Saturday, August 31, 2013
Friday, August 30, 2013
You’ve done it! You committed to writing the great American novel you always thought you could write. You put your butt in the seat, your hands over the keyboard and your words on the screen. It’s finished. Your debut novel is finished, and set to skyrocket straight to the top of the bestseller list. The lion’s share of your work is done, right? WRONG!
For most authors, this step in the process is where the real learning takes place. The reality is debut authors, particularly ones who aren’t celebrities or aren’t being published by a major house, have to work as hard or harder on the business and marketing side of the book to get their masterpiece in front of a marketplace which isn’t familiar with them or their work. People are looking to stretch their dollars further in these times of economic hardship, and they have to be convinced that your work is worth spending their hard-earned dollars on. With that in mind, here are some things to consider if you’re looking to be published for the first time and aren’t quite sure what your next step should be.
1. No Agent, No Cry
When I began my publishing process, I figured I had to have an agent before any publisher would even consider my manuscript. That’s just not the case. The truth is a majority of independent authors submit unagented manuscripts all the time. The right agent will definitely help, but you can be published without one. Also, when you query agents, don’t get depressed when you get form letter rejections. Every author gets rejected, and it’s common for rookies to get the cold shoulder.2. Do your homework
Whether you’re querying an agent or a publisher, don’t expect to cut and paste a generic form letter and get great results. You’re writing professionals who see massive volumes of material every day. If you don’t stand out, you don’t get out of the slush pile. Besides, if you wrote a fantastic science fiction novel, you don’t want to submit it to a romance publisher or an agent who handles primarily nonfiction works. There are a number of online resources which can help. www.pred-ed.com is one of the best out there.3. Do It Yourself?
If you’ve submitted your manuscript and aren’t getting any bites from agents or publishers, there’s another decision to make. It’s up to you whether you think the reason you’re getting rejected is that the material isn’t professional standard, whether it just needs more polish on the editing table or whether the scope of your work hasn’t found its niche. Another alternative is self-publishing. It’s becoming more common for authors to publish their own work through companies like CreateSpace, Lightning Source and Smashwords. The author eats a lot of upfront cost, but also keeps more of the profit when the book sells.4. Together Everyone Achieves More
The TEAM acronym isn’t just a corny slogan for high school basketball warmup shirts. Authors go a lot further when they find the right network of specialists to help them with creative and promotional services. Did you know there are companies to help you find the right agent (www.agentresearch.com)? Online resources can help you choose editors, cover artists, publicists, and other specialists to help whip your manuscript into shape.5. Love at first site
In this age of social networking and content delivery on the Web, it’s important for authors to have a strong online presence. If you don’t have one already (get out from under the rock), you need to get Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads accounts to post announcements to promote your book both before and after it’s published. This will help get the word out to your close friends and family who will be your best salesmen to other prospective readers. Depending on your economic situation, you can choose to make your sites either author or book specific. Also, try to blog content frequently on your site.
6. Everyone’s a critic
It’s important for authors to develop a thick skin when putting their work out on the marketplace. Please keep in mind that suggestions made by professional editors are meant to enhance the book’s appeal. If an editor sends back your manuscript with a lot of corrections, it doesn’t mean you’re an unskilled writer. It just means that editor sees potential for you to make your work even better.7. Just face it
It’s not enough to lock yourself away in an office and write. Our society loves celebrities. Even if you don’t feel any differently, others look at you as a big deal once you get published. Readers want to meet and talk to the people responsible for the characters and stories they love. Make an effort to do a tour of local libraries, local book stores and fan conventions which make sense. Also, it’s just as important to do blog tours with companies such as Full Moon Bites (http://fullmoonbites.blogspot.com). Remember, out of sight, out of mind.8. Give to receive
Odds are that you never expected to be hawking pens, bookmarks, notepads, magnets and various other items when you started writing your manuscript. However, these promotional materials go a long way in trying to get readers to remember you and your work. Sites like www.vistaprint.com sell a variety of material you can purchase cheaply and give to readers at your appearances.9. Upon Further Review…
There are times when all it takes to break open a treasure chest of potential readers is a favorable review from the right online blogger, media critic or genre-specific site. Sending out review copies costs money, but it’s essential in winning over readers who are on the fence about buying your book. Attempt to get as many reviews as you can because people are more likely to give you a shot when they see your material was liked by other readers.10. Be Good to Each Other
Believe it or not, other authors can become your best allies when you’re trying to attract your following of loyal readers. Creating a network of writing friends, whether it’s a local group which can help you work on your skills and read your work or whether it’s an online group which can give you tips on promotion or help you cross-promote each other, is a rewarding and potentially lucrative experience. On my site, I do a weekly blog post of author interviews. I let other authors know they are welcome to promote themselves because it drives traffic and visitors to my site, too.
Joe Spencer is the author of Grim, a paranormal crime thriller released by Damnation Books in September 2012. It’s the first in the planned Sons of Darkness series. His second book, Wrage, is due out in 2013. He can be reached at www.josephbspencer.com.Joseph will be awarding a $25 Starbucks gift certificate to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
Sometimes the toughest fight lies within yourself.
As more dark secrets come to light, the battle for souls pushes Prairieville to the brink of war in the living and supernatural realms.
Jeff Wrage swears a blood oath to Abaddon, the supernatural avenger of murder victims, to hunt the crooked cop who butchered his wife. Jeff wonders whether he can be the executioner Abaddon requires. Their pact throws the supernatural realm in chaos and threatens to trigger an apocalyptic fight for control of the afterlife between the Sons of Darkness and Sons of Light foretold in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Orlando Marino sees the death of Cyrus Black as his opportunity to restore the Marino family's stronghold in Prairieville’s organized crime scene and become a mob kingpin. He unleashes a plague, turning its victims into mindless followers. Cyrus' heir is busy rooting out a traitor and is unable to stop the coming turf war in the realm of man.
The fate of all rests with Homicide Detective Anna Duke, who steps into the shoes of her mentor while coming to terms with unrequited love. As she tries to clear the fallen hero's name, she takes on a case where corpses go missing. Her new partner is reported dead. She learns the truth about her true identity and uncovers a trail of secrets questioning her tragic past. She journeys to avert the destruction of all creation.
As a boy, Joseph Spencer immersed himself in the deductive logic of Sherlock Holmes, the heroic crime fighting of Batman and Spider-Man, and a taste for the tragic with dramas from poets like Shakespeare and Homer.
Before Joseph took to spinning his own tales, he pursued a career in print sports journalism, graduating summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He covered such events as NASCAR’s Subway 500 race in Martinsville, the NBA Draft Camp in Chicago, the Junior College World Series, and Minor League Baseball’s Midwest League All-Star Game during a ten-year career throughout the Midwest. Now, he works as an emergency telecommunications specialist with an Illinois police department. The combination of years of writing experience with a background working with law enforcement professionals gave rise to his writing aspirations.
Joseph was married to Dr. Amy (Waggoner) Spencer, an accomplished veterinary doctor, on March 14, 2012. He received word his debut novel was accepted by his publisher, Damnation Books, the next day. Joseph is hard at work on the rest of the series. Book 2 – Wrage – was released June 1, 2013. The Spencer family enjoys reading Charlaine Harris, George R.R. Martin, Mary Janice Davidson, and most paranormal stories. The Spencers also enjoy quoting movie lines from “The Princess Bride”, “Rain Man”, “Bridesmaids”, and “Office Space.”Website Link: www.josephbspencer.com ;
Blog Link: www.josephbspencer.com/blog
Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/josephspencer00
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/joe.spencer3
Google+ Link: https://plus.google.com/u/0/
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7881659-joe-spencer
LinkedIn Link: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=193078929&snapshotID=&authType=name&authToken=MmuR&ref=NUS&goback=%2Enmp_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1&trk=NUS-body-member-name
Book Video Links:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJMdOhL-Qrg (Grim trailer)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3Z-ECZw3AE (Wrage trailer)
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Three high-spirited 17 year olds, with intelligent quotients in the genius range, accompany their teacher and mentor, Carolina Lovel, to Frascati, Italy, a few weeks before they are to graduate from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women. Carolina's purpose in planning the trip is to remove her gifted, creative students from the Wood Rose campus located in Raleigh, North Carolina, so they can't cause any more problems ("expressions of creativity") for the headmaster, faculty, and other students – which they do with regularity. Carolina also wants to visit the Villa Mondragone where the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world, was first discovered and search how it is related to a paper written in the same script she received on her 18th birthday when she was told that she was adopted – a search that will take them into the mystical world of gypsy tradition and magic, more exciting and dangerous than any of them could have imagined.
It was always the older ones who felt the need to challenge the ancient gypsy traditions. The children who weren't yet adults, but who felt they were old enough to thwart authority and desire independence.
"I want lots of gold," said Milosh who had recently turned 17 years old--a man in his opinion. The oldest in the group, soon he would join the adults. "Teach me the spell to make me wealthy."
"You must be careful for what you wish, Milosh." As always, the choovihni was patient with her young pupils. "But I shall teach you the spell for attracting material goods." She sat in the shade of the tall elm with her full skirt spread out around her and waited until everyone was quiet and settled before continuing. "First, write down whatever it is you desire on a clean sheet of paper, then place the paper on a small square of green cloth. You must concentrate on it for a few minutes. That might be hard for you, Milosh," she teased. The other students laughed. They liked for Milosh to be put in his place. Just because he was the son of the Bandoleer, it didn't make him better than everyone else--even though he acted like it. And he played mean tricks on the younger ones who were too timid and afraid to say anything. "Try to visualize the object before you--the shape, texture, color. Feel pride in owning it, the pleasure you hope it will bring, what you will do with it." She looked at each of her students, making sure they understood. "Then hold the paper to your forehead and say three times: 'I have you, I hold you, I keep you.'
"Fold the paper into the green cloth and tie it with a length of red wool. Tie seven knots into the wool and as you tie each knot, say, 'You are mine, I own you.' Put the green cloth with the paper in a small box, and each day, for seven days, hold the box to your forehead and say three times, 'You are mine, I own you.' After you have done this, put the box away in the back of a drawer."
"Will I have lots of gold if I do that?" Milosh asked.
"It will bring success to those who are patient and deserving," Lyuba answered.
For the next several hours, Lyuba taught the children other spells: the spell using the power of trees, a ritual to cleanse the aura of their individual spaces, the spell for strength. When they got older, she would teach them the spells for attracting romance and for keeping a loyal lover. For now, however, she would teach only those things that were appropriate and what they could understand.
When the day's lessons were complete, and the elm's shadow once again lengthened, the parents came for their children. Concerned, Lyuba watched Milosh return to his hut alone. His chakra, that point of light indicating the heart, was dark and brown rather than green as it should be. Much was expected of the only son of the Bandoleer. He held promise, but he had much to learn. Unlike his father, he was impatient and quick to judge others. His focus was on material things, and he ignored what was important. There was also a darkness in his spirit; something that could be dangerous if not corrected.
He would go and prepare the paper, wrapped in green cloth and tied with a thread of red wool, and wish for much gold. He had not understood.
Barbara will be awarding a $25 Amazon or BN.com gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
Originally from Carrollton, Illinois Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, and North Carolina Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. Since that time her award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in several publications including the AMERICAN POETRY ANTHOLOGY the SPARROWGRASS POETRY FORUM, THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF POETRY (Editor’s Choice Award), the NORTH CAROLINA CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE MAGAZINE, THE NEW EAST MAGAZINE, the RALEIGH (NC) NEWS AND OBSERVER, the ROCKY MOUNT (NC) SUNDAY TELEGRAM, DOG FANCY, BYLINE, TRUE STORY and THE CHRISTIAN RECORD. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ms. Casey's award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in THE COSMIC UNICORN and CROSS TIME short story anthologies. Her essays, also written for adults, appear in THE CHRYSALIS READER the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, and A CUP OF COMFORT ANTHOLOGY by the Adams Media Corporation.
Her two middle-grade/young adult novels, LEILANI ZAN and GRANDMA JOCK AND CHRISTABELLE (James C. Winston Publishing Co.) were nominated for awards of excellence by the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the National Association of University Women Literary Award and the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award. SHYLA'S INITIATIVE (Crossquarter Publishing Group, 2002), a contemporary adult novel of fiction, received the 2003 Independent Publisher Book Award and received special recognition for literary merit by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. Ms. Casey’s novel THE COACH’S WIFE (ArcheBooks Publishing), a contemporary mystery, was listed as a Publisher’s Best Seller and was semifinalist of the Dana Award for Outstanding Novel. In 2007 her novel, THE HOUSE OF KANE (ArcheBooks Publishing), also a contemporary mystery, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination, and in December 2009 her novel, JUST LIKE FAMILY (Wandering Sage Publications), was launched by the 7-Eleven stores in St. Louis, Missouri. Her young adult novel, THE CADENCE OF GYPSIES (Gauthier Publications), was released in March 2011 and considered for the Smithsonian’s Most Notable 2011 Books. It has also been selected by Amazon for its 2013 List of Best Books. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PRISSY (Strategic Media Books), a novel for adults, was released in March 2013 and received an IPPY Award for Best Regional Fiction. It has also been listed as a “2013 Best Summer Read” by Conversations Live Radio and has been placed in nomination for a Pulitzer Award.
Ms. Casey is a frequent guest speaker at writers’ conferences and universities throughout the United States. She is former director, guest author, and panelist of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida; and for thirteen years she served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Florida. She held the position of Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 to 2003.
Ms. Casey is president of the Barbara Casey Agency. She represents clients nationally and internationally in fiction and nonfiction for adults. Her past and present professional associations are numerous and include being editorial consultant for The Jamaican Writers Circle in affiliation with the University of West Indies and Mico Teachers College in Kingston. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories.
Monday, August 26, 2013
There was a time when this would entailed a vast list indeed. However, I have become much better at letting the past stay in the past. Right now I just have goals and benchmarks that I want to reach. The past can wait.
Do you remember anyone you hated 10 years ago? Does it matter now?
Not in the slightest. There are few things in life that are worth carrying with you. Hate is most definitely not one of them. I am always reminded of the following saying when I consider carrying anger: “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” ~ Buddha
What makes you happier, forgive someone or hate someone forever?
I would be the happiest if people thought about their actions before I had to choose either of these options. At this point in my life, I would say forgiving someone is better in the long run; this point is, of course, moot if the transgression is such that I could not forgive.
What are you worrying about and what’s the difference if you stop worrying about it?
The world had ended, or at least slowed for a spell, when the outbreak claimed the consciousness of humanity. There was a brief moment before the proverbial sky fell when many people thought the entire idea was just the shenanigans of the ne’er-do-wells who were pulling a fabulous hoax on the world. The first day brought skepticism and curiosity. Pop culture had engrained in people the fear of the unknown and a fair amount of preparation in the event of anything resembling a zombie plague.
This sense of a participatory chain of events signaling the end of Hobbes’ civilization was far more abrupt than for which many were ready. People had hoarded and stockpiled. Nary a person could be found who did not have an assault rifle or nail-bat prepped and ready for the staggering undead.
It was the deed, however, that proved far more difficult for most. Even though necrotic flesh and a certain vacancy behind the eyes announced the undead to those passable as living, it was the possibility that this momentary lapse of humanity could be overcome. This idea quickly faded as the disease spread, claiming metropolitan areas and rural areas alike.
By the end of the first week, skepticism had turned into panic. Stores were raided and cities were emptied as quickly as possible.
Roads were congested with cars fleeing to a transient safe haven just beyond the boundaries of memory and the known. The problem with being surrounded by water is that eventually you hit a coast, no matter which direction you drove. Cars were abandoned as power grids wavered and then went silent. Soon, the nights were as dark as the inside of a coffin and the days unperturbed by the sounds of the city.
Philosophers had for the majority of human civilization discussed what man would be like in this state of nature. Great minds debated the merits and pitfalls of a world unperturbed by the guiding force of norms and mores. It appeared that something drawn from nightmares and the fiendish, albeit amusing, minds of writers who envisioned a world where the rebuilding of a civilization was juxtaposed against a frightening dystopia burdened by moral ambiguity and vagary of purpose. The great apocalypse proved to be a grand thought experiment, much to the chagrin of everyone.
Mondays with Mephistopheles: 9 am – Rhys (US)
Publish Your Dreams (US)
Hobbes Family (US)
Hobbes Family (UK)
Visit http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Former debutant Haley Barnes learned the hard way how to survive. After witnessing a cold-blooded murder, the terrified teenaged runaway changed her identity and hid to save her life. But when the killer tracks her down and attacks the girls in the homeless shelter she now runs, Haley knows the time has come to stand and fight. But to bring down the powerful killer she must confront her high-society family’s darkest secrets -- and convince wounded warrior Sully Turner he’s the hero she believes.
“I nearly got you killed tonight.”
“That wasn’t your fault. You didn’t bring the gang to the house.”
“But I wasn’t there to protect you when they showed up.”
“You were there when it counted.”
“But what if I hadn’t been?” Raw fear rang in his voice, his eyes so bleak that a heavy lump wedged in her throat.
And suddenly, she realized he wasn’t talking only about her. His fears went beyond the gang, beyond the danger shadowing their heels, to whatever had caused those flashbacks that plagued his nights. He believed that he’d failed someone. This courageous man was tortured by guilt.< p>But she knew him. Maybe she didn’t know much about his childhood or family. Maybe he hadn’t shared many details about his past. But she knew the essence of who he was. < p>
And she’d bet her life on one immutable fact. Sully would fight to the death to protect the people he loved. He would never willingly give up. Whatever had happened in Afghanistan wasn’t his fault. How could he ever have doubts about that?
Unable to resist him, she tossed off her blankets and cupped his jaw with her hand, willing him to understand. “Sully... You’ve saved me so many times. Even when you didn’t know me, you risked your life for mine. You’ve come through for me time after time. And you’re the bravest man I’ve ever met.”
“You’re wrong. I’m not who you think I am.”
“You’re exactly who I think you are.”
Gail Barrett is the award-winning author of thirteen romantic suspense novels. A former RITA® and Daphne finalist, Gail has received the Book Buyer’s Best Award, the Holt Medallion, the Booksellers Best, The National Readers’ Choice Award, and numerous other awards. She lives with her husband in Western Maryland. For more information, visit her website: www.gailbarrett.com.
Gail will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift certificate and either a signed print copy (US ONLY) or an electronic copy of Fatal Exposure (Buried Secrets book one) to one randomly drawn commenter during this tour and her other Super Book Blast on August 27th.Buy Links:
Sunday, August 18, 2013
We helped a lot of people realize their dreams of publishing. I was able to meet my personal publishing goals and I feel vindicated that I was able to support my goal of making writing and publishing full-time a sustainable reality. And I was able to move to the coast and enjoy temperate weather for the rest of my life. Dream fulfilled.
Abraham Rogers had become a psychologist for a variety of reasons, chief among them that he was uncomfortable with the rigidity of psychiatry as a profession and its propensity to solve psychological issues with pharmaceuticals. He had his clients call him Abe, as he felt the Doctor moniker was too heavy handed for his type of treatment.
He fancied himself a proponent in a long line of humanistic psychologists who offered unconditional support for anyone who needed to work through personal or professional issues.
As he sat in his dark office, shades drawn and lamp set to its lowest setting, he ruminated about the use of the word human.
His practice had suffered as of late.
The market had become saturated with recent graduates and despite a growing despair on the horizon, his billable hours began to decrease.
He had to consider a new kind of client.
The buzzing sound from the intercom on his desk woke him from his thoughtful pose. Standing, he depressed the button.
His secretary’s voice did not match her appearance. The brusque tone suggested a woman solidly built with a perpetual scowl. Eve was the very picture of carefree youth: bright blue eyes and strawberry blonde hair.
“Dr. Rogers, your 11 o’clock appointment is here. Should I send him in?”
Abe liked to meet his clients in the waiting room.
“I’ll be right out.”
Taking the three long steps from his comfortable seat to the thick oak door, Abe smiled––though managed little more than a self-conscious smirk.
Rhys was a mere specter of a man. His porcelain skin was accented by a burgundy shirt and dark pants. A pair of polarized sunglasses hid his eyes as he turned his head to the approaching Dr. Rogers.
“Good morning, Rhys. Shall we?”
Rhys stood with a smooth and effortless movement. His lean frame was hidden beneath layers of superfluous clothing despite the humidity outside of the office.
Abe had become accustomed to the strange turn his life had taken. Every academic had to specialize at some point in their career. Abraham Rogers’ practice had become a respite for the strange.
Visit http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
After a tragic loss five years ago, Sally Overby becomes an Attorney in Atlanta. She convinces herself that all she'll ever need again is her young son, David, and her life as an attorney. Until one day, Colin Dean barges back into her life and promptly blows her safe world apart, driving her crazy as only a guy she'd had a "school girl crush" on can.
Sally is wary to love deeply. Only, with every loving look Colin gives her plus every sweet kiss, as the attraction between them sparks, she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the one she should be with. And although Colin didn’t realize his life was going to change so quickly, amazingly, he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether. The one for Sally’s heart.
Will Colin be able to convince her that's it safe to love him... and that forever isn't really out of reach?
The Eyes of Love is a novella… so you can enjoy it in just one day!EXCERPT:
A hush fell over the room for a moment as Stephanie appeared with Jazz trailing behind her. She was wearing a skin tight black dress with stiletto heels which was typical Stephanie fashion. She wanted nothing more than to be the center of attention like she always had been.
Without missing a beat, Stephanie walked straight over to Colin. Sally was shocked.
"Hello, Colin..." she purred as she ignored Sally completely. "You look sexy tonight, as always." She smiled seductively as Colin looked away. "Who's your friend?"
"None of your business, Steph. Leave me alone."
"Oohhh.... Did I touch a nerve, sweetie?" she asked as she reached out to touch his chest.
"Don't touch me, Stephanie. I'm warning you. Why don't you go back to Jazz?"
"Oh. Jazz. Boring..." she sang. "We're not together anymore, just so you know..." she whispered in a husky voice. Colin held onto Sally's hand for dear life. She had to do something.
"Stephanie, don't you remember me?" she asked grinning from ear to ear as she slid into Colin's side. He put his arm around her and stared down in shock at what she was about to say.
"I don't know you," Stephanie said looking her up and down.
"Wow. Age is really doing a number on your brain," Sally said.
"Who are you?" Stephanie snapped. Jazz stood a few feet back obviously trying to hear the conversation.
"I'm your worst nightmare," Sally growled as she came almost nose to nose with Stephanie, her attorney public speaking skills getting ready to display themselves. She pulled the name tag from her purse without breaking eye contact and held it up. "You see, I'm the nerd that you and your cronies bullied through high school."
One commenter will receive a $50 Amazon or BN.com gift card. Please use this Rafflecopter code with your post:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Angelina Rose has wanted to write ever since she could hold a pencil. The first daughter of immigrant parents, Angelina had her head buried in books, lost in a world of heroes, heroines and exotic places.
It was a shocking experience that jump-started Angelina's author career.
"I awoke in the ICU... I had been unconscious for several days," Angelina says.
In 2010, Angelina had a long stint in hospital following her involvement in a motor vehicle accident: the longest time off work (as a Registered Nurse), she'd ever had in her life!
It was then she took up pen and paper and started to write again, just as she had done when she was a child. She wrote four short fiction stories for young adults, entered them in several competitions, and managed to win three first prizes!
After happily dipping her toes into writing those short fiction stories for young adults, Angelina has now authored four books in a new "Mill Creek Crossing Romance" series... contemporary romance intended for adults.
The "Starting Over Series" is another contemporary romance series she wrote about a subject she knows well... nurses and their love life. At a recent reunion of her graduating class, she could not help but notice how the same girls would group together and laugh, chat, and even shed some tears over their lives since graduating. Many of the girls had divorced... so Angelina thought "what if a group of the nurses came up with a plan to meet in two years and have a new love story to share?" Then the first story in the series was born.
There is always a story running around in her head. A man with thick dark hair, gray-blue eyes, with an engaging smile and a quick wit... or a girl crying over a broken relationship. She finds herself talking to these characters during her day: when she's doing dishes, or bathing babies at the hospital. These characters crop up on days at the beach or on walks through the neighborhood. This is how the stories start to grow.
Angelina's mother was an author, so Angelina grew up with a love of words and stories. If she wasn't writing a short story about something that took her fancy, her head was buried in books... reading, reading, reading, as her brother constantly told her...
When she's not spending time with her good-looking man, or quality time with her laptop, she's working at the hospital, hanging out with her family and friends, or walking her two dogs around the neighborhood. Angelina spends as much time as she can traveling, then coming home and including some of those adventures in her stories.
Angelina really loves to hear from her readers and she invites you to connect with her on Facebook as she interacts daily with her readers there!Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Eyes-of-Love-ebook/dp/B00CRM1Q4I
Monday, August 12, 2013
Loss of the memory of who you used to be. Caused by pregnancy, play dates, and trying to keep the house cleaner than the Joneses.
"Momnesia," which has been recognized in two awards, is the story of an average suburban mom who, feeling invisible under all the responsibilities of caring for her family, sets about finding balance between her "momminess" and her "sexiness." She does find some adventure pursuing her own interests, but it isn't until she tosses the Invisible Rule Book altogether that she discovers life---and love---have more to offer than she ever imagined!
- "Momnesia" is on sale for only $1.99 in Kindle format! Find it here!
- "Momnesia" is on sale for for only $5 per paperback! Find it here!
- Treasure Hunt! Visit the blogs in the Linky List below and gather their treasure hunt words. For each one you collect, you'll get an extra entry to win Lori's "Find Yourself... In a Good Book" Prize Pack! By the way my Treasure Hunt Word is: rabbit.
- Buy the book during this promotion and get five extra entries! Send your e-receipt to LoriTheAuthor "at" gmail "dot" com. Put MOMNESIA RECEIPT in subject line.
- Learn about the author and preview the book below! Enjoy!
Sunday, August 11, 2013
2. Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants? I may have a touch of attention deficit disorder. I need a decent out line before I can begin. I write character biographies to get to know everyone well. Then I plot out the events that I think need to happen in the story from prologue to epilogue. Then I sequence them, going through the events in my mind as if I were watching a movie. I am always open to change as I go, and usually do find that I swerve off the course occasionally. But that’s always for the better because you can’t think of everything up front.
3. What drew you to the subject of DEVOLUTION? The first version of the novel, then called PAN-DORA ISLAND, was actually one of the first novels I wrote back in the mid-70s. I was fascinated by the work of anthropologists teaching chimpanzees to use sign language. What would happen, I wondered, if chimpanzees in the wild learned human language? Would they abandon it, or would they expand upon it and pass the skill along generation to generation. If so, what would the effects be on chimpanzee society?
4. What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it? The first novel I wrote was called THE THIRD WORLD, a sci-fi. I didn’t try to publish it. I don’t remember why. It probably wasn’t good enough to be published in any case. I was just learning my craft and had taken no course in creative writing. The world was saved one bomb.
5. How many rejections have you received? Don’t ask. Remember, I told you I began writing in the 1970s and did not sell my first novel until 2008. Thank God for recycling.
6. Describe your book. DEVOLUTION features sixteen-year-old Chiku Flynn. Chiku was born in the Congo rainforest to two anthropologists studying the native chimpanzees. For the first eleven years of her life, Chiku is more chimp than child. She nests with the chimpanzees, grooms them and has no qualms about sticking a leaf tool in the soil and slurping up the ants and termites she uncovers. When she is eleven, her mother is killed, and Chiku is sent back to the United States to grow into a maladjusted teenager medicated for anxiety, depression, mood disorder, hyperactivity, you name it. When her father disappears, Chiku must return to the Congo to discover her true heroic self. In Swahili, Chiku means ‘chatterbox’ but the chimpanzees of the Maiku National park, with whom she can communicate using sign language, know her simply as Talk Talk.
7. What’s your writing schedule? I set myself a semi-rigid schedule. My novels tend to range from 400 to 420 pages. I figure if I can write 5 pages a day, I can finish in under two months. I try to keep to that goal though there are days when I can’t do five, other days when I might do 10. I always finish early.
8. What authors do you admire? I have recently found Peruvian writer Mario Vargas LLosa, whose FEAST OF THE GOAT and WAR AT THE END OF THE WORLD are remarkable.
9. What’s your favorite thing about your book? I love Chiku, the chimpanzees and their relationship. I also think it is important when writing a book to try to do more than create an entertaining page-turner. I like to subtly provoke the reader to think about things they may not have thought about before. I want them to think about my novel long after they’ve gone on to their next book. In DEVOLUTION environmental activism is a vital component.
10. What is the one thing your hero would do that you wouldn’t? Chiku can do so much that I can’t. She’s braver than I am, can swing through and climb tall trees, and can speak to her chimpanzees.
I was born in Portland, Maine and went to Bowdoin College. At that point, I wanted to head to the big city, so I moved to Boston with a college roommate. I became involved with the housing movement in that city, first as a tenant organizer, then working in public housing, and finally working with community action programs that deal with the homeless or at-risk families. I currently live in Haverhill, Massachusetts and have three wonderful kids, Leah, William and Stephen.
Chiku Flynn wasn’t raised to be human. Born in the rainforest of the Congo, Chiku grows up swinging through trees and playing rough games of hide-and-go-seek and tag with her chimpanzee pals Scallion, Pan and Scopes. Things change suddenly when she witnesses the brutal killing of her mother by crocodile and she is sent back to civilization by her father. But in Brookline, Massachusetts Chiku fails to adapt. Her grades are poor, schools don’t want her, kids make fun of her behind her back. It is only when her beloved father disappears that Chiku begins to regain self-respect back in the jungle, back with her chimpanzees, back in a world that is inhabited by poachers, refugees and soldiers and assassins whose next target may be Chiku herself.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Welcome to the first day of The Twins of Devonshire and the Curse of the Widow blog tour. It will run until August 17th and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:
A plague has covered the land, a single word on the lips of the frightened masses: the Widow. Washing a wave of terror over the countryside and then disappearing like a thief in the night, the Widow holds a kingdom in the palm of her hand. The eyes of Chaos have settled on Prima Terra and heroes must rise. Xeno Lobo, enigmatic and cryptic, hunts the Widow, seeking an object taken from him years before. Will he be able to stem the tide of violence and horror that sweeps the land?>
A few questions for the author:
Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
I would always choose more work I actually enjoy doing, which is perfect for where I am at in my life. Writing books and helping others realize their dreams of publication have become central to my everyday life. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
Each day is unique in some way. As a psychologist, I have to resist the urge (rather poorly, I might add) to look at everything as behavioral sets and neurological predispositions. I think we have the opportunity to have wonder in the simplicity of life, and in that way each time I open my eyes in the morning is the promise of a new, unique day.When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
That is what I am currently doing. Starting your own business and committing to writing full-time is a wavering candle in the dark for sure. I have been fortunate that my determination to see it through to the end is paying off….
The halls of the Tower of Darkness were decorated with murals depicting grotesque beings; the curved jaws and mouths littered with jagged, uneven teeth were a frightening sight. The moon shone brilliantly in narrow corridors shrouded in the shadow, except for the square windows that were scattered about.
The monolith stood alone atop a windy mountain, the path leading to it covered in black snow. Poison oozed from deep in the earth, tainting the ground. The path wound down the mountainside, close to the only nearby village. It was a small town called Sel’verene in the tongue of the Old Ones: the village of the cursed.
The village thrived in the shadow.
The few sparse buildings were dark beneath the pale moonlight, nothing stirring in the streets or distance. Fear governed the countryside. The people did not dare to linger in the darkness, not even with the lunar skies so bright.
Skeletal brush was scattered about the village. The tavern was the only building that dared any noise––the lamp there burning dimly in the shadowed light. The beaten path that wove its way to the far side of the village was entrenched with footfalls in the fresh snow.
The tavern itself was dark and dank.
It reeked as if it served as a stable for horses and swine. Yet, the better part of a dozen sour-looking men remained seated in their chairs. The tables were dusty and the doors to the tavern were open wide, allowing the frigid air outside to whisk through the main room. The men drank their dark amber liquid from musty glass steins, the froth sticking to the cold glass and dripping down the side.
The wintry gales blew back their long, scraggly hair and equally thick beards that covered a sickly demeanor. The mood of the tavern was sour at best, not a word exchanged from patron to patron––even the comely serving woman behind the bar dare not utter a word.
A hand slammed into the brittle frame of the tavern, the skin worn and reddened from the cold air. The cuticles of the nails were cracked and bleeding: dried blood blotched over pale white skin. The hand slid down the doorframe, the moisture of the snow aiding the abrasive surface.
As the hand neared the bottom, a man fell through the open door. His cold face was filled with dread and fear. His hands were gripped tight like claws, knuckles white and bloodless. His mouth was agape, crystal blue eyes open and unwavering. With a beard much thinner than that of the other patrons, his hair was cut along his shoulders––the ends fair and unspoiled.
He crawled along the floor, his hands gripping the wood and slipping as he moved forward. The patrons looked on unfazed as the man inched through the doorway and into the center of the tavern.
“Help––me,” croaked the man. His voice was cracked and worn like a brass horn played far beyond its years.
He curled into a ball and shivered horribly. The minimal coat he wore had deep lacerations ripped through it, like three sets of distinct claw marks. The man closest to him watched the man reach up for him, the labored movement causing him to open his mouth once again like a dying fish out of water. The man rose slowly and slammed the heel of his boot into the prostrated man’s face, splitting his already cracked lips. He spilled blood upon the cold wooden floors of the solemn tavern.
“What,” groaned the man as he gripped his stomach and rolled away. He tried to raise himself upon another arm, but failed to do so when another patron knocked his arm to the ground. Slamming the chair he had been sitting in over the weakened man’s back, the blow drew a weak scream from him
Two of the patrons stood.
Upon seeing the man writhe upon the floor, the remainder of them stood. They began to beat and strike the man with whatever object they could find. The man’s cries were soon drowned out by the crunching of his bones and squishing noises as he bled his coat crimson.
The patrons’ chests heaved as they stared at the beaten man. His face was mangled, the claw marks upon his back exposed when they tore the clothes from his back. The man groaned and spit blood, his remaining teeth stained from the bloodbath.
His eyes streamed with tears.
They grasped him by the shoulders and dragged him outside into the moonlight. His incoherent mumbling did not deter them from their mission. His ravaged body lay in the snow; his face was turned toward the sky.
He could hear them walking away.
He waited for a long time, his mind slipping from consciousness as he lay there. After a while, he realized that he was alone.
“Help,” he called weakly.
There was no answer, but in the distance something growled and leapt across the earth in mighty bounds. When it landed, he could feel it through his entire frame. “Is someone there?”
The growling was much closer now, and this time accompanied by a solitary pair of footfalls. He tried to move, but his body would not respond. His mind was frantic, irrational fear beginning to grip his senses. He tried to crane his neck, but his muscles just seemed to mock him. A cruel laughing fit crept into the man’s soul. He stifled the laugh as best he could, saliva forming at the edges of his mouth.
Coughing, he let the absurd laughter spew forth.
Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.
End of the World Playlist (US)
Cerulean Dreams (US)
The Journey (US)
The Path of the Fallen (US)
The Twins of Devonshire (US)
Mondays with Mephistopheles: 9 am – Rhys (US)
Publish Your Dreams (US)
The End of the World Playlist (UK)
Cerulean Dreams (UK)
The Journey (UK)
The Path of the Fallen (UK)
Mondays with Mephistopheles: 9 am – Rhys (UK)
Publish Your Dreams (UK)
Follow Me On Twitter
Like Me On Facebook
Download The Twins of Devonshire and the Curse of the Widow for free on Kindle from 8/13 until 8/17!
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Friday, August 9, 2013
How To Get Good Reviews On Amazon is a simple, no-nonsense guide that teaches exactly what it says it does. Based on both psychological science and thousands of hours of conversation with some of Amazon’s top reviewers, it takes you behind the scenes into the reviewing subculture that has grown up on Amazon’s website. It gives you a deep, insider’s knowledge of how the top reviewers think and operate. It not only shows you what to do: it takes you inside the reviewers’ heads so that you can see for yourself both how these techniques work and why they’re so effective.
Lessons include:• A simple, four-part formula for writing emails that get your work reviewed.
• Three things never to say when communicating with reviewers!
• How to pick reviewers who are more likely to give you a good review.
• How to reduce the chance that a reviewer you contact will post a bad review – even if it turns out they don’t like your work!
• How people get caught out when receiving reviews from friends and family.
This book teaches an honest, straightforward approach that works. It works because it’s not based gimmicks or tricks but on a real understanding of how Amazon reviewers operate: most of all on what they expect from authors and other sellers. If you want to know how to talk to Amazon reviewers in a way that will make them respect you as a professional and see you as the kind of seller they actually want to help, this is the book for you.Theo will be giving away a $100 Amazon gift card
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sellers do quite often turn up on forums on Amazon, specifically asking for reviews. Unfortunately, a while ago Amazon changed its policies to expressly forbid this sort of behavior in all forums but one: the Meet Our Authors forum. The trouble with this is that the Meet Our Authors forum is very largely just a bunch of authors spamming each other. Very few seem to have any real interest in what the others are saying.
Despite Amazon’s rule against using its forums for self promotion, people still do it. And in practice the reception that authors and other sellers get when they post on any of the multitude of forums does vary. To some degree it depends on how the author or seller handles themselves.
The other thing you should always be extremely careful about is paying close attention to the codes of behavior considered appropriate among the forum regulars. Different forums have different levels of tolerance for authors or other sellers seeking reviews, or otherwise promoting themselves. For example, the Romance forum has a reputation as a place you should absolutely never leave this kind of post – unless you actually want to be ripped to shreds. Indeed, the Romance forum has developed a reputation as an extremely hostile place for authors in general. So it is important to do your homework on the specific forum you’re considering using.
Theo Rogers combines years of coalface experience on Amazon's website with formal training and qualifications in a range of business and social science disciplines. He's spent literally thousands of hours talking with Amazon reviewers, getting inside their heads, and learning what makes them tick. He's spent almost as many hours observing the carnage that so often takes place on Amazon's forums. In the process he's developed a deep insider's knowledge of the reviewing subculture that's grown up on Amazon's website.
He's also seen a lot of authors and other would-be sellers make the same mistakes in their dealings with that subculture - over and over again.
As a result of his experiences, Theo has come to believe that yes, there is a simple formula that works: a way of dealing with reviewers that's honest, powerful, and extremely effective at winning reviewers over, getting them on your side, and making them actually want to help you.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
While working in the corporate world, I asked a secretary if I could borrow a book to read on vacation. That one contemporary romance paperback changed the course of my life. I devoured four hundred novels in one year. My husband couldn’t understand the addiction. My nose was in a book all the time, even while in the car at stop lights. At home, he would have to call me several times to break my concentration and get my attention.”
One evening while driving home from work at Danskin in York, PA,I decided that I could write a romance. I’d been absorbing the rhythms of the stories, the variety in plot lines, the depth of characters. The decision to write was easy – the execution was the hard part. I joined the Romance Writers of America and had a crash course in the craft of writing by attending their national conferences.How did you pick the genre you write in?
Appalachian Adventures started with romance, then turned to murder. The original concept was 4 books, 4 male cousins, 4 seasons and 4 different sports. I had to get the romance out of my system. “Appalachian Paradise” is romance and backpacking. “Emeralds in the Snow” is romance, downhill skiing and a cold case mystery. “Murder at Blue Falls,” my third novel (3rd male cousin, 3rd season and 3rd sport – horseback riding) changed everything. My publisher, Ingalls Publishing Group, fell in love with the two main characters and the following books are based on the fictional Blue Falls Guest Ranch in the real Triplett Valley outside the real cozy mountain town of Boone, NC.
Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?
Once, I outlined a book and became bored with it because I already knew the ending. Lesson learned – my writing has to entertain me during the process so I’m 90% panster. Most of the time, I don’t know who did it until the last third of the book, which means more revisions.If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?
Since I write cozy mysteries, did you figure out who did it before it is revealed in the story?Describe your latest book, “One Shot too Many.”
This time Detective Tucker is the main character and we find out more about his past. Yesterday's regret; today's deadly fix.Impulsive acts during emotional upheavals from the past return to haunt, ending in the death of a photo-journalist near the cozy mountain town of Boone, NC. Detective Tucker must deal with his past while investigating the secrets of suspects determined to keep from facing their own histories. Jemma Chase, trail-ride leader and CSI wannabe, follows clues, even though her interference may cost Tucker his job. “One Shot Too Many” ... suspects a-plenty for Detective Tucker when someone kills the newspaper photographer who took one too many photos. Everyone has something to hide. The nurse – too many injections. The judge -- too many attempts. The retired army man – too many guns. And then there’s the dental hygienist with too many ejac – lovers, the grandmother who loves too much, the sports medicine professor who drinks too much. When Tucker’s own past comes back to haunt, Jemma Chase, his CSI wannabe girlfriend, has to make a choice. What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing?
My strengths are dialogue and action. Readers comment often on the setting.What is your favorite word?
“Umbrella” because of the way it trips the tongue around the mouth. My favorite 2 word combo is “Ball hootin” which is what a pickup truck does down a slick mountain road.Why do you use real people as minor characters?
I live in the South where uniqueness is more than tolerated, it’s encouraged. It helps avoid using stereotypes. Plus it’s fun for them and me. You read about them and see them in movies but I live near them, know them, enjoy them. Including myself, so I’m in my books like Alfred Hitchcock is in his movies.Tell us about your background.
My family are all readers. My dad was Air Force and I grew up with 4 brothers. When Dad would come home and say that he was transferred, Mom would get excited and pack up all us kids and make the move with little trouble. We would explore the culture and land where ever we lived – England, Germany, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Japan. My parents started ski patrol when they were 65 and retired at 87. We are an adventurous bunch. That’s why I had to have adventure in my novels.Where can we find out more about you? Visit my Website maggiebishop1.tripod.com and Blog Dames of Dialogue and Friend me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/maggiebishop and Twitter https://twitter.com/maggiebishop Amazon listing for all my books http://dld.bz/maggiebishopamazon
Maggie Bishop hikes, skis, swims, explores and writes in the mountains of North Carolina where she settled in 1993 with her husband and cat. Every time they travel, they seek out other mountains but none are as exciting as the ancient Appalachians. When asked, "What do you do?" her answer is, "Entertain with word pictures."
She was awarded the honor of being one of "One Hundred Incredible East Carolina University Women" for literature and leadership. She's an Air Force brat who put herself through East Carolina University and received a MBA degree, a former manufacturing executive, founder and past president of High Country Writers, and is a member of Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.
The Start: In MURDER AT BLUE FALLS, when her horse finds a body, CSI wannabe Jemma starts to investigate, Detective Tucker comes in and it twists and turns from there.
And Then: Since pay is low in the mountains, Jemma has more than one job and is also a carpenter. In PERFECT FOR FRAMING, trouble’s a-brewing in the Property Owners Association where greed and a lust for power lead to murder in a clash of personal versus public needs.
Now: The photography group meets at Blue Falls Guest Ranch and soon there is ONE SHOT TOO MANY which features Detective Tucker with yesterday’s regret haunts.