Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Desert Breeze Publishing


The publisher of my Chronicles of Kassouk Series, Desert Breeze Publishing, is two years old at the end of this month. Hard to believe such progress was accomplished in such a short time. And since I agreed to tell everyone how I found this wonderful publisher for this sci-fi romance series, here is the story.

In 2007, my publisher of the time (which shall not be named) closed their doors. A bitter and lengthy battle ensued for the authors' rights to their own stories. For a time, I kept writing and looking for new publishers, found an eBook outlet for my contemporary novellas, but my back list of sci-fi romance novels was now out of print and I didn't own the rights to my previously written books, not even those that never were published but had been contracted by this defunct publisher.

At the RT Booklovers Convention in Orlando in April 2009, after attending agent and editor panels, I roamed the corridors and bumped into the familiar smiling face of Gail Delaney, a fellow author and former editor for that defunct publishing company. She invited me to a shindig on the grounds to meet other authors and to tell me about a project of hers.

Intrigued, I accepted the invitation and had refreshments with a friendly bunch while she explained that she was moving to California and starting a new publishing company with a very talented partner, and she would name the company Desert Breeze. The electricity in the room all but sparkled. I knew Gail had seen the insides of that sorry defunct publishing company as an editor and more. She'd learned exactly what not to do. When she reminded me of the stories she'd edited for me and how much she liked them, and asked me to submit whatever I had, I immediately accepted. Not only I saw an opportunity to get back in the game, but I finally owned the rights to my books, and I trusted Gail's unquestionable integrity.

You would think things went smoothly after that, but it wasn't the case. Actually, Gail rejected my first two manuscripts (my most recent and never published novels) for reasons I fully understood (too sexy, not suitable for the kind of lines she had in mind, or other concerns not related to the writing). I fully respected her choices, each publisher has very specific house rules. These other novels since found a home elsewhere.

Then Gail reminded me of a title from my previous publisher, White Tiger. She'd read it and liked it and wanted to re-publish it. That was easy. I revised and polished the manuscript and sent it to her. It happened to be exactly what she was looking for. When I understood the kind of books she wanted, I suggested that White Tiger could be the first book of a series, and I could write more set in the same futuristic world.

She was very enthused, asked me for two more titles, a name for the series, and send me a three-book contract. Since then I've been writing the CHRONICLES OF KASSOUK series. These three books are now out. Book Four, Blue Lioness, is coming in August, and the prequel, Noah's Ark, is scheduled for release in 2012. I'm also writing a novella for their Borealis III sci-fi romance anthology coming in October 2011.

This is how I became a Desert Breeze author and I never regretted it. I just saw Gail Delaney, Patrick Delaney, and Jenifer Raniery at RT in LA this month, and their publishing company is healthy, growing, and taking giant strides, while maintaining impeccable quality. Have you seen the cover of White Tiger? It won the ARIANA award and the QUASAR award for Best overall eBook cover of 2009. An author can't ask for more. I am very priviledged and proud to be a part of the Desert Breeze Publishing family.

Find the Chronicles of Kassouk books at Desert Breeze HERE
Follow top right links on this page to find all my paperbacks and eBooks in various formats from Amazon kindle, B&N Nook, ARe, Smashwords, and other places.

If you leave a comment on this blog you can win the pdf of either White Tiger, Red Leopard, or Black Jaguar (your choice), and be entered for the Desert Breeze Anniversary grand prize at the end of the month. So go ahead.

The Desert Breeze Birthday tour continues tomorrow Sunday April 24 at:

Vijaya Schartz
Award-winning sci-fi and romance with a kick

Friday, April 15, 2011

SCORPION BAY by Michael Murphy is out

Award winning mystery and suspense novelist, Michael Murphy, introduces a chilling thriller of murder and revenge and a surprising splash of humor.

When a car bomb kills the prosecuting attorney and a key witness against a powerful bioengineering industrialist, the blast shatters the life of the attorney’s husband, popular Phoenix television investigative reporter, Parker Knight. After authorities hit a dead end, Parker risks his career and his life to seek his own revenge. Riding a high tech motorcycle and wearing a black disguise, the crusading newsman inadvertently becomes a media created superhero jeopardizing his quest for justice.

This book is available in paperback and in eBook format everywhere, including Kindle and on Smashwords.


Parker awoke in a hospital bed, hooked to an IV drip while an annoying heart monitor beeped beside him. Only a florescent light above a mirror and the green glow from the monitor illuminated the dimly lit room.

He felt groggy, no doubt from pain medication, and gazed down at a bandage on his left forearm and wiggled his fingers. He struggled to lift his arm and the room began to spin. He took a deep breath and managed to move his left leg then his right. Taking inventory of his injuries, Parker felt sore in spite of the medication, but nothing seemed broken.

The window blinds showed the darkness and soft glow from a parking lot. A flash of lightning briefly illuminated the room.

Closing his eyes, Parker replayed the accident as the details of the night began to emerge from his foggy memory. He remembered the abduction, his escape and shots fired by Carl as he and Lenny pursued Parker outside the drop house. His Kawasaki might be totaled, but at least he’d escaped the clutches of Raymond Camino’s men and was safe in the hospital.

Wanting to know about his condition and how long he might be hospitalized, Parker reached for a call button. A moment later, a nurse entered the room and closed the door.

“What time is it?” Parker asked, aware he was slurring his words. What kind of drugs had they given him?

“Time for another pain pill.” She stepped forward, poured water from a pitcher and handed him the pill and a plastic glass. “I’m going to take good care of you, Parker.” A lightning flash revealed the nurse’s smiling face.


“So you haven’t forgotten me.”

Parker palmed the pill and pretended to place the drug into his mouth. He sipped the water and tried to set the glass on a tray beside the bed.

Kimberly set the glass on the tray then slid a chair beside his bed. Her employee-of-the-quarter smile twisted into a scowl as she looked down at his balled fist. She pried his fingers apart and grabbed the pill.

Turning her back to him, Kimberly crossed the room and stopped beneath the light. “If you won’t take the pill, Mr. I’m-too-busy-to-call Anchorman, I’ll have to give you an injection.”

Parker tried to shake his drug-induced stupor. He reached for the call button but only managed to send the device clattering to the floor. His mouth went dry as Kimberly approached the bed holding a long syringe with a two-inch needle at her side.

Kimberly’s eyes burned with contempt. Her voice choked with bitterness. “Before I give you the Demerol, explain why, Parker Knight, after I sent all those beautiful roses day after day, you never called me.” She brought the syringe closer to the IV line in his wrist. “Never!”


Part time urban chicken rancher and full time writer, award winning novelist Michael Murphy and his wife make their home in Arizona with their two cats, four dogs and five chickens. He enjoys writing mystery and suspense novels with twists and turns and splashes of humor. Scorpion Bay is his seventh novel.

If you like a laugh along with your chills, you might want to give one of Michael Murphy's novels a try.

Visit his website at:
Find Michael Murphy on HERE
Find them at Smashwords HERE

Monday, April 11, 2011

A great time at the RT Booklovers Convention in L.A.

The Book signing and the ebook Expo at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention April 6 to April 10, 2011, were hugely attended. Authors, readers, librarians, booksellers and book lovers of all kinds attended not only the book signings but also the workshops and the wild costumed parties. From Faeries to vampires, from Bollywood to Hollywood, there was something for every taste.

RT is always a joy to attend and everyone is so friendly, it doesn't feel like a working conference, but like a place to meet friends and a big family of readers and book lovers.

An attending reader brought home baked cookies to distribute to her favorite authors. Where else but at RT can you find such atmosphere?

Yes, it's me on the photograph, at the eBook Fair, showing off my kindle and talking to readers, and holding the poster of Red Leopard. Book Four in the Chronicles of Kassouk series is due in August 2011 and is titled BLUE LIONESS.

Already looking forward to the next RT Convention in April next year. It will be in Chicago. Brrrrr.

The only glitch was the unusually cold weather. I brought my bathing suit but didn't get a chance to hit the pool. It was too cold anyway. Now I'm warming up my bones back home in Phoenix Arizona, where you can always count on the sun.

Vijaya Schartz
sci-fi & Romance with a Kick