Jane Austen! Demonic Castles! Time Travel! Dragons! This Black Friday Consider a Southard Novel…

When I sit down to write a book, my first goal is always to give my readers something new. So much of what you find on bookstore shelves can feel like a cookie-cutter recipe for a tale. Add a twist here, build to a love story here, sprinkle some comedy… That is not what you will find in one of my novels.

This Black Friday, and in your holiday shopping, consider one of my novels for your readers. You can find excerpts, reviews, interviews, and more information on each of the books via their pages on this site.

A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM
Available in print ($13.46) and eBook ($3.99) from Madison Street Publishing via Amazon.com here.

A Jane Austen DaydreamAll her heroines find love in the end–but is there love waiting for Jane?

Jane Austen spends her days writing and matchmaking in the small countryside village of Steventon, until a ball at Godmersham Park propels her into a new world where she yearns for a romance of her own. But whether her heart will settle on a young lawyer, a clever Reverend, a wealthy childhood friend, or a mysterious stranger is anyone’s guess.

Written in the style of Jane herself, this novel ponders the question faced by many devoted readers over the years–did she ever find love? Weaving fact with fiction, it re-imagines her life, using her own stories to fill in the gaps left by history and showing that all of us–to a greater or lesser degree–are head over heels for Jane.

“I consider this novel one of the best not only in regency era literature, but also in mainstream fiction.” -NovelTravelist.com

MAXIMILIAN STANDFORTH AND THE CASE OF THE DANGEROUS DARE
Available in print ($9.71) and as an eBook ($3.99) via Amazon.com here.

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, CoverThe cursed and foreboding McGregor Castle is the most terrifying and haunted location in all of the British Empire. Only a brave (or foolish) soul would consider visiting it, let alone staying within its walls for five days. In other words, a perfect dare for a man like Maximilian Standforth!

Maximilian Standforth, famed playboy aristocrat and private detective, is a genius with dangerous tastes. With Bob (his trusty carriage driver, biographer, and body guard) and Maggie Collins (actress, spy, and maid) by his side, Maximilian will experience horrors and madness unlike any seen before. For it is at McGregor Castle that the team will discover more than they ever could imagine in this very experimental and genre-breaking thriller.

“Playing with traditional style and plot ingredients but introducing enough surprises and originality this book was great fun to read.” -Christoph  Fischer Books

MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS
Available in print ($15.38) on Amazon.com here and as an eBook via Google Play ($9.99) here.

My Problem With DoorsJacob’s life changed in a single moment when, as a toddler, he walked through his bedroom door only to find himself in the office of a British officer in Capetown, 1870. This would begin a thirty-year journey which would take him from ancient to future civilizations, and innumerable places and times in between. Through all of his travels, Jacob seeks for the purpose of his predicament, the significance of his life with all of its joys and suffering, loneliness and impermanence.

“This is a most compelling book. It pulls you in to a fascinating concept from the beginning…. I give this book 5 stars.” -The Voracious Reader

MEGAN
Available in print ($15.51) on Amazon.com here and as an eBook via Google Play ($9.99) here.

MeganMegan Wane is caught in a life of dull dreariness. She goes to work in a dead end job with a boss she can’t stand, and comes home to a silent apartment with only a standoffish cat for company. She can only get away through her imagination. And there, in her thoughts, there exists a fairy-tale kingdom with wizards and dragons. A place called Prosperity, where she is both a princess and a hero. On this day, both Megan’s external reality and her interior world will suffer tragedy that will turn her life upsidedown and shake her to the foundation. Can Megan turn disaster into deliverance?

“I am very impressed with how Mr. Southard has interwoven the two world’s of Megan. It is very artfully crafted with vivid descriptions. ” -S. M. Nystoriak, Writer’s Block

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Time to Share! Some Southard Samples

Today, I thought I would link to some samples I have shared from some of my novels in the past. Think of this as something like Show and Tell, but it is my turn and no one gets a turn but me… Oh, and everyone has to listen and applaud at the end with a hint of jealousy… oh yes, and run out and buy all my books and love me.

Okay, maybe not all that, but you get the gist.

I have two novels currently in print. They were both honored in a novel-writing competition before being selected for publication by a new indie press. They are Megan and My Problem With Doors. I am really proud of both books.

Megan is the story of Megan Wane. Megan lives in two different worlds. In the real world, she is a very bored office worker, frustrated by the direction her life has taken and dealing with a micro-managing boss. In her fantasy world though, Megan is a princess superhero, The Great Defender.

In this excerpt (here), Megan deals with a very “bureaucratic” dragon. You can find my book on amazon.com here.

My Problem With Doors is the story of Jacob who has been stuck time traveling ever since he was a toddler. His “problem” is a unique one; doors do not work for him as they do for us, and when he enters one he never knows what he will meet on the other side.

In this excerpt (here) from the novel, Jacob has dinner with Jack the Ripper. You can find the book on amazon.com here.

A lot of my work over this year has been trying to find a home for A Jane Austen Daydream, my most current novel. Last year, it was selected to be shared online by greenspotblue.com. (Those links to the chapters from the book can still be found on the A Jane Austen Daydream page.)  My hope is to find an agent for the work and then get it published. So if you are an agent or publisher reading this… ah… hi...

A Jane Austen Daydream is not a biography, it is not even close to being one. In the book, I am “retelling” Jane’s life as if she was one of the characters in her novel, giving her the love story she deserved and never had.

This selection (here) is chapter two from the first part of the work.

Thanks for reading! And please, if you like what you read, share the work on your page or share with your friends or buy the books or visit the Austen page or tell your aunt who is an agent about me or send me cookies… I like cookies. Who doesn’t?

Episode Six: Time Out Of Mind

Episode 6 of

Time Out Of Mind,

The Sequel to

The Dante Experience

 “The Hunt”

OPENING CREDITS

Scene 1

SOUND: Of Heaven.

REPAIR ANGEL: Here is your problem right here. Look at all the memory you have used on your computer. No wonder it’s bombed.

MICHAEL: Oh, hi your great holiness. I didn’t know you were listening in. The computer repair angel here is just trying to get the computer up and running again.

REPAIR ANGEL: What are all these pictures?

MICHAEL: Oh, nothing! Just delete that!

REPAIR ANGEL: Who is she?

MICHAEL: Nothing, nothing… Anyway…

REPAIR ANGEL: She certainly is flexible whoever she is… Continue reading

Episode Four: Time Out Of Mind

Episode 4 of

Time Out Of Mind,

the sequel to

The Dante Experience

“Michael Has a Date”

OPENING CREDITS

Scene 1

SOUND: Of Heaven

MICHAEL: (Flying in) Hello, hello. Sir. I received your page. What’s going on is something wrong? What is that you have there?

SOUND: Paper rustling.

MICHAEL: For me? Ok, let me just read this note and… Ok, you really didn’t need the swear words! All you had to do was ask? I’ll tell you what is going on? No problem. I’ll just boot up the system here and as I do, I will tell you…

SOUND: Computer booting up.

MICHAEL: Ok, there we go… In the year 3020, genetic engineers on earth have developed the capability to create dragons. And these creatures, as I’ve been told by those damn future watchers, were used to for sport at amusement parks. See, mankind has always had a fascination with dragons- from bad movies to bad… well, frankly a lot of bad things, probably one of the reasons that the dragons are upset right there. Anyway, these futuristic dragons would be created, raised for a week then killed for sport by a knight… Now where the problem took place is that they kept recreating the same dragons! You see what I am getting at?… No? Ok, well, these dragons hate being brought to life and being killed over and over again, so one of the smart ones, Smaug is his name, decided to seek revenge. So him and his fellow dragons broke out of the lab early and stole a time traveling device in the hope of destroying mankind in the past where he doesn’t have the tools to fight back… Of course what they don’t realize is if they destroy man in the past, they will be erased from existence…

SOUND: Of computer beeping.

MICHAEL: And if they go back too far, maybe wipe all of us out of existence… Not you, of course, but for us it is sticky situation.  Right now, the only people that can save the day are the group from the Dante Experience since they were given the weapon from the knight. And, as luck would have it, they have already killed one of the five in revolutionary Paris and…

KELLII: (chewing gum) What is this place? What is that smell? It smells like incense. Continue reading

An Excerpt from MEGAN, a Novel

In the hope of doing something different, I decided today to share a scene from my novel MEGAN.  In 2009 it was honored in an international novel-writing competition which led to its publication with a new press out of Canada. It can be found on amazon.com here. It is also available as an ebook and audiobook by contacting the publisher or as an eBook from GooglePlay here.

MEGAN is the story of Megan Wane, an imaginative soul who lives in two different worlds. In the real world, she is an event planner at a large firm, dealing with a micromanager and angry fellow employees; in her imaginary world she is a princess and secret superhero who is on a mission to save her world which was turned to blackness. Sometimes her real world slips into her imagination. In this scene Princess Megan and her two companions meet a terrifying and strangely bureaucratic dragon.

“Greetings. Hello? Over here. Hi!” The great green dragon was standing in the middle of a large open field. The field (situated where the woods once were) was surrounded by yellow torches. All of the torchlight seemed to coalesce on the dragon, making the beast look larger in the contrast of shadow and the brightness. It was the first dragon Princess Megan had ever seen and it astounded her.

The dragon really didn’t need to direct their attention to itself. The beast was hard to miss, no matter how much the trio might have wanted to pretend that they didn’t see it. It was standing on its hind legs and was wearing a pair of thick reading glasses and a red sweater-vest. It was also holding a clipboard in its right claw and a pencil was positioned behind its left ear. “Are you Princess Megan and her two servants?” the Dragon asked when they had approached closer. Continue reading