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Books to make your Halloween more fun, or perhaps a bit spookier!

Gear up for Halloween with some great reading fun for your kids and for you.

Evolved Publishing offers a number of books that fit in nicely with the spooky-fun holiday, starting with books your kids are sure to have fun with, and ending with books that might you have afraid to turn out the lights late at night.

Tommy_Goes_ToT_300dpi_200x286Tommy Goes Trick-or-Treating by Emlyn Chand (Illustrated by Noelle Giffin)
[Children’s Picture Book for Kids 3-8 Years Old]

Tommy the woodpecker and his friend Michael the raccoon want to join the local children in their Halloween fun. Thanks to Tommy’s knock-knocking beak and Michael’s quick paws, the duo is able to heist many a candy bar from the unsuspecting homeowners and children. But will the mischievous duo learn the true spirit of Halloween?

Available in hardcover, softcover, and as a FREE eBook at these retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble
icon, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords, and Sony.

 
Valentina_Haunted_Mansion_300dpi_200x286Valentina and the Haunted Mansion by Majanka Verstraete (Illustrated by Noelle Giffin)
[Children’s Picture Book for Kids 3-8 Years Old]

A little vampire girl who’s afraid of ghosts, and monsters, and the dark? Oh yeah. Strange things start to happen all around Valentina’s new house: footprints appear in the dust, a disembodied voice sneezes… and just because Valentina is a vampire, doesn’t mean she doesn’t get scared like any other little girl.

Available in hardcover, softcover, and as an eBook at these retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Nobleicon, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords, and Sony.
 
TLK_TDSF_300dpi_200x300The Three Lost Kids & The Death of the Sugar Fairy by Karpov Kinrade (Kimberly Kinrade)
[Lower Grade Chapter Book for Kids 6-10 Years Old]

The Three Lost Kids are attacked by Sugar Bugs, face their fears in Cavity Cave, and battle giant Gummy Bears, all to save a dying Sugar Fairy who holds the fate of Halloween in her hands. Can the girls learn to work together, each using their strengths to save the day, or will their fighting trap them in Sugar Land forever?

Available in softcover, and as an eBook at these retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Nobleicon, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords, and Sony.
 
Weirdville_Doll_Maker_300dpi_200x320The Doll Maker by Majanka Verstraete
[Lower Grade Chapter Book for Kids 6-10 Years Old]

Derek’s little sister wants one of those creepy-looking dolls staring at him from the strange new doll shop in town, and what his sister wants, she gets. Just one problem: the doll maker seems linked to a bunch of mysterious disappearances, and the last thing Derek wants is his sister being next on the doll maker’s list.

Available in softcover, and as an eBook at these retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Nobleicon, Kobo, Smashwords, and Sony.
 
Well_Suited_Sentry_300dpi_200x300Well-Suited Sentry – A Short Story by Lane Diamond
[Short Story for Readers 16 and Up]

This prison sentry is unlike any other. You don’t want to cross him. Better that you should remain in your cell, follow the rules, and never get on his bad side.

Transgression comes at far too high a price.

Available as a FREE eBook at these retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Nobleicon, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords, and Sony.
 
FMA_v3_300_DPI_200x300Forgive Me, Alex by Lane Diamond
[Psychological Suspense Thriller – Mature Audience]

Tony Hooper stands in shadow across the street, one amongst many in the crowd of curiosity-hounds gathered to watch a monster’s release. Seventeen years after Mitchell Norton, the devil, terrorized Algonquin, Illinois on a spree of kidnapping, torture and murder, the authorities release the butcher from psychiatric prison.

The devil walks the world again. What shall Tony do about it? Aye, what indeed.

Available in hardcover, softcover, and as an eBook at these retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Nobleicon, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords, and Sony.
 
Eulogy_300dpi_200x300Eulogy by D.T. Conklin
[Fantasy – Mature Audience]

‘They’ll stand amongst the corpses of the beloved.’ That’s what he said at the end, though I never considered myself one of the beloved, not at the beginning. I was simply a terrified woman then, but now… now I understand. Maybe I wish I didn’t.

Void take me, this is so demon-damned hard.

In the beginning, he loved me. Irony, it twists and twirls like a lover’s song, but this is hardly a lover’s tale. It’s one of blades and blood. I wish I could’ve seen it sooner, but that would’ve been too easy. I wouldn’t have learned to love him.

Available in softcover, and as an eBook at these retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Nobleicon, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords, and Sony.
 
WantedDeadOrUndead_v5_300dpi_200x300Wanted: Dead or Undead by Angela Scott
[Young Adult – Horror/Western]

When a fiery-headed cowgirl saunters through the saloon doors, wielding shotguns and a know-how for killing the living dead, Trace believes he just may be the luckiest man alive. She not only has the answer for how they can all outlive the plague taking over the wild, wild west, she is the answer.

Available in softcover, and as an eBook at these retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Nobleicon, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords, and Sony.

The Subculture Club

Bio_Pic-Robb_Grindstaff_300dpi_760x869
 
 
Author Robb Grindstaff discusses a subject that informs much of his writing.

CULTURE: The ideas, customs, and social behavior of a particular people or society. – Oxford Dictionary

SUBCULTURE: A cultural group within a larger culture, often having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture. – Oxford Dictionary

One of the questions all writers hear frequently is some variation of, “What’s your book about?” or the more general version of that question, “What do you write about?”

A brief synopsis of the plot might be in order—the elevator pitch that you would give an agent or publisher who wants to know the gist of the story in thirty seconds or less. Maybe the questioner is inquiring about the basic theme of one book.

At a higher level, the big-picture view, it can be a question that’s deeper than about one book. What does an author write about? What overarching elements or messages pervade a particular writer’s books? Mark Twain wrote about the Mississippi River and characters who inhabited that locale during 1800s America when slavery was legal. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote about the upper crust of society in the roaring twenties and the disillusionment with the American Dream. Jane Austen looked at the natural tension between individualism and the individual’s responsibility to society, romantic imagination versus rational reality.

In a recent interview, someone asked me what I write about—that bigger picture, overarching view that drives my short stories and novels. I stumbled through an unsatisfactory answer. That question has banged around in my mind ever since. One story of mine might not have anything in common with another. Different characters, different settings, different plots. Nope, nothing in common.

A few months after that interview, the “a-ha” moment hit. I thought of the right answer when I realized the common thread that runs through most of my work.

I write about unique, and uniquely American, subcultures. Whatever the plot of any of my stories might be, I tend to set these stories in some particular American subculture, and populate the stories with characters from that group.

For a more in-depth definition of terms, I turned to Kim Cochran Kiesewetter, associate professor of sociology at Sandhills College in North Carolina.

In Sociology In Focus, Ms. Kiesewetter writes, “Culture, in a nutshell, is everything that is not nature. Culture is the common beliefs, values, traditions, symbols, and behaviors a group of people in a given society share. Culture is big…and kind of vague.”

She goes on to describe subculture as “smaller groups of people with unique-to-them beliefs, values, traditions, symbols, and behaviors they share with one another that still function relatively smoothly within larger culture.”

In my novel Hannah’s Voice [Evolved Publishing, January 2013], a young girl grows up in a small, rural community in North Carolina within a traditional if somewhat fundamentalist Christian church. Even within that particular group, differences arise over Hannah’s situation. As the story progresses, Hannah eventually appears on a national television news program, and attends college in Washington, D.C. The differences between the larger culture (New York, the nation’s capital, TV journalism, university life, politics) and the subculture (rural south, Bible belt, close-knit families and communities) rise to the surface. Conflicts erupt between different groups of people who view the same situation through polar opposite subcultural lenses.

In my next novel, Carry Me Away [Evolved Publishing, September 2013], the main character, Carrie, is the biracial, bicultural daughter of a U.S. Marine officer and a Japanese mother. Carrie grows up as a military brat—living most of her youth abroad, on military bases and in the military environment, and also coming to terms with her Japanese roots and cultural identity. Sonoran Dreams, my self-published collection of short stories, is built on the rugged individualism of the people living in the Arizona desert.

I’ve had the great fortune in my life to live in different places, in and out of the U.S. I have lived among, and been a part of, several different American subcultures. I would argue that there is no singular “American culture” as such, but a collection of subcultures that live together in various degrees of harmony and tension, give and take, ebb and flow. Each is a colorful piece of cloth. They’re all stitched together into this marvelous quilt we call home.

Having been a part of several subcultures, I strive to dig a little deeper than the stereotypes and caricatures we often see in popular entertainment. Each subculture is made up of human beings, people with big hearts and giant flaws, wonderful, loving and kind people, as well as the selfish and greedy and deluded.

So to answer that interview question from a few months back: What do I write about? The overarching quest that drives most of my stories is to shine a light on the intriguing lives of various American subcultures.

The American quilt is complex and beautiful. Each square is a setting for a thousand stories, and contains an infinite number of real characters.

Sometimes, however, a quilt may become frayed and start to unravel.

~~~~~~~~~~

Robb Grindstaff’s second novel, Carry Me Away, officially launches on Monday, September 23rd, but is already available at most online retailers. For more information, CLICK HERE.

“Forgive Me, Alex” Has a New Cover

The New Face of Lane Diamond’s Psychological Thriller “Forgive Me, Alex”

To learn more about why this change was made, see Lane Diamond’s Post at his website.

Evolved Publishing’s Wednesday Double Feature – June 12, 2013

Grab some popcorn, pull up a chair, and enjoy Survivor Roundup and Secret Storm.

EARLY FEATURE: FOR ANYONE 13 YEARS OLD AND UP

Survivor Roundup by Angela Scott is the second book in her Zombie West series, and a sequel to the highly-rated, multiple award-winning Wanted: Dead or Undead (which, by the way, is only 99 cents as an eBook at all retailers). Survivor Roundup features the continuing Old West adventures as the characters battle the undead and seek to find a new life after the apocalypse. If you love stories steeped in great characterization, a strong romantic element, and of course, zombies, you’re sure to love this book.

DESCRIPTION
Red always knew she would have to face the man who nearly destroyed her. She just didn’t figure it would happen so soon . . .

With the plague sweeping across the nation, destroying many and turning others into walking corpses, survivors head West in search of a chosen land, a place designed to keep the infected out, while sealing survivors inside. In theory, the idea seems the only way to keep humanity alive. In practice, it doesn’t matter whether a person is on the inside or the out—there is no humanity.

. . . And even though John Gatherum hunted her down and instigated their reunion, Red’s no longer the passive girl he once manipulated. This time, she has a hidden agenda of her own.

Kill him. Save her family. Save herself.

You can get your copy of Survivor Roundup at these fine retailers: Amazon, Apple iTunes-Books, Barnes and Noble, BookieJar, Diesel, Kobo, Sony, Smashwords, Amazon CA, Amazon UK
 
 
LATE NIGHT FEATURE: FOR ADULTS ONLY

Secret Storm by Amelia James is the second book in her college romance series, featuring more of the characters from the bestseller Tell Me You Want Me (which, by the way, is only 99 cents as an eBook, at Amazon and at Barnes and Noble, for the entire month of June). If you love to escape into a happily-ever-after romance, you’re sure to love this book.

DESCRIPTION
“I want to let you in, Jack, but I…. Oh hell, I just want you. I know you’re not what I need, but I don’t care. Take me to bed now and we’ll sort the rest out later.”

The last thing Sara Jensen needs is another risky relationship. She wants Jack, but she’s been hurt too many times to trust him, even though he’s more than a friend. Jack won’t trust her, and that hurts more than her ex’s betrayal.

Jack Wheeler wants Sara. His long-denied lust burns barely contained. But a dangerous secret comes back to haunt him, a secret so horrible he can’t trust anyone with it, not even the woman he desires more than anything.

For the first time since they met, they’re both available, but the timing couldn’t be worse. Sara’s not too eager to trust a man again, and Jack refuses to reveal his secret. Getting involved right now is complicated, but Sara and Jack have waited long enough. Neither one of them can control their desires.

But there’s a storm approaching, and as hard as she tries, Sara can’t run away from Jack’s past. Jack won’t accept her help, and Sara doesn’t know how long she can wait for him to realize that he needs her.

You can get your copy of Secret Storm at these fine retailers: Amazon US, Apple iTunes-Books, Barnes and Noble, BookieJar, Diesel, Kobo, Smashwords, Sony, Amazon CA, Amazon UK

We hope you and yours enjoy this week’s double feature, and we thank you.

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