Saturday, April 19, 2008


AUTHOR: N. D. Hansen-Hill
GENRE: Fantasy/Time Travel
PUBLISHER: Cerridwen Press
ISBN: 978-1-60202-061-0

BLURB: Shawn Walsh's problems don't arise from his own troubled past but from someone else's. Fires, floods, battles, bone-rattling quakes — he's frequently an unwilling and horrified participant in events long gone. For when The Hollowing claims him, his present dissolves.

Unfortunately, his problems have everything to do with family and his rather questionable heritage — with a birthright he'd rather know nothing about. Lost and tossed about by destiny, trapped and extorted by those long deceased, he's tired of playing a victim.

And he refuses to give up hope. There is still a chance he'll be able to resolve his issues without dying, given the right place… And enough time.


AUTHOR WEBSITES: N. D. Hansen-Hill Melody Knight


Open the door.

But he couldn’t. His arm was rigid, his fingers clenched.

And he couldn’t make himself touch the knob.

Safe. Stay where you’re safe…

There was something waiting for him on the stairs. His impression of darkness—of The Hollowing—hadn’t been exaggerated. He stood there, shaking, and listened. Beyond the wooden partition the thick silence was giving way.

Breaking down the barriers.

Little whispers, small thuds, soft rustling cascades of movement.

Rats. Only rats.

Thuds and thunks. Rattles and clatters. And then a sound Shawn couldn’t attribute to anything else—the squeak and echo of a heavy tread on wood.

Someone was ascending the stairs.

Shawn was holding his breath so he could listen. He didn’t even realize it until his heart started throbbing in his ears. He stood there stiffly and listened to it coming.

The door’s unlocked. An invitation if ever there was one.

The knob was ice-cold beneath his fingers. The chill spread up his arm but he didn’t let it sway him. He squinted his eyes and yanked open the door.

The noise swept through him, carrying with it a rancid stink and a flurry of movement. He couldn’t see anything but darkness and there was noise all around him.

It was a fire. The crackling flames leapt up, roaring, popping, hissing. Screaming sizzles, mini explosions, whines of venting gas.

And then it was merely screams. Shouts that escalated to howls and shrieks. Terror. That’s what this was—terror. Old emotions, dredged up and waiting. The stink of must mingled with the rancid odor of burning hair. Shawn dropped to his knees, sick and sweating.

He fell down the stairs, hitting the landing with a gigantic crash. He couldn’t hear it though—couldn’t hear anything over the cacophony in his ears. In a half roll, half dive he splatted to the bottom floor and crawled, then pushed himself to his feet and staggered for the outer door.

It was closed. Locked. He yanked on the knob, fumbled with the lock but it wouldn’t give. He couldn’t get the hinges loose on the door. The pins were as tight as the lock. No way out.

He ran to the window and slammed the glass with a chair. Glass gave, bars didn’t. He rattled and shook and pounded.


He yanked out his cell phone. It was dead.

Like me.

Around him the air seethed. It was transmitting itself to the furnishings. Chairs scraped, dust spiraled, papers flew.

Shawn barely noticed over the smoke pouring into his eyes.

There was only one way out. The upstairs room with its cool moonlight and empty spaces. Shawn flattened his hands over his ears, squinted his eyes and headed for the steps. His flesh was burning as he crawled, clambered and wriggled up the stairs.

At the top he slammed back the door and dove…

Onto a pyre of flame.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Of Dragons, Honor Due, Networking, News

Free ClipartNews & Networking

It's been a busy week as usual. Of Dragons was released by Red Rose last Thursday, and it's been full on ever since. I have to admit I've learned a fair bit about promotion this week, and networking with other authors and author sites. Some of the romance sites, like Simply Romance , are extremely generous with both their time and their space. I finished the first round of edits on Gray Beginnings, and will be hastily contriving a suitable blurb. The edits for GlassWorks should be in the Inbox shortly, too. In a few minutes I'll be posting on Tales of the Trade. My blog post is due there today.

WIP & Other Things: Only a thousand words added this week to my "Nocturne Bites" effort, but I did submit a blurb for Art & Soul to the open call at Nocturne. This is a quick in effort, with decisions being made by April 16th. I love these mini subs and competitions because they spur me on either to try new genres or venues or to finish what I began months ago. The Nocturne "call" only lasts until the 8th, I believe, so it's time for a quick decision if you're a paranormal pennist.

A new, and quite exciting, Yahoo loop opened this week called "Paranormal Monday". Enthusiasm by authors, with excerpts being greeted enthusiastically by readers.

Oh, wrote an interesting poem this week entitled, "Fragile". I'm in the finals for the Editors' Choice competition, and to qualify, I needed another poem. It was the second poem for the week—the first being the one for Gray Beginnings. I was waxing poetic all over the place, LOL!

Authors of Note: Today's Author of Note/Publishing-Promotional Guru of Note is Jean Lauzier. Here's the info for Honor Due, from author D. H. Brown.  D. H.'s website is, and Jean is giving away away the rest of chapter one to anyone who requests it. 


The excerpt, of course:


Chapter 1


2230 hours — Saturday


It was a typical Saturday night at the Spring Tavern. Lots of locals playing pool, dancing to the jukebox, smoking and drinking beer. Jimmy poured a lot of it on weekends, and little during the week. Men who use axes and chainsaws don't do much drinking on work nights. Most of them start in the woods before 0400, so early to bed is the norm.

    Except for a knot of local Indians at one of the pool tables, it was a pretty white crowd. There were four fresh Coasties from the Coast Guard station up at Neah Bay, and other than that, I knew or had seen everyone else before. That's why the little wannabe shark slipping into my small pool stood out. When the door swung open and the kid sidled through, I knew I was going to have to kill him. How did I know? Why? Instinct and almost forty years experience. The why? He might look like a minnow now, but little fish grow up fast and are harder to swallow when they're full grown and think they're Great Whites.

    This was my isolated pond he'd swum into and I didn't intend to become the main course at anyone's table. Since I'm a carnivore, I tend to eat first and ask questions later. I may not have a high school diploma, but I've earned several doctorates in the killing arts. I prefer to be the predator than the prey.

    The kid was around twenty-five, six feet plus a bit, and maybe a slim 180, in a worked-out kind of way. His dark hair hadn't grown out enough to hide what had been a military buzz. He wore a supple, thigh-length black leather coat, unbuttoned, and by the way it was cut, I figured he was packing. Probably a large auto-loader of some type with a suppressor in a custom rig in the left armpit. He didn't look exactly comfortable wearing civvies.

    The way he moved told me this was someone who didn't feel threatened, and thought he could eat anyone in this puddle. I've been around somewhat longer and knew there were several in this crowd I wouldn't want to tangle with, on my best day. Guys who work with axes and chainsaws in the deep woods are very tough nuts, and will break your teeth if you bite on 'em wrong.

    I watched the kid's eyes travel slowly around the room and pass me by without a flicker of recognition. There was no reason he should know me on sight, although for him to be here, I knew an advance team had swept the area and put together a package on the lay of the land. That's the way it worked, so now I had to figure out if he was solo, or had backup out in the dark.

    He was giving off a nervous kind of energy. Not fear. Just a twitchiness. The way he put money on the bar and kept kind of shrugging his shoulders. Frustrated would be one way of putting it. Maybe a bit worried. I wondered what might cause a reaction like that from someone who probably wouldn't duck when the lead was flying. Interesting.

    I watched Jimmy behind the bar, wiping glasses. He wasn't acting any different. He was, however, two feet closer to the register than where the glasses were racked. That meant he was standing directly in front of the Government model .45 Auto he kept cocked and locked under the bar. Jimmy, I'd learned, knew when trouble walked into his place of business.



Teasers (interesting facts that might stir a story some day soon): Those shiny and reflective fish which so draw our eyes, and frequently take a starring role in our aquariums? A new study has determined that the unique shape of the skin's guanine crystals is what provides that intense reflectivity. This is an anti-predator camouflage response, for fish which swim near the water's surface. There's no point denying that these are flashy fish! I went to the zoo last weekend, and in the penguin enclosure, where wee penguins were swooping after their food, it was the food—flashy fish—which kept catching my eye! It should have been birds that fly underwater, instead! For more information, visit  

Save Your World: Free rice (learn new words and donate rice as you do it! Always a favorite!)

Excerpts: From Gilded Folly

                It was no longer dark, but Dacey was beginning to wish it were. A subsonic hum vibrated her eardrums and her teeth, the resonance rising into audible range, where it shook her body.

                Like a microwave. The cooked scenario entered her head, but she wouldn’t let herself think it. It was enough of a prod, though, to get her moving. Her unseen adversaries weren’t entirely stationary. She would like to believe that was more mechanical action, too, like the hum, but the sounds were far too restless"like a multitude of boots grinding and crunching on gravel.

                Alive. No inanimate pistons or gears. Claws and teeth, restlessly gnawing away at rock...

                Stop it! Dacey swore right then that no matter what, she wouldn’t give up without a fight.

                She ran for the steps"for where she hoped they’d be. You fell down them"landed on your knees.

                Get it right, Girl...last chance...

                The light was so startling she tripped over her feet and went sprawling. It wasn’t coming from the walls or the ceiling. It was coming from her skin.

                Her own body was brightening the room, like a white shirt under black light.

                The sight was so shocking Dacey froze. All kinds of thoughts were running through her head. She was so caught up in confusion, that she almost missed the movement.

                The walls were losing integrity, as man-size pieces detached and dropped limply to the stone floor. Rustle-thud, rustle-thunk. Now, the pieces shivered and shook, then arose, finding their whole within the fallen tangle of limbs. Skeletally thin beings, with a near-human cast...

                ...arising out of rock.

                Dacey backed away, and headed once more for the steps"only to find they’d beat her there.

                They’ve been in the dark so long...

                It was almost as though she could read their thoughts. Her light was a lure, to draw them in. They wanted light...and heat.

                ...but mostly, they wanted food.

                Dacey opened her mouth and began to scream.
Thanks to and for the use of the animated gifs!

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