better be urgent, a matter of life and death.”

“Oh it is,” he assured, his eyes glinting in the darkness. “For one of us.”

There was something dangerous in his voice. An intensity Celeste had never heard from him before.

Before she could do more than draw in a startled breath, he had taken her up swiftly in his arms and she found herself held in the air.

“Good-bye, dear Celeste,” he said. “I cannot claim ours has ever been a friendly association but I think I shall miss you, in a way.”

“What are you talking about? Put me down at once!”

She wriggled in his grip but it was too late. She felt herself hoisted over the rough stone railing, skirts dragging behind her. For a terrifying moment, she was suspended between heaven and earth and only then did she remember to scream.

He released her and she clutched at him, grabbed for the railing, anything. But some frantic part of her knew it was too late.

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Dante D’Anthony – The Pandoran Age Chronicles

Title: The Pandoran Chronicles

Author: Dante D’Anthony

ISBN: 978-1461083139

Page count: 364 pages

Genre: Science Fiction-Space Opera

Price: 18.95

 

Author Bio:

Dante D’Anthony was born in “South” Buffalo, New York-the terminus of the Erie Canal, the Buffalo River, and harbor.  He studied Art and Design at Buffalo State College before moving to Miami where he worked in, Architecture, Art, Education, Real Estate Development, Commercial Finance, and a slew of assorted jobs in between and along the way. The Pandoran War is his second Pandoran Age Novel, and is currently being launched as the basis of a multi-media production company.

EDUCATION: STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK COLLEGE AT BUFFALO Bachelor of Science in Design 1985 Concentration in Urban and Environmental Design with Seminars in Urban Planning and Design. FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY Coursework in Fine Art & Special Education for continuing certification for Florida Department of Education .Deans list.1987,1988,1992,1993,1994. FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE Coursework in Architecture; Professional Practice, Site Planning, Methods and Materials. 1999, 2000, 2002. BROWARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE AutoCAD, Methods of Art Education.1994, 1999 AG EDWARDS & SONS Series 7 Broker Training -NYSE Licensed 1989.

http://www.danthonydesign.blogspot.com

He was a corporal in the Army Reserves and has two daughters.

 

Tell us about your book:

An adventure across galactic civilization in the 4000’s.

Since the interstellar gateways have been created, they have been both a marvel and a curse. They are a marvel of technology, a curse of political contention. Plethoras of governments have been established throughout nearly a quarter of the galaxy since the advent of hyperdrives, yet only two truly matter. Firstly, the Transhuman Cyborgian Central Command Economies-CCCE. Mankind’s oldest civilization, CCCE is centered around Earth with their capital world at Deneb 4. Secondly, the Arcturian Republics: a few dozen worlds and worldlets.

The Arcturian Colonials defined the aspects of their era more than any of the galaxy’s societies to that point; optimism, technology, and benevolent order. It shone in their architecture, which soared, their economies, which roared, and their sense of life with its easy freedoms. They achieved it without the all-encompassing grip of the Imperials and their Transhuman Overlords, the continual strife of the Oligarchies and Kingdoms, or the horrific mysticism of the Marauder Cult at the galactic core
And then, there is War. Refugees form desperate communities in the Sagittarius Spiral Arm of the Galaxy-the Outworlders. The Galaxy then is in the midst of a strange Dark Age. A young Outworlder smuggler chances upon a derelict starship. A psychic Historian empath sees visions in the ruins of a spaceport. A fleet General finds inexplicable deletions from deep space logs. An upscale Art Dealer wakes from a cyberspace sentence to find her sentience inserted into a clone of herself-a thousand years after convicted for spying- the authorities this time want her services on a mission, offering full pardon.

Star Trade Guildsmen, Wildcat pilots, Transhuman Imperial Overlords ruling a hive mind, Syndicate Warlords-the usual suspects of Spacers and Art Deco androids. Hauling heavy-metal Star yachts through mysterious nebula, and dark Herculean stations-none of them expect to be pulled by fate into the center of an impending intergalalactic conflict seventy million years old, least of all with each other.
Yet the haunting evidence of extradimensional beings has been mounting for centuries. Now they are arriving in force, and a divided humanity is ill prepared.

The Pandoran Chronicles is a mix of genres with nods to some of the greats of Science Fiction. Asimov’s Galactic Empires and robots. H.P. Lovecraft’s extradimensional horrors. Stephen R. Donaldson’s grimy spacers in the Gap series, and Samuel R. Delany’s poetic mix of the mythological and Space opera.

 

How long did it take to write the book?

The Book was written over a period of 30 years.

 

What inspired you to write the book?

The book is highly influenced by 4 writers; Ken Kesey Sometimes a great notion, Isaac Asimov The Foundation Series, Samuel R. Delany Nova & Triton, and Stephen R. Donaldson Gap Series. Additionally, of course, anecdotal experience living in Buffalo New York and Miami and being in the U.S. Army Reserves.

 

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

I studied fine art and art history at Buffalo State college and the Albright Knox Gallery-instilling a cross cultural sensibility and a strong feel for broad historical scope and deep time. Buffalo was inspirational on several levels; I did a stint at the Historical Society on a work study program and was exposed to Buffalo’s Canal era and Victorian era. Having grown up much of my childhood in South Buffalo we were often exploring giant abandoned industrial sites at the waterfront. Moving to Miami after graduation from college, I found the international subtropical world of the region a wonderland of adventure-and stories. Much of the book is a metaphor for the things I witnessed in these two cities-mirrors if you would, set millennia hence. I would usually see a situation in life, find its parallel in mythology, and rewrite it in the 4000’s.

 

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

A sense of adventure and wonder-and caution about the future of mankind.

 

Where can we go to buy your book?

http://www.pandoranwar.com

 

Any other links or info you’d like to share?
http://www.talesfromthepandoranage.blogspot.com

 

Excerpt from book:

Leon’s Last Stand

Ophelia’s World was terra-formed at the dawn at the space age. A mere fifty systems were settled then. She’d been a glorious achievement of planned cities and ornate white towers. Promenades stretched along semi-tropical gardens when the terra-formers finished. In the right place at the right time, industries piled on her continents one after the other, until for a time she rivaled even Deneb 4 as one of the galaxy’s finest worlds

Her glimmering platinum spires flanked golden clockwork maglevs that spun silently past ladies in billowing gossamer gowns. Her name was tantamount in the settled worlds of humankind with reason and virtue, industry and progress. After 3127 the Arcturian wars cut off much of her trade and so began her slow and aching decline.

With time the Cyborgian Empire’s only use of her was to house dissidents. Of course, the terra-forming monoliths installed centuries before were shut down then. The planets natural coldness returned. Ice formed on the multicolored croatans and frangipani, which shattered and lay still, frozen like lilies left to fester without even the dignity of raising a stink.

From the memoirs of Millin Quinoa, found in the ruins of a scout ship crash-landed on the ice fields of the Caliban Plateau,

ObscuroFrio

Ophelia’s World, Orion Arm 4212

The ship was coming.

Yes, right on schedule. Leon was going to stow away or die trying. From somewhere beyond the god-forsaken dirty grey of Ophelia’s pallid atmosphere, past that, yesss, beyond the junkyards of satellites and dreary stations…the ship was even now heaving into normal space. Lunging, blasting away from the hyper streams, coming to the prison world….coming to Ophelia.

Coming to Leon. Leon Percival Po Tsai-“wild dog extraordinaire”. He snickered at that, “Ha! Come to papa!” cackling to himself with a roaring madness born of glee at the prospect of freedom. He’d labored over his plans with devilish patience through endless bitter hours of lonely humiliation and regret. The ship was coming, yes, and when it came he was going to stow away. Fifty-thousand tons of interstellar freighter. Drifting slowly down to the prison world, safe in a gravity bubble, yielding, descending like a dandelion seed cast out by a terra-forming bot. Down and down, unknowing of the eager little convict glaring back into the night waiting, hoping, longing desperately for the lights. Still hot from the ambient pressures which hyper streams leaked as it stringed through the void.

“Swirl the mesons boys, Leon’s coming.” The night was frigid and stinging. Fifty thousand tons drifting, spinning, turning down. Down to the prison world.

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Cynthia Kolko – Fruit of the Vine

Title: Fruit of the Vine

Author: Cynthia Kolko

ISBN: 193618527X

Page count: 302

Genre: General Fiction, Mainstream Fiction

Price: $14.95

 

Author Bio:

I graduated from Hamilton College with a degree in English. I always wrote, from the time I was a kid making my own comic books to the jobs I held in advertising and corporate communications. I wrote articles for such varied periodicals as Interactivity, Progressive Railroading and PR Journal. I played orchestral percussion for years, love history and winter, and am married.

 

Tell us about your book:

Set in the panoramic wine country of New York’s Finger Lakes region, Fruit of the Vine is a story of environmental conservation, and life, in rural New York State. Jemison “Jem” Loud is a young, string-bean of a vineyard worker who drinks beer with his buddies and bemoans his lot in the small rural town of Sawhorn, New York in the early 1990s. A fire at the old opera house on Main Street brings to Sawhorn Joe Silla, a brash self-serving entrepreneur hell-bent on forcing the traditional town to progress his way. When Jem’s father dies, Jem inherits a historic farm which Joe Silla has in his sights for development. As Jem struggles with what to do with the property and uncovers his own family’s secrets, he confronts the tangled shoots of nature and nurture: what is inbred, what our culture feeds to us, and what we cultivate from it all, the Fruit of the Vine.

 

A rich cast of characters all sow the seeds of personal growth in Jem until he becomes a man ready to tackle the future, and real love, head on. With the cynicism and wit that living off the land begets, Fruit of the Vine paints a vivid portrait of contemporary life in rural New York, illuminating the contrast between the bucolic setting and the hard-edged folks who inhabit it.

 

How long did it take to write the book?

two years

 

What inspired you to write the book?

It’s the beauty of the Finger Lakes region– but not just the lakes, hills and vineyards. I find beauty and interest in elements that are perhaps less obvious, such as timeworn buildings, neglected land, and salty slush. Similarly, I am less interested in the major honchos of local vineyards than I am in field workers and shop clerks. Their stories– their humor, perseverance, and most of all their humanity, inspired me.

 

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

I did research at vineyards, mostly incognito, so that what I observed was my own. I watched and listened to those “bit players” of the businesses I visited. But I actually spent more time in bars than at vineyards. It was the after-work scene I wanted to experience.

 

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

I hope people come away satisfied and happy with what they’ve read. I’m not trying to teach anyone anything, yet it would be great to have stimulated thought or dialogue regarding historic and environmental preservation, how disparate individuals or elements can indeed thrive together, the role of genetics in the life choices we make, and what legacy we will leave. And how funny life is.

 

Where can we go to buy your book?

some shops, vineyard gift shops, The Finger Lakes Store online, Amazon and bn.com.

 

Any other links or info you’d like to share?www.cynthiakolko.com

www.facebook.com/FruitoftheVine

www.twitter.com/CynthiaKolko

www.charlesriverpress.com

 

Excerpt from book:

Bar-going knew no season in the town of Sawhorn. During the longer months, the warmer ones, tourists spilled into Loud’s Tavern with certain predictability after a day of vineyard tours, eager for a refuge from the confines of whichever bed and breakfast held their luggage. Not that a good drink wasn’t enough of an incentive.

But even in the marrow of winter, when white-outs bleached the roads of visibility and a fierce chill sifted into the pores of thick jackets like water through a sieve, the tavern was well-populated, standing much as it had through over two hundred years of wear and tear—to both the edifice and the patrons—enduring all that upstate New York could dish out, duly fulfilling its role as watering hole of choice for locals. Indeed, it was the only bar in town.

This Sunday evening, the last one of the year, was usual at first. The sun had gone down merely an hour previously. The day’s football score was final, and the bottle-beaten bar was rimmed with man butts standing, leaning, and perching on stools. Adam’s apples bobbed with gulps of beer.

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