Iowa Book Source is live!


Iowa Book Source SignIowa Book Source display window

Here is the sign in the window and here is my display window. If you are an author and would like to get your book in front of people in this display window and an ebook link where the person can buy it just let me know! Continue reading

Pray to the Shadowman; Part 3


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Been working on the story again and I keep thinking this thing over and over. Charlie and I are having the same thoughts. We know how well a story can really get into our lives and become very real to us. I just hope that this one doesn’t affect us in a bad way.  I hope you enjoy the excerpt and please feel free to leave feedback. Thank you!

All excerpts from Pray to the Shadow-man, copyright 2015 by Wendy Siefken

How do you stop something not borne of flesh and blood but of thought, need and prayer? 

A shrill scream from a child from down below sent John and Dan racing back down the stairs to find the locked door now open and police officers backing out of the room. John pressed forward until he stood in front of everyone and froze. A young boy lay tied to the bed in the middle of the room. His small frame showed malnutrition and wounds from his restraints. It was obvious by the smell he had been tied to the bed for several days.  Right now, he was screaming staring with terrified eyes at the men gathered at the door. Continue reading

Pray to the Shadow-man.


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Well, here is the next portion of our story that we are working on. I hope you like it.

All excerpts from Pray to the Shadow-man, copyright 2015 by Wendy Siefken

Six months later,

Detective John Casey stood in the middle of the living room looking over the gruesome scene. A chair sat in the middle with what was left of an adult torso while body parts were scattered around the room from floor to ceiling. The torso showed signs of torture like cuts, burns, whipping, and others he couldn’t quite identify just by looking at them. It looked like every one of them were inflicted antemortem. The police and techs were going over every inch of the house trying to find out who the victim was and why he died like this.

“We need to find out who owns this house and who this might be.” He motioned to the corpse. Looking over at the new rookie he said, “Rick, why don’t you run down the information for us. The letters in the foyer were addressed to several different people; we need to nail this down.” John said.

“Yes Sir, I am glad to get on that.” Rick turned to the door, looking a little green.

A call came over the radio, “John, you need to come up to the third floor in the attic.”

John headed to the stairs as another rookie came charging down with a hand over his mouth.

“Don’t contaminate the crime scene!” John yelled after him. He shook his head as once again he started up the stairs. The stairway was wide and carpeted with what had once been a luxurious red runner held in place with a brass rod now tarnished and faded. The hand railing was a dark mahogany that had seen better days. The house at one time had been a grand place but had now fallen into disrepair. Reaching the second floor landing he walked down a hallway looking at the police as they went about their work collecting evidence. In the first room he came to a detective was putting C.D.s into an evidence bag with a T.V. and a blue ray player. Techs were dusting for fingerprints everywhere, on doorknobs, dressers, bed railings and anywhere that a hand may have touched a surface. The next room he passed was dark inside due to the windows covered with what looked like tinfoil. A flashlight shone around illuminating pictures taped to a wall next to a bed.

He passed a bathroom where items were being placed into an evidence bag from the medicine chest as well as the counter tops. There were two other doors across the hallway, one room held chains and hooks as well as other shiny metal items that John didn’t want to contemplate right now. The last door was locked with several keyed deadbolts and a master padlock. A tech kneeled in front of the door with his lock picking kit laying open. A sign on the door read “Favorite”.

Shaking his head, he finally reached the stairs leading up to the attic. A smell of mothballs and rotting flesh assaulted his nostrils as he placed his foot on the first step. Bracing his hand on the wall a moment, the odor alone told him, it was going to be bad. John reached the top step where he paused long enough to pull out a handkerchief to cover his nose and mouth. A stocky man stood by a doorway leading into a room. John looked around and could see several doors leading into rooms with the stairway being the central spot.

“Jesus Dan, it smells horrible up here! It must be a hundred and twenty degrees up here to boot!” John said.

“Through here John, brace yourself; it’s a regular chamber of friggin horrors up here.” Dan said as he led John into the first room.

A table sat in the middle of the room with decorations for what looked like a birthday party with six chairs sitting around it. In the chairs were six little bodies posed in different positions and different stages of decomposition. The warm dry air had mummified them, forever freezing them like a picture from a nightmarish postcard. It was very evident even to John that these children had been tortured before they died.

“There are two more rooms like this one up here. Each staged with six little bodies.” Dan said with disgust.

“What kind of place is this? How is it we have never known about it?” John said as he bent down looking at one of the bodies and continued. “I’ve been a cop for over ten years and you Dan, for what like fifteen?”

Dan shook his head, just as puzzled, “None of this makes any sense.” Dan said.

I hope you enjoyed it.

Fear the Walking Dead, mini break


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Well since this weekend was a holiday weekend Fear the Walking Dead took a mini break and just showed the first two shows again. So with nothing to really write about I decided to take a page out of a friends playbook, (yes Cassidy I’m talking about you.) Continue reading

A new start to our publishing!


We have been going to fairs and book signings this year and have really enjoyed meeting all the wonderful people of Iowa! IMG_20141025_103704

We have been to several places and even started selling cookies and baked goods for my daughter! We have three books completed and published with two more in the wings. Kai’s Journey 3, A home at last should be done by Christmas. We already have pre orders for it and I’m excited to get them shipped out.

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We have come a long way since just having a presence on line. I still think the online presence is very important but it is also important to have one where you get to meet people face to face. Talk to them and give them a chance to get to know who you are as an author. It has been a busy time with attending classes and keeping up with finding places to vendor and do book signings at as well but I am really enjoying the whole experience! 0928141235

We have also taken pictures of other people at different events to showcase authors as well as other vendors at the different events. What a way to get a chance to help support different causes, different towns and charities around your area. It’s a great way to give back and get involved with people around you. I hope you all enjoy the pictures, more to come in future posts. We are also signed up for NaNoWriMo as well to help push the finish up of book 3. Stay tuned!

We have entered the America’s Next Author contest!


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I have entered the contest with a story called “Hiding in Plain Sight.” Its sort of a thriller mystery type story. I found out all you have to do to vote is share it in linkedIn, facebook or twitter. Read the story and write a review if you are so inclined. I was tickled pink when we were accepted into the contest. I don’t know if I have a chance of winning or not, but I am trying. I feel like I have been spamming everyone for this trying to garner votes and shares. I kind of feel bad for doing it, but then again, if no one knows how will they find out about it? Once again I am in the quandry of to promote or not to promote! that is the question! but I think I will be promoting because even though I wouldn’t be crushed if I didn’t win, I am getting that feeling, like I want to win. I want to be competitive. Keeping it at a normal level of course. I don’t want to get all crazy or anything. ha ha ha. So I have entered and now I check it to see how its coming. How many tweets, shares and reviews. I work on Kai’s Journey the edits that are coming in now. I rewrote Hiding in plain sight a bit to tighten it up and fix some errors I had found. I am going to work on a powerpoint to help someone learn how to take tags off her amazon page tomorrow. do edits, add some ideas we had for book 2 of Kai’s Journey. Tomorrow will be a busy day! yay! like busy days. So I guess I had better get off of here and get to sleep so I can be bright eyed and bushy tailed for tomorrow. I have a lot to do and not a lot of time to get it done in. If you haven’t voted for me yet, would you please give it a peruse and vote? thank you very much in advance! Hope everyone’s day is a true blessing tomorrow!

Our Second Interview with Ethan Jones!


It is with great pleasure to get a chance to interview Ethan for a second time! He has published several books this year and his lates is due out the 9th of October! As a special surprise he will be giving away Arctic Wargames for free October 9th, 10th and 11th! Without further delay here is Ethan!

http://amzn.to/R3vQsu                                                                                                http://amzn.to/VMm5A7

Blurb from his book:

Justin Hall and Carrie O’Connor, Canadian Intelligence Service Agents, find themselves in lawless North Africa on the trail of an assassination plot. The target is the US President, and the hit is scheduled to take place during a G-20 summit in Libya’s capital, Tripoli. But the source of their information is the deceitful leader of one of the deadliest terrorist groups in the area. Ambushes and questionable loyalties turn an already difficult mission into a dark maze of betrayal and misdirection.

Forced to return to Tripoli, Justin and Carrie dig up new intelligence pointing to a powerful Saudi prince bankrolling the assassination plan. What’s worse, Justin and Carrie realize something crucial is very, very wrong with their plan. The summit is only forty-eight hours away and they still have to stop the Saudi prince, dismantle the assassination plot, and save the life of Tripoli’s target.

Tripoli’s Target promises to take the reader through a great story as it becomes the next international bestseller. Fans of David Baldacci, Vince Flynn, and Daniel Silva will love this high-octane spy thriller.

Q.  Now that you have published more than one book, Congratulations by the way, have you changed any of your writing habits?

A.  Thanks for the congratulations. I have started to be more organized, in the sense of dedicating a certain amount of time to writing, editing, promoting and marketing my works. In the past, I would go in campaigns, focusing on one aspect and forgetting the rest. Now, I work on making little progress in all fronts at the same time.

Q.  What part of writing do you find the most fulfilling?

A.  The brewing of the plot in my mind and the beginning of a new novel is always very exciting and very fulfilling. Then, the hard work begins, the writing of the whole book.

Q.  Are you going to continue in the self-publishing route or do you also submit to agents or publishing houses?

A.  I love the self-publishing route, the freedom, the flexibility, the possibilities. I’m going to continue to publish my works independently. Of course, I don’t know what the future holds, so if an agent comes knocking things may change.

Q.  If you could play any part in your books, what part would it be? (Think Stephen King who played parts in some of his books to movies)

A.   I’ve never thought of that. I would play a minor role, perhaps of the secondary characters.

Q.  What have you done to help build your platform as an author to let others know of your works?

A.  I use my blog as a place to connect with my fans, along with my Facebook page and my Twitter. I’m active on various writers’ forums as well and have approached bookstores and libraries for author presentations.

Q.  What started you on the writing path? When did you decide to become a published author?

A.  I wrote short stories when I was a teen. Then I went to university and had no time for writing, other than exams. After law school, I continued graduate studies and received a Master of Laws degree. A 150-page thesis was the product of my research. Once I finished it, I decided to try to write more stories, this time the ones that I wanted to write. I was blessed with time to work on Arctic Wargame and other novels.

I shopped Arctic Wargame around in 2009 and 2010. Those were not good times for the publishing industry. I got great feedback. A few agents asked for a partial manuscript and two or three for a full. Upon the suggestion of a good friend, I dusted off my work, revised it and now everyone can enjoy it and my future novels.

Q.  Who is your biggest supporter in your writing career?

A.  My wife is very understanding and supportive. I must also thank God for the talent, with which He has blessed me.

Q.  Do you have any more stories ready to come out? Do you plan to keep writing in this genre?

A.  I’m planning to continue the Justin Hall series with more installments. In Fog of War, the third installment in this series, Justin infiltrates Iran to help extract a defector, a nuclear scientist who can provide information on Iran’s uranium enrichment program and its plans to build a nuclear bomb. Then Justin and Carrie will have to continue their investigation in some of the most dangerous regions of the planet, including Somalia and Yemen, the hotbeds of terrorism in the making. The release of Fog of War is tentatively planned for early summer 2013.

Q.  Where can we find your books and sites at? Links?

A.   The first spy thriller in the Justin Hall series, Arctic Wargame, can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0084FH6M8

Second spy thriller in the Justin Hall series, Tripoli’s Target, can be found here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009M8W5ZY

My blog: http://ethanjonesbooks.wordpress.com is the place to learn about my future works, to enjoy exclusive book reviews and author interviews.

Follow me on Twitter: @EthanJonesBooks

My Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ethan-Jones/329693267050697

I love readers’ feedback. They can get in touch with me via e-mail at this address: fictionwriter78@yahoo.com I promise to write to each and every one of them.

Here is an excerpt from Joe’s book.

“An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat

an army of lions led by a sheep.”

“It is better to die in revenge than to live on in shame.”

Arab proverbs

 

 

Prologue

Tripoli, Libya

May 13, 6:15 p.m. local time

Satam, the driver of the fifth suicide truck bomb, turned onto Ar Rashid Street, merging with the warm evening traffic. He rubbed his sweaty palms against his short khaki pants, his gaze glued to the silver BMW Suburban in front of him. He heaved a wheezing sigh and tapped on the brake pedal. A red traffic light halted the five-vehicle convoy.

A stream of cars rushed through the intersection leading to the business district of downtown Tripoli. Tall skyscrapers rose over most of the city’s old colonial-style buildings. The green and gold banner of Jacobs Properties—one of the major British real estate developers in Libya—beamed from atop the glass-and-steel façade of the newly finished Continental Hotel. The same logo had been painted hastily on the left side of the BMW packed with Semtex explosives. Walid, its driver and a Jacobs subcontractor, had exchanged his blue coveralls for a business suit and the promise of martyrdom.

A glance at the dashboard clock told Satam the synchronized explosion would take place in ten minutes. The thought of the coming carnage drained the last drop of courage from his heart. He rolled down the window, but the humid air—blended with the aroma of fried falafel, onions, and lamb donairs from a nearby street vendor—made him nauseated. He gasped for air, sticking his head out of the window. He coughed and struggled to catch his breath. The drivers in the other vehicles shot him curious glares. Behind the truck, the driver of an old Mercedes honked his horn twice. Satam swallowed hard and wiped the sweat off his narrow forehead. He waved at his audience to show them he was doing all right.

“Satam, what’s the matter, brother?” the radio set on the dashboard crackled. He recognized Walid’s gruff voice.

Satam looked at the BMW. His watery eyes met the reflection of the driver’s face in the rear-view mirror of the Suburban. The driver’s usual wicked smirk stretched his lips, revealing his large buckteeth. Walid waved his hands wildly. Satam could not see behind Walid’s black aviator shades but assumed his eyes were ablaze with rage.

“Nothing’s wrong. Just needed some air,” Satam replied over the radio.

He rolled up the window before Walid could scold him with another howl.

“Great. Now that you’ve closed the window, open your eyes!” Walid barked. “You’re not a coward like the infidels, are you?”

Satam shook his head.

A third voice came on air before he could say anything.

“Cousin, I pledged my honor so you could be a part of this mission. Don’t you back down now!” Satam’s cousin said. He was driving the Toyota at the head of the convoy.

Satam sighed and paused for a couple of seconds. “I’m not backing down. You can trust me. I will not disappoint you or the brotherhood.”

“That’s my flesh and blood who is soon to be a martyr,” said the cousin in a relaxed tone. “Our families will be proud of us, and our reward will be glorious.”

“It’s easy for you to say, since tonight you’ll be welcomed to paradise,” Satam said.

He noticed the traffic lights changing and stepped cautiously on the gas pedal. The truck jerked forward a few inches before the ride turned smooth again.

“Won’t take long before you join us there,” Walid said.

“Yes, but not before being dragged through the secret police hellish cells…” Satam’s voice trailed off.

“Allah will give you strength, cousin, and soon he’ll take you home.”

“He will, brother, he will.” Walid revved the BMW’s twelve-cylinder engine. “For sure, I’m going to miss this ride.”

“There will be plenty of rides up there to keep you and everyone else busy,” the cousin said with a quiet laugh. “Now may Allah be with us all. Over and out.”

Walid nodded and turned left toward the Continental Hotel.

Satam’s destination, the Gold Market, was to the right. He steered in that direction. He zigzagged through a few crooked streets and slowed down when reaching the Old City. The blacktop disappeared, and the uneven gravel crackled under the tires. Old cars, horse carts, and pedestrians came into view, along with whitewashed stores selling gold and jewelry. The streets narrowed into barely a single lane.

Satam rolled down the window for sideways glances to avoid brushing against planters, chairs, and vendors selling all kinds of junk. A stomach-churning stench from days old fish, fried grease, and sweat overwhelmed him. Satam felt his head grow heavy, and he hit the brakes.

The street vendors lost no time peddling their wares. A crowd of young boys swarmed his truck. He yelled and shoved away a few of the bravest salesmen waving handfuls of souvenirs in his face. He kept brushing away the hagglers, when suddenly a pointed metal object was shoved against his forearm. Startled, Satam withdrew his arm inside the cabin. He glanced at one of the boys holding a string of scimitar replicas, the sword tribesmen in North Africa carried in ancient times. The curved blade was dull with a rounded point to prevent accidental stabs. Still, the swift jab at his forearm summoned awful visions of the future.

He saw himself hanging upside down in a dark, grim dungeon, tied to the ceiling beams, while three secret police agents “interrogated” him. They would use various methods to “jog” his memory and break his psyche. Sleep deprivation and intimidation by police dogs were just the welcome package. Other techniques included breaking fingers and simulated suffocation with plastic wraps and water boarding. I will tell them everything right away before they even touch me. He struggled to wipe the vivid images from his mind.

Satam slammed on the truck’s horn to clear a path through the crowd. The blaring horn startled him more than the boys and the occasional onlookers. He glanced at the dashboard, realizing he had less than two minutes to reach the busy marketplace square five blocks away. It will be impossible to make it on time.

He blasted the horn again and stepped on the gas. The truck moved slowly, and Satam wrestled to make a left turn. The alley grew wider. The truck sped up, its wheels dipping and climbing in and out of the potholes. He rushed straight ahead, inches away from oncoming taxis, their honks protesting his unsafe speed. A few sidewalk vendors dove out of the way, their overflowing baskets of bananas and grapes spilling all over the place. Tires screeched as he turned right, jumping the curb and narrowly missing a large bronze planter outside a soap store.

The Mediterranean Sea was now visible to his right, through palm trees, coffee shops, and fruit vendor stands. Satam stared ahead at the wide square, one of the busiest markets in El Mina, the ancient city. The bazaar rumbled with vendors squabbling over a few dinars with tight-fisted tourists. I made it. Yes, I made it. He turned his gaze to the left, toward Tripoli’s skyline, and slowed down before parking the truck in front of a small restaurant. He took a deep breath and dabbed at his forehead with the back of his hand, wiping off a sea of sweat.

The dashboard radio crackled and he picked up the receiver.

“Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!” The loud voice echoed over the radio. Satam recognized Walid’s shouts.

A second later, a loud explosion rocked the entire square. Satam’s gaze spun toward the business district, where a cloud of grayish smoke billowed around the Continental Hotel. Chaos erupted among the street vendors who scattered and forgot about their produce and the evening’s clients. The patrons of coffee shops rushed to the streets, staring in disbelief at the sight. Cries of hysteria overtook the growing crowd. Elderly women beat their heads and chests with clenched fists. Young men pointed and shouted, their bodies restless. The sharp siren of an ambulance sliced through the cacophony of terror.

With a quick movement of his wrist, Satam consulted his watch. Just as the digits registered 6:31, another explosion shocked the crowd. This time, the bomb hit closer, much closer, merely five blocks away. From inside his parked truck, Satam looked at the bright yellow glow of the blast. High flames leapt at a ten-story office building. A thick cloud of black smoke began to swallow up the tower. The crowd broke into smaller groups. People scurried in all directions. Some ran back to their shops and apartments. Others simply circled the area, perhaps unsure of the safe way out.

Satam knew his time had come. He revved the engine and stomped on the gas pedal. The truck arrowed toward the vendors’ tables. The market was mostly empty, and the truck crashed into crates of fish, baskets of grapes, and barrels of olive oil. Produce scattered everywhere as the truck rampaged through plastic tables and chairs.

A police truck zipped toward him. Satam steered around, not to escape, but to meet the approaching vehicle. The two policemen in the truck ignored Satam. They were going to drive past him, but Satam swerved hard. The right fender of his truck smashed into the left side of the police truck. The police truck jerked to the other side. He pulled over and stopped less than thirty feet away. The other policeman rolled down the window. Satam stared at the muzzle of an AK-47 assault rifle.

“Don’t shoot. Don’t shoot,” Satam shouted and opened his door.

A quick burst of bullets sent him ducking for cover in the front seat. A shower of glass shreds fell over his head.

They’re going to kill me before I even have a chance to open my mouth. Or one of the bullets will blow up the truck. I can’t let that happen.

He looked at the back of the truck. Thirty pounds of Semtex explosives wired into a homemade bomb were stored inside the seat compartments. He noticed the cellphone on the floor mat by his left hand. He reached for the phone. All it would take for him to set off the explosives—and pulverize himself and the policemen—was to tap three preset numbers. His fingers hovered over the phone, but he remembered his family’s honor and the reward waiting for him in paradise. He dropped the phone to the floor, buried his head in the seat, and locked his fingers behind his head.

A minute or so passed before the shooting stopped, but the screaming continued. At some point, he heard the distinct thuds of combat boots marching down the street. The police were approaching his truck. He looked up slowly as a policeman pulled open the driver’s door of his truck and aimed an AK-47 at his head

“Don’t move!” the policeman ordered.

Satam nodded.

Without a word, the policeman juggled the rifle in his hands and slammed its buttstock hard against Satam’s head.