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Easter Eggs for Wrong Side of the Grave

A few months after every new release, I love to share some of the hidden gems in my story. Past Easter Egg articles have included what went on behind the scenes, inspiration for settings, namesakes, and those fun little factoids that come with writing fiction.

And now it’s time to reveal the Easter Eggs for the first in the Mothman Mysteries, WRONG SIDE OF THE GRAVE!

B.R.A.N.D. 

The BRAND went through several generations before it became the Biometric Remodeling Apparatus with Necessity Duplicator. For a long time in my manuscript, I called it PRISM (Protective Remote Identification Simulator Mechanics). But the term seemed to confuse beta readers into thinking that it was just projecting an image, not physically changing Eric. It was also called PET, PM, MRU, ACT, and yes, even a BUTLER (Biotic Unilateral Transitioner & Limited Elemental Renderer). Gotta love acronyms!

Bridget’s Sister

In an early version, Bridget had an older, always-perfect-without-trying sister named Rayne. However, Rayne only served to dilute the story so in the end she had to go.

Kendall Mitchem aka Kendalla the Dreaded

When writing for Kendall, I picture Taylor Swift gone bad. Seriously.

Where have I read about Eric before?

Eric had cameo roles in the Midnight Guardian series. He appears in Shadows Rising as Mikey’s drummer friend and again in Book of the Lost as Mikey’s prom date. Keira notices the BRAND on his arm and refers to it as an eagle tattoo.

What’s the name of Eric’s band?

Though no one calls it by name in Wrong Side, his band’s name is Sweet Kick. It is the same band that appears from time to time in the Midnight Guardian series.

Lone Oak Cemetery & Tu-Endie-Wei

Both are very real places in the real Point Pleasant, WV. In Tu-endie-wei Park, the memorial that I describe is really there and there really is a plaque on the back of it with an oddly obvious tree with a fingerprint-sized knot hole. Although, I doubt that placing your finger on it will open a secret elevator to a spaceship…I think…maybe.

Duey’s heritage

Little clues indicate that Duey is French. The city of Gallipolis, located just across the Ohio River from Point Pleasant was originally settled by the French. In 1749, the French created Point Pleasant as a trading post. Although many of those first French settlers in the area died out or disappeared…

Agent Hisato Ikeda

During my research, I came across an account of a strange man who was spotted in Point Pleasant at the height of the Mothman sightings in the late 60s. The man was described as wearing a black suit, asking lots of questions, and exhibiting odd behavior and movements. My MIB Agent Ikeda is the sleeked out next generation version of this very odd little man.

Harbinger

There are many theories as to who/what Mothman is. One such theory is that he is a harbinger that precedes any major disaster. In my book, his Tokyo counterparts, Ren and Katsu, are considered Tengu, which are also mythical birdman-like creatures and have also been rumored to be harbingers of disaster. They’re kind of like the Mothman of the Far East. Thought it would be cool to tie together similar myths from different cultures.

What book was Bridget ranting about in chapter 1?

She had just read Book of the Lost.

More Easter Egg posts on my novels: Of Sun & Moon | Whispering Evil | Midnight Child | Shadows Rising | Book of the Lost

More Behind the Scenes for Mothman Mysteries: BRAND | Cover | Music

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Book Tour this Thursday

Just wanted to give you a quick heads up on Thursday’s Virtual Book Tour hosted by Goddess Fish. We’ll talk about WRONG SIDE OF THE GRAVE, and there’s a surprise giveaway you won’t want to miss!

Thanks to the hosting blogs. Use these links on Thursday, April 30, to join the tour.

1: Unabridged Andra
2: BooksDirect
3: CBY Book Club
4: Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock
5: Rayna Noire
6: Undercover Book Reviews
7: A Book Addict’s Delight
8: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love
9: Independent Authors
10: Deal Sharing Aunt
11: fuonlyknew
12: Kit ‘N Kabookle
13: Books & Other Spells
14: Mom With A Kindle
15: FictionZeal.com
16: The Avid Reader
17: The Reading Addict
18: LibriAmoriMiei
19: Edgar’s Books
20: Word Menagerie
21: Enchanted Book Nook
22: Books in the Hall
23: Long and Short Reviews YA
24: Straight from the Library

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Update

Here we are with the first quarter of 2015 already behind us. That was fast. Like really, really fast. So in case it all went by in a blurred flash of Facebook posts and indecipherable tweets, here’s an update on what’s been happening and what’s to come.

Wrong Side of the Grave

It’s out, and first reviews have been crazy good. I can use all the reviews I can get, so if you have not yet posted a review (especially to Amazon or Barnes & Noble) please do so. Pretty please, with whipped cream and a cherry one top!

If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, you can pick it up at the usual online bookstores: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, BAM, Kobo, and Apple iBooks among others. I’m also offering signed paperback editions for sale through my website (see below). For those in the Huntington, WV, area, it should be available at Empire Books at Pullman Square by this weekend.

Will there be another? Yes, Wrong Side is just the first book of the Mothman Mysteries. These will be standalone mysteries with the same characters so you can read them in any order. I plan to write them until I run out of ideas. It is my hope to have the next one out by the time the Mothman Festival rolls around in September, although that might take a miracle or two to pull off.

Signed Books

Recently, my website was updated to include a Store area where you can buy signed paperback editions of your favorites. You can also “buy” (in quotes because it’s free) an e-version of the Midnight Guardian short story Siren’s Call, a short that was originally included in copies of Shadows Rising. Go directly to the store, here.

Appearances

Due to a family conflict, I have cancelled my scheduled talk and appearance at the Dayton Book Expo later this month. I also will not be at the Southeastern Ohio Tourism Expo which has been re-scheduled for the same day as the Dayton event. Sometimes you just need to step up and be a Mom. I found myself in that situation. Family will always come first for me. I hope you understand.writeyourfuture

My next scheduled appearance will be at UtopYA Con in Nashville in June. So excited about that event. This year’s theme is time travel. YES!

House of Gammen

house of gammenEveryone’s asking, so here’s the update. House of Gammen, the sixth and final installment of the Midnight Guardian series WILL come out in 2015. I promise. I do not have a date yet, as I’m still writing. However, I can tell you that it will be my next book published, and I am getting very close to starting editing. It’s the last one. I want it to be everything it can be for you and that takes time.

To help make it up to you, here’s a first look at the draft of the cover.

The Chosen Ones

I’ve been tossing around some ideas for providing rewards for my most loyal readers. If you fit this description and have some ideas of your own, please share! Also looking for a fun name for this very special group. You can comment on this post, drop me a line on Twitter or Facebook, or use the Contact form.

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Kirkus Reviews Wrong Side of the Grave

WRONG SIDE OF THE GRAVE
Butler, Bryna
CreateSpace (264 pp.)
$11.99 paperback, $1.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1507898079; February 21, 2015

BOOK REVIEW BY KIRKUS REVIEWS

An alien who feeds on vampires is stumped when the recently dead in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, are apparently no
longer dead in Butler’s (Book of the Lost, 2013, etc.) YA supernatural thriller.

Eric Jansen is just your typical teenager and drummer for a rock band. Except, when not in human form, he’s a red-eyed,
centuries-old alien who has spurred the local Mothman legend. His food source on Earth is vampires, allowing him to
work in cooperation with a secret government agency. But he becomes the men in black’s first suspect when bodies at
the funeral home start sitting up, walking, and talking. He and his human bestie, Bridget, initiate their own investigation,
while the city folk crowd the cemetery, convinced that subterranean loved ones will soon awaken. Eric, however, fears
that someone may be on to him when Bridget suddenly disappears. This entertaining novel navigates well-trod ground
with style. The vampires, for instance, seem like typical bloodsuckers but are actually aliens that Eric’s kind has
followed to Earth. Both Eric and Bridget are cynical but charmingly so, and endless alien-related puns never get old, like
Eric’s suggestion that “people who live in invisible spaceships shouldn’t throw stones.” Along with a grand plot and
vibrant characters, including the enigmatic Agent Hisato Ikeda whom Eric thinks might be an alien, Butler delivers a
notable mystery/thriller. Dramatic tension is wielded expertly; Eric and Bridget, for example, distrust a funeral director
and news reporter, who may have their own agendas. Butler dabbles into Eric’s background but doesn’t overdo the
flashbacks. The same is true for aliens in general; readers only glimpse the interior of Eric’s concealed spacecraft (and
hear what can only be presumed is alien profanity: “Slux!”). Romance between Eric and Bridget is wonderfully
understated, as everyone but the couple appears to recognize that they’re more than just friends. Limitless possibilities to
explore their relationship, as well as a lingering unconquered foe, give the next book of the proposed series a smashing
head start.

Butler revives the moribund with his fresh take on aliens, vampires, and the undead.

You can also check out the review on the Kirkus website, here.

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Finding Mothman

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been busy wrapping my next book, Wrong Side of the Grave, which will be the first in a new series of standalone Mothman Mysteries. The series will be YA/teen and this time, kiddos, I’m delving into sci-fi. But you know me, this series has strong paranormal influences (think Doctor Who).

So what’s my YA Sci-fi Mystery about? Mothman.

In western West Virginia, Mothman is a creature of legend. In fact, there he is below with the big red eyes and gray wings nestled in the center between Nessie, Chupacabra, Bigfoot and the Yeti. He’s in good company.

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Mothman is a winged humanoid creature. He stands on two legs, but his skin is gray and he has big red eyes that rest near his shoulders. The moth part comes from his giant wings that are reported to hum and glide on the air rather than flap. He doesn’t need a running start, witnesses say these great wings can straight up into the air like a helicopter.

Mothman caused the biggest stir in 1966 and 67 when according to journalist John A. Keel more than a hundred people sighted him in the area surrounding Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Some even blame Mothman for the tragic collapse of the Silver Bridge in which took forty-six lives just days before Christmas in 1967.

He’s been mentioned on the X-Files, been the star of movies, chased by reality show hillbillies, and has his own museum. There’s even an annual festival where the Men in Black trot him out for festival goers to catch a quick selfie!

mothman_prophecies_ver3 mothman4 6

Over the next few weeks we’ll explore the legend, the art, and the music behind this new series. Next week, I’ll share with you how I’m taking this legend and giving it a YA twist. Until then, check out the Mothman Mysteries page on my site for a description of the book and the official Spotify playlist. Only one legendary creature rocks out loud!

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