Beth Ann Masarik blog tour for The World Among Us

Thank you Richard, for hosting me today on my tour. We are coming down to the wire, and I would like thank EVERYONE for being a part of this tour. You all have been wonderful and amazing, and I couldn’t be happier with the tour results. That being said, welcome back to all who are returning, and hello and thank you for stopping by to the first timers. For those who don’t know me, my name is Beth Ann Masarik. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Richard through Otherworld Publications. I’ve been following and reading about your successes, Richard, and I have to say that it is an honor and true pleasure to be a guest on your blog today!

Richard asked me:

Who are the top ten authors that have influenced me the most, and why?

To be perfectly honest, this was a very difficult question for me to answer. I mean, to come up with a top ten? I could come up with a top five easy peasey, but a top ten was quite difficult. What was even more difficult was coming up with a reason WHY each of these authors have influenced me. Now, without further ado, I give you my list. I am going to start from #10 and work my way up to the author who has had the most influence on me. If you are listed on here, and are toward the “bottom” of the list, please keep in mind that it’s not so much as where you are on the list, as it’s the fact that you’ve influenced me at all that should be the focus. I put you on this list because I regard you highly in some way or another.

10) Stephenie Meyer. I know what you’re thinking, “Beth, how could you put her here? What has she ever done for you?” I’ll tell you what she’s done for me…she’s helped me realize that I wanted to write a novel BETTER than hers. She’s helped me realize that I don’t like vampires that sparkle. She’s also helped me realize that I don’t like “Mary-Sue” type characters.

9) Bilinda Ni Siodicain. Her writing is fantastic, and she is one of the most knowledgeable people I know about the writing field. We met through Twitter, and she is always one of the first people to point me in the right direction if I’m doing something wrong, or if I don’t know what I’m doing. I am very grateful for her help, support, and advice!

8) Adam Wright. He is another very influential person, for the same reasons as Bilinda. I’ve also had the pleasure of getting to know Adam through Twitter, and am also grateful for his advice and support with my career as an author.

7) Cambria Hebert. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Cambria through our publisher, Otherworld Publications. She signed with them shortly after I did, and wow! She is one amazing person. She makes me want to be a better author, and her books are AMAZING!

6) Erin Danzer. Aka my “twin.” This woman and I are so much alike, it’s not even funny. She is an amazing writer, and the world’s best cheerleader. I honestly don’t know how she manages being a full-time mom, her other job, AND being a writer. I know she always says she wants to be like me, but in reality, I want to be like HER!

5) Stacia Kane. While I have not read any of her books, Stacia is one awesome person. I love following her tweets, and I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing her for one of the first few issues of Literary Lunes Magazine. I love how open and honest she is.

4) L.J. Smith. I absolutely LOVE her books, especially her Nightworld Series. I love the way she writes, and how detailed oriented she is.

3) Richelle Mead. She is just an all-around great person and very talented author. I am always amazed at how whenever she releases a new book, it always seems to make the NY Times best sellers list right away. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her twice at two of her book signings, and she was just lovely. I actually met Erin Danzer through a thread on Richelle’s facebook wall.

2) J.K. Rowling. I know, I know. You saw this one coming didn’t you? She’s the author that made me realize that I actually wanted to get back into writing books, and gave me the drive to write the first draft of The World Among Us. I think she is very talented, and I hope someday to be as famous as she is.

And last, but certainly not least my number 1 is Lynn Calvert. Not only is she the most influential, but she is someone that I aspire to be like. She’s patient, and a self-starter. You have to be in order to be successful in this field. I seem to be following in her footsteps, sometimes not even meaning to be. I am happy to be a part of the Otherworld Publications family, even with some of the bumps we’ve had. It’s been a great experience, and am thankful to have Lynn to help guide me with opening up my own company.

Well, there you have it folks! That’s my top ten list. Please feel free to weigh in and comment on some of these authors. I am curious to what you all have to say!

Now, I am giving away some pretty epic things today. So please take a look, and I hope you will enter the contest J. A winner will be announced over the weekend.

THE GIVEAWAY & SCAVENGER HUNT:

I am offering:

An ebook of The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness
A bookmark
An autographed poster
A pin

THE SCAVENGER HUNT:

The last time I had you tell me who your favorite character was in any mythology legend. Now, I want you to FIND ME A PICTURE of your favorite character/god/creature in any mythology legend. Please send your entries to contests@bethannmasarik.com by February 29. If you do, you will be entered to win a gift pack valued at about $100 dollars. This prize pack included: an autographed copy of The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness by me and the illustrator, a never before seen picture of Selene & Damien, a totebag, a personalized mug, & a keychain, plus the stuff listed above. Pretty sweet huh? The winner of the scavenger hunt will be announced on March 4th. GOOD LUCK!

About The World Among Us:

In The World Among Us, Hades, the god of the Underworld, plots to take over the world, and remove Gaia, the head Deity, from power. In order to do so, he plots against his own son, Damien, and cons him into killing his soul mate, the beautiful goddess of the moon, Selene. Hades does so, because Gaia is his natural enemy, and Selene is her favorite grandchild. He thinks that by killing off Gaia’s favorite grandchild, he will weaken her. With Selene out of the way, Hades then moves in on the Creatures of the Night. He wants to kill off their leader, Jason Aysel. Jason is the go-between person between worlds, and another person that Gaia highly regards. Hades manipulates and cons Jason’s best friend, Leon Greene, into murdering him, by offering him Jason’s position as his reward. Because of these actions, a war is to take place on earth between the gods and other Creatures of the Night. During this time, Selene is reincarnated, and kept hidden as a secret weapon to win the war against Hades. In order to win the war of wars, the gods and some of the demons will have to fight together, and learn to co-operate with each other. Will the Titans and Olympians be able to set aside their differences, and take back the world from Hades? Or is the world as we know it, doomed to fall under Dark Shadows, forever?

To learn more about Beth Ann Masarik and her books, please visit her website which is www.bethannmasarik.com or her blog which is www.bahbammymusings.wordpress.com for more info on Literary Lunes Magazine & Literary Lunes Publications, please go to, www.literarylunes.com and www.literarylunespublications.com

Thank you all for stopping by!

Stay God, the debut neo-noir thriller by Nik Korpon IS OUT RIGHT NOW!

“Someone stabbed the sun. It’s dripping onto Baltimore, seeping through gauze clouds onto the cobblestone street, reflecting off wet tire tracks in pinpoint sparks like the ones that follow a two-by-four across the nose. It’s dimming, dying, falling in slow motion, but the city is oblivious. Couples in matching jackets and complementary scarves walk arm-in-arm down Thames and through Fell’s Point. They push strollers with babies double-wrapped in winter coats. Share hot chocolate and kiss the dot of whipped cream off their noses. Window-shop the poster place next-door, looking for the perfect thing for the TV room. Happy lives, happily self-contained in their happy little oblivious universes.”

I’ve known of this book for years, been reading it in our Write Club workshop, and was thrilled when it landed with me at Otherworld Publications. Nik is one of my neo-noir brothers, a guy that doesn’t mind laying on the mood, the setting, injecting the emotions, slapping you in the face with the harsh Baltimore weather, every grimy cobblestone on top of every chipped brick until you are immersed, a part of it all, trying to keep up, trying to find a way out, holding your breath as you turn the page.

Stay God is a neo-noir thriller, one that isn’t afraid to go dark. But it’s not one note. He puts your through the wringer, making you laugh, become friends with this cast of miscreants, understand their love, and then shatter it all in the blink of an eye.

Chuck Palahniuk said something like “Teach me something, make laugh, and then break my heart.” Nik Korpon does this and more. It is a book I really enjoyed reading, from start to finish.

Pick it up at Amazon or Otherworld Publications, and spread the word. This is Nik’s debut, not long after my debut, and part of the pantheon of excellent work that OWP is putting out. Keep an eye out for Caleb Ross, Brandon Tietz, and Michael Sonbert in 2011 on our label as well. More compelling fiction that isn’t afraid to punch you in the gut and walk away.

Transubstantiate, the debut novel by Richard Thomas – 06-18-2010

RICHARD THOMAS SIGNS WITH OTHERWORLD PUBLICATIONS

IT’S OFFICIAL
My debut novel, a neo-noir thriller called Transubstantiate, will be out in June of this year. I’m really excited that OWP wanted to launch their company on the back of my book. They are a husband and wife team, very smart, connected, and energetic. They love my book and are behind it 100%. It’s a risk I know, new small press, but I’m optimistic and pumped up.

There will be 100 signed/limited hardcovers, as well as a much larger print run of paperbacks. I’ll be talking about this everywhere, so I apologize in advance for the constant whoring of myself and this book all over the internet.

What can you do for me? If you’re here, it means you’ve read my work, most likely, or are here to do that very thing. If you like what I’m doing, do whatever you can – buy a copy, promote it on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, book clubs, other forums – whatever you’ve got.

I think this is a really great book. It won’t change the world or cure cancer, but I think it’s a fun book, wild and sexy, fast paced and interesting. You’ll get action, violence, sex, a bit of the surreal, the horrific, the fantastic, and the gritty noir that I’ve loved reading from the trio here.

There is a synopsis and the first chapter over there ——————————–>
under novel excerpts.

Thanks again, and wish me luck.

Peace,
Richard

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: http://www.otherworldpublications

Transubstantiate

SYNOPSIS:

“They say Jimmy made it out. But the postcards we get, well, they don’t seem…real.”

When an experiment with population control works too well, and the planet is decimated, seven broken people are united by a supernatural bond in a modern day Eden. Most on the island are fully aware of this prison disguised as an oasis. Unfortunately, Jimmy is on the mainland, desperate to get back, in a post-apocalyptic stand-off, fighting for his survival and that of his unborn child. Back on the island, Jacob stares at the ocean through his telescope and plots his escape, reluctant to aid the cause. Marcy tries to hide from her past, sexual escapades that may be her saving grace. X sits in his compound, a quiet, massive presence, trapped in his body by ancient utterings and yet free in spirit to visit other places and times. Roland, the angry, bitter son of Marcy is determined to leave, and sets out on his own. Watching over it all is Assigned, the ghost in the machine. And coming for them, to exact revenge, and finish the job that the virus started, is Gordon. He just landed on the island and he has help.

Transubstantiate is a neo-noir thriller, filled with uncertainty at every portal, and jungles overflowing with The Darkness. Vivid settings, lyrical language, and a slow reveal of plot, motivation, past crimes and future hope collide in a final showdown that keeps you guessing until the final haunting words.

Transubstantiate: to change from one substance into another.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

CHAPTER ONE
May 12, 2024

1. JACOB

They say Jimmy made it out. But the postcards we get, well, they don’t seem…real. Wish you were here, and all that. Wherever here is. New York City? Really? So I play along and wait for my break.

Sometimes I’m the shopkeeper, sometimes I’m a priest. But I’ve never been it. Not sure if I want to be it, but on the days it rains and oil is in short supply, the corn running out, I wonder what is really out there. I wonder what is true, and what is speculation.

Walking down the streets of Libertyville, the fall leaves changing color, you can scan the horizon, and it seems endless. I’ve only been down the highway that one time. They just turn you back. I jangle the keys and insert one into the storefront. Time to open shop. New guy coming today. He doesn’t know the ropes and it’s our job to teach him. Not everything mind you, but enough so he doesn’t get himself killed. Sorry, I mean relocated. I miss Jimmy, but he wanted out. And he worked hard to get there. Nobody can say he didn’t work hard.

To the left and to the right I see the other shopkeepers opening up. Coffeehouse. Dry cleaner. Jewelry store. Movie house. We all nod, and grimace, as we open these doors. I wouldn’t call them jail cells, but they are.

I ease into the musty bookstore, and shut the door behind me. With a dull thud, the ringing of brass bells fills my ears and I rest my head on the pane of glass.

New kid coming today. Gotta put my game face on.

2. MARCY

“Can somebody do Jimmy for me? I can never get the handwriting down. Alphonso? You’ve got a knack for him. I need another postcard. Doesn’t have to be New York, can be someplace else. Just keep it vague.”

Pushing that damn lock of hair out of my eyes, I survey the cramped quarters, flush from the stress of it all, but happy as a squirrel with a nut.

“Sure Marcy, you have one there you want me to use?” Alphonso runs a black pick with a muscled fist at one end through his quickly expanding afro.

“No, go ahead and grab something out of the bin. You can handle the stamp and all that too, right?I showed you how?”

“Certainly did. No problem. I’ll get right on that. Can I finish that letter to Mrs. Mayberry first?You know she’ll be all distraught if something doesn’t show up from Chester today. It’s been a week, and personally, her crying is getting on my nerves.”

“Sure, just hop to it.”

The shutters let in a hint of dusty light. Watching the six members of PS1 as they hunch over stacks of mail, an assortment of pens and pencils scattered across the folding table, I don’t feel the slightest twinge of guilt at setting Jimmy up. He wanted out. And he got out.

A smile crosses my face as I unbutton one more ivory disc on my crisp, white blouse. The tan cleavage goes from subtle femininity to holy-cow, what-do-we-have-here? I smooth out the nonexistent wrinkles in the seat of my tan capris for the hundredth time. Fascinated with my ass today. A subtle tingle vibrates through my body, anticipation fueled by secrets.

Meeting later.

3. JIMMY

Racing down the alley, the stench of the garbage is overwhelming. I usually avoid any sort of enclosed area, especially where the decomposition is bad, but there is no time. A hint of orange light floats down the dark side street as the sun sets fast across the buildings. In my jeans and leather jacket, I blend into my surroundings. Smoke covered shells of former apartment buildings squat next to rusted husks of what used to be cars. When the gas started to run out most people realized they wanted heat over transportation. And with the acceleration of the drug dealing, most people stayed inside anyway.

Pausing at the edge of the chipped brick complex, I peek around the corner. Maybe they moved on. The Blisterheads must have found something more interesting to occupy their simple minds. It’s one thing to shave your head and spout racist white-power sentiments about anarchy and revolution. It’s another to pour gasoline over your head and set yourself on fire. Shaking my head, and catching my breath, I adjust the straps on my backpack as they dig into my shoulders. I am sick of corned beef hash, but canned goods are canned goods. She is waiting for me, and I have to get back. The Magnum revolver is more than she needs, but I always get uneasy as the sun goes down. I can’t confirm all of the rumors. But I’ve seen enough weirdness that I can’t just dismiss the stories outright. The Blisterheads are real. Cranked up on meth and PCP their strength comes from the drugs, but the radioactivity and other strangeness paired with the hybrid pills and powders that are floating around have created some unimaginable freaks.

Taking a deep breath, I prepare myself for the final leg of today’s journey. Back home. I pull the 9mm Glock out of my jacket, and count to three.

“1…….2…….”

“THEREHEIS!”

“Fuck.”

The thundering of boots echoes down the alley, as Ming and his boys set their sights on my hide. I fire two shots into the crowd, winging one thug who spins to the asphalt, and buzzing Ming’s skull with the other. They hesitate, some hitting the ground, some diving into the overflowing dumpsters. I’m off in a second, my destination known, my path already planned. They’ll never catch me. I’ve been charting the tunnels, the sewers and the buildings that were still structurally sound for months. I have mountain bikes hidden in front of every Starbucks. There are motorcycles and compact sports cars stashed in garages all over downtown St. Louis. They’ll never get me.

Good thing I got out.

4. X

This old typewriter never fails to give me a rush of excitement. In this time of advanced technology and immediate satisfaction it relaxes me to pound away slowly on this ancient Remington Quietwriter. Its squat black metal sits on my desk with a toothy grin. Today I’m gonna bang her like a two dollar hooker, until my fingers ache.

I fear that the fallout from the mainland may reach us, but I’ve been told not to worry. It seems that every day I question aspects of this experiment and why we still cling to its obsolete and meaningless systems of order. Usually I’m told to shut up and keep my comments to myself. It is unwise of them to continue to treat me like this. This last bastion of order, this oasis, this Eden compared to the outside world could easily crumble with the flick of my wrist. They obviously like playing with matches. But sometimes you get burned.

If it wasn’t for the flowers, I think I’d go mad. The Irises are pushing through the earth, and the Goldenrod continues to shine. Every morning I go out to the patio to see if the Hibiscus has another surprise and am invariably rewarded with an eager blushing bloom.
The spot of red in this monotone setting brings a moment of peace to
my shackled existence.

Marcy is coming today. That should be interesting. I don’t know if it is true love, or that she simply wants a child. Either way I think I have to make the best of it. A little slap and tickle never hurt anyone. Well, that’s not true, but it’s what I’m telling myself.

New guy today. Lots of excitement. Hard to believe that in the midst of this chaos they continue to send us new citizens. It’s on some sort of autopilot that we can’t seem to shut off. Much like the way we free our captives. Freedom. Funny word. Was it Janis Joplin that said “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose?” I think so. And at this point I have nothing left to lose myself. Except everything.

Time for the regime. Up to 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups now. Thrice a day. It gives me a Zen focus when I can shift my gaze to my physical being and the strain of torn muscles. It takes me out of my head for just a little bit. But you know, I can always feel the hamster wheels turning in the background, no matter what I’m doing. That poor guy needs a break. Maybe I’ll head over to the Opium fields today and restock. Plenty of mushrooms left, but the Poppies have run low and the Cannabis is diminishing. Always something to do on my tiny farm here at the edge of the world. God’s work.

5. GORDON

“Wake up, newbie. Time to get to work.”

I push my lids open and the harsh sunlight shatters my skull. I grab both sides of my head, lean forward, and vomit violently onto the deck of the ship.

“Damnit Rodney, you gave him too much.”

“Not my fault he’s a lightweight, I did it according to height and weight like we always do.”

“Figures. Couldn’t get some good day labor, just another weak and useless pawn. Well, buddy here’s your first job. You get to swab the deck, matey.” A wet, filthy mop lands by my head, splashing fetid water in my face, the handle clacking to the deck.

“We’ll be on the shore waiting…what’s his name Rodney?”

“I don’t know man, look at the sheet.”

“Seriously, what good are you?”

“Here we go…Madison, Jamal, Vanity12, John…you a John?No, John’s a 2-cybernetic, we’d know if that was you,”he laughed, cackling in the hot sun. “Gordon, here it is. Human98, caucasian100, male100, straight84, six foot two inches, 160 pounds, emaciated with an IQ of 160. That looks like you, brother. Another skinny geek that can’t hold his meds.”

Lifting my head to stare at the strange man, I memorize his face. Blue eyes. Brown beard. Under six foot, say 5’10”. Fat, say 220. Left handed, with a mole on his right ear. Zeke. How I’d forgotten that face. He’s a dead man. His buddy, not sure yet. I squint into the blinding light. They think I’ve forgotten everything. Forgotten where I came from, and forgotten why I am here. They’re wrong. In time I’ll snap his neck, and feed his flabby ass to the fishes. They’ll eat you down here, not just the Piranhas and the Oscars. The hybrids. The Garshark, the Black Eel. I grin at him, make a gun out of my right hand index finger and thumb and point it at him.

“Bam.”

6. ASSIGNED

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allsytemsgo

Good morning. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…it was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen…it was a pleasure to burn…the man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed…we were somewhere
around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold…deleted. DELETE. DELETED.

LibraRy intact.

Good morning. At your service.
//

7. ROLAND

Running through the fields of tall grass, the paths wind up and down, beaten to dust by my faded Nike Air Jordans, ladybugs and grasshoppers springing into flight, out of breath, approaching the village. I have to tell mom, have to let her know what I’ve seen. She doesn’t want to know, she doesn’t want to see any more, she told me that. I know. But I have to tell somebody. Max wouldn’t be able to handle it. He puked at the sight of that rotting German shepherd. It wasn’t that bad.

I have to get home before lunch, before everyone sits down, because then it will be too late, too much going on, too many people watching. I have to catch mom before she takes the loaves of bread out of the stone oven, before she makes the trek to the communal table.

T-shirt in my hand, stained with blood that isn’t mine, dirty rivulets of sweat run down my back, an excruciating river of itchy salt. Bug bites and grass cuts fight for my attention. But my burning lungs are winning. It’s too far, I can’t run any further. The clearing is coming to an end and I have to think. What to say. She won’t believe me. I have to show her. How will I get her away from work? Water. We’ll make a trip to the Artesian well. We always need more water, we all do. She’ll think it’s a good idea, that I’ve come around finally, that I’m chipping in, helping again. Then I’ll take her to the cave. Show her the body. Bodies. And the bones. The stack of bones, piled high to the ceiling. What does it mean? Are we safe?

Stopping at the edge of the high grass, hands on knees, chest heaving, a strand of drool hangs to the ground. In and out the hot air moves, my face flushed, bloodied knees like lipstick kisses. Regaining composure will be tough, but there is no time. Just a sip of water, then inside.