Monday, 28 March 2016

Blog Tour: Dead Batteries Tell No Tales

Public transportation is a new experience for Amber. So is not having access to a cell phone. Luckily, a classmate named Jason is there to help. During their travel, Amber quickly learns that her perspectives on life aren’t quite the same as her peers. As they make their way home, they try to break down the foundation of their social structure in this exciting prequel to Five High School Dialogues.


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About the Author

Ian Thomas Malone is an author and a yogi from Greenwich, CT. He is a graduate of Boston College, where he founded The Rock at Boston College. He is the grandson of noted Sherlockian scholar Colonel John Linsenmeyer. Ian has published thousands of articles on diverse subjects such as popular culture, baseball, and social commentary. 

His favorite things to post on social media are pictures of his golden retriever Georgie and his collection of stuffed animals. Ian believes firmly that “there’s more to life than books you know, but not much more,” a quote from his hero Morrissey. When he’s not reading, writing, or teaching yoga, he can probably be found in a pool playing water polo. He aspires to move to the Hundred Acre Wood someday, though he hopes it has wi-fi by then.

How can readers contact Ian or find out more about his work?

Author Website:

Instagram: @ianthomasmalone


Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Acquisition of Demoralized Goals (Or: Why I'm a Broken Writer).

There are a thousand people in my head screaming. All the time. And all at once.
It can be demoralizing, being a writer. Sometimes it's the advice you see. Something like Stephen King saying you should finish the first draft of a novel in three months, and then looking at the novel you've been writing for three months that isn't quite finished. Or anyone else for that matter. Writing advice can be the most demoralizing "help" in the world. Basically, your advice is different to the way I'm doing it, and so, in your opinion, I'm not doing it right.

Yeah. Thanks for that.

But I have conquered that. Writing advice is just that, and these days I break "the rules" succinctly and frequently. That is why you won't see much advice on FW anymore.

Make your own way. Make your own rules. Make your own fiction.

But I still get demoralized. Why?

It's the writing itself.

I seem to get lost easily, you see. That is why the transition from writing short fiction to writing novels was a challenge for me. I write myself into a corner with ease. I become demoralized trying to write myself out of it.

And for me, when I become demoralized I hide from it. I pretend the writing isn't there. I suppose that makes me a broken writer.

So I became a plotter, and yes, that seemed to help.

But my plotting is not perfect yet.

And still I write myself into a corner. I can't quite get the knack of it. I watched a Youtube video once that told me I needed to plot to a length of 1/10. 100,000 word novel? 10,000 word plot outline. I'm not quite there yet, and I can't find the video. *Sigh* So I go on, writing myself into a corner. I don't do it on plot points. No. I do it in stupid places. Set pieces, if you will. I just don't plot them because I know what is going to happen.

Until I write it. Or try to, at least.

My point? I don't have one. I'm just...

...expunging feelings.

Photo credit: Jin_sama via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Heliodor Blog Tour

Malfric sees through the eyes of the dead – literally reliving their last moments as if they were his own. This ability is highly sought and highly priced, which is why the unscrupulous Captain Finch hires him to find the murderer of a nobleman and the whereabouts of a valuable artifact.

Quantex, the able-bodied first mate of Captain Finch, quickly becomes Malfric’s foil as he demonstrates uncommon intelligence during the investigation. Together the two uncover several clues that lead them to the killer, the artifact, and the frayed end of a mysterious plot that begins to unravel the moment Malfric takes it in hand and gives it a good yank.


The captain placed a kid-gloved hand over Malfric’s.  “Walk a bit with me while I fill you in.”
  Malfric got to his feet, leaving the barrel-stool behind and looped his left hand through the crook of the captain’s arm. As the captain led him towards the bow of the ship, Malfric tasted currant jam and warm biscuits on the salty sea air.  His favorite.  
He stopped the captain before he could take another step.  “There’s no point in buttering me up, Finch.  Just give me the details.  If I agree, we can proceed straight to the repast you have set up in your quarters.  Otherwise, just hand me your purse and we’ll call it even.”
  Finch muttered beneath his breath.  “Your infernal nose ruins everything.  Fine then, have it your way.  A job has come up ― not our usual fare, but the bounty was too good to resist.  So I booked it.  But I need a voyeur to get it done.  Naturally, I thought of you.”
Naturally.  “What’s the catch?”
  “No catch.”  Shifting floorboards belied the captain’s response. 
  Malfric frowned.  “You wouldn’t have laid out my favorite tea if it were an easy job with no strings.  In fact, you wouldn’t have sent for me at all...any novice voyeur would have done.”  
A snicker came from his right.  Ah, Quantex had followed them.
  The captain’s arm tensed beneath Malfric’s hand.  Though he said nothing, Malfric detected the shift and rustle of his silk coat as he turned to glare at his first mate.
  “There’s an artifact.  We were not the only ones hired to find it,” Finch said with a disgruntled sigh.  “The other crew has a day’s head start.” His voice softened to a conspiratorial whisper, “but we have an advantage they do not.”
  Oh?  “And what, pray tell, is that?”
  A sharp intake of breath, a faint whistle through his nose, and the captain answered.  “A body.”

Available now from Mocha Memoir Press:

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Embracing Entropy Blog Tour

As Earth dies, leaving its inhabitants struggling to survive, an alien race offers an unimaginable option: to relocate humans to their own planet on the far end of the universe. 

The Campbells, one of the last surviving families, quickly realize humanity’s hope for survival may come with a price. Accepting a new way of life, acclimating to a new atmosphere, and trying to fight against a universe that seems set on tearing them apart offers many struggles. 

Can the Campbell’s make it through, together?

Purchase it here.



I used to have nightmares about this. I would wake up screaming as they forced me to leave. People giving up; abandoning Mother Earth. The thought alone caused my heart to race, my under arms to sweat.

Here I stand clutching my children, one on each side, as we prepare to be torn away from everything that’s tangible. Before me, a gargantuan structure glares from above. This beast, this ship is supposed to save humanity, or at least what’s left of it.

I’ve lived through mass devastation. It’s hardened me enough. But leaving? It still scares me.
We have no idea what’s out there for us.

My husband has faith in the alien colony that is aiding us. They made contact just in time. Said they had revolutionized their space program and stumbled upon our signal.

I don’t know what I believe.

As the line moves forward, I pull my girls along. They stumble ahead with fright, carrying their backpacks strapped to their bodies. Our packs are the only human luggage allowed on the crowded craft. But that’s not what they’re worried about.

It’s not the new race they fear. Or even the new world. It is the missing presence of their father.
He has his duty. He’ll stay with his men until we pilgrims are secure, then meet up with us in a smaller craft. I’m glad for it. They’ve already had to break up some fights. People get pretty riled up in situations like this. It’s good to have someone who remains behind to keep order for a while, and to try and find any last survivors before leaving.

Finally we’re ascending the dock and I’m able to see our temporary home. It’s nothing like I imagined. The smell is what draws my attention first.

“Eww mommy.” My youngest daughter, Gwen, pinches her nose.

The odiferous enclosure is beyond human comprehension. I’ve smelt plague pits, leaking sewage, the rank smell of sea life left to rot on beaches. Although this isn’t as horrendous, it does make my eyes water. Despite the nausea I’m fighting, I grind my teeth. “Gwen, these people are saving our lives. Don’t insult them.”

About the Author

Jessica is the author of: The Embracing Entropy Series, Siren’s Snare, Tale of Two Bookends, and My Family Is Different. Her stories have been featured in numerous publications such as Everyday Fiction, The Lorelei Signal, Fiction on the Web, The Horror Zine and many others. She is a member of the St. Louis Writer’s Guild and is always weaving new worlds in the webs of her tales. You can check her out at:

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Cover Reveal: Heliodor

Coming from Shannon Wendtland
And Mocha Memoir Press

Malfric sees through the eyes of the dead – literally reliving their last moments as if they were his own. This ability is highly sought and highly priced, which is why the unscrupulous Captain Finch hires him to find the murderer of a nobleman and the whereabouts of a valuable artifact.

Quantex, the able-bodied first mate of Captain Finch, quickly becomes Malfric’s foil as he demonstrates uncommon intelligence during the investigation. Together the two uncover several clues that lead them to the killer, the artifact, and the frayed end of a mysterious plot that begins to unravel the moment Malfric takes it in hand and gives it a good yank.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Let THEM live.

Kill your darlings,
Kill your darlings,
Let them go be free.

For if you let them stay and play,
Your writing will be wee.


*Grapples nay-sayers to the ground*

"They're my Goddamned DARLINGS."

Look. I understand the point of the original quote; Quiller-Couch (or whoever, I'm not here to argue about that) stating: "Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it—whole-heartedly—and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings."

Well, um, why?

I get it, I get it. Style over substance, and such. But my readers like my style. (Hence my readers.) They like my styles. My foibles. The fact that I say foibles a lot.

Yes I edit my shit together. Yes I have my darlings. Yes. Some of them are staying. If my Publisher's Editor waves the shit stick at it, of course it's coming out. It happens.

Just not very often.

I have had numerous editors send back my manu with tracked changes pointing to my darlings stating, "Love this."

So bollocks. I think about 90% of my darlings make print.

Think about that. Think long and hard.

Then you decide if you want to hack out all your favorite bits of your writing on the off chance that someone else might want to edit them out.

Take all the time you need.


Sunday, 6 March 2016

Review: Dealings with Joe, &, Eternally Late

Oooh, a double bill! (As they are shorts, and by the same author)

Scott has no idea how to solve any of the numerous problems filling his life. Then he meets Joe who offers a unique solution. He's not certain Joe can help because the offer sounds a little too good to be true. 

Sort of dark, sort of twisted. Didn't see it coming.

Okay, hands up: I've never read Avril Sabine before. Heads up: the author herself referred to her writing as YA. 

So, I don't read much YA. If any, to be honest, and based on this, perhaps I should. Or should that be Australian YA? I don't know. I'm so confused. 

Off the bat, this isn't what I would call YA. Granted, the writing is not complex, however, I felt the material was. Scott and Joe's relationship is short (as is the story: 2500 words) but it's one of those stories that sort of sits with you. It's very Tales from the Crypt. Very Tales from the Darkside. 

It's also hard to write a spoiler free review of such a short work.

The characters and situation are believable. For many people frighteningly real. The twist is excellent and well hidden. 

The writing is crisp. Description is minimal, of course with the length, but I never felt I was missing anything. And my argument is only that the story isn't YA. It can be, however, this is really an "all ages" read. 

Honestly? I loved it. It's chilling. 

Edit: I didn't think of this when I was writing the review, but this would make a great movie. *nods knowingly*

You can purchase it here:

Tony is always late and his family have all kinds of tricks to keep him on time. But there are some things that just have to be done, no matter how late they make you or how dangerous they are. 

Same as above, YA etc.

But this is dark. Like, really dark. When you hit the mid point of story and the reveal is, um, revealed, you sort of stare at the page. JUST STARE AT IT.

I was just, well, huh, okay.


Anyway. I don't think the writing is quite as on point in this one, but the material carries it. Not a movie for this one, either. It benefits perfectly for being written.

It should be enjoyed, too.

The same as "Joe" the presentation is great. The editing is close to perfect. I didn't get a editor listing, I'm guessing that the good people at Broken Gate Publishing are good at their jobs.

This is great. It opens with humor, rolls around horror, and leaves you STARING AT IT.

You can purchase it here:

FW's few thoughts:

People should pay more attention to Avril Sabine. She is clearly accomplished as an author. I now want to read one of her novels. She advertised herself to me as a YA author. I totally dig weird, bizarre, and mostly squicky, horror. This work rocked awesome.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

A Book to the Head

You keep telling yourself, it's just a story, it's just a story. But it's not, is it?

In the deep recess of the story-teller's mind lurks the darkness that they strive to put on paper. There hides themselves. All of their angst. All of their fear. It is what goes on the page. It's their neurosis.

It's their soul.

Fear can be a harsh mistress, but a forgiving lover. And it is fear that keeps them going. And fear that stops them dead.

Writing for the first time to contract, I have found new fear. Something that creeps in my darkness. As a writer writing for myself my fear was the same as most. I feared that no one would like my writing. I feared that it wouldn't be good enough. Now my fear is different. It is a new darkness.

I'm legally bound to provide work. It's a real, tangible, thing. I can't back away. I cannot let my mistress fear rule my heart or my head. It is now work, in the literal sense. Sometimes I don't want to go to work in the morning, but I must. Sometimes I fear putting the words down.

But now, I must.

But my lover fear will stand beside me. Fear of failure pushes me forward. And I have learned just one lesson.

Keep going. Let not the mistress fear hold you back. Use your fear.

Let your fear push you.

And from within the words will come...