“Hannah’s Voice” is Compelling, Provocative, and On Sale!

LaneDiamond102_760xThis post brought to you by Lane Diamond, Managing Publisher/Editor.

Hannah’s Voice by Robb Grindstaff has people talking.

It’s no wonder Mr. Grindstaff’s book has garnered an average rating at Amazon of 4.9 Stars (30 5-star, 4 4-star, and nothing lower). Simply put, Hannah’s Voice is one of those stories, featuring an extraordinary character in Hannah Cross, that will likely remain with you long after you’ve finished it. Indeed, like me, you may be itching to read it again not long after completing it the first time.

When Robb first submitted his manuscript to us, I was buried under so much work that I was a bit burned out, and the submissions were a big part of what were wearing me down. I’d recently rejected about 49 out of 50 submissions, and I was becoming disheartened. I waded into Hannah’s Voice frustrated and jaded, thinking, ‘Let’s see how long it takes me to reject this one.’ Imagine my delight as I read page after page without even realizing that I was already 25 pages in before thinking, ‘Holy cats, this is fantastic!’

And I’d barely scratched the surface, for Hannah’s Voice did what every great book does: it started out strong, and got better with each page… right up to the end. When I finished it, my first thought when seeking to describe it was, ‘You know what? This reminds me quite a bit of A Prayer for Owen Meany.’ That great book by John Irving has long been one of my favorites, and Hannah’s Voice stands right alongside it. The stories share certain thematic qualities, and they both feature characters that are uniquely intriguing (and of course, solid writing).

Having not yet lost my mind, I moved quickly to bring Robb onto the Evolved Publishing team, and to get Hannah’s Voice into our catalog. And I’m so happy to share with readers this great book, about which I am (obviously) unabashedly enthusiastic. I simply can’t recommend it strongly enough. You will love it; of that, I have no doubt.

Hannah’s Voice is on sale for 5 days only!

You can pick up your eBook copy of this amazing story for just $0.99 (SAVE $3.00), but only through Friday, August 30th. If ever you were going to try a new author, this is the time.

Sale price available only at Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Critically-Acclaimed Literary Fiction “Jellicle Girl” is on Sale!

We’re running a *99-CENT SALE* on the eBook of Jellicle Girl [Literary, Women’s, LGBT], only for the next 3 days, and only at Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

To celebrate this event, Author Stevie Mikayne has dropped by to share the following guest post with you:

Yes, writers steal ideas from television.

During pregnancy and the first month of my newborn’s life, I watched more television than I had since childhood. Never mind how long ago that was… suffice it to say that years have passed since I flaked out for this many hours in front of the tube.

Why? Hyperemesis that lasted from five weeks into pregnancy until four weeks postpartum. Yes, honestly.

What did I watch? Cooking shows, ironically. And mysteries. Particularly a series called Castle, in which a bestselling mystery writer follows around an NYPD detective and helps her solve murders. I like this show because it’s distracting. What strikes me in particular about the writer (Castle) is that he flagrantly steals the lives of his co-workers to create characters for his books… and then writes sex scenes about said characters, making no attempt to deny that they are, in fact, based on real people.

Real writers don’t do this. We oscillate. We obfuscate. We equivocate when asked “how much of this is fiction?” When Jellicle Girl was released, everyone wanted to know – how much of that is real? I did not answer that question. Not even when my publicist asked me. Why? Because people like to guess, and it’s no fair to ruin their fun by telling them. Yes, of course that’s the real reason.

One consistent element that readers appreciate about Jellicle Girl is the strong characterisation: the characters just feel so real, they tell me. Why would I undermine their admiration of my “writing skills” by admitting that of course they’re based on real people?

Not all of them, just some.

E has no real life counterpart. Beth’s imaginary friend (or symptom of her borderline break with reality, whichever way you choose to interpret it) was born out of my obsession with Star Trek Voyager. I imagined Beth’s future self beaming in from the future to impart wisdom to my struggling teenage protagonist, much like Captain Janeway in the last episode of STV (I did mention that I’d been watching an awful lot of TV lately…?). I later decided that a futuristic Beth was a bit too strange a pill for my readers to swallow, so modified the idea to something more palatable. But if Jellicle Girl was ever made into a movie, I’d still insist E be played by Kate Mulgrew.

Some of the story line is based on personal experience. I too had a difficult time as a teenager. Like Beth, I left home at age sixteen; unlike Beth, I never dwelled alone in my father’s bachelor pad while he toured the world shooting pictures. Instead, I travelled between my grandparents’ home, and my best friend’s downtown condo, where her mother kept me in line as much as possible.

My best friend’s mother became my real-life inspiration for Dr. Nancy Sullivan. A lawyer in the 1960s, when such a profession was practically unheard of for an Australian woman, she faced her life with an ironic wit that few could understand and almost nobody could match. I could have probably just based the character on her personality alone and kept her identity a secret—but for me, one of the most important characteristics of the real-life woman was the battle she faced every day, debilitated by a rare and crippling form of Multiple Sclerosis.

She guided me back from more than one dangerous path with nothing more than a raised eyebrow and a sharp comment. This was important as, by that time, she had become a spastic quadriplegic and couldn’t so much as pick up a glass without help. Watching her decline and eventually succumb to MS left a lifelong and devastating impression on me.

Apparently she made quite an impression as a literary personality as well, because Dr. Sullivan ranks top among readers’ favourite Jellicle Girl characters. I miss her all the time, but I’m proud to see her somewhat immortalized in a gorgeous hardcover.

Want to know what else has a real-life connection? Like “is there really a coffee kiosk underground?” Ask me in the comments section – I might just break my own rules and answer you. Give me a few hours to get to it though—I’m probably watching Castle!

Stevie 🙂

Seriously Cool Noir Mystery/Detective Novel “Hot Sinatra” is on SALE!

This Noir Mystery/Hardboiled Detective novel has been compared to the works of Raymon Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Elmore Leonard, and Robert B. Parker.

We’re running a sale on the eBook of Hot Sinatra, only for the next 3 days, and only at Amazon.

Author Axel Howerton has created in Hot Sinatra a cast of characters that will you having you laughing out loud on many an occasion, and wiping away a tear on a few. These characters pop off the page as if they were old friends – which they will soon be, upon reading this book.

The early reviews are fairly glowing, as we knew they would be. If you’re a fan of the old gumshoe novels, and you love a great noir detective story, you’re going to be thrilled with Hot Sinatra. There’s never been a better time to try it. JUST $0.99! Wow.

Multiple Award-Winning Sci-Fi/Fantasy Adventure, “The Silver Sphere,” is on Sale

This Young Adult Sci-Fa adventure from author Michael Dadich is a must-read!

We’re running a sale on the eBook of The Silver Sphere, only for the next 3 days, and only at Amazon.

Author Michael Dadich has created a clean, fun, action-packed, out-of-this-world adventure that is suitable for everyone 12 years old through 112 years old. With special character illustrations by artist Mallory Rock, this book truly comes to life for the reader.

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This amazing book has received multiple awards:
Mom’s Choice Awards – Gold Label – Young Adult Books: Fantasy, Myths & Legends
Wise Bear Digital Book Awards – WINNER 2013 – Best Young Adult Fantasy (General and Adventure)
Indie Book of the Day – February 6, 2013

Why all the buzz about this book? Well, that’s easy. Just pick up your copy today while it’s marked down to this incredible $0.99 price, and you’ll see exactly why everyone is talking about The Silver Sphere.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Shelby Pardow never imagined she could kill someone. All she wants to do is hide from her troubled father… when she is teleported to awaiting soldiers on the planet Azimuth. Here she is not a child, but Kin to one of the six Aulic Assembly members whom Malefic Cacoethes has drugged and imprisoned. He seeks to become dictator of this world (and then Earth by proxy).

His father, Biskara, is an evil celestial entity, tracked by the Assembly with an armillary device, The Silver Sphere. With the Assembly now deposed, Biskara directs Malefic and the Nightlanders to their strategic targets. Unless….

Can Shelby find the other Kin, and develop courage and combat skills? Can the Kin reassemble in time to release or replace the Assembly, overthrowing Malefic and restraining Biskara?

Moss Cole Introduces the New Face of “Hot Sinatra,” and You Can Win Prizes

To celebrate the new cover of Hot Sinatra by author Axel Howerton, the leading man himself, Moss Cole, stops by for a chat. Be sure to enter the raffle at the end for some cool prizes. (Old cover pictured above.)

Moss Revisited

What the hell am I doing? Sitting here on this park bench, watching people play with their kids. Every morning, I tell myself that I’m just going for a walk, part of my physical rehabilitation. I’m just limping down to the corner to get some coffee, despite the fact that I can make it better at home, and the new girl behind the counter has red hair and an attitude—exactly the way I imagine her at 19. She left me behind. They both did. Too much trouble, I guess. Even after the bullets and the knives and the two months in the damned hospital recovering from them.

I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore. Thanks to Grandma Pot-Queen, I have plenty of money while I convalesce. Danny calls me twice a day to check up, three times on Sundays. He not-so-subtly pushes for me to take up a full-time spot with the band. I calmly explain that I’m not feeling strong enough to get dragged across the globe in his rock-star wake. Not today, Mossimo Cole. Not today.

On the other hand, every time the phone rings, I sit frozen in my big corner chair, straining to listen past the record player and the sounds of summer raging outside my windows. I sit there, terrified, waiting to hear her voice, or worse—someone looking for Moe Rossi Investigations, someone looking for the man I used to be. Someone looking for Moss Cole, Detective—the man who died in a blaze of glory.

So here I am, sitting in the park, all dolled up in shorts and a t-shirt and my friggin’ house-slippers because I still can’t pull on a pair of jeans, let alone my boots. So here I am, splayed out on a bench, not caring when people stare at my mangled, tattoo-covered leg. Not caring if I look like some kind of decrepit creeper, with my cane and my slippers and my old-man fedora, like I’m some 80-year-old punk-rock reject, like I’m Henry Rollins at the old folks home.

There’s dozens of kids running around, playing, jumping, climbing, screaming at the top of their lungs as they turn the playground into their own worlds, their own realities. Girls, boys, dogs—and they’re all so happy. It’s like a knife in my chest. Yet, I can’t stay away. Cake is blasting in my headphones, trumpets and SoCal sunny guitars.

I look around at the parents, bored and disingenuous. All the dads look like they just came from some BonnaFestaPalooza somewhere. They’re my age, or younger, every single one of them in black T’s from some band or another, every single one of them with tattoos and ridiculous wraparound shades. Shaved heads and porkpie fedoras—is that what I look like to the rest of the world? They all stand apart, clickety-clacking marimbas on their iPhones and mini-tablets, Facebooking and Candy Crushing and whatever other silly shit they do to avoid their lives and their kids and their wives. Their wives work hard and bring home the scratch so these dudes can play drums in bands with names like Stewed Shits and Monkeyfucker. Bands that will forever get nowhere, but let these guys hold onto their adolescence until they hit 50 and get a job selling cars in Reseda.

The moms stand in clusters around strollers and tiny bicycles tossed around the grass, occasionally scanning the horizon to make sure their offspring are still within chastising distance. The moms are all tan and fit in their tank tops and khaki shorts—black-rooted blondes and bottle reds, long legs and yoga asses. Their husbands are record producers, account managers, agents and big change bankers. They spend their days on play dates and wine lunches, mani-pedi appointments and tae kwon do lessons.

None of them know what they’re missing, barely noticing their kids busting their limits, challenging themselves to destroy the playground and its myriad obstacles. Kids are so awesome—none of the bullshit, none of the posing, no agendas beyond getting a second creamsicle or staying up late. They’re happy. They’re sad. They’re just happy to be here and explore the world. When do we break that out of them? Fuck. I never even got to take Holly to the park. I can taste the bitterness in my mouth. Maybe it’s just the shitty coffee.

One of the moms stares at me rather suspiciously. I don’t blame her. I’m a mess. Why do I do this to myself? I’m going to get arrested if I keep hanging around here. That would be the corker, wouldn’t it? Arrested for wallowing in my own grief, for stewing myself in what could never be.

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She’s pretending to read a book. I’ve seen it before: Hot Sinatra. Must be a good one. I’ve seen it before, in the bookstore window, in the shop at the hospital where you buy flowers and magazines and cards for people who just had babies. Must be a good one. Something about a detective and a Sinatra record. No thanks. I’ve had enough Sinatra to last me a goddamn lifetime. I think I’m switching to Dino, maybe Sammy; he did some good stuff with Count Basie. My head is fuzzy again. The doctors say it’ll pass. No real damage, they say. Sure. Step inside and say that, Doc. Come over for dinner at Chez Misery and tell me I’m okay.

Hot Sinatra. I’d almost think it had to be about me, but I’m not that far gone. Yet. It looks like a million other mysteries and thrillers, the booze and cigar pic, the title in huge block letters and the slightly smaller author name, Axel Howerton. It takes years to write a book, right? Booze and cigars and a sexy cover? Try bullet holes and heartbreak and macho mafia psychos and Mexican gangsters. Yakuza thugs and hot lady cops and crazy Irish rock stars and knife wounds and eight days in a coma and my grandfather turning in his grave. Drive-by shootings and little girls that steal your heart and their incredible mothers who break them. No way it could be about me, about what happened a couple of months ago. Right? No real damage. Right. Sure would make a good fucking story, though.

It couldn’t be about me, right? Hot Sinatra. In stores now! Couldn’t be.

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