The Fountain of Youth: A Guest Post by @Steveshearbooks #books #writing #elderly #dementia


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The Fountain of Youth: A Guest Post

 

By Steve Shear

 

When I was a kid I shared one bedroom with my three brothers. Three of us shared a pair of twin beds up against one wall. My oldest brother got the outside bed because he was the oldest. I got the inside bed because I was second oldest, and our number three brother got the crack between the two of us. Some of us think he still has psychologic scars from spending a good part of his youth in the crack. Just kidding! Our youngest brother slept on a rollaway and our grandmother, Mama, who lived with us, had her own bedroom.

 

Mama and I played gin rummy often. She cheated but I didn’t let her win, mainly because we played for money and Polly seeds. Yes, I said Polly seeds! Actually sunflower seeds but that’s not what we called them. Aunt Ethyl and Uncle Frank lived above us in a duplex. Uncle Frank was a pharmacist and sold packets of Fisher Polly seeds to Mama wholesale. She would in turn sell them to us retail. And that was okay because we knew where she hid them and our moral fiber hadn’t yet matured in those early days. Besides I think she knew what we were doing. She never complained about her depleting supply.

 

Not long after Mama reached ninety-two she was moved into an ‘old folks’ home. We would go visit every Sunday; truly a frightening experience for her and us. But she held her own. I remember one Sunday, she introduced me to her ‘Aunt’ Charlotte. “No, no, Mama, she’s not my aunt,” I recall telling her. “Stevie, she is your aunt,” she insisted. Lacking social graces in those early days I argued otherwise right in front of Aunt Charlotte. Finally my grandmother of ninety-two years put the discussion to rest. “Stevie, mit er money and no one to leave it to, be grateful she wants to be your Aunt.”

 

I have wonderful memories of Mama but the old folks’ home is not one of them. One doesn’t forget all those people who share a common objective, to make it through their remaining years with minimal pain and suffering and with a functioning head on their shoulders. Hope springs eternal.

 

Flash forward sixty or so years and I found myself in a ‘facility for seniors’ in which my mother-in-law, age one hundred plus, was a resident. She had an apartment on the independent living floor. Clearly she should have been one floor below, assisted living, but she wouldn’t budge. Getting her to move downstairs was harder than taking her car away a few years earlier.

 

These experiences, first the old folks’ home my grandmother was in and then the senior facility where my mother-in-law lived, were in part why I wrote The Fountain of Youth. If for no other reason where else can you find such characters as interesting and quirky as the old folks who reside there, the staff who takes care of them, and the children and grandchildren who visit them?

 

But there is another reason I decided to write this book. At my age, going on seventy-five (just like Glickman in The Fountain of Youth), I see close up how quickly and ravaging diseases like Cancer, dementia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Parkinson’s, and the like can sneak up on us. And when it does, at some point many if not most of us ask whether there isn’t a better option.

 

Actually while the worst of it is the pain and suffering or the idea that your brain does not know what the rest of you is doing or where you’re at, just the idea that this may happen to you in the future is extremely disconcerting, to say the least, especially when you see it firsthand in family and friends. In The Fountain of Youth, you are first introduced to Glickman who lives on the independent living floor at the Fountain and to his Sunday ritual. Sometime in the early afternoon he searches for and must find the sixth grade quiz book (once his grandson’s) he hid somewhere in the facility the previous Sunday. After dinner he selects twenty questions from the quiz book and attempts to answer them. For example, one question might be: Another name for your voice box is? A perfect score is what he expects but he is willing to live with at least fifteen correct, that is, after he cusses out himself and the quiz book.

 

Glickman wears around his neck a key that opens a small metal box hidden behind some old clothes in his bedroom closet. In the box is a pill … in case he needs it. “… research has confirmed that a ‘Peaceful Pill’ provides peace of mind for its seriously ill or elderly owner [whether ill or not], giving that person a sense of control over his or her life and death.” This is a quote from The Peaceful Pill Handbook written by Drs. Philip Nitschke and Fiona Stewart, 2016 edition, in association with Exit International USA. I studied this book as part of my research in writing The Fountain of Youth and found it to be extremely valuable. Actually until I read the Handbook I didn’t have the slightest idea what that little pill was in Glickman’s metal box. Now that I have an idea what it is, I’m still trying to figure out how he managed to get it.

 

At the end of one’s day or more accurately as that day approaches, I believe everyone should consider having an explicit exit plan which takes into account exactly what it is he or she wants to avoid whether it be serious pain and suffering, the onset of dementia, or merely having to go to a nursing home. While my good friend Glickman had no problem implementing such a plan, I’m sorry to say Glickman lives in a make believe world, a world of my own creation. Unfortunately, finding that little pill or otherwise trying to die with dignity at a time and place of your own choosing is far more difficult in the real world, especially a world in which the religious folks have taken to mind our business as well as their own.

 

Title: The Fountain of Youth

Author: Steve Shear

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Alzheimer’s, Fiction

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

 

Book Blurb:

A love affair, a teenager in deadly trouble, a possible Nazi in hiding, and a battle to escape dementia—make for high drama and unpredictable twists at the Fountain!

 

Two generations of dementia are enough!” Robert Glickman declares in his quest to die with dignity and the likelihood he will be next. To that end he uses his grandson’s sixth grade quiz book, a locked away metal box, and a secret weapon that eventually comes back to haunt him.

 

In the meantime, he is embroiled in the lives of many other residents including his neurotic sister Essie who plots to steal his secret weapon for herself; Beautiful Christina Abernathy, a retired psychotherapist, he instantly falls in love with; Hester, a young server at the Fountain who suffers from progressive mutism resulting from a horrific incident in childhood; Boyle, a man of mystery with a questionable past for good or evil (Glickman isn’t sure which); Boyle’s grandson, Santini, a troubled young man caught between the dope dealers he runs with and the FBI wanting to use him; and a runaway girl who reminds Glickman of someone in his past.

 

Will Glickman and Essie beat dementia? Can he win over Christina? And what about Hester, Boyle, and Boyle’s grandson, and the runaway girl?

 

 

Excerpt:

My quiz book, all three hundred pages, is older than my stay at the Fountain. It belonged to my grandson, Peter, my daughter Bonnie’s oldest. Peter and I spent many evenings in his room reading the questions and seeing who could come up with the answers first. Often I won. Sometime he did. I clearly had the advantage of age and education. Peter had the advantage of looking up the answers ahead of time so I guess we were even. When the decision was made for me to move to the Fountain, not unanimously I might add, Peter insisted I take the quiz book with me so we would have it when he visited. By the time I settled in he decided he was too old for the book. I often wonder whether that was so, or was it possibly because he couldn’t look up the answers ahead of time. Either way, whenever I open the book I think of Peter and smile. And then smile again because I know its real purpose.

 

By the time I retrieved it from the multicolored vase and returned to my apartment, I had totally forgotten about Pomerantz even though I had been asked by Ruth at the front desk to speak at his memorial service, and for her I would do anything. So, I spent several grueling days writing and memorizing the speech I planned to give. It was sitting on the kitchen table, although I hadn’t noticed it when I walked in. I normally don’t forget such things. Maybe I was just bothered by the fact that I mixed up the East and South Halls. Besides, he wasn’t my best friend. He was a Republican. He voted for George Bush twice. I’m sure Ruth thought we were best buddies because I joined his fight against the Vatican’s refusal to take Mrs. Pomerantz off life support. She took the trip to Hades on Lower Level 2 a year or so after she and Pomerantz arrived at the Fountain. Such a shame and such a surprise. She was a spry little woman with the intellect of a giant. First in bridge, always, and first in the weekly trivial pursuit night. I’m sure she didn’t study the answers ahead of time … but who knows.  From one day to the next she found herself on the River Styx without ever stopping at Lower Level One. Three months later she was on life support without a ‘valid’ living will, at least according to church officials at Christ-the-King Care Group. That brought Pomerantz and me together, at least for a while. There’s nothing like a good fight for what one believes in to bring people together.

 

When I first met him, Harry, he was racing down the hall past my front door in his supped up motorized wheelchair like James Dean and the hoodlums in Rebel without a Cause. As I stepped into the hall we practically collided head on. Fortunately I jumped back just in time, except for my big toe which throbs to this day.

 

“Christ!” he shouted, “Can’t you watch where you’re going?”

 

“Who in the hell are you,” I barked back, trying to fight off the pain in my lowest extremity by jumping up and down on my left foot like a fucking clown. “Dr. HMP MD?” I read aloud off the New York license plate wired to the back of his lethal weapon and laughed. “Well Dr. HMP Master Dick, or whatever MD stands for, just remember you’re sharing this road with the regular folks who don’t have vanity plates plastered all over their stock cars.”

 

That was a number of years ago and only the beginning of our bipolar affiliation. It went uphill and downhill from there.

 

About the time I took the puzzle book out from under my shirt, the phone rang. “Robert, where are you?” a voice at the other end hollered. I looked around.

 

“In my apartment,” I hollered back, recognizing Goldfarb’s soprano voice. He should have been a woman, I always thought, but he would have been an uglier old woman than old man. Imagine Karl Malden in The Streets of San Francisco with long hair and Tiny Tim’s voice.

 

“Well, we started without you but the Rabbi is now calling up all the speakers.”

 

“All the …” Oh, God! I looked at my speech on the table. “Okay. Don’t bury him without me.”

 

“What?” I heard him say as I hung up and grabbed my speech.

 

For a guy who thought he had lost his puzzle book and totally forgot about the memorial service, I did a pretty good job and only looked at my speech a couple of times. I told everyone how I collided with Harry that first day we met and became best friends even though he was a Republican. I lied about being best friends. Otherwise I would have had to explain why I was at the podium we borrowed from Rufus. And to be honest we were best friends during the time we fought to get Harriet off life support.

 

She wound up in the hospital with pneumonia which clearly wasn’t a good thing since she had already suffered from emphysema and had to drag an oxygen tank wherever she went. It was well past 10 o’clock one evening when I heard a knock at the door causing me to jump from my covers. I raced for the door and saw an eyeball through the peephole.

 

“Don’t slip on the newspaper,” I yelled.

 

He ignored my humor. “It’s Pomerantz. Can I talk to you Glickman?

 

I rushed for my robe and opened the door. By the time I tied it across my waist he had already made himself comfortable at the kitchen table. Surely he wasn’t there to argue about the election; was he? I made it clear his politics gave me indigestion and wanted no more to do with it than jalapeño cream cheese on a garlic bagel. At the time I didn’t know Harriet was in the hospital with pneumonia. Before learning why he was there, I offered to make us a cup of tea and he accepted.

 

“I’ve been told that you know how to make a living will?”

 

“Living will?”

 

“Brownsher next door said you were the expert.”

 

“You don’t have one?”

 

“No. But it’s not for me. It’s for my Harriet.” It figures, I thought. What do you expect from a Republican?

 

“Why all of a sudden?”

 

“She’s in the hospital with pneumonia.”

 

“Oh! I’m sorry,” I said, then reminded him I was not a lawyer but I did have some experience with living wills, although I didn’t mention why and he didn’t ask. I started for my computer and he jumped up to follow me. ….

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Fountain-Youth-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B06XXN8Q36

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Fountain-Youth-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B06XXN8Q36

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fountain-Youth-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B06XXN8Q36

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-fountain-of-youth-steve-shear/1126084022?ean=2940157477806

 

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-fountain-of-youth-10

 

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Steve_Shear_The_Fountain_of_Youth?id=U2TODgAAQBAJ&PAffiliateId=1100lLzi

 

Bookstrand http://www.bookstrand.com/the-fountain-of-youth-0

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35097928-the-fountain-of-youth

 

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Author Biography:

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was Steve’s first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015. He is happy to say that Adrian has been optioned as a movie by EVW Entertainment (producer of the movie Break the Stage), and the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and Steve. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and Steve have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay.

 

The Wild Rose Press published The Fountain of Youth, Steve’s second published novel, in May of 2017. It has received exceptional reviews, some of which appear on Amazon and Goodreads.

 

He and his wife, Susan, collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal(published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country.

 

In addition, Steve has four novels that have recently been completed: The First ComingAn Eye for an Eye, and The Click. He has written screenplays on the first two and is presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.

 

Steve has been writing poetry for over fifteen years (some of which has been published) and is also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. He is presently represented by the Delta Gallery in Brentwood, California and on line by Vango Art. His work can be seen at his website, www.steveshear.net.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.steveshear.net/

Twitter @Steveshearbooks

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/steve.shear.967

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-shear-80a03727/

 

 

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Success is No Accident. It Is Hard Work, Perseverance and More! #inspiration #FridayFeeling


success is no accident

 

One of the greatest traits both of our fathers instilled in us: a strong work ethic. Nothing comes easy and in order to achieve success, you have to work your bum off.

 

Are you struggling for success at work, school, home and society? Do you feel like giving up because it’s too hard? Stay the course! 

 

We’ve been working on creating an inspirational thought book (365 days worth) for the past nine months. It’s been hard work, let me tell you. We had to figure out which inspirational thoughts deserved to be in the book and which didn’t. We had to edit, re-edit and edit again. We had to research copyright law and make sure we weren’t in violation. We had to edit again. We had to hire a cover designer and get the perfect cover. We had to proofread and proofread again. Final tweaks are being done today and then it’s off to the formatter this weekend.

 

We did all this work while trying to work two jobs, run a business, deal with certain personal matters, keep up with friends and family, not to mention sleep and eat. There were roadblocks and times when we were so exhausted, we looked like ten miles of bad road. But we kept going. We knew this was an important book that needed to be published because it’s filled with truth and love.

 

Success may seem out of reach but every time you feel that way, recite the quote above. You can do it, no matter what! Success is no accident and at the end of the journey, you’ll be amazed by all that you accomplished!

 

MRS N

Finding the Time to Write by @KWilkinsauthor #NaNoWriMo #writingtips #TuesdayBookBlog


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Finding the Time To Write…

by Author Kelli A. Wilkins

www.KelliWilkins.com

 

Hi everyone,

 

My name is Kelli Wilkins and I’m an eclectic writer. That means I write everything—short horror fiction, steamy full-length romance novels, science fiction, and even non-fiction. People are always asking me, “How can you write in so many different genres and styles?”

 

It’s really not that difficult. Why? Because the basic mechanics of good storytelling are universal, no matter what genre you write. Every fiction story contains the same ingredients: an interesting and engaging plot, characters the reader cares about and roots for, supporting details, and background that draw the reader into the story.

 

I’m often asked: Where do you get your ideas? How do I get published? How do you write a book? What advice do you have for writers who are just starting out? Do you have any writing tips?

 

I’ve answered these questions many times in interviews and addressed them in guest blogs, but I always wanted to say more. One day, I started thinking about everything I’ve learned over the years, and inspiration hit me: Why not write a book on how to write? The result? You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction.

 

This fun and practical book walks you through the story-creating process step-by-step: from getting a great idea to meeting your characters, developing a plot, and on to writing, revising, and submitting your work.

 

Each easy-to-read chapter is based on my years of experience as a writer, advice I’ve received over the years, and the technical “know-how” I’ve gained in writing classes and workshops. I also included helpful tips all writers can use, plus writing exercises to get you motivated. Once you have the basics down, you can write—really!

 

Here’s an excerpt from the book. This chapter is all about tossing aside excuses why you can’t write and gives you pointers on making the time to write.

 

I Want to Write, But…

 

What’s your excuse for not writing? No ideas? Not enough time? (This one is very common.) Not sure where or how to start? Afraid your friends or relatives won’t like what you write? Whatever excuses you have, it’s time to address them and work through them—that is, if you really want to write.

 

One Day, I’ll…

 

Let’s face it, the world is filled with people who like the “idea” of being a writer, but who don’t actually write anything. These people stare off into space and say, “One day I’ll write a book.” or “I’ll start writing when…” and they put the whole thing on hold, waiting for “someday” when they have more time, or when the kids are out of the house, or they’re retired, or (fill in the blank).

 

Most of these people never put a word on the page despite all their good intentions. And if they do start a project, they lose interest in it (it’s too hard, it was taking too long). Even fewer people see a project through from idea to published story. But they sure like to talk about it.

 

Do you know the difference between a “wannabe” and a “real” writer? It’s simple—and it has nothing to do with being published—writers write. They don’t talk about writing, they actually do it. If you ask three writers about their projects, each one can tell you where he or she is in the process (first draft, Chapter Four, editing) and actually show you words on pages.

 

If I had a quarter for every time someone told me, “I want to write, but…” and “Let me tell you my story idea…” I’d be a billionaire. Seriously. Writing is hard work and it takes a lot of self-discipline. Nobody will come to your house, plop you in a chair and make you write. Writing is something you have to want to do. You have to motivate yourself to stick with it through each stage of the project.

 

EXERCISE: If you could only write one story in your life, what would it be? Write it down and describe it in three to five paragraphs. This is the story that will motivate you to write.

 

Writing is like anything else you do in life. Suppose you want to learn how to surf. You won’t learn how to ride the waves by talking about it. At some point, you have to hit the water and get wet.

 

Get Motivated!

 

Writers must be self-motivating. Nobody will force you to write a novel. So how do you find the time or get motivated to write? First, if you like your idea and are excited about it, that in itself should be a motivating factor. (“I’ve got this great idea for a ghost story and can’t wait to write it!”)

 

Second, you need to schedule time to be creative. A writing schedule keeps you accountable for your time and helps “train your brain” to get used to the idea of writing at certain times. It may sound silly, but it works. You schedule time for other things in life like going to work, hitting the gym, etc., so if writing is a priority, why not schedule it, too?

 

Aim to write for an hour a day. It doesn’t matter how much or what you write for that hour, only that you put in the time. You can use the hour to brainstorm ideas, create character profiles, make an outline, or work on a few scenes.

 

Of course, it will be easier to write on some days rather than others, but push through any initial reluctance or procrastination, and keep going. When you’re fully engrossed in writing, time flies. You may find hours have vanished, you’re hungry, and it’s time to use the bathroom.

 

On days when you can’t write because you’re sick or it’s your birthday, don’t beat yourself up. When important life events happen, your writing time can (temporarily) shift on the priority schedule. Writing is a creative, mental process, and not everyone can write on demand every day. It’s okay to take a break when you need to, as long as you go back to your project as soon as possible. (That means within a day or two.)

 

EXERCISE: Create a writing schedule. Get a piece of paper (or use an online organizer) and write down the days of the week and your waking hours in the day. Fill in the spaces for each hour of every day with existing commitments (work, picking up the kids from band practice, eating, etc.) and see how many hours that leaves “open” for writing.

 

Give yourself a mini-reward for sticking to your writing schedule: have lunch with friends, buy new music, go to a movie, or do something that makes you feel good about achieving a goal. As you get used to writing on a daily basis, it gets easier. Soon, you’ll look forward to your writing time—and maybe increase the time you’ve blocked off to work on your story.

 

TIP: Limit distractions. Let friends and relatives know your writing schedule and ask them for privacy during that time. Turn off the phone and let calls go to voicemail while you write. Find a quiet place and get to work.

 

You can make time for writing by cutting back on watching TV, playing computer games, and trolling social media. You might be surprised at how easy it is to replace an hour of TV reruns with an hour of writing. If you sleep until 10 a.m. every weekend, set the clock for 9, get up, and write during the “extra” hour. Try it for a few weeks and see how it goes. Everyone on the planet gets 24 hours in every day—how you use them is up to you.

 

The bottom line is… all the writing advice, tips, books, and support groups won’t help you write anything if you’re not going to put in the time, energy, and effort to do the work.

 

Only you can write the story in your head, and if you are motivated and determined to get it written, your excuses will fall away. Work on your writing a little every day and before you know it, you’ll have a finished story—and that’s a worthy accomplishment.

 

Are you motivated yet? Here are three bonus writing exercises to get you writing:

 

EXERCISE: What do you want to write? Take a few minutes and think about the types of stories you like to read. Odds are, you’ll start writing in the same genre you read. Do you love cozy mysteries? Hardboiled detective stories? Spicy historical romances? Do you want to start with a short story or jump in and try a full-length novel? (If you only read short stories because novels are “too long” to sit through, the answer should be obvious.) Make a list of what you like to read and what you want to write.

 

EXERCISE: All characters want something, whether it’s a cup of coffee, a new car, to escape from jail, to eat lunch, or to finish a big project. Brainstorm five things your character wants, large or small. Here are some examples: woman wants to escape her abusive husband; man wants to bury a body; private investigator wants to find a blackmailer; fifth grade kid wants to get away with cheating on a math test.

 

EXERCISE: Write three to five dialogue exchanges where two characters meet for the first time. What do they talk about? What is happening in the scene or around them?

 

Happy Reading (and Writing!)

 

Kelli A. Wilkins

 

You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction

 

If you’ve always dreamed of writing and getting published, but have no idea where or how to start—THIS is the book for you!

 

You Can Write—Really! is an easy guide designed for beginner writers who need a boost of motivation and simple instructions on how to get started.

 

Award-winning author Kelli A. Wilkins takes you step-by-step through the writing process, covering the basics of plotting, editing, revising, and submitting. In addition, she explores ways to get your creativity flowing, explains where authors get ideas, and shows you how to create interesting characters for your story.

 

Helpful tips and fun writing exercises throughout the book get you started!

 

Title: You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction
Author: Kelli A. Wilkins (www.KelliWilkins.com)
Publisher:
Amazon
Release date:
February 2015
Genre:
non-fiction/writing fiction/creative writing
Length: 167 pages/40,000 words


Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Write-Really-Beginners-Writing-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00THWLFQU

 

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-can-write-really-a-beginners-guide-to-writing-fiction-kelli-a-wilkins/1123383869;jsessionid=8403DC1337D6456F8555222CE5661D4C.prodny_store02-atgap01?ean=2940152785012

 

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1082226989

 

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/you-can-write-really-a-beginner-s-guide-to-writing-fiction
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/298448384/You-Can-Write-Really-A-Beginner-s-Guide-to-Writing-Fiction

 

Page Foundry: http://www.inktera.com/store/title/45c76c76-adec-4670-aa02-9273d44f172b

 

24 Symbols: https://www.24symbols.com/book/x/x/x?id=1061945

 

kell at mp 5

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels.

 

Her paranormal-comedy, Beauty & the Bigfoot, was published in September 2017.

 

Kelli released Trust with Hearts, a contemporary romance, in July 2017. Her third gay romance, Four Days with Jack, was released in June 2017. Kelli’s trilogy of erotic romance novellas, Midsummer Night’s Delights, Midwinter Night’s Delights, and Ultimate Night’s Delights was published in spring 2017.

 

Loving a Wild Stranger was published in January 2017. This historical/pioneer romance is set in the wilds of the Michigan Territory and blends tender romance with adventure.

 

Kelli’s third Medallion Press romance, Lies, Love & Redemption was released in September 2016. This spicy historical western is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877.

 

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative guide filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

 

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.

 

She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/

 

Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read book excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

 

Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

Website: http://www.KelliWilkins.com

Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins

Facebook Contemporary Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Contemporary-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1965702023664339/

Facebook Gay Romances: https://www.facebook.com/GayRomancesbyKelliAWilkins/

Facebook Historical Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor

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

Medallion Press Author Page: http://medallionpress.com/author/kelli-wilkins/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?authorid=61801

Meet Author/Poet/Dramatist @Steveshearbooks and Discover The Trials of Adrian Wheeler #books


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I first met Steve Shear several months ago. He introduced himself and requested a book review of his book, The Fountain of Youth. After reading it (and MR N reading The Trials of Adrian Wheeler), I knew Shear was a gifted storyteller. He’s not afraid to tell the truth and to speak about relevant topics. When I asked him for an interview, he graciously agreed. Sit down, grab your favorite beverage and enjoy! Take it away, Steve: 

 

What is your writing process?

I write every day from about 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon with regular breaks. I don’t make outlines and in the first draft I am never sure what’s going to happen and might materialize on front of my eyes. Apart from the time I spend at the computer, I spend often hours a day solving problems relating to the story I’m working on.

 

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

Good writers with good stories and with something to say like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Bernard Malamud, Noah Gordon, and Ken Follett.

 

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 to fit a name to a character if possible. For example in The Trials of Adrian Wheeler, I started with Wheeler because it is a strong macho name. Sergeant Major John Wheeler (Adrian’s father) is a retired Vietnam vet and a first class bully/bigot. I chose Adrian because it serves as both a masculine and feminine name and suits Adrian’s artsy and sensitive personality as contrasted with his father’s and his brother’s name, John-Mike Wheeler, who is just like his father. Otherwise, often I use the last name of someone I’ve grown up with.

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

I assume you are talking about in my writing endeavors. Otherwise I might say my kids since they are great parents and have excellent careers. As for my “best” writing accomplishment, that’s hard to say. I am guessing it is the yet to be published Ira Neebest Trilogy that has taken over ten years to write, dozens and dozens of drafts, and a three generation story that morphed its way into its present state without my help I sometimes think. The three books are: The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, and Black Hearts and Hungry Bears.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Be careful with that question. I will be 75 this February.

 

Have you always liked to write?

I wouldn’t say I did much if any writing in high school, college, or law school. It wasn’t until I began my career as a Patent Lawyer that I started writing.

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Love it or leave it! Writing is and must be an emotional drive that you are willing to take just about every day. For beginners who are interested in writing fiction, I would urge them to start out by writing and reading poetry, not the contemporary stuff that makes me crazy but the good stuff written by the English and American poets who’ve are long gone. Poetry forces you to deal with each and every word and to focus on imagery.

 

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

First of all, if I were writing books for a living I no doubt couldn’t afford the small and reasonable fees charged by book reviewers and the like. As it is I write books strictly for the fun of it. I also paint and sculpt for the fun of it.

 

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about.

 

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?

Yes, I read my reviews and so far I’ve not received any bad ones, I think in part because I have enough honest readers of my material long before I’m at the review stage. And I take serious what these people say. Besides I have a pretty good idea when my stuff stinks.

 

What is your best marketing tip?

First, don’t count on your publisher to do much for you, although that isn’t true for my present publisher, The Wild Rose Press. The marketing team there is quite active. Also, put yourself out there, as much as it hurts, especially on social media.

 

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

Marketing, obviously.

 

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

Yes, my study. I think it’s important to have a single comfortable place with a good chair and ergonomic keyboard.

 

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

I have written a total of six novels (two published), five stage plays (two published), five screenplays (one under option), and over a hundred poems (a few published).

 

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

Presently I am putting the final touches on my Ira Neebest Trilogy.

 

What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

I don’t fib … and that is my biggest fib ever, which no doubt in itself is even a bigger fib.

 

Do you write naked?

No.

 

Have you ever been in trouble with the law?

No

 

Have you ever gotten into a fight?

No

 

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

I don’t drink (I did in college), I stopped smoking forty years ago.

 

What do you want your tombstone to say?

I don’t want a tombstone.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

The power to beam myself up and down so I can avoid airplanes and California drivers.

 

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

I have no bucket list. I hate the term. And I’m doing exactly what I want to do; write, paint, exercise, and most important be close with my grandchildren.

 

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

I flunked out of law school because I never went to class and didn’t know where the exams were being given.

 

 The Trials of Adrian Wheeler

 

Title The Trials of Adrian Wheeler

Author Steve Shear

Genre Drama, Thriller, Mystery

Publisher L&L Dreamspell (originally) Catalina Sun Press (now)

 

Book Blurb

A young soldier faces a court-martial trial while dealing with PTSD, sexual inadequacy, and an unrelenting father.

 

Adrian Wheeler returns from Baghdad with a mangled knee and no left arm, ever mindful of a tormented past and even bleaker future. His brother, John Mike, didn’t return at all. One chilly morning in February both participated in a reconnaissance mission that tragically failed; a mission during which innocent women and children died along with John Mike and other combatants. As the sole survivor Adrian carries the details of that trauma deep within his subconscious and drinks excessively in hopes of hiding from the visitors that torment his dreams.

 

In his compromised mental and physical condition Adrian does everything he can to avoid seeing Rachael, his girl since the first grade. But he can’t escape his domineering father, a retired Vietnam veteran who bullied him into joining the Marines in the first place.

 

When he begins turning things around and taking control of his life, he’s charged with murdering the innocent women and children. Private Wheeler finds himself the center of the most important court-martial trial of the Iraqi war; his only hope is to move beyond his trauma and the terrible secret that lies deep within the cellar of his psyche.

 

Excerpt

Adrian arrived home from the war a broken young man. No one was there to put back the pieces. Ma would have, for sure, but she died on his twelfth birthday. Had she been there to see his new knee and armless shoulder hidden within an empty knotted sleeve, she surely would have been sad, but she would have moved past the sadness quickly.

 

“You still have your mind and it’s a good one. Remember that, boy,” Ma would have whispered from the grave, if she could have.

 

No consolation, he thought as he lumbered once again up the old cement drive cluttered with weed-filled cracks and deeply embedded oil stains. The netless hoop still hung over the garage, and still seemed an insurmountable height from the ground. It wasn’t his thing, never had been. John Mike could always jump higher and was much quicker, but that didn’t matter. Adrian had to play and he had to win. Winning wasn’t everything, Pa preached—it was the only thing. Winning meant surviving, the Master Sergeant insisted with each war story he dished out at the kitchen table.

 

Adrian limped up the ramp through a sawed-off railing onto the front porch in need of painting. The porch, like the garden in the back, brought the fondest memories of his mother. On the long, dark green bench that hung from the rafters, he and Ma cuddled each time Pa beat him down for not doing this or that the way John Mike did it. Mother and son swung to the tune of Old Man River as it flowed sweetly and softly off Ma’s tongue. All the while, the real river meandered downstream behind the houses across the street, beyond the backyards of the Clyburn’s bungalow, and the Levi’s remodeled two-story. In his mind’s eye, whenever he thought of that porch swing and Ma, Adrian could see just a hint of the moving river and that always added a nostalgic backdrop to his recollections of her.

 

When he was just over three years old, right after Pa retired from the Marine Corps, his folks moved from Georgia to Virginia and bought the house on South Willow Street. At the time, South Willow was part of a welcoming middle-class neighborhood of white Christians, according to Pa anyway, but slowly changed into more of a melting pot as the city grew, a change the Master Sergeant was not happy with—and he let everyone know.

 

Not long after they moved in, Pa constructed the front porch and a door leading from there directly into the kitchen. From that day on few people entered or left through the front door. He added the ramp much later, after the accident that forced him into a wheelchair.

 

Adrian shuffled past Ma’s green bench around nine o’clock in the evening. The porch door was open and, late as it was, he smelled dinner through the screen door, fresh catfish stew in the pot and cornbread warming in the oven. Good old Esme was outdoing herself once again.

 

He swung open the squeaking screen door. Pa sat at the kitchen table; dread instantly swirled around in Adrian’s belly.

 

“You’re late again.” Pa gripped the edge of the table in order to pull himself up from his wheelchair ever so slightly, as if to use that contorted position as the exclamation point for his accusation.

 

“You’re late again,” Adrian mimicked the old man. “How are you doing, son? I’m glad you’re home. Really son, how are you doing?” he continued, trying his best to capture his father’s tired accusatory drawl.

 

“Well Pa, thanks for asking, I’m just fine, except maybe for a lost limb, a metal knee that doesn’t seem to be working right, and a bit of self-pity—but no big deal, right, Esme?”

 

Adrian dropped his backpack and crossed the room to hug the housekeeper who’d raised him, as he had done often since his return from the war. Esme was his surrogate mother, had been ever since Ma died. Back then, she was a Negro. Today she is African American, and in excellent physical shape for someone who just turned eighty.

 

“Well at least you’re alive.” The old man pushed himself back into his wheelchair.

 

“I know. I know, and John Mike isn’t. Right, Pa? Isn’t that what you were going to say—again?” Sitting across from his father, Adrian edged forward in his chair as if to make his own exclamation point. “I was there when he died! Don’t you remember me telling you that, Pa?”

 

“Enough!” Esme cried out standing by the oven with her back to the kitchen table. Pa might have been Master Sergeant John Wheeler in the United States Marines, but Esme Charles was and had always been the master of the house. She raised Adrian’s mother Lillian and she raised Lillian’s children. She took nothing off nobody—never. “Now, I is going to serve Mr. Adrian…”

 

Private Adrian,” the old man said. “He ain’t received his discharge papers yet.”

 

“All right, I is going to serve Private Adrian his dinner and the two of you is going to sit across from one another and speak respectfully. And you will not bring Mister John Mike—excuse me, Lance Corporal John Mike—to the table.”

 

 

Buy Links

https://www.amazon.com/Steve-Shear/e/B006ACALH4

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-trials-of-adrian-wheeler-steve-shear/1103486128?ean=9780615919393

www.steveshear.net

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21125822-the-trials-of-adrian-wheeler

 

Author Biography

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was my first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015.

 

I am happy to say that The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by EVW Entertainment (producer of the movie Break the Stage), and the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and me. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and I have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay.

 

The Wild Rose Press published The Fountain of Youth, my second published novel, in May of 2017. It has received exceptional reviews, some of which appear on Amazon and Goodreads.

 

My wife, Susan, and I collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country.

 

In addition, I have four novels that have recently been completed: The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, Black Hearts and Hungry Bears (a trilogy) and The Click. I have written screenplays on the first three and am presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.

 

I have been writing poetry for over fifteen years (some of which has been published) and am also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. I am presently represented by the Delta Gallery in Brentwood, California and on line by Vango Art. My work can be seen at my website, www.steveshear.net.

 

 

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/steve.shear.967

https://twitter.com/Steveshearbooks

https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-shear-80a03727/

http://coldcoffeecafe.com/main/search/search?q=steve+shear

 

 

If No One Reads My Story, Does That Mean I’ve Failed As a Writer? #amwriting #WritersWednesday


Writing Sharing Coelho

 

A friend of mine asked me this past weekend, “What if nobody reads what I have written?”

 

I smiled and said, “But Jack (name has been changed), I will read it and MR N will read it.”

 

Jack is in a similar boat to a lot of writers out there.  He has a story to tell and he wants to tell it.  But when he tries to get it published, no one seems to be interested.

 

Have you experienced this?

 

As writers, we have to have a different mind-set.  We have a story to tell and need to use our natural storytelling ability.  Not everyone can write or don’t have the stamina to see it through or are afraid. What to do? We write, edit, rewrite, edit again until our fingers bleed.  We share it with a select few (beta readers) and then we try to sell it to the publishing world.

 

But what if the publishing world doesn’t want it? 

 

There’s a lot of options nowadays for writers. You can self-publish or go through a smaller publishing house.  You can also post it online to either your website, blog or even Wattpad.

 

In this day and age, there are many different ways to tell your story.  I am not going to tell you which one to use.  That is between you and your story.  What I am going to do is list five reasons why you need to be writing for you and no one else:

 

1- You are a storyteller.  You are the only one in the world who can tell your story.  Be brave and feel confident.

 

2-In order to be the best writer you can be, you cannot write about what is trendy.  Trends come and go.  Your authentic writing voice is what will draw readers in, not whether it is trendy.

 

3- Everyone is a critic and trust me, you will have people critiquing your writing.  Some will say hurtful things about you and your writing.  Some will praise you and call you the next big-time author.  You need to dismiss those that tell you that you are horrid and keep writing.

 

4- Writing, like all professions, is a continuous learning process.  The more you write, the better you become.  The more stories you tell, the more your writing improves.  It’s not about grammar and punctuation, although those things are important.  It’s about the story and how you captivate the reader.

 

5-At the end of the day, you need to own your story and be proud.  You wrote that.  Smile.  Give yourself a pat on the back.  You wrote it for you and in the end, that is all that matters.

How #Writing The Great American Novel Turned Into Adrian Wheeler by @Steveshearbooks #books


The Trials of Adrian Wheeler

 

How Writing The Great American Novel Turned Into The Trials of Adrian Wheeler by Steve Shear

 

I’m too old to remember whether I did much if any writing in high school. I do remember spending four years in engineering school and three years in law school and never learning how to write … really write. For the next forty years as a patent attorney I did write … technical garbly-gook like the inner workings of an internal combustion engine, a computer interface, and the like. It paid the bills but wasn’t particularly creative. Then one day, more than fifteen years ago, I decided to move out of my comfort zone and write fiction, something that wasn’t going to pay the bills. I chose poetry thinking that would be easy, just stringing together a bunch of words on a bunch of lines. How hard could that be?

 

Needless to say I picked probably the most difficult type of fiction to master or should I say attempt to master. Few actually master the art of poetry and I’m certainly not one of them. Believe it or not, I’m still revising some of the poems I wrote as long ago as 1997. At the same time I learned something extremely valuable. If you want to write novels and short stories and other types of fictional prose, it is enormously helpful to put yourself in the mine fields of poetic discourse. Studying the old dead English poets and writing poetry including sonnets and other rhyming stuff force you to recognize the right words and phrases for a particular situation and it gives you the tools to create the appropriate images to illuminate those words and phrases. Imagery, imagery, imagery is the name of the game; metaphors, similes, sight, sound, taste, etc. And all those difficult sessions trying to make your sonnet work, ab-ab-cd-cd-ef-ef-gg, become wonderful foreplay for your first short story or novel; at least they were for mine. And by the way you may find that great short stories are more difficult to produce than great novels, so choose your poison wisely!

 

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was actually my second attempt at writing the Great American Novel. My first attempt, Ira Neebest and The First Coming, took me two years to write. By the third draft I had pounded out nearly two hundred and fifty thousand words. At the time I didn’t know how dumb that was. Only the great ones like Dostoevsky have the right to do that.  When I gave Ira to my wife and a friend who taught creative writing at a local college they had some nice things to say like ‘it has potential’ but in truth they told me I was a bit full of myself. And so I was! Six months later I had it down to one hundred thousand words. And now, after ten years of revisions, I’ve made two novels out of it, The First Coming and An Eye for an Eye. After hundreds of agent-queries and rejections, two published novels, and two published stage plays later, they are both still my favorites and both remain unpublished thus far. Such is life.

 

 

When I started writing Adrian, the only thing I had in mind was a friend from my poetry critique group, a gentle soul with natural artistic creativity, who was ‘forced’ to join the Marines and fight in Vietnam for his country by his bombastic father. My friend had MS and other bad things after being exposed to Agent Orange. He died last year but not before he published several books of his poetry.

 

Actually I had two other things in mind when I began thinking about Adrian. I had been against America invading Iraq and I blamed it on W, our president who made the decision to invade. I had just finished reading Vincent Bugliosi’s book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, and I wondered how many soldiers regretted their decisions to join up in the first place, like my friend. I’m not talking about those soldiers who died in battle (that’s bad enough), but those young men and women who came back (and are continuing to come back) from Iraq and Afghanistan—only to discover a battlefield far more relentless and infinitely more lonely. I am speaking about all those warriors who do battle every day in their mind’s eye, seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling the loss of a limb, their own or a buddy’s—or who experience the last five minutes of their buddy’s life. There’s no special day just for them. There is no Veterans with PTSD day.

 

Its full name is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; at least that’s what we call it now. In the past it was battle fatigue and shell shock, but a rose by any other name is just as devastating I learned when I started the research on The Trials of Adrian Wheeler. When George W. Bush dropped his first bomb on Baghdad in March, 2003, I was so upset I produced what I still consider my best work of art, a painting I entitled The Sisters of Baghdad which can be seen on my website, www.steveshear.net. Shortly thereafter I wrote a poem, The Bombing of Baghdad which appears at the beginning of Adrian. Around that time, I remember getting a haircut and ranting to my barber, Harold, about how terrible President Bush was. My barber was ultraconservative, although I didn’t know it at the time. His bald head (wouldn’t you know it) turned red, his eyes bulged and his lips quivered. My only thought at the time was to blurt out: “HAROLD, PUT DOWN THE SCISSORS!” Fortunately, I am still alive and Harold is still cutting hair, I assume.

 

By the time I finished writing Adrian and living in the skins of the characters, George Bush became a bit more than a footnote. The characters and the family dynamics took over, Adrian, Pa, Daisy, Esme, Rachael, Rabinowitz, Benedetti, and the others. Actually, characters like these along with what they do and say tend to get under your skin and go where you go whether it’s at the computer, on a long walk, brushing your teeth, or in my case playing Pickleball. That’s what happens during nineteen drafts and before you ever think about sending out your first query.

 

 

I will end this post with one more observation which might make you think I’m smoking something even stronger than California-grown marijuana (which I don’t smoke, incidentally). I’ve discovered that by being a writer of fiction, especially novels and short stories, you are about as close to being a god as one can possibly be. Think about it. You create your own version of heaven and hell and earth (even the cosmos in some cases). Well maybe not in seven days. You create your characters, their looks, their personalities, their likes and dislikes. You give them health and wealth … or not; you even read their minds; and you kill them off … or not based on your plan, your god-given plot. If that’s not a description of the Almighty I don’t know what is.

 

So, if you’re reading this and wanting to write the great American novel … and be God, just remember you won’t be alone when you brush your teeth!

 

Title: The Trials of Adrian Wheeler

Author: Steve Shear

Genre: Fiction, Military, PTSD

 

Book Blurb:

Marine Private Adrian Wheeler, accused of murdering Iraqi women and children, arrived home to face nothing less than: An unrelenting father who cajoled him into enlisting, PTSD, sexual Inadequacy, a sensational court-martial trial, a sister with HIV. He returned from Baghdad and the Iraq war disabled and disillusioned an amputee with a bad knee. His brother, John Mike, didn’t return at all. Both participated in a reconnaissance mission seeking proof Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, WMDs, a mission that tragically failed, a mission in which innocent women and children died along with John Mike and other combatants. As the sole survivor, Adrian carried the details of that trauma deep within his subconscious, and often drank himself unconscious in hopes of hiding from the visitors who came in his sleep; his domineering father, a retired Vietnam veteran, and Rachael, the girl he left behind. In his mental state and physical condition, he did everything he could to avoid her—and the couch they first made love on before he lost his arm. Just when he began taking control of his life, Adrian was charged with the murder of all those women and children. But did he do it? Could it have been John Mike? Or possibly an insurgent? Adrian’s only hope was to get beyond his trauma and recall the terrible secret buried deep within the cellar of his psyche. That required Rabinowitz (a psychotherapist specializing in PTSD) and Angelo Benedetti (a renowned court-martial defense lawyer) to help him remember—and to convince the court he was innocent—whether he was or not.

 

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by a production studio in Los Angeles, Filmed Imagination and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated movie, NO), and the screenplay has been completed.

 

Excerpt:

Private Adrian Wheeler, accused of murdering Iraqi women and children, arrived home to face nothing less than:
 
An unrelenting father who cajoled him into enlisting
PTSD
Sexual Inadequacy
A sensational Court-Martial Trial
A sister with HIV
 
            Adrian returned from Baghdad disabled and disillusioned. His brother, John Mike, didn’t return at all. Both participated in a reconnaissance mission seeking proof Saddam had WMDs, a mission that tragically failed, a mission in which innocent women and children died along with John Mike and other combatants. As the sole survivor (or so he thought), Adrian carried the details of that trauma deep within his subconscious, and often drank himself unconscious in hopes of hiding from the visitors who came in his sleep; his domineering father, a retired Vietnam veteran, and Rachael, the girl he left behind. In his mental state and physical condition, he did everything he could to avoid her—and the couch they first made love on before he lost his arm.
 
            Just when he began taking control of his life, Adrian was charged with the murder of all those women and children. But did he do it? Could it have been John Mike? Or possibly an insurgent? Adrian’s only hope was to get beyond his trauma and recall the terrible secret buried deep within the cellar of his psyche. That required Rabinowitz (a psychotherapist specializing in PTSD) and Angelo Benedetti (a renowned court-martial defense lawyer) to help him remember—and to convince the court he was innocent.
 
Throughout much of his young life, Adrian looked after John Mike—a promise he made to Ma on her deathbed even though Adrian was only twelve years old at the time. Years later, that promise compelled him to protect his brother’s good name, consciously and subconsciously, throughout most of the trial. But his devotion to Daisy, his sister, and her fight with HIV finally drove Adrian to face up to Pa and break his promise to Ma.

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Trials-Adrian-Wheeler-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B00HTP5LY4

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Trials-Adrian-Wheeler-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B00HTP5LY4

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trials-Adrian-Wheeler-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B00HTP5LY4

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21125822-the-trials-of-adrian-wheeler

 

SS photo

 

Author Biography:

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was my first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015.

 

Filmed Imagination of Los Angeles and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated film NO) took a film option on The Trials of Adrian Wheeler. FI hired Erik Wolter, an established screenwriter, to write the screenplay and FI is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and I have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay, Justice for All.

 

My wife, Susan, and I also collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country. I have found one review of Max Cooper based on its performance at the James Downing Theatre in Chicago (http://www.chicagonow.com/count-gregulas-crypt/2013/05/theater-review-youre-the-jury-the-state-vs-max-cooper-the-james-downing-theatre/).

 

In addition to the Fountain of Youth, I have three novels that have recently been completed: The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, and The Click. I am presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.

 

I have been writing poetry for over fifteen years and am also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. I am presently represented on line by Vango Art.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.steveshear.net/

 

Twitter @Steveshearbooks

 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/steve.shear.967

 

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-shear-80a03727/

USA Today Bestseller @RuthACasie Sits Down for Q and A With Mrs. N #writing #romance #druid


RAC Druid Q&A Graphic

 

Thank you so much Mrs. N for inviting me onto your blog.

 

Ruth, how long have you been writing romance? Would you say it has always been your calling?

I’ve been writing romance since 2010. I was an avid reader and hadn’t planned to write a book. A friend was writing a romance and I asked to help her. One thing led to another and we decided we would each write a story and create a series. She was busy with college hunting with her daughter and training for the NY marathon so writing went on the back burner for her. I embraced it and continued. The book was published in 2011.

 

Has writing always been my calling? Not writing but storytelling. When I told my older sister that I had written and published a book she said she wasn’t surprised. I always had a story. She’s fifteen years older than me. One time I got her to wear a cowboy hat and boots while I played Dale Evans (I know, I’m really dating myself here) and charged around on my tricycle.

 

Your Druid Knight series seems like something any historical romance and paranormal romance lover will enjoy. Can you tell us about it?

There are several underlying themes in the stories: trust, family and acceptance. The first two stories are about Rebeka and Arik.

 

In Knight or Runes: Rebeka Tyler never thought herself a warrior, renown authority on medieval and renaissance studies, yes, a martial arts amateur, absolutely, a warrior, definitely not. Tossed into the 17th century, she’s plunged into the midst of a struggle between two druid masters. While she tries to decode the ancient runes and unearth a family secret in order to return she physically fights for her life against the dark druid, Bran, and struggles emotionally with the druid knight, Lord Arik, and the truth about their past. Neither Rebeka nor Arik can succeed by themselves they must partner in order to win. But it will cost her dearly, her heart.

 

In Knight of Rapture Rebeka is tricked to return to the 21st century: For months Lord Arik has been trying to find 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 the easiest part of his quest.

 

Bran, the dark druid, follows Arik across the centuries, tireless in his quest for revenge. He’ll force Arik to make a choice, return to save his beloved family and home or stay in the 21st century and save Rebeka. He can’t save them both.

 

Rebeka Tyler has no recollection of where she’s been the past five months. On top of that, ownership of her home, Fayne Manor, is called into question. When accidents begin to happen it looks more and more like she is the target. Further complicating things is the strange man who conveniently appears wherever trouble brews—watching her, perhaps even….protecting her? Or is he a deliberate attempt to distract her? Rebeka can only be sure of one thing—her family name and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall… in any century.

 

As an added treat, I wrote, The Druid Knights Tale – a Short Story. Here you’ll find out about Rebeka and Arik’s parents.

 

Do you have a day job outside of writing romance? If so, can you tell us about it?

I worked for almost thirty years at JPMorgan in a variety of areas for their global treasury products (checks and money transfers): product management, project management, marketing and communication. I retired four years ago. I was looking forward to writing full time and I haven’t been disappointed.

 

I spend the day writing, editing, researching, and/or promoting my books.

 

You’ve just won a free all-expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world; where would you go and why?

I’ve been very fortunate. I travelled around the world for the bank and have been in many wonderful places. My dream is to follow my family roots back to ‘the old country,’ Russia and find out more about both my mother’s and father’s families.

 

In your Druid Knight books, time travel plays an important part in the plot. If you could time travel to any-when or anywhere, when/where would you go? Why?

I’m in love with medieval England and Scotland. I’ve researched and read about the period and the places. My stories are set in Avebury and the England-Scotland border. Today’s courting rituals are rooted in medieval chivalry. This is the era where romance saw its rise in literature and the stage.

 

Do you have any advice for romance authors just starting out in the industry?

I think the best advice I can give any author is the best way to promote your book is to write the next one.

 

Druid Knight Series 3 book promo

 

As a special treat, Ruth has given us three new excerpts to devour. Enjoy! – Mrs. N

 

Excerpt: Knight of Runes

Rebeka stood taller, planted her staff on the ground in a quiet but emphatic fashion and stared squarely into his eyes. “I can take care of myself thank you very much.”

 

 

Arik shifted his attention to her, taking a moment to observe her in fully. He was used to facing men eye-to-eye. Most were intimidated and unable to hold his stare. He gave her his fiercest look, expecting her to look away, and was stunned to find her staring back at him in the same manner. Arrogant, he thought to himself. But there was also a spark of something he couldn’t pinpoint, an instant chemistry of recognition and challenge. He quickly hid his feelings, a practiced talent.

 

 

She wasn’t as adept. He saw the recognition in her eyes before she won control of her reaction. She registered confusion, a sense of disbelief, and white-hot anger.

 

 

She probably came up to his shoulder. He marveled how the gold and copper flecks in her mahogany hair reflected in the sun. Although her hair was bound up, wisps fell in gentle waves, framing her oval face. He thought her skin looked soft to touch and was vibrant and healthy even through the bruises. Her mouth was full and inviting, her white teeth perfectly straight. But it was her deep-set eyes—an extraordinary shade of violet shot through with flecks of silver—that held his attention. He saw intelligence in them, and passion. The intelligence was a surprise. The passion, well, he stirred that in many women.

 

Buy Links –

Amazon: http://amzn.to/14jMXOy

 

BN: http://bit.ly/19FnJwr

 

Carina Press: http://www.carinapress.com/shop/books/9781426892585_knight-of-runes.html

 

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/knight-of-runes-1

 

iBook: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/knight-of-runes/id477826023?mt=11&uo=4

 

HQN: http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=27243

 

 

Excerpt: Knight of Rapture

“The day appears promising.” Rebeka’s voice brought a smile to his lips. She tugged her shawl closer around her shoulders. “M’lord.” Soft puffs of breath surrounded her mouth. There was indeed a chill in the morning air. She gave him his discarded shirt and waited while he shrugged into it before handing him his ale.

 

“Yes. It will be a good day.” It was always a good day when it began with her at his side. “Almost as good as last night.” They drove each other mad with their verbal banter and soft touches yesterday until she surrendered to him. His reward was to tease her until she yielded last night. Who knew who would yield today? Either way they both won.

 

Her gaze slid from his chest to his face. Her searing expression brought back the warmth of their passionate evening. Her flushed skin was her silent response.

 

He returned his gaze to the valley pretending to be interested in the smoke now rising from a distant chimney. He turned his attention back to her.

 

Faith, how he loved sparring with her.

 

Out of the corner of his eye he caught her blank stare. But the challenge was given and he understood it had been accepted. With a long pull on his ale he returned his attention to the curling smudge in the sky and like a game of chess waited for her to make the next move.

 

She rose on tip toes and bathed his ear with her soft breath. “But not as good as tonight will be,” she whispered. “We celebrate Samhain tonight.”

 

He set the tankard on the wide stone railing before the ale sloshed over its rim.

 

“Happy thoughts for the day, husband.” She laid her hand on his chest and bent to kiss his cheek.

 

He caught her around her waist and brought her face to his. How he adored the passion in her violet eyes. They asked for more. He answered with a searing kiss and teased her mouth open with his tongue. She didn’t protest. Instead she moved closer molding her body into his, fitting like a key in a lock. Encouraged, his tongue swept her mouth and he reveled at the sweet taste. When he released her she stood in the crook of his arm, her head on his chest with his cheek resting on her hair. Quiet and content, he savored the last few moments while the sun rose over the edge of the hill.

 

The sound of footsteps from the Great Hall interrupted them. “Arik? Ah, here you are.” Logan, his younger brother peeked out the terrace door. “Are you ready to leave? The sun rose hours ago. I thought we’d breakfast with the men and start maneuvers today.” Logan gave Rebeka a devilish nod. He casually filched Arik’s forgotten tankard and took a deep swallow.

 

Arik observed the bottom of the sun clear the eastern hill. “Hours?” He shook his head and let out a snort. Threading his fingers through Rebeka’s he gave them a tender squeeze. He had wanted more time with her. He always wanted more time with her. But for now their game was over, at least until tonight. “Hours,” Arik muttered while he released her then took the tankard out of Logan’s hand. “And get your own ale. Better yet, get yourself a wife to bring it to you,” he told Logan in feigned aggravation before he drained the tankard dry.

 

“Ah, but where will I find one like Rebeka?” Another nod for his sister-in-law. Rebeka bobbed a quick curtsey and tried not to laugh.

 

Find one like Rebeka, indeed. There was no one like her, but good sense told him Logan would find a love of his own. He earned that. A cool morning breeze stirred the bottom of Rebeka’s thin night dress and she shivered.

 

“Go inside before you catch your death,” Arik whispered in her ear. She nodded and scooted into the house.

 

“Maneuvers today?” Arik glanced at Logan and observed his pleasure turn to concern. “The winter’s coming. We should make sure the farms are prepared, there’s enough food stored, and the necessary repairs have been made before the snow.” He had hoped the calm that his valiant soldiers fought to achieve in August would last longer. “There’s still more to teach Rebeka. She’s not ready to face Bran.”

 

“She came through the portal to return to you. She’s strong. We need her skills to defeat Bran. We can’t do it without her.” Logan didn’t hide his impatience. “Yet you haven’t taught her about Dark Magick. Instead you hide it from her. And I know why.” Arik almost sneered at Logan. This was an old argument. Logan would have had him start her training after their wedding night.

 

“You’re afraid she won’t be able to control it, that she’ll become like Bran. Don’t you see she’s made of stronger stuff?” Arik waved him off. He stepped away to put space between them. But space wouldn’t help.

 

Who did he fool, certainly not Logan. Arik glanced at his brother and recognized his silent strength. The only fool here was him. He couldn’t continue with this idyllic illusion. Logan was right. He had been delaying teaching her. He knew Dark Magick would test her, change her. And he wanted her just the way she was.

 

Buy Links –

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1CtC7ad

 

BN: http://bit.ly/1McK4oC

 

KOBO: http://bit.ly/1NaqW7Q

 

iBook:  http://apple.co/1M5o92x

 

 

Excerpt: Druid Knight Tales

Dead. Maximilian glared at the wilted mistletoe in disbelief. He poked and prodded the plant. It lay there tired and limp. He had cared for the sacred plant for a year. The Ancestors had trusted him to follow their orders. Find a wife—a soul mate. How difficult could it be? All he needed to do was visit the eligible women and choose one. He slammed his fist onto the rough oak table and bellowed his anger to the empty room. Dishes skidded and crashed to the floor. The lifeless shrub didn’t move. It didn’t change. It sat where he’d put it—robust and healthy—the night before. Now the crumpled brown leaves and withered white berries silently screamed his failure.

 

He could think of no reason why it hadn’t survived. He kept staring at the shriveled plant expecting—no, commanding—it to spring to life. It didn’t. He raked his hand through his hair. Everything he’d worked and trained for over the years was lost. He closed his eyes and traveled to that quiet place deep in his mind where he drew his inner strength. One deep breath, then another. His pounding heart took on a more natural rhythm. The reality of his situation hung on his shoulders like an ox’s yoke.

 

“What’s happened? I heard a loud crash.” Doward rushed into the cottage and scanned the debris on the floor.

 

Max didn’t trust his voice. He shot the druid councilman a look and pointed to the plant on the table. He registered Doward’s unreadable expression and let out a quiet snort. Perhaps that was best. He was grateful his mentor didn’t show his disappointment. Doward, too, had warned him.

 

“One year.” Max tipped up his chin and struck a congenial tone. “I’ll wager no other Grand Master was forced to relinquish his position after only one year.” He turned away, not wanting to see his close friend’s disappointment.

 

“Well,” Doward said. “There was Elgon in the year sixty.”

 

Max’s head popped up. He hadn’t expected Doward to respond. The question had been rhetorical.

 

“You appear to have forgotten your elementary history lessons.” Doward stood shaking an old, crooked finger at him.

 

Max’s mouth opened and closed like a beached fish gasping for air. Only Doward had the nerve, the audacity, to reprimand him. Doward and the Ancestors. He couldn’t forget the Ancestors. They had the ultimate power over him.

 

“Yes, but the Roman invaders killed Elgon at Anglesey.” Max’s distraction was momentary. He leaned on the table and looked Doward in the eye. “They did not depose him because he couldn’t find his soul mate and give her the sacred mistletoe before it died.” He straightened, stepped to the cottage door, and stared out at the day but didn’t appreciate its sunshine or enjoy the invigorating coolness of the December morning. He turned to Doward. “It simply proves the council made the wrong choice.”

 

Buy Links –

Amazon: http://bit.ly/DruidKnightTales

 

BN: http://bit.ly/DruidKnightTalesBN

 

iBook: http://bit.ly/DruidKnightTalesiBook

 

KOBO: http://bit.ly/KOBO_DruidKnightTales

 

 Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography

Ruth is on her third career. Previously a speech-therapist and international bank product/ marketing manager, her favorite job is writing time-travel romance. She is a USA Today bestselling author of time travel romances about strong women and the men who deserve them. Though new to romance, Ruth jumped in with both feet. Her RWA credentials include: past president and past conference chair of NJRWA, past treasurer of RWA-NYC, and National Conference Workshop Committee Chair. When not writing, wait – she’s always writing. She and awesome husband are empty-nesters live in Teaneck, NJ where she transformed her daughter’s bedroom into her executive office.

 

Social Media Links

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

 

Email:  mailto:ruth@ruthacasie.com

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

[Infographic] 28 Boring Words and What to Use Instead by @Jack__Milgram #amwriting #writing


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Infographic Creator Byline:

Jack Milgram is a freelance writer from Jersey City, NJ. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with others through blogging. Check out the infographic he created on 28 Boring Words Alternatives that will definitely come in handy to you.

5 Hacks That’ll Turn Your Book Idea Into a Manuscript #MondayBlogs #amwriting #writingtips


5 Hacks That'll Turn Your Book Idea Into a Manuscript

 

Many people ask me, “I have a great idea for a book…but what do I do now?”

 

My first response is usually, “That’s great!  What’s your book idea?”

 

They’ll tell me their book idea and then ask the dreaded question, “What do you think?”

 

With a straight face I ask them, “Do you really want my honest opinion?”

 

I have learned through experience that it is essential to ask this blunt question.  Some people don’t want an honest opinion.  They want me to pat their hand and tell them it’s a great idea, even if I think it’s crap.

 

If they say yes, then I will give them my opinion on their book idea and if it will appeal to the masses.  If they say no, I will smile and politely tell them good luck.

 

 

Let’s focus on you, the writer.  You have a book idea and for this blog post, I will assume that it’s a great book idea.  You need advice on how to proceed and I’m here to help. My qualifications? I’m an author, blogger, reviewer and have been in the industry for almost thirty years.

 

 

Hack One: Google your book idea

 

There is someone in this world who has written a book on every topic.  But if you narrow your topic correctly, there will not be any books out there dealing with your book idea. Even if there are books out there dealing with your book idea, you’ll have to figure out how your idea will stand out.

 

 

Hack Two: Talk to at least 5 readers in your circle of influence (family/friends)

 

Ask them (stressing your desire for them to be absolutely honest) if they would be interested in reading a book about your book idea.  Like in everything else in this world, people have varying tastes.  But if more than three people like the idea, then you are on the right track.

 

 

Hack Three: Create a rough outline

 

I know most of you are groaning here as this step reminds you of school.  But trust me, this is an important step and is a good exercise for you as a writer.  Start with a very basic outline and work from there.  If you need help with it, please let me know and I can provide you some guidance.

 

 

Hack Four: Start Writing

 

I know this may sound simple and it really is. Writers write. Whether you use pen/paper or are typing via a device, start writing.  Write whatever comes to your mind and get it down.  You can edit it later.  Ideas will start to flow and you will get a feel for where your book is going.  By the way, you don’t have to start at the beginning.  You can start anywhere.

 

 

Hack Five: Set up a writing schedule for yourself

 

I write in the afternoon Monday through Friday.  I have a goal of at least 300 words a day.  Set an attainable goal for yourself and stick to it.  Make it a part of your to-do list for the day.

 

 

The best thing about writing and having a really great book idea is that it is all yours.  Treasure it and just let the ideas flow out of you.  You can do it!

 

Have any writing hacks you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!

Confession: I Broke Two Cardinal Writing Rules and I’m Glad #ASMSG #IARTG #Paranormal


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I admit it, guilty as charged. My name is Mrs. N, one-half of the bestselling N. N. Light, and I broke the first rule in writing: never write about yourself or real life in a novel. The truth is I am happy I did both and here’s why. I was inspired to write Princess of the Light through a chance encounter with a homeless man.

 

portrait-2443127_640

 

I first got the idea for our debut novel one chilly morning back in 2012. It was a cold wintry morning and I was walking to the grocery store. I happened to look across the street and what I saw made me stop in my tracks. A homeless man was sitting on a curb next to the gas station. He wasn’t holding a sign or asking for money. His eyes were closed and his head was uplifted to the sky. There was such a contented and happy look in his weathered face. It took my breath away.

 

I wondered how he became homeless and if there was some way I could help him. I continued on with my day but my thoughts were filled with him and his plight. Who is he? Could I help him?

 

As the days and months passed, I saw him every day. He kept to himself and never begged for money. Instead, he walked the length of our town. Yes, he walked the length of the town. Every time I saw him, I nodded and said good morning. The simple act of kindness didn’t seem like a big deal to me but to him, it was as if I had given him the sun. I started leaving food and clothing for him. The more kindness I showed, the happier he appeared.

 

Rule #1: Never write about real life in fiction

 

I knew in my heart it was my calling to tell his story. He isn’t some nameless face; he’s someone’s son, brother, grandson, uncle, father, husband, and/or friend. If I had the power, I would be his protector and free him from the darkness keeping him prisoner. He would no longer be the forgotten man.

 

I made a promise to myself to donate part of the proceeds to food banks if our book got published. I am keeping my promise and through our marketing, people are donating to food banks on their own.

 

My motto for our book and for my life is spread the Light. It doesn’t matter to me what your spiritual beliefs are for everyone has the Light inside them. Spreading the Light comes in many forms but it starts with being kind.

 

Rule #2: Never write about yourself, especially when it comes to love and romance.

 

I wrote about my own love story with Mr. N. Gasp! I know you’re in shock and hoping I brought smelling salts. Stick with me for a moment and let me explain. The romantic story between Mary and Joe is simply based on my own love story.

 

I met Mr. N back in 2001. We actually met online in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer yahoo group and hit it off right away. We both adore Buffy and it was one of many things we had in common. We started out as friends but soon it blossomed into love. Through some uphill battles and insecurities on my part, I broke his heart not once but twice. It pains me to admit it but the second time around, I was truly cruel.

 

I thought it was over and I had moved on. I joined another Buffy yahoo group in 2003 and as fate would have it, Mr. N was there. Is the Universe trying to tell me something? He and I got to talking one night off-list. I asked for forgiveness and he granted it. We took it turtle-slow and before I knew what happened, I was in love with him. I mean, true love (the hills are alive with the sound of music) and my walls came tumbling down.

 

POL wedding

 

Long story short, I moved up north and married him in 2004. A few weeks ago, we celebrated our thirteenth wedding anniversary. Every day, I thank my lucky stars he forgave me and loves me unconditionally. This is my love story and every time I tell it (or Mr. N tells it), people swoon and say how utterly romantic it is. So I incorporated our love story into Princess of the Light.

 

Giving the rules a heave-ho allows writers the freedom to create irresistible stories.

 

Sometimes breaking the rules is needed to tell a really great story. I hope you will see how weaving real life with fantasy makes for an irresistible book. More writers should rebel like me and add dashes of real life into their stories.

 

Princess

 

Title: Princess of the Light

 

Author: N. N. Light

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural, Spiritual Romance

 

 

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:

Marie furrowed her brow and softly interrupted, “André is the Walking Man?”

 

I looked at Marie and asked, “You’ve heard of him?”

 

Marie nodded. “Of course. He is a staple of the Downtown area. There are a few groups I’m affiliated with that hand out food and clothing to those in need. He never comes to these events so I leave them by the area where he sleeps.” She paused, thoughtfully. “I just can’t believe that it is André.”

 

Joe cleared his throat and looked at his father. “What happened to André?”

 

Alfred sighed and after a moment said, “It really was the fault of that witch he was married to. She and her family treated him horribly. She was a gold digger and all she cared about was money and the prestige.”

 

Marie interrupted Alfred by saying, “I remember her. She was so mean to André and all she cared about was looking rich. Wealth is a gift—she just wanted it for a toy. She treated André so badly… and his mother-in-law was the worst. She would put him down all the time. In front of other people, no less.”

 

Alfred continued, “André was a good man and worked hard. He was working on a big project for the city. He worked night and day on the project and told me it was going to put Golden Lake on the map.

 

“He absolutely adored his daughter, too. I remember that clearly. She was his everything.” Alfred paused, apparently lost in his thoughts. With a sigh he said, “There was a scandal with the project, though, and André got fired. Soon after, Dara left him, took Katherine with her and André fell apart. He started drinking heavily and, without his daughter, his life fell apart.”

 

Joe looked at me and I fought to keep from throwing my hand over my mouth. There was purple fire in his eyes and I felt his anger. I already knew the story of André and I tried to smile at him.

 

I smelled burning flesh. Joe flashed in full armor fighting demons with a golden sword.

 

I gasped at the vision and brought my hand to my chest in shock feeling the key necklace, before I could stop the physical reaction. The necklace weighed heavily as did my heart. He would be fighting at my side soon.

 

Marie asked, “Are you okay, dear?”

 

Joe turned to look at his mother. He nodded and only said, “I never knew any of this.”

 

Alfred continued, “I am sorry, son, but you asked for the truth. This is what I know. André was sleeping at the office and drinking all the time. He was supposed to give a presentation to a client and was drunk. He got into a scuffle with his boss and rumor has it, André punched him.”

 

I feigned shock and said, “Oh my!”

 

Than is to blame. I don’t know how I know or what happened but I vow to the Lord that I will make Than pay, thought Joe.

 

I choked and almost spit out my drink. I just heard Joe’s thoughts! I had to set him straight and right away.

 

I cleared my throat and said awkwardly, “Joe, I think I left something in the car.”

 

Joe looked at me with eyebrows raised. “Excuse me, we’ll be right back,” I said with a smile.

 

I walked outside and knew that Joe was right behind me. When I reached the car, I whirled and said in a stern tone, “Are you trying to get yourself killed?”

 

Joe stopped mid-step and said, “What are you talking about, Mary?”

 

I ran into his arms and whispered, “You cannot take on Than by yourself! I heard your thoughts in there. Now, I don’t know how you know that it was Than who drove André to punching his boss but please promise me that you will not get revenge.”

 

I paused to catch my breath and remembered what Gabriel told me. “Joe, in order to defeat the darkness and not become dark ourselves, we need to have a pure heart. We are filled with the Light and our motives must always be to speak the Truth and spread the Light.”

 

Joe took several deep breaths while he held me. He stroked my hair and whispered, “I’m sorry, my angel. I didn’t mean to frighten you and you are right. It was just a momentary thought.”

 

I lifted my head and locked eyes with Joe. Tears filled my eyes but I was determined. I bit at my top lip and then whispered, “Promise me you won’t put yourself in harm’s way.” Hot tears spilled down my cheeks.

 

Joe wiped at them and said in a deep, reassuring tone, “I promise, Mary. I promise I won’t be a hothead and I won’t be rash.” Then, he laid his forehead on mine and whispered, “Please don’t cry, darling. Please.”

 

I nodded and whispered, “I would die if I lost you. Than will use you to try to get to me. You are my love, my everything.” My voice cracked. “I would die if I lost you,” I repeated.

 

Joe shook my shoulders a little and looked deep into my eyes. “Listen to me, Mary, you will never lose me! Do you hear me? I am by your side now and forever.”

 

Overcome with emotion, Joe kissed me.

 

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

 

 

Just in Time for #BacktoSchool: 26 Writing Tips for Every Writer! #amwriting #ASMSG


Writing Tips A to Z

 

Back to School fever has hit and I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to share some Writing Tips with you.  Writing, like everything else, takes practice.  Once you master one area, you become better at it until it becomes second nature.  So grab your yellow #2 pencils and let’s get started…

 

A- Advice is everywhere, thanks to social media.  30+ years ago, it was much harder to tread through the publishing waters.  You had to paddle your way through and it was very difficult to be a successful writer.  Today is very different.  I recommend asking a lot of successful writers, agents, publishers questions.  Most of them appreciate that you’re simply asking a question. Knowledge is power and the more you know, the more likely you will succeed.

 

B- Blogging is a great way to not only promote your writing but to improve your writing as well.  What should you write about? Many blogs are all over the place and as a reader, it can be confusing.  I choose to write about a few key areas (my book, my writing and inspiring thoughts of the day).  I find that keying in on a specialized area brings more followers and is not confusing.

 

C- Creative writing ideas can come from anywhere.  You could be walking down the street and BOOM, an idea hits.  You want to write it down so you don’t forget but you don’t have anything to write on.  Bring a notepad/sticky notes wherever you go.  Use your notepad app on your device.  Write it down as soon as it strikes you. Trust me, it helps immensely!

 

D- Dedicate a specific time of the day for writing.  I know that this may sound obvious but trust me, life tends to intervene in your writing time.  I schedule a block of time every day and call the appointment “writing”.  You will get into a routine and your brain will register that it is 2:00…time for writing.

 

diamond

 

E- Editing is hard.  It is one of the most gruesome tasks a writer has to do.  It is absolutely essential, though.  Think of it in terms of gemology.  All jewels/gems come out of the ground and they look very dirty/plain/ordinary.  Take a chisel and start peeling away layer after layer.  Once that is complete, you take a buffing stone and polish the jewel/gem to a brilliant shine.  When you are done, you have a shiny beautiful exceptional jewel/gem.  The same can be said for editing.  It’s painful but you have to do it to reveal the diamond in your writing.

 

F- Family/Friends are great support and I recommend that you tell them about your writing venture.  They will not only be your cheerleaders but will understand when you have to excuse yourself to write.

 

G- Grammar is obviously important in all writing.  There are many resources out there and I have a few.  I urge you, though, to not get caught up in proper grammar rules when writing.  It can stifle the creative juices and I recommend dealing with the grammar when you are editing/revising.

 

H-Harness your inner Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway is one of the greatest writers in the 20th century and he is one of my favorites.  He approached writing in a logical way.  He wrote what he knew or experienced.  He was an observer of the world and it shows in his writing.  Do the same, no matter what your topic is.

 

 

I– Inspiration is one of the greatest tools a writer has.  Inspiration sparks a book idea, writing style, dialogue, plot and voice.  What’s your inspiration?  Whatever it is, clutch it tightly to your heart and never let it go.

 

J-Judge your writing as if you are a seeing it for the first time.  I am my hardest critic.  Most of my writerly friends are the same way.  We’re so harsh on ourselves and sometimes we’re our own worst enemy.  Take another approach and look carefully at your writing as if you were a literary critic.  Pretend it’s not your writing but someone you don’t know.  This works great, trust me!  You will see your writing in a whole new light.

 

K- Keep detailed notes about your book.  Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, you need to keep track of everything.  I find this extremely helpful when writing fiction.  I have a hard time keeping track of all the characters and their names so I write their names and a one sentence bio on them in a notebook.  It makes things a lot easier the further I get into the plot.

 

L- Locate your writing haven.  This may seem like a pipe dream but I promise you this works.  A writer needs a space where they can call their own.  It maybe outside or in your home office.  Wherever it is, make it yours.  I have a writing haven and it has everything I need: nice view of the trees outside, sticky notes, inspiring writing quotes, a writing bear figurine for inspiration and a few notepads.  Make it your own haven and then watch as the ideas just pour out of you!

 

M- Mentors are a great way to learn about the publishing business but writing as well.  I have several and I met them online.  They’re so invaluable to me and they truly make me a better writer!  Grab one and listen carefully to what they tell you.  Their insight and comments will make you a better writer, too.

 

N- Narrative is very important in writing, especially when writing a novel.  Be sure you determine ahead of time whether you are writing first-person or third-person.  The reader should never be confused by the narrative.

 

outline

 

O- Outline your book.  I know this may sound like work and in essence, it is.  Writing is hard work and if you don’t have a general idea of what you want to say, your writing will be all over the place.  It doesn’t have to be complicated and list every single aspect of your plot.  It should contain these five things: Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action & Resolution.

 

P-Publishing your writing is so exciting but it can be daunting too.  There are so many options out there and it can be confusing.  My advice, do your homework.  Research all areas of publishing before making a decision.  There are many resources on Twitter to help you out. If you need advice, send me an email and we can talk further.

 

Q-Querying can be a nightmarish task.  Many writers don’t know how to do it and I am here to help.  You have to think of it in business terms.  A query is like an application and cover letter for your dream job.  You’ve got to grab their attention, be professional and for pete’s sake, don’t query an agent/publisher on Twitter. A query is your first impression and trust me, it matters!

 

R- Revising your writing is hard and it can be emotional too.  I mean, those are your words and your dialogue.  It takes blood, sweat and tears.  Being a writer means you are willing to open your chest, lay your heart on paper and wait for the world to judge it.  Like editing, though, it must be done.  You want your writing to shine like a diamond, right?  You want to make an impact and inspire others.  Just do it!

 

S- Social Media is a great tool for writers but you have to be careful.  Everything you post is saved by Google and agents/publishers/readers/reviewers will see it.  I love Twitter and it can be a great tool for your writing platform and to also connect with other writers.

 

Plath writing quote

 

T- Trust in yourself and your writing.  I am guilty of being unsure of my writing and it has led to some self-doubt.  Trust in yourself and everything else will fall into place.  You are your number one cheerleader and no can tell a story like you!

 

U-Unleash Your Emotions.  As a writer, you need to be able to connect with your readers.  The only way to do that is to be free of any constrictions.  Let the floodgates go and let your emotions run free!  It is the key to being an authentic writer.

 

V- Visualize your scenes as if you were watching a movie.  When I am writing, I find it immensely helpful to close my eyes.  I let the scene I’m working on play out in my mind and then I let my fingers write it down before I lose the imagery.  In this age of YouTube, it is very effective for writing.

 

W-Warning to all Writers: Not everyone will love your writing and some may in fact hate it.  It’s a reality and as writers, we must remind ourselves of this.  Remember, just because someone doesn’t like your writing doesn’t mean it isn’t brilliant. Please also remember to remain professional and don’t lash out at those who don’t like your writing/story.  Go online and check out the reviews of your favorite author.  Then keep on writing!

 

X- Xchange ideas with other writers.  This may sound weird but it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to bounce ideas off other writers.  Writers understand better than a normal person.  You can do this virtually or live.  They include writing groups, workshops and conferences.  They are a great way to learn more about writing but also how to make your writing better.

 

 

Y- Yield to your inner voice.  This is your writing muse and it will tell you in a soft voice which path to choose.  I listen to mine and allow her to guide my writing.  She leads me down a path I didn’t know existed and it’s a wondrous place to be.  Can’t hear your muse?  Be still and maybe meditate/pray/sleep.  Clear your head of all distractions and your muse will appear.

 

Z-Zzzz.  When you are stuck in your writing, it helps to sleep on it.  I do this many times when writing my current book and trust me, it helps!  When you sleep, your subconscious is awake and working out the plot while you’re at rest.  In the morning, you will feel refreshed and the ideas will flow like water.

 

Calling all writers: share a writer tip using the comment section below. We all could use a tip or two to be better writers, no matter how long we’ve been writing/publishing.

 

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

Newsletter  http://eepurl.com/W94bb

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

Twitter    http://twitter.com/liviaquinn

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/liviaquinn

Goodreads http://bit.ly/22VXuev

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

Google+ http://bit.ly/2guNZn9

Linkedin http://bit.ly/2dbYAP2

Instagram http://instagram.com/liviaquinnauthor

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

Livia Quinns Facebook Reader Group http://bit.ly/2gBFQ12

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

 

 

 

 

Mrs. N Answers Readers’/Followers’ Questions on #Writing, #SpreadtheLight and More! #books


Author Interview graphic

I had the opportunity to sit down and answer some questions from readers just like you the other day. I love answering questions so if you have any questions for either myself of Mr. N, ask below in the comments and we’d be happy to answer them.

 

Who exactly is N.N. Light? In other words, what is the essence of the name?

 

N.N. Light is the pen name of myself and my husband. Both of our first names start with the letter ‘N’ and we’re commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. The last name Light refers to our motto: spread the Light.

 

Your motto is “Spread the Light.” What is the concept behind the phrase?

 

When we were writing our debut novel, Princess of the Light, the phrase came from our main character’s, Mary, thoughts. We realized that ‘Spread the Light’ is an easy phrase to remember and sums up how we feel. Everyone has Light inside them, regardless of their spiritual beliefs and/or ideals. The simple act of spreading the Light is showering others in love, kindness and respect. It doesn’t matter to us about race, creed, sexual orientation or status; every person matters and everyone deserves kindness.

 

 

What motivated the two of you to launch the Princess of the Light website?

 

We just finished writing/editing Princess of the Light and knew we needed a platform to publish our book. So, I (Mrs. N) started a blog. That was back in 2013 with one follower and now four years later, we have the social media reach of over 45 million. It’s been (and continues to be) a huge success. People love the name of the blog and how we are authors as well as book promoters/marketers.

 

 

What is site about and what does it have to offer?

 

The POTL blog is three-fold: an author blog, a book blog to promote books/authors and an inspirational thought blog. On the blog, we talk about our own books and what we’re writing. Followers of our writing can get the scoop on what we’re working on first.

 

We also run a book marketing business called N. N. Light Author Promotions from the POTL Blog. We promote authors from all walks of life and the books they write. We’re an affordable marketing firm that caters to the modern author, especially indie authors.

 

Finally, every weekday morning, people can get inspired by reading Mrs. N’s inspirational thought of the day. I started it back in 2014 as a spin-off from Princess of the Light. It blossomed into a way for us to spread the Light around the world. It’s become a part of our author brand and we couldn’t be happier. It’s so popular, in fact, that we’re publishing a collection of our inspirational thoughts this Fall.

 

Readers, writers and anyone enjoy what we have to offer on the POTL Blog because we’re diverse and offer something for everyone.

 

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Tell us what inspired, Poetry of Love: The Engagement Year.

 

Thirteen years ago, Mr. N proposed to me (February 14, 2004). During our engagement, he worked 18+ hours a day as a fine-dining chef in a very popular restaurant. I barely saw him and when I did, he was exhausted. On his daily commute to and from the restaurant, he wrote me a poem. Poetry of Love: The Engagement Year is the compilation of those poems. It shows through heart-felt words our love bloom and grow as we prepared to get married. There’s no filter and the emotions portrayed are 100% real. As one reviewer wrote, “It’s a modern-day courtship and I loved it.”

 

 

Describe the feeling of being best-selling authors.

 

Honestly, it’s a dream come true. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamt of writing stories and holding them in my hand. It wasn’t until we published Poetry of Love: The Engagement Year that we started getting noticed. Our book of poetry shot up the bestselling lists on Amazon for poetry and love poetry. People really responded to it and that made us feel good.

 

 

Do you have any upcoming projects?

 

Yes, we’re in the editing/publishing phase of our upcoming book of inspirational thoughts. It’s a motivational thought a day for the whole year.

 

 

We’re also in the middle of writing the Princess of the Light sequel. It’s darker and plenty more action than the first one. We’re loving where the story is going.

 

 

Follow the blog and/or sign up for our newsletter to get the latest information.

 

 

Finally, tell readers why Poetry of Love: The Engagement Year is a must buy.

Every person on this Earth wants to love and be loved in return. Every time we share our love story, people swoon and say, “That’s so romantic.” So, we wrote Poetry of Love: The Engagement Year to encourage men and women to share their feelings with each other. If you’re looking for simple yet honest words of love, amidst life’s rocky terrain, pick up Poetry of Love: The Engagement Year.

 

 poetry-of-love-the-engagementyear-jpg

 

Title: Poetry of Love: The Engagement Year

Author: N. N. Light

Genre: Poetry, Love Poetry

 

Book Blurb:

Amazon #1 Best-Seller and Hot New Release

 

I had been searching for love my whole life. It took the opening up of the world via technology for me to find my soulmate. Once I laid eyes on her, at the arrivals gate, I knew I was never going to let her go. The following is a collection of poems I wrote to my angel, from our first meeting up until our wedding day. I was working crazy hours as a chef and I had a long commute. I chose my commuting time to pen her a poem each day. These poems speak of our life, our challenges and our growth together…in every aspect they speak of our love.

 

May this book give someone the courage to let their special someone know how much they care for them and how much they mean to them. Saying I love you is a gift you can give many times a day.

 

Excerpt:

Our Love

 

Our love exists in so many ways

Even when parted I feel you

I long for your gaze

Knowing our love is true.

 

When in the heaven of your arms

I feel our love’s warmth surround me.

 

Your grace, beauty and charm

Leave me gasping breathless in serenity.

 

The pureness, sweetness and sincerity

Our so perfect love

Oft compels me to my knees

To thank our Lord above

For our love.

 

Buy Links:

FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Poetry-Love-Engagement-N-Light-ebook/dp/B01M13IKRH

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Poetry-Love-Engagement-N-Light-ebook/dp/B01M13IKRH

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetry-Love-Engagement-N-Light-ebook/dp/B01M13IKRH

 

Barnes and Noble Paperback: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poetry-of-love-n-n-light/1124641362?ean=9781537641706

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32054659-poetry-of-love

 

couple N N Light

 

Author Biography: N. N. Light is the bestselling 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.

 

Subscribe to their author newsletter and you’ll be eligible to win $5 Amazon gift card monthly:  http://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.

 

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

Newsletter: http://ow.ly/jWec308TabL 

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

 

 

 

 

Meet Blushing Books @author_vanessa Liebe and her Latest Release! #eroticromance #romance


Vanessa Liebe

 

Are you an erotic romance reader? Well, today you’re in for a treat. We’re thrilled to have Blushing Books author Vanessa Liebe on the POTL Blog. We first met her when she approached us about featuring her Blakeney Brothers Adventure Romance series a few weeks ago. She loves to blend historical romance with adventure and sizzling hot sex scenes. We asked if she’d like to sit down with MRS N for an interview and she agreed. We loved learning more about her and she provides some excellent insight into publishing and marketing. Take it away, Vanessa:

 

What is your writing process?

Research and a rough plan. Then write out on paper to type and edit later on.

 

What book do you wish you could have written?

Books – The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. Awe inspiring!

 

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 important. I try to fit them in with the time period if it’s a historical book and I have to like them 😊

 

Have you always liked to write?

Yes. I used to love writing stories as a kid and remember thinking it would be great to be published one day. I forgot about writing for a bit when I started work as an adult, but then I got into writing fan fiction. I enjoyed the responses I got and finally decided to submit some novels to publishers a few years ago.

 

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?

Yes, I read my reviews and I respond to any on my blog tours. That is, I thank the person for writing them regardless of what they have written. I don’t respond to reviews elsewhere, especially Amazon as I was advised not to. I think that’s best, even though it would be nice to thank some people. As for bad reviews, I would sometimes like to know why someone thought what they did, but ultimately it’s not worth getting upset over. Someone told me that authors need a thick skin and it’s true. Although, I’m still developing mine 😊

 

What is your best marketing tip?

Start a marketing plan before you even submit a book or self publish, because it takes time to build a brand and to find what works best for you. I have tried several promotional techniques and some I wish I had discovered sooner.

 

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

Writing the synopsis! I find it really hard to write a fantastic summary of my book. It’s always a relief not to have to write one as part of a submission process.

 

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

Out in the garden when it’s a beautiful sunny day. I have my pen and a notebook and that’s all I need.

 

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

I’m currently finishing off a contemporary erotic anthology and then I’m going to write the final Blakeney brother adventure.

 

Do you write naked?

No, but I sometimes write in my PJs.

 

What is your biggest failure?

Failure to write and submit to a publisher sooner. I could kick myself.

 

Have you ever been in trouble with the law?

Yes, but only for speeding.

 

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

I do like my wine and I’m rather partial to a rose or the fruit wines such as strawberry & lime.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

The power to heal. It would be great to heal terminally ill kids especially.

 

What secret talents do you have?

I’m good at drawing and I can play soccer well.

 

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

I want to tour China, especially see the Great Wall.

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have a scar on the middle finger of my left hand. I sliced my finger open when cutting up carrots for some science experiment homework! It meant a trip to A&E.

 

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

I was very shy and not confident at all. My favorite toy was my Sindy doll.

 

 TheHighwayman'sProposal_500x755 (2)

 

Title: The Highwayman’s Proposal

Author: Vanessa Liebe

Genre: Erotic Romance. Mystery/Suspense

Publisher: Blushing Books

 

Book Blurb:

Gabriel Blakeney is a man who protects those he loves at all costs. If that means becoming a highwayman to help support the community that raised him, then that’s what he’ll do. Risking his life each night, he robs from the rich to redistribute among the poor. He does it to survive. But what he’d really like is to find a woman of his own to protect and love. Despairing of ever finding her, things change one night when he meets Lady Caroline Godwin. Here is a lady who needs protecting, all right – from herself.

 

Desperate times call for desperate measures. And Caroline Godwin is desperate. Her father has lost a fortune at cards and is bed bound after a stroke. Somehow, she must raise the money within a month or lose her home. Worse, she may be forced to marry the despicable Lord Shard – her father’s creditor – to protect the family name and pay the debt. Frantic, Lady Caroline remembers being held up a few weeks ago. She makes the audacious decision to rob the handsome highwayman. But Caroline gets far more than she bargained for.

 

With card sharps, traitors, and the militia to worry about, Gabriel and Caroline find danger ever present. He is determined to keep her safe throughout, even if that means a trip over his knee.

 

Excerpt:

“Stand and deliver!”

 

The demand came loud and clear, as Lady Caroline Godwin’s coach came to a sudden stop. She sucked in a deep breath, holding onto the sides of her bench seat to brace herself against falling off. Her maid did the same, looking up at her in fright. “Oh, my lady. It’s a highwayman. I knew we shouldn’t have travelled at night.”

 

Lady Caroline couldn’t have agreed more. However, upon receiving news that her father was gravely ill and had lost a fortune at cards again, she knew she must leave London and return home. Travelling at night to get there as quickly as possible had seemed worth the risk. Not only did she need to know exactly how much her father had lost, she knew that her mother wouldn’t be able to cope with the situation. Her father had suffered a stroke immediately after losing and was currently bed bound.

 

Lady Caroline tried to reassure her maid. “I need you to be calm, Maisie. If we do as the rogue asks, we will come to no harm.” Yet after the initial shout, there was no sign of the highwayman. Furious both at her father for gambling away his money, and for getting stopped like this, Lady Caroline was feeling brave rather than scared. She was about to get out of the coach and see what was going on, when there were a few muffled curses from above them, a few thumps and then silence. She frowned, straining her ears to hear more.

 

“He’s going to kill us all!” cried Maisie fearfully, before fainting.

 

Lady Caroline looked at her maid lying in a crumpled heap on the bench seat opposite and couldn’t help feeling even crosser. “For heaven’s sake,” she muttered. And what has happened to my coachman and footman? “Frank? George?” she called out. She was met with silence.

 

 

She gasped as the door was suddenly pulled open and a tall, masked figure appeared, holding a pistol. The man, dressed all in black and with a tricorn hat on his head, looked around the coach, before returning his gaze to her. The pistol was aimed at her. “Good evening, my lady.”

 

Lady Caroline stared at him. The moonlight shone down on him, but didn’t reveal much, due to his dark clothing and black eye mask. She could make out sensual lips though, her gaze drawn to them because it was the only part of his face she could clearly make out. Then her gaze dropped to the pistol aimed at her and she felt renewed anger. He’d caused her maid to faint, he’d done god knows what to her male servants and now he was aiming a weapon at her. She raised her chin and glared at him. “It was a good evening, until you came along,” she told him. “What have you done to my coachman and footman?”

 

The highwayman had the nerve to grin at her. “They’re gagged and bound, my lady. But unhurt.”

 

He climbed into the carriage, sitting down opposite her, on the edge of the seat, next to her unconscious maid. “Now, if you don’t mind handing over some of your baubles, I will leave you in peace.”

 

Thanks to her father, Lady Caroline didn’t have much in the way of jewelry. What she did have held no value. She looked down her nose at him. “I’m afraid you’ve robbed the wrong coach tonight.”

 

Buy Links:

Publisher http://blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=4157

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Highwaymans-Proposal-Blakeney-Brother-Adventures-ebook/dp/B06ZYWTJWT

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Highwaymans-Proposal-Blakeney-Brother-Adventures-ebook/dp/B06ZYWTJWT

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Highwaymans-Proposal-Blakeney-Brother-Adventures-ebook/dp/B06ZYWTJWT

 

Author Biography:

Vanessa Liebe is the author of fun, sexy erotic romance and erotica, both contemporary and historical. She mostly writes in the Fantasy and Paranormal categories as she likes a man with bite.

Vanessa is married with three children and resides in Hampshire, South East England. When not house training her children, reading or writing, she likes to sit in the garden with a glass of rose wine.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009945581362

Twitter: https://twitter.com/author_vanessa

Blog: https://vanessaliebe.com/

 

 

Opportunity is Always Knocking so Turn Down Your Self-Doubt! #inspiration #WednesdayWisdom


opportunity-self-doubt-station

 

Is your self-doubt preventing you from achieving your dreams?

Five years ago, I had the opportunity to write my first manuscript. MR N had just received a raise at his work and I could resign from my position and write. My self-doubt cranked up and all I could think is that I couldn’t possibly do it. I was too old, too inexperienced and wouldn’t possibly finish it. I’d start strong, like I always do when I start something new, and eventually drop it for something else.

This was a dream of mine and I was determined to see it through. This time, self-doubt wouldn’t win because I had a secret weapon: an accountability partner. I named MR N my partner and he helped me stay on track. He supported me in every way and soon my self-doubt shrunk to a whisper.

Opportunities are knocking. Tap, tap, tap. Can you hear it? No, then you have to turn down your self-doubt. Take control of the volume and you’ll be on your way to achieving your dreams.

MRS N

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

 

 

Stop Listening to What Others Think and Embrace Your Inner Superhero! #inspiration


Self image superboy

 

Are you depending too much on what others think?

I’ll be the first to admit that I put too much emphasis on what others think. Whether it’s in my personal or professional life, my weakness is to value my self-worth on how people view me. I know, I know, I should listen to my own advice and not worry about what people think. But it’s hard to do when my inner voice amplifies popular opinion.

I’m writing the sequel to Princess of the Light and almost every day, my inner voice yells negative thoughts.

“This is crap. You’re a talentless hack and no one will bother to read this.”

“Why are you wasting your time on this story? It doesn’t sell and no one cares.”

“You’re not a writer so why not quit?”

On and on the slew of comments go. I close my eyes and will the voice to be silent. It quiets down eventually and then my muse speaks.

“You’re blessed with the ability to move readers. Use your gift for good.”

“A lot of people are drawn to you and your words matter.”

“Share Mary’s story and if one person reads it, it’ll be worth it.”

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what others think of myself or my work. What matters is how I feel about it. I love myself and I know that I’m a good person. I may be shy and insecure at times but so was Buffy the Vampire Slayer (my superhero). When I embrace my inner Buffy, all negative thoughts flee before they can be slayed. 😉

What others think of you doesn’t matter but what you feel about yourself is what’s important! Embrace your inner superhero and defeat those negative thoughts!

MRS N

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


DG_140618

 

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

 

What is your writing process?

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

 

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

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

 

Have you always liked to write?

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

 

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

What is your biggest failure?

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

 

Have you ever gotten into a fight?

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

 

What do you want your tombstone to say?

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

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

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

 

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

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

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

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

 

 Aaden Cover_titled_sm

 

Title: Aaden BlueStar – The Awakening

Author: David Gaughan

Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy

Publisher: Astar Print

 

Book Blurb:

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

 

Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fleur pulled a face. “What?”

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

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

“I heard there was an explosion there.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Buy Links:

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

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

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

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

 

Author Biography:

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

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter https://twitter.com/authorgaughan

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

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

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

 

 

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


christmas-wish-potl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Princess

Title: Princess of the Light

Author: N. N. Light

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural, Spiritual Romance

Tagline:

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

Blurb:

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

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

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

Excerpt:

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

My body jolted.

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

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

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

My headache was a dull thud now.

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

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

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

Amber said, “It’s five thirty.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How? I mouthed silently.

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

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

“Princess, help my people,” it said.

I shook my head.

“Let go!” I tried to scream again.

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

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

Buy Links:

99 Cents at Amazon.com until March 31, 2017

Free on Kindle Unlimited all year long

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

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

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

Goodreads:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


RAC 5 Things to Help With Writing When Sick

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

#1 READ

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

 

#2 Outline

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

 

#3 WRITE

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

 

#4 WORD COUNT

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

 

#5 REST

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

 

BONUS

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

 

Knight of Rapture Final Cover RACasie

 

Title: Knight of Rapture

Author: Ruth A. Casie

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Time Travel, Medieval

 

Book Blurb:

He crossed the centuries to find her…

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

A threat has followed…

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

But their enemy has overlooked the strongest magick of all…

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

 

Excerpt:

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

 

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

 

Everything stopped. The wind. His pounding.

 

They stood facing each other.

 

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

 

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

 

Then silence.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Away from him.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon:

http://amzn.to/1CtC7ad

Amazon Print:

http://amzn.to/1EN0Hhk

BN:

http://bit.ly/1McK4oC

KOBO:

http://bit.ly/1NaqW7Q

iBook:

http://apple.co/1M5o92x

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

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

 

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Meet @CharJGordon and Discover What’s Behind That Smile! #romance #suspense #books


Charmaine Headshot for Author Central

 

It’s our great pleasure to welcome to the POTL Blog, Charmaine Gordon. She’s a prolific author with more than 85 books to her credit. We asked her to sit down for a candid interview and to share her latest release, Chef’s Surprise. She agreed and without further ado, here she is. Give her a warm welcome. Take it away, Charmaine:

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

 

The day I spread my wings to drive into New York City in my quest to be a professional actor is a major highlight. The fact I succeeded against all odds is remarkable since I was already in my fifties, my credits filled with community theater plays. And so this mother of many, devoted wife and homemaker, became a butterfly. I was cast in daytime dramas for twelve years, all the while getting bit parts in movies and commercials and then this sweet time collapsed during the run in an Off-Broadway play. My good stage voice felt wrong. A voice doctor examined me. He said I have spasmodic dysphonia. My acting career ended right then. Creative juices flowed and I wrote my first book. A publisher agreed to work with me. Suddenly I became a writer.

 

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

 

Although I write Romance/Suspense with humor and often therapy dogs fit into the story, I read murder and mayhem. My favorite is John Sandford with his humor mixed into crime and best of all is James Lee Burke with his turn of phrase, charm, and depth in every book.

 

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 stream by as if they’re on ticker tape. This may be due to my acting career. I don’t worry; it just happens.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

 

You ask about looking five years ahead. Good question. I just celebrated my 86th birthday. In five years, I expect to celebrate many more, ever the optimist.

 

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

I have a cozy room with a wrap-around desk. When my granddaughter was born, daughter, a teacher, expected me to care for her during those hours. I’m just a woman who never says no. My office became filled with baby equipment. I wrote while she napped; rocked her baby seat with my foot to calm her when I had to finish the hot scene in progress. What a special time. I laugh to recall the fun I had with that little girl grown to be nine years old. Now she’s the one to hold my hand and say be careful. We have four cats; one sleeps next to my hand while I type. The big guy sleeps at the door guarding so I step over him with care. The other two sleep until the dinner bell rings. A circus.

 

What is your best marketing tip?

 

Marketing is a mystery to me. A presence on Facebook takes valuable time away from writing and yet it’s part of the marketing process. Twitter is faster. All I can say is just do it. You write and promote.

 

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

 

I’ve written a bunch of novels and short stories, many about Mature Romance because ‘it isn’t over ‘til it’s over’. That’s how I feel. Some of the short stories are wrapped in a Volume of three in one. Humor and love prevail in every story. Survive and Thrive runs through every story.

 

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

 

I’m writing a story, another one that came to me in the night. Blue eyes look into blue eyes and then. My youngest son lives in Denmark. He is my confidante and writer superb. He cautioned to find the major flaw. Wow! I lit up inside; my heroine lit up because I gave her the path to follow. Almost thirty thousand words, possibly the end is in sight.

 

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

 

You ask if I drink/smoke—what’s my vice? If still being very romantic is a vice, I’ll vote for that. I don’t smoke, half a glass of Chardonnay makes me climb on a chair and tap dance.

 

What do you want your tombstone to say?

 

Cremation for me but the eulogy will include, What a woman, best Mom ever!

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

 

If I had a superpower, first I’d heal the damage done to me when I fell last April. Doctors said I’d never walk again yet I can. Yes, I can. Then I’d spread my power to heal ailments wherever I knew about folks who suffered. There are many charities I’d contact to discover who needs the most help.

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

 

Surgical scars are not worth mentioning and here I am almost writing it down. In New York-ese I say fugetabodit!

 

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

 

As the first girl born into a large male family, all my parents expected this cute little girl was to be good, also find a nice husband and be a wonderful mother. As for me, I wanted to dance and sing. No way as far as the family rules stated. I waited my time, married my first love, my pilot and we lived a different life. Slowly I grew as a real woman, not the secluded Chicago girl.  What a change until, as I mentioned before, I spread my wings.

 

 

Thank you for this truly interesting interview.

 

cvr-chefs-surprise-ereader

 

Title Chef’s Surprise

Author Charmaine Gordon

Genre Romance/Suspense

Publisher Vanilla Heart Publishing

 

Book Blurb

One night, she ran. For the bus to freedom and a new life. She had a plan, and a small box of cash.

 

With grit and determination, the young girl learned more than lessons at nursing college, the first part of her plan.

 

Someday, she would become a top chef, but for now, she’d claw her way up the ladder.

 

There is payback for every crime, and sometimes the payback is more than satisfactory.

 

Excerpt

Six years after Reva Mercer graduated from a Nursing College in Southern Florida, her job as head chef in a fancy penthouse apartment came true. She laughed to herself with past thoughts racing through her mind. Clayton, the youngest son in the Randall household had fallen for her yet she only had eyes for the older son, a widower, president of the law firm and handsome as all get-out. Tonight the occasion was Clayton’s partnership party. The elder Grandmother found Reva with fine credentials and hired her on the spot. She’d never forget that afternoon.

 

The head chef at Raos needed a break, so he said. The boss called Reva over. She’d been baking all morning, fascinated with the fluted rim on the special pies. She hid her annoyance and blinked her flirty eyes to give him false hope.

 

“Take care of those two old ladies and do it now.” She put on her best smile and hurried to take their order. The minute her green eyes connected with the oldest woman, she cared for her, felt the kindness and quality in her.

 

After the party, when the penthouse quieted down, Reva had an intuition; something was wrong with dear Grans.  She hurried down the quiet hall to find her room, heard moans and pushed the heavy door open. Grans lay on the floor whimpering. Reva lifted her on to the big bed. She knew right away. Grans had a Transcient Ischemic Attack. She yelled for the older son to hurry. “Get your doctor friend, call for an ambulance, we need 911 now. We must save Grans.”

 

Buy Links

Nook

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chefs-surprise-charmaine-gordon/1125529990?

 

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/chef-s-surprise

 

Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N37DGLU

 

Author Biography

My first job as an actor: I was booked as the legs of Geraldine Ferarro, the first woman to be nominated as vice president to run with Michael DuKacus Governor of Boston. Five o’clock in the a.m., Secret Service men everywhere and me. This job gave me entree to the three Unions. After that, day time dramas, and my first movie, Working Girl where I sang Happy Birthday to Melanie Griffith and shared a hot dog with Harrison Ford. So much fun until my voice failed and now I write every day and love it. Life is a jewel to cherish every day and enjoy. Don’t frown, people. Put a smile on your face and share it.

 

Social Media Links

Website http://authorcharmainegordon.wordpress.com/

Twitter https://twitter.com/CharJGordon

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/charmaine.gordon