Monday, September 23, 2013

CINDERSKELLA Cover Reveal and Giveaway

            Cindy is just a normal 11¾-year-old girl. At least until she wakes up one night and finds out she’s dead. Well, she isn't technically dead—she just doesn't have any hair . . . or a nose . . . or skin. Yep—all bones, no body.

Human by day and skeleton by night, Cindy is definitely cursed. And because her mother recently died, Cindy has no one to turn to except a father who is now scared of her and an evil stepmother who makes her do the housecleaning with a toothbrush. To make matters worse, the Spring Fling dance is approaching, and Ethan, the cutest boy in sixth grade, doesn’t seem to know Cindy exists. Of course, Cindy doesn’t think letting Ethan find out she’s part skeleton is the best way to introduce herself.

While facing such perils as pickled pig’s feet, a wacky fortune teller, and a few quick trips to the Underworld, Cindy’s determined to break the curse—even for a single night.
CINDERSKELLA is available for purchase at:  BARNES & NOBLE

Amie and Bethanie Borst are a mother-daughter writing team. Amie believes in Unicorns, uses glitter whenever the opportunity arises, accessories in pink and eats too much chocolate.  Bethanie is a spunky 13 year old middle-schooler who loves archery, long bike rides and studying edible plant-life. Cinderskella is their first book together and is part of the Scarily Ever Laughter series.  

You can find them on: FACEBOOK    TWITTER    PINTEREST    From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors    and their   BLOG .

WHAT AN AMAZING COVER! We are even more excited to read CINDERSKELLA. We also know several young people who could use a copy for Christmas!

Amie and Bethanie Borst are fellow writers of ours at Jolly Fish Press. Get to know these lovely ladies!  You'll be glad you did.

Amie Borst is celebrating her book release and cover reveal with a monthly giveaway in The Great Cinderskella Giveaway! If you’d like to win a $25 Amazon gift card, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. You’ll be automatically entered into the grand prize drawing for a Kindle Fire in October!

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013


WELCOME!  Elsie Park stopped by today to talk about her new novel.  SHADOWS OF VALOR, recently released by Jolly Fish Press. Action, intrigue, romance, and mystery are intertwined in her book, keeping you reading because you not only have to know what will happen next but also the identify of THE SHADOW and what plots are afoot endangering Elsbeth and those she cares about.

SHADOWS OF VALOR is a medieval fiction novel that immerses you in the time period so well, you start looking around for your own sword and lance. 

We were intrigued by the 1300 AD English world that Elsie Park created and asked her to answer a question for us. Take it away Elsie!
"Why were you drawn to write historical, specifically medieval, fiction, and what is its lure for readers today?"
I have loved stories (real and fictional) about princesses, knights, ladies, heroes, heroines, pirates, Vikings, wizards, dragons . . . anything adventurous in another time. Beloved classics such as Cinderella, Snow White and Beauty and the Beast take place in or around a castle with a prince of some sort and have the unified themes of adventure and love driving them forward. I’m drawn to these tales because they are magical to me, even the ones without actual magic written into them.

These aspects lure a modern reader to these stories as well. Anything that’s not our own time period is fascinating to us. We’re already living a contemporary life, so we often want to read about times and places far from our own. We like to get lost in unknown worlds . . . places we don’t experience every day. I chose 1300 A.D. England because I like the clothing, the stone strongholds housing lords and ladies, this period of knights, courtly love and respect (not that everyone held to these things high morals - LOL) and that King Edward’s wool tax (an actual event in history) caused people to smuggle their goods, creating a great backdrop for an exciting story.
But historical characters must also connect to the contemporary reader somehow. Modern readers don’t wear kirtles, wimples, hauberks or knights’ armor (unless they’re actors or frequent medieval fairs, of course – lucky devils *smile*). But even though people back then dressed and talked differently than we do today, the basic themes of life generally remain the same: To overcome our weaknesses, to become a better person today than we were yesterday, good versus evil (especially in the choices we make), implementing humanity and kindness, love versus hate, virtue against vice. These are topics that can be written about over and over again with new plots and characters for they never get old. They are issues the human race has dealt and struggled with since the beginning of time and which we continue to face today. This being said, however, it’s still helpful to put a little modern twist on the medieval characters, allowing a greater connection with the contemporary reader. Writing FICTION allows me that freedom. 

On another note, music and poetry played a huge role in the past, not just as entertainment, but in the sharing of real events that took place. They were a way for people to learn and remember their history. So I wrote ballads into my story as well. Being a student of piano, I composed the written music for them, and at least one of the songs in sheet music form will appear as an addendum in SHADOWS OF VALOR. I’m excited for that. The complete collection can be found on my blog at: Shadows of Valor Piano Sheet Music  (thanks for letting me slip that in, Berk and Andy *smile*) 

I hope contemporary booklovers will appreciate reading about the same struggles we face today, but enjoy the medieval setting. I loved writing SHADOWS OF VALOR and hope readers adore the tale of Sir Calan and Elsbeth as much as I do. 


Thanks Elsie!

If you haven't read this book, you're in for a treat.



About SHADOWS OF VALOR: Taking place in 1300 A.D. England, The Shadow (aka Sir Calan), a knight-spy working under the direction of King Edward I, hunts down and arrests smugglers who defy the law and evade paying their taxes. The Shadow’s duty is fueled by vengeance from a childhood experience against smugglers. Dealing with society at its worst, The Shadow becomes cynical and struggles to rein in his desire to execute lethal justice before turning the perpetrators over to local authorities. He feels his soul turning black with hate in his continual fight against evil. A childhood acquaintance, Lady Elsbeth, enters his life years later, bringing light to his soul once again, but she has a story of her own, accompanied by physical and emotional scars. Calan feel he needs Elsbeth in his life, but in an effort to keep his identity and duty secret, he must deceive her. This creates distrust and uncertainty between them, as she accepts another man as her suitor. But Calan must ask the question: What’s worth fighting for more? His long-standing desire to avenge a childhood friend or the woman who may be his salvation? What entails is a glorious tale full of deceit, greed, inner struggles, betrayal, and most of all—love.

About Elsie Park:
Growing up in a small mountain town outside of Yosemite National Park, California, U.S.A., Elsie Park enjoyed playing soccer, playing piano, reading, writing, art and spending time with family and friends. Years ago she spent 18 months in Italy teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Seeing the castles and old Roman cities only added to her fascination for ancient and medieval culture. In college she studied zoology, botany and criminal justice. She’s worked as a wildland firefighter, security guard and a police officer, but she is currently a stay-at-home mom, spending time with her children and husband. She loves thinking up new ideas for interesting stories and musical compositions to go with them.
Elsie is a fantastic person. Get to know her. You can find her here:
Twitter: @elsiepark1
Author Facebook:

To add to the fun, enter the Giveaway!

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Monday, September 16, 2013


On the surface, Graywall is content and booming. Lord Shaufton, who presides over the city, is a fine ruler. The poor are well-cared for, the area is popular, and morale is high—but within Graywall’s roots, something dark is stirring. This darkness threatens to overpower the once-peaceful town, until a mysterious figure appears: The Shadow.

As much a figure of fear to the unruly as legend to the innocent, The Shadow is an enforcer of justice and aid to the King. Due to an outrageous export tax set by King Edward, smuggling has tainted the kingdom, so The Shadow is sent to hunt the smugglers down.

The world of 1300 AD England comes alive in this novel of knights and ladies, danger and romance. Because of Elsbeth's life of service to the peasants and town folk near her uncle's castle, we also get a fascinating look at the life of the common man as well as lords and ladies.

Shadows of Valor carries you forward on a tantalizing voyage of discovery.

Elsbeth needs to discover a man who can love and wed her in spite of the terrible scars on her arms from trying to save her parents from the fire that destroyed them and their ancestral castle. She still carries a flame for her girlhood crush Sir Calan. But when the treachery that threatens her uncle and cousin brings the The Shadow into her life, she finds herself drawn to him.

Sir Calan discovers the child Elsbeth has grown into a woman he is much attracted to. But he is torn between furthering his own suit and saving the life of another. Plots are afoot, fueled by greed and revenge, and Elsbeth and Calan are caught in the middle of them.  Uncovering those plots could save Elsbeth's life. 

Filled with both engaging and nefarious characters, before long we are rooting that good will conquer and love will prevail.

SHADOWS OF VALOR is a great book to immerse yourself in. We hope to meet these characters again.

You can find SHADOWS OF VALOR at:

ABOUT Elsie Park:

Growing up in a small mountain town outside of Yosemite National Park, California, U.S.A., Elsie Park enjoyed playing soccer, playing piano, reading, writing, art and spending time with family and friends. Years ago she spent 18 months in Italy teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Seeing the castles and old Roman cities only added to her fascination for ancient and medieval culture. In college she studied zoology, botany and criminal justice. She’s worked as a wildland firefighter, security guard and a police officer, but she is currently a stay-at-home mom, spending time with her children and husband. She loves thinking up new ideas for interesting stories and musical compositions to go with them.
Elsie Park is not only a talented writer, but has written ballads into her story as well.  She composed music for them and at least on one of the songs in sheet music form will appear as an addendum in SHADOWS OF VALOR.  You can find the complete collection on her blog : Shadows of Valor Sheet Music .
Get to know Elsie.  You'll be glad you did.  She's a great lady herself.
TWITTER: @elsiepark1

Tuesday, September 3, 2013



Today we welcome fellow author, Eric Bishop, to our blog to talk about his exciting new book, THE SAMARITAN'S PISTOL.  Filled with action and suspense, this Rocky Mountain Thriller is also full of characters you can't get out of your head. 
Thanks, Eric, for visiting and sharing your thoughts with us:

"How the role of cowboy has changed in novels or movies over the years, culminating in "The Samaritan's Pistol."

           Western Writers of America Membership Chair, Rod Miller, asked me once, "Why do people want to write about another planet? There's plenty of strange stuff right here!"

            Rod’s a very good writer, better than I’ll ever be. I agreed with him at the time and still do, but not totally. Some elements of Star Trek and Star Wars hold my attention. Not all western writers will make the admission, but I think most like watching Captain Kirk and Han Solo cowboy across the stars. There are too many similarities between the genres. Trade the Millennium Falcon for a temperamental but Kentucky Derby fast horse, the blaster for a six-shooter, an Apache wingman named Tonto for a wookie and let the fun begin.   

            The cowboy rides into a new town and adventure waits. He walks into the bar full of seedy, threatening characters. The town’s tough guy, crooked sheriff, or Pinkerton Detective lurks in the shadows, ready to fight. Remember Han Solo blasting Jabba the Hut’s debt collector in the Mos Eisley cantina? As for Mr. Hut, is he that much different than a wealthy cattle baron?    

            Westerns have suffered in the bookstore and box office. Compared to their science fiction counterparts there just aren’t many movies being made or stories finding their way to best seller lists. For the genre to regain some luster it needs to keep the familiar while borrowing the appeal of other genres. 

            I grew up on Louis L’amour, but eventually tired of the formulaic writing. My reading interests drifted toward Thrillers, Crime, Adventure and Mystery.  Somewhere along the way, I wondered why some of my favorite books couldn’t happen on a ranch or in the mountains. 

            Star Wars and Star Trek aren’t westerns in space. They are science fiction franchises, dripping with success. A cash cow for Hollywood, but they borrowed the western persona. The rugged, damn the torpedoes individualistic and reckless Han Solo and Captain Kirk got beamed into starring roles, riding hyperdrive fast carriages across the galaxy. The industry was smart. Why limit cowboys to roles near a corral, mountains or saloon?  

            My debut novel, The Samaritan’s Pistol, attempts this in reverse. The opening chapter takes pinky ringed mobsters and plops them in a cowboy’s back yard to fight with each other in a predominantly Mormon community. Call it a new age western, an effort to bring the tension of thriller, crime, mystery and suspense to wide open spaces.

            For now, the aliens remain galaxies away some place near the Mos Eisley Cantina.  

             Rod Miller gave me an enthusiastic blurb for the back cover. Perhaps The Samaritan’s Pistol hits the right mixture of “strange stuff.”

Eric Bishop  

Thanks, Eric!
Hey!  If you'd like to know what we think of this great reinvention of the western novel, see our review HERE.

Want to know more about this great book?
 “Pull a trigger, save a life.” 
When faced with a perilous choice, Desert Storm veteran Jim Cooper makes this decision without hesitation—but not without consequence. His small-town life is hurled inside-out as he finds himself in the midst of four criminals—three of them dead by Jim’s own bullets and one wounded, willing to offer a large reward in exchange for help. 

Faced with the challenge of balancing his kind heart with a desire to protect his own life, Jim finds himself on a trip to retrieve a truckload of stolen Mafia cash near the Las Vegas strip, never more than a few minutes away from mobsters who’d like nothing more than to see him dead. Even if Jim and his partner-in-crime escape with the money, will his conservative neighbors provide sanctuary for their local Samaritan? Will he live in fear of Mafia revenge for the rest of his life?

Released August 24th, The Samaritan’s Pistol is set to reinvent the Western-based genre, weaving a classic tale that is reminiscent of writing-greats Dean Koontz, Mark Twain, and Louis L'Amour. Bishop’s powerful prose is reflected by his rugged characters, and yet, Bishop’s characters, just like his writing, possess a soft, human side that will leave readers tantalized. With a fast-paced plot full of mobsters and cowboys, this novel is poised to resonate with fans of every genre and influence and put the Western U.S. back on the fictional map.

ERIC BISHOP is known to his friends and family as an “author version of Clint Eastwood.” As the owner of a successful financial firm, Bishop spends most of his time on his Utah ranch writing with the music of his adolescence bouncing off the walls. When he's not writing, Bishop enjoys spending time with his wife and four lovely daughters at his home in Nibley, Utah. Unlike Jim, Bishop hasn't had any run-ins with the Mafia. Yet.
Find Eric Bishop at: 


Monday, September 2, 2013


                   When Jim Cooper stumbles onto a mob execution in the Wyoming mountains above his ranch, his natural inclination to help catapults him into danger.  The three Las Vegas mobbers turn on Jim as he tries to stop them from killing Larry Lyons.  They don't realize who they are tangling with.  Jim is a decorated Desert Storm veteran and a crack shot.

                Acting in self defense, Jim shoots the three men, making him now a mob target himself.  A modern-day cowboy, Jim refuses to leave the life and the ranch he loves.  Staying alive, however, is now definitely a problem.  Larry offers a possible route to safety, one that sends Jim to Las Vegas to collect a truck filled with stolen mob money.
               An action-packed Rocky Mountain Thriller, THE SAMARITAN PISTOL pulls the reader along like a ride on a galloping horse. At the same time, Eric Bishop's rough and tough characters draw us in with their foibles and the soft spots they can't hide.

               Bishop's descriptions of cowboy life make you feel the sway of the saddle, the love of  a great horse, and the beauty of Wyoming mountain country.  Add to this a sizzling romance and you have it all.
Check out this great book! THE SAMARITAN'S PISTOL on Barnes & Noble and Amazon

You can find the Eric Bishop at:  
TWITTER:     @EricBishopWords
FACEBOOK:   Eric Bishop Author
WEBSITE:      Eric Bishop

Eric Bishop may look like a cowboy, but he’s not stuck in the past—neither is his writing. In his debut novel, The Samaritan’s Pistol, Eric explores the choices of a modern-day cowboy grappling to balance sympathy with protecting himself and those closest to him. This gritty, yet heartfelt adventure will be the first of many Rocky Mountain Thrillers with multi-genre appeal crafted by Bishop.

Check out the video below to visit Eric Bishop's writing man cave as he talks about THE SAMARITAN'S PISTOL.