Friday, November 24, 2017

Editor and Proofreader Emily Hainsworth

As I finished tweaking my work-in-progress, I knew I needed anther set of eyes to look it over.  Fortuitously, I ran across a post on Kboards from an editor looking for clients.  It was a stroke of good fortune for which I am most grateful.

Working with Emily Hainsworth on my latest novel has been a joy.  It is always frightening to entrust your work to someone new, and I am so grateful that I took a chance on Emily.  She is responsive, efficient, focused, and encouraging.  Her attention to detail, along with her ability to understand my voice and my story, enabled her to give my book a thorough and effective polish.  Her work and feedback have given me a great boost of confidence as I prepare to release my new characters into the world.  I can’t recommend Emily highly enough, and I will happily work with her again.  

My timeline for publishing this work has been derailed a bit by my father's recent passing.  I had been intending to mount a Kindle Scout campaign this month, but with my new responsibilities to the estate and to my mother, that won't be possible.   In my forced hiatus, I intend to send some query letters and see if I can make any progress in the traditional side of publishing.  If not, after the first of the year, I'll hopefully have the bandwidth to give Kindle Scout a proper go.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wednesday Work-in-Progress: Brother Edmun

In my forthcoming fantasy novel, I make liberal use of flashbacks.  In fact, every chapter begins with a scene from earlier in the life of with Shiloh or Silas.  In the Kingdom of Bryn, the past isn't buried.  It informs nearly every decision the characters make. 

In fact, there is one central character who dies before the book even begins: Brother Edmun.  A brilliant wizard and the bastard half-brother of the king, he chose the wrong side in the civil war an has lived out the remainder of his life in exile in the mountains, with Shiloh as his only student. 

Demanding and grouchy, Edmun is. nevertheless, not without redeeming qualities.  In this excerpt, we get a glimpse of him and of his relationship with Shiloh.

Little Shiloh knocked on Brother Edmun’s door, shaking like a leaf.

“Where have you been, lazy child? You’re late. Did the roosters all perish in the night? Were you picking daisies?” he scolded, pulling open the door. He grabbed her by the arm and yanked her inside.

“I’m sorry, master,” she whispered. “I fell down . . . they were hiding and . . .” Her voice was thick with tears, and he looked down at her in surprise. There was something on her face.

“Are you bleeding?” Edmun exclaimed. He guided her gently into the light pouring through his window and knelt down in front of her. The irritation drained from his face when he pulled back her hood. “Lords above,” he breathed.

Shiloh’s hair was matted with blood, which continued to seep steadily from a deep gash on the crown of her head. Another wound in front of her left ear bled freely, crimson pouring down her neck and staining her collar. A bruise had begun to color her forehead. Edmun pulled out his wand and murmured an incantation. The flow of blood slowed until, soon, it stopped altogether.

The priest felt for broken bones. “Where else did they get you, poppet?” he asked. “Where else does it hurt?”

“It hurts when I breathe,” she admitted.

“Ach, probably a cracked rib. What in blazes happened?” he asked.

“They threw rocks at me,” she replied, a tear sneaking down her face. “Big ones. They hid behind the Temple, so my Da wouldn’t see from his window.”


She shook her head. “It’ll be worse for me if they know I told you.”

Edmun held her by the shoulders. “I know that, Shiloh. I am not an idiot. I worked all my life with obnoxious children. I’ll not be revealing that you told me who they are. We’ll get your justice on the sly; mark my words. But first, I’ll teach you how to make charms to protect yourself from the worthless Teethtrash that inhabit this Godsforsaken village. I should have done it already. Now, do as I say, and tell me their names.”

“Victoh, Meggan, and Karl,” she confessed.

“Sounds about right. Their parents are lazy dolts and mean as snakes.” Edmun gently wiped the blood from her face and kissed her on the forehead, then pointed at her little desk.

“Now, to work,” he ordered. “A girl like you needs to learn to use her pain, or else she hasn’t a chance in the world.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday Work-in-Progress: "Stranger things have happened . . ."

This week, a peek at Silas Hatch, the bastard son of a lord and Chief Minister to the king.  In his early thirties, he was just old enough to get caught up in the civil war that raged before Shiloh's birth.  He is an expert in violent magic, and he will do anything to maintain the kingdom's peace.



Before Hatch and his men entered the village of Smoke Valley, there they were: a half-dozen charred skulls on pikes at the edge of the road leading down from the pass, a warning to outlaws to steer clear of the settlement. He squinted and held out a gloved hand as if feeling for heat. A muscle in his face twitched.

“Looks like they’re holding their own against the Feralfolk,” Perce observed. The men grunted with approval after they traced superstitious circles on their foreheads.

“She, not they. Magic killed them all,” Hatch countered grimly, before prodding his horse to continue past the macabre display. He heard retching behind him and turned to find Cyrus, the young priest sent to replace Edmun, vomiting into the brush.

Hatch shook his head. These high country folk are going to walk all over him. Let’s hope he doesn’t pass out the first time he sees one of them chop the head from a chicken.

“A little girl from the Teeth, all by her lonesome, killed six grown men?” Perce asked skeptically. “A girl who hasn’t even been to the Academy yet? Isn’t it more likely this Brother Edmun did them in?”

Hatch fixed his sharp eyes upon his companion. “That is possible, but as poor as his health has been these last years, I find it unlikely. The rumors all say the girl killed them. As to the child’s education, Brother Edmun was the finest professor at the Royal Academy for decades before the war started. He was the youngest headmaster ever appointed. She’ll know more walking through the door than most of our most gifted noblemen know when they finish their studies. You underestimate her at your peril.”

Perce held up his hands in surrender. “Yes, Uncle. It’s just . . . it’s a lot to believe. A hexborn kid that he found in the woods grows up and kills grown Feralfolk without even having a wand to use?”

“She might have used one of his. Stranger things have happened,” Hatch replied. “And my source in South Lake has proved reliable in the past. Evidently, the Feralfolk had just killed her father when the . . . incident . . . occurred. That is certainly plausible motivation.

“You’re not old enough to have been in the war. I saw grieving wizards slaughter entire companies of men after losing a beloved companion on the battlefield; some of them were barely older than this foundling. Power comes in unlikely packages, and rage can unlock any box you try to hide it in.”

“Where do you suppose she even came from?” Perce asked.

“There are a number of possibilities. She was born in the last days of the war. Many of the monks and nuns drafted into the fighting broke their vows in those days. Of those who bore children from such illicit unions, some abandoned or killed them in the hopes of hiding their guilt. Some ran off and became Feralfolk along with their offspring,” Silas explained patiently.

“It is fortunate that the girl was found by someone interested in proving his loyalty. Had she been raised a Feral, or spirited out of the country by the king’s enemies, she could have become a significant problem for the realm. A weapon like that, in hostile hands,” Silas concluded, “could be devastating.”

“Do you think she’ll come quietly, Uncle Silas?”

“I think the chances are good. Edmun claims that she is as devout and patriotic a lass as could be found anywhere. Even if that is an exaggeration, if she were not clever, Edmun would not have bothered with her. He never was an easy man to impress. I doubt he gentled with age,” Silas opined.

“And if she seems like a threat, once we have her in hand?” his nephew asked.

Silas turned his intimidating gaze upon Perce once again. “Then we shall fulfill our duty to kingdom and crown. Why do you suppose King Rischar sent me to handle this myself?”

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday Work-in-Progress: "The dust betrayed them . . ."

My first draft is complete, and I am getting feedback and working on revisions.  I'm very excited about sharing this new world I've created over the next weeks and months.  I love November and the gang; don't get me wrong.  But working with new characters and filling out the world I've built for them is tremendously enjoyable.  I hope you'll enjoy them, too!

Today, I've got an excerpt from the first chapter, just before my two point-of-view characters meet for the first time.  My protagonist, Shiloh, is a fifteen-year-old sorceress who has grown up in the poorest part of the kingdom of Bryn.  She is about to journey to court, to the Royal Academy of Mages, brought there by Silas Hatch, the king's ruthless fixer.  Silas is my second point-of-view character.  You'll have to read the book to find out if he turns out more friend than enemy, but I do warn you: this is not a romance.

I hope this excerpt entices you to want to know more.  Enjoy!

The dust betrayed them. At the end of a long, dry summer in the Teeth, the hooves of their horses stirred up a cloud that billowed like smoke as they traversed the pass. Shiloh made out a flash of blue that she reckoned must be Lord Blackmine's crest. The Lord of the Teeth's men flew a banner with a white horse on a blue field.

Not that we see it much, given his lordship’s lack of interest in defending his lands and his folk.

The spots of red up in front she supposed might be Silas Hatch's household livery: a golden hatchet on blood crimson.

At least the man embraces his infamy.

She’d been packed for weeks, waiting. She could have run. That is what Brother Edmun had urged her to do, from his deathbed . . . Edmun, who had put her in mortal peril long before he'd learned to love her like a daughter.

He had let Shiloh read all his letters to the City, the ones in which he’d begged the Hatchet to find a place for her at the Royal Academy. He had extolled Shiloh’s virtue and her gifts at length, hopeful that his favorite old pupil would have mercy on his beloved young one. But toward the end, Edmun’s fear for her safety had overcome his hopes for her future, and he'd urged the girl to fly away before Hatch’s men came stomping up their mountains.

She had considered it. As she'd wept into Edmun’s blankets after he'd finally breathed his last, she'd considered it. As she’d watched his wands crumble to dust as they died with him, she’d considered it. As she’d prepared him for burial, as she’d put him in the ground, as she had waited for weeks . . .

And, yet, here she stood, waiting patiently for an infamously ruthless stranger to spirit her away.

As she watched the cloud of dust move ever closer to her home, she considered her choice one last time. Her options were limited. No other village would ever accept a hexborn stranger, and a bastard foundling at that. Her own had only tolerated her because they’d feared to cross Edmun and her father, and because her skills had made her useful. She was surprised they hadn’t tried to drive her out of town since her men had died.

If not a village, then where? Living as a hermit in the woods lacked appeal, not least of which because her ill health turned every winter into mortal combat. Besides, the Feralfolk were not exactly fond of her. She would be easily caught if she ventured any further west, closer to the City. She had not the money to go abroad, to Estany.

Thus, she waited, and she hoped that all of her work, and all Edmun’s plotting, had not been in vain. She wondered how the soldiers would react if her village failed to produce her.

Not well, she thought.

It would serve them right.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Spotlight Author Tour: Jennifer Hinsman

I'm delighted to be hosting the current Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author, Jennifer Hinsmann.  Today she is treating us to a peek inside her mystery thriller, Angel of Death.

Excerpt from Chapter 4- Angel of Death:

Everyone sat in his or her usual spots at the huge dining table, and the chef served the first course, lobster bisque. This was followed by a tomato salad and a mint sorbet to cleanse the palette for the wine and Brie that was to come. Finally, the main course of duck with caramelized orange sauce, small roasted potatoes, and asparagus steamed to perfection, with a hint of garlic, was placed in front of each dinner guest and compliments to the chef went around. The family talked business and oil prices, and they also wanted to know about Miles and Stacy Lynn’s plans for children and how the landscaping was going on their new home. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits, but Audrey was rather quiet because of her nervous stomach.

Baron asked Audrey to tell everyone what she had been up to, and that seemed like a good time to bring up the dreaded subject of Chicago. She shrugged and talked about finishing her senior paper and studying for finals.

“There is a bit of other news I wanted to share with everyone.” Audrey couldn’t make eye contact with her parents so she looked at Jonathan instead; he smiled at her.

Liza’s face lit up, “Oh Audrey, I bet I know, please tell us you have finally picked a college. I have a feeling it is University of Texas or SMU.” She clapped her hands in excitement. “We spent so much time with applications and touring campuses, they are all really great and I have a favorite, but I did tell you it was your decision.”

“Well, I am glad to hear that you feel it is my decision. I am not really sure how to tell you all, but I plan to leave Texas for college.” She took a deep breath.

Miles spoke up, “You’re kidding, right? That’s funny little sis, seriously though, which did you pick?” His gaze was on her, as was everyone else’s.

“No, I am not kidding, actually. I’ve given it a lot of thought and I’m sure that I want to do this.” She looked at Miles as she spoke and saw Stacy Lynn gasp in surprise. “Don’t act so surprised, Stacy Lynn. It’s not like you know me, and really my decisions aren’t any of your business anyway.” She looked at Miles and he seemed a little hurt.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Audrey,” her father piped in at the end of the table, his tone was even, but she could tell he wasn’t happy about this. “You will stay in Texas, just as all of us have. The schools here are exceptional, so there is no reason to go out of Texas.” He took a sip of his wine.

“First, I’m sorry, Miles, I didn’t mean to snap at Stacy Lynn like that.” He nodded and she knew she was forgiven, at least by him, and that was all she cared about. “I have been accepted to Northwestern in Chicago. Mom and I have traveled there several times for shows and shopping. The city fits me and has so much to offer. I love the culture and diversity there. Plus, there are all four seasons there and I know Texas can’t offer me that.” She smiled, hoping that would lighten the mood in the room.

Her grandparents were very quiet, but Audrey guessed they knew it was Baron and Liza that would lay down the law.

“I don’t remember you saying anything about Chicago for school. When did you apply and why was it behind my back?” Liza glared at her daughter, feeling stupid in front of her in-laws and parents.

“Mom, I know, I knew you would fight me on it and not let me apply. Or dad would call a business friend to make sure my application was denied. I did this on my own and used my own money to pay the application fee.” Audrey took a sip of her water; her throat was suddenly feeling constricted and dry. “I accepted their offer a few months ago.” She looked down at her plate, but defiantly decided to look up at her parents to show confidence in her decision.

“That’s impossible, Audrey, your mother and I are paying for your college education and you may not move up to Chicago. End of story.” Her dad was using his business voice and expected to have Audrey follow whatever he demanded. “Now, after all this foolishness, who wants dessert?” Baron looked around at the quiet table.

Jonathan spoke, “Well, I’m always ready for dessert, but maybe you and mom could hear Audrey out, and look at all the things Northwestern has to offer.” Audrey cringed, knowing her father would probably take his comments out on him at the office.

“No one asked for your opinion, Jonathan,” Baron said with an edge to his voice. “Besides, you got your degree here in Texas, and you seemed very happy about that.”

“True, but Audrey and I are two different people. She’s the most independent of the three of us.” She could see that Miles nodded in agreement. Audrey really loved her brothers, but she didn’t want them to take the wrath for her.

“Look, Dad, Mom …” Audrey sighed. “The boys are not trying to go against you, they just love me and still see me as the littlest, the youngest, and the one they need to protect, so please don’t be mad at either of them. I really don’t think they have a side, so to speak, in this, they know I just want a chance at something different.”

“So, they’ve known this whole time and didn’t bother to let us know.” Liza waved her hand in the air and gestured toward them. “That’s great, all we do for you kids and then you go off keeping secrets like this. I won’t stand for this, Audrey, you are staying in Texas. We are not letting you make this monumental mistake!” With those words, she disappeared into the kitchen and they could all hear her telling the chef they were ready for dessert.

“Dad, they didn’t know anything, I swear. I wouldn’t make either of them keep a secret from you guys.” Jonathan had known for a few weeks, but she didn’t need to tell her parents that.

“Dessert will be served momentarily.” Liza walked back in, acting as if that uncomfortable conversation had never happened. “Who would like some coffee?” She held up a silver coffee pitcher and smiled.

Liza would have made a great actress, Audrey thought. She was beautiful, tall and thin, and she could always mask whatever she was really feeling to be the perfect hostess, business woman, volunteer or whatever she was doing at any particular moment. In a sense, Audrey admired her mother’s resolve, but this was a family discussion, so why did she have to be such a Stepford-wife at this time?

Audrey got up from the table and excused herself. She was too annoyed to be around her parents right now. Jonathan excused himself from the table a few minutes later to check on her.

* * *

Author Bio:

Jenny graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in business. She currently resides in Michigan with her husband, two sons, a furry son (pet dog) and a furry daughter (pet cat). Jenny is an avid reader and loves to escape with a great book. She is a huge animal lover and supports rescue organizations that help save all kinds of four-legged family members and more. All of her family pets have been rescues.

Twitter - @JennyHinsman1

Facebook - @SoulsANovel

Website -

Amazon -

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Hot Upcoming Release: For Sparrow by Pandora Spocks

The skilled and vivacious Pandora Spocks has a new release next week for those of you who like your romance novels a little dirty. For Sparrow is a sweet and spicy tale of a second chance at love for a young widow, who, naturally, happens to be into submission. Release day is October 3rd.

I had the pleasure of beta reading this novel, and I found it most enjoyable. Spocks is one of the strongest writers on the erotic romance scene. She is good at balancing plot and sex scenes, and she creates sympathetic characters you can't help rooting for. She manages make her stories both realistic and hopeful.

The pre-order price is only $0.99, so you should get it while the getting's good.

Here's the blurb:

When Jessi Crenshaw’s husband Graham dies unexpectedly, she’s devastated. He’s the only man she’s ever loved. Just eighteen when she met him, she’s been married to him for twenty-five years. Now she’s lost her friend, her lover…and her Dominant.

But as it turns out, Graham had an inkling that his health was in decline, and he tapped his friend and protégé in the Lifestyle, firefighter and paramedic Judd Farris, to be Jessi’s Dominant until she gets back on her feet.

Judd is determined to fulfill his promise to his friend. But it’s a damn odd arrangement—a platonic Dom/sub relationship. With her fiery auburn hair, sparkling green eyes, and audacious spirit, Jessi captured his attention the first time he ever saw her. At her husband’s funeral.

A man could go to hell for the things he’s been thinking. But they’ve drawn a line, and he’s going to stick to it.

Judd’s sexy good looks and his gentle confidence aren’t lost on Jessi. She’s torn between loyalty to the man she loved, and desire for the man increasingly in her fantasies. In the letter Graham left for her, he mentioned that she might find Judd attractive. But that’s simply ridiculous. He’s five years younger than she is. He couldn’t possibly be interested in her. Could he?

Judd’s a Dom without a sub, and Jessi’s a sub without a Dom. It’s perfect for the time being. Could it be that Graham had more in mind than merely a temporary solution?

And could it all end at the hands of a madman?

FOR SPARROW is a contemporary erotic romance novel with a light BDSM theme. It’s the third book in the Dream Dominant Collection.

And an excerpt for your reading pleasure:

Jessi’s hands shook. With her index finger, she traced the writing on the front of the envelope. She glanced out the back door to see Judd kick off his shoes and sit on the edge of the pool, sinking his feet in the water. Buddy flopped down beside him and rolled over, wanting his tummy scratched, and Judd obliged.

She turned her attention back to the envelope. Her irrational self told her that if she didn’t open it, somehow everything could go back to normal. But curiosity won the moment, and she slid her thumb under the flap and carefully opened the letter.

My dearest Sparrow,

I’m so sorry I’m not there with you. I can feel my heart beginning to wear out. Please don’t be angry with me for not telling you, I know how you worry about things. We’ve had a good life together. I’ve told you before and I’m telling you again, you are the best thing that ever happened to me. The fact that you are the mother of my children amazes the hell out of me. What did I ever do to deserve such a terrific family?

Jessi reached up to wipe a silent tear from her cheek. Self-consciously, she flicked her eyes out to the pool deck to find that Judd was watching her intently, and he flashed a sympathetic smile. Sniffing, she read on.

It would be pointless, I suppose, to tell you not to mourn. Just don’t do it too long. And don’t you dare wear black. God, I hate all that maudlin bullshit. Now Sparrow, you and I know that you are a natural submissive. I don’t want you to feel lost without a Dominant in your life. I want you to find one, a true Gentleman who will cherish you in the way you deserve. One who will nurture the sexy, sensual woman you truly are. Don’t you go back to some kind of vanilla half-existence. That would really piss me off.

Tears still streaming, she laughed because she could almost hear Graham’s voice.

If you have this letter, you’ve met Judd. I’ve known him for several years now, and he’s a solid Dominant. I’ve asked him to check in on you and to take care of some things around the house. I’ve also asked him to help you out until you find a Dominant of your own. Judd is willing to give you knee time, Sparrow, to help you settle your mind and find peace. I don’t mean sex and kink. He would be a sort of ‘emotional Dominant,’ just until you get back on your feet.

On the other hand, if you found yourself attracted to Judd, it would make me happy knowing that you’d be in good hands. He’s a good man, Jessi, a gentle man and a Gentleman. He would be a perfect sexual Dominant for you. I worry thinking about the dangers out there, Sparrow. You and Judd could make your own way.

Mortified, Jessi glanced out the back door. Thankfully, Judd was staring out across the pool. “I can’t believe you’re telling me these things,” she murmured to herself.

Anyway, I trust you, Sparrow. You’re smart and strong, and I’m so proud of you. Never forget that you are absolutely the love of my life. I’m forever grateful to you for taking my hard, stuffy heart and helping me to be a better man than I ever dreamed about being. Be sure the kids know how much I love them. I love you, my Sparrow, with all my heart. Live happy. Find love and cherish it.

Your loving husband and Master, G.

Jessi was completely undone. Sobbing, she folded her arms on the counter and rested her head on them. She cried until she felt she had no tears left. Moments passed and she raised her head. It hurt and her eyes felt puffy. With a glance at Judd and Buddy still sitting by the pool, she went into the powder room and splashed water on her face.

Taking a deep breath, she forced her feet out the back door and across the pool deck. Judd smiled up at her kindly. “How are you holding up?”

Jessi shrugged as she stepped out of her sandals and sat beside him, slipping her feet into the cool water. They sat without speaking, each gently sliding feet through the water, watching the ripples cross the pool and return to them. Judd moved his foot under her leg and raised her foot to the surface. The fuchsia nail polish was chipped and peeling.

“How long since you had a pedicure, Jessi?” he asked gently.

She moved her foot away and looked at him sharply. “What exactly did your letter say, Judd?”

He exhaled forcefully. “Like I said, he was worried about you. He said that you’re submissive and that you might need somebody in your life until you find your way.” He glanced at her knowingly. “When was the last time your mind was quiet, little one?”

A tear slid down Jessi’s cheek and she swiped at it roughly. “So, you’re my appointed Dominant, is that it?” she asked testily.

“It’s not like that.” Judd looked at her steadily. “Graham and I were friends. We talked about Dominance and submission for hours over the years. He trusted me. Trusted me with the one thing that meant the most to him in the world.”

He paused, gazing at her thoughtfully. “He didn’t want you to run into the wrong kind of man while you’re looking to ease your mind, to fill that emptiness that I see in your eyes.” Jessi stubbornly looked away and swiped at her cheek again.

“You know, it’s entirely up to you. I’m going to complete the list of things around your house. I promised him I would. But whether you accept me as a surrogate Dominant? Only you can decide that.”

He ran a frustrated hand through his hair. “You miss knee time, I know you do,” he said softly. “A chance to just let go of all the concerns that weigh you down.” Jessi turned back to look at him, her expression softer. “I’m not talking about kinky sex, tying you up and all that. I’m offering you a chance to clear your mind of everything, let me carry your burdens for a while.”

“Why? Why would you do that?” Her voice was strained.

Judd shrugged. “I’m Dominant. It’s what I crave, to be needed, to take care of a submissive.” He laughed lightly. “I’m a Dominant without a submissive, and you’re a submissive without a Dominant. For the time being, it works out well.”

He gazed at her steadily, kindness in his brown eyes. “Just say the word. Do you want knee time, little one?”

Another tear rolled down her cheek. And she nodded. “Yes,” she whispered. “I want knee time.”

He smiled patiently. “Yes, what, little one?”

“Yes, Master.”

Judd shook his head. “I’m not your Master, little one. Yes, Sir will do.”

Unconsciously, Jessi bowed her head submissively. “Yes, Sir, may I please have knee time?”

“Yes, you may,” he responded gently. “There is a big leather chair in your den. Be kneeling beside the chair in two minutes. Your eyes will be closed and you will clear your mind. Do you understand, little one?”

“Yes, Sir.” Jessi stood and started to walk away, but then turned and looked at him anxiously. “My clothes, Sir?”

“Your clothes are fine the way they are,” he answered. “Hurry. I’ll come to you shortly.”

“Yes, Sir,” she said, and she hurried into the house.

You can find out more about Pandora Spocks in the following places:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hosting Stephen Geez

It's my pleasure today to be hosting fellow author Stephen Geez.  He's promoting his thriller, Fantasy Patch, available on Amazon.

Stephen Geez is a retired businessman, television producer, and music composer/producer who writes novels, essay collections, all manner of shorts, and industrial scripts. With University of Michigan bachelors and masters degrees including English Language & Literature, he’s a maven of language mechanics and literary styles who argues that any message is more compelling if told like a story.

A media thriller by Stephen Geez
Snippet from Chapter 3

What I’m picturing is a nice guy in his mid-thirties, blond hair, average build, devilish good looks, a twinkle in his eye―okay, it’s me, but what I don’t want to imagine is how I’d look standing in a long line at the unemployment office, dark circles under my eyes, my face the picture of dispirited resignation . . .
Let’s try it this way: have me standing confidently beside my lawyer, Super-Cyn SiCauge, barracuda in a power-suit, champion of the downtrodden, righter of corporate wrongs, and she’s suing the socks off those Kehoe/Lundy bastards for wrongful discharge. The jury is awarding me all the corporate assets, the company now mine, mine! Mine!
Okay, let’s bring it down a notch. Picture me updating my résumé, dazzling all the competing agencies, landing the power position, then swooping back to steal away Kehoe’s most lucrative clients!
Okay, forget the pictures. Right now as I carry my office accoutrements to the parking lot, what I really see is the hard reality of a young single mother sitting in a beat-up blue compact, face buried in her hands, and she’s crying.
The Kehoe/Lundy security guard doesn’t notice. “You guys always do better when it’s time to move on,” he reassures me while helping load the last box into the back of my jet-black Cadillac. Stepping back, he fidgets uncomfortably. “You’ll do all right.”
“You, too, Tommy.” I lean close, glancing about furtively, then whisper, “And I’ll give you a big raise when I come back and take over this place.”
He grins. “I just bet you would, sir.” He tips his hat and wanders back inside.
I head toward Melissa’s car.

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Comment from Stephen Geez

Please follow and do something nice for the fine blogger hosting us. Today is Day 3 of my 4 Wills Publishing blog tour to tout Fantasy Patch, my media thriller. The snippet above shows how my narrator, Creative Director Dante Roenik, tends to ruminate visually. Sure, it’s a good way to sneak in some exposition, but when problem-solving needs thinking “outside the box,” it’s handy to have a protagonist who lives out there. So, that begs for first-person narration; let him tell the story his way. Present tense, I sort of kept winding up there when I mentally rehearsed scenes. Dante changes too much to let him have past-tense knowledge of future events. Then he would have to tell the story quite differently. Fantasy Patch is my only novel with either first-person narrative or present tense. You get both for the price of one. That could matter only for gifts, though, if you win your own from this tour. Thanks for visiting.

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"This tour sponsored by"