Saturday, November 21, 2015

Reminder: Will be blogging Saturday for the Indie Writer's Showcase: Relatively Paranormal!

Perfect for the holidays!

Theme: A Paranormal story about family. Were you born paranormal? Do you suspect a sibling or parent is paranormal? Did you find something paranormal in Grandma's attic? Could you have a paranormal family reunion? Etc., etc. 

A week later, I will 'harvest' indie writers for the showcase. After a two week notice, the writers will email me (or Facebook message me) their stories. I will them post each entry on a first come, first served basis on this blog and Tweet about it. I will also post it on several Facebook pages.

How do you contact me? Find me under 'Liz Kingsbury McKeown' on Facebook. Message me on Twitter: @WritersBoost

OR you can leave a comment on this posting.

I can't wait.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Be sure to sign up for the book blitz for A Horse Named Dog by Theresa Oliver. Details below.

The book blitz, hosted by YA Bound Book Tours, will run from Monday, November 16th to Friday, November 20th.
Here is an excerpt from the book:
“Hey,” Carlos said, peeking his head in the door. “Frank, I hate to interrupt, but Mr. Callahan is out here. He says he’s dropping off a horse?”
“Oh, man! I completely forgot. Thanks, Carlos. I’ll be right out,” Frank said, quickly rising to his feet as he took another swig of his orange juice. “Come on, son.”
“What’s Mr. Callahan doing here?” Sam asked, picking up another piece of bacon to take with him.
“He’s bringing a horse for us to train,” Frank said, then headed out the door with Sam close behind. “I’m supposed to break him.”
Then Sam remembered what his mother had told him. “Mom said something about ‘having to teach the horse manners’?”
Frank smiled and shook his head. “I’ll have a talk with Mr. Callahan about that.”
“Dad, what do you think that means?” Sam asked as they headed out the door.
“I’m not sure, son. Your mother told me that he has some ‘quirks’,” Frank said, shaking his head.
“What does that mean?” Sam asked reluctantly, remembering that he was the son of Trumpeter.
“I guess we’ll find out,” Frank replied. They walked up to the gate, and an older man with gray hair, wearing a beat up cowboy hat, was standing by a horse trailer, pulled by a shiny new pickup truck. Frank walked up to him with his hand extended.
“I heard about Sasha’s … accident,” Mr. Callahan said as he shook Frank’s hand. “Sorry to hear about it. How’s she doing?”
“She’s going to be fine, thanks, but we need to get back up to the hospital soon,” Frank replied, then continued. “It gave us quite a scare.”
“I’m sure it did,” Mr. Callahan said as his eyebrows knit together. “Look, if you’d rather me bring Dog back some other time …”
“No, that’s fine,” Frank replied. “We’ll take good care of him for you. Carlos can get him settled while we’re at the hospital.”
“Excuse me, but what did you just call him?” Sam asked.
Then, as if on cue, a loud whinny came from inside the horse trailer.
“Dog,” Mr. Callahan said, and then amended, “Well, actually, his full name is Dogs of War, but we call him Dog.” He paused for a moment, then added, “Your mother was going to help me with him …” Then, he turned his attention to Frank. “… but if you can just break him for me, that’ll be fine. I completely understand.”
“No; we’ll take a look at him and see what we can do, but let’s get him out of this trailer first,” Frank said, heading to the front of the trailer, taking a lead strap with him, while Carlos stood at the back, ready. “On my count, Carlos,” Frank yelled, reaching through the small side door to hook a lead strap to the horse. “One … two … three …” and then Carlos opened the back door.
The horse whinnied loudly as the men backed him out of the spacious trailer. Despite the nondescript clothing that Mr. Callahan wore, Sam could tell from his equipment that money wasn’t a problem for him. But to Sam, how much money someone had wasn’t important. What was important was how people treated others.
As soon as the horse was out of the trailer, it saw Sam and started toward him. Sam jumped back, remembering that he was the son of Trumpeter and wanted nothing to do with him. Then suddenly, Dog smiled and his tongue lulled out the side of his mouth, and he actually started wagging his tail. Then he bent down, crouching down on his front legs, looking at Sam as if he wanted to play. The men started laughing … everyone except Mr. Callahan, who took his hat off and ran his hand through his gray hair.
“Well, I’ve got to hand it to you,” Frank said, concealing a smile, “at least he’s living up to his name.” The men laughed again. “Now I know what you mean by ‘quirks’.”
“See what I mean?” Mr. Callahan replied, shaking his head as he placed his hat back on his head. “Here he’s the son of a famous racehorse and he thinks he’s a dog! I can imagine pulling him up to the starting gate with him waging his and smiling like that. I’d be the laughingstock of Indiana Grand.” Sam knew that Indiana Grand Racing and Casino was the premier racing facility for Quarter Horse Racing in the state of Indiana.
The men couldn’t help but laugh again.
“Evidently, Dog was spending too much time with the dogs on my farm when he was a colt,” Mr. Callahan said, shaking his head as they men concealed a smile.
Dog started toward Sam again, wagging his tail and raising his lip widely, showing his teeth, as if trying to smile.
“Well, would you look at that? You’ve made a friend, Sam!” Mr. Callahan said, smiling. Sam took a wary step back.
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Monday, November 9, 2015

Indie Writer's Showcase featuring Stephanie Greenhalgh's A Zombie Hunter and the Boobie Doll.

A Zombie Hunter and The Boobie Doll
By Stephanie Greenhalgh
Sunlight glinted through the leaves of the large oak as Caine and Nolia enjoyed a little down time. Completely engrossed in the latest Charlaine Harris novel, Nolia sat cross-legged with her back against the tree. A sly smile tugged at the corners of her mouth while she twirled a strand of brunette hair through her fingers, her eyes moving from side to side. Caine’s gaze intent on the Sudoku game on his phone.
Nolia’s phone buzzed. Lazily, she reach for it and smiled when her best friend’s name popped up. “Yo, what’s up?”
The hysterical voice on the other end had her sitting upright in record time. “We’re on our way,” her voice all business. Focused and serious, the athletic beauty clicked the phone shut and faced Caine.
“It’s Natalie’s sister, Lydia. She went to a cheer competition in Vegas. She was supposed to be home earlier today but never got on the plane. Natalie called all her friends, but they all thought she left. She was coming home early for a special mother/daughters birthday dinner.” Nolia informed.
“What do we know?” he asked. Natalie, an accomplished seer, had many inventive ways to gain otherwise difficult information, and Caine was certain she had already exhausted a variety of resources.
“She checked the looking glass and saw zombies.” Nolia met Caine’s gaze
            “On it,” the bald buff biker dude said. As the resident zombie hunter, he had his own wide reach of resources for the weird and supernatural. In a matter of seconds, he sent out an alert to friends and other zombie hunters. Not even a minute ticked by, before his phone blew up, Caine’s baby blues scanned the plethora of incoming texts.
 “A couple of local grease balls were seen grabbing a blonde girl near the airport. They hang at a local club and zombie habitat, my favorite.” He grinned, “I’ll head out there and check it out. Think you could give me a magical lift, babe?” He leaned in, brushed her neck with his lips, and gave her his best crooked grin.
“Yep, I think I have just what it takes to concoct the perfect Hickory Grove to Vegas portal.” She winked, and her shoulders straightened with pride. Caine didn’t doubt the reigning queen of realm traveling. His girl had mad skills.
When they walked through the front door of the second story apartment Nolia and Natalie shared, a leggy blonde stood over a looking glass. “We’re on this, Natalie, don’t worry. We’ve already got a lead and Caine is heading to Vegas to check it out. Plus, I have all the necessary ingredients to get him there in the next15 minutes,” She gave her friend a gentle hug, then got to work in her small but efficient kitchen.
Before long, Nolia had the caldron in front of her boiling and toiling. Natalie paced and Caine watched stoically, while Nolia expertly added a pinch mandrake and eye of newt to the already simmering pot.  After a brief chant from an old tattered booklet, a swirling bluish cloud engulfed the breakfast nook. Nolia raised her eyebrows and nodded expectantly toward Caine.
“I’ll text soon, babe.” Caine pulled Nolia into him and kissed her, running his hand down her back to her bum to give her ass a good-bye pat.
“Be safe,” she said, with a twinkle in her eyes.
“Always. And don’t worry, Natalie. I’ll have your sister back in a jiff.” He said, then leapt feet first into the swirling blue cloud and disappeared.
Moments later, the portal burped and spit Caine out in Las Vegas, Nevada. He shimmied to an abrupt stop right in front of ‘The Boobie Doll’ strip club. His core contracted as he balanced himself and allowed his insides to slide back into their regular space. Once he settled, the zombie hunter cocked his head from side to side until his neck snapped, crackled and popped. “Well, all right. This looks like my kinda place,” he said with a crooked smirk in place. Cracking his knuckles, Caine walked into a very dark and very seedy gentlemen’s club.
Zombie habitats could be enjoyable as long as you didn’t disrupt them. If one had a sick twisted sense of humor, habitats could be amusing to watch. Caine stared at the zombie bartenders, patrons and strippers. One look at the gray goo flopping around on stage and Caine cracked up.
The more he watched, the more he chuckled, until he heard a commotion from the back. The laughter froze in his throat. Quickly, he ducked behind a curtain to eavesdrop unnoticed. Turning, he found himself in the private room of a gelatinous male zombie getting a lap dance from a lady stripper zombie. Caine was certain she was losing her implants and maybe an eyeball. Unaware of the intrusion, the zombies continued their song and dance, but the voices outside distracted Caine.
“Get in there! The big guy wants to talk to you!” A foul fat man grumbled as he yanked a petite blonde by the hair.
“Let me go!” she yelled, kicking and contorting in any attempt to free herself from fatty’s slimy paws and leering eyes.
THWACK! The meaner, but quieter of the two goons, hauled off and smacked her. Blood spurted from her lip and she cried out in pain. “Easy now,” the chattier of the two asshats added.
Clenching his fist from behind the curtain, Caine resisted the urge to jump over tables and dim-witted zombies to pummel the two captors. He took five deep breaths. He didn’t bother with ten, if he couldn’t refrain in five, then whatever he was up against didn’t deserve the extra seconds.  Grudgingly, he breathed deeply and allowed the two goons to drag the girl into the back room.
Leaving the cloak of the private room, Caine gingerly made his way through the zombie horde. It would a huge disaster to disrupt the herd while planning a one-man rescue. In an attempt to keep disruptions to the bare minimum, Caine even endured a lap dance with one gooey stripper zombie before he made it across the club floor.
Finally, Caine got the back door. Putting his ear up to the door, he listened carefully, before he turned the knob slowly and peeked into the room. A blonde girl sat gagged and tied to a chair.
“Lydia…” He whispered. Closing the door behind him, he crept into the room.
Her eyes smiled and she sat up straighter.
“You okay?” He whispered, pulling his dagger from the sheath tethered to his thigh. With one quick movement, he sliced through the plastic ties around her wrists, freeing her. “Let’s get out of here. Ready?”
Lydia nodded, pulling off the duct tape covering her mouth. As the pair turned to leave, Caine’s eyes widened and his crooked grin broadened when he pulled open the door. At least a dozen dead and drooling zombies stood before them, looking for an afternoon snack.
“Well, shit. I knew that seemed too easy. Change of plans, kiddo,” He said before he grabbed the girl and threw her over his shoulder. “Phone’s in my back pocket, Lydia. Grab it and text Nolia. Tell her I’ve got you and we’re ready,” Caine instructed. The frightened girl nodded reaching for the phone. “And hold on.”
Even with a girl slung over his shoulder, Caine spun on one foot and kicked the first decaying dead person in the face. One of his round-house kicks took out at least six zombies as they systematically tumbled like dominoes. With the miniature crossbow tethered to his arm, Caine sent tiny silver darts into the necks of three more ghouls. Then a female zombie from behind the bar stood drooling in front of Caine. She was larger than the rest with nails like talons. Grunting and moaning, she lurched forward. With little effort, Caine’s heel made contact with her jaw. As her gooey head caved in, Caine whipped around to unleash another round-house. At the same time, Lydia flung her silver necklace toward the last of the zombie mob. Between the kick and the silver, the large bartender zombie stumbled backward, taking out the last four drooling dead guys like bowling pins.
“Hold on, Lydia. We’re almost home.” Caine said as they bolted out the front door to find a bluish cloud swirling before him. With a satisfied grin, he tightened his grip around the girl before he jumped in and the two vanished from the desert.
The pair shimmied to a stop back in Natalie and Nolia’s apartment. Caine steadied himself and gently set Lydia down. Natalie rushed to embrace her sister, while Nolia sauntered over with a satisfied smile. “Well done, handsome.”
“It was all for you, babe,” he said, as his eyes took in every inch of her, like he hadn’t seen her in a year.
Leaning on her tip toes, she wrapped her arms around his neck. He pulled her closer, lifting her off the floor. “There’s more to this, though babe, all those girls are in danger. Lydia was their guinea pig. These grease balls are planning to grab more when the rest of the cheerleaders leave tomorrow. They are trying to increase their zombie stripper horde.”
“I know. That’s why I’m holding on, handsome. We’re going back, you and me. I’ve concocted a potion to trap them in a prison realm, then we’ll hand the off to Xander. He’s the wise mentor and he’ll know what to do with them. Plus, this way, no one else will get hurt.”
“You are brilliant and it’s so freaking sexy. I’ll get a hold of a buddy of mine and make sure that habitat gets cleaned up after we’re through.”
“Handsome and helpful. Only two of the many reasons I adore you.” She let her lips brush across his lips, then found his cheek before she let go of him and turned toward Natalie and Lydia. “You two get to your mom’s for your special dinner. I’ll text you later,” Nolia said, blowing a kiss in the direction of her best friend.
“Thanks, guys! I owe you!” Natalie gushed and pulled her sister closer. “Give ‘em hell and lock those bastards up!”
“You know it,” Nolia turned back to Caine, “Ready?”
“Yep,” Caine stepped behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her close.
 Nolia reached into the travel bag slung across her body, then tossed a pinch of something into a stone bowl on the kitchen table before she chanted, “MOTARIOUS TRAVELIOUS IMMEDIOUSATED LAS VEGAS.”
Within moments, a swirling blue whirl erupted. Grabbing a small vial from her bag, Nolia gathered a small bit of the blue purplish swirling portal. “For an easy get-a-way,” she said securing the vial back in her travel bag. Turning to face Caine, she reached around his neck and held on tightly, “Go when you’re ready,”
Caine jumped in with both feet, but before long, he was skidding to a stop in the same private room he had hidden in not that long ago. “What were you thinking when we went thru?” Caine chuckled, releasing Nolia.
 “I wanted to land in a safe place. What on earth is that?” Nolia pointed to the gyrating glob of goo as she danced for the male.
“Don’t ask, but it’s better to not disturb. The rest of the club is on the other side of these.” He opened the curtain a crack to see what lay ahead. “It’s quiet out there, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”
“Man, this place stinks,” Nolia crinkled her nose as she squeezed between Caine and the curtain to get her own view. “I’d like to capture these two asshats and get home. Where do you think they are?”
“My guess would be the storage room in the back.”
“Then, let’s go,” Nolia brushed passed the curtain and tip-toed across the room. The amount of zombie goo was simply unreal and she had on her new Chuck Taylors. Caine followed without a care about his shoes. Work boots were meant to get dirty and he had a job to do.
As they approached the door, Nolia opened a charm on her necklace and poured a handful of pink dust into her palm. Then she brought her forefinger to her lips and mouthed, “On three.” Caine nodded, as she counted down with her fingers. When she had a fist, Caine burst through the door, leading with his crossbow. Deftly, he sent two tranquillizer darts flying across the room.
Shocked, the men reached for their necks, as numbness began to seep into their blood. Nolia walked in with a polite smile plastered to her face and a handful of disappearing dust in her palm. “Until we can figure out more about you, we’re going to keep you and others safe,” she said before, blowing the dust in their direction with one big breath.  The goons’ eyes widened and their bodies swerved and swayed, until they slowly distorted into tiny fragments of dust floating in the air.
Satisfied the danger had been neutralized, Nolia reached into her bag and pulled out a small steel box. When she opened the rectangular box, the pentagram carved in the bottom illuminated. A bright purple hue glowed throughout the room. The floating dust roared to life as the box jumped and bucked. Nolia gripped it in her hands until the box consumed all the dust and the lid snapped shut. A quiet calm filled the zombie strip club.
“Damn, I’m glad that’s over,” Nolia sighed, clipping mystical a padlock to the outside. “Let’s get these two fats cats home to Xander. He can figure out if they’re a threat or just stupid,” Nolia said, closing the gap between her and Caine and placing one arm around his neck, “And I’m certain he won’t have any intel until tomorrow at the earliest, so I think we need to celebrate our small victory with a night out.”
“Now, that’s an idea I can get behind.” He pulled her close.
Nolia retrieved the vial with the blue purplish liquid from her travel bag. She snapped her wrist, flinging the vial at the wall. “Hickory Grove,” she said. Within moments, the blue swirl sucked them home.

Be sure and check out Stephanie's first book in the Ruby Hood series, now only 99 cents:

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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Indie Writer's Showcase: My very first entry! Jessica Samuels: A Vampire Bar.

A Vampire Bar
Crystal Crest Realm
By:Jessica Samuels
  It was a long day at work, and I needed to drown out the pain of dealing with people. I hated today since they were making me crazy with  running freight, and I wanted to sit and relax at a bar. Where do I go? Wing Command since I love their food, and a shot of Goldschlager and a Red Bull and vodka is just what I need. It was one of those days, and I got off at 5 while boyfriend got off at the same time. I thought about it the whole time at work, and I really wanted this night at the bar. I got out of my work clothes since I just got off.  I relaxed a little bit just to wind down while I wait for my boyfriend Derek to get home. I wrote some because I’m a writer and I was so pissed at this day I just had to get it off my chest. The day had been long with me working non-stop doing different things at once. Zoning, phone watching, repeat over and over again. That’s it and the time ticked by so slow I thought I would go bonkers with it. I hated it. Picking up shoe after shoe when customers toss out a shoe they don’t want to buy. They stuff it under the shelves or leave it where it is.
          I let it all go since I’m off from that hell for two days which means I can go to my hangout. I’ll have a few drinks and it will make the night off better. I worked on my retail story AngelWitch to get over the stupidity of today, and that’s what they say write what you know. My name is Dannika, and this night at Wing Command will change my life forever. My boyfriend comes home from work, and I’m happy because he is my rock to this crazy life. I get my things ready and we go out. We take my car, and the drive is short too. It’s less than ten minutes away, and close by which is good after drinking some. Derek parks the car, and I get out. The front is a big place, and on the outside Wing Command is there with a little plane at the end of the blue words. I love it, and I don’t need to be ID’d since it’s still early right now. We go inside and it’s all red walls with flat screens placed throughout the store. There is a bar area, pool area, and the main area with a place where bands can perform on Thursday. I know the owner, and he is a very friendly Filipino guy. Always gives me a hug, and his wife is nice too. I’ve been going there for a few years. I love it there, and I get my usual place with my waitress. Her name is Monica, and she always gets my drink order. I get the usual drink and so does Derek. I love his blue eyes and short hair too cut like military style since the Army has it like that. He is 5’5 and I’m 4’8 we make it work since we have been dating for 8 months. We talk about everything his day and my dreaded morning shift. I can talk to him for hours at this point. The drinks are here, and I take a shot down of the drink and sip on my Red Bull and Vodka. It makes all my troubles go away, and I’m happy now. I’m no longer worried over work bull shit, and the boss threatening to get me in trouble if I don’t work faster thanks to the person in charge of my area. I don’t worry about much, but I notice it doesn’t taste like it usually does. It has a metallic taste to it. Like blood. I look at my drink and it is blood….

….I pass out and wake up in a room with a bed and I’m tied to it. Great…I wonder how much time is passed since I took a drink. Derek is nowhere to be found. But some time passes, and he comes through the door.
“Are you okay?” He asked me.
“What happened?” I asked him wondering how I got here.
“I turned you into a vampire so you can get revenge on your evil boss, and coworker.” He told me with a wicked glint in his eyes. He knew exactly what I needed.
          Things are getting worse at SaveMart, and it was time to clean house. I’m thirsty and I look to my left there is a glass of blood on a nightstand, and I drink the whole thing. It actually has a taste to it, and it tasted really good. The best drink of water when I’m in the desert. Why don’t I freak out? Why don’t I call him a monster and break up with him? Because I’ve had an obsession with vampires for a while, and I have always wanted to be one. The owners of my favorite haunt are vampires, and they even turned their waitresses into them. They need me to be on their team to go after the mean customers.
 I look at him, “Thanks, and I love you.”
“I love you too, and I don’t want to go on living without you. Now go after the bitches. They deserve to die especially the snitch.”
“Will do, and I don’t want to be without you either.” I tell him.
I get up and notice that my reflexes are better, my strength stronger, and I’m fierce too. My humanity is gone, and I will not feel guilty about killing that lazy bitch either. She does not do anything. Then afterward I can go to Luxor, and live there with Derek. I wanted to get out of Crystal Crest so here is my chance.
          A few days later I clock in for my last shift ever because I’m not going to go into work anymore for this hell hole. They ride me too much, and I can’t take it anymore. I plan on getting in trouble and then when they both pull me in I will take them out with my silencer on my revolver. My silenced .38. I drive and the sun does not bother me at all. I love it. I was afraid I would have to give up the sun I don’t have to. I get dressed in my tacky uniform and head out. Once I get there I start zoning like usual. I notice a cart of shoes, but I ignore it today. I’m giving her a taste of her own medicine first. I’ll make her do her job for once.
Supervisor comes up to me, “You know you have a cart to do, and it’s right there. Then we have five more to go.”
Screw it…
“Well, if that’s the case you had better start now so you can finish it by the time you leave.”
She scoffs, “It’s your job actually do as I say.”
“No, I won’t do work for you since your a lazy bitch. You have me and others do the work while you do practically nothing. You call me slow and say I need to speed it up while you leave shit behind the counter. You’re a lazy piece of shit, and I hope you choke and die.”
She glares, “I’ll get the manager and we will coach you for being a smart ass.”
“Then go get her because I want to talk to her about how much of a lazy bitch you are…”
She leaves, and I’m happy since I did see the manager. Once they pull me into the office I’ll take them out to finish the job….
An hour after finishing the area she called me slow in I get a call.
“They need to see you in the office.” A coworker tells me.
I walk to the front, and the bitch is there with the boss.
Boss looked at me, “Now tell me why you were rude to supervisor.”
“She is a lazy bitch, and I’m not doing shit till you fire her.”
“How about I fire you?” She told me.
My reply, “You can’t since I already quit…”
I take my .38 and aim it at the bosses head. I pull the trigger, and the bullet goes right through her and blood splatters into the wall.
“You were useless anyway…” I tell her unmoving body.
I turn my attention to bitch supervisor, and then give her a mean glare.
“Consider this death sentence for being a lazy bitch, and not doing your job.” I do the same to her, and then I leave. I fill the office with kerosene and strike a match.
“I’ve always hated this job anyway.” I throw the match, and it lights up like a Christmas tree…I get home in record time, and tell Derek about everything…
“Good they deserved it.”
Then we leave the Crystal Crest, and go to Luxor where I get a better job and better treatment. I become a famous author there, and live out eternity as a vampire loving it every single day…..

The End….
Jessica's book The Killer Contract Agency is coming soon from Write More Publications!