So hey, what’s this “Talon” thing about?

Long ago, before Underworld, before the blasphemy of Twilight, I started a Vampire novel. It wasn’t really meant to be a novel, but let’s not split hairs. I started writing Talon, which had (and still does) have a much deeper meaning to me than first appearances. I took the Vampire trope and rewrote it to be the way *I* wanted it to be.

Crosses? Ha. Only if properly blessed, so that little trinket you bought at Wal-mart won’t help you. Bibles. Again, only if properly blessed. Garlic? Best served on bread and served with spaghetti. Need an invitation to your house? Hardly. Vamps will walk right on in. Daylight? Yea, it weakens them a bit so they try to limit their time out in it, but explode? Naw. That’s Hollywood bullshit. Stakes through the heart? Hurts but won’t kill. Going to high school and sparkling? Get the fuck out of here.

Vampires aren’t soulless Demons. They also don’t tend to be broody melancholic creatures who would fit in at an emo gathering. They can run the full gambit of emotions, but the blood that gave them immortality has corrupted them. It brings out the worst in each of them. So yes, they tend to be brutal, even sadistic monsters–all the worst of mankind’s emotions walking around with an insatiable thirst. But, under the right circumstances, they can be much more than that. And that’s where I found Nicky.

Nicky is definitely an Alpha-predator. He’s not only been trained to be sadistic and cruel, part of him takes great pleasure in it. He never wanted to be a hero. He never asked to be saved. He knows what he’s done is wrong. He knows a lot of the thing he *continues* to do is wrong. He sees himself as unworthy, already damned, case closed, shut the book, game over, man–game over. I think this is where Nicky and my souls overlap just a little bit.

As a person who has done some bad things in his life (nothing like Nicky mind you), I have felt that “I’m already damned.” feeling. I never asked for redemption. I never felt I was worthy of it, but through chance, or destiny, I ended up on a better road than I was one. Like Nicky, I was given the chance to atone for my sins. Nicky’s story, while brutal, vulgar, full of violence and foul language–in the end this saga is truly about being redeemed and God using the worst of us for good if we’ll just take that chance.

The Talon series, despite being so many things that would turn most Christians off, actually has a strong Christian undertone that comes out over the course of many books. You see Angels, Devils, Demons, Lucifer, and even God himself hiding in plain sight in this series. It’s an action/adventure full of blood, gore, and violence. But there’s also a love story and the question of “How far would you go to protect someone you loved?” I can’t classify this series as any one thing. Is it dark fantasy? Yes. Is it action/adventure? Yes. Is there a touch of paranormal romance in there? Yes. It is blood and gore and violence and beauty and ecstasy and chaos. It’s a beautiful chaos. There’s something for everyone in this series. It’s my great symphony, my Bohemian Rhapsody, my attempt to leave a mark on the world.

So, what is Talon about? It’s about everything and everyone. It’s the Alpha and the Omega. It’s the hope that even washed up, battered, broken and twisted people can find some peace in the world. Now bring on the Demons. Nicky has some ass to kick.

A message from Nicholas “Talon” Watson

So yea, life was peachy-fucking-keen. Sure, I was alone…and a murderer. Yea, guess I shouldn’t leave that part out, huh? Well, what the fuck do you expect? I’m a fucking Vampire. I drink blood. It’s what I fucking do. Everything was just fine, until I saw her.

If my heart still beat, it would have stopped. If I still breathed, it would have taken my breath away. It was like staring at a ghost. No, it was worse than that. This girl was real. She was right there in front of me. The strawberry blonde curls, the line of freckles running across the bridge of her nose, the same sad brown eyes—in every way imaginable, this girl looked just like my dead sister.

It wasn’t enough that she was dead. Oh, no. She had been murdered right in front of me along with my mother. I was seventeen at the time, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. The Colony of Roanoke had itself a good ole fashioned fucking witch hunt, and my family was the victim.

I should have died that night. Shit, sometimes I wish I had died that night. But no, God and his sick fucking sense of humor had me live through it long enough to catch the attention of a Vampire named Tessa. She was beautiful—red hair and emerald green eyes. She looked like an Angel. Man, was I ever wrong about that.

As beautiful as she was, she was twice as ruthless. She taught me to kill. She taught me to relish in the suffering of others—and I did. I became the very hate that I despised. One by one, we killed them all. Well, all but Molly Hale. She was the daughter of the bastard who murdered my family, and I had loved her as a mortal. Tessa thought it fitting that I turn her. So I did. She became my Dark Bride. Together we slaughtered all who crossed our paths, and tortured for our own amusement. Others’ suffering became my bliss. Their agony became my release. Some flee from the darkness. I ran into it and let it consume me.

Four hundred years. Four hundred fucking years of death and mayhem, all ruined in a moment by the eyes of a stranger. I trembled. I remembered my humanity and I hated myself for it. I thought of my sister, frozen in the woods, tied to a fucking tree like some discarded piece of trash left to rot. The soul that I was sure had died oh so long ago twisted up in my belly until the agony of it set my mind on fire. Worse than any pain I had ever felt, it was like dying all over again—and I wept. Tears fell from my eyes, something that hadn’t happened in centuries. Suddenly, I wasn’t the monster I had become. I was that scared seventeen year old boy watching his sister die all over again.

And I shouted in my mind, “No! Fuck you, God! Not again! Not like this! Not here and not today! Not on my watch, old man. You’ve already taken everything from me. Would you really torture me like this again?”

Of course, there was no fucking answer—there never is, but I knew what I had to do. I could right the wrong. The monster could be the hero. Where I had failed, I could succeed. This poor girl, whoever she was, I would save her and atone for my sins. I would do this, for my sister Lizzie’s sake.

How could I have known that plucking this thread would unravel my entire world. Everything I knew, everything I was, everything I was meant to be would be turned on its head. The road it set me upon, there would be no turning back. There would be no stopping the avalanche once it started pouring down the mountain. No more cares. No more regrets. This is the path I’m on and I will ride it all the way either to the gates of Heaven or the pit of Hell. I care not which.

So, come for me, dark ones. I can hear you hiding in the shadows, whispering your foul threats and lies in my direction. If it’s my head you want, come and fucking take it. You say I’ve broken your rules. Fuck your rules. Fuck your petty aristocracy with your noses turned up in the fucking air. Fuck being bound by an authority I no longer recognize as my superior. I am my own man. I make my own rules. I am the Vampire Talon, and I will fucking destroy you.

–Nicholas “Talon” Watson

Talon: The Spider’s Web: 7/22/17 from Burning Willow Press

Author/Artist Spotlight: L Bachman

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Today, I’m with L Bachman, author of The Blasphemer series. I think one of the first things that pop to mind is how does someone in the heart of the Bible belt come up with something called “The Blasphemer” series?

My writing of it isn’t because I live in the heart of the Bible belt as much as I’m aware of what many living here will consider my works of fiction. I’ve given many reasons to the title of the series, they’re all correct because they all fit perfectly to the title of the series, key characters, and how I know I’ll be seen by those that won’t take the time to read the good vs evil storylines.

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You may purchase this HERE.

Who were some of your early writing influences?

I’ve always been a fan of the classics. I’ve also been a fan of Anne Rice since I was younger, as well as Mary Shelly, Edgar Allen Poe, and Bram Stoker.

Okay, 80s slasher movies, or modern paranormal horror?

80’s slasher movies, but if not that I’ve always enjoyed a good black and white horror flick as well.

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Jason approved of her answer.

What projects do you have in the works? What can you tell us about them?

I’ve been working on a story called Mercy based on unexplainable paranormal events that are real. I’ve also been working on a story called Necessary Evil that I hope readers will enjoy but also get them thinking about how events occur in the real world, how historically all it takes is one thing to shift the tide of awareness one way or another. Along with these two, I’m working on the third installment of The Blasphemer Series: Ghosts and a trilogy I recently cover revealed on Facebook called The Burning Man that begins in the time of the witch trials here in America 1692, but for the main character being burned for being a witch when he isn’t in the way of how witches were burned in Europe during their witch trials brings him back, time and time again. For now, this is a trilogy, but it may be something that I pop out time to time after the three books depending.

Favorite Indy author that maybe people aren’t aware of yet?

I think most people I know of are already known by someone, I’m always sharing and promoting my fellow self-pubs, hybrids, and independently published. Hard to narrow down just a single favorite and with that all I can do is recommend people check out my feeds for mentioning of other authors.

I know you work on staff at Burning Willow Press. Without breaching any contracts or getting you into trouble, could you tell us what all you do? I’ve seen some of your work and I have to say, I think it’s bloody gorgeous.

I am staffed in the graphics department of Burning Willow Press, you’re correct. I also work independently from them for my own clients that have been loyal since I first began. For Burning Willow Press, LLC, I do all of the promotional marketing for the authors that are being published. I prep their release materials so that the company and the author can then market the books to the best that they can. Time to time, I also help Loraine Van Tonder do cover work so that she is not overloaded and I help out the webmaster S.L. Perrine by making the images displayed for books released so that everyone can see what is under the BWP umbrella and currently out. I also do editing of images, do any random images that may be handed down to me from Edd Sowder or Kindra Sowder they may be needed, for example flyers or ribbons for awards.

Best version of Dracula ever and/or best actor to play Dracula?

You can never go wrong with the Bram Stoker original, but of course the movie adaptation by Francis Ford Coppola. For me, Dracula, is only best played by Gary Oldman.

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Have to say, it’s hard to argue with her.

Mark Twain once said he’d prefer Heaven for the climate but Hell for the company. Do you agree?

I would hope that I’m not heading to hell, for the company or any other reason. I am sure many believe I’m heading there and I’ve even been told as much by a brave few, but that is between me and a higher power after I’m gone. Matthew 7:1-3 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

 

L Bachman’s Amazon author page can be found HERE.

Her Facebook fan page, full of info on her latest works can be found HERE.

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Welcome to “The Dark World” by S.C. Parris

Dark World

Welcome To The Dark World.
A World kept from the eyes of humans where all manner of Dark Creature live, war, and thrive. But certain Creatures are about to find that there is more to the dark than blood and bite…. The Dark World holds secrets…and the greatest of all are about to be revealed.
— “Her name…is Alexandria Stone.”
These are some of the last words Xavier Delacroix hears from his beloved Eleanor Black…just before she bursts into a Lycan Creature. And if this wasn’t enough to rattle Xavier’s brilliant mind, other Vampires – namely Dracula – are becoming elusive and speaking only in vague air about Xavier’s supposedly brilliant blood. But with a human to find, Lycans to kill, and a World to protect, Xavier is not so sure what to believe or who.
Buy the book here. (BOOK SALES BEGIN 8/30)

Author Interview: J.S. Frankel

Hello, everybody, welcome to another author spotlight. Today we are joined by J.S. Frankel, who has a new booked called “Beginnings (The Nightmare Crew Book 1). What really jumped right out at me in this book is that you’ve seemed to have blended genres a bit here. It is one part classic horror monsters and one part superheroes. Whatever gave you the idea to do this? What were some of your influences while writing this book?

Frankel—I write primarily YA, action with a bit of romance tossed in, and when I looked at the YA market, it seemed as though a new werewolf, vampire, or zombie novel was coming out every week. I mentioned it to my wife and said “I don’t think I’d ever do one of those novels. There are just too many!” Her answer was: “Why don’t you do them all?” Bingo! After that, The Nightmare Crew was born.

As for influences, I grew up watching the old Universal horror flicks as well as those from Hammer. In a way, this is my homage to them, updated, but still a nice homage.

Without giving too much away, what else do you have planned for The Nightmare Crew? Could any of them possibly see their own spin-off standalone novel?

Frankel—The Nightmare Crew was originally a standalone novel, with that name. However, my publisher, Finch Books, asked if I could do a trilogy. So…I did it. What I envisioned was taking a rather hapless protagonist and introducing him to a world he never thought existed. He ends up living with them, finding a family, and becoming something more than he was. Really, though, it’s all about family and friendship, when you get right down to it.

Which character did you most identify with in “Beginnings?”

Frankel–The main character, Paul Wiseman. I wasn’t an orphan, as he is. I had good parents (now deceased) who showed me a lot of love. But I was an outsider growing up, and I still consider myself to be somewhat of an outsider.

I noticed you have a Vampire and a zombie on the team, not exactly your traditional hero types. Do you enjoy breaking stereotypes with characters? Was that your goal with this book or did it just work out that way?

Frankel—Yes, I like to subvert the tropes a little. Both creatures are considered “evil”, yet in the novel they’re anything but evil. Partially it’s due to them being created in a lab as opposed to magic or a deity’s powers, but it’s also because they’ve been engendered with human values. I simply wanted to create offbeat characters and to that end, I succeeded.

Angela, the vampire, is human in a sense. She has knowledge, but no experience. She yearns for acceptance, but also knows it isn’t in the cards for her. Angela learns she has to fight for it, just as Paul does, once he becomes someone a little different.

Are there any other members of The Nightmare Crew we’ve yet to meet? As an old school horror/monster movie fan I know there are a lot of dark creatures you could tap into if you wanted to.

Frankel— The last member of the Crew not shown is Ooze. He’s a sentient water being, the brains of the outfit, if you will. I envisioned him as a kind of snarky character, one with a sense of the absurd. I mean, you can’t get more absurd than talking water, can you? But he was a fun character to write.

I try to remember to ask this of all the authors who join us here, what got you into writing? Who were the authors that really inspired you to pursue this career?

Frankel—I started writing very late, when I was forty-eight. Before then, I’d never even thought about it. But my older son, who was around ten at the time, saw a cartoon on YouTube. It had something to do with trees, and he mentioned it to me. That gave me an idea, and I ended up writing my first novel The Tower, that very night. It’s now out of cyber print. It wasn’t my best novel, but it was my first, and that got me started.

As for other authors, no one, really. I loved reading Ray Bradbury and Robert Heinlein growing up, but they never influenced me. I just decided to write and at the age of fifty-four, I’m still doing it.

Is there any book that you’ve read that you really wish you had written yourself?

Frankel—Gone South, by Robert S. McCammon. It’s a masterful character study, a great action novel, and a terrific read.

What are some of the other books you’ve written that people can keep an eye out for?

Frankel—I’m very proud of my Catnip novels. They’re digital only, available on Amazon. I’ve written five: Catnip, Rise of the Transgenics, Revolution, Separation, and Reunion. The last of them will be out this August. They’re Action/Romance novels, dealing with transgenics, and somewhat similar to The Nightmare Crew, but they deal with far more human issues.

Star Maps is also a favorite of mine. Ever wondered if aliens exist? Now’s your chance! It deals with a teen nerd who loves watching the stars, meets a girl, and finds out she’s not exactly from around here. I consider it one of my best.

Recent novels also include The Menagerie (from Finch Books) and also Picture (Im)perfect, my only romance. It’s a one-off deal, but I’m glad I wrote it.

And last, but not least, what are your three favorite books of all time?

Frankel—There are so many! I loved the classics by Jules Verne, Alexander Dumas and Victor Hugo, but for more modern novels, I tend to favor S/F. Inferno and Lucifer’s Hammer, written by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, remain my two favorites. Anything by Ray Bradbury is fine, and, as mentioned before, Gone South and Swan Song by McCammon are tops. I know that’s more than three, but when you love books, you can’t choose just three!

If anyone is interested in my novels, they can check over on Amazon at this link: http://www.amazon.com/J.S.-Frankel/e/B004XUUTB8/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

I’m also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007640056961

I don’t mind if anyone messages me on Facebook with questions on writing and what have you. I’m still learning, and I welcome feedback. If I can help anyone with their work, I will, inasmuch as time allows.

Thank you for this interview. I loved all the questions!

 

 

P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer

It’s the book with a cute name but has a lot more to it.  Do you like your weres?  Yes.  You like shapeshifters?  Yes.  Do you like Nell Carter?  No.  Good!  ‘Cause you won’t find her here!  A girl gets a gift that turns her world upside down!  She starts running with a pack of shifters and that’s when things get interesting.

When Miri receives a silver cat charm from her omama, Celia, on the night before Celia dies she has no idea that the charm holds a secret, a powerful magic that saved her omama’s life and is about to make Miri’s a whole lot more interesting.

Join Miri on a mysterious and supernatural journey with her new friends, members of an underground St. Louis society known as the Partnership for Animagi, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters, better known as P.A.W.S.

Amazon :Link:  https://amzn.com/B0129GG6YQ