Tag Archive: series



Sundance

Having read the first of this series “Soul Taker” I knew we were being introduced to new worlds and adventures and looked forward to the next installment. And I can safely say this second book in the series did not let me down. If anything I felt it really helped things take off even more.

Where in “Soul Taker” we were introduced to an existing angel who gets promoted from Soul Taker to Guardian, this time we see the beginnings of a angel’s rise. Born to parents who made a deal with God for a child, if even for only a short seven years, we watch young Cara grow not only in the mortal world, but in the next one as well. In Heaven she is given the name Sundance, and begins to learn her strengths and grow in skills to the point of being welcomed into another rank of Angels a “Warrior”, one of the first in a very long time.

But for all her skills and abilities, which have impressed even the Archangels, she still has much to learn. Her first assignment will take her back to Earth where she will experience not only pain, but love with a mortal. Is such a thing allowed?

You’ll have to read to find out the answers to that. But there is much more awaiting both the reader and Sundance. For her powers and skills have been noticed not only by higher authorities, but ones below as well. And soon she finds herself the focal point in a dastardly plot from the netherworld.

The author has done a brilliant job with this book in many respects, including uniting both her first and second books with a brief, but satisfying meeting between our former Soul Taker, and this new Warrior Angel. I very much look forward to more of this series which is just beginning.

Available now at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VT2GFQ7/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/953202

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/sundance-8

Barnes and Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sundance-aurora-jean-alexander/1132911746?ean=2940163306251

 


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So, one of the first things I often hear from people when they hear I have a book coming out is, “Who’s your publisher?”

There’s long been a stigma to self-publishing, and until recently, it was deserved. A writer had to buy a few thousand copies to get it printed at reasonable rates and generally did so as a pet project. Anyone who wanted to reach a wide audience and to possibly make money had to find a publisher who thought their work was high enough quality to invest in. It would go through rounds of editing before ever going to the shops. A real publisher meant the writer had talent. Self-publishing just meant they had money.

But.

That was then. This is now. Everyone knows there have been radical changes in how books are sold.There are many formats besides paper. Bookstore chains have collapsed or moved to online only. Publishing houses rise and fall, to the point where there are few one has heard of. But more has happened behind the scenes. Publishers tend not to invest in writers who aren’t celebrities. Instead, even authors who have turned a modest profit on multiple books are asked to shoulder the burden of “typesetting fees”. The manuscript is rarely put through an editing process. What most publishers look for is one thing: marketability. They are looking for a trendy subject, a sexy concept, and work that fits neatly into a hot genre or niche market.

Allan and I worked together on his first project to create something ended up combining thriller, paranormal investigation, police procedural,science fiction, horror, and strongly featured a lesbian couple. It didn’t fit neatly into a genre and as Allan researched the market and the experience of other writers, he realized how much things had changed.

With print on demand technology, works can be published with little more investment than the blood, sweat, and tears of the writer. Not relying on a publisher who doesn’t want to pay an editor to proofread the material, error checking is done by volunteers, and by several read-throughs by the author who is deeply committed to putting out a quality product. A publisher wants to sell a book and if the reader is dissatisfied, it means little. You’ll buy another author next time. The writer, on the other hand, has to deliver great work if they want readers to love their book and look for more by them.

In short, I don’t believe publishers care as much about quality as marketing at this point. And while anyone can self-publish a book these days, it’s not a warning sign that it was unpublishable by other means, because print-on-demand is great for giving an author more control, a greater profit share, and a way to reach a large audience, hence it is the first choice rather than last resort. Allan and I have chosen this route and advise others to do the same.

Interestingly, the publishing houses track print-on-demand sales. If an author makes themselves into hot property, then they may be offered a favorable contract that will help them get into more brick-and-mortar stores. Ultimately– the fate of writers is in the hands of the readers. Thank you for thinking of me!

-by Helen Krummenacker


Welcome to the first solo novel of Helen Krummenacker, co-author of the Para-Earth Series.

Adventure, humor, film noir, and dark urban fantasy blend in a unique vision that will appeal to fans of Harry Dresden or Marvel’s horror comics.

Enter the world of The Forever Detective Series…

Ultimate Final Cover Forevers Too Long GIMP

Raphael Jones’ love of adventure took him into police work, military service, and finally a career as a private eye. But when his first couple of cases combine to drop him into deep trouble, can his sense of adventures survive? For that matter, can he? A practical man with a kind heart, he never expected to encounter supernatural evil threatening the people he cares about.

“I was reading along enjoying the Raymond Chandler vibe and suddenly WHAM! Night Stalker!” – author Danarra Ban

Available June 1st, 2019 for e-books (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, PDF, etc.) and trade paperback!

Reserve your e-book now at:

Nook:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forevers-too-long-helen-krummenacker/1131555250?ean=2940163217083

Amazon: 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonUK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonCA:

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonAU:

https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07RSGKTDF

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/938589


Noble Rot

5 – Stars

Monsters don’t always hide in the closet…

     A failing marriage, a struggling writer, a new job, a new place, a new beginning… What could possibly go wrong? For Allison Pilch just about everything and anything. Walking away from a failing marriage Allison sets out on a journey to find her own way as a person and a writer and soon finds herself not only with a new place but a new job as well in the real estate office that is also the property management of her new home.

     But as with anything too good to be true, there are mysteries and secrets that should be best left alone.

     Her new boss, a handsome and devilish (almost literally) fellow has his eye on her. As does the owner of the building she’s currently living in. But unlike her boss, this man shuns the light and hides in darkness, covered in bandages to avoid being seen for very good reasons. A past transgression has left him with a terrible curse that has left him very much alone and isolated.

     Soon Allison finds herself being drawn to each man, the one she can see and the one who remains a mystery but has inspired her writing in ways she never expected. Soon a web of intrigue and horror begins to unfold and Allison realizes she’s in the middle of a nightmare and that there are more than one kind of monster in the world…

     A thrilling beginning to what I hope will become a trilogy or series.

Amazon: 

https://www.amazon.com/Noble-Rot-Carson-Buckingham-ebook/dp/B0762WXVC3/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1539188388&sr=8-2-fkmrnull


Vampire's Rule

His name is Jack, his nickname is “Jackpot” and with good reason. Killed by a werewolf, but changed at the last moment by vampires he is spared from death. Then by a freak chance, he becomes mortal once more after an encounter with another werewolf. Now he’s not completely human, vampire or werewolf… he’s something more.

K. C. Blake presents us with a unique blend of traditional vampires, werewolves and a bit more thrown in. It’s a fast-paced tale of life, death, rebirth. Second chances that may not be all we hoped they would be. Friends and family become enemies and allies, with twists and turns sure to keep the reader on edge.   The pacing is good and the story intriguing.  Definitely an enjoyable read.

Now this is the first in “The Rule” series. The characters can be a little hard to like at times, but when setting the stage for a series this can be forgiven as we watch them grow and find that there is still a lot more to come from this author and these books.

Highly recommended for vampire and werewolf fans.

 

 


REVIEW BY ALLAN KRUMMENACKER

5 – STARS   “Serving up a deliciously creepy read…”

This is the first book I’ve read of Miss Remiel’s and I have to say she did not disappoint.

Camille Dutton is a fascinating protagonist who finds herself on an island community where she’ is expected to simply work at the local library. “I’m a book waitress…” she keeps telling people. Nothing more, nothing less. She doesn’t consider herself amazing or unusual. But she soon finds herself being slowly surrounded by people who seem oddly fascinated by her. Even some of the books in the library seem to have taken an odd interest in her like set of “The Devil’s Handbook” which seemingly falls off the shelf of their own volition.

Then there’s the strange yet fascinating gentleman named Derek Gallagher, who like her is not native to the island.  But his purpose for being there is not a new start, but to delve into a strange series of disappearances (especially children) that have occurred on the island.

Soon both Camille and Derek find they are being drawn into a Satanic plot, that is linked to an all but forgotten incident from Camille’s past.  And now the ultimate darkness seems to be reaching out to try and claim her once again.

Excitement and surprises await the reader in this first installment of the Book Waitress Series. I can hardly wait to get my hands on the second installment.

 

 

 


Death Light Moon

REVIEW BY HELEN KRUMMENACKER

Death by the Light of the Moon by Joan Hess was something I picked up from a Friends of the Library sale, a paperback mystery marking itself as A Claire Malloy Mystery. I’d never heard of the series, but the description was interesting. An eccentric, rich elderly lady dies the evening of a party that was meant to reveal her heirs. The protagonist is there by virtue of being a daughter-in-law, and barely knows the family.

The basic plot is grounded in the “cozy” style of mystery– the murder takes place in a somewhat remote area, limiting the suspects mostly to the family, with a few hints about something more being afoot. The protagonist is not a professional detective, just someone with a knack for coming across trouble and ask questions. As the story goes on, it becomes a bit less cozy in both the genre and descriptive sense, as more bodies turn up and the protagonist becomes a target, giving a bit more of a thriller vibe at times.

I found this to be not only satisfying as a mystery. The author has a sense of humor and a way with words. The prose makes for a light, easy read, and yet there are digs, gentle in some cases, hard in others, at real ways in which worse aspects of human nature tend to surface, reminiscent of Jane Austen, or perhaps P.G. Wodehouse. From the self-absorbed digressions of a teen, to the small-town police who almost prioritize getting along over getting answers (but who do change their approach appropriately as events unfurl), to the sexism and racism causing real, secret problems for a family of Southern aristocrats, the foibles are observed with wit and honesty. The protagonist even has her own failings

It would have definitely been worth buying at full price, and I look forward to finding more of the series.


 In my last entry I explained how I had settled on the idea of Parallel Realities for the premise of my series.  But what could I do with it that was new and different? Well as Doctor Who would say, “This is where things get a bit tricky.”

      We all know that a lot of choices are man-made, but events are also a major player in our world and our lives.  There’s an old school of thought that says, for whatever choices we make another alternate timeline exists where a version of ourselves exists who follows the path not taken.  I began pondering this concept and asked myself, “What if not just choice could lead to a parallel reality?  What if events that didn’t happen in our reality, did happen in another reality?  And what might be the consequences and effects of that event?”  This idea really intrigued me and I began to think about the concept on a much LARGER and OLDER scale…

      Current theory says that that moon we all know and love was made as a result of an event that took place in Earth’s very early childhood, long before the first dinosaurs or any life-forms evolved.  At the time our planet was much bigger than we know it to be now and it was hot and molten.  Then another planet crashed into our world and literally knocked the stuffing out of us.  Debris was scattered into space and floated there for centuries while the two worlds slowly fused into the size and shape we know now.  As for the debris, caught in the new Earth’s gravity it circled around our world and slowly coalesced and formed the moon we all know and love.  This also explains why moon rocks brought back by our visits showed the same compositions as are found here on Earth.

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      With this thought in mind, suddenly all the beings and entities I had been thinking about writing suddenly became more real to me.  They weren’t aliens from other worlds, or magical demons from other dimensions, they were Earth beings.  Just not from this reality.  They came from alternate Earths where either the creation of the moon or some other kind of cosmic event (an asteroid that missed us in this reality, actually struck and brought some microbes, or some other kind of calamity) changed that other Earth’s development which in turn altered what kind of life might or might not evolve.  I quickly realized that the possibilities were endless and that I wouldn’t have to limit myself to just one alternate version of Earth.  I’d have dozens or hundreds available for storylines…  In that moment I came up with the phrase Para-Earths.

XL

      Of course this led to new questions I needed to answer such as how do these beings slip out of their versions of Earth and into ours?  Do people from our Earth wind up slipping into those alternate earths?  Are the beings from these Para-Earths malevolent, friendly, or simply following basic instinct like herbivores and carnivores, etc.
      As for the how they manage to intrude into our reality I propose thinking of reality as a tree with loads of branches.  If you actually look closely you will find that branches of course give birth to new branches and in turn to the same, and so on.  Yet a number of these branches will rub up against each other at one time or another. 

XL

     Now if you picture Earth as we know it to be one branch, and one of those Para-Earths as another branch, they too can brush up against each other and a doorway opens between the two.  In my writings, this is a naturally occurring phenomenon that occurs every so often.  The reason no one notices is that it doesn’t always happen when someone’s around to see it, from either this Earth or the Para-Earth that is brushing up against us.  Sort of like the old “If a tree falls down in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?” concept.  Even though no one witnessed it, the event happens.  But occasionally someone is there and they see something strange in the woods or out of the corner of their eye.  However, the timing of the opening can be short or long so by the time that person who saw something out of the corner of their eye can turn to focus the event is already over.  Other times, they stare and stare, or maybe they walk towards it and suddenly the doorway closes and they’re left wondering if they need glasses or to stop drinking.
      My first two stories (“The Bridge” and “The Ship”) focused on two occasions when many years ago two openings lasted long enough for strange beings from two different Para-Earths entered our world and got stuck here. 

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        In the third installment “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”, two new dimensions were added to the mix.  First I invited my wife Helen, who knows much more about actual science and science-fiction than me (and who had also helped me develop a number of the characters and concepts introduced in “The Bridge” and “The Ship” to actually join me in writing the story.  The second dimension that was added to the endeavor was to focus on a man from our Earth being the one who intruded into a Para-Earth and the consequences of his being there for that world as well as his own. 

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    Of course there are many more stories to come.  Even now Helen and I are currently putting the finishing touches on our first anthology that mainly focuses on characters from “The Vampyre Blogs”, but also re-introduces a couple of characters from “The Bridge” and “The Ship”.  The collection will be the first of what we hope will be many and is currently titled “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At A Time”.  And for those who are wondering, yes we are planning on a major crossover where all these characters comed together and many secrets are revealed.  

     We’re also working on at least 4-5 full-length novels, several of which are already under way.  And we have countless ideas for many more.  In time, depending on how popular the series becomes, we may invite other authors to join in and help expand the series, just as HP Lovecraft gave permission to fellow authors like August Derleth, Robert Bloch and others to expand and build upon his Cthulhu Mythos. (Note: to this day, his Cthulhu mythos is still being expanded by modern writers long after his passing back in 1937). 

     As for how many of these Para-Earths exist alongside our own, we don’t know.  Nor do we know all the different life-forms that may be encountered in the stories down the road, for not all of them have presented themselves to us, much less shared their secrets.  What we do know is that some can exist in this reality, or try to, but don’t always succeed.  Think about all those articles that appear in news feeds about the remains of ‘monsters’ being found.  Suddenly all those stories take on entirely new implications, don’t they?

         

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      In the meantime, Helen and I hope you enjoy the stories we’ve already put before you.  Let each tale open your imagination and fill it with wonder.  There are rules and science behind a lot of the lifeforms you will encounter in these books, and we will do our best to explain them.  In fact, we will be eventually adding another section to the blog called “Encyclopedia Para-Earth” or something along those lines where Helen will go into the science aspects of our series, exploring certain creatures we use and their real-life counterparts from the real world.
      We’d also like you all to keep in mind that not every Para-Earth being we introduce to you and our characters will be hostile. Some are simply strangers in a strange world, and just because their appearance may be monstrous, does not mean they are.  In some cases, you may find yourselves being introduced to lifeforms that have become the stuff of legends in our reality.   So strap in and join the adventure, you never know who or what you might meet along the way.
      Until next time, keep writing!

You can find our books at these online stores:

Amazon: The Para-Earth Book Series

AmazonUK: Para-Earths UK

Smashwords (Nook, Apple, Sony, Kobo, PDF): Para-Earths

Barnes and Noble: The Para-Earths Series


Isaac Asimov is well known for his extremely numerous writing contributions to science and science fiction.  But not everyone knows he was also a mystery author and regular contributor to Ellery Queen Magazine, as well as a few others.  His most famous crime sleuths never actually went to a crime scene, nor did they go into police headquarters and announce they had cracked an important case.

No, these amateur sleuths, who call themselves the Black Widowers because once a month they come together for a dinner of just themselves and one invited guest, a man.  Women are not allowed to attend this function, hence their nickname.  For one night a month they can enjoy just the company of each other without female company, not that they object to women.  It’s simply their own little club.  The members of this little club are based on friends from the author’s own life and are listed here:

  • Geoffrey Avalon, a patent attorney (based on L. Sprague de Camp)
  • Emmanuel Rubin, a mystery novelist and acquaintance of Isaac Asimov (based on Lester del Rey)
  • James Drake, a chemist (based on Dr. John D. Clark)
  • Thomas Trumbull, an expert in cryptography for the United States government (based on Gilbert Cant)
  • Mario Gonzalo, an artist, who usually draws a portrait of the evening’s guest (based on Lin Carter)
  • Roger Halsted, a high school mathematics teacher, fond of jokes and limericks (based on Don Bensen)
  • Henry Jackson, the club’s waiter, was not based on an actual person, but according to Asimov was inspired by PG Wodehouses character Jeeves.
 
At each meeting a guest is brought by one of the members and after being served an excellent meal, are then ‘grilled’ by the group, usually by being asked “How do you justify your existence…?”  What happens in the first story sets the stage for the rest of the tales within the pages of this excellent work.
 
A puzzle is presented to the Black Widowers who systematically try to help find the answer to their guest’s dilemma. In the end, it is the esteemable Henry who provides the final solution to each of the twelve tales you will find here.  Each story is presented fairly and the reader is supplied all the hints that the Black Widowers are given.  Although Henry supplies the answer, he always credits the club members for having helped eliminate all the other options, allowing him to discover the final solution.  
 
My personal favorite in this collection is “The Acquisitive Chuckle” which is also the 1st story.  In it we learn a great deal about our hosts and even more importantly we gain keen insight into their wondrous butler Henry, a scrupulously honest man, but who is not above delivering a little payback to an old partner.
 
There is one puzzle that involves a death of one of the club member’s sister, which is touching and bittersweet, but handled very well.
As for the rest of the tales, each has its own flavor and unique outcome.  I can safely say that they are wonderful puzzles that will keep you guessing and wondering.  But at the same time it is the interplay between the characters will also keep you smiling and laughing.
 
There are 5 books in this series and I will tell you right now, each one is a 5-Star read.  I intend to review each of them as in the near future.

5 Stars.

ImageThis is the 2nd installment of the long running Bed and Breakfast Mysteries and it was every bit as good as I’d hoped. The protagonists, two middle aged women who are cousins, are great foils for each other with their banter and sharp wit. Having grown up like sisters, they know each others habits, temperaments and strengths. They also naturally share a long family history and deep understanding of one another. Together they make a formidable amateur sleuth team.

In this story, while on a trip to Canada they encounter some old high school friends and a colorful local popcorn seller who becomes the victim of murder. But the mystery deepens when his pet parakeet is also found dead after he is murdered.

Watching the cousins dealing with international police instead of the typical American police is a nice touch which adds a great flavor to the story. Having actually been to Canada myself, I could really enjoy this particular tale. The clues are laid out for the reader and the writer plays fair with us in this enthralling mystery.

Looking forward to reading number three in the series and getting caught up to date.  

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