“A New Universe Awaits” by @wmschlichter #spaceopera #scifi #amreading #books

First there was Buck Rogers, then came Ripley. Now, we introduce you to Commander Reynard and the characters of The Silver Dragon Chronicles, a new space saga by William Schlichter, author of the No Room In Hell series. To celebrate the release of Enter the Sandmen, book one of The Silver Dragon Chronicles, we turn our blog over to William Schlichter because…

Enter The Sandmen by William Schlichter

A New Universe Awaits… by William Schlichter

Modern day horror/thriller authors derive inspiration from the masters of the phantasmagoric throughout the literary and film world. When I write stories of the undead, or even explore other supernatural creatures, pointing out a source of inspiration seems easier to define. Night of the Living Dead—the definitive work to which all things undead are measured—is the primary origin for most zombie works. I am no exception.

When it comes to my sci-fi fantasy world, it’s not as easy to pin down an all-inspiring force as it might seem. My earliest childhood memory was watching Star Wars at the drive-in. I did fall asleep before the Death Star exploded. Blasphemy, I know, but I was three-and-a-half years old. Now while my friends wanted to be Han or a Jedi, I had grander ambitions. I knew from witnessing the majestic space epic. I played with the action figures—no one collected them then—but they did not always remain Han and Luke. My imagination flowed into my own galaxy far far away.

My father further spawned my sci-fi interest. He would tell me I should watch this movie or that television show. One I clearly remember was Battle Beyond the Stars. Little did I recognize The Magnificent Seven remake—in space. My parents introduced me to Doctor Who and others, but also to actors like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.

Enter The Sandmen by William Schlichter

One aspect of many Eastwood films, especially those where he directed and starred in, was this growth of the surrogate family—people who may not ordinarily belong together and become inseparable, like the character Josey Wales. The same can be seen with Star Trek’s Kirk and Spock. Kirk and Spock became brothers and both joined Star Fleet. I find those themes rewarding, and many of my characters in The Silver Dragon Chronicles have lost family and their entire culture because of warfare. Non-writers might think, “Oh, that’s easy. You don’t have to develop a world for these characters.” But several of the characters try even harder to hold onto their alien culture, which requires more detail to expand on their character. Creating backstories for societies never seen or hardly discussed takes time, but enriches a character and the overall novel universe. The more I write and work with them—even on side stories that may never see the light of print—develops a stronger, more believable character.

Well-rounded and developed characters are what keep us reading as we explore the hero’s journey. I could toss out literary jargon I learned as I earned college degrees, but whether the hanging curtain’s blue because I had some deeper symbolic meaning, or I just thought curtains needed to be labeled a color and I picked blue, is not as important as if I create characters the reader cares about.

All stories boil down to the characters and how they deal with a situation. This is where tropes come into play. How does a character deal with the same situation the reader has seen in multiple books? How do they handle it differently?

In No Room In Hell: The Good, The Bad, and the Undead, I wanted to explore how intelligent people would deal with dead rising during an apocalypse. In The Silver Dragon Chronicles: Enter the Sandmen, Commander Reynard is the trophic Buck Rogers, John Crichton and, to an extent, Ellen Ripley—all of which are characters blown from their natural element and placed in a situation where they are outsiders by time and space. Crichton and Rogers were already pilots and scientists, but what if they weren’t? What if they were just placed in the situation fresh out of high school? Even if receiving training in future technologies, how do they deal when the overwhelming larger universe’s now thrust upon them?

Star Trek eliminates poverty, hunger, money, but would addiction be able to be suppressed? How do people in the future deal with loss—real loss of loved ones? When war is a constant looming threat and human life has little meaning to other more superior alien races, how do intelligent characters deal?

Many characters during the course of the Silver Dragon Chronicles will deal with the question of how far they are willing to go to prevent a war, and if they will do what is just over what is lawful. Rampant prejudice toward humans looms over the crew. War means the destruction of planets and forever on the horizon looms a darker evil no one has a way to combat.

Those are just some deep buried themes throughout the course of the series. On the surface it’s a sword and spaceships adventure with humor, sister issues, planet hopping and more aliens than were in the Mos Eisley Cantina.

About Enter The Sandmen

The universe will never be the same

Thirty years after the Battle of the Twin Suns…

Smuggling weapons to rebel forces seeking to overthrow the Federation proved successful for the Silver Dragon crew. As war encroaches on the known galaxy, the crew’s personal agendas surface. Amye Jones especially seeks to escape her own sultry past, face her drinking abuse and deal with her perfect sister’s taunting.

Directed toward their next secret mission for Admiral Maxtin, the crew discovers there are sinister forces hidden in the universe, seeking to destroy them.

Enter The Sandmen by William Schlichter

Enter the Sandmen by William Schlichter is available now in trade softcover or eBook

Read a sample of Enter the Sandmen by William Schlichter

Connect With William Schlichter

Facebook

BHC Authors Website

Twitter

Connect With Blue Harvest Creative

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Hope, Harleys and the #Supernatural—by @TomMohan_Author #amreading #books

Who doesn’t love a good tale of the supernatural? Guest blogger and author Tom Mohan talks about:

Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan

Back in the 1995-96 time frame I had a vision of a homeless man standing in the rain staring at a gun in a pawnshop window. I had no idea who this guy was or why he wanted to end his life, but the vision was clear and the idea stuck. I didn’t write much back then, and finished even less. I had thought about writing and knew that someday, when the stars aligned and I had lots of free time, I wanted to write a book. Procrastination and a natural born gift for laziness didn’t help, either.

Fast forward to 2011 when I attended my first writer’s conference—The Ragged Edge. The Ragged Edge was an intimate conference hosted by Ted Dekker and was open to only 100 participants. I left this conference on fire for writing and decided it was time to find out just who this homeless guy with the death wish was.

It turned out the guy’s name was John Burke. Four years ago John’s wife and daughter had disappeared along with some other members of a church youth group and the pastor. Burke had put everything he had into finding his family but they seemed to have vanished from the Earth. This much I knew fairly quickly but there was a lot more to his story that I had to uncover. I have loved reading horror for as long as I can remember and then, while deployed in the U.S. Navy, I discovered epic fantasy. This was in the early 1980s, before fantasy had really taken off. One thing I knew from my love of these genres was that I wanted to make stuff up. I didn’t want to limit myself to the real world but be able to open up any door that came along, the weirder the better. That is one of the reasons I set Eve of Redemption in the year 2032—it is far enough in the future that I can change some current reality without being so far away as to be completely detached from our current world.

Eve Of Redemption by Tom Mohan

Another thing I knew about John Burke was that he needed redemption. His guilt and shame were killing him and he could be no help to anyone until he was able to forgive himself. As authors, I think we often use our characters to work out some of our own issues. There is probably more of me in John Burke than I care to admit. The original character was much more of a mess than the man who shows up in the book. Fortunately I had enough early readers who were not afraid to tell me the guy was quite unlikable in his current state and that I should make him a bit less of a whiny-wretch. I did and I think he is a much better character for it.

When I started writing Eve I knew three things: the beginning, then end, and the scene that ends part one of the book. Everything else grew organically from the writing process, which is, to me, what makes writing so much fun. About 200 pages into the first draft I realized there were still too many things I didn’t know. In order to figure them out I began delving into the life of Sara Burke, John’s missing daughter. Suddenly a whole new story line opened up that not only answered the questions, but also introduced a new world where nothing was as it seemed.

Eve of Redemption contains many of those vital details that keep life interesting, or do when we allow ourselves to step out of real life—strange children, animated corpses, demons, ghosts, Harley Davidsons (missing from my reality, anyway) and a dragon that surprised even me when he showed up.

That’s my writing journey…so far.

About Eve of Redemption

John Burke’s life is filled with despair. Four years after the mysterious disappearance of his wife and daughter, he wants nothing more than to end his own misery—until a confrontation with a peculiar little girl alters his life. Burke’s world collides with supernatural chaos, forcing him to face the reality of his past.

Now he must find his family and destroy the ancestral curse. Teaming up with a former policeman and his blind wife, along with a boisterous motorcycle gang, Burke discovers the one thing he thought he lost forever—hope.

Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan

Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan is available now in trade softcover or eBook

Read a sample of Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan

Connect with Tom Mohan

Facebook

Twitter

BHC Authors Website

Connect with Blue Harvest Creative:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Hope, Harleys & the Supernatural—Welcome to Eve of Redemption by @TomMohan_Author #supernatural #amreading #books

Who doesn’t love a good tale of the supernatural? Guest blogger and author Tom Mohan talks about:

Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan

Back in the 1995-96 time frame I had a vision of a homeless man standing in the rain staring at a gun in a pawnshop window. I had no idea who this guy was or why he wanted to end his life, but the vision was clear and the idea stuck. I didn’t write much back then, and finished even less. I had thought about writing and knew that someday, when the stars aligned and I had lots of free time, I wanted to write a book. Procrastination and a natural born gift for laziness didn’t help, either.

Fast forward to 2011 when I attended my first writer’s conference—The Ragged Edge. The Ragged Edge was an intimate conference hosted by Ted Dekker and was open to only 100 participants. I left this conference on fire for writing and decided it was time to find out just who this homeless guy with the death wish was.

It turned out the guy’s name was John Burke. Four years ago John’s wife and daughter had disappeared along with some other members of a church youth group and the pastor. Burke had put everything he had into finding his family but they seemed to have vanished from the Earth. This much I knew fairly quickly but there was a lot more to his story that I had to uncover. I have loved reading horror for as long as I can remember and then, while deployed in the U.S. Navy, I discovered epic fantasy. This was in the early 1980s, before fantasy had really taken off. One thing I knew from my love of these genres was that I wanted to make stuff up. I didn’t want to limit myself to the real world but be able to open up any door that came along, the weirder the better. That is one of the reasons I set Eve of Redemption in the year 2032—it is far enough in the future that I can change some current reality without being so far away as to be completely detached from our current world.

Eve Of Redemption by Tom Mohan

Another thing I knew about John Burke was that he needed redemption. His guilt and shame were killing him and he could be no help to anyone until he was able to forgive himself. As authors, I think we often use our characters to work out some of our own issues. There is probably more of me in John Burke than I care to admit. The original character was much more of a mess than the man who shows up in the book. Fortunately I had enough early readers who were not afraid to tell me the guy was quite unlikable in his current state and that I should make him a bit less of a whiny-wretch. I did and I think he is a much better character for it.

When I started writing Eve I knew three things: the beginning, then end, and the scene that ends part one of the book. Everything else grew organically from the writing process, which is, to me, what makes writing so much fun. About 200 pages into the first draft I realized there were still too many things I didn’t know. In order to figure them out I began delving into the life of Sara Burke, John’s missing daughter. Suddenly a whole new story line opened up that not only answered the questions, but also introduced a new world where nothing was as it seemed.

Eve of Redemption contains many of those vital details that keep life interesting, or do when we allow ourselves to step out of real life—strange children, animated corpses, demons, ghosts, Harley Davidsons (missing from my reality, anyway) and a dragon that surprised even me when he showed up.

That’s my writing journey…so far.

About Eve of Redemption

John Burke’s life is filled with despair. Four years after the mysterious disappearance of his wife and daughter, he wants nothing more than to end his own misery—until a confrontation with a peculiar little girl alters his life. Burke’s world collides with supernatural chaos, forcing him to face the reality of his past.

Now he must find his family and destroy the ancestral curse. Teaming up with a former policeman and his blind wife, along with a boisterous motorcycle gang, Burke discovers the one thing he thought he lost forever—hope.

Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan

Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan is available now in trade softcover or eBook

Read a sample of Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan

Connect with Tom Mohan

Facebook

Twitter

BHC Authors Website

Connect with Blue Harvest Creative:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Why Does #Steampunk Matter? By Guest Blogger @ARMeyering

Are you a fan of steampunk? And what exactly is it? Guest blogger and award-winning author A.R. Meyering, creator of The Dawn Mirror Chronicles (and who specialized in Victorian/Neo-Victorian Literature in college) delves into the importance of steampunk and why it matters.

Fans of this genre will enjoy her latest release The Hunter’s Bond, as well as the other novels in The Dawn Mirror Chronicles.

Why Does Steampunk Matter?

Steampunk, put lightly, is a fringe genre. Images leap to mind—elaborate DIY gizmos, outlandish costumes, and that eccentrically brilliant handful of people who crave historical fantasy come to life. During my study of Neo-Victorian literature during college, a professor once described steampunk as a genre that boasted “machines that exist far before their time, all which are on the brink of falling apart.” It was a throwaway line during a lecture, but I personally found it to be an illuminating description of the genre.

As of late, steampunk has been creeping further and further into popular culture, flavoring otherwise unrelated games, music, and movies with its eye-catching designs. Where fans may have learned to recognize it for its token gears and antique flair, I regularly see curiosity in those who wonder what the hell steampunk actually is. Just glue some gears on it and call it steampunk, right?

The Hunter's Bond by A.R. Meyering

What Is Steampunk, Anyway?

Steampunk, in its simplest form, is any type of fiction that features two distinct elements: anachronistic technology and a 19th century aesthetic. That’s really just a fancy way of saying highly-advanced inventions in a Victorian (give or take a few decades) setting. At least that’s how it began to be defined after it was coined in the 1980s by science fiction author K.W. Jeter. I believe the beauty of steampunk is how many die-hard aficionados you will meet who will whole-heartedly argue these points. For all intents and purposes, however, steampunk is a flight of science fancy centered on this time period during which steam-powered machines seemed to be the way of the future.

Steampunk has many fascinating offshoots, such as cattlepunk, a similar genre set in the wild west of the United States, dieselpunk, a mid-20th century variant, and clockpunk, where the trademark cogs so often associated with steampunk might actually feel more at home.

The amazing thing about steampunk, to me, is that it feels like it belongs to the fans more than many other genre of fiction. The spirit of steampunk is ingenuity blended with imagination—it’s that surviving spark of nostalgia mixed with the brave urge to burn recklessly into the future. Steampunk is its own type of music; it’s a warm community of retrophiliacs, of people who create magic out of spare parts, of inventors and artists and dreamers. However, for all its whimsy, there is an undercurrent of darkness that runs throughout it—an unflinching social critique that highlights the monstrosity of the 19th century.

History Happens in Patterns

And no matter what we do, we are doomed to repeat it. 19th century British folks, particularly the Pre-Raphaelites, were somewhat fixated on romanticizing medieval Britain through art and literature, despite its undeniable brutality. I suspect that our modern day Neo-Victorian subcultures look back on the 19th century with the same sort of confused, aching belief that we have lost something special to the past, that we can idealize it to be cleaner and rosier than we want to believe it was, and that we can amend its missteps with our modern outlooks on life and society.

Essentially all of us will look back on the economic and social inequity of 19th century Britain and agree that it was shocking, to say the least. Who wouldn’t recoil when faced with the realities of the lower class struggling to survive in the industrial revolution? At the horror of British imperialism? At a world where the atrocities of slavery were commonplace? Who wouldn’t take issue with the fact that aristocrats earned around 1,200 times as much as soldiers? Of the devastating spread of disease and the reality that it took until the year 1875 before the government stepped in to protect the health of the masses—resistance to this reform came largely from the factory owners who would be taxed to pay for it. And this hardly grazes the surface of the abject suffering that the majority of people lived through in the 19th century, all while a handful of well-to-do families built up the facades of grandeur and austerity that popular culture readily associates with this time period. All while these same well-to-do families rationalized their behavior through flimsy, racist pseudo-science and the nearly unchecked ambition to guard their ill-earned wealth.

Starting to Sound Familiar?

For all of its flaws and eccentricities, I believe that Steampunk’s historical context features a great potential for meaningful social critique. Instead of trying to ignore the unfortunate truths of the past, they can be addressed and discussed. Steampunk is a bizarre sort of abstract microcosm of our own society, all wrapped up in a quirky package, and it matters because it is a way we can recognize the glaring flaws of bygone times­—flaws that are still very much a problem in today’s world—without the interference of our contemporary egos.

It matters, also, because it simultaneously fixates around just the sort of hopeful spirit that ushers in the anachronistic, before-its-time brilliance that leads to a better world. I say, let’s keep dreaming about clanking, aether-run airships en route to the stars because it shows us not only where we have been, but where we are going.

About The Hunter’s Bond

A storybook life ended in one bloody night…

Left injured, alone, and penniless, noblewoman Beatrice Langford can only think of exacting revenge on the ones who took everything from her. After getting a job as a barmaid from tavern-owner Miles Creedy, she soon discovers his dark secret. Following Creedy into the underworld of crime and vigilante punishment, she is tempted by an opportunity to learn skills deadly enough to carry out her vengeful plan. Beatrice may need to sacrifice everything in order to succeed, including her humanity.

From award-winning author A.R. Meyering comes this prelude to the final installment of the steampunk fantasy series The Dawn Mirror Chronicles.

The Hunter's Bond by A.R. Meyering

The Hunter’s Bond by A.R. Meyering is available now in trade softcover or eBook

Read a sample chapter of The Hunter’s Bond by A.R. Meyering

Connect With A.R. Meyering

Website

Facebook

Twitter

BHC Authors

Connect With Blue Harvest Creative

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Cover Design: Eve of Redemption by @TomMohan_Author #Supernatural #Suspense

Fan of supernatural suspense? Don’t miss Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan…her time has come.

Preorder the eBook at the special introductory price of $2.99 and save. Click HERE to order.

Eve of Redemption by Tom Mohan

Available in eBook and trade softcover June 14th, 2016

About the Book:

John Burke’s life is filled with despair. Four years after the mysterious disappearance of his wife and daughter, he wants nothing more than to end his own misery—until a confrontation with a peculiar little girl alters his life. Burke’s world collides with supernatural chaos, forcing him to face the reality of his past.

Now he must find his family and destroy the ancestral curse. Teaming up with a former policeman and his blind wife, along with a boisterous motorcycle gang, Burke discovers the one thing he thought he lost forever—hope.

Connect with Tom Mohan

Facebook

Twitter

BHC Authors Website

Connect with Blue Harvest Creative:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Merlin’s Knot by @MarkAndersenTales #ModernFantasy #Arthurian #MythsAndLegends #amreading #bookdesign

Merlin’s Knot by Mark Andersen is a modern-day fantasy set in Houston, Texas and is the first book in the Merlin’s Thread series. Perfect for fans of Merlin, King Arthur, and the weaving of legends set in modern times. Designing the cover for this novel was very design intensive and will be the subject of a future blog you won’t want to miss.

To purchase in either eBook of trade softcover, click HERE

About Merlin’s Knot:

Where in Texas has King Arthur gone?

Merlin the magician sleeps for fifteen hundred years…until his mystical connection to the mind of legendary King Arthur awakens him. Finally, the time has come to find the lost king and return him to his ancient destiny: saving the Britons in their hour of greatest peril.

The quest leads Merlin to Houston, Texas, where his link to Arthur becomes hopelessly tangled. The snarl centers on Alfred, a laid-off engineer suffering his own existential crisis. After Merlin coerces his help, they follow their only clue to a suburb called The Woodlands.

As they unravel the secrets of Arthur’s present life, returning the king to his own time becomes harder. Now Merlin must find a way to reconcile free will with fate—and repair history’s tapestry.

Read a sample chapter by clicking HERE.

Merlin's Knot by Mark Andersen

Cover design for print and eBook

Merlin's Knot by Mark Andersen

Our print wrap design for the trade softcover

Merlin's Knot by Mark Andersen

Our custom-designed print interior for paperback and eBook

Merlin's Knot by Mark Andersen

Our custom-designed print interior for paperback and eBook

Merlin's Knot by Mark Andersen

Our matching eBook design because readers deserve to experience the same book design no matter which format they prefer to read

Connect with Mark Andersen

Facebook

Twitter

Website

BHC Authors Website

Connect with Blue Harvest Creative:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Cover Design: The God Computer #SciFi #Aliens #NewAge #AmReading

Designing the cover for The God Computer really allowed us to flex our creativity. With all the different themes presented in the book, it needed just the right cover. We think we have managed just that.

The God Computer by Scott Troy Kovarik

Arrives in eBook and trade softcover May 12th.

Preorder now at a special introductory price by clicking HERE.

About the Book:

Discover the truth you seek…

When computer intern Avery Cole awakens in his car on a dark Seattle highway with a strange device in his possession—and no memory of the event—he isn’t aware of the path already chosen for him.

Cole returns to California to find his Alzheimer’s-stricken and homeless father. Obeying an apparition, he releases seven bottles into the sea, and meets Madi Blake, a digital media ninja. Together they search for answers and learn the secret behind Cole’s lost time in Seattle: the fate of the world now lies in his hands. With dark forces intent on stopping them, Cole must choose between sacrificing his love for Madi or mastering the wisdom necessary to save mankind.

The God Computer is a novel based upon ancient prophecy, sacred mystical teachings, and profound wisdom.

Connect with Scott Troy Kovarik

Facebook

Twitter

BHC Authors Website

Connect with Blue Harvest Creative

Website

Facebook

Twitter