Iron Mike: Blog Tour Post

A few months back, I met a lovely woman on one of my book groups. She had a partially finished novel, but wasn’t sure where to go from there. After reading it, I was blown away and determined to help her publish this awesome book. Editing, formatting, book covers, blurbs, and teasers followed, as well as countless messages of reassurance, going both ways. In the process, I gained a life-long friend. I’m pleased to present the promotional blog tour post for Patricia Rose’s Iron Mike!


Amazon Purchase Link:

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They came, but not in peace. They came to destroy us. Our cities crumbled. Our people died by the billions. Their weapons were sophisticated beyond our worst nightmare.

But they didn’t count on our stubborn tenacity or our will to live. We fight back, and we fight dirty.

Mike Sanderlin survived the first attack … but could he survive the war? How will he keep his sister safe in a world where terror swoops from the sky and looters claim the streets? Law and order are as forgotten as the bodies that rot in the sun.

To keep his sister alive, Mike changes. He becomes Iron Mike, a man unafraid of making the hard decisions, a man unafraid of war, of killing or being killed. Iron Mike isn’t afraid, period.

Iron Mike is a survivor.



She’d driven about ten miles from Malik’s house, wending her way between wrecked vehicles and making it all the way through both of the Shepherdsville traffic lights before the car had started sputtering. Kari had been paying attention to Shepherdsville, not the fuel gauge. She’d been shocked at the state of the small town. None of the businesses had opened, and a lot of the store front windows and door frames had been shattered, contents from the stores strewn about the parking lots. People had already started looting? What the fuck was up with that?

She kept the Sig Sauer in her unzipped pocket, within easy reach. She had gone through Malik’s gun safe and now had three extra magazines in the back pocket of her jeans. She figured if she needed them, she was dead. If eleven rounds of 9mm weren’t enough to protect her, the extra magazines would be no better than paperweights.

Nothing to be done for it. Kari stepped out of the jeep and pulled out her heavy backpack, adjusting it over her shoulders and snapping the straps in front to balance the load. It wasn’t bad, she told herself. She’d seen plenty of soldiers jogging around post in full rucksacks, and a lot of them were women, too. If they could do it, so could she.

Kari squinted at the town of Shepherdsville behind her, then back up State Road 44, which she knew was at least half the mileage she needed to travel to Knox. Once she hit Dixie Highway, it was about another twelve to fifteen miles to the front gates on Brandenburg Station Road. She didn’t even consider cutting through the woods. Kari was a city girl, and she intended to arrive on the post alive, not wander in circles through unfamiliar terrain until she froze to death or got eaten by coyotes. If she stuck to the roads, she would get there eventually.

She walked for more than an hour, almost totally uphill, before hearing the first vehicle. Kari cautiously stepped off the side of the road, her legs backed against the guard rail. S.R. 44 was a two-lane cut-through to Dixie Highway, and it was twisty; with the light layer of snow, it would also be slippery.

The red pickup’s engine roared as the driver downshifted, and passed right by her. Kari pushed off from the guard rail to start walking again – stopping abruptly as she saw the brake lights and backup lights. She leaned back against the guard rail and waited.

She made her decision instantly when the passenger window rolled down, and the man leered at her with what he probably assumed was a pleasant smile. His eyes moved up her body from her heavy boots, jeans, to the shapeless heavy coat she wore and the long braid of brown hair covered with a thick stocking cap.

“Need a ride, sweet thing?” the driver asked, leaning forward so he could see around the passenger.

Kari smiled politely, but it was stiff. The man was smiling, but there was a meanness to his smile that made Kari’s radar go off. His red hair was greasy and unkempt and he looked like he hadn’t showered in a week. “No, thanks,” she replied. “I appreciate the offer, but I don’t have far to go now.”
The passenger spoke, his voice making Kari’s skin crawl. “Aw, you really should come with us, miss. A pretty lady like you all alone in this crazy world, halfway up Martin Hill – it ain’t safe.”

“I’ll be fine,” Kari said politely. “Thank you again for the offer.”

She watched the crazy as it happened. The passenger’s pleasant leer fell from his face, and his eyes clouded with fury. “Bitch, you don’t know a good thing when you hear it,” he said, and opened his door, putting one foot on the snow.

Kari drew the Sig and aimed it right between the man’s eyes, thumbing the safety off in one smooth motion. He froze for a moment, his eyes narrowing as he assessed her. “You’re a cute little thing,” he said, a malicious eagerness in his voice. “Mine’s bigger.”

He moved his eyes to the gun rack on the back wall of the pickup where three large shotguns rested. Kari knew he wanted her to look at them, for her eyes to leave his so he could jump her. She didn’t oblige, keeping her eyes dead level on his.

“First shot takes out your rearview.” Her voice was oddly calm and quiet. Maybe all of Dad’s lectures and target practice hadn’t been wasted on her after all. “Second shot goes between your eyes and takes out you. Third shot the driver, if he’s still here.”

For a long moment, it was stalemate.

“Come on, Hank, let’s just go,” the driver whined. It was the wrong thing to say, because Hank was full of crazy, even if the driver didn’t know it, and his friend’s cowardice fueled his bravado. He shifted his weight so he stepped out of the truck.

Kari shot, the sound thundering down the ravine, echoing back to her. She was almost certain the man named Hank felt the bullet pass next to his head. It was a lucky shot. Not only did the rearview mirror break, but it broke cleanly in half, the wiring inside leaving both ends of the mirror dangling impressively and a neat round bullet hole in the windshield. Hank looked back, looking into Kari’s eyes again, his own narrowed meanly.
Kari didn’t react at all. She didn’t let victory or fear show on her face. “That’s one, Hank. Either get back in your truck, or come at me for number two.”
The driver, fortunately, kept his mouth shut this time. With a snarl, Hank shifted his weight back inside the vehicle and pulled his door closed with an angry slam. “I’ll find you again, cunt,” he sneered. “And when I do –“
Kari didn’t get to hear the rest of his threat because the driver peeled away before Hank could finish it.

Kari stood, adjusted her backpack and headed out with quick, confident steps.

She was her father’s daughter. She was nobody’s goddamned prey.

Iron Mike1


Dystopian/end of the world books are not my typical genre, so when I was asked to edit this novel, I went in with an open mind. Boy, was I absolutely blown away! Iron Mike is the story of a teenager, Mike Sanderlin, who is forced to grow up before his time when an unknown force wipes out nearly all the people on the planet. Those remaining must fight for survival against an alien race, determined to “harvest” planet Earth.

Wow doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt reading this novel. Instead of focusing on the details of the alien invasion, Patricia Rose brings you into the lives of the people directly impacted. You’ll laugh, cry, and love right alongside these wonderful characters, including an awesome dog named Hershey.

I recommend this book for anyone who wants to try something a little different. I couldn’t put it down, and I’m begging for more! I see many great things coming from this author in the future!

Winter road

Winter road

Author Bio:

Author picPatricia Rose was born a bookworm, and has never outgrown it. Her love of stories started with The Bobbsey Twins when she was five and continues today with the best offerings of science fiction, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. An avid animal lover, she shares her home with her husband, her spiritual wife, two dogs, four cats, a snake, and a tarantula. Her husband, Kevin, has strongly advised her to put down her hammer, chisels, and stone tablets and come into the digital age!

Connect with Patricia Rose on Facebook:

The Secret King: Lethao Release Blitz!

Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Date Published: September 30, 2015

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Kendro, King of the Aonise, can do nothing to prevent their sun from collapsing, consuming their home planet Letháo in a single fiery blast. Running out of time and options, he evacuates the entire population, setting off into the unknown galaxy in four crowded ships. Under constant danger from their ancient enemy, the Zefron, treasonous dissent seeps into his inner circle. Threatened inside and out, Kendro struggles with who to trust, until a mysterious vision finally brings hope to the distraught King. A new home awaits the Aonise, if Kendro can only unite them long enough to survive the journey.

From Ch 2:
“I can’t help but worry.” Chace’s hands shook as he locked eyes with Octav. “You know we don’t have a destination.”
“You’re privy to that information.” Octav shot him a glare.  “Do not speak of it.”
Chace stepped backed, “I’m sorry, Sir.”
Octav stared at Chace’s shimmering forearm where his birthmark betrayed his fear. Wearing their traditional uniforms had been Kendro’s idea. He’d hoped to bring calm to everyone, as their open birthmarks reflected their emotions. Winter wasn’t the time of year to be showing bare skin though, the chill Octav felt inside was almost un-bearable, not all of it from the weather.
Chace’s emotions were there for everyone to see, from the flicker across his striking facial mark, to the swirling pattern of his arm. He was terrified and more.
“Listen to me,” against his better judgment Octav reached for Chace. Pulling his own croex to the surface, Octav allowed it to trickle through into Chace’s skin. “Trust me. We might not know where we’re going, but we will find a new home.”
About the Author
Dawn Chapman has been creating sci fi and fantasy stories for thirty years. Until 2005 when her life and attention turned to scripts, and she started work on The Secret King, a 13 episode Sci Fi TV series, with great passion for this medium.
In 2010, Dawn returned to her first love of prose. She’s been working with coach EJ Runyon who’s encouraged her away from fast paced script writing, to revel in the world of TSK and Letháo as an epic prose space journey.
She’s had success with a web series, co-written with ‘Melvin Johnson’, produced by Nandar Entertainment, and a short film Irobe, also co-written. This year her experience of working with Producers/Directors from the US and AUS has expanded. From Drama, Sci Fi to Action, Dawn’s built a portfolio of writing, consulting and publishing.
Contact Links
Twitter: @TeamSecretKing
Purchase Links
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Five Stars for The Soldier’s Secret!

PROMO_WITH ENDORSEMENT-page-001A shiny five star badge from Readers’ Favorite for my latest novel! This is such an honor for me because I feel I put so much of my own blood, sweat, and tears into this novel.

This is the review:
Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers’ Favorite

When her father is severely injured at the family store and Emma discovers that her younger brother has left home to join the Confederate Army, she realizes the only way to get answers about Harrison and her older brother, Will, is to join the army herself. The Soldier’s Secret is really a big one – Emma Mansfield becomes Emmett Hawkins and fights alongside the men of the Union Army in the Civil War. Heather Osborne relates the horrors of the bloodiest war on American soil and the pressures families faced, given the shortage of news regarding loved ones. Emma is fortunate enough to find both brothers as well as her fiance, Colin, who joined the Union forces as a doctor. Together, Emma and Colin escape the front lines in Virginia and the unreasonable attention from an unscrupulous officer who takes this desertion particularly personally. Hiding along the way home to Rochester, NY, Emma and Colin meet some wonderful people who are willing to help. What cost will this have on everyone involved as Timmons pursues the pair?

The Soldier’s Secret by Heather Osborne is a well-told tale of devotion, courage and daring during the course of the American Civil War. The writing is lively and realistic to the time period and the characters bring the action to life – from the drawing room of a wealthy family of the North to the blood and mayhem of the battlefield. Beyond the sorrow and devastation, though, the book clearly demonstrates the importance of family and the lengths to which some people would go to protect their loved ones. Hope keeps everyone grounded as they all wait for the action to play out and for the family to be reunited once more. This is a great story!

The book is available on all Amazon marketplaces and soon will be available in paperback! 🙂

Featured Author: V.M Sawh

Another unexpected Readers’ Favorite discovery! I love fairy tales rewritten with a twist and V.M. Sawh’s series, “Good Tales for Bad Dreams,” certainly met that criteria! I was lucky enough to have Sawh respond to my request for an interview, after I read and reviewed the two stories in this series, “Cinders” and “Hontas.”

Cinders small coverI loved both short stories, but felt “Cinders,” although Anastasia cover smallvery dark, was lacking in the area of character development. I was happy when Sawh provided me with a free link to the prequel, “Anastasia” and told me “Cinders” had a word limit. I can more than understand this because “Crushed Gardenias” had a word limit and people were disappointed when it ended. I look forward to reading this one as well.

Anyways, on with the questions!


What made you want to become an author?

I have been writing from a very young age and I still have copies of all of my early, handwritten work. The first scribblings of a story I ever wrote was a little piece called “Jungle Peril”, about a pair of swashbuckling explorers tackling smugglers in the wild bush. Given that the wild bush was essentially my backyard in South America, I think I had some first-hand knowledge to back up my wild imagination. My problem has always been caused and solved by those old Choose Your Own Adventure books. I devoured those as a kid, because I loved that there were always multiple paths, twists and endings to every story. So, when reading regular books, I always thought of different ways things could go and how I wanted them to play out. Writing my own fiction allows me to explore those ideas.

Where did your ideas for Cinders and Hontas come from?

Legend has it that Cinders was originally written for submission to an anthology, kind of as a lark. I was looking for a challenge and one day, during a long drive, I was listening to a piece of Japanese music, and this scene popped into my head. I was describing it to my wife when the story took on a life of it’s own. She then told me I had to write it down and try to submit it. So, the challenge became to try and take this very traditional fairy-tale and depict it in a way that it had never been done before. Of course, when I applied my particular flavour to it, the submission was rejected for being too graphic ~ and that was the toned down version! Taking this rejection to heart, I decided to go all full-tilt-boogie on the thing and take the censorship wheels off. That story was eventually published as Cinders.

I wrote Anastasia due to a reader’s request to know more about some of the side characters in that world. Taking that on as a fun exercise, Anastasia got away from me and became it’s own story, sort of a sequel to Cinders.

Hontas Cover smallNow with Hontas the goal was to tackle a genre I had never written before. Mind you, that had been the challenge with the previous two as well, but hey, what can I say – stretching yourself is good!

Part of exploring the Pocahontas story was an attempt to deal with my own feelings of alienation with regards to Indian culture (dot, not feather). I transplanted that struggle into the main character and used her as a cypher. She is an ‘other’ and even though I grew up in Canada, there were many times when I felt like the ‘other’ as well. So that story came out of a desire to express that dichotomy that I think a lot of immigrants and particularly immigrant children feel.

What tips would you give to aspiring authors?

Nobody was born with a pencil in their hand. There’s talent and there’s practice. You need both in order to make it. Chasing trends is like a dog chasing cars. You’ll never catch them and all you’ll be is lost and out of breath. Be original. Write the stories you’d want to read.

What are you working on for future release?

Good Tales For Bad Dreams will continue. I am planning a set number of releases before moving to a hardcover print collection.

The next installment of Good Tales for Bad Dreams takes us far away from Earth, to the outer reaches of space on a distant, unknown planet. Two sentient robots have been abandoned on its surface, one is an advanced planetary survey droid carrying the latest scientific technology and a healthy curiosity; the other is a battle-hardened combat drone that’s armed to the teeth and ready to go to war. The two are forced to work together both to survive the brutal landscape and to plan their own rescue. What they don’t know is that the planet has one other surprise in store for them: they are not alone.

This is V.M. Sawh’s “Hansel & Gretel”. This is GR3T3L-1.

I have to say, personally, out of the two, I loved Hontas more. I gave it five stars over at Readers’ Favorite. I’m looking forward to the sci fi take on Hansel & Gretel!

Kind thanks to V.M. Sawh for taking the time to answer my questions!

VM Sawh

Contact Links:
Website: (for The Official)
Pinterest: (for The Pretty Pictures)

Facebook: (for The Issue Discussions)


Twitter: @VMS_author (for the Random & the Immediate)
Google+:  V.M. Sawh
(P.S. I don’t know what’s up with the formatting of this last bit. Ebil WordPress!)
Happy reading!

Review: Hooked

As you all know, I review for Readers’ Favorite. Every once in a while, I come across a book that captivates me completely. I felt this one would be interesting to share as the author donates a portion of his proceeds to a human trafficking charity.

In my next novel, The Fairest of Them, I talk a bit about human trafficking. It is something that doesn’t just happen on an international level, but often times right in our own backyards.

Cover for Hooked. Courtesy of Goodreads

I had the pleasure to read and review a book by Allen Wolf entitled Hooked.

The following is my synopsis and review:

Hooked by Allen Wolf is a contemporary novel about an autistic man struggling with finding love and happiness. Shawn desperately wants to find someone to spend the rest of his life with, but due to his autism, finds it difficult to even get past the first date. His family is encouraging and protective of Shawn’s heart after he lost his first girlfriend in college. Then, at a party for his work, a dating agency, Shawn meets Violet. He mistakes her for an “ordinary” girl and asks her out on a date. Unbeknownst to him, Violet is actually a prostitute with a difficult past. Still, she takes a sort of pity on Shawn and agrees to meet with him, their relationship growing. Shawn and Violet embark on a new kind of relationship, but can he accept her past and save her from a dangerous lifestyle?

Mr. Wolf’s novel is beautifully written. Rarely will I find myself captivated by a book that I cannot put it down for nearly two hours. I read this book from start to finish in one sitting. Shawn was so sweet and Mr. Wolf really strove to write him as believable as possible. My heart went out to his gentle nature and simple desire to be loved. After all, isn’t that what we all want in life? Violet was a very sympathetic character and I found myself hoping more than anything for a happy ending for the pair. I was also very pleased to see this author donates a portion of the proceeds from his sales to a human trafficking charity. I love that the author raised awareness of local trafficking as it doesn’t just happen to women from other countries. All I can say is, pick up this book and get lost in the beauty of their relationship. Hooked is simply remarkable and was a complete pleasure to review.

Not only did Mr. Wolf raise awareness of trafficking, but touched on the tender topic of autism. All I can say is, bravo. I was blown away! I hope Mr. Wolf manages to turn his novel into a feature film, as is his goal.

This is the link to the book on Goodreads:

If you have a couple hours, sit down and have a read. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!