ON THE EVE OF HER BIRTHDAY, THE AUTHOR TAKES A DAY OFF WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM SOLSTICE

Guest Blogger: A. B. Funkhauser

Posted on March 11, 2015

HERE SHE COMES, MISS AMERICA

In the run up to the release of her debut novel HEUER LOST AND FOUND A.B. Funkhauser copes with the responsibility of really, really getting published…for real.

If I tell my friends one more time that writing picked me and I not it, I’ll probably get tee pee’d. But if casual pranks among friends comes with the territory, I’ll take it, because I mean every word. Over the course of the last twelve weeks, I’ve been asked to talk about everything from “process” to “voice” to “inspiration markers” and I’ve answered as best I can. I wrote, I said, because I felt I had to; I created characters and scenes because they ‘spoke’ to me and I transcribed; and I talked about myself—my hopes, my dreams and my fears—because this is what promotion is and promotion is key regardless of what my parents taught me about modesty and not trumpeting accomplishments.

I had a novel. I pitched it. And Solstice said “yes.” Now I have to sell it. *yikes*

SHAKIN’ LIKE A SPANIEL

With the ‘yes’ came the validation—the idea that maybe I had something decent after all—and with it an in-body experience that gave volcanism a whole new meaning for me. “Here she comes, Miss America” was the first thing that came to mind when I opened Summer Solstice Editor-In-Chief Kathi Sprayberry’s contract offer email last November.

Was this really happening? Will you marry me? Yes! Oh, yes! I will. I do…and then I slobbered like Miss America. For all those years I denounced the phony tears under the big tiara, this was the payback: Her tears were real after all, and so were mine.

SELL, SELL, SELL

I had my publisher, and with it my marching orders. In the space of a few weeks I had a website, a blog, a book trailer and a half century’s worth of tag lines, log lines and elevator pitches that would make Don Draper notice. I belong to “Promote Your Book” sites on Facebook, am mastering the fine art of twitter blasts on requisite Hash Tag Days of The Week, and long to upload THE BOOK onto Goodreads. There isn’t a coffee house in my county that doesn’t know me, and my former embalming instructor is dodging me because he knows I want the alumni list and going after said list is wildly inappropriate. I have compiled lists of local media to acquaint; public libraries with bulletin boards to be pinned, and arts and letters events that I will definitely go to, provided I lose that last five pounds that separate me from my party clothes.

Who knew this adventure would take me to such exciting places?

This weekend, I turn 50, and instead of handing out my shiny new postcards at the monthly breakfast I attend, I will have to entrust them to another to do the deed: my husband insists on spiriting me away to celebrate—sans postcards.

Maybe if we come home early???

Sigh.

ABF

March 11, 2015

A.B. Funkhuaser is a funeral director, wildlife enthusiast and classic car nut living in Ontario, Canada. Her debut novel, Heuer Lost And Found, combines adult, paranormal and dark humor in a fiction set to hit the market April 23, 2015. Presales begin March 26, 2015.

For more on A.B., please visit her at:

www.abfunkhauser.com

www.facebook.com/heuerlostandfound

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004110336663

https://twitter.com/iamfunkhauser

Be sure and check out her book trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3beUBWf2CQ

A visceral journey of two people: one living, one dead.

“Ever closer, ever farther, I will see you again one day, in the good place.”

Unrepentant cooze hound lawyer Jürgen Heuer dies suddenly and unexpectedly in his litter-strewn home. Undiscovered, he rages against god, Nazis, deep fryers and analogous women who disappoint him.

At last found, he is delivered to Weibigand Brothers Funeral Home, a ramshackle establishment peopled with above average eccentrics, including boozy Enid, a former girl friend with serious denial issues. With her help and the help of a wise cracking spirit guide, Heuer will try to move on to the next plane. But before he can do this, he must endure an inept embalming, feral whispers, and Enid’s flawed recollections of their murky past. Is it really worth it?

“Heuer? What kind of a name is that?”

Aside from a word rhyming with “lawyer,” Heuer is a man. German born, a U.S. citizen, he is layered, complicated, bitter and possessed of a really weird sense of humor. Dying alone and seemingly unlamented, he wakes as a preternatural residue, forced to live with his decomposing body over a one week period until he is finally found by a neighbor he despises. “If there’s a hell, it’s right here, and I’m standing in the middle of it.” Following his body to the funeral home, he is relieved to find Enid Krause, funeral director and former lover. Charged with the task of preparing his body for burial, she is less than gracious, declaring his dramatic return after a twenty year absence, unwelcomed and unappreciated. Crestfallen, Heuer doesn’t know what’s worse: dropping dead and not being found, or being found and being insulted.


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Introducing K.C. Sprayberry

Today, I welcome author K.C. Sprayberry to the blog. Prolific, invested, K.C. unveils her latest, the much anticipate LOST AND SCARED.

 A BIT ABOUT

lost and scared cover artWhen their younger twin siblings were murdered by their cold-blooded father, Shane and Keri’s own twin connection deepened. Their father shamed Shane and Keri into silence, and then went on to bring four more children into a house shuddering under the weight of his unpredictable temper.

Ten years later, what should have been a regular visitation turns into a horrific nightmare. Trapped in the Superstition Mountains with an addicted and dangerous father, Keri’s faith and determination wavers, but she knows she must save her brothers and sisters and return all of them to the home they love.

She now faces one insurmountable obstacle. He can’t afford to let her go.

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00TXJ48FC

Excerpt 1 ~ Shane

The window in my bedroom that I share with my two younger brothers overlooks Main Street. I angle my head, so I can attempt to see where my twin is.

“See Keri?” Axe, my best bud, asks.

“Nope. But I do see a bunch of cars leaving.” I face him and grin. “That means she’s on her way back.”

“Great. We can leave now.”

“Looks that way.”

He and I race down the stairs. The normal noise of a large family during winter holiday break greets me, along with what can only be described as evil snickering. We come around the corner, shoving and pushing to see which one of us gets to the bottom first, with me gaining an inch on my bud.

“Yes!” I pump a fist and hop down the last three steps, the satisfaction of proving once and for all that I’m the best pass receiver on our team.

“I am so going to beat you one of these days,” he says.

We knuckle bump and clown around.

“Ready when you are, honey,” a strange female voice says.

“Huh?” I turn around.

A woman who looks like a million miles of bad road stands beside the open front door. Before I can ask who she is and what she’s doing in our house, a series of loud bangs precedes the sound of a cat yowling. That noise sends fear shivers through every inch of my body, and I don’t scare all that easily.

“What the heck?” Axe pushes me aside. “What’s going on, Shane?”

“Don’t know.” I point at the woman. “Who are you?”

“Jake’s honey-poo,” she purrs.

That response is wrong on so many levels, beginning with Jake is my dad’s name. The last time I checked he was still married to my mom.

“Who are you two handsome hunks?”

Gross. Sick. Yuck! She sounds just like Scooter when he catches a mouse.

Just as I’m about to tell this loser from the wrong side of the tracks to get lost, Scooter races out of the kitchen. A mix of who knows what, he has gorgeous gray and white striped fur and I can only describe him as fat and slow.

Slow comes nowhere close to describing that streak racing for safety. Scooter howls out his fear. His fur stands on end and his tail is so fluffy that it looks ten times its normal size.

Author Bio:

Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the better pic of meUnited States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in Northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.

She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies, others in magazines. Three of her books (Softly Say Goodbye, Who Am I?, and Mama’s Advice) are Amazon best sellers. Her other books are: Take Chances, Where U @, The Wrong One, Pony Dreams, Evil Eyes, Inits, Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates, The Call Chronicles 1: The Griswold Gang, The Curse of Grungy Gulley, Paradox Lost: Their Path, and Starlight. Additionally, she has shorts available on Amazon: Grace, Secret From the Flames, Family Curse … Times Two, Right Wrong Nothing In Between, and The Ghost Catcher.

http://youtu.be/RCI2EWfs3UI

Excerpt 2 ~ Keri

Carly and I sneak up the walkway to the backdoor of the house where I live with my parents and five siblings. We’ve done nothing wrong. There is no reason for us to be sneaking into my house, except one… him.

“Are you sure about this?” she whispers.

“Yeah.” I cast a guilty glance at the driveway.

Shane’s truck isn’t here. He must still be hanging with his best bud, Axe. Heat rushes up my face whenever I think about that hunk. Axe not Shane. Big Bro is anything but a hunk. Well, he is kind of cute, and a lot of girls like him, but a hunk? Give me a break. None of the girls hot for him know that he stinks up a bathroom or dumps his clothes all over the place for me to pick up.

I’ll forgive Carly for thinking like that. She’s good for Shane, if he’d just get over the “everybody will hate us for dating” thing. Big deal if she’s African American and we’re white. Nobody cares about that anymore.

“Your dad will pop a cork if he catches me in the house,” Carly says. “You know he hates… you know.”

We never talk about that. So what if my dad is the biggest bigot in the world? The rest of my family is totally cool with me having Carly around. They like her. She’s funny, and an awesome bestie.

We both stop in front of the back door. I reach out a hand, but don’t turn the knob when I hear shouting.

“Oh, shit.” I glance at Carly.

“What now?” she whispers.

Memories flood through me of a night I try so very hard to forget. Once upon a time, there was another set of twins in our house. Then they were gone. The reason they’re not with us anymore is too hard to think about. I don’t even talk about that night, but that’s because Shane and I made a sacred vow. We will always keep that secret. Telling now will cause so many problems for us.

I have to tell someone, but that means I’ll go to jail. Won’t I? Isn’t that where liars go when they hide a crime?

The anniversary of that particular act still haunts me, even though it was way back in August. December has usually been good, even if we’re sad because of whatever he is doing. To have such an innocent act end in the violence as that one did should never happen to anyone, especially a kid. To have the person responsible still walking around as if he did nothing wrong infuriates me, until I think about how I never told.

Shane didn’t either. We should have told. It didn’t matter if we were only seven. It doesn’t matter now that we’re almost seventeen. We should have told.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/KC-Sprayberry/331150236901202

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Blog: http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com/

Website: www.kcsprayberry.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005DI1YOU

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KcSprayberry/posts

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/kcsprayberry/boards/

Authorgraph: http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/kcsowriter

Amazon book list: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=k.c.%20sprayberry&sprefix=k.c.+%2Cdigital-text

Manic Readers: http://www.manicreaders.com/KCSprayberry/

AND HERE IT IS

February 18, 2015

Today, I have a cover. In the next few days, a trailer. Then comes the BIG DAY, Blog Tour, reviews, and then back to the grindstone. SCOOTER NATION calls. But for now, I’ll pause and just enjoy the feeling. Thanks abound for the great people at Solstice Publishing,

This door belongs to history now.
This door belongs to history now.

from Editor-in-Chief K.C. Sprayberry to C.E.O. Melissa Miller, Editor Judi Mobley, and Cover Artist Michelle Crocker. Special mention must go to fellow Solstice authors Bernard Foong, Diana Harrison, and Rachael Stapleton for assisting on the proofing side. Call on me anytime. I’m here!

I’d be remiss, if I didn’t mention my on the ground sistas in writing: Cryssa Bazos, Ann Dulhanty, Marissa Campbell, Susan Croft, Connie DiPietro-Sparacino, Sally Moore, Gwynn Scheltema, Rachael Stapleton, Ruth Walker and Yvonne Hess. This is a dream and I’m glad you’re here with me.

Now time for a coffee and a little laundry lite. My family has been very patient and so has the house and all the little spiders with their contributing cobwebs. There is much to do on the home front too.

Cheers darlin’s and a big ragin’ WOO HOO. It’s now and forward.

ABF

It’s all about the face #1lineWed

I love today’s prompt *FACE* served up for this week’s #1lineWed because it evokes every degree of beauty and ugliness and not just in animal matter. Buildings have faces too, as do ideas. Here’s a couple of outtakes–the larger tweets if you will–connoting FACE.

#1

“Back in 1994, when Heuer was in his thirties and should have known better, he disappointed a woman, who, in turn, threw him out of her apartment. “Thanks fer nothing,” she yelled, with a bitchiness that confirmed her place in society, along with a trucker belch to match. He had only himself to blame. He’d been slumming in a drecky bar not consciously looking, but hoping for something willing to come his way. It was late and it didn’t take long for her to find him.

“You lonely?” “Her teeth were gapped and grey. “I’m lonely.”

It was a troll culled from a nightmare, and it was well-suited to his surroundings—cramped, pungent and marked by scents of perspiration and fish. Drunk and smoking, she pressed her big ass cheek into his side. Smells made acute by an ancient fryer in the back advanced across the room. Beer batter wafting with the aid of large ceiling fans co mingled with human notes of urine and beer to complete the parfum excellence. She blew on him, her breath rank, her brazenness an homage to that old cliché that you get what you deserve.

He smiled. His skin was better than hers.

“There is a cure for that,” he said. “Loneliness.” His accent, strange and unfamiliar, rolled across her and having the desired effect she got to the point.

“There’s wine and a fuck back at my place.”

He leaned back inviting her to apply her hands, which she did with easy self-assured strokes. The heat crept across his abdomen tightening the hairs in their follicles, twisting. She was good; real good: the kind of good that many years of applied field work made possible.

“Well?” Her tone was commanding.

She was not tall and she was not pretty. But she had the je ne sais quoi that demanded a second look. Her grip on him tightened. Heuer narrowed his little eyes, stripping away her paint and her arts. He was intrigued by her callousness—she was very crude—and by her certainty. She might have been forty or a really rough thirty-five—it was difficult to tell in the smoke and neon. If she was a door, her weather stripping would be cracked and peeling. He reached for her, rolling lengths of dry colored hair through smooth hands. A pro to be certain, she was also a bleary old douche bag, deflated in spots, and her insistence forced the issue. He’d emerged after a lengthy dry spell broken with a disparate coffee shop girl who was morosely tight, sexually bereft and, lacking common decency, had not the wherewithal to fake it. This one at least looked like she would and she wouldn’t cost a dime either.”

#2

“Pulling into the funeral home parking lot, he was struck by the shabbiness of the place. Three storied, stone-faced, with jagged courses of irregular shaped brick, she was more sea anemone than siren; prickly and unlovely. Where she had once stood apart from her ramshackle neighbors, the reverse was now true. The facade was flaking, the surfaces cracked. It was worse inside. She was falling farther and farther behind and C.E. Forsythe was at a loss as to how to help her.

“It’s amazing what you can get used to,” she seemed to say.

Even irrelevance?

Charlie willed the individual perspiration pellets welling beneath his skin to stay in their pores. It was a fantastic thought, but he believed himself capable of such tricks. Self delusion, after all, played a huge part in the life he had chosen and he credited it for his career longevity.”

Advance Review: Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire

Find it on Amazon and at Solstice Publishing, February 3rd.

The second instalment in Rachael Stapleton’s sprawling Temple of Indra Series, The Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire finds time-traveling erstwhile librarian Sophia Marcil celebrating her engagement to hunky Cullen O’Kelley. Trouble is, her engagement ring contains a centre stone that’s all too familiar—a purple sapphire from a suite of cursed jewels. Once on her finger, the ring takes her from Ireland to Toronto to England and back again. At various times occupying the body of a child, a malevolent teen and a heinous villain, who continues to track her and the jewel from the first book, Sophia is forced to think and act on her feet, with a little romance in between. Colorful and layered, Curse co opts an astonishing cast with shifting time frames and multiple points of view. The villain, nasty as ever, makes a dramatic entrance, spilling blood and driving this reader to wonder if the wretch will finally get what’s coming to him. But first, I had to figure out who he was masquerading as in the present. Plenty of twists, a sprinkle of humor and a whodunnit with a surprising ending, Curse reminds me of great old story telling, but with a fresh and vital voice. Hello again, Miss Stapleton.

Thumbs up
Thumbs up!

A.B. Funkhauser