Friday, June 22, 2012

Welcome Queen of the Elements -- Terri Talley Venters

Please help me welcome, Terri Talley Venters

Terri Talley Venters,
Author of Carbon Copy

Terri received her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Master’s degree in Taxation from the University of Florida. She is a licensed CPA and a Second Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. She lives in St. Augustine, Florida, with her husband, Garrison, and their two sons.
Carbon Copy is the 1st thrilling novel in the Elements of Mystery Series. The title of each novel will contain an element from the Periodic Table of Elements. Terri recently finished writing Tin Roof, the sequel to Carbon Copy, coming soon from Wild Child Publishing.  
And Terri’s romantic/suspense novel, Body of Gold, is coming soon from Freya’s Bower. For more about Terri’s upcoming releases, please visit her website
On the first of each month, Terri also posts free short stories on her blog. Follow her at she weaves her way through the Periodic Table of Elements.  

Now for another treat, a free story by Terri (and it's true):

By: Terri Talley Venters
Luke kicked off his flip-flops and wiggled his toes in the hot sands of Playalinda Beach. Holding his brand-new Billabong surfboard, his sky-blue eyes scanned the glassy waves pounding the purity of the shores at his favorite place to surf. Playalinda Beach, part of Canaveral National Seashore, remained unblemished from any commercial development which tarnished most of Florida’s beaches.

He inhaled the salty scent of the ocean as the mist of the crashing waves lightly sprayed his face. He tossed his head to the side to remove his overgrown, sun-streaked, blonde hair from his eyes. He examined the waves, smiling at their four-to-five foot peaks as he contemplated the optimal place to put in his six-foot surfboard.

Turning to the left, he looked north towards New Smyrna Beach, the shark-bite capital of the world. Luke enjoyed the view of nothing but waves, sand, and vegetated dunes diminishing in the horizon. He turned to the right to a view just as beautiful, plus one Space Shuttle nestled against Launch Complex 39A off in the distance at Kennedy Space Center.

After deciding to start slightly north of his current location, he speared the tip of his surfboard into the sand, allowing it to stand upright. He slowly removed his Def Leppard T-shirt from his tanned, muscular upper body and threw it on the sand along with his towel. He removed his car keys from his Lightning Bolt board shorts and wished he had a girlfriend to tote all of his crap.

He opened his small canister of Zinc Oxide and dipped two fingers into the thick, cold goop. He rubbed the white sun-protection on his nose without a thought about protecting the rest if his body from the harmful rays of the sun. He grabbed his wax and slowly rubbed it on his surfboard. Luke inhaled the coconut aroma as he meticulously covered the areas where he’d soon plant his feet to ride the waves.

He grabbed the leash connected to the surfboard and secured the velcro strap around his left ankle. He pulled his surf board out of the sand, tucking it under his arm as he walked north about fifty-yards. He trekked through the sinking sand of the shoreline and tossed his board flat into the water. After guiding his floating board until the water reached his thighs, Luke lay his torso on the board and paddled through the glassy waves.

The water temperature felt perfect, warm enough to avoid the hassle of his wetsuit, yet refreshing enough to invigorate him. His arms stroked through the water as he paddled towards the open Atlantic Ocean. As the remains of a crashed wave rolled towards him, he automatically submerged the tip of his board into the water while simultaneously lifting his powerful upper body to allow the wave to flow between him and his board.

Luke paddled past the waves and sat up on his board. His legs dangled in the water as he admired the unusual clearness of the salt-water. He watched the bait fish swim briskly below him and almost wished he couldn’t see the bottom of the ocean floor. He silently debated if he wanted to see what swam in the waters beneath him; sometimes ignorance is bliss.

He regretted watching Shark Week on the Discovery channel the night before. He wished he’d never learned the close proximity of sharks to the shores of Florida’s beaches, or how sharks often confused the dangling limbs of surfers on their boards with edible seals. Luke couldn’t risk the ridicule of his friends calling him a pussy because he felt afraid to go into the water, so he sucked up his fears and said a silent prayer.

A rush of excitement filled his lungs as he saw a perfect wave rise towards him. He rotated his board to face the beach and dipped his arms into the water to paddle towards shore. He felt the wave lift him and the board up as the force propelled him forward. Luke placed his hands on the board and his strong forearms quickly pushed up as his feet automatically planted themselves on the rear half of the board.

Luke kept his knees bent as he squatted on the board. Using his hips, knees, and feet, he rotated the board back and forth as he rode the four-foot wave perpendicular to the shoreline. With the wave tunneling behind him, he rotated the board up, attempting to catch air. He felt the board coming out of the water and rotated the board back down onto the wave. He wiped out face first into the wave, swallowing salt water as the board leash yanked him towards the shore.

Praying nobody he knew witnessed his wipeout, he stood on the ocean floor in waist deep water until his bearings returned and his head stopped spinning. His ankle throbbed with pain as he recalled the fin of his board scraped him during the wipeout. He lifted his injured limb out of the water and examined the small amount of blood oozing out of the scrape.
Something swooshed near his legs, and Luke prayed the cause was merely the swirling current from the recently crashed wave. He hopped back up on the board and paddled out beyond the breaking point of the waves. He sat on his board, letting his feet dangle in the water below.

Luke saw the shark fin about twenty yards out, swimming perpendicular to the shore. He gently lifted his dangling legs out of the water, cursing for not remembering something so simple as blood attracts sharks. He lay on his floating board with all of his appendages safely out of the water, praying for the recognizable bull shark fin to pass by.

In an instant, the fin turned towards the shore, heading straight for him. Oh shit! Luke paddled frantically, scared to have his arms in the water, but more scared to risk floating on a surfboard as a shark swam towards him. As he paddled faster than he ever thought humanly possible, he heard the screams of sunbathers watching in horror from the shore.

Luke never looked back to gauge the shark’s location, he just kept paddling. He felt a strong force lift him up as his board and body rose. He knew the feeling all too well. He’d just caught a wave. Squatting up on the board, he rode the wave all the way to the shore. When the board fins dragged the bottom of the shallow waters, Luke hopped off of the board and onto the safety of the sandy beach, never looking back.

Author’s Note. Zinc is based on a true story about my brother. Our mother never knew about this until she read ZINC.

On to her new release: 

Available June 19, 2012 from

Carbon Copy

By: Terri Talley Venters

Lilly Allen has brains, beauty, and a trust fund. She's living in New York City and her career as a reporter is taking off. She's hoping the love of her life, Grier, will propose soon. She has it all, or so she thinks.

Grier Garrison, Create Life executive, is running the company while his father, Dr. Michael Garrison, is in the ICU awaiting a heart transplant. Grier knows the truth about Create Life and its shady side business. He fears Lilly and her twin brother, Luke, are in danger.

While working on two unrelated stories, stolen newborns and cloning, Lilly discovers a shocking connection. Horrific things are happening, but who is behind it all?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Welcome back dear readers. Today we find out why Kathryn Meyer Griffith wrote Evil Stalks the Night. I don't know about you, but this I got to know.

Why I Wrote Evil Stalks the Night
…and also The Heart of the Rose
Damnation Books: (in E-book and print)
Buy at

Evil Stalks the Night-Revised Author’s Edition is special to me for many reasons. It was my first published novel in 1984 and as it comes out again on June 1, 2012, rereleased from Damnation Books for the first time in nearly thirty years, it’ll bring my over forty year writing career full circle. With its publication all fourteen, and one novella, of my old books will be out again for the first time in decades. Sure, it’s been a grueling, tedious two-and- a-half year job rewriting and editing these new versions but I’m thrilled it’s over. I have my babies reborn and out in the world again…and all in e books for the first time ever. Now, perfectionist that I am, I can finally move forward and write new stories.
I’ll start at the very beginning because, though Evil Stalks the Night was my first published novel, it wasn’t my first written one.
That first book was The Heart of the Rose. I began writing it after my only child, James, was born in late 1971. I was staying home with him, no longer going to college, not yet working full time, and was bored out of my skin. I read an historical romance one day I believed was horrible and thought I can do better than that!
So I got out my borrowed typewriter with the keys that stuck, my bottles of White-Out, carbon paper for copies, and started clicking away. I’d tentatively called that first book King’s Witch because it was about a 15th century healer who was falsely believed to be a witch but who was loved by Edward the Fourth. At the library, no computers or Internet back then, I did tedious research into that time in English history: the War of the Roses, the poverty, the civil and political strife between the Red (Lancasters) and White Rose (Yorks); the infamous Earl of Warwick and Edward the Fourth.  Edward’s brother Richard the Third.  A real saga. Well, all that was big back then. I was way out of my league, though. Didn’t know what the heck I was doing. I just wrote page after page, emotions high believing I could create a whole book. So naïve of me. Reading that old version now (a 1985 Leisure Books paperback) I have to laugh. Ironically, like that historical novel I’d thought in 1971 was so bad, it was pretty awful. That archaic language I’d used–all the rage back in the 80’s–sounds so stilted now. Yikes! Yet people, mainly women, had loved it.
And so my writing career began. Over 40 years ago now. Oh my goodness, where has the time gone? Flown away like some wild bird. It took me 12 years to get that first book published as I got sidetracked with a divorce, raising a son, getting a real job and finding the true love of my life and marrying him. Life, as it always seemed to do and still does, got in the way. The manuscript was tossed into a drawer and forgotten for a time.
Then years later I rediscovered it and decided to rewrite it; try again. I bundled up the revised pile of printed copy pages, tucked it into an empty copy paper box and took it to the Post Office. Plastered it with stamps. I sent it everywhere The Writer’s Market of that year said I could. And waited. Months and months and months. In those days it could take up to a year or more to sell a novel, shipping it here and there to publishers, in between revising and rewriting to please any editor that’d make suggestions or comments on how it could be better. Snail mail took forever, too, and was expensive. But eventually, as you shall see, it sold.

Now to Evil Stalks the Night.
In the meantime, as I waited for the mail, I’d written another book. Kind of a fictionalized look back at my childhood in a large (6 brothers and sisters) poor but loving family in the 1950’s and 60’s. I started sending that one out as well. Then one day an editor suggested that since my writing had such a spooky ambiance to it anyway, why didn’t I just turn the story into a horror novel…like Stephen King was doing? Ordinary people under supernatural circumstances. A book like that would sell easily, she said.  
Hmmm. Well, it was worth a try, so I added something scary in the woods in the main character’s childhood past that she had to return to and face in her adult life, using some of my childhood and my young adult life–my heartbreaking divorce, raising my young son alone, my new love–as hers. It was more of a romantic horror when I’d finished, than a horror novel. I retitled it Evil Stalks the Night and began sending it out. That editor was right, it sold quickly to a mass market paperback publisher called Towers Publishing.
But right in the middle of editing Towers went bankrupt and was bought out by another publisher! What terrible luck, I remember brooding. The book was lost somewhere in the stacks of unedited slush in a company undergoing massive changes as the new publisher took over. I had a contract, didn’t know what to do and didn’t know how to break it. Heaven knows, I couldn’t afford a lawyer. My life with a new husband, my son and my minimum-wage assistant billing job was one step above poverty at times. In those days, too, I was so clueless how to deal with the publishing industry.
That was 1983, but luckily that take-over publisher was Leisure Books, now also known as Dorchester Publishing. A publisher that quickly became huge. Talk about karma.
As often as has happened to me over my writing career, though, fate stepped in and the Tower’s editor, before she left, who’d bought my book told one of Leisure’s editors about it and asked her to give it a read. She believed in it that much.
Out of the blue, in 1984, when I’d completely given up on Evil Stalks the Night, Leisure Books sent me a letter offering to buy it! Then, miracle of miracles, my new editor asked if I had any other ideas or books she could look at. I sent her The Heart of the Rose and, liking it, too, she also bought it in 1985; asking me to sex it up some, so they could release it as an historical bodice-ripper (remember those…the sexy knockoffs of Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss’s provocative novels?).  It wasn’t a lot of money. A thousand dollar advance each and only 4% royalties on the paperbacks. But in those days the publishers had a huge distribution and thousands and thousands of the paperbacks were printed, sent to bookstores and warehoused. So 4% of all those books over the next couple of years did add up.
Thus my career began. I slowly, and like-pulling-teeth, sold ten more novels and various short stories over the next 25 years–as I was working full time, raising a family and living my hard-scramble life. Some did well, my Leisure and Zebra paperbacks, and some didn’t. Most of them, over the years, eventually went out of print.
And twenty-seven years later, when publisher Kim Richards Gilchrist at Damnation Books contracted my 13th and 14th novels, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons, an apocalyptic end-of-days-novel, and The Woman in Crimson, a vampire book, she asked if I’d like to rerelease (with new covers and rewritten, of course–and all in ebooks for the first time ever) my 7 out-of-print paperbacks, including Evil Stalks the Night–I gave her a resounding yes!
Of course, I had to totally rewrite Evil Stalks the Night for the resurrected edition, as well as my other early novels, because I discovered my writing when I was twenty-something had been immature and unpolished; and not having a computer and the Internet had made the original writing so much harder. Also in those days, editors told an author what to change and the writer only saw the manuscript once to final proof it.  There were so many mistakes in those early books. Typos. Grammar. Lost plot and detail threads. In the rewrite I also decided to keep the time frame (1960-1984) the same.  The book’s essence would have lost too much if I’d updated it.
As I finished the final editing I couldn’t help but reminisce about all the life changes I’ve had since I’d first began writing it so many years ago. Though it was actually published in 1984, I’d started writing it many years before; closer to 1978 or 1979. I’m as old as my Grandmother Fehrt, my mother’s mother and who the grandmother in the story was loosely based on, was back then. While I was first writing it so long ago, I was a young married woman with a small child holding down my first real job and trying to do it all. Now…my Grandmother, mother and father have all passed to the other side. Many other family and friends I’ve left behind, too. I miss them all, especially my mom and dad. It’s strange how revising my old books reminded me of certain times of my life. Some of the memories I hid from and some of them made me laugh or cry. This book, though, is the most autobiographical of all my novels as it contains details of my childhood, my devastating divorce, and what my life was like when I first met my second husband, Russell, who’s turned out to be my true love. We’ve been happily married for thirty-four years and counting. Ah, but how quickly the years have clicked by. Too quickly. I want to reach out, at times, and stop time. I want more. I have so much more life to live and many more stories to write.
So Evil Stalks the Night-Revised Author’s Edition ( ) republished by Damnation Books/Eternal Press will be out again for the first time in nearly thirty years on June 1, 2012, and I hope it’s a better book than it was in 1984. It should be…I’ve had over thirty more years of life and experiences to help make it so. 
Written this 1st day of June, 2012 by the author Kathryn Meyer Griffith


A writer for over 40 years I’ve had 14 novels, 1 novella and 7 short stories published with Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, the Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press since 1984. And my romantic end-of-the-world horror novel THE LAST VAMPIRE-Revised Author's Edition was a 2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS FINALIST NOMINEE.
My books (all out again from Damnation Books and Eternal Press Evil Stalks the Night, The Heart of the Rose, Blood Forge, Vampire Blood, The Last Vampire, Witches, The Nameless One short story, The Calling, Scraps of Paper, All Things Slip Away, Egyptian Heart, Winter's Journey, The Ice Bridge, Don't Look Back, Agnes novella, In This House short story, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons, The Woman in Crimson, The Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction) ***

You can keep up with me on my Facebook page,, my Author’s Den  or my My Space 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Please help me welcome Kathryn Meyer Griffith as she celebrates not only forty years of being an author but the re-release of     Evil Stalks the Night

Tomorrow find out why she wrote......
                  Evil Stalks the Night (Revised Author’s Edition) by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
Damnation Books, LLC. P.O. Box 3931 Santa Rosa, CA
Digital ISBN: 978-1-61572-698-1
Print ISBN: 978-1-61572-699-8
288 pages
Price: $6.95
Cover art by: Dawné Dominique
Edited by: Pam Slade
Romantic Horror
Sex rating: 1
Violence: 3
Buy Link at Damnation Books:
Buy Link from Amazon: as of June 1

BLURB of Evil Stalks the Night-Revised Author’s Edition by Kathryn Meyer Griffith:
Twenty years ago psychic Sarah Summers fled from the evil that lurked in the woods behind her childhood home after it killed most of her family, but a nasty divorce and financial hardships forced her back when nothing else could have.

With her son, Jeremy, she returns to her grandmother’s dilapidated house and tries to begin a new life. She meets a police detective, Ben, who falls for her, and she prays her fresh visions of bloodshed and death deep among the dark trees are not true.

Then the murders begin again and Sarah is hurtled back into the familiar nightmare that has haunted her her whole life. The evil in the woods is awake again…and this time it wants her last remaining brother, Jim; her son…and her. With Ben and Jim’s help can she defeat it this time…and live?


Kathryn Meyer Griffith’s Bio:

Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I was able to write full time. Though I actually began writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and have had fourteen (nine romantic horror, one historical romance, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel  and two mysteries) previous novels and seven short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and
Eternal Press.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-three years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have two quirky cats, Cleo and ghost cat Sasha, and the four of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die.

Novels and short stories from Kathryn Meyer Griffith:
Evil Stalks the Night (Leisure, 1984; Damnation Books 2012)
The Heart of the Rose (Leisure, 1985; Eternal Press
Author’s Revised Edition 2010)
Blood Forge (Leisure, 1989; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition 2012)
Vampire Blood (Zebra, 1991; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition 2011)
The Last Vampire (Zebra, 1992; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition 2010)
Witches (Zebra, 1993; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition 2011)
The Nameless One (short story in 1993 Zebra Anthology Dark Seductions; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition 2011)
The Calling (Zebra, 1994; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition 2011)
Scraps of Paper (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2003)
All Things Slip Away (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2006)
Egyptian Heart (The Wild Rose Press, 2007; Author’s Revised Edition; Eternal Press in 2011)
Winter’s Journey (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition; Eternal Press in 2011)
The Ice Bridge (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition; Eternal Press in 2011)
Don’t Look Back, Agnes novella and bonus short story: In This House (2008; ghostly romantic short story from Eternal Press in 2012)
BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons (Damnation Books 2010)
The Woman in Crimson (Damnation Books 2010)
The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Vol. 1 (I wrote the Introduction) 2011 Dragon Moon Press

My Websites: (to see all my book trailers with original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS Meyer)

E-mail me at

Come back tomorrow and find out why Kathryn wrote Evil Stalks the Night