Tuesday, May 12, 2015

L. R. W. Lee Releases Book Four the Andy Smithson Series

The wait is over! Book Four in the Andy Smithson series is finally here!

In Resurrection of the Phoenix’s Grace, Andy finds that Abaddon will stop at nothing to capture and punish him for thwarting his plans for eternal life for yet a third time. But, when Methuselah unexpectedly extends in Mom's hand while in Texas, something it has never done for him, it triggers more revelations about her past. 
After a frustrating and, at times, terrifying year, Andy returns to Oomaldee and joins Hans' quest to locate the only surviving heir to the throne of Cromlech. In the process, Andy and company discover the Giant's Ring, the center of Cromlech's healing powers, has been destroyed by Abaddon's evil sorcerer. The situation grows dire when Andy finds that the phoenix who rose from that land millennia before has returned to be reborn and the evil mage has trapped her inside the decimated Ring. Without the freedom to collect the materials she needs to build a pyre, she will die. Andy knows failure is not an option for he needs a feather from this phoenix as the next ingredient to break the curse. Will Andy and his friends free the phoenix in time? Will they be able to fix the Ring and restore Cromlech's healing powers? Will Andy collect a phoenix feather?

You won’t want to miss the non-stop action, drama and thrills on this adventure that is Resurrection of the Phoenix’s Grace!

"I really enjoyed this book! The author writes a thrilling action-adventure story that keeps you on the edge of your bean bag chair. I will admit, I stayed up late reading this book - it was that good! L. R. W. Lee has a talent for writing fantasy. The story flows well and has plenty of action to keep the reader wanting more. A great read!" 
                                                            - Erik Weibel, This Kid Reviews Books (Erik is 14)
                                                              Erik awarded the book 5 Bookworms! 
"L. R. W. Lee's best book of the Andy Smithson series to date!"
                                                           - Richard Weatherly, Author 

Purchase Kindle and Paperback

Book Five: Vision of the Griffin’s Heart (Andy Smithson series) is coming Winter 2015.

Watch L. R. W. Lee discuss Resurrection of the Phoenix’s Grace on Book Nerd Paradise on YouTube at bit.ly/1DsOOfi

Book One

eBook 1, Andy Smithson: Blast of the Dragon’s Fury is now FREE. Pick up a copy at Smashwords, Kobo, Google, B&N.

Listen to the FREE podcast of Book 1 by L. R. W. Lee on Podiobooks 
Book one is also available in paperback.

Book Two

Book 2, Andy Smithson: Venom of the Serpent's Cunning is available in Kindle and Paperback.

Download the professionally recorded audiobook at Amazon
It’s only $1.99 if you download the eBook first…Savings of $16!

Book Three

Book 3, Andy Smithson: Disgrace of the Unicorn’s Honor is available in Kindle and Paperback.

Prequel Novella

Power of the Heir’s Passion is available in Kindle and Paperback

Download the professionally recorded audiobook at Amazon
It’s only $1.99 if you download the eBook for $.99 first…Savings of $1!

L. R. W. Lee writes to teach her readers principles that can transform their lives – overcoming frustration, impatience, fear and more. She also shows why responsibility, diligence and dignity are the keys to true success in life. L. R. W. Lee lives in scenic Austin, TX with her husband, daughter and son.

Connect with L. R. W. at: Twitter   Website   Facebook
For more about author L. R. W. Lee: http://tinyurl.com/ln2dqjz

Friday, May 8, 2015

Rik Stone: The IAN Interview

Rik Stone worked in shipyards in the North East of England before going into the Merchant Navy. Eventually, he yearned for change and studying seemed a good way to get it so he worked through the lower level stuff and then on to gaining a BSc. degree in Mathematics and Computing. But he loved reading fiction and had always harbored a secret ambition to write it. In his younger days such aspirations weren’t realistic, but an early retirement at the age of fifty provided the opening he wanted and he began pursuing the dream seriously. First came the debut novel, Birth of an Assassin, and more recently, The Turkish Connection, the second in the series.

The Independent Author Network. Hi Rik. Please tell us about your latest book.

Rik Stone. The Turkish Connection is the second in the series to Birth of an Assassin. While Jez, the protagonist in the first book, is dealing with the events thrust upon him in Russia, Mehmet, a young Turk, is caught up in the backwash of those same actions in Turkey.

Only eight years old and Mehmet is thrown into a life where he battles to survive the murky Istanbul of 1951. On a daily basis, he is forced to learn the skills of thievery and violence alongside other street children caught in the same trap. Every evening he curls up under a stinking jetty in a waterway off the Bosporus Strait, yearning to break free from the life inflicted on him by his drunken, womanizing father, but little knowing that his father’s rotting body lies at the bottom of those same waters.

Adulthood comes before Mehmet finds out that it wasn’t fate that had taken control of his life as a boy, but a very real nemesis. The man in question; a powerful crime lord who has support in the highest places within the Turkish government. Can Mehmet compete with such an opponent or has his life been doomed from the start?

IAN. Is The Turkish Connection published in print, e-book or both?

R.S. The Turkish Connection is available in paperback now and the ebook version is scheduled for release on the 28th of May.

IAN. Where can we go to buy The Turkish Connection?

IAN. What inspired you to write The Turkish Connection?

R.S. I’ve toured Turkey fairly extensively. I love its exotic atmosphere and was able to imagine being back there as I wrote.

IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?

R.S. I start with a beginning, middle and end in three paragraphs. I write towards the latter two introducing relevant sub-plots as I go.

IAN. How long did it take to write The Turkish Connection?

R.S. At around nine months I had completed the fourth draft, but I am a habitual tinkerer so the months stretched out to twelve.

IAN. Do you have a specific writing style?

R.S. I like to keep things simple in terms of wording. When I read a thriller, there is nothing worse than stopping to look up the meaning of words; it kills the pace and hauls the reader back to reality.

IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your books?

R.S. My intention is not only to thrill, I want the reader to walk away satisfied, and yet sad to lose the characters they’ve grown to know.

IAN. How much of The Turkish Connection is realistic?

R.S. I think all thrillers have a touch of the improbable otherwise the protagonists wouldn’t survive. However, I have no trouble believing the story could have happened.

IAN. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

R.S. I take life’s experiences and grossly exaggerate them; to the point the experiences become unrecognizable to me.

IAN. How is your book different from others in your genre?

R.S. Probably the setting, protagonist and that it is more believable than most. Also, it seems the norm to make the hero a European or an American, but people are the same everywhere, living the same lives and having the same aspirations, albeit they have different levels of finance, so why can’t they have heroes too?

IAN. Do you see writing as a career?

R.S. I think about and develop my work in every situation I find myself in, it is all consuming, so writing is not my career, it is my life.

IAN. Who designed the cover?

R.S. Even if I can’t actually see the picture, I have a full brief in my mind of what it should look like; I know, that hardly makes sense. I write the brief down and hand it over to the professionals, www.designthing.co.uk, and after a couple of prototypes we end up at the same place.

IAN. Do you have any advice for other writers?

R.S. The hardest part of writing is the promotional aspect and there are times it will get you down. When that happens, forget about marketing and lose yourself in writing until the woes are gone; it works for me.

IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand-alone?

R.S. I’m in the final drafts of book three in the series and hope to have it out at the end of this year.

Monday, May 4, 2015

A Mother’s Day Message from the Authors of “Secret Storms: A Mother and Daughter, Lost then Found”

When we were featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network, then the Katie Couric show, and after that, the Jeff Probst show, we had to recount the story of our book (which is the story of our lives) over and over again. While we were honored by the opportunities and propelled by the desire to share our story in order to give hope to those in need of it, it was a daunting emotional roller coaster. Secret Storms is, in the words of one of its readers, “a riveting, profound book,” but one in which there are many extremes of feeling.

It takes the reader from the staunch, eccentric Main Line of Philadelphia to the Isle of Capri, to Kenya, to Broadway, to Hollywood; from movie, stage and literary stars to regular people leading extraordinary lives; from a little girl with a python and cheetah as pets, to a little girl living with a real-life wicked step-mother, to a young, pregnant and sane woman in a mental hospital. It’s about being adopted, about adopting, and about giving a child up for adoption. But more than all of that, at its core, Secret Storms is about motherhood. About the soul-altering, miracle that is the relationship between parent and child. About the strongest bond humans are capable of forming between each other.

Since publishing the book, we’ve had the honor and privilege of receiving countless letters from readers who feel compelled to share their own stories with us. Extraordinary, often heartbreaking stories. Nowhere more than in the adoption community is it more evident what real maternal love actually is. We’ve learned over and over again through our readers’ stories that motherhood comes in many guises, that selfless love is not just the domain of biological parents, that mothers who don’t get to raise their children are still mothers, that the joys and tragedies of motherhood belong to all women who love their children.

There truly is no higher calling or a more difficult one than the care and nurturing of a child. So today, and every day, we celebrate all mothers. Happy Mother’s Day! -Julie Mannix von Zerneck and Kathy Hatfield

Audiobook, Kindle and Paperback copies of
Secret Storms: A Mother and Daughter, Lost then Found
are available here:
You can find us, befriend us, inspire us and be inspired by us, here:
and here:
And join the conversations we have on our ASK the AUTHORS series, here:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fleur Tamargo: The IAN Interview

I’m from the Philippines, I love writing and public speaking. I’m quite an introvert which is a contradiction since I love public speaking and have no stage fright at all. I love art, and hate convention. When I write something I make sure it’s unique and unpredictable. I don’t like one dimensional characters because in real life, people are most of the time complex, multi-layered creatures.

Independent Author Network: Please tell us about your latest book.

Fleur Tamargo. There was this guy I was infatuated with back in high school. I dreamt about him for several years after his death. That kind of thing continued for more than a decade, and I made a journal where I wrote down all my dreams. After more than a decade of dreaming, I finally decided to make a novel out of it.

Thus, “A Dragonfly’s Dream” is about a girl who gets to be with the man of her dreams (literally, since she can only see and talk to him in her dreams).

A Dragonfly’s Dream is a deep, multi-layered novel. There are a lot of things going on between
the lines, and an analytical reader can pick up a lot of stuff beyond the obvious. But at the same time my readers say that it’s also very light and funny. And of course, romantic.

The cover was done by my very talented niece, Molly Sira and an artist from the U.S., Colleen Sgroi. When my niece saw Colleen Sgroi’s dragonfly painting on the internet, she immediately fell in love with it. I sent an email to Ms. Sgroi and thankfully she agreed to let me use her dragonfly to grace my book cover.

IAN. Is A Dragonfly’s Dream published in print, e-book or both?

F.T. For now, it’s available as an e-book. Though I’m also working on the print version.

IAN. Where can we go to buy A Dragonfly’s Dream?

F.T. For Kindle at Amazon

IAN. What inspired you to write A Dragonfly’s Dream?

F.T. Like I said, this book is based on my own dream journal. I wanted to give life to the dreams I was having.

IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft? 

F.T. I used an outline. At first, I didn’t know how to go about it, but along the way, I got the idea that every chapter of my book should begin with an entry in my main character’s dream journal.

IAN. How did you come up with the title?

F.T. In some cultures, a dragonfly symbolizes change. Dealing with the past, and dealing with changes is quite a prevalent theme in my book.

IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading A Dragonfly’s Dream?

F.T. I think I’m going to leave it up to them. Just like my characters, my book is multi-faceted and different readers will see and will come away with different things. But whatever it is, I want it to be something positive.

IAN. How much of the book is realistic?

F.T. It’s a magical realism, but a lot of it is actually quite realistic or based on real life.

IAN. How is A Dragonfly’s Dream different from others in your genre?

F.T. The writing style is different from the mainstream. When I write something I try to make sure that the story flows smoothly, like water. It also introduces some things about my own local culture. It’s not your usual love story.

IAN. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

F.T. My sister published a book on Crimson Romance entitled “How to Wed an Earl.” That inspired me to write my own book.

IAN. Do you have any advice for other writers?

F.T. I believe that all writers need to write. It’s how we express our souls. It’s not just about selling the book. Expressing our true nature this way is actually therapeutic, and it has tremendous benefits on a person’s well-being.

IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand-alone?

F.T. I’m working on a historical romance that has its setting in Asia. Like my previous book, I want it to be different from the mainstream.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Kevin Kauffmann: The IAN Interview

Kauffmann grew up surrounded by all kinds of stories, from video games to comic books to movies he probably wasn’t supposed to watch, but all of them instilled in him the imagination to tell weird and genre-bending tales.  Drawing from mythological sources, Kauffmann’s career as an author started with the Icarus Trilogy, a sci-fi series about gladiatorial combat and revolution, before heading onto the Forsaken Comedy, a dark fantasy series which focuses on the Four Horsemen and their attempt to save humanity.  His latest, Ouroboros, is a bit different, but still promises the emotional grip of the other books.

Independent Author Network. Please tell us about your new book.

Kevin Kauffmann. Ouroboros is definitely a different kind of book than I’m used to writing, but I think it will have a much broader appeal.  It’s general fiction, which is a big departure from my sci-fi/fantasy roots, but I was still able to play around with imagery and nightmares because of the content.

The book follo
ws three main characters who are affected by Escape, which is a new hallucinogen which allows the user to see exactly what they want.  Jeremy, my high school outcast, uses the drug to see brand new worlds because he hates the real one.  Lynn is a hypocritical congresswoman who is using a child’s death in order to further her career.  My favorite, Marc, is the creator of Escape, but he becomes addicted to the drug in order to see his dead girlfriend.

Really, the book is all about self-destruction and escapism, and it’s probably the most personal book I’ve ever written.  To say that I relate to these characters is a huge understatement, and there are bits and pieces of my life all over this book.  I was never in such dire straits as my characters, but I know how it feels to want to run away from the world.

IAN. Is Ouroboros published in print, e-book, or both?

K.K. Just e-book for now.  I’ve fallen into a habit of holding off on the print versions in case there are some glaring problems that reviewers notice.  Luckily, that’s become less of an issue, but my first series suffered for it.

IAN. Where can we go to buy Ouroboros?

K.K. http://www.amazon.com/Ouroboros-Kevin-Kauffmann-ebook/dp/B00PAEOTXU

IAN. What Inspired you to write Ouroboros?

K.K. Quite a bit.  There’s a lot of personal flavor all over the book, both Jeremy and Marc represent me at different times of my life, but the book is also very much a product of the times.  I use a hallucinogen to firmly represent escapism in this book, but escapism can be anything as simple as playing games or reading books or just doing anything not to experience the real, present world.  The way our society has gone for the last decade, more and more people seem to be retreating from the world, retreating into their phones and hiding away from real interaction.

I wanted to explore the feelings that come with that, the loneliness and alienation, the feeling that you’re all alone even if you’re surrounded by people, or how the world doesn’t care what you want or how you feel.  These characters don’t feel like they belong in their own life, which is its own special kind of tragedy.

IAN. Did you use an outline or did you just wing the first draft?

K.K. A little bit of both, honestly.  I’ve always fancied myself both an architect and a gardener, as the old comparison goes.  I created enough of an outline that the plot was solid and progressed how I wanted it to, but other than that I just let the characters and visuals lead themselves.  The first book I wrote was shaky with that approach, but after seven books it seems like that’s how I work best.

IAN. How long did it take to write Ouroboros?

K.K. Two weeks, which sounds absurd, I know.  Spent plenty of time on the shelf, however.  The only reason I wrote it that fast was that I was trying to submit a book to Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award contest and they had changed the rules enough that I couldn’t submit the book I had already prepared for it.

It was too bad I submitted it to the wrong genre.  Didn’t even get past the pitch stage because of it.

IAN. Do you have a specific writing style?

K.K. I like to jump around a lot, that’s for sure.  Both between character perspectives and with my transitions between scenes and chapters.  I’ve always likened it to quick cuts in movies, and most of my readers seem to agree.  I get told quite often that my books are perfect for movie adaptations, and that’s because I try not to linger too much on any particular scene unless it’s instrumental to the plot.  Also, it doesn’t come up very often in Ouroboros, but I’m known for intense action and battle scenes, and that will become increasingly more apparent the further I go in my career.

IAN. How did you come up with the title?

K.K. The title already existed, but it was such an obvious moment once I figured out that it was supposed to be Ouroboros.  In Greek mythology, Ouroboros is the snake that devours its own tail, which is something that happens in Norse and other mythologies as well.  It’s a symbol of both infinity and self-destruction/consumption to me, and it ties in perfectly with the themes and content of my book.  If it’s not clear, that’s supposed to be a snake squeezing the guy’s neck on my cover, which I admit looks very amateur, but that’s intentional, I swear.

IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading Ouroboros?

K.K. Honestly, this book is all about perspective to me.  All of my characters are flawed and focus on either their past, their fears and pain, their loneliness, or something trivial like their career.  They’ve all lost sight of what’s really important in their life, what makes their life worth anything.  There are plenty of moral lessons and structures in my other books, but when it comes to Ouroboros, I really just want readers to think about what’s actually important to them.  In a way, our biggest obstacle to enjoying our life and getting the most of it is our own perspective and desires.

So, I guess, just get out there and do something.  Anything.

IAN. How much of Ouroboros is realistic?

K.K. Certainly not the drug itself.  That thing can’t exist.  I did what I could to justify it within the context of the story, even researched plenty of hallucinogens to make it sound alright, but Escape is definitely fictional.  As far as the characters, however, they’re all about as true-to-life as I could make them.  I’ve felt what Jeremy felt, been through a lot of his situations; I’ve wanted the same things as Marc, to just not exist for a while.  I’ve felt external pressures to change and compromise myself just like Lynn.  Her job might not be so realistic, I went for a House of Cards style with her storyline, but how she feels was real to me.

And as an author, that’s my main focus.

IAN. How is Ouroboros different from others in your genre?

K.K. Well, technically it’s just regular fiction, nothing incredible or otherworldly happens, but there are sci-fi, fantasy and horror aspects throughout the book because of the hallucinogen theme.  However, the existence of Escape and what it does is also technically sci-fi, so Ouroboros exists as part of and doesn’t belong to either genre, really.  Sci-fi fans might like it more, but I could see fictions readers enjoying the real aspects as well.

However, I’m used to that.  None of my books have ever really fit into one genre.

IAN. Who designed the cover?

K.K. I did this time, and it shows.  However, this cover is exactly how I had seen it in my head.  Because of the tragic content and malaise of the characters, I wanted to call back to Picasso’s blue period, and the shaky and thick lines are likewise supposed to be a reference to a series of self-portraits drawn under the influence of LSD.  Also, since this book was so personal for me, it just felt appropriate to be entirely responsible for the book, including the cover.

So yeah, that’s my excuse for it looking so amateur.

IAN. What was the hardest part of writing Ouroboros?

K.K. Feeling everything that happens to my characters.  I’m used to it by now, but I’m a bit of a “method writer.”  I stop existing while I write and my characters fully take over.  Every time one of my characters die in my other books, it hits home and I’m a trainwreck, but it’s expected in those series.  Ouroboros, however, is all about these characters destroying themselves and coming to these tragic moments, and I felt every little bit of it.  Readers might be driven to tears when they read my books, but I promise, I get hit harder every time.

IAN. Do you have to travel much concerning your books?

K.K. Not as much as I’d like to, but that’s just because I can’t afford it.  If I could justify a book tour, I would, but most of my traveling happens when I go to comic-book and geek conventions along the East Coast.  Lately I’ve been dressing up as the Merchant from Resident Evil 4 to lure people into talking to me, and then I’ll launch into a character-driven spiel ending with a promotion for the book I’m currently trying to push, usually for free.  Engenders good will, certainly, but there hasn’t been too much turnaround on the word-of-mouth yet.

IAN. Do you see writing as a career?

K.K. I’m certainly trying.  After seven books, it’s disheartening to still be relatively unknown, but I know that has nothing to do with the books.  Nine times out of ten, people tell me that they love my books and how they inspired them.  That’s enough for me to still keep going and believing that I’ll make it, but luckily, I’m going to write my books either way.  It’s not even a question. 

Hopefully it will all pay off.

IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress.  Is it a sequel or stand-alone?

K.K. I’m actually working on two projects right now.  Until I started my newest book, The 616 Diaries, I had been releasing a short story every Sunday for my Misadventures of Rumplestiltskin III, which is my goofy side-project about an immortal, insane imp who meets gods, demons, heroes, villains and everything in between.  I’ll eventually collect them all into a book, but If you want to check out some of the stories, they’re all on my Facebook page for now: https://www.facebook.com/TheIcarusTrilogy/notes.

As for The 616 Diaries, I’m not sure I’ll ever sell it because of the style, which is first-person and starts off as a blog.  I’m starting to enjoy it more because I’m finally in the meat of the story, which is all about a man devolving into madness because the number 616 shows up everywhere in his life, but it definitely needs some polishing.

Technically they’re both standalone, but, well, I need to write more books before I can talk more about that.

Monday, December 8, 2014

809 Jacob Street by Marty Young


Winner of the 2013 Australian Shadows Award for Best Horror Novel, and nominated a Notable Indie Book of 2013, 809 Jacob Street is a roller coaster ride into terror and madness.

Fourteen year old Byron James wishes he'd never been dragged to Parkton.

It's a crazy sideshow of a town in the middle of god-damn nowhere, and he's stranded there. To make matters worse, his two new friends - his only friends - turn out to be class rejects with an unhealthy interest in monsters. They want to discover the truth to the infamous monster house at number 809 Jacob Street.

Joey Blue is an old bluesman who fell into his songs and couldn't find his way out again. Now he's a Gutterbreed, one of the slinking shifting shadows haunting the town's alleys. When an old dead friend comes begging for help, Joey's world is torn apart. He is forced to stare down the man he has become in order to rescue the man he once was - and there is only one place he can do that.

The house on Jacob Street calls to them all, but what will they find when they open its door?


"I wasn't quite prepared for how accomplished this little novel turned out to be. Evoking those stories of old with his motley crew of kids (1980's horror fiction), Marty gives the reader a subtle coming-of-age tale while also delivering cerebral prose that becomes almost narcotizing after a while. Here, there is a slow build of tension that is somewhat effortless ... as if 809 Jacob Street was a latter novel in the author's resume." - Matt Tait, Hellnotes review 

"Marty Young's 809 Jacob Street dragged me through the gutter, and had me enthralled with every page. The story explores so thoroughly a nightmare of tortured emotions and madness that it's hard to believe it isn't autobiographical. The characters, especially Joey Blue, are that convincing. This is a writer cutting his own way through horror, and I can't wait to see where his journey takes him. I, for one, will be watching from here on out, because he made me a fan with this book." - Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Flesh Eaters and Dead City 

"A refreshingly hypnotic tale that blends Monster Squad and the small-town coming-of-age themes of Stephen King to his own dark and surreal ends." - Robert Hood, author of Fragments of a Broken Land: Valarl Undead 

"This book gets scary... You need to buy this book, you need to get it." - The Witching Hour Paranormal Radio Show on 4ZZZ 

"A slow burning exploration of psychic terror that builds to a startling climax and the beginning of an even deeper mystery. Recommended!" - Greg Chapman, author of The Last Night of October 

"809 Jacob Street is a wonderful first novel for Marty Young and first release for new Publisher, Black Beacon Books. Highly recommended." - Frank Michaels Errington, Horror-Web.com