Tag Archives: books

A Guest Post and a New Book by Allie Potts!

THE TOP 5 DANGERS OF BEING A WRITER by Allie Potts

1. Government Watch Lists: The Watch & Wand is set in a post-apocalyptic world where all but the most basic technology is outlawed. As a result, my search history includes all sorts of doomsday prepper supplies and survivalist techniques. Combined with the fact that I also write mysteries which require me to research various ways to kill people off while making it appear as a natural occurrence, it is a wonder I haven’t already had a visit by a government agent.

2. Split Personalities: Before I started writing I would nervously cross the street if I heard someone engaging in a two sided conversation with no one else present. Now, after catching myself trading barbs with myself out loud, I have to wonder if those other people simply were trying to work out the dialogue of a problematic scene.

3. Stunted Growth: This was not a concern of mine as I stopped growing upward sometime in the sixth grade, but for others you have to seriously wonder how much taller they might have been had it not been for the volume of caffeine the typical writer consumes.

4. Other Addictions: Look to most any writer’s bookshelf. A sandwich dressed by both mayonnaise and mustard might be considered an extravagant expense some weeks on a writer’s income, and yet an e-reader’s memories are filled and shelves sag as more books get added to the ever growing To Be Read list, rationalized as ‘research.’

5. Uncontrollable lies: Speaking of that To Be Read list, let’s go to the numbers. The average person reads at a speed of 200 words per minute. A book is considering a novel at 50,000, but some genre’s go far longer. Epic fantasy for example is often between 100,000 and 200,000. So let’s use then 80,000 words as a reference. This means that reading a book from end to end should take a typical reader 400 minutes or 6.67 hours.

As pesky things like sleep, family, and other jobs tend to get in the way of quality reading time the size of the To Be Read list rapidly outgrows available time and yet we can’t help ourselves from adding to it.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are other lies we tell ourselves:

  • We’ll never be good enough
  • We’re the best writer out there
  • No one will read it
  • It will be an instant best-seller
  • The one negative review among the twenty positive ones was the only honest review
  • the one negative review offering constructive criticism was written by a troll who obviously knows nothing as we are perfect

Choosing to be a writer is a dangerous path, but one I’ve never regretted taking.

Allie Potts is the author of The Fair & Foul and The Watch & Wand, books one and two of the Project Gene Assist series. Set in a not too distant future, the books take place at a time when science meets magic and biology merges with technology, while tackling what it means to be human.

Additionally, she is the author of An Uncertain Faith, a Rocky Row Novel, a cozy mystery/women’s literature story written for those who find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place.

When not finding ways to squeeze in 72 hours into a 24 day or chasing after children determined to turn her hair gray before its time, Allie enjoys stories of all kinds. Her favorites, whether they are novels, film, or simply shared aloud with friends, are usually accompanied with a glass of wine or cup of coffee in hand.

A self-professed science geek and book nerd, Allie writes everyday style stories, flash fiction, tips and tricks, and the occasional not-a-review review at www.alliepottswrites.com

Book links include:

Social Media Links

Allie’s new book, The Watch & Wand launches Tuesday but is already available for pre-order on Amazon. Go check it out! Have a great Sunday! ~Phil

 

New Books and FREE Books from Amber Cove Pub!

To celebrate today’s new releases of Villains Pride by M.K. Gibson and Esoterrorism by C.T. Phipps, Amber Cove Publishing is offering a bunch of Kindle books for free, today through Sunday!

If you’ve got a Kindle and want to load up on a bunch a great books for free, today is your day! My publisher, Amber Cove Publishing has all the books below for free. Grab a few and try them out. You just might find your new favorite author.

Time to Lie by Phil Taylor: Yes, it’s my book. It’s a humorous, time travel coming of age story. The reviews have been great so far! Get it free on your Kindle today!

Villains Rule by M.K. Gibson: Villains Rule is a fantasy action comedy about Jackson Blackwell, the Shadow Master and top villain adviser. Sadly, even the top villain occasionally gets double-crossed. Trapped in one of the fantasy realms, Jackson uses his skill and wits to exploit rules, undermine godly authority, and win the day. Get this for free today and then grab the sequel Villains Pride!

The Eighth Day by Michael O’Neal: Jay is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Kathy and the rest of their friends seem to be the only ones who believe in his innocence. Risking her future, she sets out to clear him at any cost. She rapidly discovers that cost might be their lives. As they dig deeper, they uncover the shocking truth about the sudden explosion of violence and paranoia around their sleepy little town, and the strange light that streaked across the night sky…

To Beat The Devil by M.K. Gibson: Cyberpunk at it’s best! I read this one and loved it. You can read my interview with the author HERE

Prime Suspects by Jim Bernheimer: A Clone Detective Mystery by Jim Bernheimer – A science fiction police mystery in the vein of Blade Runner!

Horror, Humor, and Heroes Vol. 4 by Jim Bernheimer: If you enjoy Jim’s D-List Universe, here’s your opportunity to get the new Hillbilly Bobby novella!

Have a great Friday and a great weekend! ~Phil

Book and Author Feature: Sarah by Teri Polen

Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

Looking for a Halloween read?  Sarah is only $2.99 through the month of October!

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Teri-Polen-ebook/dp/B01NBIFRF4/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1485561261&sr=8-1&keywords=sarah+teri+polen

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sarah-teri-polen/1125171739?ean=9781612967912

Black Rose Writing:  http://www.blackrosewriting.com/childrens-booksya/sarah

If you like spooky reads, go visit Teri’s blog, teripolen.com, everyday in October when as part of her Bad Moon Rising promotion she is featuring a different author and spooky book each day!

Have a great Friday! ~Phil

The Perfect Weekend Beach Read

With summer upon us many of you are going to the beach or just relaxing outside. In case you only access The Phil Factor from your phone, I know you’d hate to miss all the spectacular content in my sidebars. One piece of this incredible sidebar content is my books. Yes, some of you may not even be aware that I’ve written a few books. Nothing serious, just some fun, suspenseful weekend beach read type books that are available as e-books or in paperback.

A group of friends with a penchant for goofy nicknames return to their hometown for a funeral and what had been a pleasant, albeit melancholy, reunion quickly escalates into a fight for their lives with an enemy they didn’t know they had. Putting up with each others quirks with good humor they must unravel a mystery that may have started thirty years ago. They unwittingly stumble and fumble their way into a life or death showdown that could kill them all. The question is not whether they will survive the bad guys, but will they survive each other? One reader likened the characters to “the kids from Stephen King’s classic ‘Stand By Me’ but grown up and on crack.” (No one does drugs in the story. I think she was referring to the humor in the novel)

The e-book is only $2.99 and is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and all the other e-book outlets. It’s also available in paperback for $8.23 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Have a great Friday! ~Phil

Indie Author Dr. Meg Sorick!

Dr. Meg Sorick is also an author. Or is it that Author Meg Sorick is also a doctor? When she’s not straightening out her characters lives on the pages of her books, she’s straightening out spines in her office. When she’s not doing either of those things, she’s commenting on my blog. Over the past year and a half, since she and I started following each other, I don’t think I’ve written a blog post she hasn’t commented on. Because of that, I am far overdue in featuring her here on my blog.

Here’a synopsis or her Buck’s County series: What DO I write about? Ordinary people with families, people who fall in love and sometimes find themselves in outrageous circumstances. Add some suspense, humor, family dynamics and good conversation and voila! These ideas have coalesced into a series of romantic suspense novels set in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where I live. The first four are currently available here on Amazon and a fifth is on the way. Stay tuned!

In addition to writing books, Meg is also an accomplished poetess and artist. Her blog is always an interesting read because you never know what you’re going to get. One day it’s photographs, another poems, the next some great pencil drawings and after that there might be beautiful poetry, or a preview of her next book.

What I like about her books is that each is focused on a different character, but since they all live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the characters cross paths in each others stories sometimes. For me, I always love when an author can weave a web like that, and Meg does it well.

I’ve shown her books in order here, but you’d better hurry up and read them because she’s got book no. 5 in the Bucks County series, Breaking Bread, coming out soon! Go check out her blog and her books. You won’t be disappointed! Have a great Friday! ~Phil

 

Indie Author John Howell!

Heeer’es Johnny! John Howell has long been one of my favorite blogging friends and I’ve been terribly negligent in supporting him as an author. This week with the re-release and .99 cent sale of the first novel in his trilogy, I thought I’d start a new weekly feature on Fridays with authors I know and like. John has recently re-released his first novel in the trilogy for an astounding .99 cents on Amazon. From John, here’s a taste of what you’ll be getting in his story:

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John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the attractive young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

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The characters from My GRL continue to His Revenge and on to Our Justice. In His Revenge, John seeks to atone the killing of Gerry Starnes, the woman who sold him My GRL. The action moves from Port Aransas to California and on to Ecuador. His enemy Matt Jacobs has a twisted idea that John would make an excellent spokesperson for the terrorist group. He figures out a way to get John to cooperate on a plan that is designed to embarrass the President and wreak havoc on the oil industry. John must pretend to go along hoping he can create a way to get revenge. The question remains who will get the revenge?

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Our Justice is the final story in the trilogy. John has been keen on bringing Matt Jacobs to justice. Matt has been keen on getting John to help him in a plot to assassinate the President. He plans to use John’s hero status to get close to the President to do his duty work. Both Matt and John feel their cause is right and both want justice extracted in their favor. We must see who in fact achieves Justice, Matt, John or neither.

For .99 cents, pick up the first book in the trilogy! Who knows, you may just find your new favorite author. You may also find your new favorite blogger if you visit john’s blog. He’s always a fun read. Have a great Friday! ~Phil

 

Top Ten Tuesday! The Ten Best Books I’ve Ever Read. What Are Yours?

Like the title says, these are the ten best books that have ever read. They’re my favorites. Yours may be different. In fact, I’m hoping they are. Either in the comments or, in your own blog post with a link back, I’d like you to share some of your favorite books so that we can all maybe find a new favorite book or author from each other. Of course I won’t shamelessly plug my own books by putting them on my list, but if you want to, I won’t argue.

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10. The Vampire LeStat: by Anne Rice. Unbeknownst to most people (you know it’s serious when I use big words like unbeknownst) it wasn’t Stephanie Meyer who invented the vampire genre, but Anne Rice about fifteen years earlier. LeStat, referred to as the Brat Prince, is such a fun character you’ll want to become one of the undead just to hang out with him for eternity.

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9. The Da Vinci Code: by Dan Brown. The first in the series was easily the best. Don’t watch the movie because Tom Hanks stars in it with a ridiculously bad hairdo, but read the book.

8. How to Succeed in Evil: by Patrick E. McLean. Edwin Windsor is an Evil Efficiency Expert who contacts out his services to help supervillains be more villanous. Hilarious!  You end up rooting for evil!

7. Bite Me: by Christopher Moore, award winning, New York Times bestselling author who I interviewed for The Phil Factor about three years ago. Spoiler alert: This won’t be his only book on the list. Trust me on Christopher Moore. You’ll want to read so many of his books. Bite Me skewers the vampire genre with brilliant sarcasm.

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6. Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys: by Pulitzer Prize winning Dave Barry, whom I interviewed for The Phil Factor in 2013. If you’re a woman, you’ll laugh as you read countless hilarious examples of the idiocy of men. If you’re a guy you”l see yourself in so many of the true stories.

5. 11/22/63: by Stephen King. I hope you didn’t watch the Hulu miniseries. They took some liberties with the plot that I didn’t think were necessary and detracted from the story. Read the book. It’s a surprising love story.

4. Good Omens: by Neil Gaimans and Terry Pratchett. Read. Laugh. Thank me later. Both authors are cherished titans of English literature, and their other solo works are brilliantly funny. Together they don’t disappoint.

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3. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: by Douglas Adams. This book is a literary classic. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT watch the movie. Read the book. Your cultural education cannot be considered complete until you’ve read this book.

2. A Dirty Job: by Christopher Moore. Being the Grim Reaper is a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. Hilarity galore. If you enjoy the absurdity of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, then you’ll also love Christopher Moore.

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1. Odd Thomas: by Dean Koontz. In general I consider Dean Koontz to be Stephen King lite, but Odd Thomas is his signature character. I read books from a first person point of view. I become the protagonist when I read. Some characters fit in my head better than others. Odd Thomas fit me like a glove. For me, he was one of those characters where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be him or have him as my best friend. I read the first Odd Thomas novel at least a decade ago and was disappointed earlier this year when, after 16 novels, the series came to an end.
Those are my top ten. What are yours? Answer in the comments or create a post and link back so we can all find a few more good reads.

Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil