The Zharmae Publishing Press recently released
BREAKSHIELD by J.B. Rockwell on March 27, 2014.
This debut fantasy release is an action packed
adventure with several twists and turns, sure to keep
you on the edge of your seat.
Found at the intersection of life and the afterlife, the Between is a place where science and reason are replaced by magic and violence. It is a place where Typhon and his Huntsmen of the Dark Waste spread like a plague and where Talents go to die.
The only thing standing in Typhon’s way is Morgan Quendalen and the people of the Shining Lands. They are sworn to protect the last remaining Talents, a precious few who teeter at the edge of extinction. Morgan valiantly fights, protecting these last remnants of magic in a war he's not sure he can actually win.
When Jamie Aster, a mortal Talent with undiscovered powers, is put under his charge, Morgan weighs his oath against a desire to save the Shining Lands. Could he kill a Talent if it meant saving his people?
We will be hosting a week long review only blog tour to celebrate the release of BREAKSHIELD. Go to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1eDFreGv49_X0ZG-Vtia0qGqFIkHdcHXrl3F3OpZ7BkQ/viewform to participate.
About the Author
J.B. Rockwell grew up reading fairy tales, folklore and mythology, as well as anything everything about ancient cultures and their history, and never lost her taste for any of it. Unsurprisingly, her college studies focused on anthropology with an emphasis on investigating mythical events and trying to tie them back to historical fact. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of jobs (much less money) in anthropology so after several years of low-paying, unsatisfying jobs, she went back to school and earned a very practical (and very boring MBA). Somehow that MBA landed her a job in IT and for the past twelve years she has been managing software systems and information technology development projects for the US Coast Guard, a job which is neither boring nor unrewarding. She continues to write in her spare time and has several short stories that have been picked up for publication. Born and raised in Connecticut, J.B. Rockwell currently lives in West Virginia with her husband and two cats, all of whom provide inspiration for her stories, whether they know it or not.
The Zharmae Publishing Press is proud to announce the recent signing of Sherry Palmer and her book Life with Charley!
Sherry Palmer is currently a member of the Down Syndrome Awareness Group of East Tennessee. In 2012 she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University, and most importantly, she is Charley’s mom.
Take a journey into Sherry’s Life with Charley and learn all the joys of being a parent to a Down syndrome child who is full of life and love. And be on the look out for Life with Charley, set to hit the shelves this coming fall 2014!
You can learn more about Sherry at http://lifewithcharley.blogspot.com/
The Zharmae Publishing Press is proud to announce the recent signing of Justin Alcala and his book CONSUMED. Justin is a remarkable author, poet, and freelance writer.
When asked why he writes, Justin replied simply: " I would do it for free for the rest of my life. It is what I was made to do. I’m a storyteller .” When asked what inspires his more terrifying tales he answered, “I’ve always been the kid who gets excited for Halloween, Ghost stories and Grim Fairytales. Maybe that makes me macabre, but I kind of like it.”
Justin currently lives in downtown Chicago with his wife Mallory, their Great Dane, Poseidon, and their black, unlucky cat, Misery.
About the Book:
Detective Sergeant Nathaniel Brannick loathes the world he lives in. Trapped in London during a period of disease, crime, and insatiable vices, he fights to keep his humanity after his wife falls ill from consumption. In order to manage his grief, Brannick turns to opium, but struggles to keep his addiction under control while overseeing both his comatose bride and police work. Then one night as he returns home from work, Nathaniel stumbles upon an eerie messenger in his flat who warns of darker things to follow. The next day he takes a new case involving a victim who suffered from the same ailment as his wife. As he uncovers more clues, he cannot help but wonder if the practical man he once was has been altered by an investigation encompassed in the paranormal. That is until he meets the witch hunters and everything takes a turn for the worse.
CONSUMED is set to be released in October 2014
Learn more about Justin and his works at http://www.justinalcala.com/
Infinite World Building: The Concept of the Dream Box
When my lovely editor informed me in her rather nonchalant way that I would be guest blogging, one of the potential topics she tossed at me was the world building involved in creating the Dream Box series. I’m game (pun intended). In a way, the universe I’ve created is a kind of double-edged sword… you know, I really loathe that cliché. I mean, if you suck enough with a sword to get cut by your own blade, you probably shouldn’t be wielding one.
As you may have already guessed, I’m also a die-hard fan of the Fantasy genre. Because of this, I wanted to come up with a Sci-Fi universe wherein chivalric knights, magic, and impossible creatures could be included alongside the elements of a good Cyberpunk story. But I didn’t want it to stop there. After all, once simulation is involved, anything human beings (or, in this case, even aliens) can imagine would be possible to recreate. Hence, the Dream Box—a gaming console that could provide virtually (pun so intended) any experience the gamer, or Linker, could desire.
I asked myself, Self, why would anyone create something like this? As a means of capital gain? As a political diversion? As a weapon? As a digital neurological network connecting all of humanity?
I decided on all of the above. And that’s where the second layer of world building—the concrete universe of the Dream Box series, what Linkers call the “Meat Space”—had to come in.
Who created the Dream Box network?
The Interplanetary Council, of course. What government wouldn’t love to get inside the heads of its subjects? Especially 300 years in the future after the potentially rebellious have scattered to the farthest corners of the galaxy?
What keeps the Linkers from simply staying logged in 24-7?
The government provides those it intends to pacify with more simulation than those it intends to be its agents. Red collars, the genetic inferiors, spend most of their waking hours either in labor shifts or in a subconscious state while logged into the Dream Box, therefore preventing them from revolting against the higher caste, the blue collars. Of course, everyone is equal in the system—in theory.
How does the government use the Dream Box to control its subjects?
System Administrators and A.I. constantly analyze Linkers’ neurological patterns to ensure that they aren’t sharing personal information or hacking Cyber, thus completely separating the dream world from the real world. Of course, there are mind hackers and encoders that are good enough to cheat the system without being caught.
What’s the government’s end game?
To use the collective knowledge of the hive mind to find the missing pieces to a futuristic genetic puzzle that, if not solved soon, could spell the end of human evolution and the species as well.
So there’s nothing that could potentially go wrong here, right?
When a hostile A.I. life form evolves within Cyber and claims to be a new form of god, the slave masters become the slaves, and it’s up to those who truly know the Dream Box—the dregs of society, the genetically discarded—to save both the upper caste and the network from the horror they have unleashed.
The major payoff of a universe like this is that I get to play with where the lines between reality and fantasy blur while juxtaposing the living, breathing characters with their virtual counterparts, sometimes allowing them to develop in contradicting ways simultaneously. I do love a good paradox. And hopefully my readers will too.
We are proud to announce the launch of Battlefields of Silence by William Tedford on this day January 23, 2014.
Book Description: When the surface of Earth was ruinously contaminated by radiation, it became a forbidden sanctuary. Though orphaned in the blackness of space, civilization struggled onward, persevering in sterile isolation. Now, centuries later, while the mighty space-faring superpowers war tirelessly for control of the solar system, humanity has adapted too well to its new home. None could survive exposure to a natural world.
Or so it was understood.
In the midst of a catastrophic but ultimately meaningless wargame, faced with imminent death from every direction, one remarkable Jovan fighter pilot chose to die pursuing a dream: the dream to look upon the landscapes of Earth with his own eyes. What he could never have anticipated was surviving the experience.
Faced with both unspeakable beauty and terrible hardship, Jon has the singular opportunity to gaze into the mysteries of the past, and to stumble into the embrace of humanity's future
The Zharmae Publishing Press, together with Max Avalon, is delighted to announce the signing of Levi H. R. Rosenthal.
Rosenthal is one of our youngest authors, and at the age of sixteen is already creating compelling, multifaceted characters in a dark fantasy world.
His first series—about the wanderer Darius Gunn, and his trials and tribulations as he adventures across his country—is a unique endeavor, composed of many short stories that intertwine into a larger tale. The short stories will be released by Max Avalon in monthly installments, starting this December. Each year afterward, a collectible omnibus of the previous year’s stories will be released, swathed in all-new cover art by the talented Vincent Sammy.
Rosenthal is a writer, he says, “because I dream about the day someone out there will pick up my book and enjoy it. Writing is also my passion and my every thought turns into a possible book in my mind.”
He writes “stories that are as real as reality, but set in a different world or a distant future or a period of ancient history. That means your favorite characters might die!”
This particular story is the one he chose to write, he says, because “I wanted to write about a character who is not just your average, selfless, loyal, fearless hero. I wanted to write about someone who does what must be done but struggles to find his own path.”
And finally, what profound memories does he have from the writing process of these stories? The answer is key: “The story of Darius Gunn is not over. So I hope more ‘profound memories’ are yet to come.”
Read all about the author you’ll be returning to month after month in his brand-new interview, which is posted in the Authors section of the TZPP website. Afterwards, you can check out some of Zharmae’s other fabulous authors!
Mark your calendars for the first Darius Gunn short story, coming in December.
Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was once bet that he couldn’t write a complete story in six words. He won the bet, and $10 from each of his colleagues, with the words: For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never Worn.
Hemingway’s famous challenge has now turned into a writing tool known as “The Six-Word Story.” Not only is writing six-word stories entertaining, but it is a great way to practice writing and thinking of ideas for novels. A good component of writing is the ability to show rather than tell, and the six-word story is the epitome of limiting words while maximizing ideas.
Step 1: Read
Before actually writing a six-word story, it’s helpful to read some examples. Sixwordstories.net is full of ideas. A couple of our favorites are:
“Longed for him. Got him. Shit.”
“The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.”
“Rapunzel! I am slipping! A wig?!”
Step 2: Write
After looking at some examples, it’s time to write your own! The goal here is to write a story that is intriguing, without all of the details. Starting this process can be a lot harder than it sounds. To get your creative juices flowing, it is helpful to look at words and objects around you in an attempt to gleam inspiration.
We used magnetic refrigerator words to spark our imagination, and came up with:
Straying man. Young lady. Champagne. Poison.
It’s definitely not our best work, but it’s not finished yet! The next step to creating a six-word story is punctuation. The use of commas, periods, question marks, and exclamation points can completely change the meaning of a story. For example, with the use of a little creative punctuation, our basic story can be transformed into:
Straying man, young lady. Champagne? Poison!
Don’t worry if your six-word story isn’t exactly a work of art. It’s just meant to give you the opportunity to hit the ground running.
Step 3: Expand
Six-word stories provide a great way to come up with ideas without getting bogged down by exposition. They are a great tool for coming up with character descriptions, background stories, and climactic plotlines. After writing your six-word story, sit down for a five-minute free write and try to expand it. See what happens!
This is a time for holding close the ones you love. It’s a time for family, for friends, for laughter, and for delighting in the pleasantries of life. It’s a time for big meals and bigger smiles, for traditions and for the hope that comes with celebrating a new day and a new year. It’s a time for kindness and generosity, for reaching out your hand to help your neighbor. This is a time for love and for enjoying life.
Listen carefully and you may be able to hear music in the air. Breathe in deep the rich aroma of holiday cheer. Savor the taste of the season on your tongue; enjoy how the flavors dance and mingle on your taste buds. Take comfort in the warmth radiating from spending time with your loved ones—it is a special kind of warmth that can be felt from the inside as well as the outside. Look closely at the faces of those who surround you and try to memorize the way their mouths curve happily into smiles. This is a time to cherish.
As we at Zharmae and all the associated imprints draw closed the curtains and head home to our families, we would like to thank you, our readers, for another wonderful year. Thank you for a year of reading, for a year of friendship. You are in our hearts and in our minds this holiday season, for we consider you to be an extended part of the Zharmae family. We look forward to enjoying yet another year with you, one that is certain to overflow with the joys of reading and sharing momentous experiences together.
We are closing our doors for the holidays and will be back to usher in a new year of publishing high-quality books during 2014. For now, everyone at Zharmae would like to wish you the brightest and happiest of holiday seasons. May this time find you surrounded by those you love. May you find peace and rest as you prepare for the new year. Above all, we hope that you delight in the simple pleasures of life and that you have a safe and wonderful holiday season.
The Zharmae Publishing Press will be closed from Friday, December 20, 2013 through Sunday, January 5, 2014. While our offices are closed, we may not respond to inquiries, but please follow us on Twitter and Facebook to receive any news or updates.
Keep reading, keep enjoying each day, and know that we look forward to starting off the new year with you at our side.
The Zharmae Publishing Press will be closed for the Holiday from November 28th to December 3rd. We wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and hope you enjoy the festivities.
We would also like to take this time to annouce a new editor who is joining our team. Ashlar Trystan has been brought on as an associate editor working within Tales of the Heinous and Porfirio Press. We are thrilled to have him aboard. If you would like to learn more about Ashlar, feel free to check him out on twitter.