Friday, February 7, 2014

No Conditions Book Blast--Dr. Vivi Monroe Congress

Dr. Congress is a Best-Selling, Award-Winning Wordsmith, Literary Advisor, Publisher and creator of C.H.O.C. Lit™ Flavored Books (Christians Having Ordinary Challenges).
She holds a BA in Human Relations, Masters in Theology, Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Counseling and is a Certified Christian Life Coach.

O.C. Byrd is hard-working, handsome and newly married to the woman of his prayers. With his sights firmly set on becoming a Gospel recording artist, his determination is beginning to pay off, earning him a windstorm of recognition at the local level. 

But will both his widespread notoriety and his marriage be jeopardized through the accidental discovery of his wife’s former lifestyle?

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Sneak Peak
Chapter Ten  

“Okay, let’s hit that once more from the top,” directed one very perfection-driven recording engineer. Enoch “Z-man” Zimmerman is, by far, the most on-point dude I know; nothing gets by him—musically speaking—and if his name is attached to it, so is excellence. If I hadn’t known this about him beforehand, I would’ve ended this session an hour ago. Old dude is dipping into my pockets—deep. But, it’s all good. There’s no price tag on quality or knowing that your creative vision is being birthed and we did cover a lot of ground in these last two days. However, I was trying to come in under a budget since I still have to get updated headshots and that, alone, can cost a mint. Needless to say, the budget needs a budget.

From within the encapsulated sound booth, I quickly prepare myself for a retake by clearing my throat and rolling my head to work out neck and shoulder tension. This is the last track we’re recording, also my favorite, and I can’t risk anything getting in the way of my sound. I’ve reworked the lyrics and rearranged the music to Will Downing’s All About You and in a play on words, I decided to use the working title, All About Him, for my CD. Z-man, who was previously in a zone setting the levels on the control panel, gives me his ‘look,’ the one that says, any minute nowwaiting on you.

Closing my eyes, I ease into the moment by thinking of the unending blessings God has poured into my life, most recently the love and devotion of a woman who loves Him as much as I do. I give Z-man a thumbs up, our non-verbal cue that I’m ready to record. Through my headphones, I hear the music intro and seconds later, Z-man‘s voice comes through in a word, “Rolling.”

Swaying side to side, I’m feeling it and without forethought, I take ownership of the musical moment and sing, “I’m not a perfect man, I do the best I can…”

Inside of four minutes, Z-man shouts, “Perfect!” and just like that we’re done. Demo complete, mission accomplished. Talk about feeling good … man!

Collecting my sheet music from the copy stand, I give the booth the once-over and scan the small space for other belongings I might have overlooked. As if handling a Ming vase, I carefully place the headphones on the overhead hang. Lord knows the last thing I need now is to have Z-man add something else to my currently swollen studio tab.

“You know, O.C., I believe your voice has gotten much stronger. Not at all like when I first recorded you a few years back. You’ve got a more mature sound.”

Beaming with pride, “Man, a lot has gotten stronger and better with me.” I strike an impressive bodybuilder crab pose, careful not to flash the shiny new article of jewelry that now resides on the ring finger of my left land. We both laugh and post up a high-five on it.

“Oh, I know that look. Had it once upon a time myself,” Z-man reflects. “That’s the look of a man who’s found his better half. Congrats again, man. I wish you the best.” His voice fades as though he’s been a casualty of love. And while his wound may still be fresh, he is no love reject; he’s recovering from the death of his wife earlier this year.

“Thanks, Z,” I respond. Placing a sympathetic hand on his shoulder which serves as a point of contact as well, I whisper a brief prayer for his healing. “That means a lot, man.”

“I miss her, O.C.” his voice slightly cracking, “I miss her a lot.” Z-man’s body slowly slumps in his chair, his eyes misting despite his best efforts to blink back the tears.

Identifying with his pain in the presence of my own joy is a real challenge, but I do my best to console him anyway.

“You and Maggie…watching the two of you was…was…well, inspiring. Y’all were so in sync. I’ve never seen anything like it except for my Mom and Pops, of course.” Although I did my best to encourage Z-man, Goddess is the pro at this kind of thing since she deals with death and sorrow every day for a living.

I watch as a nostalgic smile sweeps across Z-man’s face. I must’ve said something right. Unfolding his grief-tormented body, he sits straight up and releases a fraction of his pain through a loud exhale, “Remember this…if this were your last day on earth, what would you look at more closely, more intensely? What would you appreciate? What would you want to savor? What would really be important to you?” He pauses and appears to be thinking about his next words.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Author Spotlight: The Marriage Pact--M.J. Pullen

The Marriage Pact (2011), Regrets Only (2012), and Baggage Check (2013)
M.J. Pullen

Author Bio:
M.J. (Manda) Pullen studied English Literature and Business at the University of Georgia in Athens, and later Professional Counseling at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She practiced psychotherapy for five years before taking time off for writing and raising her two young boys. Since high school, she has also been an executive assistant, cashier, telemarketer, professional fundraiser, marketing guru, magazine writer, grant-writer, waitress, box-packer, HR person, and casual drifter.
She reads and writes across many genres, and learns something from everything she does. No matter what she’s writing, M.J. believes that love is the greatest adventure there is, and that hopeless romantics are never really hopeless.
She loves to hear from readers and other writers – so drop her a line!

Author Links - 

Twitter: @MJPullen

Giveaway -

One set of autographed paperback copies of the Marriage Pact trilogy (winner can choose a custom inscription for the first book). US Only, Ebook International

The Marriage Pact

Book Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Flourish Publications (Self)
Release Date: June 2011
Buy Link(s):
Book Description:

Marci Thompson always knew what life would be like by her 30th birthday. A large but cozy suburban home shared with a charming husband and two brilliant children. A celebrated career as an established writer, complete with wall-to-wall mahogany shelves and a summer book tour. A life full of adventure with her friends and family by her side.

Instead, Marci lives alone in 480 square feet of converted motel space next to a punk rock band, hundreds of miles from her friends and family. She works in a temporary accounting assignment that has somehow stretched from two weeks into nine months. And the only bright spot in her life, not to mention the only sex she’s had in two years, is an illicit affair with her married boss, Doug. Thirty is not at all what it is cracked up to be.

Then the reappearance of a cocktail napkin she hasn’t seen in a decade opens a long-forgotten door, and Marci’s life gets complicated, fast. The lines between right and wrong, fantasy and reality, heartache and happiness are all about to get very blurry, as Marci faces the most difficult choices of her life.

Excerpt One:

In her mind, she had ended it a thousand times. She would spend hours rehearsing three versions of the parting speech:
Doug, I can’t do this anymore. Neither of us intended this to happen, but it has to stop. I love you [should she say that?], but I can’t be responsible for breaking up a marriage, however unhappy it might be. I deserve better than this. I need someone free to make a life with me, and you are not. I know in my heart that part of you still loves Cathy, and I think you should return to her and really invest in your marriage.”
Magnanimous and melodramatic:
Listen, Doug. This has been wonderful; it really has. But it’s wrong and it’s been wrong from the start. It’s tearing me apart. I am not an adulteress; I deserve to be more than ‘the other woman.’ I can’t live with myself for another day this way, and I can’t let you do it, either. Go back to your wife, your home, the life that you chose all those years ago. I will treasure our time together and you have my word that I will never tell anyone about us.”
Jealous and generally pissed off:
Doug, your little weekend getaway with your wife gave me time to get clarity and realize that I am better than this situation, and better than you. If you loved me, you would no longer be married. If you loved your wife, you would not be with me. You act like this is torture for you, but really you’re just a typical cheating sleazebag who wants to have his cake and eat it, too. I want you out of my life forever. If you try to speak to me again, I will call Cathy and tell her everything. Get out.”
This last version was the most emotionally satisfying. She would march into work armed with these words, confident, resolute and ready to take back her life.
Until she saw him. She’d find a sticky note on her keyboard: “It was awful. I missed you.” Or he would pick her up at lunch, and instead of going back to her place, they would drive to the top of Mount Bonnell and look over the Texas hill country and talk. She would feebly threaten to end it, crying pathetically and remembering none of her kickass speeches.

So they limped along in a relationship netherworld—not together, not apart, each day full of the twin possibilities of limitless passion or goodbye forever. With stacks of invoices and mindless tasks in front of her each day, Marci had entirely too much time to contemplate both ends of the spectrum.
Today was no different, except for the fact that she was officially no longer wasting her late twenties in a hopeless relationship. Thirty had arrived, and a new decade was waiting. And there was an e-mail from Jake.

Regrets Only

Book Genre: Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Flourish Publications (Self)
Release Date: July 2012
Buy Link(s):
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Book Description:

At thirty-three, Suzanne Hamilton has it all.  A successful party-planning business with an elite client list.  A swank condo in a hot Atlanta neighborhood and a close group of friends – especially her longtime best friend Marci. A list of men a mile long who have tried to win her heart and failed. Plus, she’s just landed the event that will take her career and social status to the next level. What could she possibly have to regret?

Then a freak accident changes everything, and Suzanne discovers that her near-perfect life is just a few steps away from total disaster. She is humiliated and at risk of losing it all… except the surprising support of her newest celebrity client. With nothing else to go on, Suzanne follows him into an unexpected job and unfamiliar territory. Soon she will question everything – her career, her past, her friendships, and even her own dating rules.

But when her catalog of past relationships turns into a list of criminal suspects, she is faced with the horrifying possibility that she may not live to regret any of it…

Excerpt One:

She smiled broadly at him, remembering to show her teeth the way she’d been instructed before beauty pageants as a child. She could almost taste the Vaseline her mother made her rub on her top teeth to ensure they didn’t get smudged with lipstick. Smile. Be open.
Rick returned the smile with warmth. He also seemed to notice he’d been talking about himself for too long. “So tell me how you got started in the party planning business.”
Suzanne recounted briefly how she had been an art history major at the University of Georgia, desperately wanted to work as a museum curator, and how she’d taken the job on the event staff at the High Museum right after college. “Originally, I hoped the foot in the door at the museum would land me a job in procurement or something, but it never happened.”
Oh, I’m sorry,” Rick said sympathetically.
Suzanne shrugged. It turned out she had a knack for event planning. Something about the combination of creativity and crisis response. After a couple of years at the High, she had been hired away by a large event planning agency. She stayed there for a few years before creating her own boutique agency. Now she had one of the most successful, prestigious agencies in the city. People were often shocked to discover she and Chad were the only permanent staff. “We actually won an award last year,” she told Rick.
Sounds like you are quite the little rock star in the event planning world,” he said. “Or do you just plan events for rock stars?”
Normally very discreet about her clients, Suzanne couldn’t resist the opportunity to brag a little. “Actually, I am doing a benefit in a couple of weeks for Dylan Burke. Of course, he’s more a country star…”
Seriously? I was kidding about the whole rock star thing.”
A Southern lady is always modest, her mother’s voice chided her. “Well, it’s not that big of a deal,” Suzanne hedged. “It’s at my old stomping grounds at the High, which is probably why I got the job.”
Don’t sell yourself short,” Rick countered enthusiastically. “That’s awesome. He’s totally famous.”
She waved away the words with a manicured hand, but Rick was undeterred. “Seriously, you should be really proud of yourself. That’s a huge deal. Obviously you’ve earned quite a reputation for someone like Dylan Burke to choose you.”
His eyes held hers sincerely. Okay, Rick, ease up. We’ve already slept together. You can dial it down a tad.
Really, his manager chose me. I haven’t actually met him yet. We’ll see how it turns out,” she said, and pretended to be engrossed in the highlights of spring training on the TV over the bar. “How do you think the Braves will do this year?”

Baggage Check

Book Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance
Publisher: Flourish Publications (Self)
Release Date: November 2013
Buy Link(s):
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Book Description:

At thirty-five, Rebecca Williamson is surrounded by happy endings. Her friends Suzanne and Marci are living out their own personal fairy tales in Atlanta, Georgia. But despite Rebecca’s best efforts four years ago, her adorable college friend Jake Stillwell has officially slipped through her fingers and broken her heart. Even though her job as a flight attendant fits perfectly with her orderly nature, and brings her into contact with lots of eligible men, she can’t seem to find a man who is Jake’s equal.

Then a frantic phone call from her mother in Oreville, Alabama turns Rebecca’s structured life on its ear. She will find herself back in the tiny town she worked so hard to leave behind, and thrown together with Deputy Alex Chen, a face from the past who’s made it clear he thinks of Rebecca as more than just an old friend’s kid sister.

But Alex is nothing like what Rebecca had in mind; and in the meantime, she has other battles to fight, including her painful family history. Can she navigate the chaos and get her life back to normal? Will Alex prove himself to be the friend she's always needed? Or will she discover that the door to Jake is not as tightly closed as she thought?

Excerpt Two 

Rebecca Williamson picked up a smooth, rust-colored clay bowl for the fifth time in as many minutes. She ran her hand along the sloping curve from the base to the rim, and then bounced it lightly in her arms for heft. It was two pounds, she decided. Maybe two and a half once they had wrapped it for the plane. She put it down again and stepped back to look at the rest of the artist’s display, dusting her hands together.
Oh, just buy it already!” Valerie said from a few feet away. “I’ve gotten married after shorter courtships than you’re having with that bowl.”
I don’t need it,” Rebecca said.
It would look nice on your kitchen table. You never buy anything, Becky.” Valerie had been calling her “Becky” since she joined the airline three years before. For the first several months, Rebecca had corrected her. Now she just accepted it.
What would I do with it?” Rebecca said. “I mean, you can’t serve food in it, not that I ever cook anyway. I don’t have anything to store in it. And I’m never home to look at how my apartment is decorated. How is a red clay bowl necessary?”
Valerie rolled her eyes and patted Rebecca’s shoulder with a veined hand. “Life needs beauty, doll. Every girl should have something beautiful and useless in her life. Like my first husband, for example. That man was pure eye candy, but the poor idiot couldn’t change a light bulb.”
Rebecca laughed. She had never asked outright how many husbands Valerie had been through, but her current guess was four, and at least two of them had been pilots. Valerie was in her late sixties, ancient by flight attendant standards, and a legend among all the younger women they worked with. Rebecca had been paired with her during the first week of training and they had flown together more often than not since then. At first, Rebecca had resisted becoming Valerie’s protégé, but through sheer force of will and nonstop chatter, Valerie had become Rebecca’s only real friend at work. Tonight, they were in an artists’ co-op in New Mexico, killing time during an overnight layover.
Are you ready to go to the bar?” Rebecca asked her.
What’s your hurry?” Valerie said. “You never take anything home from there, either.”
Don’t start with that.”
What? Come on, you know I’m right. And don’t use me for an excuse, either. I may be an old lady but I know how to make myself scarce when I see a brassiere on the doorknob.”
An aproned woman behind the counter looked up, smirking.
Shh...” Rebecca hushed. But even she could not help but smile at the way Valerie said “brassiere on the doorknob” in her New York accent. Rebecca herself had never used this signal, but it had been a frequent sight in the sorority house at the University of Georgia. She tried to imagine finding one of Valerie’s big beige contraptions hanging on their hotel room door and shuddered.
Ready to go?” she asked again.
Oh, alright,” Valerie said. “Just let me add this to my collection.” She held up a blue-glazed mug that had been formed to look like the squished-down face of an old man.
Several of Rebecca’s coworkers kept little collections from places they visited—postcards, spoons, shot glasses, snow globes, you name it. There was a sort of unspoken code that it was only acceptable to collect items from cities you had truly visited, meaning you had to leave the airport for more than a couple of hours. Even so, Rebecca could not understand this tradition. Yes, it was cute in the moment, but they went so many places. What did you do with all that crap? Put it in a box so you could re-live your glory days of passing out peanuts? Have it gather dust on the shelves while other people pretended to be interested at parties?
Once or twice, something had caught Rebecca’s eye, particularly when they flew to exotic locations. A tiny but exquisite crystal vase from Waterford in Ireland. Hand-carved candlesticks painted black and inlaid with gold in Toledo, Spain. A set of Russian dolls in Moscow. Each time, she had stood paralyzed in the gift shop, debating why she needed this thing and where she would put it and how often she would really look at it. Then she would sigh, and to the dismay of each patient shop owner, return the item to the shelf and walk out. Except for an irresistible silk scarf from Milan and an emergency t-shirt she’d been forced to buy in New York, Rebecca had not bought souvenirs anywhere. Once in a while she regretted this, but never for long. She would deposit the amount of the foregone purchase into her savings account with satisfaction and move on. Always move on.

Follow The Tour Here

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Author Spotlight: Vulynicia Poindexter is Timeless

Today I'd like to welcome another author I had the pleasure of meeting last year. Ms. Poindexter amazed me with her spoken word segment. I wish her all the best.

Born in 1985, Vulyncia Poindexter was born in Kentucky, however, her family soon relocated to Texas. After a short life in Texas, she returned to her hometown of Hopkinsville, Kentucky with her mother and two sisters. At the tender age of 13, she began writing poetry as an outlet of expression. When her voice couldn’t find the words to say, her poetry became her way to connect with others. 
Over the years, Vulyncia has entered several poetry contests and was published in several anthology poetry books. In April 2012, she debuted her first poetry book entitled Timeless Clock, published by One Karma Publishing, in which some of her poems have been nominated for poetry awards. The straightforward and unabashed tone of her poetry combined with her infectious personality and zest for life has landed her several author features and interviews including the Life As A Poet feature with Urban Books, Authors and Writers of America and buzz worthy interviews with AAMBC Radio Show with host Author Anna Black and the Morning Cook-Up Show with hosts the Office Boys NY which generates millions of listeners. Most notably, Vulyncia was chosen as a guest co-host for PD Radio Show with hosts Ms. Pd and Black and the Conversations with Cleo Show with host, “Call Me Now” Ms. Cleo. Currently, she is working on her latest projects which include a sophomore poetry book entitled, For My Cinderellas and her first novel, an erotica entitled Falling Into Temptation. 
Vulyncia is currently attending Murray State University to obtain her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with goals of becoming a counselor. She currently resides in Kentucky and has two beautiful daughters.

Take a journey through Timeless Clock. When life looks different from the outside, you will always find reality in poems like...

Lost Understanding...When you don't care who's climbing into your sheets.
Thick & Thin...When you're constantly reminded of the lies.
When you hurt...When you love someone more than you love yourself.
My World... When life in the imagination can be the way you want it.
Nice Guys Finish Last...When you told what you want to hear

Thanks for reading! Until Next time...

O. Keeys (Ann Keeys)
Author and Script Writer

Friday, January 3, 2014

Author Spotlight--Untamed

Before jumping into this authors spotlight I just wanted to mention that I had the pleasure of meeting this author in person at an event of which I was the guest speaker. I enjoyed talking with Untamed and I'm glad to see she's out there making moves in the right way.

About the Author: Hailing from Albany, GA, Author Untamed is an adult and urban fiction author who accredits her early education in magnet school programs for her creative mind and passion for the literary field. She first found a love of writing as a young child through her love of reading. It was the novel entitled, Coming of Age by Lorri Hewitt that truly inspired Untamed and became the flame that ignited her introduction to the pen and pad.
Untamed's writing journey began twenty years ago at thirteen years old with poetry, spoken word and short stories. Throughout her high school and college years, she received many accolades for her writing ability to include the Coca-Cola Young Writers Award and honorable mention in the Sandhills Writers’ Conference.
Deciding to pursue a career in business, Untamed set aside writing for years. However, after suffering the loss of her child, she felt a void in her life and began writing again to remain encouraged. Yet, the void still seemed to remain and she began to develop her writing talents as a novelist due to her own personal life experiences. It was then that Untamed realized her gift should be shared with the world and she made the decision to become a published author. Best known for her gritty yet flavorful language, Untamed embraced urban literature to bring about knowledge and support through real life, every day stories with highly animated and lifelike characters. Her powerful words and straight up, no-chaser verbiage delivers punches that will leave you screaming for more.
In 2012, Untamed released her debut novel entitled, Never Again…No More through One Karma Publishing to rave reviews. Untamed’s work has been featured in several print ads including Books On Blast by Urban Books, Authors, & Writers of America (UBAWA) and Kontrol Magazine. Untamed has also had several author features and interviews including noteworthy interviews with PD Radio and The Morning Cook Up Show which generates millions of listeners. Since that time, Untamed penned her second novel entitled, Never Again…No More II: Getting Back to Me in July 2013.
Writing is truly a passion for Untamed and it is her hope that her writing will fulfill her purpose to touch lives, encourage growth and give a voice to the voiceless. Staying true to this goal, Untamed will continue to share her gift of writing for years to come as she delivers it to you real, raw and purely Untamed!
She currently resides in Georgia with her husband and children.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Lucinda, LaMeka, Charice, and Trinity are best friends with very similar backgrounds. They have all fallen victim to the perils of teen pregnancy. After each one becomes love struck to the bitter end; they realize that their dreams, ambitions, and planned future must be put on hold. While they struggle to find themselves, each one tries to survive in the game called life. Once they find out that their consequences are a little costlier then they imagined, it's the decisions they've made that creates their troubles.

The ladies of Never Again…No More are back! Lucinda, LaMeka, Charice and Trinity all hit a crossroads as troubles surmounts, and the hope of a better life comes into fruition as each lady struggles to turn their lives around. It won’t be easy, and the consequences can be detrimental and in some cases even deadly. But what will they sacrifice for a chance at a life they’d always dreamed of? And at what costs? Facing your fears can come at price and these ladies come face to face with their worst nightmares. No matter what, changes are on the horizon for all of them. And change, well, that can be a beautiful thing…or an ugly truth. They’ll find out that getting back to themselves will require some tough decisions. What will they decide? To succumb to their situations or will they learn how to truly say never again…no more.

Both books are available on Amazon as well as other ebook retailers.
Until Next Time,
O. Keeys (Ann Keeys and many others I go by)
Domestic Seduction on sale now.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Getting Over the New Year Resolution Blues

First of I’d like to thank anyone who’s reading this. I needed to take a break and crank out a few books and of course tend to life so I thank you all for your patience in my 7 month hiatus. With that out the way let’s dive right back into what’s going on in the Mind of Omegia!

It’s that time again. The first day of a New Year and you’re all eager to kick it in to high gear with that New Year’s Resolution for 2014! Ready, set, go!! But wait stop. Did you actually set yourself a realistic goal? I’ll wait. Okay. Now did you?

Let’s see what are some of the top ones over the last few years: Lose weight, start a business, living life to the fullest, etc.

For the first week you probably go at it full steam ahead and by weight 2 you’re already over it. Why? Because you’ve fallen into the resolution blues and reality sets in. You’ve dove into something you desire but you’re not quite ready to put your heart into.

The solution? Stop it with the resolutions and make life changes. Don’t wait until the new year, start today. Along with it don’t make the changes so drastic. IE: You don’t have to join a gym to lose weight. That may be too big of a commitment. Try doing a YouTube video. No excuses on why you can’t make it to the gym now.

Make your goals obtainable. If you’ve haven’t done anything to prepare for the start of a business then more than likely you won’t start one this year. How about instead of saying start a business go with writing out what you want to business to be, how to achieve those goals and then go from there.

If you’re a writer and say write that best seller, then change it to writing a book readers will enjoy and make it the best it can be. Come on now…you can’t write a best seller if you refuse to get it edited, have crappy cover, and ignore your readers.

With that being said this isn’t about discouraging anyone from diving into something new, but encouraging you to go for something that you will stick to.

Until Next Time,

Omegia Keeys (Ann Keeys)
Author and Screen Writer

Domestic Seduction (Romantic Suspense)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Zachery Humpherys--Up Close and Personal

Epsilon AR
by Zackery Humphreys

About The Author:

Zackery Alexander Humphreys is a Novelist, Actor and Poet who occasionally dabbles in Screen Writing and Play Writing.

Book Description:

Hundreds of years into the future, mankind has gone under ground to relocate to the beautiful city of Epsilon. Epsilon is run by a strong, secretive government that keeps its citizens in check by subtle manipulation and strict schedules. No one questions its authority and no one is unhappy. ALN-896, an average man who is just trying to live a normal life, begins to have dreams; something strange and rare in Epsilon. In his dreams, he meets a man named Harry and everything is fine- until Harry dies. When ALN-896 wakes up, he shrugs it off as if nothing has happened. It was only a dream. But then the next day, he is suddenly arrested and sent to prison for killing Harry, whom ALN-896 assumed was just a figment of his imagination. Now inside prison, ALN-896 begins to learn about everything the government of Epsilon has been doing and he plans on escaping. Not only from prison, but from Epsilon. This one decision turns him against everything he has ever known and forces him to face against centuries of lies. To escape means to live. But what will it cost?


A black-and-white tie...
Thoughts froze within his mind. Spit bubbled through his pursed lips.
ALN-896 finally managed to pull away from the exposed wire. He fell to the ground and wiped away the spit dribbling down his cheek. His heart raced, and sweat poured down his body.
That was the most painful sensation he had ever experienced.
I never should have grabbed that wire...
ALN-896 stood up slowly and looked around. No one saw what had just happened. He was alone on the desolate stretch of Simov Street.
Fortunately, I did not get hurt.
Instead of continuing, he decided to get back into his car and let a nice cup of tea calm him.
From the center console of the car, green tea was automatically dispensed into a cup. He let the liquid slide down his throat, easing every muscle that had tensed. He melted into his plush seat as he let his mind come to a halt. Then the silence was interrupted by a robotic voice. “ALN- 896, your vitals are irregular. Is everything all right?”
Everything is fine. I went to inspect one of the house's trashcans as I was instructed to, but I noticed an exposed wire on the ground. I went to cover it back up when it...”
ALN-896 wasn't quite sure what had actually happened when he touched the wire. He hadn’t been electrocuted, but something strange had occurred. The only thing he could get out of the experience was that he had seen a black-and-white tie floating in the darkness behind his closed eyelids. Nothing surrounded it, but he knew it had been attached to a body. One he hadn’t been able see, but one he knew existed somewhere within the black.
When it...,” ALN-896 stumbled. “When it shocked me,” he lied.
Your job still needs to be completed. You still need to inspect the trashcans for Monday's workday. After your tea, you need to continue.”
Yes, I understand.”

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Up Close with Zachery

What inspires you as a writer?
Inspiration is a huge deal with me. I am a very dedicated person which can work both, with or against me. I can be very dedicated to finishing something, such as a Three-legged-race, or I can be very dedicated to lying on a couch munching on candy bars. Because of this, in order to get me up from the couch, I need a spark of some kind. Inspiration. What is my consistent inspiration? I don't know. What I do know now, though, is that I am constantly driven forward by you. My fans. Before you my constant inspiration, I think, was dedication to finishing the product (AKA stubbornness).
When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer?
I've always considered myself a creative person but never a writer until recently (I always did badly on essays). The first ah ha! moment for me must have been when I finished my first sonnet in iambic pentameter. Take that Shakespeare!
Tell us about your favorite character and why you chose to write about them?
My favorite character, despite not being the main character, is actually INSN-3396 (Twitch). He is just kind of a great guy who got caught up in the wrong circumstances. He's genuine and someone I would really like to know (outside of my head).
What are you currently working on?
Oh boy, that's always a fun thing to think about. Other than various acting projects and side projects with writing, I am currently in the midst of finding an illustrator for my poetry-novel. I am also writing the sequel to Epsilon A.R.!
Any upcoming events?
I am still planning as many book signings as I can for Epsilon A.R. Right now, however, my life is a little more involved in my acting. I am currently in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire at my university.
If you could be anyone you like, who would you be?
Thought of putting a really mushy and romantic answer to this. Instead, I'll say Shakespeare. As a writer, how awesome would that be?!
Do you have any advice for new writers and something that a seasoned vet can learn?
Advice for the new writers: Keep at it. It's hard to get through the novel and even harder to get through the marketing and reviews afterward. Stay persistent. It'll pay off. I promise you kiddo.
Something for a seasoned vet: Garlic.
Where can your followers find you?
Social media is my home away from home. Two places you can find me best are
Any last words?
Thank you for joining me on this interview. I hope you enjoyed yourself. If you didn't, why are you still reading?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Black Song Inside

The Black Song Inside
by Carlyle Clark
Author Bio:
Carlyle Clark was raised in Poway, a city just north of San Diego, but is now a proud Chicagolander working in the field of Corporate Security and writing crime fiction and fantasy. He has flailed ineffectually at performing the writers' requisite myriad of random jobs: pizza deliverer, curb address painter, sweatshop laborer, day laborer, night laborer, twilight laborer (of the fang-less variety), security guard, campus police, Gallup pollster, medical courier, vehicle procurer, and signature-for-petitions-getter.
He is a happily married man with two cats and a dog. He is also a martial arts enthusiast and a CrossFit endurer who enjoys fishing, sports, movies, TV series with continuing storylines, and of course, reading. Most inconsequentially, he holds the unrecognized distinction of being one of the few people in the world who have been paid to watch concrete dry in the dark. Tragically, that is a true statement.
Author Links:
Title: The Black Song Inside Genre: Mystery Thriller Publisher: Make Luck Press Release Date: November 14th, 2012 Amazon   Synopsis:  
Shortlisted for the2012 Faulkner-Wisdom Award
Newly engaged private investigators Atticus Wynn and Rosemary Sanchez have seen the dark and violent side of life. Atticus's dry wit is born of a traumatic childhood that's left him emotionally scarred and estranged from his homicide detective sister. The medals Rosemary earned during her tour of duty in Iraq are little reward for returning home to San Diego missing a leg and tormented by PTSD and her continuing failure to save her younger brother from his own violent nature. Still, nothing they've been through has prepared them for an explosive murder investigation that tests the couple's trust as they struggle to solve a case where the best result leaves them in prison or dead. Atticus's manipulative and gorgeous ex-girlfriend, Claire, bursts back into their lives wielding a secret about Rosemary's family that she exploits to force the couple into investigating the execution-style slaying of her lover. The case thrusts Atticus and Rosemary headlong into the world of human trafficking and drug smuggling as well as rendering them pawns in Tijuana Cartel captain Armando Villanueva's bloody bid to take over the Cartel. Villanueva Machiavellian scheme sends one of his minions, Rosemary's own gangsta brother, after Atticus, and as if that weren't bad enough, Villanueva dispatches "The Priest", a former child soldier for a Colombian rebel group who is now a messianic mercenary whose religious psychosis has launched him on a trajectory that can only end in mayhem. The Black Song Inside is a vivid crime thriller rife with the murder and madness, melded with gallows humor and the heroism of two flawed protagonists who, in struggling to unravel a skein of human suffering, learn the nature of redemption and the ability to forgive others and themselves.  


Meadows shoved the door open and marched in with a man he introduced as Detective Morales, his partner. Morales stood behind Meadows, thumbs hooked in his belt, and smiled vaguely at Atticus. He seemed to be trying for harmless, but stocky and clad in a bright-banded shirt, his dark-skinned face spattered with nodules and pockmarked, black-pebble eyes measuringly cold, and a bald head, he looked like a Gila monster eyeing a wounded rabbit. Meadows sat at the head of the table and plunked down a tape recorder. “We’re going to play a 911 call. Please tell us if you recognize the voice of the caller or have any idea what she’s talking about.” Atticus nodded, suspecting the real reason they wanted to play it for him without a hint of what it was about was to keep him from having the chance to guard his reaction. That didn’t worry him. His childhood had trained him to hide his feelings well. The question was how was he going to glean more information than he gave?9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” the dispatcher said.There’s a girl,” a woman said, choking back tears. “She needs help.”Is she there with you?”No, no, oh God help me. I left her out there.”Left her where, ma’am?”In the desert. She was dying and I...I just left her there. You have to understand! She was already dying. There was nothing I could have done. It was hours ago. She’s dead by now anyway.” Meadows leaned toward Atticus. Morales seemed to stop breathing, but who can tell with a Gila monster? Then came the sound of five quick thwacks that sounded like the receiver was being banged against something while the woman repeated, “fuck” over and over.Listen, ma’am,” the dispatcher said, “you need to calm down and tell me who you are, where you are, and where the girl is. We can send people to give you whatever help you need.” The woman was suddenly back, her voice tight and venomous. “You can send me whatever help I need? That’s so wonderful. Can you send someone who can tell me how to get my soul back?”Ma’am, I—”It’s a very simple fucking question! Can you send me someone who can help me get my fucking soul back, or can’t you?”Ma’am, you need to calm—”GOD HELP ME!” the woman shrieked. There was banging again, but this sounded different, not something hard against something hard, but soft against hard. The woman’s crying grew fainter, along with the sound of footsteps walking away, and then came the roar of a car engine and the squeal of tires. The tape ended.What was that at the end there?” Atticus asked. He hadn’t recognized the voice or had a clue what was going on, which was good, for him at least. For that woman and that girl, the moon was closer than good. Morales and Meadows glanced at each other. Morales shrugged. Meadows said, “She was calling from one of those three-quarter phone booths. We’ve got a witness who said she went crazy at the end, banging the plastic with her fists, palms, elbows, her head, everything. Then she staggered away crying, got into a car, and drove away.”Was she alone?”Yes.”Do you know what girl she was talking about?”The question is, Atticus, do you?”Not a clue.”When was the last time you saw Clarice Rousseau?” Atticus blinked, paused, blurted too late, “About two hours ago.” Morales tilted his head, his brow furrowing, a caricature of confusion. Meadows leaned forward and said, “Took you awhile to remember. Weird, isn’t it?” So much for not giving anything away, Atticus thought.