Sunday, April 20, 2014

Interview with GHOST REAPER author Drew Adams

Today, I'm interviewing author Drew Adams, author of the book GHOST REAPER.




When and why did you begin writing? 

I...um...think it was in the first grade...I remember if you didn't they made you stand in the corner.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? 

My first horrible horror novel...somewhere maybe halfway through writing it...I thought, hey, I can do this.

What inspired you to pen your first novel? 

It's actually kind of weird...I guess...I took a creative writing course a couple of eons ago. The teacher (who was the local newspaper editor) read my first assignment out loud to the class...kind of blah. A subsequent assignment, I was really just fooling around and he loved it. Went on and on about it. I started my first novel about a month later.

Who are some of  your favorite authors and why? Have they influenced your writing, and in what way?

Dean Koontz really inspired me to write...or helped give me a voice. Stephen King...well...cause he's...you know...the King. Mark Twain... love his way with words and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The John Carter series, talk about an imagination! I also would mention Billie Sue Mosiman, not as famous as the others but she is able to create a world, sucks you into it and won't let you out.

Tell us a little about your new book, GHOST REAPER.

Ghost Reaper started as a short story. This poor dude dies in a car accident. Doesn't know he's dead...so forth and so on. Then I thought about one of those serial novels like they use to do in the old days. But how do you stretch a ghost story over ten episodes without giving away too much...it took off on me...my characters rebelled...and a novel emerged. Actually, the original idea was to get me to write. It worked...haven't stopped since. The book also melded with another novel I had started. There will be three more...and inside the pages you will find religious controversy...ethical dilemmas...one hell of a romance...sorrow...joy...and maybe...the end of the world.


Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

Ghost Reaper's characters ask some of the same questions I think most of us ask ourselves. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Is there a God? Is there a devil? Does hell exist and am I going there? If heaven exists, will they let me in?

A clue...the subsequent novels will be built around two of the same characters as the first. There will be religious elements but the story is fictional. However, the scriptures are literal from King James, and the translations are

from an accredited Hebrew/Greek concordance. Most of you will be surprised, some of you pissed and a few of you may find a new interest in the Bible.


How do you develop your plots and characters? 

I'm not sure I can take credit for that. I start with an idea. I add characters. Now, while I do try to let the reader know about this person’s thoughts, desires and motivations, I try to do this along the way. I'm not much for description, I think the reader pictures who they want pretty much at the beginning, though I may try to influence this image somewhat. There's some of me in them, some of friends, some of characters I've read or seen. But mostly, I think, they sort of develop themselves.

 One tip I would pass on to other writers: We've all seen the scenes where a writer writes a line...crumples up the paper and just can't get started. Think about this. Everybody, everyday, every hour is doing something. Brushing your teeth...drinking coffee, making coffee, waking up, driving to work...you get my drift. Just start your story during one of these moments. How hard is that?


What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I don't have one. I guess you could say I write around other schedules...things I have to do like work.I like writing at night. That's when the boogey man comes out.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your books?

I appear to be in love with the word that and I apologize in advance for any of them that slip by me. No...well...the muse, or what ever you want to call it. Inspiration...I don't know...it's always surprising me. Now, I suppose we are talking about my own demented brain here, for those of you who have not mystic beliefs...but just when I think I know where a story or book is going...it changes its mind.

Do you ever come up with anything so wild that you scare yourself, that leaves you wondering where that came from?

Yes, but if you think about it - things we hear in the media, real life...can be pretty bizarre.

What draws people to horror or suspenseful novels? Why do we, as readers, like to be scared?

As a nurse, I can tell you when you are frightened the body shoots you up with epinephrine and lord knows what else...kind of gives you a high or surge. I guess we don't have to run from saber-toothed tigers anymore and perhaps we actually miss it. And, let's face it. Suspense or horror fundamentally is about being surprised. Waiting for the answer...will he kiss her...will he kill her...does he know there's a monster under the bed? That always bothered me, by the way. How many of us...if you really thought something was under there...would you actually look?

How has indie publishing changed your life?

Okay, I don't want to step on toes here, but I did put on my boots. Traditional routes mean you have to go through an agent, or publisher, with rules and up-turned noses at every little problem. And they don't have the time and I sure don't. Indie allows me to publish inexpensively, with the only censorship of my work coming from me and trusted colleagues.

When will your book be released? 
It released today, my birthday, April 20, 2014. My birthday, yea me! This is the completed novel. It has been out in episode format for several months.

What upcoming projects do you have in the works? 

I have a second novel completed, SCIZO.  It's in the editing stage. It’s a psychological thriller with some paranormal stuff thrown in and two separate steamy romances...hubba hubba.

Also there are three more Ghost Reaper novels on the way. Here are the future titles:
* Ghost Reaper II: Lucifer's Children
* Ghost Reaper III: Rise of the Elect
* Ghost Reaper IV: The Two Witnesses

You write under a pen name. Why? And how did you come up with it?

As for why...it seemed like a good idea at the time...sort of separate my writing from me. My name is Andy...not Andrew...but people have been calling me Drew for a number of years and Adams is my mother's maiden name...so...Drew Adams.


Can you share a little of GHOST REAPER with us? (Share a scene)

Here's part of a scene from Chapter 8 in GHOST REAPER:

There was light. A soft glow emanated from two candles, placed on the floor at an entrance across the room. He stepped in and swung the gun around behind the door. Nothing. He crept towards the candles, watching a door to his right. Beyond the entrance, was he assumed, the dining room. Inside an array of candles painted the walls with dancing shadows.

She was on the wall to his left. Arms out, spikes driven into her palms. Her legs together, feet crossed and a spike through them as well. He stumbled towards her all caution gone and knelt at her feet. Blood pooled there, beneath them. His eyes moved up to her face. Her eyes were open, staring, mouth agape, forming a silent scream.

The bastard crucified her!

A flood of emotion wretched from his body.
“I’m so sorry...” he sobbed “...I shouldn’t have waited.”  He let the tears flow without regard for the fiend who could surely hear his crying. Chad knew no attack was imminent. The monster was waiting for him.
“The boy...please God...not the boy.”

He hurried through the dining room into the kitchen. There were candles in there as well. More than he could count. They lined the tops of the cabinets, below on the counter-tops and the floor. On the floor they accented the points of a pentagram that Chad was sure had been drawn in blood. Standing in the center was the man, naked, drenched in blood, a whiskey bottle in his right hand.

A whimpering came from his left. The boy was there, sitting, knees drawn to his chest, arms holding them tight. He was whimpering and rocking. Chad looked back to the man, put his gun behind his back, into his pants. Around his neck, he’d tied the Bowie knife's sheath, so it could hang behind, underneath his rain coat. He withdrew the knife and glared at the beast in front of him.

The creep smiled at him. In the candlelight his teeth looked yellow. He put the bottle to his lips and emptied it, then slammed it against the counter top. It shattered, leaving him holding a jagged, sharp, lethal-looking weapon.

Chad knelt. He wasn’t kneeling to this asshole, but to his Father in heaven. He asked for a blessing on the Bowie and kissed it. When he rose the man was still smiling at him, then burst out in wicked laughter.

The aura started spinning, picking up pieces of glass from the counter and floor. It ripped the shard from the man’s hand and tightened its vortex onto the man’s body. Glass ripped into flesh, muscle and sinew, sending sprays of blood and tissue. Chad held up both arms to shield his face from the onslaught.

The cloud’s spinning slowed, darkened and covered its host completely. Chad waited, his breath the only sound in the room. The aura lessened, a form started to materialize. Beast was no longer a metaphor. What stood before him was not a man or any other creature known. It unfolded large bat-like wings, uncurled long boney fingers with four-inch claws protruding from each digit. A tail whipped from side to side sporting a long serrated appendage. When it struck the floor, wood splintered, and deep gashes were left. Mucus dripped leisurely from its elongate chin, and its color. If Chad had to guess, he’d just call it foul.
Okay God, you got my attention!

The thing stood seven feet tall and looked down at him with glowing orange eyes. Its mouth opened revealing rows of shark’s teeth and a forked tongue.

Words gurgled from the mouth, the sound stereophonic.
“Hello, Chadwick.”

Chadwick felt like he had just stepped into the worst horror movie imaginable. The creature confronting him dripped mucous on the floor, while slashing his saber sword tail through anything it struck. I sure hope it was the Lord telling me to take up my sword cause if it came from me, I'm about to die. Again.
The beast's raspy voice sounded as if it voiced several octaves. "We've been waiting for you Chad-wick." The emphasis on the last syllable of his name conveyed a sense of mockery and disdain. Chad didn’t care. The word we’ve made him want to look over his shoulder but he dared not take his eyes off of it.
“What do you mean 'we’ve'?”

It shrieked and flung the small work table that stood between them with such force it shattered against the wall to Chad‘s left. “I have many souls with me. Soon you will join us.” Chad started inching in the direction it tossed the table, away from the child rocking in the corner to his right. He wasn’t a fighter, and none of the few altercations he’d been in included a knife.

In fact, his experience with knifes was pretty well limited to the dining table.

The creature moved circular with him which brought it closer to the boy. Chad wanted to twirl his father’s bowie knife to show his confidence. Yeah...right. You‘d only drop it and look even more stupid. The thing inched towards him. He backed up, finding himself against the kitchen table. Something was making a grinding noise. He realized it was his own teeth.

I ain’t skeered.

Chad rushed forward brandishing the knife in an upward arc aimed at his adversary’s throat. He wasn’t even close and the monster didn’t even flinch. It did, however, lash out its tail. Chad tried to dodge, but the tip brushed his right shoulder. For an instant he thought it had only sliced through his rain coat. Then searing pain exploded almost causing him to drop the Bowie. He clutched his shoulder with his left hand, a grunt escaped his clinched teeth. Chad had been stung by a scorpion when he was twelve. This was ten times worse. The agony radiated up to his jaw and down his arm all the way to his fingers.
The demon laughed – its cackles sounding like something frozen being dropped into a deep fryer.  Why doesn’t he just finish me off? The pain was easing, replaced by a spreading numbness. Some Christian warrior I’m turning out to be. Defeated by little more than a scratch. He knew it was no mere scratch though. The beast’s weapon was poisonous. Probably a neuro-toxin. The increasing loss of sensation confirmed this. He switched the Bowie knife to his left hand before it slipped from his fingers.
“How do you like me now?” It jeered.

Here's the GHOST REAPER back cover copy:

Young Chad Dowdry can no longer live a lie. His faith is crumbling and plans for a life of service to God and church are in jeopardy. 

A road trip to the family cabin in Northwestern Wyoming appeals to him. A short vacation from his seminary studies, alone in the wilderness, some quiet time to sort out his feelings. 

Not a convenient time to die. 

But death is not the worst of it. 

His fight back to the flesh is wrought with peril. 

What he discovers in this ghostly existence is what nightmares are made from. Evil beyond comprehension with all it entails. Greed, lust for power...absolute power. 

And what about Chad? How can he resolve his need for life forces which could mean the end of eternal life for those from whom he reaps. What will be the cost. Love? His soul? 

Amidst his hunt for souls, he becomes the hunted and to his horror, the one soul standing between unimaginable darkness for the human race and the light. 

Read the full novel GHOST REAPER in e-book format on Amazon.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

REVIEW: The Good Daughter by Diana Layne

 




Title: The Good Daughter  
Author:Diana Layne  

Genre: Contemporary single title 
Source: Purchased on my Kindle  
Published: Jan. 4, 2012  

Rated: Five Stars  

THE BLURB:Most good daughters would say they owe their fathers everything.
Marisa Peruzzo, Mafia princess, would.
She owed him for killing her fiancé.
She owed him for destroying her mother.
She owed him for chaining her to the 'family business'.
And she owed him for taking away her lifelong friend. Payback's a bitch.  


My Thoughts: Sometimes it's nice (at least on TV and in books) to see justice served the way it should be, especially when you have a mafia boss who is so bad, he has literally thrown his wife and daughter under the bus over the years. In "The Good Daughter," you definitely get that. You get a Mafia "princess" named Marisa who is ready to serve up a big plate of revenge to her father, mob boss Carlo, for killing the man she loved, giving her mother a lobotomy and selling her virginity to the highest bidder. I mean, what's there to love about this man? This book was fast paced, action-packed with kick-butt heroines who know how to lay it on the line. This was a great story with very strong characters -- characters who stick with you. While the book was suspenseful, there also was some romance in Sandro and Nia's backstory and between Marisa and FBI agent Dave. I can't wait to read the next book in the Vista Security series and more from Diana Layne. Great, eye-catching cover, too!  

(Review already posted on Amazon)

About The Author: Native small town Texan Diana Layne is a homeschooling mom of six kids who grew up riding horses and motorcycles, practicing the piano and reading every chance she could. As an only child and only grandchild she naturally made up fictional friends and entertained herself with endless adventure stories with those imaginary playmates. Embracing both her Gemini-twin personality and a continuing variety of make-believe buddies, she writes in multiple genres from historical romances to mainstream suspense thrillers to small town love stories--and always has two or three novels in progress. To learn more about Diana, sign up for her newsletter, or to follow her on social media, please visit dianalayne.com