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Author Spotlight: Lina Gardiner

Author Spotlight: Lina Gardiner
Grave New Day

Writing a series about vampires can be a challenge, especially since the goal of any writer is to be fresh and come up with a new twist on a subject that’s been written about for centuries.  That’s exactly what I was thinking when I came up with the idea that my heroine, Jess Vandermire, would be a vampire cop in New York City and she’d hunt her own kind.  Jess’s baby brother, in his seventies, would be a Catholic priest and he’d partially save her soul, giving her the tiniest advantage over the darker vampires who had no control over their blood thirst.  How’s that for angst? Added to that, Jess can no longer practice her faith. That’s how the Jess Vandermire series started and has evolved over seven books, three of which I wrote last year. (Coming soon to ImaJinn Books!).

I’m pleased to tell Jess’s fans that there is a revelation and twist in each of the next three books that might surprise . . . AND WILL DEFINITELY SHOCK . . .  followers of the series. 🙂 Of course, the love of Jess’s “life”, John Brittain, plays an integral part of what happens in the new books, as well.

All this to say, there will be surprises coming in the series.  Big surprises!  Hope to hear from you.


Grave New Day is on sale now through March 15th for just $0.99! Don’t miss this great deal!

Lina Gardiner

About the Author:

Lina Gardiner, award-winning author of the Jess Vandermire Vampire Hunter Series, has writing in her blood.


Lina’s first book was published in 2007.  At every point along the way—before 2007 and since—she enjoys the daily routines of being an author: from conceiving an idea to writing and revising, from networking with other authors to attending workshops and learning sessions and, of course, holding that bright and shiny, newly published book in her hands—always the best experience ever.

Being a writer is a dream come true for Lina, but the friendships she’s forged with fellow authors and readers are the main perks.  Those friendships make that solitary job a richer and more rewarding experience.

Lina belongs to several writers’ groups and has served as a board member and in several chapter positions.

On the home front, Lina Lives in New Brunswick, Canada, a hot spot for legendary ghosts, tall tales and odd happenings, which probably add to her love of a good mystery. The spooky stories her grandfather told his grandchildren in the “parlor” when their grandmother wasn’t paying attention also sparked the wonders of imagination and a love of storytelling.

Author Spotlight: H.W. Buzz Bernard

Author Spotlight: H.W. Buzz Bernard


A few days ago, I came across some notes I made while plodding though the literary landscape in search of an agent who would represent my debut novel, EYEWALL.  The notes were compiled in 2009 – a couple of years prior to EYEWALL’s publication.  I had no recollection of making them, but there they were.

What they were was this: a compilation of comments agents had made about the manuscript, both pro and con.  I assume I kept them to remind me to focus on the positive remarks as opposed to the negative ones, since I tend to be a glass-half-empty kind of guy instead of a glass-half-full one.  In other words, I needed an antidote, the “pro” comments, to ward off the poisonous effects of negative reviews.

If you’re a published writer or are looking for an agent, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you aren’t, then what follows will provide a little insight into what authors face as they trek along the winding, unpaved road to publication.  In my case, the road turned out to be ten years long and strewn with four different manuscripts.

If nothing else, a review of the comments I received serves as a vivid reminder of how TOTALLY SUBJECTIVE the endeavor of assessing manuscripts is.  And I know this from both sides of the aisle now, since I occasionally judge writing competitions.

So here we go.

According to my notes, I lacked genuine talent as a writer.  One agent said she was “not that impressed by the writing.”  Another dissed my execution as “a bit dense and overwritten.”

Time for a big swallow of my antidote.  “You have a gift of description which is lushly depicted,” declared one agent.  Another pointed out: “Your language in descriptive passages really impressed me.”  Okay, perhaps there’s a glimmer of hope for me.

I apparently had trouble kick starting the story, however.  One agent pointed out the first two chapters were “not compelling enough.”  But another told me, “Very nice writing, especially the first chapter.”  Hmmm, maybe I sent out two different manuscripts.

Then there was the issue of driving the drama forward.  “More slow-moving than I’d hoped,” one reviewer complained.  Another griped, “The details get in the way of what should be more fast-paced and gripping.”

Happily, there was an opposite assessment: “Starts off fast paced right from the beginning.”

The body blows were relentless, however.  Agents were “not sufficiently engaged; not sufficiently enthusiastic;” or found the tale “a bit predictable.”

Thankfully, there were always the counterpunches to keep me going: “Great and timely concept, one with clear marketability,” and “you write well and deserve an agent with the time to properly represent you.”

It took me another year before I found such an agent.

In the end, I’d have to say the pro comments were more on target than the cons.  EYEWALL went on to become a number-one best seller on Amazon’s Kindle Store.

That’s just the kind of goofy business this is.  It’s a game with only self-defined rules, amorphous boundaries, and no referees.  One that’s both fun and terribly frustrating.  To play it, you have to be tenacious, thick-skinned, and probably a few fries short of a Happy Meal.


Pick up EYEWALL by H.W. Buzz Bernard today for just $1.99!

St. Simons Island, Georgia, has never been hit by a Category 5 hurricane. Until now.

No one predicted the storm’s sudden force. A crippled Air Force recon plane, trapped in the eye of a violent hurricane. An outspoken tropical weather forecaster, fired from his network TV job before he can issue a warning: the storm is changing course and intensifying. A desperate family searching for a runaway daughter on Georgia’s posh St. Simons Island, cut off from escape as the hurricane roars toward them. A marriage on the rocks; an unrequited sexual attraction; a May-December romance. All will be swept up by the monster storm.

Get ready for a white-knuckle adventure.



And don’t forget to grab H.W. Buzz Bernard’s other great Bell Bridge Titles as well!



About the Author:

H. W. “Buzz” Bernard is a best-selling, award-winning novelist.

His debut novel, EYEWALL, which one reviewer called a “perfect summer beach read,” was released in May 2011 and went on to become a number-one best seller in Amazon’s Kindle Store.

PLAGUE (“One of the best thrillers of 2012″–novelist Al Leverone) came out in September 2012, and won the 2014 EPIC eBook Award in the suspense/thriller category.

SUPERCELL (“Races along with the speed of a twister”–novelist Michael Wallace) was published in late 2013 and became a best seller on Kindle as well as the winner of the 2015 EPIC eBook Award in the suspense thriller/category.

Buzz’s fourth novel and third in his “weather trilogy,” BLIZZARD (“A terrific book”–novelist Deborah Smith) was released in February 2015. It led to his nomination for a 2016 Georgia Author of the Year award.

CASCADIA (“heart pounding”–Reed Farrel Coleman, NYT best-selling author WHERE IT HURTS) hit the market in July 2016.

Before becoming a novelist, Buzz worked at The Weather Channel as a senior meteorologist for 13 years. Prior to that, he served as a weather officer in the U.S. Air Force for over three decades.  He attained the rank of colonel and received, among other awards, the Legion of Merit. His “airborne” experiences include a mission with the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters, air drops over the Arctic Ocean and Turkey, and a stint as a weather officer aboard a Tactical Air Command airborne command post (C-135). In the past, he’s provided field support to forest fire fighting operations in the Pacific Northwest, spent a summer working on Alaska’s arctic slope, and served two tours in Vietnam. Various other jobs, both civilian and military, have taken him to Germany, Saudi Arabia and Panama. He’s a native Oregonian and attended the University of Washington in Seattle where he earned a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science; he also studied creative writing. Buzz currently is vice president of the Southeastern Writers Association. He’s a member of International Thriller Writers, the Atlanta Writers Club and Willamette Writers. He and his wife, Christina, live in Roswell, Georgia, along with their fuzzy and sometimes over-active Shih-Tzu, Stormy.

Buzz’s Website can be found at




By John G. Hartness



“So why did you want a publisher? I thought you were selling a lot of ebooks on your own?” That’s a question I get a lot, and since today is a perfect example of something that I can’t do for myself, and something my publisher has done for me, I thought there was no better time than the present to answer the question.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the Kindle Science Fiction & Fantasy Daily Deal for today, May 27th, and see who’s featured there – yep, it’s me!

Yes, I was self-published before I signed with Bell Bridge Books. Yes, I was selling quite well, and yes, I think I did a pretty good job promoting my work and making it onto some Amazon lists. I’m no Amanda Hocking or J. R. Rain, but I made it as far as #2 on the Kindle Horror list, and that’s a pretty good deal for a solo act.

But I wanted more. I didn’t just want more sales, although that was certainly a contributing factor. I wanted more support. I wanted a team of people behind me that all had my book’s best interests at heart. And that’s what I found at Bell Bridge – a bunch of people who work just as hard as I do to make my books better. And better-promoted. And better-branded. And better-packaged. Etc, etc, as Yul Bryner would say.

When I talk to folks who are currently self-published about my decision to sign with a publisher, I liken it to going to graduate school. My deal with BBB was for three more books, so it takes about the same length of time as a Creative Writing MFA. I’m signing a deal with a significantly lower royalty structure than I used to get as a self-published author, so there’s me paying my tuition. And at the end of my contract, I will be a much better writer than when I started. And that’s why I consider my work with Bell Bridge to be my Master’s Degree.

The work that we’ve all done on the books in The Black Knight Chronicles has been mind-blowing. The attention to detail that my work has received from the editors here has been extensive, and at times ruthless. And the books are better. I challenge anyone who read Hard Day’s Knight, Back in Black or Knight Moves in their original versions (which I still say were pretty good), then to read the Omnibus edition and tell me the stories aren’t better. The characters are better developed. The world has more details. The plot has consequences and logical outcomes.

And that’s all stuff that I could have done on my own. But I didn’t, because I didn’t know to do them. It’s not just that my editors here have had decades in the industry where I’m still relatively new, it’s that they know how to make an awesome book. And they know how to make awesome partners.

So that’s why I wanted a publisher. Because working with this one is making me a better writer. And if you want proof, go pick up The Black Knight Chronicles Omnibus, on sale today!




Today only, THE BLACK KNIGHT CHRONICLES OMNIBUS EDITION is only $1.99 at Amazon Kindle.





By Danielle Childers

Do publishers and editors read books they didn’t publish?  You betcha!  After all, we’re in this industry because we love good books. We’re such reading harlots. So I have no shame in presenting you with A Library Trollop’s Reading Recommendations!

I’m absolutely obsessed with retro fiction right now.  The stunning covers. The world events. The vintage feel. When I pick up these books it’s like they whisper “I’ve lived.  Read my wisdom. Experience my days.” And lately I’ve been reading new books about old summers.

I am super late to the party to read Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (Harper Perennial). But I was so excited that I purchased it in hardback. A luxury when you have to fund my reading habit.  A story within a story. A movie within a novel. The azure coast of Itlay. The 1960s.  An actress. An innkeeper. The filming of Cleopatra.  “The only thing we have is the story we tell.”

Yes.  It was beautiful. The writing. The imagery. The book.  Yes, this is literary fiction of a sort, but as a former librarian, I am bone tired of the limited genres we have to describe books that are just…more.  It’s vintage fiction. It’s retro-glam fiction.  It’s geographic fiction. It’s gently epic and strangely modern. It’s amazing. Read it. But don’t read it as a guilty pleasure. Read it like the clever and cultured book that it is. Read it with a touch of awe and leave your critique behind. Just…enjoy it.

Still on a high from Beautiful Ruins, I discovered (because books simply happen to me, for me.) Palisades Park by Alan Brennert (St. Martin’s Press). An Amusement Park. The 1930s.  It’s like The Great Gatsby gone wild but brighter, and the grit is not hidden by the glitz.  A book full of dreams from back when safety nets did not exist. Complete with frozen lemonades and the warmth of day that lingers in the asphalt.  It’s something you only notice as a child, I think. But it’s magic. I read it on my Kindle with a fan blowing in my face and the sun shining. Yes. Read it. Now. Read it and reflect on the happiest summers that were magical because you lived and breathed thirty years of summer at an amusement park. You didn’t? Well sometimes I can’t separate books from my life.

Now, when I’m feeling really sentimental or have found a book I know I’m going to love so much, I always turn to some old, faithful book friends. I like to read them and introduce them to their new book friends. They won’t sit beside each other on my shelves unless they have the good luck to be written by authors who are alphabetically compatible, but when I glance over their spines, I’ll know they’re related.

So, it felt completely natural after these thoughtful, retro books, to pull out The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood (Harper Perennial). Don’t judge me. I feel very protective about this book, and I can’t explain it. I have a soft spot for Rebecca Wells because she can tell a great southern story spanning decades that will have you tasting pecans, dissolving in the summer heat with your friends, and sounding just like my Great Aunt Sherry. And it’s a great, mostly light hearted finale to this summer reading list.

There you have it. Three absolutely perfect summer retro reads. Where the time is just as much of a character as the beaches as the roller coasters, as the people.  Read Palisades Park and make lemonade. Beautiful Ruins should be read after watching Cleopatra.  And the Ya-Ya’s?  Just make a shoofly pie and drink the lemonade mentioned above. Sugar is sugar, and there’s just enough salt in the pie to enhance the tartness of the lemons.

Happy reading.


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