Guest Post Featuring Eric Swett

Good morning everyone! I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to a good friend of mine, Eric Swett, and his newest book, Apocalypse In The Balance. Without any further ado, take it away, Eric.

Finding the Fantastic in Fallen Places

If you turn on a television and watch an American made program you will see beautiful suburban landscapes, gritty cities so large that they boggle the senses, or pastoral countrysides filled with farms or forests. Each of these scenes appeal to us on some level and for different reasons, but they lack originality. Even Batman’s Gotham fills our consciousness as a darker New York, with its shadows so much deeper and they architecture just slightly more menacing. It is easy to write about these places and to stay in these archetypes because they are easy to understand and comprehend. They take little description because the mere mention of skyscrapers or farms or little ranch style homes surrounded by white picket fences all conjure images that have been blasted into our subconscious.

In my latest book, Apocalypse in the Balance, I use just such archetypes to describe the city where all of the action takes place. Soaring skyscrapers filled with the titans of industry, the poor part of town with its dark allies and violence, and the suburbs with their banality. Conjuring up a setting from my mind is personal and watching it take shape on the paper can be immensely satisfying, but this template leaves a little something to be desired.

One thing I like to do to break up the every day is to use special locations to make a scene more memorable. For inspiration I look toward places that have been abandoned in the real world. You would be surprised to know how many locations right outside the polished parts of any town and city are left to rot with disuse. Infusing these abandoned locales with a unique ambiance will make them stand out in the reader’s mind and memory.


How hauntingly beautiful is this abandoned outpost in Cambodia? Could you reimagine it as whole again? What about relocating it from the top of a hill to the center of a city? Who lives there? Rebels hiding from a vicious dictator? A clan of vampires feeding on the poor abandoned individuals of a city drowning in crime? Perhaps it is the secret temple of a cult bent on bringing about the end of the world.

Broken down locations are great for building back up and they can make a great addition that will stand out in your collection of locals.


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About Apocalypse in the Balance:

Apocalypse in the BalanceFive years have passed since the Angel of Death made a very public appearance in the middle of New Arcadia. Since then the city has become a hub of activity for the supernatural. Most people are blissfully unaware of the powerful forces at work in their city, and the darkness bubbling under the surface could not be happier.

Businessman and criminal kingpin Kohaku Hitaratsu finds his world turned upside down, and he is forced to seek refuge in the slums he left behind. He no longer rules the neighborhood that was the foundation of his empire and he must find a way to survive on the streets with little more than a pickup truck to his name.

When Kohaku finds his neighborhood and his new found home under siege by monsters better found in nightmares, he chooses to stand and fight rather than simply survive.

Standing up to the darkness draws the attention of forces better left alone, and Kohaku is caught in a tug of war between the all too familiar evils of his life and the light within that is struggling to get out.

Friends and relatives choose sides in his struggle, but ultimately it is the love of a woman that will determine his course and could decide the fate of the world.


10% of all royalties will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Author Eric SwettAbout the Author: Eric Swett is an author and IT professional living in Mooresville, NC. He is the husband of Tracy and the father of Zachary, Connor, and Kaitlyn. Eric is a rabid Arizona Cardinals fan and a lover of most things geek, and hes been before either of them were cool. When he is not writing or spending time with his family, he is reading and playing the occasional video game. His favorite authors include Ben Bova, H. P. Lovecraft, Robert Jordan, J. R. R. Tolkien, and L. Ron Hubbard. His favorite Bands/Musicians include The Beatles, KISS, AC/DC, Yoko Kanno, John Williams, and Imagine Dragons.




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In the Books featuring Dreamtime Sensuality by David Russell

Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of In the Books, featuring Dreamtime Sensuality by David Russell.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.


Okay, I only feel it’s right to say I’m not a fan of romance. It’s not really my thing, but I do enjoy a good story or stories. That’s the part that caught my attention with Dreamtime Sensuality. It’s a collection of four stories, each following the same basic formula of highly intelligent women that look to fulfill their needs and desires through voyeurism and self-control. Each woman firmly controls their desires until the perfect moment of their seduction scenarios that relate to their profession.

While the stories were similar to one another, each had a different take on various professions of the women and kept it fresh throughout. The one thing I do have to say is there are some moments where I wanted to see the scene fleshed out more, but that was balanced with the poetic style each story was told. I actually caught myself reading it like a verse and that’s something I rarely, if ever, do, so props to the author on eliciting that from me.

This was a pleasant surprise and I truly enjoyed it. It felt like something better to read outside relaxing than anywhere else, and I found that to be an interesting development.

If you’re looking for a quick, relaxing romantic read, this could be just the thing.

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Organ Reapers Cover Reveal!


I was lucky enough to get an Advanced Reader Copy and I have to say it’s an awesome book! :D

Originally posted on Dr. Shay West:

OR full cover

I am so excited to share this with all of you! This book was so much fun to write and I look forward to  more adventures with Eli and Ava! Organ Reapers will be available October 31st!

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The Vikings Sacrificed to the Gods in Rivers and Lakes


I LOVE ancient history. Never know what will fuel the muse. :)

Originally posted on ThorNews:

English Viking Age Sword Found in Scandinavia

This magnificent English sword was sacrificed in Skåne in Sweden. Today it is on display at the Historical Museum in Stockholm. (Photo: Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History / University of Oslo)

A doctoral dissertation from 2009 shows that the Vikings sacrificed valuable and beautiful objects to the Norse gods and their forefathers at bridges and fords because they believed they were the boundary between the living and the diseased.

The thesis by Julie Lund, Lecturer at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo – offers an insight into sacrificial customs of the Viking Age lasting from year 793 – 1066 AD.

Previously it was believed that this type of sacrifices came to an end in the Migration Period around year 500, but it turns out that the tradition continued into the Viking Age.

Bridges and Fords

The Vikings used special places in the landscape…

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How to create a well-rounded, believable character: Guest Blog by L.A. Starkey


Some great tips for character building. Dust off those old RPG character sheets. :)

Originally posted on Tea Talks:

I think for me, as a reader, the necessity of having well-rounded believable characters that capture my heart, my attention, or my hormones is vital. Reading a book where you just don’t like the main character is honestly painful and not something I can hang with for too terribly long.
One of the best tools I’ve found in creating a good character is to sketch him or her out from the beginning. Let me give you an example from my own debut novel, Deceived.
Name: Samantha Parker
Age: 17
Appearance: Deep blue eyes, black shoulder length-hair (straight), around 5’8’’. Athletic build with curves where needed, but not overtly feminine. No physical markings on her body other than the infinity symbol she receives throughout the book.
Personality: Sam has a sardonic sense of humor and keeps a pretty negative outlook on things. She allows very few people to get close to…

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NaNoWriMo Prep: Finding Motivation


Perfect timing with NaNoWriMo just around the corner.

Originally posted on Kate M. Colby :

In episode #198 of The Creative Penn Podcast, Steve Scott, a self-published author who earns a six-figure income from his writing, gives his advice for being productive and successful. His number one tip?

“Consistent butt in chair at least 5 times a week.”

procrastinationIt is no secret. The magic way to produce writing is to sit down and physically write. However, as all writers know, sometimes this is much easier said than done. After all, when our day jobs and families and friends and fully-loaded DVRs come calling, it’s difficult to turn them away. Given the opportunity, many writers will exercise their imaginations to invent any story necessary to get out of doing their work. Unfortunately, I am no exception to this weakness.

This November, I will have to beat myself at my own game and figure out how to get to “butt in chair” long enough to crank out…

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Why Fiction is Better than Fact

Originally posted on Official Site of Alex Laybourne - Author:

If you are reading this (thank you) there is a very strong chance that you are a writer. Which is great, you will certainly understand where I am coming from.

As a writer, I don’t believe in the ‘odds’. I don’t believe in letting life run though the same channels; going through every day on autopilot, afraid to touch the controls in case we spiral out of control and crash. I refuse to play it safe. To play the odds.

writing 2If I believed in them, I would not be doing what I am. I would not be writing fiction. If we can step outside the writer’s mindset for a moment and just look at it all in the plain light of day. The chance of succeeding as a writer is slim to none. With that, I am not talking about Stephen King style success, but an ‘I write full time and…

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