The Next Big Thing: Death Perception by Lee Allen Howard

I’m participating in a blog hop called The Next Big Thing, about my latest work in progress. I’ve got other things in the work, but here’s what’s up next…

What is the title of your next book/work?

DEATH PERCEPTION. You can read the summary and the first chapter here.

DEATH PERCEPTION by Lee Allen HowardWhere did the idea come from for the book/work?

Where it came from, I’m not certain and am a bit afraid to know! But the original idea was that a young man can discern the cause of death of those he cremates–by toasting marshmallows over their ashes. When what he discerns differs from what’s listed on the death certificate, he finds himself in the midst of murderers.

What genre does your work fall under?

DEATH PERCEPTION is a blend of supernatural crime, horror, and the paranormal. With a touch of black humor.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I’m showing my age here with a few of these answers, but if he were younger, Casey Affleck would be a great fit for protagonist Kennet Singleton. Richard Deacon (if he were still alive) could play antagonist Cecil Grinold. And a younger Joan Collins would do justice to co-antagonist Flavia Costa. Reese Witherspoon could portray Kennet’s love interest, Christy Sprunger.

What is the one-sentence synopsis to explain where your work begins?

Nineteen-year-old Kennet Singleton is cremating his last corpse of the day when he receives a call urging him to visit his invalid mother.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m inquiring about agency representation for DEATH PERCEPTION, but have a plan to self-publish digitally, as I’ve done with my other works such as THE SIXTH SEED, DESPERATE SPIRITS, and “MAMA SAID.”

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

DEATH PERCEPTION was my thesis project at Seton Hill University, where I earned a master’s in Writing Popular Fiction. It took me two years in the program to complete the first draft. By the time I graduated, I was burned out on the project that I put it away for a few years. Off and on, I did a few more revisions and finally completed my ninth at the end of 2012.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Although I wrote most of DEATH PERCEPTION before I read the popular Dean Koontz book, the protagonist and his spiritualistic, paranormal world is similar to ODD THOMAS.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I became obsessed with the idea of someone who could communicate with the spirits of those he had cremated. It wouldn’t leave me, so I honored it and turned it into a story.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

When I first started this project, I didn’t believe in communication with the departed. Since then I’ve completed a course of study with the Morris Pratt Institute and now work part time as a Spiritualist medium. I found that many things in the early manuscript were accurate when compared to actual studies of after-death communication. In later revisions, I used my education and experience as a medium to flesh out Kennet’s psychic abilities and enhance scenes.

SUBSCRIBE to stay abreast of what’s happening with DEATH PERCEPTION and all things fiction and editing.

My Amazon Author page is here: http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Allen-Howard/e/B004U7773C/. Thanks for your support!

I was tagged for The Next Big Thing by award-winning author Meg Mims. Visit her and these writers for their next big thing!

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Book Review: MERLYN’S RAVEN by Rose Vanden Eynden

MERLYN’S RAVEN by Rose Vanden Eynden

5.0 stars

I recently finished an excellent first novel by a long-time student of Arthurian legend, Rose Vanden Eynden. MERLYN’S RAVEN from Soul Mate Publishing is a romantic fantasy set in fifth century Wales.

Merlyn's Raven by Rose Vanden EyndenGwendydd, the illegitimate child of an allegedly wild woman, suffers her mother’s reputation, but longs to know the truth of her heritage. Slated for a loveless marriage to her chieftain grandfather’s political ally, she meets and falls in love with a druid’s apprentice, a handsome man with golden eyes, possessed of second sight, yet said to be the son of a demon. Appearing and disappearing at will are a few of the many feats of magick the young Myrddin (Merlin) can do, as well as casting glamours—and building Stonehenge with his metaphysical prowess.

Beyond the disapproval of her family, difficulties mount when Myrddin’s clairvoyant visions foretell the birth of a great king who will unify a warring Britain. To shift the balance of power, they must succeed in a dangerous scheme, one that threatens their very lives.

If you’re looking for a book that’s a perfect potion made of magick, romance, and adventure, I highly recommend MERLYN’S RAVEN. Rose Vanden Eynden’s words flow like a rushing river. The setting is rich, the characters are fascinating, the magick is powerful, the treachery surprising. Keeping the pace brisk throughout, Vanden Eynden builds ancient intrigue to an exciting conclusion and sets things up nicely for the next edition of an enchanting saga.

You can watch the book’s video trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt4cu3rSKz8.

You can find MERLYN’S RAVEN at Soul Mate Publishing and Amazon.

The Goodreads page is http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13448335-merlyn-s-raven. You can find the author on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/RoseVandenEyndenOfficial.


Book Review: GREENSHIFT by Heidi Ruby Miller

GREENSHIFT by Heidi Ruby Miller

GREENSHIFT by Heidi Ruby Miller

4.3/5.0 stars

Mari is a beautiful young woman from the polluted planet of Deleine. Her coral-colored eyes are the result of a reaction to a childhood vaccine. She seeks to make her mark in the field of science, upgrading the hydroponic botanical bays in spaceships.

When she meets Armadan ex-military pilot David Anlow, their chemistry turns to intimacy, and the virgin’s first amour becomes the one she would take as prime.

But when the slimy Dale Zapona hires Mari to upgrade his freighter ship, she accepts the on-board job against her better judgment only to find he and his henchman have something less businesslike in store for her because of her lithe body and strange orange eyes.

Like AMBASADORA, this prequel kicks ass. Miller weaves sci-fi and romance effortlessly, loading on the action and suspense. Although there’s a rough spot in the writing during a fight scene, the story is solid, the characters strong, the conflict palpable, the sex scenes hot, and the resolution satisfying. Everything in a book worth buying.

If you like genre mash-up like I do, I recommend GREENSHIFT. Miller knows how to tell a story and keep it moving til the very last page. I look forward to her next novel in the rich and imaginative Ambasadora-verse.

For more about Heidi Ruby Miller, visit her blog at http://heidirubymiller.blogspot.com/.


AMBASADORA by Heidi Ruby Miller

AmbasadoraAmbasadora by Heidi Ruby Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In a society where breeding and caste are sacrosanct, can you find true love? Heidi Ruby Miller proves you can—in a world with six moons that provides all the imaginative richness a sci-fi milieu can muster. The setting is fantastically painted, concrete, and nothing less than fascinating.

The Embassy coerces broken and remade Ambasadora Sara Mendoza to help squelch the techno-militant fragger rebellion by extracting information from their operative leader. But Sara learns a lot about the Embassy, the system, and her target, and her plans change when she realizes that love is not just an illusion.

AMBASADORA may be billed as sci-fi/romance, but it truly holds something for everyone. The torture scenes are horrifically exquisite, the plot intriguing, the action exciting, and the consummation scene deals out spice in spades! Sara is one tough cookie, and although Sean has a few personal problems, he’s got the right stuff for a hero. I found myself rooting for both of them because Miller not only puts them through their paces, but utterly shreds the hell out of them over the course of this broad novel. As I always say, the basis of drama is conflict, and there’s plenty on every page here.

Our world’s fame-mongering class consciousness takes on stark new meaning when extrapolated to the extent in AMBASADORA. If you enjoy visionary writing from a fresh new voice, I recommend Heidi Ruby Miller.

View all my reviews