Month: September 2015

The Plight of Cotton Famers in India

“Since the mid-1990s, around 300,000 Indian farmers have killed themselves—a rate of about one every 30 minutes” There are serious problems for small farmers in India, who use modern chemical methods. Large industrial farms are surviving now, but long-term trends are disturbing even for them.




The Summer of the Plague Five survivors are thrown together on the tenth floor of an office high rise when a zombie virus puts Orlando, Florida under military quarantine. Over the long weeks of their isolation, the three women and two men will struggle to survive the epidemic and its swarming cannibals – and in that pandemonium, they will come to experience and connect with one another in ways that they would never have considered before the coming of Carrefour. The Carrefour Crisis is an erotic novel of pandemic terror and survival horror.

About the Author:

Brian Downes

Brian Downes is a writer who lives in Orlando, Florida. His novels, The Berlin Fraternity and The Carrefour Crisis, are available at Gods & Monsters on International Drive, as well as
The first is a sprawling dark historical epic about a man who hunts vampires in Germany during the world wars. The second…

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Tales of Damaged Souls: The Mythology of the Horcrux

Tales of Damaged Souls: The Mythology of the Horcrux

The Nerd Vault

One of the signature objects of the Harry Potter series is the Horcrux; magical items used by Lord Voldemort to hide portions of his soul to allow him to return to life if his body was destroyed.

Lord Voldemort Lord Voldemort

      The word Horcrux may be derived from a combination of the French words “dehors,” meaning “outside,” and “crux,” meaning “soul.” In essence, the term would translate to “outside soul.”

      Alternatively, the word Horcrux may be also a combination of  “hor” or “hore,” an old/middle-English word meaning “dirt, evil, impurity,” and “crux” or “crúce,” an old English word meaning “container, pitcher(ful), jar”. This translation would mean “evil container,” or “container of evil.”

      Voldemort’s plan ultimately fails, as Harry, Ron, Hermione, and others, are able to destroy his Horcruxes, but did you know that the idea has actually been around for thousands of…

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Seeking safe harbor

The Arthur family’s four-month cruise in the South Pacific was smooth sailing… until the GPS stopped working and the radio went silent. Almost capsized in a late night, near-collision at sea, questions raced through Zach Arthur’s mind as he replayed the series of events that had recently occurred. Mainly, why would a U.S. aircraft carrier try to run them over?
* * *
Something did not feel right… and it was not. The Arthurs soon found that life as they knew it would never be “normal” again. The whole world had gone mad, and one primary questioned remained:
Would they ever find safe harbor again?

About The Author:


I would never have guessed that feisty old Faustino would have his daughter-in-law arrested to keep her away from drugs. Nor would I have known that aging movie cowboy Wyatt Wyoming would ask Santa for a horse; and what problems that would…

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Closing The Lost Door


Just about four years ago I started writing Catskinner’s Book.

I didn’t have any real plan when I started it.  I had a narrator and his shadow self, and a desire to play around with some of the ideas that William Burroughs used in his Nova Express novels. I liked the idea of an alien invasion viewed as an infestation of informational parasites.  I knew that I wanted to write about people who had become something other than human as a result of the choices that they had made.

I had a bunch of other influences, Phillip Dick, George Alec Effinger, Tim Powers, Samuel Delany, Robert Anson Wilson, Clive Barker. I was playing the whole thing by ear. Mixing things at random to watch the reactions.  Mostly I wanted to recapture the feel of the New Wave Science Fiction that I remembered from my youth.

The tale grew in the…

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A Win from the Margins #Requires Love

Lets tone down the rhetoric in SFF!

The Infinite Library and Other Stories

With the whole Sad/Rabid Puppies and the RH/BS incident, it’s been a rough year for Speculative Fiction writers (and fans) who were hoping for some civility of dialogue in our chosen genre. Sadly, no sooner had the followers and admirers of Vox Day been given a Hugo drubbing and Laura J. Mixon won the Best Fan Writer award for “A Report on Damage Done by One Individual Under Several Names”, when prolific SFF author Sarah Hoyt denigrated Liu Cixin, the first Chinese winner of the Hugo for best novel (for The Three-Body Problem) as a “Chicom” writer (this is a derogatory and racist Vietnam War era term for Communist Chinese).

A part of me wonders how much of this bile is native to the genre (perhaps due to long-seated personal and professional rivalries) and how much is actually a reflection of the deep conservative/liberal divide in American politics. As…

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P.A.W.S. Reboot Blog Tour and Review

P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer has been re-released with a brand new cover and a bonus story!

P.A.W.S. Rachel2
Genre:   YA Fantasy
Author: Debbie Manber Kupfer
Cover:   Rachel Bostwick

Interview with main character Miri:

What do you miss most from when you were young?

Oh lots of things: my cats – Kitty and Susie; my best friend – Jenny; New York City and in particular the Lower East Side where I grew up; and most of all my omama. I think about her every day – the things she taught me, the stories she told. And I also wonder about the stories she didn’t tell. About her early life in Vienna and how she escaped from the Nazis. Maybe one day I’ll be able to piece all that together.

What scares you the most?

That I could lose my new friends here at P.A.W.S. I’d like to be able to just enjoy my classes and hang out like a normal teen (or at least as normal as a shapeshifter cat girl can be), but bad stuff seems to follow me around, so I guess I should be prepared.

How did you change as you grew older?

I think I’ve become more confident and a little less likely to trip over my own two feet – I think having four paws helps with that and of course having good teachers – Josh and Danny – also does wonders.

What has been the hardest struggle for you?

Believing that I actually have magic. I mean I’ve met my Uncle David, and he seems about as far from magical as you can get. I know Jessamyn says that my whole family had magic, but it does seem hard to believe.

Who do you hope stays in your life?

Well Danny of course (blushes), but I don’t really see how he likes me. And then I hope I’ll always stay close to my friends at P.A.W.S. – Josh, Sandy, Sean and Joey. Joey’s said that in a few years I should visit him in Australia. That would be a lot of fun.

What do you need to be happy in the future?

Good friends, my books and my writing. I hope someday to write my story and delve into my family’s past so that I can write a history of that too.

What is the most important lesson you have learned?

To trust my friends when they say I’m much stronger and more capable than I think I am.

Thank you Miri!

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Watch the trailer:

Purchase your copy of P.A.W.S. here:


And be sure to pick up a copy of Argentum, the sequel to P.A.W.S.

You can purchase Argentum here:



Interview with the author Debbie Manber Kupfer:

What are the traits you wanted in your main characters?

Most of my main characters have traits that are similar to mine – particularly Miri. I don’t really believe that anyone is completely good or bad. We are all complex creatures made up of our past experiences.

Even my villain, Alistair, is the way he is because of his past – and doesn’t truly think of himself as the bad guy. (You can read Alistair’s story in the anthology, Writer’s Anarchy III – Heroes & Villains – and I’ll be releasing it as a short on Amazon in early 2016.)

What are some important themes you tried to touch on in the book?

I don’t really set out to instill a message or a particular, but still as you write they inevitably emerge. Some of the themes prevalent in P.A.W.S. include bullying, abuse, and the importance in forging a connection through the generations.

Which authors do you enjoy?

Many many! My favorites include Douglas Adams, JK Rowling, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Chaim Potok, Cornelia Funke, Nick Hornby and David Nichols.

Add to that many cool indie writers I’ve recently discovered including M.A. Ray, Fiona Skye, Misha Burnett and Jen Ponce. Really, if you enjoy fantasy and sci-fi you need to check them out!

What did you learn from writing the book?

That I can do it. I’ve been writing stories my whole life, but never finished anything. Then in 2012 I tried NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and it worked for me. I was able to get the words down and finally finish a story. It took a lot of editing to get it to the point of publication, but finally I got there. And now I have two books in my series published and I’m writing the third, plus have stories in a number of anthologies and have published a puzzle book, Paws4Logic, with my son, Joey.

What is next for your characters and/or world?

The story of P.A.W.S. continues in book, 2, Argentum when Miri returns to New York to try to learn the secrets of her past. Argentum also ventures into Jessamyn’s past life in Ireland and her grueling flight to America.

I’m currently writing book 3, which is tentatively called Maze of Shadows. In this one Miri will visit Israel (a country I used to live in) and we were also go back to where it all started in Vienna.

Connect with Debbie on her blogs:



Facebook Author page


Twitter: @CiciCat42