Monday, February 23, 2015

Shared Disbelief now in Pre-Order for Kindle

Shared Disbelief, the fourth release and the third full-length novel in the Lupa Schwartz mystery canon is now available for pre-order on the kindle.

  A serial killer stalks Pittsburgh, re-enacting the history of human sacrifice and martyrdom, attacking religion by attacking the religious. The baffled police department turns to local PI Lupa Schwartz and his journalist partner Cattleya Hoskin, hoping the former can use his connections in the atheist community to find a killer with a vendetta against faith.
  Coerced into action, the pair face their hardest, most draining case yet. Cattleya risks breaking her professional ethics by using her media connections to draw out the psychopath. For Lupa, this case puts both his credibility and his friends' lives on the line. Only together can they hope to catch a monster, but it could mean tearing down their careers to do it – if they survive at all.

Jeff Kivela of the Buttonholed blog says, "Shared Disbelief ... is creatively crafted by a superb pen. J. David Core is a master in telling a story with sublime English usage. His structure with words and sentences, I felt, are perfect in relaying his imagination to paper."

The novel will be available on St. Patrick's Day, but you can order your copy now to assure delivery to your device on publication day. A two-chapter preview can be found here. And info on ordering the book from other outlets can be found here. You can currently get the book from a few online sites, but on the March 17 release date, the price will be discounted for a very few days from $4.99 all the way down to $2.99 in US markets only. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pentian is a New Crowdsourcing Platform for Publishing

A few months ago I launched, a website for crime/thriller/suspense/horror/mystery/adventure writers to test the waters with their short-form fiction, and build buzz for their other work. The idea was that a fraction of a story would be placed in a vetting  forum where readers could get a taste and suggest ways to punch the story. The story would then move to a contest page, where a bigger sample of the now re-worked story could be voted into an anthology based on story merit. The idea being that if readers were emotionally invested in a story, they’d want to read the conclusion, so the stories with the most promise – the most merit – would advance.

So obviously I am a believer in the crowd-sourcing model of publishing. I like the idea that readers – fans – should be allowed the opportunity to dictate what floats to the top. For years we’ve been wedded to this old-school idea that publishers, agents, producers, and other corporate players should be in charge of dictating to us what we find entertaining. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes they hit the ball out of the park. But just as often excellent, potentially ground-breaking work winds up languishing on the slush-pile.

Which is why I’m going to tell you about a new site and service called Pentian. Now I have not tried this service myself, so this is not a testimonial. I am also not receiving any kind of financial compensation, so this is not an ad. This is just me letting you, my fellow authors, know about something else you might want to consider as part of your overall publishing strategy.

The way Pentian works is similar to gofundme or indiegogo or kickstarter, only those who decide to help fund a project are treated as publishing partners and they share in all future royalties. Here’s how Pentian describes their service:
Pentian crowdsources publishing with a great twist: backers share in future royalties and Pentian operates as a publisher, insuring the success of the books with worldwide print + digital distribution. and production. There is NO cost to the authors; once a book is successfully crowd-funded, Pentian does the rest.
 Pentian has had stellar success with over 180 books published in Spain & South America in the first 9 months, and recently soft-launched in the USA (with 3 American books funded already!) 

If you have a novel you have been shipping around to agents and publishers with no success, perhaps Pentian might be something you could consider. It will give you all the same cred that publishing a book with a trad publisher offers thus avoiding the still present though dwindling stigma associated with self-pubbing, although you would sacrifice the control and potential profitability self-publishing still offers – but does not guarantee.

Should you decide to go the Pentian route, use this promo code when you sign up; UA69. I personally get nothing from it, but you will receive a 10% boost in your funding goal leaving a mere 9/10 of your publishing costs unfunded and up to your fans, friends, family, and future business partners.

Good luck.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Return of the Dragon is FREE - Tempus Fugit!

If you own a kindle or have the kindle app on any of your devices, you can download, own, and read my graphic novel, The Return of the Dragon, for FREE today through Valentine's Day!

   According to legend, King Arthur of Camelot did not die at the battle of Camlann. He was taken by the faeries of Avalon to await the time when he will again rise to prominence and lead the world in a new Camelot. 
    A mysterious influential leader with ties to no countries has emerged on the world stage. Arthur Penn has influenced most of the nations in the UN to adopt a new charter: one without veto powers and a new cooperative form of economic inter-dependence at its core. The US and Russia are dubious and are the last two hold-outs in establishing this new utopia of federated yet autonomous governments. 
    Ferapont Vernyy and Karen White are sent by their respective governments to meet with Arthur at a secret compound in the Olympic Mountains in Vancouver. They are both drawn in by his principled charm and magnetic personality, but neither is comfortable with his nocturnal nature … and neither understands his urgency to come to consensus. 
    A modern take on the Lancelot/Guinevere/Arthur saga with a vampire twist, The Return of the Dragon is a graphic novel blending elements of political intrigue, romantic fantasy, Arthurian legend, and vampire lore.

This is a truly limited time offer. Once it's over it's over. So get your free copy NOW!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Author Interview: Jeff Mariotte, Author of Empty Rooms

Jeffrey J. Mariotte is the bestselling, award-winning author of fifty novels, including supernatural thrillers Season of the Wolf, Missing White Girl, River Runs Red, and Cold Black Hearts, horror epic The Slab, thriller The Devil's Bait, and the Dark Vengeance teen horror quartet. His newest novel, the dark thriller Empty Rooms, was released in January 2015.

He also writes occasional nonfiction, short fiction (some of which is collected in Nine Frights), and comic books, including the long-running horror/Western comic book series Desperadoes and graphic novels Fade to Black and Zombie Cop. With writing partner Marsheila Rockwell, he has published several short stories and is working on more short fiction, novels, and comic book stories. He has worked in virtually every aspect of the book business, as a writer, editor, marketing executive, and bookseller. He lives in southeastern Arizona’s high desert.

Empty Rooms introduces Detroit police detective Frank Robey, a comic bookloving former FBI agentturnedcop whose obsession with the case of a missing child gives him no peace; and Richie “Maynard” Krebs, a former cop whose encyclopedic knowledge of crime and criminals colors everything he does. Initially strangers, the two men form an unlikely partnership which becomes a close bond forged by their determination to hold onto their humanity while investigating the most heinous acts one person can do to another.

Mariotte says the novel grew out of his experience writing a true crime book detailing the offenses of dozens of the world’s worst serial killers, sexual predators, cannibals, and other notorious criminals. “In researching that book I was surprised to learn about several times that my life’s path had brought me uncomfortably close to real serial killers, and I suspect that’s true of many people. Spending so much time immersed in the lives of murderers and madmen, I had to do something to pull myself out of that mindset, or I’d become hopelessly depressed. Then it occurred to me that homicide and sex crimes detectives have to deal with the reality of these acts on a daily basis and still stay sane. That realization was the genesis of Empty Rooms.”

Who are your influences?
My influences are legion. I’m a genre-promiscuous writer—I like to read and write in many different genres, and I have different influences in each, as well as some whose work inspires and informs all of my writing. Since I’m here to talk about my thriller Empty Rooms, I’ll discuss a few of the thriller/crime/mystery-specific influences.

In the beginning, there were the Hardy Boys. When I was a kid, I read everything published at the time about those brother detectives. Later I graduated to Raymond Chandler, Robert B. Parker, and other detective writers, including the one I still think is the best of the lot, Ross Macdonald. Empty Rooms is more of a thriller than a PI story—although one of the two main characters, Richie Krebbs, pretends to be a PI for a while, and in that vein, there are again lots of writers I follow carefully. To name just a few, James Lee Burke, George Pelecanos, Dennis Lehane, James Grady, Michael Connelly, T. Jefferson Parker (those last two, I’m pleased to say, had very nice things to say about Empty Rooms—their comments are on the front and back covers). I’ve learned a million things about writing suspense from William Goldman and Thomas Gifford. I could go on, but that’s probably enough for now.

When did you begin writing?
Remember when I mentioned the Hardy Boys up there? I used to write very derivative stories about brother detectives, when I was just a little tyke. They were, no doubt, terrible. But they got me started writing and I never stopped. I won third prize in a literary award in college, was first professionally published with a short science fiction story in 1988, and had my first novel published in 1999. Empty Rooms is my 50th novel.

How do you come up with your stories, characters, character names, POV, etc?
Having written so many books, that’s a tough question to answer, because it’s different in every case. In general, the POV I like to use is limited third person, so I can get into the heads of several different characters over the course of a book, but without showing anything that wasn’t seen by at least one of them. Stories are suggested by all sorts of things. As one example, Empty Rooms is a very dark thriller. Before I wrote it, I wrote a book called Criminal Minds: Sociopaths, Serial Killers and Other Deviants, which told the real stories of every criminal mentioned on the first five seasons of the TV show Criminal Minds, and of some whose crimes inspired episodes but weren't mentioned by name. As you can imagine, that involved a ton of research into some of the worst crimes and criminals in history--just some really terrible people doing terrible things.

Doing that research, having all those horrific facts swimming around in my head, I started thinking about people who have to deal with such awful situations on a daily basis. How do homicide or sex crimes detectives cope with the stuff they see every day and still remain human? The more I dug around in that, the more the novel started to come together. It's about a cop and an ex-cop teaming up to solve a very cold case of a missing little girl. That case leads them into some incredibly dark places--but in addition to being about the case, it's about how they maintain their humanity while they're looking into it. A lot of the research I had done for the Criminal Minds book came in handy on the novel, because it enabled me to write a realistically creepy villain, as well as to have a solid grounding in what would go into solving the case.

Do you work from an outline?
Usually, yes. I’ve written a lot of licensed fiction, or tie-in fiction—books set in existing fictional universe, like that of CSI or Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Spider-Man or whatever. With those books, I have to turn in an outline first, because the licensor has to approve what’s being done with the characters they own. I find an outline is most helpful if I treat it like a road map on a long trip. I know where I’m going and approximately how I’m going to get there, but if I see something along the way that’s intriguing, I can go check it out, knowing I can find my way back to my main route.

Tell me about your favorite scene in your novel.
It’s impossible for me to pick just one scene from Empty Rooms. I like a lot of them. Mostly, what makes the scenes work, I think, is the interplay between the two main characters. Frank Robey is a Detroit cop, experienced and worldly wise, a love of comic books and classic soul music. Richie Krebbs—who Frank calls Maynard, after Bob Denver’s beatnik character, Maynard G. Krebs, in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis—was fired from the police department. He’s not good with bureaucracy but he’s a walking encyclopedia of crime and criminals. They’re very different guys, but together they work really well—on solving crimes, and in a fictional sense.

Can you tell us a little about your writing philosophy?
The closest thing I have to a writing philosophy is the idea that writing is like a muscle. The more you use it—the more you write—the stronger it gets. The more you’ll be able to count on it when you need it If you want to be a writer, you need to sit in the chair, put your fingers on the keyboard, and go to work. Write whenever you can, whatever you can. It doesn’t matter so much if you’re writing letters or short stories or poetry or novels or whatever—the very act of writing exercises that muscle, and makes you a better writer.

Have you ever tried writing in any other genres?
Professionally, I’ve written a lot of supernatural horror, some science fiction, some fantasy, some mystery, some western, some mainstream fiction, some nonfiction, probably other things I’m not even thinking of. I’ve also written novels, short stories, comic books, graphic novels, a CSI DVD game, journalism, advertising, press releases, newsletters, and more.

Learn more at, and follow him at and @JeffMariotte on Twitter.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Media Blitz: Sanguinary and Bound by Blood on Sale

Join the Night Shift for a SALE!

 February 2 – 4, get Sanguinary for $.99 and Bound by Blood FREE from Amazon!

Night Shift Novel 1

Only fifty years left before vampires rule the world.

When Dallas police detective Cami Davis joined the city's vampire unit, she planned to use the job as a stepping-stone to a better position in the department.

But she didn't know then what she knows now: there's a silent war raging between humans and vampires, and the vampires are winning.

So with the help of a disaffected vampire and an ex-cop addict, Cami is going undercover, determined to solve a series of recent murders, discover a way to overthrow the local Sanguinary government, and, in the process, help win the war for the human race.

But can she maintain her own humanity in the process? Or will Cami find herself, along with the rest of the world, pulled under a darkness she cannot oppose?


Night Shift #2 ~ A Novella

Sometimes the monsters in the dark are real...

As a child, Lili Banta ignored her grandmother's cryptic warnings to avoid children outside their Filipino community in Houston. When many of those other children fell ill, Lili ignored the whispers in her community that a vampiric aswang walked among them.

Years later, Lili returns to Houston to work for the Quarantine Station of the Center for Disease Control—but she is plagued by dark, bloody dreams that consume her nights and haunt her days. When a strange illness attacks the city's children, Lili is called in to find its source, and maybe even a cure.

But in order to save the city, she must first acknowledge the sinister truth: A monster stalks the night—closer than she ever expected....


About the Author

Margo Bond Collins is the author of urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Sanguinary, Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them—and sometimes fight them.


Connect with Margo

Twitter:  @MargoBondCollin

Goodreads Author Page: