Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Windwalker by Donna Sundblad

Young Adult Fantasy by Donna Sundblad

HHundreds of years ago, the Stygian race welcomed disease-riddled Jonnick to their shores despite prophetic warnings. Concealed powers of darkness disembark with the refugees.

Subsequent generations of conflict draw lines of division between the two cultures unaware that the spirit of the Mage lives within the queen. Paranoia and fear prompt the issuance of royal decrees designed to thwart the coming of the Stygian savior--the Arich.

Midwives ordered to report the birth of any child born on a moonless night know it means death to the child. Effects of the law trickle to the present where Manelin, a social outcast, and Jalil, a lame Jonnick girl find themselves thrust into the midst of unfolding ancient prophecies and a world on the verge of annihilation.

* * *

Mail from a Windwalker Reader:

I finished Windwalker. What a great story […] exciting all the way through. I was so impressed with how the [character] transformations took place with such ease. (Ojal - Queen Riona- Jalil ) It all felt perfectly natural and was easy to follow [as the story] flipped from the past , present and into the future, back to the past, and present...Wow!

Now that I am finished - I miss the characters. I had a connection with each one of them. I usually connect with a couple of people in a story, but seldom the whole works like I did in this story. You just clearly did a great job of creating each and every character. Thank you for writing it.


* * *
  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: epress-online (September 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977222489
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977222483
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Adams Point - Book 3 - Legacy Series

This is the third and last book in the Legacy Series
Adams Point
ISBN# 1-59431-452-7
Publisher: Write Words, Inc., Cambridge Books.

Excerpt from Chapter 1:

Adams Point - Book 3 - Legacy Series


As Ethan and the others walked up from the dock they couldn’t help but notice that the
wraith hovering above the Inn seemed to be agitated. They didn’t know what it was that
caused the manifestation to writhe in such a way that it seemed almost as if it
would swoop down and engulf them all. They looked to see where the women were and felt
they were far enough away to be safe—that is if anyone could be safe near the Inn at this
point in time.

“Look at the way it’s moving. It seems as if it is extremely angry,” Lorenzo said
quietly, staring at the apparition.

“I know,” Ethan said, “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it like that before.”

“Can’t say that I did either,” Henri ventured. “But something sure has that thing up
there angry as hell.”

“What makes you say that?” Ethan asked.

“Well, don’t you think it’s angry?”

“Yes, but at what?”

“How should I know?” Henri asked. “I simply stated a fact.”

“The women will be coming back soon,” Lorenzo interjected. “Maybe we ought to keep them
away from here.”

“Where would you suggest we send them?” Ethan asked.

“Maybe to town?” Henri answered. His comment seemed more of a question than a statement.
Ethan looked at Henri, then to Lorenzo. “Maybe Henri’s got a point there. It might be
better if we send the women off to town where they would be safe.”

“Don’t think they will go without an argument,” Lorenzo said, with a slight laugh.

“I guess you’re right…at least where Abigail is concerned,” Ethan answered.

“Not just Abigail, neither will Bernadette or Sabrina, you can bet on that,” Lorenzo said.

“Yes, I am almost certain they think they we wouldn’t be safe without them here to
protect us,” Henri said, his shoulders shaking with laughter.

Ethan looked at the other two men and wondered just what they would do if push came to
shove and they had to force their wives to leave them behind. And where the hell is Tony?
Ethan wondered. He should be around here somewhere, but where? I
haven’t seen him since I took the others to Caleb’s Cove. I know damn well he wasn’t on
the Abigail, and I know for certain he was standing with the others when I left—so where
did he go? And what is he up to? Questions, questions, but Ethan didn’t have any answers.
When he finally stopped thinking about Tony, and looked up he was surprised to see the
others staring at him.


“That’s what we want to know? What are you thinking about, Ethan? Lorenzo asked.
“Actually, I was wondering where Tony got off to. Did anyone see him leave?

“No, not really, he was standing with the rest of us when you took the Abigail out. When
we all went back toward the house I thought he was with us, but to tell you the truth, I
can’t honestly say he was,” Henri answered, perplexed.

“And neither can I,” Lorenzo said. “I thought he was, but like Henri, I can’t be sure if
he did walk up to the Inn with us…but he must have.”

“Well, we will have to worry about Tony later, right now what should we do about the
women?” Ethan asked.

“Ask them?” Lorenzo said. “You can’t make them do something they don’t want to do, so ask

“And if they say no, they won’t leave?” Ethan asked, looking from one to the other.
“If you can make Abigail leave, the other two will follow. So you see, Ethan, it’s all in
your ball park,” Henri said.

“Thanks,” Ethan said, “you guys are a big help.”

“You’re welcome!” Lorenzo said, with a smile in his voice, “Glad I could be of service.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gatekeeper's Realm - Book II

This is the second book in the Legacy series, The Gatekeeper, ISBN #1-59431-451-9 -
Publisher: Write Words, Inc., Cambridge Books.

An except from Chapter 1-

Gatekeeper's Realm - Book II
Legacy Series
by Elena Dorothy Bowman
Chapter 1 :

Pacing back and forth on the Widow's Walk overlooking the bay and the vast ocean
beyond it, Abigail nervously awaited the arrival of her first guests. They were coming by
boat -- Ethan's boat. Ethan and Tony Harridan, the town's sheriff, a sometimes-permanent
resident of the infamous Inn when he wasn't working at his job on the mainland, met their
first adventurers at the dock in Caleb's Cove. Once the group had gathered, they were to
board the Abigail for a sightseeing cruise along the coastline and the sea-lanes between
the various islands to the Inn on Adams Point -- all part of the package.
Knowing it would add an air of mystery to the Inn, formerly known as the foreboding
Pierce House, Abigail and Ethan set the stage for their guests by having them approach
the house overlooking the bay in a modern day, state-of-the-art, two-masted schooner. It
was up to Ethan and Tony to mesmerize them with tales of Abigail's and their own ominous
beginnings in the house, and how the Inn came to be. The stories included: the relic of
the Royal Knight, the significance of the special Land Grant displayed in a frame on the
wall, the haunting strains emanating from an elusive Stradivarius, and the legend
surrounding Adams Point. And, of course, there was the possibility of becoming entangled
in a web the Inn might weave. Ethan brushed over the fact that he was the first person
who dared sail into the Bay of Death alone. And announced that the guests now had the
honor of being the first full ship's complement to break the curse on the bay leading up
to the old Pierce House, now officially known as The House On The Bluff.

* *

Abigail smiled inwardly wishing she could see the looks on their faces while held
in the grip of the stories. She was afraid her first guests might take one look at the
place, even though it was all the publicity said it was, bolt and change their minds once
the Abigail dropped anchor. Then Ethan and Tony would have to turn around and take them
back to Caleb's Cove, and she would be alone again on Adams Point. Well, not really.
The brochure assured those who sought a new and different vacation that they would
not be disappointed. It trumpeted a vacation hideaway that had no electricity, no running
water, pumps only, no central heating system, no phones and no television. It also
boasted of fabulously appointed rooms, fireplaces, breathtaking ocean views, swimming,
underwater caves, sailing, and a touch of suspense and intrigue.
The beautiful crystal clear bay had a special attraction. For centuries, it was
noted, no ships, sail or otherwise, had ventured upon the waters leading to the House On
The Bluff, due to the nefarious blot upon it. Since the time of the pirates, the sound
had been known as the Bay of Death, not only for the ships who were ensnared within but
also for those who sailed aboard them. Now, however, any brave soul who cared to dive
beneath the sea, properly attired in protective gear, could take the time to wander among
the wreckage of the ships that lay scattered on the bottom of the bay. Ships that had in
times past attempted to sail into its waters --that is, if one had a mind to venture
forth -- at their own peril.

* * *

Abigail wondered if anyone would want to leave after the first night's stay. Well,
there's no point in worrying about that now, she thought. She brightened when she saw the
top of the sail on the Abigail approaching the bend and heading for the bay. As the
schooner turned into the cove, unexpectedly a feeling of nervousness overwhelmed her.
This was her first attempt at running an Inn. Although everything was pristine, all her
supplies and equipment, flashlights and lamps, water basins and towels, bed-sheets,
blankets and bedspreads were new and ready, she felt a twinge of misgiving.
A year had passed since she first stepped foot onto the property on Adams Point
known as the Pierce House. Many times during her long trial she wondered if she would
survive the tests she had been subjected to in order to assume ownership of the House On
The Bluff. It had been vacant for more than a century, since no other member of the
family actually attempted to claim the estate. During that period in time she had met,
fallen in love with, and married Ethan. Tony, by their side from the beginning, a true
and trusted friend, was best man. She often wondered what she would have done if Tony
hadn't made it a point to be there for her while Ethan was on the mainland attending to
business. And then, of course, there was Jacob. Jacob, as far as anyone could tell, was
the oldest member of the community. He had decided after years of mental torment, both in
his sleepless and watchful state, by the disembodied permanent residents of the Pierce
House that it was long past time he joined them, and with open arms happily entered their
It was Ethan who had suggested and put into practice the changes Abigail wished
for, to transform the House into an Inn. The live-in apparitions made it known when they
didn't like a particular modification and, therefore, it was not done. Ethan had signed
the contracts with all the workmen, then left the details up to Abigail. But unknown to
Ethan, Jacob, now the apparitions' "Ambassador" to the living, had a major role in making
the decisions, and many changes were quashed due to the apparitions' objections. They had
been there, most of them, for centuries, and liked things the way they were.
Abigail wasn't sure how they would react to guests at the Inn. Jacob said it would
depend. When she asked him what he meant, his cryptic answer was that the Others may have
a different opinion about strangers in their house, and could get quite obnoxious about
it. She would just have to wait and see.
She looked around. No one was there. Not Jacob, not the Pirates, the Redcoats, the
Colonial Soldiers, the Vikings or any of her permanent spirits. She laughed nervously.
What am I worried about? Ethan is coming in with an entire ship's company of guests.
Maybe Jacob and the Others are going to let my visitors relax first before they start.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The House On The Bluff

This is the first book in the Legacy Series...The House On The Bluff..ISBN# 1-59431-363-6
-- Publisher: Write Words, Inc., Cambridge Books.

The House On The Bluff -- Book 1 Legacy Series

Abigail stood against her red Jeep Cherokee parked at the edge of the gravel driveway
of the deserted mansion. The wind blowing out of the Northeast across Adams Point
flattened her long-sleeved white blouse and new navy blue pantsuit against her body,
whipping her hair around her face while she desperately tried to keep its long strands
from blocking her view of the scene spread before her. Her unbuttoned jacket took on the
appearance of a navy blue sail flapping in a gale behind her. The widow's walk perched
high above, struck her as a crow's nest on a sailing vessel of long ago. Shading her
eyes, she swept the dunes to the ocean beyond and back to the house. A flutter of a
curtain from the third floor caught her attention. She looked again, but saw nothing.
Must be tired, she thought. I'm beginning to imagine things. She laughed.

Her laughter, echoing over the dunes, stopped short as the curtain on the second
floor moved ever so slightly. When she looked again, all was still. She shook her head.
Without knowing why, her heart suddenly began to race as an excitement arose within her
being. Spellbound, she held tightly onto the front of her jacket and to a broken picket.
As she stood transfixed, with her gaze upon the house, her long dark hair blew
unrestrained in the wind.

It didn't look any different from other stately houses she had seen on her travels
along the shoreline and inlet seas of New England. It still had an air of dignity about
it with its white, clapboard-covered, multi-tiered and dormer-studded roofs, and its blue
shuttered windows. And, it seemed to be easily accessible by front, back, side, or
basement doors. As always, there were the large floor-to-ceiling windows, first and
second floor wrap-around porches, and a widow's walk sitting high atop the house. But
then, too, there was a white picket fence in disrepair, running along the front of the
property, its broken slats standing aloft, weaving in and out of the holding rails like
drunken sailors on shore leave. To complete its demeanor, the gate squeaked unattended
as it swung free from restraint. On the top floor, from a shattered window, curtains
periodically flowed through the break as gusts of wind blew wantonly through it.

The house sat imperviously on a bluff, above windswept dunes that seemed to drift
down to the sea. The open ocean beckoned as its waves washed against the fragile
shoreline. What was it about this place that caused one to silently shiver, then shudder
violently, and swiftly pass, always looking back over one's shoulder until they were a
safe distance away? No one could be sure. Was it because it stood unoccupied for
decades, appearing so alone and forbidding? Or was it because the last person to stay
there had vanished into the night after a blood-curdling scream had permeated the air?
Something had happened here. Yet, to this day, no one was really sure what.

Abigail felt a compulsion to move forward toward the house. Though her head told her
"no," she wasn't listening to her head, only to the challenge that was in her heart. In
a rash moment, she was standing inside the grand main entrance hall. Before her, the
stairs rose to the second level and above. Her heart thumped as she felt herself being
propelled forward step by step to the second floor. The click of her heels echoed
throughout the house.

From the darkened second floor hallway, she looked furtively around at the closed
doors leading to the rooms behind them and shuddered. Then she looked up. The stairs led
even further. She followed them to the third floor. Again, the doors were closed to the
rooms hidden behind them. What am I doing here?

The light flickering in from atop the house sought her attention. She again moved
forward, on up a ladder, and out to the widow's walk above. Staring at the vast ocean
before her, she wondered about the people who had once lived here, and who they might
have been searching for as they scanned the ocean, waiting for the sailing ships to
return to shore.

Abigail felt a tap on her shoulder and turned. No one was there. She laughed silently as
she shook her head. My imagination again.

Once more, her eyes sought the sea before her. There wasn't a single ship in sight.
No sails. No modern vessels. Nothing -- Just the clear blue ocean. Its waves were
washing gently upon the dunes and back again into the waters, taking with them a part of
the fragile land.

It was dark when she looked away from the sea and back into the house. If she were
going to get out, she would have to make her way through a lightless house. Then again,
she wasn't sure she wanted to leave. She would wait for morning. At least here, on the
widow's walk, she would be safe. Wouldn't she?

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Contact, Book I in the Sarah's Landing Series

Sarah's Landing
ISBN: 1-59431-497-7
Publisher is Write Words, Inc., Cambridge Books

Chapter 1 :

Houston 2055

Three years is not a long time but when you're trying to erase a memory it can seem
forever. Sometimes, while walking across the base, the noise of a machine would startle
Joshua. He would stop as if waiting for something. Other times, someone's laughter would
bother him, anger him, and cause him to remember the violent churning static, the endless
silence. What did happen out there in space? How could the starship disappear so
completely? Joshua remembered sitting in that stark white hospital room three years
earlier listening, waiting throughout the night -- pounding the video monitor with his
fists, but there were no answers, no human voices. Now, more than ever, reports upset
him, especially reports of disappearances. Why, he wondered, did it bother him so much
when people, he did not know, mysteriously disappeared just because they happened to be
in the right place at the wrong time?

His memories of EARTH STAR-I were bad enough, but his reassignment was worse. He was
told his ear problem, a result of a viral infection, made it impossible for him to remain
an astronaut. He could help, he said, training a new crew or being part of a design team
for the next mission. After all, could SICOM afford to throw away a trained

"Use me, damn it," he demanded. "Let me be a part of all of this."

The Space Intelligence Command (SICOM) agreed Joshua Morgan's talents were important
and useful for the success of future efforts. But the budget cuts had trimmed down their
teams, so all he could hope for now was a slot as a floating alternate. He would be used
whenever and wherever SICOM had need of him. Joshua reluctantly agreed. So until a
permanent slot opened up, Joshua was transferred to the Space Intelligence Alien
Investigative Team. His job, as part of Alien Intelligence, was to investigate any
unfinished cases of strange incidents that had occurred, and perhaps were still
occurring. He closed the book on the last of his present cases. There was nothing to it.
The man disappeared because he wanted to. Now Joshua was flying home and back to SICOM
after two months of intensive field work in various parts of the world. He sometimes
wished all of his cases were this easy, but then he would not have a job.


Back in Houston, life was more pleasurable. His office on the fourth floor of the
Administration Building overlooked the entire base. Furnished during the days of
prosperity he had many plush comfortable chairs, lush tropical plants and a large
mahogany desk. Across the hall from his office, behind heavy glass doors, an
environmentally controlled complex protected several highly sophisticated computers. It
would be easy, he thought, to correlate two months' fieldwork.

Having entered the case file information into the computers Joshua returned to his
office and sat back to wait for results. Old t tapes and modern data crystals from other
agents had been stacked on his desk, "Bury them or resolve them!" the note attached to
the top one ordered. How lucky can I get? He thought, smiling wryly.

Staring out the window he absentmindedly watched white puffy clouds expand and
separate. Sighing he leaned over, inserted the first tape and turned on his recorder. He
listened intently to each one of the individuals being interviewed as they related their
experiences. They were intelligent and not easily frightened people but strange events
had changed their lives. They had been witnesses to unbelievable occurrences. The data
crystals weren't anymore definitive he discovered when he inserted them into his
computer. Joshua was skeptical yet, he had to admit, they seemed levelheaded and sincere.

He had not heard any of their stories before but here in his comfortable office each
one sounded similar. How many of them, he wondered, were missing? Was there a rational
explanation? Why had these people vanished?

He spent the entire morning talking to other agents and playing and replaying the voice
recordings and data crystals.

"What the hell is going on? Am I crazy? People don't disappear. Humans are tangible.
Solid entities." He rubbed one hand against the other. "No. It's not possible. It can't

The tapes have been around for years. He knew everyone had a crack at them and they
came up empty-handed. No one really expected him to do anything about them. But the
voices on the recordings haunted him...and those on the data crystals were just as

Information from the computers confirmed his suspicions. There were many similarities.
People who did not know each other, who lived in diverse places, were experiencing
similar phenomena. Witness after witness repeated the description: "...suddenly there was
a brilliant, blinding flash of light!" Some of the stories had been discounted. Missing
people were found, or returned on their own. But certain cases could not be so easily

Were they coincidences, or were the implications far more reaching? Why should these
people suddenly vanish? Joshua sat down at his desk and tabulated a long list of names.
He could not find one common denominator. The missing people came from all walks of life.
The less fortunate were as likely to disappear as executives, and children vanished as
often as adults. There was no pattern.

Joshua ran another correlation check through the computers. This time he fed all the
data he could find into the memory banks, beginning with SICOM's first reports of unusual
events up to and including the information on the data crystals his "buddies" left on his

He did not know what to expect, but learning that many reports were never investigated
astounded him -- like the Deming, New Mexico case. The Air Force was far more interested
in the discovery of extra-terrestrial crash sites with body remains near Roswell, New
Mexico than with bizarre disappearances, which the Air Force considered a 'local'
problem. Youngs Creek, Indiana, among others, was another report that fell through the
cracks. Then there were the missing children cases among others in New England. SICOM
believed the local "Feds" should handle them.

Someone else would have dropped the whole thing, but not Joshua. He could not let go.
If there was a linkage between people disappearing and his starship, he would find it or
die trying. At least that was how he felt about it at the moment.

There had to be a link somewhere. But where? How? Something kept nagging at the back of
his mind. Joshua had a feeling a trip to Washington, DC. might provide some clue. SICOM
did not agree. Joshua argued that every effort had to be made. SICOM said he was wasting
everyone's time.

"Maybe," Joshua said. "But if we don't try, we'll never know. Will we?"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Escape by Jean Henry Mead

Escape by Jean Henry Mead lends drama to the historical legends of Wyoming and creates a vivid account of the days when posses pursued bank robbers.

Andrea Bordeaux lives with her grandparents in Wyoming. When outlaws arrive, her grandmother quickly shears Andrea’s long hair, puts her in overalls, and calls her Andy, hoping to protect her. Unfortunately, the outlaws take Andy with them and leave her grandparents injured.

Andy finds herself thrust into the midst of Wild Bunch members who take her to the Hole in the Wall, where they plan the Belle Fourche Bank robbery. Small in stature, Andy finds herself relegated to cooking for the outlaws. Only Billy knows the truth about her gender and she’s sworn him to secrecy. She also attempts to reform him.

Following an attack by a vicious outlaw intent on carving her face, Butch Cassidy himself promises she can return home after their planned bank job. Meanwhile, the Four-State Governor’s Pact is enacted to rid the country of outlaws, while Andy wants nothing but to return home, if she still has one to go to.

Escape provides a fascinating glimpse into the legendary outlaws of Wyoming. Mead’s remarkably fresh voice tells a compelling story that’s hard to put down. Historical fans will thoroughly enjoy their visit with Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch.ad lends drama to the historical legends of Wyoming an

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Them's Fightein' Words by Teel James Glenn

Title: Them’s Fightin’ Words, by Teel James Glenn
ISBN: 978-1-934258-02-6
Publisher: ePress-online
Reviewed by author and freelance writer, Donna Sundblad

Them’s Fightin’ Words is a must have for novelists wanting to add fight scene drama and action to their manuscripts. Author Teel James Glenn pulls his vast fighting experience into this book. Readers benefit from his combat experience, including eastern martial arts, the physiology and kinetics of weight training, and the dramatic story telling from film and stage acting. For me, his expertise with edged weapons presents not only techniques but also the attitude behind the fighting mindset. It’s a perfect resource for writers who don’t have a clue how to fight, but want to add fight scene excitement to their fiction.

Privileged to study under a number of great teachers, including Errol Flynn’s last stunt double, Glenn became a fight choreographer versed in the dynamics of action acting. He takes that, plus his experience as a stunt double, fencing master, and affiliate in The Society of American Fight Directors, and he breaks fight scenes down into elemental, easy-to-understand techniques for writers to follow.

The author teaches visual and physical aspects of actions and offers writers ways to connect them. Glenn takes writers from a verbal camera sweep to the literary equivalent of a camera slowly tracking in to a close-up over the course of a battle. He provides writing exercises at the close of each chapter that challenge his readers to capture fighting moves onto paper.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fantasy Novel: Beyond the Fifth Gate

I'm getting excited. My young adult fantasy novel, Beyond the Fifth Gate, is due out in September. I held the proof print in my hands this week for the first time and I'm reading through it one more time. I thought I'd share the cover art here today to whet your appetite for more, but I only have it in PDF version so you'll all have to wait. As soon as I have a jpg, I'll let you all have a peek. The yellowish sky and purple planet in the background are perfect for the story. I'm currently taking pre-orders. If you'd like a signed copy you can put your name on the pre-order list by emailing dsundblad(at)theinkslinger.net. Place BTFG in the subject line.

About Beyond the Fifth Gate:

Elita awakens from a nightmare in which she struggles as a 12-year-old against an insectoid race that carries her into captivity. Now twelve years later, her reality is one of forced labor. She lives in a hive complex where humans are forbidden to speak, write or read. The promise of freedom swells when the prophetic conjunction of five planets marks the long-awaited Kamali's Cycle. But first, as the Chosen, she must travel through five mystical gates during the planets' conjunction and return to Haldis with items key to that freedom. Elita follows Kamali's light into a cave in the eastern foothills. The portal closes behind her, and the first gate opens to a one way quest into strange worlds and a race to collect what she needs from beyond each gate to free her people before time runs out. How will she know what to take from world to world?