Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Wenches of Words Wednesday: Samantha Combs

Boo! I’m excited to feature fellow Wench of Words, Samantha Combs on my blog today. Not only is Samantha a young adult author, but she likes to dip her toes into the dark waters of the horror genre too. Since today is Halloween, I thought it appropriate to hand the gallows, er platform over to her. Take it away, Samantha, and try not to scare anyone…

No, really. I didn't misspell it. HELLOWEEN is my new book. My eighth publication and my third adult horror collection. I am pleased to announce it is available on Amazon. To give you a little taste of it, I'm including the first few lines of each of the six stories. Hope it whets your appetite and makes your skin crawl, even the tiniest little bit.
Samantha Combs delves into the darkness of the Halloween season, the decadence of October, and the evil of All Hallows Eve. And as usual, she asks you along for the ride.

Come meet all her new friends; an inventive chef, an abused wife with an unusual solution, the invisible friend so different in adulthood than when you were a kid, the self-made woman who learns everything comes with a price, the woman of circumstance who learns neighbors can be more than just nosy,and finally, a quiet, unassuming wife who has paid far too much attention to her husband's, um, hobby.

So, go ahead, mix, mingle, enjoy meeting them all, but remember...the scariest monsters are the ones safely tucked away, hidden in the normal, the regular, the mundane. And in the end, Good does conquer Evil....just not EVER the way you'll expect.

 Eat at JOE’s

Reynaldo “Rey” Claude leaned over the wooden crate of tomatoes and inhaled deeply. The farmers market was always the best place to find the freshest ingredients for his culinary creations and Rey enjoyed his visits to gather the tasty produce. He strolled along the bustling wholesale market, making his choices and filling his basket. He was known there, and most vendors stopped to say hello and offer Rey a free sample of this, that, and the other. Which he took willingly. His food creations were like art pieces to him; each had to have its own special sauce. Pasta was pasta, but it was all about the sauce. He only wished his patrons felt the same.


Nadine Keller was running late. She still had a million things to do and had most of them on her mind, so when the GPS started talking to her, she didn’t immediately notice it. She had jumped into the Range Rover and flung the dry cleaning into the back seat. She dumped her overstuffed purse on the passenger seat and backed out of the mall parking lot. When she heard the calm, modulated voice telling her to turn left, she just obediently flicked on her signal and made the turn. Later, she would realize she didn’t remember programming an address into the GPS. She should have been wary then. GPS units didn’t just start talking to you out of the blue, demanding things. Not like husbands did.


Darla Demples punched the elevator button to the tenth floor. She shifted back and forth on her fashionable high heels and transferred her briefcase from her right shoulder to the left. Impatient, she poked the button again and began to tap her slender foot. Damn! You’d think the head of one of the largest cosmetics company could get a damn elevator when she wanted it. Her gaze fell on her company logo, proudly emblazoned on literally every surface in the lobby: Dollyface Cosmetics. She read the catch phrase underneath, pride welling within her: Look like a living doll, forever. Dolly smiled wistfully, remembering how she came up with the slogan, after a sleepless night with a very cranky baby daughter. Denise was almost an adult now, in college hundreds of miles away. She knew she didn’t see her near as often as she should, but she always found a way to validate that. I’m working for her future. She knows that. My success will set her up for the rest of her life, her and her future children.


Just because I’m telling you this story, doesn’t mean I’ll be alive at the end of it. I just want to clear that up. So there aren’t any surprises at the end. It’s how I kind of like to do things. I’ve never been one for surprises. Even when I was younger, when my birthday would come around, I made sure I knew all the plans ahead of time. I never wanted the surprise party all the other kids were begging for. Neither did Lenny. He hated them even more than me. Only, he couldn’t tell anyone. You see, Lenny was my imaginary friend. Or maybe I should say is. I’m fully grown now, with an education, a great job and even my own office. In fact, that’s where I am right now. Lenny is here, too, somewhere. He doesn’t always come out, only when he thinks I need him. I guess I needed him earlier. I suppose I should get the whole story out now, before they arrive. Just looking down at the bodies makes me a little scared of what they will think. What they might do to me. Lenny keeps saying I didn’t have a choice. He told me I had to do it. If not, I’d never be my own person. I’d never be free.


Mindy Jasper hollered down the hall of her new house to her children. “Jackson! Danielle! Hurry or we’ll be late for your first day of school.” She peered down the hall, then had to flatten herself against it to avoid being crushed by both of her children as they came hurtling toward her. Her daughter came first and spun around Mindy’s jeans-clad legs, hiding from her brother, who was only seconds behind her. He stopped when he reached his mom and sister, but only because he’d tired of the game. His sister didn’t look terrified anymore, not now that she was next to Mom, and to him, it was only fun if she was.


She heard the back door creak open and shut. Even though he always tried to be quiet, she never missed that unmistakable sound. Elaine Gardner had heard that sound a million times. Most of the time, it meant that her husband Roland was coming in from work, or from tending the garden, or from taking out the trash. She knew when it didn’t mean that. When he came in way past midnight, she knew it had an entirely different meaning: it meant her husband, Roland Gardner, was returning from a kill.

So, if any of these sound interesting or compel you to read them in some way, buy the book for a buck at Amazon and don't forget to tell me what you think. Please click the titles to check out any or all of my SEVEN books!


I am a Southern California author with seven published books, including the Global Ebook Award-winning debut title SPELLBOUND. I enjoy writing YA paranormal romance and supernatural fantasy, but I also dabble in the horror and sci-fi genres as well, and writing for the Middle Grade audience. I have plans for many more books in the future!

When I'm not writing, I work full time and enjoy spending time with my husband and two children. My guilty pleasures include reality television, the Food Network channel and shoes. I truly believe I can accomplish anything if I have the right pair of shoes. And I adore totally inappropriate earrings.

I love writing and publishing my work and I am in awe of the technological advances of our lives. E-readers and similar gadgets are bringing the written word to a generation that might never have discovered books otherwise and every time I see a kid pick one up to read something it fills me with joy to be a small part of that process. If a child can connect with literature because he or she did so electronically, a connection still was made. I am excited to see what our world has in store for literature and thrilled to be along for that ride.

My blog

Enjoy and Happy Halloween! ~Samantha Combs

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Wenches of Words Wednesday: S.G. Rogers

I’m excited to feature fellow Wench of Words, S.G. Rogers, an author of speculative fiction, as well as a young adult author, on my blog today! Take it away, S.G…
What’s In a Name?
Is naming your characters a joy or a chore?
Charles Dickens had a way with names.  Many of his characters had odd, but memorable monikers, such as Wopsie, Winkle, and Spottletoe.  Some were more descriptive, like the bombastic Mr. Bumble or the festive Mr. Fezziwig.  Author JK Rowling has fun with her character names, too.  Gossip columnist Rita Skeeter connotes an annoying mosquito and the cruel Dolores Umbridge isn’t that far a stretch from the word umbrage.
Strangely enough, I find it easier to name secondary or tertiary characters than the main ones.  Perhaps it’s because I feel some sort of pressure to make my main characters somewhat dignified, approachable, or attractive. Since that impression is subjective, it always takes me longer to decide which way to go.
Is it just me?
Even though naming my main characters is always a bit of a challenge, picking names for the remaining residents of my stories is a delight.  My creativity is unfettered and my humor comes to the forefront.   
In my latest fantasy release, Tournament of Chance, my protagonists’ names are the relatively straightforward Heather, Dane, and Joe.  Some of the minor characters, however, have more amusing names like Gumm the troll, Towcheez the fairy, and the one-eyed chef, Piers. Fun details won’t save a weak storyline, but a strong plot can be further enhanced with a little imagination. 
As a reader, do you feel memorable names increase your enjoyment of a novel, or are they a distraction?  As an author, do you agonize over your cast of characters? 
After all, a rose by any other name might just be fantastic.
~ S.G. Rogers
Tournament of Chance In Tournament of Chance, a hunter’s daughter becomes the spark that ignites a revolution—in time.
When a beautiful commoner enters the Tournament of Chance archery competition, her thwarted victory sparks a revolution in the oppressive kingdom of Destiny. Although Heather never believed the legends about the restoration of Ormaria, after three shape-shifting Ormarian wizards awaken from a long magical slumber, she joins their perilous quest to regain the throne. Heather battles vicious predators and angry trolls to free the wizards’ magic, but at a horrendous cost. She is unexpectedly torn from the arms of the man she loves and hurled back in time to fulfill a prophecy not yet written. The ensuing maelstrom tests Heather’s survival skills, wits, and endurance. Will she become an unwritten footnote in history, or can she trust the magic to lead her back to her one true love?
Author Links:

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Let's get this Halloween Party started...

Hello Everyone! Welcome to the Super Spies Halloween Party! We’re giving away a KINDLE FIRE by playing a game called “Bobbing for Books” and here’s how you enter to win!

The first way to enter is by tweeting and Facebook sharing about the event and posting the tweet or share in the comment section at Lisa Orchard’s blog. Each tweet or share counts as one entry. So, the more tweets you do the more entries you have. J

The second way to enter is by purchasing one of the participating authors’ books and posting the title and confirmation code in a comment below. This purchase counts as two entries, so if a contestant buys two books, they are entered four times in the giveaway. J

The winner will be announced on October 30th. Lisa Orchard will send them an e-mail and also post on Facebook and Twitter. J

****Please be aware that the KINDLE FIRE will be gifted from Amazon and sent directly from there. Therefore, if the winner receives a damaged prize, Lisa and the participating authors are not held liable for any damages. The winner must work with Amazon to get a replacement.

Now let the tweeting and sharing begin! Good luck to all of you! This is going to be a fun party!

“The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer”

By: Lisa Orchard

An innocent game of Truth or Dare spins out of control when Sarah Cole discovers the dead body of the Cat Lady. A great Halloween read!

“Hauntings of the Heart”

By Joselyn Vaughn 
When lost love shows up on your doorstep, what do you do?  Minnie Schultz slams the door in his face.  With the help of some paranormal investigators, an Elvis impersonator and a couple of nosey friends, can Minnie and Gordon find the future they were meant to have?

Find more of Joselyn’s books here:

“Abiding Echoes”

By: Kay Springsteen

Love is family…

Love is endless…

Love is timeless…

Love is abiding…

Find more of Kay’s books here:

“Vala Appointed”

By: J. F. Jenkins
Identical twins Anj and ZesWillam have always been considered odd, even in a world where myth is real. Their magic is powerful and intense, as well as their secrets. None more so than Anj, who has the biggest secret of them all.

“Double Crossing”

By: Meg Mims

August, 1869: Lily Granville is stunned by her father’s murder. Only one other person knows about a valuable California gold mine deed — both are now missing. Lily heads west on the newly opened transcontinental railroad, determined to track the killer. She soon realizes she is no longer the hunter but the prey.

As things progress from bad to worse, Lily is uncertain who to trust—the China-bound missionary who wants to marry her, or the wandering Texan who offers to protect her … for a price. Will Lily survive the journey and unexpected betrayal?

“Cruel Justice”

By: Mel Comley
The headless body of a wealthy widow is discovered decomposing in Chelling Forest. Detective Inspector Lorne Simpkins and her partner, DS Pete Childs are assigned to the case. A few days later another victim, this time a young girl, is discovered. Who could the killer be and what's the connection between the two victims?

Find more of Mel’s books here:

“Moonlight on the Palms”

By: Lisa Greer

When professor Astrid Kent's estranged mother dies, she returns to her childhood home of La Casa De La Luz to set things right. But secrets, murder, and her mother's ex-husband—Astrid's former fiance before she fled Texas in shame—threaten to entangle her at every turn, even as another man vies for her heart.

Find more of Lisa’s books here:

“Prepare to Receive More”

By: Benecia Ponder
A Step-by-Step Guide to Forming Your Prosperity Partnership with God.

“The Trouble with Charlie”

By: Catherine Bennett

Love.Desire. A psycho bent on revenge. But can Charlie Reynolds recognize the most dangerous of the three?

“At What Cost”

By: J. Andersen
When sixteen year old Maggie Reynolds discovers she's pregnant at the beginning of Junior year, she's scared to death to tell her parents for fear of what they'll do. Luckily, her boyfriend suggests another alternative: abortion, but will it really solve all her problems like she hopes it will?


“The Legacy”

By: Patricia Kiyono

A family finds and embraces its samurai heritage. The Legacy introduces the Tanaka family, whose story begins in The Samurai's Garden, available beginning November 6 from your favorite ebook distributor!

“The Last Timekeepers”

By: Sharon Ledwith
When Amanda Sault and her four classmates are caught in a major food fight at school, they are given the choice of suspension or yard duty. It was a no-brainer. A two-week crash course in landscaping leads the kids to discover a weathered stone arch buried in an overgrown backyard. Instead of a forgotten lawn ornament, it turns out to be an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.

“There your Heart will be Also”

By: Felicia Rogers

The Renaissance Hearts Series – Begin the adventure with Sarra and Cedric.

Find more of Felicia’s books here:

“A Collie Rescue”

By: Lindsay Downs
Former Army Sergeant Sandi Charleston, diagnosed with PTSD and homeless barely survives day to day. By a miracle of fate she meets Taz, a uniquely special collie, who helps turn her life around.


Find more of Lindsay Downs books here:

“A New Dream”

By: Elaine Cantrell

Former NFL player Matt McCallum and baker Violet Emerson find a common dream for their lives, but a loose end from Matt’s past returns to jeopardize their future. Will love be enough to save their new dream before it turns into a nightmare?


By: John Warnock
What if you awoke one day and discovered you had ESP? Would you feel blessed? Or would you feel cursed?

Find more of John’s books here:

“Secrets of Catalpa Hall”

By: Lori Lapekes

Find more of Lori’s books here:

“No Job for a Woman”

By: Sherry Gloag
Circumstances demand Julian and Deborah learn to work together and Julian dares to dream that he might gain the love of the only person he’s ever given his heart to.

But will Deborah live long enough to discover that by releasing everything she values, she will gain everything her heart desires?

Find more of Sherry’s books here:

“Crossing the Deep”

By: Kelly Martin

Sixteen year old Rachel Harker expects the hiking trip in the mountains to be short and painless. Four days later, injured and scared, she just prays to make it home alive.



By Kaitlin Bevins

There are worse things than death, worse people too.
The “talk” was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they’re a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn’t until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.

Find more of Kaitlin’s books here: