Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Joseph Lallo - The Rise of the Red Shadow is featured in the HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.

The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES Joseph Lallo New Book: The Rise of the Red Shadow.

The Rise of the Red Shadow

Author: Joseph Lallo

Barnes and Noble

Every story must begin somewhere. For the warrior who would come to be known as the fearsome Red Shadow, the story began in a forgotten glade deep in the land of Tressor. It was there that a pair of trackers, eager to retrieve a lost slave, instead found an orphaned malthrope. Had it been a human, it might have been treated with compassion, but in the eyes of human society a malthrope was a monster, a mix of fox and man believed to be a murderer and thief by its very nature. The beast was to be sold for a handful of silver, but fate intervened in the form of an old blind slave named Ben. Under the learned hand of the one human who believed in his potential, the young malthrope would instead be given the wisdom to take his first steps on the long journey to his destiny. The Rise of the Red Shadow chronicles the early life of one of the most mysterious figures of the The Book of Deacon trilogy, the creature called Lain. It tells of his years working and learning on a Tresson plantation until a dark day of vengeance and bloodshed finally set him free. From there you will follow as he finds his place in the world, learning what it is to be a malthrope, and turning to the purpose that will guide him for the rest of his days. It is a story of love, hate, and lessons hard-learned, revealing the painful choices one must make to become the hero the world needs.


That first year had been a good one. Jarrad’s gamble with the new land and larger rakka production had paid off, and his plantation flourished as a result. True to his word, he did much to reward his workers. Wooden tools were largely replaced with metal, and gloves and boots thick enough to withstand the vicious rakka thorns were provided to all. Even Ben felt the benefits, as the new tools required him to take on metal working, requiring an anvil and furnace. That meant a new room added to his shack, which, in turn, gave the creature a place to sleep without getting in the way any longer.

Of course, while a blind man can do a great many things by hand and by ear, one cannot hope to shape hot metal without sight. Perhaps predictably, in the early days, it was Gurruk who worked the steel. When he first took on the task, the flaring flame and pounding hammer terrified the little malthrope, sending him scurrying into the workshop for protection from Ben.

“Calm yourself,” the blind man said irritably. He was at work sharpening the teeth of a saw. It was a slow and tedious process, and having a trembling beast clutching at one's legs wasn't terribly helpful. “Why is he doing that? Why doesn't he stop?” the creature whispered urgently.

“He's doing that because that is how metal is shaped.”

“But . . . metal is hard. How can you shape something that's so hard?”

“You shape it in the same way that you shape anything else. With something harder. You can't make something harder, or sharper, or better, without testing it against something stronger. It's the same way with anything else.”


“Anything. Iron sharpens iron. That goes for men as well as metal.”

“Men? How?”

“Ask the people heading into the Cave of the Beast.”


Ben sighed and set the task aside for a moment, scolding himself for mentioning the place. It was a fine story, and as such the little beast surely wouldn't let him finish his job without hearing it from beginning to end.

“In the north, in the Nameless Empire . . .” Ben began.

Gurruk stopped hammering and spat on the ground at the mention of the land to the north. The malthrope ducked a little lower behind Ben's chair.

“Why did he do that?” he asked.

“Because we are at war with the Nameless Empire.”


“One story at a time, you little devil. Now, in the land to the north, as far east as you can go, there are mountains. At the foot of these mountains there is a very thick forest. At the very deepest part of the forest, where the trees and the mountains meet, there is a cave. They call it the Cave of the Beast. It is called that because there is a creature that lives inside. None have seen the beast and returned to tell the tale, but sometimes if you listen closely you can hear it roar with a force that makes the very mountain tremble. Those warriors who fancy themselves the best in the world make their way to this cave, with hopes of besting the beast.”

“You said no one has come back.”

“That's right.”

“So they all die?”

“One must assume.”

“Why would they do it?”

“Well, it is said that the man who defeats the beast will be hailed the world over as the greatest warrior who ever lived. There have been rewards offered, but most of those who test themselves against the beast do it for the glory. They say that killing the beast is proof of greatness, that no one but the strongest and most skilled of warriors could strike down the monster.”

“Do you think that?”

Ben sat for a moment. “You can't fight someone without learning something. Every clash with every foe leaves each a bit stronger and a bit wiser. This creature, if it exists, has faced hundreds and hundreds of the best the world had. And it has bested them all. Imagine what it has learned in that time. And imagine what one might learn by facing it.” A sudden startling hiss erupted from the other room as Gurruk quenched the horseshoe he had been shaping in a bucket of water. The sound launched the malthrope into a run, scurrying out the door.

“That's all for today, old man,” he said, setting down the hammer. “The fourth shoe can wait until tomorrow.”

“Very well. Put the hammer back where it belongs,” Ben said.

Gurruk rolled his eyes and slid the hammer into the other room. “You talk to that thing like it is a proper child,” the dwarf remarked.

“Perhaps if I treat it like a proper child, it will grow into a proper adult.”

Gurruk grunted and wandered out the door. A moment later, Ben heard the malthrope scurry back in. As he went back to work on the saw, he heard the hammer slide across the ground and, amid much pattering of feet and huffing in effort, hung on the proper hook.

Author Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Epic

Website: The Book of Deacon Series
Twitter: @jrlallo
E-Mail: jrlallo (at) bookofdeacon (dot) com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: A resident of Bayonne, NJ - the fabled birthplace of George R. R. Martin - Joseph Lallo is an unlikely entry into the world of literature. After a childhood spent daydreaming and reading, he fully intended to pursue a career in the tech sector. He received a Master's Degree in Computer Engineering from NJIT, and subsequently got a job working IT for a large healthcare corporation.

Things changed when, in January 2010, his friends finally convinced him to publish the story that had accumulated over the course of a decade of spare time. That story, now known as the Book of Deacon Trilogy, was a surprise hit, and once he got a taste of the world of indie writing, he was hooked. Now he splits his time between crunching numbers at his day job, writing novels at night, and writing articles and reviews for, a group blog he helps run. His latest novels are Bypass Gemini and Unstable Prototypes, the first two books of a science fiction series.

Author's Book List
The Battle of Verril - The Book of Deacon (Volume 3)
In this, the finale of the Book of Deacon Trilogy, Myranda and the Chosen face their greatest challenges yet. Time is running out, and the Generals are growing desperate. Through victory and defeat, reunion and betrayal, neither the heroes nor their foes will rest until they have seen their task through to the end. The only question is, will it be the end of a war, or the end of times?

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords - iTunes
The Book of Deacon - Volume 1
The tale of Myranda Celeste, a young woman orphaned by a century long war, and her chance discovery of a fallen soldier's priceless cargo. The find will change her life, sending her on an adventure of soldiers and rebels, wizards and warriors, and beasts both noble and monstrous. Each step will bring her closer to the truth of her potential, of the war, and of the fate of her world.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords - iTunes
Unstable Prototypes
Following his last adventure, Trevor "Lex" Alexander's life has managed to return to normal. He's back to splitting his time between delivering packages and transporting passengers, along with the occasional foray into testing highly experimental equipment. He's even gotten back together with his girlfriend Michella Modane, who has been launched to stardom by her coverage of the Bypass Gemini incident. Yes, things are going quite well for Lex. But in his life, luck like this never lasts long. Sure enough, while he is preparing for a rare visit from Michella, he receives word that the reclusive inventor Karter Dee has been kidnapped. The eccentric and slightly deranged inventor's checkered past has made getting the authorities involved out of the question. That has left "Ma", the AI in charge of cooking his meals and reining in his insanity, with few options. She has reached out to Lex as one of the few people she can trust, and needs him to help assemble a team of Karter's former allies to take him back before his latest contraptions can be put to work terrorizing the populace at the hands of his captors.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Bypass Gemini
In a distant future, Trevor "Lex" Alexander was shaping up to be the next great race pilot until a fixed race got him banned from the sport. Reduced to making freelance deliveries, he thinks his life can't get any worse. That's when a package manages to get him mixed up with mobsters, a megacorp, and a mad scientist. Now his life depends on learning what their plans are, and how he can stop them.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - iTunes
This short novel, set after the events of The Book of Deacon, follows the blessed and cursed life of Jade Rinton. Stripped of her family and kept in a tall tower by a fierce dragon due to the scheming of a mysterious stranger, Jade seems to be living in a twisted fairy tale. She soon learns, though, that fate has its own ideas of who should play each part, and that family is where you find it.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords - iTunes
The Great Convergence - The Book of Deacon
The second in the Book of Deacon series, The Great Convergence continues the tale of young Myranda Celeste. With fresh knowledge of magic and steadfast resolve to see the end of the war that plagues her land, Myranda sets out to find and unite the five fated heroes, the Chosen. Each new warrior brings her world a step closer to peace, but does she have the strength to survive the trials ahead

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords - iTunes

Interviews with Indie Authors - Top Tips from Successful Self-Published Authors
Learn how to succeed in indie publishing.

With interviews from 34 of the hottest names in self-publishing, "Interviews with Indie Authors" contains a unique view into the world of the indie writer. Each bestselling self-published author shares how they ensure their books are a hit, and what led them to indie publishing in the first place. You will also find out what they think the future of self-publishing will bring. Their first hand experience is invaluable for anyone planning to succeed with their own books.

Whatever your background, you will learn from these incredible interviews.

With diverse genres such as thrillers, young adult fiction, the paranormal, romance, comedy, fantasy, horror, science fiction, mystery and even non-fiction, whatever you are writing about, this book has it covered.

Contains interviews with indie authors such as: Michael McCloskey, Nick Russell, Connie Suttle, Michael Prescott, Terri Reid, Hugh Howey, Scott Nicholson, Kristen Ashley, Aaron Patterson, Carol Davis Luce, Claire Ridgway, Alexa Grace, Marie Force, Shadonna Richards, Colleen Hoover, Barbara Freethy, Joseph Lallo, Rebecca Forster, Caryn Moya Block, Denise Grover Swank, Mainak Dhar, Imogen Rose, CJ Lyons, Bella Andre, Maria Murnane, Theresa Ragan, Russell Blake, Linda Welch, Debra Holland, J. Thorn, James Somers, Karen Cantwell, Tracey Garvis Graves and Elena Greene.

50% of the royalties from "Interviews with Indie Authors" will be given to charity. The money will be split between two charities - ROPE (Relief for Oppressed People Everywhere) and Goal for the Gambia.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Robert Renteria - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Robert J. Renteria, Jr. He writes Reality Novels and Comics. He works with youth across America to replace violence, delinquency, gangs and drugs with education, pride, accomplishment, and self esteem.

Author Genre: Reality Novels and Comics

Website: From the Barrio to the Board Room
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description:
Robert J. Renteria, Jr. is a successful businessman turned author of "From the Barrio to the Board Room, Mi Barrio and Little Barrio" who is using his books and curricula with youth across America and many communities around the world, to replace violence, delinquency, gangs and drugs with education, pride, accomplishment, and self esteem.

Robert has dedicated his life to sharing his story with millions of others so that they, too, can help break the vicious cycle of poverty through hard work, determination and education. His book series and the accompanying school based and faith based curriculum's, are forming our "leaders of tomorrow" by helping them to find their identity, establish core values, set goals for themselves, prioritize education, and strive to reach their full potential.

Renteria has been the keynote speaker at the Hispanic Heritage Reception for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, where he was recognized for his achievements as a civic leader and Latino author. He has also presented at the Illinois Association of School Social Workers, McDonald's Hamburger University, the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association annual conference, the Hispanic National Bar Association in Chicago, the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation, the 40th and 41st Annual Rainbow Push Coalition Conferences, and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He has been profiled in major media, including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Investor's Business Daily, The Chicago Sun Times, NBC 5, WGN, Univision, and Chicago Public Radio. Robert has worked with political figures (at the local, state and national level) as a "Latino" voice. He has been supported by business owners, corporations, University Professors, and middle and high school teachers and principals who share his universal message that everyone has the right to live the American Dream!

Robert's Awards:
2013 - PUSH Excel Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for his work as a Civil Rights Leader
2013 - Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations (ICDHR) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Educational Reform
2012 - Latino Literacy Now 2012 International Book Award recipient of the BEST comic/graphic novel across Latin America, Spain and the USA addressing youth issues
2012 - Award Recipient from Congressman Danny Davis for his work Supporting Education and Anti-Violence.
2011 - Sole Recipient of Central Asia Institute's Outstanding International Humanitarian Award

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

First things first. Let’s start with what’s next. Do you have another Novel or Comic on the horizon? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Yes, we are in the process of developing a super hero comic book named "El Barrio", we are scheduled for release for Christmas 2013. El Barrio will be a super hero that is a power of influence, a comic book that teaches character and help with our kids critical thinking skills.

You have a good following on Facebook. How important have your social media relationships been? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?

Social media is essential if you are looking for a global reach. We have received lots of attention from the media as a result because Barrio are tools that are helping our kids that are walking around lost in a culture of darkness. I believe that social media has helped me in my writing success.

You do a lot of speaking and personal appearances? When and where is the next place your readers and followers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

I have done several speaking engagements and also multiple books signings across the country over the past five years. We are currently working on a tour to visit 10 states over the next 12 months hitting 100 schools in total and delivering Barrio books to over 50,000 students. People can follow me on my website: and also facebook. You can learn more about The Barrio Movement simply by typing my name on Google.

You have great covers. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development? That could be a good project.

The general idea is molded from images from my past and shared with my publisher, he and his team then jumps in and brings my visions to life. The readers do not get involved with the book cover process at-least not yet.

You have several great videos. (See links below.) Tell us about the process that you used to create your videos? They look very professional.

The video's have typically been taken live and in real time. We have had photographers and video coverage shooting at various events.

Between your book writing, blogging, marketing, family and all the other things that can get in your way, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set schedule or do your sort of play it by ear?

We stay extremely busy and because I am single with no kids that makes it possible for me to help kids across America and in many communities around the world. It is truly a labor of love.

Has the advent of ebooks changed anything in your writing, your marketing and the relationship with your readers and fans?

I believe the ebook world will only enhance our exposure and reach other demographics deal more with technology who do not have to time to sit and read the print copies of the Barrio book series.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? What was your main goal in doing this?

I have given away over 20,000 books personally (100,000 plus in circulation) to underfunded schools and social service agencies. My goal has been, is and will continue to be to put the Barrio books into the hands of as many kids as possible! And to exchange the Barrio books for all the gun's, knives, drugs, needles, booze and even the cigarettes.

Have you considered publishing your novels as Audio Books?

Actually yes, we are all set and ready to go. Just need the money to get that project off the ground.

The ‘From the Barrio Foundation’ is working with the schools around the country to implement From the Barrio to the Classroom, a dynamic two week curriculum/teacher’s guide. Tell our readers how they can get involved in your Sponsor a Classroom project.

We offer a FREE school based and faith based curricula to all schools, social services, jails, youth detention centers, churches and all youth based organizations. We need your support financially to help deliver The Barrio Program to our teens and at-risk youth so that we together can help inspire and motivate them to make better life choices. We are a 501 (c) (3) not for profit organization so your donation is tax deductible.

To get involved and help us to help our kids please call me personally at: 312-933-5619 or email me at:

Again, to learn more visit our website at:

Also Google Robert Renteria to learn more about The Barrio Movement!

Author's Book List
Little Barrio - The Coloring Book
ROBERT RENTERIA'S book "From the Barrio to the Board Room" and his graphic novel "Mi Barrio from Smartercomics" have both resonated with audiences worldwide. The graphic novel, which has won numerous awards, was created when principals and teachers told Robert that he needed to reach kids at a younger age. Now, these same principals and teachers have asked Robert to help engage children in this conversation when they are even younger. And so Little Barrio, the activity coloring book has been born. All of Robert's books are his way of reaching out to the people he can't meet personally. Little Barrio stays true to Robert's experiences and the lessons he teaches young people about hard work, persistence, education and family. For more information about Robert and the From the Barrio Foundation, please visit or Google "Robert Renteria."

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
From the Barrio to the Board Room - Reaching out to help those who are chasing the American Dream!
Click to open expanded view Search inside this book Share 25 used & new from $0.12 See All Buying Options Have one to sell? Sell yours here Tell the Publisher! I'd like to read this book on Kindle Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App. From the Barrio to the Board Room: Reaching out to help those who are chasing the American Dream! [Paperback] Robert Renteria (Author), Corey Michael Blake (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Note: This item is only available from third-party sellers (see all offers.) Available from these sellers. 7 new from $10.55 18 used from $0.12 Click to open expanded view Search inside this book Share 25 used & new from $0.12 See All Buying Options Have one to sell? Sell yours here Tell the Publisher! I'd like to read this book on Kindle Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App. From the Barrio to the Board Room: Reaching out to help those who are chasing the American Dream! [Paperback] Robert Renteria (Author), Corey Michael Blake (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Note: This item is only available from third-party sellers (see all offers.) Available from these sellers. 7 new from $10.55 18 used from $0.12 Go to "From the Barrio to the Board Room: Reaching out to help those who are chasing the American Dream!" page 5.0 out of 5 stars Today Robert Renteria is a successful business owner and civic leader, but he grew up as an infant sleeping in a dresser drawer. This poignant and often hard-hitting memoir traces Robert's life from a childhood of poverty and abuse in one of the poorest areas of East Los Angeles, to his proud emergence as a business owner today.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Mi Barrio
Comic Based on the book From the Barrio to the Board Room in English or Spanish. Don't let where you came from dictate who you are, but let it be part of who you become. Successful entrepreneur Robert Renteria grew up sleeping in a dresser drawer. This hard-hitting comic memoir traces Robert's life from a childhood of poverty and abuse in one of the poorest areas of East Los Angeles, to his emergence as a business owner and civic leader today.

Book Trailer: Mi Barrio

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: Devin C. Hughes
Author Devin C. Hughes is award winning speaker and a bestselling author.
Check out Devin's Author's Spotlight.