Monday, June 20, 2016

Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton - Excerpt.

Lacy Dawn's father relives the Gulf War, her mother's teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in The Hollow isn't great. But Lacy has one advantage -- she's been befriended by a semi-organic, semi-robot who works with her to cure her parents. He wants something in exchange, though. It's up to her to save the Universe.

To prepare Lacy for her coming task, she is being schooled daily via direct downloads into her brain. Some of these courses tell her how to apply magic to resolve everyday problems much more pressing to her than a universe in big trouble, like those at home and at school. She doesn't mind saving the universe, but her own family and friends come first.

Will Lacy Dawn's predisposition, education, and magic be enough for her to save the Universe, Earth, and, most importantly, protect her own family? Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. It is a children's story for adults, not for the prudish, faint of heart, or easily offended.

Awesome Indies:

“…a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only instead of the earth being destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass, Lacy Dawn must…The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…Eggleton sucks you into the Hollow, dunks you in the creek, rolls you in the mud, and splays you in the sun to dry off. Tucked between the folds of humor are some profound observations on human nature and modern society that you have to read to appreciate…it’s a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.” --

Readers’ Favorite:

“…Full of cranky characters and crazy situations, Rarity From the Hollow sneaks up you and, before you know it, you are either laughing like crazy or crying in despair, but the one thing you won’t be is unmoved… Robert Eggleton is a brilliant writer whose work is better read on several levels. I appreciated this story on all of them.” --
From chapter 13, Mom I’d Like to Introduce You to My Fiancé:

            …..…Jenny (the mother) walked up the hill to Roundabend. She called Lacy Dawn's name every few yards. Her muddy tennis shoes slipped and slid.
            I hear her voice. Why won't she answer me? 
            “Sounds like she’s talking to someone,” Jenny said to the Woods. 
            Nobody responded. The trees weren't supposed to since Jenny was no longer a child. Her former best friends had made no long-term commitment beyond childhood victimization. They had not agreed to help her deal with domestic violence in adulthood. She hugged the closest tree.
            I will always love you guys. 
Jenny quickened her pace, stopped, and listened for human voices. A few yards later, she stopped again.   
            Now it sounds like she’s behind me instead of in front. 
            Jenny looked to the left of the path.
            There ain't no cave Roundabend, but there it is. 
            She walked toward the entrance. The voices grew louder and she looked inside. Lacy Dawn sat on a bright orange recliner. Tears streamed down her face.  Jenny ran to her daughter through a cave that didn't exit and into a blue light that did.
            “All right, you mother f**ker!”
            “Mom!” Lacy Dawn yelled. “You didn’t say, ‘It’s me’ like you're supposed to (a traditional announcement mentioned earlier in the story)."
            DotCom (the android) sat naked in a lotus position on the floor in front of the recliner.  Jenny covered Lacy Dawn with her body and glared at him.   
            "Grrrrr," emanated from Jenny.  It was a sound similar to the one that Brownie (Lacy Dawn's dog) made the entire time the food stamp woman was at their house.  It was a sound that filled the atmosphere with hate.  No one moved.  The spaceship’s door slid shut.
            “Mommmmmy, I can’t breathe. Get up.”
            “You make one move you sonofabitch and I’ll tear your heart out,” Jenny repositioned to take her weight off Lacy Dawn.
            Stay between them.
            “Mommy, he’s my friend. More than my friend, we’re going to get married when I'm old enough -- like when I turn fourteen. He’s my boyfriend -- what you call it -- my fiancé.” 
            “You been messin’ with my little girl you pervert!” Jenny readied to pounce. 
            “MOM!  Take a chill pill! He ain’t been messing with me. He’s a good person, or whatever. Anyway, he’s not a pervert. You need to just calm down and get off me.”
            Jenny stood up. DotCom stood up. Jenny’s jaw dropped.
            He ain't got no private parts, not even a little bump.   
            “DotCom, I’d like to introduce you to my mommy, Mrs. Jenny Hickman. Mommy, I’d like to introduce you to my fiancé, DotCom.”
            Jenny sat down on the recliner. Her face was less than a foot from DotCom’s crotch and she stared straight at it. It was smooth, hairless, and odor free.  
            “Mrs. Hickman, I apologize for any inconvenience that this misunderstanding has caused. It is very nice to meet you after having heard so much. You arrived earlier than expected. I did not have time to properly prepare and receive. Again, I apologize.” 
            I will need much more training if I'm ever assigned to a more formal setting than a cave, such as to the United Nations.
            “Come on, Mommy. Give him a hug or something.”      
            Jenny's left eye twitched. 
            DotCom put on clothing that Lacy Dawn had bought him at Goodwill. It hung a little loose until he modified his body. Lacy Dawn hugged her mother…    
            …(scene of Dwayne, the father, overheard by those in the spaceship while talking to himself)… “Besides, the transmitter was part of Daddy’s treatment. There're a lot of other things that he did to help fix Daddy. DotCom is like a doctor. You can see that Daddy has gotten better every day. And no, there ain’t no transmitter in you. DotCom figured you out like a good doctor and the only things wrong are a lack of opportunity and rotten teeth that poison your body. You don’t need no transmitter. He just gave you a few shots of ego boost. I don’t know what medicine that is, but I trust him. You ain't complained since the shots started -- not even with an upset stomach.”
            "He's a doctor?" Jenny asked.
            “What's your problem anyway?” Lacy Dawn asked. “I know.  You’re prejudiced. You told me that people have much more in common than they do that's different -- even if someone is a different color or religion, or from a different state than us. You told me to try to become friends because sometimes that person may need a good friend. Now, here you are acting like a butt hole about my boyfriend. You’re prejudiced because he’s different than us.”
            “Honey, he’s not even a person – that’s about as different as a boyfriend can get,” Jenny said.
            Mommy's right. Maybe I need a different argument.
            A fast clicking sound, a blur of motion, and a familiar smell assaulted them.
            "What's that?" Jenny asked. 
            She moved to protect her daughter from whatever threat loomed. Brownie, who had been granted 27 / 7 access to the ship, bounded over the orange recliner, knocked DotCom to the floor, licked DotCom’s face, and rubbed his head on Jenny’s leg. He then jumped onto the recliner and lay down. His tail wagged throughout. Jenny sat down on the recliner beside Brownie and looked at Lacy Dawn.
            “But, you were crying when I first came in. That thing was hurting you.” Jenny shook her finger at DotCom to emphasize a different argument against him.
            “Mommy, I'm so happy that I couldn’t help but cry. My man just came home from an out-of-state job. I didn't talk to him for a whole year. Before he left, he told me that he wasn’t even sure if he'd be able to come home. I still don’t know what happened while he was gone. We ain't had no chance to talk. All I know is that he's home and I'm sooooo happy.”
            “Your man came home from an out-of-state job?” Jenny patted Brownie on his head, some more and some more…. 
            It's unusual for a man to promise to come back home and ever be seen again. Brownie likes him and that's a good sign. Maybe she's right about him helping Dwayne. Something sure did and it wasn’t me. It is a nice living room. They've been together for a while and I ain't seen a mark on her. That's unusual too. He ain't got no private parts and that's another good thing. Hell, if I get in the middle, she’d just run off with him anyway. I'd better play it smart. I don't want to lose my baby. 
            “What about his stupid name?” Jenny asked.
            “I’ve got a stupid name, too. All the kids at school call me hick because my last name is Hickman.”
            “My name was given to me by my manager a very long time ago. It represents a respected tradition -- the persistent marketing of that which is not necessarily the most needed. I spam…,” DotCom said. 
            They both glared at him. 
            "Dwayne is sure to be home. I don’t want him to worry. Let’s go,” Jenny said. 
            “Okay, Mommy.”
            “I love you, DotCom,” Lacy Dawn stepped out the ship’s door, which had slid open. Brownie and Jenny were right behind her. 
            “I love you too,” DotCom said.
            Lacy Dawn and Jenny held hands and walked down the path toward home. The trees didn’t smile -- at least not so Jenny would notice. On the other hand, no living thing obstructed, intruded, or interfered with the rite.   
            Jenny sang to the Woods, “My little girl’s going to marry a doctor when she grows up, marry a doctor when she grows up, when she grows up.  My little girl’s going to marry a doctor when she grows up, marry a doctor when she grows up, when she grows up….”

About the author:

Robert Eggleton has served as a children's advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next -- never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency.

Today, he is a recently retired children's psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel and its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. Robert continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.

Purchase links:

Author Contacts:


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Thrillerfest XI

JULY 5-9, 2016

Gillian Flynn, Heather Graham, John Lescroart, C.J. Box, Walter Mosley and more!

Remember that domestic thriller about a marriage of mayhem that jolted readers with its mind-bending twist? Gillian Flynn, who took the thriller world by storm in 2012 with her New York Times #1 bestseller Gone Girl,takes her deserved place among the ranks of the world’s greatest thriller writers at the International Thriller Writers’ (ITW) ThrillerFest XI July 5-9, 2016 in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. 

In addition to special guest Gillian Flynn, Heather Graham will serve as the 2016 ThrillerMaster of the largest international gathering of fans and writers of the genre. Graham is the bestselling author of The Cafferty and Quinn series, The Krewe of Hunters series, and the Bone Island Trilogy. Graham also launched books for Dell’s Ecstasy Supreme line, Silhouette’s Shadows, and for Harlequin’s mainstream fiction imprint, Mira Books. Other spotlight guests include C.J. Box and Walter Mosley. John Lescroart will receive the 2016 Silver Bullet Award for his humanitarian work.

The thrills continue with two greatly anticipated events: CraftFest, where the best authors in the business share trade secrets with peers; and PitchFest, “speed-dating” with top agents, producers, and editorsAgain this year the exciting addition to the ThrillerFest roster is CareerFest. Nestled into CraftFest, CareerFest focuses on marketing, promotion, and other career-related advice, such as determining the best publishing path, social media, expanding your visibility, and building your platform. 

It all culminates with the 2016 ITW Thriller Awards Banquet, during which the awards for best original paperback, best hardcover, best debut novel, best eBook, best YA novel, and best short story will be finally revealed—a riveting climax to a sensational event.

Event highlights include:
·         Master CraftFestTuesday, July 5, a pre-ThrillerFest event that is a thriller writer’s dream come true. This intensive, one-day seminar features the bestselling masters of the craft: Steve Berry, David Corbett, Grant Blackwood, Andrew GrossMeg Gardiner, Heather Graham, Richard Krevolin(screenwriting) and Gayle Lynds. Master CraftFest features small groups and personal instruction.
·         CraftFest: Called the greatest opportunity for professional growth at ThrillerFest, everyone from aspiring authors to published pros have the opportunity to improve their craft from the best in the business.
·         PitchFest: PitchFest changes writing careers with more than 60 agents waiting to discover the next hot talent. Writer John Beatty attended ThrillerFest/Pitchfest, found an agent and received a contract with a major New York publisher: “One of the things I love about PitchFest is how intense, time-efficient, and concentrated it was. I ended up pitching my story to 10 agents in one day. A few months later, we landed a contract with Disney Hyperion. Two years later, when Serafina and the Black Cloaklaunched, it became a New York Times bestseller.”
·         CareerFest: A slate of industry insiders will help pave the road to publication. “Discoveries” this year include, Discover Indie Publishing from A to Z, Discover the Road to Hollywood, Discover the Road Map to Success in Traditional Publishing, Discover the Successful Author in You, and Discover How to Get an Agent and What to Do after You’ve Got One.
·         Today’s FBI: Crime Essentials for Writers.  Everything a writer ever wanted to know about the FBI but didn’t know whom to ask. Authors will hear from experts in cyber-crime, international terrorism, criminal investigation and much more. 
·         ITW ThrillerFest Awards Banquet: The envelope please! Talent will be recognized on Saturday, July 9 when Thriller Nation assembles to shine a light on their brightest stars including 2011 ThrillerMaster R.L. Stine who will present the title to 2016 ThrillerMaster Heather Graham.
·         John Lescroart, Silver Bullet recipient: Will be honored for his humanitarian philanthropy at the Awards Banquet. Lescroart, a founding member of ITW and a New York Times bestselling author of legal thrillers, is known for his charitable work. He has donated funds from character-naming auctions to support libraries, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, diabetes research, the First Amendment Project, and many others. He’s also been involved in the Authors on the Move fundraiser for the Sacramento Public Library Foundation, and he donated $150,000 to the graduate program in creative writing at the University of California, Davis, even though UC Berkeley is his alma mater.  
·         Cocktail parties: ThrillerFest is famous for opportunities to mix and mingle with the stars, get books signed and make new friends within the profession. 
·         ThrillerFest panels, workshops, and lectures—oh my! Top authors and industry experts offer thought provoking commentary and instruction. Events Schedule

INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS is an honorary society of more than 3,700 authors in 42 countries with three billion books in print. One of the main purposes of the organization is to provide a way for successful, bestselling authors to help debut and midlist authors advance their careers. In addition, ITW promotes literacy, gives money to worthy organizations, supports libraries, and advances the genre.

To make a reservation for the suspense-inspired, five-day adventure, please visit


Monday, May 16, 2016

On Strong Female Characters, Race-Neutral Heroes, and Myriad Personalities - Guest Post by Dan O'Brien.

When I started writing Sixth Prime, I decided early on to do something very deliberate: I would make half the main characters female; I would make sure the personalities better reflected the myriad of the human experience; and I would describe characters without using skin color or any physical identifiers.
You might be wondering: what exactly is the point of that?

Women represent half the population

I would be remiss if I ignored the statistics right in front of me. 82% of readers are female, so why wouldn't you include female characters when so many readers are women. I don't mean the traditional roles of queens and romantic interests; I'm talking about adventurers and villains, scientists and soldiers, and everything in between. The goal should be to tell the best possible story. I waited until I had outlined everything, and then randomly assigned characters as men and women (this includes romantic relationships as well, so buckle your seatbelts).

Personality guides behavior and decision-making.

I went to graduate school for psychology, and as such I've always had a fascination with why people do what they do. This, naturally, translated into thinking about how I could smuggle personality psychology into a narrative. The Prime saga, beginning with Sixth Prime, is an attempt to do just that. I wanted readers to feel like they were represented by one of the characters in such a way that the decisions and consequences felt more real to them.

The reader should decide how the characters look.  

I know it's a long shot, but maybe (just maybe) the Prime Saga becomes a movie or limited series. I bring this up because nothing is worse than people arguing how characters should look or the kinds of actors or actresses who should play them. Really, even if an adaptation is not in order, I love the idea of people coming to their own conclusions about how a character should look based on their choices, personality, and behavior. I want the characters to be defined by how they make readers feel; I want a reader to be able to see themselves in the character and as the character.
Here is the working teaser:
A war brews as a galaxy struggles to maintain a peace treaty signed in haste. The Commonwealth boasts sprawling cities built upon slums. The Sovereignty has placed the yoke of industry upon its citizens. Sixteen men and women are connected in a way they cannot yet understand. A murder of a prominent artist begins a chain of events that will ultimately determine the fate of the universe.
Only thirteen will remain.
In the end, there can be only one Prime.
Are you a Prime?
Interested yet? I sure hope so. If you are, then how about a brief excerpt? Check it out at:
Perhaps you want to pre-order the Kindle version for only $2.99?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Recent Grads: Nine Books That Can Help to Tackle the World Ahead of You - Guest post by Jason Phillips.

Reading is an important skill and a valuable way to spend your spare time; this is true no matter whether you are a child or a pensioner. Reading will broaden your vocabulary, improve your knowledge of grammar and sentence structure, your knowledge of a subject and they are also an excellent way to improve your cognitive skills and your ability to think outside the box. The following nine books are essential reads for any recent grad; they will help you to prepare for life in the real world.

1. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

Jonathan Frazen’s “Freedom” is a witty novel that confronts issues of friendship or love. The book deals with a love triangle which first starts at college and leaves the protagonist with just one option, friendship or love. Everyone should consider the implications of this decision and how they would react 

2. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“This Side of Paradise” is a book that deals with an issue that affects every recent graduate - life after college and during college. Faced with the task of having to reassess yourself, your beliefs and even your goals, it is easy to become disillusioned. The book will help recent grads find the right path forward.

3. 1984 by George Orwell

“1984” is the kind of book that every youngster should read at least once in their life. It was written decades ago, when 1984 was still in the future. Its picture of the future is surprisingly accurate and raises a serious issue for all recent grads. Will you become a part of the system or will you retain your individuality and choose your own path?

4. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dpstoyevsky

This famous story tells the tale of a student who kills an elderly pawnbroker and his attempts to rationalize his actions. As you read you will start to question the moral laws imposed on society and their real place in the world. Not everything is as it seems.

5. A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

“A Brave New World” takes a look at a future utopia where everyone is happy.  The cost of this happiness is individuality.  It raises an important question, is it possible to be happy whilst being the same as everyone else?  As a recent grad you have unlimited potential, are you prepared to follow your own path and fight the system?

6. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Imagine a future where, no matter what you do, you are doomed to be lonely. Love may be everywhere but it is fatal. “One Hundred Years of Solitude” will remind you of the importance of family and true friends.

7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous Great Gatsby deals with the epic highs of life and the disillusionment that comes when it all falls apart. Sometimes you have to know your limits and what you can still achieve. The past is gone and cannot be changed; only the present and the future matter.

8. Lolita by Vladamir Nobokov

“Lolita” tell us the story of a young man’s encounter with a nymphet, and the forbidden love that he simply cannot resist. As the story develops and decisions are made you will gain an understanding and a compassion for his actions. Sometimes in modern society, sacrifice and forgiveness are looked at as weaknesses; in fact they are a forgotten yet vital trait.

9. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom’s Cabin” has received equal amounts of praise and criticism, but it is an important part of the history of many colleges in the United States. It deals with a difficult part of American history and how the values and principles of this great nation arose; and how they have changed.

By Jason Phillips and!

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