Monday, 30 May 2016

Meet a Writer Monday Presents...

... Robert Van Dusen

1. Tell me about The Outbreak Series and where you got your inspiration for it?

The Outbreak Series started as a D20 Modern campaign (a 'pen and paper' RPG) that a friend of mine was running. The game fell apart due to players not being able to make sessions and I got my friend's permission to pick up the plot and run with it where I would.

2. What are your three biggest pet peeves? (writing or otherwise)

1) Civilians wearing ACUs as 'fashion' (you're wrong and I will correct you).
2) Writer's Block (I hate it when my imaginary friends won't talk to me)
3) People asking if I need help getting out of a chair. (I have nerve damage in my lower back that can make getting around...annoying at times. I know you mean well but I can manage, thanks.)

3. What do you plan to do next?

I started a Fantasy novel which might turn into another series once I get that going. Or a spin off of my Outbreak Series. I also did some Fantasy short stories that I might keep going with when I'm stuck on the other projects.

4. What was the last picture you took with your phone?

I took some pictures of my four month old nephew at Christmas.

5. What is your perfect pizza?

A softball question! Mushroom and sausage.

6. If you could have personally witnessed anything, what would you have want to have seen?

This is a tough one... I'm a huge history nerd so there's literally hundreds of things I'd love to have a front row seat to... The Battle of Agincourt? The signing of Magna Carta? My grandfather landing on Omaha Beach? The Viking raid at Lindisfarne? Seriously, just hand me the key to the TARDIS already!

7. If you could spend the day with any character from fiction who would it be?

Hm... I think I'd have to say the character Methos from a show I used to watch when I was younger called Highlander: The Series. He's (at least) five thousand years old so I'd love to have the chance to spend twenty four hours picking his brain.

8. What is your best childhood memory?

Spending summers at my grandparents' house. They lived on a lake in the mountains and I'd basically spend the entire summer running around in the woods and fishing.

9. If you had the chance for a do over in life, what would you do differently?

I think that, when I first enlisted in the Army when I was 16, I had chosen the Linguist job they had offered me instead of the Field Artillery. Don't get me wrong firing big honkin' cannons, machine guns, rocket launchers and stuff like that is FREAKING AWESOME but I don't think I'd be in the situation I am now if I had spent my time learning Chinese instead.

10. Do you believe in ghosts?

I'm open to the idea. I've experienced things that I can't quite rationally explain so there's that anyways.

11. What house would you belong to in Game of Thrones? Be honest.

House Greyjoy. WE DO NOT SOW! Either that or Stannis Baratheon. They built The Wall to protect the White Walkers from him. True fact.


Life is tough. It gets even tougher when death isn't the end...
Senior Airman Amy Frays returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. Struggling with the readjustment of returning to college after deployment, she did not expect to find herself recalled to help deal with a riot that was going on practically on her doorstep.
Private Adam Lacey, a Marine Corps Reservist fresh out of boot camp, left his wife and four year old twins behind to deal with the violence wracking the city..
Only it was not just some garden variety civil disturbance: the military was called in to enforce a quarantine in south Boston and there was some kind of new disease.
With the world pulling itself apart around them, Frays and Lacey end up leading a group of refugees in search of something resembling safety. Where would they go? How would they find food? More importantly, how would they avoid the hordes of cannibalistic infected wandering the countryside?

About Robert

Robert Van Dusen was born in 1981. After high school Robert joined the United States Army where he served as a Cannon Crewmember. When he got out Robert went to college where he took a few creative writing classes as an elective and discovered he had something of a talent for it. He now lives in Upstate New York.

Facebook Author's Page:

Outbreak Series Facebook Page:


Sunday, 29 May 2016

Sunday Showcase

Can interspecies diplomacy begin in the womb? This is the question that launched the Twin-Bred series.

As the series begins, humans have lived on Tofarn, planet of creeks and rivers, for seventy years, but they still don't understand the Tofa. The Tofa are an enigma, from their featureless faces to the four arms that sometimes seem to be five. They take arbitrary umbrage at the simplest human activities, while annoying their human neighbors in seemingly pointless ways. The next infuriating, inexplicable incident may explode into war.

Scientist Mara Cadell's radical proposal: that host mothers carry fraternal twins, human and Tofa, in the hope that the bond between twins can bridge the gap between species. Mara knows about the bond between twins: her own twin, Levi, died in utero, but she has secretly kept him alive in her mind as companion and collaborator.

Mara succeeds in obtaining governmental backing for her project – but both the human and Tofa establishments have their own agendas. Mara must shepherd the Twin-Bred through dangers she anticipated and others that even the canny Levi could not foresee. Will the Twin-Bred bring peace, war, or something else entirely?

Read an excerpt here - **SPOILER ALERT**

Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but moved every few years throughout her childhood and adolescence. After college in California, law school in Massachusetts, and a mercifully short stint in a large San Francisco law firm, she moved to Los Angeles. There she met her husband, who hates L.A. They eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University. They have two brilliantly creative daughters, as well as a sweet but neurotic dog. Wyle's fiction tends to focus on often-intertwined themes of family, communication, the impossibility of controlling events, and the persistence of unfinished business.





Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Dusty Pages Review: Shakespeare's Trollop

Lily Bard went to Shakespeare for the quiet life, but again this is disrupted when the body of one of Lily's clients, the ill reputed Deedra Dean, is found in her car, the apparent victim of a tryst gone wrong. Lily once again uses her knowledge of the private lives of Shakespeare's residents as she is drawn into the investigation. But will her knowledge of Shakespeare's secrets make her the next victim?

 I have to say the victim in this book did not surprise me. I knew the minute you met Deedra Dean way back in the first book that she was going to get murdered. Not because I'd read ahead on the blurbs but just because she had murder victim written all over her. What I liked about how the writer played this rather inevitable turn of events was to play the reasons for her death so close to the chest, that they were a secret almost right up to the very end. This is just the way I like my mysteries. If I've worked out who did it by the end of chapter two, the rest of the book is just me patting myself on the back while I wait for the characters on the page to catch up.

We see a little more development in Jack and Lily's relationship, its progressing in a very Jack and Lily way. It has its sweet moments and of course, its not so sweet. However I thought the bit with Bobo Winthrop was just tacky and unnecessary.

Theory of World Building Note: Nothing to really add here, there wasn't anything I can think of that made a connection to a different series.

I give this

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Dusty Pages Review: Shakespeare's Christmas

Lily Bard has worked hard to leave her old life behind. So she's uneasy about returning to her home town for her sister's Christmas Eve wedding. And with good reason.
Violence waits in Bartley - the town's doctor and nurse have been bludgeoned to death - and Lily's detective boyfriend finds himself in Bartley on the heels of an eight-year-old kidnapping case. It just might have something to do with the murders...or Lily's sister's fiancé.
With only three days to the wedding, Lily must move fast to solve the case. Before her sister promises to love, honour and obey a cold-blooded killer.

 It might seem a little weird reading a book set at Christmas in the beginning of May but honestly, you'd hardly know what time of year it was if not for the deliberate mentioning of it because its really about Varena's wedding...a kidnapped baby...and a bloody murder or two. Its a good read just like the first two books and I like the characters. Its nice to see Jack sticking around and his getting to meet and greet the parents is charming and funny.

I still have problems as it were picturing Lily in my head. I don't know if this is because I can't work my head around the whole body builder thing but still very lady like and attractive. Of course she could just be very toned and I'm way over thinking it. However as she is able to lift two eight year old's in this book without visible strain, it makes me think serious muscle like:

Probably not right though...

Theory of World Building Note: Bobo Winthrop appears in this book briefly, now 19 and still holding a pretty hot torch for Lily. Also later during a phone conversation we hear about the death of his grandfather, an event mentioned by the older Bobo in Midnight Crossroads.

I give this:

Monday, 16 May 2016

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

... Cameron Quinn

1. Tell me about your book, THE STARSBORO CHRONICLES: HOW TO GET ARRESTED and where you got your inspiration for it?

I had my first child in 2010. This was the first time I had a writing schedule. My son would wake up at 6 AM for a feeding and then Sleep until 8 AM, giving me an hour and a half to write everyday. I had been writing with a friend, working on a different project, when Zurik popped into my head. He was in a police station hand-cuffed to the interrogation table. I ran with it. A modified version of that scene is the first scene in the book.

2. How do you come up with titles for your books?

The first one, HOW TO GET ARRESTED just kind of came to me. My Writer friend, V.S. Holmes, suggested I make them all How to’s. This has not bee the easiest task but some of them have come out really amazing. So, I think it’s worth it.

3. Do you find your social life hampered by your writing life?

Yes and no. My social life consists of other writers and family. As a result my social life is my writing in a lot of ways. The only time I get out of the house (Other than errands) is to write with a group.

4. If you were asked to review a fellow author/friends book would you be honest?

I understand people not wanting to hurt others feelings, but if you don’t review their book honestly, you aren’t doing them any favours. Readers rely on reviews to find books that they will enjoy. If you didn’t like the book, that doesn’t mean you have to give it one star. It means you rate as “I didn’t like it” I believe this is two stars on Amazon, and then write why. If its because it was a romance book and you like action adventure, say that. It helps other action adventure readers know this book probably isn’t for you.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, a bad review doesn’t have to be mean and they are just as helpful for the author in the long run. So, be honest.

5. What do you plan to do next?

I’m working on more Starsboro Chronicles as well as a story about a zombie apocalypse. I know it’s been done before but I like post apocalyptic stories that focus on the people. A lot of Zombie related media is all about the horror of the Zombies instead of about the survival of the people themselves. So, I am writing one.

6. How do you think the self-publishing boom has affected the book industry?

While it has flooded the market with unfinished books, (I bought more than a few of these before I learned to read the sample before hitting buy) it has provided an amazing opportunity for Indie Authors. If you take the time to look, you can find some amazingly thought out worlds and wonderful stories.

7. How do you motivate yourself to keep writing?

It’s my business, if I don’t write, I’m not contributing to the family. It’s that simple and that complicated.

8. What in your opinion are the key ingredients in maintaining a good relationship with your readers?

A two way conversation. I need to know how they feel about my books. If I publish something they feel is less than up to snuff, I need and want to know. At the same time, if I publish something they love, I want and need to know. These conversations help the readers as much as they help me. I want to provide what they are looking for and exceed their expectations.

9. What was the last picture you took with your phone?

I took a picture of a line I wrote. V.S. Holmes and I have tons of cross overs and Easter eggs for our fans and I added a new one into the third Starsboro Chronicle: HOW TO STALK A STALKER. So, naturally I had to send it to her.

10. What is the habit you are proudest of breaking or want to break?

I had a bad TV habit. I love stories, in any and all forms. I love books, magazines, comic books, and shows. As a result I would sit down and watch TV Shows all day. I hated it but I loved it. Now, I only watch TV with the family or while I fold laundry. It also helped me stop snacking all the time too, which has been good for my waistline.

11. Are you still learning who you are?

Definitely, I learn new things everyday and most of those things change me, even if its just in a small way. I know who I want to be.

12. Which of the four seasons do you like the most?

Fall. I love the fall, partly because pumpkin beer, but also because I live in New England and the leaves change color and the air gets crisp. Something about it is absolutely magical.

13. Why did you choose to be a writer?

This is one of those things where, I didn’t choose it, it chose me. I am always, and I do mean ALWAYS, creating stories and worlds in my head. It never shuts off. Unless I’m in marketing mode then I’m planning less world building stuff and more blog/vlog posts.

14. What is a skill you’d like to learn and why?

I want to learn multiple languages. Languages have always fascinated me. I studied German and Spanish is high school but I was unable to retain much of it because I don’t know anyone who speaks those languages. I just bought my mother-in-law the Rosetta Stone for Portuguese, so hopefully we can learn it together.

15. Do you believe in ghosts?

I’ve seen far too much not too.


Zurik D'Vordi finds himself in the back of an SPD squad car almost as often as he finds himself in a new woman's bed. But what is a human hybrid to do? He has to save a world that does not know it needs saving from things it doesn't want to believe exist.

When co-eds start disappearing, bad-boy Zurik finds himself Detective Jennifer Morgan's number one suspect. Trouble is, he's the only one who can find the missing girls. If Morgan doesn't start believing him, and fast, she'll have a multiple murder case on her hands.

The Starsboro Chronicles are the perfect combination of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Law and Order: SVU. A new novelette in the series is released each month.



About Cameron

Cameron Quinn is an author of THE STARSBORO CHRONICLES, a series of ten Urban Fantasy novelettes (she didn’t know it was thing either until her editor told her).

 She works as the Head of Marketing at Amphibian Press; a small press dedicated to helping independent authors navigate the publishing ocean.