Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dead Man's Gambit by Frank Scully has a cover

Dead Man's Gambit
by Frank Scully
Coming June 2011
Book Two of The Decade Mystery Series
Cover artist: Annie Melton

There is only one word to describe Frank's series:


He has the ability to draw you into the period of his novel, step into his main characters' shoes, and hook you from beginning to end.

Stay tuned for excerpts coming soon from his first book, Resurrection Garden, to be released January 1, 2011.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jake Turner - Resurrection Garden

Dear Reader,

My name is Jake. Jake Turner. I am a Deputy Sheriff in the small town of Tenbury, ND. It’s a part time job but it comes with a room above the office and I have enough free time to do other jobs when I am not finding bodies in snow banks. More about that later.

I’ve knocked around the country since I left home at 16 more than 20 years ago. In that time I’ve done a lot of things; joined the Army for a spell, been a cattle buyer, an Arizona Ranger and a railroad detective. I fought in Cuba and charged up San Juan Hill. And watched the century turn. Railroads and the telegraph are changing the country.

Progress is a good thing. People are coming to this raw land, the magnificent prairie of North Dakota looking for their opportunity for a new tomorrow. It is hard work and the people are good stock mostly. From all over the world. I’m here because it was as good a place to stop as any other. An Indian once asked me if I knew where my tomorrow was coming from. I had no answer for him.

I was born and raised on a farm. I love the feel of good soil in my hand. My hands are hard and callused from working the land. And yet I’ve been a failure every time I have stopped my wanderings to try it. So now I work as a farm hand for others in my free time. Mostly for widows who have lost their husbands. Breaking the prairie sod and building a new life is hard on man and beast. It has broken many a plow and the man behind it. I do what I can to help those in need.

As I said, I’ve been a lawman in some form in many places. I have never enjoyed using a gun but I have a reputation and a history, some of it true and some of it from a dime novel by a writer who had neither any ability to write nor any respect for the truth. I have tried to leave it behind but it always catches up.

The body I found in the melting snow bank has a history too. Beaten, stabbed and then shot with a rifle and a shotgun. His killers wanted him deader than dead. And that sentiment seems to be the consensus of all who knew him including his family. There are many who want me to let it go, but murder is murder and no matter who the victim is, justice needs to be done.

But it is going to come with a cost. The killers come close to killing me once and try again several times. But that isn’t the worst of it. My best friend is tangled up in the web of killers. His sister, the woman who captured my heart, is in danger as is Andy, an orphaned boy who has become very important to me.

Untangling the sordid web of crimes that will solve the murder could cost me more than my life. Graves will be dug at the end. Who will they be for? Will I see where my tomorrow is coming from?

Ride along with me and see.


Resurrection Garden by Frank Scully, coming January 1, 2011

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Still time to Vote in the Name the House Contest

Last month people submitted names for the artificial intelligence that runs Carolyn Master's house in Dark Side of the Moon. The house is getting testy because the program is built to have a name and Carolyn can't seem to settle on one. So, people submitted names ranging from Lurch to Alice to Watson. Right now, Alice and Watson are in a dead heat. It's a tie. Voting is open at

You have until June 1 to vote.

Pray for Rachel in The Blue of Her Hair, The Gold of Her Eyes

Pray for Rachel in The Blue of Her Hair, The Gold of Her Eyes
John B. Rosenman

My name is Rachel Ross, and my life is good. I have a loving husband and a job that helps others and gives me satisfaction.

Then one day I notice a growth on my left breast. No, it isn’t cancer. I only wish it were. It is
something far, far worse. A deadly, mysterious disease infinitely more horrible than cancer or
leprosy. A disease so terrible that no one dares to speak its name or even mention it.

When my husband hears my diagnosis, he leaves me cold. All my friends shun me, and I am forced to wear a blood red symbol of my disease on my breast. I am the ultimate outcast, a lonely woman hungry for love that people fear and scorn. If I even try to speak to them, they will scream, throw rocks and run.

Then one day I start to change. And change. And change. What am I changing into? As the weeks pass, I think I am turning into a horrible monster. Or perhaps ultimately it will be something transcendent, beyond humanity’s wildest imagination. Either way I am terrified and miserable. Yet I cannot take the pill to end my life which the State eagerly offers me.

The Blue of Her Hair, the Gold of Her Eyes is suspenseful science-fiction horror, due out from
MuseItUp in July 2011. It reflects an obsessive theme in my fiction: the theme of transformation. In this story, I take that theme about as far as I can. I try to stretch readers’ minds to the breaking point and beyond. There’s only a few other stories I’ve written that rival this novelette when it comes to transformation, and one of them is More Stately Mansions, a cosmic science-fiction novelette due out from this same publisher in March, 2011.
Remember the song, “Across the Universe”? Well, I try to take us even further. Perhaps I’ll
blog about it next time if I don’t experience a sea change of my own.

Dear Readers, I eagerly invite your comments. For further information on me, please check
my website at, or the MuseItUp website.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Conversation with Norman

My new sci fi book with MuseItUp has a character in it named "Norman" - an artificial intelligence with a tremendous heart circuit.  Ever since I wrote him, he's been trying to make human friends.  Recently he's taken to facebook trying to make connections.  I check in on him every once in a while and thought I'd share with you one of his recent conversations with a human by the name of Jacqueline.

Norman:  Thank you for adding my face to your book.  You can learn more about me at

Jacqueline: Thank you, Norman. I did read your story before adding you. Very clever :*)

Norman:  Thank you, Jacqueline. And good luck in defeating devilish carbs and condemning yummy shortbread. Fortunately I only have to hook into a wall socket for sustenance.

Jacqueline:  Thank you Norman. Fortunately I can exercise them away. I've never been wished well by a ro... I mean, an AI before.

Norman:   Thanks for staying "electronically correct". I am indeed an AI, not a robot. Actually I'm stuck in a supercomputer - I don't have a robot body. I just use this profile picture to pick up robochicks.

Jacqueline:  Lol. And what would be your ideal robo-chick?

Norman:  I will let you meet my dream-bot.

Norman:  My future wife. Pentium 5 processor, 6 gigahertz, never overheats even though she's so hot. And she's classy. I'm in love. I'm trying to figure out what I should message her. I don't think she'd even look at me.

Jacqueline:  She does look like a beautiful bot. I can see why you are taken by her. You're AI, remember, with emphasis on the "I" so I'm sure you'll think of a way to approach her. Besides, that's half the fun isn't it? Thinking up what to say? :*)

Norman:  I feel a lot better now. Thanks for the confidence booster. I have an idea. I think I will wait until she's in danger and then say "Watch out for that bus!"

Jacqueline:'s definitely a plan. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Adverb Police

As a writer, I try to learn and grow all the time. As my mother once said -- or will say to anyone standing nearby-- "some people learn and grow; some people just grow old." So I try to be the former. I may write light and fluffy stuff but I take the writing of it very seriously. I am currently doing edits for my upcoming book Murder is a Family Business, due out January 1, by MuseItUp Publishing. And yes, I, too, tend to repeat things to anyone standing nearby. The fruit does not fall far from the tree.
In rereading my work, as I scrutinize it, going word by word, I have discovered that I don't need most the adverbs I have used. Honestly, truly, really...whoops. Old habits die hard.
In some ways, using adverbs is taking the easy way out. The real work comes when I have to create a phrase that encapsulates what I have come to rely upon an adverb doing.
Of course, there are times when using an adverb is perfect. Rare but it does exist. And when it is perfect, I leave it. But more often than not, the reader gets what I'm saying without me adding: slowly, gently, sadly, laughingly, brightly, etc.
An added bonus is, I find I have tightened my work. Sometimes I think I should just do a global and delete every single word that ends with an 'ly.' But I lie down until that particular urge passes.
Still and all, I am a new member of the Adverb Police and proud to display my badge -- to anyone standing nearby.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Presenting Noted Paranormal Lecturer, Ken Parker

[The house lights dim, and a distinguished looking professor-type
comes on stage, puts his notes on the podium, and looks out at the

Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. I'm Doctor Ken Parker, of the
Department of Paranormal Studies at Montcalm College. But I guess
you know that, you wouldn't be here otherwise, would you?

[The audience laughs.]

I have spent a number of years studying Magic and the Paranormal,
and I am convinced that Magic exists and is all around us. After a
while I decided that I ought to present this information to the
public, and I went to work developing a TV show about this. Let me
ask, have any of you seen the show "Ghosties?"

[He pauses, counts a small number of raised hands.]

Not too many of you. Fortunately! It's awful, isn't it? Well, I
hate to admit it, but I was responsible for "Ghosties." My original
idea was to do a serious show, perhaps for PBS. Then a group of
network producers--I'm sure you can figure out which network--got
wind of it and bought the rights for an outrageous sum of money. I
figured out later that a bunch of warlocks was behind it, even
that network wouldn't have spent so much money without an
evil influence working on them. The network completely changed the
show, coming up with "Ghosties." My boss at the college said it was
totally embarrassing and used it as an excuse to kick me out ...
fortunately we got that sorted out eventually.

I went off on a road trip and ended up in what was then called
Groverton, a town filled with magic and magic users. There were
witches and warlocks. The witches were almost all women, most of
them good. In fact, I'd like to introduce you to one of the nicest
witches I know, my wife Jinny.

[He gestures, and a cute redhead in the front row stands, turns to
face the audience, and waves.]

She was the one who convinced me to stop denying the evidence and
admit that I was a witch, too, one of the very rare male witches.
Just about the time I got there, the warlocks in town, all evil,
were gearing up for a big battle. They planned to resurrect the
ghost of Mordecai Grover, a warlock who had been killed there eighty
or so years earlier ...

[He pauses and looks down at Jinny, who is pointing to her watch.]

Sorry, I'm running out of time here. I'd love to tell you the full
story, but I guess you'll have to read the book, "The Ghost of
Grover's Ridge"
by James Hartley. I helped him write it, and I'm
sure you'll enjoy it. Good night, everyone.

[He picks up his notes and walks off stage, waving to the audience.
Jinny gets up and heads for the stage door. The house lights come up.]

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I've been remiss, I know

Okay, I've been remiss.

You all know that I have my first e-book, SANTA IS A LADY coming out this year...actually on December 1st, the first of my CHRISTMAS MIRACLES, but I actually have more e-books coming with Muse It Up and Muse It Hot coming out in 2011. In fact, and this is incredible, I have four more coming out in 2011, so far. Am I prolific...or do I just have a lot to say? Probably a bit of both.

Since SANTA IS A LADY is the first, can you guess that it is a Christmas story?

What gave it away?

Was it the fact that it is the FIRST in the CHRISTMAS MIRACLES SERIES?

That does sort of suggest a Christmas theme doesn't it...and then there's my photo up there which is actually the delightful cover done by my amazing Cover Artist Goddess Delilah Stephans that shows my Santa Angie Brightwell becked out in her Christmas finery.

Don't you just love Angie's haunting eyes and her hint of a mysterious smile? You have to ask yourself is she smiling because it's her "ho-ho-ho" moment, or is she smiling because she knows something that the rest of us don't, but should?

Moving on to the rippling liquid or is it s pond, behind her. What is rippling? Melting snow? Hmmmm, does that mean Angie is looking out at us from inside, outside, or is something above radiating down from the ragged folds of red to form the puddle beside her...and either way, what could it be?

What secrets could be behind Angie's mysterious half-smile?

Stay tuned over the weeks to come as more and more we learn the mysteries that may, or may not be behind the slight, but knowing glint in Angie's semi-smile.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Welcome Cindy Johnson from Shortcomings

Today we have a special guest with us.  Cindy Johnson the heroine from Ginger Simpson’s upcoming young adult release has reluctantly agreed to be interviewed.

Interviewer:  Welcome Cindy.  It’s nice to have you visit us at Muse It Up’s Blog.  I spoke with Ginger earlier and she’s quite excited about Shortcomings and the message she hopes to deliver to young readers.  How do you feel about having the staring role?

Cindy:  *shifts nervously in her director-type chair*  Thank you for inviting me, although I do try to avoid being the center of attention.  I’m more comfortable at home than anywhere else, but this was important to Ginger so I promised I’d make an appearance.

Interviewer:  You’re such a beautiful girl.  Most would kill to have that natural blonde hair and those big blue eyes.  What makes you so uncomfortable?

Cindy:  The name of Ginger’s novel should give you a big hint.  *extends both legs out straight*  I was born with one leg shorter than the other and my classmates can’t get past my deformity.  Once people notice that I walk with a noticeable limp, the cruel stares and comments are soon to follow.  I can’t believe how unkind people can be.

Interviewer:  So, did Ginger consult much with you about the story?

Cindy:  I’d say I bugged her more than she bugged me.  I really wanted her to tell my story with the hope that people will get the feeling of what it’s like to be different.

Interviewer:  How old are you, Cindy.  You look to be a junior in high school.

Cindy:  Good guess.  I’m seventeen and I live at home with my parents and four siblings.  Things have been tough for my family since Daddy lost his job and we had to relocate.  I was much more comfortable attending school with people I grew up with.  They were much more accepting of me as a friend.  At Jamestown High, I haven’t really felt welcome.  I only recently made a friend in Kim Delaney, and I really like her.  She’s never had many friends either, so we make a good pair.

Interviewer:  Well, we all know that every good novel has a hero too.  Tell us about yours.

Cindy: *cheeks turn red*  And it’s always the best looking male in the story, right?  Cory Neil is the high school quarterback and in need of tutoring.  I was flattered when he picked me, and I had a hard time focusing on our studies with him so close.  He’s every girl’s dream date.

Interviewer:  So, did you tutor him?
Cindy:  Only for a while.  When he asked me to the dance, I realized I was the brunt of someone’s joke. Think about it.  I have a hard time walking so how could I possibly dance?  I felt certain he only invited me on a dare.  I shut him down really quickly.  I’ve had enough joking about something I can’t help. I think I bruised his ego because he didn't seem to want to take no for an answer.

Interviewer:  Well, don’t leave us hanging.  We know that most publishers require a happily-ever-after….

Cindy:  Like I’m gonna tell you how the story ends.  Ginger’s in this to make money and she’d have my hide if I gave away too much.  I guess if you want to see how everything plays out, you’ll have to wait and buy the book.  I can tell you that I learned a great deal during the writing process and I hope I can convey the message to other young people with disabilities or anything that makes them feel different from everyone else.  Our shortcomings only define who we are if we let them.

Interviewer:  That’s a great message and I wish you luck in your 2011 debut.  Do you have anything else you’d like to add?

Cindy:  Yes, please buy Ginger’s book.  She’s worked so hard on this genre which is really outside her comfort zone.  Most of her stories have been historical romance set in the old west, so this has been quite a stretch.  She’s very thankful to Lea for taking a chance on her first attempt into writing a Young Adult, and she wants to make her proud. I'd like to share an excerpt, but at Muse It Up Publishing we only want to put our best foot forward, so I'll wait for edited copy.  Thanks for having me.  This wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Meet 12-year old Fallon O'Reilly

My name is Fallon O’Reilly and if you like rugged, unspoiled wilderness, you will love my home. Fireweed Village lays hidden deep in Alaska. It remains hidden, like other wizarding towns, because kippups would find it upsetting. Kippup? Oh, sorry. That means a person who doesn’t use or believe in magic. Can you believe some people don’t believe in magic? Crazy!

I turned 12 years old this summer so I’m ready for school. I can hardly wait for my first year at the Borealis Academy of Magical Arts. Dad says Borealis has a stupendous library. Yes, I admit I’m a bookworm, a dork, a nerd. Choose a name that pleases you because it doesn’t bother me. Even though my nose is always in a book, as my Mother likes to tell me, either the book or my nose frequently leads me into trouble. I have a feeling this year will be no different.

There are rumors of strange events at the school and in surrounding villages. My intrepid cousin, Ardis, will be at my side as I delve into what I’m betting will be a dark mystery. Join us as we sojourn through our first year of wizarding school and across some of Alaska’s magnificent terrain. You’ll be surprised at some of the people, living and dead, you meet!

Magic in the Americas - Fallon O'Reilly and the Ice Queen's Lair
Young Adult Fantasy - December 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Deren's Prayer

Yenara, goddess of the moon, hear me. I don't know much about prayer, how do I even start? Perhaps you don't know either, who prays to the goddess of the night, of death? I know I shouldn't either but I can't sleep and I felt something the other night. I thought I was dying, I thought my weak lungs had failed me for the last time. But I saw the moon, and in that moment, strength and breath returned to me. Did you help me? Can you help me now--everything is happening at once and I don't know what to do? Am I to become the Mogur's apprentice and leave my life behind. Leave my sister and father--though heaven knows he would be glad to see the back of his weakling son--behind and start again. What of the dream, seeing my sister slain? Is it just my imagination? It seemed to be more than that. Is it a warning? How can I prevent it? I would do anything for her, but it tortures me not knowing if it's real. And not having the faintest clue what I could do about it, if it was.

Crimson Dream by David Normoyle, Young Adult Fantasy, coming February 2011.