Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blood & Spirits – Reveal – A Cover To Judge By.

It's time to finally spill the beans and let you all know what's going on. 

Some of you may have seen the cover Blood & Spirits had in its original release. Those of you who did... might have been kind about it – you might have smiled, or typed a smiley face, or even told me things to not hurt my feelings – but the fact of the matter is... it just didn't work. The idea was solid. The idea, however, was not well thought out by someone who knew cover design, or anything at all about trying to market a book. Thus... not so great. 

(Don’t believe me? See for yourself)

Krystal Chan (who I could go on and on about... and I will, but that’s another post) said I should post "your realization about the first cover and how, looking at it now, you understand how it could be done better or differently."

I asked her what she meant by "realization" there. Then I looked at the cover again and asked, “Do you mean the realization that the original cover totally sucked?”

She replied in the affirmative... and do you know what? She should have. It really wasn't the best face for the story. I didn't represent the book well, and was not at all the “first impression” I needed to make on behalf of my work to all of you... my readers.

Well, guess what? All of that changes now!

Look at this beauty, designed by Shari Ryan!
(Who, I must say, is simply amazing).

Now, here’s the really awesome part... hold on to your hats. This new cover comes wrapped around pages with an entirely new (and pretty spiffy) layout. Those pages contain a new edit of the text, that contain an additional 2,350 words. Best of all... the book is being released by my new publishing house, Booktrope. (Release date - January 20th, 2015)

Booktrope will also be releasing the next two books in the series, as well (book two should be coming fairly soon, in fact). Shari Ryan, who you can also find over at Author Needs Creative Design Services, has agreed to create the covers for those as well.

How's that for some exciting news? I have to admit, it excites me to no end. These first three volumes in V’s story - The Coming Storm Trilogy - couldn't, in my opinion, have a better home than they've found at Booktrope.

I have a lot more news, and a lot more to reveal... but I think I've done enough for one post. Don’t you?

As always, please feel free to let me know what you think, or any questions you might have, in the comments.

As always, thanks for being the best readers a writer could ask for!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Cover Reveal for Mireille Chester's 'Eggnog Kisses'!

Eggnog Kisses

Christmas in Quelondain

It’s been six months since Kaley’s fiancé called things off, disappearing with barely an explanation, and the thought of spending Christmas alone is causing feelings of hurt and loneliness to ruin her holiday cheer.  Tall, dark, quiet, and ever the gentleman, her next door neighbor has been sneaking into her thoughts more often than not lately.  When she decides to ask him to go to a Christmas party on a spur of the moment whim, she has no idea she’s about to unleash a whole new dimension on her usually normal life. 

Born in Quelondain, Sean is no stranger to a broken heart. Though it’s been years since the one he loved fated to his best friend, the ache is still present and crossing over to the other world hasn’t helped like he’d hoped it would.  When Kaley asks him to accompany her to a Christmas party his gut tells him to stay away.  It’s not that he isn’t attracted or tempted, but how is he supposed to explain his past and what he is.  Of course, it’s just one evening, right?  What could possibly happen in one night?

Two broken hearts…

Two worlds…

One fate…


She managed to get into her apartment while keeping a curious JJ from escaping.  The fluffy white cat purred and rubbed himself against her ankles.

“Hey, bud.  Did you miss me?”  Kaley went to the cupboard and pulled out a few Whiskas treats for him.  She looked around her small apartment and suddenly, she didn’t want to be there alone.  “I’ll be right back.”

She didn’t bother putting on shoes before closing her door behind her.  Sean answered his door and smiled at the sight of her.

“What can I do for you, neighbor?”

“I…”  This was stupid.

“So, what brings you over here?”

“I just…”  Kaley’s good mood vanished.

His smile softened.  “First Christmas since Gale left?”

She took a deep breath and blew it out of her nose.  “It’s stupid, I know.”

Sean shook his head.  “Not at all.  I know the feeling.  I wasn’t engaged, mind you, but my first holiday after my girlfriend left I was a wreck.  We’d been together four years.”

“I’m sorry.”  She looked at the ground.  “What happened?”

He cocked his head to the side.  “I was just about to have a rum and eggnog.  Want one?”

She was tempted to turn him down, but curiosity got the better of her.  “Sure.”

He held the door opened wider so she could get in and directed her to the couch.  “It was your typical breakup.  We were young and life had other plans for us.”

She watched as he mixed the drinks and brought them over.  “Thanks.”  She took a sip and he took a long swallow of his drink.  “Anyway, it wrecked me when she left.”

“What did you do?”

“I moved here.”  He smiled.

Kaley frowned.  “That worked?  It helped?”

“Not even a little bit.  The only thing that helps is time.”

She couldn’t help the depressed look that took over her face.  “Five years, eh?”

Sean laughed.  “It’s been that long, but it didn’t take that long.  I’ve had a few other girlfriends since, I just haven’t found anyone else I want to settle down with, that’s all.”  He raised an eyebrow at her glass.  “Want another one?”


“So where’s your party at tonight?”

“Mel’s boss is throwing a bash for their office. He rented the Rex Hall.”


Kaley noticed him glancing at the clock on the wall.  “Do you have something to do?”  She turned toward the door as someone unlocked it from the outside and he stood.

“Sean!”  The dark haired woman dropped her duffle bag and ran into his open arms.  Kaley watched dumbfounded as he hugged her close.  He had a girlfriend.

“I was getting worried.”  He took her coat from her and hung it up.

“My bus was delayed.  There was a crash on the highway and we got caught behind all the traffic.  I don’t think it was too bad.  I mean, there were ambulances and stuff, but the cars looked to be in not bad shape when we were finally able to go by.”

“And you didn’t think to phone?”

She shrugged.  “Ooh! Are you having rum and eggnog without me?”  The woman finally turned her attention to Kaley.  “Since Sean has zero manners, I’m Reese, by the way.”

“Um, Kaley.”

“Let me guess.  He didn’t tell you I was coming?”  She took the drink Sean handed her and settled on the cough beside Kaley.  “And he says I’m forgetful.  You’re getting old, big brother.”

He scoffed.  “And you get more immature the more years you put behind you.”

“Mom’s going to flip when she hears you finally have a girlfriend.  It’s about time you got over that stupid bitch.”


“Well, what?  By the moons, she was.  None of us could figure out what you saw in her.”

“You were sixteen when we split.  Don’t tell me you gave a shit.”

Reese pounded back her drink.  “Of course I cared.  How many big brothers do I have?”

Sean rolled his eyes.  “Four.”

“Right.  But you were always my favorite.”  She skipped back to her knee high leather boots, slipped them on, and shrugged on her coat.

“Where are you going?”

“I’m meeting Heather.”  She gave him a peck on the cheek.  “I have my key.  Don’t wait up.”

“Just remember I’m leaving at eight tomorrow morning.  With or without you.”

“Yeah, yeah.”  Reese grinned.  “I missed you.”

“I missed you too.  Brat.”

She closed the door with a wave at Kaley.

“She’s, uh… she’s one of those high energy people.”  Sean smiled and went to refill their drinks.

“No kidding.  I had no idea you had a sister.  Or three brothers for that matter.”

“What about you?”

Kaley shook her head.  “Only child.  Your mom and dad?”

“Both alive and running the farm.  You?”

“My parents died when I was fifteen.  Drunk driver.  I went to live with Mel and her folks.”

“But you don’t do Christmas with them?”

“They’re not around since they retired.  Mel gets on a flight tomorrow to join them in Mexico tomorrow morning.  They invite me every year, I just… Christmas needs snow.  You know?”

He grinned.  “I agree.”

Kaley found her gaze moving to his mouth.  He had a great smile.  Had they really been living next to each other for almost six years?  How had she never noticed?


“Nothing.  I was just thinking that I can’t believe we’ve been neighbors all this time and we know nothing about each other.”

His smile softened.  “Yeah.  I guess that’s life.  Everyone’s too busy.”

She looked at her watch.  “Shit.  I have to go get ready.”

Sean stood and walked her to the door.

“So, you’re just home alone tonight?”  She looked up into his dark green eyes.

“Seems like it.”

“I was just thinking… Mel is bringing a date tonight and I’m going to be the third wheel.  Want to come along?”

“I don’t think…”

“Come on.  I’ll owe you one.  There’s this guy that works there that always gets drunk and hits on me.  You can pretend to be my boyfriend.”  Sweet mother of fuck.  Had she actually just suggested this?  She was thirty four years old for shit’s sakes.  Her face turned a deep shade of red.  “Sorry.  That’s so highschool.  I’m just going to leave before I make myself sound any more stupid.  Thanks for the drinks.”

Kaley rushed out of his apartment and back into hers.  Good god!  How many eggnogs had she had?


For more information on Mireille Chester and her books go to

Monday, October 27, 2014

On Mortality

I’m going to ramble a little bit here… roll with me if you have the time.

Recently I had an experience that made me examine my fragile grip on life. I write about everything that happens in my life... so I feel like it would be cheating not to talk about this... even if what I have to say may sound all-too-familiar or even a little cliché. It wasn’t a profound awakening in a church… or a car accident… or the birth of a child… no. I had a heart attack. It happened suddenly, on a Saturday morning (the 18th of October) at home, with only my 7 year old daughter awake. It was the worst pain I’d ever felt, and preceded several days of floating in and out of consciousness while procedures and tests were performed. It kept me in the CCU for a week, and completely brought my life to a halt.

I’m 37 with bad genetics, a lot of stress, poor sleeping habits, and (until recently) a pack a day addiction to Camels. Death, it occurred to me, had been a very real possibility. It was as if some fictional reaper from a CW television show had decided to tap me on the shoulder… but then let me go on my way. I'd like to pretend that it was no big deal... that it was just a thing that happened, and it was in my past... an experience I could draw on... and not much more... but that's not true.

It shook me up, it shook up my family, it distressed those who know and care about me… but how it really impacted me… is still influencing me… that was the real surprise.

I had to examine how I feel about the subject of death, and it came out a little differently than I’d have imagined it would. I could spend time here telling you about my changes in diet, rest, and stress… about my ongoing rehab, and my increased fascination with how my children know me… but the difference I’m dealing with in my creative life has been the most fascinating to me.
I’ve started talking things out, a form of therapy I suppose, through fiction - letting my characters discuss the things that were on my mind and it’s led me to some dark places. It has also made me somewhat comfortable (how is that even possible, right?) with the idea of being gone.

These are two passages that I’ve worked on since this happened… I think they illustrate what I’m saying fairly well:

“Life is so fragile, so frail. Ending it… breaking it… there’s no magic in that. It’s simple, and easy, and takes little or no thought at all. Fixing what’s broken? That requires a spark of magic… a flicker of what some might call the divine.  True Magic, however, comes from unbreaking… from unending… from making the damage, the pain, or the death… not have happened. That can mean to a body, it can mean to a mind, an emotional core… or even to the very soul of a being. To undamaged a soul would be the strongest magic imaginable."
“Orpheus failed. That was the goddamned point. He did everything he could… he moved heaven and Earth, softened the hearts of the hardest of gods and in the end Eurydice stayed dead. Death has meaning. It is profound and it is forever. You flaunt that, and because of that I will always oppose you.”

Writing immortal characters (by way of ‘for instance’)… in paranormal fiction has shifted in its overall gravity for me… 

We (everyone) all live on beyond ourselves… I’ve been aware of that since I was a child and attended the funeral of a very beloved relative. We do that though what we leave behind… who we leave behind… marks we’ve left on the people and places and things in our live. Again, nothing I wasn’t aware of. I’ve been in love with Shakespear's Sister’s Hello (Turn Your Radio On)… and the lyric that always hit me the hardest was “Life is a strange thing… just when you think you’ve learned how to use it’s gone…”. I knew this was true.

I knew it like I know that Jupiter is out there… in space… in its orbit.  It’s a fact, but a fact with no reality for support. I believed these things were true, but now I had them hit me in the face.

Death is the result of life… and the sum of what we do while we are alive is shown through what we leave behind. I’m leaving three great kids… I’m leaving some words I’ve strung together here and there… and those whose lives I’ve touched. This matters to me a lot more than I had realized.

People are telling me to take it easy… to rest… but if anything this experience has led me to want to do more… to create more… to complete more. I want to leave a more full body of work behind me. Ultimately I guess that may be ego, or vanity… I just want to do everything now. I want people that were close to me, my family, my friends… my kids… to have something to point to and say “I knew the guy who did that” or “I was inspirational in that thing being made” or “I was a part of making that”. I’m not sure what that says about me as a person… but it certainly feels like I’m doing that whole ‘get busy living or get busy dying’ thing that Andy Dufresne talked about in Shawshank. 

I’m pushed, almost beyond myself, to write… to shoot… to create… and I feel almost reborn. It’s as though I was turned off and back on again so that I could free up my processes and focus on work I should have been doing instead of getting bogged down in the stress of day-to-day nothing… in bills and yard work… in car repairs and dinner plans... in grocery shopping and dirty dishes…

If I have anything to say, now… to all of you who are still reading this… to those who are still with me… it is this: Don’t let it take a heart attack… a stroke… a car wreck… cancer… tragedy… to focus you.

Find what you love… do it. All the time… with all you have. Live a life that you’re proud to look back at. Don’t waste time stressing the small stuff… and don’t pause or hold back because of what others think or say… or what they might think or say… live your life, with passion… and make your dreams real… (even if it sounds kinda Disney… or Hallmark…)

Life really is too short… make the most of every piece of every second. You don't have to believe me... it won't be any less true if you don't.

Just my two cents... take it for what it's worth... 



Friday, October 3, 2014

A Review - Paper Souls

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars. (even if it really should be 5+)

The Blurb: 

From the author of the bestselling genre-defining Enchanters series, comes a new literary tour de force about Emily, a young woman balancing two worlds between her fingertips: the one that is real to her and the one that is real to everyone else…

The question is: which one will she choose?

Never romanticizing what it means to be a twenty-something schizophrenic in a world broken by normalcy and half-baked fairytales, Allie Burke’s latest novel unites Emily and her world at large spanning from the streets of Russia, to the sheets of her bed, to the idiosyncratic comfort she gets from worlds that don’t exist at all.

Woven with angst and darkness, bursting with heartache, Paper Souls tells of the irreparably damaged and broken, and how they survive.

The only thing I could think to say.... after I finished reading... and my mind stopped reeling (more time than I've gotten from a book in a long time) was exactly this: "Breathtakingly Overpowering!"

Seriously... just... Damn!

There is an electric spark to the words contained in this text. A vibrant shocking rhythm that draws you on to keep reading as the time, the hours, even the world around you melts away and you are with Emily. You can see in and through and around her in a visceral, living, breathing way that is rare to find in most books.

The subject matter, and blunt 'in-your-face' delivery, are both refreshing and unexpected. The chaos of the just being in Emily's world is riveting and a bit frightening.

This is 126 pages of 'can't-put-it-down'... 'punch-you-in-the-face'... raw... emotional... sexual... painful... furious... funny... frightening... force.

I wish I could think clearly enough to articulate all that this book brought up in me, but I am still awash in it. This is a book you cannot pass up (no exaggeration).

Most certainly the first absolute #MUSTREAD I've come across in far too long.

Don't just take my word for it though. Here's what other people have had to say:
"One of the most unique, tortured tales I've ever read." -Marni Mann, #1 Bestselling Author of Seductive Shadows

"The pages drip of human sweat and sexuality, of our duplicity and self centeredness, of our anger and kindness. Without preaching a deeper literary theme, she captures the essence of the human condition. Read this book. By the end of the first paragraph you will be hooked." -Jerry Gentry, Author of Syn: Fin            

"A heart-wrenching, beautifully woven tale of survival." -Wendy Garfinkle, Author of Serpent on a Cross

"A beautifully tangled knot woven around love and angst. This thought provoking journey will take your mind on a ride you'll never want to come off of. Paper Souls is a unique story of realism told through surreal thoughts." -Shari Ryan, Bestselling Author of Schasm

- Dennis Sharpe

Paper Souls on

Paper Souls on (Kindle or Paperback)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Wednesday Report - The 1st Month (For Those Interested)

So, wow... It's been 1 month already and she's 2 likes from 100. That's nice, right? Yes! In fact... it's pretty sweet.

But that aside... I'm making this post to document a little bit of what this first month has brought... performance-wise over all. 

The down and dirty number:

Review copies sent: 30

Copies Sold:
41 Amazon Kindle
7 Borrowed (on Kindle/KU)
11 Print

That means there are 89 copies of Wednesday floating around now, out in the world...

7 reviews on with an average of 4.9 of 5 stars.

17 ratings/10 reviews on Goodreads with an average of 4.71 of 5 stars.

What are those readers/reviews saying?

"I guarantee once you pick it up you won't want to put it down."

"Grabs you right away and doesn't let go til the last page."

"I couldn't put it down."

"The story moves at a fast pace and feels quite intimate and intense."

Author Jean Booth posted this on my Facebook wall. Floored me... then made me laugh my butt off.

Seriously... #4. Can you believe that?

(My Shameless Plug For The 99 Cent Weekend Sale)

There were certainly some bumps in the road... and finding a path to the readers for this book has been less than simple... but I believe that even after editing... the story that needed to told was told... and she's out there now and going. I didn't have the science fiction / horror / paranormal genre communities behind this one... and outside of those genres, my comfort zone, I really was behind the eight-ball trying to get Wednesday recognized... but she's growing in spite of that...

I can do nothing but thank all of you who have read... who have shared, liked, supported, read, reviewed, rated, and sent photos with the book! Seriously! All over the US... and the world... thank you all so very much!

Head over here: and show her some love... if you have a minute! 

You can scroll down and check out some of those awesome reader pics here:

I really do have the very best readers. No lie!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

You can write a book, but can’t write a tweet or post? What are you telling readers?

You have imagination but lack personality?

You're an introvert?


Rachel Thompson happens to be one of my personal heroes. She's an amazing writer, making her a standout author, and she happens to be a tremendously wonderful person to boot. I couldn't possibly tell you all the nice things I have to say about her in this post alone... it would be extremely long, and at the end you'd think I was little more than a squealing fan boy. Which I must admit, I am. However, dear Rachel posted this to a social media account and for a moment when I read it... it stung.

I am all too familiar with the "Buy this!", "Click here", and "Give your Time/Attention/Money" posts that fill up my newsfeeds. I don't like them. I often simply ignore them, and in some cases I even block them. However, it leaves me (and I don't think I'm alone here) in an awkward spot. I write. I have books I'd like to tell people about. I absolutely suck at social media. So... yeah.

Here's how it works for me:

This is MS Word. 

It is a blank document. I see it as a challenge. I see this blank page and I can't wait to fill it, and countless others after it, with the stories... the words and the voices that are in me clawing to get out. What does that make me? A writer? An Author? Crazy?

I tend to think, from time to time, that I am all of those (and a few more I won't list).

I've told stories in person and on paper since I was a very small child. I have an over active imagination... or, you know, demons possessing my brain... whatever... I have these huge (sometimes) sweeping story arcs, and deep and twisted characters, as well as messages and emotions that I feel I absolutely must share.

I don't really have a lot of say in the matter. I could choose to not write (or type) them... but then I'm sure I would go quite mad.

With that said, it should be obvious that I am a creature of words... of language... of communication. Right? Well... only in the right circumstance. When is a blank text box with a blinking cursor scary?

This is Twitter.

It is a blank document. It can only contain 140 characters. I see it as I once saw the school yard bully when I was five years old. It is intimidating. The limited words I put here directly engage other people. What If I type the wrong thing? What if there's a typo? What if I sound stupid?

This isn't a story I'm telling... it's a conversation I'm starting. A conversation with people I may know, I may not know well, or I may not know at all.

I was never the guy at the party to randomly chat people up (unless I was several rum and cokes in) and this is even bigger... it's global.The anxiety it creates is enormous. But guess what? If I don't participate in it... then I have no hope of building a readership. I have no hope of getting my stories, the ones I so much love to tell, out to anyone. We live in a world now that requires such networking to be successful. So... I bite my lip... I type... and I hit the "Tweet" button, or the "Post" button on Facebook, or the "Publish" button on my blog.

It scares the ever-living hell out of me. But I do it. Because I must. Perhaps there will come a day when social media will be a joy... but I haven't the foggiest notion of when or how that will come to be. (I'll gladly welcome your thoughts on the matter though.)

The point of this post, though, now that I've come to it, is this:

If you have a book... or books... or a film... or a business, or art, or photography, or anything else in the world that you create and want to share with the world. Just do it.


Just put it out there however you can.

Even something as simple as this:

Bite your lip and power through. If I can do it then anyone, and I do mean anyone, can do it. It may not be easy, but you can... and you must. You owe it to your creations... you owe it to the world that will admire or enjoy them.

It doesn't matter what your art... your creation... your something to share actually is... you may not feel good sharing it... it may be difficult... it may even make you feel sick to your stomach or make your skin crawl (it has for me a few times)... but you still have to. (Maybe just not every ten minutes or with the "Buy this!", "Click here", and "Give your Time/Attention/Money" stuff involved.)

How else will the world find out? How will they know what you have to share... unless you share it?

That's my .02 on the matter. Your Mileage may vary.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Five Authors You May Not Already Be Reading... But Should Be.

I've done this once before, almost two years ago, and it was well received. So well received, in fact, that it's been the most viewed post on my blog. I figured it was about time that I do it again -- a bit of an update, if you will. 

It bears repeating, I feel, that I've always been an avid reader. Thanks to my mother's efforts I was reading daily more than a year before beginning school. It's been a part, and a vitally important one, for as long as I have memory. Books... Stories... these have always been my favorite things. Fictional worlds and characters were my escape as a child and remain so to this day. My love of reading lead directly to my love of storytelling and thus my own writing, but I still can't get away from reading the work, the art, the worlds created by others.

I have friends, kids, and a lot of demands on my time. I find that as I get older there seem to be more and more of those demands, in fact. None-the-less, I cannot stop reading. I love it, and I'd like to believe it loves me.

How my TBR pile feels...
My lack of time, though, has proven to have a very real consequence on the reading that I'd like to do. I get... no, I stay behind. I know I'm not the only one with a "to be read" pile of books that just seems to get more and more daunting. As much as I hate it, I've been forced to become even more selective than ever before when picking my next new read. It's a sad, but unfortunately true, state of affairs.

This "picky reading" I've been forced into has had an unexpected side effect. I now feel some strange sense of duty to others, who might well be in a similar position, to share the brightest of lights that I come across in my reading. I've done that before... so, I'm doing it again. Since it was five that I recommended last time I decided to do five again (even if there were a few others I felt I really should talk about as well).

So to be clear... I have listed below, in no particular order, five authors who I feel are more than worth your time. I highly recommend all five of them. I've listed them with links to their websites, facebook pages, goodreads, twitter, amazon pages, etc. 

I really hope that you enjoy their work. I know I have.


Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson is the amazing author of the award-winning Broken Pieces, as emotional work of art, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. Rachel is published and represented by Booktrope. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…),,,, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Rachel is the creator and founder of #MondayBlogs and #SexAbuseChat and an advocate for sexual abuse survivors. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

The best place to start with Rachel Thompson's work, in my opinion, would be with Broken Pieces. (Cover shown on right)

Rachel Thompson on Goodreads
Rachel Thompson on Amazon
Rachel Thompson on Facebook
Rachel Thompson on Twitter
Rachel Thompson's Website

Allie Burke

An American novelist from Burbank, California, Allie Burke writes books she can't find in the bookstore. Having been recognized as writing a "kickass book that defies the genre it's in", Allie writes with a prose that has been labeled poetic and ethereal.

Her life is a beautiful disaster, flowered with the harrowing existence of inherited eccentricity, a murderous family history, a faithful literature addiction, and the intricate darkness of true love. These are the enchanting experiences that inspire Allie's fairytales.

From some coffee shop in Los Angeles, she is working on her next novel.

A good place to start with Allie Burke's books, in my opinion, would be with Paper Souls - her powerful look at life, and at schizophrenia. (Cover shown on right)

Allie Burke on Goodreads
Allie Burke on Amazon
Allie Burke on Facebook
Allie Burke on Twitter
Allie Burke's Website

Nicholas Denmon

Nicholas Denmon studied English at the University of Florida. He started story telling from the moment he could talk and has spent a lifetime perfecting the art.

His life has been varied, giving him no shortage of material. Some of his unique experiences include growing up with a schizophrenic mother, having six brothers and sisters (of which he is the middle-younger child), a perfectionist father, an evil step-mother, a college life to rival Tucker Max, and working for politicians on the Presidential as well as local stage. He has been, at times, a devout Catholic, a closet atheist, and an honorary member of the Jewish tribe.

Nick's joy of art knows little in the way of limitations, as he loves unique paintings, music, acting, film, and of course writing.

A good place to start with Nicholas Denmon's books, in my opinion, would be with For Nothing (An Upstate New York Mafia Tale #1). (Cover shown on right)

Nicholas Denmon on Goodreads
Nicholas Denmon on Amazon
Nicholas Denmon on Facebook
Nicholas Denmon on Twitter
Nicholas Denmon's Website

David Dalglish

David Dalglish was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, then moved to the small town of Purdy, Missouri when he was about four years old. Purdy’s claim to fame is a Supreme Court fight over whether or not the school could forbid dancing. The anti-dancers won.

He was a bookworm growing up. Solid A’s, was reading Crichton and Clancy by the fourth grade. Thankfully he had a very supportive family, ones who nurtured and cherished his intellect.

David graduated from Missouri Southern State University in 2006 with a degree in Mathematics. When trying to be productive, and stave off returning to working fast food, he writes and self-publishes various fantasy novels, of which he's sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

He also has a lovely wife and two beautiful daughters, with all three being far better than he deserves.

A good place to start with David Dalglish's books, in my opinion, would be with A Dance of Cloaks (Shadowdance 1). (Cover shown on right)

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David Dalglish's Website

S.K. Whiteside

S.K. Whiteside is a Mythic Fiction writer of Contemporary Urban & Historical Fantasy. As a full time Mental Health Therapist, she started writing in Academia but decided writing about things on the "other side of the veil" was not only profitable but a lot more interesting. Her earlier works are Paranormal Erotic Romance under a pen name that she continues to explore writing to this day. Living in the Paranormal capital of the world makes it fairly easy for her to come up with characters, many of which are based off of real personas in her life that she can't help but carry over into her writing.

Writer and lover of all things dark and mysterious - most of her stories have a background in Egyptian Mythology with a modern day adaptation and unique twist. Her Charismatic characters and snarky banter often derive from the various personas of those she loves and the voices in her head...

When not writing she spends her time telling everyone else in the world that they are completely bonkers but yet she often channels Napoleon Bonaparte. During her down time she pokes at the massive giant whom holds her captive and runs from two monsters that she swears are out to kill her. Some people call them her husband and children but she knows the truth...

A good place to start with S.K. Whiteside's books, in my opinion, would be with Inheritance (The World of the Guardians Book 1). (Cover shown on right)

S.K. Whiteside on Goodreads
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S.K. Whiteside's Website


Monday, August 25, 2014

Wednesday - An Action & Adventure/Crime Novel

9 cars, 19 states, 5 hair colors, and more bullets than you can count...

"When everything in life has been against you,
who can blame you for not trusting or playing nice with others?

After all, no matter how much someone cares about you...
They can only do so much... can only go so far... are your only real shot at coming out on top.

Sometimes reclaiming your life requires a body count."

-Wednesday Valentine


It's a funny road trip and a thrilling escape with guns, 
but with an emotional center...

I've tried to explain Wednesday to people many times, but she's a genre defying creature who often stays just out of my reach to explain. The story is one of redemption, and one of overcoming adversity and trauma. However, it takes place against the backdrop of a road trip. On the road, running from a human trafficking crime boss. An unlikely pair massively clashing with, and eventually deeply caring for, each other. 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I don't think I've ever written a piece this vulgar. That's in regards to a couple of the themes, but in a big part in regards to Wednesday's choice of language. It’s got pain, suffering, torture, growth, a road trip, cheap motels, tacos, lots of guns, nasty situations and language, action, and a lot of hair dye and attitude, with bullets, blades, and one liners, and a load of blood and tears... 

Below I've listed links to find Wednesday, and I'll update that list as time goes by. I've also put the full wrap cover for the print version of Wednesday, something I've not revealed until now. I think it's safe to show it off as we've reached the release date (August 26, 2014).  It was designed in by Kristy Charbonneau. I think she did a marvelous job! Below that gorgeous cover you'll find a sample I've included of Wednesday.

I really hope you enjoy taking the cross country ride with Wednesday and Alvin as much as I did. It was writing outside of my comfort zone, but then... Wednesday seems happiest when she has people outside of their comfort zones...


-Dennis Sharpe


"Genuine and real, Wednesday is the ass kicking heroine missing from today's stories. Nothing says hump day like a new dye job and spent bullets." 

Links to Wednesday:

Paperback (CreateSpace)
Paperback (Amazon)

Listing on

Listing on Indiepromo

Wednesday's Facebook Page

Wednesday's full paperback cover:

Or you can view it larger by clicking here.

Sample text:

The first chapter -

Chapter 1


That’s the word Alvin used to describe this place.


The rusted out warehouse and its parking lot were overgrown with weeds, and there wasn’t a single pane of glass that wasn’t at least cracked if not completely shattered. It really seemed, to Wednesday, like it belonged in a post-apocalyptic nightmare under a moonless black sky. It was the kind of place that was the furthest thing from safe she could imagine. The worst part about it, in her opinion, was that she’d been to many far worse places than this in her brief nineteen years. Depressingly, she’d lived in more than a few of them.
Alvin hid his more salt than pepper hair under the hat that matched his stolen police uniform as they rolled up to the large metal doorway in the unmarked former police cruiser. His thumbs tapped nervously against the steering wheel as he waited for Josefina’s man, Sample, to open up and let them drive in. So far, Sample had been good to his word. The car had been waiting for them at the hotel where he said it would be, and the room he’d rented for Alvin to stay in until he drove down tomorrow was paid for and even in the right name. Now he was almost at the finish line. Wednesday was almost through having to run and hide just to stay alive.
Wednesday Valentine was nothing like anyone Alvin had ever associated with not even back before he’d enlisted. From her wildly rotating hair colors - none of which appeared in nature, to her bizarre taste in clothes, to her complete detachment from the human race. This girl was still a completely alien creature to him.
She had innocent bright green eyes and a tiny frame with a foul mouth and violent short temper. She was dangerous and fragile with no regard for the world around her. Over the last two weeks he had watched her grow, really grow, as a person, and he’d seen her regress, truly break down, and fall apart. He was worried about her, of course, but there was really nothing he could do that he hadn’t already done. He’d given up his life for her, given up everything just to try to keep her safe. This was the final step.
Inside the warehouse office, Boyle’s thin form was crouched low over Sample’s dead body, holding the large metal box with the door controls. At this point, he’d spent the last ten minutes in the still, dark silence of the control room looking down over the warehouse. From his position, peering out the office windows, he had a clear view of the entire warehouse floor.
The only sound in the empty ten by ten room had been the tiny liquid pops from the blood slowly dripping from the tip of Sample’s nose to the dusty, blue linoleum floor. The sound had gone from distracting to maddening. Boyle knew that it normally took about fifteen minutes for blood exposed to open air to coagulate. He couldn’t be more thankful his targets were there on time. Another five minutes of this tedium and his blood might well have been flowing out too. He had to steady his nerves before he let them inside. Everything was about to get fast and messy.
The door jerked, then creaked loudly, as it began rumbling slowly to the side. Alvin looked back at Wednesday in her black and white Webb County, Texas jumpsuit. She looked so tiny to him now – so young, so small. Her hair was such a bright shade of red it looked almost plastic in the dim light of the backseat, and it was almost as if she’d retreated into herself so far that she’d actually aged backward.
He stared long enough she assumed he was making sure she was ready. She raised her hands to show him that she’d locked herself into the matching bracelets and pulled hard against the links between them. She couldn’t stop repeating the word safe in her head to try to reassure herself.
As the car pulled slowly into the building, Wednesday’s eyes darted in every direction, taking in every detail around her. The stacks of crates and pallets of boxes wrapped in plastic towered over them like a bizarre cityscape in miniature. The would-be skyscrapers stretched up into the darkness above the bent and worn metal light fixtures that dangled down from the ceiling. Only a quarter of the lights were even on, making the cavernous room seem a bit more ominous than it should.
The car’s tires chirped slightly as Alvin stopped alongside the large Mexican Police transport vehicle Josefina told them she’d procured. He knew Sample was around here somewhere; he was supposed to drive Wednesday across the border and meet with a crew of corrupt Mexican cops on Josefina’s payroll. Alvin would drive down and meet up with her tomorrow.
Alvin got out and walked around the car to open the back door. He offered Wednesday his hand to help her out of the car. She looked at him incredulously, but for once, she didn’t fight him. She took his hand and stepped out fighting a little grin. He was winning. He was breaking down her walls, her defenses, and worst of all he knew it. He was reshaping her, and she was letting him.
They stood in the center of the warehouse looking around for the man they were supposed to meet. One had his hand on the pistol at his side and the other was in a pair of handcuffs. Boyle couldn’t hear what they were discussing as Alvin bent down to put the ankle cuffs on Wednesday, but he could tell she was protesting, even if he couldn’t quite make out their words. Now, he figured, was as good a time as any as he slid the bolt into place on his rifle and looked down the scope.
Safe repeated in Wednesday’s head as she looked around the open space again, feeling anything but. Alvin knew better than she did. He’d already proven it. He’d managed to keep her alive this long despite the sheer number of killers Klein had sent after her. He said it was safe, so it had to be safe, even if the hair on the back of her neck was standing on end. She looked into his eyes for reassurance and found that she felt better but still ill at ease.
Alvin saw the fear in her eyes and gave her a nod to try to reassure her. He knew she’d been through a lot, and he’d do anything to sooth her. This had to be done. He only wished it could be done faster or be over already.
“Now the chain of these leg cuffs,” Alvin said, holding them up in front of him. “It locks into the floor of the prisoner transport, so let’s go ahead and get them on you.”
He took his hand off of his gun for what felt like only an instant as he turned his back to the perch that Boyle had chosen. Boyle smiled broadly. This was like getting a present, and it wasn’t even his birthday.
Alvin had clapped the cuff around Wednesday’s right ankle when she stopped him again.
“If I’m going to wear them and if you want me to believe I’m actually safe, you’re going to give me a key,” Wednesday said eyebrow raised and hand extended toward his face.
He rolled his eyes as he looked up at her. He opened his mouth, but before he could protest, Alvin felt the burn of the bullet. The report followed a fraction of a second later. He slumped forward, falling at Wednesday’s feet.
“Fuck!” she yelled, shaking.
She immediately dropped to her knees at his side – eyes wide, face pale. Alvin leaned up to her and squeezed the key into her hand as a second round whizzed over their heads.
“Run!” Alvin yelled back at her as the second report echoed through the warehouse.
“I’m not leaving…” She was cut off as he smacked her.
“Run like hell, kid,” Alvin said, as his body shook from another round in his left side.  He collapsed again to the floor while the room was booming.
Boyle had switched to automatic fire and stood up. The muzzle flashes above them looked almost like a flamethrower in the dark as his rifle threw round after round down at them.
Panic washed over her like a house fire hitting its flash point. It was as if her body exploded with the heat of the flames licking every inch of her. The palm print on her face stung, pins and needles assaulted her limbs, and she knew that the second shot that hit Alvin would have been in her belly if he hadn’t stopped it. This was all too much. His blood was splattered dark crimson all over the black and white stripes she wore. He was right. She had to run.
Wednesday bolted up fast, sprinting and uncuffing herself as she went. She tore off out of the large open room onto the loading dock.  Chunks of the concrete floor popped up all around her feet as Boyle’s shots barely missed their mark.
Unless there were others around here somewhere, she had a hell of a head, and she knew it. Boyle did too. He started running down the flights of stairs separating him from the floor of the warehouse. She was gone.
She ran into the night, faster than she could ever remember running, screaming as she went. “Nothing’s ever fucking safe!”


 “I’m not trying to make you feel sorry for me, or take my side,” Alvin said, and then reconsidered his words. “I’m not looking for any big show of compassion…”
A deep and ragged breath shook Alvin’s chest as he was wracked with a thick wet cough. The eighty-degree heat of the Laredo night was lost on him. The only thing he could feel was cold.
“Shut up and die, old man,” Boyle said sharply.
He was silhouetted from the overhead lights, making him look, to Alvin, even thinner than he was, but the darkness did little to diminish the glint off the polished pistol in his right hand. As he crouched down closer, Alvin could smell him – a unique blend of body odor, cigarette smoke, and cheap scented body spray. He was a poor excuse for a nightmare but an unarguably effective one.
Alvin was on his back on the hard, smooth concrete floor looking up at the hardwood platforms and walkways above him. His .45 was next to him on the floor, empty. At least, it had kept Boyle from getting out the door after her. Alvin had managed to pin him down until he’d emptied his weapon.
For a moment, Alvin’s thoughts were completely incoherent as he laid slowly and painfully bleeding out where he’d fallen. He was dying, and he knew it. He couldn’t let himself go out like that. He had to focus.
“Boyle? You’re Boyle, right? You’re Klein’s up-and-comer… the bright one. Right?” He tried to focus on the man’s pockmarked face now close enough to make out. The recognition he was looking for was there. He was right.
“I’m telling you this,” Alvin continued through ragged breaths, “so that someone will know... so I won’t be the only one… I won’t just take it to the grave, ya know?”
He had to take his time, as much as he could anyway. He knew he’d have to draw this out if it was going to be of any help making good her escape. What he didn’t know was how long he actually had left.
Boyle didn’t answer his question. He just stared at him through the silence that hung heavy between them.
When he did finally speak, he started with a contemptuous question. “Do you honestly think this is going to do you any good? The only reason I’m still here is to watch you die. I’m just gonna keep sitting here watching. That’s my job, old man, to make sure you die. That’s what he’s paying me for. You do understand that, right?” Boyle sneered at him with a mocking smile.
The oversaturation of the red fluid soaked out through the blue of the stolen police uniform shirt giving Alvin’s chest an odd purple tint. Having spent the time he had with Wednesday, Alvin was for a moment keenly aware that this was a color that she’d absolutely love. He wanted to laugh, but he knew that if he did the two holes in his left side would shoot enough pain through him that he might well black out again. He couldn’t afford that. He had to stay conscious.
“If you’re going to be here anyway, you might as well listen. Honestly, it’s a story I’d never have believed if I hadn’t lived it. You might get a kick out of it.” Alvin broke down and laughed and was wracked with searing pain that triggered another coughing spasm, coating more of the floor next to him with the blood he was spitting out. He had to keep control of himself.
“I was just told to sit here for as long as it takes. Make sure you died nice and slow. Make sure that you suffer as long as possible, but that you do actually die. He wants you in as much pain as you can be, for as long as you last,” Boyle said as he pulled a crate over next to Alvin’s head and sat down on it, never letting his gaze, or his pistol, leave their mark. “Suit yourself though, dead man. Talk away. Just know that only one of us is walking out of here, and I’m not the one lung shot laying here drowning in my own fluids. Waste the time you’ve got left how you see fit. Just don’t expect me to pay attention or give a shit.”
“Now… see… that’s the right kind… of attitude.” Alvin was pushing the words out with all his might while trying to smile. They were a focus for him, his words. He had to keep talking. Telling the story was the only thing standing between him and death. “I think… what you’re missing… for this to make sense… is a sense of scope. The big picture, I mean.”
“So I get to hear how you became a sell-out chump who turns on his own employer for a cheap piece of ass?” The man snickered at him as he leaned down and took the pack of smokes out of Alvin’s shirt pocket and lit one. “Maybe the boss’ll like to hear this one, too. I’ll record it for him. Send it along as proof and entertainment. He might give me a bonus for that, ya know?”
Boyle took out his smartphone and activated the Bluetooth. He pushed a few buttons as he took a big drag and smiled down at Alvin. He finally had the activate button up and showed it to Alvin as he clicked it on. The small red light on the little digital recorder Boyle left up in the office blinked to life, showing that the mic and camera had started recording,
“Smile for the camera,” he said as he sat down, looking at the display and focusing it in on them. “Tell your boss how sad you are that you’re dying.”
“I didn’t always work for him. You know that, right?” Alvin asked, reaching up to take back his pack and getting only one cigarette handed to him instead. He put it between his lips and looked back up expectantly for a light. Speaking through clenched teeth he continued, “I ran my own business once. Legit business, too. I was married, family in the ‘burbs, the whole nine. Can I get a light?”
The heavy shadows in the dimly lit room, full of crates and wrapped pallets, were utterly unfazed as Boyle struck his zippo and held it in front of Alvin. It flickered there long enough for him to force himself up onto his side and make use of the flame.
He realized, as he raised himself up, that he couldn’t feel anything south of his waist. He tried, as best he could without drawing undue attention, to move first his left foot, then his right. No joy. That second shot, the one that knocked him down, must have hit something important.
“Thanks,” Alvin said, giving away nothing, as he took a deep drag, then slid his elbow out and settled agonizingly back to the floor. “I…really should quit. These things’ll…kill ya.”
Boyle stared down at Alvin with a drawn face, the pistol still aimed at his head. Alvin was undeterred. He had to talk. He had to hold this man’s attention. No matter how cold he was, or how much he hurt, he owed her any time he could buy her.
“I was twenty-four when I got married. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago, not most days. I took all the money that Sarah and I got for wedding presents and started my own business. I had a perfect, beautiful wife and the job of my dreams… was my own boss. It was a really great time, for a while.” Alvin’s eyes closed, and a slight smile drew back his lips as he remembered. “But time keeps going... and nothing stays the same.”
The man sitting over him sighed deeply as he considered just shooting him. If he didn’t think Klein would know, he would. For now he’d listen, miserably, but he wasn’t impressed.