Meet David Gaughan @authorGaughan and Discover the Secret to Writing a Great Book! #FridayReads #SFF


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I first met David Gaughan when he asked if I would read and review Aaden Bluestar – The Awakening several months ago. After reading it, I wanted to know more about the man behind the inspiring young adult science fiction adventure novel I’d just read. So, I asked David if he’d be willing to sit down for an interview. He said sure and I did a little jig. No, really. See, not only is David a prolific author but he shares the belief that each of us can make a difference in this world. So, without further ado, please welcome David to the POTL Blog. Take it away, David:

 

What is your writing process?

When I first started writing I found the story flowed better when I wrote longhand. I still have the handwritten original journal of my first attempt at writing, which was eventually published many years later as Star Bred Prophecy. However, my first published work was actually dictated and I find that method far more efficient and creative. I’ll sit comfortably in a chair with my feet up while I stare into space. I visualise the scene unfolding before me, like I’m watching a movie and I simply describe what I’m seeing. I’ve had feedback from several readers who say they feel like they’re watching a movie when they read my works.

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

Names are definitely important. In the original story that was published as “The Blue Star”, the key character’s son, who played a fairly minor role, was named Ajay. When I decided to rewrite the story from the boy’s perspective the name Ajay just didn’t seem right and it certainly didn’t go well with BlueStar. Even though it was based on the original Blue Star story, the tale took on a new energy and originality, so it seemed appropriate that a name change was needed. Aaden BlueStar emerged as an independent character in his own right. Even his name is spelt with double a, rather than the more commonly spelt Aiden.

 

Have you always liked to write?

My first urge to write was when I was only six years old. I was so enchanted by a children’s story book that I started copying it in long hand. At that young age the hand writing wasn’t that great, but when one of my brothers asked me what I was doing I immediately replied, “I’m writing a book”. It was almost as though I had an inkling of what I’d be doing in later years. Of course it was a huge joke to them, so I didn’t pick up the pen again until many years later. In my early twenties when I went on my first major overseas excursion and I started telling people about my experiences, I often got the comment, “you should write a book about it.” However, it wasn’t until years later I suddenly got the urge and I’ve been writing ever since.

 

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I’ve always flown by the seat of my pants. There are a couple of occasions where I’ve plotted out the basic outline, but generally I find the story flows and takes on a life of its own when I sit back and watch it unfold. Even I’m surprised at where the story takes me sometimes. Although plotting the outline has helped on a couple of occasions, I find the creative forces flow better when I let it unfold as I go. As mentioned earlier, I tend to be like a spectator watching a movie. It can be quite fascinating at times. Of course, after the initial draft, that’s where the real work begins, with the honing of the story and the many rewrites.

 

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I always read my reviews. I’ve learned not to take things too seriously because I’ve found that each reviewer has their own perspective and sometimes they contradict each other, where one reviewer sees an area where they take exception and another reviewer might praise that same part. It just goes to show that everyone has their personal likes and dislikes. However, if the same criticism arises with two or more reviewers, then it highlights something I need to consider for future work. In the end, I think any review is good, whether it’s high ranking or not. It’s all a learning process.

 

Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

I’ve written several books, ranging from fiction through to self help. Having had several friends and family affected by cancer, I researched and wrote an alternative treatment e-book called “Is there a Cure for Cancer”. On a similar vein I’ve written an e-book called the Wisdom Wellness Diet, again targeting self healing through healthy eating habits. With the increase in world weather extreme events I wrote a book called Self Sufficiency Survival, all of which are available via Amazon.com. However, my passion is with the creative writing and the first one published in hardcopy was The Blue Star, later rewritten from Aaden’s perspective and published as Aaden BlueStar – The Awakening.

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

What I’m working on now is something totally different. Besides book two and three of Aaden’s story, I’m researching the interpretation of ancient prophecies, some of which are predictions that have already happened and others that are yet to come. I’ve got the basic outline of the stories in the Aaden Bluestar series and they’ll need more work at some stage. However, my current priority is finishing the interpretation of the ancient prophecies, a project that will no doubt be rather controversial.

 

What is your biggest failure?

I don’t look at things so much as failures, but more as learning experiences. Rather than failure, I think my biggest disappointment was when my first published book The Blue Star never really took flight. It wasn’t until much later that I realised it was a bit ahead of it’s time and targeted at the wrong readership group. It wasn’t until years later that I realised the story needed to be told from Aaden’s perspective and targeted to the YA market. Regarding so-called failure, I take my cue from Thomas Edison who, when asked by a reporter how he felt about failing over a thousand times to make a light bulb, replied “I don’t look at it as failing a thousand times – more that I’ve discovered that many ways how not to make a light bulb.” Actually, there are many interpretations of what he actually said, but that’s the gist of his message.

 

Have you ever gotten into a fight?

Yes, when I was young, growing up on the rougher side of town. Although I did my best to stay clear of confrontation I did get ambushed on a few occasions. I learned early on when the adversary is much bigger, it’s better to resort to negotiation and reasoning, rather than try and fight against the odds. If anything, it made me more observant of situations and peoples’ behaviour, which came in handy in later years as a writer.

 

What do you want your tombstone to say?

I don’t really see the point of recording anything on a tombstone. I’ve left instructions for my ashes to be scattered at low tide on a beach – I’ve always received a lot of inspiration from walking the beach so I couldn’t think of a better place to end up. One thing you often see on a tombstone is the date of birth and the date of death, separated by a dash (-). I think it’s more important how you spend that dash while you’re alive rather than recording the dates on a tombstone. The only thing I’ll leave behind is my writing and I hope that will continue to inspire people long after I’m gone.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I think a great superpower would be having the ability to convince people to use their creative visualization energies solely for positive outcomes. Of course, doing so would override their freedom of choice, so I guess I won’t achieve that superpower until I’m advanced enough spiritually not to use it. In the meantime, I’ll concentrate on my writing to help people make that choice of their own free will.

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

I can think of a couple of star systems that would be interesting to visit, but unless our scientists make rapid progress in the short term with their propulsion systems, I guess the only way I’ll make that trip is to hitch a ride on a visiting spaceship.

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have a scar on my forehead that was more visible when I was young than it is now. I got it at the age of twelve when, riding my bike – I had a head-on collision with a truck. Needless to say, I came off second-best and I spent three days unconscious in hospital. I have another scar on my abdomen where I used black salve bloodroot paste to treat a skin cancer. I’ve always been a bit adventurous with trying alternatives and although I got a little nervous with the pain and the resulting crater it left behind when the plug came away, it healed up nicely, although it left a scar, mainly due to the size of the hole that had to heal. I think scars, both physical and emotional, are evidence of life trials that, if they don’t kill us, tend to make us stronger.

 

 Aaden Cover_titled_sm

 

Title: Aaden BlueStar – The Awakening

Author: David Gaughan

Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy

Publisher: Astar Print

 

Book Blurb:

Never feeling quite at home in this world, an ordinary boy discovers his extraterrestrial heritage and superhuman powers when he is confronted by an alien foe. Discovering he is here on a time travel mission, his grip on reality is stretched when he realizes his father, who is running for President, is also not of this world. His best friend Fleur and his sister Tiffany are the only two he can confide in. Together with their extraterrestrial friends, they not only have to combat their alien foe, they also have to convince humanity to change their ways to prevent destroying their home through an environmental disaster. With climate change and extreme weather issues increasing in frequency and intensity, the clock is ticking!

 

Excerpt:

With the memories still fresh in his mind of the destruction of the alien craft in his trance the previous night, Aaden struggled to concentrate during the history lesson.

“Okay,” said Brian Masters, catching Aaden’s attention. “We’ve covered the main battle in today’s lesson, but not what led up to this. For your assignment, I want you to research the main events leading to this confrontation. I want that returned by tomorrow.”

‘No!’ Aaden thought in panic, staring at the teacher. ‘I need time to check out Tunguska.’

Masters, who had turned to clean the whiteboard, suddenly turned back and said, “No, you need time to check out Tunguska.”

As soon as he’d said the words, he immediately baulked. The shocked expression on his face showed that he’d had no intention of saying such a thing. Aaden was amazed that he’d repeated his very thoughts. The other students, who were all preparing to leave the room, stopped and looked at Masters.

“Tun … what?” said one of the students. “Is that a hint of what we need to research?”

“No!” said Masters quickly. “I … uh … I’m not sure where that came from.” He shook his head, as though to clear a confusing thought. “Ignore that. Have the assignment ready by tomorrow.”

The students went back to clearing their desks, preparing to leave. Aaden continued staring at Masters, amazed that the man had repeated the words he’d been thinking. He wasn’t sure whether it was some strange coincidence, so he decided to test it. He thought, ‘Make it two days for the assignment.’

Masters immediately said, “Make it two days for the assignment.”

Again, as soon as the words were out of his mouth, his jaw dropped with the surprise of having said them.

“Two days?” one of the students repeated. “Not tomorrow?”

Masters looked around the room, appearing somewhat stunned. The students had all stopped and were looking at him for confirmation.

“Yeesss …” he replied, looking strained. “You can have two days.”

Aaden struggled to conceal his glee. He thought, ‘On second thoughts, make it three days.’

Masters immediately repeated, “On second thoughts, make it three days.”

Astounded by what he’d just said, Masters immediately grabbed his satchel and fled the room. The students filed out after him, all smiles at having gained such leniency on the timing of their assignment.

Aaden was still coming to terms with what had just happened when Fleur joined him as they walked from the room.

“That’s a bonus,” she said. “Three days for the assignment – we only need one.”

“Hey!” said Aaden, raising his hands in mock submission. “Who’s complaining? Have you heard of Tunguska?”

Fleur gave a sideways glance. “Masters mentioned that – what is it?”

“Let’s go check it out in the library.”

“But Masters said it wasn’t anything to do with the assignment.”

Aaden’s eyes sparkled. “Let’s check it out anyway.”

With a shrug, she followed him to the library and watched as he did a search for ‘Tunguska event’ on the computer.

“1908!” Aaden gasped. “It happened over a century ago.”

Fleur leaned closer to the screen. “Who cares?”

Aaden shook his head. “I didn’t know it was so long ago. But it actually happened. I thought it was just a dream.”

Fleur pulled a face. “What?”

Aaden ignored her questioning stare. “Ah … nothing. Let’s see what they say about it.”

“Tunguska is in East Central Siberia,” said Fleur, reading the text. “This has nothing to do with our assignment. What’s so great about Tunguska?”

“I heard there was an explosion there.”

“So? There have been explosions all over the world throughout history.”

“This was a major blast … bigger than the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.”

Fleur’s eyes widened. She looked closer at the screen. “No way! An atomic bomb in 1908?”

“Not an atomic bomb according to this info,” said Aaden, disappointed. “They think it was a meteorite.”

“There was no crater,” said Fleur, reading. “Meteorites are mainly rock, iron and nickel. Something that heavy would’ve made a massive crater. You reckon it was big enough for an explosion like an atom bomb. How can that be?”

“Because it wasn’t a meteorite,” said Aaden. The words were out before he could stop himself.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RIMSS6G

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00RIMSS6G

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00RIMSS6G

Paperback https://www.createspace.com/6550223

 

Author Biography:

Born on the same day and month as Mark Twain, this Sagittarius has always been the explorer, not only in world travel pursuits but also alternative fringe subjects. Having climbed the Great Pyramid of Cheops (and getting arrested doing so), some of his other world experiences included riding camels in the Sahara Desert, white-water rafting at the top of the Ganges river, fire walking on a weekend retreat, hot air ballooning in the Cappadocia Region in Turkey and visiting ashrams in Northern India. Much of David’s overseas travel has been fueled by his keen interest in metaphysical subjects.

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter https://twitter.com/authorgaughan

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13428937.David_Gaughan

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KDZKOM

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/david.gaughan.967

 

 

Writing #InspirationalRomance With Heart Without Preaching Religion #99cents #FridayReads


christmas-wish-potl

“To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.” – Herman Melville

When I sat down to write, Princess of the Light, I never intended on writing inspirational romance. I had just had a moving encounter with a homeless man and had all these thoughts running around in my head. I had to get them down on paper before they floated out of my head. Wait, I should probably start at the beginning.

Five years ago, I was out for my morning walk and I saw a homeless man sitting in front of a gas station. I looked at him, head uplifted to the sun smiling, and wondered what his story was. Why was he smiling? There was such a peace in his weathered face, I stopped walking and openly stared.  I watched him for a while and knew he was different from other homeless people.  He did not ask for money or hold up a sign. He kept to himself and avoided contact.

A voice suddenly entered my head, “What if you could help him? Would you? What if you were chosen to help him and others like him?”

I searched my heart and after a moment, I replied aloud, “Yes, I would.”

“This is what you were called to do.” The voice echoed in my heart.

I went home that very day and started writing. This simple encounter changed my life forever and inspired me to write Princess of the Light, an inspiring paranormal romance.

Writing inspirational romance can be tricky. I must admit I had some difficulty in the beginning. I wanted to inspire people to show kindness to people in their own city, especially those who are less fortunate and in need of food. I wanted to bring to light the hunger epidemic going on in America and Canada, two of the richest countries in the world. Nevertheless, I didn’t want to sound preachy.

The first thing I did was create a story of a woman who is destined to help someone like the homeless man I met. I wanted her to be strong and able to fight off the real and imagined demons tormenting a homeless man. Everyone likes a hero/heroine to root for and I made her female so I could relate to her.

The second thing I did was map out the homeless man and his story. I gave him a name and created a heart-breaking backstory for him. His story arc had to center on redemption and forgiveness, something everyone could relate.

The third thing I did was to write an edge of your seat novel with plenty of action. The story has action, adventure, romance, obstacles, battles, twists and turns. I wanted the reader to get lost in the story, not realizing they are being inspired.

Here are some writing tips I offer to writing inspirational romance:

  • Weave universal themes throughout your plot. You can be inspirational and reach a broader audience if you are universal. Every religion has many of the same morals and tenants to live by. Instead of mentioning specific religious names, use something more general. The main theme to Princess of the Light is Light versus Darkness. I use the term Light to convey spiritual goodness in a universal way. It does not matter what your spiritual belief is, you can relate to good versus evil.

  • Use everyday language. Being inspirational does not mean you have to sound intellectual or high and mighty. I have found when I write in modern English, I can reach more people than by using formal English.

  • Create real characters. I know this sounds like a no-brainer but stick with me for a minute. Creating characters who are human with flaws have a much bigger impact than having perfect-syndrome characters. Remember, you are trying to reach people. If the reader cannot relate to the main characters, they will not hear the message. They will scoff and mutter how that would never happen. Avoid this roadblock by putting your characters in a real situation and have them react in a natural way.

  • Consider donating part of the proceeds to a charity related to your book. Part of the proceeds of my book go directly to food banks and it’s something every reader can get behind. One of my characters is a homeless man and he relies on food banks. Homeless people all over the world need our help and when readers buy my book, they are helping those in need.

  • Never talk down to people. I cannot stress this enough, when writing inspirational, do not talk down to people. For as long as I can remember, I hated reading books where they preached at me about what I was doing wrong. Often, you can have a greater impact if you are on the same level as your reader. Use yourself as an example or if you are writing fiction, show your main character learning a valuable lesson.

  • Concentrate on the emotional arcs in your plot. Characters and circumstances inspire readers so let that be your focus. Ramp up the emotions in your reader by having your characters go through something. Part of my main character’s background is the emotional scarring from her father’s sudden death. It shapes who she is as a woman and explains her protectiveness over the Walking Man when battling the demons.

  • When writing non-fiction, be sure to do your research. With the birth of Wikipedia and Google, anyone can find out the truth about anything. Be historically accurate and be sure to give proper credentials.  There is nothing worse than reading about Joan of Arc and the weapon she uses isn’t invented for one hundred years after her death.

  • When writing a tell-all memoir, please consider changing the names to protect the innocent. We all have family skeletons, out of courtesy to your family while still being truthful, do the reader a favor, and change the names. Have some fun with it.  You will still be able to tell your story and inspire others; you just do not have to out your family to the world.

  • Consider using the journal/diary format for your story. I love the feel and intimacy of reading an inspirational diary. Even if it is fiction, this is a terrific way to tell your story. Everyone loves reading a diary and it draws the reader into the head of the main character so effectively.

  • Let the story tell itself. You have a story burning in your heart and the worst thing you can do is to get in the way of the story. Unleash the characters and let them use you to tell their story. Free yourself of your insecurities and fears. Do not worry if it is a good story or if you are a good writer. You are primarily a storyteller. Let the story be front and center; the rest of the details will work themselves out.

Writing inspiration is not complicated and anyone can do it. The key to writing a successful inspirational story without preaching is reaching people on an emotional level and showing them they can make a difference in their own corner of the world. Helping others is a characteristic inherent in every human being as is spreading the Light.

Princess

Title: Princess of the Light

Author: N. N. Light

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural, Spiritual Romance

Tagline:

Mary’s the Princess of the Light but her only hope is to make a pact with her enemy.

Blurb:

Mary Miller receives a startling visitation from Gabriel, the Messenger of God. The Archangel reveals an astounding truth–Mary is the Princess of the Light and even more amazing, her destiny is to battle Lucifer’s army of demons and restore the balance of good and evil on Earth. It’s getting harder to fulfill her new role and keep her identity secret while juggling her personal life, and when Than, Lucifer’s second in command, amps up the attacks on her, she knows she needs help.

Joe Deacons is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. And as providence would have it, in a moment of great need, he’s the Warrior of Light–the one who can help her defeat the forces of darkness.

Not so simple when they confront Lisbeth, a demon hell-bent on usurping Than and Lucifer himself.  When Lisbeth wages war and several innocent people die, Mary must form an alliance with her enemy in order to destroy her.  But will this be a grave error or the choice that saves their world?

Excerpt:

I sunk into the water, and let the suds and scent of lavender engulf me.  The stress of the day finally began to melt away.

My body jolted.

I was in the middle of the desert. There were grass huts and women with hajjis walking quickly around me. Something whizzed past my ear, and a deafening explosion rocked me off my feet. I instinctively curled my body in a fetal position.

I listened for the screams to start, but it was eerily silent. I glanced around, but all I saw was water.

I was still in the bath. What had just happened? Was that a vision? Had I fallen asleep?

My headache was a dull thud now.

A knock on the washroom door made me gasp. I sat upright in the tub and heard my roommate, Amber, call in, “Mary, are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m good. Just must have fallen asleep.”

“Hey, Amber, what time is it?” I looked down at my pruney fingers and wondered how long I was in the tub.

Amber said, “It’s five thirty.”

I leaned forward and turned on the hot water. The bath water had gotten cold while I had drifted off.

I leaned back as the warm water ran over my toes and closed my eyes, wondering what I should wear tonight. I wanted to look beautiful for Joe. I began to picture every outfit in my closet, and tried to imagine his reaction to it.

A shiver ran down my back and I faintly hear the water splash over the edge.

I opened my eyes and tried to scream. All that came out was a reverse gasp, and I pulled my towel in to cover my body.

A small child was in the tub with me. He couldn’t be older than five. Blood was running down his face, and his body was covered in sand mixed with congealing blood. He was clinging to my towel, and I didn’t know whether to let go of it or yank it back from him. His dark hair was wet with fresh blood. My heart filled with sadness and I quit trying to scream.

As I clung to my own towel, I didn’t know what was happening or what I should do.

The little boy raised his head and more sadness poured into my heart. His eyes were dark pools of grief and despair. They pleaded with me, begging me to help.

How? I mouthed silently.

I jumped when he began to move slowly toward me. He lifted one arm and spoke in a language I didn’t recognize. I knew I didn’t know exactly what his words meant, but I knew what he was saying: He was hurt and needed help.

The closer he came, the more my fear eased and the pain increased. He reached for my arm. His hand was bloodied, and it sent a jolt of electricity and agony throughout my body. I tried to pull away, but his grip was locked on my arm. His eyes turned black and murky, and a voice not his own spoke.

“Princess, help my people,” it said.

I shook my head.

“Let go!” I tried to scream again.

The little boy disappeared, and I jumped out of the bathtub, wet towel still wrapped around my body, and crumbled to the floor. The blood was smeared all around me, and I looked at my arm. The blood was still there, too.

I whimpered, scrubbed at my arm until it was raw, and yet I could still see the blood.

Buy Links:

99 Cents at Amazon.com until March 31, 2017

Free on Kindle Unlimited all year long

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Light-N/dp/1502438453

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23009005-princess-of-the-light

Author Bio: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

Sign up for their author newsletter and get a free e-book ow.ly/jWec308TabL 

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

100% of the proceeds of Princess of the Light go directly to food banks (US and Canada) in order to feed the hungry and help those in need. With only 7,500 books sold, N. N. Light will be able to set up a monthly endowment for the local food bank.

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Bookbub  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-n-light

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

iAuthor: http://www.iauthor.uk.com/princess-of-the-light:10294

5 Things to Help You Through Writing When You’re Sick by @RuthACasie #amwriting #romance


RAC 5 Things to Help With Writing When Sick

 

In a perfect world, I’d begin my writing day after eight hours of sleep, a large cup of my favorite coffee, a clear idea of my story, a perfect outline, and all day to write.

 

It’s not a perfect world. But you knew that already. The overwhelming reason why my perfect writing day went out the window (or down the toilet) had everything to do with being sick.

 

It’s been a difficult season here in the Northeast. One day you’re romping around in the park in 70 degree weather and the next you’re plodding through your driveway in fourteen inches of snow!

 

I did everything right. I got my flu shot. I kept myself hydrated. I got seven to eight hours of sleep every night. I ate right and exercised. Then how did I get sick! Not only did I get sick, but it hit me the day after my daughter came home from the hospital with her new baby.

 

Here is our new Caylee Eva. I was quarantined for a week while I got over the brunt of my cold and finished my antibiotics.

 

View More: http://cytbphotography.pass.us/babycaylee

 

Okay, so I shamelessly got a picture of my new granddaughter into this post. I digress.

 

Book blogs and seminars on writing stress that writing every day is key to sharpening your craft. It’s the old joke, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

 

But every day you don’t write your writing skills dull. It seems that writing dulls faster than it sharpens. After a week of not writing I knew I would have to work harder to get back into gear.

 

My cold had settled in my chest. Bouts of coughing and wheezing kept me up at night. Our new cold water humidifier helped some, but not enough. Cold medicines, cough medicine and even an inhaler got the symptoms under control by mid-week, but the rust was settling on my writing gears.

 

I was still tired, congested and chugging bottles of cough medicine but I made a large cup of tea with honey and lemon then sat down to write. So here is my list of 5 things that helped me along.

 

#1 READ

After a few days of not writing I found I was not close to the story. I read to get back into my character’s head. In truth, after I finish the first draft I usually step away from the story for a few days to get that distance. That way when I edit the story it’s with a fresh eye.

 

#2 Outline

I do this with all my projects, but after a few days of not touching the work it was the perfect time to update my outline and again, get back into the story. I use bullet points to note what generally happens in the chapter, identify the point-of-view character, and note in red anything that is missing. This gives me a quick view of what needs to be done.

 

#3 WRITE

Now, I’m ready to write. Depending on my energy level (and this time it was really low) I decided to add in those pieces that I identified as missing and removed them from the outline. Later in the week, when I felt better I was ready to move the story forward. I found that I tired easily and wrote in short spurts, but several short spurts were better than none.

 

#4 WORD COUNT

I keep my daily project word count on an Excel spreadsheet. I have a daily word count target and try to reach it. This is similar to having a deadline and surprisingly, I enjoy working toward the deadline. Last month, my local RWA chapter had its own writing challenge for the month, 30K words. I used my spreadsheet and was excited as I reached the goal.

 

#5 REST

Sometimes, no matter how much you plan or how diligent you are, your body tells you to stop. Another indicator is falling asleep at your desk. That’s not a pretty sight. Look. When you’re really sick, you need to put your work, as much as you love it, aside and let your body heal.

 

BONUS

One other thing you can do while you’re sick, journal. Think of it as research for a story that has a sick character. Write down how you feel, record how others respond around you, and dream. Your body may be defeated but your mind is fine. Dream out your story and when you’re ready to write it will be there.

 

Knight of Rapture Final Cover RACasie

 

Title: Knight of Rapture

Author: Ruth A. Casie

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Time Travel, Medieval

 

Book Blurb:

He crossed the centuries to find her…

For months Lord Arik has been trying to find the right combination of runes to create the precise spell to rescue his wife, Rebeka, but the druid knight will soon discover that reaching her four hundred years in the future is only the beginning of his quest. He arrives in the 21st century to find her memory of him erased, his legacy on the brink of destruction, and traces of dark magick at every turn.

A threat has followed…

Bran, the dark druid, is more determined than ever to get his revenge. His evil has spread across the centuries. Arik will lose all. Time is his weapon, and he’s made sure his plan leaves no one dear to Arik, in past or present, safe from the destruction.

But their enemy has overlooked the strongest magick of all…

Professor Rebeka Tyler is dealing with more than just a faulty memory. Ownership of Fayne Manor, her home, has been called into question. Convenient accidents begin happening putting those she cares for in the line of fire. And then there’s the unexpected arrival of a strange man dressed like he belonged in a medieval fair—a man who somehow is always around when needed, and always on her mind. She doesn’t know who to trust. But one thing is certain. Her family line and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall, not on her watch… in any century.

 

Excerpt:

Unsure, she touched the shield again. It was still. The scream, she was certain it caused the tremor. She searched Arik’s face. He wasn’t aware of it. The beat echoing in her head was almost a steady tone. Fear twisted around her heart. His blood stained the barrier. She was certain he would die if he kept this pace. She couldn’t wait.

 

She gathered her strength and with lightning speed built the chant inside her. When she couldn’t hold it back any longer she let it loose in a grief-stricken scream.

 

Everything stopped. The wind. His pounding.

 

They stood facing each other.

 

“No, Beka. No,” he screamed his arms spread out across the barrier. She watched the glazed look of despair spread across his face.

 

A small portion of the shield fractured, then another, and another. The tiny explosions gathered momentum until they built into a frenzy and every inch of the shield was cracked.

 

Then silence.

 

She hesitated but at last placed her hand on the shield. Arik did the same. Their hands separated by the splintered magick. The fractured shield trembled, small pieces tumbled around them. For a brief moment their hands touched and she felt his warmth and love.

 

A great force pulled them apart as if they were puppets at the will of a puppeteer. They struggled to their feet and ran to each other but before they could get to the opening the portal snapped closed and vanished.

 

His roar echoed through the mountains. “I will find you.”

 

“I love you,” she sobbed as the portal took her away.

 

Away from him.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon:

http://amzn.to/1CtC7ad

Amazon Print:

http://amzn.to/1EN0Hhk

BN:

http://bit.ly/1McK4oC

KOBO:

http://bit.ly/1NaqW7Q

iBook:

http://apple.co/1M5o92x

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. The Guardian’s Witch, part of the Stelton Legacy series was a Reader’s Crown Finalist. Ruth also writes contemporary romance in the Havenport series with enough action to keep you turning pages. Ruth lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she started writing time travel romance, she was a speech therapist, international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing time travel romance. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-seitelman/6/6b7/964

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie

 

 

Meet Award-Winning Author @ChristineBened5 + Her #Thriller! #IARTG #IAN1 #books


Christine Benedict

It’s out great pleasure to welcome Award-Winning Author Christine Benedict to the POTL Blog. We first met Christine when she contacted us about a book review. MRS N is a huge thriller fan so she read Anonymous. She loved it so much that MR N had to read it also. We begged and pleaded with Christine to sit down with us for an author interview and after many months, she agreed. Please give Christine Benedict a warm welcome to the POTL Blog. Take it away, Christine:

 

Do you write naked?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood naked, dripping wet from a shower, writing as fast as my pen will go. What is it about taking a shower that gives the creative mind a nudge. It’s not a widely-known fact but our best ideas come in the shower. Google it. You’ll be amazed.

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have this scar on my forearm an inch and a half long in the shape of lips. I don’t remember how old I was, maybe four or five, when we lived with Grandma Wilson who watched us while my mother worked. I don’t know why it such a big deal to get the mail either, but when I saw the mailman that day pull off Route 82, I yelled, “I’ll get the mail!”  Me in my summer clothes, flip-flops and all, I opened the wooden front door.

My older sister, who would never let me ‘one-up’ her, yelled back, “No I will!” She dodged past me and flung the screen door open. My feet in motion, my arm outstretched, she slammed the storm door shut. I wonder to this day how she couldn’t have done it on purpose. My hand and arm broke all that glass, the only parts of me to make it outside.  I stood there bleeding, Grandma’s English bulldog, Beauty, licking up the blood and the glass on the floor. Grandma kept hitting that dog with a broom, yelling, “Git!” all the while, afraid it would cut its mouth.

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

I think Eudora Welty could inspire any writer as she certainly has for me. It’s little wonder why universities everywhere bring attention to Eudora and her stories. ‘Death of a Traveling Salesman,’ for example, still gives me goosebumps, something I aspire to give my readers.

There are so many other authors who inspire me, Jodi  Picoult, author of The Storyteller, for her depiction of the human condition during the holocaust.  Amy Tan, author of The Valley of Amazement, for her expression of detail, taking you to China at the rise of World War II. And most importantly Sarah Willis, author of Things That Stay; I was fortunate enough to take part in her writing workshops sponsored by Community Partnership for Arts and Culture – Talk about inspiration.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

I’d like to tell aspiring authors to read read read. Spread out to other genres, not just the one you write. Delve into cultures around the world through their stories. Open your mind to the new and abstract.

There’s so much more you can learn about the crafting a story, no matter what your education level.  Seek out writing workshops in your area sponsored by universities and art counsels. Dr. Neal Chandler lead the fiction workshop at Cleveland State University where I had the privilege of learning above the grade.  I even had the chance to sit in on a few sessions with Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife, at a workshop sponsored by The Ohio Arts Counsel. A one of a kind experience.

 

What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

It’s been said that I’ve always had a bubbly personality, even as a kid in the 1950s. I don’t know how that could have happened seeing that I lived in an abusive home. Except by the grace of God. I was friendly to everyone, the kind of kid who would gladly sit in a stranger’s lap just because he was nice to me.

I don’t remember a favorite toy, but I do remember when we moved to the country we had a huge trailer that sat empty in a grove of willow trees. The trailer had two wheels in the center and was closed at both ends, the perfect seesaw for 4 little kids.  Together, I, my sister and the two neighbor boys climbed inside the trailer and ran to one end, the metal clanging under our bare feet. It came down so hard the jolt made us jump involuntarily which made up laugh hysterically. We did it over and over again, until someone bit their tongue.

1875-farmhouse
This is the farmhouse that inspired my story. I lived there 36 years and the neighbors still say it’s haunted. – Christine Benedict

Title: Anonymous

Author: Christine Benedict

Genre: Thriller Suspense

Publisher: Loconeal Publishing

Book Blurb:

Debra Hamilton faces the fear of inheriting her mother’s insanity when her husband insists on moving into a fixer-upper farmhouse that’s a hundred years old, not an easy place for Debra to live, what with its creaks and bangs, and strange shadows, a house that even scares the neighbors. Debra befriends Julie, and learns that Julie has a stalker who writes her anonymous letters about the sexual fantasies he sees with her.

The story was inspired by the author’s own 100-year-old farmhouse where the neighbor still say it’s haunted. All the letters in the novel are letters from the man who stalked the author. He remains anonymous to this day.

 

Excerpt:

Having to pee, Debra unzipped her jeans in the bathroom before remembering that Greg had turned off the water.

“Geez-oh-Pete.” At this point the gas station was too far. She traipsed down the corridor that led to the basement. A quick flip-of-the-switch was all she wanted, just enough water to flush. The stairwell was dark and steep; the light-bulb’s pull-chain at the bottom. She clicked on the flashlight from Greg’s toolbox, and holding her pants up, cautiously stepped down the narrow stairs. Every inch she eked past spider webs meshed in between the cracks of hand-hewn quarry-stone walls. She stopped at the bottom step where she could finally reach the light, not wanting to take the last step onto the broken cement, muddied from the last rain. It smelled like the bottom of a creek bed, like earthworms and sludge. Spider webs were draped from the ceiling to the walls, and hung like shelves in every corner. The quarry-stone walls dating back to the 1800s were pitted blocks of sandstone—every bit her idea of a dungeon. From where she stood, Debra scanned the walls, trying to see the water valve. But she didn’t know where to look. A wolf spider the size of a quarter sat very still at the bottom step, then scurried across the floor. She shuddered right down to the bone. Another spider sat like a brooch on a jacket that Greg had hung on a hook. And in that moment before the light flickered off when all she could hear was her own heart, she swore that something was crawling up her leg. She let out a piercing yell, kicking wildly. She kicked off her shoes. She kicked off her jeans and dashed up the stairs in her panties, wanting to nail the door shut right then and there. At the top of the steps she eyed a yard stick that she’d used to stir paint, and picked it up. Then she made a mad dash to the basement and flogged her jeans to death right there in the sludge. Holding them at arm’s length, she brought them upstairs and looked them over. She begrudgingly pulled them on, and ran outside to the back field.

The sun shining off the white of her derrière, she squatted behind a briar bush where no one could see.

At least that’s what she thought.

Buy Links:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Christine-Benedict/dp/194046613X

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/anonymous-christine-benedict/1118033610?ean=9781940466132

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/405526

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20263470-anonymous

 

Author Biography:

Christine studied creative writing at Baldwin Wallace University and Cleveland State University. She has had the privilege of working with authors Karen Joy Fowler, Paula McLain, and Sarah Willis.

Her debut novel Anonymous had earned:

  • 2015 Clue Award (Chanticleer Reviews) Winner (1st place)
  • 2016 Wishing Shelves Bronze Book Award Winner
  • 2015 Eric Hoffer Book Award Winner
  • 2015 First Horizon Book Award Nominee
  • 2015 IAN book of The Year Nominee
  • 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award Nominee

Her short story A Normal Life, a finalist for Perigee Publication for the Arts, is the fictional rendering of the visit to the mental ward where her mother had been undergoing shock treatment therapy in the 1980s, which is also a chapter in Anonymous.

Christine’s short stories, taken from her working novel The Girl in the Willows, have also been finalists for The Fish Short Story Prize.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.authorchristinebenedict.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChristineBenedict/

Twitter https://twitter.com/christinebened5

New Year, New You: A Guest Post by @CadenceDenton #newyearnewyou #ASMSG #99cents


new-year-new-you

 

2016: The best thing I can say about last year is it’s finally over. What it was: a year of turmoil, protests, and outright fighting. What it wasn’t: a year of productive story plotting, character development, and plain old butt in the chair and hands on the keyboard.

 

2017: My reset year. A year of new hope, new skills, new goals, and new stories. This year I plan to write two books in the Immortal Firewalkers series, finish the Wicked Palate trilogy, and begin a collaborative YA series with author, Livia Quinn.

 

What happened?

 

First, a long neglected but necessary break. I needed to step back and take a long look at what I was writing versus what I want to write. I enjoy the paranormal genre, love fantasy and alternate worlds. I’ve been kicking around several possible stories. Putting fresh ideas in my Maybe file while trashing the old mindset of what I can’t do.

 

Second, I’ve begun to use my Dragon Naturally Speaking program and have embraced dictation making my word count rise exponentially and freeing me from the keyboard. I know this method will make my aforementioned goal easily attainable.

 

Third, I’ve joined a Story Genius study group. I’ve always, always been a writer who believing the story should be plot-driven. For me, it’s been all action all the time. So, Lisa Cron’s explanation that the story is truly about the character’s emotion—more particularly, the character’s misbelief, longing, and fear—has been cathartic.

 

Finally, my 2017 mantra is New Year, New You. Like most writers, I fight fear. Fear that I’ll never be able to pen another story. Fear my story isn’t “good enough”. When I first began to write in earnest, I spent months, years on editing and polishing my work. What I was really doing was hiding. My story would never be ready and I would never suffer criticism. Remember Marty McFly’s father in Back to the Future? He wouldn’t let anyone read his work because what if they didn’t like it? It was funny in the movie, but all too familiar in real life. 2016 had me wallowing in comfortable ruts. It was my stagnation year. But 2017? Yeah, it’s going to be a great year.

 

With Heart of Fire, book three in the Immortal Firewalkers Series looming on the horizon, I’ve reduced the price of Fire and Blood, book one, to $0.99 for a limited time to give readers a chance to see how the series began. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did writing the book.

Fire and Blood 200x300

 

Title: Fire and Blood

Author: Cadence Denton

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires

 

Book Blurb:

Jeannette’s life sucks. An outcast orphan addicted to junky blood, she is desperate for a chance at redemption. She’s the most powerful of her Firewalker race, but that’s not saying much since the Firewalkers are on the verge of extinction ̶ thanks to Jeannette’s disastrous mistakes. For centuries she’s searched for her personal unicorn, the elusive Fecund, the Firewalkers’ human mates. He’s out there…somewhere.

 

She lost everything ̶ family, fortune…her future when the ruling Council of Seven declared her a traitor for her part in the genocide of the Fecund race. Her desperation is understandable simply because the Council refuses to believe that she was set up by the Revenant vampire, Alexander the Great.

 

Devin McIntyre’s life imploded eleven years ago when his twenty-first birthday celebration collided with a blood sucker named, Alexander. With his parents slaughtered and his twin sisters taken by the psychotic vampire, Devin turned to the ultra-secret Society for Eternal Illumination for training in urban warfare and help with confronting his demons.

 

In a dilapidated hotel in Jackson, Mississippi he set a trap, certain he’d tracked down his old, old enemy. Finally, he’d get vengeance and find his sisters. Instead, Devin uncovers a myth.

 

When a long-legged beauty walks through a wall of fire, Devin’s beliefs are shattered.

 

When Jeannette tastes his Fecund blood after centuries believing his race extinct, she knows she has found a priceless treasure.

 

From their first kiss, their first intimate touch, Jeannette realizes that in Devin, she’s found salvation. This human male can save a race that is balancing on the precipice of extinction.

 

But, when allies become enemies and havens become traps, she suspects her “treasure” has his own agenda.

 

Buy Link:

$.99 cents

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00789YWBY

 

cadence-denton

Author Biography:

My love of books began in elementary school with Nancy Drew mysteries. By high school, I was immersed in Jane Austin and Georgette Heyer. So, naturally I write dark (and light) paranormal romance, gritty hitmen contemporaries, and time travel. A daughter of the South, I live on the banks of the Mississippi opposite the oldest settlement on the river where I share my writer’s cave with four dachshunds and a slightly ditzy cocker spaniel.

 

Visit my website for more information on all my series and upcoming projects. You may not find everything to your liking but you won’t be bored.
You can reach me at cadencedenton@cadencedenton.com

 

Sign up for Cadence’s newsletter at cadencedenton.com for the latest news, great giveaways, and sneak peeks at new projects.

 

You can find also me on Facebook Instagram Pinterest Twitter TSU Independent Author Network ASMSG

 

Friday Book Round-Up Lassos 11 Great #Writing Reference Books! #amwriting #FridayReads


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Writers/Bloggers/Authors, this is for you. Writers are always looking for ways to improve our skills as well as write faster, better and for today’s market. I gathered the top eleven best writing reference books from Amazon for you to peruse. They sound fantastic and have added them all to my TBR (to be read) list.

 

 

How to Write a Children’s Book: Tips on how to write and publish a book for kids or writing children’s books by an award-winning author of the Amazon Bestseller How to Promote Your Children’s Book by Katie Davis (Editor), Jan Fields (Editor) [FREE as of January 12, 2017]

 

Do You Want to Know How to Write a Children’s Book?

 

Have you ever said, “I’ve always wanted to write a book for kids!” but then never got around to it? Maybe you didn’t know where to start, or how to get a good idea. Now you can start to write your book for children when you read How to Write a Children’s Book, brought to you by the Institute of Children’s Literature.

 

There are so many different kinds of children’s books, from picture books to chapter books, middle grade novels, and young adult, it’s hard to know which way to go. Should you decide you’re going to write for a particular age group and then come up with an idea that fits them? Or should you decide to write a story or article about a particular idea, then choose the age group that’s right for it? Almost anything can become a nonfiction topic for young readers, given their curiosity and appetite for facts about the world around them. But each topic has to be aimed at the right readership. You’ll have a much better handle on all this and more once you read the chapter “How Old Is Your Reader?”

 

How to Write a Children’s Book Will Start You on Your Way to Being an Author

 

Whether you you want to have a full-blown career writing children’s books, be traditionally publish, self-publish, or simply want one book to hand down to your own children and grandkids, How to Write a Children’s Book will help you.

 

Here’s What You’ll Learn from How to Write a Children’s Book:

 

Where Do You Get Your Ideas? Bestselling children’s authors like Judy Blume, R.L. Stine, Jane Yolen and more share their answers. You’ll find out how to know when an idea is worth following, and how to write a smart book.

How to figure out which readership is right for you.

How to target and hit the mark with your reader and make sure you’re writing to the right age.

How to get going, using writing prompts provided

How to get to know your main character

How to plot a great story

What editors wish writers knew

Five good tools that can get you into bad trouble

 

Whether you’re a first time or advanced writer, you’ll love how inspirational and educational How to Write a Children’s Book is, and how much it helps you! All the way to the very end, where you’ll find

 

  • Your Organization Checklist

 

  • Character and Settings Checklist

 

  • Sentence Structure Checklist

 

  • Mechanics Checklist

 

 

 

The Business of Writing for Children: An Award-Winning Author’s Tips on Writing Children’s Books and Publishing Them, or How to Write, Publish, and Promote a Book for Kids (Kidwriting 1) by Aaron Shepard (Author)

 

#1 AMAZON.COM BESTSELLER IN PUBLISHING & BOOKS (NOV. 2013)

#1 AMAZON.COM BESTSELLER IN AUTHORSHIP REFERENCE (OCT. 2013)

******#1 KINDLE (US) BESTSELLER IN WRITING SKILLS (NOV. 2013)******

AMAZON.COM’S ALL-TIME BESTSELLING GUIDE TO CHILDREN’S WRITING

**************************NOW UPDATED***************************

 

Writing books for children is both art and business. If you dream of becoming a children’s author — or even if you’re well on your way — this handbook can help you in writing sellable stories, getting them published, and promoting your books.

 

Topics include common myths about children’s writing, children’s book categories, elements of successful stories, manuscript format, submission strategies, contract negotiation, the publishing process, career building, and children’s writer resources. Also included are specialized subjects such as querying for multiple manuscripts, promoting a first book, and self publishing.

 

Read “The Business of Writing for Children” to learn the secrets you might spend years discovering for yourself.

 

 

Aaron Shepard is the author of “The Legend of Lightning Larry,” “The Baker’s Dozen,” and sixteen more picture books and early readers, along with several chapter books for middle grades, extensive resources for storytelling and reader’s theater, and a graphic novel. His publishers have included Atheneum, Scribners, Clarion, Lothrop, Dial, and HarperCollins, as well as Cricket and Australia’s School Magazine. Aaron’s work has been honored by the American Library Association, the National Council for the Social Studies, the American Folklore Society, The New York Public Library, and the Bank Street College of Education. He has been a judge for the Golden Kite Awards of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

 

 

“BRAVO! I thought it had pretty much all been said, but I was wrong. All the nuts and bolts are here as well as rules that bear repeating, PLUS insights not usually found in how-to books. Clearly and concisely written, this is an invaluable resource for both beginning and more accomplished writers.” — Susan Pearson, Editor-in-Chief,  Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books

 

“Aaron Shepard has written one of the most comprehensive guides available to anyone wishing to enter the competitive field of children’s books. It’s all here, from initial idea to successful sale, and then beyond to the essentials of contracts, promotion, and the ABCs of building a successful career. If you’re starting out, start out here.” — Stephen Mooser, children’s author

 

“Here’s clearly-written, no-nonsense help for children’s writers by a craftsman. Every fledgling author should own this book.” — Stephen Fraser, Executive Editor, Aladdin Paperbacks

 

“Aaron Shepard’s The Business of Writing for Children is a wonderful resource. His experience-based insights into the art and business of children’s writing will save beginning writers years of wasted effort — and help published writers achieve long-term success.” — Kathleen Duey, children’s author

 

“The Business of Writing for Children is a one-stop shopping center, a complete how-to-do-it guide for the writer who wants a jump-start on looking professional even though he/she may be turning out a first book. Editors will love you if you do it Shepard’s way.” — Audrey Baird, Editor, Once Upon A Time

 

“A clear, concise, straight-ahead starting place for a new writer or a newly-published writer. Shepard knows his stuff!” — Jane Yolen, children’s author and editor

 

“I carry around a file folder of materials which I share with unpublished writers and illustrators. This book is so comprehensive, I plan to replace my file folder with it. Whether you are a novice or a professional, The Business of Writing for Children needs to be in your library. DON’T write a book without it!” — Leslie Tryon, children’s author/illustrator

 

 

Writing Romance: The Top 100 Best Strategies For Writing Romance Stories (Romance Stories Book & Novel Writing Guide) by Alessandra Bancroft (Author)

 

Break Into The Biggest, Most Lucrative Writing Genre of Them All!

 

Are you looking to get into publishing and increase your chances of becoming a successful author? Why not start with romance? Romance is the most popular and best-selling genre of all fiction stories, accounting for the majority of all book royalties in the United States. Anybody can write and publish a romance book with just a good word processor, some great ideas, and some passion! Although the romance writing market competition is fierce, that shouldn’t stop you from getting your ideas out to the world!

 

This book covers an incredible variety of romance writing strategies, techniques and secrets that can help you climb to the top of the rankings. Even if you already have the next best idea for romance, it is equally as important to write a well-structured, well-planned book! In this helpful guide you will discover exactly what you need to do, step-by-step, in order to be successful.

 

Learn how to take your idea from good to Great and start earning Royalties Now!

 

Here Is A Preview Of What You’ll Discover…

 

Things to Do to Prepare For Romance Writing

How to Pick the Right Subgenre of Romance

The Importance of Your Setting

How To Write Stunning Dialogue and Love Scenes

The 5 Key Elements of Romance Writing

The Roles of Your Hero and Heroine

How to Develop Unique Characters

Romance Story Goals and Ideas

How to Write The Ending Your Readers Want

Much, much more!

 

 

 

What are you waiting for? If you are still reading this you are obviously motivated to get all the benefits this book has to offer. Stop thinking and take ACTION.

 

 

 

Travel Writing 2.0 (Second Edition): Earning Money From Your Travels in the New Media Landscape by Tim Leffel (Author)

 

Completely revised edition of the ground-breaking travel writing book that provides a road map to success in the digital age. It dives headlong into the entrepreneurial world of blogging and digital books, while still acknowledging the real money to be made in declining print forms. Drawing on interviews and survey responses from more than 100 successful travel writers and bloggers, this is the definitive guide to creating success instead of waiting for permission.

 

 

Generating Story Ideas: Tips and Techniques to Hatch Book Ideas from Scratch by Rachel Shane (Author)

 

Need an idea for your next novel? Or maybe you’re blocked on where to start? This writing guide will show you how to generate story ideas out of thin air using a variety of tried and true techniques. Each technique includes an exercise you can try yourself. The methods work for any genre! You can also use these tips and tricks to combat writer’s block or help you dive deeper into a scene to make it come alive. Inside the book, you’ll learn: – Fool proof methods for finding inspiration when nothing inspires you – Tons of different techniques to quickly help you generate ideas, including the X meets Y method, using targeted research to hatch an idea, combining tropes or formulas to prompt a unique idea, the What If method, and loads more! – Examples of ideas generated from the various techniques to illustrate just how easy they are. – Over seventeen easy exercises to help you come up with a new idea from scratch – Instructions on how to write an effective, hooky log line – Methods for expanding your log line into a full length pitch or blurb to help you raise stakes and enhance conflict – Tips and tricks for taking your initial premise and fleshing out the idea into scenes, chapters, and a full outline – Tactics for writing an effective first draft based on your new idea Other books give you writing prompts with pre-written ideas, this book empowers you with the tools you need to create your own ideas!

 

 

 

How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis: A Step-by-Step System for Enticing New Readers, Selling More Fiction, and Making Your Books Sound Good by Bryan Cohen (Author)

 

Struggling to find new readers? Learn how a compelling synopsis can make your book fly off the digital shelves!

 

Do you hate writing blurbs? Do you wish there was an easier way to summarize your novel and get more sales in the process? Author and copywriter Bryan Cohen’s book descriptions have hit both the Kindle Store’s Top 50 and the USA Today Bestseller list. Let him show you exactly how to craft the copy you need to hook new readers.

 

After writing hundreds of book descriptions for other authors and helping thousands with informative training, Bryan has learned what all the best book synopses have in common. Through easy-to-follow tips and helpful examples in a variety of genres, How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis gives you the tools you need to get a steady stream of online book browsers to click the Buy button every single day.

 

In this book, you’ll discover:

 

How to simplify your plot to create a short, engaging synopsis

Why using certain words can make customers fall in love with your story

How to shed unnecessary subplots and make writing your blurb a joy instead of a chore

The step-by-step system for writing and editing your synopsis for rhythm, momentum, and clarity

Why you need a synopsis cliffhanger, and much, much more!

 

Finally, you no longer have to take on the challenge of copywriting alone. With a more intriguing synopsis in place, all your future promotions, ads, and marketing campaigns can perform significantly better. You want more readers to buy your books, and Bryan’s system is a great way to make it a reality.

 

If you like detailed writing guides, plenty of examples, and a touch of humor, then you’ll love Bryan Cohen’s look behind the scenes at how he creates copy that sells.

Buy How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis today to get new readers excited to buy your books!

 

 

 

Outlining Your Novel Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises for Planning Your Best Book (Helping Writers Become Authors 2) by K.M. Weiland (Author)

 

Learn How to Make Your First Draft Easy!

 

Award-winning author K.M. Weiland’s previous book, the bestselling Outlining Your Novel, showed writers how to embrace outlines in a way that makes the writing process fun, inspiring, and easy.

 

Now it’s time to put those lessons to use! Building upon the principles you’ve already learned, the Outlining Your Novel Workbook presents a guided approach to getting the bones of your story down on paper, identifying plot holes, and brainstorming exciting new possibilities.

 

Containing hundreds of incisive questions and imagination-revving exercises, this valuable resource will show you how to:

 

Create your own personalized outlining process

 

Brainstorm premise and plot ideas

 

Discover your characters

 

Choose and create the right settings

 

Organize your scenes

 

And so much more!

 

 

This accessible and streamlined workbook will empower you to create a powerful outline—and an outstanding novel. Start writing your best book today!

 

 

 

Shoot Your Novel: Cinematic Techniques to Supercharge Your Writing (The Writer’s Toolbox Series) by C. S. Lakin (Author)

 

Want to write a visually powerful novel? Shoot Your Novel takes an in-depth look at cinematic technique for fiction writers. No other writing craft book teaches you the secret of how to “show, don’t tell.”

 

Best-selling authors of every genre know the secret to hooking readers—by showing, not telling, their story. But writers are not taught how to “show” scenes in a cinematic way. Without a clear, concise, and precise method for constructing dynamic scenes, a writer will likely end up with a flat, lifeless novel.

 

Filmmakers, screenwriters, and movie directors utilize cinematic technique to create visual masterpieces, and novelists can too—by adapting their methods in their fiction writing.

 

By “shooting” your novel, you can supercharge your story!

 

Sol Stein, in his book Stein on Writing said, “Readers, transformed by film and TV, are used to seeing stories. The reading experience . . . is increasingly visual.” Novelists today—regardless of genre—need to learn cinematic storytelling because that’s what readers want!

 

Inside, you’ll learn:

 

 

The real secret to “show, don’t tell” and how it’s all about “the moment”

 

More than a dozen “camera shots” novelists can borrow from screenwriters and directors to create powerful, active scenes

 

Instruction on how to piece camera shots together to create cinematic scene segments

 

Examples from novels and screenplays showcasing each facet of cinematic technique

 

How to devise a thematic image system of key shots, motifs, and images

 

Ways to use colors, shapes, sounds, and angles for purposeful subliminal effect

 

 

Shooting your novel with a filmmaker’s eye will transform your good novel into a great one and will change forever the way you approach constructing your scenes. No other book gives you such deep, thorough instruction in cinematic storytelling for fiction writing.

 

Here’s what some best writing instructors and best-selling authors have to say about this essential novel writing book:

 

“With such an extensive amount of experience in the screenwriting process (since childhood), it comes as no surprise that C. S .Lakin writes with a trustworthy authority and wealth of insight when it comes to the craft of building dynamic scenes within novels. The pace and flow of Shoot Your Novel makes it easy to follow and the various tips and pointers strewn throughout are succinct. Of particular note is the smart curation of novel excerpts, authors, and filmmakers she cites as examples for the tips she suggests. If you have trouble understanding some of the pointers/tips theoretically, the excerpts always make it more clear. Having myself adapted The War of the Roses for both film and stage I can say that I have actually used quite a few of the techniques Lakin discusses and the one I like the most is the use of portraying “daydreaming” when writing from the POV of a character, effectively blending past, present, and future in one single scene—there is a lot of this going on in The War of the Roses and it is one of the aspects of the story flow that has made the rendering of the character a success. Well worth the read!” —Warren Adler, best-selling author of The War of the Roses and Random Hearts

 

“With Shoot Your Novel, Susanne Lakin does something wonderful and unique. While lots of us in the business of helping writers and storytellers recommend adding vivid images to scenes, Lakin goes much further to reveal how employing the tools and techniques of movie directing, editing and cinematography will give your fiction deeper meaning and greater emotional impact. Her book is an essential tool for any serious novelist.” —Michael Hauge, Hollywood screenwriting coach, author of

Writing Screenplays That Sell

 

Write Faster, Write Smarter (4 Book Series) by Chris Fox

 

From Book 1: 5,000 words an hour. Total BS, right? Check the reviews and you’ll see that some people exceed that. Those that don’t still write faster and more consistently after reading this book. It really works.

 

The fastest way to succeed as an author is to write more books. How do you do that with a day job, family, school or all your other time commitments? The secret is efficiency.

 

5K WPH will help you maximize your writing time by building effective habits that both measure and increase your writing speed.

 

  • Create an effective writing habit

  • Track and improve your Words Per Hour

  • Stop the endless editing and tinkering so you can finish your draft

  • Use voice dictation software to dramatically increase words per hour.

 

It’s time to shift your writing into high gear. Write Faster, Write Smarter!

 

“A lot of people talk about writing faster. Chris Fox takes action. His new book and the corresponding app will help you to train yourself up to finish your first draft copy in less time. It’s such a helpful tool that could really change the game for authors. I just wish I’d thought of it first!”- Bryan Cohen, best-selling Author of Ted Saves the World, and co-host of the Sell More Books Show

 

 

 

Emotional Beats: How to Easily Convert your Writing into Palpable Feelings (Author Tools Book 1) by Nicholas C. Rossis (Author) [I’m reading this now and it’s incredible!]

 

Because of the way our brains are wired, readers empathize more strongly if you don’t name the emotion you are trying to describe. As soon as you name an emotion, readers go into thinking mode. And when they think about an emotion, they distance themselves from feeling it.

 

A great way to show anger, fear, indifference, and the whole range of emotions that characterize the human experience, is through beats. These action snippets that pepper dialogue can help describe a wide range of emotions, while avoiding lazy writing. The power of beats lies in their innate ability to create richer, more immediate, deeper writing.

 

This book includes hundreds of examples that you can use for your inspiration, so that you, too, can harness this technique to easily convert your writing into palpable feelings.

 

 

 

47 Mind Hacks for Writers: Master the Writing Habit in 10 Minutes Or Less and End Writer’s Block and Procrastination for Good by Karen Dimmick (Author), Steve Dimmick (Author)

 

CURRENTLY ON SALE

 

Has writer’s block or procrastination stopped you writing?

 

Is your inner critic sabotaging your success and making you think your writing is dreadful and no one would ever read it?

 

Imagine, no more procrastinating. No more interruptions. No more feeling you’re not good enough to be the writer you long to be. No more conflicts with family. No more writer’s block.

Awareness + Solution = Mind Hack

 

Rather than “feel good inspiration”, 47 Mind Hacks for Writers takes you through the simple steps you need to shift your mindset so you can write on your terms.

 

We asked over 100 writers what their biggest obstacles were around writing. This book gives you a mind hack for each one.

DISCOVER 47 Mind Hacks that Will Make You a More Productive Writer

 

The book will help you:

 

Put an end to writer’s block… forever

Uncover the real reason you’re procrastinating and start writing today

Discover a fun way to get your family to help you reach your writing goals

Stop feeling like you’re not good enough

Shut down the overly-critical self-talk that holds you back

 

Karen & Steve Dimmick have been using belief change techniques, coaching and Neuro-Linguistics since 2004, and have been helping authors since 2007.

 

“Essential reading for writers ready to go pro.” – Tom Morkes, CEO of Insurgent Publishing

 

You know what life hacking is, now it’s time to hack your mind, get out of your own way and be the writer you know you can be.

DOWNLOAD 47 Mind Hacks for Writers, today, and get back in control of your writing life!

 

Have a writing reference book to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

#Authors: Get Real on #SocialMedia and Readers Will Respond #ASMSG #IARTG


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“Marketing is first and foremost about connecting.” – Wendy Paine Miller

Today’s publishing market requires authors to wear several hats, one of them being marketer. For many authors, they haven’t a clue what to do or how to get the word out about their book(s). I see it all the time on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn; authors posting about their books in an unending stream of impersonal tweets and posts.

“BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK, PLEASE!”

I shake my head because these authors miss the whole point. Social media is at its core, social. It’s a powerful marketing tool, if you know how to use it. Let me give you an example:

Back in 2012, I wrote my debut novel, Princess of the Light. When the time came to edit and publish it, I started chatting with some of my Twitter followers about it. Nothing major, just musings and observations. People started asking me more about it and I shared the story behind POTL. They were intrigued and as a result bought it when it was released. I’m proud to say they were my first readers and have been loyal ever since.

How did I do it? I made a connection and readers responded.

When I’m on social media, I’m a real person, not some robot. I talk about more than my books. I talk about baking, sports, what I’m reading, writing, editing, cooking, interesting articles I’ve read, news, politics, supporting food banks, the weather… the topics are endless. I’m being social and in this day and age of automation and technology, the simple act of saying good morning makes a huge impact.

So, what about book marketing?

I’m a writer and as a writer, I take great pride in crafting attention-grabbing tweets. Words are my thing and especially on Twitter, it’s a challenge to grab the reader by the collar so that they’ll want to click-through to learn more. I love it, though, because it hones my writing skills. I encourage all authors to try it.

Here are ten quick tips to help you get real on social media:

  • Use this formula when posting on social media – 20% book marketing, 10% small talk (weather, exercising, cooking, etc.), 30% retweets, 20% personal (I use this to post baking/cooking pics), 20% other interests (sports, hobbies, news, politics, etc.)

 

  • Post consistently on social media. I know time is a rare commodity for all of us. So whether you’re on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook, post consistently. The so-called experts tell us that we should only be posting x number of times per day/week. Listen, do what works for you. For me, I post on my blog 5 days a week, tweet every 20 minutes or so (thanks to Triberr) and post to Pinterest at least once a week. It’s all I have time for but it works for me. Consistency is the key.

 

  • Use graphics/images in all of your posts. Humans are, as a rule, visual people. We eat with our eyes first, or so says my husband (Retired Chef MR N). People identify with an image and sometimes that image has a bigger impact than the wording below.

 

  • If a follower/reader asks you a question on social media, respond. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tweeted an author and get no response. Listen, you’re not as busy as Harlan Coben or Jamie Oliver. Yet, both of these authors have responded to my tweets. It takes a few moments and yet has a huge impact on the reader.

 

  • Retweet/Like/Reblog on social media. Not only is this a great way to meet new people, it’s a sneaky marketing move to gain new followers. The more followers you have, the bigger your social media reach, the more likely you’ll find new readers to buy your books. I employ the Golden Rule on social media (do unto others as you would like done to you) and it really pays off.

 

  • Be real on social media. I know this sounds obvious but I’ve encountered so many authors who tell me they can’t be themselves online. “I can’t be myself, I’m an author.” Why not? I’m sure if Ernest Hemingway were alive today, he’d be spouting honest tweets in the middle of the night for all of us to see. My point is, you have to be yourself or else no one is going to read your books. Readers are attracted to a story, sure, but they first want to know about the author. Be real and let your followers see a little piece of yourself. I do this with my pics of baking/cooking and chatting with others on Twitter.

 

  • Don’t spam complete strangers on social media. What would Miss Manners say? We all hate spam and spammers are all over social media. I see a lot of authors send tweets to complete strangers about their book, myself included. It grates on my nerves because I’m receiving book sale info about a perfect stranger. Instead, start following people you’re interested in connecting with and once a conversation has been initiated, then maybe mention your book.

 

  • Use hashtags. I can’t emphasize this enough. We’re all busy and lead jam-packed lives. We sometimes only have a few minutes while waiting to pick up the kids from school or on a lunch break so we scroll through our feeds. We subscribe to hashtags and see what’s new. Hashtags are a great way to connect with people of similar interests. Some of my favorite book-related hashtags include: #books, #amreading, #FridayReads, #TuesdayBookBlog, #bookboost, #goodreads, etc.

 

  • Don’t ever, ever respond to a blogger/reviewer negatively on social media. It’s bound to happen. A reader/reviewer/blogger will not like your book. In fact, they may even bash you personally for no reason whatsoever. You’ll feel tempted to correct them or defend yourself. STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD/DEVICE! I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen authors taking to social media in response to a bad review/comment. I call this authors behaving badly. Listen, there’s going to be plenty of readers who won’t love/get/understand/relate to/respect your book(s). It’s part of the being a writer/storyteller. How? Vent to your inner circle via email/text/phone but never by social media. You’ll never convince them and it will make you look unprofessional. Instead, go read a few raving reviews.

 

  • Use the Tupperware marketing approach.

In 1942, Earl Tupper developed his first bell shaped container; the brand products were introduced to the public in 1948. Tupperware pioneered the direct marketing strategy made famous by the Tupperware party. The Tupperware Party allowed for women of the 1950s to work and enjoy the benefits of earning an income without completely taking away the independence granted to women during the Second World War when women first began entering the labor market, all the while keeping their focus in the domestic domain. (Wikipedia)

Word of Mouth marketing is one of the best marketing strategies, especially for authors, because it’s organic and driven by honest customers. Imagine you’re at a dinner party and the topic turns to books. What’s everyone been reading? You then begin to share with everyone at the party about that book you just finished. People pay attention because there’s nothing false about it, just your opinion. No hidden agenda, no secret business dealings, just one reader’s opinion. Authors need to tap into this marketing ploy and here’s how: Ask your readers to leave a review online and if they liked it, tell at least two friends about it. Now, there’s no way to track it but that’s the beauty of it. You’re asking the reader to help you in a very important way. Suddenly, they have an active role, not a passive one. Think organic, think natural, think honest. At the end of the day, that’s how books sell: word of mouth.

 

It’s time to take these easy marketing techniques and put them into practice. Get real on social media and watch your readership grow. It might take some time and planning but then anything worth doing takes time. It takes years of pressure and patience to create a diamond. Trust me, it’s worth it.

 

Do you have any questions and/comments about social media marketing? I’d love to hear from you. If you know someone who might enjoy this article, please share using the buttons below.

Let’s bring back the social in social media!

couple N N Light

N.N. Light is the best-selling husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N.

Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

Top of 2016 #5: Ways to the Support the Author in Your Life #ASMSG #IARTG #amwriting


Fellow Author Charles E. Yallowitz nails it on the head with this post. I see many authors nod their head in agreement. So many times, people don’t understand how important it is to support authors/writers.

MRS N

Legends of Windemere

(Originally posted HERE.)

Yahoo Image Search Yahoo Image Search

Many of us have seen the above picture and it’s right.  That is a great way to support an author that you enjoy and want to see them continue.  Yet, there is another area of support that I wanted to touch on.  What do you do if the author in question isn’t a favorite, but part of your non-cyberspace circle?  Maybe a spouse, a sibling, a friend, or somebody that you interact with outside of a computer.  Is there anything else you can do besides the following phrase?

“I support you and know you can do it.”

This is a powerful phrase, but you have to be ready to back it up with actions such as simply telling others about the book or even beta reading if asked.  Don’t say it and follow up by asking about the author’s Plan B, grilling them…

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Keeping Things Balanced: A Writing Guest Post by @WestonAndrew + a Birthday Top 10 #amwriting


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For those of you who tune in regularly to N. N. Light Author Promotions, you’ll be aware that one of my previous guest posts related to World Building. Entitled – Keeping Things Real, it highlighted my approach to the process of constructing an imaginary framework in which to set an adventure. I likened that process to preparing and cutting a rough diamond. Starting with an overview of the world I’m going to create, I begin to work from the outside in on its various facets: Where it’s situated; who its inhabitants are; what’s their history; what level of technology do they posses, and so forth and so on.

Having already covered that, this time around I thought I’d expand on Keeping Things Real, by introducing you to the next stage of my world building process:
“Keeping things balanced.”

What do I mean? People who have enjoyed The IX have often commented on the rich descriptive prose it contains. I say, “thank you” for that, because I put a lot of work into creating a visual image that the reader can connect to. I think that’s especially important when you come down to the flora and fauna of the world in which your story is set, especially if – as in The IX – your heroes and protagonists are flitting about, here and there, on one adventure or another.

So, how did I manage to keep things balanced for The IX?

That’s easy. I created visual templates to work from. The reason? Something I learned in the military. “Prior preparation and planning prevents poor performance.” Such an approach ensured I never strayed from what I originally set out to portray. For example, say hello to an early idea of what Arden – the home planet where The IX is set – should look like:

arden-template

In creating a visual reference, I give myself a template to work from. In this case – a once beautiful world that thrived under a red sun. Now recovering from the ravages of a long and bitter war, it is only just reclaiming the majesty it once had. This, and other images and sketches, helped me transpose my initial ideas into the places you read about. My aim? To ensure there was sufficient detail so that you could envision yourself there. Let me highlight what I mean.

If you’ve read The IX, you’ll no doubt remember that various members of the Ninth journeyed through the lavender grasslands of the Sengennon Strait; lost themselves in the purple-green woodlands of the Tar’e-esh forests; basked in the majesty of the Garnet Mountains. Did you ever conjure those places in your mind’s eye? Did they look anything like this?

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tareesh-2-copy

garnet-copy

These are the preliminary references I used as a benchmark from which to create the full reality of Arden. (Now, don’t be fooled into thinking I only had these odd few pictures). As I hinted, I built up an extensive library of such images so that the places, the people and the technology you read about – and the ships – all contain the details you would expect in a factual reality.

Of course, when you incorporate so many elements you have to keep things to a realistic scale.

For example, I have all these pretty pictures of the places mentioned in The IX, but, just how far is it from Rhomane to the Starport, or to the Tar’e-esh Forest? How close is the astrometrics lab to the Starport itself?

As a writer, you need to know such details so that the events you describe within your narrative have that ring of authenticity. Fans will know Lieutenant Mac McDonald led a military expedition to the Starport to recover drones left there in storage. Some of his compatriots provided long-range cover from the astrometrics complex on top of Boleni Heights. Marcus Brutus headed an expeditionary force to the Shilette Abyss, a journey that took his pioneers through the Tare-esh Forest.

What were the distances involved? Over what terrain? Some used futuristic hover craft, others used horses. How long did their respective journeys take? How do you keep a track on timescales?

Have a look at the maps I devised to help me keep things in perspective.

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Even though they’re basic, I know some of you might think…“Wow! That’s a lot of detail before you even put pen to paper.” Well, I agree. It is. But remember the analogy of a rough diamond I used earlier? This amount of attention pays divides as you write the story itself. It cuts and polishes your gem of an adventure and – as I’ve said before – adds those touches here and there that can make the narrative sparkle.

And when you get a professional to back that up? (Take a look at the map included within the front section of The IX. Devised from my sketches by cover designer, Roy Mauritsen, it adds that element of shininess that makes you think of my head).

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You see, my ethic goes a little bit like this: My job is to give you – the reader – a place that you can escape to and lose yourself in. The easier it is for you to relate to the characters and visualize the world in which the story is set, then the deeper your connection, and the further your journey will take you. The further you go, the more you’ll appreciate what The IX is all about. And we’re both happy.

If you value your readers, you’ll be prepared to put the work in so that their fantasies seem so real, it’s almost as if they come true through the pages of your book. 🙂

**********

andrew-weston-2016

My name is Andrew P. Weston – though I’ve been called a lot worse by my wife when I’ve dared to say the forbidden words all women hate to hear…“No, you can’t have that.”

(Light blue touch paper and run…)

As an author, I make things up all the time. So I thought it might be a nice idea to use this “Top Ten” post to find out a little more about the real me – warts and all.

Oh really?

Yes. And we’re going to do this in a rather novel way.

What do I mean? Well, November 12th (today) is my birthday, making me a Scorpio, allegedly, one of the most mysterious signs in the zodiac. A great deal seems to be said about people born under this star sign, as exemplified by an advert my wife, Annette, spotted on a media site earlier this week.

scorpio-t-shirt

As you can see, the t-shirt is covered by quite a few astrologically based statements associated to Scorpios. But, are these statements true, or are they myth?

Let’s find out, shall we, by taking a little look at ten categories, working from the top down…

(And bearing in mind, I have to keep this rated PG –13) NO – you won’t be forced into listening to me lie about my feats of Olympian sexual athleticism.
Now, if we were talking about Greek comedy, I’m your man 😉

Has incredibly high standards

It’s true. I do have incredibly high standards. And it’s not just because I served in specialist roles within the military and police. It’s just the way I am. The thing is, it’s not one-sided either. While I do my best not to expect the impossible from people around me, I do demand those standards from myself – all the time. Which can be a real pain if things need to be done in a rush…because, you’ve guessed it…they still have to be perfect. (Bummer).

Great Kisser

As long as it’s not a certain part of other people’s anatomy…? Maybe.

(I never suck up to anybody, you see)

But if you want an honest answer, you’ll have to ask my wife. (Though everyone does comment on how happy she always looks.) I haven’t the heart to tell them that’s down to constant medication. Ah, the rigors of living with a Scorpio.

Fun fact: The Greek custom is to kiss people when greeting them and saying goodbye. I simply don’t do that. Kissing is for my wife…and my wife only.
(She’d only hunt them down anyway, and you’d never see them again. Then there’d be police, and questions, and…)

Kills haters with success and breaks them with a smile

My goodness this one is spot on. And as an author, I’ve very glad I’m a Scorpio. I’m in a position now where I’m starting to get noticed. That’s very rewarding, but it does attract the “haters”, those who want to elicit a reaction by writing / leaving inflammatory comments in things like reviews.

My advice? Never, ever respond to them openly. Let your continuing application to your craft and your motivation to improve provide the impetus to silence such scoundrels with the success that will come. Then, one day, somewhere far down the line when you’re terribly rich and famous, you can smile in secret behind the smoked glass windows of your limo and not give a fig about them at all.

Human Lie Detector

Most definitely. And here’s the weird thing, I can taste the mood of a room as soon as I walk in. I think it has something to do with one of the other categories we’ll discuss – being observant – as well as some form heightened perceptions. But it’s always been there, and it’s something I’ve always been able to do.

Imagine the fun I had in the police. As a detective, you attend all sorts of classes on human behavior and psychology. There are myriad “tells” that come in clusters that help you spot when a person is being economical with the truth.
And when you arm a Scorpio with such skills…? (Are they quite mad?)

Another fun fact: I sometimes play a little game when my wife and I go to parties. Spot the Walter – Walter Mitty – those charming characters who couldn’t be honest if their lives depended on it and are always out to impress with exaggerations and complete fabrication.

(Not that I do this all the time, of course, but it certainly helps liven the more tedious evenings up).

Introvert – but can socialize like an extrovert

This is spookily true with a capital spoo.

When many of my friends first got to know me, they never realized I’m an introvert. But that’s down to the way I can flip a switch in my head if I “feel” in the mood, or the circumstances are right.

Remember those police courses I mentioned? Like everyone else, I always thought there were introverts and extroverts. Full stop.

It turns out; there are introverted introverts; extroverted introverts; introverted extroverts; and extroverted extroverts…and all sorts of sub-categories in-between.
I’m an extroverted introvert. When I walk into a room of people I don’t know, you wouldn’t actually realize I was there. I’ll blend into the background and flit from shadow to shadow as if I don’t exist. But, if I meet someone I click with? Lights – camera – action! Cast of Annie, eat your hearts out. (Minus the ridiculously curly ginger hair of course)…

Observant

Yup! As with the lie detector category, it’s one of those things I have always had a knack for. And again, my previous occupations helped enhance that skill and turn it into something rather exceptional.

In the military, in particular, you had to notice all sorts of little details that other people tend to overlook. And thank goodness, for it kept me alive on a number of occasions.

You can imagine how this helped as a police officer too. I served in a crime management & intelligence bureau for a number of years where it was essential to spot patterns that others had missed. Interesting work and sooo satisfying, bringing baddies who thought they’d gotten away with it, to justice.

Want a fun fact: Although life gets quieter, you never lose the knack. I have to be very patient, especially at this time of year leading up to Christmas when I pretend I’m not paying attention to Annette’s unsubtle HINTS about certain items of clothing, jewelry, DVDs, or the music she likes. Hee hee.

It really does take a lot of discipline, as her little face sometimes screws up in frustration, thinking her suggestions have gone over my head…

(But the look on her face when she opens her presents and realizes I was paying attention all along? Priceless) All together now, aaaah.

Very good sense of humor

True, true, true, true, true! My humor is so intergalactically broad you could fly starships along it. The trouble is, it’s often gotten me into trouble too. My working environment didn’t help in this regard. Serving in the military and police force hones your humor. You have to be thick-skinned, broad-shouldered, trigger-fast and snappy just to survive. But, oh boy is it worth it. I’d love to expand, but this is PG-13.

Private – occasional loner

It’s like someone has been following me around. True again.

My wife and I have lived in Kos, one of the smaller Greek islands in the Dodecanese, for eight years now. We have a small circle of friends, both Greek and British. While most know all there is to know about Annette, very few are aware of the exact nature of my previous occupations, the places I’ve been, or the things I’ve done. Many people here don’t even realize I write books now, or that they’ve been international #1 bestsellers. (True).

I mix when I want to, and don’t feel the overwhelming need to regularly attend coffee mornings just to be sociable. I’m not being rude or standoffish, I just like to keep myself and my business to myself…which makes it a bit difficult doing things like this, eh?

Still, I can hide behind my screen. It has sandbags and barbed wire and a trench. And laser cannons. Why would I want to come out?

Fun fact: When we meet new people, they often complain that we end up talking about “them” all the time and they haven’t had the chance to find out anything about us.
(Just the way I like it).

Wants to be the best at everything

Myth. Though I can see the misconception.

I think it relates back to the #1 item about the standards expected of me. Ever since I was little, I was pushed to succeed. From the age of 4, I attended swimming training every morning before school. That bled over into other sports. By the time I joined the military, I’d represented my school, college and county (I think the American equivalent is a “state”) at rugby, swimming, athletics and various martial arts. I’d also been selected for international trials at two of those disciplines.
It was the same academically. I have a voracious thirst for knowledge and could read before I attended school. Add to that a sticky mind, and it was little wonder I managed to eat my way through various scientific curriculums, my chief subjects being mathematics, physics, astronomy – and in later life – criminal law.
To be honest, I don’t think its wanting to be the best so much, as wanting to do my best. If I start a project, be it learning a new language or picking up a new skill, I never give anything less than 100 %. As a child, teenager, young adult and now – apprentice doddery old fart – I’ve never been any other way (You can probably see that from the preparation and detail I devote to my stories).
While I appreciate some might think such an outlook adds a lot of needless pressure to life, I look on it as being normal.

Hell, I’m nearly 56, but I still train every day and teach martial arts on top of all the other stuff I do. Life’s for living. I’ll rest when I’m dead.

Question: The pulsating vein I have on the side of my head…Is that normal or down to the excessive amounts of medication I imbibe?

Protective of the ones I love

So true it hurts.

Not to be nasty, you understand, but you do not want to make my wife or children feel threatened. You just don’t…Not ever. Think about what I used to do. I would gladly serve prison time to even a debt if the magnitude was serious enough…That’s all I’ll say. The end. Goodbye.

So, there you go. A little look at the truth behind astrological myth. I can honestly say I’ve never paid much attention to things like astrology. I’m too levelheaded. However, having realized how accurate this picture is, I might just change my mind J

Until the next time you visit my asylum, do take care…

ix-audiobooklarge

Title: The IX

Author: Andrew P Weston

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Perseid Press

Book Blurb:
The IX:

Roman legionaries, far from home, lost in the mists of Caledonia.

A US cavalry company, engaged on a special mission, vital to the peace treaty proposed by Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.

A twenty-first century Special Forces unit, desperate to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.

From vastly different backgrounds, these soldiers are united when they are snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing. Thinking they may have been granted a reprieve, imagine their horror when they discover they have been transported to a failing planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they are given a simple ultimatum. Fight or die. Against all odds, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.

How far would you be willing to go to stay alive?

The IX.

Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure.

Excerpt:

Ephraim entered another cipher into the console before him. All three main wall screens skipped channels to present a series of starkly different vistas. A palpable shock ran through the entire gathering. Several people gasped out loud.

The first monitor showed the rim of a burnished orange-red sun emerging from behind the bulk of a majestic disc. The star’s corona burned brightly, casting a warm scarlet glow through the upper reaches of the atmosphere of the world below it. The planet itself appeared etched in liquid flame around its edges, while the majority of its mass was cast in mystery and shadow.

The middle display revealed a similar scene but from a different perspective, this one being positioned above the terminator of sunrise and sunset. To the left of the picture, cotton-candy clouds swirled through a sea of sapphire-blue radiance. The crystal lens of the expanse was infused with vaporous trails of soul-wrenching tranquility. On the right, darkness dominated. Ebbing reluctantly under the relentless advance of dawn, it gradually surrendered its secrets. Noctilucent particles manifested themselves amongst the gloom, followed closely by the tallest mountain summits. Like beacons, they revealed tantalizing glimpses of the glory to come.

The final screen faced out into a Jovian sea of purple-blue grandeur. An ocean of midnight silk upon which the luminescence of a billion astral sprites had been cast in random abandon. Each pinprick blazed coldly with an unadulterated purity that struck the hearts and minds of the gathered assembly with the force of a sledgehammer.

Captivated, Ephraim became lost in the moment. Somewhere out there, a lifetime away, our real home sails serenely through the heavens . . . How ignorant we were of the dangers that exist, just a cosmic stone’s-throw away.

“Are these satellites able to show us Arden in greater detail?” Marcus asked. “What is the term you use? Can they . . . zoom in and remain clear?”

“They can indeed, my friend. For example . . . .”

Ephraim presented them with a vision of remarkable scope. A solitary peak pierced the night. Protruding toward the sunlight like a symbol of hope, its alpine cap strained to free itself from the twilight mists congealing about its slopes in a miasma of serpentine possessiveness.

The image wavered, and a closer view of that same pinnacle resolved itself. Now, the cobalt-blue frown of a granite leviathan stood forth in pristine clarity, peeking out from hoarfrost-covered brows. A snowy crown adorned the apex, and where the rock face greeted the dawn, it glittered cruelly, burning as if the entire edifice were ablaze within a skein of ice and flames.

Above the slopes on one side, a huge bird of prey stretched its wings and soared amid the very epitome of serenity sublime made manifest.

Everyone leaned forward. Ephraim chose that moment to switch satellites.

A contrasting swathe of undulating greens and blues made everyone start. The picture flickered and intensified. The panorama scrolled across verdant forests, swaying grasslands, and undulating plains. The luxuriant fertility of the temperate zones faded as the scanners moved on, toward the equatorial region.

The gaping chasm of the Shilette Abyss hove into view. Once there, Ephraim manipulated the controls to skim east. Less than a minute later, he held position above a point where the two sides of the canyon seemed to bulge toward each other. Changing resolution, he smoothly zoomed in to present a live-time image of the mining site from less than two hundred feet up. People could clearly be seen, walking to and fro about their business.

Marcus suppressed a laugh.

Several others cheered.

Mohammed and Saul stared at each other, the implications of this latest development written clearly across their faces.

“These places you’re showing us appear remarkably bounteous and free of infestation,” Saul commented. “Do you think this confirms our latest suspicions? That something here in the city appears to be the Horde’s target, and they’ve congregated in one location to get it?”

“Hazarding a guess? I’d say that was highly likely. But we can discuss that at tomorrow’s briefing. By then, we’ll have uploaded the specs of the rotational frequencies that Mac and his team use. Combining them to the already existing filters the satellites employ will give us an accurate assessment of exactly where on the planet our enemy is congregating. Be in no doubt — the addition of the Satcom-net will provide us with a huge tactical advantage we never dreamed of.”

“Such as?”

Ephraim scanned through the contents of his personal screen again. Then he glanced back at Brent and Asa. Each of them was privy to the information it contained, and both were grinning like maniacs.

Buy Links:

Now available in Audio:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/IX-Book-1/dp/B01MCZ7XEU/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1478062836&sr=8-1

Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/The-IX-Audiobook/B01MCZ83B8/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1478545349&sr=1-1

E-book and Print:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/IX-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00RM54QBA

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/IX-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00RM54QBA

Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ix-andrew-p-weston/1121115575?type=eBook

B&N Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ix-andrew-p-weston/1121115575

Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is an ex-military ex-police expat from the UK who now lives with a large amount of cats in a medium sized house on a small Greek Island.

An astronomy and law graduate, he has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

Publisher: Perseid Press

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrewweston/

Andrew P. Weston Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

The IX Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

 

Writing Partners: How @RuthACasie Became a Best-Seller #amwriting #POTLReads


pen-and-ink

 

While writing is a singular thing, input and brainstorming with like-minded spirits is not only enjoyable but mind expanding. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across a plot issue that I couldn’t see my way through. At times, it takes an objective viewpoint, someone who isn’t tied to the story or characters to get me out of the weeds and into ‘the light.’

I have three close writing friends that have become my writing partners. We eagerly read each other’s manuscripts, brainstormed when we wrote ourselves into a corner and talked each other off the ledge when we wanted to give up and burn the pages. We are a strong but mighty group. Each of us focused on a different sub-genre. This isn’t usually the way a critique forms, but remember, we were friends first. For our group, each author brought a different strength ranging from conflict identification, point-of-view development, character growth, and voice. Their insight worked as well for my medieval romances as it did for Lita Harris’ women’s fiction, Emma Kaye’s paranormal romances, and Nicole S. Patrick’s military romances.

Once our stories were polished we each queried agents and editors, pitched at conferences and cheered each other on. We celebrated our publishing successes with wine and chocolate.

We wanted more. We enjoyed working with each other and decided to augment our writing by self-publishing short stories. With the help of Julie Rowe, who taught us the art of short story writing, we put together our first anthology. Because we each write in different genres we decided that some ‘thing’ needed to tie the stories together. We decided each story had a keepsake. When we were finished, we proudly titled our work, Timeless Keepsakes and published the Christmas anthology November, 2013.

 

books

 

Project Delivered! The thing was, we had such a great time working on this project that we decided we wanted to do it again. We got a better understanding of the industry and saw that our diverse sub-genres in one book were outside the norm.

We decided our characters would all meet in a specific place so we could mention them in each other’s stories. While our stories are individual and the characters in them the author’s, this format required us to work together— closely. We bounced scenes and characters off each other. For me, I had to develop a contemporary voice.

Our second book, Timeless Escapes was great to work on. We met at Nicole’s house and over homemade crumb cake, wine and chocolate we each developed our stories. We looked for places where we could stumble upon, meet up or encounter each other’s characters.

While we couldn’t always get together we developed a weekly Hangout call and at any time someone would reach out to do sprints (we used Chatzy.com)

After the fifth anthology we found we had difficulty keeping to the short story word count. Our characters had more to say. Writing novellas was our next step.

 

tsp-7-books

 

With our loosely connected stories, we thought a small town setting would work well and created Havenport, Rhode Island, a Newportish type of town.  This project has been awesome from creating a map of Havenport to Candy Apples, the town gossip who announces each of our stories.

We’ve grown as authors over the three years and as business women. We realized we needed to manage the finances and have an equal stake which led to the development of our business, Timeless Scribes Publishing LLC.

As equal partners, we each brought our expertise to the company, Emma our production officer and proof reader, Lita our financial officer, Nicole vendor management officer, and me marketing officer.

The company is an outlet where each of us can self-publish our own books. We work off a contract with the company and get royalty statements.

Our newest book is a collection of novellas. The stories all take place in Havenport and each one has a ghost just in time for Halloween.

giphy-haunted-cover

Haunted Havenport

 
by Ruth A. Casie,  Emma KayeNicole S. PatrickLita Harris

 
Published: October 25, 2016

 
Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

 

Blurb:

A multi-author romance novella boxed set.

 

Get the latest with Havenport Herald’s very own gossip queen, Candy Apples.

 

Gossip with a snarky, tart bite…

 

Ghosts Take Over Havenport!

 

Not real ghosts, don’t be silly people! Halloween is right around the corner and folks are gearing up for the annual Halloween ball at Havencroft Manor. I know I have my costume all picked out, how about you? Let’s hope Mrs. X can come up with something new this year, she almost split the seams of her Naughty Nurse costume last year. Yikes!

 

***

 

The Witching Hour will soon be upon us—anyone think Havencroft Manor’s most famous dearly departed will stop by for a visit? Such a haunting tale of love and betrayal makes this gossip columnist stand up and take notice. Keep reading, and we’ll take a stroll down memory lane to find out all the juicy details.

 

***

 

The room above Serendipity is open for business. Looks like they kicked off rentals with a séance on behalf of our favorite philanthropist. Rumor has it, he has a ghost problem. Some say he’s trying to get rid of the problem, while others are convinced he’s trying to bring The Ghost of You back to life. With the Goddess’s help, I guess anything’s possible.

 

***

 

Sorry, ladies, but looks like our hunky veterinarian may be off the market soon. A certain divorcee was hired to spruce up his bachelor pad, but from the look of things, my money’s on them turning it into a family home instead. Should be cozy with their latest rescue dog and the soldier’s spirit that tagged along. So long as A Spirit’s Bond doesn’t stand in their way, should be fun to watch.

 

***

 

They say the new widow in town has a way with ghosts. In fact, one may have followed her into town. To help or hinder? Hard to tell. Maybe the ruggedly handsome carpenter fixing up Havencroft Manor will find a way to help out a Kindred Spirit.

 

***

 

Come to think of it, maybe I spoke too soon about those ghosts.

 

Don’t forget to stock up on candy and have a Happy Halloween!

 

~Candy Apples

 
Add to Goodreads

 
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. Writing with the Timeless Scribes, Ruth also writes contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance. She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

 

Email:  mailto:ruth@ruthacasie.com

 

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

 

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

 

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/13GwuQ1

 

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-seitelman/6/6b7/964

 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie

 

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We’re celebrating books and authors all October on the POTL Blog. Follow #POTLReads on Twitter to not miss our recommendations and to offer your own! Spread the Word! 

He’s a What?! Writing Your Characters Into a Corner by @LiviaQuinn #amwriting #guestpost #IARTG


hes-a-what-livia-quinn-gues-post-header

But I thought the problem was… 

I listened to an author speak a couple years ago at a workshop. She said, “Write yourself into a corner.” My first thought was, “I couldn’t do that. What if I couldn’t get my characters out of the hole I’d put them in.” Recently I realized that I’ve been doing just that unconsciously, or my characters have, for several books now. For a writer, it’s a very scary place to be but if I want my readers to be surprised I must be surprised as well.

In Eve of Chaos I brought the heroine and several characters to the brink of death, not knowing what was going to happen. Blame it on the Moon was the most terrified I’ve been since I’ve been writing. And yet, I’ve had readers tell me it was their favorite book.

When Destiny was overrun by creatures leaving our hero, a mere-mortal, to fight them, save the town and the woman he loves I had no friggin’ idea how a human was supposed to win over enemy zombies, flying heads, and other variants much less how to save the lives of my main characters who were suffering from the effects of the Para-moon. I usually let the characters lead me to solutions but at the end of Blame it on the Moon, Jack was blindsided with a change that no one saw coming—except me. Unfortunately, even that didn’t go as planned.

As book 5, Take These Broken Wings began I thought I knew what Jack’s problem was. But as the story progressed Jack was no closer to a solution until we got to the climax and suddenly events unfolded. I remember emailing my writer friends wide-eyed with wonder, “You’ll never guess what happened to Jack!” In Jack’s words, “To say I was surprised about the latest revelations would be like saying Wolverine’s fingernails were long enough for a manicure.”

 

The Destiny series could be likened to a Paranormal soap opera, similar to Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series or the world of Darynda Jones. Jack and Tempe’s Paramortal arc—their coming of age—is finally complete with book 5 but their story and Destiny’s continues. So here I am again after the events that happened at the end of Take These Broken Wings, thinking, “Zeus’ Rechargeable Bolts! now what?” A mysterious stranger has shown up in Destiny and his presence is certain to bring turmoil. Life is much more interesting when you don’t know what’s coming down the pike don’t you think? Its always nerve-wracking not knowing where my characters will lead me but I’m confident we’ll work through the challenges. What a ride!

 

Broken Wings EBOOK 06252016 copy

 

Title: Take These Broken Wings (Destiny Paramortals #5)

Author: Livia Quinn

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Southern Urban Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

Welcome to Mayberry, or should I say Middle Earth?

 

I’m Jack Lang, the Sheriff of Destiny, Louisiana. After my sexy redheaded mail lady zapped me, this seemingly normal small town turned into a never-ending stream of supernaturals – fae, dragons, vampires, djinn—not to mention some plain ol’ kooks. Ironically, I was all set to accept the dark side when I discovered the secret in my own DNA and, well, to say I was in shock would be like saying Wolverine’s fingernails were long enough for a manicure.

 

There’s one thing that can get me back on the job – a murder investigation. But I’ll also have to deal with supernatural hitmen, dragon hunters and being in the doghouse with my girlfriend. If I don’t get a handle on “My new life” before long, I’m going to lose the respect of the Paramortals, not to mention the woman I love.  Maybe I should just holler uncle now. Things can always get worse.

 

After all, this is Destiny, and ludicrous is its middle name.

 

Book 5 is the completion of Jack and Tempe’s Paramortal arc, an epiphany of sorts, but the story continues. If you enjoy the Paranormal Urban Fantasy Cozy worlds of Kristen Painter, Darynda Jones or Molly Harper, try the Destiny Paramortals series.

 

 

Excerpt:

Tempe’s father, Dutch finds his son, River, in the supernatural watering hole…

 

Dutch

My eyes narrowed and I rose at the mention of my ancient family name.

 

River’s eyes flared red, a warning, and he grated, “Who are you?”

 

The being in front of him was taller and wider than River, closer to my size and was covered in a flimsy grey cloak that swirled in a non-existent breeze. Ah, a weather fae, I determined at once. A hooked beak poked out from under the gray cowl and talons where the fingers should have been held the hood in place. The pungent foul odor identified it as a harpy, a vengeful lot that often traveled in groups though no one stood with this one.

 

The hole in the center of his “face” sounded like a washing machine as it pushed air in and out. At his hip a blue sword stuck out from under the layers. Not good. Weapons were supposed to be surrendered at the door except under certain extenuating circumstances. I stayed where I was, for the moment.

 

Thick cottony lips opened, the words came through its hole of a mouth, like it had been dredged up from the depths of the Isle. “I am Lord of the Wind. I’m here to reclaim my power from your family.”

 

Well, that’s a new twist. Millenia ago, harpies had been stripped of their power over hurricanes and strong storms, but it had nothing to do with my family, I thought as he drew the sword from the sheath with a clang and pointed it at one of the entrances. A stout gust entered the room. He’d used the sword to command his magic, like a wand.

 

River stood with one arm on the counter, not even jostled by the stiff wind, though others were struggling to stand. I stepped toward River. The creature’s head turned in my direction and a voice like a grating debris-filled torrent rasped, “You need your daddyyy to fight your battlllesss?” Tables rolled to the floor around us, and I sensed the harpy was frustrated that he’d been unable to budge us. River was steady as a granite mountain and… he was growing.

 

River crossed his arms over his chest and said, “Listen, Lord Blowhard. Not only don’t I need my father, but it’ll take a more than one of your impotent wind farts to take down a member of our family. My sister could take you in her sleep.”

 

The being bristled and the wind increased at River’s words. I stepped forward, addressing him. “Who told you we have your power?”

 

The harpy’s sparring partner approached and whispered into his ear, sending a glance toward the corner where another hooded figure sat at a table against the wall. His boss? Or just an interested party trying to prevent the fae from experiencing the fate of Morpheus?

 

The wind picked up under the blowhard’s gray rags and his mouth closed in a disgruntled line, but he lowered his sword and backed away, not releasing my gaze until he reached the table. Then pointing the sword one last time at River, he said, “We will finisshhh this later at a time of myyy choosssing.”

 

With a scraping of chairs, the so called Lord and his sparring partner cautiously backed out of the Moat, trying to save face, though Gods truth, it made them look like cowards.

 

River’s reaction was even worse. “What’s wrong with now?” he roared. Yes, he was itching for a fight, his voice shaking with rage, the first emotion I’d heard from him in weeks. Any other time I might think that was good but though he appeared to be in control, I felt the building energy he held under tight rein. What would it take for him to snap? I put my hand on his arm to bring him back to himself. He shrugged it off and stomped back to the bar.

 

My spine tingled a warning and I scanned the room to see where the threat was coming from. There in the corner, lounging against the wall near the fighters’ table was a black hooded figure. I felt his gaze though the shadow from his cowl disguised his features. His black-gloved hand moved across his chest and I caught the glimmer of something between the folds.

 

His mouth turned up in an evil grin and he drew the material closed but not before I got a brief look at the necklace hanging against his chest with a dragon’s eye in the center. I steeled myself not to react as he rose and sauntered out.

 

What was a dragon hunter doing in the Moat of Morpheus.

 

Buy Here:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com//dp/B01GK2MOB4

Amazon UK  https://kdp.amazon.com/amazon-dp-action/uk/bookshelf.marketplacelink/B01GK2MOB4

Amazon CA https://kdp.amazon.com/amazon-dp-action/ca/bookshelf.marketplacelink/B01GK2MOB4

All Romance https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-takethesebrokenwings-2140770-140.html

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/take-these-broken-wings-2

Itunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/take-these-broken-wings/id1118777289?mt=11

Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940153209159

Page Foundry  http://www.inktera.com/store/title/d4e2e093-1630-4de2-a54c-62861bf58f41

Scribd  http://www.scribd.com/book/313905436

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

 

Author Biography:

Love happens…when you least expect it. So does the weather. So magic in one form or another, and storms, are at the heart of most Livia Quinn books. A DC native who lives on the bayou in Louisiana, Livia has stored up a wealth of quirky stories from her jobs as a mail lady, sales person, plant manager and small business owner that she’s anxious to share with her readers. Visit her soon on her new website https://www.liviaquinn.com

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: https://liviaquinnwrites.blogspot.com

Email liviaquinnwrites@gmail.com

Website: http://liviaquinn.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

Twitter    http://twitter.com/liviaquinn

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/liviaquinn

Goodreads http://bit.ly/22VXuev

Livia’s Author Central page http://amzn.to/1T5qmhN

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LiviaQuinn

Linkedin http://bit.ly/2dbYAP2

Instagram http://instagram.com/liviaquinnauthor

Independent Author Network http://bit.ly/2dlAr8L

Author Central http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KPDXXE2

 

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We’re celebrating books and authors all October on the POTL Blog. Follow #POTLReads on Twitter to not miss our recommendations and to offer your own! Spread the Word! 

Football is Like Life and it Teaches Us a Great Deal #inspiration #NFL #motivation


football-perseverance

Are you in the midst of achieving a goal and feeling discouraged?

The National Football League kicks off tomorrow and this is one of my favorite quotes by the greatest coach of all time, Vince Lombardi. It’s so inspiring. It reaffirms my belief that everything I need to know about life, I can learn from sports.

One of the goals I had for 2016 was to publish a book this September. Last week, I wasn’t sure I could do it. I was way behind in my timeline and I hadn’t even finished writing it. I wallowed in self-pity and figured the only person who would know is MR N. Then I ran across this quote yesterday.

I readjusted my to-do list and told myself no matter what, I was going to finish writing this poetry book (more info to come). I shut down my email and got rid of all distractions. I put my head down and got to work. At the end of the day, I finished it!

Anything worthwhile is going to test your abilities and even your sanity. Don’t get discouraged. Instead, toss out your pity party and get to work!

You can do it and will be super proud of yourself when you achieve your goal.

MRS N

How To Know Which #WritingTips to Follow and Ignore #amwriting #TuesdayBookBlog #ASMSG


Peanuts Writing Advice

Writing advice/tips are everywhere.  Everyone is an expert, even Lucy from Peanuts.  How do you know what to follow and what to ignore?  The simple answer is to listen to your inner voice and to trust your instincts.  Let’s look at a few examples.

One of the most asked pieces of advice people ask is, “How do I become a writer,”.  In one camp there are the intellectual people.  They say that you must study grammar and writing via classes and workshops.  While I understand their concept, when it comes to creative writing (novel/prose/poetry) that logical approach doesn’t work.  William Shakespeare didn’t take classes at Oxford to become a writer.  He wrote his experiences and what he observed in Elizabethan times.

Another camp are what I call the free spirits.  I fall into this group and my simple answer is, “If you can write something down on paper and share it with others, you are a writer.”  Writers write.  You either are or you aren’t.  It’s not as complicated as people make it out to be.

schedule

 

“I never have time to write.”  This is a big issue for many writers and trust me, I understand.  I have struggled with this too and I can tell you that what works for me may not work for you.  Each writer’s life is different and each person has their own time perimeters.

I read an article a long time ago talking about writer’s block.  It showcased 20 writers and their helpful tips for overcoming writer’s block.  One of the tips really made me see writing in a whole new light.  She said, “I always tell my writing students to write 300 words every day.  It is basically a page and everyone has time to write one page.”

I thought about it and it soon became my writing goal.  I promised myself to write 300 words every day.  I put a sticky note up in my writer’s nook and looked at it every day.  I can tell you all that I was true to my word and kept that promise.  I wrote 300 words each and every day.  Some days I did more and some days I struggled to make those 300 words.  I did it and I felt so proud of myself.

Ask yourself, what word count would be appropriate for me?  

Don’t say 1,000 words if you cannot do it.  Commit to a word count and make sure that it is not too lofty.  Don’t make it too easy for yourself, either.  This is a writing goal and it must propel you forward.

 

time management for writers

 

Time management is another key tip I learned from that article.  Being a writer is all about time management.  Many of us do have a day job, families and responsibilities.  Making time for writing can be hard but when you make it a priority, it becomes easy.  Schedule a block of your day/night in your time management planner and call it “writing”.  Tell your family/friends/roommates so that they know not to bother or interrupt you.

My writing time is in the afternoon from 1-4 pm.  I chose that time of the day to write because it works best for my life.  I shut off all the distractions and I concentrate on writing.

Writing advice is everywhere and it can be overwhelming.  Trust me, I’ve been there.

The best advice I can give you is to read everything out there, figure out what works for you and then trust your inner voice.  It will always guide you and never steer you wrong.

Remember the writing profession is constantly evolving.  Learn something new today.

 

POTL 2nd anniversary

 

E-book Sale:

During the month of September, Princess of the Light is on sale for the super-low price of $.99 USD. 100% of the proceeds during this time will go directly to our local food bank to help feed children and families in need. This is the first time Princess of the Light has ever been this low and who knows when it will be this low again.

 

Tagline:

Mary’s the Princess of the Light but her only hope is to make a pact with her enemy.

 

Blurb:

Mary Miller receives a startling visitation from Gabriel, the Messenger of God. The Archangel reveals an astounding truth–Mary is the Princess of the Light and even more amazing, her destiny is to battle Lucifer’s army of demons and restore the balance of good and evil on Earth. It’s getting harder to fulfill her new role and keep her identity secret while juggling her personal life, and when Than, Lucifer’s second in command, amps up the attacks on her, she knows she needs help.

 

Joe Deacons is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. And as providence would have it, in a moment of great need, he’s the Warrior of Light–the one who can help her defeat the forces of darkness.

 

Not so simple when they confront Lisbeth, a demon hell-bent on usurping Than and Lucifer himself.  When Lisbeth wages war and several innocent people die, Mary must form an alliance with her enemy in order to destroy her.  But will this be a grave error or the choice that saves their world?

 

Buy Links:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/469480

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/princess-of-the-light-nn-light/1120170709?ean=9781502438454

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Light-N/dp/1502438453

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/princess-of-the-light-1

Indigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/princess-of-the-light/9781310880230-item.html?ikwid=princess+of+the+light&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

iTunes/ iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/princess-of-the-light/id913013798?mt=11

Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/5008419

 

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23009005-princess-of-the-light

 

couple N N Light

 

Author Bio: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG, Independent Author Network and Marketing for Romance Writers.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

100% of the proceeds of Princess of the Light go directly to food banks (US and Canada) in order to feed the hungry and help those in need. With only 7,500 books sold, N. N. Light will be able to set up a monthly endowment for the local food bank.

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Bookbub  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-n-light

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

iAuthor: http://www.iauthor.uk.com/princess-of-the-light:10294

Hold Onto Your Dream: Advice from Author @LiviaQuinn #amwriting #giveaway #BatonRouge


Broken Wings EBOOK 06252016 copy

 

My little seasonal restaurant kept me hopping this year. I wouldn’t complain except it left me so little time and energy to work on my new book, Take These Broken Wings. But with summer winding down, I finally made it out to the Quinn den to work on Wings.

 

Getting things back in order, I noticed my calendar was stuck on July. For a reason…

 

Original dream

 

“HOLD ON to your original dream!”

The two key parts of this quote were why I stood transfixed in front of that calendar for several long seconds. First, holding on to the dream takes perseverance and dedication, as you learn the skills needed. And second, it’s easy to forget as we confront the challenges on the journey how passionate we were about making that goal a reality. It’s good to remind ourselves of that desire.

 

In June 2005 I was laid off. It was a real bummer especially since I’d just bought a new car but I decided to take the summer to try to get my head straight and wind down from six years of working eighty-hour weeks. I sat by the bayou handwriting stories that had been in my head for years. What an escape…

 

Then came Katrina. I left Louisiana to work in D.C. and Atlanta (more eighty-hour weeks) so I could pay the bills and six months later I was back home writing. The first time I decided to enter a contest was 2007 and I got 2nd place for Only the Heart Remembers in romantic suspense. I read later on the agent/judge’s website, “Send me your manuscript, but please no ‘amnesia in the storm’ stories”. Good thing I didn’t read that before I entered the contest. J Fear can be a huge de-motivator. It can annihilate your dreams.

 

From that contest, I received an “I almost bought this but it’s not quite right for us” letter from Harlequin and was asked to send two versions of it to another editor at a conference. After being pulled in so many different directions I began to doubt myself, put the manuscript aside and moved on. But after publishing my Destiny Paramortals and Storm Lake East series, I decided to take a chance, revisit this book, retitle it and bring it to my readers.

 

Storm Warning is the fulfillment of that the original dream, published ten years after it was written. There’s so much of me in it, my fascination with storms, the premonitions (Brenna’s “curse”), the community of characters I’ve loved for so long. My hero and his lady have a magical connection but I don’t want to give it away so I’ll just say, there are plenty of surprises.

 

In chronological order, Storm Warning is third in the Storm Lake East Series, after Her First Knight, and before Merry Christmas, Baby where you meet characters from all three books and upcoming characters from my next book, coming this winter. I sure hope you love the characters in Storm Warning as much as I do.

 

For this week only, Storm Warning is $1.99 to celebrate its ten-year anniversary.

 

Want a chance to win the full ebook set of Storm Lake East books in epub or mobi? Simply retweet this link to your followers and come back here to post your tweet in the comment box. (Books will be delivered via email.)

 

Did you have an original dream? Have you given up on it or are you still pursuing it? Why not clip this little calendar pic to your computer or frig to remind you to never give up?

SW ad button

 

Blurb:

You’ve killed him, Bad Brenna taunted. Brenna looked down the steps at the man lying motionless in the tropical downpour. I told you that silly phobia would get you in trouble if you didn’t get a grip.

 

Brenna knew she was right, knew it was exactly why Bad Brenna existed, to help her cope with the trauma that had turned her into a scared rabbit whenever lightning was in the forecast. But her anxiety over the approaching storm had been magnified by yet another premonition. Typically, it meant someone was about to die. Had she been the means, this time, of fulfilling her own prophecy? As usual, there were no clear answers. She needed to start trusting her sixth sense if she was ever going to get rid of Bad Brenna.

 

But for now, she had an unconscious burglar on her hands…

 

 

Excerpt:

“Who are you?” he demanded, looked down at her with suspicious eyes.

Her eyes widened with consternation. “Oh, my God. You have amnesia. You don’t know who you are.”

“No, damn it. I know exactly who I am.” His words were slurred. “What I don’t know is who you are and why my head feels like it’s about to implode.”

He swayed, staggered backward. It didn’t take precognitive abilities to see it coming. She grabbed for him, wedging herself behind him to prevent yet another concussion. Now, hadn’t she known what would happen next?

Suddenly, he was toppling backward, but at the last minute he flipped her over to take the brunt of the contact with the hard floor himself. She felt the air leave him followed by a startled oomph as she landed on top of him—hard.

Brenna blew the hair out of her eyes. “Well. I guess chivalry isn’t dead. I’ll bet that hurt.” She rubbed her knee as he threw an arm over his face and groaned. She was going to succeed in killing him if she didn’t get him into the bedroom.

He swore again, lavishly, and this time her grandfather who’d spent thirty years in the Navy saluted from his grave. For a couple long seconds, he floundered like a beached octopus legs kicking and arms moving until he finally righted himself. Brenna knelt next to him and placed her hand on his shoulder.

He flinched. “Leave me alone. Are you trying to kill me?” His left hand cradled his temple.

“I’ll have you know I was trying to break your fall. You were going down like a Redwood in the Sequoia National Forest.”

He shook his head, “Silly woman, if I’d landed on you, you’d have been hurt.”

Another sharp crack of thunder made Brenna flinch. When the light flickered on those amber eyes amidst a mask of blood and bruises, she shivered. Bad Brenna was thinking, He’d make a nice Christmas present. Her eyes traveled down the contours of his body. Rational, sane, levelheaded Brenna knew this might turn into her worst nightmare.

How could she even think of sex at a time like this? Her house was a wreck. The power was out. Handsome stranger or naked burglar or hunky naked burglar—however she chose to think of him, the bottom line was she didn’t know who he was or how she was going to get him on his feet.

It couldn’t get any worse.

“Shit. My head hurts, and I have to piss,” he said.

She rolled her eyes. What a gentleman.

He put his hands on the floor, gathering the strength to rise. He swayed like a rickety saw horse on all fours, his bicep muscles quivering, face turning a sickly green as his features contorted.

“Oh, no.” She recognized that look.

“No, no, wait.” She darted for the trashcan.

Too late. He threw up, and her freshly waxed hardwood floor was covered with a stinking, steaming, slippery pile of vomit.

Ick.”

She glimpsed of his eyes rolling up, and just as she got a hand on one a powerful forearm, he passed out. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to keep his shoulder from grazing the oozing pile of muck when he landed.

A loud boom shook the cabin.

Brenna looked up at the ceiling. “Oh, quit, will you?”

 

Click the retailer for link to Storm Warning:

Ibooks

Amazon

Kobo

Nook

ARe 

Paperback

Goodreads

Inkterra

Page Foundry

 

 

Note: Book 5 in the Destiny Paramortals, Take These Broken Wings is available for preorder now on all retailers for October 2nd release.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://liviaquinn.com

Facebook www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

Twitter www.twitter.com/liviaquinn

Pinterest www.pinterest.com/liviaquinn

 

Sign up for my newsletter  http://eepurl.com/W94bb

 

Goodreads  http://bit.ly/1TfBMe9

All book links http://liviaquinn.com/books.html

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

 

Author Biography:

Livia Quinn is a DC native who lives and writes on the Louisiana bayou. She’s stored up plenty of quirky tales from her jobs as mail lady, plant manager, entertainer and business owner to share with her readers. Visit Storm Lake, where anything can happen!

 

She’s including some links you can go to if you’d like to help South Louisiana residents who were hit hard in the recent 500-year flood. 80,000 families were affected!

 

Volunteer Louisiana (state website)

Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank

United Way — Baton Rouge

Salvation Army — Baton Rouge

Society of St. Vincent de Paul — Council of Baton Rouge

Capital Area Animal Welfare Society

Louisiana Association of Educators (Flood Relief Fund)

 

Are You Living Up to Your Potential? #inspiration #motivation #affirmations


living up to potential

Are you living up to your potential?

Each of us has incredible potential and has the capability of changing the world! It’s all a matter of believing in yourself and hard work!

It’s too hard.

I’ll mess up.

I don’t have the energy or talent.

These thoughts and more tie us down. Sure, it takes hard work and perseverance. But if it was easy, everyone would do it.

I talk to authors and artists all the time. The biggest complaint I hear is how hard it is to get noticed or to make a difference. Here is what one author asked me yesterday:

How do you do it? How do keep positive? How do you continue when constantly met with rejection? It’s exhausting!

Without thinking I replied:

This is what I have always wanted to do with my life. Ever since I was little, I have loved books and creating stories. Sure, some people may not like them. Sure, I may have made some mistakes along the way. I keep positive because I’m living the life I envisioned when I was five. 

We all make mistakes and encounter obstacles. The purpose is not to defeat you but to strengthen you! You limit yourself to what you can achieve. There is no limit to your potential!

There will be obstacles.

There will be doubters.

There will be mistakes.

But with hard work,

There are no limits!

MRS N

The Challenges of Being a #Bipolar Author by @BekaLombardo #amwriting #books


I’ve spent many, many years dealing with bipolar disorder.  However, I’ve only spent a year as a bipolar author.  All authors face challenges.  Struggling to be published, meeting deadlines, promoting. I am now of the opinion that those of us dealing with bipolar disorder have a different battle to fight.  On the heels of receiving my very first rude and threatening email about my book, I am facing an even greater challenge.  I have to fight to even continue to put myself out there for this type of scrutiny.  I’m constantly trying to tell myself that if I were to give up, the bullies would win.  I can’t do that.

 

 

Take a book signing for example.  I had one last year and going into it, I was terrified.  I’ve never been good at public speaking to begin with.  When you factor in my anxiety issues, I wasn’t sure I would even get through it.  Thankfully, my husband was next to me the entire time.  I think I pulled it off, but I’m not sure how I would have done had there been more people in attendance.

 

 

We all face issues with confidence.  I’m not so naïve that I don’t understand that.  I feel like authors or writers that are not dealing with mental illness may have a leg up in some areas.  In my situation, I am at a stage where I am rarely leaving my house or even my bedroom. I don’t think someone like James Patterson has to contend with such obstacles.

 

 

In my book, I documented my enormous issues with body image and self-esteem. I’ve always been negative about my appearance. Over the years dealing with my depression, I’ve gained more weight than I ever would have imagined. Dealing with bipolar disorder, weight gain, and the possibility of appearing in photos or on television is incredibly daunting. I did one television interview early on, and I can’t even look at the video at this point. It sends me into a deep depression for days.  Even now that I’m on the right path with my health, and I’m down 27 pounds, I still beat myself up for appearing in front of the camera the way I look.

 

 

For those of us that happen to feel things much deeper than most people, negative reviews are like a sharp knife to your heart. It’s been an arduous task trying to convince myself that just because not everyone likes it, doesn’t mean I’m a failure…or as one person called me, a selfish narcissist. I never in my wildest dreams thought that putting my story out there in an effort to raise awareness about suicide would be met with such comments. I’m simply trying to help people!

 

 

Granted, I’m no Mother Teresa, but I didn’t join this fight to make myself look good. Quite the contrary.  I wanted to use this platform to tell a cautionary tale, so to speak. To let others know that I made many mistakes along the way, but I am certainly much stronger for learning from those mistakes.  Most of all, people need to understand that having a bad day doesn’t mean you have a bad life.

 

 

So, I’ll take comfort in the fact that there are those that support me.  The mental health community is amazing. I love feeling a sense of camaraderie. As if we’re all here, fighting the same battle and hopefully making a difference.  I’ve met some of the most amazing people in the last year.  As much as I struggle with social anxiety and agoraphobia, it’s such a comfort to know that despite those issues, I may still be able to affect change in the world around me.

 

 

Of course, there are days when it’s extremely difficult to keep focused on the positive.  It’s hard to keep focus at all.  That is one of the main reasons I’ve been rather terrified to sign on to any particular website to write a monthly column.  When I’m depressed, all concentration goes out the window.  It feels as if there’s a movie playing inside my brain on fast forward and I have no idea where the remote is.  When writer’s block sets in, I can’t slow my brain down to come up with a sentence, let alone an entire article.  I’m constantly afraid of letting people down or even letting myself down. The idea of being a failure still rests comfortably on my shoulder.  Ever present and always reminding me of the mistakes I’ve made.  I often make an effort to reach out and help others with whatever they’re working on.  At times, it helps to put my situation into perspective.  The next thing I know, I’m writing again.

 

 

I never know when an idea will hit me.  Last night, it was around 1:30 in the morning.  It’s both a curse and a blessing.  While I’m grateful for the opportunity to put pen to paper, I’m sometimes a slave to my expanded consciousness.

 

 

I realize that I have traditionally been way too hard on myself.  I need to give myself credit once in a while.  If I see someone on TV that is an extremely talented artist, musician, or even a writer, that little voice inside my head is very vocal. I’m forever thinking, “I wish I was that good at anything!” I’ve beat myself up for so many years, I’m not sure I would know how to be kind.

 

 

I lack confidence on so many levels.  Poor self-esteem is a symptom of depression, but when will I learn to cut myself some slack? I wrote a book and I got it published, and it’s helping people! I have an extremely successful blog and I feel as if I’ve earned the respect of many others in the mental health community, at least on social media!  So, when do I stop and give myself a little pat on the back? I carry burdens that many people wouldn’t be able to shoulder for very long.  I fight a battle inside my head (and my heart) from the minute I get up in the morning.

 

 

Perhaps now is the time to remember that despite the challenges of being an author and having bipolar disorder, it can be managed.  I just have to be willing to use a little common sense.  I’ve gotten this far.  I think I’ve probably thrown in the towel once a week for nearly a year, and I’m still going.  I didn’t die when it was all I could think about 3 years ago.  I’m a fighter.  I may not always be able to keep that in mind for myself, but I hope I can impart that wisdom onto others that are lacking in the confidence department.  Sometimes it’s OK to just exist.  If you’re facing a challenge due to your mental illness, let it be your moment to shine!  No matter how scary it is, you have to face it head on.  If you can’t be realistic about your situation on Tuesday, give yourself some time.  Maybe on Friday you can knock it out of the park.

 

It's Not Your Journey 

 

Title:  It’s Not Your Journey

Author:  Rebecca Lombardo

Genre:  Memoir, Mental Illness

 

Book Blurb:

In her first published work, Rebecca Lombardo collects her internationally followed blog into the pages of It’s Not Your Journey. This memoir candidly details Rebecca’s two yearlong chronicle of her struggles with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, self-injury, and recovery from a suicide attempt. Rebecca shares her real and raw feelings on these subjects, as well as addressing other issues that have contributed to her downward spiral and eventual climb out of her own pit of despair. Issues such as the loss of her mother to lung cancer, the death of her brother, abandonment from friends and family members due to her hospitalization, and more. This book is about my personal journey with mental illness. I am not a professional, rather an advocate that hopes her story can help those going through similar struggles.

 

Excerpt:

PTSD

DECEMBER 26, 2013

 

PTSD is just one of the many symptoms that I deal

with on a daily basis. No, I haven’t been in combat or

seen anyone murdered per se, but that doesn’t make

the condition I have any easier to tolerate. Imagine

that I am standing in the kitchen with my husband for

twenty minutes. I can’t see him, so when he taps me

on the shoulder, I jump a hundred feet.

 

 

All night long I hear noises that sound like someone

screaming or pounding on our front door. Sometimes

when I am driving, I feel like the other cars are

coming directly at me. So, you may wonder what a

person does to cope with this type of anxiety.

I wish I could say that I have an excellent therapist

that talks me through all of it. I do not. However, I do

have Joe, and he is the next best thing.

 

 

The truth is that PTSD is a mental health condition

that affects millions of people around the world and

from all walks of life. Some may develop the condition

due to the memory of a natural disaster, or a

devastating event that rocks their community, for

example a mass shooting. Others become chained by

PTSD through personal traumatic events, the stress

just eats them alive and can impact their everyday life.

 

 

About fifteen years ago, cutting was the only calming

influence in my life. I was a pro. I had a box filled with

about twenty different sharp objects. I even had

certain songs that I played. I know from experience,

there are many people that don’t understand it. It

helps if you think of it as a drug addiction. It calms

you instantly. Then suddenly, just as fast as it takes

the pain away, it gives it back to you three fold. Now

not only do you hurt inside but you hurt on the

outside too.

 

 

Therein lies the vicious cycle of cutting.

Many of us do it to say, “Hello?!?! I am in pain here!”

That is why I did it, and sometimes still do, as sad as

that might be. The irony of a person like me is that I

then cover it up because I don’t want to look like a

freak. So where does it end? It doesn’t. Unless you

make a decision that it has to. One of these days, the

guilt is going to take over. You are going to start

cutting and never stop.

 

 

I am proud to say that I am self-injury free since that

horrible week in June 2013, and this time I plan on

staying that way. I can’t list off any particular coping

mechanism that helps me in any way. I will tell you

this, picture yourself locked away from the outside

world and everything that you love. That will get you

thinking just a bit clearer, believe me. I know I never

want to end up there again. It’s sad that something

like this could still be an issue, but you have to

remember that everyone has a burden that they carry

with them. You may not be able to see it, but know it

is there and try to find it within you to be kind.

 

 

Buy Links: 

Amazon https://www.amzn.com/0692509739

 

 

Rebecca Lombardo

 

Author Biography:

I’m 43 years old and have been very happily married for 15 years. I live in Michigan with my fantastic husband, Joe. We don’t have children, but we have 5 cats that we rescued. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 19, and I’ve been battling it every day since. I write to give my feelings a voice and to help others that are struggling. That is why I started a blog in 2013 after I survived a suicide attempt. I’m extremely grateful to everyone that helped me realize my dream of becoming a published author. Huffington Post blogger and podcast host.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook www.facebook.com/notyourjourney

Twitter www.twitter.com/bekalombardo

Website www.rebeccalombardo.com

Blog www.judgmentfreezone2013.blogspot.com

Instagram www.instagram.com/bekalombardo

Instagram www.instagram.com/notyourjourney

 

 

 

 

Five Steps to Writing a Romance Novella in Two Weeks #amwriting #writingtips #ASMSG


Can you write a romance novella (20,000 words) in two weeks?

You bet!

Here are my five steps to writing a romance novella in only two weeks:

1- Create a writing plan. Before becoming a published author, I was very disorganized. Being the creative-type, I just went with the flow and wrote when I felt like writing. This doesn’t work when you have a goal of writing 20,000 words in ten days. So, I enlisted the help of my husband (totally organized) and together we created a writing schedule. Since I don’t write on the weekends, I only had ten days to work with. Each day, I had to write a minimum of 2,000 words.

Confession: There were some days when I only got 1,500 words done. The next day, I made up the missing words by writing 2,500 words. I didn’t stress when I came up short on a day. Stress breeds writer’s block and no one wants that.

2- Block out time and turn off all distractions. I know this is hard to do nowadays but it helped me immensely. I wrote from 1:00 – 5:00 pm every day. I made sure the phone was turned off and that I had all of my other to-do’s done before lunchtime. I shut down social media and email so I wasn’t distracted. I made sure I had my water bottle nearby and had music on to get me in the mood. I even put on a hat that I called my “writing” hat to get me ready to write. When I had on my hat, I was in writer-mode.

3- Keep a notebook of notes you can jot down character names, story-arcs and ideas. I found this crucial when I was writing. I was able to flip through my notes and keep writing. My notes allowed the ideas to flow out of me quicker onto the page while staying focused on the plot.

4- Have a few accountability partners. This is one of the most important steps. Time is limited and you have a goal to reach. You need your own cheering section. Halfway-through, I started to lose momentum. My brain was tired and I started to doubt my ability to reach my goal of 20,000 words. I reached out to my three accountability partners and they boosted my spirits.

5- Celebrate when you achieve your goal. Before I started writing my romance novella, I told myself when I finished I was going to celebrate. If I was going to work my fingers (and muse) to the bone, the least I could do is get something in return. My husband decided to cook me a gourmet meal with my favorites (lobster, steak, garlic mashed potatoes and creamed corn) when we finished. The image of that meal kept me going, even through the rough patches.

It took me two weeks (intense writing boot camp) but I did it! I wrote a romance novella in that stretch of time and it’s one I’m extremely proud of. In fact, that same novella is featured below.

 

PTSOL

 

Title: Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella

 

Author: N. N. Light

 

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

Blurb:

Torn between two men, Sally must follow her heart and decide if love will lead her to the city or the countryside.

Twenty-Two year old Sally Rayton returns to the family farm she deserted four years ago to bury her grandfather. Her plan: to settle her grandfather’s estate and return to her life in the city with her boyfriend, Trevor Mattson.

Her childhood friend, Jack Smith, has other ideas.

Jack convinces Sally to transform the farm into a brewery and fulfill her grandfather’s dream while keeping the Rayton Farm in the family. Sally works side-by-side with Jack while Trevor is hundreds of miles away in the city. The more time she spends with Jack, the stronger her feelings are for him.

When Trevor shows up to propose to Sally right before Christmas and finds her in Jack’s embrace, she must make the biggest choice of her life: true love.

 

PTSOL teaser 1

 

Excerpt:

“Jack, thank you so much for the lift into town,” a woman replied behind Sally. “Let’s grab some lunch before we shop.”

Sally froze. She stared at Linda who shook her head. What was Jack doing with a woman in town?

“Here, let me take your coat, Emma,” Jack said.

Emma? mouthed Sally to Linda.

“She’s the daughter of Lonnie and Mary Beth.” Linda gave Emma the look-over and scoffed, “She can’t be a day over sixteen.”

“What do I do?” Sally panicked. Normally she didn’t care what Jack did or who he went off with. Curiosity got the better of her and she turned around.

Emma stood five foot three with curly blonde hair and innocent green eyes. Her figure was slim with curves in all the right places. Sally narrowed her eyes as Emma stood on tiptoe to kiss Jack on the cheek.

Fuming, Sally turned around. Linda chuckled.

“What?”

“You better tone down your jealousy, darlin’. You’re shooting darts everywhere.”

Sally gritted her teeth.

“I’m not jealous. If Jack wants school girls kissing him, what do I care?” She took a deep drink of her coffee, draining the cup. She slammed it down.

“Simmer down, here they come,” whispered Linda. She waved to Jack while Sally swore under her breath.

“Well, fancy meeting you two here,” Jack drawled.

Without looking up Sally retorted, “I told you I was coming into town today.”

Linda kicked Sally’s leg under the table. Sally plastered a smile across her face, greeting Jack and Emma.

“Yes, what a coincidence.” Sally noticed Emma looping her arm in Jack’s and snuggling closer.

“I was on my way into town to pick up those parts we ordered for the tractor when I ran into Emma walking by herself in the snow.” Jack smiled. Emma squeezed his arm.

“He pulled over and offered me a lift into town. Isn’t he a gentleman?” cooed Emma. Jack patted her hand.

Sally’s chest constricted at the sight of the two of them acting all couple-y. She stared into his twinkling eyes. Oh God, is he laughing at me? Emma can’t have him. He’s mine. Wait what?

“So,” Linda broke the strained silence. “I have to go powder my nose. Emma, would you care to join me?”

“What’s that?” Emma looked confused.

Linda laughed. “It’s the bathroom, dear sweet child.” She stood up, untangled Emma from Jack and guided Emma away from the table.

Jack sat down.

“What’s with you today?” he asked.

“Nothing.” Sally cleared her throat.

He raised an eyebrow.

“Really!” A few diners turned to stare. Sally flushed with embarrassment. She didn’t mean to talk so loud. She looked everywhere except in Jack’s direction.

Jack observed Sally as she fidgeted, first with her coffee cup then with the silverware. His gaze unnerved her and she practically jumped out of her chair when he placed a hand over hers. Electricity flew up her arm while warmth filled her core. Butterflies raced around her stomach, only she didn’t feel sick; she pulsed with life, like never before.

“Sally…look at me.”

Sally shook her head.

“You’ll only laugh at me.”

Jack’s thumb caressed her hand gently, causing her breath to hitch.

“You know I’d never laugh at you. Laugh with you, definitely, but never at you.”

Sally lifted her gaze to meet Jack’s loving eyes. He slid his fingers between hers, never breaking eye contact. Sparks flew between them. He moistened his lips with a flick of his tongue. Her gaze dropped to his lips.

“Please tell me. I’m begging you,” he whispered.

Unable to think clearly through the fog of desire, Sally tilted her head to one side. Her skin vibrated with heat while her nerve-endings jumped at the slightest caress.

“Tell you what?” she whispered. Her throat dry, her breathing shallow, she wet her lips with her tongue. She was under a spell and everything fell away except for Jack’s passionate eyes.

“Tell me what my wasted heart needs to hear.” His eyes flashed. “Tell me Emma made you jealous.”

Sally started to nod but Emma interrupted.

“What are you guys talking about in hushed tones? Crops and stuff?”

Jack groaned. He dropped Sally’s hand as if it burned him, causing the water glasses to jostle.

 

 

Buy Links:

Available at Amazon Worldwide exclusively and it’s FREE on Kindle Unlimited: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01581XM50

 

Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/5697490

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26134330-planting-the-seeds-of-love

 

 

Author Bio: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N.

Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG, Independent Author Network and Marketing for Romance Writers.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

 

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

 

 

#ThrowbackThursday: STOP! Step Away From the Computer! #writers #authors #IARTG #tbt


This reblog is especially for all writers, authors and bloggers. I wrote this over two years ago and the message still applies today.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about people replying to reviews and as an author/reviewer I feel I need to send this message:

STOP! STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER! DO NOT REPLY TO REVIEWS/REVIEWERS!

I beg you, please stop the insanity!

(Read on…)

Book Reviewers

Hey everyone!  I thought I would touch on a very sensitive topic to most writers and authors… book reviews.  GASP  I know I know, it’s a taboo topic but I feel this needs to be addressed.

As most of you know, I love Twitter.  I am on it for most of the day and I use it for work as well as leisure.  Anyway, I have noticed lately more and more authors are tweeting to book reviewers.  It’s not a simple, “Hey thanks for the book review”.  It’s more like, “why did you give me a bad book review” or “why are you ruining my life” or “you suck”.

As an author of an upcoming book, I can sympathize with authors who attack reviewers for a bad review.  I mean, I get the gut-wrenching pain that comes with a bad review.  But the reality is, bad reviews happen.  I hate to burst your bubble but not everyone is going to love your book.  In fact, some will loathe it.

How do you deal with a bad review?

Take a look at the quote above and visualize it.  Now take a snapshot of it in your mind and think of that every time you see a bad review.

Here’s another way to deal with a bad review: go onto Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Goodreads and look up your favorite book.  Now read through the reviews.  You will find some people love it like you do and some will hate it.  It’s called subjectivity and it’s a reality in the publishing industry.

Whatever it takes to gain some perspective, do it!  Having a bad review will not change how fabulous your book is.  In fact, the more people rip your book, the more intriguing it is for a reader to read it.  Controversy has always ruled the top of the bestseller charts!

Do NOT under any circumstances respond and/or retaliate against a book reviewer or a bad book review!!!  Not only is it unprofessional, it is simply in poor taste.  Be the better person and ignore it.:-)

If you found this blog post informative, please share it using the buttons below!

Keep smiling!

MRS N, the Author

Never Look Back… Only Forward #inspiration #amwriting #motivational


Never look back

Are you looking back at your past achievements or looking forward?

I woke up this morning in a bit of a creative funk. I know this is my muse nudging me to get writing. I cringe, feeling heaps of guilt, and whisper that I’m too busy. She just laughs and pinches me.

It’s easy as a writer to look back at all of your achievements instead of looking towards the future. You’ve got to keep moving forward and continue writing.

Stephen King never sat on his past books and said, “Well, I wrote all those books and can retire.” No way! He keeps writing new books and creating new monsters for me to fear. 😉

This applies to life too.

Never look back; search out new ideas and plan how you’re going to be a success.

It’s only when we stop moving, we stop chasing our dreams. 🙂

MRS N, the Writer

Worldbuilding – Keeping Things Real (Guest Post) by @WestonAndrew #writingtips #amwriting #SFF


IXbanner-ad_exordium - Large

 

Worldbuilding – Keeping Things Real: A Guest Post by International Best-Selling Author Andrew Weston

One of my “pet things” when it comes to writing, is what many people now refer to as, worldbuilding, the process of constructing an imaginary framework in which to set your adventure. What’s a shame is the fact that sometimes, authors don’t put enough effort into creating a setting for their stories, something that contain sufficient coherent qualities such as history, geography, ecology and suchlike. Yet, this is a key task, especially for novelists like me who concentrate on science fiction and fantasy.

 

So, how do I do it?

 

I usually begin from the top down. What does that mean? It means I devise a general overview of the world in which I’m going to set my creation and then I start working inwards. Here’s a broad example:

 
I begin by considering…where is the world situated? Who are its inhabitants and what is their history? What level of technology do they possess? What geographical features does their planet have how does this affect things like climate and skin tone?

 
Once I’ve determined those facets, I start to increase smaller details. Personally, I sketch out several maps or ship schematics, and refine them as I go along. It gives me a sense of time and scale, especially if different groups of protagonists and antagonists clash. I also find this method allows me to build well-integrated societies, which in turn, reflects a superior level of quality and realism within the story itself.

 

 

I also like to approach my creation from the perspective of a game. Why? Well, since the world I create will provide the foundation for everything that takes place in it – (my concept – the characters – all the various threads and plots I want to weave together) – I want to make sure it’s as sound as possible, and affords the reader the possibility of enchantment as they try to recreate my vision in their own minds. Yes, I want them to lose themselves in my imaginary world, I want them to connect and bring it to life.

 
To do this, I even go so far as to construct actual languages, flora and fauna, behavioral and migratory patterns. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t drown the reader in detail, but I have it ready – at my beck and call, so to speak – so I can add the little touches here and there that makes the narrative sparkle.

 

 

I like to think of my stories as rough diamonds. To begin with, I’ve got an absolute gem of an idea. But it’s rough and lackluster. I need to examine it closely and buff it up with worldbuilding. Decide what to cut and where to spend time grinding and polishing. As it gets into the final stages, I make sure each facet gleams and that there’s a depth and perspective you won’t see until you’ve viewed all the angles.

 

 

One of the main ingredients in my imaginary worlds is the “keep it real” ethic. I’m fortunate to be a Master of Astronomy. So, when I devise my fictional worlds, I base futuristic technology on the very latest theoretical science. Think about what’s been in the news over the past year or so: teleportation was the stuff of pure science fiction not so long ago, but now, scientists can transport quantum packets of information through the ether with remarkable clarity and accuracy; we can levitate objects; have artificial air scrubbers that make the foulest environment breathable; there are engines under development that researchers are sure will punch us to Mars in a matter of weeks, not months.

 
All these things help me stretch the imagination that little bit further, so my readers can seriously consider…“Yes, the citizens of Arden – thousands of years in advance of our own – use everyday constructs that we are only just delving into. I can believe that.” Once you establish the connection, you’ve got your readers hooked…

 
You see? Keeping things real helps reel them in.

 

IXexordium-box-ad-300x250

 

Title: Exordium of Tears

Author: Andrew P. Weston

Genre: Science Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

Fight or die.

 

That simple yet brutal reality is the tenet by which the refugees from Earth – including the fabled lost 9th Legion of Rome; the 5th Company, 2nd Mounted Cavalry Unit; and the Special Forces Anti-Terrorist Team – were forced to live by while the Horde menace existed. Believing that the threat is over, the survivors now yearn to settle down, start families, and reclaim the lives stolen from them.

 

But such aspirations might remain beyond their reach, for a shadow looms on the rose-tinted horizon of new beginnings.

 

The release of the re-genesis matrix has done much to foster a restoration of exuberance across Arden. Along with a resurgence in floral and faunal diversity comes the results of splicing the Ardenese and human genomes: transmutation. A metamorphosis of stunning magnitude that not only affects the living, but those still is stasis as well.

 

Recognizing the emergence of a new hybrid species, the Architect – the arcane AI construct tasked with the preservation of the Ardenese race – responds by unlocking previously hidden and inaccessible areas of the city. It also releases an archive of sealed state secrets. Such revelations are eagerly perused, whereupon a shocking discovery is made.

 

Prior to the fall, it was common knowledge amongst the Senatum (the highest levels of Arden’s government) that not all the rabid Horde had joined in the rampage across the stars toward Arden.

 

Realizing that the peril still exists, the newly reformed administration elects to respond in earnest. Existing resources are utilized, suitable candidates are chosen, and a flotilla of ships is sent out to secure, quarantine, and reclaim the outer colonies.

 

A mammoth and hazardous undertaking. And nowhere more so than at the planet from where the outbreak was known to have originated – Exordium – for there, the ancient Horde are not only supremely evolved and highly organized, but are capable of a level of lethal sophistication, the likes of which has never been witnessed before.

 

It is into this kiln of incendiary potential that the cream of Arden’s fighting forces is deployed.

 

Worlds are torn asunder, suns destroyed, and star systems obliterated. Yes, tragedy is forged, in a universe spanning conflict which proves once again that…

 

Death is only the beginning of the adventure.

 

Excerpt:

The cavern’s vaulted interior resonated with silence. More than a hundred yards wide, it was a natural feature etched from living rock by the slow and patient attrition of running water over thousands of years. As time passed the wellsprings ran dry, and the chamber gradually drained. Once barren, the cavity lay undiscovered for millennia until explorers from a faraway world happened upon it during their initial surveys prior to colonization.

Recognizing its value, those adventurers adapted the character of the gallery to suit their own purposes, transposing its simple grandeur into a wonderland of startling complexity and delight.

Yet even this transformation had been a long, long time ago, and for many years now the facility remained abandoned.

Although subdued, illumination was still afforded by a swarm of ethereal holographic constructs. Of unknown purpose, these nevertheless had been rigged to serve the mechanism dominating the cavern’s center.

Here, a circular dais more than twenty yards across rose from the floor. Above it, a pair of gleaming U-shaped collars hung suspended in midair. Each measured over fifty feet in length and were positioned so that their open arms bowed toward each other. Within the expanse of their embrace, a tear challenged the authority of spacetime itself. Appearing like a DNA helix, it slowly revolved around its own axis, warping reality to its will. A gentle breeze flowed toward the rent from each of the cavern’s exits, betraying the presence of a subtle vacuum.

Blip — blip — blip!

Harsh in the silence, a warning tone blurted from one of the control stations closest to the feature. Two adjacent projectors flickered to life. As their emitters focused on a condensed shimmering fog of ionized gas, a series of complex equations appeared. The beams intensified, and a stream of translucent symbols scrolled down the misty page.

“Anomaly detected,” a voice announced. “Please stand by . . .”

Background generators kicked in. A steady whine signaled the buildup of impressive potential.

“Target recognized and locked. Quantum tunnel initialized. Temporal sheath established. Safety overrides engaged . . .”

An oscillating tone added deeper counterpoints to the coalescing energies. Underlying vibrations increased dramatically. Static sparks jumped out to scratch at the invisible plane lurking between the brackets. Lightning flashed, once, twice, then the void yawned wide and a tornado of warped sensibilities bloomed forth in a churning bore that somehow encompassed both pelagic and volcanic attributes.

“Gateway activated. Spectral sensors primed. Data retrieval will commence in three, two, one . . . Downloading.”

A surrounding halo of ancillary equipment lent its weight to the process, and by its light hitherto unnoticed features of the chamber stood revealed.

Unlike the rest of the control center, a large area along the western periphery was free of equipment. Desks, cabinets, and scanners occupying that zone had been smashed to pieces and thrown to one side to make room for the assortment of power cables trailing along the floor and into a wide pool of gelatinous goo.

The air above the mucus shivered gently, as if wallowing in the heat of a welcome zephyr. No sooner had the wormhole stabilized than the undulating curtain flared into a confusing amalgam of Orphic contradiction. Strontium-red passion vied against a well of midnight gloom. Magnesium-silver flares rushed to counter all-consuming darkness. And finally, neon-blue tendrils of scorching hot plasma contended the threat of everlasting obscurity. Such was the frenzy of the outburst that the atmosphere itself bristled, and nearby metallic objects clanged together as they became magnetized.

Hidden at the very edge of the visible spectrum, a nest of nightmare apparitions languished in hibernation. The commotion had disturbed their repose and triggered an instinctive reaction. Roused to the verge of consciousness, their glittering fangs snapped imaginary necks. Steaming talons twitched toward phantom aggressors. Huge great jaws opened, and piercing howls joined together in a cacophony of spine-tingling complaint. Several pairs of eyes fluttered open and in that instant, an overwhelming sense of barely suppressed rage and rabid hunger flooded the cavern with the promise of certain death.

“Cycle completed,” the same automated voice intoned.

The combined resonance of multiple stations shutting down droned through the gallery.

“Geodesic anchors retracted. Astrophasic tracking nodes disengaged. Gravity locks releasing in three, two, one . . . Mark.”

The humming swarm abruptly cut off.

“Returning to passive-scan mode. Info-packet prepared. End run . . . Execute.”

The hovering screens went blank, and the control room was thrown into darkness once more.

Deprived of the source of their agitation, the beasts’ emotions cooled, and they were soon lulled back toward slumber. The energized cloud hovering above the ectoplasm continued to ripple awhile longer, but it too eventually subsided into inactivity.

All was as it had been before, except that now, a brooding, heightened state of watchfulness pervaded the ether.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Exordium-Tears-IX-Andrew-Weston/dp/0996428992

 

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Exordium-Tears-IX-Book-2-ebook/dp/B01AAFEU6O

 

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/exordium-of-tears-andrew-p-weston/1123449634?ean=9780996428996

 

Andrew Weston

 

Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

 

An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestsellers, The IX, and Hell Bound, (A novel forming part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

 

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with two of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for http://Astronaut.com  and Amazing Stories.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

 

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrewweston/

 

Andrew P. Weston Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

The IX Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

 

 

Writing is Like Marriage: Guest Post by @CadenceDenton #amwriting #IARTG #ASMSG


Midnight Delight Timeline Cover

 

For me, writing is like marriage.

 

When I begin a new project/series I’ll admit I get excited. I get goosebumps, feel flushed, and daydream about the story, the setting, the characters. * Sigh * That is the courtship phase of writing.

 

Then there’s the honeymoon phase. You know, the early planning, the mapping out of story threads, plotting twists and scenes. Here is where synopses of scenes are born. However, they are fleshed out in the next phase.

 

The actual writing process comes after the honeymoon phase—it’s the nuts-and-bolts, give-and-take of my writing marriage. I always work out my story’s beginning and ending before I begin to write. Usually, I’m a linear writer—one who goes from beginning to end. If I get stuck (and I always get stuck), I will change directions and work from the story’s end back to the beginning. It’s like injecting a bit of spontaneity into a relationship. It shakes up the writing log jam.

 

When I finally finish the first draft, I transition into edit mode. Think of editing as the old married couple with their reading glasses propped on their noses, the wife with her cross stitch in her lap and her husband clutching the day’s newspaper. It’s like you know you love your story, you’re just not in love. Sometimes the editing phase can seem to go on and on and on, still it’s worth it—just like doing the work to keep your marriage afloat. Remember, anything worth keeping takes work. Believe me, after eight published books, I tell myself this often.

 

Presently, I’m working on Extra Virgin, the third book in the Wicked Palate Series. Contessa, a medieval Italian vampire has recently vanquished her foes and married her reincarnated soul mate. Life should be easy peasy. Surprise, surprise, of course it’s not. Contessa is now the seventh wonder of the world as she finds herself pregnant. Everyone in the Shadowlands wants a piece of her and her miracle child. When the Roman goddess, Vesta, and her posse arrive bearing answers, Contessa believes she has found her savior. Could be she needs to rethink that.

 

 

Read Midnight Delight, Book One in the Wicked Palate Series:

 

Midnight Delight ebook web size

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampire

 

Book Blurb:

Call me Contessa. Forget my name, you couldn’t pronounce it. I’m a professional chef—actually, I’m the LeBron James of chefs. Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay even Julia Childs have all been my students, and that’s just a few. I’ve probably forgotten more about the culinary arts than any chef alive has learned. I was in the thick of things when today’s conventional culinary techniques were first being developed. You ever used the three basic steps in dicing an onion? Prego. That was me. Ever heard of clarified butter? Bingo. Me again.

 

How can that be? I was born in Genoa, Italy in the year of our Lord 1642. That’s right. I’m an Eternal, a creature of darkness, a vampire…and I’m obsessed by what I cannot eat. Food.

 

Ironically, I’m the star of my very own cooking show on the Foodie Culinary Channel. My dream job! Where I get to create the recipes I adore and share them with my audience and one lucky dinner guest. Which is where my troubles began. And will end.

 

I was caught partaking the red jungle juice from the neck of my dinner date. I was threatened, attacked with Holy water, and finally blackmailed by my mild-mannered joke of an Associate Producer. As it turns out, she isn’t so mild-mannered.

 

Now I have two choices: turn her into a child of darkness or risk exposure to the human world.

 

I’m thinking there’s a third choice. His name is Rocco Guadagnino.

 

Buy Links: 

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1084546641

 

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/midnight-delight

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Delight-Wicked-Palate-1/dp/099039493X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/midnight-delight-cadence-denton/1123429648;jsessionid=B92B26325709A2A6914F7F881FBD324A.prodny_store01-atgap09?ean=2940152863062

 

All Romance ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-midnightdelight-1998784-150.html

 

Cadence Denton

 

Author Biography:

I’m an odd mixture of one-part dreamer, one part realist, and two parts stubborn–which can be a positive thing if you’re a writer. Not content to write in just one genre, I write dark paranormal romance, time travel, light science fiction, romantic comedy, and gritty romantic thrillers. Told you I was stubborn (that and a little crazy!). Besides, doing the same thing day after day can become boring and we can do with a little less boring, right?

 

Find me on cadencedenton.com or cadencedentonauthor@gmail.com

 

What’s in Your Writer’s Tool Box? My Go-To Tool is Twitter #writingtips #amwriting


Writer's ToolBox

What’s your go-to tool, writers?

In every profession, there is a “tool box” of skills and resources.  You utilize these tools every day and with each new skill, you become more proficient at your job.  It is the key to being successful.  The same is true for a writer.

Four years ago, I made the decision to become a writer full-time.  I did my research and gathered some tools for my tool box.  They included, but was not limited to, a computer, dictionary, internet, notepads, pens and the idea for my debut book.  I went online and googled a few websites to help me.  I reached out to my friends who were writers and asked for any advice.

My writer friends were only too happy to dispel horror stories and warnings about the pitfalls of being a professional writer.  I nodded and my heart was soon filled with dread.  I know that my friends meant well but all it did was cause me to doubt.

pregnant

The same is true when a woman gets pregnant or married.  All of their friends and family regale them with horror stories and what not to do.  The woman in question is soon filled with so much trepidation that she is rethinking her decision.  Her friends and family meant well but didn’t really help.

I reached out to a writer friend of mine and he gave me this advice, “You should be using your Twitter account.”

I asked him, “What do you mean?”

He said, “You have a Twitter account and so does every writer, agent and publishing house.  In today’s world, everything is done via social media.”

I took his advice and after signing up to follow a bunch of people, I realized that Twitter is amazing!  Twitter is the one place where you can not only interact with successful writers but agents and publishing houses too.  I learned so much and it made me a better writer.

start writing quote

Not only can you advertise your book when it is released, but you can learn how to be a better writer.  There are so many writers on Twitter who offer their support to you.  Their insight is really needed, especially when you are a novice writer.

The first Twitter handle I recommend following is Writer’s Digest.  They post articles about each aspect of writing from outlining your book to editing to landing an agent to marketing.  It is all free and invaluable!

WD

When writers ask for my advice on getting noticed or marketing, I tell them the first thing they need to do is to get on Twitter.  Create an account and start reading all the ways you can become a better writer.

Okay fellow writers/authors, what’s your go-to tool sitting in your tool box? What’s your favorite thing about being on Twitter? Share in the comments below. 

#Writers, Embrace Those Writing/Revising/Editing Deadlines #amwriting #amediting #writingtips


Writing Deadlines

 

Deadlines.  All writers/authors have them.  No matter who you are or what you are writing, you have deadlines.

I’ll let you in on a little secret.  Are you ready?

Deadlines can be very inspirational. 

Check out this illustration above and raise your hand if you can relate.  I raised my hand and you should too.  Deadlines don’t have to be scary or impossible.  In fact, you could be producing some of your best stuff under a deadline.  Let me explain.

Throughout the writing/revising/editing process, I have had to be under deadlines.  Some of them were intense and others were pretty easy.  I add and/or delete scenes.  I’ve  added conflict where there was none before.  I’ve switched POVs and even deleted a few characters.  Each of these changes needed to be done under a deadline.  Truthfully, each of these changes were hard for me to do and at times, I wanted to quit.  But thanks to my supportive and loving husband, MR N, I stayed the course and met each deadline.

How did I do it?  Here are some ways I faced down my writing deadlines and was victorious:

  • I created a plan.  Most of my deadlines were thirty days.  I approached it the same way I used to approach tasks when I was a manager at a bookstore.  I wrote down everything that needed to be done and in the order they needed to be completed.  I looked at the time I had to set aside for completing the tasks (in addition to my other priorities aka life).  I had six hours a day for five days a week for four weeks which equaled somewhere around 120 hours.  I divided the time I had available by the tasks I needed to do to meet the deadline.  Sounds simple, right?

Here’s an example from 2014: When I was changing my POVs from six to two ( I know… lol) for Princess of the Light, I had given myself ten days to get it done.  My book was 465 pages at that point and that meant I had to go through 50 pages a day (or 8 pages an hour).  I know it sounds like a lot but I’m very proud that I completed it in nine days! I got on a roll and just rocked it out!

Instead of focusing so much on all that you have to get done, focus instead on what you have to do today.  It doesn’t seem so daunting and it really works!

  • Minimize the distractions. I know how distracting email, social media and the phone can be.  You know me, I adore Twitter!  It can suck hours of my life away without me knowing it.  But when you are against a tough deadline, try your best to shut down as many distractions as possible.  Here’s a trick I learned.  For every two hours I wrote/edited/revised, I gave myself 20 minutes on social media/email as a treat.  I didn’t get burned out and it allowed me to celebrate all of my hard work.

 

Deadline Approaching

 

  • Listen to your favorite music.  I find that Pink Floyd really helps me to write/revise/edit.  No matter what the music may be, put it on and let the words flow.

 

  • Tell your Critique Partners, writing friends and/or significant other what is going on.  Not only will they understand your disappearance and lack of emails, they’ll help you get through it.  Writing/editing/revising is hard work and it will take all of your energy to get it done.  Let them be your cheerleaders and venting buddies.

I can’t tell you how many times I cried on MR N’s shoulder and vented my frustrations.  I also vented to a few close writer friends and their insights was invaluable.  Promise me, though, to NOT vent on social media!!! Unless it is a closed group that no one can access, it is better to vent via phone or email. 🙂

 

diamond

 

  • Let the stress of the deadline wash over you.  Think of yourself like a diamond.  You started out as a dark piece of charcoal and the more stress you were under, the more brilliant you became.  Look at you now… a sparkling diamond that everyone clamors for.  Your writing is like that too.  The more editing/revising you do, the chaff is stripped away and a beautiful priceless story is left.

 

I hope these tips helped you to face your next deadline.  Face it, head-on!

Do you have any tips/techniques for overcoming deadlines?  I would love to hear from you! Together we can all learn to defeat those deadlines!!

Until next time,

MRS N, the Deadline Defeater 🙂

To Pen Name or Not: That is the Question #amwriting #writingtips #writers


pen name cartoon

 

One of the first questions a writer needs to answer is whether to choose their given name or create a pen name.  What is a pen name?  A pen name is a name invented by the author or publishing house.  Pen names have been around for hundreds of years.  Here are some famous pen names:

Ann Landers

Anne Rice

Anthony Burgess

C. S. Forester

Charles Moulton

Christopher Pike

Dr. Seuss

Ellery Queen

J. K. Rowling

Joseph Conrad

Lemony Snicket

Lewis Carroll

Mark Twain

Robert Jordan

Sidney Sheldon

Toni Morrison

Voltaire

There are several reasons why these famous people and many more take a pen name.  They range from being more marketable as a neutral name to wanting to become someone new.  As many of you know, N. N. Light is my pen name.  I chose it for many reasons.  Here are a couple:

– Privacy

-Mystery

-Intrigue

-Flows off the tongue

I wanted to choose a pen name that had a nice ring to it and allowed me to keep my writing life separate from my private life.  I brainstormed with MR N and we came up with N. N. Light.

How did we come up with it?  Both of our names start with N and Light is simply who I am at the core.  🙂 See… N. N. Light.

So you want to have a pen name too?  Here are few tips:

– Pick a name that is easy to say and something people can remember.  The worst thing is to have a pen name that no one can pronounce.

-Use initials if you want your gender to remain mysterious.

-Do a little research and make sure the name is not taken.  This is as easy as going onto Amazon and typing in your pen name.  If nothing comes up, chances are you are good to go.

-Try it out on your friends and family.  See what they think.

-Say it aloud several times.  Does it roll off the tongue?  You’ve got a winner!

-See what it looks like in print.  Create a mock book cover and see how it looks.

If you make the big plunge into pen names, I think you will find it fun!  If it works for famous authors, why can’t it work for you?

Have you decided on your author name?  What are some of your favorite pen names?  Let me know in the comments below!

I remain your steadfast yet mysterious MRS N or better known as…

N. N. Light

It Pays to be a Wise-Ass: Guest Post by Jeff Lee #books @jfredlee #amwriting


 

It pays to be a wise-ass.

 

A little while ago, I was being interviewed for an article to run on a news blog serving the Northern California suburb where I grew up. The article was about local kids who’d gone on to do something with their lives, and the interviewer wanted to know what was it that separated me from most other writers.

 

“Two things,” I answered. “One, I’ve been writing professionally for more than forty years. And B, I’m an inveterate wise-ass.”

 

In my case, the two overlapped beautifully.

 

A couple of years ago, I retired from a career in advertising. And just so you know, it was light years away from Bewitched. Spent four decades writing ads, commercials, billboards, brochures and what-have-you. For everything from cars and motorcycles to Mexican Restaurant chains, airlines, toys, and heavy equipment manufactures. Even helped a successful, socially challenged Seattle businessman advertise for his future Mrs. wealthy recluse.

 

All of which was done under insane deadlines and then pitched to clients who couldn’t wrap their brains around why they needed to spend money advertising in the first place. Let alone laying out good funds to run stuff that was patently silly.

 

Like an ad for an imported line of ATV’s, showing a rider at night in driving rain, on his little 4-wheel, slogging through a seriously mud choked field, beneath a bold-type headline that read, “Take it where the sun don’t shine.”

 

Or an ad for a company that makes those little mini bulldozers you see on construction sites. The ad had to talk about how tough, rugged, economical and dependable these mini-dozers were. And it had to speak to cement and concrete contractors, since it was running in their industry’s trade magazines. Best of all, it was due yesterday. What the hell do you do? You grab some photos showing one of these little machines zipping around with tons of wet cement in its bucket. Under which, the headline says, “Enough to make any concrete guy good and hard.”

 

Or an in-store banner for a line of imported dirt bikes, whose manufacturer supported this segment of the motorcycle market with a little free factory-sponsored tech support for amateurs racing their particular bikes in the dirt. No visual this time. Just a huge banner hung in dealerships around the country. Picture an all black background, with huge, dayglo green letters, proclaiming, “You gotta be nuts to moto without a good supporter.”

 

The whole thing taught me how to work under the pressure of a deadline.

 

And how to be funny as hell, on command.

 

And most importantly, how to be fearless as a writer.

 

If you can put words on paper in a way that tells a story about characters the reader can come to know and care about, you’ve got a brain.

 

If you can do that AND make your reader laugh out loud from time to time, you’ve got a sense of humor.

 

And if you can accomplish all of that without worrying about what your great Aunt Sylvia’s going to say; or what your BFFs think about it; or the reviewer for the local paper (who hasn’t liked anything printed since Gutenberg), then kiddo, you’ve got a spine.

 

Ultimately, there’s only one person on the planet your writing has to please.

 

And you look them square in the eye every morning while you’re flossing.

 

Take a look at the sample included here, and see what I mean.

 

Trust me, I’m really pleased with this hunk of writing.

 

ATT_1436563587019_IMG_skr7yn

 

Title: Chump Change

Author: Jeff Lee

Genre:   Humor, Comedy, Crime, Murder, Mystery

 

Book Blurb:

You think being the Bounty Hunter and Repo Guy to the Stars is easy? Just talk to “Fish” Fishbein. If he isn’t trying to round up a heavily lubricated ex-rocker, he’s flying down the freeway in a repoed Wiener Mobile, chased by the pistol-packing deadbeat who owns it.

A bail bondsman hires him to track down a crew of unwise guys who blew off their court date to snatch L.A.’s monthly parking meter take — 300 grand in quarters. Then they start dropping like flies. And Fish has to catch the killer.

Maybe it’s the city’s armed and dangerous Parking Meter Czar. Or his brother-in-law, a corrupt televangelist who needs some serious coin to bankroll his foray into Bible-based porn. Or the Rev’s wife and co-minister, who’s several clicks beyond crazy about toddler beauty pageants. Or, it just might be the defrocked talent agent who’s dying to make Fish a reality TV star.

With more than seven tons of quarters at stake, bodies are dropping faster than turn-downs on America’s Got Talent. And if Fish and his hog-riding buds, Kenny and Einstein, don’t nab the killer in a hurry, they could get eliminated themselves.

   Chump Change is author Jeff Lee’s third book in his Adventures in La-La Land series, following The Ladies Temperance Club’s Farewell Tour and Hair of the Dog. If you enjoy the whacko characters, situations and fast pace that Janet Evanovich, Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard bring to the party, check out all of Fish Fishbein’s big adventures.

 

WARNING: Contains some of the most hysterical explicit sex scenes ever written. 

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

This is a scene from my most recent book, Chump Change, a fast-paced, hysterical mystery that pokes a ton of satirical fun at the L.A. life, crime, murder, sex, porn and the entertainment industry. “Fish” Fishbein, the book’s main character, has just repoed a restored old Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile, and is being chased by the pistol-packing deadbeat who owns it.

 

“Fish checked the outside mirror on his side of the Weiner Mobile and everything looked pretty normal.

 

The San Diego Freeway was its usual congested mess for this, or any other time of day.

Except for one ancient, thrashed looking beater, a disco-era Caddy, headed in the same direction as the Weiner Mobile.

 

And in one a hell of a hurry.

 

It was only about a hundred yards behind him and closing fast.

 

Passing slowly under the Sunset Boulevard overpass, he watched the back window on the old Caddy’s passenger side roll down.

 

Now the top half of a really husky looking guy in a satin N.Y. Giants fashion statement was fighting to lean out of the opening.

 

Fish kept his eye on the old car as the rear seat passenger reached back in and brought out a pistol big enough to snuff a grizzly.

 

Or at least make it reconsider a life choice or two.

 

Then he saw the guy’s gun hand jerk skyward and almost instantly, a pair of huge ventilation holes opened up in the rear and front of the Weiner Mobile.

 

“Gun!” Fish shouted. “Everybody on the floor! This crazy son of a bitch is shooting at us!”

 

He yanked his cell phone out of his pocket and dialed 911.

 

“L.A. County 911. What’s the nature of your emergency?”

 

“The nature of my emergency?”

 

Most times, Fish had a problem trying to keep his inner wise-ass from coming out to play.

 

Like now.

 

“Yeah, I’m trying to win on Wheel of Fortune, only Vanna won’t sell me any freakin’ vowels.”

 

Like most federal, state and county employees, Fish’s 911 operator was required by law to check her sense of humor at the door when she clocked in for her shift that morning.

 

“Sir, are you aware of the penalty for making a false 911 call in California?”

 

“Look, my name’s Morris Fishbein. I’m a repo guy and I’m headed North on the San Diego Freeway, about half a mile past Sunset,” he blurted into the phone.

 

“I’m in a vehicle I just repossessed. The deadbeat owner and some of his friends are right behind me. And one of them just took a freakin’ shot at us!”

 

“Can you describe your vehicle?”

 

“Yeah, it’s a restored old Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile with personalized plates that read MEAT MAN. The whole thing’s painted tan and yellow and it looks like a giant hot dog.”

 

“Tan and yellow, sir?”

 

“Just picture a thirty-foot-long penis on rye.”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon link: http://amzn.to/1KEN8U3

 

Jeff Lee

 

Author Biography:

Born near New York City and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jeff Lee has spent his entire writing career in Los Angeles. For more than 35 years, he has been a copywriter, producer and creative director for some of the advertising industry’s most recognizable agencies, winning numerous awards for his creativity and wise-ass sense of humor. Typical for his industry, none of those ad agencies are still in business, but Jeff appears to have pretty solid alibis for the deaths of each one.

Retired from advertising, Jeff now spends his time on his own writing, having produced four novels – The Ladies Temperance Club’s Farewell Tour, Hair of the Dog, Chump Change and Bird Boy. Each of these books debuted to rave reviews, garnering all 4 and 5-star reviews.

Trained as a cook in the Army, he still enjoys being creative in the kitchen, and admits that few things in life compare with the thrill of discovering you’ve just given a nasty case of food poisoning to 140 heavily-armed troops.

 

Social Media Links:

FB Author Page: on.fb.me/1QPczqQ

Website: bit.ly/1uHEmSo

Twitter: @jfredlee

Goodreads: bit.ly/1MCCM8p