Liz Strange Erased release

Erased low Liz Strange and I go back a long time. She’s one of those authors who displays the kind of tenacity and dedication to her craft that is second to none. She writes stories that often feature women who might be damaged in some way, but they’re strong – very strong – and are capable of pulling through where many would fail. 

Today we celebrate the release of her novel, Erased, an action-packed SF thriller in a similar vein to Firefly and Blade Runner, and we’ve got her over here at the DCP blog for a little Q&A. Welcome, Liz!

Every novel has a story seed. What sparked Erased? What are some of the elements of the novel that you can share without giving spoilers.

The concept for Erased came to me as an image of this woman sitting alone in a skeevy bar, wondering how she’d gotten there. From there it spiralled into a story that on the surface is an action fuelled sci-fi thriller, yet underneath touches on concepts of humanity, personality, truth, perception and love.

You write a lead character who is an empowered woman. Tell us more about Grey Singer.

Grey Singer is the kind of character that I would love to read about more often in books, and see in films. She’s smart, strong and independent, yet still a woman. I find too many “tough” female characters are essentially stripped of everything that makes them feminine, as though being able to love and have attachments to other people (and God forbid to be motherly) cannot mesh with being a strong leader. I don’t buy it. People are complicated, and have many layers.

Grey has complex relationships with the men around her. Can you give us a little insight?liz strange profile pic

She does have complicated relationships! She has Cusco, a doctor of questionable morality who may be the only one to help with what’s been done to her, Idris, her former right-hand man, and Bloodstone who is the leader of faction she’d been working to eliminate. Then we have Jimmy, her kind, loyal and much younger boyfriend who gets dragged into her crazy, dangerous life. She is many things to these men—friend, leader, enemy, ally, lover.

Tell us a little about your setting.

Erased is set in the near future, during a time of intense space exploration and settlement of many planets throughout the known galaxy. The InterStellar collective is essentially the all-encompassing police and military force, controlling everything from local politics to medical research to transport and trade. Though things have advanced significantly in the technological fields, human kind are still struggling with the ideas of autonomy, leadership versus control, freedom and identity.

For those who’ve enjoyed Erased, and want to read some of your other stories, which do you suggest and why?

I have my Dark Kiss fantasy series, and my David Lloyd Investigations mystery series, as well as a number of stories that fall in the romance/erotica, horror and fantasy genres. I’m an eclectic writer, so there’s something for everyone.

Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook.

By Erased at Amazon, Kobo or Drive Through Fiction or add it on Goodreads.

EXCERPT

Bloodstone opened his mouth to answer, averting his gaze from her face at the last second, as though something else had caught his attention. Singer scanned the room’s occupants, feeling time slow. The odd absence of sound dawned on her. Jimmy’s hand brushed hers and when she turned to him his lips began to move and his pained expression accentuated the vehemence of the message that didn’t reach her ears. The ground beneath her sock feet trembled.

Snap!

The silence exploded into sound—screams, the engine of a large vehicle in motion, breaking glass. Singer and Jimmy hit the floor. The carpet burned along her right cheek, and when the warm rush of blood trickled over her lip, she knew the healing wound there had been reopened. The mahogany table holding the coffee pot and assorted cups burst into a shower of wood splinters, shards of porcelain and black rain. When she dared to rise to her knees to survey the damage and take stock of those around her, Bloodstone tossed a pistol in her direction and pointed to the front of the house. Behind her, the large window and rose-patterned curtains had been replaced with a gaping hole.

Janey had run screaming from the room and did not return. Lana and Keir appeared unharmed and had managed to scramble away from the path of their assailants. They stood in the adjacent hallway with weapons drawn and eyes wide. Hiram lay on the floor beneath the ruins of the front wall of the house with a large chunk of glass protruding from his back. He crawled along the floor, pulling himself with one arm, but the pool of blood soaking the carpet beneath him revealed the seriousness of his injury.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

May 2014 Bestsellers lists

May 2014 Bestsellers Lists

I’ll keep it short this month – except for some movement in positions #2 through to #5, both lists look almost the same as April’s. UK author Dave Jeffery’s YA collection Beatrice Beecham’s Houseful of Horrors nudges Phobophobia out of the paperback chart. Dark Continents is seeing some success in YA paperbacks; it will be interesting to see how Nerine Dorman’s The Guardian’s Wyrd will fare when we release the paperback edition.

Erased ebook CoverPredictions for June’s list? We’re two-thirds of the way through the month, so I think I’m safe in saying it will be another very similar post. Liz Strange’s new science fiction adventure Erased will almost certainly make an appearance, although its mid-June release date will probably hamper its bid to topple Quiet Houses from its well-deserved throne. The following month, though…all bets are off!

Top Five Bestselling E-books for May 2014

  1. Quiet Houses by Simon Kurt UnsworthQuiet Houses
  2. Fractured Spirits: Hauntings at the Peoria State Hospital by Sylvia Shults
  3. Double Double Love and Trouble by Sylvia Shults
  4. Phobophobia edited by Dean M. Drinkel
  5. Everyone Dies in the End by Brian Katcher

 

Top Five Bestselling Paperbacks for May 2014ED_ebook_Cover

  1. Everyone Dies in the End by Brian Katcher
  2. Quiet Houses by Simon Kurt Unsworth
  3. Fractured Spirits: Hauntings at the Peoria State Hospital by Sylvia Shults
  4. Beatrice Beecham’s Houseful of Horrors by Dave Jeffery
  5. Within a Forest Dark by Dean M. Drinkel

Fun fact for the month:

Beatrice_small ebook coverAs well Beatrice Beecham’s Houseful of Horrors, Dark Continents publishes three other Dave Jeffery titles: Campfire Chillers, which is a collection of short stories, the paperback edition of his zombie novel Necropolis Rising, and its sequel Necromancer: Necropolis Rising II.

And as is our (newly established) tradition, the bestsellers list comes with a Rafflecopter giveaway. Winner’s choice of any book, paperback or ebook, that is mentioned in this post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Posted in Bestsellers list | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guns and Romances – introducing our authors

A while ago we ran a call for submissions for our Guns and Romances anthology, and today we’re pleased to announce who’s all going to be part of this collection of high-octane tales involving gunpowder, passion and killer soundtrack across a range of genres. Authors were invited to make what the wanted to of the brief, and the following names made the cut:

Ackley Lewis, Alyssa Breck, Amy Lee Burgess, Autumn Christian, Dale Chase, David Jón Fuller, Elizabeth Myrddin, K Murphy Wilbanks, M Lori Motley, Marc Nash, Matt R Jones, Mav Skye, Michael Collins, Sara Taylor Woods and Sonya Clark.

We’re thrilled to have collected such a wonderful cast of names, so, watch this spot for news with regard to release and more.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Scares that Care

Lorne Dixon, author of Snarl, The Lifeless and Eternal Unrest and contributor to numerous horror anthologies, will be participating in the literary programming of the Scares that Cares charity convention, June 27th-29th in Williamsburg, VA.
This convention is a GREAT cause, helping out a range of worthy causes ranging from families in need to animal shelters, and much, much more. Celebrity guests include Kane Hodder, Yaphet Kotto, Tony Todd, Sig Haig, Cassandra Peterson (Elvira), Doug Jones, Heather Langencamp, Stuart Gordon, and William Forsythe. There are a number of incredible horror authors signing, reading, and meeting their readers as well, such as Brian Keene, Jack Ketchum, and Bryan Smith.
Lorne will be using his reading slot to debut a small taste of Blue Eel, his supernatural thriller due out from Dark Continents in November 2014.

Lorne’s schedule for the weekend:
Saturday 6/28: 5:00pm – 5:45pm Panel discussion: Desert Island Horror – Brian Moreland, Hunter Shea, Matthew Warner, Sultan White, and Lorne Dixon have been shipwrecked on a desert island, and were only allowed to bring one horror novel, one horror short story, and one horror movie with them. They’ll tell us what they picked, and why. Then you’ll tell us your picks. Moderated by Pamela Kinney.

Sunday 6/29: 11:30am – 12:30pm – Lorne Dixon and Dev Jarrett – Reading and Book Signing
2:00pm – 3:00pm – Panel discussion: When The Dead Die Again – As vampires did before them, zombies have become so ubiquitous in pop culture that experts predict we’re reaching the saturation point. Is this true, and if so, what monster will take their place in the public eye? Panelists Nathan Barnes, Douglas Vance Castagna, Nikki Hopeman, Lorne Dixon, and Dev Jarrett discuss the possibilities. Moderated by John Boden.

 

Posted in General News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taking The Necromancer’s Apprentice to the Public by Icy Sedgwick

image1_tableHaving a book launch is always a slightly daunting experience, but it’s also a very good way to start a new month! Having received a box of paperbacks of The Necromancer’s Apprentice I was keen to have a proper launch in my hometown to celebrate its publication with my friends and family – and anyone else who wanted to come along.

We booked the downstairs cafe of Bar Loco, my favourite pub in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, on Sunday, where I set up my wares. I chose it as a venue primarily because they do great food, but it’s also not pretentious and it’s a bit quirky…a bit like The Necromancer’s Apprentice!

I picked a Sunday afternoon to avoid the problems with people being at work, and chatting about books in a relaxed environment seemed like a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.

image2_mummiesBook launches require something a little special, so I handmade these two crochet mummies who guarded the books available on the table. That said, the mummies in the book are far from cute and cuddly, which prompted the question “Do mummies eat people?” The ones in the book certainly do!

I couldn’t work up the nerve to read an extract, since the Geordie accent does not lend itself well to reading fantasy fiction aloud, but we did have a good discussion about the merits of pulp fiction. My first novella was a pulp Western and I do think The Necromancer’s Apprentice has elements as well – it straddles horror and fantasy, but it equally sits alongside YA titles, and now it’s got a new cap to wear as well.

I used to apologise for writing to entertain people, thinking the ambition wasn’t lofty enough, but now I’m quite unabashed about it.

image3_icyI signed the copies that people wanted to pick up, trying to think of something witty to write in each one. The book has been picking up good reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and it certainly seemed to go down well at the launch.

Gemz described it thus; “Take 1 Part Neverwhere, 1 Part Hammer Horror, and a liberal sprinkling of Egyptian mythology. Shake well over an icy cool Necromancer General and serve with a wonderfully endearing and cheeky protagonist.”

Dave demanded that it be “moviefied”, while Graeme confessed he wanted to sneak off so he could start reading it! There was also a lot of praise for the beautiful cover, and I’ll be hanging the poster-size version I made on my wall. It was a fun way to spend a few hours, and it’s been so nice to get The Necromancer’s Apprentice in front of more people.

I’m really proud of the book, and it’s been heartening to see how much it’s being enjoyed.

You can find The Necromancer’s Apprentice on Goodreads, and me on Twitter @IcySedgwick.

Buy links: AmazonKoboBarnes & Noble

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments