Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tanya Karen Gough – How I Ended Up Self-Publishing My Book

How I Ended Up Self-Publishing My Book

by Tanya Karen Gough

It seems hard to believe that the publishing industry has changed so much in such a short time. I really think it’s amazing, even though I’m former CD and video store owner, which means I lived through the slow suffocation of the music retail business and the first years of the quicker, but no less painful contraction of the video retail business.  You would think that I would have stayed away from book publishing under the circumstances, but the truth is books are an integral part of who I am. Also, eBooks barely existed when I wrote ROOT BOUND, and although it was possible to predict they would appear, there was no way to know how the book industry would be affected.  As it happens, my entire journey spanned the most radical changes to publishing, and as such offers a bird’s eye view of the shift.

I didn’t set out to self-publish originally. Traditional publishing was still the way to go back when I first started shopping for agents in late 2007, early 2008.  I got a lot of great responses and several requests for full manuscripts, but it was clear the book needed some more work. So I took the feedback I received and did some rewrites over the next six months, but by then, the book market was in a tailspin. Agents were freaking out, and no one knew what was going to happen. I’d been through it all before with my CD store (which I closed shortly after Napster launched), and with my Shakespeare catalogue (which I closed shortly after YouTube and Netflix emerged). There wasn’t anything I could do, and ePublishing still wasn’t widespread, so it didn’t feel like a viable option.

In the meantime, the recession was in full swing, and I moved to Toronto for work. By the time the dust settled (both for me and for the book industry), self-publishing had become remarkably easy to do.  I didn’t want to spend any more time sending out queries and working through the agent process all over again. So I decided to do it myself. I was lucky that most of the technical requirements were already part of my skill set, thanks to my job. I don’t know how non-technical writers figure all that stuff out.

Self-publishing has its own challenges. The hardest thing for me has been getting the word out there. The problem with self-publishing being easy is that *everyone* is doing it now. There’s so much noise out there, and it’s very difficult to cut through the noise. Amanda Hocking got her books moving by rallying the support of book bloggers. Nowadays, everyone knows that and the poor book bloggers are drowning in requests for reviews. Other writers got widespread visibility by going the Amazon free route, but then Amazon changed their algorithms and the game changed overnight.

Did I make the right choice? Only time will tell, but there are risks and challenges with both routes, and you have to take the bad with the good.  I’m grateful to have a venue to share my books with whoever finds them. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Read Tanya’s companion piece, “Traditional versus Self-Publishing” to learn more about the decisions she made along the way. You’ll find a list of available links on the Emma & the Elementals blog [Link:]

Root Bound

Buy Now @ Amazon @Smashwords

Genre - Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure

Rating – G (ages 10+)

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Tanya Karen Gough on Facebook & Twitter


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kachina Riley – Getting Started & Finding Your Voice

Getting Started and Finding Your Voice: Writing in First (or Third person)

By Kachina Riley

Actually, getting started with committing my words into written form was the greatest barrier and most difficult part to writing my first manuscript.

Following years of consideration and procrastination of writing my memoir, I finally determined to “set my hand to the pen” so to speak. But all of my years of writing had been in academics, and I realized I had a learning curve to bridge the gulf into personal manuscript writing.

My Son, Daryl was working for Barnes and Nobel at the time and he graciously supplied me with several books for beginning writers. I was very acquainted with research into a topic from my many years in academic pursuit. This seemed a reasonable place to start.

I read these books and devoured many more similar books from the library over the next several months. Six months into my new project I was thoroughly overwhelmed and confused! No two authors on the subject seemed to be on the same page as to the best method to begin writing memoirs.

While one author advocated making an outline of the book I envisioned, another insisted that listing all of the important life events and organizing them chronologically would certainly start me off on the right foot.

Some authors indicated that memoirs should be written in the third person in order to give the writer more latitude in filling in the blanks of forgotten memory details. Others insisted that first person was the only legitimate method of writing a memoir.

For about a year I struggled with starts, and more starts, trying this method then changing to another method. I even consulted with two editors who gave me their input as well. They all gave good reasons why a beginning author should do it their way. But nothing meshed or seemed to fit perfectly for me. In frustration I discarded all of them and was ready to give up my memoir writing project.

In one last ditch effort I asked my son to read some of my beginning efforts. He did and he encouraged me not to throw in the towel before I tried one last idea he had.

He suggested that I begin in the first chapter by sharing the most traumatic event in my childhood. He said that writing in the first person may bring out the passion of the event and jump start my writing efforts. Then follow with the years and months that led up to that event. He pointed out that I had already spent over a year of my time and effort in trying to write my manuscript and that this one last try was a reasonable effort.

My mother’s first psychotic breakdown was the event I set my hand and heart to write about. I began fresh with chapter one and was immediately swept up in this most emotional, heart-rending event in my life! The feelings and emotions captured my mind and heart as the details flooded back to my memory, as if the event were happening to me again in that instant. The words flowed out of my mind and into my manuscript like a rushing brook that couldn’t be halted. I was at that moment the nine-year-old child experiencing that event again.

This chapter set the tone for the remainder of my memoir and it was definitely in the first person. As I wrote from my childhood into adulthood my first person voice matured along with my age advancement in the book.

My experience in getting started leads me to recommend (for first time writers) that you not get bogged down trying to figure out what method is correct. Although reading a variety of viewpoints may be helpful in the end you must follow your gut reactions as to what will work for you.

The trick is to trust your own instincts and begin writing, even if you go through a number of re-writes, each re-write will serve to hone your writing skills to produce a more readable and professional manuscript.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Memoir

Rating – PG13

More details about the book

Connect with Kachina Riley on her website

The Colors of Friendship by K R Raye @KRRaye

Colors of Friendship
True friendship endures all obstacles…right?
Three college friends search for true love, NFL fame, and a successful engineering career. Will one friend’s quest for happiness endanger all three of their lives?
Naïve, romantic Melody Wilkins aims to find true love at college just like her parents. But will she sacrifice her soul to obtain it?
No-nonsense Imani Jordan strives for good grades and a chemical engineering degree. When a friendship offers more, will she follow her head or her heart?
Lance Dunn is only serious about two things: football and protecting his girls, Melody and Imani. When a threat enters their lives and tests their friendship, can he stop it before it kills them?
After the torrents of jealousy, sex, and abuse subside, will their friendship survive…The Colors of Friendship?
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – New Adult, Contemporary
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with K R Raye on Facebook and Twitter

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

#AmReading – Indelible Love - Emily's Story by D.W. Cee @DWCee_

Indelible Love - Emily's Story by D.W. Cee


Emily Logan - An adult orphan, foodie, and a believer in happily ever after - gets dumped by Max, her college boyfriend of four years, the night of their graduation, the night he was supposed to propose. Her world shattered, she picks up the pieces when she finds love again with Jake.
Dr. Jake Reid - Successful doctor, loving boyfriend, the one who wants to fulfill Emily's happily ever after - falls in love with Emily at first sight and pushes their relationship fast and furious.
Max Davis - Reserved, indecisive, Emily's first love - believes he let go of his first love for her sake, for all the right reasons. Eighteen months after the break-up, he's ready to win Emily's heart again.
Insecure from her broken relationship, Emily can't fully trust Jake's passion and love for her and struggles between Jake, the man who wants to create a future with her, and Max, the man who wants to relive the past. When both men propose, Emily's indecision causes her to lose her true love. Laugh, cry and cheer for Emily as her relationships unfold through culinary delights that begin in Napa Valley and weaves through eateries in San Francisco, Kyoto, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Paris. Who she chooses for her happily ever after may surprise you in the end.

True Love’s First Kiss, The Queen of the Realm of Faerie Books 1-3 by Heidi Garrett

images (3)

In the Enchanted World, true love’s first kiss is magic.

Nandana’s Mark, Book 1: When two half-faeries–Melia and her younger sister–are cursed under dreadful circumstances, true love’s first kiss is the remedy.

The Flower of Isbelline, Book 2: Nothing but true love’s first kiss can save Melia’s younger sister from blind ambition and ruin.

The Dragon Carnivale, Book 3: Melia must choose the freedom she cherishes or true love’s first kiss–and a relationship that promises to secure her place in the Whole.

The Queen of the Realm of Faerie is a fairy tale fantasy series that bridges the Mortal and Enchanted worlds. The main character, Melia, is an eighteen-year-old half-faerie, half-mortal.

When the story opens in the first book, Melia is troubled by her dark moon visions, gossip she overhears about her parents at the local market, and the trauma of living among full-blooded faeries with wings–she doesn’t have any.

As the series unfolds, the historic and mystical forces that shape Melia’s life are revealed. Each step of her journey–to find the place where she belongs–alters her perceptions about herself, deepens her relationships with others, and enlarges her world view.

True Love’s First Kiss is a compilation of the first three books in this ongoing series.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Fantasy

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Heidi Garrett on Facebook & Twitter


Constantinopolis by James Shipman @jshipman_author

His father! Mehmet stewed when he thought of him. His father had never shown him any real affection or spent significant time with him. He was not, after all, originally the heir to the Sultanate. He was a second son and only became heir when his older brother died. Mehmet had been forced from then on to endure a frantic and often harsh tutoring process. He was just beginning to grasp his responsibilities when at the age of 12 his father had retired and named him Sultan. He had done the best he could to govern, but in short order Grand Vizier Halil had called his father back to take over the throne. The Sultan felt Halil should have helped him, should have supported him. Instead he had watched and reported Mehmet’s shortcomings to his father, betraying him and leading to his humiliation.

From then on Mehmet had bided his time. He had learned to keep his thoughts and emotions to himself, to trust no one. He had studied everything: military art, languages, administration, and the arts. He had worked tirelessly so that when he next ruled he would not only equal his father but also exceed him. He would be the greatest Sultan in the history of his people, Allah willing.

His chance came when Murad finally died only two years before, as Mehmet turned 19. Mehmet quickly took power, ordering his baby half brother strangled to assure there would be no succession disputes, and set to organizing his empire. He had learned to be cautious and measured, leaving his father’s counselors and even Halil in power to assist him. From there he had slowly built up a group of supporters. They were young and exclusively Christian converts to Islam. These followers, many of whom now held council positions, were not nearly as powerful as the old guard, but they were gaining ground. They were the future, if Halil did not interfere.

Halil. His father’s Grand Vizier and now his own. He had always treated Mehmet with condescending politeness. He was powerful, so powerful that Mehmet could not easily remove him. So powerful it was possible he could remove Mehmet in favor of a cousin or other relative. Mehmet hated him above all people in the world, but he could not simply replace him. He needed Halil, at least for now, and Halil knew it.

This dilemma was the primary reason for Mehmet’s nighttime wanderings. He needed time away from the palace. Time to think and work out a solution to the problem. How could he free himself from Halil without losing power in the process? He could simply order Halil executed, but would the order be followed or would it be his own head sitting on a pole? The elders and religious leaders all respected and listened to Halil. Only the young renegades, the Christian converts who owed their positions to Mehmet were loyal to him. If Halil was able to rally the old guard to him, Mehmet had no doubt that the result would be a life or death dispute.

Mehmet needed to find a cause that could rally the people to him. The conversations he had heard night after night told him this same thing. The people felt that his father was a great leader, and that he was not. If he could gain the people’s confidence, then he would not need Halil, and the other elders would follow his lead.

Mehmet knew the solution. He knew exactly what would bring the people to his side, and what would indeed make him the greatest Sultan in the history of the Ottoman people.

The solution however was a great gamble. His father and father’s fathers had conquered huge tracts of territory in Anatolia and then in Europe, primarily at the expense of the Greeks. Mehmet intended to propose something even more audacious, to conquer the one place that his ancestors had failed to take. If he succeeded he would win the adoration of his people and would be able to deal with Halil and any others who might oppose him. If he failed . . .

The Sultan eventually made his way back near the palace, to the home of his closest friend, Zaganos Pasha. Zaganos, the youngest brother of Mehmet’s father in law, had converted to Islam at age 13, and was Mehmet’s trusted general and friend. He was the most prominent member of the upstart Christian converts that made up the Sultan’s support base.

Zaganos was up, even at this late hour, and embraced his friend, showing him in and ordering apple tea from his servants. Zaganos was shorter and stockier than Mehmet, a powerful middle-aged man in the prime of his life. He had receding dark brown hair. A long scar cut across his forehead and down over his left eye. He looked on Mehmet with smiling eyes extending in to crow’s feet. He smiled like a proud uncle or father.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Historical Fiction

Rating – PG

More details about the author and the book

Connect with  James Shipman on Facebook & Twitter


Nobody Has to Know by Frank Nappi @FrankNappi

Nobody Has To Know, Frank Nappi’s dark and daring new thriller, tells the story of Cameron Baldridge, a popular high school teacher whose relationship with one of his students leads him down an unfortunate and self-destructive path. Stalked through text-messages, Baldridge fights for his life against a terrifying extortion plot and the forces that threaten to expose him. NHTK is a sobering look into a world of secrets, lies, and shocking revelations, and will leave the reader wondering many things, including whether or not you can ever really know the person you love.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Thriller

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author

Connect with Frank Nappi on Facebook & Twitter


Midshipman Henry Gallant in Space by H. Peter Alesso


As the last star fighter in squadron 111, Midshipman Henry Gallant is on his way from Jupiter to Mars. With the United Planets’ fleet on the verge of annihilation, he can expect no help as he passes through the asteroid belt and threatening aliens. With so much uncertainty about the aliens’ capabilities and intentions, analyzing the captured computer equipment in Gallant’s possession could prove crucial. The fate of Earth could rest on the abilities of Midshipman Henry Gallant. Unfortunately, it is his abilities that have been much in doubt during his tour of duty.

In an era of genetic engineering, he is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. His classmates and superior officers have all expressed their concern that he will not be up to the demands of the space service.

Only bright and attractive junior officer Kelsey Mitchel has shown any sympathy for him. Now as his navigator on the last fighter in squadron 111, her life as well as a good many others, depends of Henry Gallant.

Buy Now @ Amazon and Smashwords

Genre – Science Fiction

Rating – G

More details about the author and the book

Connect with H. Peter Alesso on Facebook


Monday, October 28, 2013

In Love With My Best Friend by Sheena Binkley



How did my life get so complicated? One minute, I, Camille Anderson, was living a pretty normal life in which nothing ever happened to me, and the next I'm practically being hauled away from the premier wedding venue in Houston, The Corinthian, by security because of my sudden outburst to the groom.

I should have known I was setting myself up for disaster, but I had to do it. I had to tell my best friend that I'd been in love with him since I was thirteen.

I really didn't expect the scene to unfold the way it did, especially while Trevor was getting married, but I couldn't hold my feelings in much longer. I felt he was making a terrible mistake, because he was marrying the wrong woman. He should have been marrying me.

I guess I should backtrack to when Trevor and I first met. It was seventeen years ago, when the Williams family first moved into the house next to ours. I was outside waiting for my friend Tia Simmons to come by when I first noticed Trevor. He was absolutely gorgeous as he stepped out of his family's SUV. He had that "boy next door" look, with wavy black hair and smooth ivory skin. He looked over at me and gave me a huge grin, which I greatly returned.

After that day, not only did we become friends, but our parents became great friends as well. We always went by each other's homes for dinner or for game night (until we were too old to appreciate hanging out with our parents on a Friday night).

We were practically inseparable during our high school years, and many of our friends thought we would eventually get married and have lots of kids. When anyone mentioned that to Trevor, he would shrug it off and say, "We're just friends, and it will stay that way until the day we die." Usually those words would tug at my heartstrings, but being the shy person I am, I never let my feelings show.

As we went to college, Trevor and I went into the same major, public relations. That was when he met Chelsea Parker, who was also my roommate. At first I liked Chelsea because she was basically a sweet person, but when she set her sights on Trevor, I quickly disliked her. Not because she took Trevor away from me, but because she became a different person.

If only I could go back to four weeks ago, or even seventeen years ago, I would be with the man I loved...


Four weeks ago....

"I don't know why you dragged me to this," I said as I looked at my friend Tia. The two of us were inside the Aventine Ballroom of Hotel Icon waiting for our friend Trevor and his fiancée, Chelsea, to arrive for their engagement and welcome home party. The two had announced their engagement to everyone a while back when Trevor was visiting his parents before going back to Dallas. Not only did he announce his engagement, but he also said that he had accepted a new position at a prestigious PR firm and was moving back to Houston. Although I was happy that my best friend was moving back, I was not thrilled that he was getting married.

"For once, why can't you be happy for Tre? He and Chelsea are finally getting married."

I gave Tia an evil stare as I looked toward the revolving door to the ballroom.

"You know how I feel about Trevor and Chelsea getting married."

"Oh please, Cam, when are you going to get past the fact that Trevor found someone? I told you to admit your feelings to him, but being the person you are, you decided not to."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"You felt you would have been rejected if you told Trevor your true feelings."

"If I remember correctly, in high school when Charles asked him why we never hooked up, he said, and I quote, 'We're just friends.'"

Tia rolled her eyes at me and started to stare at the door as well. This was not the first time we'd had this conversation about my feelings for Trevor, so I'm pretty sure Tia was tired of hearing it.

Tia was my other best friend and the complete opposite of me. While I was quiet and reserved, Tia was wild and carefree. She always did what she wanted and didn't care about the consequences. People always thought we were sisters, with our caramel-colored complexion and long, dark-brown hair. But that was where the similarities ended. I looked down at my black sequin dress that went above my knees, wondering if I was dressed appropriately for the occasion; but as I looked at the hot-pink dress Tia was sporting, I figured my outfit was perfect.

"So how are things between you and Eric?"

"Finished; I broke up with him a couple of days ago."

"I'm assuming because he's not Trevor? Cam, you have got to move on."

I sighed as I noticed two figures coming through the door. I started to breathe slowly as I watched my friend walk in with his fiancée. Trevor always was attractive, but tonight he looked really handsome in a dark blue suit, white shirt, and blue and white striped tie. His black, wavy hair was cut short, bringing out his beautiful brown eyes. He walked hand in hand with Chelsea, the woman I wish I'd never met, who was positively glowing in an ivory-colored empire dress. Her reddish brown hair was pulled into a tight ponytail and her makeup was flaw- less. Although I was completely jealous of Chelsea, I had to admit the two made a stunning couple.

Tia gave me a frown.

"You OK?"

"I'm cool. Let's just get this over with."

While the crowd of family and friends were clapping and whistling for the happy couple, all I could do was just stand in my place, looking at Trevor as if he was the only person in the room. He gave me a smile that showed the deep dimples on each of his cheeks. As he went to greet a couple of his family members, I took a deep breath to control any tears from flowing.

I shouldn't have come tonight.



"Why did we plan a huge engagement party? Everyone knows we're engaged," I asked my fiancée, Chelsea, as we were walking hand in hand down the corridor inside Hotel Icon.

"Sweetie, I just wanted everyone to celebrate in our happiness and what better way than a huge party?"

I sighed as I continued to walk, not realizing how frustrated I was becoming.

Chelsea was the love of my life. I instantly knew I wanted to marry her when I first laid eyes on her in Camille's dorm room. The two were roommates their junior year at University of Houston, which was great for me, considering I was able to see my best friend and my girlfriend at the same time. Although Camille and I were really good friends, I got the sense that something had been bothering her since I'd been dating Chelsea. Call me crazy, but it seemed as if Camille was jealous of our relationship. I hope not, because Chelsea loves Camille and considers her a good friend.

As we walked into the ballroom, everyone from our family and our friends were clapping and cheering for our arrival. We started to wave at everyone as we entered. Once I turned my head toward the center of the room, I had to stop and admire the person staring straight at me. My heart jolted several beats at the beauty who was giving me a dazzling smile. Camille Anderson had always been a beautiful woman, from her caramel-colored skin to her deep chocolate eyes; she definitely stood out in a crowd.

Just looking at her long hair flowing around her face and the black dress that hugged her curves in all the right places made me feel sort of embarrassed, because I shouldn't have been looking at her in that way. I always considered her my best friend and nothing more, so why was I looking at her differently now?

Chelsea turned her attention to me, wondering what was wrong.

"Is everything OK?"

I suddenly realized I was staring a little too long as I turned to Chelsea.

"I'm fine," I said as I squeezed her hand.

I gave Camille a huge grin as I walked over to talk to a nearby guest. I snuck another peek at her; she was talking to our friend Tia near the bar. I don't know what was going on with me, but hopefully this feeling I was having about my best friend would go away soon.

That's if I want it to.

In Love With My Best Friend

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Contemporary Fiction

Rating – PG13

More details about the author

Connect with Sheena Binkley on Twitter


Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage by Carla Woody @CarlaWoody1


“The gift we have been given is the one called possibility, whose intent offers to tie all together, creating strands of a whole life rather than a disintegrated one.”

With these words, Carla Woody sets the stage in this groundbreaking guide toward leading a rich, authentic life. This remarkable book not only offers means to engage the paradoxical nature of spirituality, it suggests pointed questions that accelerate transformation and inner peace.

Through poetic stories and teachings, Woody incorporates her many years of esoteric adventures with Peruvian mystic Don Américo Yábar and shamanism, her intensive work with others incorporating NLP, and learning gained by balancing community and solitude.

Navigating through such diverse geography as healing with energy, bliss states, dark nights and the challenges of personal growth, she presents ways to integrate the compassion of the heart with the clarity of a mind made wise. In this honest, explicit accounting, the committed traveler of the Hero’s Journey is empowered to develop their own capabilities toward nurturing a direct relationship with the Core Self⎯and the mysticism that permeates everything.

The author donates 10% of profits from book sales to Kenosis Spirit Keepers, a 501(c)3 nonprofit she founded whose mission is to help preserve Native traditions in danger of decimation.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Nonfiction, Spirituality

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Carla Woody on Facebook & Twitter

Paula Boyd – 4 How-to Tips for Making Your Characters Believable

4 How-to Tips for Making Your Characters Believable

by Paula Boyd

Author of the Award-Winning Jolene Jackson Mystery Series Hot Enough to Kill

Making your characters feel like real people is less complicated than you might think. Here are four tips to remember:

  1. Get out of your head and open a vein. If you can’t feel the emotion your character is supposed to be experiencing, how are you going to write about it authentically? If you want real emotion on the page—and you do—you have to be able feel it yourself. The more you allow yourself to open up, the better your reader will be able to connect with the characters you create on a meaningful level.
  2. Don’t speak—talk. In my writing workshops, I’ve found that one of the hardest things for people to do is create natural dialogue. They analyze and rewrite, making sure every word is perfectly written when what they need to do is just make sure it is well said. Precisely written dialogue with rigid attention to following all the rules of grammar and punctuation will come across as stuffy and stilted at best. If you want to define a particular character in that way, fine, just make sure it’s a character trait and not a writing style. Because…one rarely naturally selects and embodies such an ostensibly academic manner with which to convey his thoughts—meaning, most people don’t talk like that. Bottom line: Don’t write scripted lines, have real conversations.
  3. Use emotionally engaging descriptions. Describing a person’s build, hair color and clothing is fine, but just like with people you meet on the street, knowing their inherent nature is more important. Here’s how I introduce a new character in the book I’m working on now: “A woman with long gray hair, twinkling eyes and an understanding smile stood over by the window, trying to ignore the unfortunate family drama unfolding before her.” We don’t technically know her age or what she’s doing there, but we get the sense that she’s probably a nice person. Much more natural and fun than a paragraph of description about her height, weight and clothing. Here’s a different way of introducing a character: “Frankie glanced up the street toward the warehouse then looked at his watch: 11:58. In two minutes she’d be dead. Maybe she already was.” We have no idea what Frankie looks like or where he is, but we know a whole lot of important stuff about him—and we want to know more.
  4. Write who you know. To make characters believable, you have to know them as a real people. So, start with someone you know. If you want to develop a wise older woman character, start with your beloved grandmother. You know how she thinks, what her core values are and what she won’t put up with, which gives you natural insight into how a person with those traits would speak and act. Use it as a solid base to work from and then let a character come alive from it that fits your story.

When you create characters that become real to you, they become real to your audience. They become engaged with them and invested in them and they keep wanting more—and so do you.

* * * * *

Paula Boyd is the author of the award-winning Jolene Jackson Mystery Series. To register for chance to be a character in her next book, visit

images (4)

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Mystery & Thriller / Women Sleuth

Rating – PG13

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Paula Boyd on Facebook & Twitter


Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Color Pink by Parker Paige


Can wearing the color pink attract true love?

That is the question Summer Jones intends to answer.

In her early thirties, Summer Jones thought that she had found the perfect man, the man she planned to marry until she learned that he still had feelings for his first love. Now, at age thirty-five, Summer is ready to fall in love again. After she hears that wearing the color pink can attract true love, she sets out to do just that–and finds more than just true love.

Follow Summer as she journeys into the world of color magic and find out how she uses that magic to help her choose between one man from her past and another man who is destined to become her future.

This romantic drama serves up something fun and sexy, proving that the road to love can be paved with many painful lessons and memorable moments. It’s a story about paying attention to your past so that you don’t always have to repeat it.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Romance

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author

Connect with Parker Paige on Twitter


Birth of an Assassin by Rik Stone @stone_rik

Adrik waited in the guard’s room a couple of corridors along from Kornfeld’s cell. There was only one way out, so the Jew had to pass this room. He spun a Makarov on his finger, aimed at imaginary targets and thrilled at the thought of using it. The gun was standard issue, but he would’ve chosen it anyway. Totally reliable, pull the trigger and out pop the bullets. The blowback design expels the spent case to the right and loads the next cartridge into the chamber – easy. And fully armed with eight rounds, he would use them all.

This wouldn’t be his first killing and sure as hell wouldn’t be his last. Kornfeld was a pain, and it was Otto who mattered. He would do anything for him. Why should he care about some Jew who got in the way?

But time dragged, and Kornfeld hadn’t yet made a show. For one horrible minute he thought there might be another way out – but no, that isn’t even possible. Calm down, be patient... Try as he might, he couldn’t, and the idea ran around his head, irritating him beyond measure.

He left the guardroom and paced the corridor outside. At first a short distance and then a bit further into the next passageway. No good – he had to find out what had happened. With gun in hand and footsteps stealthy he reached the cell door – it was slightly open. Oh shit, did that mean there was another way out? Or maybe Kornfeld had gone deeper into the prison block. Or maybe he was in the cell hoping the element of surprise would be with him.

Possibilities ganged up. Kornfeld knew Lubyanka well. What if there was another way out and that little bastard knew it? If so, Otto would kill him, never mind the Jew. He kicked the door fully open, slammed it against the cell wall, stood back and then moved in, pointing the gun around to make sure Kornfeld wasn’t hidden on either side of the opening. The cell was dimly lit and he found it difficult to see. He would stay put until his eyes got accustomed to the light. A body, he saw a body. It was covered with a greatcoat, on the bunk facing the wall.

He was clearly supposed to think it was Kornfeld. In that case he’d be under the bunk waiting... But then that’s obvious too, so he might be on top with the guard pushed underneath. That made more sense – it would be easier for him to make an attack from on top – but, shit, wouldn’t that be what he wanted him to think?

To be sure of the kill, Adrik wanted to shoot above and below – but he couldn’t. How would he explain the soldier’s death? Oh, Otto, if only Otto was there to tell him what to do. But he wasn’t, he had to make up his own mind. The Jew was on top – yes, definitely on top.

Cautiously, he edged forward, pointed the pistol to the back of the person’s head and pulled the body towards him with gun steady and ready to fire. As quickly as his huge form allowed, he pulled the greatcoat away.

Fuck! The guard! No time to react. A leg came from under the bunk with incredible speed and wrapped around the back of his. At the same time, the Jew’s other foot came against his knees and pushed. Adrik had brought his legs together when he tore the coat away and Kornfeld used the imbalance to his advantage. Adrik’s arms went out. He hovered awkwardly, then almost regained control, but Kornfeld pushed harder and Adrik went flying backwards with his legs in the air. A sense of suspension ended and he fell heavily, striking the hard stone floor. His head bounced, shudders chased through his brain and he found himself staring at the ceiling, wavering between conscious and unconscious.

The pain pierced his skull and he noticed his head had rested in a pool of warm liquid. He hadn’t seen that when he came in. Numbness consumed his body; he couldn’t move. But then his blurred vision saw the bleary outline of the Jew. Awareness came that his body was being rolled over. He was paralyzed, but it didn’t stop the surge of fear that ran through every fibre of his being.

Birth of an Assassin

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Thriller, Crime, Suspense

Rating – R

More details about the author

Connect with Rik Stone on Facebook & Twitter


Marie Maiden – What Inspired Me To Write My Book?

What Inspired Me To Write My Book?

by Marie Maiden

I was compelled to write my book in order to share my story of how I overcome the odds that were stacked against me.  I titled my book “You Cannot Find Peace Until You Find All The Pieces” because there were many things missing from my life as a child growing up and my life as a young adult was negatively impacted by a less than desirable childhood.  I strongly desired to live a happy life so I did the work that was necessary to put the pieces of my broken life back together.

In my book, I share how I overcame many obstacles in my life. Through my story, the reader will be encouraged to overcome the obstacles in their own lives.  My book offers Hope. My book reveals the path to finding authentic living and happiness.  Life comes at you and you have to know how to deal with it.  Learn how to unlock the inner strength in you. This book is a powerful and effective tool to help the reader to discover the answers to what is missing from your life.  Read “You Cannot Find Peace Until You Find All The Pieces” by Marie Maiden.

You Cannot Find Peace

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Christian / Historical / Inspirational

Rating – G

More details about the book

Connect with Marie Maiden on Twitter

Birth of an Assassin by Rik Stone @stone_rik

Birth of an Assassin

Set against the backdrop of Soviet, post-war Russia, Birth of an Assassin follows the transformation of Jez Kornfeld from wide-eyed recruit to avenging outlaw. Amidst a murky underworld of flesh-trafficking, prostitution and institutionalized corruption, the elite Jewish soldier is thrown into a world where nothing is what it seems, nobody can be trusted, and everything can be violently torn from him.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense

Rating – R

More details about the author

Connect with Rik Stone on Facebook & Twitter


Friday, October 25, 2013

The Photo Traveler (The Photo Traveler Series) by Arthur J. Gonzalez


I can’t ask for a better day to be out shooting. Man, what a view. Something about how the sun’s rays press against the faint distant outline of the mountains. Sick! If it can seem so dominating from all the way over here, I can only imagine what it must feel like up close. I don’t know. It just always kind of does something to me.

I know, I know. Lame, right? But trust me, if you lived in the hellhole I live in, anytime alone is sacred. You start to appreciate all these little not-so-particular things. Yeah—even the outline of the mountains.

Carefully, I focus the lens on my Canon 7D to capture the effect of the clouds drifting across the peaks of Mt. Rose and get my shot. A few seconds later, the sunlight dims. I hadn’t realized it was so late. I glance at my watch, wondering what’s taking Melinda so long. She promised to pick me up by five, even though I knew that would mean five-thirty. It’s five-forty-five.

I call her on my cell. It rings four times, then goes to voicemail. “Come on, Mel!” I mutter. “It’s getting late!”

I’ve had a good day so far, probably because I’ve been alone for most of it, and I really don’t want another confrontation with Jet. I can still taste the faint copper tinge of blood at the corner of my mouth where he split my lip the last time around. Two days ago.

I hit redial. Straight to voicemail. “Dammit, Mel!”

I tell myself to breathe, but my anxiety is really starting to kick in. Sweat is beading on my forehead and my heart is jolting in my chest. Why does she always have to be so impossible? I don’t get it.

The moment I hear the loud thrum of an engine roaring up the dirt road, I jump up from the boulder I’ve been perched on. It’s about damn time!

She screeches up to me in her new, cherry-red Mini Cooper and slams on the brakes. I dodge around to the passenger side. Grab the door handle. It’s locked.

“Mel!” I shout. “Open up!”

But she’s sitting behind the wheel pretending not to hear me. Eyes glued to her phone, purple nails tapping out a text message. With a tiny smirk on her glossed-up lips.

I hit the window with my fist. “Stop messing around! Jet’s gonna be pissed!”

She finishes her text, sends it … and adjusts the rearview mirror so she can check out the jet-black curls at her temples. She still hasn’t given me one look. Is she really serious right now?

I pound at the window again, as hard as I can. “Open up, dammit!” My anxiety is turning into rage. And rage is something Jet’s modeled for me only too well over the years, ever since he and his first wife, Leyla, took me in as a foster kid. Mel was just six at the time, but “my sister,” which she became after they finally adopted me, was a full-fledged brat from Day One, and she’s only gotten worse.

My fist hurts. I’m afraid of what Jet will do when we get back, since he ordered me to be home by six so I can start dinner.

But as far as Mel’s concerned, I might as well not be there. I can’t control it any longer. I take a step back, lift my knee, and kick the passenger door with all my strength. The hollow metal frame vibrates against the sole of my shoe. Mel’s prized car now has a six-inch dent right in the middle of the passenger door.

I guess that got her attention. Her mouth is hanging open. For a moment, she’s so astonished that she can’t speak. She swings her door open and charges around to the passenger side.

“MY CAR!” she screams, staring at the dent. “Are you crazy?!”

“Why couldn’t you just open up?” I yell back.

“Gavin, you’re an asshole! I was just messing with you! You’re never gonna learn to use your head, are you?”

“Go to hell!”

She goes still, then raises her eyebrows with an “Oh, really?” expression. Then she hauls off and slams her fist into the right side of my face. All I can feel is the large stone of her ring jabbing into my cheek. She stalks back to the driver’s side with a wicked smirk creasing her lips and snaps, “You can walk home!”

She slides behind the wheel, slams the door, and peels off so hard and fast that the car kicks up a stinging cloud of gravel and asphalt dust all over me.

She can’t be serious. But as the Mini disappears around the first bend in the road, I realize that she is.

* * *

Photo Traveler

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Young Adult Science Fiction

Rating – PG

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Arthur J. Gonzalez on Facebook & Twitter


Kelly Lowe – Imagining a World Bigger Than You

Imagining a world bigger than you is a prime element in imaging a book

by Kelly Lowe

I’ve heard many people say they’ve had an interesting life and would like to write a book. It takes more than that.

More than anything, writing a book requires having a sense of a world bigger than yourself. After all, to create a book is to create a separate world born out of the imagination—even if the book is nonfiction. I guess the way I came to understand that the world was bigger than little old me, was by seeing many different places and ways of living while I was a child. I feel very fortunate in that my father was a career Navy man and we had the opportunity to live in many interesting places as I was growing up.  He was stationed in Virginia Beach, VA, when I was very young and I still remember the big waves at the beach.  I went to middle school in San Diego and still find that to be one of my favorite places to visit.

We were stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for a few years, long before they built the monument over the USS Arizona.  At that time we could walk on the deck of the ship.

Perhaps my most favorite place that I lived was Guam.  I celebrated my sixteenth birthday there.  Loved the island living.  We lived on the Naval Air base which had many recreational amenities.  I got my life guard certification and fell in love with one of the life guards at the neighborhood pool.  My Dad was chief of police on base, so I couldn’t get away with much.

While we lived in Guam I enjoyed our family vacations, including a couple of trips to Japan.  That was when the US dollar was worth a whole lot more the yen. I remember that everything seemed so inexpensive.  Shopping in Japan was a real bargain at that time.

It was a real culture shock for me when we were transferred to Philadelphia from Guam.  I even had to wear shoes to school. It wasn’t long after I graduated from a Catholic high school in Philadelphia that my father was transferred to Satellite Beach, Florida.  That was another culture shock.

Our move to Florida happeed to be during the space industry’s hay day.  It was all about going to the Moon during that time.  I was fortunate enough to be employed at Cape Canaveral by Grumman which had the contract for the lunar landing model.

It wasn’t too long after our landing on the moon project was completed that I left the space industry to become a flight attendant for Delta Airline.  This was in the era when traveling was still fun.  It was long before 9-11 and the long security lines at the airport.  It was also before flight attendants could be married.

After graduating from Delta Airlines flight attendants school in Atlanta, Georgia, I was based in Chicago which was not an especially good place to be flying out of in the winter.  And it was especially not a good place for Florida Girl to live in the winter.  Needless to say, I requested a transfer to warmer weather as soon as it was possible, and it wasn’t long before I was calling New Orleans home.

I could stretch the truth and say my time involved in the NASA moon mission led me into astrology and my book, but it’s not true. However, I do believe all that I saw traveling the world gave me a sense of perspective, a vision that showed me that I was part of something larger than myself and gave me the confidence to capture that vision in a book.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Memoir / Astrology

Rating –PG13

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Kelly Lowe on Facebook


Thursday, October 24, 2013

#Free–Penalty Clause by Lori Ryan @loriryanauthor

Penalty Clause by Lori Ryan

Amazon Kindle US

Genre – Romantic Suspense

Rating – R

4.5 (42 reviews)

Free until 24 October 2013

To keep her, he'll have to gamble it all!
Andrew Weston and Jill Walsh had to be the two most unlikely people to fall in love. When Jill's first husband's love for her simply fizzled and died, Jill knew she'd never trust that love could last again. After Andrew's first love betrayed him in the most brutal way possible, he knew he might fall in love again someday, but there was no way he'd ever make himself vulnerable again by confessing those feelings if he did.
Fate had a different ending in mind for these two, though, and when Andrew discovers his love for Jill, he knows the only way to get her to stay with him forever is to offer her an iron clad penalty clause in a prenuptial agreement. He stays with her forever or he loses everything he owns. The millions he's worked for, his property, his cars, everything. Now he just needs to hope that's enough to hold onto Jill forever.

Harriet Hodgson – Avoiding Lazy Layout

Avoiding Lazy Layout

by Harriet Hodgson

Finishing a book is always exciting. If I could, I would do cartwheels down the main street of my city. I would stand on rooftops and shout, “Listen up People! I just finished my book!” Of course, I don’t do these things, but I have celebrated with dinner at a local restaurant. While I am writing I am constantly making notes about the interior design, and these notes come from my graduate degree in art.

I don’t want any book of mine to have lazy layout.

Just as a poor cover turns off customers, poor layout turns them off too. But good layout gets the reader’s attention and allows him or her to see the structure of the book. I think of layout as a road map, with top page headings that state the author and chapter, and ongoing headings that show where you are in the book. Headings should match the Table of Contents.

The graphic designer wants your book to look good and to be known for quality work. Recently I had a phone conference with the graphic designer about my latest book, Walking Woman: Step-by-Step to a Healthier Heart. Before the call, I sat down at the computer and made a wish list of graphic design elements I wanted. What was on my list?

  1. I wanted the margins on both left and right to be straight. After I finished the book I realized I had written it with a so-called “ragged right.” Lining up both margins is called justifying the text, and most publishers do it.
  2. On the opening page of Walking Woman I thanked the two people who had helped me. I asked the designer to insert something, a special line, small leaf, or other symbol, between my thanks and a quotation from the book. This would make the page look better.
  3. The white space in a book is crucial to design, giving the reader a place to rest his or her eyes or jot down notes. To add white space, I asked the graphic designer to start each chapter halfway down the page. He liked the idea.
  4. Having left-justified headings is something I also asked for. As I explained to the designer, this is something I have often seen in books. During our conversation the designer said he would probably make the headings larger than I had, and I agreed to this.
  5. To balance the left-justified headings, I asked for the chapter numbers to be at the top right. He really liked this idea.
  6. We agreed that the headings should have a different font to make them stand out.
  7. Walking Woman includes a granola recipe. “Can you make it look like a recipe card?” I asked. He said he could and could also add a shadow behind the card.
  8. Each chapter has a resource list at the end. I had centered the “Resources” heading, but the designer thought it should be left-justified to match the other headings. Good idea!

I would receive sample layout pages within five working days, the designer said. Within another five days I would receive a proof. Some may think sharing an interior layout wish list with the designer is a bit pushy; I think it makes sense. “You’ve saved me lots of time,” the designer said. With his expertise I know my book will look good, dressed up and ready to go out. Think about the interior of your book as you are writing it and make a wish list.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Health / Wellness

Rating – G

More details about the book

Connect with Harriet W Hodgson on Twitter


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Colony East (The Toucan Trilogy #2) by Scott Cramer @cramer_scott

Colony East
When the bacteria that killed most of world’s adults undergo a deadly mutation, 15-year-old Abby must make the dangerous journey to Colony East, an enclave of scientists and Navy personnel who are caring for a small group of children. Abby fears that time is running short for the victims, but she’s soon to learn that time is running out for everyone outside Colony East. (Parental discretion advised for readers 13 and under)
Colony East will be specially priced at $2.99, 60 percent off the regular price.
Night of the Purple Moon (Book 1 of the Toucan Trilogy) is free.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Science fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Scott Cramer on Facebook & Twitter

#Free - Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer @cramer_scott


Abby, 13, is looking forward to watching the moon turn purple, unaware that deadly bacteria from a passing comet will soon kill off older teens and adults. She must help her brother and baby sister survive in this new world, but all the while she has a ticking time bomb inside of her--adolescence.

"Cramer creates a picture of our world that's both frightening and inspiring in this heartfelt story that both young adults and adults can enjoy.A heartwarming but not overly sentimental story of survival." KIRKUS REVIEWS

"Outrageous and completely 'out of the box'."
"Three words: Gripping. Palpable. Well-developed." WORD SPELUNKING review blog

Buy Now @ Amazon & B&N & iBooks & Kobo

Genre - Science fiction

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author

Connect with Scott Cramer on Facebook & Twitter

Steven O’Connor – Writing – Talk about it. Shout about it. Live it

Writing – Talk about it. Shout about it. Live it

by Steven O’Connor

I want to start by telling you a bit about myself.

In the seventies, my family migrated to a certain place I will call – being polite – unwelcoming. I was twelve. It wasn’t just a shift between two Western countries, from Great Britain to Australia; it was also an adjustment from a modern, metropolitan lifestyle to a slow existence in a hot, semi-industrialized country town.

The youth population of the town tended to regard any long-haired teenagers from overseas (let alone into music … Bowie, T. Rex) as in urgent need of bashing up. I spent every waking moment trying to imagine what my life should have been like, and growing angrier and angrier.

I’m sure most teenagers faced with migration would experience similar difficulties and I won’t dwell on it here. I only mention it because this is why I began to write in secret.

At the heart of this secrecy was a fear of yet more ridicule and abuse from others. Exposure. I was an adolescent living in a constant state of vulnerability. And I was in a family whose other members were distracted by their own issues associated with being in a new country. (Ironically, the one person in the family who had wanted to migrate, my father, died shortly after settling in the country.)

Keeping something secret about yourself can have significant implications. For me, it was behind why I never pursued a writing career, or sought out another person, a mentor perhaps. How wonderful that might have been.

Escaping to the bigger Australian city of Melbourne in the eighties was a good thing, but even so I continued to keep my writing hidden. I rarely submitted anything to competitions or journals, even though, when I did, I experienced a degree of success. Writing was an important part of my identity, and yet, if I’d stopped, no one would have noticed.

Like all older writers, I have hundreds of thousands of words buried in various places throughout the house. Under my bed, at the back of bookshelves, in boxes in the attic. It feels as if my words trail behind me back through the years, reaching through the nineties and the eighties to the seventies. No doubt a lot of it I should get rid of. But maybe I’d find some gems, if I sat down and went through it all, and luck was with me. They exist on handwritten scraps of paper and in notebooks, on typed, dusty manuscripts (from the heavy, so-called portable Olivetti typewriters with their messy ribbons), in WordPerfect files encoded into the flimsy plastic of large floppy discs (saved by my monochrome Amstrad word processor), in MSWord files on minidisks and, today, backed up on a portable hard drive that I know to keep separate from the computer.

I grew up on vintage sci-fi TV shows, watching the likes of Dr Who and Star Trek from their very start (and I do mean very start). I also embarked on a professional Social Work career in the early eighties. Hence themes of illness, addiction, recovery, mental health and wellbeing are just as present in my stories as spaceships, robots, aliens, dragons, aliens and a host of unimaginable creatures. And in all this time – 70s, 80s and 90s – keeping it to myself.

I am happy to report, I finally opened up as a writer in the year 2000. I could dig up the exact date if I wanted to – I just did: Monday, 10 January 2000. The day I enrolled in a tertiary writing and editing course. I have my mother to thank for that. At her suggestion, we enrolled together in a college in the heart of the city, amongst the alley cafes. I have never been closer to my mother than in the years she has now also become my writing buddy. (Good on you, writing, for giving me that.) She has successfully published two autobiographies (I’m briefly in the second as a child) and has a third, a novel, on the way. And I wrote my first published novel in year one of those studies.

So don’t keep your passion private. Do you want to get good at something, make it an important part of your life? Then don’t quietly beaver away for years in a back room, never telling anybody. That’s fooling no one but yourself.

Nothing grows in darkness.

Whatever your passion is. Talk about it. Shout about it. Live it.

Steven O’Connor writes young adult fiction with a futuristic bent. His writing is influenced by Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Blade Runner, Dr Who, and just about every sci-fi film and TV show you could possibly think of. His EleMental and MonuMental ebooks are available through Amazon.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Young Adult / Science Fiction

Rating –PG

More details about the author

Connect with Steven O’Connor on Facebook & Twitter


Monday, October 21, 2013

#AmReading – Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah

Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah


No one knows you like your sister. She can make you laugh or break your heart with a single word. And no one writes novels like Kristin Hannah, an author who vividly explores the intricate bonds of family and, as Tami Hoag said “touches the deepest, most tender corners of our heart.” Now, in her rich, captivating new book, she creates an indelible portrait of two women, once lost to each other, about to come together in a time of exquisite joy and almost unbearable sadness. Sisters by blood, strangers by choice, each stands at a crossroads, ready to confront the betrayals of the past. . . .
Meghann Dontess is a woman haunted by heartbreak. Twenty-five years ago she was forced to make a terrible choice, one that cost her everything, including the love of her sister, Claire. Now, Meghann is a hotshot divorce attorney who doesn’t believe in intimacy–until she meets the one man who can change her mind.
Claire Cavenaugh has fallen in love for the first time in her life. As her wedding day approaches, she prepares to face her harsh, judgmental older sister and their self-absorbed mother. It is the first time they have been together in more than two decades. Over the course of a hot Pacific Northwest summer, these three women who believe they have nothing in common will try to become what they never were: a family.
Tender, funny, bittersweet, and wonderfully moving, Between Sisters celebrates the joys and heartaches that can only be shared by sisters, the mistakes made in the name of love and the healing power of new beginnings–all beautifully told by acclaimed author Kristin Hannah.

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend by Cheryl Carpinello

Chapter 1

The Hunt

Guinevere stared into the shadows along the edge of the forest. She could hear Cedwyn shifting from foot to foot beside her, unable to stand still. She sighed, the bow made of sturdy pine in her hand growing heavier like her heart. Her thirteenth Birth Day was in a few days, but she wasn’t excited. Birth Days were supposed to be fun, but not this year. Not for her, not for a princess.

She frowned as Cedwyn adjusted the leather quiver of arrows on his back again. Sometimes, like today, her patience with the seven-year-old was short.



“But ...”


She stamped her boot on the ground, her displeasure clearly showing.

“Cedwyn,” she snapped. “What is so important that you can’t be quiet?”

“I’m hungry, and the bottoms of my trousers are wet. Can’t we go back to the castle?” His face showed his confusion at her tone.

Guinevere realized that she shouldn’t have directed her anger at Cedwyn. It wasn’t his fault. Glancing down at her own clothes, she saw the bottom of her green ankle-length tunic wet with the morning dew. Her stomach chose that moment to begin grumbling. It started as a low vibration but grew louder as if it hadn’t been fed in days. Cedwyn heard it and started giggling. He tried to smother the sound by covering his mouth with his small hand, but he was too late.

Trying to keep from laughing also, Guinevere shook her head. “How are we ever going to shoot a rabbit with all this noise?” She reached down and tousled his blond hair to let him know that she was not serious and to apologize for her crossness. “Let’s try for just ten minutes longer. Then if we find nothing, we’ll go back. Is that all right?”

Cedwyn shook his head, not wanting to make any further noise. She let her eyes move across the blue sky. The English summer sun had barely reached above the far hills when they had first arrived at the forest. Now, it was well on its way in its climb toward the dinner hour, and they hadn’t even had a proper breakfast yet. Cedwyn’s mum was sure to be upset that they had been gone so long.

“Come on,” he whispered. “The only creatures we’ve seen moving have been badgers and Cornish hens. We could of had five bloody hens by now.”

“I told you, it’s good luck to bag a rabbit on the eve of your thirteenth Birth Day,” Guinevere informed him.

Cedwyn studied her face, unsure if she was telling the truth or not. Then his blue eyes widened, and he grabbed her arm as she turned to continue hunting. “Wait a minute! You promised to help me bag a rabbit on the eve of my tenth Birth Day. You said that was lucky!”

She turned to him, her balled fists on her slim hips. “You need to listen closer when I talk to you. I explained the difference be- tween boys and girls. Boys have to seek luck on the eve of their tenth and fifteenth Birth Days. Since girls are naturally luckier than boys, they only have to seek luck once, on the eve of their thirteenth Birth Day.”

Cedwyn eyed her suspiciously, and then his eyes lit up.

“But I thought that the eve was the night before. Your Birth Day isn’t until the day after tomorrow.”

“That’s true, but the eve of something can also be anytime close to the day.”

“Are you sure?”


Buy Now @ Amazon @ Smashwords

Genre - Arthurian Legend

Rating – G

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Cheryl Carpinello on Facebook & Twitter & Goodreads


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Secret Words (Secret Dreams Book 1) by Miranda P. Charles @MirandaPCharles

Secret Words

Love touched the core of their heart unexpectedly

But how do they fight those who believe they weren’t meant to be?

When Jasmine Allen met Kane Summers in the unlikeliest of places, she wasn’t expecting the swift and immediate attraction she felt for him. But Jasmine had a secret she wasn’t at all comfortable sharing with anyone, least of all, the hunky guy who was literally sweeping her off her feet.

Kane Summers was a sucker for damsels in distress. When he found himself wanting to protect Jasmine Allen in more ways than one, the instant chemistry they had for each other hit him squarely in the chest. But Kane’s life was complicated, and he wasn’t totally free to act on the fascination he felt for her.

Kane and Jasmine were fighting a losing battle to stay away from each other. But circumstances – and certain people – beyond their control were very much intent on keeping them apart.

How could they find their way past secrets and malicious intents to nurture a love that, if given the chance, could last a lifetime?

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Contemporary Romance

Rating – R

More details about the author

Connect with Miranda P. Charles on Facebook & Twitter


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Debbie A. Heaton

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Debbie A. Heaton

It doesn’t matter how many conversations you have with an individual or how many questions you ask, there are always things you don’t know about someone.  Anyone who has visited my website knows that I’m a professional therapist specializing in behavior modification and currently working with families and children; I live in Southeastern Arizona; I love animals; I’m a fan of classic movies (the late-great Susan Hayward and Jessica Tandy are two of my all-time favorite actresses); I write a parenting column for the Eastern Arizona Courier; and I love children and will do anything for them.  Some things that most people don’t know about me include:

  1. My love of reading and writing began when my parents encouraged me to get out into the community and discover what they had to offer.  I discovered the public library and my love for reading was born.  To me, every row of books represented opportunities for adventure.  According to my mother, whenever she couldn’t find me all she had to do was call the local librarian and there I was.  My mother labeled me her “rebel child” in the first grade as I was unable to follow the rules and check out “only one book at a time.”  Now I serve on my local library advisory board working to help preserve this necessary institution while promoting the importance of early childhood literacy.
  2. My mother always told me, “One day I will read a book written by you.”  I’m happy to say that my mother lived to see “The Haunting of Wolfe Haven” published.
  3. I am descended from a long line of firefighters.
  4. I am terrified of basements and attics probably because as a child, my firefighter grandfather repeatedly told the tale of “Katie the Gorilla” who was reported to make her home in dark places.  I’m living proof that such stories really do keep children out of dangerous places.
  5. I love New Orleans.
  6. If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would choose to visit Ireland and Scotland.
  7. I am a die-hard fan of “Longmire” and never miss an episode.
  8. My favorite author is Heather Graham and while I have read everything she has written I truly enjoy her “Krewe of Hunters” series.
  9. I find time to write everyday regardless of my work schedule.
  10. I read Wuthering Heights as a young girl and found myself so fascinated by the characters that I’ve read it more times than I can count.  This is the book that inspired me to be a writer myself.

And there you have it—just a short list of “odds and ends” about this author.  Who am I?  I am many things including a writer.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Romance (Gothic)

Rating – R for graphic sex and language

Connect with Debbie A Heaton on FacebookTwitter


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ted Tayler – My Publishing Journey

My Publishing Journey

by Ted Tayler

My friend Tom Sangster said one evening, when I recounted a story about when I had met such and such a singer, whose hit song was being murdered by a covers band in the corner of the pub we visit most Fridays ‘You really ought to write these stories down you know’. I wasn’t sure who would be interested. He said I’d be surprised. People of a certain age ARE nostalgic about the ‘golden era’ as they see it, of groups and singers from all over the world. The decade or so I was performing in saw an incredible upsurge in different styles of music and fashion; people travelled like never before. The world became a smaller much more vibrant, exciting place than the one our parents had grown up in.

Despite my reservations, he persuaded me to think about trawling through my memory banks and writing down as many stories as I could remember (which were fit to print!). Even if the only people to see the outcome were my children and grandchildren it was better that the stories were there, in print, than lost for ever once I had popped my clogs!

I started in early 2006. Around eight months later I had a collection of anecdotes, but no real structure. I also discovered, after asking someone to knock my manuscript into shape for a publisher, that I had committed a cardinal sin! My compiler was pulling her hair out! My stories jumped about from 1962 to 1968, then back to 1965, all over the place.  Publishers HATE that she told me! Why didn’t I get a proper beginning and ending and organise the stories in chronological sequence, as far as was practical.

After my ‘52 card shuffle’ as I manoeuvred the stories into the correct order, plus some re-writing and additional stories that suddenly came back to me from the ‘mists of time’, it was almost 2009 before I had a manuscript that looked maybe ninety-nine percent like the book which finally appeared in print.

My next task was to trawl the internet, searching out UK publishers who were still in business and looking to publish memoirs or autobiographies. As you can imagine, in 2009 things were starting to get decidedly difficult, so potential partners were thin on the ground! I diligently read all the ‘do’s and don’ts’ on submissions and selected a dozen to approach, then with a finely honed synopsis and where appropriate, a couple of sample chapters, I fired off my submissions.

Rejection hurts! Of course, the rejections in the case of a submission to a publisher aren’t that quick in arriving. Over half don’t even have the decency to reply. Then there are the standard letters akin to the ‘Dear John’ letters that we all dread which tell you very little except that they have dumped you! These start turning up anything between a month and three months after you have attached the first class stamp to your submissions envelope.

I was lucky. I got 4 ‘Dear Ted’s’ which commented on an ‘interesting proposal’, and a ‘well written, well observed commentary on the era’ but also mentioned ‘extremely full lists in the coming months’ ‘very few titles being commissioned at present’ or even ‘no longer actively pursuing memoirs or biographies’.

Because you believe SOMEONE will be keen to snap up your book and publish it post haste, of course, you don’t quite know when to accept that you have lost the first skirmish in the battle for global domination. Around six months after the submissions were sent out; I stopped looking wistfully up the driveway for the postman to be approaching with a letter that carried glad tidings. The manuscript was consigned to the dark corners of my computer and marked down as ‘something to get around to again when the economy starts looking up’ and I occupied my time with my family and my advancing years.

When the spring of 2011 arrived with an unseasonably warm spell just before we flew off to Ibiza at the end of April, my wife Lynne went out with one of our daughters for some retail therapy. She returned with a ‘freebie’ booklet she had picked up, with some interesting articles she wanted to read, plus the usual liberal sprinkling of local adverts. I picked it up and idly flicked through the pages one afternoon, deciding whether to risk chucking it in the recycling bin or double checking with her first.

I spotted an advert for a local firm which offered to ‘help you get your treasured memories in print’. Cepia Books were duly contacted and eight weeks later the book of memories was listed in paperback and kindle on Amazon as ‘Coming Soon’!

The proof copy arrived from the printers around the same time & I couldn’t put it down! I sat in the garden for a quick proof read, then, as I needed to pop to the bank I walked into town carrying the book! Pathetic isn’t it? Just casually laying it down on the counter as I checked the details on my paying in slip!

At sixty six years of age, after five years of writing and waiting, my first book was published.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Amazon UK & Smashwords

Genre – Crime / Thriller

Rating – 18+

More details about the book

Connect with Ted Tayler on Twitter


Monday, October 14, 2013

Relative Malice by Marla Madison @MarlaAMadison

Relative Malice by Marla Madison

Amazon Kindle US

Genre – Suspense

Rating – PG13

4.4 (60 reviews)

Free until 15 October 2013

When four family members are found dead after a home invasion, Detective Kendall Halsrud takes charge of the case. In the murder house, she discovers an empty crib with blood drops next to it on the wood floor. The family: a father, mother, teenage daughter, and young son have been fatally shot . . . but where is baby Philly?
The desperate search to find the child derails when a man is arrested for murdering the family and claims to have killed the baby. Suspecting he had an accomplice, Kendall isn’t convinced. Refusing to give up on finding the child, Kendall persists in unearthing the family’s secrets. With the help of a hacker turned spurious fortune-teller and a former cop hired by the missing baby’s uncle, she discovers a furtive pedophile ring is planning on buying and sharing a baby. Can she stop them while there's time to save Philly?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

#Free Alert - Sonora, and the Eye of the Titans by Travis Hall @SonoraSeries

Sonora, and the Eye of the Titans by Travis Hall


Percy Jackson meets I Am Number Four in this epic young adult fantasy series that answers the question, what if the gods of ancient civilizations were merely aliens?
Thousands of years ago, human civilizations were slaves to gods & titans. In truth, these beings were aliens from a world called Sonora. A war broke out that ended their rule on humanity, led by the famously known, so-called gods of ancient civilizations. Victorious, the gods of Earth established an order of Guardians, tasked to defend humans against the unauthorized passage of Sonorian invaders.
Many years later, the balance of power shifts, and the King of Sonora is murdered by a malevolent General who seeks ultimate power. As this new King’s power grows, evil forces takeover in Sonora, and eventually push that world toward the brink of war. The Guardians of Earth are now at a precipice, and their only hope is to protect the Sonorian rebellion and hope that they can find a way to defeat this new King before he amasses an army large enough to invade Earth.
Sasquatch, one of the most famous Guardians, monitors the gateway in North America where a group of Sonorian rebels have assimilated into the small mountain community of Sandy, Oregon. His task becomes even more complicated when he learns that he must protect the last bloodline of the rightful heir to the Sonorian throne.
Allora is unaware of her alien and royal heritage until she becomes the victim of a malicious prank. Embarrassed in front of her peers, her emotions become overwhelming, causing her hands to burst into flames. The sudden and public outburst projects an energy signature that attracts assassins to the small town.
Allora and her friends Tanner, Dax, and Katie must learn the ways of combat, master the art of the sword, and harness the ability to focus energized molecules, called hadrons, in order to meet their destiny and become true Sonorian warriors. Their only hope for survival is an ancient artifact, known as the Eye of the Titans.
To find it, Allora, Katie, Dax, and Tanner must solve complex riddles, fight mythical creatures, and navigate a magical cavern maze, all the while enduring advanced calculus, jealous cheerleading girlfriends, and the much anticipated prom.