The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour ~ The Twilight Zone Legacy + Blog Contest

The Twilight Zone

I can't remember the day I saw my first Twilight Zone episode. I do know that ever since then, I haven't been able to pass by a marathon or an episode without giving it a peek. Anyone who has chatted with me about my favorite genre shows knows I'm a huge T-Zone fan.

Ever year I tune into the annual Twilight Zone New Year's marathon (and this year there was a special treat of having a classic Outer Limits marathon on Christmas Day woo hoo!) with my sparkling cider and kick up my feet to watch some of my fave episodes. This year we also have the TDtSSS Blog Tour so what better way to chat genre fiction than to write about my favorite series and episodes?

Creator Rod Serling changed the face of television and inspired me greatly with his anthology that touched on the entire spectrum of humanity. While exploring everything from innocent lost and gain to nostalgia, fear and never-ending love, greed and absence, he enterained us, frightened us and enlightened us--sometimes all at once.

This year I want to celebrate Twilight Zone and speculative fiction by naming my top five Twilight Zone episodes.

1) The Shelter -Impending invasion brings out the worst in neighbors

2) The Monsters are Due on Maple Street - Aliens invade and paranoia grows between neighbors

3) The Living Doll - Talky Tina reigns terror on Kojak

4) To Serve Man - It's a cookbook!

5) The Bewitchin' Pool - Children of an abusive couple going through a divorce escapes through the pool and to an awesome land of happy kids and ginormous cake.

I'd also like to invite visitors to enter a special end of the tour contest where you can win a ebook of Cimmerian City, my most recent release, and an ebook of A Kiss of Ashen Twilight, the first in my Ashen Twilight Series. Alls you have to do is post a comment about your fave Twilight Zone memories and episodes or if you haven't seen the series, post a comment about how you know about it!

Bonus for those who have a hankering to follow me here at AWD or on Twitter. ;-)

Let the TZone love begin and don't forget to check out the Sci-Fi Channel's (sorry, I just can't bring myself to post it the new way cause it's too weird!) New Years Day Marathon!

The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour ~ Author Marie Harbon

Day 4 brings us our last special treat of the day! Marie Harbon, author of the recent YA spec fic novel, drops by to share a bit of how she would handle The Day the Sun Stopped Shining. 

Author Marie Harbon
You wake up one morning and there is no daylight – it is pitch dark outside, not even electricity… Something happened to turn out all the light and there are strange noises outside…

Nothing had changed since yesterday; I was still isolated from my comrades, the door was still firmly closed and it was still pitch black. It surprised me that despite the lack of electricity, the door hadn’t released so I surmised that there must be a back up source of power somewhere feeding the controller of my new prison cell.
It was disorientating being shut off from society, enclosed in a sensory deprivation environment… maybe it was being done deliberately. When the power had inexplicably died several hours ago, my comrades had been on the other side. Then an alarm had sounded and the door had swung shut, the electronic locks clicking in an indication of my impending doom.

But what I had heard on the other side of the door truly chilled me to the bone… people screaming, real torturous shrieks like some grisly apocalyptic scene. Then silence, and that was the worst part of all. I now felt isolated because I was either separated from my comrades in life and death, or through distance.

That silence had now given away to some strange shuffling and scraping sounds coming from the other side of the door. There had to be at least one person out there, anyone… I couldn’t bear the isolation. Without hesitation, I began banging on the door to draw their attention but then the shuffling and scraping stopped. I called out but there was just silence.

This wasn’t working. I had to make sense of what was going on, so I pictured what I could remember of the room’s interior… entrances and exits. The point of entry we used was above and to the left, I think; my sense of direction was completely lost in the pitch black. This heist certainly wasn’t going to plan.

If the world really was ending, what 3 things would you do?
  1. Make sure I was surrounded by my family and friends, so that if we go down, we go down together.
  2. Reflect on the good times and the greatest things I’d achieved throughout my life.
  3. Along with my friends and family, I’d take a boat and lay claim to an island somewhere, away from the hysterical and looting population. (It’s ending, but not completely finished!).
Marie Harbon is an author and screenplay writer who lives in Nottingham, UK. Her first and current novel is the first in a five part paranormal/science fiction epic called ‘Seven Point Eight: The First Chronicle’, which is available on the Kindle for $0.99 and in paperback for $18.00.

Follow me on Twitter @marieharbon

Visit my website at

Like my Facebook page ‘The Seven Point Eight Chronicles – Science Fiction/Paranormal Series’

Many thanks, Rae for welcoming me to your site.

Thanks for dropping by Marie! ~ AWD

The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour ~ Author Ju Ephraime

Day 4 of the tour also brings us another special treat in the form of author Ju Ephraime. Ju's mystery entitled The Man in the Black Top Hat is available now! Here's a snapshot of our second author of the day as well as a look into her new book!

Ju Ephraime

Brief Bio: Ju Ephraime has been reading and writing from her teenage years. However, over the years, the heavy load of academic reading and writing, in pursuit of her educational goals, forced her to step away from reading and writing, just for the fun of it. A year ago she revisited her first love, writing for fun and enjoyment, and has not stopped since. She has written several children's books, including four romance novels, and her first paranormal. Professionally, she is the  administrator of a career school in Connecticut and the President of a non-profit organization, Professional Wardrobe, Inc., which dresses individuals for job interviews. Ms. Antoine is very active in her community and is always willing to assist and help someone in need.

The Man in the Black Top Hat

Brief Synopsis: In this her first paranormal romance novel, Ju Ephraime has given us a book filled with suspense, mystery, ghostly happenings, and sex. For most authors of paranormal romance, this would have been an ambitious undertaking, but Ephraime delivers this story in her usual quick pace and attention to detail. The Man In The Black Top Hat, is not your ordinary paranormal romance novel.

Set in Connecticut, The Man In The Black Top Hat will have you on the edge of your seat, as you try to follow the interactions between Syria Warrington and the Ghost that invaded her home. Told in the voice of the heroine, Syria Warrington, the story takes you from Syria's first meeting with the Ghost on her front step, to her bringing it into her home, and the nightly going ons between them, as, night after night she found herself caught up in sexual escapades, the like of which she had never experienced before. The story has the reader wondering, was Syria's meeting with the Ghost an accident or had she been targeted by the Ghost in a former life?

Get a copy here at: The Man In The Black Top Hat

The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour ~ Author P.R. Mason

AWD is excited to present today's first guest for Day 4 of the tour! Author P.R. Mason's wonderful guest post on villains and her recent release, Entanglements!

A Villain Who Thinks He's a Hero: Playing with History


P.R. Mason

Like many people no doubt, my life has been touched by a moment in time I would give anything to change. For me an ordinary day could have continued in its infinite ordinariness if not for the convergence of some relatively innocuous happenings that conspired to create a tragedy. As a result I've been fascinated by the idea of alternate worlds or universes and alternate history. What might have been if but one thread in the tapestry of time had been different. A yellow rather than blue. A coffee break not taken. A stop sign repaired rather than fallen.

ENTANGLEMENTS, my recent release, is a paranormal romance/urban fantasy about a teen who enters a dangerous alternate dimension to rescue her stepsister. In plotting the story, I knew the villain would be the "different" thread. He would be that point in the history of his world where its timeline of events diverged from the world we know. Much of Entanglements takes place in a dimension where history has taken an alternate path to that of our universe. I imagined a place largely frozen in Victorian times. It's a London where paranormal creatures abound.

I wanted to include a villain who's more than just a stock baddie. He had to be dark and evil, of course. But I didn't want him to be like a slasher movie automaton, acting inexplicably except for some psychopathically insane dementia. To me, an evildoer's far more insidious and scary if there's an understandable motive to his actions. So I set out to create a villain who's also a hero...or at least one who thinks he's a hero.

 In researching Victorian England to come up with an historical figure that could serve as the basis for my villain, I sought to find someone who could have, if events were slightly different, come into a position of power and authority. The perfect candidate presented himself in the personage of His Royal Highness Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, the son of Britain's Queen. My decision to use Leopold was solidified when I learned he was afflicted with hemophilia, a genetic disease that prevents blood clotting and significantly shortens the life of a sufferer. Even a trip and fall can result in internal bleeding and death...which is what happened to Leopold in real life.

In my alternate history, the Queen, desperate to save her son, employs a wizard to find a cure. But this cure is less than successful and transforms Leopold into a vampire. The prince then sets about fathering a vampire aristocracy and gathering other paranormal creatures into his Empire

As a side note, a bit of unexpected synergy occurred in the selection of Leopold as the villain. One integral part of the Entanglements plot is that heroine, Kizzy, accidentally opens a vortex/portal to the Prince's world. In researching one such alleged vortex located in my hometown of Savannah, Georgia, I discovered that the symbol purportedly drawn to open the portal was a swirling circle. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that a glyph used by Queen Victoria included this same swirl.

As Entanglements begins, the human race is on the verge of extinction in Leopold's world. Even though "free-range" humans are being rounded up and put into a feedlot system, the food supply for Leopold and his subjects is dwindling. He views the heroine, Kizzy, as the key to opening the portal to our world for exploration and plundering. Obviously, Prince Leopold thinks he's the hero of the story.

At one point, Leopold asks:  “Am I so very different from you, Kizzy? You do all you can to save your sister and your friends. I merely do all I can to save my people. I wish to prevent them from perishing in unspeakable agony. How can that be wrong?”

And to her surprise, Kizzy sort of understands his logic. She recognizes the morality of monsters feasting on human flesh and using their bones as toothpicks is relative.

I hope I achieved my goal of creating a heroic villain or villainous hero. One the reader can empathize with even as he scares them silly.

Please follow me on twitter @PRMason and visit my website

The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour ~ Stories of Duality

House Like Stars and Escape From Manor House
Stories of Duality

I wrote these stories about a year ago for a challenge about POVs. Authors were supposed to take a story idea and write it from two different opposing viewpoints. This offered up a ton of different ideas and possibilities. So much that I may try it again in the future while exploring themes in various shades of good and evil.

In these two stories, I explore the opposite side of a robbery in an old, magical house. The intruder discovers sinister forces at work...or are they really trying to escape something themselves?

I hope you guys enjoy both House Like Stars and Escape From Manor House. :-)

The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour ~ Author Michelle Franklin

AWD would like to welcome author Michelle Franklin as our guest for today's tour!

Michelle has a wonderful prologue to share from her book The Commander and the Den Asaan Rautu, the first book in the Haanta series. Learn more about the series at Michelle's site.

Blurb: In a desperate attempt to save her homeland, one commander makes an alliance that will change her life and her kingdom forever.

When Frewyn's last line of defense falls, Boudicca MacDaede, leader of the Frewyn armed forces, enlists the assistance of Den Asaan Rautu, one of the Haanta giants from the islands to the far north. After winning a war, spending a year fighting by her side, Rautu is called back to his people but finds it impossible to leave without the woman he has come to love. Now he must find a way to make her his mate while fending off an impending attack against his people that threatens to break them apart forever.

From the prologue:

Original cover lineart by Twisk
At the far end of the garrison, the captain found a peculiar creature lurking within one of the holding cells. She eyed it with circumspection, having little idea what it was, but when she neared, she observed that it was a Haanta, one of the mysterious giants from the islands to the far north. She had never before seen one of the reticent giants, but his violet and black eyes, his mauve-grey skin, his white hair and immense stature suggested that he must be a Haanta. The rings and shells adoring his molded locks, the foreign symbols inked into his forearm, his embroidered war kilt, and the heap of various pelts adorning his back and shoulders gave him an appealing and distinguishing air. Though his expression was stern, his features made him almost handsome, his wide maw, high cheekbones and proud nose balanced his reproachful countenance. His body was a work of exertion: his muscles were large and well-formed, his arms and back were gifted with overpowering might, his skin was scarred, and his hands were thick and calloused. Here was a creature of majesty, and the captain found a consolation in seeing the giant at such a time. She supposed he must be a Haanta of some consequence to be so decorated, but before she could ask his abilities with a weapon, the attentive mountain spoke.
                “You are holding those incorrectly, woman,” the giant said, gesturing toward the blades dangling from her hands.
                He spoke and the captain felt a ripple of sound resonate through her from his low and commanding voice. “I believe I’ve been taught well enough to use them effectively,” she said to the giant as he turned away. “Do you have some claim to the marks on your arm or are they merely for show?”
                Her remarks caught his consideration and his violet eyes tapered with growing dislike. He was at least dejected in his solitude, and now she had come to ruin his isolation and compel him to speak when he would otherwise be enjoying silence. He pressed his immense body against the bars of the cell in hopes of intimidating her, but the captain remained complacent and unaffected by his display.
                “Leave me, woman,” he bellowed at her.
                “I fear a cannot do that just now. I might need your help, should you wish to give it.”
                He groaned and turned aside. “I will not assist you.”
                “It is rather a shame you won’t. I was going to offer you your freedom.”
                The giant turned back and looked at her with hesitation. He studied her form and face and her apparent composure despite the battle ensuing beyond the armoury walls. Her wide shoulders, her high carriage, her half-smile all proposed collectedness, but the pleading look in her dark eyes had told him there was much she feared regardless of her outward tranquility. He made her no answer and continued his investigation of the odd woman.
                “I have little doubt of your eventually freeing yourself, creature,” she said. “But by the time you should do so, this outpost will be overrun with Galleisians. If you help us now, I will open that door and give you a weapon.”
                “And if I use the opportunity to kill you and leave?” the giant said in a tone half-serious half-arch.
                “I have never known warriors to be dishonourable. Should you prove me wrong, we will all be dead anyway. There is nothing so ugly as reneging a promise, wouldn’t you agree?”
                The giant clenched his teeth and looked down. “I would,” he murmured.
                “If you agree to help us maintain our borders, I will disregard the reason for your imprisonment and allow you to return to your home in secrecy.” She turned over one of her swords and offered it to him.
                The giant gaped at the small blade with a reluctant expression. She had sworn him liberation, but he was tentative to follow or fight for a nation other than his own when he had been a leader once himself. He lifted his hand momentarily to accept, but soon dropped it again to further consider her offer. He could escape if he wished; their meager contrivances could not hold him for long should he truly wish his independence, but the weight of his transgression had plagued him and he hadn’t made nor would make an attempt to free himself. He looked at her again, perceiving the determination in her manner, and then looked at the hilt of the blade. His hand ached to hold it and gravitated toward it with unconscious movements. He was silent in his deliberation, but in the work of an instant, the deal was done; the giant conceded, and he would be freed from confinement and armed so that he may save Frewyn’s borders.
                The captain swiped at the lock on the cell door and the rusted bolt fell to the ground, releasing the giant from his cell. He stood out from his cramped confinement, stretched his massive arms, and neared with heavy footfalls.
                 He tightened his clasp around the weapon in his hand, calming at the feeling of his place being reclaimed. “I will win this battle for you,” he declared.
                 “I daresay you shall,” she said smilingly.
                They exchanged a look of understanding and rushed out of the garrison, remaining close to one another while lunging toward the rampant assault.

The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour ~ The Girl in the Basement

The Girl in the Basement was a short horror story I wrote way early in my writing venture. It was one of the first short stories I sold as a teen (this one sold to Dark Moon Rising) and later on I updated it to be a more smoother read. I thought it would be perfect for The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour since for one character, the sun no longer shines. Two guesses as to why. ;-)

The girl here was a character I had written about in three other stories that were never published. One day, depending on the workability of the stories, I may release them.

Hope you enjoy the story!

 Click to read after the jump!

The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour ~ Dec 26-31st

Welcome to the The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour!

We have a den of authors who have been planning for weeks to bring a great blog tour full of giveaways, prizes and book related treats for all the fantasy, paranormal, horror and sci-fi fans out there.
All featuring the awesome web fiction The Day the Sun Stopped Shining by the talented Matthew C. Wood.

So slide a chair right on up, grab a cup of tea, cocoa, coffee or whatever your poison and enjoy the tour!

Don't forget to drop by here so you can enter a special book giveaway by yours truly!



Monday, December 26, 2011 at Midnight (PST)
Saturday, December 31, 2011 at Midnight (PST)

    Winners will be drawn and posted after December 31, 2011





Check out the main blog for participating authors and be sure to stop by their blogs for great goodies!

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Living Violet: The Cambion Chronicles#1 by Jaime Reed

Living Violet: The Cambion Chronicles#1 by Jaime Reed

Publication Date: December 27, 2011

From Amazon: Book 1 of The Cambion Chronicles

He's persuasive, charming, and way too mysterious. And for Samara Marshall, her co-worker is everything she wants most--and everything she most fears. . .

Samara Marshall is determined to make the summer before her senior year the best ever. Her plan: enjoy downtime with friends and work to save up cash for her dream car. Summer romance is not on her to-do list, but uncovering the truth about her flirtatious co-worker, Caleb Baker, is. From the peculiar glow to his eyes to the unfortunate events that befall the girls who pine after him, Samara is the only one to sense danger behind his smile.

But Caleb's secrets are drawing Samara into a world where the laws of attraction are a means of survival. And as a sinister power closes in on those she loves, Samara must take a risk that will change her life forever. . .or consume it.

"Jaime Reed breathes fresh life into paranormal romance. I loved it!" --Lee Nichols, author of the Haunting Emma series

A BF protagonist in a paranormal YA book? An IR relationship? Squeee! I fell in love with this cover and even more so when I read the blurb, so much that I would scrap together chump change to have a copy of my own on the reader. I've heard some great buzz about this book so I'm looking forward to diving into this when it's available. It's the first in a series a la the Across the Universe, Magic Under, Heist Society and Iron Fey books so I'm really excited to add this as a new favorite. I'm not sure if it will be available in audio book but I hope the publisher puts it out in that format.

Bargain hunters heads up. The cheapest ebook edition I can find at the time of this writing is at Diesel Books

Teaser Tuesdays!

What a fun book meme!

I discovered this over at Mixed Book Blog and thought I would join in the fun.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

My teaser is from Geek Love by Mechele Armstrong:

"Like the Tardis from Dr. Who, it's bigger on the inside." She laughed at her own joke. page 20.

6 Days and Counting Until the Day the Sun Stopped Shining!

6 days until the blog tour of The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour 2011!

We've got tons of wonderful authors offering up some great books, gifts and prizes as giveaways. We also have some nice events coming up including character interviews, guest blog posts and freebie shorts.

Here at A Writer's Dream, I'm beefing up the event here with a nice schedule of author visits, round up links and free never before seen short stories here on the blog.

Also look out for special discounts on  my books from now until the end of the year. You can also give my books as gifts to the reader buds on your list and also lend out my books via Kindle and BookLending. If you want to check out a book not on the list, let me know and I'll try to make it available for ya!

Happy reading!

Books for Readers & Readers for Authors ~ It's all about the blog hops and giveaways!

It's the season for gift-giving but also the season for buying books. Lots and lots of books.

If' you're like me and still collect books despite the piles that have taken over your house and the folders that have eaten up most of your hard drive, then you will like this post.

I've been checking out my events at Goodreads and hopping around checking out new authors blogs as well seeing what sequels of my favorite books are coming out. I will be a part of the The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour 2011 starting the 26th to the 31st.

I figured I'd gather all the current giveaways for the moment and post them here in case any readers are looking to sign up for some goodies and books.

For folks new to blog hops, hops are linked blogs that all host book giveaways and sometimes more to fit in with the theme of the hop. On the starting day of the event, you can visit the links below to start at one blog and hop around to enter tons and tons of book giveaways. Some may require you to answer a question or follow but it's well worth it for the fun and you may get hooked right away. Authors you can giveaways featuring your books and extra goodies for readers. They will definitely enjoy the chance to win a new addition for their bookshelf. :-)

Above all:

Have fun everyone!

Let the hunts begin!

Nurture Your BOOKS™, 2nd Annual
Celebration of Authors & Readers Worldwide!
~ November 1st to December 31st, 2011, 24/7 ~

More information

2011 SFR Holiday Blitz
December 11th-16th

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop
December 13th-24st
Visit the participating blogs to enter!

Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop
December 16th and December 23rd

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop
December 21st to 27th

The Day The Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour 2011
December 26th to 31st
Sign-up and more information here

Best of 2011 Giveaway Hop 
December 27th to 31st
 Sign-up and more information here

The Happy New Year 2012 Giveaway Hop
December 30th to January 3rd 

Young Adult Faeries & Fantasy Giveaway Hop 
January 6th to 12th

For more giveaways all around the year, check out the weekly book giveaway feature at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer's Blog!

Diversity in YA Books (List of Books included)

Time for a do over on book challenges - 2012 here I come!

2011 was a rough year. I went through a lot of personal things that threw a wrench into my writing and is still derailing me a bit. Sadly my reading schedule also suffered so I got behind on a lot of my challenges.

I'm resetting my clocks early and will be joining more challenges for next year. This time I'm going to be realistic so I can balance reading with writing. Sometimes I lean more toward one than the other but reading really helps me to relax and stay grounded. I think that's why I got a bit overwhelmed throughout this year.

For the past few days I've been loading up my Nook Color with books, including excerpts, so it's time for me to get cracking on some serious reading!

I stumbled upon this book challenge for more YA Multicultural books and I am simply ecstatic! YA definitely needs more diversity and I try to scour the titles for anyone who feels the same way. Two awesome titles that fit are Jaclyn Dolamore's Magic Under series and Beth Revis's Universe series, both of which I simply adored. I'm eagerly waiting for the second in both series.

Anyway, I was jazzed to see Magic Under Glass on the list and hope to grab more. If you plan on joining this book challenge, here are some titles to get you started:

Magic Under Glass - Jaclyn Dolamore 4/5 Stars
Magic Under Stone (April 10th 2012) - Jaclyn Dolamore
Across the Universe - Beth Revis 5/5 Stars
A Million Suns (January 10, 2012) - Beth Revis
Noughts & Crosses by Marjorie Blackman 4/5 Stars
Manifest - Artist Arthur
Mystify - Artist Arthur
Winter Haven - Mell McKenzie
Asleep - Wendy Raven McNair
Awake - Wendy Raven McNair
Ascend - Wendy Raven McNair
Living Violet (December 27, 2011) - Jaime Reed
Fading Amber (2012) - Jaime Reed
Burning Emerald (2012) - Jaime Reed
Bleeding Violet - Dia Reeves
Liar - Justine Larbalestier 5/5 Stars
Libyrinth - by Pearl North
Tankborn - Karen Sandler
Cat Girl’s Day Off (April 2012) - Kimberly Pauley

KM's blog has more titles but as always, I'm on the lookout for even more!

For more diverse YA titles check out the following blogs:
Reading in Color
Color Online
POC Reading Challenge
American Indians in Children's Literature
Lee and Low Books Blog (Tu Books is their Multicultural YA and MG imprint)

Author Kaye Manro's Geek Girls Tell All

I love being a geek girl!

Growing up, I had alternating moments of being a girlie girl and tomboy which soon meshed into a hybrid of the two. Through it all, one thing stayed the same. My love for sci-fi and fantasy (and some elements of horror) grew as I discovered the art of storytelling.

Thanks to author Kaye Manro, I had a chance to join with my fellow geek gals and put our brains together to define what it really means to be a geek girl. Hop on over to check out the post and our responses!

Sam Johnson of Geek Girl comics even linked to it! Checking out his website, I think I may have some new comic titles to add to my reading list. :-)

In honor of this momentous occasion, I would love to give a shout out to one of my fave sexy nerds of all time. Mr. Nigel Bailey of the awesome adventure show from way back when, Relic Hunter.