Sunday, April 26, 2015

This Week!

We have our art director signing coppies of Dog Without a Shadow on Broadway! Don't miss it.

Anyhoo, so this week I was terrible sick and got to go to the ER. Not fun, but fine now. Also I am (insert drumroll here) working on a new novel. A historic epic about civil liberties! I think it will envelope you!

We also have a church checking out our books right now. That's pretty exciting. In addition our contracts are under revision and submissions will be open before you know it. Our authors get more royalties from their books than any other publisher I'm aware of... so put those gloveson and get writing! NO HATE! NO LIBELOUS and under NO circumstances do we accept erotica of ANY kind. A good writer doesn't require details because it's quite obvious that readers can think for themselves! Kid's books welcome too! So watch this spot so that you are aware when we'll be open!

That's my side of it,

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Our little company

is going through a painful but necessary over-haul. While this will take precious time away from the blog and a few other things, there is a possibility that we will be open for submissions before next year. So re-write, polish and repeat!

That's my side of it,

Friday, April 17, 2015

Interview - Rival Gates Books!!!

1. I read you bio in you site. What a touching story. Specially about your Dad and Mom. Tell us how this story came about?

I was picked on mercilessly at school and was very depressed. My mother suggested I stop dwelling on the negatives in my life and work on something positive. I loved to tell stories and write. Then there was the immense feeling of pride I felt when I would read my father’s magazine and read his editorials with his name alongside. I decided right then and there that I was going to write a story. At first it was something just for me to use in order to escape my life. I had my own world and characters. If I wanted something to be a certain way, I made it happen. Then the story grew into a book and the book grew into a series. Every night my mother would come to check on me after I had finished my homework and I would regale her with a part of one of the stories. As a teacher, she would point out when the story didn’t make sense or something was out of place with a character. When the first draft was complete (hand written) I was only 15 years old and brought it to my father for review. He read the first page and crumpled the entire work into a ball, depositing it on the ground. Dad told me my writing was inferior and abysmal. If I wanted to be taken seriously, I would need to improve immensely. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that stung. He was right, however. I could tell a story, but I needed to fine tune my writing style. I read a wide variety of authors and learned through them and school. Years later I bought my first computer and started revising the story in print. Sample chapters I gave my mother were secretly leant to friends. The responses were very positive and I was encouraged. I cannot tell you how many times I rewrote the first book, but it was several. When Mom came down with terminal cancer she shared that my father had worked on a book for years but kept rewriting the first chapter and never moved beyond. She said my book was ready and it was time to share it. So she made me promise to have it published and I agreed. She was always in my corner. I could not break my vow.

2. You started writing as a teenager? Did the story line change as you grew up?

It changed tremendously as I grew. Linvin originally gained the Red Sapphire quickly and simply knew how to use it. That was too convenient. As I read other writers I thought, “So he’s great with super powers. What would he be without them? If he had great ability and then gained great power, he would be a real hero. So I developed a backstory. It grew and grew until he was a hero I was proud to have created. The other characters had to develop to keep pace. The storyline became more and more complex with every revision.

3. A goblin war? Interesting :) How did Linvin Grithinshield emerge?

Linvin has the good fortune to be trained by the greatest military mind in their world. Linvin has a real problem. He is Commander of Valia’s armies but they are pitifully small in number in comparison to the Goblin hoards. He must rely on the superior training of his troops and military tactics to outsmart the Goblin War Chief. As if being outnumbered is not enough of a handicap, Linvin knows that the war will likely leave his force shattered and unable to fight again for some time. The result is that he must come up with battle plans to not only win but annihilate the Goblin Armies so they cannot threaten Valia for years. He has brilliant strategies which took me a long time to research and create. At the end of the day, Linvin is battered and his army is almost nonexistent, but the Goblins are wiped out and will not challenge Valia for a good while.

4. In the times when our magical realm is dominated by Harry Porter, what is the focus of your novel, Quest for the Red Sapphire?

I love stories with magic. What I become frustrated with are stories in which magic is a catch-all for everything that the author does not explain. If a character can do one thing with magic, why can’t they do something else? What I did was set down a list of rules for magic based on color. A magician can harness the power of nature and channel it through their bodies. That power can be released through their hands in a specific color of magic. If you are an Orange Magician then all your magic will be released in an orange color. To channel that power, however, it is physically taxing on the body in much the same way moving a heavy weight would be. The more magic you channel through your body, the more tired you become. The better physical condition you are in, the more power you can muster.

5. Question 5 is a series of rapid fire.

a) Favourite author?

C.S. Lewis

b) Person who influenced your writing?

Both parents

c) Planned writer or spontaneous writer?

Planned writer.

d) Movies or Books?


e) Harry Potter or Twilight?

Harry Potter

6) How many years did it take for you to write this book?

On and off I spent nearly thirty years working on this book and planning the series.

7) What was your main motivation to go on?

Vince Lombardi once said, “The harder you work at something, the harder it is to surrender.” I worked too long and devoted too much of my life to this book to give up. I also wanted to prove my father wrong about my writing. The rest of the family saw it as a waste of time. I wanted to show them what I had accomplished.

8) What follows Quest of the Red Sapphire? A sneak peak please for the readers?

“Sapphire Crucible” is due out in 2014. The sequel has tremendous action and fighting scenes. Questions are answered and the true villain is revealed. He is the antithesis of Linvin. It will take the entire party and a newcomer to complete the quest and survive. If you love action and strategy, you will not be able to put this book down!

9) What would be your advice for the upcoming writers, especially for those who want to give up.

There will always be people in your life who tell you writing is a waste of time. That is only true if you do not enjoy writing. They say that if you do something you love, you will never work a day in your life. If you love your writing, stick with it. What are you hurting by writing? You have a unique story that only you can tell. So tell it. I was rejected by over 100 agents to represent me. That doesn’t even include all the publishers who turned me down after I found an agent. The simple fact is this: once your writing is done then all you need to find is one person to like your work and you are in! You only lose when you give up.

Monday, April 13, 2015

GUEST Epic Fantasy From An Epic Writer!

This amazing Fantasy is out by a great writer, Rival Gates and you can get the actual book right now for 99 cents on

Going With The Crowd or Alone

Thomas Edison invented an electric pen early in his career.  It was truly a wondrous invention and a great achievement only matched by the measure of its commercial failure.  He vowed after that to only devote his efforts to inventing things with a market need in place.  Many hail this decision as a revelation on his part.  I see it as opportunity he missed.  There is a trend in the arts, whether it be literary, film, music or stage that is not new.  The trend is essentially, “Hey, such and such sold well.  We want you to produce something like that.”  How many bands do you think were played Beatles albums and told to play that way or writers shown “Cats” and told to produce something like that or given a Harry Potter book and told to write something along those lines.  Edison caved to the pressure and to his credit, went on to become one of the greatest inventors of all time.  But what if he had worked on the projects he was passionate about instead?  Who is to say he would not have made an item that created a market and he still would be a great inventor.  The man did not follow his passion.  How do I know?  In no interview on film or picture in a book do you ever see him smile.  His rival, Nikola Tesla knew he was right and chased his dreams at the expense of financial gain.  When you see pictures of him performing his experiments, however, he is smiling and displaying his enthusiasm to the crowds even as electricity flowed through his body.  It’s a hard choice.  You dream your whole life of becoming a certain profession.  Then you get your big chance.  Do you want to play the better odds and follow the crowd or follow your heart and possibly end up as another failed writer?  Even the editors try to change you.  They rearrange your work to make it fit their mold better.  These are the gatekeepers of your profession and you can only dig in your heels so many times so you had better make them count.  For me it is not a matter of choice.  I have a style and a type of story about which I have passion.  I could no more change them than the hand I write with.  I have tried to mimic some of the great writer’s styles and in the end it sounds terrible.  The only person I sound right being is me.  You see there is a difference between science and art.  Science is based on what your brain tells you and art is based on what your heart tells you.   You can change your way of thinking with enough effort, but your heart is an organ that listens to no reason and follows the path it chooses regardless of any suggestions, orders, warnings or advice from your brain.  Have you ever fallen in love but your brain told you not to?  Your brain was probably right but the heart will still do as it chooses.  My heart tells me to write epic fantasy or high fantasy books if you prefer.  My mind screams at me to add sex and love triangles and all the stuff of the big hits but that is not in my heart.  I can count on one hand the number of writers who have had success in my field and most of them were dead before they achieved their status. This is my electric pen.  I’m not writing it to feed the masses more of the same.  I want to write what I believe and love.  My books are gaining ground with two out and a third about to be published.  I will promote my work but in the end I would rather sink or swim being myself than tread water as a shadowy copy.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I'm sorry

Here be Dragons will not be coming back any time soon.  I don't know what's wrong with my graphics? I could guess... but? I would probably be wrong. I'm sorry.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

I have been ill as of late, can't seem to sleep enough. Sorry that I've been rare.
Today is so busy as is usual. I have contracts to revise, books to format and signings to arrange.
Today I also got my first copies of my last book. That's exciting! The cover looks great and it's certain to be a crowd-pleaser! Yay!

Here's the first review:

Hatter delivers again with book six of the Shattered Looking Glass series. Knave of Hearts explores the depths and potential depravity of the human psyche, and touches on the darkness that could erupt in just about anyone, given the right combination of nature and nurture. In traditional “shattered” Hatter style, the novel shifts between narrators, and while the connection between them is not clearly established at the onset, the glorious unfolding of their intermingled backstory is a wicked delight. Be instantly transported between the country club and death row, with occasional stops in a home for unwed mothers, and find yourself arriving at the climactic conclusion to this twisted tale with a sense of how things will end. Then prepare to have your assumptions shattered.

I'm blushing! Also out soon is Ikto's Umbrella, a children's textbook on poetry and prose that ages with your child. The next thing on our list is Rides A Pale Horse, which is a young adult, historical fiction that is narrated by the Grim Reaper. Certain to be interesting, so look for that!

That's my side of it,

Saturday, April 4, 2015

excerpt Knave of Hearts book 6

The Queen of Tarts,
Destroyed our hearts,
All on a dreary day.
The knave of hearts,
He sold us tarts,
And stole our souls away.

Candi, it's your turn to talk. What's on your mind?” Dr. Wagner gripes … and he says it so monotone that you can tell he ain't giving two shits about me, or any other inmate for that matter.

I stay silent a minute, just to screw with him. Him and his too-tight shoes, proper socks, and high-end watch! Hell, back in the day that watch would've cost over thirty tricks and ten lap dances. I'd have never saved it because of the coke, but that's beyond the point.

You gave your name as Candi Heartbreak. Not an alias, is it?” Dr. Wagner asks in drone-speak that translates into, “Prison chicks look good on my country club résumé of charitable crap, aka social-climbing synopsis disguised as do-gooder dossier.”

Naw!” I yelp, “It's my fucking birthname.” The other inmates laugh, and I am relieved. I was hooking since I was thirteen, so I know the game. I know small time: if you make 'em laugh, your charm keeps you breathing. But I've hit the big time. I ain't sure how it works on death row.

Your birth certificate says 'Candice Hartman'. Guess when you became a stripper, your imagination failed. So, since you're new, why don't you tell us what you're in for? Who'd you kill, and why?”

I bite my lip because I was never good in the spotlight, not even way back when I started pole-dancing. And when my body got all screwed up and malnourished from the coke, hooking was just the next natural step. Street-walking came real easy to me. But this is my chance to look charming to the other girls, and by the looks of the 800 pound Marine-type bull dyke in the corner, I need a good opening act, or I'll die.

Kill? Shit! Ain't you heard? I'm in for littering? Down in the Groves, they're real pissy about it.”

The other girls laugh, save for the cocoa-skinned Nubian queen sitting catty-corner. She'd have looked good on the pole, I'd wager. But her hair's too short in here. She barks, “You need to save that crap for your next world tour and get real. Some of us take this seriously. Some of us wanna recover!”

The oddity of the gallows being a road to salvation grates at me. Her whole fucking ridiculous “Hold your head high, and you'll make it to the Promised Land” attitude pisses me right the fuck off.

I growl, “You gonna recover from the chair, too? God just gonna descend and resurrect you? Really?”

The other women stop laughing. That scares me. The low mumble spreading like a wave of terror through them washes over me. I am devoid of the humor.

Naw. But I still done wrong. And I still need to own it. I still need to hold myself accountable, so I can move on with whatever's left now. So get fucking real, or stop wastin' my damn time,” she snaps.

Facing the death penalty sounds like owning it to me. Anyways who the fuck are you to judge me? You ain't in here cuz you won the lottery!” I howl and the rumble of women becomes louder. It twists like razors in my bowels. Yet, I can't stop the rant. I'm angry at this so called life. I'm angrier at her for making sense of it!

No. I ain't won the lottery. No. You're right. I killed my kid. And there ain't never going to be a way to make peace with it. Ain't no way to bring her back. But at the least I'd like to know why I always been this fucked-up in the head. So if you don't mind, speak truth, or shut the fuck up!”

Wow! A baby-killer acting all high and mighty! I only killed a pimp. At least I did the world a favor!”

How? How you did the world a favor? I'll have your righteous white ass know that PIMP was somebody's child, too. Somebody's Daddy. Someone loved him, and you destroyed them, too! You ain't killed no pimp. You killed a whole family, cuz you killed whoever loved him, too.”

The women are rising, glaring, cursing. I have to hold my bowels tight because I never could fight. I always hid during brawls, mighta been my downfall. I held in all my anger, and the first time I let it out, it landed me here... on death row. I won't even walk those 13 steps. They're planning to kill me right now!

Group's out. Line up by cell-block to be frisked, and you know the drill, ladies. Dessert as usual!” Wagner says, as if he's reading the ingredients to his friggin' award winning quiche or something.

The women groan and bitch as they line-up. I don't understand. They didn't kill me, but at the mention of “dessert as usual,” a chill ran through the room.

Is the cooking that bad? It must be pretty wicked if I fear whatever comes after lunch more than being stomped to death by lumberjack chick. ***

Dear Candi-cane,

I was real sorry to hear they caught you. They'll never understand what you did to Jack. Sometimes, I don't either. But I'm grateful just the same. I'm staying at a half-way house for unwed mothers right now. I figure I'm safe enough for a month or so. Once they figure out I'm not up-the-river, I'll be back in the streets, but it's a bed for now. A lonely bed and a roof. That's something, right? But they make us study, and I hate that. I hate math more than Sunday school, which is a lot to say if you're not even Christian. Haha.

I try to make you smile because I lost mine a long time ago. It was your jokes that brought it back... only for a minute. That and the men. But you never agreed, so I never got that far. You should have left it alone, maybe. I'm the same age as you were when you started, so I don't really see the problem. I ran away at 11. I just got real tired of picking pockets and shoplifting for years. Scraping by. Seemed more glamorous... men paying for me, as if I were pretty or something.

Anyway, in your letter you asked about me. I know you probably can't write back, now that you're convicted, but it's the least I can do. So I guess I'll tell you my secrets, since nobody ever asked before.

I remember being really happy before Daddy died. I remember we moved around a lot. He was some kind of army officer or something. Guess he got shot. He just never came home. We had this weird funeral with a casket and no body. It was all really strange. And when I asked Mama what he died from she just said, “He moved on, so now we gotta move on.”

Not a month later she brings some strange guy home. Says he's our new dad. I was so angry. I already had a dad. My mom told me then that women remarry these days, because divorcees are considered whores, but widows can still work. Problem was laundry and book-keeping weren't enough. So she married the first guy that she could get drunk enough to say yes. Said I should be proud, because even as drunk as he was he thought to ask to see all her kids' pictures. She said that meant he knew we were special.

But then, you know, he really liked to play creepy games with us … he always had a toy in his pants pocket, liked to rub up against us a lot, always insisted he watch us bathe, so's we didn't drown. I just felt so strange, like Daddy was watching me do these scary things. I got really mad at him dying... so I left. Lived in a barn 2 miles away, until I was discovered. Started breaking into warehouses and sleeping in their lofts, like a stow-away or a spy or something. It was really exciting. So taking whatever little thing, here and there, became an exciting habit. By the time I met Joey, I was already 12.

It's late. They are going to call lights out. I'll find a way to sneak this out to you. And write more later.

Hugs and kisses, loves and misses,
Caroline ***

My name's Delores, and I'm an addict / alcoholic.”

Hi, Delores,” the room responds, and there is a little applause. I shift uncomfortably in my seat. I had something to say … it was on the tip of my tongue a minute ago. Truth-telling is dangerous. How do I mask this and tell the new-comer the truth at the same time? I dunno. The code of silence chokes me. Some days I have no lips, no voice. That being said, I've called attention to myself, so damn the luck, here I sit.

Yeah, I, uh... just want address that last one. Um... the Big Book says we have all got the capacity to recover IF we are honest. Yeah, and half measures and all that happy horseshit.”


I just heard him say that he's pissed at his wife because she messed around and nags or whatnot. Okay, that's why we say 'Principles OVER Personalities', and for that new-comer that doesn't know what that means, um... let's see.

Okay … there are statistically 3 main reasons why we relapse. Death, finances, and relationships. The number one reason isn't death. It's relationships... it's other people, and that's mainly because we have a warped definition of what a relationship is. You can't really expect others to be honest with you if you don't even know how to be honest with your own self. If you can't be honest with you, how can you be honest with them?

Um? Also I heard something really funny earlier that I'd like to address. That first lady, with the burning desire to drink, said she wanted to drink, but she didn't want the consequences and whatnot? That's friggin' hilarious!

If there were a way to drink without consequences this whole damn room would be empty.”

(loud laughter)

We'd be meeting at the bar, and I'd be buying! Basically, in here we are just trying to get one thought in our heads... we went to any lengths to get our drink and drug... now, we have to go to any lengths to keep ourselves sober. So, in both cases, it's all about priorities. Thanks for letting me share.”

Thanks for sharing,” the room echoes, but I pray I'll remember what I said. I beg God, It, Universe, just let me keep it. I need to know it. At 25 years sober, I have it all together on the outside. But inside... I'm already drunk.

I flinch when I hear the familiar sound of his cough, the clearing of phlegm from his throat in the back of the room. I scan the other faces in the huge clubhouse. Did they see me flinch? 25 solid years, did they hear the doubt in my voice? Is my cover blown?

As we say the prayer, I close my eyes. If I cry a little now, they'll think the moment touched me. Prayer is a good disguise. God is the best formed mask I've ever known. Women like me wear a plastic grin and grieve in hidden jig-saw pieces. It's the only way to let the pressure out without exploding. Tiny bit here, crumb there, no one will add it all up...

I wipe the tears, shake my hair back, and laugh, part of the act, part of the disguise. Clap my hands, and shout excitedly, “Great meeting! You guys get to my heart every time!” Then I grab a cup of coffee, drop fifty cents in the cup, and pretend to obliviously empty the ashtrays. Shaking hands, nodding, insert smile, insert small talk. Pretend I don't feel his eyes boring a hole through me. Pretend to be surprised that he arrived early, moral support? Spy? Assassin?

I grab him into my arms, quick kiss on the cheek. Grab his hand in mine, joking, laughing excitedly, trying to stall. He leads me away to our chariot, greeting each member, boasting about the difference I make. We wave good-bye. Happy shouts to our friends. Blissful couple married 28 years.

He says as we round the corner, “I said you could go to the meeting. I never said you could talk.”

I loose my bladder in the front of the new Nissan. That'll cost me dearly. Exit stage... rites. ***

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A shout-out to all the kids in Mrs. Phillips' after-school group. We hope to be blogging some exciting news about you soon.
A huge... WE MISSED you to our editor Susan! Welcome back!

Been hard to find as it looked as if our pipes burst. That wasn't the case but its still a week away to put all right in the kitchen!

We've got some awesome books hitting shelves soon and a bunch of exciting stuff coming up for Spring/Summer bookfair season, so stay tuned!

That's my side of it,