Clarissa Johal: July 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

Time

Time. It's the one thing I always wish for. More time to write, more time to keep up my social stuff, more time to dance, more time to spend with my family, just...more time. If I could only skip the sleeping thing, I think I would have enough time to do everything I want to do.

This week I'll be getting back into the groove of writing after spending a lovely summer with my kiddos. I've managed some chapters in the novel I'm working on, but with everyone at home, it's definitely been in fits and starts.

Summer dance studio is also winding down with only two more classes left in the session. I'm really sad about summer classes ending and due to time constraints, I'm not sure I'll be able to commit to their fall schedule. Which kind of leaves me on my own.
So, I'm left with a panicked, "What to do?" moment. That, and once again, I'm cursing time.

Forgive me while I spend the next week or so restructuring my days.
Guest Blogger Fridays are still on but my personal posts will probably be a bit uninspired.
Have a great week


Friday, July 27, 2012

Guest Blogger Friday

Please welcome my guest blogger, Lauren Hunter, author of The Coffee Shop.


Title:  The Coffee Shop

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Musa Publishing

Release Date: October 14/11

Blurb:

If Derrick thought experiencing alternate timelines and glimpses into the future was strange then he had no idea it was about to get far more strange than he ever imagined.

When Derrick Sloane meets Annie Maddock and falls madly in love, he believes he's met the girl of his dreams. Only he then awakes to discover she is exactly that...nothing more than a dream. Disheartened, he goes to the first coffee shop he can find. There he meets Annie. She is at the same table, reading the same book, and he fast realizes his dream has shown him his own future. But when a misstep alters that perfect future he tries to fix it, every attempt only making it worse.

Can he fix what he has changed? Should he even try? Given the opportunity to see two alternate futures can he choose one over the other? Could you…?

Excerpt:

There was a rap at the door. “Your hot chocolate is ready.”

“Thanks, I’ll be right down.”

There was a pause. “You sure you’re all right?”

“Why do you keep asking me that?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I can hear something in your voice.”

“In my voice? What are you, part dog or something?”

Derrick  chuckled.  “There might be a girl from college that may just agree with you on that.” Again there was a pause. “May I come in?”

“Actually, I was about to get dressed.”

“So, you’re saying you’re not decent?”

“No, I’m wearing a bathrobe.”

“Well good, because I’m coming in.”

“No, Derrick…” But he had already opened the door, and setting the cocoa
aside he came over standing before her as she sat on the bed.

“Okay, now I know something’s wrong. Annie, why didn’t you tell me how bad you hurt yourself?”

“It’s not that bad. I’m not about to make a big deal out of nothing.”

“You don’t need to be brave for me. If anything it’s really important that you be as honest as you can, with both yourself, and me, about this. I don’t want you doing any more damage because you are trying to force yourself to do something you shouldn’t be.”

“All right, I’ll admit, my ankles are a little sore. I must have stretched the muscles or something.”

“It looks like they are a lot more than a little sore.”

“Well you know what they say. A sprain is a lot more painful than a break. Although that would obviously depend on the break. But I’ve sprained something, and I’ve broken something, and I’d have to agree with that assessment, the sprain was much more painful. But as far as that goes this isn’t even that bad.”

“Pain is our body’s way of telling us we are hurt.” Derrick looked concerned.

“You do realize you sound like Mr. Rogers?”

“Those people that feel you have to be in pain to accomplish something.” He shook his head.

“Well, I’ll agree with you on that score.”

“If they hurt you need to stay off them. You don’t want to make it worse.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“Well, look at it this way, by using them while they’re sore you will probably lengthen the time it takes for them to heal.”

The idea of experiencing what she was now for any longer than she absolutely had to, was not an appealing concept, to say the least. “I’ll try to take it as easy as I can.”

“Try?”

“Well I am not going to spend the remainder of the weekend in this bed.”

“No need.”

“What are you saying?”

Before she had a chance to reply, Derrick had slipped one arm beneath her knees, the other around her back and under her arms.

“Whoa! What are you doing?”

“Well, I would have thought that was obvious.”

“Oh, you have to be kidding me.”

“What makes you think that?”

“You are not serious.”

“Completely.”

“What? So, you’re going to carry me everywhere?”

“Pretty much.”

“Oh now that’s just too much!”

He was already lifting her into his arms as though she was nothing, and she wrapped her arms around his neck as he carried her out the door and onto the balcony. He was wearing a sweater but she could still feel his taut and rippling muscles beneath it. The muscles in his arms flexing against her as he carried her carefully down the stairs. The heat from his body reached through her bathrobe as she held her face close to his, the scent of soap and aftershave wafting up around her as he grasped her tightly to him. Setting her on the sofa next to the fire, he turned his face to hers. For a moment they just stayed like that, holding each other, their lips close as his eyes moved down her face to her mouth.


Buy Links:

Musa Publishing

Bio: 
Lauren Hunter is a writer of Regency and paranormal romance novels, with plans to write in a variety of other genres, including time travel, angel, ghost, and contemporary romance. Besides novels, she also writes poetry and short stories, with her poems appearing in anthologies from England, Holland, and the US. Appearing in a number of The International Library of Poetry's anthologies, she has received the Editor's Choice Award and was published in The International Who's Who of Poetry 2004.

Contact Links for Lauren Hunter:


Monday, July 23, 2012

Birthday Break

My birthday was this weekend. I'm going to use that as my excuse for not posting last night.
That, and I've been putting my writing efforts into the novel I'm working on (which is coming along nicely).

Back to blogging next Sunday night, however, and look for my guest blogger this Friday.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Contest Winner Announcement: "Enchanted Realms" by Eleni Konstantine

Joanna Lloyd is the winner of Eleni Konstantine's short story collection, Enchanted Realms. 
*Please see contact info under Eleni's Guest Blog comments.

Thank you for stopping by everyone!

Enchanted Realms is available through Musa Publishing 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Guest Blogger Friday


Please welcome my guest blogger, Stan Hampton, Sr., author of horror, science fiction, fantasy, sword & sorcery, erotica, and military fiction.

Fingerpainting 40,001 BC

     I admire artistic creativity. That’s part of the reason I spent much of my life as a photographer—my favorite subject was women in nature, usually against a backdrop of the Sand Dunes in southern Colorado, or the Rocky Mountains. Sculpting. That’s something I’d like to try someday. Imagine chipping and chiseling away at a block of stone or marble until the subject you’re working on begins to come to life. That would bring about such a feeling of artistic accomplishment. Now, about writing, I have a desire or a need, to tell stories, to share my vision of different worlds, and different times with those who have similar visions. And painting—ahhh, now that’s harder to explain. I admire artists for their ability to bring their vision to life through a mixture of paints and choice of canvas (John M. Collier’s 1898 painting of “Lady Godiva” is the best of the genre).           
      But of all of the painters, I’m fascinated the most by those mysterious, prehistoric artists who painted the caves of El Castillo, Chauvet, and Altamira. I’m sure you’ve seen photographs of those paintings—rough paintings in black and reddish hues of various animals from a long vanished world. The ones in El Castillo may date from at least 40,000 BC; those in the Chauvet may range from 30,000 to 25,000 BC, and those in Altamira, from 17,000 to 13,000 BC. (The Met Museum website states that the footprints of a prehistoric child have been located in the Chauvet cave.)
     Imagine—cave paintings that are thousands of years old! I’m a 58 year old grandfather, but what are 58 years compared to thousands of years? When looked at a scale of thousands of years, our time here seems so very short by comparison.
     I sometimes wonder who the artists were. Male or female? Or both? Did they even remotely think, reason, and conceptualize like us? Did they have an understanding of the concept of time? What did they see when they woke in the mornings, and what did they see in the night sky? Did they worship early gods and goddesses, and tell stories of spirits, and god-heroes?
     More, when these artists entered the caves to paint images on the rocky walls, were they simply recording what they saw of the world around them? Were they painting ceremonial images of the animals in an attempt to beseech nameless spirits to bless them in a coming hunt? Or were these prehistoric artists, in a fashion understood only by their kind, painting images that told a well known story?
     Sometimes I try to imagine standing just outside the light of smoky torches, and watching a man or woman dipping a finger, or perhaps a brush made from bone, into sea shells filled with colored paints made from earth and plants. A look of concentration probably filled their face as they applied the paints to cool, rocky walls. If I listen hard enough, maybe I can hear the soft scrape and tapping of a paint coated finger against the stone canvas, or maybe just the whisper of a bone brush.
     If I can get close enough to look at the eyes without disturbing the painter, maybe I’d catch a glimpse of a glimmer of early intelligence, of thought, and reasoning. And I wonder what undiscovered treasures the prehistoric artist might paint next, and what stories those paintings might tell, if only we understood.

Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy

“An Appointment in the Village Bazaar.” Danse Macabre: Close Encounters with the Reaper Anthology. Ed. Nancy Kilpatrick. Edge SF & Fantasy, Forthcoming October 2012.
ISBN: 978-1-894063-96-8

EXCERPT:                                                     “We isn’t in fuckin’ Kansas no more,” Sergeant First Class Robert “Chief” Nottingham, a half-Cheyenne Indian, chuckled from behind his dark ballistic eyeglasses and a puff of sulfurous smelling cigarette smoke, as Sergeant Caleb Justus staggered up the steep trail. Caleb stopped when he saw the rolling, rocky landscape of a thin forest with broken and splintered trees. Visible beyond the trees was a ruined village nestled below a low gray rise littered with skeletal trees. A chill wind moaned across the rugged, haunting landscape.

Behind them, such a deep contrast to the land before them, the valley they emerged from was a lush garden of green grass, brush, and trees.
            “No shit,” Caleb, who usually didn’t swear, gasped as sweat, mingled with the cold thin drizzle that fell from gray clouds, trickled down his face. The platoon spread out and eyed an ancient narrow trail that wound through the trees to a wide, rutted path that led to the village.
As the soldiers slipped through the trees, Caleb thought they resembled unearthly creatures moving through a blighted medieval landscape; each wore a camouflaged Kevlar helmet, Individual Body Armor weighted down with heavy ammunition magazines, first aid kits and combat knives, and grayish-green Army Combat Uniforms with dark elbow and knee pads. Each wore the trademark dark ballistic eyeglasses that hid the eyes and gave the impression of emotionless, less than human faces. They carried M4 Carbines with Close Combat Opticals, M249 Light Machine Guns, and M203s, a 40mm grenade launcher mounted under an M4.
He knew that in their minds, and in reality, they were the meanest SOBs in the valley, or any valley. He felt safe in their presence. It was a much needed feeling after almost being killed by an Improvised Explosive Device three days before.
            “Don’t know how much drawing you’ll get done on a shitty day like this,” Chief commented as he ground the cigarette under his boot heel.
            “That’s why I brought my Nikon,” Caleb patted a black bag nestled against the side of his IBA and first aid kit. His drawing kit dangled against his right hip, just above his holstered 9mm pistol. “If I have to I’ll take photos, maybe do some color pencil drawings…”
An Appointment in the Village Bazaar

Danse Macabre: Close Encounters with the Reaper will be released October 2012 and can be purchased through:
Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing Online Catalog

Bio:
SS Hampton, Sr. is a Choctaw from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and a divorced grandfather to 13 grandchildren. He is a published photographer and photojournalist. He is a member of the Army National Guard, a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle, and Iraqi Freedom, and he deployed to northern Kuwait 2006-2007. His favorite genre are horror, science fiction, erotica, sword & sorcery, fantasy, and military fiction. His writings have appeared in The Harrow, Ruthie’s Club, Lucrezia Magazine, and River Walk Journal, among others. Currently his work is published by Melange Books, Musa Publishing, and MuseItUp Publishing, though various short stories have appeared in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Ravenous Romance, and later this year, Edge SF & Fantasy. As of December 2011 he technically became a homeless Iraq War veteran.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ten (Not-So-Guilty) Pleasures


This week has been crazy. I’ve been trying to get my guest blogs lined up and written for the release of my novel Between on December 14th.  Come October, November and December, you should see me guest blogging all over the place. Whoot. I won't be stressed out then, however, because I'm stressing now. Blog, blog, blog...I dream in blog.


One thing I’ve managed to allow myself are some (not-so-guilty) pleasures.
 
Not-So-Guilty Pleasure #1 
Popsicles

And not just any popsicles, but Edy’s “made with real fruit” lime popsicles.
Pure, frozen, stick-to-your-tongue goodness.

Not-So-Guilty Pleasure #2
Television Reruns

X-files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The truth is out there. Vampires do not sparkle. Spike rocks.
Enough said.

Not-So-Guilty Pleasure #3
Fancy Soap

My favorite is Indigo Wild Zum Bar Goats Milk Cedar soap. There’s a mouthful for you. And at about $10 a slice (for 6 oz. of soap) it’s definitely an indulgence. I’ve become so spoiled on this cedar soap, I honestly can’t stand the scent of anything else. 
Visit Indigo Wild and check them out.

Not-So-Guilty Pleasure #4
Kindle Freebies

Book Freebies Abound! Between new authors wanting to gain a following or established authors running contests and giveaways, there’s no excuse not to give them all a try. You never know whose writing you may fall in love with. Amazon always has new freebies. Go to their Kindle store and type in “free Kindle books" and keep in mind, some classics through Amazon are still free or at the very least, priced under $5.
I like to mix it up.

Not-So-Guilty Pleasure #5
Shop 'til you Drop Shopping

I love World Market (Cost Plus on the west coast). I can always find something to buy so I try and only go when I can afford to splurge. Last time I visited, I found a little stone hippo that cast its spell on me and also ended up buying a plate to add to my rotating place set of four. If I could only stop dropping my plates and breaking them...
The Voyage Peacock Plates

Not-So-Guilty Pleasure #6
Nail polish

I have so many colours of nail polish I’ve lost count. And I can never decide on just one shade, so I usually go rainbow.

Not-So-Guilty Pleasure #7
Rental Movies

Austin Powers, Man of Mystery. Yeah, baby! Maybe it's because my father was British or my husband is British, but I find this movie supremely funny.

Not-So-Guilty Pleasure #8
Speaking of movies...Popcorn 

I love movie popcorn almost as much as going to see a movie. My husband and kiddos can’t stand the amount of that yellow movie salt I use which means I never have to share (mua-ha-ha). Now, if only I could find that yellow salt at the grocers...

Not-So-Guilty Pleasure #9
The Aquarium Shop

Just to look, of course. Well, sometimes I come home with a fish…or two. I have ten fish tanks, so I can do this. My favorite thing to do is buy feeder goldfish and nurse them back to health, as they’re usually sick with fin rot or some such disease. I’ve had some beautiful feeder goldfish that have lived for many years. For 10 cents and the price of a box of fish medication, I would say it was money well-spent.

Not-So-Guilty Pleasure #10
Video Games

Specifically, The Elder Scrolls V; Skyrim.
Omg, I love this game. I never used to play video games before my younger daughter got this one for Christmas. Long after everyone else lost interest in saving Skyrim as the Dragonborn, I continued to play until the end…twice. And yes, I bought Dawnguard, the DLC, and yes, I’ve finished that too. I even had a  "Faendal is my Hero" mug custom made through CafĂ© Press. My kiddos won’t be seen with me when I'm drinking coffee from it but you know what? I’m a geek and I don’t care. Bring on Elder Scrolls VI because Faendal and I are ready.

So, there you have it. My ten not-so-guilty pleasures that got me through a stressful week. What are your not-so-guilty pleasures?


Friday, July 13, 2012

Guest Blogger Friday


Welcome to Eleni Konstantine, my guest blogger this week and author of the short story collection, Enchanted Realms.

Finding Inspiration by Eleni Konstantine

Enchanted Realms is my first short story collection, and my first release with Musa Publishing (http://musapublishing.com).

I wrote the stories long ago when I was studying writing by correspondence part-time and working as a librarian (funny, years later, I’m studying part time and am a writer and my alter-ego is a designer).

Part of this writing course was to submit 20 pieces of work to publishers or competitions. Two of the stories where ‘Angel Eyes’ and ‘Stormy Divide’ (then named Thom’s Guest).

I’ve never had too look to hard to find inspiration. I find it all around me. People, situations, books, movies, TV, music, photography, art - the world itself, they all can inspire different aspects.

For Stormy Divide, I entered a short story competition that had to be a max of 1000 words. Inspired by tales of Robin Hood, I pictured a forest and woodcutter. Initially my heroine was going to be on the run and had slipped back in time (love Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series). But she suddenly pulled some technology out of her ear, and it became set in the near future. Inspiration for that? Star Trek with the universal translator. I wanted a reason why she could understand the hero, and hey presto, it popped in my head – or the heroine’s ear to be more exact.  J

Angel Eyes came to me pretty fully formed. A woman obsessed by a man only in her dreams. I was actually on an inter-library loan run. I used to go to the local university and photocopy selected articles, and suddenly in the middle of finding a journal – the idea struck. Actually it was the eyes that got me first. Dark eyes. Eyes that I could understand why someone would obsess over. And they looked a little like this...

 And no, it wasn’t the Angel character because I could see this character smiling as he does at the end.  (And there is another reason why the character is called Angel Eyes, so that’s coincidence).

Funny, I had totally forgotten about that as, of course, the character doesn’t look like the actor in my head. But it does show how something can spark off an idea.

I also wanted a heroine who was a loner, and her having an obsession of her dreams made perfect sense for her character. She’s brave in a way that’s quiet, and that’s not always shown as being strong.

And the final bit of inspiration – I had done a short course on dreams.

So there you have it – the inspiration behind Enchanted Realms. **


Blurb:

STORMY DIVIDE

Thom may be used to the dangers of the forest, but nothing has prepared him for this. When he stumbles across a woman dressed in weird clothing lying on the ground during a storm, he has no choice but to help her.

Ellie finds herself in another world, having traveled through time and space thanks to what Thom calls, The Rifts. The question is whether she will ever be able to find her way back, or if she will be stuck in this new world forever. Or if she will even want to go home…

ANGEL EYES

Vera’s dreams are haunted each night by a man she only knows as Angel Eyes. He feels more real to her than anything else in her life, including her fiancĂ©. Vera must try to forget her childish dreams of soul mates and happily ever after… but are they really only dreams or can she find a way to be with Angel Eyes forever?

Leave a comment to go in the running to win a copy.

~Eleni J

Author Bio:

Eleni Konstantine is Fantasy and Paranormal fiction writer, and has had a number of shorts published. Her stories range from flash fiction to novels. She blames her mother for her writing bug because as a child she was given many books, including illustrated fairytales. That, and a love of Greek mythology, and Eleni was destined to become a writer.
Eleni lives in Adelaide, Australia, with her family and feisty American Staffy.

Blog: http://eleni-konstantine.blogspot.com/ 



** David Boreanaz photo used with permission from Wikimedia Commons


Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Writer’s Journey into Musa Publishing


Every writer has a journey to share.

I wanted to share with you my journey into the Musa Publishing family. I say family because both the company and the authors support each other whole-heartedly. If you haven’t discovered Musa Publishing, please have a look at their website and peruse the wonderful books and genres they offer.

You can learn about their journey here: Musa Publishing: About Us

I’ve been making up stories since I was a kid, I suppose you’d call it daydreaming. If you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up however, I would have said a veterinarian or an archaeologist. It never occured to me that writing could be a career. Go figure. But I was constantly making up stories in my head, writing them down in my journal, letting them go. Reality was just no fun when you could escape to someplace nice.

My epiphany came when, in sixth grade, I shared one of my stories in a writing assignment. I was mortified when my teacher, Mr. Gallo, asked me to read it aloud to my class. I don't remember how it went but afterwards, I do remember that several kids came up and talked to me. This, following years of feeling invisible. (I can tell you from experience that moving around and always being the new kid sucks. I would never wish that life on anybody) At the time, it occurred to me that writing was a powerful thing. It could make a connection where there was none. I was hooked on committing my thoughts to paper. And thank you, Mr. Gallo, you were probably the sole person responsible for setting me on my writing path.

Fast forward twenty-four years. After my husband and I decided to have our first child and, a week before she was born, I arranged a leave of absence from my veterinary job with the full intention of returning. The moment my daughter arrived, however, the thought of leaving her to return to work wasn’t even an option. My husband and I decided to manage on one income so I could stay at home. When my daughter would fall asleep nursing, I would write. It took me ten years to complete my YA fantasy, Pradee. Let's face it--life happens. During that time, I had given birth to our second child, started up a petsitting business and began down the path of becoming a full-time mom and business owner. But after finally declaring Pradee finished, the decision was made. I would send out some queries and give the career of writing a go.

Unfortunately, the economy being what it was at the time, nobody wanted to take the risk with a new writer. I had lots a great feedback from agents who said the writing was good, the story intriguing, but since I was new, they just couldn’t take the risk. I was beyond frustrated. I read articles in my Writers Digest about Lulu and CreateSpace, self-publishing companies, but felt reluctant to go there. My breaking point came when I received not one, but three responses in one day. All from agents saying they loved the premise of my novel, and all saying that, unfortunately, they couldn’t take a risk with a new writer at this time.

So, self-publish is exactly what I did. Would I do it again? Probably not. But what I was able to learn through the process of self-publishing was invaluable. I learned to be meticulous, I learned about cover art, I learned that I should have titled my novel something else because nobody could remember the title Pradee or what it referred to (it’s a place, by the way). I also learned that the promotion part of writing is my worst nightmare. I tried everything I knew to get Pradee out there but I’m not, by nature, a pushy person. Unfortunately, the book just didn’t sell many copies. Again, good reviews from those that read it, but lacking in advertising.

There were days that I cried and wondered if I was doing the right thing. Usually, I’d give myself a day to feel pathetic. After that, I managed to pick myself up and continue to write and promote the best I knew how. At that point, I was determined and just couldn’t see myself doing anything else.

A year later, I began writing the second installment to Pradee (it was to be a series of four) feeling like I only had leeway to write YA. Anything else would be, well, frowned upon since I had young children. Plus, it was a genre I was comfortable with because I was reading it all the time. By the time I started chapter four, however, I was hit by two characters that didn’t fit into my young adult fantasy world. At all. Try as I would, they kept coming back. I tried modifying them, but again, to no avail. I ended up putting my YA novel aside and started writing Between. And it came fast. Several months later, I had the complete draft, a year after that, the novel was ready to go. I started submitting in January of 2012 to several agents and publishing houses. Musa Publishing got back to me by April asking for the complete manuscript and I was guardedly elated. Six weeks later, I got the offer.

It’s been two months and Musa Publishing has been a joy. They offer a wide array of genres, allowing me to grow as an author. Everything I had read about them stating that authors came first has been evident from day one. The company and the authors they represent are powerhouses of information and support. I’ve learned tools that I didn’t have before and have applied some of those tools to Pradee and towards my new novel, Between. And Musa is constantly educating their authors on ways to promote, which seems to be my Achilles heel.

I have dreams about Pradee being picked up by a publishing house as “the unsung first novel” and I have dreams about Between being “the one” that rockets me to fame. I think every author does. But now I’m realizing that those things largely depend on me and my ability to market myself. I’m having to swallow my nightmare of feeling self-centered and put myself out there. Again, probably something that every author struggles with.

Between, a story of the paranormal, will be released December 14, 2012 through Musa Publishing's Thalia Imprint. I’ve discovered that I really enjoy writing paranormal fiction and am working on my next novel in the same genre. I’m excited to see where this leg of my journey takes me. 

For more info on Between and Pradee, please visit:
My Author Website

And while you're at it, give Musa a peek as well:
Musa Publishing  


Friday, July 6, 2012

Guest Blogger Friday

I would like to introduce you to KM Rockwood, fellow author with Musa Publishing and of the Jesse Damon crime novels.

Jesse Damon Crime Novels
by
KM Rockwood

Much of my life has been spent living and working with people who often don’t have a voice in our society. I have loved reading ever since I learned how (at the unfortunately late stage of 5th grade, when I got intensive tutoring to help deal with what would be today called a severe reading disability) but have been struck by how relatively few stories that deal with the common blue collar work world and the people who inhabit it, especially the ones who fall afoul of the criminal justice system and don’t have the resources, financial and personal, to cope with the consequences.
Of course, some exceptions come to mind—Les Miserables being an outstanding example—and some books, like the crime novels of late Barbara Seranella. I am also fascinated by the psychological suspense of Margaret Yorke, which explores the psyches of often lower class people or those caught up in shady, sometimes criminal, misfortunes.
One of my aims with the Jesse Damon series is to give that voice to someone who tries to persevere, dignity intact, in the face of daunting misfortune.


 The first Jesse Damon novel, Steeled for Murder, was released in April by Musa Publishing.

After nearly twenty years in prison on a murder conviction, Jesse Damon has been released, a home detention monitor strapped to his ankle. Determined to make it and mindful of his parole restrictions, he struggles with life outside prison. He finds a basement apartment, a job on the overnight shift at a steel fabrication plant and a few people who treat him like anybody else. Especially Kelly, a woman who works in the shipping department. He seems to be making it. Until Mitch, forklift driver on the shift, is found murdered in the warehouse. The investigating detective doesn’t want to look any further than Jesse to close the case. He’s not fussy about the methods he uses to gather evidence. If Jesse isn’t going down for this, he will have to be the one to figure out who killed Mitch and why.

The second, Fostering Death, in which Jesse goes to a funeral home to pay his last respects to his foster mother. He discovers she has been killed, and he is the chief suspect.  It is due in early August.

Jesse Damon has spent most of the last twenty years in prison on a murder conviction. Now paroled, he’s trying to beat the odds and stay out of prison with a pair of overactive cops watching him for mistakes. He’s got a one-room apartment, a job working the overnight shift at a factory, and some-times girlfriend Kelly. If he can just stay out of trouble, he may even be able to join the union.
But when he pays his last respects to Mrs. Coleman, his foster mother, he finds out that her death is being investigated as a homicide. And he’s the prime suspect.
Jesse’s life is getting complicated fast, what with a group of religious fanatics in saffron robes opening a tabernacle in the abandoned pizza parlor over his apartment, problems at work, and Kelly’s custody battle with her ex. It’s a lot to deal with while he tries to find out who really killed Mrs. Coleman and get the cops off his back.

In The Buried Biker, Jesse is suspected first of raping his sometimes-girlfriend Kelly. When that is proven false, he is arrested and jailed for the murder of the biker who was the rapist and is found dead. That one comes out just before Christmas. 

Send-off for a Snitch, in which a police informant is murdered. He has been trying to implicate Jesse in an attempt to save himself from going to prison. Jesse is the natural suspect.
The final book currently contracted in the series is Brothers in Crime, where Jesse’s older brothers, who were the ones who got him into so much trouble in the first place, twenty years ago, surface and try to get him involved in more nefarious schemes.

These e-books are available directly through Musa Publishing, on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other popular sources for e-books.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Call for Submissions


Shout out to D. Renee Bagby Presents YA First Chapters who is looking for submissions right now. A great way to get the first chapter of your YA novel out there. Get hooked!

 

While you're there, check out the first chapter of my YA fantasy Pradee.
1st Chapter of Pradee by Clarissa Johal
No vampires, no werewolves, no love triangles. A fantasy adventure in the spirit of Jim Henson's, The Dark Crystal.

Pradee is available in ebook and paper forms on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and most on-line book retailers