The Dream Metropolis by Miles Cressman

Sci-Fi – Fantasy
Date Published: 8/15/2011

The Dream Metropolis is a science fiction novel that posits the idea of dreams becoming reality, and reality fading away into obscurity. It explores the relationship people have between their real lives and the escape that only dreams can provide. 

The Dream Metropolis delves deep into the mechanics of dreaming, all inside of an abstract, ever-changing city of dreams. The people inside this artificial dream world see everything before them as real, even though they do not know that they are dreaming of each other, of other real people. 

They are part of a project that works to exploit their limitless, dreaming imagination in an attempt to separate the mind from the body forever, to create a real world inside of the mind. 

However, for a drug addict named Ash spending his last moments inside the Metropolis, dreaming forever doesn’t sound so appealing.

Guest Post

How Do You Keep Your Writing Different

The way I’ve found to differentiate my writing from piece to piece is to use different perspectives and different voices. Age is a huge factor, as is gender, sexuality, religion, and place of origin. However, characters are only a fraction of what it takes to change your work from piece to piece; arguably, setting is the most important aspect to keep changing up. You don’t want to be stuck as a writer writing about the same area or same weather or same point of interest. Reflecting the season you’re currently in is a great way to keep your writing fresh and new.

With my books, the way I wanted to make it different from everything I had written previously was to create a world that was constantly changing. The fact that no two scenes would be set in exactly the same place created a challenge and a benefit to writing different characters in these situations. Two characters may visit the same area of the Metropolis, but the way they describe it might be different, or it might change before their very eyes just by sheer will of their subconscious.

I had normally written stories with linear plots that were full of imagery, but had a very distinct A-to-B plot structure. Changing it up and using character arcs as a means of establishing a timeline (as fragmented as it is in the A Paean to Dreams series) allowed me some flexibility when it came to revealing plot and backstory when it was necessary, rather than slogging the plot down with overdone exposition.

Characters and setting are important, but plot pacing can definitely keep your writing fresh and new. Write stories that have different story flow, either fast-paced or slow-burning or somewhere in-between. This way you not only challenge yourself as a writer, but help yourself grow.

Miles Cressman

Miles Cressman was born in Arizona, but raised in Portland, Oregon, where he grew up enjoying complex fantasy and humanist satire such as Kurt Vonnegut. While attending the University of Oregon he started work on his first full-length novel, The Dream Metropolis, which would later go on to be part one of a four-part series entitled A Paean to Dreams, with its final, conclusive novel released in June of 2013. Miles graduated the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in English, and now works on novels in his spare time. He has been featured in the Eugene, Oregon based literary journal, The Watercourse Journal, and has a short story featured in Kindle All Stars: Resistance Front, which also features the talents of Bernard Schaffer and Harlan Ellison.

Hostages by Terrence Crimmins

Date Published: Sept 2013

A young man who has just graduated from Georgetown is finishing up his part time job delivering pizza and ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time and is taken hostage by a Middle Eastern terrorist.  After he survives this adventure he goes on a media tour around the country with another former hostage, amidst lingering international intrigue.

Guest Post

How do Foreign Nationals feel about the USA?

I really wonder how people from South and Central America have feel about the United States.  Some say that they have a love/hate relationship.  They love it because we are rich, compared to the countries that they come from. but they hate us, because, no matter what, they are not American and will never feel like they will really belong here.  Now I don’ t mean to make generalizations, there are plenty of people who come to the USA from many countries and fit right in.  But I did work in restaurants for a number of years, and a lot of the people who there are from South and Central America, and they live in . An entirely different culture.  I think they have a fresh view of Americans, that they think we are spoiled, and I think that there is some truth to that.  There are all kinds of events in the poorer nations of the world, like when houses that should have never been built cascade down a hill after a strong rain in Guatemala, or the violent civil war in San Salvador and Columbia, that Americans, at least in recent memory, have never had to face.

In my opinion, many foreign nationals who are not well off think that Americans live on a kind of a pink cloud, and this makes them feel a number of things toward us.  I had a lot of close friends from my years in the restaurant business, and I felt that, in some ways, there were things about them as people that I would never get to know.  It’s hard to really get to know someone who grew up in a completely different culture, but that, it seems to me, is what makes them so interesting to talk to.

My novel, Hostages, seeks to explore this in a number of the characters who work for the drug barons,and attempts to get inside their heads to give a view of how they see Americans.

What do you think?


I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as the youngest of nine children, eight boys and one girl.  The thing we lived by was Irish Catholic sarcasm, in a family that always found a joke to circumvent any upcoming tension.  A student at Catholic schools just after they stopped corporal punishment, I learned in the old fashioned methods that did not involve group work or student centered classrooms.  My greatest achievement in grade school might have been writing the class play in sixth grade, based on Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne.  I enjoyed high school, though I was kicked out of the honors classes when I spent all my time campaigning for George McGovern to beat Richard Nixon.  The other change that I made was quitting sports, football, diving and baseball, to be in plays, which was a fortunate decision, including meeting a lot more girls.  I skipped my senior year to go to Boston College, a fine Jesuit school.

There I learned how to drink beer, play rugby and read 600 page history books in small print.  I really enjoyed the academics of college, and professors inspired me.  They seemed to be on another level of consciousness, and I really enjoyed history and philosophy classes, which were my double major.  I wrote a senior thesis about the legacy of Walt Whitman, based on two semesters of independent study with my mentor, Alan Lawson.  Near graduation he cautioned me on the tale of the sorcerer’s apprentice, and the image of the Disney cartoon with Mickey Mouse flying around the sorcerer’s chamber screwing things up came to haunt me.  In time, it seemed, that I was more the artist than the straight and organized academic with the blue blazer, grey slacks, oxford shirt and red and grey striped tie.  On another front I took a class in Soviet Philosophy and wrote a paper making fun of my being in the class, having myself as a man who’d been kicked out of the Federal Writer’s Project for not cracking down on the Communists and sent to England for a seminar on Soviet Philosophy led by Nikolai Nastuschen, who was a model of the professor, the late Peter Blakely.  At that time he was one of the editors of Studies in Soviet Thought, where he published my paper.

On graduation, when I wanted to do graduate work, the professors counseled me that I’d done a lot quickly, and that I should take a break for a while.  So I became a bohemian.  Back in the sixties, people used to talk about not selling out and leading the life as an artist, but if you actually did it they thought you were a lunatic.  Well, I was that lunatic.  I worked in restaurants for ten years, waiting on tables and tending bar.  There I met a lot of people from other countries, some of whom were the inspiration for characters in my novels.  I worked for a time in a restaurant that was managed by a man who was a veteran of the Special Forces of the Israeli Army, and a restaurant down the block was Middle Eastern, and owned by people from Lebanon.  Later I worked in a restaurant that had waiters who were natives of Chile, and I learned a lot about that country. These were very interesting people, and I’m grateful that I met them.  

In time I took up another profession that allowed time for reading, and that was driving a cab.  It was great, if you liked to read, and I did, where I got to explore all kinds of fiction and biographies.  I also met a lot of interesting people.  The majority of people who take cabs are the very poor and the moderately wealthy.  The very rich have limos, and the rest of us drive cars.  I drove a lot of poor people who rode at government expense, and it was interesting getting a take on that.  Most of these were medical fares, or from an emergency medical center where people were taken when they were found in the dark of night with delirium tremens, etc.  I also drove a lot of veterans, mostly from  World War II, on medical fares, and they were very interesting to talk to.   Eventually I was doing a lot of Kosher Food deliveries, and got so much that I didn’t have to lease a cab anymore and did well using my own car.  But I had to get a real job eventually, so I went back to Boston College to get a Masters degree to become a teacher.

I really found it interesting to go back to my alma mater and see the changes that had taken place in the history department.  Most of the major domos I had studied under previously were being put out to pasture, and there were new professors running the show.  I revisited my thesis about Whitman, and did two more semesters of independent study with new professors, and studied pedagogical movements that started to answer the challenge that Whitman put to America in his essay Democratic Vistas, where he posited that American might be a materialistic bonanza but a cultural disaster if there were not a democratic cultural revolution to accompany the political one. Once again I enjoyed my time in academia, though, a little older, I wasn’t distracted by keg parties and rugby games.  (I had moved on to camping trips and fly fishing in New Hampshire and Vermont.)

Since that degree I’ve been teaching in Baltimore for seven years, which is a bit of a trip, to say the least.  It has been quite interesting to see this unique American sub-culture, where they are many interesting characters.

Dark Souls by Ketley Allison

New Adult Urban Fantasy
Date Published: July 19, 2013

19-year-old Emily desperately wants a name for what she is. For what is consuming and torturing her. For what is changing her.


But she’s not crazy like her mother. She’s not.


Emily may not be as crazy as she thinks, because her body is no longer her own. Something is stirring inside her. It is soft, seductive, and tells her what to do to survive. As Emily learns that her world has been infected by demons that consume human souls and fit seamlessly into the bodies they empty, she must also accept that she is one of them. Yet, she is different from the rest, because her darkness didn’t inhabit her, it was awakened. And it doesn’t just want the humans.


Ketley Allison

Ketley Allison is a twenty-something (maybe almost thirty-something) author who believes that supernatural love shouldn’t stop at eighteen. She began her career by writing books as birthday presents for her friends (with her friend as the main character and opposite a super sexy lead, of course) before ending it in order to walk down a path she thought she was supposed to follow.


The writing bug never left her—and, in fact, would often bleed into the official papers she was supposed to write—so now Ketley’s putting down her suit and finally following her dream. While her friends are no longer the stars of her books, she still throws in bits and pieces of them into each and every one of her characters.


As a result, her books tend to focus a lot on friendships as well as love, because let’s be honest, friends are what really get you through—especially when your epic love turns into epic heartbreak.




Twitter: @KetleyAllison

Blog Tour: Rhidauna by Paul E. Horsman


Epic Fantasy Adventure
Date Published: 7/6/2013
The night before his Coming-of-Age, Ghyll and his two friends escaped their castle on a clandestine hunt that would forever change their lives.
They returned just in time to see their island castle destroyed by strange warriors from a dragonboat and flocks of burning birds.
Ghyll’s birthday turned into a nightmare as they fled into the night.
This begins an epic journey to find out who is trying to kill them… and most importantly, why?
Fortunately, they can count on colorful new friends to assist, including a sometimes overly enthusiastic fire mage, an inexperienced paladin and a female beastmaster who is a ferocious mountain lion.
In a world filled with jealous priests, corrupt magistrates, bored aristocrats and power-hungry magicians, they try to survive dark wizards, murderous golems, and fire bird attacks.It soon becomes apparent that not one but several assassins are after them. Who are these members of an obscure, long-forgotten organization?And whose cold hand reaches across the boundaries of space and time to threaten weakened Rhidauna?
While the time is running the friends undertake a quest that leads them through a large part of Rhidauna. Following them, the reader is carried along on an exciting journey through a colorful world, whose people, culture and atmosphere are described with great attention to detail without the story losing momentum.

Paul E. Horsman

Lives in Roosendaal, The Netherlands.
I was born in Bussum, The Netherlands, in the year 1952.
After many years in business, I ended up in 1995 in education. My school was specialized in Dutch language and integration courses for foreigners. Unhappily, due to changed legislation this beautiful work stopped in mid-2012. My age, five years from retirement, makes it nigh on impossible to find something else, so now I am building up a career as an independent author.
SF and Fantasy have fascinated me since my high school days, but apart from some juvenile trash, I never seriously tried to write anything.
It was in 2007, I took the first steps in what is now the fantasy kingdom of Rhidauna. After several false starts and associated discouraged intervals, a spark began to grow and mid-2010, the first two parts of Shadow of the Revenaunt were more or less written.
With the Revenaunt-series, I had in mind something in the way of days gone by. A heroic tale with sympathetic protagonists and black villains, in which good always triumphs in the end. Something to counterbalance the modern gritty style.
In 2012 the first book, Rhidauna, was traditionally published in The Netherlands. The second book, Zihaen, followed in March 2013 and book three, Ordelanden, is scheduled for September in NL. Now I’m selfpublishing the international edition, well-translated and edited. The English version of Rhidauna appeared in July. Zihaen is being edited for later this year.
Next to the Revenaunt-series, I’m writing The Shardheld Saga, a trilogy, of which the first, Shardfall, appeared on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, etc, in May 2013. The second book, Runemaster, is being edited and scheduled for September.

Twitter: @Graylorne



Dirty Water by Richard Hacker

Crime Thirller – Suspense/Mystery
Date Published: June 2013
Publisher: Champagne Books
An open and shut case of vandalism leaves more questions than answers for PI Nick Sibelius, as he untangles a knot of egomania, desire and greed. When entrepreneur Dan Hoyt makes a deal with virtual gaming icon, Izzy Zydeco, to partner in a desalination project Hoyt begins to count his money.  Unknown to Hoyt, his partner has bigger and more insidious plans, which involves betraying a major drug cartel and, in a twisted business strategy to build a customer base for desalinated water, contaminating the Austin water supply for the next century. Working with a covert Homeland Security agent and past love, MaryLou and his new partner, Theresa, Nick must thwart Izzy and ultimately choose between justice and saving Theresa’s life.   Water is up for grabs in Texas and Nick discovers that H2O is a dirty business.



My 10 Favorite Authors & Why

I find it very hard to come up with a list of ten favorite authors, not because there are so few, but so many come to mind. Umberto Eco, Ian Pears, Andrea Camilleri, Günter Grass, Paulo Bacigalupi, Barbara Kinsolver, Phillip Dick, John le Carré, Alan Furst, and Jim Thompson to name a few, are not on this list. But the following floated to top for me in no particular order.

1. Donald Westlake, GOD SAVE THE MARK. This book, published in 1968, demonstrates his mastery of the comic crime genre. Look for the hook at the end of every chapter.

2. F. Scott Fitzgerald, THE GREAT GATSBY. A classic for the structure of his story and the richness of his characters. I’m also heartened to know he only sold about 20,000 copies in his lifetime. My family may still hit it rich with the movie royalties…

3. Ken Kesey, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS NEST. A powerful story, with a well-constructed plot.

4. Carl Haissen, SKIN TIGHT. When I want a fun read, I pick up one of his books. Just enough satire to keep a smile on your face.

5. Elmore Leonard, GET SHORTY. I’m a sucker for humorous crime fiction and he’s a one the best.

6. Iassic Assimov, THE FOUNDATION TRILOGY. One of the greatest sci-fi writers of all time. I can always learn from his work.

7. William Gibson, NECROMANCER. The inventor of cyberpunk, he’s written cyberpunk, steampunk and beyond.

8. Ernest Hemingway, THE SUN ALSO RISES. I have always been attracted to Hemingway’s sparse style of writing.

9. Gabriel García Márquez, ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE. The first time I read Márquez I was captivated by his use of magical realism.

10. Douglas Adams, HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. Satirical sci-fi at its best.


Richard Hacker

Richard Hacker’s novel, TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, released August, 2012 by Champagne Books was a 2011 Writer’s League of Texas (WLT) finalist, where in addition, SHAPER EMERGENCE won best novel in the Science Fiction category.  He is a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.  

After living many years in Austin, Texas where he worked as a leadership coach, public speaker and management trainer, he moved with his high school sweetheart to Seattle.  While he misses the big skies of Texas, Richard has grown fond of the Pacific Northwest.  His writing partner, a springer spaniel named Jazz, helps with proofreading and ball fetching. 

DIRTY WATER, the next novel in the Nick Sibelius series after TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, will be released June, 2013.  He is currently working on the third book in the series, CHAIN REACTION, as well as a young adult fantasy entitled INKER WARS: THE FIVE PENS OF JOHANN.

Visit him online at

Contact Information


Twitter: @Richard_Hacker