Help a robot girl out

Authors needed! Free promo!

Entertaining Stories

Lisa Burton Radio exists to help authors promote their books to a new audience. This spot has worked well for over a year now, but we need guests to keep it going. Here is a little data about how it works, and some past posts to browse to see what you’re getting into.

Tell your friends, maybe one of them needs a place to post.

Drop me a line at coldhand (dot) boyack (at) gmail (dot) com. Let Lisa promote your books for you.

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New Book Release: “The Magician’s Curse,” by Linda G. Hill

Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

News Flash

Hang onto your hats! Linda Hill has a new book set to release on June 27, 2017, and it sounds excellent. It’s a paranormal romance called, The Magician’s Curse.

When Herman Anderson leaves home to make a better life for herself, she doesn’t expect to meet a tall, dark stranger with whom she’ll fall hopelessly in love.
Charming and mysterious, Stephen Dagmar is a stage magician seeking an assistant. The moment he sets eyes on Herman, he knows she’s the one.

He brings her home to his Victorian mansion where they embark upon an extravagant romance. Yet a shadow hangs over their love. Will the curse on his family end Stephen and Herman’s happily ever after, before it really begins?

Amidst lace and leather, innocence and debauchery, The Magician’s Curse begins the Gothic tale of The Great Dagmaru. Magic and romance await.

Fetus - Linda G. Hill

Official release date: June 27, 2017! Pre-order…

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7 Tips to Making a Fictional Sport: Mouth Guard Not Included

Last year, I made a post about various sports and activities that can be done around Windemere.  From what I can tell, I never went into any advice or tips or comedy about how to design fictional sports.  One reason is because I don’t really know what I’m doing here.  Another is that nobody asked.  The third is that I didn’t consider it until now when I was looking for a post idea.  So, here we go!

(Side Note:  My first time uploading a video clip that isn’t from YouTube.  Got it off Vimeo and there was a download option.  Watch this backfire.)

  1. It helps to base it off something real.  This can be a professional sport like baseball or a game like tag.  Others take an even easier path by taking a real activity and adding tons of extras too it.  For example, take racing and put in weapons, obstacles, and death to create Deathrace.  This method happens a lot more than people realize.
  2. Make a clear set of rules that is explained when the characters first watch or play the game.  This has to include scoring, techniques, defense, penalties, equipment, and maybe a little history.  Once all of that is done, you demonstrate how the heroes can get around the rules without actually cheating.  If not that then a bunch of ‘bad guys’ openly cheat without getting caught and the heroes manage to win by sticking to the rules, which makes very little sense when you say it out loud.
  3. Never forget that tension is important even in sports.  A way to accomplish this is creating a system that has back and forth.  Sudden Death rounds being the only way to play can make a scene quick, but you don’t get a lot of oomph from it.  A great example of how to do this is Quidditch, which I probably spelled wrong.  Yes, there’s that way to win with one act, but most of the game has a back and forth that can be used to create tension.
  4. Uniforms make the team.  Seriously, it gets confusing for the players if everyone is dressed differently.  Gets even weirder if you have the heroes in regular clothes and the other team in uniforms.  It really isn’t that hard to do either.  Shirt, pants, and shoes are the basics.  Headgear and pads if need be.  Add a cape if you want there to be a lot of choking to death.  Seriously, who wears a cape in a sporting event?
  5. If this sport is going to be popular then you need to create fans and have people talk about it in passing.  Even those who don’t watch football, baseball, and basketball know they exist.  A hero can be a fan of a certain team or another could have played it in school or tried to go pro, but failed.  You can create some famous players that appear in a few scenes as background or minor encounters.  There are various ways to subtly add this part of the world building.  Also unsubtle by having giant arenas in some of the big cities, which can double as action scene locales.
  6. Come up with a catchy name.  Then again, many sports seem to have ‘ball’ in the most, so you can keep it simple.
  7. After putting in so much work, you need to do something with it.  Video games use mini-games and side quests.  Movies and TV shows have events as background scenes or meeting places.  So, what can books do?  There’s both options that you can go with, but also a third.  Short stories that involve the sport.  This flushes out the creation and adds to the world-building.  You create a synergy (ugly word) where the sport and the world build off each other to give a new facet that can be used for other stories.  After all, everyone likes entertainment and sports are one of the most common.
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The Broken Life

Entertaining Stories

It’s my pleasure today to welcome Jaye Marie to Entertaining Stories. She and her sister have a blog tour going on, and it’s their first one. Please make them feel welcome, and share this post across your social media.

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Interview with David Snow/Broken Life

I have interviewed David Snow before, but usually in my office. This time I am visiting him in the hospital, where he is recovering from the horrendous injuries he sustained in The Broken Life, the third book in my mystery thriller series.

I’m not sure what condition I will find him in, but I believe he is almost ready to be discharged. As my job as editor I have to find out what his plans are for the future. Rumour has it that he will be retiring, but I might have other ideas about that. It would be a shame to lose him now, as…

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Preorder #Giveaway #MMromance – All In

Library of Erana

All In is .99 during pre-order only, after price goes up to 2.99 on release.   There is a instafreebie preview for All In! Do not miss your chance to get this amazingly hot book for .99 or chance to win one of many awesome prizes!!!
Synopsis “
I learned a long time ago that nothing is free, not even help.” ~ Blaze

Almost getting killed in a gay bashing should have been one of the worst moments of my life, but with everything I’ve been through, it was just another day, except for the gorgeous man who stepped in to save me. There is something about Galen that draws me in and makes me want know him, and the more time I spend with him, the more I feel free to be myself. Galen doesn’t seem to know what he wants, but I’m a…

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Protecting Bedlam: Best Savages for the Job Part 2

Previously on the latest tale of Cassidy & Lloyd.

(If you want, buy their previous rampages for $2 by clicking on the covers below.)

Cover by Jon Hunsinger

Cover by Jon Hunsinger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Driving into the town of Congress, Cassidy swerves down a street in the hopes of losing their pursuers for a few minutes. She continues taking turns and heading away from the main street until she finds an abandoned house. The wide garage is open and empty, which makes it easy for her to get the jeep inside. Lloyd hurries to close the door before any of the hunters come by, the sound of motorcycles getting closer. Once they are out of sight, the pair grab several of their weapons and speak through hand signals in case their enemies are within earshot. They freeze when something drives by, a loud crash telling them that the large vehicle tried to get up on the curb. Waiting in silence, they do not hear anything other than the wind and the occasional singing bird. While Lloyd forces the door to the house open, Cassidy pushes a button on the inside of the driver’s side door to set the defensive system. She pats her baby before a faint crackle tells her that the body has been electrified.

“I’m using the sniper rifle until they get too-” the mercenary begins as they walk into the house. They both hear the clicks of machineguns and dive behind a kitchen island before the hunters start firing into the house. “Sons and daughters of bitches! I’d love to know how they found us, so let’s keep one mostly alive for questioning. Are you going to be any help, Mr. No Guns?”

“You can do so much better than that, Ms. Trigger Licker,” Lloyd replies while crawling to the other end of their shield. He is about to lean out and shoot a cyanide paintball when he spots three shadows at a window. “They’re going to surround us and just blast away. Be nice if we could duck and they hit each other, but there are too many tchotchkes in the way. Really hope I said that word right. Maybe knick-knacks would be better. Either way, we need to get out of here before we’re fish in a barrel.”

Spotting the men outside, Cassidy snaps her fingers to get Lloyd on his knees and put his fingers in his ears. She places her sniper rifle on his steady shoulder and braces her feet as best as she can, the position too awkward for her to be sure of her aim. The shot shatters the window and hits the man in the middle, but the others run back to the street before she can get them. Another spray of bullets comes through the back door, many of the shots pinging off the cars on the front lawn. Believing that they are under attack, the main force takes cover behind their vehicles and begin blaming each other for various mistakes. Swinging her large weapon around, Cassidy fires through the holes in the hopes of scaring the enemies away. Watching the next barrage strafe toward them, she drops to her stomach and kicks Lloyd’s legs out from under him. They can feel the bullets pass over them, neither survivor in a position to return fire.

Putting down her sniper rifle, Cassidy draws her pistols and is about to stand when Lloyd hisses for her attention. He jerks his thumb at the broken window, but the mercenary shakes her head at the thought of being in the open. A loud rolling from the garage ends their argument before it begins and they hurry to their only way out. Ignoring the glass shards, the pair clamber through the window at the same time the jeep’s defense system is set off. Electricity crackles and someone screams in agony, the power enough to send the smell of cooking flesh throughout the house. Distracted by the unexpected trap, the hunters do not notice their prey escaping until it is too late.

“They’re going to wreck the whole town at this rate,” Cassidy says while they run into another yard. Gunfire and explosions can be heard behind them as their enemies destroy every possible hiding place in their line of sight. “Not that this place is very big. At least there aren’t many fences to worry about. You realize that we can’t leave town without my baby, right? We’d die out there without supplies and that’s not counting getting run down by these bastards. I say we find a tightly packed place and use the Salty Mongoose tactic.”

“That only works if we have three grenades and a frozen pizza,” Lloyd points out, skidding to a stop. He tackles his partner behind a shed before the passing hunter spots them, the car silently moving down the street. “They’re all over the place and firing at anything that looks remotely human. I assume. Be weird if they’re simply blasting away at every building in the hopes of us being in there having a tea party. I saw some storage units a turn or two ago, so maybe we can hide in one of those. Should be easier to escape or indulge in unadulterated slaughter once the sun goes down.”

“I remember, but that requires crossing two streets and a few yards,” the mercenary replies, her eyes closed in concentration. She listens to all of the gunfire to figure out where everyone is and count how many enemies they have. “Think there are fifteen out there and they’ve scattered around the area. If they see us running then it doesn’t matter where we hide. There’s no way we can hold out for night, so we have to be careful. Knew I should have brought a machinegun instead of the sniper rifle.”

“By the way, how’s your shoulder?”

“Why are you asking that?”

“I mean, it’s a big gun and you’re kind of slender.”

“The muscles are a little sore, but I can still beat the shit out of these idiots.”

“Okay, no need to pop the claws.”

“Coast seems clear, so let’s go.”

Weapons ready for action, they sprint out of their hiding place and watch for signs of enemy patrols. Passing through the yards, they catch glimpses of motorcycles and cars, but those inside are busy firing at the opposite side of the street. Not slowing down, the pair race across the road at the same time a pair of motorcycles come around a corner. They hop over a low fence and dive behind a leafless bush before the hunters spot them. Cassidy keeps her pistols trained on the riders in case they look in her direction, the temptation to shoot them now almost stronger than her caution. Knowing that she might bring more enemies to their location, she remains patient and holds her breath while the motorcycles pass by. The man and woman randomly spray the surrounding buildings with bullets, the barrages focusing on windows and doors. As an afterthought, the couple turns back around and shoots out the tires of every parked car until they reach the far end of the street.

With the danger gone, Cassidy and Lloyd get up and continue to run as fast as their tired bodies will let them. Sweat pours down their faces and they silently wish that they remembered to grab some water from the jeep. Coming to the second street, the pair do not bother to check for enemies as they hurry across. Nobody is in sight and they no longer hear the destruction being caused by their enemies. Taking advantage of being alone, they calm down enough to think straight and watch their surroundings. Cassidy hisses to get them to stop near an abandoned wheelbarrow, which she puts her denim jacket under for safekeeping. Feeling the sun on her bare arms, she still feels cooler thanks to not having the extra layer. Getting the idea, Lloyd strips off his drenched shirt and is about to do the same with his pants before his friend makes a fake gagging noise. With a friendly smile, he stops his striptease and goes back to leading the way to the storage sheds.

As they reach their possible hiding place, they can see that the wall is too high for them to scale, but there is a gaping hole a few yards away. Inching toward the opening, they find themselves growing nervous by the second. With no sign of their enemies, the pair are unsure if they are making the right decision or cornering themselves. Peeking around the corner, they see that the area is covered in broken machinery, which makes it difficult to spot anyone lurking in wait. Prepared to dive for cover or retreat, Lloyd leads the way into the complex while Cassidy walks backwards to watch their rear. They weave through the rusty cars and piles of garbage that are so old that they are mostly dirt. A threatening rattle can be heard from a hidden snake, but the reptile remains hidden instead of revealing itself. It is not until they reach the middle of the walled off area that they realize that the serpent is angry about another intruder. With a chorus of victorious cries, the hunters leap out of their hiding places and surround their prey. Machineguns and rifles are aimed at Cassidy and Lloyd, but nobody dares to be the first to shoot.

“You two gave us a fun chase, but this ending was inevitable,” a white-haired man declares as he takes a step forward. He scowls when his companions advance as well, bringing him back into the circle. “Grymer was right that you’re out to find Ben. Not sure what that fossil has to make our leaders worry, but best not to take chances. Personally, I find it amazing that you found his hideout faster than we did. Almost like we have a mole.”

“Only your dermatologists know for sure,” Lloyd replies, his head tilting to the side. His eyes widen and he grins, which causes those in front of him to shiver in fear. “Wow. Doing the crazy look really does work. I need to do this more often. By the way, we have no idea who this Ben is, which is a shame. Sounds like he’d be the one to keep us in this adventure. Just imagine if you never mentioned him. We would have gone on our way and never searched for this mysterious man.”

“I say we shoot him!” a dark-haired woman shouts, plumes of steam wafting off her slightly charred body. Her shaking hands are on the verge of pulling the trigger, but never goes through the motion. “There’s no reason for us to keep them alive. They’re dangerous. You saw what they did in Vegas. They even fed Mrs. Klein to her favorite bear. Monsters like these should be destroyed.”

An older woman clicks her tongue in disapproval before whispering, “While I agree, they might be useful for a bit. If they can undo the defenses on the jeep that hurt you then we can add it to our fleet. I’ve heard they have an impressive arsenal in there. Let’s kill them after we get their stuff.”

“Not to mention we’re all out of bullets because we shot up too many houses.”

“Damn it, Karla!”

Cassidy calmly puts her guns away and draws a knife from her boot while Lloyd cracks his knuckles. The hunters continue to hold up their guns, half of them frantically pulling the trigger in the hopes of something coming out. With nothing more than pathetic clicks to stop them, the two killers dive at their enemies. Slashing and stabbing at their flailing targets, the pair leave five bodies in their wake by the time they break through the circle. Cassidy is the first to rush back and she stays low to avoid the swinging guns, her knife slashing the black-haired woman’s hamstring. She whirls around and draws her pistol while holding her blade out for her first target to fall onto. Three rapid shots take out the nearest hunters and the rest move away, which only brings them closer to Lloyd. Covered in blood and yodeling at the top of his lungs, the serial killer decapitates and dismembers everyone in his path. When only the white-haired hunter is left, he throws his weapon away and breaks into an odd run that involves leaning very far back and pumping his arms. Instead of getting away, he goes back and forth between Cassidy and Lloyd, who make no move to kill the panicking man. When he finally tries to run around the serial killer, he only gets a few steps before his head is lopped off and a bullet punches through his back.

“That was impressive,” a hooded figure says from atop a broken truck. Slowly climbing down, the mysterious man waves for Cassidy and Lloyd to follow him. “A mutual friend told me that I had company. I would have come out earlier, but I was eating my lunch. Please come along and we can discuss our future. Mostly that the only way we have one is if we work together and trust each other. Hurry up or your soup will get cold.”

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Studying the Masters of Detective Fiction – Sue Grafton

Don Massenzio's Blog

graftonSue Taylor Grafton is a prolific author of detective novels. She is best known as the author of the ‘alphabet series’ featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California. The daughter of detective novelist C. W. Grafton, she has said the strongest influence on her crime novels is author Ross Macdonald. Prior to success with this series, she wrote screenplays for television movies.

Grafton began writing when she was 18 and finished her first novel four years later. She continued writing and completed six more manuscripts. Two of these seven novels were published. Unable to find success with her novels, Grafton turned to screenplays. Grafton worked for the next 15 years writing screenplays for television movies, including Sex and the Single Parent, Mark, I Love You, and Nurse. Her screenplay for Walking Through the Fire earned a Christopher Award in 1979. In collaboration with…

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