Thursday, November 17, 2011

Neil Ostroff's Insectland

INSECTLAND author, Neil Ostroff, dropped by for coffee and cheese danish. Welcome to the blog, Neil.

Thanks, Susan, for the interview and the refreshments.
Can you tell us about yourself?
I’m an author of dark, noir thrillers, romance thrillers, and middle grade sci/fi and paranormal novels. I was raised in a rural town outside of Philadelphia and have been a published author for more than twenty years. My science fiction and fantasy stories have appeared in numerous presses, zines, and websites. I have several published novels available at all online booksellers. I am an avid boater, gardener, and poker player when not working on my novels.
How many books have you written?
At this time I have seven books available for purchase. I am writing quite a bit these days and anticipate another four books out by next year. Here are descriptions of the ones available now:
PULP-Struggling thriller writer Kevin Turner just received a panicked call from his ex-girlfriend Tina, a self-proclaimed clairvoyant prostitute. One of her clients, the mayor’s married son, died in her bed and she needs Kevin’s help to dispose of the body.
DEGENERATES- Each degenerate overcomes incredible obstacles working in a restaurant named City Café until a psychotic co-worker changes everything about their lives.
FROSTPROOF- Niles Goodman is on a weeklong trip into madness as his best friend kills indiscriminately and then explains the philosophy behind his actions.
TIM MADISON GALACTIC WARRIOR- Thirteen-year-old Tim Madison is the only person who knows about and can stop the ruthless creatures who are working deep inside our planet constructing a massive extermination army.
INSECTLAND-Imagine a world where humans are pests and insect-like aliens rule over them. Imagine that world is Earth.
DROP OUT- After overcoming incredible personal tragedy Nathan Cruz meets a terminal, young woman who helps him find the strength to piece his shattered life back together.
AFTER- High school student, Nick Murray’s sudden death is no accident. What he thought was his life has been an illusion created by powerful celestial beings. But for what purpose?
What has been your most rewarding experience during the writing process?
For me, the best part of writing is finishing a draft and then taking that draft and turning it into a good story. I love creating characters and then living vicariously through them. I also love having people read early drafts and then tell me what they think. It eliminates tons of wasted time trying to figure out alone if something is good or not.
Tell us about your latest release.
My latest book is called INSECTLAND. It’s available as an e-book on all devices.
Be frightened! Be very frightened! Tiny, dragon-like creatures hiding in our homes are going to harm us. They will shrink us to the size of ants, enslave us, and turn our world into their own. But there is hope. Legions of insect robots intent on stopping them have recruited high school sophomore Dan Larson for help. Thrust into danger, Dan risks everything in a desperate attempt to thwart an attack and prevent the end of society as we know it.
How do you develop characters?
Most of my characters ideas come from people I deal with in my everyday life. A man I see in line with me that has a peculiar facial tic, or the guy walking down the street mumbling to himself. I will use these different traits and add them to my characters. But the core personality of my characters almost always come from people I’m close to in my daily life.
Can you tell us about current or future projects?
Sure. I am currently working on the last book in a YA sci/fi fantasy series involving the same group of characters. It’s called DREAM TRAVELER and should be available in a few months. I am also doing a rewrite on an edgy YA novel called WASTED, about a group of drug-addicted teens who are trying to get straight and turn their lives around. It too, should be available by year’s end.
Where can folks learn more about your books?

I maintain a huge web presence and can be reached simply by typing my name into any search engine. I have several websites and can be found on most social network sites. The most up to date website for info regarding me and my books is:
My blog:

I wish you the best with your writing, Neil.

Thank you, Susan, and the same to you!                                   

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Anne Patrick's Kill Shot

My special guest today is Anne Patrick, who's returning to talk about her new book and catch us up on what's going on in her life. Anne Patrick is the author of more than a dozen novels of Romance, Mayhem &Faith, including the award-winning and best-selling Fire and Ash, Lethal Dreams and Sabotage. Her heroines are usually strong willed, witty, and often very opinionated…combinations that usually land them in situations where death seems imminent. When she's not working on her next novel she enjoys spending time with family and friends. Born an Okie and proud of it (Go Sooners!), she now makes her home in Kansas. 

Welcome back, Anne. Please have a chocolate chunk cookie and some hot tea.

Yummy! Thanks, Susan. I think I'll just do that.

Tell us your latest news.

Glad to, Susan!  My latest release, Kill Shot, book one in my Wounded Heroes series, comes out today.  Here's the blurb: Former combat medic Kory Wagner has been in four war zones, served three tours in Iraq, survived countless firefights, RPG’s, IED’s and even a helicopter crash. Now she’s home and out of the Army for good and someone is trying to kill her in her own backyard. Just as disturbing is the handsome sheriff who’s on the case. Sheriff Sean Harding doesn’t quite know what to think of the decorated veteran that managed to outsmart an entire search party. What bothers him more is the body of a PI, whom she hired, was found dead in a building she owns. And Kory isn’t being very cooperative with helping him find the answers as to why someone would kill her sister and want her dead. Will he be able to keep her alive along enough to discover the truth?

Folks, Anne is giving away a free pdf copy of the new book. See below to get your name in the cookie jar.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in this latest book? If so, why? 

I don't think so.  A couple of years from now I may think differently.  As I continue to grow as a writer, I can usually look back at a book and see things I could have done better. 

That's got to be a great feeling.
Can you share a short excerpt from the book? 

The steel door creaked as she pushed it open, the sound echoing throughout the metal building. "Mr. Urlik?" She waited for her eyes to adjust to the change in lighting before stepping all the way inside. A wide stream of light from the door spread out in front of her. "Mr. Urlik. Are you in here?"

Kory heard a sound a few yards in front of her. She quickly scanned the area. Three rows of huge metal shelves lined the interior. She inched forward, peering around the corner of the second row. Mr. Urlik lay on his side, facing her, clutching his chest. His eyes were opened and his mouth moved, but no sound came out. A heart attack? She ran to him, knelt down on the cement floor, and took his hand. It was wet, slimy. She looked down and saw his hand covered in blood. Her eyes shifted to his chest. A large crimson stain spread across the width of his white shirt from a small hole near the center. He was breathing erratically. Experience told her a bullet had pierced at least one lung and he didn't have much time. She immediately pressed the heel of her right hand against the wound.

"I'm sorry," he murmured.

"Where's your cell phone?" Hers was in her backpack but she didn't want to waste valuable time digging it out.

"No time. Get out."

"Who did this, Mr. Urlik?"

He grabbed her right hand and squeezed it tightly. "You were right -- no accident."

His hand went limp.

Kory felt something in the palm of her hand, looked down and saw it was a key. She shoved it into her jeans pocket. A whizzing sound buzzed past her, followed by the unmistakable clink of a bullet ricocheting off metal. She instinctively threw herself over his body as another bullet struck metal. Kory felt for a pulse. There was none. She lowered her hand to his chest and felt under both arms and along his waist. I thought all PIs carried guns. Just my luck this one didn't.

She scrambled to her feet, as more shots ricocheted around her, and dove through an opening on the first row of shelves. A piercing pain sliced through her upper arm as she took cover behind some boxes. They wouldn't shield her from the gunfire but they would conceal her presence while she figured out how she was going to get out of there. She paused long enough to grab her cell phone from her backpack, wishing she hadn't when another bullet tore through a box beside her. She ducked lower to the floor.

Kory ignored the throbbing in her arm and slithered along the floor toward the back of the building. As a child, she and her sister, Callie, had often accompanied her grandfather to the warehouse where he worked on boats as a hobby. She remembered a back exit that led to the side parking lot and nearby woods. If she could reach the door, she had a chance of getting out of this alive. She looked down at the tear in her shirt, drenched with blood.

This isn't good!

Okay, so I'm hooked! A must-read for me for sure.

How about sharing a review or two from your other books with readers?

Barbara Hightower gave Fire and Ash 5 stars: What a wonderful read this has turned out to be...The book has a lot of angles and twist to keep the reader guessing and want to know more. I am now a fan of Anne's and will be looking into her other books.

Sherry Kuhn said this about Journey to Redemption: WOW! I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It grabs you from the first page and does not let you go until the last. I truly did not know who all the bad guys were until the end. I really like that in a story.

Where can we purchase Kill Shot?

You can get the eBook at Desert Breeze Publishing,, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most online bookstores.

Do you have plans for another book?

There are four other books under contract in the Wounded Heroes series.  Trespasses release May 2012, Vengeance in February 2013; Betrayal in November 2013, and Secrets in August 2014.  Each book is a stand-alone inspirational romantic suspense.

Where can we find you online?                                              

My website (where I have monthly giveaways): Blog:

Thank you for allowing me to come and talk about my new book, Susan.  I'd love to give away a PDF copy of Kill Shot to one of your readers. 

How generous of you!
So, readers, if you want Kill Shot, you have to leave a comment. Anne will get in touch with the winner.