Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

[Link] Kinky Fiction: Writing those Steamy Sex Scenes

by The Invisible Author

Chances are if you read a lot of books within the romance or erotica genres (or any sub-genre), then you've come across more than a few bad sex scenes. And there's a really good reason for that: writing about sex is hard. Especially for the first time. Writing those steamy sex scenes requires a whole different set of skills than writing just about anything else. It's uncomfortable and embarrassing and makes you believe you can't write at all. And it's easy to fall into some bad traps. This was not something I knew before getting hired for one of my first ghostwriting jobs – to write a romance novel. I hit the keyboard running, fingers flying and words pouring out. Then I came up to the first sex scene and….


The characters stopped talking. My motivation was gone. The scene tripped over itself and all I could do was stare at the previous scene and pull my hair out. What I ended up with was a paragraph loosely describing missionary style…I was frozen — a point that showed to my client when my client asked me about editing that particular scene later. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't the worst sex scene ever written — not by a long shot. I've read some pretty horrific sex scenes.

But this one was pretty bad.

Read the full article:

Sunday, September 17, 2017 website updated and revamped!

Just a little housekeeping heads-up to let you all know that I've updated and revamped my core website, The Taylorverse, to version 6.0. Feel free to pop over and bookmark the site if you're not already a regular popper-overer.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Boy Detective Returns!

Airship 27 Productions is thrilled to announce the release of “Barry Baskerville’s Marvelous Memory,” the fifth in its children’s book series about the young Boy Detective.

In this new tale, Barry, besides his usual games and riddles at school, manages to save his parents from a pair of unscrupulous con artists posing as insurance salesmen.

Once again Dr. Richard Kellogg, professor emeritus of psychology at Alfred State College, spins a fun, informative story that young and old will relish while Hawaiian based artist, Gary Kato, provides the beautifully colored illustrations.

“Barry Baskerville’s Marvelous Memory” shows children how close observations, adequate repetition, and mnemonic techniques can enhance their memorization skills.  The hero of the adventure is a precocious youngster named Barry Baskerville who has dreams of becoming a famous detective just like Sherlock Holmes.

“We have tons of fun with this series,” admits Airship 27 Productions’ Managing Editor Ron Fortier.  “To date we’ve done one book a year and believe the audience for Barry Baskerville is growing in leaps and bounds. This is a perfect series for parents and grandparents wanting to get children hooked on reading.”


Available now in paperback from Amazon and on Kindle.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Airship 27 Announces C.O. JONES # 2 Skinners

Airship 27 Productions is thrilled to present the second in Fred Adams Junior’s thriller series featuring World War II vet C.O. Jones.

It’s 1949 and army veteran C.O. Jones is living in Los Angeles working as a private investigator.  When he’s hired to find a missing starlet, he soon finds himself embroiled in a sophisticated conspiracy which not only includes kidnapping but high-profile blackmail as well.

All of which would be enough to keep any honest, hardworking P.I. busy but when it’s Jones, there is also the added element of magic to consider. Possessing an uncanny ability to recognize arcane abilities in others, Jones begins to uncover even deadlier shadows in the background.  Never mind one of them may actually be a real werewolf with his own personal interest in the case. 

“C.O. Jones is one of the most original tough guy heroes ever invented,” claims Airship 27 Production’s Managing Editor Ron Fortier.  “Set against the background of post-World War II America, Adams has given us a rugged, weary character with just a smidgen of the occult mixed in. This is really a fun pulp series not to be missed.”

Award Winning Art Director Rob Davis provides the cover and book design while Florida based art/teacher Javier Lugo turns in his first assignment for Airship 27 with nine marvelous black and white interior illustrations. Thus action in the series shifts to Tinsel Town and with C.O. Jones, often times the monsters aren’t only up on the big silver screen. 


Now available from Amazon in both paperback and on Kindle.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Nugget #108 -- Visceral Words and Rubber Mallets

Visceral writing means to me writing that seeks to 
bypass the brain and aim straight for the emotions 
and a tight feeling in your gut. That means that 
visceral writing triggers responses a reader can’t 
help but feel automatically, sort of the storytelling 
equivalent of a doctor tapping your knee with 
that annoying rubber mallet.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Scott McCullar and His Thrill-Seeking Men of Mystery

Bad Girls, Good Guys, and Two-Fist Action would like to welcome one of pulpiest comic book creators around to the site -- Scott McCullar, the warped brain behind Thrill Seeker Comics and characters like The Yellow Jacket: Man of Mystery, The Emerald Mantis, and The Chrononaut.

And coming out soon you’ll be able to get your own paws on the new, all-color special graphic novel that collects all the Thrill Seeker stories from the fan-favorite Shooting Star Comics stalwart.

Thanks for sitting in with us, Shaft (to those in the know, that’s Scott’s other way of being addressed). Let’s get to it then. Why don’t we start with you telling us about the formation of Thrill Seeker Comics back during the days of Shooting Star Comics?

I actually had the germ of an idea for the creation of this comic book series going all the way back to when I was a young teenager in middle school when I drew pictures of a martial arts  character in my school note books that would become the Emerald Mantis during the age when Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow debuted in G.I.JOE comics and cartoons in the early-to-mid 1980’s.

I revived the idea of writing and drawing my own comic book in the early 1990’s as I was finishing college. I had an idea for a story that took place in New Zealand and would transition to a make-believe city in the deep south of the United States. One of the characters was a female hero called the Tricrüsta, originally based on my ex-wife all those years ago when we were newlyweds. The fictional southern city was named St. Franҫois de Port which exists halfway between Memphis and New Orleans on the Mississippi River where Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana meet on the map.

I never got around to writing that story, but the fictional city was further developed by me when I began to play the VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE roleplaying game sessions in the early 1990’s after I had graduated. By late 1997, I began to create a squad of characters called THE OUTCAST SEVEN which I was going to feature in this fictional series in my own independent comic. I began writing scripts and sketching concepts for the comic, but it got put on the backburner as I was also starting to do some work for DC Comics and West End Games working on writing for the DC Universe Roleplaying Game as well as Green Arrow projects, acting as a writing consultant for Kevin Smith and Brad Meltzer, and eventually writing a Green Arrow comic of my own.

I was looking for a vehicle to launch THRILL SEEKER COMICS featuring the Emerald Mantis, but just didn’t find the right time until SHOOTING STAR COMICS ANTHOLOGY came along…

And all that good stuff from SSC… how did all that get started anyway?

My recollection is that by late 2001, I was approached by some friends online who were also aspiring comic book writers that included folks like John Morgan Neal and Erik Burnham to join them on a venture to create an anthology comic book that would showcase our new talent with us all writing and drawing our own creator-owned stories. Many of the new collaborators on this project were regulars on Chuck Dixon’s message board called The Dixonverse at his website. This was the perfect place for me to launch what I would call THRILL SEEKER COMICS and I would feature the Emerald Mantis.

Except, I also created at the last moment for my first story what I thought would be a “throwaway” character that would prove to be more popular than what I had imagined. I introduced a pulp character with a trenchcoat, fedora, and attitude that began to take on a life of his own named the Yellow Jacket: Man of Mystery.

Just who is The Yellow Jacket, and what went into his creation?

The Yellow Jacket: Man of Mystery is what I would call a poor man’s version of the Green Hornet who is instead from the Depression era Deep South. He was inspired by just about every other comic book and pulp fiction book trench coat and fedora wearing vigilante toting a pair of smoking .45 pistols but being a southerner was my twist.

While influenced by characters like the Green Hornet, the Crimson Avenger, the Shadow, the Spirit, and even The Punisher…  he was actually inspired more by George Clooney’s role in the Coen Brothers film O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? with his portrayal of the character Ulysses Everett McGill. He does have a bit of influence from Clark Gable in some of his roles in films like MOGAMBO and SAN FRANCISCO as well as a few others. Maybe slight touches of Bruce Willis and Humphrey Bogart are in Yellow Jacket’s DNA as well.

There is even a bit of my own Uncle Junior or my late Granddaddy mixed into Yellow Jacket as I sometimes imagine his southern mannerism and his way with the gift of gab in how he structures together his words in a southern dialect and context. The character originates from yonder down there in the South. Same territory as George Clooney’s Ulysses Everett McGill or even Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Lt. Aldo Raines.

Yellow Jacket is a tragic figure of sorts. He faked his death during World War One and took on someone else’s identity. After the Great Depression, he became a wanted vigilante in the 1930’s on the run getting into adventures and mishaps. His is a story of redemption. He is humorous, tragic, deadly, yet heroic in the end. He has acted as judge, jury, and executioner yet has a heart of gold. By the tales that take place in the 1940’s and beyond with him, he embraces a rebranding of sorts in becoming one of the masked mystery men fighting the Axis forces during World War Two and other evil doers beyond.

I have many more adventures planned with him and his earliest adventures are showcased in the THRILL SEEKER COMICS ARCHIVE VOLUME ONE.

What can you tell us about the rest of the Thrill Seeker Comics universe?

In the pages of the SHOOTING STAR COMICS ANTHOLOGY, I was able to tell stories from different time periods with characters mainly focused on Yellow Jacket and different family generations of men who were the Emerald Mantis. You got to peek at a few other heroes like the Sacred Scarab. The Thrill Seeker Universe was conceived to be an alternate world in the multiverse that could easily crossover with characters you might find at DC Comics or Marvel. I do have my own fictional cities and other thrilling locations, but it is a variation of our world with heroes and villains.

I showcased a few heroes, but in my mind and in my sketchbooks and plans, it is a rich universe with many characters and stories to tell. I confess that part of my creation of this universe was that while I was just getting a chance to work for DC Comics when I began working on THRILL SEEKER COMICS, I was sort of frustrated that I couldn’t fully play in DC Comics’ sandbox with their toys.

I took archetypes and shook them all up with my own spin so that I would have my own toys to play with and break if I wanted to do so. Fifteen years later, now that I’m older, I’m actually much happier to play in my own toy box now and plan on reviving the series after more than a decade to write and illustrate new tales beginning next year.

I’d like to think that my Thrill Seeker Universe is where The Coen Brothers meets Quentin Tarantino meets Bronze Age Comics. My entire pulp universe inspired by hard-boiled noir tales, 1970’s kung-fu flicks, war films and grindhouse movie hijinks mixed with the feel of classic comic book sensibilities. While it isn’t intended for young kiddies, THRILL SEEKER COMICS is a frenetic mix of humor, bloody violence and reclamation of the soul aimed at mature readers that love blood and guts-style brutal action.

Tell us about this new book of Thrill Seeker Comics you’re putting together.

Friend and former Shooting Star Comics collaborator Erik Burnham encouraged me just over five years ago to collect all my Thrill Seeker short stories and put them into a collection. Originally, they were all drawn black and white. I admit there were a few panels that were rushed that I was not happy with that I wanted to redraw. I also had an unpublished story that was unfinished in what was going to be SHOOTING STAR COMICS ANTHOLOGY #7. With those tales and one published in a one-shot called JOB WANTED as well as an online comic web strip, I cleaned up the art and stories, colorized everything, and put in a sort of “DVD Commentary” in the back of the book along with some pin ups by artists. It is a really nice 128-page book that is completely finished and is currently running a crowdfunding campaign at Kickstarter that I hope many of your readers may check out and support.

Now, You know and I know how you got the nickname Shaft from your lifelong enjoyment and involvement with DC’s emerald archer, but your business dealings with him went deeper than mere fandom. What’s the skinny on that?

I broke into comics in the late 1990’s with the Internet being a new sensation due to my fansite dedicated to Green Arrow. Somewhere along the line, I got the nickname “Shaft” as you mentioned because of my love of Green Arrow, but also because I was a message board moderator at some sites for Chuck Dixon and others… and I was a hard-hitting no-nonsense guy.

When I was the Art Director at Shooting Star Comics when we were publishing independent books, there was a moment when one outside comic creator who wanted to work for us tried to bulldoze his way into something and I had strong words with him. I guess some of the other guys saw me take on a very superfly TNT and guns of the Navarone approach with him in my retort and thus I was “Shaft” forever after…

I later had a wallet given to me that said “Bad Mother Fucker” on it as I’m sure it was a nod to my love of Samuel L. Jackson… and somewhere along the line… many of the comic fans on Dixonverse and elsewhere gave me the nickname. It stuck.

Almost 20 years later, it still sticks in certain circles. But I’m much more chilled now in life.

Things were happening for you all those years ago. At one point, WIZARD MAGAZINE spotlighted you after Kevin Smith said he wanted you to take over writing GREEN ARROW comic for him at DC Comic. Then, not too long after that, you kind of disappeared on the scene. Glad you're back, but what happened?

I was always around on the peripheral, but a lot like John Lennon did in the late 1970’s before he came back with DOUBLE FANTASY album (um… and unfortunately was murdered), I sort of walked away from things too in order to deal with matters in my personal life.

To be frank, life threw me some curveballs with the end of Shooting Star Comics in 2006.

From there, I’ve spent my time raising kids, played bass guitar in a bar band, went to grad school to earn my master's degree, continued with my studies in martial arts and earned a few degrees with my black belt, went through a messy separation and divorce, lost a job when downsizing hit, lived in Japan for a while to figure things out, fought ninjas, got back on my feet here in America and found a new job, bought a home that I’m currently restoring, courted many fair maidens since I’m single now, and just going about and doing all sorts of other things.

I admit the separation, divorce, and aftermath took a huge toll on me. There was even a while there that THRILL SEEKER COMICS property was caught up for over a year in the legal proceedings of the divorce and frozen where my ex-wife would have owned half of this. Our lawyers worked out a deal and it actually states in my divorce decree that I traded the family dog and turned the pet over to her in order to keep full rights to THRILL SEEKER COMICS and be able to publish. I'm glad my kids got the dog and I got my intellectual property unfrozen and back.

It is true that life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. My son Mitch was born in 2000 when I was helping Kevin Smith on GREEN ARROW. When I began working with SHOOTING STAR COMICS, my son was just a year old. Now my son drives, has whiskers, is about to earn his black belt, and is in his senior year of high school planning on going off to the University of Michigan in 12 months.

How the heck did Shaft, Jr. grow up so fast? Not to mention that I have a daughter who is now 21 years of age.

Well, after this decade of preoccupation with other things, I'm now looking to get back to writing and drawing brand new comic book stories featuring my characters from THRILL SEEKER COMICS.

I miss working in comics and look forward to returning with new stories. And I look forward to the release of this archive collection that you can order now with a pledge on Kickstarter.

How can readers get involved in the Kickstarter and get copies of the TSC book?

I truly appreciate it once again if anyone is interested in buying the archive book, you please head over to Kickstarter website and pledge in one of the brackets fitted for you to order the book. We have a goal that we’re trying to hit by the last day of September but would love to hit it now and provide some stretch goals with cool items to be offered that you can find out about now if you take a look.

You can check out the Kickstarter page at:.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Airship 27 Productions and Captain Action Enterprises LLC release new Captain Action

Cry of the Jungle Lord

Airship 27 Productions and Captain Action Enterprises LLC, are thrilled to announce the release of the third volume of Captain Action’s new pulp adventures.

1969 -- Something mysterious is happening in the depths of the Yucatan jungle and Miles Drake, aka Captain Action has been sent to investigate. His superiors believe their main nemesis, the alien criminal known as Dr. Evil, is hunting something called the Sky Rock; a supposed fallen meteor containing strange energies. But as soon as Drake arrives on the site, he’s met with two other unexpected characters that may or may not be involved with Evil’s nefarious plans.

One of these is a beautiful female Mexican agent named Selena Rubio, whereas the other is a strange masked figure woven from local Mayan myths called the Gibbon, the Protector of the Jungle. Whose side are they on and how does Evil’s actual scheme involve the forthcoming Cape Kennedy space rocket launch? The deeper Captain Action delves into the affair, the more dangerous it becomes with death awaiting him at every twist and turn along this deadly verdant path.

Writers Jim Beard and Barry Reese weave a face paced, new pulp thriller filled action galore, exotic locales and larger than life characters to offer up a great new chapter in the exploits of one of the most iconic heroes of the 1960s, Captain Action. Miles Drake is his name but Action is his game!!

“This entire series was writer Jim Beard’s idea,” Airship 27 Production’s Managing Editor Ron Fortier recaps. “It was Jim who initially hooked us up with Ed Catto and Joe Ahearn of Captain Action Enterprise LLC. Generally, most small publishers avoid working with licensors, but in this case our partnership has been a great working relationship for both companies. No doubt because both Ed and Joe, and their new partner, Michael Polis, are still fanboys at heart.”

The original plan was to have Beard write all three books solo but when scheduling conflicts arose, he turned to another popular New Pulp author, Barry Reese, for assistance. A long time fan of Captain Action, Reese was happy to sign on and contributed the bulk of this third original book. Canadian artist Ted Hammond provides the stunning cover and Airship 27 Production’s Award Winning Art Director Rob Davis the interior illustrations as well as book design.

About Captain Action Enterprises
As Retropreneurs, Captain Action Enterprises, LLC specializes in taking old properties and rejuvenating them for a new generation. Captain Action’s appears in comic book series, lithographs, statues, action figures, books, T-shirts, model kits and more. Additional
properties include Lady Action, Captain Action Cat, Dr. Evil, Khem, Destiny Zero and Savage Beauty. For additional information, please contact Ed Catto at


Available now from Amazon in both paperback and on Kindle.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

[Link] I’m Ignoring All Your Sales Announcements (And Here’s Why)

Editor's Note: This may be the most important blog post I've read regarding writers on social media. Don't be "that guy." You know who I'm talking about. 


by The Invisible Author

Book marketing for authors is still a widely unknown phenomenon. And as such, a lot of authors still don't quite get how book marketing should work. Most of the posts, tweets, and pins you make advertising your new book for sale go largely ignored by a lot people — even bookworms and friends like me. Oh sure, you may get the occasional retweets, shares, and a few people may even go ahead and make a purchase. It's not that the rest of us don't want you to succeed; on the contrary, most of us want to see you succeed. Most of us can't wait until we see that announcement that you've made it onto a best seller's list. Any best seller's list. So why isn't it working?

So, if all your friends and family members want to see you succeed, why are we ignoring your advertising? Here are some of the top reasons I have actively ignored pleas on social media.

That's not why we're on social media.

No one joins social media because they want their friends to sell stuff to them. No one created their Twitter accounts hoping all the authors would start tweeting about sales and book releases. And no one ever hopped on Instagram hoping to see photo after photo after promotional photo of every book ever about to be released.

And I'm pretty sure you didn't join social media just so you could try to market that book. Right?

We're there to see what you're up to, to get to know you better, and to follow along with your journey. We signed up so we could stay in touch with our friends and family, and make new friends. We followed your fanpage on Facebook or Twitter so we could connect with you. So if you want us to pay attention to you, pay attention to us.

It's shaming or guilting us for not buying.

I'm sure you've seen those posts flying around. “You should be buying local instead of buying from major retailers,” or “why would you support major publishing houses instead of your own friends?”

I'll tell you why we make purchases from major publishing houses — because they are selling books we're interested in. Not that we wouldn't be interested in your book, but we don't like being judged for our buying habits.

Read the full article:

Friday, September 8, 2017

BelleBooks re-releases Jill Marie Landis Historical Romances

We've re-released four of 
Jill Marie Landis's historicals!

Available now at your favorite 
e-book and print retailer!


Past Promises

Can a proper lady coax a rugged cowboy into surrendering his heart in this delightful historical romance?

Prim and proper Jessica Stanbridge is a brilliant woman who hides her beauty behind a pair of thick, wire-framed spectacles. She travels to the Wild West in search of historical artifacts, but instead finds an ornery - but gorgeous - cowboy who agrees to serve as her guide.

Rory Burnett hides his passion in his secret poetry, but he can't disguise his growing desire for the determined young beauty...or his fear that Jessica's quest might lead her into deadly danger. As the spark of passion between them flares into an irresistible flame beneath the sizzling kiss of the desert sun, Rory and Jessica must decide if the promises of the past are going to lead them to destruction...or to a future in each other's arms...

Click here.

The Orchid Hunter

Can an English lady raised as a "wild orchid" ever be truly tamed?

When Trevor Mandeville leaves behind the drawing rooms of London and journeys to an island paradise in search of a rare orchid, he comes face-to-face with an even more shocking treasure. Stolen from her family at a young age, Joya Penn has spent most of her life running wild and free. Trevor tries to resist her charms, but soon finds himself captivated by the deliciously innocent - yet wildly seductive - young creature with eyes as blue as a mountain lake and blonde hair rippling down her back in an untamed mane.

Given her first taste of desire by the handsome adventurer, Joya believes all her dreams have come true when Trevor agrees to escort her back to London. But her uninhibited ways quickly throw his entire household-and his heart-into delightful chaos. 

As Joya despairs of ever being the sort of "proper lady" Trevor could love, Trevor begins to wonder if he's finally found the treasure he has been hunting for his entire the forbidden paradise of Joya's arms.

Click here.


Can a mysterious beauty win the heart of the most eligible bachelor in San Francisco in this tender western romance?

Jade Douglas is a determined young woman who risks it all to travel to San Francisco in the late 1800's to learn the truth about her father's mysterious death. 

J.T. Harrington is a handsome, rugged rancher who has just inherited a vast estate. When he finds the radiant beauty on his doorstep, he is tempted to ignore his vow never to love again and offer Jade both his name and his heart.

Before their scandalous wedding can unveil the secrets of the past, J.T. and Jade find themselves torn apart by a dangerous deception, but brought together again by a desire too powerful for either one of them to deny...

Click here.

Until Tomorrow

Can two yearning hearts learn to beat as one?

Dake Reed is a jaded soldier traveling home from the Civil War when he stumbles across an ambushed wagon - and a helpless newborn in need of a mother.

The last thing Cara James expects to see is a lean and handsome stranger riding across the lonely prairie with a baby in his arms. She's nothing but a backwoods girl with sky-blue eyes living on a Kansas homestead, making rag dolls...and dreaming of a better life. 

Desperate to find someone to share his burden, Dake uses his sweet-as-molasses drawl to coax Cara into leaving everything behind and joining him on his journey. As Dake and Cara travel to a place they both hope to call home, Cara dares to dream it's not just the child who needs her tender touch...but the man.

Click here.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

A Quick Reminder About Our Schedule

If you're a long-time reader, you'll know that I like to stick to a schedule here on this blog. If you're one of the many new readers, you may have figured that out already.

Regardless, just so we're all on the same page, and all the readers can know when to tune in for their favorite posts, here's the schedule:

Monday: #MotivationalMonday 
(some type of infographic or visual article to help inspire writers to create or create better)

Tuesday: How-To Article or Author Interview 
(usually written especially for the blog, but occasionally something linked to another super-awesome writing blog)

Wednesday: Nuggets 
(tidbits of writerly wisdom -- okay, opinion -- from yours truly, accompanied by a hopefully equally inspiring photo or illustration)

Thursday: Writer Roundtables
(a group interview that features several writers discussing a topic that could range from cover images to avoiding cliches to mastering dialog, always informative and fun)

Friday: Press Release/Promotional Posts 
(usually reserved for a press release of new genre works published by friends of the blog)

Saturday: Interesting News and/or Opinions
(usually an article or post from a news site or writers blog that I feel would be of interest to genre writers)

Sunday: ?????
(Could be anything, a link to an interview, an article, a second press release, a bonus how-to article, there's really no telling -- this one changes all the time)

All posts hit at 11:00 a.m. EST each day. 

And now you know.

(And knowing is half the battle. GI Joe!)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Nugget #107 -- Bob Dylan's Guide to Literature

Dylan told folk tales as well as Mark Twain ("The 
Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest" and "As I 
Went Out One Morning,") and literary short stories 
as well as Raymond Carver ("Sweetheart Like You" 
and "Like a Rolling Stone"). He has and will continue 
to confound and divide academics with songs are 
varied as "Ballad of a Thin Man," "Bob Dylan’s 
115th Dream," and "Maggie's Farm." And 
he captured the American cultural zeitgeist 
as well as Eliot's "The Wasteland" or anything 
by Ezra Pound with songs like "Desolation 
Row" and "Highway 61 Revisited."

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

[Link] Writing crime fiction – 7 elements of gripping suspense

by Now Novel

Suspense is a critical aspect of writing crime fiction. All the elements outlined below can help to increase suspense over the course of your novel:


Suspense arises from conflict. Before you can effectively create suspense throughout your crime novel, you need to have a handle on its central conflict. The main question of your novel might be answering who the murderer of a character was. You can use this question and the tension it creates as a starting point for building suspense.

Branching out from your major conflict, there may be smaller conflicts that also create tension. The investigator may interview two suspects, for example, who hate one another. Each might imply that the other may have been involved. Suspense may be built around efforts to cover up unsavoury facts about the deceased. Suspense may also be generated as the investigative protagonist gets closer to the answer since this places her life in danger.


Unfolding your novel within a tight time frame is one of the best methods for building suspense. Whether your protagonist is in a 24-hour race against time like Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code or has all of 61 hours to save the day like Jack Reacher in the Lee Child novel 61 Hours, putting your protagonist on a ticking clock will likely make readers turn pages.

Read the full article:

Sunday, September 3, 2017

[Link] The Body Language of Attraction: Information for Writers

by Fionna Quinn

He loves me? He loves me not?

Surely your intrepid heroine knows better than to rely on the petals of the daisy to tell her the truth -  the answer to her question is standing right in front of her.

Bodies rarely lie.

Your heroine looks beyond the words and judges whether this is a future love interest or this is a waste of her time.

The first rule of thumb is never assume. Making a determination is based on an accumulation of body language information. Some of the body language gestures that your heroine is looking for may be personality quirks that do NOT inform the communication. As an example, I have often been called out for playing with my hair - many a man has read that a woman touching her hair is a sign of sexual desire. And I'm not saying that this is incorrect in every instance of my playing with my hair - I'm just saying that in general my hair gets in my way, and I am constantly touching my hair. So this would not be a good "tell" for me. What you want your heroine to see is what changes, where does the character act differently.

A tell is a body language signal that is produced without thought. It signals information to a recipient. Some people are more dexterous in reading body language than others.

Read the full article:

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Throne of the Bastards by Brian Keene and Steven L. Shrewsbury

Apex Publications
Contact: Lesley Conner, Managing Editor

Throne of the Bastards by Brian Keene and Steven L. Shrewsbury

Apex Publications is proud to announce the release of Throne of the Bastards by Brian Keene and Steven L. Shrewsbury. Sword and sorcery collides with horror once again in this sequel to the award-winning King of the Bastards!

Learning that his family is in danger, Rogan returns to his former kingdom, now under siege from foreign invaders and supernatural forces led by his bastard son. With time running out, the aging barbarian and his trusted companions, Javan and Akibeel, must forge an alliance of new friends and old foes, mustering an army to retake the kingdom. Surrounded by savages, soldiers, demons, and dark magic, it will take all of their cunning, skill, ruthlessness, and courage to survive the slaughter and determine once and for all who shall sit upon the Throne of the Bastards.

Available direct through Apex or through one of our many online retailers.

Title: Throne of the Bastards by Brian Keene and Steven L. Shrewsbury
Release date: August 22nd, 2017
Price: $14.95, print. $6.99, digital.
ISBN: 978-1-937009-60-1

STEVEN L. SHREWSBURY lives, works, and writes in rural Illinois. Over three hundred and sixty of his short stories have been published in print or electronically, along with over one hundred poems. His novels include Godforsaken, Overkill, Thrall, Bedlam Unleashed, Hawg, Tormentor, Stronger Than Death, Hell Billy, Bag Magick, and many more—all running the gamut from sword and sorcery to historical fantasy to horror. A husband and father, he loves books, British television programs, guns, movies, politics, sports, and hanging out with his family. He looks for brightness wherever it may hide.

BRIAN KEENE writes novels, comic books, short fiction, and occasional journalism for money. He is the author of over fifty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and dark fantasy genres. His 2003 novel, The Rising, is often credited with inspiring pop culture’s current interest in zombies. He has won numerous awards and honors, including the 2014 World Horror Grandmaster Award, 2001 Bram Stoker Award for Nonfiction, 2003 Bram Stoker Award for First Novel, 2004 Shocker Award for Book of the Year, and Honors from United States Army International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and Whiteman A.F.B. (home of the B-2 Stealth Bomber) 509th Logistics Fuels Flight. The father of two sons, Keene lives in rural Pennsylvania.

APEX PUBLICATIONS ( is a small press dedicated to publishing exemplary works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Owned and operated by Jason B. Sizemore, Apex publishes the thrice Hugo Award-nominated Apex Magazine. The Apex catalog contains books by genre luminaries such as Damien Angelica Walters, Catherynne M. Valente, and Brian Keene.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Craig Hart releases SERENITY SUBMERGED!

A secret at the bottom of the lake. A group of hired killers. And Shelby, the detective who must uncover the truth before the small town of Serenity disappears under a tide of deception.

Grab the book during its launch special on Amazon here.