Friday, January 27, 2017

Tsunami Crimes and Celebrate the Small Things

It's Friday once again. We've survived one week so far with our new president. How are you coping? Building a fall-out shelter? Pleasantly surprised by his work ethic? None of the above? Well, let's stop and celebrate the small things, shall we? Thank you to our awesome host, Lexa Cain, and cohosts:  L.G. Keltner and Tonya Drecker

1. Last Friday, I had a blast participating in the I Survived Blogfest for Chyrs Fey's release of Tsunami Crimes. This week I get to ask a question to the author:

How did you research tsunamis? Did the stories from the 2004 (Thailand) or 2011 (Japan) have an impact on your writing?

I checked out books from my local library about natural disasters and took notes about tsunamis and how they work. One book I read was I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011 by Lauren Tarshis. This book was really good, perfect for kids. I actually bought it for my nephew, who was reading these books at school. When he showed me one, I decided to take a look and came across the story about the Japanese Tsunami.

I also read two books with first-hand accounts from tsunami survivors. Their stories were powerful. Clothing was ripped right off of their bodies. One woman saw a neighbor shouting for her to help, but this woman knew if she let go of the tree, she’d die. And a young girl lost her whole family.

The movie The Impossible, based on the Thailand tsunami, was by far the best source of research for me. Although the wave in the movie wasn’t “real,” I was able to see what a tsunami looked like and what happened to someone caught in one. It’s shocking, to say the least.

Nate Berkus’ survival story that I heard on Oprah after the Thailand tsunami also made a big impact. Nate Berkus, an interior decorator, was vacationing in Sri Lanka with his partner, when the 2004 tsunami hit. Nate and Fernando Bengoechea clung to a telephone phone. Then Fernando was swept away. Sadly, he was never found.

The other story that stuck with me was supermodel Petra Nemcova’s survival. She gripped a palm tree for eight hours. And she had a broken pelvis.

All of this made a huge impact on my writing, and my life.


Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.

This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s kidnapped by Jackson's men.

Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him to fall into a deadly trap.

If they live through this disaster, they may never be the same again.

On SALE for $2.99!


P.S. Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes are on sale for 99 Cents!


Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series. She is a blogger, reader, auntie, vegetarian, and cat Lover. Get Lightning Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2.5) for FREE!



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2. We had an interesting week, weather-wise. Mild temperatures and incredibly fog all weekend and then, BAM!, snowstorm on Tuesday. Sadly, it has all melted. Wahh!! At least I have the photos:

The boardwalk at Charlotte Beach, Rochester, NY

The pier at Charlotte Beach, Rochester, NY
(You can barely make out the tower at the end.)

Our front yard trees.

Same place, different view. 

3. And last Friday, we went to hear the Rochester Philharmonic play along with classic Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Road Runner, and Pepe La Pew cartoons. So amazing. (And so loud!) My favorite was the Barber of Seville. 

Hope you all had a fantastic week! Have you seen The Impossible? It's on Netflix. Do you love snow? Hate snow? What's your favorite Looney Tunes cartoon?

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Remnant Blog Tour

Religion is dangerous. On September 11, 2001, just under 3000 died in the US from an Al Qaeda attack (unless you believe in conspiracy theories, but that's for another blog.) The Spanish Inquisition destroyed over 3,000 lives. Yet, both of these death tolls are dwarfed by the Crusades in which 1.7 million perished. 

Image: Bob

Granted, these are examples of religious extremism, but would we be safer without religion in general? In William Michael Davidson’s The Remnant, religion isn’t merely absent, it’s forbidden. Anyone caught praying is captured by an extractor, like Colton Pierce, who works for the the Center for Theological Control or the CTC. If caught, the criminally religious "Aberrant" is hauled off to an island for the rest of their lives.

But keeping the theologically ill fed and housed in this manner is expensive, so why not save money by putting them out of their misery? This sounds like a swell idea to Colton until his son is caught praying.

Image: justifycole

I don’t want to ruin the twists and turns with spoilers, but the action fires up as Colton must choose between his position as top dog of the CTC and his child. The way the finale plays out has excellent tension. It’s also fun to watch the transformation of Colton from an egotistical, artless, emotionless robot into a caring, self-doubting, anguished mess who realizes strength is not always found in one’s muscles.

Now let’s go a little more in depth with some questions for the author, William Michael Davidson:

1. In the beginning, Colton is an overbearing blowhard—an unlikeable character whose treatment of people made me cringe. On one hand, kudos for creating someone so odiously behaved. On the other, do you think it’s a risk to start with an unlikeable character and have him your focus for the first part of the book? Do you think the general reader will stick with the story?

Image: kasiQ kmjw

Funny you ask, because before I was offered a deal with Dancing Lemur Press an agent I know wouldn’t accept the book because she hated Colton’s character.  Is it risky?  Maybe.  But that’s who Colton is, and I don’t feel that I should change who he is.  I think the reader is going to have to stick around for a little bit to see him change, but that’s okay.  To be honest, he was great fun to write.  The best characters are dynamic characters and I think a reader will find that with Colton.

2. The name of the organization that hunts and captures the theologically ill goes by the acronym CTC, which is pretty close to CDC. Coincidence or not?

No coincidence.  In a post-theological world, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if an organization like that was established.  Just like the CDC helps society stay safe from diseases, I’m sure that if we ever did enter the kind of world within the book, the CTC might exist.  In some ways, the future the book suggests seems very, very far off and unrealistic.  Yet, when I read the news, it doesn’t seem very far off at all.  I just read an article the other day about how quoting the Bible can be seen as Hate Speech.  So I think the world within the book is troubling and while it is science fiction and seems very imaginative, it is very close to some of the things that are going on in the world today.

3. In The Remnant, there seems to be a connection between creativity and the “theologically ill” or those who pray. For example, Marty, Colton’s son, is interested in fine arts. Selma, Colton’s love interest, goes to see a Shakespeare play. Colton had no understanding or appreciation of anything close to art. Yet as his character evolves, he does learn to acknowledge the value of creativity. What was your purpose for this connection in regards to this book?

Image: Thomas Hawk

To be honest, I don’t know if that occurred to me.  But I have certainly found that true in my life.  I didn’t become a Christian until I was in my early twenties and I was deathly terrified of being converted because it would change my writing.  Ironically, in the end, I think it gave my writing more purpose.  God loves creativity.  He created it!  So I think the novel does imply that by having your eyes spiritually opened, you can appreciate things for what they truly are and the full beauty they possess.

Thank you, William, for those fascinating answers! Now on to the details:

Release Date: February 7 by Dancing Lemur Press L.L.C.

The Fine Print:

◊by William Michael Davidson
◊Release date: February 7, 2017
◊$15.95, 6x9 Trade paperback, 242 pages
◊Science Fiction (FIC028000) / Christian Futuristic Fiction (FIC0402020)
◊Print ISBN 978-1-939844-29-3
◊eBook ISBN 978-1-939844-30-9
◊Order through Ingram, Follett, or from the publisher

◊$4.99 eBook available in all formats

The Blurb:

One nation, without God...

          Colton Pierce apprehends Abberants—those who display symptoms of faith—and quarantines them on a remote island to ensure public safety.  Years prior, the government released a genetically-engineered super flu that destroyed the genes believed to be the biological source of spiritual experience in an effort to rid the world of terrorism. As an extractor with the Center for Theological Control, Colton is dedicated to the cause.
          But Colton's steadfast commitment is challenged when he learns his own son has been targeted for extraction. An underground militia, the Remnant, agrees to help Colton save his son in exchange for his assistance with their plan to free the Aberrants on the island.
          Colton is faced with the most important decision of his life. Remain faithful to the CTC? Or give up everything to save his son?

The Remnant giveaway: This is a tour-wide giveaway for two (2) print copies that are available to those living in the U.S. only and one (1) eBook copy available international. The giveaway will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Sunday, Feb. 26. You can enter to win at each stop of the tour.

Thanks for stopping by today. Be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour (see below) for more chances to win. 
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Buy Links: THE REMNANT is available to order in eBook form at the following sites:

The print format of the book is available at these sites:

Be sure to add THE REMNANT to your bookshelf on Goodreads.

About the Author: William Michael Davidson lives in Long Beach, California with his wife and two daughters. A believer that "good living produces good writing," Davidson writes early in the morning so he can get outside, exercise, spend time with people, and experience as much as possible.

A writer of speculative fiction, he enjoys stories that deal with humanity's inherent need for redemption.

For more on Davidson and his writing, connect with him on GoodreadsTwitterFacebook, and Amazon Author’s Page.

The Remnant Blog Tour:

Monday, January 23:

Tamara Narayan – Q&A and Review

Tuesday, January 24:

Emmy Mom – One Day At A Time – Excerpt and Review

Wednesday, January 25:

Book Dreaming – Excerpt and Review

The Five Year Project – Guest Post

Thursday, January 26:

Patricia Stoltey, Author – Review, Interview

Friday, January 27:

Inside the Inkwell – Feature

Mythical Books – Guest Post

Book Blog Tour Company:

Do you think the absence of religion could reduce the amount of fighting in the world? Why or why not?