Let’s Talk #Writing and What It Takes to be a Writer! #amwriting #ASMSG #IARTG


writing writers

 

People ask me all the time how to write.  I think it must be one of those secret desires in people, to know how books get written.  People are fascinated with it and stare at me like I’m their favorite candy.

 

The truth is that writing is different for everyone.  It’s a very personal experience.  Ever since I was little, I’ve been writing.  By the time I was in high school, I had filled several journals, diaries and notebooks. Stories, poems, prose all poured out of me.  It’s like a tick, only with ink.

 

I write because I have to.  If I don’t write, my body will start to twitch and the voices will just consume me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to write and I feel so blessed by this gift.  The voices, or characters as I call them in polite society, speak to me and I write them down.  Many times, more than one character vies for my attention (think Real Housewives but in my brain).

 

When I met the Walking Man (the homeless man who inspired Princess of the Light), I knew that it was up to me to tell his story.  He was my daily inspiration and when I didn’t feel like writing, all I had to do was think of him out in the cold.  The words just flowed out of me.

 

Princess of the Light is published and next month celebrates its third book birthday.  Does that mean that the voices stop? No way! They are even louder and body-slamming each other for my attention. They want their five minutes in the spotlight in future books.  I’m writing book two as fast as I can but it’s not fast enough for Than, head demon. He wants his revenge and nothing will stop him… or so he thinks.

 

I write because I love it.  I love seeing people respond to my writing.  I love making a difference and spreading the Light.  I love inspiring others.

 

I write, most of all, for my survival.  I need to write like I need oxygen to breathe.  It is a part of my body, mind and soul.  Without writing, I am not quite myself.

 

If you have a story begging to be told, get writing! You may be like me and your very survival may depend on it!

 

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:

Free on Kindle Unlimited

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

 

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

 

Createspace: 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 and Independent Author Network.

 

Sign up for their author newsletter and get exclusive content and prizes 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.

 

50% 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

What goes into world-building? In @LiviaQuinn’s case, it’s personal… #paranormal #amwriting


Stormlakemap

 

What goes into creating an author’s world? In the case of Storm Lake, it’s personal…

 

When I was two, my parents took me to a 4th of July fireworks celebration in DC where I grew up. We left early. My father thought that was where my fear of storms began.

 

Fast forward to my first month in the South, when Mississippi suffered a record breaking tornado outbreak. Tornados were “walking the interstate” about a half mile from my apartment. I looked out my window in the dark, listening to the wind, asking myself, “Is that a train?” and wondering what kind of train noise I was supposed to recognize, the whistle or the clackety-clack of the wheels on the rails. It was horrifying.

 

Forward again to a town on the Mississippi River when I was performing in a bar on the top floor of a hotel overlooking the river, next to a wall of floor to ceiling windows as low gray clouds skidded past. In the middle of a Bonnie Raitt song with six couples hanging on every note and lyric, lightning struck a transformer across the river and light exploded through the room like a nuclear blast. The next thing I knew I was crawling across the carpet in my slinky black dress, my guitar was on the floor, my belt in a customer’s lap and the bartender was telling someone downstairs that the singer was having a nervous breakdown.

 

After a layoff in 2005, I decided to start writing my stories down. Each was set in a small town near a large lake in the South, possibly South Carolina. Then, Katrina hit here followed by Rita, and the following year when I was delivering the mail as a rural carrier, Gustav. That’s when my Rural Carrier Mystery/ Romance became a story about a storm witch/mail carrier who controls the weather, and Storm Lake was born. It’s rather cathartic for me to have a character who can control that which I fear, severe weather, and especially lightning 😉

 

Whether it’s Contemporary Romance on the east end or Cozy Paranormal on the west… dive in to Storm Lake… you won’t want to leave.

 

On the west side of Storm Lake in the middle of a super pulse of leylines lies Destiny, home to the Destiny Paramortals, a group of tempestaeries, fae, djnn, and others who are bound by an ancient pact to protect weaker species – like humans.  Unknown to the other communities outside of Destiny is the role the Paramortals have in keeping them safe.

 

Blame it on the Moon

 

Title: Blame it on the Moon

Author: Livia Quinn

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Southern Urban Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

*** Blame it on the Moon is book 4 in the Destiny Paramortals, a world of tempestaeries (storm witches), dragons, shifters vampires and fae. ***

 
Is it Mayberry or Middle Earth? Well, duh… Ages ago a pact was made between the supernatural species – shifters, djinn, dragons, vampires and fae – to protect humans. Just don’t tell the humans…

 

“ok…WOW!!!! All I can say is wow! I enjoy all of the Storm Lake Books but this is my favorite.” Blame it on the Moon

 
“Oh my God I just loved this book. I don’t know how I missed the first two books of this series. Do yourself a favor and run don’t walk to your one click button and buy this book. You want regret it, I didn’t.” Eve of Chaos

 

It’s the height of the Para-moon and Jack is up to his ‘six’ in alligators. Defending those weaker than himself is in his DNA which is what made him become a Navy pilot. But who is he kidding? Alligators he could handle! Supernatural bad guys… and ragtag doesn’t begin to describe his band of temporary ’heroes’. If he had to go to war with the troupe that showed up at dawn, he might as well start cutting up white sheets and attaching them to garden stakes.

There’s little time to worry about his future with Tempe as one crisis after another raises its head. He must find a healer for Dylan, relocate a lost elemental, make a formal request for help from the Fae, figure out what the hell his crazy ex Georgeanne is up to, and – very important – keep the humans in the dark. If worse comes to worse, he has a dragon on his side and a few surprises up his sleeve, “Yippe, ki, yi…”

But a lot can happen in twenty four hours and things… don’t always go as planned.

 

Universal Buy Link:

https://www.books2read.com/u/b5wQRm

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

 

About the Author: 

Livia Quinn is a DC native living on the bayou in Louisiana where she gets her inspiration for hunks, storms and all things supernatural. She’s been a plant manager, professional singer, mail lady, salesperson and business owner and has stored up many quirky stories to share with her readers. Visit her website at https://liviaquinn.com   or sign up for her newsletter here http://eepurl.com/W94bb

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://liviaquinn.com

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

Twitter    http://twitter.com/liviaquinn

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/liviaquinn

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Amazon Author page http://amzn.to/1T5qmhN

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Linkedin http://bit.ly/2dbYAP2

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Top 10 Tips for Writing #HolidayRomance by @RuthACasie #ROMANCE #BOOKS #GIVEAWAY #AMWRITING


Christmas in July Book Square - TMG

 

I’ve learned some interesting things about writing after releasing fifteen short stories, novellas and novels.

 

I thought I would be in full control of the characters on my pages—shape them into the people in my stories. Wrong. Many times I’ve found myself writing things I had not intended, finding out more about my character’s personalities then I originally thought, and always happily surprised.

 

I also learned that while the time from putting pen to paper to release day can vary, I’m usually working 4 to 6 months from start to finish. That means starting a holiday story in summer. Sitting on the back deck with a warm breeze or at the beach makes it difficult to think snow, cold and jingle bells.

 

So, here are my top ten tips for writing a holiday romance:

  1. Run through your playlist and find all your holiday music
  2. On YouTube find the yule log
  3. Mix up a cup of hot chocolate (ok, a frozen chocolate Frappuccino with a peppermint stick)
  4. Change your computer wallpaper to a snowy scene
  5. Turn up the air conditioner to EXTRA HIGH
  6. Choose a warm cozy romantic setting
  7. Put some holiday decorations around your writing area
  8. Include a holiday tradition you love in your story
  9. Incorporate holiday items into your story
  10. Use all of the above to get into the holiday spirit then put pen to paper

 

Title:  The Maxwell Ghost

 

Author: Ruth A. Casie

 

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

 

Book Blurb:

The Maxwell’s Caerlaverock Castle, on the Scottish border is in an uproar. Traitors, deception, murders and ghosts run rampant. The crops have failed and the granaries set ablaze. Rumors fly when servants Evan and his bride-to-be, Angel are found murdered and Evan’s ghost haunts the castle. Did Evan kill Angel then take his own life? Sonia, a young cook is sure everyone has it wrong. The ghost haunts the castle seeking justice. She will move heaven and earth to get to the truth, but she is helpless.

 

Laura Reynolds travels from England to her cousin, The Maxwell’s castle to put Evan’s ghost to rest. She has one week to complete the task or Evan’s ghost is doomed to haunt the castle forever. The Maxwell, while he loves his cousin, doubts her sorceress ways and has more important issues at hand, a traitor in their midst.

 

Jamie Maxwell Collins has finished his service to The Maxwell and eager for his promised farm. While long-time friends with Laura, he has little patience for her sorcery, but in order to get his farm The Maxwell requires Jamie protect and help her. Will Sonia’s information tip the scales and help them find the true murderer and bring justice to Evan and Angel? Will Sonia’s insight help Laura and Jamie realize their destinies are intertwined with hidden passions? All is in jeopardy when Laura becomes the murderer’s next target. Jamie will find he needs more than ghostly assistance to save Laura and realize they have a love that will last for eternity.

 

Excerpt:

After a silent hour’s ride, they arrived at a small clearing. The Bells Burn a few hundred yards ahead. Six riders emerged out of a thicket and blocked their way. Jamie’s men were in front of Laura and kept her hidden from view. Laura looked past her protectors and caught glimpses. The riders were from Ravencroft, the Mitchell crest clear on their cloaks.

 

“You’re on Mitchell land,” the leader of Bryce’s guards said. Looking between her protectors, she recognized the man. He often accompanied Bryce to Glen Kirk. Laura brought her horse around the others and caught Jamie’s men by surprise.

 

“We are not,” she insisted.

 

“Lady Laura,” the man sputtered. “I didn’t see you with these men.”

 

“Lord Bryce has you on patrol? You can’t see a woman among five men?” Jamie’s soft cough, which she knew well, concealed his laugh.

 

“And you have no idea of the Ravencroft boundary? Actually, you’re deep in Reynolds’ territory. What, sir, are you and your bullies doing on Glen Kirk land?” Her temper veered sharply to anger. Now she understood. Jamie’s route, while difficult, kept them on her father’s land until the border. Bryce. She had no illusions about his interests. They most definitely weren’t for her, but for Glen Kirk. He strutted around as if the heir apparent. Well, he wasn’t and, if she had anything to do with it, he never would.

 

The beads around her neck warmed. A soft gasp of surprise escaped her lips. Encouraged knowing she was right Laura walked her horse closer to the Mitchell patrol.

 

“How. Dare. You. Stop. Me.” She spat out each word. The men were silent, like reprimanded schoolboys. “I’ll make sure to tell my father how Lord Bryce takes liberties with Glen Kirk property or should I tell him a Ravencroft patrol lost their way in the forest and I needed to provide them with directions?”

 

Scarlet stains appeared on the leader’s cheek. Laura was aware of the enemy she’d made, but with good cause. The Mitchell men looked at each other, not knowing what to do.

 

Jamie and his men understood the situation. He pulled up beside her relaxed, his face with touches of humor around his mouth and eyes. His men on either side of them.

 

The Ravencroft leader looked at Jamie.

 

“Don’t look at me.” Jamie nodded to Laura. “I’m sorry for it, but I can’t offer you any protection. You’ll have to deal with Lady Laura.”

 

Bryce’s man stared at her baffled.

 

“Forgive me, Lady Laura. We thought something improper—”

 

“Improper. How ridiculous.” Laura’s horse reacted to her shout. She took a strong hand and calmed him. “Lord James is my mother’s cousin. Not that I need to give you an explanation. But,” she pretended to be soothed, “I do thank you for your concern for my safety and assure you your assistance is not needed. I can certainly handle one Scot and four of his men.”

 

Jamie sat his mount his hand casually on his sword hilt.

 

“Leave us now. I’ll let my father know what’s happened here and let him decide what to tell Lord Mitchell.”

 

“Yes, m’ lady.” He dipped his head in a quick bow and signaled his men. They wheeled around and made a fast retreat.

 

Their small company didn’t move. They waited until Mitchell’s men were out of sight and hearing distance.

 

Christmas in July Fete Sackful of Giveaways:

 

Grand Prize: $75 USD Amazon Gift Card

An e-copy of The Maxwell Ghost

(plus more prizes…)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db77506/?

Open Internationally

Starts July 1, 2017 12:01 am EST and ends August 1, 2017 12:00 am EST

 

Buy Links: https://amzn.com/B01M5JJB1I

 

Author’s Favorite Holiday Food/Tradition: 

Butternut Squash Soup

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of historical swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. 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 vice president, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance. She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures. 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

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

Amazon: http://amzn.to/13GwuQ1

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ruth-a-casie

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

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

Ruth’s Newsletter Signup: http://www.ruthacasie.com/contact.html#newsletter

 

#Romance Writer Seeks Hero – Must Be Willing to Work Odd Hours #guestpost #books #regency


Ginger

 

Romance Writer Seeks Hero – Must Be Willing to Work Odd Hours

A Guest Post by Anna D. Allen

 

If it were up to me, all my heroes would be beautiful, ginger-haired men… or “tall, dark, and handsome.” Of course, I can’t make them all ginger, and “tall, dark, and handsome” is relative to me—taller than me (I’m short), darker than me (I’m a shade darker than death warmed over), and handsome just means he’s got that something-something that makes me like him.

 

When the idea for a hero first takes hold in my mind, I can see him, but it’s like an impressionist painting with all the details burred (in keeping with my eyesight). So in order to describe those details, I seek out photos of men who fit that vision of my hero. This is purely a tool for myself.

 

It’s surprising how important these photos can be. In one story, the character had to be blond. No way around it. And thankfully, I found a photo to work from… because no matter what I did, no matter how I described him in print, in my mind, he had raven locks (and bore an uncanny resemblance to Duncan McLeod of Clan McLeod—aka Adrian Paul).

 

It can take some time to find the right image. And when I do, it never fails that I tend to describe the hero in negative terms—his ears were too long, his eyes too far apart, but she thought he was hot nonetheless.

 

For the novella A Light in Winter or the Wicked Will (published in Christmas Revels: Four Regency Novellas), the hero, Connor Grayson, had to be boyish and ginger. Easy. Eddie Redmayne! But as the story progressed, the heroine, Katherine Woodbridge, realized Connor was no boy and she was drawn to the “broad expanse of his back.” I needed another visual reference for that one… and discovered it while watching the latest version of Jane Eyre when Michael Fassbender, as Mr. Rochester, transplants a shrubbery. (What is it about 19th Century men in waistcoat and shirt sleeves? Okay, any man in waistcoat and shirt sleeves!)

 

Problems finding a suitable image arose while working on my novel, Miss Pritchard’s Happy, Wanton Christmas (and the Consequences Thereof). The hero was in his late thirties, very much a man, and had yet to hit that middle-aged spread. I could see the image in my head perfectly. I knew exactly whom to cast in the role. He was that British actor… I didn’t know his name. No problem. We live in the age of Google. I just had to Google something I had seen him in.

 

Only… what had I seen him in? There was that episode of Law and Order UK. No idea which one (but I bet someone was murdered). Well, he was in an episode of that mystery mini-series on PBS… No, I don’t know the name it. It was with…? With… oh, what is his name? That guy… from Ballykissangel… the one I associate with Robson Green. (Why didn’t I just pick Robson Green? After all, he is gorgeous! Probably because he wasn’t my hero.)

 

This was not working. Didn’t know the actor’s name, and what little I could recall about him would potentially require hours of searching through the casts of countless television episodes.

 

So I sought out other possibilities that were a close match to the image in my head. That guy who played the doctor in Bleak House (at least that one was easier to track down—Google Bleak House—the one with Charles Dance—and see who played the doctor). Sadly, the photos I found of him were blurrier than my eyesight. The only other prospect that immediately came to mind was… he played the handyman who married the older woman on Guiding Light. Good gracious! That was thirty years ago! Besides, I don’t remember anyone’s name from the show (I just remember everyone got food poisoning at their wedding).

 

Finally, I just started Googling actors with dark(ish) hair.

 

Rejects

 

Richard Armitage? No.

 

Colin Ferrell? Such a beautiful Irish lilt, but my hero is English.

 

Marton Csorka? Too broad…but let’s remember to use him in something else.

 

Hugh Jackman? Hmmm? Well? Maybe… No, no, no. I can’t do that. Way too obvious. Besides, he’s not right for the part. But I’ll scroll through photos just a bit more. No, nothing. You know, I don’t have anything more pressing right now, maybe a few more photos.

 

And then I found one specific photo that worked. Maybe it was the lighting, the background, the look in his eyes, but, yeah, he’d do in a pinch. Still not my ideal hero for the novel, but what girl would turn down Hugh Jackman as a stand-in?

 

Stand-In

 

I had my hero.

 

Or so I thought.

 

Two nights later, the British actor I originally wanted to cast in the role was in a movie on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries—Honeymoon for One. He played the cheating fiancé! (Alongside Greg Wise—why didn’t I just cast him as my hero?) Now I had his name—Patrick Baladi. True, he was a tad too old for the part, but I found some photos of him from a few years ago, and, ta-dah, I had my hero. And I described him in the novel accordingly.

 

Sadly, this meant I had to fire Hugh Jackman! The poor man. With a family to support. He never saw it coming. I felt bad. Really, I did. So I named the hero Hugh to make it up to him. (You know he’s thrilled.)

 

Meanwhile, as all this was going on, I had the artist, Adam Tetzlaff, hard at work creating an image for the cover. It was to depict the hero and heroine. Furthermore, my sometimes co-anthologist, Hannah Meredith, had read the opening chapters of my novel in progress. She had no idea of all I’d gone through to get the hero just right in my mind. When Adam finished the artwork, I showed it Hannah. She was impressed and said it was great… only…

 

“I imagined the hero as Hugh Jackman,” she confessed.

 

(Ah, sigh.)

 

Of course, by the end of the novel, I was imagining the hero as Henry Cavill, despite my careful descriptions to the contrary.

 

Clearly, this need for an image of my hero is purely for my benefit, because readers create their own image of the hero.

 

My Hero

 

For The Vicar’s Christmas (published in Christmas Revels II: Four Regency Novellas), it turned out much the same. I had the perfect image in mind for my vicar (with the receding hairline). I tracked down a photo, this time, casting an American in the role. Knowing nothing about the actor, I was shocked to learn he was approximately 60 years old! He could easily pass for my almost-40-year-old vicar. When I learned Hannah Meredith was a fan of the recently defunct television show he starred in as the side-kick, I told her, “Oh, I based the appearance of Henry Ogden on him.” Well, Hannah informed me, the actor bore no resemblance to the Henry she imagined!

 

Decide for yourself. Read the excerpt, and with what scant clues I’ve provided, decide whom you would cast in the role of my mild-mannered village vicar, Henry Ogden. I’m looking forward to reading your choices. Tomorrow, I’ll post my own comment and tell you who provided my inspiration.

 

 cr - print front 3cb with period

 

Title: Christmas Revels II : Four Regency Novellas

 

Author: Anna D. Allen

 

Genre: Historical Romance

 

Publisher: Singing Spring Press

 

 

Book Blurb:

 

Let the Revels begin-again! Four new stories with four distinctive voices:

The Vicar’s Christmas – Margaret Trent never needs anything or anyone, but when two London solicitors show up on her doorstep, she needs a hero. Enter Henry Ogden, mild-mannered village vicar. Hardly the stuff of heroes . . . until adversity brings out unexpected talents.

A Christmas Equation – A chance meeting between a reluctant viscount and a self-effacing companion revives memories of their shared past-a time when they were very different people. With secrets to keep, Sarah Clendenin wishes Benjamin Radcliff gone . . . but he’s making calculations of his own.

Crimson Snow – A trail of blood drops leads Jane Merrywether to a wounded stranger-the only person standing in the way of her wicked guardian becoming an earl. John Rexford, long-thought dead, has returned to claim his inheritance and his promised bride . . . if he can survive a murderous Christmas.

A Perfectly Unregimented Christmas – After years at war, Viscount Pennyworth returns to his ancestral home to find some peace and quiet and to avoid the holiday he loathes. But four naughty boys, a bonnet-wearing goat, a one-eyed cat, a family secret, and one Annabelle Winters, governess, make this a Christmas he’ll never forget.

 

Christmas in July Fete Sackful of Giveaways:

 

Grand Prize: $75 USD Amazon Gift Card

$5 Amazon gift card and a 1940’s style hair wrap

(plus more prizes…)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db77506/?

Open Internationally

Starts July 1, 2017 12:01 am EST and ends August 1, 2017 12:00 am EST

 

Excerpt:

A violent tapping at his window startled the vicar out of his thoughts. On the opposite side of the glass stood a grinning Jack Carden, the stable boy from Edgecombe Hall, all rosy cheeked with ringlets and the vapor of his breath creating a very false cherub-like appearance. He waved a note clutched firmly between the hand and thumb of his mitten. Had it been summer, Henry would have just opened the window and taken the note—no doubt with Jack crawling through in the process to land in a jumble on the carpet. But with these cold days settling in and thoughts of summer far away, Henry was not about to open the window. He probably should not have even drawn the curtains but he couldn’t resist the sun pouring into the dark room.

 

“Go around,” Henry said and motioned the boy toward the back of the house. Holbein, Mr. Clarke, His Majesty the mad king, and even God would all have to wait for the more pressing matters of village life.

 

Henry met the boy inside the hall by the back door and took the note.

 

“You should hear Miss Trent!” Jack exclaimed with much too much eagerness. “If she weren’t a lady, she’d be swearing like a groomsman.”

 

“Ah. None of that, now,” Henry calmly scolded, then pointed toward the kitchen. “Have Mrs. Brown give you something hot to warm yourself. There may be a reply.” Between the boy and Henry’s housekeeper, the vicar knew the whole village would know of the goings on at Edgecombe Hall within the hour.

 

As Jack scampered off to the kitchen—Mrs. Brown shouting for the boy to walk and refrain from behaving like a little heathen—Henry broke the seal on the note.

 

It was a summons from Miss Margaret Trent. Or more precisely, from Mr. Jonah Henderson, the late Sir William’s London solicitor’s junior partner who had called on Miss Trent that morning. He reported the lady was quite hysterical—how Henry hated that word, especially as he doubted Miss Trent had ever been anywhere near exhibiting such symptoms in her entire life—and that she needed Reverend Ogden to come immediately to offer comfort and consolation in her time of bereavement.

 

A solicitor, especially one up from London, never boded well. And this note reeked of mendacity. While anyone and everyone in the village could more than happily lecture on what exactly Miss Trent needed, comfort and consolation in her time of bereavement were definitely not among them. If anything, the gossips said she demonstrated an unusual lack of emotion upon her father’s death. Never one to put store by gossips, Henry knew Miss Trent to be dignified, proud even, and that she would never allow for a public display of her feelings to all and sundry. Tears were a private matter reserved for intimates.

 

Margaret Trent, in Henry’s view, was probably the most self-reliant of all his parishioners and therein—he suspected—lay the reason for her continued spinsterhood. She managed quite well on her own, and whatever the situation unfolding today at the hall, Henry sincerely doubted Miss Trent needed him for anything.

 

He took out his pocket watch and clicked it open. Quarter to eleven. Blast and blazes! He would have to do without his eleven o’clock tea. Worse—well, maybe not worse—the farrier had told him not to ride his horse until after Christmas due to a recent bout of lameness. Walking from the vicarage to the church was easy enough, but all the way to Edgecombe Hall, a distance of at least two miles, in this cold, would be miserable. Still. Needs must. If Jack could manage it as cheerfully as he did, so too could Henry. And the lad could keep him company on the way.

 

Henry informed Mrs. Brown that he had been called to Edgecombe Hall about a matter and did not know when he would return home. He checked himself in the mirror; despite his dark, spiky hair and the ever-growing number of faint lines around his eyes, he would do. He bundled up against the cold, wrapped a muffler around his head, pulled on his gloves and hat, and, seeing Jack was finished with his cup of tea and biscuit, headed out into the gray frosty world with the boy tagging along beside him.

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon – http://a.co/4ogrKbC

 

Apple iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/christmas-revels-ii-four-regency/id1047951334?mt=11

 

Barns and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-revels-ii-hannah-meredith/1122771468?ean=9781942470007

 

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/christmas-revels-ii-four-regency-novellas

 

Print – https://www.createspace.com/5739761

 

Anna

 

Author Biography:

Anna D. Allen is essentially half-Finnish and half-Southern, which means she has no sense of humor and will shoot you for wearing white shoes after Labor Day… unless you are attending a wedding and happen to be the bride. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts in Language and Literature. She is a recipient of the Writers of the Future award and a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, but she also has a great passion for Regency Romances. It is generally acknowledged that she spends way too much time with the dead and her mind got lost somewhere in the 19th Century. Along with her contributions to the Regency anthologies, Christmas Revels and Christmas Revels II, her available works include two collections: Mrs. Hewitt’s Barbeque: Seven Eclectic Tales of Food, Humor, and Love and Lake People and Other Speculative Tales; the novel Charles Waverly and the Deadly African Safari; the Regency Romance novelette “A Christmas Wager;” the Regency Romance novel Miss Pritchard’s Happy, Wanton Christmas (and the Consequences Thereof), as well as some boring scholarly stuff about dead people. Rumor has it she has run off with the Doctor—picking up Matthew Brady along the way—and was last seen in 1858 in a hoop skirt and running shoes, but she doesn’t believe it.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Webpage: http://beket1.wix.com/annadallen

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-D-Allen/366546213501993

 

 

 

 

Meet Judy Bruce, the Author Behind The Wind Series #FridayReads #books #AuthorInterview


Judy Bruce

 

It’s not often I meet an author who creates such vivid characters in a Midwest small-town setting that I feel like I’ve grown up and intimately know them. Such is the case for Judy Bruce and her Wind series. She’s got an uncanny ability to write mystery/suspense and I really enjoy reading her books. I begged and pleaded for an interview which she agreed to. It’s my great pleasure to introduce Judy Bruce. Take it away, Judy! 

 

What is your writing process?

Mulling—that’s the start. I get ideas rattling around in my noggin, but they need time to come together into something coherent. With the Wind Series, I already have my location and many of the characters, so I need a central event—a cross burning In Fire in the Wind, and new, necessary characters.

 

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I am definitely a plotter: I develop my central idea, write down plot events, characters, time of year, and just keep finding more ideas and writing these thoughts down on the stashes of paper I keep in easy access throughout the house.

First, I make a general outline based on a three-act structure, always remembering to put plenty of important events in the middle of the story. Meanwhile, I keep stirring my brain for more ideas as I complete outlines for each part. Part one and two will have a more complete outline, with basic ideas in part three. Dialogue gets added to each part as I think of them.

Then I’ll get the itch, and I’ll start writing, always adding ideas to other parts of the story. I’m a Baby Boomer, so I still use paper—lots of it. I’m very good at recycling, so that eases my conscience.  I’ll push through to the end. I always feel a tremendous letdown when I finish, so I ease that by jumping right into my revising process.

 

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

Sometimes a name is important to the character, sometimes it’s not. My main character is Megan Docket, a short, strong first name and an ethnically-appropriate last name. Docket was also the name of the notebook brand I was using when I started the series. She’s a lawyer, and the name also has a legal meaning.

Other times, when I name someone, I’m just having fun—Melvin Poots is a retired minister as is Eldon Strumple, which I think sounds Dickensian. I’m not naming characters in a STAR WARS movie, so I need to keep names appropriate in terms of age, gender, and ethnicity.

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

My best accomplishments have nothing to do with writing—they involve marrying a good man and giving birth to two wonderful children.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years, I hope to be doing exactly what I’m doing now—writing.

 

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

My least favorite part of this whole process is marketing. I just wanna write, ya know? I publish with a small press, so the marketing is my task. And if I’m marketing, then I’m not writing.

 

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Subjects that I wouldn’t want to write about include rape (it’s not my experience and I just don’t want to deal with it). Also, I don’t like child abduction, bullying, etc. I don’t write about things I don’t enjoy seeing, reading, etc. Reading the newspaper is bad enough.

 

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

Fire in the Wind is the fourth book in the Wind Series. Lies in the Wind, a murder mystery, should be published in fall or winter of 2017. All eight books in the series have been written. I’ve also written a World War II story called Death Steppe—a Russian war widow is sent to the front as a medic where she meets an injured German officer. Things don’t go well.

 

Do you write naked? What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told? Have you ever been in trouble with the law? Have you ever gotten into a fight?

I guess I’m pretty boring because I don’t write naked, and I’ve never been in trouble with the law. I’m a generally truthful person, but because I write fiction, I’ve told thousands of lies, more with each book!

 

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

Here again—boring. I don’t have any addictions.  I don’t smoke. My mother died of emphysema, so that was never happening. I drink here and there—Saturday night is movie night in the Bruce household, so that means a glass of red wine and Reduced-Fat Wheat Thins! Yeah, I’m a crazy lady. Some great writers come from dark life experiences—mine has been pretty sunny, except for family deaths. So I rely on a vivid imagination and the persistent need to tell stories. I’d rather be an unsuccessful writer without demons. Have you ever looked into the background of Virginia Woolf? No, thanks.

 

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

As a child, I responded to the fact that I had two older brothers. So I played baseball and G.I. Joes before I played Freeze Tag and Barbies with younger sisters. I recall a doll I loved, Bridget. She had hard plastic skin and a head that kept falling off. My dad used black electricians’ tape to hold it on. Later an uncle came up with a more durable solution—tar. I only remember carrying her around naked, but she must have had some clothes at some time. My daughter still has that doll in her closet, now with clothes.

 

What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

Dreaming in character—I’ve done that many times with Megan, usually when I’m writing a first draft. It’s weird when I dream as Megan. The setting was always at my childhood home with my parents, now deceased, and a younger sister, also deceased. They’re pleasant dreams without much plot, but so odd.

 

Fire in the Wind

 

Title: Fire in the Wind (Wind Series #4)

Author: Judy Bruce

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

The fourth story in the “Wind” series finds Megan outraged by a cross burning on her land, and she forms the Night Posse and then strikes back. Meanwhile, she is saddened by the tragic illness of her dear friend, James. After her new boyfriend is killed, she is jailed for his murder. Later she fights to the death in the darkness against an avenger. An undercover cop pursues her. When a dying James attempts to end his life, Megan is forced to act.

 

Mrs. N’s Review:

Life is never easy and fraught with pain. For Megan Docket, truer words haven’t been spoken. She’s still reeling from the murder of her unborn baby girl, the pain rendering her inconsolable.

 

Megan knows something is wrong and as she looks out onto her land, surrounded by friends and family, fire lights the sky. A fiery cross of hate on her property and anger burns in Megan’s belly. Who would do such a thing? The KKK haven’t been seen in her community so who’s behind it? It’s an omen, only Megan hasn’t any idea where to turn.

 

James, her dear friend and father-figure, is struck down with a stroke. If it hadn’t been for Megan sensing it, he’d probably be dead. As James recovers in the hospital, Megan must come to terms with James’ ill health.

 

Days before her divorce from Brian is finalized, men are swarming around her like bees to honey. There’s her current boyfriend, Zane, who is dealing with PTSD. Brian, her soon-to-be ex-husband, wants to come back, making empty promises. There’s newcomer Raz, an Arab Christian man, who makes Megan’s life more complicated (is that even possible). Then there’s Jay, a salesman who melts her insides with his sultry gaze. It’s raining men for Megan and she must weed through the platitudes to discover who’s honest and true. But when Raz is murdered after they have an argument and Megan is arrested, has her tormented past caught up with her? Only the Wind knows for sure…

 

I know I said this before, but this is Judy Bruce’s best book yet. From emotionally-charged life events to being arrested for murder, Megan finds herself at a crossroads between love and pain. Which path does she choose? Or is the choice out of her hands? An intriguing sub-plot and one that made me contemplate things.

 

The main plot is two-fold: quality of life after a stroke and racial hatred. Events such as cross burnings and discrimination based on religion/skin color are at the forefront of Fire in the Wind. Bruce doesn’t shy away from these societal issues and I, for one, am glad. She lays bare how hatred festers and is illogical. Beautifully written and I wish I could force hate groups to read this book.

 

The second part of the plot deals with quality of life after a stroke. James wrote in his will a Do Not Resuscitate order and made it very clear he didn’t want to live off of machines. Derek and Vonny are James’ children who are trying to deal with the situation as best as they can but don’t want to say good-bye to their father. Bruce creates an interesting scenario and while I don’t offer my personal opinion here, Bruce exposes Megan to all the conflicting emotions that comes with assisted death/suicide. It touched me so much that I cried. Yes, I was so immersed in the story, I couldn’t help myself.

 

Fire in the Wind is an unconventional mystery/suspense that I couldn’t put down. Plot twists kept me trying to figure out what was going on before it was revealed. I enjoyed Megan’s men troubles and found myself laughing out loud at a few lines. I can’t recommend this book enough! A must read!

 

Favorite Character/Quote:

“The hands still held me. Why was I bound to so much pain? They all hurt me – Dad, Mom, Bill, Brian, Zane, Beverly, James, Derek, Vonny, even Scottie. The people I cared about the most hurt me the most. If I gave Jay the chance, he would probably hurt me, too.”

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Fire-Wind-Judy-Bruce/dp/1576386228

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Fire-Wind-Judy-Bruce/dp/1576386228

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fire-Wind-Judy-Bruce/dp/1576386228

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fire-in-the-wind-judy-bruce/1126241786?ean=9781576386224&offerid=239662

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34910493-fire-in-the-wind

 

Author Biography:

Judy Bruce is a novelist and screenwriter. In addition of her acclaimed novel, Death Steppe: A World War II Novel, three stories have been published from her Wind Series: Voices in the Wind, Alone in the Wind, and Cries in the Wind. Her next novel, Fire in the Wind, will be published in the spring of 2017 by Merriam Press, with Lies in the Wind to follow in the fall of 2017. Judy maintains a website at https://judybruce.com  and a blog at https://heyjoood.com . She is a wife, mother, and sister residing in Omaha, Nebraska, and a Creighton University law school graduate. Her autistic son keeps her in touch with her quirky side.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.judybruce.com/

Blog http://www.heyjoood.com/

Facebook: You can find her on her public Facebook site (try Judy Bruce 1481)

 

Writing Medical Mysteries: The Rules by @LinWilder #amwriting #writing #WriterWednesday


medical graphic
Photo credit: Big Stock Photos

 

 

When we start writing fiction, whether writing medical mysteries, romance, erotica or any of the rapidly increasing list of fictional genres, we expect a set of rules. After all, we’ve been taught to follow the rules ever since we were preschoolers.  That’s a good thing. Because all writers need to adhere to the basics of grammar, coherence, clarity. And for writers of medical mysteries, intrigue, surprise and suspense are paramount.

 

But in the now ten years that I have been writing fiction, the way I conceive of rules has changed. I think there are a set of rules which work for beginning novelists. But not too long afterward those rules must be unlearned. And last, there is a regimen, a critical routine which must be followed, even for the very experienced. Hence, we can approach the of writing medical mysteries in three phases.

 

Rules for the Novice Writer

 

By far, the primary maxim for someone who has decided she wants to write a medical mystery is to be clear about why. “I’ve always been told I write well.” Or, “Writing a novel is on my bucket list.” Or, “I think I’d like to be a writer,” won’t cut it.

 

  • Consider what your real goal is. Money? Fame? Recognition? Become another Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl, the book and the movie, Paula Hawkins, author of Girl on the Train, the book and movie) or Andy Weir (self-published author of The Martian, the book and the movie?) Be brutally honest here. And if these are the reasons, think again about why you want to engage in what one publisher has called The 10 Awful Truths About Book Publishing.

 

  • Lest you think that the former is meant to deter you from your dream, quite the contrary. My reasons for suggesting that you journey deep inside before you begin are from personal experience and are said to mitigate disappointment once you are finished. When the book is done and the awards do or do not trickle in, our feelings are generally a mixture of relief, pride in the accomplishment mixed with a bit of sorrow: “What do I do now?” “What’s the next act?” Simply said, the best part of any huge undertaking is the journey: the process, the challenge, learning, the highs and yes, the lows. It’s never the kudos, awards or the recognition, no matter how trivial or huge.

 

  • Make sure you like your story and your characters. You’ll be living with them in your head and on your computer for a long time. Although it is possible to get a book written and published in thirty days or less, I would not recommend following the directions of someone who promises this. The chaos in the formerly bounded book publishing business has attracted all kinds of people, some of whom you would not want to have dinner -or even a drink with. If the claim sounds impossible, it most likely is.

 

  • Write about what you know. I spent more than the first half of my life in academic medicine. I grew up with interns, residents, and all the associated paraphernalia of the teaching hospital. For me, then, writing a medical mystery was a natural. Although expertise in your chosen subject matter is not essential- it is fiction, after all, our readers can tell when we write from our own experience. It makes itself evident and therefore far more believable.

 

  • This is your story. Although your editor may be excellent in the technique of writing, you are the artist. You see the characters, hear their voices and know them…they become part of you. Of course, you would not consider publishing your book without hiring an editor, the boundaries between him and you must be distinct. If not, you risk losing essential components of your story.

 

There are far more tips than there is room here so if you will forgive the self-promotion, here are five more tips that may be useful to those of you considering writing your first novel.

 

Now That You Have Learned Them, Dump All the Rules

 

“John, I know you were a Marine, therefore you love rules. The rule you need to remember here is that there are no rules.”

My husband is a psychologist and told me about this simple piece of advice from the head nurse of an inpatient psychiatric unit where he was working as an intern. That nurse’s statement informed the more than twenty-five years that John worked as a psychologist with combat veterans. With many of his clients, particularly the suicidal ones, breaking the established rules was axiomatic in helping these men get their lives back.

Writing is exactly like that. The most important rule for a writer is to know-and believe- that there are no rules. One of my favorite quotes on this subject is attributed to Somerset Maugham. “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

 

However, there are a few myths or rules about writing which live on despite their falsity. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Excellent novelists are miserable, unhappy neurotics, on a good day.  One of the numerous reasons that I stuck with writing non-fiction for so much of my life is that I bought into this myth completely. The writers I loved as a young English major were either alcoholics, suicidal or psychotic. Think F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound. The cost of writing my novel would be too great. And then the dream slid to the back burner as the responsibilities of life accelerated.

 

My first book was arduous. Mainly because I believed that it would only be good if writing it was, an endurance test. Therefore, I made it so. Like any work worth doing, writing a first novel is worth doing poorly. My first novel was replete with problems which were corrected in the second edition.

 

But the subsequent four books have been a totally different experience. Certainly, hard work but not arduous. At times, fun. True because of the joy of getting—really describing a new character is such a high. Like an extremely challenging character so because he is totally out of your frame of reference. Like an assassin who became my favorite character in my third and fourth books.

 

  • To complete a book, you must schedule times and a place for writing it. And consistently adhere to that schedule. I don’t have a writing schedule. Nor do I have a specific place to write. Certainly, when I am approaching a deadline, like now, my writing schedule might be most of my waking hours or as much of them as I can devote to it. But other things interrupt-husbands, kids, holidays, life. As they should.

 

Perhaps because I’ve worked for myself for over fifteen years, the challenge of working from home is a norm for me. And grabbing a few hours here and there to write doesn’t drive me crazy. Anymore.

 

  • Beware of writer’s block. There is no such thing as writer’s block. Rather I think it’s fear. The assassin I mentioned earlier is a great example. Because I found this brand-new character intimidating, I was afraid of him. And knew I needed to take time, a lot more time than I normally do. And wrote him differently. I kept going back to read and re-read sentences and paragraphs sometimes taking days or a couple of weeks off before returning. Until finally, he had flesh and muscle. I could see him, even understand, how he got there: A killer for hire.

                   

                       Essential Regimen for All Writers, Novice or Experienced

 

  • When Not Writing, Read. Assuming we want each book to be better than the last, then we must read other writers interpretation of characters and story lines. Read better writers than you are. Why? Because that is how we learn- it is how they learned.

 

  • When not writing your novel, write anyway. I do a weekly blog and have for years because I enjoy writing non-fiction. If you don’t want the tedium of writing a blog, then use a journal or diary. Writing is no different from any other discipline. The more we do it, the better we get.

 

  • Exercise. There is no better antidote to a character who has you in a corner than going for a run. Or to the gym. Or a hike in the mountains. We writers are a sedentary lot, the body part we work the hardest is our brain. Once the sweat begins to pour down your face, it is remarkable how easily we can solve a plot problem or dismiss a poor review. Or decide to walk away for a day or a week.

 

  • Eat Reasonably Healthy Meals. Although junk food is tempting and yes, okay at times, if all we are feeding those remarkably efficient brain cells are carbs and sugar, our stories will suffer. None of us can create excellence without respecting and caring for our bodies.

 

  • Get 8 hours Sleep at Minimum. Insomnia is one of the most common health problems in the US. Costing billions annually in illness, accidents and accidents, good writers cannot afford to be sleep deprived.

 

 

apriceforgenius-cover-300ppi

 

Title: A Price for Genius

Author: Lin Wilder

Genre: Medical Thriller

 

Book Blurb:

Dr. Lindsey McCall’s worst fears are realized. Not only have both drugs been stolen but two women have been kidnapped- one maybe dead. Lindsey had known Liisa Reardon’s new drug was alchemy, only this time, the end product actually more precious than gold.

 

The desperate call from Hank Reardon in Switzerland came late at night causing too many questions. And no answers. Could Lindsey and Rich Jansen uncover who was behind the crimes? It was an inside job-could they figure out who had sold out the Reardons? All in time to save Reardon’s daughter and her chief tech Ariana? Were they risking their lives as well?

 

The evil words smolder in her mind, the contents of the letter delivered to Hank Reardon

 

Hello Mr. Reardon,

By the time you get this letter, it will be too late. We’ll already have her.

Here are the steps you must not take:

  • Do not call the cops.
  • Do not contact the FBI
  • Tell no one.
  • We’ll know if you or the FBI. We’ll and we’ll kill her instantly.

You must know Sir, there is a price for genius. We trust you will pay it if you want to see your daughter alive.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Price-Genius-Lin-Wilder-ebook/dp/B01MG5JLBI

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Price-Genius-Lin-Wilder-ebook/dp/B01MG5JLBI

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Price-Genius-Lin-Wilder-ebook/dp/B01MG5JLBI

 

Lin Wilder

 

Author Biography:

Lin Weeks Wilder has published dozens of articles, wrote a textbook, and has written four self-help books. Lin has written three medical thrillers situated in Houston, Texas where Lin worked for over 23 years.

 

The Fragrance Shed by a Violet, the sequel Do You Solemnly Swear? and the third in her series, A Price for Genius. The story of the return to faith, Finding the Narrow Road was an unplanned surprise. In her free time, Lin Wilder enjoys hiking, listening to beautiful music, gardening and last but certainly not least, reading. Lin is married to a former Marine and psychologist with 25 years of experience counseling ex- combat veterans. They reside in Nevada with their two dogs.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lincwilder?ref=hl

Twitter https://twitter.com/LinWilder

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/linwilder

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/linwilder

About Me https://about.me/lin.wilder

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Dr.-Lin-Wilder/e/B007L380OM

 

Where to Start If You Are Thinking About Writing by @DianeMoatAuthor #amwriting #FridayReads #kidlit


Writing post graphic Diane Moat

 

Throughout your life you’ve thought about writing, but it seemed too overwhelming. I’m here to tell you it’s not. That old cliché about everyone having a story to tell? It’s true. Your story may be true, or it may be one you’ve only seen in your mind, but it’s there.

 

When I turned 50, all of my friends were doing spectacular things to celebrate their big birthdays. One friend even trekked the Himalayas. Another parachuted for the first time. So along with the stress of my milestone birthday, there was this invisible bar set for me. I had to come up with something amazing.

 

I hadn’t written anything since my High School essays. Most of my adult life, I had been involved in dog rescue. There were countless times when I’d heard of an animal abuser who’d done something terrible to an animal. I (or another rescuer) would say, “If only I could get my hands on that person, he/she would never do that again.”

 

Over time, I had halfway created a story in my mind, where I was able to stop an animal abuser. Could I write that story? Could I? I began researching how to write, then how to publish a novel, and here’s what I found.

 

Anyone can write, and publish, a book. Really. Whether you put together your family recipes, write about your struggle with weight loss, or create an entirely new world. There are resources out there which can help you every step of the way.

 

The only thing you really need is desire. If you just know you could write something great, you are already there. The internet is a wonderful thing. You can find technical information on writing, support groups for writers, and every type of advice imaginable. Websites like POTL are invaluable.

 

But I would caution you, don’t research yourself to death. The most important thing to do it WRITE. Notepad, iPad, laptop, desktop, chalkboard, stickie notes. It doesn’t matter. Just write. I had only written a few paragraphs to Dog Gone when I fell in love with writing. Do your research when you have a question or hit a bump. Don’t let anyone actually tell you how to do the writing itself.

 

So whether you are 15 or 50, you have a story to tell. Take that leap; I promise you will be glad you did.

 

the-supernatural-pet-sitter

 

Title: The Supernatural Pet Sitter: The Magic Thief

Author: Diane Moat

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

Every animal can talk to you. You just have to know how to listen.

Pepper Neely is better at this than most, especially because she is in charge of pet sitting all the familiars in her neighborhood. A familiar is a pet magically linked to a witch or warlock. As a gnome, Pepper is no stranger to spells and sorcery. She also knows that, despite their special name, familiars aren’t all that different from regular animals. They get anxious when separated from their people, so Pepper uses her special gnome powers to calm them down. She watches Cranky the high-strung ferret, Frank the laid-back parrot, King Arthur the elderly tortoise, and many others.

Then, something terrible begins happening to the familiars. Someone is stealing their magic! It not only prevents Pepper from communicating with them but breaks their magical connection with their people. When King Arthur’s magic is stolen, his owner’s powers stop working too. Pepper can sense that the tortoise is very scared.

In order to protect the animal’s magic, Pepper decides to track down the culprit. With the help of her best friend, Luna, and her brother, Jax, Pepper fights to protect all of the special pets.

 

Excerpt:

Luna focused on the candle to her far left. Ten minutes later, the candle was still going strong. Pepper bit her lip, feeling sorry for Luna. She turned to stare at the uncooperative candle, and imagined a little wind blowing the candle out. Puff.

 

Suddenly, the uncooperative candle blinked out as if someone had snuffed it with their fingers.

 

Amazon 5 Star Review:

“Pepper Neely is a very special pet sitter because not only is she a little different in and of her own self—she’s a gnome—but the animals she’s responsible for are rather unusual, too. Most are witch’s familiars, and they’re magic. Now someone is trying to mess with them, and thirteen-year-old Pepper is on the case. This is a fun book with no rough edges for parents to worry about. The action is sweet but with many exciting twists and turns that show Pepper’s sterling qualities—and the gnome family is decent and tightly knit. Definitely something young people will enjoy and with nothing for a parent to worry about. Good story and I’m looking forward to the sequel.” – G. Miki Hayden

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Supernatural-Pet-Sitter-Magic-Thief-ebook/dp/B06XFQRV74

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Supernatural-Pet-Sitter-Magic-Thief-ebook/dp/B06XFQRV74

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Supernatural-Pet-Sitter-Magic-Thief-ebook/dp/B06XFQRV74

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34320532-the-supernatural-pet-sitter

 

diane-moat

 

Author Biography:

Diane is a Tennessee transplant, animal rescuer, and nurse. Dog Gone is her debut novel, born from years of hearing animal rescuers say about animal abusers, “If only I could get my hands on that person…” Diane is assisted by her many rescue dogs.

 

Social Media Links:

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

Website http://www.dianemoatauthor.com/

Twitter @DianeMoatAuthor

 

 

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

 

 

If I Were… Beautiful by @DevonHartford Blog Tour + Guest Post #NA #Romance #FridayReads


If I Were Beautiful
Devon Hartford
(If I Were…, #1)
Publication date: January 23rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Is life better when you’re beautiful?

 

Jane Johnson has tried every beauty tip and trick known to woman, but none of them have ever made men notice her.

 

Until now.

 

Finally, something is working. She barely recognizes herself in the mirror. Is it her new haircut? Two years of yoga class? Her new eyebrow tweeze? Or is it all that nasty wheat grass juice her sister insisted she drink finally working some kind of magic? Whatever it is, something is transforming Jane from plain to downright beautiful.

 

For the first time in her life, men are noticing her.

 

Constantly.

 

Jane is getting so much attention from men she doesn’t know what to do with it.

 

Before her inexplicable transformation, she couldn’t get a date to save her life. Now she has a date every night of the week. Gorgeous eligible men are throwing themselves at her. They’re even fighting over her. Actual fist fights to win her affection.

 

It all seems too good to be true.

 

The only question on Jane’s mind is whether or not her newfound beauty is going to last or if it’s some cruel trick of fate that will fade away as quickly as it appeared.

 

Because everybody knows, when something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

 

***If I Were Beautiful is a saucy romance with a mystical twist that will leave you breathless to find out what happens next. This is book one of a three book series. Book two will release April 2017, Book three, July 2017 (or sooner).

 

 

Mrs. N Asks Devon: Talk about the struggles of writing in a female-dominant industry as a man. (and/or) How do you get into the head of your female main character so well? I’m fascinated by men writing female characters.

 

When I started writing women’s romance eleven books ago, I figured it would be no different from any other kind of fiction writing. It didn’t help that my first series, The Story of Samantha Smith, was set in college, and was as much of a “first year in college” story as it was a romance novel. Obviously, going to college for the first time is something men and women both can relate to for similar reasons. You’re generally on your own for the first time, you’re struggling with balancing your school/work life with having fun (emphasis on the fun part), and most of your peers are single and looking for love (or a hookup). Also, the series heroine Samantha Smith is only 19, and like many people her age, she’s very insecure. Everyone can relate to being insecure at one time or another.

 

It wasn’t until I started writing books set outside of a college environment that I discovered I didn’t know shizz about being a woman.

 

Whoa! Shocker!

 

Sure, men and women both face similar issues like finding love, finding a job, worrying about money, worrying about our loved ones, etc. But we all know men and women also face uniquely different issues. I had no problem writing convincingly about men’s issues. I’ve faced them my entire life. My buddies have faced them too. We talk about them, bitch and moan about them, compare notes, offer suggestions, make observations, and make jokes from an inside perspective.

 

But when it comes to women’s issues, I am absolutely an outsider looking in. I can’t draw from personal experience. I can only draw from other people’s personal experiences. I guess you could say I’ve learned to be like a journalist of sorts. I have to observe women. I have to ask women questions. Lots of questions. Yeah, I’m a good listener. I have to be. I’ll never ever know what it’s like to be a woman in the 21st century unless I pay attention.

 

But that’s just the research part.

 

The hard part is the writing part.

 

You could also compare what I do to being an anthropologist studying and living with another culture, one that is wildly different from your own. At first, the actions, behaviors, mannerisms, all seem completely foreign. Heck, even the language is different. At first, you have no idea what anyone is saying. Eventually, you learn the language, learn the social customs. If you spend enough time living inside a foreign culture, you can probably do a passing good job of behaving like one of them.

 

But they all know, “You’re not from around here.”

 

Sadly, no matter how much studying and observing I do, I’ll always be an outsider when it comes to the ways of women.

 

As for the books, when I’m writing a male character, it’s easy. I can come up with male dialogue and male behavior all day long. I know when it rings true and when it doesn’t. I’ve lived it. I know.

 

But when I’m writing female characters? Forget it. It’s not based on intuition. It’s not based on experience. It’s purely an intellectual exercise. And that’s why I’m constantly second guessing myself.

 

Would a woman do this?

 

Would a woman say that?

 

Would a woman FEEL this or that?

 

I can only guess.

 

I haven’t lived it first hand. I don’t have that internal measuring stick, that automatic sense of what works and what doesn’t. You know that feeling you get when you’re taking a math test and you’re not really sure if you got the answer right? You did all the work, and at the bottom of the page you wrote down an answer. But you don’t know if it’s right or wrong. You have to wait until the teacher grades your paper for you.

 

Thankfully, my beta readers (who are all women) grade my books before I publish them. They’ll point out things that don’t ring true. After eleven books, I tend to get it right most of the time. I’ve done my research and my homework.

 

But the fact remains, what I’ve learned about women through outside observation in my lifetime is a tiny fraction of what every woman learns from living her life day after day after day. Whenever I pick up a romance from a skilled female romance author, especially good romantic comedies written by women, I inevitably read lines that make me laugh out loud, and I end up shaking my head and thinking “That is comedy genius, and I would NEVER have thought of that line. Respect.”

 

I know I’ll always be a student of women.

 

I’ll always be learning.

 

And my readers will always be grading.

 

I’m okay with that.

 

As long as I don’t get a report card, what do I care?

 

Oh wait.

 

I forgot about those pesky book reviews…

 

Too bad they don’t grade on a curve.

 

LOL.

Buy it today:

Goodreads / Amazon

 

Author Bio:

Devon Hartford is a dude who writes romantic comedies because he likes to laugh as much as he likes to love.

 

Join Devon’s newsletter and you’ll receive teasers of his upcoming books before anyone else, exclusive freebie short stories and novellas, and no spam. Copy and paste this link into your web browser to sign up: http://www.devonhartford.com/newsletter/

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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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

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.

Nine Quirky Facts Mrs. N Doesn’t Want You to Know #ASMSG #IARTG #AmWriting


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Mr. N here, Mrs. N is off working today (and doing a superb job, too) so I thought it would be the perfect time to spotlight my beloved. Mrs. N is a gifted writer and at times, she’s too shy to toot her own horn. So, as her soul mate and writing partner, I’m qualified to do it for her. 😉 Shhh, just don’t tell her. It’ll have to be our little secret.

 

The first story I ever wrote was about a princess who escaped her ivory tower and became best friends with a purple dragon named Patsy. I know, the name could use work and I was a rebel even back then. I wrote it for English class and got an A+. Ahhh, my first review. 🙂

 

I have a hard time writing in the company of others. That’s why I can’t write in a coffee shop or surrounded by people. I feel self-conscious and my muse shuts down. I have to be alone with no prying eyes peeking over my shoulder.

 

I get distracted easily. Thus, no television on but music is a must for my writing environment. If there is something that catches my eye, I have to force myself back to my writing. Otherwise, procrastination takes hold and I’ll never get anything done.

 

I free-write a lot. I talk about the freedom and flooding of ideas that happens every time I free-write. The act of just letting my fingers do the talking is one of the best ways my characters emerge.

 

When I was 16, I won first prize in a poetry contest paying tribute to our veterans. I won $50 and invited to be on a float. I spent the money on books and politely declined to appear on the float (painfully shy).

 

I use life experiences to create real, honest characters in my writing. I’m a firm believer that life is filled with inspiration.

 

Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella is my first foray into contemporary romance. I’ve been a reader of romance since I was twelve and the pressure was on. I normally write paranormal romance but I loved writing this novella. Sally’s story flowed out of me faster than I could write it down.

 

I got caught up in the “proper way” of writing almost two years ago and as a result, lost my writing fire. I listened to a few people who told me I was doing it wrong. The thing is, each writer has his/her own writing style and I have my own way of telling a story. It’s what makes me unique. I’m happy to say that I am back to writing in my own style and happier than I’ve ever been!

 

I write flash fiction and poetry as a warm-up to writing a novel/novella. I start with a writing prompt and let my muse take over. It gets the ideas flowing and my fingers write faster than I can keep up. I then keep them for later book ideas. Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella came from a flash fiction story I wrote back in March 2015.

 

A few bonus facts:

 

I love to read books. It’s a passion of mine and I continue to discover new authors.

 

I love to bake goodies and my new favorite thing is to add boxed chocolates to brownie batter and bake. It adds such a depth of chocolate flavor and sophistication.

 

I’m a happy positive person, most of the time. Sometimes I get frustrated and tired but then I give myself a shake and am happy again.

 

PTSOL

 

Title: Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella

Author: N. N. Light

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, New Adult 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.

Excerpt:

Jack looked where she pointed.

“Sally…” he began.

“Yes?”

“Are you planning on selling it when the farm’s made a profit?”

Sally sighed.

He turned her body around, his gaze penetrating hers.

“I don’t know,” she whispered. “I know Grandpa wanted me to keep it in the family.” She furrowed her brow. “I’m not a country girl; my heart belongs to the city.”

“Hey, it’s okay.” He moved a step closer. “Farming is hard work and you have to love it to make it successful.” He put a hand on her shoulder. “Don’t beat yourself up for following your heart.”

Sally winced.

“What?”

“Jack, I’m not sure what my heart wants. Part of me loves being here, carrying on the family name.”

“But…” Jack raised an eyebrow warily.

“But I have a life in the city. I’ve almost finished my degree –”

“You have Trevor,” Jack interrupted her. He shook his head.

“What’s wrong with that? Yes, I have a life and a boyfriend in the city. I’ve told you a thousand times my dream is to open my own sidewalk cafe.” She folded her arms over her chest. “Don’t you want me to be happy, Jack?” Her voice sounded hurt, even to her own ears.

He closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead.

“This isn’t going how I wanted it to.” He glanced up at her. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to imply anything. It’s just –”

“What?” Sally cocked her head to one side.

The telephone rang inside.

“Shit, I have to go answer it. I’ll be right back.” She ran into the house.

“Hello?”

“Hi beautiful.” Trevor.

 

Buy Links:

Available at Amazon Worldwide exclusively: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01581XM50

 

FREE on Kindle Unlimited!!!

 

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

 

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

 

couple N N Light

 

Author Bio: 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 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.

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

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

 

 

 

First Time Ever: Mr N and Mrs N Sit Down for an Interview #books #ASMSG #IARTG


couple N N Light

 

Want to get to know the couple behind the moniker, N. N. Light?

This is your lucky day! Both Mr. N and Mrs. N sit down with Barbara Donlon Bradley for an honest, thought-provoking author interview. We talk about everything from writing tips, favorite books/authors to writing advice and our new release. So click on the link below and discover the real us:

https://barbaradonlonbradley.blogspot.ca/2016/11/welcome-nnlight-back-nnpwlight.html

 

While you’re there, check out our poetry book, Poetry of Love: The Engagement Year. It makes a great gift for the holidays or an upcoming wedding.

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Meet Award-Winning Author @CRaddon and A Ride Through Time #FridayReads #Romance


It’s our great pleasure to introduce you to Charlene Raddon. Not only is she an award-winning author but she’s a talented cover artist as well. She has a true artist’s eye for book covers and designs her own covers. She loves writing western historical romances with dashes of the supernatural (swoon-worthy hero ghosts). She agreed to sit down for an interview. Her honesty is breathtaking as are all her stories. Take it away, Charlene:

 

Do you have any odd writing habits?

The only thing odd about my writing habits is that they are so erratic. I keep trying to be organized but it just doesn’t work for me.

 

What book do you wish you could have written?

The Way West, by A. B. Guthrie

 

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 very important. They often give the reader’s first impression of the character and should be carefully chosen to reflect the character’s personality. I also have a thing about names that are wrong for the era. I hate seeing authors name a 19th century girl Sidney or some other name that wouldn’t have existed at that time.

 

Have you always liked to write?

No, unlike most authors, writing never occurred to me although, looking back, I can see that I had a natural affinity for it even when I was young. I didn’t start writing until I was nearly forty. I woke up from a dream and knew the scene had to be in a book. So I wrote that book. Unfortunately, it isn’t published. Yet. Before that fateful morning, I was an artist.

 

What is your next project?

Right now I’m working on a novella and editing a mystery for a friend. I have so many writing projects to choose from, I’m not sure where I’ll go next. Probably work on The Secret of Nugget Gulch. I have one chapter written on that one. It’s about a heart surgeon who loses a patient, plus her grandfather to heart attacks and decides not to operate ever again. She inherits her grandfather’s ranch in Montana where there is a protected ghost town. There is a mysterious key that unlocks a certain door in this town and allows her to slip into the past. There, in 1884, she becomes the town doctor, but comes and goes from past to present.

 

Do you write naked?

What a horrifying thought. Are there authors who do that?

 

What is your biggest failure?

In 1999, when the historical market crashed, I became discouraged and gave up writing for some time. That was a very stupid, costly error.

 

What do you want your tombstone to say?

She tried.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

The ability to control people’s minds so I could stop them from being cruel idiots.

 

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

I was a dreamer and liked to play house with my dolls and make up stories about their lives. I also created my own paper dolls and designed clothes for them. Even as a child, I was artistic, which is why, I guess, I design book covers for authors, as well as write books.

 

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Title:   A Ride Through Time

Author  Charlene Raddon

Genre  Western Historical Ghost Romance

 

Book Blurb:

Ghosts. Murder. Love. P.S.I. Agent Burke Jameson travels to Eagle Gulch, Colorado to investigate a report of ghost activity at a house where a murder took place in 1881. When his vehicle carrying his P.S.I. equipment dies, and a riderless mare appears, he mounts up, hoping the horse will lead him to her fallen rider. What he finds is a whole new life beyond his imagination.

Excerpt:

Burke’s gaze cut to the house and that eerie deja vu sensation washed over him again. Cold wafted around him like icy arms. He shivered.

Likely scared off the mare with his unprecedented howl at the moon. Nothing more.

Didn’t matter anyway.

What counted was doing his job.

He drew in a deep breath and smelled smoke.

Smoke?

Gray plumes curled up from the chimney, ghostly pale against the darkening sky. Someone must be inside. Why hadn’t he noticed the scent right away? And the faint candlelight behind the lace curtains? Burke prided himself on his powers of observation. Hadn’t done too well this time.

Whoever was here had likely come to check the house’s condition and do repairs. They had set a fire for warmth while they worked. Nothing spooky or dangerous about that. They must have parked in the back. He shook off the niggle of dread on his spine, stepped onto the wooden pallet that served as a porch, and raised his fist to knock.

Plain, unadorned wood.

Where was the plaque proclaiming the place a historic site? And the vinyl-protected display stand that related the Halstead story?

Had the historical society given up maintaining the property? That could explain the house’s poor condition—the peeling paint, the sagging porch roof—but not the missing deadbolt lock that had been there seventeen years ago. Who would ignore badly needed repairs, yet replace a perfectly fine door with one that had never seen a deadbolt?

Whatever was going on here, he’d get to the bottom of it. In fact, he couldn’t wait.

If only Gabe would arrive with the P.S.I. equipment. Burke’s instincts screamed paranormal, louder than ever. His nose itched with urgency. He looked at Spook. The Vizsla sniffed among the leaves; just a normal dog.

Lifting the cuff of his jacket, he checked his watch. Not an ordinary watch, but a specially fashioned piece of modern equipment that not only gave the time, date and weather but acted as a recorder as well. It contained an EDI meter, an Infrared thermal scanner, an EMF detector, and GPS. Right now, the detector showed red, indicating a disruption in the electronic field. That likely meant a ghost disrupting the frequency. The scanner also showed the temperature continued to drop.

So why had Spook’s highly trained instincts gone offline?

Burke pressed the communication button and texted Gabe. While he waited for a reply, he walked the grounds searching for an injured man thrown from a horse. He found nothing and received no reply. Damn.

On his way back to the house he tried his phone again. Nothing. He would have blamed it on the multitude of trees that had surrounded the place, but they were gone.

He peered through an old, distorted glass pane, past the lace curtains. The furniture appeared much the same—what hadn’t been stolen before the historical society took possession. No sign of occupants but they could be in the kitchen or upstairs. Each floor had two rooms, the living area in the front, kitchen in back, and two bedrooms upstairs.

Flummoxed. Burke felt plain flummoxed.

Hell, where had he come up with that antiquated word? The house and its atmosphere were getting to him.

He glanced at the window again. A face—stark, shadowed, creepy as hell—looked back.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon  https://www.amazon.com/Ride-Through-Time-Charlene-Raddon-ebook/dp/B01M5G39UE/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32811833-a-ride-through-time?ac=1&from_search=true

 

charlene-raddon-headshot-4

Author Biography:

Charlene Raddon’s first serious attempt at writing fiction came in 1980 when a vivid dream drove her to drag out a typewriter and begin writing. She’s been writing ever since. Because of a love for romance novels and the Wild West, her primary genre is historical romance. At present, she has five books originally published in paperback by Kensington Books. More recently these were published as e-Books by Tirgearr Publishing. In May, 2016 Charlene self-published her ebooks with new covers. Charlene also designs book covers and other graphic materials for authors at her site, http://silversagebookcovers.com.

 

Social Media Links:

http://charleneraddon.com

http://charleneraddon.blogspot.com

http://facebook.com/CharleneRaddon

https://www.amazon.com/Charlene-Raddon/e/B000APG1P8/

 

 

 

 

 

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?

sengennonstrait-copy

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.

ixtemprhomanemap-copy

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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).

ixtemprhomaneprofessional

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…

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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

 

potl-reads-2

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! 

Stop Running Scared, Writers! Write Fearlessly #amwriting #ASMSG #IARTG


 

writing-fearlessly

 

I’ve read several articles recently about writers who are running scared. With various political groups and governments around the world clamping down on free speech and censoring writers, it is understandable why fellow writers are scared and unsure what to do.

I was born to write and to tell my stories. Writing about spiritual warfare, homelessness, food banks and hunger are not very popular topics. Throw in spirituality and it makes many people nervous.

Did it stop me? No, I’m a storyteller.

From the beginning of time, there have been storytellers, people who orally shared history and beliefs with others. I imagine it started with the cave dwellers. From there, we see history being told and retold. Homer did it in the Greek Empire. All religious writings have first started with storytellers. History, as we know it today, is a result of many storytellers writing down what they witnessed.

They were fearless in their writing and they have a message for us writers today:

Write it all down, no matter how frightened you may feel. You have a unique story to tell.

Do you have a story to tell but are scared to tell it? Write it down. Get it out of you and onto paper. Then you have choices on how to share your story (publishing comes later). The worst thing you can do is to keep it bottled up inside.

Write fearlessly.

You’re a storyteller like some of the great ones from history (Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Homer, Mark Twain, Erich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Geoffrey Chaucer, Anne Frank and many others).

Try this writing exercise:

-Paying attention to world events, what disturbs you? Is there something that makes your blood boil and you wonder why nothing has been done about it? Write it down.

 

-In your corner of the world, what do you fear? What makes your stomach churn? Write it down.

 

-What have you been wanting to speak up about but have been afraid? Write it down.

 

-Injustices are all around you. If you could write a story highlighting one, what would it be?

 

 

When you are done writing, ponder your answers. Take a day or several to think about it. I know you will be surprised by your answers. Those answers are all story ideas burning in your soul.

Take those thoughts and write your story. Be the storyteller you were meant to be!!!

I know you can do it and together we will be a band of storytellers!

Until next time,

MRS N

Have the Courage to Say No and Manage Your Priorities #inspiration #motivation


priorities

Do you feel like your life is one big to-do list? Just when you think you have everything done, something else pops up?

It’s time we got our priorities straight.

The #1 rule in time management is figuring out what are the highest priorities and saying “no” to the rest.

I know how it’s difficult to say no. I struggle with that myself. But like Stephen Covey says, you have to have the courage to say no. Explain to the person how you would love to “insert activity/job” but you are swamped at the moment. Another time perhaps?

What are your highest priorities?

Write down your priorities in a day/week. Then rank them in order of importance. Post it somewhere where you can glance at it every day.

My top four priorities:

– MR N

– sleep 

– health

– food

Once these are taken care of, I can move onto work and home responsibilities.

Do you have any tips and advice for managing priorities? Please comment in the box below. We can then help each other be more productive. 

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

Meet @Rats_Tales and Discover Why We Think Rod is the Best Author in Years #books #fiction


It’s our extreme pleasure to welcome Rod Humphris to the POTL blog today. He is the author of Dead Ground and Mr. N. claims, “he’s my new favorite author and I can’t wait to read more of his works.” We asked Rod if he’d like to be interviewed (because frankly, we’d love to get to know him better) and he agreed. We think you’ll find his answers insightful and witty. So, without further ado, please give a warm welcome to Rod Humphris. Take it away, Rod:

 

What is your writing process?

I invariable start with a sense of place and hopefully a feeling for the arc of the story. After that I start developing characters and then I disappear into the alternate reality of it and re-emerge, blinking into the light, a year later. I like to start early in the day and I’ll write anywhere; on the train, in a café. The greenhouse is good.

Do you have any odd writing habits?

When I’m stuck and confused, not unusual, I walk round the woods with the dogs talking to my phone. I lay out to myself where I’ve got to and where I think I’m going and what the problems are and record it. I’ve never actually used the recordings. I try not to go anywhere where I’m likely to meet another human.

What book do you wish you could have written?

A million. Often what I’ve just read. Recently Kim by Rudyard Kipling. A few notables would be: Kidnapped! by Robert Louis Stevenson just for the character of Alan Breck, The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler for the final scene in the bar where Marlow realises who he’s sitting next to, almost anything by P.G. Wodehouse for his amazing use of our language – “I have here in this sack a few simple rats.”, etc.

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

John Buchan has an abiding place in my heart. Not just for the well known books but also for Prince of the Captivity and Sick Heart River. I rather like unreliable characters; Ian Flemming, Lawrence Van De Post and Axel Munthe. I admire the much missed Ian Banks for his courage and originality. Countless others.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

I’m not sure who should play Si, Tom Hiddleston perhaps? I think Bill Nighy would make a great Guy Wealden. Kaya Scodelario would make a great Sam and Georgina Campbell could play Soumy. Benedict Cumberbach would do Bill brilliantly.

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

I try hard to choose good names but I don’t think I’m good at it. The trouble is that I sometimes just use the first one that comes to me to get going and then get very confused when I realise I have to change it later. Names, like all words, have resonances and layers of meaning and definitely matter.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

If I can’t write anything good then I just write something bad and then throw it away later. I persist.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In a beautiful villa on the Mediterranean shore – well, I didn’t take to this line of work to engage with reality, did I?

Have you always liked to write?

No, but I’ve always liked to read and I’ve always liked to make things; now those two things have come together.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Forget any idea that writing is an occupation for nice people. To write well you write your own words against all the other possible words there could be. Be a ruthless egomaniac and exclude the voices of everyone else that may be lurking in your head – and then when you’ve written it, find a good editor and listen to them.

If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

Do I have to? I’d quite like to own a game park in the Kalahari, or sail a beautiful yacht around the world delivering… well, something or other, or perhaps try running the country. I’ve often found taxi-driving very useful so that’s possibly more likely.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I alternate and sometime get myself into trouble with it. I like to have a feeling for where I’m going but I also believe in the phrase, ‘there’s no such thing as plot, only character’. The characters often develop in unhelpful ways. Sometimes I throw away the character and start again. Sometimes I recognise that they are right and I just misunderstood what I was doing. Sometime I just go and bang my head against a tree until it all starts to make sense.

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 do but I’ve never responded to one. I also read all my rejections from publishers (to my agent). It worries me though; I go up with the good and down with the bad. One day I will be float serenely above it all like a cloud. Advice – take the bad and swallow them down; if you want to be a writer it’ll make you want it more.

What is your best marketing tip?

Find someone who’s brilliant at marketing and lay your sword at their feet.

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

I struggle with the conflict between publishing and writing. I get pulled into the publishing side of things when I really want to be writing. I’m hoping this will improve in time.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I give myself permission to write about anything whatsoever if I find it interesting. If I found something interesting and didn’t write about it because I thought someone else wouldn’t like it I’d be disappointed in myself.

Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?

I like my own writing room a lot but my favourite place to write is a small cottage in the French Pyrenees. I sometimes go there with my dog when I really need to concentrate.

Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

I find the hardest scenes to write are the ones where I haven’t invested enough in one of the characters in it. They end up sounding wrong. If I have to, I get up and walk about being that person, trying to think their thoughts and feel their feelings. It can be quite hard work.

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

The first book I wrote lives in the proverbial drawer and can stay there. I’m currently re-writing my second full-length novel and I’ll be very, very glad if I ever manage to present something half decent to my editor.

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

After I’ve finished the one I’m struggling with I want to spend time (probably just in my head) in the South of France. I’m having a bit of a love affair with the area at the moment; it has a romance for me and so much history and confluence of people.

Do you write naked?

Yes, but not in the café.

What is your biggest failure?

In writing? At the moment the book I’m working on. Failure is the means to success.

What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

“No, I don’t really mind that you didn’t get round to reading my book.”

Have you ever been in trouble with the law?

Yes, but I think they’ve forgotten about it.

Have you ever gotten into a fight?

A few times but only through being young or stupid (I think I mean drunk). I’m no fighter and I’m perfectly comfortable with standing behind someone else who’s bigger than me if necessary.

Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

Every time I try to write a book. My main character has always found a way out so far but I know that sometime I’m going to have to write something where he doesn’t. I’m not looking forward to it. When there’s no way out all you can do is endure and wait. I had a job in once IT that was a bit like that.

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

I like alcohol but I’m not a big drinker. Good wine seems to me to be one of the great things in life. Never smoked. The marzipan filled chocolate that you can get in some supermarkets can be a problem for me. I’ve also had some trouble with Jaffa Cakes. I have to be strict with myself to work and not go fishing.

What is your biggest fear?

Possibly success. I’m working on that one.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Rod Humphris, 1966 – 2200. Let it be smooth and worn and lying flat in mown grass in a sunny, mossy churchard and do please sit on me and eat your sandwiches.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

All the time I need to do all the interesting things in life and to know all the amazing people there are to know.

If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

My name would be my own name and my clothes would be my own clothes – and no one would ever know.

What literary character is most like you?

Hannibal Lecter.

What secret talents do you have?

I can do a pretty good eye-splice.

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

The Nikka plateau in Malawi.

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

I’d be my cat. It’s a lifestyle thing: no deadlines, mice to catch and someone to rub my belly at any given point.

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

Finish writing this damn book! Be at the helm of a 25 metre Van Heok (sailing yacht) on a fast reach with full canvas spread somewhere beyond the horizon.

If you could have any name in the world, what would you choose?

Well, I suppose I could if I wanted to. What’s to stop me? I’m okay with this one.

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

Not that you can see. Didn’t we talk about reviews earlier?

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

When I was pretty small I used to sleep with an old carburetor, but I’m not sure why. I think relevant adjectives for me as a boy would be, free-range and organic. I’m still more comfortable with most animals than I am with most people.

What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

I often dream about the characters I’m writing about. There are days when I go to sleep thinking about a part of a book and wake up still thinking about it, almost as if there was no intervening time. Not that I’m obsessive at all.

 

Dead_Ground_large

 

Title – Dead Ground

Author – Rod Humphris

Genre – Historical Fiction, War & Military, Thriller

Publisher – Rat’s Tales

 

Book Blurb –

In the mountains and passes of Nuristan the men of patrol base Azun grind through their days and nights of constant vigilance. They hunt the Taliban and try to win hearts and minds. Trouble is coming, that is certain. How or when, where and in what form, they do not know. They fear it and also long for it.

Only Lieutenant Simon Ellice, with a clarity born of grief and anger, can see the shape of it. Only he, being beyond care, will do what has to be done and pay the price. Not that he will be the only one to pay.

Dead Ground is a story of the impossibility of the task assigned to British forces in Afghanistan and the heroism of some of those who attempted it.

“[Dead Ground]… unfolds with stealth, careful observation and close detail combining to produce an explosive ending.  The battle narrative is superb, understated and economical, it’s an immersive, terrifying and moving experience.”

 

Excerpt –

The world was going on and I couldn’t stop it. I didn’t want to feel anything except my anger.

I left my pack at the door and went into the busy, cluttered, low-ceilinged ops room of the patrol base Azun. Major James Snowhall was at his usual place in conference with Dan Granger, the 2IC. I stood to attention in front of them and said, “Sir.”

“You’re back, are you?” he said, looking up from his laptop.

“Yes, sir.”

“I see. Well, you’d better get to work then.”

“Yes, sir.”

I hadn’t expected much of a welcome. I turned and went to the exit.

“Wait.”

I stopped, turned round and waited.

“Your men will be glad to see you. Gerald will get you up to speed. Come and find me at nineteen thirty.”

“Sir.”

I went out into the hard light. The mountains hanging over us had a dusting of snow now and I knew that it would be cold later. I heft my pack onto one shoulder and walked the long way through the omnipresent dust to the bases’ living area. This took me past the mortar pit, the southern Javelin station and the main sangar from where we kept watch. There were a group of men in full kit on QRF duty lounging about at the foot of the raised platform. They called rough greetings to me which I returned with their name, or nickname. The unremitting tension seemed to have etched itself a little deeper into their faces. Mostly they turned back to their card games or play-stations, but some followed me with their eyes as I went on.

At the fifty cal I stood with Spicer and Deaks for a few minutes and looked at the terrain. It hadn’t got any better. There were children playing tag in the dust in front of the mosque and women moving about carrying their burdens.

“You’re back then, Lieutenant Ellice, sir,” Spicer said, giving me an exaggeratedly proper salute undercover of the Hesco wall.

“Yes, Spicer, I’m still a lieutenant. They haven’t promoted me yet,” I said.

That made them laugh.

“Good to have you back, sir,” Deaks said.

“Good to be back, Deaks,” I said.

“Really, sir?” he said.

“Actually, yes, Deaks,” I said.

“Fucking hell, sir,” he said.

“Quite,” I said.

I left them to it and went to look for Gerald. I found him in the tent that served us both as home.

“Fuck me. You’re back,” he said.

“Apparently,” I said, pushing a pile of papers off an empty missile crate that was doing duty as a chair and sitting down.

 

Buy Links –

Website: https://ratstales.co.uk/

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/28OjSmb

 

B&N (Nook Press): http://bit.ly/29MzR4Y

 

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/28MC68L

 

Kobo: http://bit.ly/29Jcg45

 

Rats Tales single Spine Logo

 

Author Biography –

I have no special qualifications to be a writer except that I want to be. I live where I’m from in the West Country in the UK and work in a small room above a pub in Bath, which is possibly the nicest city in the world. I spend my days thinking about, learning about and writing about whatever is interesting to me, which is possibly the best job in the world.

I’ve been working away quietly for many years, learning my trade and starting to build up a body of work. Now, at last, it’s all starting to happen. The first full-length novel of my Simon Ellice series goes to print shortly and will be available in all the usual places.

To introduce the series and the main character I’ve released a short story called Dead Ground in the digital formats. Set in Nuristan, Afghanistan, it tells of how a young man begins to deal with his personal grief amid the chaos of war and is launched on a course that will get him into a lot of trouble in Morocco a year later…

 

Social Media Links –

Rat’s Tales:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ratstalespublishing/

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Meet @maaarmstrang, the Author Behind Truck Stop Earth #books #scifi #writing


I’m so excited because today it’s our great pleasure to have Michael A. Armstrong on the blog. He’s the genius behind the upcoming novel, Truck Stop Earth, published by Perseid Press. Even though he’s extremely busy, he managed a few moment to sit down for an interview. I loved getting to know him better and I know you will, too. So, please give Michael a warm welcome. Take it away, Michael:

 

What is your writing process?

I think about what I’m writing as much as the actual fingers-to-keyboard writing. My novels are like icebergs: there’s a lot floating underneath that you don’t see beyond the written word. I’m constantly thinking about my current book or short story — sometimes, many books or short stories. When I start a novel I get a big fat journal and start making notes, some random, some focused. I have sections titled “setting” or “characters,” but I also have sections like “stuff that needs to happen.” I keep checking back to my journal constantly.

 

Truck Stop Earth took about five years to write. I worked on it in drib and drabs between my day job as a reporter at the Homer News. I finished the book during a residency with the Escape to Create program through the Seaside Institute. I stayed in a condo at Watercolor, a development near Seaside, Fla. Every morning I’d get up, have breakfast, and read the paper. About 9 a.m. I’d start writing, taking short coffee breaks and work until lunch. After lunch I would take a beach walk. Any problems or issues that came up in my novel I would puzzle out on the walk. Sometimes I just let my mind wander, not thinking about the book, which in a way also is thinking about the book. After my afternoon walk, I’d dive back into writing, writing until dinner. I put in a regular day, about six to eight hours of focused writing. In three weeks I wrote 20,000 words and finished the novel. In a perfect world, that would be my writing process. Write, walk on the beach, write.

 

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

I don’t puzzle over names too much. I like odd and unusual names, or variations of normal names. Names should not get in the way of knowing and identifying characters.  One trick I’ve always used is to make the sounds of character names different. There will only be one character whose name starts with “L,” for example, or not an Ike if there also is a Mike.

 

In After the Zap, though, I paid more attention to names than usual. In the post-nuke world I created, an electromagnetic pulse fried people’s brains. Most lost the ability to read and lost the concept of naming. They knew a word would identify who they were, but they didn’t understand why some words would be names and not others. My main character, Holmes Weatherby III, went around naming people. He understood that pieces of plastic or paper on them indicated their name, but he didn’t understand the concept of identification. Thus when he named a woman, she had a card for a vacuum cleaner salesperson on her, and so she became “Electrolux,” or “Lucy.”

 

Have you always liked to write?

Yes. The idea of contemplating the world through writing came to me at an early age. I had a grandmother, Anne Hughes Jander, who wrote, and she loved to tell stories to her grandchildren. That inspired my own wonky and weird imagination. I remember at the age of 10 in fourth grade being given the challenge of using that week’s spelling words in a story. My teacher, Gloria Parrino, read the stories aloud, so I got that little ego boost that sustains writers. I pretty much knew by age 15 that I would be a writer.

 

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

I have a short story, Asystole, that I’m finishing up. I’m troubled by the end and can’t quite figure that one out. I’m also working on a novel, Borderers, that involves Scottish Borderers made immortal in an arcane and very science-fictional way. The immortals get into a feud with each other and things get very nasty.

 

Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?

When we built our little 16-foot-by-20-cabin here in Homer on Diamond Ridge, I wrote in a corner of the cabin. Then I built a little 8-foot-by-12-foot office and wrote there. When we added on and expanded our cabin into a house with bedrooms and such, my wife and I each got an office. She has her art studio and I have my writing office. My writing desk has a little window that looks out on a meadow and forest and, if I squint, a hint of the Kenai Mountains beyond. I keep the curtain closed, though, so I don’t get distracted.

 

 

What secret talents do you have?

I’m a finder. If things get lost, I sometimes find them. I had a roommate who constantly lost his car keys. He’d fumble around for a few minutes, and then I would go over to a couch or shelf or wherever and hand him his keys. I just knew where he’d left them. I walk the beaches frequently here in Homer and have found many strange and unusual things like glass floats, cell phones, marine radios and cremated remains (still sealed in a box).

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have the usual assortment of faded scars from childhood injuries. The scariest scar is on my left chest, just above my heart, from where three years ago I got a pacemaker implanted. I got the pacemaker after passing out four times in one morning on Memorial Day 2013. It turned out I had vaso vagal syncope, a condition that causes you to pass out when the vagal nerve gets stimulated, like when I kept throwing up. I also have sick sinus syndrome and bradycardia. When I pass out, my heart rate drops very, very low, and then my blood pressure. All these things came together in a bizarre medical crisis. The fourth time I passed out, I flat lined and I went into systole for 53 seconds. In effect, I died. I like to say I went into the Big Black. All turned out well. After a medevac flight from my home in Homer, Alaska, to an Anchorage hospital, I got a pacemaker. It keeps my heart rate from falling below 50 beats per minute — and not dying.

 

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

I’m the youngest child and the only boy with three older sisters. I was sick a lot. I also read like crazy. I had and still have a vivid imagination. I was that strange little kid who lived down the street that no one really understood. I got along well with other kids, though. They called me Professor.

 

My favorite toy was LEGOs. A German cousin gave me a starter kit. LEGO in the 1960s when I was growing up didn’t mean assembling something from a box that came in pieces and had a plan. You got all these random pieces and you built stuff on your own. I used to build tiny little starships.

 

What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

I dream a lot about dead people. I have a recurring dream where I’m in the house I lived in Tampa, Fla. My dad is there, though he’s been dead since 1982. Other people are in the house, like family of the woman my dad married two months before he died. Sometimes I will see dead people in my dreams and I know they’re dead and they know they’re dead, but it’s as if they’re still alive. In one dream I saw my Uncle Warren, who has been dead since 1991, and I could touch and hug him. “But you’re dead,” I told him, and he said, “Well, I know that. So?”

 

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

I have this tradition. When I turn a big decade, like 50, I go someplace foreign I’ve always wanted to visit. At 50, I went to Scotland. This year at 60, I went to Paris. When I was a boy I had an uncle who encouraged his nieces and nephews to study abroad in some place they spoke a foreign language. Uncle Owen would match up to $100 whatever we saved that year. At one point there was talk of colonies on the moon and how that might happen soon. I told Uncle Owen I wanted to study on the moon. So maybe when I turned 90 or 100, if I live that long, I can celebrate my birthday on the moon. I want to go to the moon. Antarctica would do as a second-best.

 

truckstop_EBOOK

 

Title: Truck Stop Earth

Author:  Michael A. Armstrong

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Aliens, UFO

Publisher: Perseid Press

Release Date: August 1, 2016

 

Book Blurb:

The mother of all alien bases. The big one, the megabase, the center of the Alien Occupation Government, the headquarters, the brain, the nerve center, the absolute pinpoint big base, right there, right in the hills above Della. Forget Roswell. Forget Machu Picchu. Forget Stonehenge and Tikal and all those alleged alien bases, abandoned every one of them. This was the big one, right now, the source of all my troubles, the world’s troubles, the whole solar system’s troubles. Right there.

 

Out there across the valley, shining across it like a beacon, was a big flat mountain. “Oly’s Mountain” I later heard it called, or Table Top, some said. I could feel it, feel the humming and the disruption of the ether right down to my bones. I didn’t even have to take out my little pocket detector that’s disguised as a Swiss Army knife. I knew, I just knew. And my butt chip burned like an exploded capsule of sulfuric acid. God damn, right there in the mountain — not on it, in it.

 

Book Trailer:

 

Excerpt:

I heard kind of a humming up ahead, and I looked up and saw this weird green beam like a big cylinder of light rising up above me.

 

Standing in front of me was this Gray. I didn’t know of it as a Gray, of course, not then, but I’d seen pictures, because of that guy’s book he wrote about twenty years ago. Big snake head, big eyes, puny little body, pallid icky skin with that talcum powder dust like it had walked through an ash tray, and, of course, that silly gee-gaw infested ray gun Grays like to carry to impress people, but that looked so suck ass silly you had to laugh rather than be intimidated.

 

I’d heard stories, of course, and knew what was going to happen. Well, two things. Either the Gray would just shoot me outright, turn me into randomly reassembled atoms, or I would get sucked up into the mother ship. I looked up again at that beam of light, saw it slide along toward me, and then it sucked the Gray up, and it went zipping above along. I closed my eyes, not wanting to see the beam hit me, but I felt it, oh yeah, I felt it.

 

Actually, it felt kind of cool once I relaxed and enjoyed it. That first second scared the shit out of me, though. You know how it feels to jump off a high tower into the water, where you just keep falling and falling? The first second of being sucked into an alien tractor beam feels like that. The following second, or the next moment after the beam pulls you up and you leave the ground, once you’re in the beam, it’s way cool.

 

So I rose up in the beam, and it didn’t feel like I was flying, didn’t feel like I was falling. I just felt like I was standing on a big wad of jello, and then once the ride was over, there I was inside a big huge room. I stood there, not so much scared to move as figuring when you’d just got sucked up by an alien mother ship, and a Gray stood there with a strange weapon, silly or not, calm and reasoned introspection and a hesitancy to make any sudden moves might be a good idea.

 

“Welcome on board,” the alien then said with a man’s voice — actually, it sounded like Jimmy Carter, because of that recording on Pioneer 10, before they started expanding their vocal repertoire. “We’re just glad to have y’all visit us.”

 

Then I looked over and saw this incredibly gorgeous woman, I mean, a flat-out, gorgeous, tanned blonde, totally naked and with her hair spreading out in all directions like she was in the middle of a hurricane. Very Cosmopolitan. If she was alien, those fuckers had done a damn good job of faking a human, and if she was human, well, she either was incredibly lucky in the big genetic beauty contest or had one hell of a plastic surgeon.

 

“Don’t believe a word they say,” she said. “They’re just out to butt fuck you. And they’ll probably want us to have sex.”

 

“I can live with that,” I said. “I mean, the butt fucking,” I quickly added, because I didn’t want to come on too strong.

 

She laughed at that and walked toward me, her hair still whipping around her face, except when she got close to me I couldn’t feel a breeze. Her hand slid down the sides of my body, down my arms, my waist, and to my biking shorts. With a swift tug she yanked down my pants, raised an eyebrow when she saw I didn’t wear underpants, raised another eyebrow when she saw my Clinton big and throbbing and ready to tutor an intern, and then whipped me around.

 

“Close your eyes and think of England,” she said.

 

Buy Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30650517-truck-stop-earth

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HN3JAJS

 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/truck-stop-earth-michael-a-armstrong/1123961595?ean=9780997531008

 

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/truck-stop-earth-1

 

Michael and Leia bw

 

Author Biography:

Michael Armstrong was born in Virginia in 1956, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. He has lived in Homer, Alaska, since 1994. He attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop and received a bachelor of arts from New College of Florida and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His first novel is After the Zap. Michael’s short fiction has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fiction Quarterly, and various anthologies, including Not of Woman Born, a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and several Heroes In Hell anthologies. His other novels include Agviq, The Hidden War, and Bridge Over Hell, part of the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell universe.

 

Michael has taught creative writing composition, and dog mushing. He is a reporter and photographer for the Homer News. He and his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, live in small house they built themselves on Diamond Ridge above Homer, which they share with an incredibly adorable labradoodle.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.armstrong.writer/

Twitter https://twitter.com/maaarmstrang

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4100550.Michael_A_Armstrong

Publisher http://www.theperseidpress.com/

Writing for Shared Universes: Guest Post by @WestonAndrew #amwriting #books #SFF


hellboundLARGE

 

As some of my readers will be aware, as well as being the creator of the IX Series (The IXExordium of TearsPrelude to Sorrow – TBR) I also devised the rather dark and devilishly intense character of Daemon Grim.

 

Now, this guy is none other than the Grim Reaper himself, Satan’s chief bounty hunter and go-to guy in times of trouble, and you get to read about his trials and tribulations in the #1 international bestseller, Hell Bound, and the sequel due toward the end of this year through Perseid Press, Hell Hounds.

 

The thing is, there’s more to the Reaper than first meets the eye, as his exploits form part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe.

HIH

 

Don’t know what Heroes in Hell is all about?
Heroes in Hell is a series of shared world fantasy books, within the genre Bangsian fantasy, created and edited by Janet Morris and written by her, Chris Morris, C. J. Cherryh and others. The first 12 books in the series were published by Baen Books between 1986 and 1989. The series was resurrected in 2011 by Janet Morris with the thirteenth book and eighth anthology in the series, Lawyers in Hell, followed by four more anthologies and two novels between 2012 and 2015.
Of note is the fact the stories from the series include one Hugo Award winner and two Nebula nominees.

 

The shared world premise of Heroes in Hell (also called The Damned Saga) is that all the dead wind up together in Hell, a devilishly wicked arena where anything and everything can go wrong in the relentless pursuit of their various ends.

 

Here’s the list of recent releases since 2011:

Lawyers in Hell
Rogues in Hell
Bridge over Hell
Dreamers in Hell
Poets in Hell
Doctors in Hell
Hell Bound

 

So, why would I want to contribute to a shared universe? The answer is simple– For the challenge.

 

Think about it. With the IX Series, I can basically do whatever I want. I can have as many protagonists and antagonists as I see fit. Run them through hoops. Put them here, there, everywhere and make them fit just about any situation I care to conjure up. On the other hand, when it comes to writing for Heroes in Hell, I can’t do that.

 

A shared universe is governed by its own fundamental forces. It has its own rules, as to where and when its sets. Principles govern it subjects regarding their interaction with each other and the realms they live in. Simply put, there are limitations on what you can and cannot do, especially if your story includes characters ‘owned’ by another contributor.

 

Daemon Grim, for example, is leader of the Hell Hounds, (a select cadre of damned hunters) and the Inquisitors (Satan’s special interrogators). Because these individuals are of ‘my’ devising, I have a pretty long leash on what I am allowed to do with them – as long as I stay within the guidelines governing the Rules of Hell.

 

However, Grim and his cabal regularly interact with other notables, such as the Undertaker, the Kigali, and the Sibitti. These particular creatures ‘belong’ to other authors so I have to follow an adopted procedure.

 

First, I need permission to use them in my own stories. Second, I have to agree not to involve them in anything that can change their nature or cause permanent repercussions. And finally, I have to ensure they ‘stay in character’ when they interrelate with others.

 

For example, in Hell Hounds, there’s a scene where Grim faces off against the Sibitti. As personified weapons of the plague god Erra, the Sibitti have a distinct way of fighting. So I need to ensure I stay true to their modus operandi.

 

Do you see the challenge in this? I can’t simply think up a fight scene – my specialty – and go with my natural flow. I have to adopt the specific current those characters I’m borrowing adopt when in battle, and ensure I reflect that appropriately.

 

This is particularly apparent in the yearly themed compilations Heroes in Hell is famous for. Look at the list of recent releases from 2011, and you’ll see topics as diverse as lawyers and dreamers to poets and rogues. Grim, for example, was introduced in the 2015 Doctors in Hell anthology. The next selected theme – due for release in Fall 2016, is Pirates in Hell, a calling completely at odds to that of a doctor, as I’m sure you’ll agree. Do you see the variety this affords?

 

But you might think…hang on, doesn’t that make the larger books you write a little disjointed? Well, it could, if I didn’t keep a careful balance. Let me explain:

 

When Janet invited me to write for Heroes in Hell, we came up with the idea of leapfrogging the novels with the anthologies to keep things tight and integrate Grim more fully into the universe. So, Hell Bound follows on immediately after the action in Doctors. The forthcoming Pirates short story – Pieces of Hate – carries on Grim’s adventures three months after the events in Hell Bound. In turn, Pirates will lead into Hell Hounds, and so on and so forth. Do you see the forethought and planning this involves?
You might wonder, why on earth do I put myself through it?

 

That’s easy. I want to improve.

 

As writers, we owe it to ourselves and our readers to become the best we can be. Now, I’m a disciplined and focused person. I work hard to develop and nurture my own distinct “voice” which I hope is apparent in my work. The trouble is, when we rely solely on our own preferences, we can sometimes limit the extent to which we can mature.

 

I like contributing to the shared universe because the various themes touch on topics I wouldn’t normally consider. Doing so accelerates my learning curve and broadens my skills and experience. In the end, it’s you – the reader – that benefits.

 

Intrigued?

 

Well, if you want to find out more about the diversity of writing for a shared universe, check out some of the latest releases in Heroes in Hell. Some great writers contribute to every edition, and their various styles ensure there’s always something in the anthologies for everyone.

 

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

Perseid Press: http://www.theperseidpress.com/

 

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/

 

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/