Enter the $500 Midsummer’s Dream Giveaway

Enter the $500 Midsummer’s Dream Giveaway

$500 Midsummer's Dream GiveawaySummer’s flying by and it’s finally time to Enter the $500 Midsummer’s Dream Giveaway. With 6 amazing prizes, this giveaway is steaming hot.

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July 2018 Giveaway


Shannon Tusler



Lisa Nelson

Marla Bell

Debbie D


Congrats to the winners!!!

Thank you all for your interests and participation in the Giveaways!  Hope you enjoy it!!  Keep an eye out for an email from me getting your mailing information.

The Hidden — Chapter 17: ATTACK! — T.D. Barton & Derek Barton

TH 17


Nate was falling. The branch, only a moment before supporting him — providing him with protection from savage death at the jaws of Chirkah and his tribe — was now a stick in his hand. It was connected to nothing and slid with him through the empty air of the forest trees. Still, he clutched it fiercely.

In his consciousness, time slowed down. Each half-second swam lazily by and movement became a sluggish procession of images and thoughts. And now, as he plummeted toward the ground, he inwardly cringed at the thought of those sharp, canine teeth tearing into his flesh. A scream of horror escaped his lips as they stretched tightly over his clenched teeth. But the scream was abruptly cut short as one end of the branch he clung desperately to wedged into a crotch of the tree and the other end tangled in the branches of a neighboring hickory. With a jerk, it came to rest, and his legs swung back and forth in the air, just barely out of reach of the savage jaws of the pack.

It took a few seconds for Nate to realize what had happened, and then he began to pull himself, “chin-up” style back over the branch. With an effort, he worked his way toward the bole of the ash tree and then transferred his weight to another, sturdier branch. Shaking and sweating, he leaned his back against the smooth bark and closed his eyes. Once more he had managed to cheat death and the swarm of voracious monsters below him of their prize. When at last he reopened his eyes, his vision was a bit blurred and he blinked rapidly several times before looking to see what had become of Chirkah.

Nate had seen wolves at the zoo. He’d spent some time staring into their soft brown eyes and wondering at the quiet nobility he saw there. Even in captivity, there was a sad kind of grace that spoke well of the beasts; and he saw a haunting sort of stern benevolence in their gaze that made him admire them in spite of his deep-seated dislike for dogs.

There was no such look in the eyes of the beast whose gaze met Nate’s this day. Chirkah glared from below with a blazing fury that threatened to melt his small, piggish eyes and send them dribbling from their sockets. Nate thought he could actually see an ember-like glow radiating from their depths and the hatred that seethed within was actually palpable in its intensity. Chirkah’s jaw muscles rippled beneath the stubbly skin on his face and his shoulders bunched in huge ropey knots of tension.

For a moment Nate was intimidated by this formidable display, but then he thought of Zelda and the unfortunate creature they had torn to bits before his eyes.  His heart became hard once again. He shook off the fear and haughtily glared back at his captor. From the safety of his lofty sanctuary, he hurled taunts, calculated to drive Chirkah mad with rage. “Sorry, old boy, guess you missed out again!” he shouted and then: “What’s the matter Chirkah? Didn’t anybody ever tell you? You can’t run with the big dogs… if you pee like a puppy!”

He laughed out loud, as much with relief as with derision, and he slid down to straddle the branch once more. He decided that climbing from tree to tree was not such a good idea. If he were to escape, he would have to think of another way.

As he sat thinking, the sun began to slant through the branches, and he became aware of the fact that it was setting and before long it would be dark. Already the morning doves were crooning their dreary notes and from high above the forest came the occasional sharp “preeent!” of a nighthawk, as it dived and swooped among the summer’s last hearty swarms of insects.

Nate’s mind ached from trying to think of a way out of this situation, and his tongue was swollen and parched. His stomach grumbled miserably and he thought back to what Chirkah had said about hunger driving him down from the trees. He tried not to dwell upon it though and continued to search his mind for an answer to this dilemma.

The creatures below became quiet, and Nate, suffering the combined effects of thirst, hunger and exhaustion, began to drift into a drowsy state of rumination. There seemed to be no solution to his problems; and so he let his mind wander as it would, resting himself mentally as well as physically.

He watched a gray squirrel gathering nuts and nonchalantly ignoring the Kophet-kur.  It appeared to be no more wary of the hideous beasts lounging among the trees than it would have been of a bunch of humans in the park.  Apparently, they presented no great threat to him and he scurried here and there amongst them with impunity. When one of the dozing monsters grunted and lowered its muzzle to sniff in its direction, the squirrel leaped nimbly off, bounding twice through the leaf-clutter on the forest floor before launching itself onto the trunk of a tree. There it scrambled quickly up the vertical trunk to the safety of a lower branch. Nate smiled, ruefully. Even the squirrels knew that the Kophet-kur were earthbound and could not harm them amongst the branches.

Chattering noisily, the squirrel hurried along the branch and flung itself into the air to land in the branches of the next tree. Nate’s smile faded as he watched it work its way through the forest and disappear in the foliage. Suddenly he felt terribly alone and frightened. The light was fading fast, and the thought of spending the night up here in the stygian darkness of the forest while a group of savage man-eating escapees from a horror movie waited below was something he was not sure he was capable of handling. City born and bred, Nate had never been alone in the woods at night. It was an alien environment, and he wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

The sounds of the impending night were sweeping through the woods like a rumor through a small town. He turned the collar of his shirt up and hugged himself tighter as a cool breeze rustled his leafy bough and tossled the hair on his forehead. He looked below to the hulking shapes, now becoming vague and shadowy in the gathering gloom and once again he was a little boy, shivering alone in the dark. Again he heard his father’s voice, harsh with irritation and thick with sleep: “There’s no such thing as monsters, Natey Boy, now go to sleep!” Suddenly the voice became harsher and evil sounding. Come down! it said. Climb down from the tree, Nate!

With mounting confusion Nate realized the voice was not just a memory — he could actually hear it. But still, it seemed to come from within his mind rather than from without. Gradually his idling consciousness became cognizant of the fact it was Chirkah’s voice he was hearing. Again it urged him to Come down!  And this time the voice seemed more demanding — as though time were running out for this game of cat and mouse.

Nate looked for Chirkah and found him directly below, his forepaws braced against the trunk of the tree while he craned his neck to see Nate, among the branches.

I grow weary of this game, Nate Malone.

Indeed, the chieftain’s voice sounded tired. But Nate thought he heard something else there too — something not quite distinguishable, but definitely odd. Was it fear? No. that wasn’t possible. What could Chirkah have to fear? It was more like worry or distracted anxiety. There was a definite hint of frustrated desperation.

Don’t you see there is no hope for escape? You will die slowly, alone in the tree-tops. Hunger and thirst will take an excruciating toll of your body before leaving you dead and draped over a limb. That is… if the wood ants don’t get you first.

Nate’s knuckle still throbbed from the painful bite. He thought of hundreds of thousands of the big black insects crawling over his body, biting and stinging in the dark, and he shivered.

It will be dark soon, Nate Malone. I’m sure you don’t want to stay in that tree all night. Why not come down and get this over with. Then you can rest for as long as you want. No more pain… no more worries… only sleep… deep… quiet… peaceful sleep…

Even in his tired state, Nate could recognize the attempt at hypnosis and he fought off the heaviness creeping into his eyelids. He grinned down into the upturned face of Chirkah and said, “You’re gonna have to do better than that. I may be from the city, but I’m not stupid. I’ll be quite comfortable here in the trees, thank you; but as for you…” He looked up at the darkening sky. A few clouds were moving in, skittering before the freshening wind. “It looks like it may storm tonight. Wouldn’t you creeps feel better crawling back under whatever rock you came from?”

Chirkah stared at him, for a long time before speaking again.

Perhaps you are right, Nate Malone. After all, we have your woman so we know you aren’t going anywhere. He glanced around at the mob of monsters lounging around him. Maybe we SHOULD withdraw. If you do go for help no one would believe you. No, I think you will come down and try to find our lair. And when you do, I’ll be waiting for you there… An evil grin split his wrinkled black lips, making Nate shudder.

… And I’ll be with your mate, in the slave chambers.

With that, he signaled silently to the others and they stood up and began dispersing into the undergrowth.

Go or stay Nate Malone, Chirkah’s voice rang in Nate’s mind as the big beast walked toward the edge of the clearing. When he reached it, he turned and spoke one last time. It really matters not to me. Either way, I have won and you… you have lost.

As one, they melted into the forest like a bad dream.

Suddenly, Nate was alone in the clearing and silence moved in and nestled close about him. It happened so quickly that Nate was stunned. He sat in the tree, staring at the place where Chirkah had disappeared.






Blog 70 Anniversary

This year has flown — I cannot believe how fast it flew by!

I started this blog in July of 2016 to help promote my new book and to do some writing research as well as experience sharing.  While the climb up the mountain is far from over, I can look back over my shoulder proudly.

Here is a list of writing goals that I have accomplished in the year since my last blog anniversary:

  • Written, edited and published The Bleeding Crown as well as designed the book cover myself!  I am super happy with the outcome of the story and hope to begin outlining the series finale soon.  Expect to see it in 2020!!
  • Written two more novellas like In Four Days.  My upcoming Horror-Suspense series, Elude: Part One and Elude: Part Two will be published by the end of the year.
  • Participated and wrote 50,241 words in the month of November for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge.  That was the first time I  took part in it and plan to this November as well.
  • Wrote and edited every couple of weeks (give or take) a horror web series with my father T.D. Barton called The Hidden.  It has been very fulfilling for the both of us I believe.  He finally gets to see his own writing come to fruition — it only took 30 years!   In the upcoming year, it will be released in full book format.
  • Partnered up with two voice actors for my works — Consequences Within Chaos (which is available now on and In Four Days (which will be released on Audible by the end of the year!)   Really happy with the productions and I have already gotten Laura Richcreek (the actress for CWC) to start on The Bleeding Crown.   Nothing is more thrilling than hearing your words performed.  Not a movie (yet!  heh heh heh) but very close to a play as far as performance.

Blog stats and growth since 2017 and from its start in 2016:

  • 1303 views / 862 visitors since July 2017
  • 1603 views / 659 in 2016 and all together that is 2,906 views / 1,521 people that have read and/or visited my writer’s blog since it was first started in July 2016.
  • This is the 70th Blog Post for the site!
  • 36 followers through WordPress and current email list @ 2,226!!
  • Readers have checked in from 42 different countries around the globe!!!
  • 310 Followers on Twitter, 90 Followers on my Facebook page, 25 Followers/166 Friends on and now on Instagram 82 Followers! — It’s a small tribe but we are growing!

What’re my goals for the next year?

  1. Book a table at a book festival or comic-con in Arizona.
  2. Find a local bookstore to do a book-signing in Phoenix, Arizona.
  3. Maintain monthly book/audiobook giveaways.
  4. Write another novella, Elude: Part Three.
  5. Finalize and publish The Hidden.
  6. Write a fantasy novella — perhaps in the same world as the novels, but maybe something brand new?!
  7. Get The Bleeding Crown and Elude series on Audible as well!
  8. Do at least one out of state large comic-con like the Amazing Las Vegas Comic-con.
  9. Write at least another 50,000 words in NaNoWriMo Challenge.
  10. Keep on finding new ways to attract readers to this blog and find new stories to entertain you with!!


  • Special shout out to Ted Barton — not only my mentor and my toughest critic (lol!), but my biggest inspiration.  Without your own endeavors to push the envelope, I would not have the confidence to reach for my own.  Thank you for all your guidance and love.
  • Thank you to Nesa Miller who has diligently helped me with my work and really shown me ways to improve upon my writing.  You don’t always beat around the bush with how you feel, but your assistance and targeted editing has been a huge boost to my work!  You may not yet have your own Editing Site going yet, but when you do, you’ll be a great success!!
  • My friend and great supporter, Jon Paul Rai, who has worked with me on both of my fantasy novels and has been a strong advocate on his own Youtube Channel, Entertainment Hacker.  Check him out if you are a Star Wars Fan as he has some great material and insight into the storylines and the direction they SHOULD go!
  • Nothing but praise and gratitude to my voice actor partners (Laura Richcreek and Charles Pendleton).  You have brought to life my characters and taken the writing to that next level.  I can never repay you for your time and efforts in that!  Thanks so much.
  • My number one fans and beta-readers, Susanna Willey and Renee York!  You guys have truly made this a blast and your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads have absolutely put me on Cloud Nine.  I appreciate all your efforts to spread the word and to get my name out there!
  • Last I would like to thank Susanne Lambdin for her words of advice on marketing and continued support for my own growth as a writer.  Thank you for your partnership and I look forward to the day we can attend another comic-con together!


THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE SUPPORTED, READ AND GIVEN ME ASSISTANCE WITH MY WORK!  It truly honors me any time I hear that someone has enjoyed or been entertained by my work.  There are a million storytellers in all sorts of styles and manner.  I know that for you to pick my writing to spend your own precious time with cannot be taken for granted or wasted.  Each time I think maybe this isn’t what I should be doing with my life or sacrificing my energies on, someone reminds me how it touched their world and it made a difference to them.  As a writer, I cannot ask for anything more.

Here’s to our lives and paths continuing to cross in the future!

Regards, Derek

2018 July & August Bi-Monthly Goals — Derek Barton

July Goal

It’s time for more goal setting and goal results!

I do want to apologize that I skipped out of sending a post for May & June.  The only goals I had for those two months were to produce The Bleeding Crown and the audiobook for Consequences Within Chaos.  So for those two months, I was successful, but the effort was all-consuming.  I am frankly still worn out!


Now for the results of March & April Bi-Monthly goals:

  • Outline new chapters for subplots and additional material – Finish by 2nd week of March  (Success!)
  • Finish writing new subplots/additional material – Finish by 3rd week of March (Success!)
  • Complete 3rd Wave of edits & send out to Beta Readers – Finish by end of March  (Success!)
  • Complete 1st Wave of edits for Elude #1 – Finish by end of April (Not completed in April.)
  • Complete the Cover for The Bleeding Crown – Finish by end of March (Not completed until late May.  Went through over thirty variations!  But the result worked out and I am very happy with the cover.)
  • Get feedback from beta-readers – Finish by end of April (Not completed in April.)
  • Complete the 4th wave and final edit for The Bleeding Crown – Finish by end of April (Not completed in April.)
  • Write a separate blog entry outside of goals and The Hidden Saga — Finish by 2nd week for April (Not accomplished.)
  • Walk 1 mile a day (60 miles for the two months) – Complete for both months (Sadly this didn’t happen either as I donated every minute into getting The Bleeding Crown ready for release.)
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month – Complete for both months (Success!)
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks – Complete for both months (Success!)

So the overall results were not pretty — 50% of the goals my lowest scoring yet — but I am still very happy with my latest novel.  I have taken the time after the book release to recoup some and will be able to jump into the horror/action/thriller.  Already, the work for Elude is going very smoothly.


Now for the NEW goals for July & August Bi-Monthly goals:

  • Complete the Audiobook for In Four Days.
  • Create/organize this year’s 2018 Indie Fantasy Book Giveaway with several other independent authors.
  • Add a new page to the site showcasing associates and people I have worked with and what they can do for other writers.
  • Find at least two places to do a book-signing appearance.
  • Schedule one or two more comic-cons or book festivals by the end of the year.
  • Finish editing for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Design the book cover for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Write the end of Elude #3.
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month.
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks.

You may notice that I didn’t include any health or personal goals here.  I am working on finding a better balance with my free time with writing work and health/fitness time.  Plus I have a family that I want to see more of!

In 2016 and 2017, I walked up to 3 or 4 miles nearly every night.  In 2018, I have fallen into a bad pattern of not walking and spending a lot of time on my writing.  But my health has seriously suffered and I am my heaviest weight ever.  I am admitting this because I know that I can and will do better.  For now, I will be posting my writing goals.  Once I have decided what direction I want to take with my health, I will then maybe include those personal/health goals.

It has already been a successful and productive year and I hope to keep it growing.  I hope each of you has also had an amazing year.  Thanks to everyone who has supported me or been a cheerleader — IT IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!!






2017 Bi-Monthly Goals for July & August — Derek Barton

Blog Pic 7-10-17

July & August Bi-Monthly Goals

Recently, I came across an interesting video blog on Youtube from fantasy novelist, Kristen Martin. She outlined her “bi-monthly” goals for the months of January & February. I liked the process a lot and I could see how it would be a great motivator for me.

The main aim is to break down your “bigger picture” goals into easier, more obtainable goals. These can be both professional as well as personal. The other part to the process is to publicize them as this gives you a sense of accountability. If I can accomplish at least 12 of the 15 goals then that is 80% which is a “winning” and successful score!

I will be revamping these again in September. I will give you a rundown of how I did and then a new or revised list.

Here are my goals for the next two months:

1. Finalize my Chapter Outlines for The Bleeding Crown: I am a big time “plotter” as they say in the industry. I write faster and have better quality of work if I know where I am going in each chapter.   You can think of it like a road map.  Some authors write by the seat of their pants (“pantsers”), but when I did this, I found I would always get lost. Then I would lose enthusiasm for the story and not finish. For this story, I know exactly where I am heading and how I want it to end. The difficulty is to determine all the little steps along the way on that road getting to the finale!

2. Complete the First Rough Draft of Bleeding Crown: I have been putting a lot of effort into writing the first draft and have three quarters of the story down. Unfortunately, I am quickly coming up to the end of what I had written for the outline. Thus, goal #1 and goal #2 go hand in hand. If I don’t do #1, I won’t get near #2. Sighhhhhh

3. Complete 52,000 words written (52 days * 1000 words):  This ties into the other goals, but even if I finish The Bleeding Crown, I have my Elude series.  I want to accomplish this so I have even more on my site and Amazon for my readers to dig into.  A 1,000 a day is actually not that hard for a lot of writers (Stephen King does over 3,000 every day), but that IS his only career… HA!  Once I can comfortably do this on a daily basis, I will be increasing it.

4. Outline first two books of Elude Series:  A lofty goal for me, but without the stretch goals I won’t know for sure what I can actually accomplish or not, right? I am enjoying this genre as much as I enjoy my fantasy work (both have my biggest love – horror).  I was inspired to write the Elude story after reading Stephen King’s novel Mr. Mercedes which is a great “grim detective” series (he also added a lot of horror elements to this genre story too!).  The novels are all going to be relatively short (under a 100 pages each) as I want them to be an on-going series and I want to build that anticipation element to it.  Plus right now “short is in” on Amazon and writers are finding success with this approach.

5. Write out three more Elude Sections: I am including the first five sections of the first book for Elude on my blog. Would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions or if any of you have questions about the story. Another appeal to this work is that it takes place in my city Phoenix! I moved here when I was 26 and fell instantly in love with it. Now I can take you, my readers, on a whirlwind tour through Vicente’s eyes!

6. Compile and create an Ebook on the Writing Craft from my past blogs: I have kind of already done a part of this. I put my self-publishing and writing blogs together, but have not edited or refined them in any way. The idea is to put them in a non-fiction ebook. It will be my take on the writing craft and what has worked well for me and what has not gone according to plan.

7. Design bookmarks for my books: I do have a couple of bookmarks already that I can sell when I get back into the comic-con game. But I want more and will be coming up with some new ideas from the books. I want to sell these also from my site.

8. Get the character portraits from artist by August and start getting Poker Card and Calendars made: This is another lofty goal as there are a lot of characters from Consequences. Plus, he’s also got a busy schedule and life! This is my goal, but it does require some successful production from him as well.

9. Complete two Giveaways (one on Kindle Review and my own Indie Book Giveaway): I have signed on for another book giveaway on the site Kindle Review. It’s called A Midsummer’s Dream. A cool production that I am happy to be a part of. The other giveaway, of course, is my own, The Indie Fantasy Book Giveaway, which I have been heavily marketing. It has been slow growing, but I am seeing some success with it. This will also help me out on building up my email mailing list. I do love the website traffic I am seeing from the giveaways. This month has already broken my all-time records for most visitors in a month!

10. Complete one Newsletter a month: July’s was already sent out last week and I should have another one out in the first week of August.

11. Read one writing craft book a month: Reading about my writing to me is incredibly essential. It has raised the level of my writing in a short time. It has helped me learn what the current trends are and given me the tools to produce a more polished product than when I started writing again back in 2010.

12. Prepare for book convention in Tucson: I would like to go this convention, but not sure how financially set we will be for me to do so. We have had some setbacks lately and it has stalled my participation in the comic-cons or book shows. Not only do you have to pay to take part and reserve a table, but you also have to pay for the inventory to sell. There is also expenses for travel and any hotel accommodations to consider if you are not doing it locally.

13. Get booth banners: Again this is an investment I would like to make, IF I can get back into the comic-con circuit by the end of the year. I may have to stall on this one and let it go on future month goals coming up.

14. Strive to walk 3 miles a night, workout set at least once a day: The heat in Phoenix this year has been devastating. Last year we did have one or two days over 120 degrees. This year it has been over 120 degrees off and on for a week and a half. The days it hasn’t reached 120+ has still been very oppressive. When I try to walk at night, I have gotten severe headaches. This heatwave won’t last forever, but it sure does feel like it. I moved to get summer year round (lived in the Icy Hell of Indiana for 26 years) – I don’t regret the move, just cannot wait for our normal weather to come back. This fitness goal is to help me with my bigger goal of losing weight. I want to lose 40 by the end of the year!

15. Create a book trailer video: Another high bar goal, but I have been toying with the idea. I have a lot on my plate and with my day job, it doesn’t give me a lot of “free time” to experiment and toy with the technology out there. It may happen, especially since I now see it is not that hard or even expensive to do. The time to research and find all the images is the obstacle.

This is a lot of minor goals, but if I can accomplish this in two short months, then my overall success for the entire year will be very fulfilling indeed. I realize that there is a good chance that most of these will not get completed, but it still helps having them written out so that I see my targets and the road ahead that I need to take.


Contest Ad 2017

Starting Saturday, JULY 1ST, you can enter into my INDIE FANTASY BOOK GIVEAWAY which will have 6 WINNERS!!

Top Winner will receive $100 Amazon Gift Card, 8 EBOOKS (2 Best Selling Fantasy Ebooks and an Ebook copy from each of the 6 above-listed authors.)

Runner up will get a $25 Amazon Gift Card and 1 Best Seller and an Ebook copy from the 6 above-listed authors.)

Four other winners receive Ebook Copies from the above-listed authors!!


All you need for the contest entry is to subscribe with an email address to these authors’ mailing list.


KM WEILAND — Dreamlander

DEREK BARTON — Consequences Within Chaos

SUSANNE LAMBDIN — Seeker of Magic


NATALIE WRIGHT — H.A.L.F:  The Deep Beneath

LS O’DEA — Lake of Sins: Escape

(Click on their name to see their Amazon Profiles and Book Collections!)

Best Sellers:

EMILY R. KING — The Hundredth Queen


Get extra giveaway entries when you Commenting on Facebook, Sharing this Ad on Facebook and Commenting on Twitter about the Giveaway!!!


Drawings will be on Saturday, July 22nd.

D O  N O T  M I S S  O U T !!