Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Ross S. Simon

This week our Author is Ross S. Simon.

Ross S. Simon photo

Ross S. Simon

ROSS S. SIMON was born Sam Ridings in La Crosse, WI, in 1979, and spent the bulk of his childhood in Winona, MN, before moving at age nine to Santa Cruz, CA, where he still lives today.  He graduated from Soquel High School in 1997, and Cabrillo College in 2006, the latter with an AA degree in Basic Liberal Arts.  His inaugural horror opus, “The Snow,” was published by Eternal Press in 2012, followed by “Red Dahlia” by Damnation Books in 2013.  Mr. Simon’s hobbies include pinball gaming, collecting pop memorabilia, and reading very interesting novels of various genres.  His third horror novel, “Arthur O’ The Bower,” is to be released by Damnation in 2015.

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Ross S. Simon

This is the part of the post where Ross shares what is under his bed.

How do you go about finding publishers for your stories, poems, articles, books or novels?
 
Although I found Damnation Books originally through the electronic grapevine, it was Kathryn Meyer Griffith who gave me the suggestion of publishing a couple of short horror stories that I’d been finishing up on Amazon Kindle Direct.  While this hasn’t yet reaped results to speak of, I’ve at least gotten started in introducing the horror-lit world to my short-composing talent.
What is your favorite Marketing Task you do after your work is accepted?
 
I talk all about the upcoming release—or new releases, in the case of my shorts—on Facebook.  I can go to GoodReads and Shelfari, too, but I need help with those sometimes.
What is the first step toward getting your work ready to sell?

That would be making sure it’s properly edited, if that’s a fair answer to the question.  I only hope Amazon KDP presents a good enough editing screening so that the work comes out acceptable that is presented online by cheeseballs like me, LOL.
What do you do after publishing to keep your work in the eyes of your potential reader?

For novels, I seek reviews in sundry ways.  For shorts, not much…except huckster them via their links, in such places as right here.
What inspired your most current published project?

The shorts I wrote came for the most part from the “Tales From The Crypt” TV series.
Is there a book, poem, article, novel or short story inside of you that you are holding back on while waiting for just the right time?

I can’t exactly say there is.  The sooner any one of my ideas hits publication, the better.  Not that I can compose all of them at once, of course.
What is your favorite writing tool?  (Pen, paper, word processor, etc.)
That would be a time-tested Mac OS X.  Its Word application still goes strong.
What does your favorite writing space contain?

Among other things, a stack of helpful papers I need to go through, an automatic pencil sharpener, a tiki-totem souvenir from Hawaii, a roll of toilet paper, and a helluva lot of dust.
If you could build a writing space from scratch what would you include?

I suppose I’d put a new rolltop desk in it, into which a laptop would fit, and other stuff, though I don’t really know what exactly.
What is under your bed?

Besides dusty carpet, nothing much…except, depending on how I’m dressed, either a pair of sneakers or, depending on the time of year, either a pair of sandals or a pair of sheepskin slippers.

Blurb for VEIN TRANSPLANT:

 

Vein Transplant by Ross S. Simon Cover Art

Vein Transplant by Ross S. Simon

In this short horror story by Ross S. Simon, author of “The Snow,” a viral scientist’s newly discovered leprosy strain, which destroys all but the circulatory system, falls into an unfortunate love triangle between him, a lovely coworker, and a jealous custodian…with terrifyingly bizarre results.

Excerpt

 Excerpt, “Vein Transplant:”
“Confidentially,” said Mayploge, “I’ve been getting tired lately of Maxeen and I just exchanging puppy-dog looks. This Friday, I’m going ahead and asking her the big question.”

It was then that Holbyton noticed it, just as much to his horror as the living rat’s-veins had been to Mayploge and Maxeen. In his hand, Dells held a small, velveteen, cube box.

Proudly, Mayploge opened the box. Sure enough—to truly ignite Holbyton’s temper, deep inside him—there was an 18-karat diamond ring.

All Holbyton could do was stare, wide-eyed, enraged, and plunging into deep misery within his soul.

Mayploge snapped the box closed, and putting it back into his pocket, said, “We’ve already known each other so well all this time, Maxeen and I…that I have a definitely good feeling about it. Anyway, Bart, don’t forget to lock the lab back up after sweeping in there.”

He went on his way. Shaking, fists clenched, teeth grinding, Holbyton was full of the desire to rip Mayploge’s head off.
This primal desire turned somehow into practical thought…as he looked back into the lab, through the small window.

They had placed the liquid-N2-sprayed veins in the lab freezer.
Holbyton knew Mayploge trusted him a bit too much.

He also figured that UW Seattle’s big rival, Washington State, would love to have a little sample of that vein-creature in their Medical Department.

Holbyton found a vinyl pipe on his cart, from a plumbing replacement he’d had to make in the cellar of the building recently.

He also found some plastic wrap and rubber bands.

“Vein Transplant:” Buy Link
__

Blurb for BY A BLOODY HEAD

Cover Art Buy a Bloody Head by Ross S. Simon

Buy a Bloody Head by Ross S. Simon

BY A BLOODY HEAD:
In this sinisterly ironic horror short by Ross S. Simon, three freeloading English gamblers bet, successfully, on a team of four jockeys in the Kentucky Derby who turn out to be something more than of this earth…in particular according to the Book of Revelation.

“By A Bloody Head:” Buy Link

I’m glad Ross could be here today and I hope he will come back when his future release “Arthur O’ The Bower” arrives later this year.

Ross S. Simon, author of THE SNOW, Eternal Press, 2012, and RED DAHLIA, Damnation Books, 2013
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On the Addictive Nature of e-Reading

Okay, I confess, I have been collecting e-readers.  I am slightly geek-ish and like to upgrade my electronics.

I first began e-reading on a cell phone.  Cell phones should, from here on, be considered the gateway drug to full on e-diction…

e-reader Fire in Cloak

Fire

My most recent reader is an Amazon Fire HD 7.  When I arrived in The Writer’s Chatroom with news of my latest e-reader, a few of the regular chatroom folks wondered how many more I needed.  After all I only have two eyes and half a mind.  No, they didn’t say that.  They are too nice.

Anyway, I climbed into bed last night with my Fire.  Flipped it open.  Nothing happened.

I came back out to the living room and tried again to turn it on.  Then I got two people to confirm that it wasn’t working.  I tried some more.

On the Addictive Nature of e-Reading

Oh, well, I said, trying not to panic, I have three more, right here on the headboard.

e-Readers on a Headboard

e-Readers on a Headboard

I took one and then the second and finally the old 2nd generation Kindle off the shelf and every one of them had critical battery warning.  They wouldn’t start either.

So, I came back out here, nearly frantic.  I got the charger.  My DH helped me plug it in.  I was in bed with 3 dead e-readers…

They were so dead that plugging them in wasn’t working.

3 Dead e-readers

3 Dead e-readers

I looked around at all of the book shelves in the room.  I read those.  And besides that I’d have to get up again to get to them.

At this point, my DH asks what’s wrong.

I don’t know, I need to be reading something.

Of course he is reading a history book of the paper variety and thinks .. well, like the chatroom folks he is too nice to say everything that comes to mind..

You must have something over there.  I got up on my knees a little bit.  Not begging, mind you.

He let me read his newest National Geographic Magazine.

In real lamp light, holding a paper book, slick copy, open in my lap, I read about brain injury caused by explosive blasts.  It was a weird, strange, experience.  I’ll remember the article because I think knowing things like shock waves echoing through a human head in a helmet will come in handy someday.

Two of the e-readers charged during the night.

I awoke this morning, thinking through my customer service call and how they always begin by asking if I tried turning it off…

I did a quick cell-phone, gateway drug, search and tried once more to reawaken the Fire.  Hold the button down for 20 seconds.  It will restart…

20150211_172817I pushed the button down and counted to 21 – low and behold – my Fire awakened!

Tonight, I’ll sleep tight, knowing my Fire isn’t dead after all.

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes GK Parker

Piano Keyboard

Oh.. Wrong Keyboard.. No Wonder…

My Writerly Wednesday Guest this week is GK Parker.  Let’s give GK a round of applause just for volunteering to risk sales and formatting to my sometimes klutzy keyboarding skills!

GK Parker is an enigmatic man who keeps to the shadows where he writes dark historical fiction which explores the deepest shadows in such places as New York City’s most notorious slum, Five Points and Prohibition Los Angeles. When not writing or researching, Parker enjoys his Doberman Pinschers, Slik and Jake, traveling, a good brew and hunting. He currently resides in Topanga Canyon. But he’s always on the lookout for new places to explore and write about.

Before we get to GK’s book, lets do the interview…

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes GK Parker

How do you go about finding publishers for your stories, poems, articles, books or novels?

I collect the names of publishers from a variety of sources and find the links for them, which I bookmark for future use. I belong to a number of online groups and publishers will often be mentioned. If they suit my needs I save them. Other sources are books I read which are similar to mine (I only write novels). I will also use magazines like Writer’s Digest which will sometimes list publishers (and agents) in various issues.

What is your favorite Marketing Task you do after your work is accepted?

I have a Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, a web site and various blogs I can post to as well as belonging to several online groups where I promote my work. I enjoy working on my web page most of all where I design all the graphics used.
What is the first step toward getting your work ready to sell?

I like to have my manuscript printed out so I can read it as a book as opposed to a ms on my computer screen. I keep a pen and highlighter handy to mark up pages to make notes but don’t do any revision until I have finished the read through. Before sending it off I do a search for words I know I overuse and do a final format to make sure it’s properly presented.

What do you do after publishing to keep your work in the eyes of your potential reader?

I use Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn to keep in touch. I also do interviews and use reviews to promote the work.

What inspired your most current published project?

I’ve always been interested in outsiders. America was on immigrants. Everyone living in North America came from someplace else. But each new group finds itself on the outside, rejected by the natives. And it seems the same words are used to denigrate the newcomers. They’re dirty, diseased, they’re the wrong faith and they’ll steal all the jobs. Then that group is assimilated and the next group of immigrants becomes their target. This scenario played out over and over, from the first migrants from Asia, who didn’t like the next set of migrants from Asia. It’s still at play with the controversy over the so called ‘illegal aliens’ who are portrayed as diseased and out to steal jobs.

In Ashes & Ice, the outsiders are the Irish who flooded New York City in the 19th Century. Caitlin Walsh and Johnny Dorlan are both looking for a home of their own. But when they’re faced with rejection, their lives become a struggle to survive.
Is there a book, poem, article, novel or short story inside of you that you are holding back on while waiting for just the right time? 

The very first books I read on my own were stories about horses. Black Beauty, The Black Stallion series and anything else that featured horses was in my ‘library’. Sometimes I think it would be interesting to write a YA or MG book about a special horse. Lately I’ve been thinking of the story of Peg, the giant black-and-white draft horse in Ashes & Ice who is rescued from an abusive owner by Johnny and becomes an integral part of the story.

What is your favorite writing tool?  (Pen, paper, word processor, etc.)

My favorite writing tool is OpenOffice, an open source alternative to Word. I also collect pens and when I’m away from my computer I enjoy writing in long hand, though sometimes it’s a chore to decipher my handwriting when I go to transfer it to my computer.

What does your favorite writing space contain? 

A comfortable reclining chair, a TV which is usually on to provide background sound, a vast collection of books, half of which is research material I’ve picked up while researching various subjects from crime and police procedures to the history of New York City. I also have a reclining bike which takes up a lot of room, which I do use daily, even if only for 20 minutes. And I have a toaster oven so I can eat without going downstairs to the kitchen.

If you could build a writing space from scratch what would you include?

A floor to ceiling bookcase with every book I own in it and room for more, a 56 inch high-def TV and a Blue-Ray player. Add a bar fridge for drinks and snacks, a large desk for a desktop computer with 2 tb drive, a small laptop or notebook and wireless laser printer. A carpet, a comfortable office chair and a sofa for resting. All in a cabin in the woods someplace with a Doberman Pinscher or two and a couple of adopted mustangs.

What is under your bed?

Besides dust bunnies, my latest pet, Flea, a domestic rat, when he’s out of his cage and not curled up beside me when I’m writing or lying down.

(My daughter used to keep rats and would walk around with them.  She had to stop when someone called DFS on us… )

Ashes & Ice by GK Parker cover art

Ashes & Ice by GK Parker

Buy Links & Contact Info:

Email:              gk.parker.site@gmail.com

Website:           http://gkparkernoir.com

Blurb:

Caitlin Walsh and Johnny Dorlan, two Irish immigrants out to make a new life in America, find out they might not be so wanted after all. They face a harsh, unforgiving world when they land on the shores of New York City in 1887. Nearly penniless, they are forced to live in Five Points, a slum of unimaginable horrors. Can they survive and find the new home they are so desperate for?

Excerpt

The horse was huge. Bigger than huge. Must be eighteen, nineteen hands, at least. He was a big man, but not beside this behemoth. A massive black-and-white animal, she stood, her rump toward him, ears pinned when he stepped up to the stall. He tried to guess her lineage. The Shire was obvious in her sheer size, but there had to be some Irish cob in her to get that color and such long feathers and mane. The foot-long mane was matted; how long would it be when it was no longer tangled? As a young boy, he’d always been excited when the tinkers came through town, even though all the adults warned him not to trust them. But their horses were the most beautiful he’d ever seen.

He took another step and gripped the door. Her ears shot back and she stamped her massive hind legs and the door shook.

It was going to be like that. He threw a glance back to find the livery man leaning on a stall door, watching. What kind of show was he expecting?

 Thank you GK Parker for spending time with us, today.  All Writerly Wednesday posts can be accessed at http://writerlywednesday.com

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Suzanne Brandyn

Hello Readers.  I have another returning guest, today.  Let’s welcome Suzanne Brandyn who writes contemporary romance, and suspense/thrillers with a touch of romance.  We are going to start out with her Bio and follow with the interview.  After the interview we will be having a look at her newest release, Outback Flames.

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Suzanne Brandyn

Suzanne Brandyn bio photo

Suzanne Brandyn

Reading and writing have always been a vital part of my life. I’m always reading something, and I’m pretty much always writing, too. I’ve written contemporary romance, and suspense/thrillers with a touch of romance and I’m currently concentrating on Rural Romantic Suspense, which has the hero on the page more frequently. Whether it be rural or the outback, my novels will most always be set in remote places.

I find all novels a challenge to write, and it’s exciting to write about something that’s an integral part of our world, love and romance. I love to create strong feisty heroines who know what they want and meet their Mr. Right, whether they initially believe it or not.

Interview Questions 

Thank you for having me Sally.

Writing involves far more than just getting the words down on paper.

How do you go about finding publishers for your stories, poems, articles, books or novels?

I attend writers conferences or pitch online.

What is your favorite Marketing Task you do after your work is accepted?

Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter, and any other place I can find, think of, or where they will have me.

If you have self-published your work are there other things you probably consider.

I am self published and published by a small publisher. I’d market in the same way if I was Traditionally published. No publisher is going to do all the marketing for an author. It seems to be paying off with my latest release Outback Flames. Outback Flames is sitting nicely beside some great authors on Amazon Au who are Traditionally published. So my marketing attempts must be paying off.

What is the first step toward getting your work ready to sell?

A good editor.

What do you do after publishing to keep your work in the eyes of your potential reader?

I continue to market as much as possible, although this takes considerable time away from my writing time.

What inspired your most current published project?

A small western town where my Grandmother lived for many years. I used to frequent there twice a year. Now it’s just a memory.

Is there a book, poem, article, novel or short story inside of you that you are holding back on while waiting for just the right time? 

What a great question. There certainly is, but quite a few. (until the right time that is)

What is your favorite writing tool?  (Pen, paper, word processor, etc.)

I don’t have a favourite. My laptop or my iPad. Both are necessary.

What does your favorite writing space contain? 

A Flip Dictionary. For when you know what you want to say but can’t think of the word.

If you could build a writing space from scratch what would you include?

I’m doing that at present. I can’t wait, but it will definitely include great views.

What is under your bed?

Right now. I don’t want to look. It’s like 1.30 in the morning. Lol… During the day time, nothing.

outback flames cover art

Outback Flames

My latest release is Outback Flames. A Rural Romantic Suspense.

A sexy jackaroo and a sultry jillaroo. Will fate take over from where they left off?

Blurb:

At thirteen, Zoe Montgomery’s life changed overnight, the night her family and their property, Montagreen, went up in flames. The incident and her previous memories are wiped from her mind. Whisked away moments later by an unknown aunt, Zoe learns to grow up fast and learns the value of hard work.

 

Fifteen years later, after overhearing her aunt’s whispers about Montagreen, and a girl called Zoe Montgomery, the name on her bracelet, Zoe’s suspicions increase. She flees the only life she has ever known, and escapes her aunt’s harsh lies and abuse, to return home to find answers and rebuild.

 

However, returning opens not only the devastation she’d left behind, it reveals the torment her childhood sweetheart suffered which almost destroyed his life.

As Jordan works on the restoration of Montagreen, can they battle their way through a mountain of obstacles and take over where they left off, or is it too late?

Buy links: Amazon US:   Amazon Au: You can find me here: Website     Blog             Facebook      Twitter    Goodreads  

 

Excerpt:

 

The strike of a match can change a life.

Jordan figured he’d doused enough flames in one lifetime without having to extinguish another, although by the looks of things, the early signs were smouldering on the opposite side of the street.

His sister Jade sat at a rustic table, alfresco style, with a woman he’d never met. For some reason he squinted, trying to zero in for a better look, but tore his gaze away hoping he hadn’t been spotted.

Curiosity got the better of him, and he took another pleasurable view at long slender legs crossed at the ankles. He shook his head and set his body into escape mode, but as usual, Jade honed in on him before he had time to flee.

‘Jordan, Jordan. Over here.’ She shot a hand in mid air and waved him over, accompanied by that cheeky grin he’d known all his life. He’d been through this scenario a couple of times now. Her idea of pulling Cupid’s love bow was over the top, but he had to admit, she tried hard.

He sucked back a breath, stepped off the kerb and sauntered across the street toward them, praying for a quick getaway. Drawing closer, he regarded the woman under the shadow of his Akubra. A hint of recognition tapped at his senses. His stomach muscles clenched and sweat beaded across his brow.

The woman looked up, snagging him in her line of vision. His heart tripped over a few beats when her cursory glance suggested he was a mere stranger. There wasn’t a sign of recognition or something to indicate they had a past together. He felt mighty out of sorts, and turned his attention toward Jade.

‘Do you want to join us? I know you can’t do without your coffee.’

He found it difficult to articulate his thoughts. The blood in his body thrashed about in his veins. Could he be mistaken?

‘This is my brother Jordan…um’ Jade glared at the woman sitting opposite her. ‘I’m shocked.’ She placed an open palm to her chest. ‘Here we are chatting like long lost friends, and we haven’t even introduced ourselves.’ A light chuckle escaped her lips. ‘I’m Jade Townsend.’ Jade reached across the table and they exchanged a brief handshake.

‘I’ve also only realised.’ The woman smiled. ‘My name is Zoe Montgomery. I’ve recently moved here. My family used to live in the area.’

‘How nice.’

Jordan didn’t know if Zoe had noticed his sister’s face pale, and he wondered if she could sense the galloping of his heartbeat.

‘I’ve inherited my parents’ property, Montagreen. I’m going to rebuild and I’m looking for a good carpenter…builder.’

‘That’s fabulous,’ Jade said and took a quick gulp of coffee. She cleared her throat. ‘Um…Jordan is looking for work. He’s a great carpenter.’

Jordan’s body temperature upped a few degrees and his mind slipped back to when Zoe was thirteen. Overloaded with memories, his chest tightened. Jade gave him a glance, trying to signal him in sign language and for the life of him, he couldn’t figure out what she was going on about. His little sister was in the matchmaking arena once again and she enjoyed every minute of it.

Jade’s eyes narrowed, and she shot him a scolding look. ‘Jordan. Have you heard anything we’ve been saying?’

‘Yeah. Sorry.’ He took off his Akubra, held it in his left hand and angled his body slightly, facing Zoe. ‘It’s good to meet you, Zoe.’

She smiled the smile he’d treasured for years, forcing cute dimples to indent her cheeks.

Zoe extended her hand and they exchanged a light handshake. He tried to swallow and made the connection brief. Talk about feeling out of sorts. He expected her hand to feel soft but instead, he felt calluses at the base of each finger.

What in the hell had she been up to for the last fifteen years?

‘Hi. It’s nice to meet you Jordan. So you’re looking for work?’

Her green gaze coolly assessed him, and the hairs over his skin prickled with unease.

__

Buy links: Amazon US:   Amazon Au: You can find me here: Website     Blog             Facebook      Twitter    Goodreads  

 

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If I Should Die & Milk Carton People on Sale 50% Off

Cover Image for If I Should DIeIf I Should Die by Sally Franklin Christie is on Sale at the Publisher’s Website at 50% off.

Excerpt:
Peyton stepped closer. Those few steps revealed a pool of blood around the man. Peyton gasped and looked away. This was bad. She took a deep stabilizing breath and looked back at the stranger. She knelt down and heard him struggling to breathe. A sucking wound in the stranger’s chest bubbled as he tried to draw air into his lungs. The wound itself made gurgling noises. She stood up from the blood, now wet on her legs and pajama bottoms. A tea towel hung over the sink, and she reached for it with bloodstained hands.

http://eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615722112

Use this Code at Checkout… 61NF17DV2LEX

If I Should Die & Milk Carton People on Sale 50% Off

Cover art for Milk Carton People

Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie

Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie is on Sale at the Publisher’s Website at 50% off.

Excerpt:
Supposing I’m awake, supposing this is all real, why is it happening to me? Why were people ignoring me? Why were they playing tricks, what caused me to be the target of such a horrid prank?

She kept hoping for a white haired man in a baseball cap to come out and show her where the hidden camera was located. Then she hoped she was still asleep on the park bench so she could wake up and go about her day.

I’m going to wake up, now, and go about my day with my cup of coffee. By the time I get to work the whole thing will disappear like all dreams, I won’t even remember it.

She turned away from the little tree and took a few steps down the sidewalk. She intended to turn back toward the book store again, to somehow retake control of her destiny. As if turning back would give everyone one more chance to tell her it was all in fun and she was such a good sport.

Just then, a woman in an electric blue colored coat, walked right into her.

“Excuse, me,” Ruth began and stopped speechless. For one long, drawn out, slow motion, nightmare second, her vision was obscured by a brownish red filter that blurred everything before her, she felt hot, sticky and confined. A cloying odor made her gasp for clean air. At the same time Ruth heard a gurgling noise and a squeak and as the whole event suddenly ended she heard a plop like pudding falling from a spoon back into the bowl.

She felt physically ill as the woman in electric blue continued walking down the sidewalk without breaking stride.

Ruth turned and looked behind her, watching the woman in the electric blue coat disappear around the corner.

“No,” Ruth said aloud with authority. “No,” she repeated louder, hoping make it all go away. “This did not happen.”

She walked to the nearest building and stood close to the cold bricks in the shadows.

I have to go home.

http://eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615726080

Use this Code at Checkout… 61NF17DV2LEX

Don’t touch anything sharp!

Visit Eternal Press, today.

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Margot Finke

Our guest this week is returning.  I’m glad I had new interview questions for her.

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Margot Finke!

Margot and Friends a photo

Margot and Friends

Margot Finke is an Aussie transplant. She now lives in Oregon with her husband, near her grown family and grandchildren. With 13 published children’s books, and more on the way, plus a Manuscript Critique Service, Margot is always searching for the perfect way to place her books in the hands of eager children. Her FREE Skype Author Visits are one way she loves to do this.

 

*Contact: mfinke@frontier.com
*Website:
  http://www.margotfinke.com

*Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/margot.finke
*Twitter:
  https://twitter.com/Margot10
*Linkedin:
www.linkedin.com/pub/margot-finke/8/360/1a7 

*Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/margotfinke/
*Blog: http://hookkidsonreadig.blogspot.com/
*FREE ”Sneak Peek” inside her latest books:
http://tinyurl.com/8qw44al
*Video about FREE Skype visits: 
http://tinyurl.com/8qw44al

 

Here comes the interview.. keep reading because after the interview comes her current promotion!

Writing involves far more than just getting the words down on paper.

How do you go about finding publishers for your stories, poems, articles, books or novels?

When I first began writing for children, I spent loads of time researching publishers—which usually meant scowering the CWIM, or begging friends for recommendations. I now have 13 published books, and many of them are with the one publisher. A mutual friend recommended me to their CEO.  I have also branched out into self-publishing. This works quite nicely if you are somewhat established, with a small but dedicated following to work with and expand. You have much more control over layout, illustrations, and even promotions. However, I warn newcomers to be wary. There are scammers out there—do your homework before handing over your dollars.

What is your favorite Marketing Task you do after your work is accepted?

I let readers and prospective buyers know the good news through my Social Networks, and I keep them all abreast of the book’s publishing process. I also add regular posts

To my blog, HOOK Kids on Reading.

If you have self-published your work there are other things you probably consider.

Oh yes, there are advantages to self publishing, but also disadvantages. When you self-publish, you get all the credit
. . . as well as all the blame. You have to be on top of every little detail, from final punctuation and grammar ( pay an editor for this) to design, layout and more—very time consuming. There are many ways to go, but at the moment I am happy with the 5 books CreateSpace and Kindle has published for me.

However, the new KKBP has not turned out well for my Dreamtime Man. Seems square illustrations do not show well—smaller than anticipated and lots of white showing, top and bottom. I was lured by the Pop-ups they offered—great for adding extra info to books that teach.  I might give it a miss for this book, but the next PB I publish will have illos that are more along the lines of a 7×9 shaped book. Working on that book right now!

 

What is the first step toward getting your work ready to sell?

Do you mean after publication? First I order copies for myself to sell wherever possible.  You usually make more profit when people buy direct from you. Then it is pretty much doing what my answer to your next question is.  I also like to tee up School Visits via Skype.  I let Education Skype know a new book is available, and I send out word to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin that I am eager to bring my Magic Carpet of Books to their school — wherever it is.  As long as their school’s time zone fits with mine here in Oregon, I am ready to hop aboard my Skype Magic Carpet.

What do you do after publishing to keep your work in the eyes of your potential reader?

Promotion! Promotion! Promotion! Send out Press Releases to radio, newspaper and local TV. Contact local schools, churches and bookstores. Always keep a few books with you—you never know when you can interest someone in your book.

I was going into surgery for knee replacement, and I began a chat with a couple of nurses. They had kids, loved buying books for them, and asked about mine. I made several sales the next day when my husband came to visit me and brought a selection of my books to show around. You can find customers almost anywhere, mates.

I love designing fun logos for each of my books—or doing separate logos for my picture books and my young teen adventures.  And there is always a need for new logos for the Holidays, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.  I subscribe to the notion that ANY time is a great excuse to give a book!  HOOKING Kids on Reading is my motto.

Then there’s my FREE Skype Author Visits to schools and libraries. I love flying my Magic Carpet of books to schools anywhere, reading them a story, and then chatting about reading, and what it takes to write a book. The Q and A at the end is often the highlight of a visit.

What inspired your most current published project?

Aha, that’s easy. You can take the gal out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the gal. I spent the first half of my life Down Under, so Dreamtime Man, and the sad fate of the aboriginals was always dear to my heart. It took a long time to perfect, and to find just the right illustrator, but it finally happened. I am thrilled with the results—super 5 star reviews too!

Is there a book, poem, article, novel or short story inside of you that you are holding back on while waiting for just the right time? 

YES!  I am having my first two non-rhyming picture books illustrated for me at this moment. And a young teen fantasy that has been lurking in my files for far too long, is now getting its final review before I let my editor loose on it.

What is your favorite writing tool?  (Pen, paper, word processor, etc.)

I would be lost without my trusty computer and Word program—that and the Internet makes writing stories SO much easier.  Of course it also causes problems—all those badly written books and stories, that in recent years helped by the ease of self-publishing, have flooded the market. Let’s hope that like cream, the best books rise to the top!

What does your favorite writing space contain? 

My writing space was snapped up the moment our kids left for college. I waved my Magic Wand, and our old family room transformed into my Writing Den—complete with a huge desk, lots of storage shelves and drawers, favorite pictures, a fireplace, a sofa, and views of our garden. In winter, all our tender flowering plants vacation in there with me, under grow-luxe lighting. Are you Jealous?

If you could build a writing space from scratch what would you include?

Nothing else.  I have the perfect setup right now—thanks to my dear husband.

What is under your bed?

Oh, come on. That’s not fair. I promised those elderly dust bunnies they could stay anonymous, right where they were.  Now you want me to drag them out into the light and put names on them. For shame, mate—you should be ashamed of yourself!!

Now for the Next part of Writerly Wendesday. ..

I am inserting news here..

NEW INFO:  Just this past Sunday, Dreamtime Man went live as a NEW, Kindle POP-UP book. J
http://tinyurl.com/bg9dtxt
You simply click here-and-there on each page, and info boxes pop-up with facts that are of interest. Double click, and the box disappears!  So now the book is in soft cover as well as Kindle Pop-UP.  I am thrilled!!

Great News.. Now let’s find out what Dreamtime Man is about!

 

Dreamtime Man

Dreamtime Man

“Dreamtime Man’s” lyrical rhyming verses take children and adults back in time, to how Australian Aboriginal tribes lived for tens of thousands of years. Their belief in the Dreamtime shaped their lives. and what happened when they first came in contact with white settlers changed their lives forever. Finke’s story is based on a fascinating part of Australian history. Illustrator Ioana Zdralea perfectly captures the essence of the Dreamtime Spirits, and the Aussie bush and outback where they thrived.


*Suggested reading range: From grand-kids to Grandmas—and all ages in-between.

*Autographed  http://www.margotfinke.com

*Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/8qw44al

Excerpt for Dreamtime Man

Shrewd Medicine Men studied secrets of old.
They trained a few chosen in skills never told.
Their ancient dark magic brought rain from the sky,
And “pointing the bone” made an enemy die.

 

Tribes for millennia have roamed this wild land,
And their Elders called spirits to help understand
The ways of the Dreamtime, where nature’s Gods dwell,                

And shriveled old men knew the art of the spell.

 

*Autographed  http://www.margotfinke.com  eMail: mfinke@frontier.com

*Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/8qw44al

Thank you so much Margot for coming back to Writerly Wednesday.  I am always happy to see what you have been up to.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

__

 

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Fiction Friday – Found Fiction – Knocking the Dust Off

Photo of 15 USB Drives

Fiction Friday – Found Fiction – Knocking the Dust Off

I have been looking high and low, online and off, in two retired laptops and finally, 15 USB Drives..

I lost some of my NaNoWriMo projects.  The kind of lost that I’d think about while Emma the Cat walked across my pillow in the morning, yowling to be fed.

After marveling that she was alive for yet another day, I’d try to remember how I might have filed these missing projects.

At last, in a stubborn and still moment, I gathered every USB Drive I could find.  I went through them one at a time.  Slowly.  My virus protector scanned each drive and called them good.  I took my time staring at the file names and opening one now and again.

Fiction Friday – Found Fiction – Knocking the Dust Off

We all know that found objects are always in the last place we looked.

Photo of two USB Drives.

Found Objects are Always in the Last Place you Look.

I found a little red drive that I thought was vet records for Havan.  But as I rummaged around I found another.

YES!  One of the Missing NaNo Projects was on the second tiny red drive.

This gave me hope.  I began checking one drive and then the next and eventually came to a rather unassuming drive from long ago and another missing file was waiting.

Fiction Friday – Found Fiction – Knocking the Dust Off

 

Okay, since this is a Fiction Friday Post I thought I’d end by letting you see a bit of the project I am re-writing.

  • Penny darted out of the stacks.  Lyn thought she saw her officemate flinch.
  • Lyn Holloway, RN to the wounded snapped her seatbelt and started toward home.
  • Her headlights swept across a smattering of buildings that replaced an empty field with a sort of new millennium medical mecca.  The art and craft of human repair spread out over several acres for the very insured to access at the whim of the insurance industry.
  • She knew that by the time a patient came into the doctor’s office it was TOO LATE.  They had already been germed.  She restacked some of the magazines and turned off the lights in the waiting room.
  • Darkness never fell in Montana.  It sort of sidled up with apologies.  Penny took her key from her coat pocket and chirped her car to life.
  • Penny took the shortest path to discovery and let herself in through the door she had just locked.

There you have it.  These are disembodied snippets that belong to two characters.  Carolyn, Lyn, Holloway, RN to the wounded and Penny Lester, file clerk  at the wound clinic.

The Wound Center is mostly used by post op patients who just need to have their stitches tended or incisions checked for healing or infection.  There are also blocks of time devoted to inspecting feet of diabetic patients.

I think I called this NaNo Project The Rest Stop Killers… so far there have been no murders as I am on page 3 of the re-write.

Where are you keeping your files?

Don’t touch anything sharp!

Fiction Friday Archives 

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

 

 

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Amanda Ashley

Welcome back to another Writerly Wednesday Post.

To see an archive of Writerly Wednesday Posts Click on this Text.  But come right beck because Amanda Ashley is our guest, today.

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Amanda Ashley!

Amanda Ashley is one of those rare birds  –  a California native.  She’s lived in Southern California her whole life and loves it.  She married her high school sweetheart, and they have three sons, all handsome enough to be cover models!

Amanda never intended to be a published author.  It just happened.  She has always loved to read though.  The Black Stallion books, Lad, a Dog, Nancy Drew, Mary Stewart.  And then she discovered romance novels.  One night, when her husband was at work, her kids were in bed, and there was nothing on TV, she sat down and started writing a book of her own.  And she’s been writing ever since.

Amanda also writes historical romances as Madeline Baker. She has published over 70 books and novellas, many of which have appeared on various bestseller lists, including the New York Times Bestseller List, and the USA Today list.

Darkwritr@aol.com

Follow me on Twitter

Interview with Amanda Ashley

Writing involves far more than just getting the words down on paper.

How do you go about finding publishers for your stories, poems, articles, books or novels?

        I have an excellent agent who handles my current books and my backlist. I also have an online publisher who has published some of my short stories.

What is your favorite Marketing Task you do after your work is accepted?

        I have to admit, I am not good at marketing. I mainly keep my web site updated, post of Twitter and Facebook, and occasionally make bookmarks.

If you have self-published your work there are other things you probably consider.

What is the first step toward getting your work ready to sell?

      I rarely publish anything without having it read by my two critique groups. I find their input extremely helpful, plus they often find mistakes in continuity and/or spelling, etc, that I’ve overlooked. There’s just nothing harder than trying to proofread your own work.

What do you do after publishing to keep your work in the eyes of your potential reader?

Again, I turn to Facebook and Twitter and my web page. I also have an email loop to keep my readers informed of upcoming books and news.

What inspired your most current published project?

     My current book, Beauty’s Beast is my own take on the Beauty and the Beast fairytale.

 

Is there a book, poem, article, novel or short story inside of you that you are holding back on while waiting for just the right time? 

Not really. Unlike so many authors, I don’t have a hundred stories running around in my head screaming to get out. I usually only worry about one book at a time and when it’s done, I often wonder if I’ll write another one. I have a dozen or more stories on my computer that I’ve started and never finished. Now and then I go through them. Now and then, one of those ideas turns into a book.

What is your favorite writing tool?  (Pen, paper, word processor, etc.)

I write on my computer, but I can write on anything, anywhere, where my Muse is hot. I’ve written while riding in the car, between frames at the bowling alley, on napkins at dinner.

What does your favorite writing space contain? 

    My computer, printer, monitor, my latest book cover, notes, the remote to my tv – I rarely write in complete silence. Also, pens and pencils, paper, some Star Wars figures – I’m a big fan!

If you could build a writing space from scratch what would you include?

A bigger desk and lots of shelves!

What is under your bed?

LOL. I don’t think anyone has ever asked me that before. Besides dust, there’s a big box of envelopes and a clock that doesn’t work, but I can’t part with it because my son gave it to me.

Include anything you wish I had asked.  Other buy links to other titles.

My next book, Night’s Surrender, will be published in September. It’s Book 7 in my Children of the Night series.

Here is a blurb for Beauty’s Beast.

Cover Art Beauty's Beast by Amanda Ashley

Beauty’s Beast by Amanda Ashley

Beauty

Fair of face and figure, Kristine is young, innocent, pure. Yet she has been condemned to the gallows for killing a man. The only one who can save her is a lord so infamous that some say he is the son of the Devil himself…

And the Beast

Erik Trevayne is called the Demon Lord of Hawksbridge Castle, but few know of the curse he lives under. Or the terrifying changes gnawing away at his humanity.  When he weds her, all he wants of Kristine is a son. But when he beds her, a wild hope is born—that love that can tame even the most monstrous of beasts…

Beauty’s Beast: Amanda Ashley: 9781420135626: Amazon.com: Books

Excerpt

I am to be the bride of Erik Trevayne, Demon Lord of Hawksbridge Castle.

It was the first thought that crossed Kristine’s mind upon waking in the morning.  And hard upon that thought came every rumor she had ever heard of the man, every bit of idle country gossip, every lurid tale.

He was a monster who hadn’t been seen in public since his wife died.

He had killed his first wife and child with his bare hands.

He had been cursed by the Devil himself.

He was half-man, half-beast.

He was old, ugly, deformed, cruel, the seventh son of Satan.

He had been beset by some rare plague that left him horribly disfigured.

Kristine huddled under her thin blanket, shivering uncontrollably.  Why did he want to marry her?  What manner of man took a condemned murderess for a wife?  She fought back a wave of hysterical laughter.  She had murdered a man.  The Lord of Hawksbridge Castle had murdered his wife.  As the guard had said, it did, indeed, seem to be a fitting match.

Beauty’s Beast: Amanda Ashley: 9781420135626: Amazon.com: Books

Darkwritr@aol.com
www.amandaashley.net

Thank you Amanda Ashley for being this week’s Writerly Wednesday Guest.  I wish you best sellers for everything you write!

Don’t touch anything sharp and please come back soon to see future Writerly Wednesday Guests.  An archive for Writerly Wednesday Guests is at http://writerlywednesday.com

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Lisa Acerbo

Writerly Wednesday is back.   At regular intervals I will spotlight author of all genres.  Some poets, some non-fiction, novelists, short story writers and who knows, maybe even a cartoonist.  They may be self-published or traditionally published.  What they all have in common is a way with words.

To start us off in 2015 – Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Lisa Acerbo.

__

Photo of Lisa Acerbo

Lisa Acerbo

About the Author:

Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and holds an EdD in Educational Leadership. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, three cats, and horse. She is the author of Apocalipstick and has contributed to local newspapers, news and travel blogs including The Patch and Hollywood Scriptwriter.

Twitter @Apocalipstick_

https://www.facebook.com/lisa.acerbo.5

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Remote/700452846707265

www.lisaacerboauthor.com

– Interview –

How do you go about finding publishers for your stories, poems, articles, books or novels?

My publisher for Remote is Etopia Press.  I found both of my publishers through query after my novels were complete, and I loved working with both companies. My editor at Etopia was so helpful in refining the draft and making it into a publishable piece of writing. Remote came out on November 21, 2014. It can also be downloaded at Etopia Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

What is your favorite Marketing Task you do after your work is accepted?

I like doing online book tours.  They allow me to interact with so many people who also love to read and write.  It is fun to have a tour stop every day and be part of a new blog or website.

 

What is the first step toward getting your work ready to sell?

Completing the writing process and then going through it again.  I pre-write, draft, revise, and edit numerous times before submitting a novel.  Even then, I always find mistakes.  I am thankful for editors.

What inspired your most current published project?

After reading “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury with my high school Science Fiction class, I began to think about the consequences of technology in our lives. I love science fiction and hoped Remotewould open a discussion on the topic of overuse of technology today.  Many of my high school students are glued to their cell phones and other devices in and out of class.  While the students acknowledge that this isn’t good, they no longer know how to function without a phone in hand.

 

Is there a book, poem, article, novel or short story inside of you that you are holding back on while waiting for just the right time? 

I am trying my hand at a mystery novel based in Greenwich, Connecticut where I grew up and on an old historic figure in Connecticut know as The Old Leather Man, but it is still in the works and taking its time.

 

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?

 

While I appreciate the ease of access that eBooks offer, I am personally a fan of paperbacks. There is something about flipping through pages and seeing your progression through a book that cannot be replaced. I love the feel of a paperback book in my hands. I dog ear the pages, take notes in the margin. There is nothing like having a paperback novel at the beach or while relaxing and reading on the couch.  I think e-books are great, especially when travelling, and I download many of them, but I hope they never replace having an actual paperback book with you.

 

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?

The title is the last thing I think about.  I have a friend, also an author, who told me I had to have the title before stating the project, but that never worked for me and stressed me out.  Instead, I wait until the book is done and then think about the symbols and themes that evolved.  The title of my first book Apocalipstick came from my daughter and so did Remote.  For Apocalipstick, I was telling her about a scene in the book where the main character, Jenna, puts on her mother’s lipstick for the first time after the zombie apocalypse.  She is finally out of harm’s way and has the luxury of remembering the past and looking forward to a possible future.  My daughter joked, you should call the book Apocalipstick and the title stuck.

What does your favorite writing space contain? 

Mugs of coffee and a cat trying to sleep on the computer.

If you could build a writing space from scratch what would you include?

A large, warm space with a big antique desk, many books on the shelves, and posters on the walls. And no interruptions.  When my family is around, I get nothing done!

What is under your bed?

Lots of dust bunnies.  They have colonized there.

__

So, lets read about Lisa’s current work..  buy links will be included. ..

Cover Art for Remote

Remote

Remote

Lisa Acerbo

Genre: Science Fiction, romance

Publisher: Etopia Press

ISBN:  978-1-941692-34-9

Number of pages: 207

Word Count: 71,000

 

Book Description:

 

When technology fulfills every dream, reality becomes a nightmare.

 

Below the streets of New State, the undergrounders fight to remain free of the technological control of the world above. Every night, Yara risks her life fighting New State’s deadliest weapons, the drones. Half human and half machine, their living half tortured until everything human is gone, the drones have only one objective. Kill. And they do it with exacting precision.

 

Yara is good at her job and committed to her raids on New State. Until one of those raids brings her face-to-face with Joshua, a New State citizen who doesn’t quite fit her preconceived expectations. After a couple of awkward encounters, he shows her the meaning of hooking up—a computer simulation that allows people to live out their fantasies—without the complication of emotional entanglements or physical reality. But what Yara feels for Joshua is very real. And it’s punishable by law.

 

As she and Joshua grow closer, she convinces him to leave New State for her underground cause. But as the unrest between New State and the underground escalates, and the drones move in to destroy her world, nothing goes as planned. Families are arrested, loyalties are strained, and Yara’s forced to choose between her people and her feelings. The wrong choice could mean the end of her people, and reality could slip away—forever…

Available at   Etopia Press     Amazon    BN

Excerpt

“Hi,” he called out.

Yara’s heart hammered, and adrenaline coursed through her limbs. She turned to run.

“Wait,” the stranger whispered. “I won’t turn you in. I’m out here too.” He obviously didn’t realize that Yara was a rebel. He might not know it yet, but he would soon. Still, he didn’t sound dangerous. Maybe Yara could take care of him. She had never had to kill anyone totally human, but she had trained to do so. At this point, she didn’t think she would need to. The skinny boy didn’t look like a real threat, either.

She turned back toward him and attempted what she hoped was a look of death and destruction.

Instead of being scared, he smiled at her and brushed the hair out of his eyes. Even in the shadowy street, Yara could see the color was a beautiful emerald green. She had a hard time looking away, until his voice jarred her back to reality.

“I’m Joshua15111,” he said robotically. “What are you doing out here?”

“I could ask you the same thing.”

“Enjoying the night sky,” he replied, each word clipped and succinct. Unable to make prolonged eye contact, he looked toward the stars.

“Aren’t you supposed to be hooked up to an alternate universe, enjoying battle, boobs, or whatever perverted fantasy you want to conquer tonight?” Yara asked, and then instantly regretted her words.

“Hey, it’s not like that. You know how it is.” For the first time, his voice took on a more humanistic quality. He sounded peeved.

She grunted in response. She didn’t know anything of the sort.

Joshua15111 looked at her briefly, quizzically. “Wait, do you know that? Are you one of them? The rebels?”

Oh no. “What rebels?”

“Are you for real? Everyone knows about the rebels. You must be one. Are you a rebel? That’s so cool.”

Me and my big mouth. Fear finally overtook her. Vague ideas about running away from or fighting the stranger flitted by, but Yara’s feet felt like concrete blocks. She wasn’t even sure she’d be able to form a coherent sentence if he asked her something about the underground.

Thank you Lisa!  I wish you a best seller!

All Writerly Wednesday Posts can be accessed by using the link http://writerlywednesday.com .

Come back soon to see our next guest.

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Writerly Wednesday Resurrection 2015

After taking time to get over some abuse and disappointment from some previous Writerly Wednesday Guests, I am offering to try it again.
Keep in mind, Writerly Wednesday is my child and is not associated with Damnation Books or Eternal Press.

Writerly Wednesday Resurrection 2015

Writerly Wednesday is a place to be in the spotlight.  It also goes two ways, I promote the author and the author promotes the post.  It is a win – win because of the author’s exposure to my audience and the exposure of Writerly Wednesday to the authors fan-base.  Cross promotion is strongly encouraged.
Writerly Wednesday begins with an interview, followed by a bio, blurb and excerpt of the guest’s current work.   (Fiction, poetry, stories, articles, books, novels)
The most important requirement is that the work has a buy link.  It can be self published or traditionally published.  The key word is Published.
Previous Writerly Wednesday Posts are at http://writerlywednesday.com .
I have changed the interview questions for 2015.
Please email me at sally@sallyfranklinchristie.com with the words Writerly Wednesday in the Subject Line.
Thanks for letting me do this for you.
Don’t touch anything sharp.
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Yes, it is Cold… Bright.. & Totally Montana

This gallery contains 11 photos.

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words – So, go ahead.. the photos pretty much say it all… Continue reading

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Thank Goodness my Car isn’t Running and I don’t Buy Shoes

I bought my newest Kindle Fire in October, a late birthday present. I love Amazon in October. I wonder what they will have for me next year.

The Kindle gets me in more trouble than a cell phone. I use a sleep medication that doesn’t get me into situations where I am cooking or driving in the middle of the night. I don’t know how much I forget but I imagine it is a significant amount.

I bought an issue of Astronomy Magazine, last night. I’ve subscribed to other things, magazines and newspapers that I’ve canceled the next morning. Thank goodness I am not surfing the Meat of the Month site or even the Wine and Cheese of the Month Club. We’d soon be bankrupt and homeless.

Thank Goodness my Car isn’t Running and I don’t Buy Shoes

I am Zombie Meat You Are Dead

I am Zombie Meat

My Kindle came with a Walking Dead Game.

I began playing it in October. By November I made it past the first ‘panic’ and ended up in a little girl’s house. After all this time, I am still in that house. A walking dead babysitter keeps attacking me in the kitchen. After fighting her off the first time, my character slips in the blood and bangs his head.

Then the babysitter continues attacking. I manage to get to the sliding door where the little girl gives me a hammer to finish off the undead child care giver. I seem to get excited about getting the hammer and somehow get turned around. I can’t hit the target on the babysitter’s head. And you guessed it… I die and the little girl hits and gets.

I have been lamenting about this game on my FaceBook page and failed to mention it is a game, not a scene in a novel I should be writing. Sigh. I wonder if I could ‘write my way out of it?’

In any case, I thought I’d post my problem on my blog. Posting on my blog is writing. I should give in and let one of my kids battle the babysitter on my behalf, just so I can move on to the next ‘panic’ situation.

In real life, I am seriously zombie meat.  Maybe, my mugshot and address will appear when Zombies search for the Meat of the Month Club,

Don’t get any ideas about selling me any subscriptions to the Veggie of the Month Club or Astronomy Magazines or Hayseed Gazette Newspapers. I have learned to check my online footprints in the morning. Thank goodness I don’t buy shoes. I don’t cook or drive. My car is dead and my oven has a blown out timer.

Yes, I should be writing. It is much safer.

I just want to get out of the kitchen and see what comes next in the Walking Dead World.

Follow me on Twitter @sallychristie

Find me on FaceBook Sally Franklin Christie

Buy my books before your own sleep-time meds wear off…

If I Should Die

Milk Carton People

And don’t touch anything sharp!

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Itchy Hands, Lost Projects and Good Intentions

Photo of books and a whiteboard

Hint or Omen?

Do you have something old? Something you wrote a long time ago and remember being so done with it you put it in a drawer, box, USB stick, the cloud or some other stash away place? Can you find it? Do you have access to it if you move a pile or go through old thumb drives one by one? Do you remember what you even called it?

I’m going to talk about Itchy Hands, Lost Projects and Good Intentions.

I was looking for an old NaNoWriMo project I called The Rest Stop Killers. I can’t find it. I looked everywhere, even places that made my hands itch because of the dust.

Okay, I have a lot of NaNos, where is the one I called The Car Collector? Again, I combed through things and couldn’t find it.

My 2010 NaNoWriMo project showed up over and over during my searches so I gave in. It is either a Hint or an Omen.

I spent about a week, reading it. I had forgotten almost all of it. As I read it, I kept surprising myself. I found it interesting. Repetitive, but that is the nature of NaNo. The last third was not so good. It was like I stepped away during the final 10 days of NaNo in 2010 and attempted to write a whole different story.

I can work with it. I can start my first revision.

I rummaged through dust that made my hands itch, again. I found my book that had some good check lists for first, second and third revisions. Then an email came in offering a trial copy of a book on editing. Again, it is either a Hint or an Omen. The book arrived yesterday.

I cleaned off my dry erase board. Found markers. These were not so dusty and my hands didn’t itch.

I had a Topic Chat to prepare for at The Writer’s Chatroom. While reading the reference post I ran across a website called ToodleDo. Another Hint or an Omen to plan my revision. When I called up the website my computer advised me I already had a login and I had last used the site in May of 2013. Hint or Omen?

Today, I was going to start my big revision.

I need to write Opening, Climax and Closing Scene Sketches for each of my major plot lines. I entered those steps into ToodleDo. I am surrounded by my prep word and haven’t done a single sketch.

It seems that while I can plan all day long, I suck at follow-through.

I know, after I post to my blog with a few photos to illustrate my good intentions, I’ll Sketch out Peyton Farley’s Opening Scene.

If I Should Die is available at your favorite e-book seller.

The Second Peyton Farley book is still in jibbles and bits…

Autographed paperback copies are available from my hand to your mailbox.  Email me at sally@sallyfranklinchristie.com for details.

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Lickspittle, Attorneys and Lawyers.

Let’s talk of Attorneys, Lawyers and Lickspittle or Lickspittle, Attorneys and Lawyers.

I read. I read almost compulsively. I write less compulsively. My commas and strange words have been known to drive a close relative to near distraction. When that happens I figure I must be doing something right.

Today, an email from Law and Fiction came “Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day.”

Terminology — lawyer or attorney?

I have embedded the link in text and hope you will visit the site and become a follower. Thank you to Bryan Garner.
“Technically, “lawyer” is the more general term, referring to one who practices law. “Attorney” literally means “one who is designated to transact business for another.” An attorney — archaically apart from the phrases “power of attorney” and, less commonly, “attorney-in-fact” — may or may not be a lawyer.”

From http://www.lawandfiction.com/blog/?p=2074

Jail bars caption Attorney?  Lawyer?

Attorney? Lawyer?

I told the adult closest to me as I read this that if she has an ‘attorney appointed for her in the event of _______________________ (Fill in your own felony or misdemeanor) to make sure the person is indeed a lawyer.

The second thing I learned today was from the Kindle Edition of the New York Times. The word is ‘lickspittle.’

Here is a quote from an article entitled Pope Declines to Meet with Dalai Lama by Alazn Cowell..

“The action provoked a boycott by other Nobel laureates. Archbishop
Desmond M. Tutu, the South African winner of the 1984 prize for his battle
against apartheid, responded to Mr. Zuma’s action by saying he was “ashamed
to call this lickspittle bunch my government.”

Red Apple

apple-polisher, bootlicker, brownnoser, fawner, flunky

The following synonyms and related words from Merriam-Webster will convince you to add this word to your list of words relating to a character file for the times you sit at your word processor plotting a way to drive one of your very own family members to distraction. I wouldn’t want to be the only writer with ‘the power!’

Synonyms

apple-polisher, bootlicker, brownnoser, fawner, flunky(also flunkey or flunkie), sycophant, suck-up, toady

Related Words

yes-man; apparatchik, company man; hanger-on, leech, parasite, sponge, sponger; henchman, lackey ,lapdog, minion, running dog, satellite, slave, stooge; admirer, cultist, devotee, enthusiast, fan, groveler, idolater (or idolator), worshipper ….

I’ll post again, soon.  Don’t touch anything sharp.

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Tapping. Tapping. Tapping at my front door.

Tapping. Tapping. Tapping at my front door.

I was sitting in my living room and heard a noise at the front door.  A tapping noise.  Tapping.  Silence.  Tapping.  Silence.  Silence.  Tapping.

I looked for the dog and she was laying on the round rug.  I looked out the window.  The window where I see deer and bunnies.  No deer, no bunnies, no cars out there, either.  So, I looked for the cat.

The tapping kept going.  I went to the door and found a line of chickens.  They began at the door and ended down at the bottom of the ramp.  They reminded me of a line of people waiting to get the iPhone 6.

The chicken at my feet was pecking at an empty can of cat food that I set out yesterday with the cat who was making me crazy.

I should add ‘chicken train’ to my list of distractions.  

Yes, it is a short video, I was trying for a snapshot and hit the record button instead.  And no, I didn’t capture the event with an iPhone 6.

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What goes on your personal ‘blame’ list?

     Play the Blame Game With Me…

Wi-Fi Symbol

Wi-Fi Symbol

I would have thought, someone like myself, who just came off a NaNo Project, would have no problem coming up with regular blog posts.

The truth is, coming up with the post isn’t the real problem. It is time to play the blame game.

You know the game. Here, let me show you how it goes.
• There are deer congregating outside my window.
• Oh, look at the cute little black bunny. (Maybe Becca would like a photo of the Bunny.)
• The cat is throwing up.
• What crime show is new, tonight?
• Email.
• I really need to submit some novels to some review sites.
• I need to promote those novels.
• Email.
• FaceBook. (I should really comment on some random posts, to prove I’m more than a lurker.)
• A Topic for The Writer’s Chatroom.
• Dear Abby.
• I am still curious about the mysterious change in the U. S. Penny.
• Did Skip Miller post on his blog?
• Isn’t that Jessie Pinkman, Aaron Paul on tv talking about a Biblical Event? (I need to google that.)
• Who was the first recorded serial killer?
• Did someone really marry Charles Manson?
• More deer.

Emma the Cat

Emma the Cat. I make sure my chair is covered with a towel….

So, there you have it, a rather short list of distractions. Some of them are very valid.

Work, for example. I really like working for Damnation Books and Eternal Press.

    Skip Miller writes some really good stories and he has come a long way with his writing skills.
I enjoy moderating at The Writer’s Chatroom. Thank you Audrey Shaffer for keeping me around.

Wi-Fi Symbol

Wi-Fi Symbol

      I could probably get dozens of posts done in a week’s time if I pulled my window shade down and turned off the tv. I’d also have to set my electronics to airline mode and push this button on my laptop keyboard that has a tiny antenna on the surface.
What goes on your personal ‘blame’ list?

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Afterthoughts of Thanksgiving Newly Passed

Afterthoughts of Thanksgiving Newly Passed

I am happy to say that no one busted out a card game. We didn’t have any wine bottles as tall as our table. And no one suffered from food poisoning.

My daughter and my son were here for dinner along with baby Peyton.

Later, Nik showed up with Shaman and Jeepers.

Everything was rather uneventful until –

The Spider Agreement

The Spider Agreement

After a family discussion we arrived at the conclusion that while the living room spider and I had a deal, don’t do the Miss Muffit thing and you can web wherever you wish, this deal did not include a huge egg sac.

Out came the step ladder and the relocation of gazillions of potential spider babies began. I took a picture of our summertime guest, before she and her brood were sent outside.

The second event involved my grandkids. Someone suggested a dead body search. So off they went all giggles and grins into the breezeway and down the cement basement steps.

I didn’t tell them I keep all of the bodies right here. Close at hand. In my stack of books,

Where does Granny hide the Bodies?

Where does Granny hide the Bodies?

my laptop and of course in my Writer’s mind.

The next thing I know, someone is crying. My daughter comes back in with a crying two year old and the rest of the kids trailing her.

Baby Peyton fell down the steps. The body search was forgotten as everyone comforted the fallen toddler detective.

I am not going to tell them where I keep the bodies. They’ll never find them.

This is the Day After. My daughter’s birthday. Everything is calm and quiet. I guess a dead body search will rank among my Holiday Memories.

Don’t touch anything sharp.

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A Random Thanksgiving Memory

It is coming up on my daughter’s birthday. She was born on a Monday after Thanksgiving in 1983 and three, maybe four, times we her birthday has coincided with Thanksgiving Day.
Some random memories come bashing into my mind as important days approach. I’ll share a memorable Thanksgiving Day from my youth.

A Random Thanksgiving Memory

Turkey

“Thanks for the Memories’

     I am the second of eight kids. Due to parental misbehavior, most of us spent time in the Foster Care Systems, Wards of the State of Illinois.

As I began High School my younger sister and brother and I were placed in a beautiful house with our father and his new wife.

Just because a kid is returned to a parent doesn’t imply stability or normality. Not being taken into protective custody doesn’t imply a family is normal and functioning either. But that is way off point.

The dinner had the traditional things, including something I may never eat again. Cole slaw embedded in lime Jello. What is up with that?

At this particular dinner new to us, Step brothers a sister and their husband and wives sat at the table. It was the era of mustache cups. Everything was going okay.

After dinner alcohol came out. On holidays eggnog spiked with rum made from scratch and bottles of wine as tall as the kitchen table made an appearance.

Everything was still okay when the adults began a card game.

My dad was becoming, let’s say, uninhibited. And loud.

It was the end of a round or whatever it is called in Canasta and my dad made a slurred comment across the table.

One of the wives at the card game was generously endowed. I mean very generous. God was in the mood to experiment when he made this woman.

Anyway, my dad called her a halfwit.

The woman rose up indignantly. Everyone rose. Calamity ruled. Most of them were grabbing coats and heading toward the door.

My dad wanted to know what had happened.

The woman replied, “You called me Half Tits!”

My dad could barely contain himself. He tried. His face grew red. He was a blond fellow prone to turning red to the top of his head and the toes of his feet. He lost it.
He stood and explained. “Half Tits? That’s what you think I said?”

Bottle of wine

Bottle of Wine

Ever the guy to clear up a misunderstanding he corrected the group. “You heard it wrong. “ He giggled. “Half Tits. No, No, No, No. I called you a HalfWit.”

Ah, family and holidays are such fun for writers. I may never forget that great day of feasting and drinking.

So, as I close out this blog post I wish you all a memorable Thanksgiving. But, please, listen responsibly. Especially if you are having homemade Eggnog and bottles of Wine as tall as your Table.

Don’t touch anything sharp!

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Creativity Comes from Looking Through My Front Window

Creativity comes from looking for the unexpected and stepping outside your own experience.
— Masaru Ibuka

This quote appeared at the top of an A-List Blogging Post.. The Zen of Blog Topic Creation: 3 Ways to Come up with Unlimited Blog Post Ideas.

Creativity Comes from Looking Through My Front Window

Photo of Squirrel and Sky

Enough Blue to Make a Shirt

The sun is out. There is enough blue in the sky to make a shirt and even the chickens have dug out and are roaming around the yard.

 

 

 

 

I have been participating in a month long writing project called NaNo. During the month of November people of all ages and degrees of creativity pick up a sort of ‘dare to write’ 50 thousand words before the last day of the month ends.

 

Writing toward this 50K goal without going back to fix spelling or grammar or punctuation feeds the slob inside my writing shell. Yes, I have been unabashedly writing pure bull for 24 days.

 

Last night in The Writer’s Chatroom we talked about blogging. I realized that while I have been known to blog I have not actually committed blogging since the idea of NaNoWriMo entered my restricted universe.

 

I have been letting the Evil Social Media do my blogging in a spontaneous and lazy sort of way. See for yourself. I am @sallychristie on Twitter and Sally Franklin Christie  on FaceBook.  Yes, I simul-post at Tumblr and I suspect images are somehow posting at Pinterest. But I have not committed blog for blog’s sake, until now.

 

What one earth does a person like myself blog about when most of the United States has been frozen by a NOT Polar Vortex? What does a Pasty White Woman in Montana blog about when she really has doubts about Global Warming?

 

 

 

Photo of a Penny

When did this Happen to our Penny? And Why?

 

 

Here is a question generated by a recent discovery…

 

 

When did the Great Government of the United States change the back of the penny? It doesn’t even feel like a penny. In my opinion, this is a discovery that doesn’t sit well with me.

 

I do not know when the penny changed or how it got past me. Someone, please tell me it is a recent change.

 

Black Bunny

How did he get here? When?

 

 

There is a new black bunny living in our yard. He is small and round and hops under the big trees or under my dead t-bird when I flash it too many times with my cell phone. How did he get here? When?

 

 

 

The local gang of deer gathered for some kind of meeting in the yard right outside my window.

The local gang of deer gathered for some kind of meeting in the yard right outside my window.

 

 

And the other day, I was minding my own business, about to write a shamefully bad novel when something caught the edge of my vision. The local gang of deer gathered for some kind of meeting in the yard right outside my window.

 

 

 

Rooster on a Ramp

Rooster on a Ramp

I am going to upload or download some photos I’ve taken as recently as just now when the red rooster was on the ramp and the little black bunny was nibbling grass that has escaped during our melt.

 

What are you doing? Do you blog? Do you tend to kick back and rely on Social Media to serve as proof of life?

 

 

Life is a Story – Tell it Big and Don’t touch anything Sharp!

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StoryBoarding

It is that NaNoWriMo time of year, again.

The great National Novel Writing Month begins in less than two weeks.  Have you stocked up on your writing supplies?  Do you have your sweet things? Salty Things? Wet wipes to take care of your keyboard as you snack between pages of frantic typing and word counting?

Weekend Novelist cover art

Well Used Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray

Every year I make pre-nano plans.  This involves character development, mostly and since I’ve already covered that so many times even I can remember the posts, I thought I’d show you a StoryBoarding form I took word for word from The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray.

The list pretty much explains itself.  You do not need to fill in all of the items or any.  You don’t have to write the scene in the order that items appear on the list.  You might only use this as a checklist to keep under your keyboard to reference when you are stumped for what to include in a scene.

 

Storyboard

 

Stage Setup:

time/place

 

temperature/season

 

lighting/sounds/smells

 

symbols/images

 

Characters/Relationships:

 

 

 

Dialogue

subjects

 

subtext

 

Action

large

 

 

small

 

Point of View:

 

Climax

 

Exit line

 

I think you should be able to copy & paste the text and print it up or keep it in a word file somewhere.  Be sure to give Robert J. Ray some credit in the dedication area of your novel.

If it is November 1st or later, What Are You Doing Here?  Shouldn’t You Be Writing?

Don’t touch anything sharp.  My novel, Milk Carton People began as a NaNo project.  You can buy it at any of the places mentioned here…    

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Armored Rescue Vehicle for Bozeman City Police Department

Armored Rescue Vehicle for Bozeman City Police Department

Update

The story of Bozeman’s ARV is a stupid one and I regret posting about it.  A new look at the issue shows the darned vehicle has been here since May and was even used, once.  I am ready to boycott our local news.  

Come on Local News NBC, stop already.  You posted a non-story as news and I fell for it.

To the City of Bozeman, I am so sorry.  I’ve learned my lesson but still wouldn’t be disappointed to see this ARV at the top of my driveway.  The one with the painted mailbox.

A R V from a Google Search

A R V from a Google Search

It has been a long time since local, Special Weapons And Tactics, SWAT had a practice session at the top of our driveway. Look for the painted mailbox.

An abandoned mobile home seemed to be a favorite neighborhood target. The event always took longer to deploy than anything else.
Mostly, under cover of darkness, a batch of SUVs pulled up at the top of our driveway. The one with the painted mailbox. There used to be a huge white barn there with the logo Climbing RX Arabian Horses.

We still see horses but I don’t think they are Arabians and the barn was moved in one huge trip to somewhere else. We still have the arena and the neighborhood is showing signs of recovery from the mass abandonment that happened after a developer went bankrupt.

Oh, wait, I was going to talk about the new purchase of an Armored Recovery Vehicle, ARV.

Like I said, SWAT hasn’t come in a long time.

When they did, it was impressive.

After parking under cover of darkness, men in full on tactical gear would move quickly and quietly in front of our house. Just as quickly, the group would return to the SUVs. About that time, the dog would alert us.

It seems, under cover of quietude, the City of Bozeman bought an armored rescue vehicle, ARV.

From what I’ve seen of it, the thing is huge. I hope we don’t ever need to use it for an actual event but I hope like a crazy woman that they will drive up to the top of our driveway, the one with the painted mailbox, and show it off.

For more information on ARVs, this is the most readable article I have found…

http://www.hendonpub.com/resources/article_archive/results/details?id=2358

Until, I post again, don’t touch anything sharp.

Okay, I had to come back because I see the ARV is going the wrong way on a one-way street….

 

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Why Am I Sitting in Front of My Laptop?

I came to my laptop more than two hours ago.

I can’t remember what it was I intended to do.

Someone, who shall remain nameless, Kim Richards, suggested I came here to write.  I have a book of prompts and 4 spiral notebooks at my side and have a hunch she is right.

What was it I was going to write?

I wish I had jotted it down somewhere.

The first thing to stop me was a profound lack of internet.  I climbed down, reset the wi-fi and restarted the computer.

Why?  What was I going to do?  Why am I sitting in front of my laptop?

image of a laptop

Laptop

The computer lost track of the wi-fi.  A computer without internet is an expensive typewriter that doesn’t use paper.  You bet I reset the gibberish and re-booted the computer.

My DH came in with the mail.

After two phone calls and recitation of his social security number it turned out I sent the reimbursement for a prescription co-pay to his insurance.

Service re[

Well you see…

Since I am not on his insurance they denied the claim.  DOH.  A lady on one side of the room is having it sent to the other side of the room for flex reimbursement.  And now I know not to rely on any addresses I find on company web sites.

Why am I sitting at the computer?

My grandson’s teacher asked an unclear question so he took the bus to our house and his mom called to say she was coming by to collect him.

Jeepers, my grandson advised me that I cannot look at the tattoo on his back.

green man with guitar

After Midnight

This first grader has a secret life.  After mid-night he goes out and sings in a rock band.  In his spare time before he has to be home in the morning, he is a fighter.  Maybe, he should be writing my next story or novel.

I know I was going to do something.

My daughter comes to collect her tattooed first grader.  While she is here, we go sniffing, like drug dogs, for something near my writing nest that smells like kitchen trash.

Yes, I’m in my writing nest.  Maybe, I am here to write.

facebook icon

FaceBook

Instead, I sent off a flurry of text messages and posted on FaceBook to see if someone knew why I was here…

At last, I am admitting I am here to write.  What?  I don’t know anymore.

I have to write something.  Someone invoked the name, “Audrey Shaffer,” so I am writing and posting this look inside my afternoon ‘writing session.’

 

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Submission Packet?

Submission Packet ..  What is it  and why should you be working on it?

blue file folder clipart

Submission Packet

A submission packet is a group of files you’ll be glad you took the time to do.

A Submission Packet includes the following –

 

• A Query Letter
• You will want to include 2 synopsis files.

A Synopsis of about 1600 words
A Longer Synopsis of about 800 words

• Sample Chapters (1-3) or 50 pages
• A Cover Letter

 

Synopsis

You may want to write your synopsis first.

A synopsis is your novel’s plot told though one character’s eyes. This should be presented in the present tense and in 3rd person.

It does not matter that your novel has been written in first person past tense or that you have many plotlines and character viewpoints.

Choose the Main Plot and the Best Character to tell the story.

Start the synopsis with a hook, a first main event. Include the most important plot elements. Stick to the important points. Tell how the story ends.

Write the first Synopsis using about 1600 words. Then rewrite it cutting the word count by half.

This will give you a long and short synopsis.

Query Letter

After you have tucked the Synopsis files away in an easy to find folder, start your query letter.

A Query Letter can be distilled into a Hello I have this – are you interested?

Use the information you just finished up writing in your synopsis.

Think about the first part of the query letter as a blurb.

Read the blurbs for the books you find online. Go to a bookstore if you still have one nearby and read the book jackets.

A query letter is not a synopsis and needs to be kept to a single page.

Cover Letter

Your cover letter is one you will send while buzzed about the reply to your query. The Editor or Agent wants to see your work. You will be glad you have this one ready to go.

You’ll want to follow the guidelines to the letter. You should begin by indicating someone asked for your sample chapters or full on manuscript. You will know who to address so use that name and address.

A cover letter ‘covers’ your submission.

It doesn’t need to be epic long.

With the Synopsis, Query Letter and Cover Letter you’ll want to have three chapters or the first 50 pages ready.  The whole manuscript is very important as well.  The Manuscript is the Product you offered to the submissions officer and if you are a new author you should darn well have this final revision ready and waiting.

The there are more odds and ends you should be ready for.. with your submission packet ready and waiting it won’t be such a head spin when the other pesky things come your way.

There will be a contact to sign and more forms to fill out.

Maybe you already sent your sample chapters with the query letter because the guidelines asked for it or maybe you will be sending chapters with the cover letter. But with the cover letter, most of the time, you will be sending the full manuscript.

In any event, somewhere along the line you’ll find yourself answering questions you never saw coming. Take your time and answer them fully because it helps the cover artist, publisher and your assigned editor.

There will be formatting issues to address. These guidelines will probably come with the request for the whole manuscript. Sometimes these can be very hard to follow, especially if your word processor is different than the publisher uses.

You will be one step ahead and able to relax and enjoy the ride if you have most of this prep work done ahead of time.

 

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I Saw What You Did Last Spring

Potatoes al la Doris graphic of potatoes

Potatoes al la Doris

“I’m pleased to be here, today.

I’m a little nervous.

We are gathered here, today, to dedicate this garden to the Hirsham Community.”

Papers rustle to the ground.

“I’m sorry, I can’t do this.. I can’t.” Pepper’s hands tremble. She pauses and begins to recite the email she received just before appearing in front of the best gardeners in the community.

 

The letter won’t leave her mind.  She sees the words hanging over the group.  Thinking is impossible.

“Dear Pepper;
I saw what you did last spring.
You thought no one would ever find you out.”

Pepper can’t stop talking.  She is saying the words hanging over the gardener’s bright hats and tries to stop, talking, reading.

“What you didn’t know, was that I’d been there before you. I saw what was hidden at the back of the shed. Back behind the rake and hoe.

At this point it is becoming obvious to everyone there that something is terribly wrong. Some folks are looking around at each other as if to confirm the unfolding event. 

“When I first saw it, I thought it was an animal. Dead, but an animal. Brown, tangled. Dried leaves stuck in there.
Then I thought it was an old wig. What it was doing stuffed behind the garden tools, I couldn’t guess. But it wasn’t a wig.
When I nudged it away from the wall, it tumbled to face me with a hideous broken toothed grin.”

Now the crowd has gone completely silent.

 
“It was the gold rimmed tooth that gave it away.
I always thought the gold made her look old, trashy, even.
But that’s no reason to lop off Doris’s head and sweep it into the corner like that.

A lady in the back row gasps and claps her hands to her chest.
Why didn’t you put it with the rest of her? You know. The dried up body you buried at the edge of the garden? Right there with the potatoes.”

 

New Plant and Spade

Garden Party

Pepper paused to look at the potato patch, not ready for harvest but growing quite well. A lot of heads followed her gaze.
She continued her recitation.
“How long did it take to dry her up, like that?
Where were you keeping her?
I knew something was up when I saw you bent and sweaty with a wheelbarrow at your side.
I know what you did last spring.
Always watching,
Anita”

 

The crowd mumbles. Someone laughs. Mostly they’re gawking in stunned silence.
Pepper excuses herself and darts off toward her car.
Finally Mrs. Sims, the group organizer, steps up to the podium, crunching the dropped pages under her heels.

“Is Anita here?”

 

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5 Things Successful People Do.. a Writer’s Chatroom Topic

Grant Cardone Founder and CEO, Grant Cardone Sales Training provided the core of the things I’ve chosen for thisWriterly Wednesday Post. You Can find the original article here.. I have used the 1 – 5 headings word for word and put my personal thoughts below them.

Thank you Flo Stanton for providing this link.

This is going to be the topic at The Writer’s Chatroom, tonight, 20 August 2014 at 6PM MDT..

5 Things Successful People Do that Others Don’t

Are you stalled out in your writing life? Are you having trouble finding the time to write or promote or blog? Do you need something a little more serious than butt glue?

Let’s try some of these pointers from Grant Cardone about Successful People..

1. They Go to Work to Prosper, Not Just to Work

I know some of you are thinking that writing for the big payoff is similar to selling your body for grocery money. You need to take on the attitude .. “I’ll Write For Money.” “I’ll Write as if my Life Depends on It.”

If Writing has become a painful, drag yourself to the computer issue, then, maybe now isn’t the time for you. But then I’ve heard Dr. Phil say, “Fake it Till You Make it. Think .. When Harry Met Sally.

2. They Exercise Incredible Drive

Are you driven? If this is an issue for you then concentrate on this aspect of success.

Think Nike.. Just Do It.

Life is a Story – Tell it Big. Don’t let another day pass without doing something in your writing life.

Once, I can’t remember exactly what it was, I complained that I couldn’t do something.

My Darling Husband asked.. “When have you ever started something you really wanted and didn’t finish?”

3. They Never Make Excuses

Can’t Never Did Anything.

The parrot crapped all over my submission. Print a new copy.

I’ve already had 6 rejections. Rack up 60.

Don’t blame it on economy. Don’t blame it on the stuck up editors and publishers you are trying to approach.

Don’t say you don’t have time.

Anyone who can’t find time should visit with Karina Fabian.

Don’t get lost thinking someone else can do it better. Do your best and honor those who came before you by writing through the excuses.

4. They Focus on Their Goals Daily

I have never been able to plan into the future.

At Audrey’s Goal Setting Chats each year I tell myself, “This is the Year I will Set and Achieve Goals.”

Then I think, “Nevermind.”

I do have a task list, a small list of goals that I jot down in my DayTimer and I check them off as I finish. These goals are realistic for me and I tend to get them done.

I do not believe in multi-tasking.

Don’t kid yourself into thinking you can do more than one thing at a time.

I recently saw a demonstration on Brain Games that validated my stand on multi-tasking.

Do one thing, one do-able thing.

Then move on to the next.

Checking off a bunch of small tasks will boost your ego.

Focus.

Do it one day at a time.

Finally, Successful People –

5. They Are Willing to Fail

I and the author who wrote the original post, like to think of failure as a learning or teaching moment.

Remember the 6 rejection letters? Big deal, right? Maybe, you can tweak your submission letter. Maybe, you didn’t adhere to the guidelines. Maybe, it just isn’t the right market for you.

Be willing to collect a wall full of rejection letters. It is proof that you are a writer.

Don’t set your goals so big you are destined to fail. Don’t make excuses. Become excited about what you chose to do and write toward the big payoff. You define the payoff. Make it a goal you can reach and then get it done.

Thank you again, Flo Stanton for the topic and thank you Grant Cardone for writing the post I relied on when I wrote this post.

Don’t touch anything sharp.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

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Damnation Books Call for Submissions – Dark Erotica

Damnation Books Call for Submissions – Dark Erotica

Erin Lale, Submissions Officer for Damnation Books and Eternal Press has put out a call for Submissions of Dark Erotica for Damnation Books.

Please follow the guidelines found here http://damnationbooks.com/submissions.php please read them before placing your submission.

Sally Franklin Christie Marketing Manager Damnation Books/Eternal Press

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Our Trip to Butte Montana for a CCI Team Check In

Our Trip to Butte Montana for a CCI Team Check In

or

Help is a Four-Legged Word

CCI Car

Help is a Four-Legged Word

I was matched with my first CCI dog, Lincoln III in May 1998.  Lincoln retired in 2007 and Havan and I were matched.

Because CCI doesn’t ‘match and run’ after a team graduates, Teams see a trainer at regular intervals.  We have our Public Access Certifications updated.  This keeps the Dog safe, the Team safe and the public safe.

Havan turned 9 this year.  She is doing fine, looks good, has good weight and shiny fur.  She did need her nails trimmed and the trainer clipped them for me.

Since this is a good time to get new ‘clothes’ we came home with a new ‘pull harness’ and ‘freedom leash’.

The trainer did notice Havan is showing signs of age in her back legs and hip area.  I did not notice.  We agreed she’d probably retire in the next year and half or two.  She’ll demand a gold watch and lost of tummy rubs.

On the way to Butte and on the way back we saw an eagle’s nest with two mature eagles.  We saw loads of scenery and took lots of pictures.

The ‘pull harness’ has changed so I will have to get used to walking with it.  I hang onto the strap as we walk and Havan stabilizes my my lack of balance.  I would include a photo of her, but darn it, I don’t have one with the new vest to put up here.

I did include a picture of the CCI Trainer’s Van on the way out of the parking lot.

If you’d like some information about CCI as a donor or to apply for a service or hearing dog, please go to CCI.org.

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What’s Up with Death Notifications Using Facebook or Text?

What’s Up with Death Notifications Using Facebook or Text?

When did it become standard for family members to text or Facebook the news of a death in the family?
cell phone graphic

The Call

 

I think it is beyond bad form that my mom received a simple text message when my sister died of lung cancer.

“Kathleen died.”

Yesterday, amid my Facebook posts was a message asking me to see if my mother received news that her brother died.

Of course I called this person out on it.  The among the replies that followed was this message…

“S–t happens then you die.” 

and

 if you have her number you can call her ! I don’t…”

Call me old fashioned but I think this is just wrong.  No matter how dysfunctional a family might be, no one deserves a bereavement message in e-format or text message.

If I knew Miss Manners I’d ask her to weigh in.  Maybe, I’ll look her up.

Okay, I did look her up.  Click on her name above if you are curious…

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Purple Prose Throw Down

I just drank a whole lot of water and I’ll be moderating chat at the top of the hour.

So, before I have to run to the fluid exchange center or unlock the chat room doors, I thought I’d write a quick post.

I have to re-think my Writerly Wednesday Posts because instead of reaching my goal of helping authors help themselves by guesting I was ending up in a mess of Customer Service Complaints about links that didn’t get attached to covers and how the page didn’t display just right. It was a freely given guest spot.  I am not a professional page setter-upper…

Writerly Wednesday was supposed to be an opportunity for both the Guest and Hostess to increase his or her fan base.  You know, find new readers…

I was offering a service of sorts and for the most part I enjoyed it. So, until I can make Writerly Wednesday more of a two sided affair I am going to try posting whatever comes to mind.

To all of my Guests who behaved beautifully, thank you.

purpleNow, for this Wednesday’s Post…
Because I am moderating The Writer’s Chatroom, tonight let me challenge you, my kind readers, to copy and paste some of your Purple-est Prose.
That’s right, even if you can’t make it to the chat room – bring it on!
Serve up your most overwritten prose from the nearest file you have on your hard drive or from the ‘cloud.’ Since you are showing your worst, no one is going to judge.
I am Throwing Down the Gauntlet, whatever that means, and inviting you to post your worst.
This is the link to the chat room topic.

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Tipping my Hat to Audrey Shaffer at The Writer’s Chatroom

Hello Awesome Visitors!

I wear many hats in my day to day life.  And if I could get my clip art widget to work I’d insert a tiny row of bouncing hats.

Tipping my Hat to Audrey Shaffer at The Writer’s Chatroom…

Photo of Audrey Shaffer

Audrey Shaffer

A week or so back I was in The Writer’s Chatroom with Awesome Audrey Shaffer or Head Moderator, Webmistress and all around Extraordinary Person.

banging_headWe were talking about ways to gather information and I suggested putting a ‘form’ on The Writer’s Chatroom Site.   Audrey suggested a form would make more work because she’d be hit with more spam to delete.

I wanted to test the spam issue so I included a form right here on this blog site and discovered that next to going moderation free this form did fill my email with spam.  I haven’t seen so many fake names, emails and responses since my early days at blogdom.

For those of you who have never been to The Writer’s Chatroom we meet twice a week.

Our Sunday Guest Chat includes, you guessed it, a Guest.  The guest is usually a traditionally published author or authors who are insanely successful at self-publishing.  We always have an eye or ear out for Agent Guests or Publishers.

The Guest Chat happens on Sundays at the Chatroom at 7 PM ET.

On Wednesdays we have what we call Topic Chats and these are usually moderated by Audrey or myself.  The topics vary with a focus on all things Writerly.

The Topic Chats happen on Wednesday at 8PM ET.

Subscribe to get a regular Newsletter that shares info on upcoming topics and guests.

Visit the Forum.

Check out the Blog.

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Showcasing Novel’s Trailer – Milk Carton People

Showcasing Novel’s Trailer – Milk Carton People

Milk Carton People a Novel by Sally Franklin Christie

Good Thursday!

I am working with my WordPress Page..

Making a ‘video’ post and trying out some gadgetry.

I am also fishing for some information.  How did you arrive on this page?  Who are You?

I am not going to spam you and I would never sell your email or other information.  I’d rather sell my novels instead.

(Contact Form has been removed because of Spammers)

Thanks everyone for visiting.  I will be posting again soon!

Don’t touch anything Sharp!

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Bob Nailor

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Bob Nailor who is Co-author of “Ancient Blood: The Amazon” and author of “Pangaea, Eden Lost,” “Three Steps: The Journeys of Ayrold” & “2012: Timeline Apocalypse” available now! Also a contributing author to “Mother Goose is Dead,” “The Complete Guide to Paranormal Novels” & “Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology” plus many other anthologies.

With all of Bob’s credits I am pleased he took the time to be a guest and even forgave me for getting this post up a week late.  Thank-you Bob.

Interview
  1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

Is there such as a thing as “favorite marketing task,” Sally? I guess I would have to say book signings since I get to interact with the reader, meeting them face to face. Most of the time it is fun.

  1.   What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

I decided to go “indie” because I wanted to make sure it got out in a timely manner. One of my books took almost 2 years to find a publisher.

  1.   What do you have under your bed?

Intriguing question. As the years have passed, what is ‘under the bed’ has changed. Originally it was toys, then it was my trainset. As I matured, there were the proverbial magazines that most young males collect and when I married, at first it was storage and now, in my later years, if you were look under my bed — uh, do make sure you don’t get too close when you lift the bed skirt – I don’t want you to get scratched or bitten. Some of those dust bunnies are notoriously mean.

  1.   Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?
  2. 99% of the time I’m a plotter. I do outlines so I have a vague idea of where I want to be and where I should be going. BUT… if the story takes on its own life, then I have to follow where it wants to go and see what comes. In once incident I wrote five chapters before I got back on track with the outline. Strangely, it was some of the best stuff written, and that from a beta reader.
  3.   Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

I wouldn’t call it a bubble but I do prefer to be alone when I’m writing. Just let me put on the headphones, crank up the tunes which is very eclectic from Mannheim Steamroller to Liza Minelli to Iron Butterfly to Imagine Dragons and everything in between.  I do have a group of friends who help me edit but that’s when I’m finished, for the most part.  Of course, when I’m writing with my co-author, well… actually, I write alone during that time, too.  Yup. A loner.

  1.   When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

Most of the time ideas come to me at the worst moment.  But I’ve learned to handle that and always have a notepad or blank sheet of paper and always have a pen to write down any ideas or thoughts that come up. Before Smart Phones, I always carried a small cassette recorder in my car so I could dictate ideas or storylines.  Worst moment?  Let’s just say I used toliet paper to jot down the idea.

  1.      What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

Right now I use Word for writing but I’ve been playing with Scrivener to test it out.  As stated above, I never go anywhere without pen and paper.

_

Bio
Photo of Bob Nailor

Bob Nailor

Bob Nailor is an author in several books that span many different genres including fantasy, science fiction, horror and more. He lives in a ranch home nestled on a quaint wooded acre in NW Ohio. He and his wife have four sons and eight grandchildren. Bob enjoys traveling in his RV which allows him to absorb the ambiance of different locales for his stories. When not traveling, he can be found gardening during the summer and in the winter, snuggled in the warmth of his home, watching the snow and wildlife outside the windows. Although retired, Bob is constantly busy with speaking engagements, writing or editing.

Email: bob@bobnailor.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/bobnailorauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bobnailor

Blurb

52 Weeks of Writing Tips.

Cover Art 52 Weeks of Writing Tips by Bob Nailor

52 Weeks of Writing Tips by Bob Nailor

A collection of 52 writing tips and innovative suggestions to empower you and increase your writing prowess.

These tips will assist both the newbie and the expert — we all learn as we move forward and I am sharing secrets and how-to ideas I’ve discovered as I learned the craft. Topics cover multitutde of topics including editing, marketing, sales, characters, dialogsand much more.

Amazon Buy Link 

 (Because of my delay on getting this week’s post live I am offering to buy a copy of 52 Writing Tips for a random reader.  We’ll work out the ‘how’ later.  So, please leave a comment this week if you’d like your name to go into my virtual hat.) 

 

Excerpt

By Zombies

“That’s passive voice!” With that, my editor slash

Cover Art 52 Weeks of Writing Tips by Bob Nailor

52 Weeks of Writing Tips by Bob Nailor

ed away at the document using her red pen with wild abandon.

It looked right to me and it sounded okay. My whole body screamed “So who cares?”

I attended a seminar with one of the offered sessions being something like “about Active vs. Passive Voice” so I decided to sit in. The speaker bounced across the front of the classroom in near ecstasy, expounding on the failings of a passive voice story.

I was poised to ask a question when another brave soul interrupted the speaker and asked bluntly, “Who really cares?”

Dust motes froze in time. Those fuzzy balls in the corners snickered. Yes, it was that silent in the room you could actually hear them.

“Why, your reader cares.” Her eyes reminded me of those children’s paintings from the 1960s, the ones with the large eyes.

I nonchalantly scuffled around in my seat so my poised hand now rested in my lap… nobody the wiser that I considered the identical question. Like the others in the classroom – I stared, shocked, at the hapless victim who asked an innocent question.

With hands flailing in the air, the speaker ranted. “Your reader wants action! Your reader wants to be included. There is no reason to tell your reader, let them experience the moment.

Huh?

It’s simple! In Active Voice, the subject of the line does the action. In Passive Voice, the sentence is turned around. Simply put:

• Active: Jack hates Jill.
• Passive: Jill is hated by Jack.

It is really easy to tell Passive from Active. Usually (almost always) the sentence is definitely more concise when it is Active Voice.

Now, as I learned just a few short weeks ago. The easiest way to decide if a sentence is active or passive is very simple.

… buy the book to learn the secret.

Amazon Buy Link 

Bonus Question!!!
Do you have any writing goals?

My goal this year is to get at least four books published. I have spent many years writing novels during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I’ve moth-balled almost 14 novels in cyberspace. I decided they aren’t going to earn me a penny unless I clean them up and get them published. I am half way to my goal with the release of “52 Weeks of Writing Tips” and am now finishing up my edits on the third novel.

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Other buy links to other titles.  

Pangaea, Eden Lost – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JH8MKMM/

Three Steps: The Journeys of Ayrold – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1466448636/

Ancient Blood: The Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/161572771X/

Eternally Be Mine, Valentinus – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GS8AKP8/

 Thanks again Bob!  

 (Because of my delay on getting this week’s post live I am offering to buy a copy of 52 Writing Tips for a random reader.  We’ll work out the ‘how’ later.  So, please leave a comment this week if you’d like your name to go into my virtual hat.) 

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

 

 

 

 

 

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Laura Dasnoit

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Laura Dasnoit author of Forgotten Legends.

Interview

  1.   What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

So far? It would have to be the interview I had with Radio of Horror. It was definitely a different side of marketing that I am used to, but it was a blast and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

  1.   What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

I’m published with Eternal Press. I love the enthusiasm of my publisher.  They believe in me even when I am head-to-desk (rinse repeat) over a story.
 

  1.   What do you have under your bed?Under the bed is a stack of books that I intend on reading. The set wouldn’t be complete without the scattered dog toys left by my loving four-legged child. Oh, and socks. I kick them off in my sleep. My feet are notoriously cold.
  2.   Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?
    A bit of both, I suppose. I plot out what I am going to write for the day and just go from there. Sometimes I stay on track, but most of the time, I write by the seat of my pants.
  1.   Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

Definitely the bubble girl over here; I reserve any attempts to reach out to my group until I am done with the book. Cuddles come later.

  1.   When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?It all comes down to music. The fight scene at the end of my book, Forgotten Legends, was written to 300 and the Gladiator soundtracks. I think the worst position I can find myself in is not finding the right music for the scene. That is when I go into panic mode. There’s a gif out there somewhere with a panicked expression. That would be me.
  1.      What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

I use Microsoft Word. I save the pens and notebooks for the editing phase, and of course, the cursed/blessed highlighter of doom. To add, the set would not be complete without a bottle of writer’s tears. That or Kraken Rum.

Wow, a bonus question!!!! 

8. Any writer rituals?

I have to wiggle my nose Bewitched style before typing.

Honestly, this only makes me wish I could wiggle my nose like Samantha Stephens.

Bio:

Laura Dasnoit author photo

Laura Dasnoit

Laura started writing at a young age when she discovered it was an outlet for her crazy imagination.  Since then, she has worked as a private investigator and even hit the ring as a professional wrestler.  Though she’ll forever have her heart in Atlanta, she now lives in New Hampshire with her beau, four legged son, and Ned the newt.

When she’s not working on her latest story, you can find her in a comic book store, watching ghost stories, or indulging in her unhealthy habit of antique book collecting.

Website

Facebook

Forgotten Legends Cover Art

Forgotten Legends

Blurb:

Forgotten Legends 
Iris Borden is a private investigator who considers her life normal. Well, aside from the dreams of Norse Gods. It is changed forever the day she is tricked by Death into becoming a soul collector. From that moment, she is propelled into a world she never imagined possible.

 

Buy Link(s)

Eternal Press Buy Link

Amazon Buy Link

Excerpt:

“Where is he?” A loud voice boomed from a gray haired man. He

Forgotten Legends Cover Art

Forgotten Legends

loomed, even from a great distance and I dared not to utter a word. With a disgusted shrug, he picked up the remains of entrails from the first of three boulders.

 

“We have no quarrel with placing you where he was.  For the last time, where is he?” Outside the cramped cave, the sky crackled with light and sound, and I heard the rain pound against the earth. The embers of the late night fire stood in rage against the bitter wind that howled through the opening. Twelve men who were just as imposing as the man before me, stood in a row behind me, as to prevent my ability to flee. Cast in anger, the old man picked up the intestines and threw them at my feet.  The slime and cold blood splattered on my toes.

 

The man moved and every step pressed heavy into the ground. He grabbed my chin to force my gaze up to meet his. His eye was the color of steel, and his other was nothing but a hollow socket. Two crows sat on either shoulder uttering tales that only he could understand. He rubbed his thick unruly beard in thought,

“It is time for you to learn.”

 

From behind, a countless number of hands grabbed at me. A tight grip formed around my waist and as I looked down, I saw the thick band of a dark snake with a triangle head and piercing gold eyes. The room silenced at the sound of a coyote’s laugh in the far distance.

 

“Please don’t do this,” I whispered.  The weight of the snake was nothing compared to the loneliness and dread that surfaced all thoughts.  It slithered up and appeared to take pride in how much I could shake in fear.  Every part of my body tried to hold still as the snake’s head faced my own, its slender tongue flicked across my nose.  When it opened its mouth to show the fangs, I screamed in fear, “Loki!”

——

I awoke with a start from the dream. The alarm was buzzing. I fumbled around for it, bleary eyed. With a groan, I slammed the button a little too hard and pushed myself up out of bed. It was 7:15 a.m. There was something agonizing about being up before the sun on a Saturday, but in my profession, clients didn’t expect you to wait until Monday.

 

The nightmares were becoming more and more vivid. I really needed to lay off the coffee before bed, but considering I went to bed at two this morning, it’s a hard habit to break.  In an effort to forget the snake, I turned on every light in the bedroom and cranked up the radio.

 

Eternal Press Buy Link

Amazon Buy Link

Website

Facebook

Thank you Laura for being my guest and I wish you great sales.

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes David Andrews

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes David Andrews

Ancient Mariner – Teller of Tall Tales

David Andrews in the author of Coasting and The Sapphire Sea.

“Coasting” is a finalist in the 2014 EPIC contest.”

Interview
  1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

In late 2013 I was contacted by an old friend, the Federal Secretary of the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers. He’d read “Coasting” and wanted me to write a letter to the editor of their monthly journal, “On Watch” showing that there was more to life than just engineering. The result was gratifying. My telephone starting ringing with a succession of old friends and even sometimes enemies wanting to praise the book for it accuracy. Knowing all of them as I do, I doubt that everyone had bought the book, but they’d all read it and I didn’t begrudge one of them their economy. There was no malice in it, just a way of life. They’re all Internet savyand technology adept.

  1. What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

Editors who stand to gain by making my book better.

When I retired in 1997 with a desire to write stories based on my experiences as a seaman, I understood that I would have to learn the writer’s craft first. Three short courses and a professional manuscript assessment provided a reality check that the only way to learn how to write publishable fiction was to become published. Published authors get the services of editors for free, everyone else has to pay for them. With twenty six published stories, I’ve now had the services of thirteen editors and have learned something from each one.

My road to publication was simple. I researched the industry and how it worked, then began entering competitions, particularly romance ones, for feedback. Winning two national ones was good for my self esteem and a third one gave me a contract for five category romances, to be written at thirteen week intervals.

The discipline of my working career came into its own then and I completed the five books to publishable standards on schedule and then another project suggested by my publisher in the same time frame. It was a great learning curve with a publisher/editor who knew exactly what she wanted.

One of her demands was for a female pseudonym. Her research showed that women were more comfortable reading romances written by women than by men—the theory being that men understood too little of romance to be able to write it. I complied of course, choosing my wife’s middle name and her maiden surname, becoming Amy Gallow. Amy penned twenty-one published stories before I decided that I’d learned enough to write under my own name.

My systematic approached worked because my 2012 novel, “Coasting”, is a finalist in the 2014 EPIC competition.

  1. What do you have under your bed?

The last fifteen years of my sea-going career were in the offshore oil industry and I’d climbed far enough up the ladder to be under constant pressure. One offshore oil facility earned over a million dollars a day profit and I was the one they turned to if it didn’t. The crew worked twelve hour days in a hostile environment, handling high pressure flammable liquids and gases. The demands of upper management and the safety of the men and women who were my responsibility were often in conflict.

To maintain my sanity, I put aside an hour a day when I wrote fiction and everyone learned that disturbing me without good reason during that hour was not welcomed.

A significant body of writing grew out of the practice and I am still plundering it.

  1. Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

“Timor Phoenix”, now contracted to Eternal Press, was planned minutely using Microsoft Project.

I used the software extensively communicating with upper management, first to explain what I planned to do and then with a cost benefit analysis for the head office “bean counters”(the only language they understood). Later it was used to control progress and adapt to hiccups along the way.

“Timor Phoenix” began life as a MS Project file, complete with critical paths, manning lists, etc. My familiarity with the program allowed me to make extensive notes, analysing probable reactions and event sequences. When I came to write the story the first time, I had everything printed out on a table beside me and referred to it constantly.

“The Sapphire Sea”, on the other hand grew from a series of notes I made while serving as Chief Engineer on one of the supply boats mentioned in the story. They were more technical details, personalities, and possibilities than story. When I started the story, I read through the notes and began typing.

  1. Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

In the beginning, I tried writing buddies, critique groups and the rest, but soon found they simply wasted time. Now I usually write two to three drafts, then let my wife read it, listen carefully to her comments, make any adjustments that make sense and then submit it.

  1. When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

At seventy-six I have a lifetime of memories to sift through.

One story grew from an incident not long after I went to sea. I was at a dance some distance from the seaport where my ship was berthed and becoming quite friendly with the young woman sharing the a bracket of numbers. Another crew member was there and as we passed each other on the dance floor, he asked what time the sailing board was set. The atmosphere turned icy and the young woman stepped backwards out of my arms and walked away, leaving me standing alone in the middle of the dance floor. Seamen were not her favorite people it seemed.

This incident was the trigger for “A Soldier’s Woman”; a Coffee Time Romance Reviewer’s Award.

Every idea goes through a sifting process that fits the parts together into some form of storyline that I can put into a computer file. The next step is the research to gather the factual skeleton I can clothe with the flesh of my idea.

Then I start writing.

  1. What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

I began with Word Perfect more years ago than is comfortable to recall, but circumstances and the demands of publishers switched me to MS Word. I need no other tools than this and my computer.

__

Bio

Email David   dacyn@bigpond.com

Facebook

Twitter

author photo David Andrews

David Andrews

In 1997 I retired from the maritime industry after forty-five years on ships ranging from paddle steamers to the most technologically advanced offshore oil rigs. I wanted to write sea stories but realized I would have to learn my craft first so I began writing romance as Amy Gallow. First published in 1999, she penned twenty-one published stories before I felt competent to turn to my preferred genre under my own name. My 2012 novel “Coasting” is a finalist in the 2014 EPIC contest.”

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Blurb

The Sapphire Sea

The Sapphire Sea Cover Art

The Sapphire Sea

She was old, bordering on obsolescence, under-powered and small. Her crew were the last scrapings of the barrel, a mixture of drunks, old hands and new chums, yet the Sapphire Sea carried as many hopes and dreams on her last voyage in the Timor Sea as the most modern of her cousins.

Join her in Singapore as she sets sail on her final charter. The crew won’t mind and you’ll glimpse a way of life experienced only by those who had the good fortune to live it.

 Buy Link for The Sapphire Sea

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Excerpt

The Sapphire Sea.

The Sapphire Sea slid sternwards beneath the surface, snuffing out the flames. The darkness grew thick and velvety and the water colder. He could feel it leaching the heat from his body.

            The effect of shock?

His mind took the escape route of examining the question rather than the broader implications of his situation. It was much easier to deal with the possibility of an unrecognized physical injury. His boots were gone and his body was battered but still whole. He ran his hands over his arms and legs, but could find no injuries.

The sudden appearance of a cluster of small yellow lights fifty metres away brought his mind to heel. Perhaps the others on deck had survived the explosion, shielded like him from the direct effect of the blast. He swam towards them.

The life jackets were empty, probably from the ready use locker on the bridge deck. The wooden lid had floated off and released them as theSapphire Sea sank. He tied them together and started towing them away from the oil he could smell breaking the surface, using the stars to swim northward across the tidal flow. He was at home in the water but they might come in useful later and their lights would guide any other survivors towards him. When he judged himself clear of the leaking oil, he found one of the whistles attached to the life jackets and blew several piercing blasts. There was no response.

He was alone.

The sea was calm, but the underlying swell of the distant storm lifted him regularly so he could scan the area for the flashing light of the EPIRB. It should have floated clear like the life jackets. Retrieving it would increase his chances of being found.

A small spark of light appeared intermittently to the south. It could be another life jacket released by the sinking, but he hesitated to swim back into the oil slick, especially when repeated blasts of the whistle drew no response.

He looked up at the stars, identifying “The Pointers”, Beta and Alpha Centauri, and used them to find the Southern Cross. It had just turned from its left side, making it after midnight. They’d missed their midnightreport to the rig and it was another six hours until daylight. It would be better then.

 Buy Link for The Sapphire Sea

 

Cover Art Coasting

Coasting by David Andrews – “Coasting”, is a finalist in the 2014 EPIC competition.

Coasting

Email David   dacyn@bigpond.com

Facebook

Twitter

Thank you David for letting me do this for you!

 

 

 

 

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

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Fiction Friday – Cell Phones and Junk Drawers

Welcome to Fiction Friday…

Today I will talk about Cell Phones and Junk Drawers

Clip Art of a Cell Phone

Clip Art of a Cell Phone

I knew something was wrong when the two symbols at the bottom of my cell phone were the only things that lit.

How do we mortals fix our electronics?

We turn them off.  Then turn them on again.

When you call a cell phone support tech from someone else’s cell phone they always ask the annoying question.

“Did you try turning it off?”

When you go to the emergency room the nurses aide, nurse and the doctor on call will always ask…

Bedpan clip art

Did you try turning it off?

“When was your last bowel movement?”

Sorry, got off subject…

Okay, nothing on my phone was responding to my touch.  I did not know how to turn it completely off.  So I pried the protective covering off using my thumbnail and a pen.

I couldn’t figure out how to get the back off so I could pull the battery out.  I had never seen the phone out of its protective clothing and discovered some thin plastic around the silver edging to pull off.

Then I noticed I was leaving finger prints on the back and obsessed over getting those off.  A naked sound control and a naked power button cried out to be pressed.  This resulted in more fingerprints.

During my cleaning breakdown I thought of my Kindle.  To shut them down I always pressed and held the power button.

YES.  It worked.  I shut the phone all the way down and restarted it.

fingerprint clip art

Oh, no, I keep touching it everywhere!

Then set to work on the fingerprints, again.  While I was cleaning the back I bought something on Google.  I think it was a book but I can’t find it, now.  Hope it wasn’t a car.

I got everything shined up and put the protective gear back on my phone when a message popped up to remind me it is Fiction Friday.

 

Welcome to Fiction Friday

Junk Drawers…
 Drawers tell a lot about a person.  You really want to know your neighbor’s mind, just look in the junk drawer.

When you feel stuck with your WIP check out his or her junk drawer.  You never know what you might find…

The following is an excerpt of a NaNo Project from November 2008.. The point of NaNoWriMo is to write without editing.. and keep writing.  The excerpt below is in its very first seat of my pants draft..

What’s in your Junk Drawer?

            Back at the house, Elizabeth chopped up some veggies for a salad and loaded the dishwasher with the morning’s cup and plate.  She sat with her salad and tap water wondering what to do next.  Then after some thought a junk drawer caught her eye.

Drawers tell a lot about a person.  You really want to know your neighbor’s mind, just look in the junk drawer.  There were a few junk drawers in the house she had shared with Steve over the last two decades.  She started with the kitchen.

Rubberbands and paperclips.  Rubberbands have a sort of half life, a point at wich they stop stretching and stop snapping.  She pulled the small trash can from beneath the sink and dropped them in.  She didn’t really need the paper clips either, when was the last time anyone needed to clip paper?  Out they went.  A stray butter knife she tossed into the sink.  Ink pen, blue, two bic pens, black, out.

You know what, she thought out loud, I’m tossing it all.  The pulled the drawer free and tipped the contents into the round file.  The little rubber mat stuck fast so she sat the drawer back up on the counter and pried it loose at one corner with a finger nail.  She pulled it loose the rest of the way, rolling it as she went.  Beneath there was an envelope.  An old crusty thing, she poked the rubber mat into the trash and began lifting the dingy paper from the drawer bottom.  She was about to toss it out of hand when the return address caught her eye.

Come back next week to see another Fiction Friday Post..

Don’t touch anything sharp…

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Kathy Fischer-Brown

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Kathy Fischer-Brown author of Winter Fire.

Interview

1.  What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

I can’t say that I favor one method over another. To be truthful, I’d rather spend my time writing. I’ve done virtual tours, which are fun and enabled me to interact with readers and potential buyers. I’ve taken out ads, entered contests, done guest posts… All have value. But I really can’t say one particular method wins out. If any have resulted in a sale (or two or three), it quickly becomes my favorite J

2.   What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

Since 1999, I’ve had a number of publishers. A couple “went under.” Others did next nothing to publicize my books. In 2010 when Jude Pittman of Books We Love asked me to submit my historical romance, Winter Fire, I couldn’t resist. Jude had by then well over a decade of book marketing expertise on the web and with BWL, there was a noticeable difference. My books started to sell. Unlike the other publishers I’ve dealt with, BWL actively seeks venues to advertise their growing backlist and new authors. Having cover designer Michelle Lee on staff is also a big advantage.

3.   What do you have under your bed?

Probably dust bunnies, but I avoid looking. This is prime real estate for our dogs and they despise the vacuum cleaner.

4.   Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

Definitely a pantser. I have a pretty good idea of where the story is going, but how to get there is part of the adventure. Unexpected things always happen, some leading to dead ends. But many times, a character materializes out of nowhere and before long, he or she becomes an integral part of the story.

5.   Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

I love working with a critique group. Years ago, when I was an RWA member, I was part of an amazing bunch of writers. It’s difficult to work in a bubble with no one but my hubby to read my words and comment on them. Thankfully, he’s a teacher, director, and playwright, but still… he’s my hubby and his comments and suggestions are not those of a completely objective writing partner or group.

6.   When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

My ideas come from a variety of sources—not the least of which are dreams—and at (sometimes) the worst places. Many a time, late at night while walking my pups, an idea or “aha!” moment will pop into my head and there’s no way to jot it down. I have learned not to trust my brain, so I repeat a word or phrase over and over until I’m at my desk. Otherwise it vanishes into the ether. And then there’s the shower, which never fails to gift me with fully realized scenes and the choice of jumping out with my hair full of shampoo to jot it down, or rinse off and hope I’ll remember at least a part of it. If something from a dream captures my imagination, I don’t have to do anything. It will simmer on the back burner and when it’s ready, it lets me know…kind of like a tea kettle letting off steam. At that point, it becomes unavoidable unless I’m in the midst of another project. Then I just turn down the heat and let it continue simmering.

7.      What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

 

I’ve been using WordPerfect since its DOS days and consider it my favorite word processing program of all time. During my years working in offices, I was forced to learn Word, and I have a copy on my computer for final edits and submissions. I also keep a notebook on me at all times. My favorites are the little hardcover ones from Moleskin. They fit in my purse or a pocket and you can write in them pretty much everywhere (except the shower). When I take notes, I’m very particular about my pens. One has to have a good weight and balance and feel comfortable in my hand. It must also have a click top, a medium point, and black ink. I used to write with a fountain pen, but a leak in my purse put an end to that.

Other tools I couldn’t live without are dictionary and thesaurus programs. I used to pull my Roget’s off the shelf, find an entry, flip through the cross referenced pages, and by the time I’d find a suitable synonym, my train of thought would have vanished around the bend. Today, I use a program from Word Web, and another from Babylon. Both are exceptional; one even dates its entries. So now, my compact OED and Webster’s are gathering dust.

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Photo of Kathy Fischer-Brown

Kathy Fischer-Brown

Bio  

Authors get their ideas in a variety of ways. For me, it’s mainly from dreams—very cinematic dreams—that stay in my head long after I’ve awakened. Mostly these night flicks are nothing more than a collection of cryptic and often unrelated scenes that need to simmer on the back burner while my muse helps to add seasoning and substance to the mix.

I’ve always loved history. Way back in junior high, my mind would wander from dates, battles and treaties to musings on what it might have been like to live in another time. Family vacations always included visits to Civil War or Revolutionary War battle sites, tours of colonial houses and restored villages, which, even these many years later, serve as inspiration.

Born in New York City, I live in central Connecticut with a long-time husband, a grown-up daughter and two dogs. 2012 was a big year for the family as we welcomed our first grandson into the world.

Links:

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon Author Central 

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Cover Art for Womter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown

Womter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown

Blurb for Winter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown

 

When Ethan Caine pulled the unconscious woman from the half-frozen creek, he had no idea that his world was about to explode. Dressed in quilled doeskin of Iroquois design, she stirred up dark secrets from his past. At the same time, she was everything he desired. But she was more Indian than white, and on the run for murder. He needed to know the truth. He needed to find it within himself to trust her.

Banished by the Seneca Indians who had adopted and raised her, ostracized by the whites in the settlement, Zara Grey wanted only to be accepted. “Ethancaine” treated her with kindness and concern. It was easy to trust him. But her Indian ways disturbed him, and in her heart she would always be Seneca.

 

Buy from Amazon

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Excerpt from Winter Fire

 

Anticipating a deer come to water, he quickly dug a foothold in the snow and, bracing himself, raised his rifle.

Immediately, he lowered the weapon and expelled an impatient breath. Just his luck!  Not a deer at all. A woman.

And a foolish woman to boot!  She had wandered out onto the thin ice, and now stood stock still—as if in fear or uncertainty—-her faded brown wool cloak seeming to tremble all around her.

“Get back!” he shouted. “The ice won’t hold you!”

She whirled around in alarm.

And in that split second, he saw her eyes. Those startled doe’s eyes. Zara Grey!

Cover Art for Womter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown

Womter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown

In the next instant, a crack—like a musket shot—echoed through the ravine. She reeled as the ice heaved up beneath her amid an angry surge of black water. And then, her face frozen in a look of surprise, her mouth open in a semblance of a silent scream, she disappeared through the widening breach.

His gaze fixed on the roiling chasm, Ethan hurled himself down the slope. She surfaced—flailing arms and legs, and gasping desperately for air—churning up the black water into an icy froth. She grasped at the splinters of ice.

“Keep your head up!”

Racing along the bank, he ripped off his deerskin jacket and hurled it, along with his rifle and belt into the snow. If she went under again, she’d be trapped. Already the current had taken her, sweeping her like a bobbing cork toward the opposite bank where the ice was thicker.

“Keep your head up!”

But the frenzied movement of her arms had slowed. She gasped at the water along with the air. She could barely keep herself afloat. As if she had made a conscious choice to surrender herself to a stronger power, he saw the spirit drain out of her. An eerie calm settled over her eyes as her gaze met his, then she slipped under again without a struggle.

Without stopping to think, Ethan tore off his shirt and moccasins, and dove through the opening.

Praise for Winter Fire

“Kathy Fischer-Brown recreates the terror of the Indian wars and vividly evokes the wonder of newfound love.”

— Faith V. Smith, Romantic Times

 “Kathy Fischer-Brown weaves a tale of intrigue set to a backdrop of history and romance…. This is a touching story, the characters are vivid, the history is accurate, and the details really give the story a sense of place.”

The Romance Studio

“Reminiscent of ‘Last of the Mohicans’ with its raw, haunting mood, Winter Fire, by Kathy Fischer-Brown, is a compelling story of love and hate, acceptance, and forgiveness. Oft times painful, it is a rich, exciting read through a dark time told exquisitely by an exceptional writer.” 

— Bonnie Napoli, author of Shadows of the Eclipse

Buy Winter Fire from Amazon

Other Books by Kathy Fischer-Brown

Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter (Book 1, “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy) 

Courting the Devil (Book 2, “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy) 

The Partisan’s Wife (Book 3, “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy) 

Kathy Fischer-Brown Special Edition

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Historical fiction, historical romance, historical novels, Native American romance, bargain ebooks, ebook, Romance novels

Thank you Kathy for being my guest.  I wish you best sellers.

___

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

 

 

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Fiction Friday – They Never Saw it Coming

Welcome to Fiction Friday – They Never Saw it Coming

Photo of Quaking Aspen Blooms

Quaking Aspen Blooms

Winter is slow to release its icy grip on spring time.  Tulip and Iris bulbs sleep frozen earth.  But the Quaking Aspens defy Old Man Winter and sport some understated blooms.

Photo of a Doe and her Fawns

Family of Deer

Little by little the grass begins to green.  Bunnies play among the fawns and birds try to get to the bird feeders before the squirrels and deer empty them.

Some things you’ll never see coming.  It isn’t written in the stars.  It will come like a thief in the night.

Afterward all sorts of people, religious groups and network news analysts will lie and say they knew it all along.

The Tulips and Irises will wait.  It is going to be difficult for wild things but they will adapt.  Human kind?  Well… first ‘hearts will go out’ and slogans will pop up and different groups will try to help pick up the pieces and put them back.  But soon everyone will begin thinking of themselves.

Some people are survivors.  Some are great at coping.  Some will lay down and die.  It is going to be a difficult time and when they write the history books they’ll agree they never saw it coming.

 

 

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Puppy Cam – Live Feed from Eukanuba & Canine Companions for Independence

HavanSallyHavan is my second service dog from Canine Companions for Independence, CCI.

Recently Eukanuba & Canine Companions for Independence have been sharing a puppy cam.

These puppies have great things ahead of them.  They will go to wonderful homes with CCI Puppy Raisers.  From there they will go into advanced training to become service dogs and therapy dogs for people with all kinds of disabilities.

I am going to attempt to drop some code in here so you can watch the puppies.

Live streaming video by Ustream

 Puppy Cam – Live Feed from Eukanuba & Canine Companions for Independence

Watch The Hero Litter on the #EukanubaPuppyCam born March 18th!

Time:

7 days/week 12pm – 12am EST

Weights as of 4/3/14 biggest to smallest (by collar color):

Turquoise – Male: 4lbs 7oz
Orange – Female: 4lbs 0.3oz
Harvest (Light Pink – Female): 3lbs 15.1oz.
Hudson (Neon Pink – Male): 3lbs 13oz.
Neon Green – Female: 3lbs 10 oz
Holly (Purple – Female): 3lbs 9.9oz
Brown – Female: 3lbs 9.3oz

For more information on Canine Companions for Independence and all that they do as an organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs visit www.cci.org

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Laurie White

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Laurie White author of Without a Trace, Twist of Fate and Desert Heat.

1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?
Booksigning. And I had a Release Day Party for Without a Trace on Facebook that was a BLAST.
2. What do you like about your publisher?
My publisher is thorough, professional, and cares about putting the best product possible out there. The editors and publisher are fantastic to work with, and the authors are like a big family.
3. What do you have under your bed?
Old manuscripts.
4.  Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?
Pretty much a pantser!
5. Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?
I pretty much write in a bubble, then get critiquing afterward, during revision/editing.
6.  When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?
I never know when an idea will come! When it does, I use whatever I can to write it down, whether it be jotting on a napkin, on my hand, or racing to my laptop to get the idea down.
7. What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?
I write in Word; sometimes use pen and notebook or paper if I need to jot down notes.

BIO:

Photo of Laurie White

Laurie White

Laurie White is the author of two romantic suspense novels from Sweet Cravings Publishing. Her latest novel, WITHOUT A TRACE, was released January 30, 2014 from Secret Cravings Publishing. Laurie is a member of Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with family, traveling, and watching movies. She is the proud mama of four adorable cats and lives in the hills of Tennessee.


PUBLISHED NOVELS:

WITHOUT A TRACE – Available NOW from Secret Cravings Publishing!

TWIST OF FATE – February 2013 from Sweet Cravings Publishing

DESERT HEAT – October 2012 from Sweet Cravings Publishing

BLURB:

Cover Art

Without a Trace by Laurie White

Magazine journalist Rachel Bennett has a reputation for getting to the heart of a story. However, when her sister disappears and is suspected of embezzling from her employer, the story has suddenly become personal. The last thing Rachel wants right now is the distraction of Matt Romero, the detective assigned to the case. She wants no involvement with this rough-and-tumble cop…or so she thinks.

Matt accepts the risk that goes with his job. Two years ago, his wife was murdered, a tragedy he blames himself for. He’s vowed to protect his family and friends because he doesn’t want to go through the pain of loss again. However, the lovely journalist soon begins breaking through the icy wall around his heart.
As Rachel and Matt search for answers in order to find her sister, they uncover a corruption that puts them both in danger – and a passion that puts both their hearts at risk.
BUY LINKS:

EXCERPT:

 
Something wasn’t right. 
Rachel Bennett felt uneasy from the moment she’d set foot in her sister’s apartment. A bead of perspiration trickled between her shoulder blades. 
She’d been unable to reach her younger sister Paige for the past three days. She hadn’t even shown up at work. Rachel cut short a long-awaited Palm Springs vacation out of concern for her. The three-hour drive back to Los Angeles this morning was a blur. 
“Paige?” 
Something made her almost whisper the word. She paused outside Paige’s half-open bedroom door before peering into the sun-splashed room. A hint of Paige’s signature scent, Ed Hardy, hung in the air. The bed, normally covered with a cheerful floral comforter, sat unmade in the messy room. Unusual for her neatnik sister. 
She would never just take off like this. At least not willingly. 
What’s happened to my sister? 
Rachel noticed several black smudges on the wall by the window. A nervous feeling gnawed at her. Slowly, she stepped into the bedroom, toward the telephone. She needed to call for help. 
“Police! Stop right there.” 
The resonant male voice was strong and authoritative. Rachel froze, confused, blood pounding in her head. The hair on the back of her neck prickled. “I’m Rachel Bennett. My sister, Paige Bennett, lives here. I have a key.” 
“Okay. Turn around.” 
In slow, careful movements, Rachel complied. Her pulse thrummed even harder as she came face-to-face with the most overwhelming man she’d ever laid eyes on. His features were rugged and darkly handsome, his hair black as sin. She let out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. 
A twinge of wariness assailed Rachel as her gaze took in the man. All in all, he made a dangerously sexy package despite his ordinary dark gray suit and tie. He looked like no cop she’d ever seen, but his open-legged stance and the familiarity with which he held his pistol—aimed at her—seemed to show years of experience on the force. Or simply a lot of practice using a gun. 
Certainly he won’t shoot, she told herself, heart crashing hard against her chest. “Can I see your ID?” 
The man’s steely dark eyes never left hers as he unclipped the gold badge from his belt and held it out to her. 
“Matt Romero, LAPD Detective Support and Vice,” he said.
 
Rachel studied the badge. In her work as a writer for Southland Life magazine, she’d seen enough cop badges to know this was the real thing. What sort of trouble could Paige be in? 
“How did you…” 
“The apartment manager let us in. We had a search warrant.” He lowered his gun, then clipped his badge back onto his belt. 
“Search warrant? Has something happened to Paige?” A cold knot formed in the pit of her stomach. Although a part of her didn’t want to know, her reporter’s instinct demanded answers. 
Skepticism flickered across Romero’s face, but as he studied her he seemed to relax. He holstered his weapon. “I saw a photo on the desk over there of you with your sister. You resemble each other very much. Why don’t we sit down?” He motioned toward the living room. 
Rachel trudged down the hallway, struggling to prepare herself for whatever this man was about to tell her. Horrifying possibilities whirled in her mind. Had Paige been arrested for some reason? Worse yet, badly hurt or even—no, she couldn’t allow herself to think about that last one. A shudder rippled through her. 
Then she felt one of the detective’s large hands on the center of her back. The guiding gesture, although gentle, unnerved her. The heat from his palm burned through the thin fabric of her blouse. She walked a bit faster. 
In the living room, Rachel sank into Paige’s comfortable powder blue sofa. She took a deep breath to calm herself, but her stomach knotted up when Romero settled into the chair beside the sofa, right next to her. 
“Why are you here, Detective? Where is Paige?” 
“That’s what my partner and I are trying to find out, Ms. Bennett.” 
“What do you mean?” she asked, managing to sound a lot less anxious—and a lot less aware of the man across from her—than she really was. 
He looked her dead in the eye. “Your sister is missing, Ms. Bennett.”
 
 
CONTACT LINKS:

 

Thank You Laurie for being my guest.  Let us know when your next title is released.  Dust off those manuscripts under your bed.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes C. A. Sanders

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes C. A. Sanders author of The Watchmage of Old New York and Song of Simon.

Interview

1.   What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

What I’ve found works best (and it’s really the only thing that works) is to actively engage readers.  Make friends with reviewers.  Answer comments on your blog and facebook page.  Comment on tweets.  It’s very easy to get lost in a sea of spam (there’s an image for ya).  You have to make your own waves.

2.   What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

The reason why I believe in selling to publishing houses is because I want my work to be the best it can be.  A novel has a lot of working parts.  The writer is just one of them, the biggest one perhaps, but not the only one.  A good novel needs proofreaders, editors, layout artists, cover designers, marketers, and a ton of other things a writer can’t get from self publishing.  I am very grateful to Damnation Books for making Song of Simon as good as it could be.

3.   What do you have under your bed?

I’m speaking theoretically as I haven’t been down there lately, but I’d say a lot of dust bunnies and lost bandanas.  If there’s a monster under there, he’s not doing a very good job.

4.   Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

I am a plotter.  I make sure all of my plot points, world notes, and characterization are in place before I start.  This doesn’t mean that I won’t change them, but if I’m gonna go for a long drive, I want a map.

5.   Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

This is hard to answer.  I would prefer to work in a critique group, but they are hard to find and harder to keep together.  Instead, I write the first draft in the bubble and then submit to my beta writers.  I write several drafts of a story before it’s finished.  Each one goes through the beta process.  I’m not a perfectionist, but I’m pretty damn close.

6.   When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

The kernel of “Song of Simon” came to me in a fever dream, and it later grew from a rant about a certain vampire series.  An odd combination, as there a no vampires or kernels in the novel, but it’s the truth.

I tend to have my best ideas as I’m falling asleep, and I make sure to write them down.  There have been times when I forgot, and I always regret it.

7.      What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

I use a combination of Microsoft Word, legal pads, and text messages to myself. I used to be a music journalist, and I carried a recorder with me (the machine, not the instrument, though I can rock out a sweet cover of “Smoke on the Water” on one).  A recorder is a bit of overkill now, since I don’t need exact quotes.  I’ve written ideas on envelopes and napkins in the past, but modern technology makes it much easier.  These are wondrous times that we live in.

Bio

craig with sunglasses outside diner

C. A. Sanders

C.A. Sanders is an author, journalist, and professor. His debut novel, Song of Simon, is available in e-format and print at DamnationBooks.com, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or your local bookseller.

The Watchmage of Old New York  Cover Art

The Watchmage of Old New York

In addition to Song of Simon, his award winning and immensely popular webserial “The Watchmage of Old New York,” is available with FREE registration at JukePopSerials.com

C.A has a BA in Creative Writing from SUNY New Paltz and an MA from The City College of New York. After graduating in ’00, C.A. took on a variety of unique, interesting, and occasionally terrible jobs, in order to gain experience for his writing. C.A. has worked as a tarot reader, a writer/actor in a dinner theater, an ambush salesman, a non-profit solicitor, a Human Resources pencil pusher, a music journalist, a guitar instructor, a limo driver, and a Special Education teacher, to name just a few. He currently tutors and teaches creative writing.

A lifelong New Yorker, C.A. lives in the suburbs of NYC with a turtle that he has had since he was six years old. He is patiently waiting for MetroNorth service in his area.

C.A. is convinced that this is the year that the Jets win the Super Bowl…he says this every year.

Email: casanders77@gmail.com
facebook: www.facebook.com/casandersauthor
Twitter: @CraigASanders

Blurb for “Song of Simon”

Cover Art Song of Simon by C. A. Sanders

Song of Simon by C. A. Sanders

Life was never sweet for Simon. He lived in suburban New York, dodging high school bullies and strumming his guitar. Things were about to get much worse.

Simon is drawn into the land of Algavar, where High Priestess Teretha has imprisoned their god in amber. He falls into a holy war led by Ilyana, a renegade priestess who claims to be the Messiah. Simon agrees to accompany Ilyana on a quest to kill Teretha, and he sinks hip deep into the violence and despair that permeate Algavar.

Will Simon become the hero Ilyana believes he is, or will he lose his soul in a bloody world so different from his own?

Buy links:
“Song of Simon,”

from Damnation Books.  http://tinyurl.com/sosdb
from Amazon. http://tinyurl.com/sosamz
from Barnes & Noble http://tinyurl.com/sosbandn

Blurb for “The Watchmage of Old New York”

This serial is unlike any you’ve ever read: a serio-comic mashup of history, fantasy, gumshoe, and steampunk wrapped in a lovingly detailed 1855 New York City.

Nathaniel Hood is the most powerful wizard in New York City.  As the appointed Watchmage, Nathaniel is tasked with

The Watchmage of Old New York  Cover Art

The Watchmage of Old New York

regulating, protecting, and providing justice to the overwhelming mass of magical creatures immigrating to New York.

When an obscenely wealthy couple’s baby is stolen, Hood suspects mystical involvement.  Read on as the Watchmage plumbs the depths of the magical underworld that lies beneath the “streets paved with gold.”

And that’s just the first story arc…read on for goblin terrorists, Sidhe mobsters, cruel mages, and a colorful cast of heroes, villains, and every day New Yorkers in one of the most tumultuous times in the city’s history

“The Watchmage of Old New York”
from JukePop Serials (FREE) https://www.jukepopserials.com/home/read/357

Excerpt from “Song of Simon”

Liam was crying. Simon crawled over to him and saw that the boy’s arm was broken.

“Come on, buddy, we gotta keep moving,” Simon said. “It’s only a half mile or so. Let’s go.”

Liam found his way to his feet through the sobs. Ommar cut the horses free, and they ran screaming into the woods.

Cover Art Song of Simon by C. A. Sanders

Song of Simon by C. A. Sanders

“Damn, I was hoping we could ride those. Simon, you run ahead as fast as you can. I’ll catch up with Liam.”

Simon nodded, and took off down the dirt road. His side ached from his wound. He had never seen so much blood, so many bodies butchered, and the smell–sickly sweet, coppery and everywhere.

About a quarter mile from the cave, a sentry stopped Simon. Before the sentry—a newly-bearded youth named Shain—could question Simon, the young man from Westchester (just North of the City) threw himself onto the surprised sentry.

“The farm’s attacked…everyone’s dead…Ratlings…they…oh god!”

Shain’s face turned to chalk at the news. He slowly, with jittering fingers, pulled the horn from his belt and blew three staccato notes. He was quickly answered by three notes from the cavern’s opening.

“Can you keep running?” Shain asked.

Simon nodded.

“Let’s g—”

From far in the woods, a deep note rumbled from what must have been a huge horn. Simon and Shain looked at each other and ran for the safety of the caverns.

The Order of the Burning Spear had come.

Buy links:
“Song of Simon,”
from Damnation Books.  http://tinyurl.com/sosdb
from Amazon. http://tinyurl.com/sosamz
from Barnes & Noble http://tinyurl.com/sosbandn

Contact Info:

Email: casanders77@gmail.com
facebook: www.facebook.com/casandersauthor
Twitter: @CraigASanders

Thank you Craig for being my guest and I hope to see you here again.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

 

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Fiction Friday – Paved with Good Intentions

Hello Readers and Welcome to Fiction Friday.

Fiction Friday – Paved with Good Intentions

 

Last week I posted a very short scene.  A Simple Scene.  I re-wrote the scene, yesterday and hid it in a reply.

I am a neglectful writer, filled with good intentions.  I’ve heard the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  I am not at all sure what that means. But I love to research… let me look it up..

Meaning

The intention to engage in good acts often fails. It points up the principle that there is no merit in good intentions unless they are acted on.

From The Phrase Finder

photo of a laptop printer and USB drives

My Jumble of Writerly Stuff

Okay, that is out of the way.  I am going to tell you what is holding me up on my not so current writing project.

  • It is an old project and the files are scattered between at least two laptops, my SkyDrive and probably 3 USB discs.
  • While reading and arranging scenes I get sidetracked by characters who may deserve their own books.

And —

  • The work involved in gathering files, sorting and copying scenes seems TOO complicated, like a hoarder’s home, I don’t really know where to start.

I would like to hear about your ‘writing process.’  Don’t be shy, leave a comment.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

Thank you for visiting and don’t touch anything sharp.

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Alistair Cross

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Alistair Cross.

Pull up a chair and turn on some ominous music.

 Interview

1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

I think word of mouth is my favorite. If you write a good book and you can get a few people to read it, it’s fun to watch them tell their friends, families, Facebook contacts, etc. I also think it’s effective to print some postcards with the buy links included on them, and pass them around.

2. What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

Beautiful Monster is published through Damnation Books, a publisher I’m very pleased with. They have a great team of editors and cover art designers, and they’ve been wonderful about marketing this book.

3. What do you have under your bed?

(I actually got up and looked… but I didn’t want to!) Let’s see… a few cat toys… and the yellow highlighter I spent an hour looking for a few days ago! Thanks, Sally!

(I aim to please and get you to exercise.)

4. Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

Somewhere in the middle. I like to have a basic roadmap, but not so much instruction that there’s no freedom to take a surprise left turn now and then.

5. Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

I’ve never had luck with critique groups. I tried, but it just wasn’t my thing. I write alone but I have a couple close friends I discuss things with.

 

6. When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

 

Most of my ideas come to me, oddly, when I am writing. This is convenient because I have files that I can add to on my computer. Occasionally, an idea hits me in the shower or just as I’m teetering on the edge of consciousness at night. I have a file in my phone that I’m always adding things to. People accuse me of texting too much but nine times out of ten, I’m not texting anyone. I’m recording ideas.

7. What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

I use Microsoft Word… and whatever I can get my hands on otherwise.

Bio

 

Alistair Cross Photo

Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross was born in a small town in the western United States.

He grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of 8, began writing his own stories. In 2012, his first novel, a collaborative effort called Beautiful Monster, was published by Damnation Books, LLC. under the pseudonym Jared S. Anderson.

Alistair is now hard at play on several other works, including a macabre little project with acclaimed horror novelist Tamara Thorne.

His influences include, but are not limited to, the works of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Saul, Tamara Thorne, Ira Levin, and William Peter Blatty.

Email, FB, Twitter links or addresses here…

Website

Twitter: @crossalistair

Blog

Facebook Fan Page

Goodreads

Beautiful Monster cover art

Beautiful Monster

Blurb

What happens when the man of your dreams becomes your worst nightmare? College student Brenna Carlson has fallen madly in love with the new man in her life, Sterling Bronson. When she awakens, naked and chained in Sterling’s basement, his deviant plans for her become clear. Brenna must choose between playing along with his savage game, or risking her life to escape.

Buy Link(s)

Damnation Books:

Barnes & Noble:

Amazon:

Excerpt

 

Beautiful Monster cover art

Beautiful Monster

“The officer smiled and there was something about it that I didn’t like. I sized him up. Despite the thickness of his neck, I was confident that I could get a good enough hold to crush his windpipe if I had to. He held my gaze a few seconds and then pulled a photograph from the folder in front of him. In the picture, Number Six smiled back at me in a slutty red dress. She held a puppy toward the camera as if trying to make sure the photographer could see its entire face.

“We’re pretty sure you know who this is,” said Latham, his strange smirk still set in place.”

Beautiful Monster is available at:

Damnation Books:

Barnes & Noble:

Amazon:

Contact Alistair at:

Website

Twitter: @crossalistair

Blog

Facebook Fan Page

Goodreads

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Fiction Friday – A Simple Scene

Welcome to Fiction Friday – A Simple Scene

Using less than 250 words I am giving you a setting, characters and a hint that something is wrong.  Please leave comments.

Where are the characters hanging out?

Who are they?

What are they doing?

What is the mood of the scene?

You are welcome leave comments.  Let me know where it unravels, where you become lost or what just doesn’t work for you.  You may even use your comment space to suggest edits or even re-write the scene.

A Simple Scene

“Has anybody seen Maggie?” Georgia unshouldered her backpack.  It slid down her leg and thudded at her feet.

Mark stared dumbly and shrugged an ‘I don’t know’ before turning back to his gadget.

“How ‘bout you, Nate?  Linda?” Georgia slid down the wall and came to a sitting crouch next to her pack.  “Damn it. What is the first rule?”

“Always leave a note on the board.” Mark said in a tired monotone still working at the jumble of wires with tweezers and a small melting machine that looked like the offspring of a glue gun and soldering iron.

“Why do we always need to leave a note?” Georgia was ramping up to a lecture. She waited for the next response.

The library remained silent.

“Come on Georgia, we aren’t children.” Linda said as she gathered her pack.  “I’ll look for her while I’m on watch, but I don’t think she left.  At least not for ‘out there.’”

“I think she went up to the Historical room.  I don’t know what she does, but it keeps her from going bat shit.”  Nate said from the meeting room.  “I’ve got some food from the back room of the Café up the street. I suspect we’ll all feel better if we eat something.”

“I’ll go up and check on Maggie if you’ll please go eat something.”

Georgia stood up and retrieved her pack.  “Come on Mike, take a break, let’s see what Nate scrounged up for us.”

***

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

Thank you again for coming to Writerly Wednesday and please visit again.

Don’t touch anything sharp.

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes James Dorr

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes James Dorr

Let’s give a big, belated Writerly Wednesday Welcome to James Dorr author of The Tears of Isis.

Interview

  1. 1.    What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

 

Recently one that was fun involved a sale to the anthology Bizarro Bizarro.  The guidelines requested a synopsis but, noting that a synopsis of a bizarro story is probably impossible anyway, offered instead three reasons why the editor probably wouldn’t like it (e.g., it was shorter than his preferred length, was a reprint, . . .) and six why he might (it was non-linear, was about a guy who once wanted to be a dentist’s hygienist, had lots of birds in it. . . .).  The story was accepted and, in fact, one reviewer on Amazon said it was his favorite story in the book.

 

  1. 2.    What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

 

My current collection is The Tears of Isis from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and was by invitation from publisher Max Booth III who also, at my request, wrote the introduction.  PMMP is a new publisher (mine is their first single-author collection) which suggested they would be lean and hungry from a marketing perspective without much of an existing backlist to draw attention away from my book, but I also had had a couple of short stories in anthologies Max had edited (notably Zombie Jesus and Other True Stories from Dark Moon Books) and liked his work, both in his approach and in the end product.  But most of all, other than a requirement that it be at least 60.000 words long, I had a completely free hand in selecting and ordering the stories that would go in it, to try to present a book with a theme about art and destruction, beauty and death, in a way that has (hopefully) added up to a whole that is more than its individual parts.

 

  1. 3.    What do you have under your bed?

 

A box of old DVD/VCR parts (mainly for the cables); a bathroom scale; sometimes, the cat.

 

  1. 4.    Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

 

I’m not convinced there’s really necessarily that much difference.  That is, when I was first writing I would often sketch out an informal outline, mark places where elements would have to appear (think of clues, for example, in a mystery), etc., whereas now I’m more apt to just choose a beginning and just write from there (though, in fairness, my original idea will usually also have given me an idea of how it will end).   But what does that mean other than that I’ve become sufficiently used to the process that what I once did on a conscious level is still being done, but unconsciously now?

 

  1. 5.    Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

 

The actual writing is a private process for me – in fact, that relates to the idea of art bringing with it destruction in The Tears of Isis, in this case to the artist him- or herself in that the creative process of necessity (to me, at least) requires an amount of self-isolation.  In the visual arts the model, even if someone the painter or sculptor loves, becomes an object at least while the process is going on.  Similarly in writing the subject, whether a character or a thing, is something observed and analyzed, as if being tested in a laboratory.

 

That said, however, once a story or poem is done, I do have a writing group I can present it to for critiquing.  But that is still something after the fact, and its appeal to me may be as much in socializing with fellow creators as in improving the creation (note again the objectifying language) itself.

 

  1. 6.    When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them? 

 

Ideas don’t come easy.  I have to wrestle for them with the muse (perhaps this is why some of my work is quirky, in that I may have to go with ideas more imaginative writers would discard for better ones).  That having been said, though, when an idea comes, I then need to think about what kind of character or characters will go with it – the “who” with the “what,” because stories are ultimately about people (or people-substitutes:  vampires, aliens, robots, gods) – and where or what the setting will be.  That will be the start:  a being (protagonist) is in a situation (setting) and has a problem (motivation).  The story proceeds from there.

 

  1. 7.    What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

 

I use WordStar 6.0, a good keyboard-oriented word processor from I don’t know how long back, for drafting a story, then translate it to Word (preferably into .rtf) for submitting.  I usually print a copy out first to edit by hand as well as proofread (I also will sometimes read parts out loud to check the flow).  Sometimes with short work, especially poems, I may do the first draft itself by hand (ink on newspaper margin or envelope back?) before transcribing it to the computer.

 

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Bio  

 

Head shot photo of James Dorr

James Door

James Dorr combines the charm of a gentleman born in the US South with the wiles of a near-New York City upbringing, the canniness of a one-time New England resident, and the guile of an outwardly stolid Midwesterner.  Or so he says.  It is known that he was born in Florida, grew up in New Jersey, went to college in Massachusetts, and currently lives in Indiana where he also harbors a cat named Wednesday.  He is a short story writer and poet working mainly in dark fantasy and horror with forays into science fiction and mystery, and has previously worked as a technical writer for an academic computing center, associate editor on a city magazine, a nonfiction freelance writer, and a semi-professional Renaissance musician.  In addition to three prose collections and one of poetry, Dorr has had nearly 400 appearances in publications ranging from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine to Yellow Bat Review.

 

Email:  edgarc@rocketmail.com

 

Blog

Facebook

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Blurb

 

Cover Art for Head shot photo of James Dorr

Head shot photo of James Dorr

Art and creation, Medusa and creatures of the sea, blood-drinking with or without foreign entanglement, musical instruments fashioned from bone, Cinderella and sleeping beauties, women who keep pets, insects and UFOs, ghouls as servants and restless undead.  And Isis herself as both weeping mother and vulture-winged icon of death and destruction.  These are among the subjects that inspire the seventeen stories (plus opening poem) in The Tears of Isis, my latest collection published last May (2013) by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.

Citing the book’s blurb, “the Elizabethan poet Sir Philip Sidney spoke of art as ‘making things either better than nature bringeth forth, or, quite anew, forms such as never were in nature,’” and so in The Tears of Isis I hope will be found both the beauty that Sidney and others admired, and also the grotesque, the strange and bizarre.

 

Buy Link(s)

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Publisher

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Excerpt

And he’d had a vision of what it had looked like.  How she’d described it.  The webworms long passed on, but the apple and pear and cherry trees lying shattered.  The truck crops still withered.  The land all in brownness, like some distant desert.  Like the grain circle their father had claimed to have seen that day so long ago, except that this “landing” had covered acres.

And now he saw, also, the memory they both shared.  The night on the mountain, the winding highway scarcely ten miles away from where they now stood.  Their father’s voice droning on, filling the car as they drove east to where they would spend their vacation, keeping to back roads because their father felt the Interstates ruined the scenery,

His voice.  The moths outside.  His stories of other sightings than his and their mother’s, some involving actual creatures that flew in the saucers.  The Flatwoods Monster in 1952, here in these mountains, in Braxton County.  The 1961 encounter in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, of Barney and Betty Hill.  The Pascagoula Creatures of 1973, in Mississippi . . .

His and Marina’s trying to sleep, not wanting to listen.  The woods, dark, on either side of their privately lit double tunnel, seeming to close in . . .

. . . when it rose before them.  Glowing, pulsing, as big as a football field.  Up, from a notch between two ridge lines, it straddled the highway, seemingly missing them only by inches as it passed overhead.

Jarring them with its sound.

Shrill.  Ululating. 

The car’s front wheels twisting—their father battling to stay on the road.

And then the second one louder still, after he and Marina had left the wreck site, still in a daze, climbing the eastern slope—more memory came back—thinking somehow it might help to find out where the first of the huge, glowing disks had come from.

Both of them screaming . . .

 

(From “Waxworms,” The Tears of Isis, pp. 116-117)

Blog

Facebook

Buy Link(s)

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Publisher

Email:  edgarc@rocketmail.com

Thank You James Dorr for being my Writerly Wednesday Guest this week and thank you for your patience.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

Thank you again for coming to Writerly Wednesday and please visit again.

Don’t touch anything sharp.

 

 

 
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Writerly Wednesday Presents Michelle Howard

Writerly Wednesday Presents Michelle Howard author of Honor Bound.

Interview

1.   What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

I’m not good at marketing. Its probably my biggest challenge but I will say that I think having a blog is a good tool. Readers can see what’s up with you, what you’re working on and check out your backlist.

2.   What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

I decided to Self-Publish because an author friend emailed me to try writing. She self-published and it just seemed a natural progression. While I’d love to have a press behind me to do the dreaded marketing, I do enjoy making the choices myself on things like the cover and which direction I want my stories to take.

3.   What do you have under your bed?

LOL, good question. A pair of heels from work this week and a notepad where I scribble ideas.

4.   Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

Alas, I’m a pantser. I’ve only been writing for a year and I really wanted to be this well thought out plotter but my brains all over the place and I’m flying by the denim.

5.   Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

I tend to write in a bubble unless I get stuck. I have a good group of friends who let me pick their brains and my sister’s always great to bounce ideas with.

6.   When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

So far I haven’t had a shortage of ideas. If anything I try to turn it off so I can focus on what’s on my plate.

7.      What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

I use spiral notebooks, legal pad, my laptop and word is my favorite program.

Bio

Michelle Howard enjoys a crazy life that involves wild kids, a loud dog, and a husband who tolerates the madness.  Like many authors, she’s dreamed of writing since reading her first romance novel many years ago.  She loves paranormal and contemporary romances and is a fan of the classic romances, such as Judith McNaught and Julie Garwood.

Michelle’s novel Pack Justice (as yet unreleased), placed first in the paranormal category of the 2013 Duel on the Delta hosted by River City Romance Writers. Her published novels No Reason to Run  and Honor Bound are currently available.

Michelle is a member of Romance Writers of America and Maryland Romance Writers. She loves to hear from readers.

Feel free to keep in touch!

Email: michellehowardwrites(at)gmail.com
Twitter: @mhowardwrites

Blurb

Cover art for Honor Bound

Honor Bound

To save her people, Mikayla S’Apul has only two options: Become a prize in the upcoming battle or take control of her fate. When a worn journal falls into her hands revealing the secrets of a legendary group of warriors, Mikayla realizes it holds the answer to her dilemma. A marriage of convenience is the only way to protect the Raasa people.

Overlord Vaan Galip is the commander of the Warlord army tasked with protecting Kabanians and bringing peace to his lands. Betrayed by one of his own, joining with Mikayla S’Apul would provide her people with protection while giving him the opportunity for vengeance. Falling for the Raasa female was never part of his plans.

When a common enemy threatens, Vaan and Mikayla learn the true depth of what it means to be bound not only by marriage but by honor

 Blurb

         Another sharp nod was all she managed. He cursed and moved too fast for her to anticipate. The War Lord had Miki in his hold, an arm clamped around her waist and raised his dagger to her throat. “I owe you thanks for my life but if you lie, I will slay you where you stand, Raasa.”

            Fear danced through her. With a shaky breath, she spit out, “Mikayla S’Apul. My name is Mikayla S’Apul.” She wouldn’t accept the continued insult of referring to her by her race. If he killed her, he would know her name.

            He eased his hold marginally and Miki breathed deep. His masculine scent filled her nostrils but did not stop the racing of her pulse. “Will I die from the venom you placed in my mouth?” He asked.

            Miki couldn’t help but to flush. For some reason, the mouth to mouth transfer sounded worse with his phrasing. “No. It is different.”

            He turned her, the blade never wavering. Her back met his chest and he lowered his head along side hers to speak. Warm breath stroked her ear. “I know of the Raasa means of defense and I would have you vow that you have not poisoned my men or I.”

            “I vow that I have not.” She hissed suddenly angry at his accusations. “I seek to save you in exchange for your help.” She struggled in his grip but his hold held firm and the blade bit deeper into her flesh. Miki froze. Would he actually kill her?

 Buy Link for Honor Bound

Thank you Michelle Howard for being my guest this week.  Come back next week and see who is in the spotlight.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

Don’t touch anything sharp.

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Alisha Costanzo

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Alisha Costanzo author of Blood Phoenix: Rebirth.

 

Interview with Alisha Costanzo, author of Blood Phoenix: Rebirth.

 

1.         What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

Giveaways. Before I published my novel, I posted two version of my cover and asked my followers to vote on which cover they liked best, one of which won a free copy and others won memorabilia. This helped the views on my pages and started conversations with friends and potential readers, which is my second favorite part of the job—the first remains talking to my characters.

2.         What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

I decided to Self Publish because I had more creative control, and I reap more benefits from my work. I also got to create connections and help other freelance artists, like my editor, Joe Martin, and my cover designer, Cathrine Langwagen, both of whom are wonderfully talented.

3.         What do you have under your bed?

Since I’m married, most of it is my husband’s, or that’s what I tell myself. A few of my favorite items are my Daddy boots, which I don’t so much need in Oklahoma like I needed them in Plattsburgh, NY; my mace, which is this thick wooden bat with metal spikes imbedded into it; and my 12-guage. I’m only slightly paranoid.

4.         Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

Big time pantser, although I am trying my hand at plotting, which worked well for the last draft I finished. It’s important to be both. I need to know where my characters are headed, but a lot of what happens on the way surprises me as much as it does everyone else.

5.         Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

My actual writing takes place in my own little world, although I can generally put my bubble up anywhere. But depending on the story, I’ve used varied activities and friends for developmental reasons. My childhood friend Becky, who inspired one of the characters in Blood Phoenix: Rebirth, chats with me online when I’m stuck. I love her demented brain, and she loves playing make-believe with me. After our conversations, I gain a better understanding of my world, my characters, and my plots.

I also role-play online, which isn’t the Dungeon and Dragons kind. Another friend of mine, Laura, and I create character profiles and drive them into interactions. This type of writing and creation is completely different than drafting a novel, yet not really. I can never completely predict how the scene we play will go, how her character will react to mine, or what type of plot she has cooked up. I love this type of writing because I get to know the characters by playing them live for an audience. And later, I can refer back to the scenes.

And finally, once I’ve done the majority of work on my novels, I send them to my friends for honest feedback. It’s hard to find people who will be honest about my work, and I appreciate it because that’s the type of friend I am—honest yet constructive.

6.         When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

Right now, ideas like to come while I’m grading papers, which is extremely inconvenient. But they come whenever they feel like it, really. They don’t have a routine or anything. However, I have finally bought myself a notebook to carry around with me rather than scraps of papers or napkins like I’ve used before. I once used a paper placemat at a restaurant after I’d worked a craft show with my mother in PA. I also keep a pen and paper on my headboard for the middle of the night. And occasionally, I still write on the back of my hand for lack of anywhere else to write. But when I can’t take note, I try my hardest not to worry over it, the idea will either come back or it will move on to someone else. Elizabeth Gilbert has a great TED talk about tapping into the muse that I feel akin to.

7.      What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

I use Word predominately, but I use note cards for plotting, notebooks for character sheets, and I have folders on my computer for each character and each world. The white board is useful for reverse outlining and restructuring plot—since I write satirically, this process helps me pinpoint places to poke at pop culture.

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 Alisha Costanzo head shot


Alisha Costanzo

Bio:

Alisha Costanzo is from a Syracuse suburb. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she currently teaches English. Book two, Blood Phoenix: Claimed, is undergoing serious edits for its 2014 release. In the meantime, she will continue to corrupt young minds, rant about the government, and daydream about her all around nasty creatures.

 

Email: alishacostanzo@gmail.com; FB: http://www.facebook.com/brokenworldauthor;  Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlishaCostanzo  or @AlishaCostanzo;

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4618491.Alisha_Costanzo

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Cover art Blood Phoenix: Rebirth by Alisha Costanzo

Blood Phoenix: Rebirth by Alisha Costanzo

Blurb:

Before she ran into a compelling stranger on the busy streets of NYC, before she knew the truth about her father, before she died, Ria was just a normal girl, trying to make ends meet.

Now with an unhelpful six-thousand-year-old mentor, she wished someone had written a handbook on how to be undead. But small details, like how to drink blood without killing, why she wakes up in the middle of the day, and how to juggle two paranormal men, are near pointless when the scary Wicked Witch of Watertown has given her a week to report to the training facility. Better yet, she’s popped up on the collection list for the Assetato and the king of the were-lions. Can Ria survive long enough to come head-to-head with a ten-thousand-year-old vampire?

Buy Links: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Phoenix-Rebirth-Broken-World-ebook/dp/B00GU3Z362/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391963843&sr=8-1&keywords=blood+phoenix

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/373585

 

Include Cover graphic.  Send as attachment.

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Excerpt:

 

And there sat the mirror, high on the wall attached to a yellowing medicine cabinet. I inched forward until I stood at the threshold of seeing myself. This would be a final reality check, wouldn’t it? If I had no reflection, what other proof did I need? Which method should I use? Test the water with my fingertips or jump all in?

My gaze lost focus on the corner of the offending mirror, and I pushed myself in front of the reflective glass as a whole, gaze adverted. With a heave of my chest, I looked. The shock made my heart hammer. A creature stood there with pale skin, a red stained mouth, and bay leaf eyes. She didn’t have blemishes, lines, or even pores. She looked like the porcelain masks Grammie used to hang on the walls by their bright red and yellow ribbons. I waggled my fingers toward the woman reflected at me, and her fingers waggled back. Laughter filled the small master bath. I combed my hands through my rough, ruby curls and twirled in front of the vanity.

I had a reflection. God, he was being good to me. This meant I couldn’t be a vampire, right?

But my smile halted my short-lived relief. My canines were larger and sharper and deadly, yet they didn’t seem like vamp-fangs. I caressed one with a fingertip, smooth and hard like ceramic, and the point had no trouble slicing open my skin. A bubble of blood pooled precariously before my flesh fused back together. But my finger slipped into my mouth out of habit.

A knock sounded at the locked door, and James spoke. “Having trouble?”

“Yeah. I taste like a goddamn pastry. And I have a reflection. What am I supposed to do with that in the middle of this crazy shit of a mess?” Serves me right for paying such close attention to popular media and those sparkly, night-walking Prince Charmings with their weak human love interests. News flash. Girl here. Now, what the fuck was I supposed to do? Was I supposed to be Princess Peach or Princess Leia?

James’ laughter eased through the cracks of the door. And I slammed my fist against it to get him to stop. My body buzzed when I looked in the mirror again. A weak female didn’t stare back at me.

“Tell me I’m not sparkly, at least. I’d rather be the glow in the dark kind of vampire if I’ve got to be one.” My fingers pulled at my red curls again. I appreciated whatever trick made me seem a tad bit prettier.

 

Buy Links: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Phoenix-Rebirth-Broken-World-ebook/dp/B00GU3Z362/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391963843&sr=8-1&keywords=blood+phoenix

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/373585

 

Email: alishacostanzo@gmail.com;

FB: http://www.facebook.com/brokenworldauthor;

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlishaCostanzo  or @AlishaCostanzo

 

Thank you Alisha for being my guest this week.  Come back next week and see who is in the spotlight.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

Don’t touch anything sharp.

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Michael Thal

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Michael Thal author of Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback.

Each week a different author is a guest at Writerly Wednesday.  If you are interested in being a guest, submission guidelines are accessible on this site.

Interview

1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale? 

I really enjoy book-signing parties. After my first two novels, The Legend of Koolura and Goodbye Tchaikovsky, published a week apart in 2012 by two different publishers, my daughter Channie hosted a book-signing party in her home for me. About 60 people showed and I was so busy my hand started to cramp up. Two months ago I had a second party for Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback. This time we held the party in my home with equal results.

2. What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

I have two publishers, but my favorite is Solstice Publishing. Solstice is a hands-on publisher keeping close ties with their writers. They make sure their books appear on websites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many others. My Koolura Series can even be found on websites in Europe. Also, they have a Facebook page where they provide up-to date information and give their writers the opportunity to give feedback.

3. What do you have under your bed?

This morning I noticed a few dust bunnies. But if you’re referring to my next book, I’m currently working on the third book in the Koolura series, Koolura and the Mayans. Koolura is a middle grade child with extraordinary psychic powers. In the first book she begins to learn about them as she fights a stalker bent on her destruction. In the second book Koolura finds herself at a sleep-away camp in the mountains outside of Santa Barbara. After her first night’s stay, she wakes up powerless. What happened to her abilities and what’s with the weird boys and all those pranks? In the third book, Koolura attends her father’s wedding with BFF Leila, visits a Mayan ruin, and finds herself transported back in time.

4. Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

All my books are plotted out. However, as the plot moves forward, I find myself making changes and going off course following the lead of the characters.

5. Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

After I complete a chapter I get feedback from my writing group, The San Fernando Valley Critters. We meet once a month.

6. When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

The idea for Goodbye Tchaikovsky, a novel about a violin virtuoso who becomes deaf on his 12th birthday, came to me after I experienced a devastating hearing loss at the age of 44. By the time I turned 50 my right ear was completely deaf and my left close behind. I was curious how I would have responded to losing my hearing if I was a teen. My Koolura books were inspired by my daughters.

7. What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

First, I take notes with paper and pencil. I usually draft my chapters that way, too. Then I rewrite capturing my ideas on Microsoft Word with my iMac.

Head Shot of Michael Thal

Michael Thal

Bio

Michael L. Thal, an accomplished freelancer, is the author of The Legend of Koolura and Goodbye Tchaikovsky. He has written and published over eighty articles for magazines and newspapers including Highlights for Children, The Los Angeles Times, and San Diego Family Magazine. You can learn more about him at www.michaelthal.com.

Michael lives in Sherman Oaks, CA. He’s the proud father of two adult daughters, Channie and Koren, and the grandfather of Arielle and Shaye.

Email: michaelthal@sbcglobal.net

FB: https://www.facebook.com/michael.thal

Twitter: https://twitter.com/koolura

Examiner Column: http://www.examiner.com/user-writinghigh2009

Blurb:

Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback

Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback

Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback

Koolura has the ability to teleport, levitate, heal, and even fly. At Camp Saddleback Koolura wakes up drained and powerless. Who has stolen her psychic powers?

As Koolura searches for the truth about her power loss, she and the Chumash Girls have to deal with pranksters ruining their cabin and destroying their summer. Campers plan revenge but problems escalate as lives are threatened. Will Koolura and the Chumash Girls solve the mystery at Camp Saddleback?

Buy Link(s)

Amazon

Barnes & Nobel

 


Excerpt:

Koolura padded into the empty bathroom. With no one in sight, she hooked her mind around the bar of soap three feet away willing it to float toward her. But nothing happened. She focused on the faucet over the sink to turn it on, but no water appeared. Panic filled her mind.

What’s the matter? I was able to do it last night.

Koolura tried to float, but remained anchored to the bathroom floor as if lead filled her PJ’s.

Stunned, Koolura thought, Oh my God, what’s the matter with me? I lost my powers.

Website: http://www.michaelthal.com

Koolura 1 Amazon: http://amzn.to/1cNimZF

Koolura 2 Amazon: http://amzn.to/1c7Iu3k

Goodbye Tchaikovsky: http://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-Tchaikovsky-Novel-Michael-Thal/dp/0880924691/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391911153&sr=8-1&keywords=goodbye+tchaikovsky

E-mail: michaelthal@sbcglobal.net

Book Trailers:

Koolurahttp://tinyurl.com/a69ysgp

Saddleback:

http://bit.ly/1jKIiYg

Tchaikovskyhttp://tinyurl.com/a8uc6tx

Thank you Michael for being my guest this week.  Come back next week and see who is in the spotlight.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

Don’t touch anything sharp.

 

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Barbara Winkes

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Barbara Winkes.

Lesbian fiction with high drama and happy endings

Interview

 

1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

I like blog hops and guest blogs–those give you an opportunity to talk about subjects and causes dear to your heart and, at the same time, connect with readers and other authors. It’s a win-win situation.

2. What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to
Self Publish?

I love working with the dedicated and talented team at Eternal Press. It’s been a dream come true from the first “accepted for publication” email, and I’m happy to announce that there’ll be two more titles for which I’ve already signed, and more in the works.

3. What do you have under your bed?

There is nothing under my bed. With everything going on in my head and on paper during the day, I need a clutter-free zone to sleep. Although…I still have weird dreams pretty often. The characters don’t always respect these boundaries.

4. Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

Since making the transition to writing full-time, and being published, I’ve become more of a plotter. I still like to leave some room, so at some point, the characters will say or do something that surprises me. A good outline can help the writing process. Last NaNoWriMo, it helped me reach over 70K words.

5. Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups,
writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

I have a few beta readers, not related in any way, to make sure I’ve had some feedback before the story goes off to acquisition.

6. When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

At all times–reading, watching TV, in the shower or in a restaurant. Or during the hours of the day I sit at the computer writing. I had a notebook with me on the last vacation I opened every now and then, and we came home with half a story.

7. What is your favorite word processing program and what other
tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on
fogged bathroom mirrors?

I work either with a word.doc, or a pen and a notebook, index cards to plan the upcoming projects and the year in general. I like a bit of color-coding in my work, must be due to the synesthesia.

Bio

“Lesbian fiction with high drama and happy endings”Barbara Winkes, a psychologist/trauma counselor, left her native Germany to live with her wife in Québec City. Her debut novel “Autumn Leaves” and the follow-up, “Winter Storm”, published by Eternal Press, tell the love story between two women in a small town, where neighbors take an interest in the life of others.
The standalone thriller “Secrets” followed November 2013.
Part three of the romance series, Spring Fever, is coming 2014.FB https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barbara-Winkes-Author-page/289940881121860?ref=hl
Twitter https://twitter.com/demeter94
Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/demeter94/boards/
Blog www.barbarawinkes.blogspot.ca

cover art Secrets

Secrets by Barbara Winkes

Blurb

To save your life…would you trust a stranger with your secret? Disillusioned with the direction her life is going, Marsha Taylor wants to get away, to find out what’s left of her dreams. Picking up a hitchhiker along the way wasn’t her intention, but Jessie, a woman with troubles of her own, is hard to resist.A mishap on the road forces them to make a stop in a small town called Diamond Lake. Residents are on edge since a brutal murder happened in the area not long ago. Everyone has their secrets…some of them are deadly.

Buy Link(s)

Eternal Press: http://bit.ly/1aznFv0
Amazon: http://amzn.to/16UfutS

Excerpt

Sophie couldn’t sleep. Part of that was her own fault, a coffee late in the evening, reading articles about the murder online, checking her usual sources. She stayed in the chat room for a while, but there was no answer from her partner in crime-solving.

When she’d driven into Wilson, the air was already heavier and more humid, the sky darkening. Thunder rumbled in the distance. Clad in only a shirt and panties, she got up, walking into her daughter’s room. Laura was fast asleep. She’d slept through a thunderstorm before, unlike her mother who jerked awake at the slightest sound. Sophie went back to her own bedroom, flinching when the lightning bolt cut through the black night sky. There was no breeze to cool down the stuffy air inside these walls. The storm was still far away, and she wished for her colleagues of the night shift that they wouldn’t have to go out. Normally, even annoying teenagers would like to stay in during weather like this. They weren’t the only ones out there though.

There was someone who had slashed the women’s tires today. In Wilson, it was another hectic night for the locals and the federal agents in search of a brutal killer. Sophie felt exhausted, and useless. She thought of Mark who was so determined to rise through the ranks. If she hadn’t been so eager to get out of Wilson, she might be working with the Feds now. Alice had gone to the same high school, a few years before Sophie, so she hadn’t known her. Still, this was another thing they had in common, she and the victim. Her thoughts kept circling around her.

Alice had been eager to get out of Wilson as well. She had left for college and never looked back–until the killer found her.

The water Sophie had gotten herself earlier had gone stale in the plastic bottle. She took a sip, frowning. She needed to get up in a little over five hours, no point in torturing herself with thoughts of Hamel’s last moments. She wasn’t going to make a contribution by falling asleep at her desk tomorrow.

Buy Links again and contact links again as well.

Eternal Press: http://bit.ly/1aznFv0
Amazon: http://amzn.to/16UfutS

FB https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barbara-Winkes-Author-page/289940881121860?ref=hl
Twitter https://twitter.com/demeter94
Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/demeter94/boards/
Blog www.barbarawinkes.blogspot.ca

Buy links to other titles:
Autumn Leaves: http://eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615727964
Winter Storm: http://eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615728749
(lesbian romance series)

Thank you Barbara.  I hope you’ll come back and share your upcoming releases with us.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

Come back next week and don’t touch anything sharp!

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Fiction Friday – Know your Enemy

Fiction Friday – Know your Enemy….

This Fiction Friday topic is about Knowing your Enemy.

Definition of antagonist in English:

antagonist

Syllabification: an·tag·o·nist

Pronunciation: /an?tag?nist

/

NOUN

  • 1a person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something; an adversary:he turned to confront his antagonist’


Your Protagonist is only as well rounded as your Antagonist.

What does your antagonist want?  What scares him?  Is there something he would never do, even if his life depended on it?  What does he dream about?  Who does he love?  Are his parents living nearby?

Everything you consider when building your main character should be considered when you are fleshing out your bad guy.

If you haven’t done this, open a file for your antagonist and start asking him questions.  One very good way to learn about him is to ask him what he thinks is going on.  Do this at various points during your first draft.  He will surprise you.

Knowing your enemy is key to motivation.

 

While you are exploring your bad guy go ahead and push him to his limits.  Make him do that thing he’d rather die than do.

The notes you make on your antagonist may never see your final draft but I am sure your story will be better for having taken the time to know him.

Till next week – don’t touch anything sharp!

All Fiction Friday Posts can be found at http://fiction-friday.com .

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.
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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Brantwijn Serrah

 Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Brantwijn Serrah author of Lotus Petals.

Interview

1.   What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale? I think the blog tour, which I booked with Sparkle Book Tours, was my favorite task. It involved creating lots of “special features”, behind-the-scenes peeks, and doing lots of author interviews.  Within the first few days, I had some great reviews on Amazon, as well!

2.   What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish? I publish with Breathless Press, an e-book publisher of erotica.  I was drawn to them because of the variety of genres they accept and represent, from traditional sweet romance to paranormal erotica to “diablo delights”. Once I’d signed on with them, I received consistent support and encouragement from other BP authors, editors and staff; we communicate through a Facebook group and share resources, ideas, and good news. They’re really a welcoming and dynamic publisher.

3.   What do you have under your bed? My kitten, Mika. It’s her favorite place. Also quite a few socks, which are a favorite “treasure” spirited away by my other cat, Schala.

4.   Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing? I usually write by the seat of my pants, but there’s a little plotting that occurs beforehand. I don’t do outlines but I usually envision scenes for a while before its time to actually write them out.

5.   Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process? I think critique groups and writing buddies are essential. I don’t think any author should keep themselves totally isolated.

6.   When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them? Ideas most often come to me when I’m listening to music. So when I get an idea that comes tied to a song, I usually put the song on repeat while the idea takes shape around it.

7.      What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors? I like Microsoft Word, but I also use pencils and journals, as well as my Kindle, when I’m writing on the go.

Author Bio:

When she isn’t visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and sewing plushies for friends. She can’t handle coffee unless there’s enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours watching Futurama, Claymore or Buffy the Vampire Slayer while she writes or draws.

In addition to Lotus Petals, Brantwijn has had several stories published in anthologies by Breathless Press, including the 2013 Crimson Anthology and 2014 Ravaged Anthology.  She’s also had a short story published in the Cleiss Press Big Book of Orgasm, and hopes to have several more tales to tell as time goes on.  She has author pages on GoodReads and Amazon and loves to see reader comments on her work. Her short stories occasionally pop up at Foreplay and Fangs, her blog at http://brantwijn.blogspot.com. She can also be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Foreplay-and-Fangs-Supernatural-Romance/122524837769142, on Google+, or on Twitter as @brantwijn.

Blurb for Lotus Petals

Lotus Pedals by Brantwijn Serrah cover art

Lotus Pedals by Brantwijn Serrah

Rhiannon Donovan, daughter to the vampire Queen, would rather die than be made a bride to a demon Lord. Aijyn, courtesan to the undead Daimyo of Kansai, can think of nothing more horrifying than his promise of eternal life.  In the halls of the Blood Lotus Temple, the two women struggle against the chains of their fate, and find a solace in each other that could mean freedom for them both… or might cost each of them their lives.

Buy Links:

Breathless Press: http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=2&products_id=526

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lotus-Petals-Books-Blood-Fire-ebook/dp/B00HWM7232/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389943786&sr=8-1&keywords=lotus+petals+brantwijn+serrah

ARE: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-lotuspetalsthebooksofbloodandfirebook1-1398528-182.html?referrer=5148b13c78ae0

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/lotus-petals-the-books-of-blood-and-fire-book-1-ff

Excerpt

Rhiannon pulled Aijyn closer, and lowered herself over the wound to kiss it a second time. The warm arousal intensified, and Aijyn caught her breath as her body awoke to the sensation, nipples stiffening under the soft silk of her kimono.

“Here,” Rhiannon whispered, reaching up to brush the dark strands of hair from Aijyn’s shoulder, revealing the tiny, neat scars of bites past. Scars that would never heal the way the vampire’s did, white little lines and half-moons, memories of Gohachiro’s affections.

“Doesn’t the daimyo give you pain…” Rhiannon said, following their contours with light but deliberate pressure.

“…so he may turn it into pleasure?”

“Rhiannon-sama…” Aijyn murmured vaguely. One hand had dropped into her lap; the other rested on the vampire’s warm, lean arm. Strange awareness filled her: the touch stirred up the first bloom of eagerness in her loins and the pit of her belly.

“Pain is what we are, courtesan. Pain, hunger, pleasure, death. We are the undead. I am just over half a century old, more than twice your age, and I have been Sölva’s for longer than you have been alive. There are scars you will never see, all over my body: the marks of her fangs, of her whip, the cut of her blade, the pierce of steel needles. And every one of them sings when she touches me, screams when she hurts me…and it is ecstasy.”

“Rhiannon-sama…”

Aijyn realized with some dread she had made a mistake. The vampire’s touch brushed against her, terribly light, terribly fleeting, but her voice…soft, beautiful, rich, like strong liquor.

Rhiannon’s hand came to rest on the back of Aijyn’s neck. She gently pulled the courtesan closer, resting forehead-to-forehead and searching deep into Aijyn’s wide, dark eyes.

“You do this for him, too?” she whispered. “You…perform anma for him? You touch his body with such delicate affection?”

“Yes,” Aijyn whispered.

“And does it make him want to fuck?

Before she could think better of it, Aijyn lifted up a hand and slapped her.

The strike was not a hard one. At least, to Rhiannon it would not have been hard. Aijyn’s palm stung as though she had struck it against solid rock, and she quickly pressed it in her other hand, hissing with pain.

Rhiannon did not strike back. She remained perfectly still, her expression unchanging. After a moment, once Aijyn had collected herself, the vampire leaned closer and pressed her mouth against Aijyn’s own.

“It makes me want to fuck,” she said. Then she stood, one smooth, languid motion, and retreated to her coffin to at last submit to her daytime sleep.

 

Buy Links:

Breathless Press: http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=2&products_id=526

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lotus-Petals-Books-Blood-Fire-ebook/dp/B00HWM7232/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389943786&sr=8-1&keywords=lotus+petals+brantwijn+serrah

ARE: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-lotuspetalsthebooksofbloodandfirebook1-1398528-182.html?referrer=5148b13c78ae0

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/lotus-petals-the-books-of-blood-and-fire-book-1-ff

Thank you for being my guest at Writerly Wednesday.  Come back next week and visit with another Writer.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Nate McQueen

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Nate McQueen.

Interview

1.      What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?
Usually, simply discussing the book with someone leads to interest. However, I’m not the best at selling myself to a reader but I know others who are great at making the novel look intriguing and worth the money. Also doing readings and seeing people want to buy your book are also very rewarding. They’ve heard your work and are intrigued enough to buy a copy. That is probably the most satisfying means of marketing. There is the downside that they may hate the book after they’ve read it but, at the moment, you have a glimpse of hope.
2.      What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?
I actually went both routes in publishing my novel. My dad and I created City Hill Publishing and released my book under that label. We didn’t know exactly what we were doing but we continue to learn and discover new ways to promote our books and those sort of aspects. It is rather fun following a book from idea to paperback and, most importantly, I have creative control on pretty much every aspect of my books content and design.
3.      What do you have under your bed?
Dust, junk, probably kid’s toys. A diaper or two from my 3 month old. When you have three children, your house really isn’t yours anymore. It becomes a storage unit sort of situation.
4.      Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?
I plot but it usually never goes the way I planned it. Characters change course and the events change along with the characters so I am often left with fragments of my original idea. Writing is a maddening experience sometimes. Not a great hobby for the obsessively-compulsive organizer.
5.      Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?
Opinions are invaluable. Especially from different types of readers. My wife is my main critic and her advice, good and bad, improves my work and allows me to see things I am blind to while writing. Especially on the empathetic levels. I’ve heard that you are to write for one person and not for a multitude so I try to take that approach. Your writing is never going to appease everyone. A Nicholas Sparks fan would hate Kurt Vonnegut and vice-a-versa. It simply is a matter of subjectivity. I try to let a variety of people read drafts just to find common issues I may have overlooked.
6.      When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?
To be honest, I am not a diligent note taker when it comes to ideas. I have a tiny notebook but I rarely keep it with me. I jot down stuff in there when it comes to me but, most the time, it is scribbled on business cards or bulletins or shopping lists. Ideas come whenever. I haven’t noticed a pattern or specific task that generates ideas. It is sporadic. Another maddening aspect of writing.

  7.    What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

I have a PC so it is Microsoft Word for me. My professor in college always handwrites his work and fills notebooks with words. Honestly, I could never do that. Between handcramps and the hours spent trying to decipher the hieroglyphics of my own handwriting, it just isn’t worth it. Some will argue the act of writing aids in the creative process and that may be true. But I manage with my fingertips.
I know about the handwriting er penmanship, mine is so bad I ask others what they think I wrote.
Bio
N T McQueen head shot

N T McQueen

N.T. McQueen is the author of the novel, Between Lions and Lambs, and the children’s book, Moses Jones and the Case of the Missing Sneaker. He received his MA in Creative Writing from CSU-Sacramento under the direction of Douglas Rice. He has won two Bazzanella Literary Awards and his work has appeared in issues of the Calaveras Station, Burning Daylight, and Eleven to Seven. He lives in Northern California with his wife and three children.

Twitter: @NTMcQ
Between Lions and Lambs cover art

Between Lions and Lambs

Ezekiel Clemens is the worlds most notable evangelist. At his side is Gerald Lambough, who serves as janitor in hiding the sinful secrets of this righteous man. On the day of one of their largest televised meetings, the two encounter a mysterious stranger that rattles their teetering lives and sends them both on a journey of revelation and repentance where dark secrets are revealed, faith is tested, and lives are forever altered. Simple yet complex, Between Lions and Lambs is a compelling and provocative examination of the fallibility of man and the necessity of truth, questioning religions purpose and those who use it. A story that speaks to both religious and irreligious with profound insight and veracity till the last page.

Buy Link(s):
Excerpt
Though he stood illuminated in white light, he was surrounded by darkness. He gazed into the sea of faces forever expanding into the darkness in front of him; faces and torsos climbing the giant walls and flooding the space of the stadium like a swarm of singing locusts. The fruit of his labor sang before him and he clutched the cross that hung about his neck, concealed under clothes.  After years of travel that took him to four continents, he had experienced a power of insurmountable capacities and his minions bellowed praises in his name with deference for his stature.
The choir sang behind him, bellowing the glory among a score of finely tuned voices of all octaves and styles.  The piano and guitar’s gospel groove energized the song through a melodious engine.
Upon the platform, he stood in his finest black suit, pressed and immaculate with shoes that shone like the idiom claimed. His slick black hair glistened atop his slender frame. The stage was ordained with the most sparkling of golden ornamentation: a large golden cross imbedded with jewels, a pulpit made of dark and glossy wood, banners hung from lights and uttered exclamations of rejoice and exhortations. Fellow ministers stood to his left, clapping out of rhythm, singing, weeping, raising hands and speaking in bizarre tongues; vocally and physically worshipping for all the Lord has done in their lives. The sound seemed to envelope him in a surreal dream. Witnessing in a vision how He is walking and talking alongside them in the garden the song spoke of.
He raised both his hands toward the sky, eyes closed, swaying softly left to right, portraying an absorption of the presence of God. He listened to the crowd’s tangle of voices as if a wave was ebbed and flowed over him. The ministers’ mouths scrambled under some invisible force. The words battled back and forth among choir and crowd in a swell of sounds and moans and invectives. The chorus bobbed and swelled once again as the choir ends in unison with the band’s engine. A great applause propelled toward the stage, the clapping hands bringing a visual life to the great sea before his eyes. He claps as he walks to the decadent podium with the gold crucifix. He placed his skinny hands at either side of the stand; his worn leather Bible displayed before him, marked and tagged with notes for the evening’s sermon. The uproarious applause continued as a man, dressed in modest attire with his wavy brown hair, approached from the side of the stage and comes to his side in the spotlight.
“They’re in place on the bottom floor. Two guys and an old woman,” he says into the preacher’s ear with a grim voice, the warm breath tickling the canal of his ear. “You give the signal and they’ll be ready and then say the diseases and they’ll come up at the right time. Just like we’ve been practicing. We paid them pretty good so they shouldn’t be like the last ones.”
Buy Link(s):

Thank you Nate for being my guest this week.  Come back next week to see my next Writerly Wednesday guest.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Christopher Hudson

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Christopher Hudson.

Interview

1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

Honestly, I don’t think I could point to one … I hate marketing, and, either as a result of that … or just because, I may be the world’s worst marketer.

2. What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

My original publisher got out of the fiction business … which left me in the cold … no where to go but to self-pub.

 3. What do you have under your bed?

I’m afraid to look.

4. Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

Plotter, no wait, pantser … on second thought, plotter … on third thought, I don’t know.

 5. Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

I’m a bubble boy.

 6. When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

If I knew, I’d keep a net next to my desk.

7. What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on, fogged bathroom mirrors?

Mostly, just good ol’ WORD … now and then a paper and pencil if I’m sitting on the beach (sigh).

Bio
Head Shot C Hudson

Christopher Hudson

I was born in a log cabin on the edge of the great forest. My childhood was spent helping to maintain the subsistence life style of our humble, but loving, pioneer family. At the end of long days clearing fields and tending livestock, I taught myself to read and write by lamp light.

Eventually I was betrothed to my lovely … and, as it turned out, long-suffering … Cheryl. With our little Jennifer in the crib, I went off to toil under the corporate lash to provide gruel for the family.
Anyway, after spending what seemed like several lifetimes in cubeville … I was mercifully set out to pasture (read terminated) and finally allowed to roam into areas to which I was much more suited and comfortable … like writing and music.
And when I’m not tappity-tappity on the keyboard, I’m playing guitar with On the Loose … which means I either have too many interests OR a complete lack of focus … I don’t know, what was I talking about?
Email, FB, Twitter links or addresses here…

 

Blurb

Cover art Headwind

Headwind by Christopher Hudson

If you’re on vacation, fly coach. If you’re on business, fly first-class. If you’re on a mission, fly with Mickey.

Tony Boccaccio is after a bag of cash that he believes is his. Max Burke thinks otherwise and has hired two couriers to take the money to California.
Mickey Soto is a commercial pilot hauling freight and instructing students from a small, Florida airport. Tony hires Mickey and his airplane to go after the couriers. Mickey thought his days of flying illegal cargo were behind him, but the lure of easy money and his policy of ‘don’t ask/don’t tell’ cause him to add to his history of poor decisions.
Tony’s cousin, Gina, jumps in to help, and the three of the end up in a desperate cross-crountry race that leads to a West Coast pier and a fateful decision by Tony that impacts their lives in ways that none of them could have foreseen.
Excerpt
A cloud of dust followed the Cadillac as it sped along a country road west of Miami.  The driver winced at every rough patch that threatened to shake the car apart.  A gold chain bounced against his chest under a Hawaiian-print shirt.  In spite of the air-conditioning going full-blast, his olive forehead glistened with perspiration and he ran his hand over it and through dark, slicked back pre-maturely balding hair.
Suddenly he grabbed the wheel with both hands and slammed on the brakes, his sunglasses slipping down his nose as the car skidded to a stop.
“Goddamnit.”
He threw the barely stopped vehicle into reverse, throwing a cloud of dust in the opposite direction.  Slamming on the brakes again, he jammed the Caddy back into drive and swung it onto a barely visible two-track.
He eased the car a quarter-mile down the primitive driveway, stopping in front of a gate in a ten-foot high chain-link fence.  A sign proclaimed, Rodriquez BROS. AUTO SALVAGE. He stepped out of the Caddy into the blazing Florida sun, walked to the intercom mounted on the gate and pressed a button.
A barely recognizable, “Yeah?” filtered through the static.
“It’s Tony,” he said just as two snarling Dobermans reached the gate from the inside, barking frantically and pressing at the fence to get at the sweating man.  “Give me a sec to get back in my car before you …”
The gate began to slide open, the dogs nosing at the quickly widening opening.
“Sonofabitch,” Tony yelled as he scrambled back to the car and dove through the open door.
He slammed the door shut as the lead dog reached the car and leaped on the window.  “Christ,” he said, breathing hard and trying to compose himself as the dogs bounced off the car, snarling and snapping.  “Damn mangy hounds.”
He slipped the car into drive and pulled through the gate, flipping off the dogs as they followed, continuing their vicious attack on the car.  Once inside he sped up and watched them in his mirror as they disappeared in the dust.
Bouncing another quarter mile past rusting hulks of cars and piles of parts, he pulled up to a small building, its corrugated tin roof brown and dented and weather-beaten cement-block walls flaking green paint.  Stepping out of the car he shook his head in disbelief at the oppressive heat, but on hearing the dogs gaining ground up the driveway he stepped quickly to the front door.
He stepped inside to blessedly conditioned air. “Thank God,” he said, then walked down a dimly lit hallway to a grease-stained door marked LUNCH ROOM and pushed it open.
The air in the small room was surprisingly fresh, but the sunlight that filtered through dirty windows barely competed with the two bare bulbs that hung from the low ceiling.  Sheldon Isaacs and Vince Jackson sat across from each other at a picnic-style table.  Vince munched a sandwich while Sheldon idly flipped through the channels of a television mounted on a wall on the other side of the room.

Thank you Christopher for being my guest this week.  Come back next week to see my next Writerly Wednesday guest.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

Thank you again for coming to Writerly Wednesday and please visit again.

Don’t touch anything sharp.

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More than One Way to Skin a Cat?

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Did you know there is more than one way to skin a cat?

Who wants to skin a cat in the first place?

Instead of coming up with a quick bit of Flash Fiction for Fiction Friday I thought I’d talk about places. Continue reading

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Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Timothy Fleming

Welcome back to Writerly Wednesday.

On the First Wednesday of February and the first Writerly Wednesday post of 2014 Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Timothy Fleming.

Writerly Wednesday posts consist of an Interview followed by a bio, blurb and excerpt.  You will also see buy links.  While you are purchasing Timothy’s book add one of mine to your cart.

Interview

1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

I have an elderly neighbor who can’t get around well. After a recent snowstorm I offered to shovel her drive. We got to talking, and I told her about my book. A few days later her daughter showed up at my door with a newly purchased copy of The President’s Mortician for me to sign. It was a birthday gift for her mother.

2. What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

It took courage to publish The President’s Mortician, because it is a dangerous book. While some of the narrative is fictional, the parts dealing directly with the assassination of JFK are factual. I name the real plotters, shooters, and accessories before and after the fact. And I reveal explosive new evidence that flies in the face of the historical lies our government has foisted on us for 50 years. Lots of publishers backed away from my book before Neverland Publishing took it on.

3. What do you have under your bed?

A notebook. Often I awake from a dream (or a nightmare) with ideas that need to be jotted down before I lose them.

4. Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

More of a plotter. I have a working outline in my head at all times.

5. Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups,writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

I’m a loner. Like Hemingway said, “Writing is easy. Just sit down by yourself at a typewriter and bleed.”

6. When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

Ideas come to me all the time. Some of them warrant my attention; others fade away. When I’m stuck, music inspires me. I prefer classical–Ravel, Satie, and other French composers are my favorites.

7. What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

I use anything that is handy. I once wrote down an idea on an envelope in my car while stopped at a traffic light. I use MS Word, but I’m not married to it.

Bio

Timothy Flemming Head Shot

Timothy Fleming

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Tim Fleming is a graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  He has worked as a writer, editor, and college English instructor.  His published stories include works across several genres.  His first historical novel, Murder Of An American Nazi, was published in 2008.  “The Barefoot Hero,” a 2010 work of literary fiction, was published in the award-winning short story anthology, Writers On The Wrong Side Of The Road.   His screenplay, Boats Against The Current, won top honors at the Skyfest Film Festival in 2011.  His  short story, “Back To Lopez Island,” was published in 2012 in The Speed Of Dark, a horror anthology.  It won the Reader’s Favorite International Bronze Award in 2013.  Fleming’s latest work is The President’s Mortician, A Story Of How And Why JFK’s Murder Was Executed And Covered Up.

Fleming has researched the Kennedy assassination for decades.  He has read most of the hundreds of books published on the topic; he has reviewed thousands of documents released through the Freedom of Information Act; and he has interviewed scores of witnesses.  He even lived in Dallas for a period of time, taking a part-time job in between college semesters, just to have access to primary sources.  The evidence he uncovered indicated that a conspiracy took the life of JFK, but there were unresolved questions about how and why the cover-up endured so long.  Despite all the years of research, he was unable to reconcile the fundamental contradictions inherent in the medical evidence of the case, until he stumbled upon a witness who clarified the contradictions in JFK’s wounds.

The President's Mortician book cover

The President’s Mortician

In any murder investigation, the victim’s body tells the story of how the crime took place.  In the case of murder by gunshot, the bullet holes on the dead body will indicate, among other things, trajectory and direction of the shots.  But JFK’s wounds appeared one way in Dallas and another way in Washington DC just six hours after the shooting.  The Parkland doctors saw evidence of frontal entry, meaning Oswald could not have done the shooting because he was in a building behind the President at the time of the assassination.  But the Bethesda Naval Hospital autopsy doctors saw evidence of rear entry, meaning Oswald could have done the shooting.  Which group of doctors was right?  Fleming did not know until he talked to the daughter of the man who altered JFK’s wounds after the president’s corpse left Parkland and before it arrived at Bethesda.  The eponymous mortician was a master at reconstructing and altering dead bodies to disguise the true manner of death.  And he had sinister ties to U.S. intelligence and Air Force officers.  His name was John Liggett, and he was the surreptitious mortician to the 35th President.

Buy Link 

Blurb from Amazon

Largely unknown to history, John Liggett was one of the most macabre and gruesome figures of the 20th century. A skilled undertaker and body reconstructionist, he was also a contract killer with furtive intelligence connections. Liggett’s actions on November 22, 1963, speak to the sinister role he may have played in helping plotters cover up the true nature of President John F. Kennedy’s murder. But Liggett’s secret work is not done. One summer night young Conrad “Con” Reese, Jr., while peeping in his neighbor’s window, witnesses the horrifying murder of Nancy Weirshellen. Nancy’s husband, Ed, is wrongly convicted of the murder, and, though Con knows Ed is not the murderer, ashamed of his actions on that night, he does not come forward to tell his story to authorities. As he grows older, Con feels deep remorse for allowing an innocent man to be convicted of murder, and he retains a clear image of the real murderer in his memory. With the help of a journalist friend, Durrell “Abbie” Monroe, Con learns that Liggett has suspicious connections to the JFK assassination and was also Nancy Weirshellen’s murderer. Ed escapes custody, aided by Con and Abbie. The friends reveal the identity of Nancy’s murderer to Ed, thus sending him on a deadly search for Liggett. Interwoven with riveting facts and enthralling historical fiction, The President’s Mortician reveals the true nature of the plot to kill our nation’s 35th president, and how that deed was covered up in the most diabolical and clever way imaginable

Author contact information:

timothypfleming@yahoo.com

Follow on Twitter @tpfleming

Thank you Timothy for being my guest this week.  Come back next week to see my next Writerly Wednesday guest.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

Thank you again for coming to Writerly Wednesday and please visit again.

Don’t touch anything sharp.

 

 

 

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Baby, it’s Cold Outside

This gallery contains 5 photos.

If a Picture is worth a thousand words then let me share a few photos. Continue reading

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