The Eye of Argon

“The Eye of Argon,” by all rights, should have languished, a forgotten or ignored piece of amateur fantasy fiction published in a fanzine half a century ago. But it didn’t. Somehow, it was detached from those ignoble beginnings, and gained an underground cult following at science fiction conventions, where people would attempt to read it without breaking out in laughter at its clumsy prose, misspelled words, and overall awfulness.

Its reputation grew. And the rituals involved in sharing the story grew. And now it has attained near-legendary status among those who can appreciate the awful things in life.

Among those fans is Pocono Liars founder Michael A. Ventrella, who over the years has organized readings, improv theater and even a live performance of the story at various conventions.

He then invited some of his writer friends who had participated to write sequel stories of the character, with the only qualification that the stories had to be funny.

This book contains the original story by Jim Theis, and then adds new, hilarious contributions to the mythos from noted authors Keith R.A. DeCandido, Genevieve Iseult Eldredge, Daniel M. Kimmel, Peter Prellwitz, Hildy Silverman, Ian Randal Strock, Jean Marie Ward, and Michael! Jody Lynn Nye wrote the introduction, and Monica Marier did the cover and inside art.

It’s available in paperback from Fantastic Books. You can order a copy from Amazon here.

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And This Shall Be for Music

Lindsey Cameron, a gifted young soprano, believes herself called to a life in music and single-mindedly focuses on pursuing a career in opera. But a life-shattering tragedy involving her two college housemates changes everything. Overwhelmed by shock and grief, Lindsey struggles to say goodbye to one friend while helping her surviving friend on his long road to recovery.

Just as her life seems back on track, Lindsey falls head over heels in love with Nate Cohen, a charming and talented baritone on his way to opera stardom. The young lovers appear destined for a fairy-tale ending, but cracks have begun to appear in Lindsey’s resolve for a career in Opera World. Her profound experiences with suffering and pain have opened her mind to other possibilities in a life lived for music.

Love, loss, conviction, and passion merge in this heartfelt story that unravels how, even in life’s darkest, most difficult hours, music gives us healing, hope—and joy.

AND THIS SHALL BE FOR MUSIC is the latest from Pocono Liar Susan Moore Jordan, and is available now in paperback or kindle.

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Liars Club book signing event

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Sundays with Oliver

Two empty-nesters. Two bruised hearts. One chance to make things right.

Oliver expected to miss his daughter when she left for college, but he’s surprised by the size of the hole she leaves. Or maybe he hadn’t expected to spend his days watching grass grow and making sad cookies. Or to lose his job. Meeting Nick—the uncle of his daughter’s roommate—is a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy forecast. Nick is focused, talented, and as beautiful as the dollhouses he builds. Being near him might bring light and purpose to Oliver’s life.

Nick expected to miss his niece when she left for college, but he’s still figuring out how to cope with her absence, when his brother reappears after twelve years, complicating the emotional puzzle. Then there’s Oliver, the sweet, calm, and competent man who looks at Nick like no one ever has. Spending Sundays in Oliver’s company is the balm he needs, though Nick is waiting for Oliver to decide their relationship is too much work.

But just as Nick begins to get comfortable, Oliver’s need to provide for all of the people he loves threatens to pull them apart. If their relationship is to survive, they will have to learn to let go. For Oliver, this means asking himself what he really wants, this time around. For Nick, it means letting himself grieve the people who can’t come back and love the people who always will.

Pocono Liar Kelly Jensen‘s latest novel is now available in paperback and ebook formats!

UNIVERSAL BUY LINK | RIPTIDE PUBLISHING

“Kelly Jensen has written a beautiful book about two men struggling to find their place in the world. It was romantic, heartbreaking but ultimately joyful.” — Felice Stevens, Lambda Literary Award-winning author

“Sundays with Oliver perfectly blends romance with family responsibilities and everyday commitments, making it the sweetest of reads. Kelly’s writing is fresh and addicting and reminded me of why I love to read romance novels that feature a slow, gentle slide into love.” — Amy Aislin, author of the Lighthouse Bay series

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Terin Ostler and the Zombie King (and other stories)

“From peeved epic heroes coping with zombies and dwarves who dye their beards, to a pirate captain who refuses to learn the names of his new crew (they won’t be with him long), to a desperate time-traveling Jesus impersonator, to Groucho and Chico Marx gumming up the machinery of Hell — Michael Ventrella’s stories provide laugh-out-loud entertainment.” – Gregory Frost, award-winning author of Shadowbridge

Pocono Liars Club founder Michael A. Ventrella‘s latest book is a collection of 14 short stories that have previously been published in various anthologies and magazines, as well as 2 brand new ones written just for this collection. The first 6 continue the adventures of Terin Ostler from his fantasy trilogy.

The stories include:

The Further Adventures of Terin Ostler: The Zombie King’s Plan; The Mystery of the Black-Bearded Dwarf; Honor Battle; Remembering the Future; The Hidden Treasure of Pirate Percy; Confronting the Duke

The Adventures of Captain Irad and Greenie: X Spots the Mark; Get Kraken!

Other stories: Impersonating Jesus; Knowledge; More Hallways!; The Jesus Secret; 99 Pounds; The Mummy of Barnsley; Hell, I Must be Going

Nonfiction: Eating Authors

A short description of each story and details on how you can order the book can be found on his web page.

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Adding humor to your fiction

Adding humor to your work is important — funny things can happen even in a serious novel, and people can make witty comments even in the most desperate of times.

But writing a story whose point is to be funny? A lot harder than it sounds. “Funny” is subjective, and not everyone finds the same things humorous.

And there are decisions to be made. Are you writing satire? Are you attempting for Wodehouse wit or Mel Brooks slapstick? And, more importantly, can you carry it off?

Our experts will discuss writing humor — what works, what doesn’t, what to avoid. Questions are welcome!

Join us on Tuesday, July 19th at 9 pm EST. Here’s the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87123396914?pwd=SW52aW8wcjVrYUc0bDJpRVNieE9JQT09 Meeting ID: 871 2339 6914 Passcode: pocono

Jody Lynn Nye is the author of more than fifty books and 165 short stories. She has collaborated with many SF/fantasy greats including Anne McCaffrey, Piers Anthony, and Robert Asprin, with whom she wrote eight books, and took over the Myth-Adventures and Dragons series after his passing. Her own books are mostly of a humorous bent, such as the Imperium series (Baen). Her website is JodyLynNye.com.

Alex Shvartsman is a writer and editor known primarily for humorous short stories, such as the award-winning Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma. His latest novel is The Middling Affliction, which joins previous novels like H. G. Wells, Secret Agent and Eridani’s Crown. He has been editing the Unidentified Funny Objects anthologies, with the 9th edition coming later this year. His web page is www.alexshvartsman.com/

Pocono Liar Michael A. Ventrella is hosting. He has five humorous adventure novels published so far, including Terin Ostler and the Axes of Evil and Big Stick. He’s edited a dozen or so anthologies, including Release the Virgins!, Baker Street Irregulars, and the recent Three Time Travelers Walk Into … His web page is www.MichaelAVentrella.com.

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Three Time Travelers Walk Into…

How many people could you kill to guarantee your happiness?

Would you follow a stranger into a broom closet at a Grateful Dead concert?

How many times could you watch your own suicide?

What would cause you to give away a wish-granting genie?

Those are just a few of the questions eighteen incredible authors answered in response to the call to take three historical figures, throw them together in some situation, and tell us the story that ensues. You’ll be fascinated by those stories featuring Julia Child, Jesus Christ, Michael Jackson, and Vlad the Impaler (well… not all in one story), plus dozens of others.

These marvelous tales of time-traveling adventure flow from the imaginations of Eric Avedissian, Adam-Troy Castro, Peter David, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Gregory Frost, David Gerrold, Henry Herz, Jonathan Maberry, Gail Z. Martin, Heather McKinney, James A. Moore, Jody Lynn Nye, L. Penelope, Louise Piper, Hildy Silverman, S.W. Sondheimer, Allen Steele, and Lawrence Watt-Evans.

THREE TIME TRAVELERS WALK INTO… is edited by Pocono Liars Club founder Michael A. Ventrella and is published by Fantastic Books. It is available as a paperback, hard cover, or ebook.

Details about each story and which characters are in each story can be found here on Michael’s blog.

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Forever Friends

Love is in the air!
—along with anxiety, obstruction, and uncertainty.

Irwin Abernathy is a walking, breathing, emotional wreck, and his chosen family isn’t faring much better. Harper and Christopher’s wedding is only days away, and the wedding gift Irwin tried to finagle falls through. His late friend’s house next door now has new mystery owners, and even Bones, Irwin’s insufferable cat, is acting like a lovesick jerk. It’s a mess.

Irwin wants to feel happy for Harper and Christopher, but what will their marriage ultimately mean for him?

Will the young, madly in-love couple move far away?
Will Harper’s parents, Irwin’s dear friends, soon follow?
Can Irwin prevent Harper and her mother from killing each other?
And will the family Irwin worked so hard to create now disappear?

Irwin is on a quest, not only to keep his wacky family together, but together in one piece—so he begins scheming. However, time is running out, and he has one last chance to make his ludicrous plan work or risk spending the rest of his interminable, grumpy life alone.

FOREVER FRIENDS, by Pocono Liar Sahar Abdulaziz, is the heartwarming finale in The Abernathy & Crane Series. It is a story about the unending pursuit of love, the power of friendship, and the amount of trust and selflessness needed when giving everything might mean having nothing left.

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Jonathan Maberry on writing fantasy novels

New York Times Bestselling Author Jonathan Maberry will be talking about writing fantasy novels in our next zoom chat, scheduled for Wednesday, April 27th at 8pm EST.

Jonathan’s latest novel is Kagen the Damned, which will be released in early May. Jonathan will discuss what goes into creating a good fantasy story and answer questions.

Jonathan is a New York Times bestselling author, 5-time Bram Stoker Award-winner, 3-time Scribe Award winner, Inkpot Award winner, and comic book writer. His vampire apocalypse book series, V-WARS, was a Netflix original series. He writes in multiple genres including suspense, thriller, horror, science fiction, fantasy, and action; for adults, teens and middle grade. His novels include the Joe Ledger thriller series, Bewilderness, Ink, Glimpse, the Pine Deep Trilogy, the Rot & Ruin series, the Dead of Night series, Mars One, Ghostwalkers: A Deadlands Novel, and many others, including his first epic fantasy, Kagen the Damned. He is the editor many anthologies including The X-Files, Aliens: Bug Hunt, Don’t Turn Out the Lights, Aliens vs Predator: Ultimate Prey, Hardboiled Horror, Nights of the Living Dead (co-edited with George A. Romero), and others. His comics include Black Panther: DoomWar, Captain America, Pandemica, Highway to Hell, The Punisher and Bad Blood. He is the president of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, and the editor of Weird Tales Magazine. Visit him online at www.jonathanmaberry.com

Before moving to sunny California, Jonathan was the founder of the Philadelphia Liars Club — which led to the creation of our own Pocono Liars Club with his permission. With Pocono Liars Club founder Michael A. Ventrella, he edited two short story anthologies (Baker Street Irregulars and The Game is Afoot!) and he also has a story in Michael’s next anthology Three Time Travelers Walk Into… which is due to be released in late June.

Jonathan will be traveling back to Pennsylvania in May to promote the book, so you can meet him at the Doylestown Book Store on May 10th!

The zoom link for the chat is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89053743505?pwd=MlA3OUJyU3Q5dEpJYmx0ZzhYUG4rZz09

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Worldbuilding with Lawrence Watt-Evans

On Wednesday, March 23rd at 8 pm EST, noted author Lawrence Watt-Evans will be discussing worldbuilding with the Pocono Liars Club and answering your questions.

Lawrence Watt-Evans is the author of fifty or so books, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, and nonfiction about popular culture. He is best known for two fantasy series, the Legends of Ethshar and the Obsidian Chronicles, and won the Hugo award for his short story “Why I Left Harry’s All-Night Hamburgers.” 

This will be done through Go to Meetings. You can join meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://meet.goto.com/878768989

You can also dial in using your phone: United States: +1 (646) 749-3122

Access Code: 878-768-989

Get the app now and be ready when the meeting starts: https://meet.goto.com/install

EDIT: If you missed it, you can watch it on our “expert advice” page.
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