Monday, May 16, 2011

Press Release: Bestselling Independent Author M. R. Mathias Releases Kings, Queens, Heroes, and Fools

International bestselling independent author M. R. Mathias is proud to announce the upcoming release of the second installment of his Wardstone Trilogy: Kings, Queens, Heroes, & Fools. The ebook version will be available for download in late June 2011 with an official release date of July 4th 2011. Mathias chose this date to celebrate the freedom his writing has brought him.

Mathias’ is a great story says W.R. Potter, founder of the Independent Authors Network. From writing huge epic novels while in prison for drug abuse, to the top of the Amazon fantasy bestsellers lists worldwide. Not only is he an inspiration for rehabilitation, he has shown thousands of Independent Authors that with self publishing, anything is possible.

Book one of The Wardstone Trilogy: The Sword and the Dragon was released less than a year ago and is still at the top of ebook bestseller charts across the board. The third and final novel of the trilogy: The Wizard and the Warlord, is scheduled for release in 2012. Mathias is also the author of the bestselling fantasy series: The Saga of the Dragoneers, as well as the paranormal horror/thriller The Butcher’s Boy that was released in 2010 under the pen name Michael Robb.

The cover of Kings, Queens, Heroes, & Fools was made by GVX Grafix featuring the original artwork of Sandara Tang (sandara.deviantart.com)

“The artwork is perfect,” said the author. “The woman on the dragon is Shaella, the Dragon Queen. I wanted it the second I saw the work. Then when Gary from GVX finished turning the piece into a cover I was just amazed.”

M.R. Mathias has been clean and free since his release three years ago, and he has every intention of staying that way. He says, “Writing was my salvation. I was in maximum security for a while, because I got into a few fights. I was in a modern day dungeon cell 23 hours a day, everyday. Every word, on every page, of The Wardstone Trilogy was a moment of freedom for me.”

For interviews, ARCs, and publicity queries please contact: michael@mrmathias.com

The Wardstone Trilogy’s official webpage: http://www.mrmathias.com

Follow the author on twitter @DahgMahn

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Docks by VH Folland (Sample Sunday)

A sample from "The Docks", the novella I've been working on. Originally planned as a short story it outgrew the magazine it was intended for so, with the help of my publisher, it will be available on Smashwords. Rather than another sample from Fire Season or Arrival, for this week's Sample Sunday, I thought I'd use something new.

Sample: The Docks

Bob had told me we were going to sink the ship, but what he hadn't mentioned was that it wouldn't be empty when we did it. My jaw dropped in horror as I saw the arm, smashing out the cabin window, black against the flames behind it as it fumbled for the door handle on the outside to escape the inferno. Fumbled at the door that Bob had blocked.

"Good night's work, eh?" As he clapped me on the shoulder, I looked at him, wordless. "Hey, don't look like that. A few corpses always helps them think it was an accident."

"Bob, I — Insurance is one thing, but this —" I choked, staring out of the office window, down towards the ship. In front of me the hand was still reaching, the arm flailing, but more weakly. I could see the first tongues of flame licking down the sleeve.

"What?" He looked at me scornfully. "Don't go soft on me now. Remember, you're in this up to your neck." He turned his back to look at the ship and smiled. He was still smiling when the crowbar hit him, his skull shattering like an egg and he went down. To make sure, I hit him again and from the shape of his head I knew he wouldn't be getting up. He should have remembered what I'd done time for when he recruited me.

The boat was still burning, and I knew I had to get across there. I ran out of the dockers' office where we had met, metal burning my hands as I slid down the ladder towards the quayside. The explosives would scuttle her in ten minutes unless they could be removed, placed carefully to look like an explosion as the fuel tanks overheated. With the gangway removed — Bob had said to prevent casualties, now I knew he had lied — getting on board would be difficult. I swung myself onto one of the huge docking chains, pulling myself up. Slick, oil-soaked, the climb was difficult. Twice I slipped, saw my legs dangling over the dark gap between the ship and the quayside where the sea boiled and churned, and then I was against the side of the ship, the raised hull too far above to climb. Locking my legs around the chain I released my grip, fumbling for the grappling hook I had used to get on board earlier. One quick cast and it was over the side, hooked on something. I tugged it as hard as I dared and it moved. Slack pulled in in coils until suddenly the line caught and held. I couldn't see what it was caught on, but it held against my tugs, and carefully, reluctantly I put my weight on it, climbing up until I was standing on the chain. It held. No more delays.

Hand over hand I could climb the rope easily, the knots giving me all the purchase I needed. Seconds later I was swinging my legs over the side, and then as I came to my feet, running for the door. Now I was close enough to hear the screams, feel the heat that was beginning to seep through the deck. No time to check the time. I kept running, ducking under the window, feeling the heat of flames on my back and yanking away the fire axe Bob had used to block the door.

The full novella will be on Smashwords. View my profile here: VH Folland on Smashwords

IAN Member page

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fighting the Devil - A True Story of Consuming Passion, Deadly Poison, and Murder by Jeannie Walker


Jeannie Walker is the "Featured Author" at The Independent Author Network



A Texas millionaire rancher discovered his wife and bookkeeper had stolen thousands of dollars from him. After he demanded the money back, he started getting sick. While in the hospital, doctors were mystified as to how an otherwise healthy, energetic man could become so deathly ill. The dying man told everyone within earshot that his wife and bookkeeper were killing him. The man's wife said her husband was hallucinating from drugs the doctors were giving him. The millionaire rancher succumbed in the hospital while strapped down to his bed with restraints on his hands and feet and tubes in every orifice. After the rancher died, an anonymous caller tipped off the police. The widow was the sole beneficiary of the estate and a $350,000 life insurance policy. A week before the man's death, a teenager visited the rancher's home and became deathly ill after he drank juice that was in the rancher's refrigerator. Two years after the millionaire's death, a bottle of arsenic was found in a storage locker rented by a woman under an assumed name. The millionaire's ex-wife, the mother of his children, became a sleuth to help solve the murder. No one could have predicted the aftermath with its strange twists and unexpected results.

Fighting the Devil is a ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year 2010 True Crime Finalist and a Reader's Choice.

A Sample

In the midst of Texas ranch country, on a peaceful spring day in 1990, a 49-year-old millionaire rancher sat down to lunch with his wife and bookkeeper, as he often did. Less than half an hour later, he was deathly ill, with stomach pains, severe vomiting and intense intestinal distress. Three weeks later, he was dead from a mysterious illness. His wife seemed to show no emotion when she learned of his death. However, his bookkeeper became very nervous and upset upon hearing the news, and ran through the hospital corridor to the elevator.

The Texas millionaire rancher discovered his wife and bookkeeper had stolen thousands of dollars from him, he demanded the money back by Memorial Day, or else. Instead of getting his money back, the millionaire became very sick from some mysterious illness and was hospitalized, within a few weeks he was dead.

Doctors were mystified as to what had caused this otherwise healthy forty-nine-year-old man to become so deathly ill. The rancher did not smoke or drink and exercised daily. On the rancher's last stay in the hospital toxicology tests showed 4,895 mcg of arsenic in his system. Even while he was a patient in the hospital the arsenic level in the rancher’s system continued to climb. The dying man told his friends and everyone within earshot that his wife and bookkeeper were killing him. The man's wife said her husband was hallucinating from the drugs the doctors were giving him. The millionaire rancher became a virtual prisoner when hospital personnel strapped him down to his hospital bed with restraints on his hands and feet. The man's wife and bookkeeper were constantly at the hospital and at his bedside, keeping visitors at bay. In the last days of his life, the millionaire would scream out that the two women were killing him and beg for someone to help him. On June 12, 1990, the rancher died a horrific and very painful death while still strapped down to the hospital bed with leather restraints on his hands and feet and tubes in every orifice. Immediately after the rancher's death, a doctor called the police anonymously to report the arsenic poisoning death. An autopsy later proved the rancher died from extreme arsenic poisoning. The Death Certificate read: Patient was given arsenic over a period of time until lethal amounts finally killed him.

The widow was the sole beneficiary on his $350,000 Life Insurance Policy and his Estate.

Jeannie Walker is a freelance writer and award winning songwriter. She studied creative writing in New York and Connecticut and is a member of the International Association of Writers. She is an avid reader of mystery novels and the ex-wife of a murdered man. She resides in Texas.

Jeannie Walker @ IAN

Friday, May 6, 2011

Book Review: Erich’s Plea: Book One of the Witchcraft Wars by Tracey Alley

PictureErich’s Plea: Book One of the Witchcraft Wars – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘Two months ago he had arrived at Ostland’s Zeaburg prison complex and been taken to this subterranean dungeon with its smooth stone walls, mazes of corridors, little or no lighting and the constant smell of death, blood, waste and decay in his nostrils. He had been alternately beaten and tortured for hours on a daily basis. His own screams blending with the cries, screams and moans of the other, unseen, sufferers in Zeaburg’s nightmarish torture chambers. The horrors here were so great that even the rats eschewed Zeaburg, although the fleas showed no similar scruples and were an additional constant torment. His body was covered head to toe with tiny bites from the multitudes of the awful creatures. Slade would not have believed it was possible for a place like Zeaburg prison to exist if he had not seen it with his own eyes. It well deserved its evil reputation. Zeaburg also had a reputation for being inescapable; no one, in all its long history had ever escaped from its confines, except in death. Slade had never believed half the rumors that had surrounded Zeaburg before, now he saw clearly they were all true and worse. He also knew why so many of those imprisoned here died and, it was said, were glad to, death being preferable to daily life in Zeaburg.’

Einreich Gudmundson is the second son of the High King Erich. Much to the disappointment of his father, he has renounced his life as the Crown Prince of Vestland and now calls himself Slade. He will now be a member of the druids of the Sacred Grove, dedicating his life to serve Freyita. That was all before he was captured and taken to Ostland’s Zeaburg Prison. His committed crimes are still a mystery to Slade but the punishment is completely real. Only when he sleeps is he able to find peace from the pain of the beatings he has endured in his two months of imprisonment but even sleep becomes disturbed by the dreams of his father begging for his help.

How can Slade possibly help his father the king while stuck in this hole of hell? He can only try to keep his mind as clear as possible and practice the training taught to him by the warrior-monks of the Black Lotus and pray for some form of help along the way. And help does come in the form of a being that calls himself ‘Trunk.’ In his dreams his father told him to follow the trunk and Slade is sure this is who he was referring to. So with the help of this larger than life ‘trunk’ as well as help from a few other unlikely allies, Slade finds himself attempting the impossible…an escape from the inescapable prison of Zeaburg.

This book is full of mystery, suspense, witchcraft, magic, dishonesty, espionage…I could go on and on. The characters are colorful not only in appearance but also in character. Author Tracey Alley has written a very enjoyable book and I really hope that Erich’s Plea: Book Two is just around the corner for me to read. I’ve gotten into the story and characters and can’t wait to see what will happen to them next.

315 pages
2010

Available in Print and Kindle at Amazon.com