Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Stephen J. Wolf

Why are you THE Next Favorite Author?
Logical magic, exciting adventures, lovable characters; and that’s my regular life! I write tales I want to be a part of.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I have always been a fan of fantasy, and that includes playing the role of wizards and warriors in video games, such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. When I play a game, I tend to gravitate toward those that have detailed, interesting stories. Graphics are nice, but I still love the solo journey of the nameless hero in the original Dragon Warrior game that was released on the NES in 1989. The 8-bit music still echoes in my head and I’ll whistle it fondly when I’m in a nice, echoing stairwell.

I also enjoy science fiction, like Star Trek and Doctor Who. The more logic involved, the better. I love magic in fantasy, it’s true, but I prefer when there are limits and it makes sense with connections to science.

Lately, I’ve been diving into computer programming as a means of growing closer to my partner, Kevin. I’ve dabbled in C# and JavaScript, and although it is an overwhelming prospect, I would love to create a series of games based on my books.

When I’m not in the midst of hobbies, friends, and family, I’m teaching. I’ve been a middle school science teacher since 2001 and I love every minute of it. I change up the activities we do every year, keeping things fresh and trying new ways to present details about the structure of the atom and Newton’s Laws of Motion. I’m that wacky teacher who hops across tabletops to demonstrate electrons moving in an ionic bond and who throws sponges around the room to illustrate atoms in the plasma state. Every group of students brings out another side of me and though the curriculum itself doesn’t change much, every year is unique.

About the Author
Stephen J. Wolf is a middle school science teacher with a PhD in science education and a penchant for fantasy books, movies, and video games. Growing up, he loved learning how things worked. When he saw Mr. Wizard's World for the first time, he knew then that science was his place to be. From learning about how fireworks light up with different colors to understanding the mechanics of an acid-base reaction, chemistry and physics became his passion.

Stephen started writing in eighth grade when his English teacher challenged the class to craft three different scenes. One scene focused on a person. A second highlighted a location. And the third detailed an object. In the moment of the quick-fire writing prompts, Wolf linked all three tasks together and created his first short story. The following year he created his first novel, then expanded it to a trilogy, growing as a writer along the way.

With some short stories used in his classes, Wolf communicates a love of reading to his students through creative connections between science and magic. His short story, "A Shocking Journey," teaches the fundamentals of electricity and magnetism, as experienced by a middle school class, through a series of "magical" experiences that allow the students to visualize the concepts. In time, Wolf hopes to develop a series of such stories for teachers to use.

Stephen lives in New York with his partner, Kevin, and their two cats, Merlin and Monty.

Where can we buy the books?
Red Jade Fantasy Book Series: tinyurl.com/redjadeseries
Book 1: Journeys in Kallisor:
Book 2: The Shattered Shards: tinyurl.com/shatteredshards 
Book 3: The Assembly: tinyurl.com/rjassembly 
Book 4: The Forgotten Tribe: tinyurl.com/forgottentribe
A Shocking Journey (middle school science fiction to teach concepts of electricity through analogy): tinyurl.com/shockingjourney

Where can we find you online?

Monday, February 27, 2017

Writing Prompt: Spell

Write a witches spell.

Create a scene in which a witch castes a spell.
How do we know the spell works?

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Book Spotlight: SciFan Magazine


Enjoy this glimpse into this collection of authors!

You can read and review the entire magazine or just review one or two of the articles.

The best way to help authors is to talk about their work on public forums!

Post reviews here, on the 'Zon and on your social media!

Are you interested in being featured in future editions? Check it out here:
Content Submissions

Friday, February 24, 2017

Toi Thomas

Why are you THE Next Favorite Author?
I write for story lovers. I love fresh stories, characters, and worlds. I’ll be the favorite author of a geek like me.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m indulging in all my geekiest interests. I love to read, so I read a lot. While many will argue about whether print or digital is better, I’ll read whatever I can get my hands on (books, comic books, even audio books work), but will admit that I love my Kindle. God first, husband second, dog, family and Kindle tied. I know it’s a problem. When I’m not reading, I’m watching movies or listening to records. The hubs and I have a pretty extensive vinyl collection (I like to collect things: action figures, tea cups, and bookmarks just to name a few). I also spend a lot of time drawing, coloring, and painting. And if I feel I need to blow off some steam, I teeter between baking from scratch and dancing. Everything I do for pleasure fuels my life and my creativity. It all makes me who I am; it makes me a better writer.

About the Author
A self-proclaimed techie and foodie, Toi Thomas was born in Texas, but considers Virginia to be home. She enjoys reading, cooking, painting, geek culture, collecting vinyl records, and spending time with her family. Currently working as a special education teacher’s assistant while blogging and writing full-time, Toi finds comfort and peace of mind in chocolate, green tea, and naps. Toi and her best friend have been married for eleven years and share their home with a tortoise named Betty and a Redbone Coonhound named Margie, who’s sure to inspire future publications.

Thomas has entertained paranormal fans with her Eternal Curse series, and angels, demons, and others tale with a Christian world view. She stretches minds and imaginations with her short story collection, Legend of the Boy…, featuring works of science fiction, paranormal, fantasy, romance, and suspense. Glorie Townson, Thomas’s pen name, brings along a bit of romance and comedy in the first book of her Sayings Series, It’s Like the Full Moon. Thomas has even delved into the world of educational children’s books to enlighten and entertain little minds. She has something for the whole family.

Where can we buy the books?
How can we follow you on Facebook?
What is your Twitter Handle?

Your Website Address is:
Are there any other sites we should know about?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Book Spotlight: Backlash

Backlash, prequel to The Wildblood series. Before Team Three, there was the Blackout. Set on a near-future Earth mostly devoid of humans, this reveals some of the harsh realities facing people of The Vista, and how Team Three began.

When Security faces an unknown adversary that threatens to wreak havoc across what little civilization there is left, they must rely on the unusual abilities of a new team, and hope it's enough to stop the chaos. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

E. Rachael Hardcastle

About the Author
E. Rachael Hardcastle is a British fantasy and science-fiction author and currently holds one 5* Readers' Favourite review for her short story, Forgotten Faith. Rachael is also the host of the YouTube Indie writers' podcast, The White Room, and invites indie/ hybrid authors from all over the world to participate in her Author Interviews mini-series through her website's journal.

Why are you THE Next Favorite Author?
I'm very passionate about what I do. I want to be a significant part of something incredible and for my voice to exist eternally.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
As Jack Heffron says in The Writer's Idea Book, 'writing is an act of hope'. I believe through writing we face our darkest fears, explore infinite new worlds and realize our true purpose. I enjoy the freedom and escape it gives me.

Author Blurb:
My name is E. Rachael Hardcastle. I'm a dreamer, a deep thinker, a bookworm and a grammar nerd. I write poetry between imaginative high fantasy, post-apocalyptic and science-fiction novels. All my books face our planet's struggles because I believe that together we can build a stronger future for the human race. I support independent publishing and so I offer a low-cost, epic adventure and a memorable escape from reality for my readers.
Where can we buy the books?
My novels are available in paperback and e-format through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and many other distributors. My free novel, Finding Pandora (Book One) can be downloaded here: www.books2read.com/findingpandora
How can we follow you on Facebook?
What is your Twitter Handle?
Are you on GoodReads?
Your Website Address is:
Are there any other sites we should know about?
All my social media links can be found on my website, however two more of note are:

My Youtube Channel link (for author interviews/ podcasts and writing-related videos) is www.youtube.com/channel/UCVoyEUkALdTKiR5C2buC_SA

Monday, February 20, 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

Damon L. Wakes

Ten Little Astronauts is a tense, Agatha Christie inspired murder mystery set on board an interstellar spacecraft.

Author Blurb:
Damon L. Wakes was born in 1991 and began to write a few years later. He holds an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Winchester, and a BA in English Literature from the University of Reading.

Every year since 2012, Damon has produced one work of flash fiction each and every day during the month of July. He usually writes humour and horror, occasionally at the same time. Tackling so many stories with such a short word count has given him a knack for well structured narratives formed of tight prose.

When he isn't writing, Damon enjoys weaving chainmail. He began making chainmail armour ten years or so ago, but quickly discovered that there was no longer much of a market for it and so switched to jewellery instead. He now attends a variety of craft events, selling items made of modern metals such as aluminium, niobium and titanium, but constructed using thousand year-old techniques.

Damon's other interests are diverse. He has at various times taken up archery, fencing and kayaking, ostensibly as research for books but mostly because it's something to do.

Where can we buy the books?
www.damonwakes.wordpress.com/books provides links for all my self-published books
www.unbound.com/books/ten-little-astronauts is the place to go for Ten Little Astronauts, which is currently crowdfunding with Unbound: if you want to read it, this is your only chance!

How can we follow you on Facebook?

What is your Twitter Handle?

Are you on GoodReads?

Your Website Address is:

Are there any other sites we should know about?
The main one really would be the page for Ten Little Astronauts over on Unbound. This is the first time a publisher has got behind my work, so I don’t have a huge marketing department or an army of fans to help get the word out (though Unbound did very kindly spring for a promotional video filmed on board a submarine!). Please take a look, check out the first chapter, and if it sounds like the sort of book you’d be interested in reading, put in a pledge. You’ll be getting a copy for yourself, helping get my book off the ground, and as thanks for your support, your name will be recorded in the back of every edition.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Book Spotlight: Murder is Absentia



"Hardcore Historical Fantasy - Felix the Fox is Sherlock Holmes in Ancient Times"
—Jonathan Maas, author of City of Gods - Hellenica

"Mehr is a master alchemist, blending the real and surreal on a captivating flight of fantasy."
—Cynthia Celmer

"Mehr's imagined world based on ancient Rome feels at once familiar and dream like. In Egretia, magic is real and potentially deadly. While rival incantatores have been banned from calling up competing winds to speed ferries across the bay - they've drowned too many innocent sailors - the powers of magic appear to have fallen into malevolent hands. Failed incantator Felix the Fox is investigating a mysterious death in a growing atmosphere of menace. I can't help thinking the idea of Death by Magic might be closer to the mindset of some of the ancient world than our modern rationality."
—Ruth Downie, Author of the Medicus Roman mysteries series

"This book gave mea 'book-hangover' - I could not get my head out of the world of Felix for days after finishing it! I hope that there will be more stories coming, of Felix's past and future. I like authors that create real human characters!"
—R.M., Israel

"Finished Murder In Absentia twice now. A truly remarkable story which draws you in and makes it so you never want to leave."
—Fuchsia Carter, UK

"For a history buff like me, it was the perfect blend of historical trivia and good old-fashioned murder mystery. A sheer delight to read."
—W. Klijn., Australia

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Geoff Nelder

Why are you THE Next Favorite Author?
I taught navigation. Allow me to lead you into the unknown—the stars, the future, past;  in and out of your mind.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was ten. Oh, you want more? I didn’t  know I was okay at writing until a teacher made me stand in front of the class and stumble through an essay I’d scribbled. A silly tale about a red squirrel scrambling on the gnarled boughs of the village’s oldest oak tree, stealing an acorn from a tree spirit to bury under a pupil’s desk. Imagine my surprise when every kid sneaked a peep under their desk.

Yes, those words held power and I liked it. Through my teens I wrote jokes. Sold some to British comedians and my first was published in a magazine in 1969. At university I became a co-editor of the rag-mag, a dreadful collection of very funny, awful smutty and politically-incorrect gags. We’d gather in the bar and brainstorm until the beer ran out. That was nearly half a century ago and I still see those jokes. Uncredited, no royalties. It was for charities then, still is. During that time I studied geography, mathematics and literature. Struck dumb, me when the lecturer read out loud William Langland’s Vision of a Fair Field full of Folk. This is a wondrous sample of that early medieval poem:

‘In a somer sesoun, whan softe was the sonne,
I shope me into shroudes, as I a shep were,
In abite as an heremite, unholy of werkes,
Wente forth in the world wondres to here,
And saw many selles and selcouthe thynges.
Ac on a May mornyng on Malverne hulles
Me biful for to slepe, for werynesse of walkyng;’

I learnt it by heart, while hiking on those actual Malvern Hills, a short bike ride from my house. I took my son on those hills a few years ago and the ‘sonne’ softly warmed our backs. I learnt the energy in words of sensual Show. Engaging the reader via all their five senses in every story if not every page. I read the great writers and they all do it. Even those science fiction and thriller books that the literati often overlook. Consider these two words from Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle: ‘She gave him a perfumed hug.’ You know which two words. Did you experience that hug? You were there, right?

After graduating, twice, I taught high school where writing lies takes over. Not really but all teachers have to write masses of words. We talk about a target of 2000 words a day on our novels but teachers often achieve that when writing lesson notes, worksheets and above all, end of term reports. Most teachers hate that but writerly ones love it. It gives us the opportunity to be creative with an otherwise tedious activity. (assuming the school isn’t using computerized multi-guess reporting). One of my favourites: ‘The dawn of legibility in John’s writing revealed his utter incapacity to spell.’ It wouldn’t be allowed today but such chores honed my writing decades ago.

Not that I’ve stopped learning the craft. I’m with Pablo Casals – the famous cellist on why he continued to practise at 90: ‘Because I think I’m making progress.’

I remain fascinated enough by gnarled oak trees and squirrels to write them into my stories. This 2017 year sees publication of my ‘Girl in a Wandering Wood’ in The Horror Zine. I’d overheard the phrase wandering wood and thought what if a wood actually wandered? So, a botanist is trapped in a copse, animated by a spirit trying to stop her escaping. A squirrel helps her out, kind of. The same squirrel I wrote about in 1957.
About the Author
Geoff Nelder is a professional liar, badass editor, and fiction competition judge. He was awarded Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society for his research into air pollution and microclimates and used his students as unpaid researchers to discover urban heat islands in Yorkshire towns and villages. He taught now-out-of-date Geography and IT to the ungrateful alive but escaped on his bike to write.

His publications include science fiction novels Exit, Pursued by Bee and the ARIA trilogy; and thrillers: Escaping Reality, and Hot Air. Many of his short stories have found homes in mags such as The Horror Zine, Perihelion, Ether Books, Encounters, Jimston Journal, Delivered, Screaming Dreams and many anthologies such as Monk Punk, Science Fiction Writers’ Sampler (with Gregory Benford and David Brin), Twisted Tails, and Zombified.

His non-fiction include books on climate and he co-wrote How to Win Short Story Competitions.

Where can we buy the books?
Geoff’s UK Amazon author page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

How can we follow you on Facebook?

What is your Twitter Handle?

Are you on GoodReads?
Yes,as Geoff Nelder

Your Website Address is:

Are there any other sites we should know about?

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Return

Your Hero has been on a journey.
He has been through challenge after challenge.
His body is left scarred, torn and damaged.
It has been so long he knows his family would never recognize him.
Now he has returned home.
How does he fit in to the old world again?
Write the story.....

Writing Prompt: Water

Write a scene

The only requirement: You must include a water element.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Anna Jakobsson Lund

Why are you THE Next Favorite Author?
I recreate the dystopian YA genre by writing exciting adventures featuring complex characters without love triangles.
What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
Article Three, the first book in the System trilogy, centers around three young characters travelling across what was once Europe on a mission to rescue a captive rebel leader. The main characters are complex rather than stereotypical and there are no insta-love, alpha males or love-driven young women in my story; tropes that have become too common in the dystopian genre post Hunger Games. Article Three is a book for readers who want more from their dystopian setting than it to act like a backdrop to a teen romance story. It’s a book for free thinkers and rebels.

Give an about the Author Blurb
Political scientist and organizational developer by trade, Anna Jakobsson Lund runs her indie-publishing company from the basement of her house outside a small town in Sweden. Her education and work-life have most definitely shaped the way she writes. She uses science fiction as a tool to ask questions about the way we live our life, run our countries and develop our societies. Her books are diverse, giving voice to characters that are seldom depicted, which makes her stories dynamic. Originally published in Swedish, the System trilogy has received a lot of praise for bringing something fresh to the genre. For the international launch, she teamed up with renowned translator Clare Barnes to not just translate but transcreate the first book.

Where can we buy the books?

How can we follow you on Facebook?
What is your Instagram account?

Are you on GoodReads?

Your Website Address is


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Book Spotlight: Grey Eyed Storm



Without a doubt, The Grey-Eyed Storm is one of the most in-depth and entertaining paranormal books which I have ever read. Christie Stenzel's introduction to the Occuli series leaves me desperately wanting more and I look forward to reading the rest of the series..... I fully enjoyed The Grey-Eyed Storm and recommend it to all die-hard lovers of the paranormal who enjoy mystery, humor, romance, adventure and excitement in a mind-bending tale of magic which eclipses all others."
—July 1st, 2016

5 STARS - I thoroughly enjoyed this story
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The whole premise of the fantasy world based on eye colour to discern what powers, and class you are was really interesting. I don't usually read fantasy or didn't until recently but am so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone and read this. I couldn't put it down, even ignoring my workload so I could keep reading.

There were so many twists to this, just as I was accepting a revelation a new one would come along and tip everything upside down. They didn't stop coming either. I loved pretty much all the characters in this even Drew who was supposedly evil and that's a sign of a good writer because whether good or badI felt emotion for them, not something that is easy to do. The ending was perfect, in fact I'm relieved it ended that way and I'm desperate to start book 2.
—April 26, 2016 By Kelly Duggan

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dan Melson

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
I write about far future technologies used by ordinary humans and the social conditions necessary.

About the Author Blurb
I am a married father of two girls in my fifties. I write science fiction and occasional fantasy. I have five fiction books out.

Where can we buy the books?

How can we follow you on Facebook?

What is your Twitter Handle?
I don’t use twitter.  140 characters is not a discussion

Are you on GoodReads?

Your Website Address is:

Are there any other sites we should know about?

Monday, February 6, 2017

Writing Prompt: Night

Night falls
The moon is full and hangs low in the sky.

What happens next?

from: Feeder: Chronicles of the Soul-Eaters
It was easy to slip down the dock and on to a container ship without the guards noticing me.  I was fast and quiet and most guards are too lazy to explore the ships much beyond the furthest edge of their flashlight beam.  Leaping from one barge to the next, I made my way to the last ship in the yard.  I found a short stack of containers in the middle of the barge and, rolling up my sweatshirt as a cushion for my head, stretched out on top of the cold, metal surface. 
I relaxed my body into the power of the energy I had just consumed.  The sound of the river was soothing and rich, pushing the weight of the city off my shoulders.  I was far enough away from the city lights to actually see some stars.  The legends tell of Were losing control of their human form and hunting indiscriminately through the night.  I never felt the effect of the moon and I have never lost control on a hunt.  Simply put, the reason I hunt more often during the full moon is it’s easier to see when the moon brightens the landscape.  More humans are out and about during the full moon.  Stupid humans doing stupid things make easy hunting.  Thieves climbing on rooftops are my favorite.  It’s easy to make it look like they slip off the roof and broke something vital.
I licked my lips, remembering the taste of the man and the strength of his energy flowing through me.  His death would be ruled a sudden heart attack.  Such a shame for a healthy-looking young man.  It’s not hard to stop the electrical impulse from the brain to the heart when you have such an intimate connection to the body.  I didn’t need skin-to-skin contact to drain a person of their energy, but it was easier to control the manner of death if I actually touched their skin.  It also gave me more control over timing of the feeding.  I didn’t like to drain them too quickly.  Drinking energy too fast gave me headaches and could sometimes bring on my seizures.  Besides, the type of prey I hunted usually deserved long, lingering deaths.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Dorothy Callahan

Why are you THE Next Favorite Author?
Action, adventure, romance, HEAs and usually a furry creature along the way!

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love the problem-solving aspect of it. I love writing myself into a hole and trying to climb my way out of it.

About the Author Blurb
Dorothy Callahan is one of those authors who annoys other authors by refusing to be tied down to one genre. If a tale demands to be told—even if she’s never read a single story like it—she’ll find a way to write the book of her heart. This is the only way to quiet those demanding characters begging to be heard.

She lives in New York with her wonderful husband, a pride of demanding cats, and two loyal dogs, all rescued from shelters (well, not the husband). Her love of both animals and writing prompted her to start READ AND RESCUE, an organization where animal-loving authors and readers can find one another. The unique aspect to this group is that each author pledges a portion of proceeds to his/her favorite animal cause.

When Dorothy is not writing, she enjoys shopping for antiques and renovating their pre-Civil War house. If you are interested in learning more about Dorothy or how to help other animals in need, please visit her at dorothycallahan.com, dorothycallahanauthor@gmail.com, Facebook at Dorothy Callahan Author, or Twitter under Dorothy Callahan @Callahanauthor.

Where can we buy the books?
All of them can be found on Amazon, B&N, Kobo and itunes.

How can we follow you on Facebook?

What is your Twitter Handle? 

Are you on GoodReads?

Your Website Address is
www.dorothycallahan.com, where you can find links and excerpts to all of my books
New Release, just came out 11/1/16!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Book Spotlight: The Chronicles of Anna Deadly Box Set

As a teen Anna Creed discovers she can time travel; a trick she uses to ‘jump’ from one place to another with no apparent passage of time. All she needs are two wheels, speed and nerves of steel. Now eight years later she’s alone and pregnant when her secret power takes control to save her life. Injured and confused Anna finds herself in the arms of Paul Richards, her summer lover and the father of her child.

But Paul has secrets of his own. He’s the head of an old conflict weary family and has been Anna’s past life lover time and time again, something only he remembers.

Things come apart for Anna when she starts ‘jumping’ in her sleep. Both Anna and her sister are in mortal danger from Paul’s uncle Damian and a ghost from her past life is driving her to murder. As Anna and Paul’s fledgling relationship unravels she takes the final and unforgivable step of attacking him and leaving him behind.

From Northern California to the rainforests of British Columbia Anna gets closer to the truth about Paul’s family and the realization that saving Paul and her unborn child may ultimately cost her life.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Question of the Day

Let's talk about bad guys.

How do you develop your villain? In the old days of writing the bad guys were easy to spot. They were the ones with all the vices: drinking, gambling, hanging out with loose women, kicking the dog. all the fun things. And they usually wore a black hat (as opposed to the protagonist who always wore the white hat).

Now we find the need to create more accessible villains. They may have some redeemable quality and sometimes, even the good guy has less than redeemable vices.

How do you create believable antagonists?