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BOOK OF THE WEEK: When a down-and-out boxer becomes immortal he sets out to save his town from the undead GHOSTS OF GLORY by Morgan Chalfant #amreading #urbanfantasy #paranormal

Ghosts-of-Glory-453x680Our BOOK OF THE WEEK is the urban fantasy/paranormal Ghosts of Glory by Morgan Chalfant.

What It’s About:

Jersey “The Brawler” Romero is dying. Slowly. Tediously. Not the way he thought he would go out on the savage streets of Glory, the Twilight City. But all of that is about to change when Jersey is granted his youth again by a messenger of the Twilight Goddess, the Spirit of Glory. He’s also given a mission: save Glory from the dark forces that are bent on destroying her.

Jersey’s been a fighter his whole life, whether it was on the streets where he struggled to survive, or in prison where he fought to stay alive. Glory never gave him anything without a battle, and that’s what he’s always loved about his beloved city. But nothing has prepared him for the war that’s coming. Monster-like creatures masked as humans are bent on exterminating him. Their leader is a mysterious man named Templar. He’s been amassing an underground army called The Black Crux. Templar wants to make Glory his, by laying waste to everyone who stands in his way. Possessing an almost otherworldly vision, Templar knows everything about Jersey, including an explosive secret that will blast away everything Jersey has ever believed.

But Jersey isn’t called “The Brawler” for nothing. He’s determined to fight Templar with everything he’s got. Because he’s not just fighting for his life, he’s fighting for Glory’s very soul.

WHERE YOU CAN BUY IT:

amazon: http://amzn.to/2ensFfp

kobo: https://goo.gl/hCBYS3

barnes and noble: https://goo.gl/njVQhn

iBooks: https://goo.gl/eHDpdG

READ AN EXCERPT:

We’re standing on the roof of Skript and Abigail hasn’t said a word in five minutes. She dragged me up here with such urgency, I figured the show would have started by now.

Sitting down in a damp lawn chair, I wait. Patience and I have nothing to say to each other, but Abigail has me intrigued so I let her have all the time she needs. It’s not easy opening up doors that have been locked for so long, especially to strangers. If that’s what we still were. Maybe strange acquaintance is a better term.

The view from the rooftop is actually quite beautiful. Rarely can the word beauty describe Glory. What little good happens to someone here, happens at the expense of someone else’s pain. Surprisingly, the night is peaceful. It’s never peaceful in Glory, so there’s obviously something off, but I don’t have the time nor the inclination to worry about it at the moment. It’s just the cone of silence. The calm before the storm. Strangely, I’m the calm. Abigail is the surging storm.

My eyes fall from the billions of firefly buildings to a sight more pleasing. Abigail stands looking up at the moon. It’s a waxing half-moon, but there’s still enough light for decent visibility. I watch her take off her leather jacket and pull off the gloves and drop them at her feet. Before my eyes, strange symbols begin to appear on her forearms and hands. The spaghetti strap top she’s wearing leaves much of her neck visible where more symbols begin to shimmer. Spiral patterns. They resemble some sort of tribal ink, but they begin to glow like lanterns in the dark. It’s an eerie, beautiful blue light. Cerulean, turquoise, and sapphire.

I stand up and move closer as Abigail turns around. I can see her face now. The incandescent markings have spiraled up her cheeks, climbing like staircases up to her eyes. Both her eyes shimmer inhumanly, one golden amber, the other a pool of twinkling emerald. Her breathing is erratic, she shakes, like she’s frightened I’m going to run away or grimace at the sight of her.

“Th-this . . . is me.” She stutters. “What . . . what I was talking about.”

Before I know it, she’s reaching for her jacket to cover herself. I spring forward and stop her, grasping her firmly by the shoulders. She looks up at me like she’s a monster that should be cowering in darkness. She won’t look at me. I can’t help but wonder who ever looked at her and cringed. Who made her feel so malformed? It’s perfectly clear to me she’s not the abomination she considers herself to be. She’s the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen. It’s not every day a street devil like me gets to behold a shimmering angel.

I move my hands to her cheeks, rubbing my thumbs over the glittering markings. There’s no textural difference. Her skin is as soft as cashmere. Her radiance is overwhelming. Her glow envelops me.

“My God,” I whisper. “You’re beautiful.”

Like what you’ve read? You can purchase GHOSTS OF GLORY by Morgan Chalfant at  Lachesis Publishing.

You can also purchase it at Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.

Connect with Morgan Chalfant on facebook, tumblr, and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
Follow us Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

 

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He writes undead westerns, steampunk, science fiction and a few Star Trek books for good measure. Q and A with prolific author Robert E. Vardeman (by David Lee Summers) #amreading

Prolific Fantasy and Sci-Fi Author Robert E. Vardeman
Prolific Fantasy and Sci-Fi Author Robert E. Vardeman

Robert E. Vardeman is the author of more than 100 fantasy and science fiction novels, as well as numerous westerns under various pen names (Jackson Lowry, Karl Lassiter). He’s written gaming tie-in novels such as Dark Legacy for the Magic: The Gathering series and he wrote the Star Trek novels
The Klingon Gambit
and Mutiny on the Enterprise.  He was nominated for the prestigious Hugo Award in 1972 and he named Albuquerque’s science fiction convention Bubonicon.  The convention is named because even to this day, there are occasional cases of Bubonic Plague in the area.  Fortunately, it’s easily treated by modern antibiotics!

414GCl+aDgLNot only has Bob Vardeman succeeded with traditional, mainstream publishing but he has a long track record of working with small presses and even self-publishing.  His short story collection Stories from Desert Bob’s Reptile Ranch which spans more than thirty years of writing was published by Popcorn Press. I’ve been honored to be featured in a few anthologies with him, including the forthcoming Straight Outta Tombstone anthology from Baen Books.

Bob is a longtime resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.S. in physics and an M.S. in materials engineering. He worked for Sandia National Laboratories in the Solid State Physics Research Department before becoming a full time writer.  I caught up with Bob at this year’s Bubonicon in Albuquerque.

DLS: As I understand, you started out working in the Solid State Physics Research Department at Sandia National Labs before becoming a writer. How has your background in physics and materials science influenced your writing?

41MD66Od1kLREV: While we call it science fiction, what we enjoy most is actually technology fiction–how science affects our lives (and our characters’ lives).  Science moves so fast these days, other than trying to avoid simple mistakes, what I learned back in the days of yore is outdated.  Bell’s Inequality, which changed so much, came 15 years after I quit working at Sandia.  Nano tech meant ICs then. Hubble and soon Webb space telescopes open the universe to dark matter and energy.  I read about new discoveries but mostly I don’t understand them.  Instead, I try to put it all into a technology framework and figure out what the effect will be on our lives.

DLS: How did you get started writing? When you started writing for fanzines, did you have an idea that you wanted to be a professional author?

REV: I’m one of the exceptions to the “I always wanted to write” rule.  I never did.  I wanted to be a nuclear physicist and more or less ended up there, though X-rays and RTGs were as close as I got.  I had a few months between quitting Sandia and going to UC Berkeley where I had been accepted to work on a PhD (in ceramic engineering) when I visited my good buddy Geo. Proctor.  Geo. was a reporter for the Dallas Morning News, had a couple novels and short stories printed and had always wanted to be a writer.  He suggested we coauthor a story.  Why not?  We did, it sold. (and we never got paid–the magazine folded before publication).  Over the years this story sold twice more with the same result.  Ironically, the title of the story was “A Killing In the Market.”  I enjoyed the process, wrote a fantasy proposal and sent it out.  It sold.  I was faced with finishing the book or going to Berkeley, so I postponed school by a half year.  In that time I sold two more novels and decided this was more fun than designing materials for rocket throat liners.  As it turned out, this was a good decision on another front.  The prof who would have been my adviser died of cancer 2 years after I would have begun.  Such a tragedy easily could have derailed my dissertation, research and career.

51GRZF0757L._SX284_BO1,204,203,200_DLS: You’ve written under several pseudonyms including Karl Lassiter and Jackson Lowry for westerns, your science fiction has appeared under your own name as well as F.J. Hale and Edward S. Hudson, and I could go on.  Authors often build brands around their names.  Why have so many pseudonyms?  What kind of work do you put into building a brand for each new pseudonym?

REV: The sf pen names came about to keep from competing with myself.  One month I had three titles, out, two fantasy and an sf book.  Publishers loathe such self-competition.  The shift in western pen name from Karl Lassiter to Jackson Lowry came about for the same reason.  When I switched publishers, the new one insisted on a different name to keep from supposed promotion of titles from a competing publisher.  In a way, this was good.  Lassiter did more epic, long form novels while Lowry does short stories, lighter westerns and weird westerns.

DLS: Not only do you have several pseudonyms, but you’ve run the gamut from publishing with New York houses to publishing with small presses to self-publishing.  Why work with such a range of publishers?

REV: It took me a while to figure out that I would be terrible doing repetitive assembly line work.  After a few minutes, I’d be changing how Part A fitted into Part B.  Keeping with one genre (and publisher) is like that.  New challenges, new ideas, “what if” always beckons and not necessarily in the same field.  I am prolific and varied ideas flow constantly (I am aware of the difference between constant and continuous, alas–the ideas flow constantly).  It takes a lot of ink and electrons to keep up.

519D7Ya9H2LDLS: Tell us about the Empires of Steam and Rust series. I thought this was an especially innovative approach to self-publishing where several authors write in a single world and help each other market their works.  How can we learn more about the books in the series?

REV: Shared worlds aren’t too uncommon, but I decided on a different approach.  The basic steampunk framework could be applied in myriad ways–all suggesting myriad authors could contribute.  The idea of “holes” into a world consumed by rust gave a world lacking in oxygen and the possibility of invasion from (and into) it.  Rather than being the editor for all this, I let trusted authors use the framework to tell stories in their own way and bring their readers to the world.  Hopefully that story interests their readers to look at other writers working in the same framework.  Each author is responsible for story, editing, publishing, cover, marketing, everything.  And the individual author collects 100% of the revenue from their own work.  No charge for use of the world.  Entries so far have been strong and interesting and varied.  I look forward to writing more myself in the world and hope other authors ask if they might join the fun (send me an email to inquire).

DLS: Your career started before we’d heard of things like Twitter and Facebook.  How has the world of book marketing changed now that social media has come on the scene?  How do you fold social media into your own book marketing campaigns?

51a1Aat6GyLREV: I coined the term VIPub a few years ago. Vertically Integrated Publishing.  Indie authors have to do it all, think up the idea, write the story, edit it, get a cover, publish and promote. It all rests on the author’s shoulders.  This is overwhelming if you try to do whatever is currently hot in social media since it is a moving target and changes in 6 months (or less).  In a talk David Morrell said 10% of a writer’s time ought to be spent on promotion.  The question arises as to how to allocate that time.  From all the possibilities, I say pick three that interest you most.  Twitter or Facebook or blogs or Instagram or…whatever else is out there.  I have a website I update periodically (www.cenotaphroad.com) and an online store (www.robertevardeman.com).  I do post fun stuff on facebook every day and link it with Twitter.  I have let blog writing lag since I can’t do it all.  One element that is the author’s and no one else’s is a mailing list.  Self-selected fans are the greatest.  (Sign up for mine via my website or online store)  I only send out the n/l when a new book is available or other publishing info comes to light.  I don’t like getting inundated so hold down frequency to make each one special (and give special offers of free books, etc)

DLS: What can we look forward to in the coming months from Robert E. Vardeman, or your other identities for that matter?

51yJWiSr1iL51dpCvV1pdLREV: One novella I am especially excited about is “Jupiter Convergence” in the new anthology Rockets Red Glare.    A weird western short story, “The Sixth World”, is forthcoming in the Baen anthology Straight Outta Tombstone.  The final volume in a Jackson Lowry weird western trilogy, Punished, is due out in November (#3: Bayou Voodoo joins #1: Undead and #2: Navajo Witches).  I am returning to work on an sf book with a different take on first contact and have a major project mapped out set on the moons of Jupiter.  And when I get a chance, I have a really strange detective novel in synopsis.  Final mention is one of my pen names, Dana Fox.  Burning Man Anomaly is joined by a 3-author follow-up Aztec Automaton Anomaly with a 3rd title being sketched out now set in a haunted 1930’s Texas luxury hotel slated for release in 2017.

Connect with Robert E Vardeman online via his website, on facebook and on Twitter.

Connect with David Lee Summers. online via facebook and twitter, and check out his web site.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

 

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Ghosts of Glory book review #amreading #urbanfantasy #paranormal

Ghosts-of-Glory-453x680Prepare yourself for a world of graphic violence and mythology, topped off with a dose of delicious suspense.

GHOSTS OF GLORY by Morgan Chalfant is an incredibly fluid read that held me captivated from the moment I began reading it.

The story follows an ex-boxer named Jersey the Brawler, a man who finds out he’s half-human and half-demi god and the son of the Twilight Goddess, who is also the creator of his hometown of Glory, USA.

Told in first-person narrative, GHOSTS OF GLORY takes the reader down the dirty streets of the town’s underbelly, where evil creatures are plotting Glory’s complete destruction. Only Jersey, who shares a an unwanted connection to the leader of this evil force, can prevent the worst from happening.

I loved this book! The narrative was extremely vivid and the hero, Jersey is a battered and beleaguered hero we can all root for. Author Morgan Chalfant, puts us right into the action and makes us feel everything that Jersey feels. And do we ever!

Chalfant‘s writing grips us from the first page to the last, and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future and can’t wait for Book 2 in this series!

Reviewed by Sara Brooke.

Morgan Chalfant is a native of Hill City, Kansas. He received his Bachelor’s degree in writing and his Master’s degree in literature from Fort Hays State University, where he now teaches writing.

You can purchase Ghosts of Glory by Morgan Chalfant at  Lachesis Publishing, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and Barnes and Noble.

Connect with Morgan Chalfant on facebook, tumblr, and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebookFollow us Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

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The Light and Dark Side of Writing by Morgan Chalfant (urban fantasy and paranormal/horror author)

Image: www.teenink.com
Image: www.teenink.com

Poetry was my first love and I think it was poetry that first drew me to storytelling. I wrote a poem in my junior high English class called, The Darkest Knight, and it’s the earliest thing I remember penning.

I was always a reader (but I must say I abhorred the Accelerated Reader Program in junior high). I liked to read at my own pace and see the story in my head. Pretty soon, I wanted to be telling the story FROM my head, the way I wanted it told. This is where my fascination with telling stories was cultivated.

Ghosts-of-Glory-453x680Now, my inspiration is much different than when I was a young boy. Naturally, having grown up (for the lighter or darker), I have been influenced by my worldly experiences: the painful, the happy, the shadowed, the tragic and certainly the adventurous. My stories are colored by the incidents that colored me, as are the tales of many writers. I believe those stories are not just black and white anymore (something I discovered writing my first published novel, Focused Insanity, not like the kind of black and white stories you craft when you are a kid. My stories have become more grave even though I enjoy weaving humor in every story I write. But they tend to walk the jagged line between light and dark, which is, in my opinion, where the writer truly lives. That is certainly where my character, Jersey “The Brawler” Romero, lives in my second published novel Ghosts of Glory.

Clive Barker Image: from girlboxer1970.com
Clive Barker
Image: from girlboxer1970.com

I know I have grown as a writer because my purpose isn’t just to tell an entertaining story, it is to convey something—a deeper meaning. A message. Now, whether that story is inspired by my life is another matter, but some grain of truth, some tiny piece of me, always makes it into one of my books.

I think Clive Barker said it best: “My fiction is my confession . . . ”

Morgan Chalfant is a native of Hill City, Kansas. He received his Bachelor’s degree in writing and his Master’s degree in literature from Fort Hays State University, where he now teaches writing.

You can purchase Ghosts of Glory by Morgan Chalfant at  Lachesis Publishing, Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.

Connect with Morgan Chalfant on facebook, tumblr, and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebookFollow us Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

 

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HALLOWEEN DEAL OF THE WEEK: GHOSTS OF GLORY by Morgan Chalfant (urban fantasy) .99 cents this week only!

Ghosts of Glory 453x680GET YOUR SPOOKY ON WITH THIS WEEK’S DEAL OF THE WEEK – the urban fantasy/paranormal Ghosts of Glory by Morgan Chalfant.

GET IT AT LACHESIS PUBLISHING FOR ONLY .99 CENTS! THIS WEEK ONLY.

CLICK HERE TO BUY.

What It’s About:

Jersey “The Brawler” Romero is dying. Slowly. Tediously. Not the way he thought he would go out on the savage streets of Glory, the Twilight City. But all of that is about to change when Jersey is granted his youth again by a messenger of the Twilight Goddess, the Spirit of Glory. He’s also given a mission: save Glory from the dark forces that are bent on destroying her.

Jersey’s been a fighter his whole life, whether it was on the streets where he struggled to survive, or in prison where he fought to stay alive. Glory never gave him anything without a battle, and that’s what he’s always loved about his beloved city. But nothing has prepared him for the war that’s coming. Monster-like creatures masked as humans are bent on exterminating him. Their leader is a mysterious man named Templar. He’s been amassing an underground army called The Black Crux. Templar wants to make Glory his, by laying waste to everyone who stands in his way. Possessing an almost otherworldly vision, Templar knows everything about Jersey, including an explosive secret that will blast away everything Jersey has ever believed.

But Jersey isn’t called “The Brawler” for nothing. He’s determined to fight Templar with everything he’s got. Because he’s not just fighting for his life, he’s fighting for Glory’s very soul.

READ AN EXCERPT:

We’re standing on the roof of Skript and Abigail hasn’t said a word in five minutes. She dragged me up here with such urgency, I figured the show would have started by now.

Sitting down in a damp lawn chair, I wait. Patience and I have nothing to say to each other, but Abigail has me intrigued so I let her have all the time she needs. It’s not easy opening up doors that have been locked for so long, especially to strangers. If that’s what we still were. Maybe strange acquaintance is a better term.

The view from the rooftop is actually quite beautiful. Rarely can the word beauty describe Glory. What little good happens to someone here, happens at the expense of someone else’s pain. Surprisingly, the night is peaceful. It’s never peaceful in Glory, so there’s obviously something off, but I don’t have the time nor the inclination to worry about it at the moment. It’s just the cone of silence. The calm before the storm. Strangely, I’m the calm. Abigail is the surging storm.

My eyes fall from the billions of firefly buildings to a sight more pleasing. Abigail stands looking up at the moon. It’s a waxing half-moon, but there’s still enough light for decent visibility. I watch her take off her leather jacket and pull off the gloves and drop them at her feet. Before my eyes, strange symbols begin to appear on her forearms and hands. The spaghetti strap top she’s wearing leaves much of her neck visible where more symbols begin to shimmer. Spiral patterns. They resemble some sort of tribal ink, but they begin to glow like lanterns in the dark. It’s an eerie, beautiful blue light. Cerulean, turquoise, and sapphire.

I stand up and move closer as Abigail turns around. I can see her face now. The incandescent markings have spiraled up her cheeks, climbing like staircases up to her eyes. Both her eyes shimmer inhumanly, one golden amber, the other a pool of twinkling emerald. Her breathing is erratic, she shakes, like she’s frightened I’m going to run away or grimace at the sight of her.

“Th-this . . . is me.” She stutters. “What . . . what I was talking about.”

Before I know it, she’s reaching for her jacket to cover herself. I spring forward and stop her, grasping her firmly by the shoulders. She looks up at me like she’s a monster that should be cowering in darkness. She won’t look at me. I can’t help but wonder who ever looked at her and cringed. Who made her feel so malformed? It’s perfectly clear to me she’s not the abomination she considers herself to be. She’s the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen. It’s not every day a street devil like me gets to behold a shimmering angel.

I move my hands to her cheeks, rubbing my thumbs over the glittering markings. There’s no textural difference. Her skin is as soft as cashmere. Her radiance is overwhelming. Her glow envelops me.

“My God,” I whisper. “You’re beautiful.”

Like what you’ve read? You can purchase GHOSTS OF GLORY by Morgan Chalfant at  Lachesis Publishing FOR ONLY .99 CENTS THIS WEEK ONLY!

You can also purchase it at Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.

Connect with Morgan Chalfant on facebook, tumblr, and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
Follow us Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

 

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Dream Cast for “Ghosts of Glory” by Morgan Chalfant (urban fantasy paranormal author)

Ghosts of Glory 453x680There isn’t an author out there who hasn’t thought about who their “dream cast” would be if their book was ever turned into a movie. Heck many of them have pinterest boards to prove it! Here’s Lachesis Publishing author Morgan Chalfant’s “Dream Team Cast” for his urban fantasy “Ghosts of Glory.” The story is about an old guy with a fairy godmother of sorts, who’s given the fountain of youth in order to clean up the mean streets of Glory, his hometown.

Scott Glenn
Scott Glenn

Old Jersey: Scott Glenn

Scott Glenn carries the perfect blend of hard-edge and sage-like wisdom to portray Old Jersey on screen. Basically, he’s one of the best supporting character actors still working today. He’s rugged, rough and also speaks with a powerful voice that combines to create the perfect representation of an aged Jersey the Brawler who has seen and done it all.

Scott Eastwood
Scott Eastwood

Young Jersey/Jakael: Scott Eastwood

I can see Scott Eastwood as Jersey for two reasons: he’s good looking, but can play characters with a brooding edge to them and he’s affordable/plausible if a studio was conscious of budget in casting. He’s also a talented young actor who has the physicality to pull off the demanding fight scenes in Ghosts of Glory. Side note: Clint Eastwood definitely comes to the theater to watch his son in action. Oh, and don’t think I missed the accidental irony in two actors with the same first name playing the old and young versions of Jersey.

Rutger Hauer
Rutger Hauer

Thomas Templar: Rutger Hauer

This is the fantasy portion of my dream casting. Sadly, Mr. Hauer is much too old to play this role now, but what a joy it would be to see him as a younger man portray Jersey’s nemesis, Thomas Templar. Not only is he one of the all-time great villain actors, but  as a younger man he could physically intimidate without just by standing still (his stare alone could turn fire to ice), let alone when he’s leaping buildings and beating the tar out of Harrison Ford in Blade Runner. Hauer speaks eloquently, he’s intelligent and his physical prowess is undeniable, all things Thomas Templar needs to have on screen. The role was meant for him.

Natalie Dormer
Natalie Dormer

Abigail: Natalie Dormer

Abigail is feisty, quick-witted and strong, something Natalie Dormer is used to portraying on screen. Ms. Dormer also has a mystique to her that is perfect to bring into the role of Abigail. She’s also proven she can handle physically demanding roles in movies like The Hunger Games.

Bruce Campbell
Bruce Campbell

Garwin Goodspeed/Mercury: Bruce Campbell

“The Chin” himself. The boomstick-toting, chainsaw-revving, Evil Dead fighting Bruce Campbell is the perfect casting for a plucky, witty mentor like Garwin Goodspeed. He also has the charisma and comedic chops to pull of Goodspeed’s one-liners as well. It makes this author wish he had written in Goodspeed saying, “Groovy.”

Adrienne Palicki
Adrienne Palicki

Samaire: Adrianne Palicki

Adrienne Palicki is one of the women I pictured from the start when I was creating Samaire. She’s tall, beautiful, skilled in on-screen fight scenes, and has a dominance about her that many actresses just do not have. She has the physicality, acting ability and demeanor to portray the enigmatic Grace. She is used to playing very strong female characters from her role on Marvel’s Agents of Shield to playing Lady Jaye in G.I. Joe: Retaliation to her amazing villainess portrayal in John Wick.

Angie Harmon
Angie Harmon

Athena: Angie Harmon

Angie Harmon already looks like a Greek goddess so why can’t she play Athena? She’s a seasoned actress, committed to the roles she plays and the spitting image of my description of Athena in Ghosts of Glory (completely by accident). All she needs is an expensive pant-suit, some librarian glasses and an owl pin and Athena jumps off the page onto the screen.

Morgan Chalfant is a native of Hill City, Kansas. He received his Bachelor’s degree in writing and his Master’s degree in literature from Fort Hays State University, where he now teaches writing.

You can purchase Ghosts of Glory by Morgan Chalfant at  Lachesis Publishing, Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.

Connect with Morgan Chalfant on facebook, tumblr, and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebookFollow us Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

 

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Q and A Tuesday: Round 4 with Kim Baccellia (YA paranormal author)

Grandma Allered - Kim Baccellia's grandmother.
Grandma Allered – Kim Baccellia’s grandmother.
Grandma Allered's painting
Grandma Allered’s painting

Today’s Q and A is with YA paranormal author Kim Baccellia (Crossed Out) published by Lachesis Publishing.

If you couldn’t be a writer, what other kind of artistic medium would you like to attempt and why?

A painter. My grandmother was a very talented artist and people bought her paintings. She loved to paint angels and cherubs. As a child, she’d write me and doodle these on the cards and letters. This painting is my favorite! Loved Grandma Allred. People tell me that we look and sound alike. She even shared a love of the same soft drink—Dr. Pepper.

Burned

Meeting authors is cool, even if you're an author too. (left) Kim Baccellia, (right) Ellen Hopkins
Meeting authors is cool, even if you’re an author too. (left) Kim Baccellia, (right) Ellen Hopkins

Tell us about one book that you’ve read that had an impact on you?

BURNED by Ellen Hopkins. At first I put off reading this contemporary YA about a Mormon girl who was abused, as I worried it might in fact be anti-Mormon but once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. The tears started flowing along with the overwhelming desire I had to write this author and thank her for being courageous to write this story. It hit a cord with me as I had was abused, but was told that I should ‘just get over it’ and only write uplifting work. I did meet Ellen at a book signing. This book to this day is one of my favorites. Raw, courageous, and gripping.

What do you love about writing? And what do you hate about it?

I love when I’m able to express the feelings/emotions I have within and see them on the page. That has to be the most liberating emotion! I also love when I get emails from my readers, telling me how much they love my stories.

I have to say, I hate when I come up against a block in my writing or when the writing process feels like it’s being stifled.

Image: Starz.com
Image: Starz.com

If you could meet any character from a book – who would it be and why?

Claire from OUTLANDER with Jaime a quick second. I’d love to know her thoughts and feelings especially what drove her to leave Jaime to go back home even when they were soul mates. **I know if she stayed she would have died, but still! I’d love to ask Jaime if he ever contemplated coming to the twentieth century. Plus, I’d just love to be up close to him. I totally fell for him as a reader. I just wonder if I would recognize him in a crowd. Or would I be disappointed. **Uh, highly doubt anyone, including me, would be disappointed in this highlander!

Happy endings or cliff-hangers? Why?

I’m not “anti-happy-endings” but let’s just say I never liked Disney movies as a child as I felt they deceived you. My own childhood was dysfunctional and I learned right off the bat, no prince on a white horse (or car) would come in to ‘save’ me. I had to do that myself. I love cliff-hangers unless of course if the series is cancelled and then those drive me NUTS!

What is the best/coolest/funniest/sweetest thing a reader/fan ever said/wrote to you or did for you?

Hands down it had to be this teen during a Skype school visit, who got up to and went all shy-like with twisting her skirt and then out of the blue said, “I love your book so much! When will the next one come out?” She was totally adorable and it’s always so fun to hear from your readers!

The SelectionWhich book or series by another author do you think would make a great movie or TV series? Why?

THE SELECTION by Kiera Cass. Think The Bachelor meets a dystopian world. Loved this series something fierce. It has romance, suspense, tension, and did I mention, romance? I can’t help but feel it would be a fab movie. In a world of very dark dystopias? This one was a pleasant surprise!

How do you try to boost sales of your books?

I’m all over social media sites like Twitter, Face Book, and Tumblr. I’m a staff reviewer at YA Books Central. I also supported the #weneeddiversebooks when it first came out as I’m a believer of getting more diversity out there. **Fact, originally I was going to have a Latina in CROSSED OUT with a more Latino flare with the supernatural. Huh, I might still write that. I attend my local OCRWA and pass out business cards with my book info on them. **One of the

Kim Baccellia gives out business cards that feature her books.
Kim Baccellia gives out business cards that feature her books.

books, GODDESSES CAN WAIT, is a mock cover and not the finished one. I think the biggest thing is to not be afraid to speak out about your books and seize opportunities that come your way! I’m scheduled to speak in November at my local OCRWA chapter and there’s some other possibilities in the future.

When you’re stressed out on a deadline – what is your favorite comfort food and why?

Chocolate. Dark chocolate. The world looks a lot better whenever I take a bite or two or three of this food of the Gods.

Image: billboard.com
Image: billboard.com

What do you love to sing in the shower?

Depends. Right now it’s BELIEVE by Mumford and Sons as it reflects what my character in a current project is feeling with her doubts of her religious upbringing and the reality of what’s really happening outside of her community.

CROSSED-OUT-COVERKim Baccellia is the author of the YA paranormal Crossed Out.

You can get Crossed Out at Lachesis Publishing or on amazon, Barnes and NobleKobo, or iTunes.

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authors, blog post, dystopian fantasy, dystopic fantasy, Lachesis Author Guest Blog, Lachesis Blog, paranormal, urban fantasy, writing craft

How to write a kick ass fight scene by Morgan Chalfant (urban fantasy author)

Author Morgan Chalfant after a training session.
Author Morgan Chalfant after a training session.

Everybody has a different picture of what a kick ass fight scene should entail in a story. Some writers prefer the battle-of-wits with dialogue and action, others prefer the quick fights where the characters just get down to business, some dig the tension more than the result of the fight itself and other writers love the brutal knockdown, drag out brawls (my personal favorite) where the fighters speak with their fists. These can all be kickass in their own way. How a character reacts when they bleed is at least as important as how they react in a conversation.

Here are a few tips that I follow when writing my own fight scenes:

Example of an "inside crescent kick" http://www.taichiaustralia.com/
Example of an “inside crescent kick” http://www.taichiaustralia.com/

Know Your Character – In my opinion, this is the most important thing to have a good handle on before you put a character into a fight scene. Know who your character is and what they have in their internal arsenal. Is your character formally trained? Is he or she a boxer or martial artist or are they an untrained file clerk? Are they a pacifist? What fears do they have? Certain people will have limitations (if you’re wanting a believable reaction). If your character has a fear of drowning, fighting in the water is going to bring about a whole new tier of challenges for them to overcome. A file clerk with no formal fight training isn’t going to know how to execute a flying arm bar or how to perform a proper inside crescent kick, they’re going to grab for any weapon in reach and swing it until they win or lose. Your character’s personality is something to really pay attention to because it will dictate HOW they fight. In my urban fantasy novel, Ghosts of Glory, my main character, Jersey Romero, is someone who has a grim outlook on the human condition and people in general. He’s killed and has almost been killed. That changes you. He’s seen the worst humanity has to offer and is ready to meet it with the worst he has to offer. He grew up on the streets and in prison and that colored his no mercy fighting style. Know who your character is beneath the skin.   

George Foreman would be proud of your grilling and fighting skills.
George Foreman would be proud of your grilling and fighting skills.

Environment – Where the fight is taking place is just as important as why the fight is taking place. The place in which these characters are battling may have major significance to the story or maybe it’s just a dynamic location for two people to kick the tar out of one another. Either one is okay! Setting can be its own character. Also, two people duking it out in an empty room is all well and good, they have their bodies as weapons—but what if said room was a kitchen? There are lots of potential weapons to grab in a kitchen. There is something poetic about using a George Foreman grill to pummel your enemy, don’t you think? Better yet, what if your characters are fighting in an office supply warehouse or a weight room? Again, LOTS of fun and deadly items to be utilized as weapons. Two people pummeling each other with fists is one thing, but when one picks up an aluminum book end and the other grabs a croquet mallet, now you’ve got yourself a kickass donnybrook.

Who would win - Anthrax or Enya?
Who would win – Anthrax or Enya?

Musical Mayhem – For me, this is a must when I’m writing a fight scene. Put on something that caters to the violence that is about to ensue. My go to music is heavy metal or hard rock (but I suppose there could be something entertaining about people brawling to the harmonious sounds of Enya). As we all know, music feeds emotion. There are rampant emotions circling your characters before, during and after a fight. Decide what those emotions are. Does your character have pure hatred for their enemy or are they overwhelmed by melancholy at having to battle said opponent? I find that choosing songs that mirror what you’re trying to convey will help the writing flow. Mood music for the mayhem! You want something that is going to reinforce the emotions in the scene. Basically, if the music kicks ass, it should help translate to the fight scene.

Dialogue – Don’t skip the dialogue. You can add a whole other level of sinister and kickass to a fight with a few simple words from your protagonist or antagonist’s mouth. Friends talk.

Beware of robot lizards and  fighting mimes.
Beware of robot lizards and fighting mimes.

Enemies trash-talk. Especially friends and enemies who have a history. Even if it’s just to call each other names or to mock one another, don’t skip the banter. Now I’m not saying throw curse words out randomly, but pick your insults. If your main character’s sister was murdered by the person he/she are about to fight, the ‘bad guy’ is probably going to quip about it to throw the hero/heroine off balance. The important thing to remember is that unless your main character is just beating up goons, they’re probably fighting someone they have a connection with in the story. Whether it is a mortal enemy, a former friend, an evil sibling, or God forbid, a maniacal robot lizard, they’re going to say something to one another—unless one of your characters is a mime, which in that case, I can’t help you. They’re probably silent, but deadly.    

Morgan Chalfant is a native of Hill City, Kansas. He received his Bachelor’s degree in writing and his Master’s degree in literature from Fort Hays State University, where he now teaches writing. Ghosts of Glory 453x680

You can purchase Ghosts of Glory by Morgan Chalfant at  Lachesis Publishing, Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.

Connect with Morgan Chalfant on facebook, tumblr, and twitter.

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authors, blog post, contemporary fantasy, dystopian fantasy, dystopic fantasy, genre fiction, Lachesis authors, Lachesis Blog, paranormal, Q and A Tuesday, urban fantasy

Q and A Tuesday: Round 1 with Morgan Chalfant (urban fantasy author)

Today’s Q and A is with Lachesis author Morgan Chalfant. Morgan is an urban fantasy / paranormal author whose first book with Lachesis Publishing is called Ghosts of Glory.

41GYfDkNSQL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer and why?

I always loved writing stories, but in junior high I told my English teacher (Hi, Mrs. Pratt!) that I was going to write a book and get it published. She would let me use the computer if I got my homework done in class where I wrote a 58 page sequel to Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six (it was a little shorter than the original).

Morgan Chalfant's view from his pickup truck.
Morgan Chalfant’s view from his pickup truck.

Describe your favourite place to write.

Lately, it’s been sitting in the cab of my pickup out at the old baseball field on the edge of town. Hardly anyone is out there anymore. It’s just me and the trees and the wind and my imagination—so I sit with the windows rolled down, my music playing and scribble long hand in my notebook.

What would I find on your desk at this very moment?

chthuluAt the moment I’m writing this, there is a tin of Cthulhu Mints (I think Lovecraft would approve), a Magic 8 Ball that perpetually gives me bad advice, an Eric Hosmer Bobblehead I got at a Kansas City Royals baseball game, and a quote from writer Terry Goodkind taped to my computer that reads: “Be not afraid of greatness.”

What is your tea/coffee beverage of choice when you’re writing?

I’ve never drank coffee (I even worked in a coffee shop once). My go to beverage is probably an energy drink or water.

sandmanWhat do you love to read?

I love Robert E. Howard’s Conan series and his poetry. I’ve been a fan of his writing since a professor of mine introduced me to his work freshman year of college (Thanks, Dr. Will). Richard Kadrey, author of the Sandman Slim series currently has me hooked. I fully maintain Stephen King’s The Long Walk is one of the best horror/suspense novels of all time. Clive Barker is a go-to author for me. Barker’s The Thief of Always is something I find myself constantly coming back to. I’m big into graphic novels like James O’Barr’s The Crow and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, as well as the comic book world too. I’m all over the place in regards to genres.

What is some good advice you can give to an unpublished writer?

WRITE. Write your story, then go looking for the right place to publish it. Don’t do it the other way around. If it’s a good story, someone will listen. It might take a while, but someone will eventually listen.

What do you do after you finish a book? Do you celebrate or take a nap?

Honestly, I don’t know that I have a set routine after finishing a book other than one big sigh of satisfaction. It’s my soul saying, “Even if this is terrible, at least it is finished.”

Ghosts of Glory 453x680You write urban fantasy – what attracted you to this genre?

I think it’s the concept that really nothing is off limits if you can figure out an effective way to do it. Mythology, demonology and supernatural lore have always been hobbies of mine so it seemed like the urban fantasy genre and I were destined to clash eventually. Jersey “The Brawler” Romero, one of my favorite characters I’ve written, seemed like the perfect candidate to be thrust into a world where creatures of imagination aren’t so imaginary—because he has a better than average chance of surviving. My city, Glory, is a dark and twisted place, which is exciting to explore in and of itself, but even more so when you add a fantasy element—you begin to realize dark and twisted doesn’t repel some people, it attracts them.

Your debut book with Lachesis Publishing is Ghosts of Glory. Tell us about it?

It’s about a man seeking redemption in a city that he is intimately linked with, a city that begins to become decidedly unfamiliar when he starts seeing all of the ugly-nasties lurking just behind the veil of human perception.

The author at one of his favourite places to write - a local football field in his town of Hill City, Kansas.
The author at one of his favourite places to write – a local football field in his town of Hill City, Kansas.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on a sequel to Ghosts of Glory and I have another side project I’m working on as well that is a little more post-apocalyptic. I’ve also come back to writing more poetry after a bit of a break.

Morgan Chalfant is a native of Hill City, Kansas. He received his Bachelor’s degree in writing and his Master’s degree in literature from Fort Hays State University, where he now teaches writing. 

You can purchase Ghosts of Glory by Morgan Chalfant at  Lachesis Publishing, Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.

Connect with Morgan Chalfant on facebook, tumblr, and twitter.

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Sneak Peek Monday: Ghosts of Glory by Morgan Chalfant (urban fantasy, paranormal)

Ghosts of Glory 453x680Today’s Sneak Peek is a brand new release from the urban fantasy/paranormal Ghosts of Glory by Morgan Chalfant.

What It’s About:

Jersey “The Brawler” Romero is dying. Slowly. Tediously. Not the way he thought he would go out on the savage streets of Glory, the Twilight City. But all of that is about to change when Jersey is granted his youth again by a messenger of the Twilight Goddess, the Spirit of Glory. He’s also given a mission: save Glory from the dark forces that are bent on destroying her.

Jersey’s been a fighter his whole life, whether it was on the streets where he struggled to survive, or in prison where he fought to stay alive. Glory never gave him anything without a battle, and that’s what he’s always loved about his beloved city. But nothing has prepared him for the war that’s coming. Monster-like creatures masked as humans are bent on exterminating him. Their leader is a mysterious man named Templar. He’s been amassing an underground army called The Black Crux. Templar wants to make Glory his, by laying waste to everyone who stands in his way. Possessing an almost otherworldly vision, Templar knows everything about Jersey, including an explosive secret that will blast away everything Jersey has ever believed.

But Jersey isn’t called “The Brawler” for nothing. He’s determined to fight Templar with everything he’s got. Because he’s not just fighting for his life, he’s fighting for Glory’s very soul.

READ AN EXCERPT:

We’re standing on the roof of Skript and Abigail hasn’t said a word in five minutes. She dragged me up here with such urgency, I figured the show would have started by now.

Sitting down in a damp lawn chair, I wait. Patience and I have nothing to say to each other, but Abigail has me intrigued so I let her have all the time she needs. It’s not easy opening up doors that have been locked for so long, especially to strangers. If that’s what we still were. Maybe strange acquaintance is a better term.

The view from the rooftop is actually quite beautiful. Rarely can the word beauty describe Glory. What little good happens to someone here, happens at the expense of someone else’s pain. Surprisingly, the night is peaceful. It’s never peaceful in Glory, so there’s obviously something off, but I don’t have the time nor the inclination to worry about it at the moment. It’s just the cone of silence. The calm before the storm. Strangely, I’m the calm. Abigail is the surging storm.

My eyes fall from the billions of firefly buildings to a sight more pleasing. Abigail stands looking up at the moon. It’s a waxing half-moon, but there’s still enough light for decent visibility. I watch her take off her leather jacket and pull off the gloves and drop them at her feet. Before my eyes, strange symbols begin to appear on her forearms and hands. The spaghetti strap top she’s wearing leaves much of her neck visible where more symbols begin to shimmer. Spiral patterns. They resemble some sort of tribal ink, but they begin to glow like lanterns in the dark. It’s an eerie, beautiful blue light. Cerulean, turquoise, and sapphire.

I stand up and move closer as Abigail turns around. I can see her face now. The incandescent markings have spiraled up her cheeks, climbing like staircases up to her eyes. Both her eyes shimmer inhumanly, one golden amber, the other a pool of twinkling emerald. Her breathing is erratic, she shakes, like she’s frightened I’m going to run away or grimace at the sight of her.

“Th-this . . . is me.” She stutters. “What . . . what I was talking about.”

Before I know it, she’s reaching for her jacket to cover herself. I spring forward and stop her, grasping her firmly by the shoulders. She looks up at me like she’s a monster that should be cowering in darkness. She won’t look at me. I can’t help but wonder who ever looked at her and cringed. Who made her feel so malformed? It’s perfectly clear to me she’s not the abomination she considers herself to be. She’s the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen. It’s not every day a street devil like me gets to behold a shimmering angel.

I move my hands to her cheeks, rubbing my thumbs over the glittering markings. There’s no textural difference. Her skin is as soft as cashmere. Her radiance is overwhelming. Her glow envelops me.

“My God,” I whisper. “You’re beautiful.”

Like what you’ve read? You can purchase Ghosts of Glory by Morgan Chalfant at  Lachesis Publishing, Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.

Connect with Morgan Chalfant on facebook, tumblr, and twitter.

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