After Midnight Cover Reveal

Every so often, I’m asked to help my fellow authors get the news out about their newest book release. Sometimes, that help looks like participating in Facebook release parties and other times it’s helping them promote their newest book cover.

Like today. After Midnight is the newest book in the Miss Hyde Novellas written by the very talented Kindra Sowder. For the last few years I’ve had the privilege to call Kindra both my friend and my boss at Burning Willow Press, LLC. So when she asked for help regarding the new cover reveal I leapt at the opportunity.

So without further ado, here it is…

Hyde5 frontBlythe’s world is changing. She has finally accepted who — or what — she is. Hyde’s keeping to their arrangement. Blythe can now move forward from all she endured including a new romance with Emmett. Not only does he make her feel normal but helps her see a possible future.

But what of the elusive Adam Burnside? The man who could be her equal in not only state of mind but also body. With Cyra handing over journals filled with clues to her origins, Blythe needs to make sense of the new information within.


FB_IMG_1515772882925Author Bio:

Kindra Sowder was born and raised in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA until the age of 12, when her family moved to Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from high school in 2006 with full honors and as a member of her high school Literary Club and the Spanish Honor Society. In January 2014, she graduated with her second degree in Criminal NeuroPsychology. She married her husband Edd Sowder in May 2014 and still lives in Spartanburg, SC where she is basing Burning Willow Press. Her works have earned multiple award nominations.

If you are interested in all of Kindra’s other amazing works, here are a list of her Author Links.

Author Links:







Welcome back to the Crossroads

What happens when we die? 

It’s a question that cannot be answered by man, so far anyway. And until that riddle’s been solved all we’re left with are theories. Some believe that nothing happens and our memories, thoughts, and our personality just stop when our bodies finally give out. I’m not sure if I like that theory. Maybe it’s because I refuse to think all of my efforts and time, while insignificant in the larger scope of the universe, simply don’t matter.

Another theory is that death is but a door to another higher plane of existence. Call it what you like: Heaven, the afterlife, Valhalla, the void. Every religion has some place where the soul goes when the body perishes. Often, there’s a good place (heaven) and a bad place (hell) depending on the actions of the soul during its duration on earth. 

The final theory I’ll discuss (there are plenty more, but I don’t have all day) is a combination of the two above mentioned theories. If you take the idea of no plane of existence and combine it with the idea of a soul, what do you get?

Well, you actually get two things:

1. Ghosts

2. A good story.

The souls of those that died, released by the death of their mortal bodies, forever to wander the earth searching for the lives that they once cherished. Ghost stories can be found in every part of the world. Often, ghosts don’t travel far from where they lived when they still had physical bodies. Ghosts are sometimes sent as messengers to those in need of some guidance (Ebenezer Scrooge for example). Sometimes, ghosts are jealous entities that terrorize the living. Sometimes their friendly ghosts (I’m looking at you Casper). 

What I’m trying to get across to you is that whatever your comfort level is, there is a ghost story for you. There’s no better way to figure out what kind of ghost stories you like than purchasing the new anthology by Burning Willow Press.

Crossroads in the Dark IV: GHOSTS is a collection of short stories developed in hopes of bringing awareness to suicide prevention around the world. While the stories do not tell of suicide, they do tell of GHOSTS. For whom are the ghosts that haunt us daily? What are the remains of an otherwise perfect life ended far too soon? Which are the people who we find hardest to move forward from when we lose them? The easy answer is the ones we failed to save. 

For those that haven’t read the last three CRITD anthologies, welcome.

For those that have, welcome back to the crossroads.

• Forward by Lily Luchesi, author of the “Paranormal Detective” series.

Stories by:

Kerry Alan Denney

Alice J. Black

Michael Schutz

Kindra Sowder

James Master (that’s me)

Frank Martin

L. Bachman

Carol Browne

C.C. Adams

Mirren Hogan

Erin Yoshikawa

Peter Oliver Wonder

Rachel de la Fuente

W.T. Watson

Cindy Johnson

• James Crawford

Nikki Collins-Mewha

Kevin Wimer

Brian G. Murray

– Lloyd Kerns

Edd Sowder

Animus Cover Reveal

For those that may not know, Kindra Sowder is at it again. I honestly don’t know when she has time to sleep. Maybe she doesn’t. It wouldn’t surprise me the way she’s able to find the time to work a full-time job, work on obtaining her Master’s Degree, being the President and CEO of Burning Willow Press, LLC, and publishing so many books. And she has to put up with that husband of hers Edd Sowder (just joking Edd, don’t kill me). Edd is the editor of Animus which tells you how brave he is to tell his wife what mistakes she’s made with her new book. This isn’t meant to be a wife/husband joke. Kindra is the author behind the Miss Hyde novellas. Enough said.

As a friend/employee/fan/reader/editor of Kindra’s I can inform you that if you pick up one of her books you won’t be disappointed. Without further ado, let’s kick off this reveal of Kindra’s newest Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy novel from CHBB titled Animus!

Cover Designer: Rue Volley

General Quinn Ragnarok is a lot of things. Fierce. Dedicated. Intelligent. Skilled. And one of the only women to become a General within the Sentinel of Hydra, sworn to serve the Dominion of Archer’s State as a warrior against those who would dare rise against them. Her beloved dragon, Apep, is bonded to her not only in battle, but in their existence. A bond not taken lightly, for dragons from beyond the Long Realm of the Channel are among the most intelligent, extremely powerful, and do not bond easily with humans.

Betrayal is just around the corner, with the conspirator being one of her own, and war is imminent as proof of betrayal must be presented to the Council. She must rise to the Council’s wishes to fight against the Royals of Paderborn alongside her lifelong friend, Private Victor Shroud. Not only a soldier, but her trusted ally.

Will Quinn have the ability to lead her garrison to war, ensuring victory? Or will she fall to their sword?

Animus is a new high fantasy novella from award winning author, Kindra Sowder. Delve into this new tale and immerse yourself into a realm where war is coming, Halflings are controlling the forests with swords and arrows, and the skies are filled with dragons.

Kindra Sowder

Author Bio:

Kindra Sowder was born and raised in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA until the age of 12, when her family moved to Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from high school in 2006 with full honors and as a member of her high school Literary Club and the Spanish Honor Society. In January 2014, she graduated with her second degree in Criminal NeuroPsychology. She married her husband Edd Sowder in May 2014 and still lives in Spartanburg, SC where she is basing Burning Willow Press. Her works have earned multiple award nominations.

Author Links:






Animus comes out April 10, 2018.

Thank you to Lady Amber’s PR for including me in this release.LA_Website-Banner

February is Women in Horror Month (WiHM)

I’m glad that everyone reading this surviving the Snowpocalypse that hit last weekend (at least where I live in Indiana). Unless of course, you’re part of the undead horde. Which, if that’s true, I commend you for being one of those creatures that managed to still have a strong grip on your intellect. Not many of the undead can still read, write, and buy a newspaper. Have you ever noticed that many of those shambling, mindless zombies are trying to read James Patterson books? I rest my case.

The reason why I’m discussion the literary habits of undead is because that’s half of the theme of this week’s column. The other half, obviously if you’ve read the title of the column, are women authors. February is Women in Horror Month (WiHM). This is the ninth annual WiHM. “It’s an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries. Whether they are on the screen, behind the scenes, or contributing in their other various artistic ways, it is clear that women love, appreciate, and contribute to the horror genre,” states the press release that can be found on the WiHM website.

Now you might all be saying “Jim, you’re not a women.” And you’d be right. I’m a man, but I’m also a horror genre writer. Since my first book (The Book of Roland) was accepted by Burning Willow Press a few years ago, I’ve come to network and befriend many horror writing women in the independent book society. Most of those connections happen to be women.

Now, nothing is scarier (this is my opinion as both a husband and a man) than an angry woman. William Congreve obviously agreed with me when he wrote that “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” in his work The Mourning Bride (1697). Now, before I any further allow me to clarify that I tend to believe that one should have a healthy respect for the things that he/she fears. I would like to take Congreve’s quote a step further to state “Hell hath no fury like a horror writing woman scorned.”


Think about it. Think about having a horror writer as a wife or girlfriend. Imagine reading about all the horrible things that happen to the characters in her book. Think about all the time she’s taken to research those despicable acts. Then think about, in order to write those atrocities, she’d have to plot out exactly how to perform them.

Now think about this: You sleep in the same house, sometimes the same bed, as that horror writer. She’s probably dreaming about those things. Do you really want to make her mad? Something to ponder when you start fighting about what restaurant you guys should dine at.

Now, there are numerous women in horror that should be acknowledged and recognized for their work. I’m just going to list a few from the literary world and list a book that you should read. So here is my top five women in literary horror that you should read. They are not listed in any particular order:

Shirley Jackson, House on Haunted Hill. You might remember the Liam Neeson and Luke Wilson movie when you were a kid or maybe the Vincent Price movie way back in the day. This story was the premise for both movies and you won’t regret picking this one up.

Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire. Even though I enjoyed The Vampire Armand better, Interview with the Vampire would be a better pick if you’ve never read anything by Rice. It will be familiar territory if you’ve seen the movie, but never read the book too.

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein. What I’m about to say next is not meant to be a snub against anyone else on this list. This is by far my favorite book on this list. Reading this book in middle school helped spark my obsession with the horror genre. This probably is the most popular book on this list, if not the most known horror book of all time. It’s spawned books, movies, parodies, and the idea that man could create life just like God.

V.C. Andrews, Flowers in the Attic. Reading this book about kids trapped in an attic was terrifying when you had an attic and you were a child when you read this. All parents should let their children read this and say “and you thought you had it bad.”

Kindra Sowder, Hello, My Name is… I would like to add that Sowder is the president of Burning Willow Press, the publishing company that publishes my book series. I’ve also edited a few of her books. I also consider her a friend and hopefully she considers me the same. I also know her husband, Edd Sowder. If he ever dies in a gruesome manner, I’m pretty sure I know who did it. The listed book is a novella that serves as the beginning of the Miss Hyde Novellas. Think Fifty Shades of Grey mixed with Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde only infinitely superior writing. Sleep with one eye open Edd…

There’s no way I can list every female horror writer that should be recognized. I don’t have the space to list them. This is the I will say that women need more recognition when it comes to writing. As a brother to three sisters, husband of eight years, and have had multiple female bosses I can assuredly state that whenever I’ve been wrong it’s been my sisters, wife, and bosses that have pointed it out. Heck, my niece Sophia, who’s not even ten years old yet, keeps telling me “that’s not right Uncle Jim.”

Do yourself and those under appreciated writers out there a favor. Pick up one of their books and try it out. If you’re a fan of the horror genre, you won’t be disappointed.