Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Interview & Giveaway: Marc Feinstein

      Born in the Bronx and raised in Ridgefield, New Jersey, Marc Feinstein is a child of the 60's unbound with stories to tell. 
     Feinstein is a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania where he received his Bachelor's in Economics. He went on to law school at the Mc George School of Law at University of the Pacific and then began long career in law as a Litigation Attorney and Mediator.
      He spent over 30 years of his life in Orange County, California with his wife and two children and now retired resides in Maui with his wife.
He is an avid basketball enthusiast --from playing it, to coaching it, to the study of its history and evolution as a game.
      Feinstein is having the time of his life writing and creating stories that connect and resonate with a broad audience and hopes to one day crossover his books to film. 

Favorite reads?
          Anything by Richard Price, Philip Roth, Richard Ford and Pat Conroy—my go-to guys. I recently discovered Ethan Canin’s America America and Mark Slouka’s Brewster –both my first reads of their work and proved once again that there’s no way to keep up with all the great, albeit lesser-known, writers out there.

Inspirations for the book?
          As I say on my homepage, the 1960’s story set in a small North Jersey town is taken from a corner of my heart. The music, the times, and a hometown story that never leaves you all combined and aligned in a way that helped frame what I would first write about.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were growing up?
          No. I recall appearances of my inner story-teller first rearing his head during my freshman year of college, but I did not then take him too seriously. He didn’t completely go away and had a way of reminding me for years that he was still hiding out.

Any Pet Peeves?
          I moved to Maui as a way to escape them (peeves, not people).

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
          Banana. Not to be cute (I don’t like either chocolate or peanut butter), but my answer reminds me of a scene from Barry Levinson’s great movie, Diner, where the boys are sitting around a diner, circa 1959, talking about which pop crooner they’d rather make out to—Mathis or Sinatra? One of them—Mickey Rourke’s character—smugly answers, “Presley.”

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
          Give up a lucrative legal career to write a freakin’ story.

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
          The book is a soundtrack to the Sixties. The rock and roll music of the 1960’s, starting for me in 1965 (beginning the surge of the most prolific five years of music in rock history) bring you back in touch with a semblance of what it felt like when the memory was born. I am sure it had a lot to do with the period I chose to write about. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the Acknowledgements page—DC5’s “Catch Us If You Can”, Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man”, Beatles’ “All You Need is Love”, and CSNY’s “Woodstock”; or better yet, read the whole book and see.

Do you need anything to write?
          Bananas (this time intending to be cute).

How long do you write on any average day?
          Depends on how you define “write”. To me, writing is a lot more than sitting at the keyboard tapping away. If you add up all that goes into “writing”—the thinking, the dreaming, the plotting, the research and other preparation, the digressions, the revisions to what’s already written before moving on—and you’re being diligent about it, it easily takes up an 8-hour day (though for me, in 2 or 3 shifts throughout the day and night).

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
          If movies like A Bronx Tale and Diner, or books like The Wanderers and Sleepers (also made into movies), or a television show like The Wonder Years resonated with you.

Author Info:
Visit him on his website at
Like him on Facebook at

A small town, a family, a tragedy and the saving power of Rock & Roll…

It is 1967. Gene Gennaro is sailing through his freshman year in Oldbrook, blown along by the steady prevailing innocent winds of the time—sports, girls and Rock & Roll. On the Ides of March, a tragedy thrusts him into a new world forever rocked by that fateful day.

The next three frenetic years of high school are a lifeline for Gene as unbreakable as the fidelity of his friendships with five basketball teammates; most of all Reuben, his best friend since before kindergarten, whose lifeline at times turns into the rope for a tug-of-war between fate and will, testing their classically loyal friendship.
CATCH US IF YOU CAN is a coming-of-age tale of small town but urban youth growing up in the late 1960's trying to untangle the answer to life’s tragedies as well as answer Bruce Springsteen’s haunting question: Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true or is it something worse?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Saturday Snatch & Giveaway: Tethered Worlds--Unwelcome Star by Gregory Faccone


Jordahk and his parents are racing away from the city which has erupted into chaos from the enemy's operatives and assassinations. They too are being targeted, have been wounded, and are attempting to evade small, long-range homing drones..

Kord stared at Jordahk with piercing eyes. He became uncharacteristically solemn. “From where we are in space, son, the egress can only take you backwards.”
Jordahk sensed something in his father's tone and rare use of “son.” At thirty-four standard years, he was still in the tail end of long adolescence. And yet, an element was apparent in how his father spoke to him, something that made him feel like a man.
Jordahk reached across his body and drew a pistol from his sling bag. For a long time he'd been in subtle competition with his father. Now he greatly desired his father to show him up.
Did you bring what you need for that thing?” Kord asked.
Yeah, all the original stuff,” Jordahk answered, patting the bag.
As far as pistols went, theirs could hardly be more different. Jordahk held a long, heavy, metal piece. Its gray luster shone under the growing light of the egress moon. The mystic autobuss didn't just look like an anachronism next to Kord's latest in scientum technology, it was one. The weapon dated back to the Sojourners' Crusade. More than any other, it symbolized the Sojourners, the masters of mystic technology, inasmuch as anyone ever was. Those familiar with mystic knew it a technology as likely to master its user, as be tamed.
The esoteric methods Sojourners used to create their mystic creations were impossible to duplicate. With them gone, scientum was the only conventional alternative. It could not perform unexplainable feats, but it could be mass-produced. Of course, scientum had the added benefit of not potentially destroying the user's brain.
The Sojourners were long gone, and out of their hands the autobuss wasn't the most practical weapon. Modern makers of mystic technology, imprimaturs, saved their brainpower for more profitable endeavors than making the signature pistol. That was assuming they even could, which was unlikely. The province now for the strange weapon resided with collectors, enthusiasts, niche scientists, and those who believed that they were, or would become, Sojourners.
Jordahk liked to categorize himself as a collector, but if that was the case, what was he doing right now?
I'm such a faux,” he mumbled to himself.
Break out your fastest ammo,” Kord said. He reached behind to the stor-all on his belt. “I need the hot stuff, Highearn.”
The stor-all bulged, presenting a magazine by the time Kord's bloody hand arrived. He placed it gingerly into the auxiliary magazine well in front of the trigger studs. It auto-seated with a hum.
A modern grister's magazine capacity was significant, and that was in addition to the magazine in its grip. From what Jordahk saw, his father was going to war.
A pouch within Jordahk's sling bag held all the ammunition available. Through his mystic link, Jordahk could sense much about mystic technology by touch alone. He ran his fingers along the presented cartridges and lifted the one that felt the fastest. With a mental command and a subtle ping, the autobuss hinged open near the center, revealing seven chambers.
Six loaded cartridge chambers surrounded a larger, empty octagonal shell chamber. A cartridge lifted, and Jordahk swapped it out. With a flick of his hand the autobuss clicked shut like a piece of fine jewelry. Two thirds of its metal body extended in front of the grip. The rest protruded back over the hand. Its styling was a unique blend of Combustion Age revolver, formfitting target pistol, and a “retro-future space gun” one might see in an old science fiction cineVAD.
Lead your target; use your ret vectors,” Kord said, “and for God's sake, get it early.” He scrutinized behind them. The road was a blur receding into darkness.
Just get me close, kid, and I'll take care of the rest,” a gruff voice intoned.
Max, nice of you to join us,” Jordahk said sarcastically. “I hope we haven't taken you from some important ancient battle simulation.”
Maximilian v4 wasn't a popular AI. In fact, 4 was the last rev ever made. Kord searched long and hard to find the most modern compy that could even run it. The one he found was 50 years old; a tarnished metal ring Jordahk wore on his right hand.
Modern combat pistols had smart barrels, which performed a fractional adjustment when a shot was fired. The calculations of a fast compy combined with the judgment of a good AI could turn a near miss into a hit. Jordahk's mystic autobuss was one of the first to implement such a feature.
Don't argue with your AI,” Kord said. An urgent triple tone sounded from the retrofitted box. “Split them up. You know the drill. Here they come!”
They extended their pistols, scrutinizing everything in their wake. Flex metal autostocks unfolded from pistol to shoulder to brace their aim.
Watch for an eight o'clock final approach,” Max said privately into Jordahk's link. “If I know this type, it'll be eight o'clock high.”
Jordahk could sense the inner workings of the autobuss. He focused his thoughts into it.
Ready the fast ammo.
The weapon hummed, lining that cartridge up to fire. Two fist-sized objects hovered around the bend 100 meters behind them. The devices visually acquired their targets and abruptly switched from fans to rockets.
The AIs coordinated, circling designated targets in different shades of red on Jordahk and Kord's rets. It was a task well suited to the eyeball lenses, the strength of which was displaying simple lines and text. The circles rocketed upward. Seeker drones were wily little killing machines, not likely to dive straight in and let themselves be intercepted. The pair etched three-dimensional exhaust trails at crazy angles suspended in the darkening air.
Seeker drones often settled for getting close and detonating a directed cone of deadly shrapnel. Closer than that risked being fried by the lightning arc of a bracer. Soldiers and security personnel always wore bracers, the bane of a seeker drone's existence. No one in the fanicle was wearing a bracer though, and the seeker drones' tiny crystal brains knew it. Tonight, going all the way in was their preferred objective.
Jordahk's racing mind stretched the seconds. His chest vibrated from the pulsed throb of his father's grister. He was surprised his father had a shot so quickly. Five ammo nuts, super accelerated out of Kord's pistol, burned the air. The line of pointy pellets passed harmlessly underneath the first seeker drone, leaving a wispy black trail.
Kord rarely missed. “Drak!”
Jordahk followed the wildly dancing red circle in his vision. He kept his aim on the averaged vector line Max drew as well as the possibility cone sprouting off it. He mentally unlocked the old pistol and fired it with slight, intuitive pressure on the trigger studs. The autobuss emitted its unique hollow thunk. A triangle of three perfectly round ammo nuts cut a blurry distortion through the air. The fading effect completely missed. Jordahk fired twice more. The blurs were closer but didn't hit.
His chest vibrated wildly. Jordahk didn't know whether his heart was going to burst or Kord was firing full auto. He heard a staccato tinkling sound followed by a blossom of light. The high-pitched hiss of mini rockets halved.
The other seeker drone closed on the fanicle. It veered to the side, angling in at eight o'clock. Jordahk knew this was it. Final approach. Time for only one more shot. When a strange spike of resonance between his mystic link and autobuss peaked, he fired. One corner of his triangular shot nicked the drone, knocking it sideways. It sprayed propellant wildly, trying to reorient for detonation. It was suddenly a much easier target for his father. A tinny sound accompanied a line of sparks that stitched across the seeker drone before it exploded.
Jordahk shielded his face from the blast with a trembling hand. The fanicle jolted as the explosion illuminated two receding, zigzagged exhaust trails. Debris clinked around them.
Kord's concerned expression was covered with a smile. “Thanks for leaving the coup de grace for me.” Their autostocks folded back into the pistols.
Vittora glanced back, pleased the men she loved were still in one piece. “You made that dramatic.” Her tone made it sound like they shot seeker drones every day, and now it was time to head home for dinner. Just then, the whine of the fanicle turned to a warble. Vittora wrestled with the controls as their speed stuttered and slowed. “Something hit us.”
Vittora's driving the fanicle way past specs was strain enough. Now a new grinding sound joined the mix. On cue a few more parts scattered on the earthpack behind them. Jordahk's heart sank with the same feeling he suspected generations of drivers felt when their vehicles threatened to strand them.
Now that they're onto us,” Kord said, “things are going to get serious.”
Going to get?” Jordahk exclaimed.


You might think part-time mystery man Gregory Faccone has lived ten lifetimes. He's experienced the ocean's cool dawn, and baked in 130° deserts. He's worked amidst the concrete canyons of major cities, and on a dark, rainy night, driven a remote road carpeted with frogs (true story, really).

Classically trained in creative arts, he performed a long tenure developing electronic entertainment with both independent companies and the biggest names like Electronic Arts and Sony. He collaborated with Universal Studios, Warner Bros., and Paramount, adding content to popular franchises from science fiction, with Star Trek, to comics, to even medical dramas like ER.

However, Gregory desired to share his creations beyond fleeting game system technology. The written word has stood for centuries, and although reading mediums evolve, novels continue unimpeded. A reader's bond with a quality literary work is unlike any other. When Gregory starting creating a unique science fiction universe, he knew the medium for which it was destined. The fantastic framework for his science fiction series, "Tethered Worlds," took two years to create before he jumped into writing the first entry.

Gregory is influenced by Arthur C. Clarke's axiom: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." So jump into Tethered Worlds and go on an adventure based in the centuries to come. While the technology is advanced, the nature of mankind is unchanged. It continues to wrestle with flaws, and is preserved through selflessness and nobility.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Interview & Giveaway: Dan Wright

My name is Dan and I live in Canterbury, United Kingdom. From an early age I was heavily inspired by medieval fantasy and greek mythology. In fact, creating fantasy worlds and characters is one of my pastimes.
I write my own Fantasy/Manga series called the Draconica series – which also contains Manga style artwork (drawn by some really talented artists). My series has been praised by online reviewers for its humour and action and has had some pretty positive feedback. Currently I have three books in that series – Trapped on Draconica, Legacy of the Dragonkin and Final Ragnarok: She Returns. I also have a Disney inspired Fantasy series called Amanda Moonstone – which is due to be published through Paper Crane Books in 2014 and I write and voice a fan parody series called Totalitarian Warlords and Termination Squadron on Youtube. I’ve also had a short story published in the comic anthology Lightning Strike Presents...
When not writing, I play guitar in a band called Rage of Silence and I’m also a slave to my cat – who takes up a lot of my time when I’m not writing.

Favorite reads?
Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy is my favourite book of all time. I also love The Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire series. I’m also a huge fan of the comic Watchmen and I’m also trying to catch up with the Manga Full Metal Alchemist where I can.

Inspirations for the book?
The Draconica series as a whole is inspired by many fantasy novels and video games – with a few bits of Manga and ancient history thrown in. However my major inspiration for this series, which I call the Final Ragnarok Arc is based on the concept of the myth of Ragnarok. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of a great cataclysmic event that would destroy all life as we know it – but also the build up to that event as well. It makes you wonder how the heroes can prevent it – if at all – and it really ups the stakes story wise. It’s also loosely based on themes brought up by The Empire Strikes Back... where the villains seem to have the upper hand most of the book. In all, this is probably my darkest story I’ve written so far.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
I would say so. I used to make up my own stories all the time when I was a kid, so it makes sense that I would become an author. Writing seems to be the only thing that I’m any good at so if I couldn’t do that – well there wasn’t much else I could do.

Any Pet Peeves?
Procrastination is my biggest one. There are too many moments where I should be writing and then spend hours on the internet instead. I really need to make a rule that there is no internet whilst writing!

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
Chocolate for sure.

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
I’m gonna plead the 5th on that question! XD

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
I often like composing my own soundtracks to my series and putting together my own little playlist. Right now I’d say the main music to my Draconica series would be mostly rock/metal music – but with some ballads in there. If I could get anyone to do the music for my series it would be Celldweller – that guy does some awesome music.

Do you need anything to write?
I sometimes listen to music, depending on the mood I’m in. But sometimes I find myself getting distracted by the music, so I try to limit this where possible. Oh, and Pepsi – LOTS of Pepsi! Many authors state coffee as their drink of choice – I tend to go for something a little stronger. And if I need something really strong, I reach for the Jagermeister!

How long do you write on any average day?
I try to do at least 6 hours where I can – but sometimes, if I’m feeling REALLY energetic I can pretty much write from the moment I wake up till I go to bed. Though six hours I find is pretty productive for me on average.

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
This is part one of my Final Ragnarok story arc – something that has been foreshadowed in previous books. It’s essentially a huge event that the heroes have to stop if they plan to save Draconica. But to do so, some may have to die – and others may lose their sanity. It’s the first of a two parter – and the ending will leave you wanting more.

Author Info:

She is coming... 

When Daniar Dragonkin heard those words, she had no idea of the full horror that would follow. Now, enemies converge to bring to life a monstrous plan that will spell the end of Draconica. 

With her family threatened, old enemies returning to torment her - and a civil war in Baalaria thatprevents any help from her sister, Daniar faces the darkness moment of her entire life. 

Heroes will die, evil will rise - and Daniar’s sanity will be pushed to breaking point.

Ebooks of all three of the Draconica series novels
Trapped on Draconica, Legacy of the Dragonkin, and Final Ragnarok: She Returns.