Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mystery Spotlight Presents: Diver Creed Station - Oliver Phipps


Diver Creed Station by Oliver Phipps


Science Fiction & Fantasy /Mystery/Time Travel/ Post Apocalyptic

Wars, disease and a massive collapse of civilization have ravaged the human race of a hundred years in the future. Finally in the late twenty- second century, mankind slowly begins to struggle back from the edge of extinction. When a huge “virtual life” facility is restored from a hibernation type of storage and slowly brought back online, a new hope materializes. Fragments of humanity begin to move into the remnants of Denver and the Virtua-Gauge facilities, which offer seven days of virtual leisure for seven days work in this new and growing social structure. Most inhabitants of this new lifestyle begin to hate the real world and work for the seven day period inside the virtual pods. It’s the variety of luxury role play inside the virtual zone that supply’s the incentive needed to work hard for seven days in the real world. In this new social structure a man can work for seven days in a food dispersal unit and earn seven days as a twenty first century software billionaire in the virtual zone. As time goes by and more of the virtual pods are brought back online life appears to be getting better. Rizette and her husband Oray are young technicians that settle into their still new marriage as the virtual facilities expand and thrive. Oray has recently attained the level of a Class A Diver and enjoys his job. The Divers are skilled technicians that perform critical repairs to the complex system, from inside the virtual zone. His title of Diver originates from often working in the secure "lower levels" of the system. These lower level areas are the dividing space between the real world and the world of the virtual zone. When the facility was built, the original designers intentionally placed this buffer zone in the system to avoid threats from non-living virtual personnel. As Oray becomes more experienced in his elite technical position as a Diver, he is approached by his virtual assistant and forced to make a difficult decision. Oray's decision triggers events that soon pull him and his wife Rizette into a deadly quest for survival. The stage becomes a massive and complex maze of virtual world sequences as escape or entrapment hang on precious threads of information. System ghosts from the distant past intermingle with mysterious factions that have thrown Oray and Rizette into a cyberspace trap with little hope for survival.

Oliver Phipps

Oliver served as a Paratrooper the United States Army and studied at MSC. In the late 1980s through mid 90s Oliver perused his love of music. He enjoyed traveling, playing percussion and writing lyrics for popular bands. During this time Oliver also began writing short stories and articles. After playing for thousands in the fall and winter of 1996 Oliver’s band abruptly disbanded. In early spring of 1997 Oliver along with a good friend and guitarist got together with the intention to form a new band. However rather than form a new band the two put together an expedition plan for traveling to Northern Canada and Alaska in order to prospect for gold. Leaving in April of 1997 Oliver and company traveled up the historic AL-CAN highway. After exploring the Yukon and Northwest territories of Canada as well as the Arctic Circle the team traveled over the Top of the World highway to Alaska. 1999-2000 Oliver traveled through Asia, visiting Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and others countries. In 2004 Oliver published his first book and continues to write books, articles and short stories. Currently Oliver and family reside happily in the U.S.

Social Media links:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mila A. Ballentine's Best Sellers & Other Worthy Mentions Tour and Giveaway

**An Award Winning Best Seller**



Thin Skin Soul Pinned  



Marie Tousant was an adventurous child, living a happy life until she had an untimely encounter with an entity in her back yard. From then on, she was no longer the same child, but even so, her parents were determined to maintain some sense of normalcy in her life. Although, they soon realized that, that notion did not apply.

Years later, hunting season begins, but Marie is the prey, pursued by practitioners of the dark arts, and they do not intend to let her slip away this time. However, a conflicting power emerges and shares secrets that may save Marie from the grasp of evil. Regardless of the dangers they face, Marie’s allies are willing to protect her; it becomes clear that Marie is in for the fight of her life, and there is no telling if she will come out of this ordeal alive.

Author Bio

Mila A. Ballentine is a mystery writer who doesn't shy away from writing about things that grasp the core of her imagination. Her writing is an extension of her mind's eye and there is always an element of truth in each of her books. She studied Creative Writing and Communication Arts at a City University of New York. When she's not writing, she enjoys traveling or doing anything that allows her to put her creative energy to use.

What can you expect from a book written by Mila A. Ballentine?

 “Author Mila A. Balletine’s originality shines through all of her stories. She is creative, adventurous, and honest about everything that goes into the pages of her books. If Mila were to get lost in the woods, she would use her time wisely. Her senses would be alert and her creativity would skyrocket through the roof.  Mila would find a way to write a story on a leaf. Besides Mila being a good author, she is bubbly, outgoing, and extremely shy, but don’t let her coyness fool you.  Her characters are strong, honest, and ready to jump into an adventure without hesitations.” ~ Author S.J. Dennery

In her own words…

My writing style is an extension of my wide-ranging imagination. I try to write my stories as if I have walked in the character’s shoes. Like most of my characters, I have many sides. I enjoy exploring the struggles, triumphs, and vulnerabilities in their lives. After all, they are an important part of the story. Therefore, I strive to make the reader care about what happens in their lives.

Mila, what was your  motivation for writing Thin Skin Soul Pinned?

 Thin Skin Soul Pinned is based on eyewitness accounts that I've gathered over the years from West Indians who claimed to have had an encounter with the antagonist. This story is a work of fiction intensified by my uncanny imagination, but it is plausible that the antagonist does in fact exist.



Book Trailer


*Awards / Recognition *

Download a copy here >>  B&N / Smashwords / Amazon 

Find Mila on the following websites

Twitter: @MilaABallentine


Enter To Win  

~June 16 - June 20~

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spent Lives Book Excursion Tour & Giveaway



Reader's Reviews



Are you ready to visit Reignier Island?
You are 1-click away for downloading your personal copy of Spent Lives!

 The Blurb:

François Laurent grew up in the shadow of what happened all those years ago and his life hadn’t been the same since. He tucked the memories of that day away in a dark corner of his mind, but hurtful things don’t stay hidden for long. His painful secrets resurfaced when a crime fragmented their charming town and François Laurent found himself in the midst of it all. As a result, he pursued Maureen Leatherby, the town’s kooky foreigner. She was always willing to assist patrons when the occasion arose, but it always came with a price.
Purchase Links 
Enter To Win
**Two Winners will be chosen.**" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway


**I'd like to thank everyone who participated in the book excursion. Thank you for Pumping Spent Lives Up!**

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spent Lives by Mila A. Ballentine ~ Book Blast Giveaway

Spent Lives
Genre:  Mystery
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Cover Artist: Mila A. Ballentine


François Laurent grew up in the shadow of what happened all those years ago and his life hadn’t been the same since. He tucked the memories of that day away in a dark corner of his mind, but hurtful things don’t stay hidden for long. His painful secrets resurfaced when a crime fragmented their charming town and François Laurent found himself in the midst of it all. As a result, he pursued Maureen Leatherby, the town’s kooky foreigner. She was always willing to assist patrons when the occasion arose, but it always came with a price.

Book Trailer


Purchase Links 

Amazon / Smashwords / B&N

Similar Books by Mila 

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Five Helpful Tips for Aspiring Independent Author

I'm a fan of The Taste and this season I was rooting for Marina.
"I know what I know and I know what you don't know." ~ Marina / The Taste - Season 2.

 I love her drive and spirit. She is not afraid to showcase her ideas and I find that inspirational. It is a similar drive that fuelled many authors to publish independently. They're making waves in the publishing industry and so can you. It's an ambitious  feat but readers are always looking for the next best read. If it's a goal you would like to achieve, it's important that you prepare yourself for the journey.

Five tips you will find useful:

1. Intermediate knowledge of Microsoft Word will make your experience easier. It will come in handy when you're formatting your document for publishing.


2. With intermediate knowledge of Microsoft Publisher you'll be able to create book covers and other marketing materials. See How to create an eBook cover in Publisher.

I created the following book covers in Publisher:



Proceed with caution! Creating eye catching book covers involves an understanding of complimentary color schemes, font choices and the image must translate to the concept of the story.

3. Learn how to use Windows Movie Maker and you'll be able to create book trailers. P.S the older versions are easier to navigate. The latest version sucks! It doesn't always pay to upgrade. Still, if you can get past the glitches, it's an excellent way to showcase your books. See Does This Book Trailer Make My Book Look Fat?

 4.  It's essential that you learn Createspace, Nook Press and Smashwords formatting guidelines. Personally, I found Smashwords formatting guidelines to be more cumbersome than  Createspace or Nook Press but its worth mastering. ** It will introduce your book into  the international market. Free Smashwords Formatting Guide.
CreateSpace - An Amazon Company

5. Learn how to troubleshoot format markers. They will affect the appearance of your book. For example, adding headings and page breaks can cause the last paragraph of the previous chapter to automatically change to a heading style.

Surely there are other things that I can add to this list but these core skills will save you hundreds of dollars on each project. The money you've saved can go towards investing in a good editor.

Before I go, I'd like to share the following quote with you.

I hope you've found this article helpful.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Unpinned by Mila A. Ballentine Cover Reveal



A Paranormal Sequel
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Cover Artist: Mila A. Ballentine


Her life was filled with constant loss and upheaval, but Marie Tousant was eager to put it all behind her. She leaves Hapville, Louisiana, hoping to find inner peace on a tropical isle. With Louisiana in her rear view mirror, Marie attempts to create a path to a normal life, but she soon realizes how inconsistent a sense of normalcy can be. Haunted by her past in every conceivable way, Marie recognizes that she can’t run from herself.

Marie’s only ally, Libby Townsend, is thousands of miles away when unsettling emotions surface and a sense of dread takes hold. A welcome surprise eases her worries, but it doesn’t last and her world begins to unravel. Evil forces take hold and tighten their grip; Marie and a sinister being summoned by practitioners of the Dark Arts clash. In the face of a heroic battle, Marie Tousant can’t help but wonder if there’s anyone left willing to protect her, even in the face of death.



Marie took one last look around her home. White sheets covered all of the furniture and the walls were bare. The taxi driver honked the horn and it echoed inside. She looked at her suitcase and sighed. The memories of her parents and Granma Tilde tiptoed into her subconscious. They were all gone. She was all that was left of them and she had to go out into the world alone. Hopefully the world would be kind and not devour her. Marie opened the front door, put her suitcases outside, and closed the door behind her.
The night sky illuminated with a constellation of stars. Marie rolled her suitcases down to the curb; the cab driver stepped out and put her suitcases in the trunk. They entered the cab and drove away. Marie lost everything that was dear to her; Libby Townsend was the closest thing to family that she had left. She said her goodbyes earlier in the day. Marie didn’t want any erratic emotions to hinder her departure when the time came.
Libby looked out of her living room window. Marie made her promise that she wouldn’t come over when she was about to leave for the airport, but she never said she couldn’t watch. Libby tried to hold back her tears, but it was inevitable. She looked at the cab drive away until the rear lights faded. Libby slouched to the floor and cried silently.
The bayou was abuzz with lights. The reflection of a fire reflected on their masked faces. They knelt in a large circle around the fire, with their heads bowed to the ground. A man huddled against a red oak tree with a Congo drum clenched between his thighs. His fist struck the drum and rhythmic sounds flowed through the air.
“Rah!” They responded, repeating the word every time the drummer hit a specific beat. Their bodies waved in a serpentine motion, sending their spines into a bell curve.
The beat changed and they rose to their feet, pranced, bucked and stomped. Clouds of dust rose to their waistline and the drummer changed the beat yet again. A figure with a horned white mask broke through the circle. The fluidity of their movements trickled out to the bog people who began thrusting their right foot backward, as if they were about to charge.
The figure was stacked in hundreds of layers of tree roots that stopped below where a knee should be and another layer that ended just above the feet came to the forefront. It stomped and gyrated its body to the Congo beat. The more it moved, the wider the circle became. Suddenly the figure jumped into the fire and sent flames ten feet into the air. A face animated within the flames.
The circle closed and the bog people knelt, and bowed, resting their foreheads to the ground. The drummer’s beat lowered. A young woman in the group stood up and walked over to where two cages sat, one with a crow and the other with a dove. She removed them from the cage, pressed their breasts together, and bound them with barbwire. Their blood flowed until it became one.
She removed a vial from a satchel, and drank its contents. The bonded crow and dove fell to the floor. It didn’t take long for the black mamba’s venom to send her body into violent twitches as the venom coursed through her veins. She collapsed. A man in the circle emerged with an ivory handled knife. He knelt beside her, made an incision just below her navel, and inserted the crow and dove inside her womb.
Death loomed above her and the full moon faded when her eyes went black. She had offered herself as a sacrifice to summon a creature more powerful than the Soucouna. Once the creature was summoned, it would be nearly impossible to kill it and it possessed the ability to smell a Silken thousands of miles away.
The drummer’s beat became erratic and the bog people stomped, jumped, and spun their bodies, until the last beat hit the drum.















Exotic items are invaluable and some only come around once in a lifetime. Marie Tousant, a native of the Bayou, finds herself in a dilemma, when practitioners of the Dark Arts embark on an eternal hunt.

An opposing force materializes and shares secrets that may save her from the grasp of evil. Fortunately, her allies are willing to protect her, even if it cost them their lives.




Barnes & Nobles/Nook


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Mystery Spotlight Presents: Drawing Down The Shades by Juli D. Revezzo


The Blurb

Business can be hell...

Life is good at Starfort Collectibles until the owners, Caitlin and Trevor Fulmer, acquire a beautiful statuette with a murky past. Shortly thereafter, mysterious hauntings wreak havoc on the couple when a ghost in the attic threatens retribution. Caitlin presses her coven for help before the ghost succeeds in meting out deadly punishment—on Trevor.


An Excerpt:

Trevor’s footsteps scuffed across the floor and he greeted the man. The old gentleman turned his attention back to the box, carefully removing the item inside. Caitlin peered over the top of the box curiously.
The man set down a small statuette of a woman, pouring something from a pitcher. Caitlin tipped her head. “That’s lovely, I must say.”
Trevor grunted and leaned forward. “Looks Greek.”
“German actually,” the man said.
“1960 give or take.”
Trevor pursed his lips and stepped back from the statuette, eyeing it thoughtfully. “That’s a little outside my range.”
The man pressed, “It’s a find, I can tell you that.”
“Rare?” Trevor asked.
“Oh, yes. One of a kind.”
Trevor glanced at her and back to the customer, holding out a hand. “May I?”
“Go right ahead.” He set the statuette gently—almost lovingly—into Trevor’s hands. “I think you’ll find there’s not a scratch on it. My children are tired of looking at it, you see. They say it gives them the creeps.”
Caitlin raised a brow. “How odd.” The little statuette looked lovely to her.
“Well, they have active imaginations. So here I saw your shop and thought you might have a solution for me.” He touched the statuette as if he didn’t want to part with it. “After I’m gone, I’d like someone to have it who’ll appreciate it.”
Trevor grunted again as he turned the little figure. Caitlin smiled at the man. “I told you, it’s his shop, his expertise.” She winked at Trevor. “I just keep the books.”
Trevor laughed under his breath, studied the item for another moment, and set it down. “It does look in mint condition. Do you have any documentation?”
The man sucked in a quick breath and reached into his coat pocket. A packet slid forth through his old fingers.
Trevor opened the packet, scanned it. He met the man’s gaze, startled, Caitlin thought. “Are you kidding me?”
“What’s the matter, honey?” Caitlin looked from her husband to the customer. When they said nothing more, she glanced over Trevor’s shoulder at the document in his hands. She caught the name Donavon before Trevor’s grip tightened on the form, crumpling the text out of view.
“Not in the slightest,” the man said as if she hadn’t spoken.
“You can’t be him,” Trevor said.
“I assure you, I am.” The man reached a hand into his coat. “Do you need to see my ID?”
Trevor narrowed his eyes. “I thought he’d died. I mean, you. I thought you’d died.”
The man pursed his lips and shook his head. “Not yet.”
“Who did?” Caitlin asked completely confused by this conversation.
“I thought everything she had,” Trevor barreled on, “was in the Museum of Fine Arts.”
The man chuckled to himself. “Not all of it.”
“Are you saying she gave some of the collection to you and you want me to have one?”
“Yes.” The man smiled sadly meeting Caitlin’s gaze directly. “Because I think you and she have more in common than you’d believe.”
Caitlin frowned. What did they have in common with whom? Who was this Donavon person? “Excuse me. What are you talking about?”
Trevor waved a hand. “Forget it, Cait.” He pointed to his office. “Of course we’ll take it. Let me just get some information from you.”
They disappeared into Trevor’s office and Caitlin stared after them, wondering. What in the world was that about?

What was that about? I'm curious. Aren't you?

About the Author:

Juli D. Revezzo has long been in love with writing, a love built by devouring everything from the Arthurian legends, to the works of Michael Moorcock, and the classics and has a soft spot for classic the "Goths" of the 19th century. Her short fiction has been published in Crossing the River: An Anthology of Sacred Journeys, Dark Things II: Cat Crimes, The Scribing Ibis, Eternal Haunted Summer, Twisted Dreams Magazine and Luna Station Quarterly and Crossed Genres' "Posted stories for Haiti relief" project, while her non-fiction has been included in The Scarlet Letter. She has also, on occasion, edited the popular e-zine Nolan's Pop Culture Review... But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of the Magic Appreciation Tour and Indie Author Network.

Drawing Down the Shades purchase links:

 If Drawing Down The Shades is your kind of mystery, you'll want to check out: The Artist's Inheritance!



Here's the blurb...


The balance between good and evil can be an art... or a curse.

Trevor and Caitlin were once happy newlyweds, profiting from Trevor's art. Until Trevor inherits his brother's house, and with it, his part of a family curse. Now, Caitlin will stop at nothing to save her beloved husband from insanity and suicide, even if it means she must embrace her destiny and become a witch.

Other novels by Juli D. Revezzo:

The Antique Magic series:

Drawing Down the Shades (Antique Magic, book two) Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords

 The Artist's Inheritance (Antique Magic, book one) --Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords

Caitlin's Book of Shadows (Antique Magic, book 1.5)--Available at 
Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Passion's Sacred Dance-- from The Wild Rose Press, Available at AmazonAll Romance Ebooks,BookstrandItunesKobo, and The Wild Rose Press
Murder Upon a Midnight Clear--Available at Amazon
House of Cards
(Reign of Tarot #1)--Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble and Smashwords   

To learn more about this and future releases, visit her at:    

Would you like to be the next mystery author featured on Mystery Spotlight?

Contact me via the form on this site. 

Additional details can be found here: Guest Post Your Way Into The Spotlight.