Thursday, February 04, 2016


Today is the 100th anniversary of a real life historical mystery that remains unsolved. It has all the makings of a great historical novel, an unsavory American businessman sends a message a Canadian reporter that the Germans were planning to blow up Ottawa government buildings. United States authorities also received the tip. The message, for unknown reasons, reaches the authorities seven days later. Too late to save a building that was a national treasure.

It is all too easy in this age of terrorist bombings to imagine the anxiety and war fears 100 years ago. The US had not yet entered WWI, but the shock and anger spread across the border. By dawn on Feb. 4, seven people were dead, and the old tower of the Ottawa Capitol building came crashing down.

One of the witnesses described the golden flames shooting and twisting into the winter sky. The grand old tower stood while its support system crumbled and fell around it. Finally, it crashed onto the concourse, taking with it the old clock still glowing and chiming as it fell.

There are a number of theories about what happened. The official inquiry came to no firm conclusions. All we can do is look at the facts and speculate about the parts we don’t know. I tend to lean toward the bombing side of the argument, others think arson, but whatever the cause it makes for a great story just waiting to be told.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Vying for an Award: 2015 Preditors & Editors™ Readers' Poll

http://www.amazon.com/Concealed-Ash-Nessa-Donnelly-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B015M8IJIE/

Concealed in Ash is competing for Best Mystery Novel in the 2015 Preditors & Editors™ Readers' Poll.

Please visit the poll to see the list of novels and authors. Right now, I'm tied for 10th place; I would be very grateful to have your vote.

http://critters.org/predpoll/novelmys.shtml

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Long Day for the Secret Service

I am such a history junkie that I can’t resist bit of history with an odd twist or two. Today is one of those historical days that I find interesting and a little odd. One hundred years ago the Secret Service and the Washington DC police department were called upon to block off the streets around the White House for the christening of President Wilson’s first grandchild, Ellen Wilson McAdoo.

The President was godfather and little Ellen’s aunt Mrs. Francis Sayre and her cousin Miss Helen Woodrow Bones were chosen as godmothers. The baby was named after her maternal grandmother, the late First Lady Ellen Axton Wilson in a private ceremony in the Blue Room with members of the Wilson family and Secretary McAdoo’s family in attendance.

Being born the daughter of the Secretary of the Treasury and granddaughter/goddaughter of the President means that security was very tight for the Christening. Secret Service members had to extend protection to the guests and inspect christening gifts from hundreds of well-wishers.

After this, you might think the Secret Service could breathe a sigh of relief, but the day was just getting started. The president attended to personal business at his bank, then returned to the White House for dinner with the family members who remained in town for his wedding. Yes, the President was married the same day his first grandchild was christened.

After dinner, streets were blocked off and the motorcade proceeded in the home of Mrs. Edith Bolling Galt where she and the President were married. The bride was 43 and he was 56.

This was a second marriage for both parties and they tried to keep the fanfare to a minimum. No matter how low key the President wants to keep his marriage to a direct descendent of Pocahontas, though, it isn’t going to be ignored. Wedding gifts filled an entire room of Mrs. Galt’s home and it took valiant efforts of the Capitol Police and the Secret Service to prevent crowds breaking through the barricades to get a glimpse of the couple.

For the twist to what makes this date in history a little odd as Wilson’s choice of wedding days has to do with little Ellen’s grandmother, Ellen Axton: the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, who married a young professor at Bryn Mawr College on December 18, 1885. That’s right, on the thirtieth anniversary of his first marriage, Wilson married his second wife.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

2015 Book Awards Press Release


On Saturday night, August 8, the Florida Authors & Publishers Association (FAPA) gave out its prestigious annual President’s Awards for the best books of 2014 and the first half of 2015 by authors and publishers in Florida and throughout the United States. The event, which took place at the Hilton Orlando/Lake Buena Vista Resort, recognized outstanding books by awarding gold and up to two silver medals in categories ranging from children’s books to adult fiction, from memoirs to self-help, from business books to e-books.  
“The 2015 award winners elevate publishing both regionally and nationally. The awards continue to command the attention of industry professionals and readers!” said Mark Wayne Adams, FAPA President.
The following winners were selected in the following categories by the competition’s 31 judges – 27 national state librarians and four publishing professionals:
Press Release Link 
CHILDREN’S FICTION
SILVER:Liesel’s Ocean Rescue, Barbara Krasner, Avi Katz, Gihon River Press
SILVER:Lost Loot, D.G. Stern, Deborah Allison, Neptune Press
GOLD:Lost in Boston, Jane R. Wood, Florida Kids Press

CHILDREN’S NON-FICTION
SILVER:Same is Lame, Jimmy Vee, Mike Motz, Atlas Press
SILVER:Pelican Pete's Backyard Adventures: Nature Discoveries And Outdoor Fun, Frances Keiser, Hugh Keiser, Sagaponack Books
GOLD:Sea Slime: It's Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea, Ellen Prager, Shennen Bersani, Arbordale Publishing

FLORIDA YOUNG CHILDREN’S BOOK
SILVER:Goodnight Gators, Patricia Baloyra, Ampersand, Inc
SILVER:Baby Animals of Florida, Kathleen King, South Bay Publishing
GOLD:Eli’s Balloon, Candace Ruffin, Mark Wayne Adams, The Writing Cane

CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK
SILVER:Laura and Grandpa: Discovering Science Together, Book 3, Dr. Robert H. Krupp, Kristina Edstrom, Simple Science Books
SILVER:Lea the Christmas Angel, Brenda Sue Boulden Thompson, Kayla Lynn Olson, Middle River Press
GOLD:X’s and O’s for Gabby Ann, Petrell Marie Ozbay, Mike Motz, Adorn, Inc.
GOLD:Fast Freddie, Lee Ann Mancini, Dan Sharp, GLM Publishing

FLORIDA CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK
SILVER:X’s and O’s for Gabby Ann, Petrell Marie Ozbay, Mike Motz, Adorn, Inc.
SILVER:You’re a Crocagator, Kenny Rager, Patti Brassard Jefferson, Halo Publishing
GOLD:Sometimes I Dream, Jose Colon, Jennifer Schmucker, Making Memories Portraits, Halo International

YOUNG ADULT FICTION
SILVER:The Sparks, Kyle Prue, Barringer Publishing
SILVER:FreeK Week, Steve Burt, Steve Burt Books
GOLD:An Unrequited Fall, Leslee Horner, CalBel Productions, LLC

FLORIDA YOUNG ADULT (FICTION & NON-FICTION)
SILVER:The Izzy Story, Ddwlem, Chalice Mitchell, Ddwlem, LLC
SILVER:John Horse, Florida’s First Freedom Fighter, Betty Turso, CreateSpace
GOLD:The Sparks, Kyle Prue, Barringer Publishing

EDUCATION
SILVER:The Magic Ice Cream Palace, Jose Colon, Amy Rottinger, Halo International Publishing
SILVER:Sometimes I Dream, Jose Colon, Jennifer Schmucker, Making Memories Portraits, Halo International Publishing
GOLD:Parts of Speech Parade, New York City, Irina Gonikberg Dolinskiy, Mark Wayne Adams, Mark Wayne Adams, Inc.

BUSINESS
SILVER:2015 Weird & Wacky Holiday Marketing Guide, Ginger Marks, DocUmeant Publishing
SILVER:The CEO and I.T. Department, Donald J. Burchell, South Bay Publishing
GOLD:Protecting Your Nest Egg, Page Cole

REFERENCE
SILVER:Captivate Your Readers: An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction, Jodie Renner, Cobalt Books
SILVER:The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books, Tara R. Alemany, Emerald Lake Books
GOLD:The Little Red Writing Book, Brandon Royal, Maven Publishing
GOLD:The Weekend Book Proposal, Ryan G. Van Cleave, Writer’s Digest Books

RELIGION
SILVER:A Taste of Chocolate for the Soul, Dr. Carol Kennedy, Westbow
SILVER:Shiloh Unveiled, Walter Joseph Schenck, Jr., iUniverse, LLC
GOLD:Still Wearing My Heels, Michelle Frazzetto, Peppertree Press

SPORTS & RECREATION
SILVER:Reeling in Time with Fish Tales, Capt. Brian E. Smith, Southern Yellow Pine Publishing
GOLD:A Secret History of the Ollie: Volume 1: The 1970’s, Craig B. Snyder, Black Salt Press

E-BOOK ADULT
SILVER:Immigration: Obama Must Act Now, Leonard Birdsong, Winghurst Publications
SILVER:Jupiter and Gilgamesh, Scott Archer Jones, Southern Yellow Pine Publishing
GOLD:The Big Wheel, Scott Archer Jones, Southern Yellow Pine Publishing

E-BOOK CHILDREN
SILVER:My Pink Airplane, Tracy Bryan, Tracy Bryan
SILVER:Lift, Tracy Bryan, Tracy Bryan
GOLD:My Silly Dog Gus, C. K. Carter, Ricardo J. Rodriguez, C. K. Carter

SHORT FICTION
SILVER:The Day the Mirror Cried, Saundra Kelley, Southern Yellow Pine Publishing
SILVER:History and Mystery Oh My!, Sarah E. Glenn, Mystery & Horror, LLC
GOLD:Now We Will Be Happy, Amina Gautier, University of Nebraska Press

ADULT FICTION: GENERAL
SILVER:Iron Butterfly, Lisa Wainland, Twin Tree Press
SILVER:Lost Twin, D. W. Harper, HayMarBooks, LLC
GOLD:The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky, David Litwack, Evolved Publishing

ADULT FICTION: GENRE
SILVER:Iron Butterfly, Lisa Wainland, Twin Tree Press
SILVER:Memory House, Bette Lee Crosby, Bent Pine Publishing
GOLD:The Farber Legacy, George Encizo, CreateSpace
GOLD:Good Sam, Dete Meserve, Melrose Hill Publishing

ADULT FICTION: ACTION/SUSPENSE
SILVER:Shark Fin Soup, Susan Klaus, Oceanview Publishing
SILVER:Murder in Nice, Susan Kiernan-Lewis, San Marco Press
GOLD:The Care Card, Darryl Bollinger, JNB Press

ADULT FICTION: HISTORICAL
SILVER:Over Here, James Hockenberry, HN Books 
SILVER:Callie Kinser of Brush Creek, Ron Miller, Antebellum Press 
SILVER:Not Just Another War Story, Wayne G. MacDowell, DocUmeant Publishing
GOLD:Fate & Freedom, Book 1 - The Middle Passage, K. I. Knight, First Freedom Publishing

ADULT: NON-FICTION
SILVER:Hadrian's Wall Path, Jane V. Blanchard, Jane V. Blanchard
SILVER:Oh My God, I’m Feeling Older and So Is My Mom, Scott Greenberg, Star Group Books
GOLD:Unbroken Circles for Schools, Ken Johnson, Southern Yellow Pine Publishing

POETRY
SILVER:Just One Scent: The Rest is God, Piero Rivolta, Bardolf & Company
SILVER:Kinyamaswa: An Epic Poem, Andreas Morgner, Apprentice House Press
GOLD:Dinosaurs Living in My Hair, Jayne M Rose-Vallee, Anni Matsick, Rosevalle Creations

FLORIDA FICTION FOR ADULTS
SILVER:The Care Card, Darryl Bollinger, JNB Press
SILVER:Mercedes Wore Black, Andrea Brunais, Southern Yellow Pine Publishing
SILVER:Mosquito County, Lucinda Waldron, Outskirts Press
GOLD:Save My Place, Olivia deBelle Byrd, Mercer University Press

FLORIDA NON-FICTION FOR ADULTS
SILVER:Shade in the Sunshine State, Liz Coursen, First Person Publications
SILVER:Right Smart to Say, Robert H. Gore, III, Middle River Press
GOLD:Images of America: Key Biscayne, James Kushlan and Kirsten Hines, Arcadia Publishing

BIOGRAPHY
GOLD :Women of Valor, Joanne D. Gilbert, Gihon River Press

AUTOBIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
SILVER:Walking to Woot: A Photographic Narrative Discovering New Dimensions for Parent/Teen Bonding, Jackie Chase, Adventure Travel Press
SILVER:How We Said Goodnight, Rachel Silsdorf, Bardolf & Company
GOLD:Blasted By Adversity: The Making Of A Wounded Warrior, Luke Murphy with Julie Bettinger, Inkshares, Inc.

HEALTH & FITNESS
SILVER:Things I Wish I’d Known: Cancer and Kids, Deborah J. Cornwall, Bardolf & Company
GOLD:Surviving Cancer: Our Voices & Choices, Marion Behr, WWH Press

HOME AND GARDEN
GOLD:Attracting Birds to South Florida Gardens, James A. Kushlan & Kristen Hines, University Press of Florida

COOKBOOK
GOLD:The Air Diet: Recipes & Tips for Success in Your Allergy-free Kitchen, Laura Merrill Godfrey, Jigsaw Living

POLITICAL
GOLD:Unbroken Circles for Schools, Ken Johnson, Southern Yellow Pine Publishing

HOW TO/SELF-HELP
SILVER:The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books, Tara R. Alemany, Emerald Lake Books
SILVER:Traveling Stories: Lessons from the Journey of Life, Terri Clements Dean, LifeStory Publishing
GOLD:Elderly Parents With All Their Marbles (A Survivial Guide for the Kids), Pamela Carey, Barking Cat Books - Imprint of New River Press

COFFEE TABLE BOOK
SILVER:Walkabout Europe, Cliff Roles, Bardolf & Company 
SILVER:Coastal Dune Lakes: Jewels of Florida’s Emerald Coast, Nick Stoltzfus, Live Oak Production Group 
GOLD:Birds of Fairchild, Kristen Hines, James A Kushlan Photographer, Acclaim Press

HUMOR
SILVER:Shorts for the Beach, J. M. Fisher
SILVER:Mark Taylor’s Checkered Past: S.S. Guilt Trip, Angelina Assanti, City of Palms Publishing Co.
GOLD:Oh My God, I’m Feeling Older and So Is My Mom, Scott Greenberg, Star Group Books

COVER DESIGN: SMALL FORMAT
SILVER:The Big Wheel, Scott Archer Jones, Southern Yellow Pine Publishing
SILVER:The Lost Twin, D. W. Harper, HayMarBooks, LLC
GOLD:Save My Place, Olivia deBelle Byrd, Mercer University Press

COVER DESIGN: LARGE FORMAT
SILVER:Dinosaurs Living in My Hair, Jayne M Rose-Vallee, Anni Matsick, Rosevalle Creations
SILVER:Flight  of the Golden Harpy, Susan Klaus, Tom Doherty Associate Book
GOLD:Fate & Freedom, Book 1 - The Middle Passage, K. I. Knight, First Freedom Publishing

FOUNDERS AWARD
Patricia Charpentier, Writing Your Life



Thursday, April 02, 2015

Presenting the Cover of Nightmare Noir




Presenting the cover of Nightmare Noir, available by preorder from Mystery and Horror, LLC. Nightmare Noir opens the casebook of Detective James S. Peckman, taking us into the underbelly of a world where true evil exists. Peckman and his partners take the cases that cannot be explained in the world we think we know.

The cover was done by TJ Halvorsen, a talented artist in St. Petersburg. The book comes out on April 13th, but three copies are being given away this weekend. One is being given away at Goodreads (enter below), but we're giving the others to two lucky people who comment on this blog and/or the other blogs participating in the reveal. Check the MAHLLC blog for other pages participating in the reveal. You will get as many entries as the number of blogs you comment on.




Goodreads Book Giveaway

Nightmare Noir by Alex Azar

Nightmare Noir

by Alex Azar

Giveaway ends April 30, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Friday, December 26, 2014

Interview: D. Alan Dunn

D. Alan Dunn, a native south Texan, retired from the building and plumbing trades after a bout with cancer. A longtime fan of crime mystery and horror fiction, Dunn’s hidden talent for writing exploded into reality in 2007 when he wrote his memoirs for his grandchildren. Since then, his repertoire of author published works consist of “The Moods of My Heart” – a collection of poems, sonnets and quatrains and “5 After Midnight” – a collection of short stories in the psychological and horror genres.

Q: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
A: I’ve always had stories rolling around in my head since childhood, but it wasn’t until I was recovering from cancer surgery and wrote my memoirs for my grandchildren that I realized that writing came natural to me.

Q: How did you pick the genre/setting/era you (usually) write in?
A: I think it picked me. Horror is my first love, but I also enjoy writing westerns and crime mysteries. I usually try to combine the three genres to create a unique and fresh storyline. For example, a novel I am writing now, Dead Bone Posse, entangles a group of 1930s bank robbers with a posse of long since dead lawmen.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your story in History and Horror, Oh My?
A: I was researching serial killers online and stumbled upon a story about a real life serial killer in the Old West. I was therefore prompted to write my own rendering.

Q: Did you encounter any obstacles in researching the setting?
A: Researching for historical fiction is always a difficulty. To be believable, a setting has to be a real place rather than a fictional one, and sometimes the setting you choose is not easily researchable online.

Q: Do you have a favorite historical period you enjoy reading or writing about?
A: Any historical period is enjoyable for me. When you think about all of the untold stories of those time periods, an author’s imagination is infinite.

Q: Who is your favorite author, and what really strikes you about their work?
A: Edgar Allen Poe. Poe’s physiological and dark romanticism styles define me as a writer.

Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m currently writing stories for a collection of short stories entitled Tales from the Netherworld. A series of stories that acquaints the reader to the horrors and hopelessness of hell.

Read D. Alan Dunn's story for yourself!
History and Horror, Oh My! is now available in ebook formats on Smashwords and in print and Kindle formats on Amazon.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

History and Horror, Oh My: Chantal Boudreau

Chantal Boudreau is an accountant by day and an author/illustrator during evenings and weekends, who lives by the ocean in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband and two children. In addition to being a CMA-MBA, she has a BA with a major in English from Dalhousie University. An affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association, she writes and illustrates horror, dark fantasy and fantasy and has had several of her stories published in a variety of horror anthologies, online journals and magazines. She has also published ten novels to date.

When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I've been wanting to be a writer since I was six and wrote a handful of bad short stories as a child. I wrote my first novel (my trunk novel) when I was fourteen, and got incredibly helpful feedback from the rare person who took the time to read it. I entered a few writing contests and won a couple of prizes in my teens and young adult years but I never really aspired to being a published writer until I met my dear friend Barb MacQueen, who wouldn't stop pushing until I got my work out there. She had faith in me and my writing talent in a way no one else has had.

How did you pick the genre/setting/era you (usually) write in?
I feel more like it picked me. I was drawn to fairy tales and mythology as soon as I started reading, and I always was inclined to tales with a fantasy element, but I found myself most intrigued by the darkest of these stories. It makes sense to write what you like to read, so that's what I do. Whenever I'm inspired it usually carries me back to familiar places.

How did you come up with the idea for your story in History and Horror, Oh My?
I've played around with a variety of mythologies in several of my short stories and novels, and while I had written a short story set in Egypt, "Dry Heat," I had never dabbled in Egyptian mythology before. I figured it was time I tried my hand there.

Did you encounter any obstacles in researching the setting?
Not at all. Research is one of my favourite parts of writing and there is plenty of information available on Egyptian mythology. I had much more difficulty digging up information on obscure mythologies like Sami, Siberian and Thracian mythologies, for other projects.

Do you have a favorite historical period you enjoy reading or writing about?
The older the better. I love any stories centered on ancient civilizations, especially the ones with tribal mythologies involving shamans and having a strong connection with nature. I love the primitive aspect.

Who is your favorite author, and what really strikes you about their work?
That's difficult to answer because I have different favourites in different genres. My favourite in dark fantasy, for example, is Tanith Lee, and my favourite in sci-fi is Robert J. Sawyer. And I'm more of a "well-loved book" kind of reader rather than a "favourite author" type - I don't necessarily love everything written by my preferred authors. For me, the appeal comes from well-developed, flawed, multi-dimensional characters. To earn my favour, the characters in a story have to feel like real people.

What are you working on now?
I'm in the middle of a dystopian novel and I just finished one steampunk and three Lovecraftian horror short stories. Steampunk is a new endeavour for me so I'm going to have to test it out and probably rework it based on feedback. I like to experiment with new things from time to time.

Learn more about Chantal Boudreau's stories!
Check out Chantal's blog at http://chantellyb.wordpress.com. You can also learn about her other writings on her Amazon Author page. To see some of her illustrations, visit her Facebook page.

History and Horror, Oh My! is now available in ebook formats on Smashwords and in print and Kindle formats on Amazon.