Monday, February 19, 2018

Amanda McKinney - 20 Fun Facts


Devil’s Gold
Amanda McKinney
Publication date: February 13th 2018
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Despite being chronically late, occasionally disheveled and a tad disorganized, Dixie Knight is one of the top private investigators in the country, and when a young woman goes missing in the small, Southern town of Devil’s Den, Dixie takes the case. She expected it to be another ordinary missing person case—until Lizzie Meyers is found naked and beaten to death at a local, seedy motel.
While visiting relatives on his two-week leave, Marine Liam Cash bumps into Dixie at the local bar, and his attraction to her is immediate. When Liam connects Dixie’s current case to two unsolved murders in his hometown, he steps in to help find the killer, and keep her safe, whether Dixie wants him to or not.
After another woman is found brutally beaten, Dixie turns the town upside down trying to solve the mystery—could it be the rumored witch that lives in the mountains; the rich, neurotic doctor’s wife; or the perky, blonde receptionist at the local medical clinic?
Time is running out and Dixie knows she has to put the pieces of the puzzle together before another body turns cold in Devil’s Den.


Author Bio:
Amanda McKinney, author of Sexy, Suspenseful Mysteries wrote her debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. When Amanda isn’t tending to her two beautiful boys, she’s hidden behind her computer screen crafting page-turning murder mysteries, peppered with titillating love scenes. Having been born and raised in the south, Amanda’s books are set in small, country towns and reflect southern culture at its finest.
Amanda’s debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, was released in January 2017, followed by the first two books in the BERRY SPRINGS SERIES, THE WOODS and THE LAKE. The third book in the series, THE STORM is scheduled to be released in the Winter of 2017.

Amanda McKinney - 20 Fun Facts
1. Favorite Movie? Braveheart, Lord of the Rings, Sound of Music, Dumb and Dumber
2. Favorite Song? Tuesday’s Gone – Lynyrd Skynyrd
3. Favorite Singer/Band? Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks …………Britney Spears. Dammit.
4. Who is your hero? My mom, hands-down.
5. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? I’m a Southern girl through and through, but I’ve always daydreamed about moving up north, deep in the mountains—Wyoming or Montana, maybe? I’m not a fan of hot weather (or humidity), and I love the snow.
6. What would you change about yourself if you could? Definitely, more patience. I’m hardwired to have a lot on my plate, and relaxing does not come very easily to me. Although, as I get older (and especially now that I have kiddos), I’m doing a lot better with the patience thing. I use breathing techniques (thank you, yoga) when I’m feeling particularly impatient or restless.
7. Favorite book? Whoa… based on the amount of time I’ve pondered this question – I’m going to say that it’s impossible to answer. I’d like it to be some award-winning, epic book like War and Peace (so I sound really smart), but honestly, I just love stories that draw me in, and make me escape for a bit. I'm a sucker for suspense and romance. One book that comes to mind is The Search, by Nora Roberts, and also, The Witness… and the first book of her In Death Series, Naked in Death. I’m also a huge fan of Laura Griffin’s Tracers Series, those books are so fun to read.
8. Favorite author? Nora Roberts. I’m also a big fan of Laura Griffin, Sandra Brown, Heather Graham, Lisa Gardner, just to name a few.
9. What did you want to be when you were little? A marine biologist, a veterinarian, or an archeologist. So, I became a writer.
10. Spontaneity or structure? I laughed out loud when I read this – definitely structure. I believe life runs much more smoothly with plans, schedules and routines. Spontaneity scares the shit out of me.
11. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Chili. I’m serious.
12. Biggest pet peeve? Laziness. And people who consider themselves “always the victim”. Get off your butt and do something about it.
13. Introvert or extrovert? Introvert—I’m a fiercely private person (although this new career path has pushed me out of that comfort zone a bit), and a homebody. I’m someone who needs total alone-time every once in a while, or I’ll go nuts.
14. Guilty pleasure? Booze, Snickers ice-cream bars, Dorito’s…
15. Five things you can't live without? Aside from my family of course - Cell phone, laptop (so I can write), a cross necklace that my mom gave me, vodka, under-eye concealer. Damn the dark circles.
16. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? COFFEE—I’m a raging bitch without it. I actually have a hardcore morning ritual (did I mention I like routines?). I get up at 4:30 a.m. every day, get my coffee, and watch the Weather Channel for a while, and then workout before the kids wake.
17. Top 3 things on your bucket list? Raise my boys to be good Southern gentlemen, travel the world, and pass my fifty-year wedding anniversary with my husband. And win the lottery.
18. What makes you wildly happy? It involves my husband.
19. Biggest fear? Not being there when my kids need me.
20. What’s the most valuable life lesson you’ve ever learned? Always listen to your gut – thanks, mama.

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This is the Ten-Minute Writing Prompt. One simple statement or a piece of dialog igniting the creative flame for fiction writers. Take ten minutes of your day to stir the embers and keep the muse strong and alive.
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Friday, February 16, 2018

Pandora: Outbreak Eric L. Harry

Raised in a small town in Mississippi, Eric L. Harry graduated from the Marine Military Academy in Texas and studied Russian and Economics at Vanderbilt University, where he also got a J.D. and M.B.A. In addition, he studied in Moscow and Leningrad in the USSR, and at the University of Virginia Law School. He began his legal career in private practice in Houston, negotiated complex multinational mergers and acquisitions around the world, and rose to be general counsel of a Fortune 500 company. He left to raise a private equity fund and co-found a successful oil company. His previous thrillers include Arc LightSociety of the MindProtect and Defend and Invasion. His books have been published in eight countries. He and his wife have three children and divide their time between Houston and San Diego. 



Guest Post
In my new Pandora book series, I challenged myself to create a medically and scientifically plausible “zombie novel.” In it, an airborne pathogen, Pandoravirus, causes brain damage in its victims. They don’t die and reanimate, but they are frighteningly dangerous both because they carry the highly contagious virus (you can catch it from just breathing contaminated air exhaled by carriers) and because Infecteds will kill you for little or no reason.
Detecting Pandoravirus carriers is easy for the first two weeks after infection. Their pupils “pop” – their irises dilate, like after a visit to the eye doctor – due to mydriasis after the massive damage done to their brains. After about two weeks, however, the mydriasis resolves, and they look normal. Thereafter, to detect Infecteds you need behavioral tests like the Turing test for artificially intelligent computers (or the Voight-Kampff Empathy Test in Do Androids Dream . . ./Blade Runner).
Here’s a checklist: Does the suspected carrier have trouble with first person pronouns? Their sense of “self” has been destroyed, and they may be confused when someone refers to them as “you” until they grow more facile with the use of language. Do they exhibit signs of excessive anxiety like muscle tension and fist clenching? That may indicate an uncontrolled release of adrenaline, which could suggest an impending adrenal rage. (Now might be a good time to terminate the interview.) Does the subject seem paranoid, possibly thinking you to be a dangerous imposter, not a friend? That delusion severs any emotional ties the two of you might have had before infection. (Again, remain near an exit.) Does a person you fear might be an Infected, when shown a forest, seem only to see individual trees and not the whole? That single-minded focus can lead them to pursue you, and only you, obsessively, through the chaos and violence until, well . . . Also, does the suspicious person seem to suffer from a complete absence of empathy and a total lack of social bonding? Can they, for instance, calmly answer questions while in the presence of a dead loved one? Mirror neurons help make us human; their absence can make us remorseless and inhumane. Finally there’s pain, or more accurately the lack thereof, that is the last tell. No need to explore the myriad ways that can be utilized to detect Pandoravirus in its victims.

Oh, and if you happen upon a large and dense crowd, which appears strangely impassive, silent, stoic, and patient, and there are no obvious subgroups or signs of demonstration or demands, and especially if they all face in the same direction – worse yet in your direction – they’re called “charged” and are awaiting only a trigger. I wouldn’t interview anyone there, and I wouldn’t stop running until you can’t run any farther.





PANDORA: Outbreak by Eric L. Harry

Genre: Science Fiction – pandemic 




They call it Pandoravirus. It attacks the brain. Anyone infected may explode in uncontrollable rage. Blind to pain, empty of emotion, the infected hunt and are hunted. They attack without warning and without mercy. Their numbers spread unchecked. There is no known cure.

Emma Miller studies diseases for a living—until she catches the virus. Now she’s the one being studied by the U.S. government and by her twin sister, neuroscientist Isabel Miller. Rival factions debate whether to treat the infected like rabid animals to be put down, or victims deserving compassion. As Isabel fights for her sister's life, the infected are massing for an epic battle of survival. And it looks like Emma is leading the way . . .






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Imagine a room with ten people sitting at a table. One sentence is scrawled across a whiteboard hanging on the wall. A large clock is counting down. The people at the table are focused on the paper or whatever writing implement they have chosen. The minutes go by. The scribbling pen picks up speed. Fingers tapping on keyboards are consistent. The ending alarm chimes. Ten fresh storylines are born.
This is the Ten-Minute Writing Prompt. One simple statement or a piece of dialog igniting the creative flame for fiction writers. Take ten minutes of your day to stir the embers and keep the muse strong and alive.
Read a sample at Amazon or Smashwords 

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Q&A with Paige Lavoie

Paige Lavoie is a writer, comic artist and self-proclaimed queen of silly faces, with a passion for bring her characters to life with the power of storytelling (including the undead ones) Paige spends her days hiding underneath a parasol in sunny Orlando FL. and frolicking through bustling convention centers, theme parks and farmers markets with her husband and their fluffy dog named Oliver.


What inspired the idea for A Girl Called Monster?

I knew I wanted to do a "Monster" story. At first I had the idea for the main character. Her appearance and personality started to come together in my head. It took a little bit longer for the story to become clear to me. I wrote little chunks over a few years, some of the scenes where vivid dreams that I had. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and type them into google docs. I spend some time asking myself little “What If” questions. Thinking about, where the character could go, and the kind of people she’d meet along the way.

What was the process for creating the story?
A Girl Called Monster took me a long time to actually sit down and finish. I had notes for myself everywhere. Old notebooks, un-named google doc files, I wrote 35k of the first draft and then had to take a break. I got re-inspired to finish it in 2016 during Camp NaNoWriMo. I used the month to finish drafts in my unfinished manuscript pile. (this being one of them!) I cried so hard when I finally wrote the ending. Part of that journey, I documented in the nanowrimo video diary I filmed during the month which can be found over on my youtube channel.

How is this story different from the classic Frankenstein story?At it’s core “A Girl Called Monster” is a coming of age story, about self-discover and stepping away from unhealthy relationships. I was inspired by old movies like My Fair Lady. I always hated the way Henry Higgins treated Eliza and the way ended up together at the end. I remember being a kid and going on rants about it in front of the t.v. “This isn’t okay! He’s mean!” I think when you break it down they have a very Doctor/Experiment dynamic that easily transforms into a Frankenstein story. And while I think some of those feelings helped fuel my writing, the story took turns that even I as the writer didn’t expect.

At first, I thought maybe I’d write it as a romance, and realized getting towards the end that was wrong. Sometimes a "Happy Ending" means walking away from someone instead of towards them. Soon after she get’s out of the lab she’d surrounded by new friends, and slowly finds people that she can depend on. I wanted to make sure she had a chance to live life outside of the Doctor’s control. And I think the friendships and ways the supporting cast help her discover herself is one of the things that sets it apart. No spoilers, but I love the gang of hair stylists so much!

What advice would you offer to an aspiring author?
Give yourself time and permission to experiment and figure out what works for you. There are dozens of ways to sit down and start writing your novel, what works for one writer might not work with the next. Have patience, have fun, let yourself play, be creative and get to know your characters.

Are you working on any other projects currently?
What I’m most excited about is a space rom-com called “Dear Galaxy I Love You” that I hope to release in 2018! …There’s also the one about teen witches who get expelled, a teenage-mall goth who is turned into a vampire and a few more sitting in my “to-be edited” pile. 2017 has been a year of writing!



A Girl Called Monster
by Paige Lavoie
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Where she came from there were no windows. The sounds of buzzing equipment and the doctor's shouting rang through her ears daily. It was too uncomfortable to call home and too familiar not to be. Like it or not, she was an experiment.


Filled with childlike wonder and innocence, she took pleasure in stories, imagining what it would be like to live in those pages. A longing growing deep inside her.

She knew she'd never have that life... Not in the lab. Not with them studying her every move. So she decided to do something terrifying.





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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Half-Blood Dragon K.N. Lee



Half-Blood Dragon
Dragon Born Saga Book 1
by K.N. Lee 
 Genre: Epic Fantasy

Pirates, dragons, mermaids. A new world of mythical creatures and epic adventures await. Embark on a coming of age journey that will leave you breathless. 


New York Times bestselling author, K.N. Lee presents Half-Blood Dragon, the first epic fantasy adventure in the Dragon Born Trilogy. 

Time is running out for half-blood, Rowen, a lady-in-waiting to a princess. While the two princes of the Dragon Court vie for her affection, she spends her days and nights dreaming of a future free from prejudice based on her lineage. The half-blood is not who she appears to be. As a prophet, she knows what the fate of the realm holds, and it's not the grand parties the kingdom is used to. 

Death is on the horizon, and Rowen sees herself as its cause. 



The taunts of her sleepless nights are realized when she is framed and sentenced to death for the prince's murder. For a human, there's nowhere to run and no one to turn to in a kingdom where power is tightly held by full-blooded dragon shifters. 



It will take a stranger from the shadows to save Rowen from an unjust execution and reveal a truth full of terrifying potential. She must face her fears, navigate through dangerous lands of magical creatures, and find the courage to accept her fate, awaken her gift, and set the world on fire.



Grab your copy of this action-packed sword and sorcery adventure perfect for fans of George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones, Throne of Glass, and Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn today!




Magic-Born Dragon
Dragon Born Saga Book 2

Magic. Betrayal. Dragons. The epic coming of age adventure continues, but this time the stakes are higher than ever. 

New York Times bestselling author K.N. Lee brings you all this and more in the sequel to the #1 international bestseller, "Half-Blood Dragon."

Rowen is on the run. Convicted of a murder she didn't commit, a last-minute surprise rescue from the gallows by the notorious pirate Elian Westin should have brought her a measure of freedom, if not peace. Instead, Rowen has more enemies than ever...and more questions.

The royal navy of Withrae is on her heels to bring her to justice, and her erstwhile savior Captain Westin wants her back because he believes she is the key to finding the legendary Red Dragon, a creature so powerful that it can change the course of time.

Hunted by dragon shifters who despise her and feared by humans who don't understand her, half-blood dragon Rowen must unravel old mysteries in order to outsmart new adversaries. She can only hope that her new, uncontrollable magical abilities don't get her killed before she can confront the man who set all of this in motion...



...a man who hates her but will do anything to save her life.

Download your copy of this epic, swords and sorcery adventure.




Queen of the Dragons
Dragon Born Saga Book 3

Royal Dragons. Mysterious prophecies. Vengeful wizards. The Dragon-Born saga is just beginning. 


The world's fate rests on the shoulders of one half-blood Dragon. They killed the prince she loved, framed her for his murder, and still want to see her dead. But, none of that matters when she is taken by the infamous Red Dragon. Rowen now finds herself without hope, a plan for escape, or her memory. Ancient secrets are revealed during her captivity, and a strange black Dragon risks his life to save her. When he finds himself injured and also kept in the Red Dragon's lair, the two of them must find a way to survive. 

Captain Elian Westin and what remains of his crew make the journey to Withrae where a war is brewing. Dragons versus humans. Which side will they choose? The answer isn't as simple as Elian thinks when he is brought face-to-face with the woman who broke his heart. The rules are no longer as simple as he once believed when the fate of his daughter and her mother are left in his hands. 

But, in Draconia, things are rarely what they seem, and the origins of a curse are revealed. 

Join New York Times bestselling author, K.N. Lee on a journey through Dragon territory, where magic and mystery collide in this epic fantasy adventure that is just the beginning


Perfect for fans of George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones and Sarah J. Maas' Court of Thorns and Roses. Grab your copy today!



War of the Dragons
Dragon Born Saga Book 4

Dragons. Magic. War. In a mystical world where Dragons reign, one mysterious duo of wizards rise from the shadows to even the battlefield.


New York Times bestselling author, K.N. Lee presents the fourth installment in the fast-paced, thrilling epic fantasy adventure that swept the world away with the #1 international bestseller critics are comparing to Rick Riordan's young adult novels, Half-Blood Dragon.

The lines are set. Wizards versus Dragons, and as queen of Withrae, Rowen finds herself faced with the fate of the kingdom in her hands.

Her crown binds her to the palace, even someone she loves dearly is kidnapped by the Trinity brothers who rule in the southern islands of the human realm. She must find a way to protect her family without abandoning her duties. There's one young man who can help her, the scribe who once worked for her father. Together, they hatch a plan to stop the war, protect both the humans and the Dragons, and prevent the prophecy Rowen has always dreamed would come true.

The end of the world.

As a curse plagues all of Draconia, preventing its people from shifting in their Dragon form, Rowen and Rickard will come face to face with their darkest nightmares, and the truth of the red dragon from Rowen's prophecies will be revealed.

Embark on a magical journey packed with heart-pounding action and a dash of romance that fans compare to George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones, Sarah J. Maas's Court of Thorns and Roses, and Pirates of the Caribbean.




Fate of the Dragons
Dragon Born Saga Book 5

While Ophelia finds herself taken to a palace far away and held hostage by the devilishly handsome Trinity brothers, her homeland plunges into chaos.

The king of Withrae is at war. His queen is on her deathbed. Who will lead the Dragons as one wizard and his devious sister take the throne? 



Withrae is in peril, and though Princess Noemie attempts to keep her people together, she is no match for the wizard who wants to see the Dragon nations fall. Gavin has a mission--one Rowen asked him to complete with what may be her last breath. Find the mermaid kingdom, rescue Ophelia from the brothers who rule the Trinity Islands, and reverse the curse that plagues her people. 



With the sorceress, Feyda by his side, he sets off on a journey that might very well save the entire world. 

New York Times bestselling author, K.N. Lee brings a reverse harem legend perfect for young adults and adults who love a high fantasy, sword and sorcery adventure! Download the epic dragon fantasy that fans are comparing to Game of Thrones and Pirates of the Caribbean. 

Trigger Warning: Contains a suggestive reverse harem scenario suitable for young adults and adults 





K.N. Lee is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She is the author of the Dragon-Born Saga, Eura Chronicles, Wonderland University, and the Chronicles of Koa series. When she is not writing twisted urban fantasy, epic tales of dragons, pirates, and mermaids, and dark poetry, she does a great deal of traveling and spending time with her family. Wannabe rockstar, foreign language enthusiast, and anime geek, K.N. Lee also enjoys gaming and sketching. She is a winner of the Elevate Lifestyle Top 30 Under 30 "Future Leaders of Charlotte" award for her success as a writer, business owner, and for community service.


She is signed with Captive Quill Press and Patchwork Press and represented by Hershman Rights Management.

K.N. Lee loves hearing from fans and readers. Connect with her!





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Subscribe to The Attic Ghost Weekly Digest
and get The Daily Ten-Minute Writing Prompt Vol 1 Free 

Imagine a room with ten people sitting at a table. One sentence is scrawled across a whiteboard hanging on the wall. A large clock is counting down. The people at the table are focused on the paper or whatever writing implement they have chosen. The minutes go by. The scribbling pen picks up speed. Fingers tapping on keyboards are consistent. The ending alarm chimes. Ten fresh storylines are born.
This is the Ten-Minute Writing Prompt. One simple statement or a piece of dialog igniting the creative flame for fiction writers. Take ten minutes of your day to stir the embers and keep the muse strong and alive.
Read a sample at Amazon or Smashwords 

Subscribe to The Attic Ghost Weekly Digest
and get The Daily Ten-Minute Writing Prompt Vol 1 Free