Guest posts

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Guest post by author C.A. Shives

phobia_high res.jpgAuthor Bio

C.A. Shives is the author of PHOBIA, a suspense novel based in a small Pennsylvania town.

When not reading, writing, editing, or publishing, C.A. enjoys watching a good action movie. The author also spends time target shooting on the range and raising backyard chickens.

C.A. loves cheesy poofs, Bruce Willis movies, and wine (often simultaneously). The author is also a fan of Professional Competitive Eating.

A second book in the Artemis Herne series is scheduled for a winter 2012 release. C.A.’s upcoming novel weaves a dark tale of horrific vigilante justice tainted by the bitter taste of revenge.

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Ex-cop Artemis Herne thought he left the grit and crime of the city in the past when he moved to a small town in Pennsylvania. But the discovery of a woman's dead body, bound and covered with snakes, sends panic through his community and ignites his investigative instincts.

As the serial killer continues to target his prey, Herne must confront his own haunted past to uncover the pattern in the deaths. He soon discovers that every victim suffers from a phobia. And every murder transforms the victim's worst fear into reality.

Tormented by his personal demons, he is forced to face his own fears as he hunts for a murderer who uses terror for a weapon.

Book Excerpt

                They stared at each other as memories flooded Herne’s mind like a scattering of photographs faded by sunlight. On summer break their freshmen year of college, they shared a bottle of illicit whiskey in Tucker’s basement. Best buddies having a little fun on a typical Saturday night. Walking a street in Hurricane, on their way to meet Tucker’s girlfriend—who would later become his wife—they saw the unmistakable glow of flames a few blocks away. The old brick bakery was on fire. They ran to it, knowing that the building was really a shelter for battered women. Once there they found a thin, long-haired man in the parking lot, holding a lit Molotov cocktail while screaming the name of his wife. Two more unlit homemade frags sat on the asphalt.
                When the man saw them, he threw the bomb against the building and charged at Herne.
                Herne pounded at the man’s face until his fist pulverized bone into tiny shards. Through a red haze of fury, Herne only saw the face of his sister—his sweet, young sister—beaten to death in her teenage years by a jealous boyfriend.
                Tucker pulled him away into the night as sirens sounded in the distance. The man spent years in reconstructive surgery, and he never looked anything less than a monster. The brain damage he suffered made it impossible for him to identify his attackers.

Author post by C.A. Shives


Although I'm old enough to be hitting midlife crisis stage, I consider myself relatively tech savvy. I read some books through a reader app on my smartphone. I prefer text messaging over phone calls. I published my novel in e-book format. I spend so much time with my laptop that I probably could declare it as a dependent next tax season.

But perhaps part of me is old-fashioned. Although the ease and convenience of e-books cannot be denied, there's something immensely satisfying about holding a book with tangible pages. The smell, the feel, the sound of the paper is part nostalgia and part comfort, like returning home to a meal of Mom's chicken potpie and homemade slaw.

If it's a book I want to savor—a book that calls me to fall into the pages and drown in the words—only a paper version will suffice.

My personal library contains thousands of volumes, many of which I've had for decades. Children's books and comic strip collections share shelf space with suspense novels and cozy mysteries. I don't keep books because I'm a packrat. I keep them because of the pleasure they've given me and the pleasure they continue to give me. Most of my tomes have been read and re-read, and each time I find new peace between the covers.

The spines are worn. The pages are yellowed with age. Some of the bindings have disintegrated, and sheets of paper flutter from the books when I handle them. Many of the covers are faded and the dust jackets were lost long ago.

So why, if my love for traditional books is so deeply embedded in my soul, do I have an e-reading app on my phone? Well, quite simply, it's a matter of convenience. I carry my phone in my pocket, and it's with me everywhere I go. It takes just a few seconds to open the app, find a book, and begin reading. I don't have to worry about dragging a book with me to doctor's appointments, a kid's gymnastics practice, or any other situation that might involve a long wait. My phone is handy. It's small. And it's quick.

But when I'm reading an e-book, part of me always misses the feel of paper in my hands.

I'll continue to publish my books in electronic format. I'm no Luddite. But for those of you—like me—who still love to read the “old-fashioned” way, I'll keep publishing in paperback, too.

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