The Writer’s Journey – Guest, Shirley Harris-Slaughter

My next guest for THE WRITER’S JOURNEY is SHIRLEY HARRIS-SLAUGHTER. Photo2Welcome and Thank you, Shirley, for sharing your journey to publishing.

Kim it is a pleasure to be invited to your Writer’s Journey Blog. Thank you so much for your hospitality.

My Pen Name is Shirley Harris-Slaughter. My writing started in the year 2002 with a nagging dream of preserving our historical presence in the Catholic Church.  Here is my story.

I am the author of the book:  “Our Lady of Victory – The Saga of an African-American Catholic Community.”  This book evolved out of years of frustration at the total disregard and lack of respect for the contributions of Slaughter CoverImageBlack Catholics in the city of Detroit.  “We are not mentioned in the pages of history along with the other Catholic churches that sprung up during the World War II era, and that needed to be corrected.  You couldn’t even go on the web and find anything about this historic black Church.  So my mission began — fill this void!

My love of history and an interest in old buildings is what drives me on this mission.  My thesis in College was about saving the Michigan Central Depot, an old train station in downtown Detroit. An opportunity arose to attend a conference sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and while there I learned that I was a Preservationist.  Such a novel word. I never would have thought of it on my own.

The book was published in 2007 and launched with a book event held at my merged church: Presentation-Our Lady of Victory and was the most successful book event I would ever do. I published with iUniverse initially, but moved away from them in 2014 when I republished under Createspace and had a Facebook Re-Launch Party sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.

Iuniverse worked for me in the beginning but over time, they were not giving me much for the huge sums of money they were getting from me. And they showed little respect for me as an Indie Author. They were to my horror a “vanity press.” Had they revealed themselves as such early on, I never would have went with them. I have to admit they did do a very professional job of editing and publishing my book. I got plenty of compliments on so I was very pleased with their work. But it all went downhill after that.

Createspace doesn’t do too much better. You are basically on your own with them or be prepared to pay huge amounts of money if you allow them to do it. The only thing going for them is their sister arm Amazaon. That’s it!

What I’ve learned from the publishing experience is knowing how to do your own formatting preparation and graphics for paperbacks and ebooks. And learn to do it correctly. Then you can control every aspect of your book publishing and not have to pay huge amounts of money just to hire someone else to do it. Smashwords is a good place to start. You can hire a freelance if you can’t do it yourself.

My second book is a perfect example of doing things yourself. Book title is CRAZY! HOT! AND LIVING ON THE EDGE!!Crazy!_Hot!_And_Livi_Cover_for_Kindle I had to hire an editor because I needed one desperately. So I found someone locally who used to publish for a local magazine here in my town and it worked out well. She helped me to develop my story and she did editing. My only problem with her was that she was not using up to date technology for editing like what I got from iUniverse. She was doing it the old fashioned way (cut and paste literally). Thank Goodness she knew what she was doing, because I was sort of lost. By following her instructions to the letter, we got through it and I would recommend her again. Her company is called Esteem Multimedia. The proof was what my readers thought of the book.

I hired an artist friend to do my bookcover design and it turned out fabulously and at minimum cost. You have to get creative in getting your book published and that’s what I learned.

Lastly, I had to hire an old friend to help me format the manuscript and then I went to Createspace to publish.

WHERE TO BUY:

Our Lady of Victory – The Saga of an African-American Catholic Community
CRAZY! HOT! AND LIVING ON THE EDGE!!

The Writer’s Journey – Guest, Yvette M. Calleiro

I’d like to introduce to you author, Yvette M. Calleiro, and welcome her to tell us all about her writer’s journey. Feel free to ask Yvette any questions, or just leave her a bit of encouragement. We all need that, right?

Yvette’s Journey

I started writing in 7th grade when my English teacher, Mrs. Beverly Hoffman, encouraged us to explore our imagination and put our thoughts on paper.  I wrote my first short story then.  Throughout high school, I wrote poetry.  It was nothing to get excited about, but it kept writing in my life and made it an outlet of sorts for me.  After my divorce, reading became an escape for me, and I realized how much I missed writing.  I started writing again, and I’ve rediscovered my passion for writing and daydreaming. 🙂

I published my first novel, The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 1) in January 2014.  I had wanted to go the traditional route, but more literary agents told me that they were either only working with already published authors or that they were not looking for my kind of story.  That is when I discovered everything indie. 🙂  I realized that many of the authors that I love started off as indie authors before being picked up by a publishing company.  So, I researched how to format my novel so that it would look professional.  I learned how to use Smashwords and Amazon to upload my book.  I learned how to use CreateSpace to create a physical copy for readers who enjoy the feel of a print book.  I created a web site and then joined the social media world on Facebook and Twitter.  Once I had everything in place, I released my baby into the world.

I can proudly say that I am an Indie Author. 🙂

Well, I told you how I got started.  It’s been a whirlwind since then.  I’m a single mom of a very active boy.  I work full-time+ as a high school intensive reading teacher. I add the plus sign after full-time because most people think that teachers leave work when the bell rings at 2:20pm.  I don’t think I’ve left before 4pm on a single day, and usually I am there until 5:00 or 5:30 p.m.  It’s a rewarding job but an exhausting job if you do it correctly.

After work, I have to help my son with all of his homework and take him to his flag football practices and games.  Somewhere in there, I try to go to the gym at least three times a week.  And then I try to find time to write.  I am always saying there is not enough hours in the day to do everything that I want to do.

I have two published books: The One Discovered and The One Enlightened, both of the Chronicles of the Diasodz.  I just finished writing The One Betrayed and will be sending it off to beta readers very soon.  My weakest area is promoting.  I honestly just don’t have time to promote my books the way that they deserve to be promoted.  Whenever I have free time, I want to use that time for writing, so I barely get to promote.

I am grateful to organizations like the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) where the members generously promote my novel for me. I enjoy promoting them as well, and I find that it doesn’t take as much time to retweet or tweet about their books.  🙂

Part of my issue is that I’ve always hated to have attention on me, so it’s hard for me to promote myself and put myself in the lime light.  I tell myself that once the entire series is written, I will spend time promoting it well.  I guess time will tell if I stick to that plan. 😉

Life is a learning experience, and those of us who embrace our mistakes will grow to overcome them.  I am SO happy that I self-published.  One of the things I feel I did correctly is joining RRBC. I have learned so much from the members there.  I just participated in my first blog tour, and I’m about to push myself into joining a book trailer tour, even though I have no idea what I’m doing. lol!  They challenge me to grow as an author, and I appreciate their support.

Another thing I did correctly was finding beta readers. I learned about those on Goodreads, and I have found a small group of beta readers whose support I truly value.  I also learned a lot on Smashwords about formatting my novel so that it looked professional.  It was a little frustrating for me at first because I was terrified of getting reviews that stated that the formatting was horrible.  Luckily, I haven’t had any of those. Smashwords also put me in touch with my cover designer, and I am beyond blessed to have her creating my covers!

What would I do differently??? Win the lotto. Stay at home and write all day. lol! Honestly, I don’t think I would have done anything differently.  That’s not to say that things are perfect.  My first novel needs more revision.  After reading the reviews, many people complained about the switching in views; they also said that once they got past that, they loved the story.  It’s been two years since I wrote that book, and I’m rereading it now to make sure that book three (which I just finished writing) and book four (which I will start writing soon) stay consistent with the story line.  I understand their reviews.  I was going for third-person omniscient, but there are parts that switch point of view so quickly that it’s a bit confusing. So, eventually, I want to go back and revise book one.

I don’t mind bad reviews as long as they are honest.  Not everyone will love my stories just like I don’t love every story that is out there.  That’s okay.  I am a huge believer in respecting others’ opinions and learning from those who think differently than I think.  I still would not have changed publishing it when I did.  Having the book out there is what motivated me to write book two, and it has kept me excited about seeing this whole series completed. Everything happens for a reason. 🙂

Yvette

About The Author

Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels.  She spends most of her time psuedo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). She’s also been known to run on the elliptical machine or ride the stationary bike at her gym for hours while reading anything from paranormal to fantasy to suspenseful thrillers.

When she’s living amongst real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a high school Reading teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over eighteen years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her beautiful son who allows her to enjoy children’s literature all over again. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.

My latest book:

I just finished writing The One Betrayed (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 3). I hope to have it published before Christmas.

My published books:

The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 1) 

TheOneDiscovered - Cover Design 10How do you choose when both options have dire consequences?

Sofia is a 17 year old who is quite content with her life. She has a caring boyfriend who also just happens to be her best friend since birth. She has a loving mother. She is successfully completing her last year of high school and enjoys her part-time job. She can’t imagine wanting more from her life…until Ar’ch (pronounced Ar-rick) enters her dreams, sparking a burning flame inside of her that she can’t seem to extinguish nor does she want to.

Ar’ch is a Diasodz (Die-ah-sodz), a species created by the Goddess back when God created humans. Diasodz were made to heal and protect humans, but when the Diasodz turned their backs on helping humans and left Earth to live in their own world, the Goddess abandoned them. Since then, their powers and their very lives have been fading. A prophecy foretold that a young girl born on Earth would be the Diasodz’s savior. Ar’ch and his brother, Angel, travel to Earth to retrieve her and bring her back to their world before her death day in order to save their kind. Ar’ch knows the drill: find the target, capture her, and safely bring her home. But what happens when the target captures his dormant heart?

Choices create action. Actions have consequences. When faced with the truth, what choice will Sofia make? Will she be able to accept the consequences that follow?

The One Enlightened (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 2)TheOneEnlightened - book cover 3

Sofia has lost everything that was important to her: her mother, her boyfriend, and her best friend. Even the belief that humans are the only beings in the world has been stripped away, but she has no time to dwell on her losses because she’s been transported to a new world to become the savior of the Diasodz. Sofia trusted Ar’ch and Angel to be there for her and to guide and protect her, but only Angel has held true to his word. Ar’ch has abandoned her, leaving her to feel tricked and betrayed.

Ar’ch brought Sofia home, fulfilling his mission to bring their savior safely to their world, but it didn’t come without a cost. Rafe, Sofia’s boyfriend, was killed, and Ar’ch believes Sofia blames him for it. Ar’ch’s sole focus becomes doing what is best for Sofia, and in his mind, that does not include him.

As Sofia deals with Ar’ch’s absence, she throws herself into learning about the Diasodz’s history. She grows stronger both emotionally and physically, and begins to accept her role in their world, but not everyone is convinced that she is the one whom the prophecy states will save them.

Beliefs will be challenged. Secrets will be revealed. Relationships will be shattered. And in the aftermath, evil will see its opportunity and strike. Will Sofia be able to handle it all? Or will the savior of the Diasodz lose her will to continue?

My covers were created by the talented Tatiana Vila of Vila Designs. http://www.viladesign.net/

My website is: http://yvettemcalleiro.com
My blog is: http://yvettemcalleiro.blogspot.com
My Facebook is: http://www.facebook.com/YvetteMCalleiro
My Twitter is: @YvetteMCalleiro

FALL INTO GREAT READS BLOG TOUR HAS STARTED

MORE PRIZES TO WIN IN OCTOBER

For information, visit FALL INTO GREAT READS. And check out the first blog post with romantic comedy author, Amy Lynch as she introduces you to her book, BRIDE WITHOUT A GROOM.

Each day, go to A Word With Traci and see which author is posting that day and leave a comment, and there may be a chance to win a prize.

Heref are the authors featured in the FALL INTO GOOD READS blog tour:

THE WRITER’S JOURNEY – GUEST, LIZ GAVIN

I would like to introduce to you a NEW regular category on Kim’s Author Support Page: THE WRITER’S JOURNEY. I’ve decided to host a guest spot each Sunday morning for this project. Please feel free to comment and ask Liz any questions you may have about her post.

My first guest for this spot is LIZ GAVIN. Thank you, Liz, for answering my call for articles for this category post.

BEING AN INDIE AUTHOR BY LIZ GAVIN

It is hard to write a novel. It’s time-consuming to the point we neglect family and friends. It’s so distracting we walk around with our heads in the clouds, hearing dialogs in our heads and seeing things that aren’t there.

It is also a fact that most writers know next to nothing about promoting their books. They – no, strike that – WE concentrate on the creative process. We enjoy creating to the extent we don’t have time to bother with ‘small’ details such as covers, formatting, trailers, blog tours, you name it! The word small is in between quotation marks because these things are HUGE for authors, more so for indie writers.

After all, let’s face it – the relationship between authors and readers sometimes raises delicate issues. Isn’t it frustrating to see a complaint from a reader about the fact your book looks ‘funny’ on their e-reader after all your hard work, the sleepless nights you had to go through to finish writing that particular book? As a writer, one may consider it unfair that another person ignored the content to complain about the looks of a book. As a customer yourself, can you blame that person for wanting a good quality product? I know I can’t.

If we don’t have the funds to employ a team of awesome, creative people to take care of covers, formatting, promoting and so on, we must do it on our own. If we don’t have the time and/or skills to take on this job, the next best thing is to find professionals who can help us.

CREATING COVERS

LOTI

You know that old saying ‘you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover’, right? Well, the thing is – most people do that. Some people do that all the time. I know covers can be misleading. I know a beautiful cover doesn’t mean the content is any good. However, I often wonder – why not combine an excellent story and a compelling cover?

Does it seem easy? Well… it’s not that simple. One must have a picture they can use. I mean, the author must have taken a useful picture himself/herself to avoid facing copyright issues. If they don’t have it, they need to find an image, with good quality resolution, and appropriate dimensions, at one of the many royalty-free stock image websites.

Does it still sound simple? If you’re an author, you know it isn’t. If you’re a reader, let me propose an exercise. Think about a book you’ve read. Any book. Think about its storyline and main characters. Forget its actual cover and go online searching for an image you think portrays that storyline and those characters. How long did it take you to find it?

Great. You have your image now. But, is the picture royalty-free? Is it ready to be used on the cover of your book? Do you need to edit it? Do you need to include a title and the author’s name? How do you do that? How long will it take you to finish your cover?

Phew! I’m tired already. Aren’t you? I told you it wasn’t as easy as it sounded. Now, if you’re a reader, you now have a slight idea of what we have to go through to offer you a decent-looking cover.

Editing pictures can be tricky. It took me almost a year to master the basics of Photoshop. Some people never do. There’s an excellent website for editing images with user-friendly features called Pickmonkey. I’ve used it a lot as well. As for royalty-free images, my favorite source for is Big Stock Photo because they have variety, high-resolution quality, and fair prices plus a 7-day trial period when you can download up to 5 pictures a day.

FORMATTING EBOOKS

You spent countless hours researching for your book. You poured your heart and soul into the story. You made sure it was the best one you could have written. You uploaded it to the online stores and crossed your fingers. Readers liked it. They posted positive reviews about it until the day somebody pointed out the story was great but they couldn’t give your book five starts because there were too many blank spaces in it. After that, you started getting one-star reviews based solely on the formatting issues. Before you knew it, the online store froze sales of your book and sent you a friendly email asking you to fix said issues before they could put your book back on sale at their store. *PANIC*.

Do you think I exaggerate, that this is unlikely to happen? Well, a dear friend and fellow author went through this ordeal last year. He ended up missing the Christmas sales for his brilliant, non-fiction book because the major online store where he had published it froze his downloads until he fixed the formatting issues. Namely – a few words that weren’t properly separated on the final ebook file and extra spaces between paragraphs that ‘hindered the reader’s optimum reading experience’. Bottom line is – we never know when an apparently small issue will amount to a huge one.

The important question is – is formatting eBooks a difficult task? Well… yes and no. It took me a while to figure out how to do it. I wasted a lot of time until I figured it out I needed to set up the Word® files in a specific way before converting them. Almost by accident I stumbled on a comprehensive guide on formatting Ebooks called ‘Building Your Book for Kindle’. I downloaded it free of charge at the ‘Help’ section on my KDP Account Dashboard. It is a step-by-step guide – with screenshots to guide you through the whole process – from setting up your .doc file to uploading it to the automated converter on Amazon KDP. Once I created a compatible file, I used it as template for the following ones. Smashwords also offers good guides to formatting and publishing on their store. If you want to sell your books on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple, I recommend Draft2Digital. They offer excellent service for free, and attractive royalties plans. Plus, you can use the same .doc file you uploaded to Amazon (minus any live links).

PRINTING YOUR BOOKS

UD

Before I became a writer, I had always been an avid reader. I would read almost anything I could find. Granted, if the book was really awful, I wouldn’t finish it. Still, I would try to read it. I revered the printed pages of books to the point of being unable to write on them, to make notes on the margins, as some of my friends would do when we were teens. (Yes, I’m old. I grew up reading books, not Kindles! LoL)

Anyway, my point is that I viewed printed books as precious things. As I grew older, I learned authors worked hard before getting a break and being published. I discovered how expensive it was to print a book. And I heard about the minimum number of copies a publishing house needed to print to put a book in the stores’ shelves. This information added to my previous idea about the rarity of printed books.

Consequently, when I started toying with the possibility of writing, I didn’t dare consider printing them. I pushed that thought to the furthest corners of my mind and forgot about it. Until the day I didn’t remember to forget it. LoL

There are many companies offering ‘POD or print-on-demand’ services – if you’re not familiar with the term, it means they will print and deliver books as customers buy them. In my opinion, as an indie writer, the greatest advantage of printing a book when the reader buys it is the cost. And the biggest disadvantage is the price. Meaning – indie authors can’t usually afford the traditional publishing process. On the other hand, printing-on-demand a 400-page book will make your selling price go up to the stratosphere if you want to keep a sizeable margin of profits.

Having said that, I must confess that I chose to offer my books in print, with a very small margin of profit, mainly because it fed my ego. There, I said it! But in my defense, I had my reasons. You see, that little girl I used to be, who spent hours in the neighborhood library gawking at the endless shelves of precious books, still lives inside me. She jumped around and somersaulted countless times when she held a printed copy of my first novel. I told myself I had decided to sell printed versions of my stories because many people don’t like reading eBooks. Although that might be a fact, little Liz Gavin is the real reason. She is saying, “I’m a ‘published author’ now. I ROCK!” while doing a little happy dance!

There are various companies to choose from when you decide to sell your stories in print. Personally, I stuck with CreateSpace because I thought it would be easier to work with a company from the Amazon group since most of my titles are published exclusively there.

Thank you once again for stopping by today. Hope you had fun! I know I did.

Liz Gavin

LIZ

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

When Liz Gavin was in Second Grade – just a couple of years ago, really – her teacher told her mother the little girl should start a diary because she needed an outlet for her active and vivid imagination. She was a talkative child who would disrupt the class by engaging her colleagues in endless conversations. She loved telling them the stories her grandfather used to tell her.

Apparently, the teacher wasn’t a big fan of those stories, and Liz’s mother bought her a diary. She happily wrote on it for a couple of months. Unable to see the appeal of writing for her own enjoyment only, she gave up on it. She missed the audience her friends provided her in class. She went back to disturbing her dear teacher’s class.

Since then, she has become a hungry reader. She will read anything and everything she can get her hands on – from the classics to erotica. That’s how she has become a writer of erotica and romance, as well.

As a young adult, she participated in a student exchange program and lived in New Orleans for six months. She fell in love with the city and its wonderful inhabitants. NOLA will always hold a special spot in Liz Gavin’s heart. Nowadays, living in Brazil, Liz’s creativity has improved many times because it’s such a vibrant, gorgeous and sexy country.

Welcome to her world of hot Alpha males and naughty, independent women. Add a touch of the paranormal in the presence of some wicked souls and you’ll get the picture.

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CONTACT INFORMATION

Blog
Twitter
Facebook Author Page
Amazon Author Page – FOR ALL HER TITLES

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EXTRA1EXTRA2

#RRBC’S BETHANY TURNER “PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK – Stephen Geez

This is my last but not least, seventh day for “PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK post. Well, I lived up to the seven posts, but I had to double-up after missing one day. I want to say there are so many supportive members at RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB that it has been extremely hard to choose who to recognize. I would say there are at least twenty others, but probably more, who could’ve made this last spot. But I asked myself who do I see tweeting other authors more than any other and Stephen Geez immediately popped into my head. So here’s my “PAY IT FORWARD” to you, Stephen. Thank you for all of your support.

About Author, Stephen Geezstephen

Stephen Geez earned his undergrad and grad degrees at the University of Michigan. A composer, producer, publisher, and writer, he watches too much television but prefers diving tropical reefs. Watch for his essays, stories, and more books at http://www.StephenGeez.com.

Visit Stephen at the following locations:

Amazon Author’s Page
Twitter
Website

About Stephen Geez’s Books

Note that Stephen has for sale at least twice as many books as I’m including on this page. So make sure to visit his Amazon Author’s Page to check them  out.

papalaPapala Skies

Chicago native Rochelle DuFortier likes to imagine the future, her world a series of picture postcards so vivid they sometimes seem real. When a foolish mistake at thirteen causes her mother’s death, she’s sent to a secluded Hawaiian valley, an outsider “haole-girl” among pidgin-speaking boys who hurl flaming papala spears under the full moon to summon her mother’s spirit. After boarding school and a prestigious university back east, the ambitious young woman is torn between chasing new career opportunities, discovering her mother’s heritage in a remote French village, and meeting obligations pulling her back to Hawaii.

On this island steeped in ancient mythology and modern superstition, Rochelle tests the possibility of sharing pieces of her life with those whose beliefs she barely understands and never intends to embrace. She dives the depths of a pristine coral lagoon, conceals bodies in a subterranean lava tube, and challenges the eruptions of a living volcano, even as she deciphers the truth about her mother’s death and struggles to satisfy new debts born of old betrayals.

Papala Skies is the story of a young woman who makes all the right choices, only to find herself living an unexpected life. It is about the need to belong, and seeking one’s own version of truth amid such differing cultures’ responses to wrenching loss and abiding
grief. It is about yearning for a sense of place, yet having to confront new ways to honor the love of family and friends.

Will Rochelle lose what matters most, or might she learn what the smart octopus already knows?

Buy the book at Amazon US or Amazon UK

Dance of the Lightsdance

Frank relishes fast success and early retirement, but struggling to preserve his life’s work thrusts him into a desperate battle to protect the people he cares about most.

Beverly seeks a new beginning in Tarpon Springs—until those she trusts steal control of her destiny, forcing a fight for her very survival.

All twelve-year-old Kevin wants is attention from the only man he respects, yet murder and the wrenching indifference of a callous legal system toward one vulnerable child proves even friendship might never be enough.

Riven by tragedy, consumed by grief, all three must confront the wondrous possibility that our indelible bonds may somehow transcend even death, that a cherished soul truly can find the way back.

Only together might this improbable family dare embrace their own brand of unexpected love, that infinite potential to achieve more than any one person can alone. Through it all, they are teased by the mystery of those dancing lights, a million pinpoints in every imaginable color swirling to form brilliant images of extraordinary lives.

Buy the book at Amazon US or Amazon UK

beenthereBeen There, Noted That: Essays In Tribute To Life: Observations, Inspiration, Remembrance, & Noteworthies To Share

Been There, Noted That: Essays In Tribute To Life

*Observations, Inspiration, Remembrance, & Noteworthies To Share

The simple lives of everyday people in a mundane world prove extraordinary in this collection of 54 personal-experience essays by novelist Stephen Geez. The eclectic mix of memoir, commentary, humor, and appreciation covers a wide range of topics, each
beautifully illustrated by artists and photographers from the Fresh Ink Group. Geez catches what many of us miss, then considers how we might all share the most
poignant of lessons. Been There, Noted That aims to reveal who we are, examine where we’ve been, and discover what we dare strive to become.

Buy the book at Amazon US or Amazon UK

InvigilatorInvigilator

A Tennessee teen in the mid-1990s, Eugene Weisman enjoys pretending to defend a so-called “alien”—until the game turns deadly and his life depends on what others believe.

Hand-picked to helm Program Invigil, Colonel Chester McGovern takes responsibility for detection, isolation, and eradication—then unleashes enormous inter-military power cloaked in black-helicopter secrecy.

Tiring of the clandestine wet-work biz, soldier of fortune Flynn Durbett settles down to run a weapons-smuggling ring for governments and underground patriots—but then old obligations renew, and his own opinions matter less than standing up for others’.

As Eugene attracts followers who declare him the true savior, McGovern lays siege to American citizens while searching for the missing black box in his obsessive mission to preserve life as we know it.

Do we really need to be protected? And who will deliver us?—the military, or a loosely organized rag-tag militia? Is it all fantasy, or a threat greater than we ever imagined?

Everybody has the right to believe, but only one can be the Invigilator.

Buy the book at Amazon US or Amazon UK

#RRBC’S BETHANY TURNER “PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK – Robin Chambers

Robin Chambers is my Saturday pick for “PAY IT FORWARD” – Robin is another supporter for authors and readers of Rave Reviews book club. He was one of the first RRBC members who tweeted (not a retweet) a purchase link for one of my books, and he’s always going that extra mile for his fellow authors.

About Author, Robin Howell

robin-books

Robin Chambers (1942 – ) first got the idea for his latest series of books while walking robindogs through the grounds of The Orchid Garden Eco-Village Hotel in Belize, where he and his wife Amy lived from 2008-2011. Having narrowly survived a murder attempt by local thugs, he and Amy returned to the relative safety of the UK and he began writing full-time at the age of 69. “Myrddin’s Heir” is a long story: longer than “Lord of the Rings”, longer than “The Chronicles of Narnia”. longer even than “Harry Potter and…”

He spent the first 18 years of his life in Bootle on Merseyside. His teaching career was in Inner London schools from 1967-1993. In the 1970s – while Head of English at Hackney Downs School – he wrote stories that were published by Penguin and Granada. He became Head of Clissold Park School in 1979 and was the first head of Stoke Newington School in Hackney (1982-93).

He returned to teaching in 2001 and retired for the second and final time in 2007.

The books in his “Myrddin’s Heir” series are written “for bright children between the ages of 10 and 110”. They challenge as well as entertain – and he wishes they’d been available when he was teaching English.

Visit Robin Chambers at Amazon Author’s Page, Twitter, Facebook, and his Website & Blog

About Robin Chamber’s Books

books

WizardA Wizard of Dreams (Myrddin’s Heir Book 1) FREE ON AMAZON

“Gordon Bennett was born on 7th August 1999 with extraordinary powers. Where have those powers come from? Who – or what – is “Zack”…? His mother begins to notice that Gordon is different when he speaks his first words at just 5 months old and that’s before the really strange things begin to happen!

Fun, refreshing and certainly different, A Wizard Of Dreams is Book 1 in The Myrddin’s Heir series by author Robin Chambers. Written at a quick, entertaining pace it’s a potent blend of magical intrigue and adventure and whilst the theme is familiar, Chambers has a unique style of writing that sets his work apart. Much more than a trite fantasy plotline his young protagonist is defined in a realistic and empathetic way that pulls the reader through the story with him, and when Gordon interacts with Zack there is always much to be taken from these well observed exchanges. With well-defined characters, Chambers demonstrates a meticulous eye for detail that makes them instantly identifiable and whilst some are more endearing than others they are all very memorable. Each captured with a distinctive tenor that adds greatly to the thematic undertones of his tale. A tale that not only entertains, but encourages thought and timely reflection.

Original and highly engrossing, A Wizard Of Dreams is a wonderful read throughout and sets the tone for a series that undoubtedly deserves your attention. It is highly recommended.”  Book Viral Author Spotlight review

Key events in childhood indicate Gordon’s powers are getting stronger…

How does he deal with bullies? How about ghosts, fairies and wizards…?

How seriously weird do things get around his eleventh birthday? And what’s his sixteen greats grandmother got to do with it…?

Very few children get to go where he gets to go…

Book 1 ends on 6th September 2010 – Gordon’s first morning in secondary school: when he finds out for certain that he’s not the only one. There’s a girl in the frame…

This story will make you laugh quite a lot, but I warn you that in places it makes me cry…

The Myrddin’s Heir series will challenge you. One of my most important questions, therefore, is: “Are YOU up for the challenge?”

Get the book at Amazon US or Amazon UK

Amazing Grace (Myrddin’s Heir Book 2) – Only 99 cents amazing

Book 2: “Amazing Grace” chronicles the way in which a girl born on 25th December 1998 plays an increasingly important part in Gordon’s life (and he in hers). Grace can read minds, and she has healing hands…

Could her father really have been a God? How can she have two mums? And what has the most powerful wizard our world has ever known to do with all this?

The answer lies in the Land of the Forever Young (and of the Dead); but they can only get there by leaving their bodies behind…

How will Gordon’s parents react when he tells them the whole truth? How important in the scheme of things are their best friends Nick and Miranda? And quite importantly: how can the four of them help YOU to write really good stories…?

Can the clock be turned both backwards and forwards? And can their guardian angels help Gordon’s dad catch a serial killer…?

Book 2 ends on 27th March 2011 (so they are still in year 7) in a “magical” dell in Wales: where Gordon and Grace aren’t – though their bodies are. And what has Nick just found at the end of a rainbow…?

I hope that this story will make you laugh quite a lot, but I must be honest and tell you that in places it makes me cry…

You will know from reading Book 1 that the Myrddin’s Heir series sets out to challenge you. One of my most important questions therefore remains: “Are YOU still up for the challenge?”

Buy the book at Amazon US or Amazon UK

mercyThe Quality of Mercy (Myrddin’s Heir Book 3) – Only 99 cents

Book 3: “The Quality of Mercy” picks the story up precisely where Book 2 left off. Where were Gordon and Grace, while their bodies were in that dell in Wales…?

How do fairies cope with growing old…? And what has that to do with the wedding of William Wales and Catherine Myddleton…?

Can Gordon and Grace take on the combined might of wicked wizardry and witchcraft in Chester? And what very interesting discovery about Miranda and Nick does Gordon make along the way…?

Why is someone trying to kill them all? And what do Nick’s father and Miranda’s mother have in common…?

How do The Fantastic Four sidestep The Famous Five to become The Super Six? And who do Gordon and Grace find themselves rescuing…?

So much happens in Book 3 that it has taken 13,000 more words than Book 1 and 4,000 words more than Book 2 to tell you about.

This book will challenge you, perhaps even more than Books 1 & 2. It’s not an easy thing – to make the world a better place. With human rights go human responsibilities…

But if you’re anything like me, it will still make you smile a lot, laugh out loud here and there, and just once or twice feel the tug of tears.

It’s called catharsis. visit http://www.myrddinsheir.com to find out more…

Buy the book at Amazon US or Amazon UK

Gifts from the Gods (Myrddin’s Heir Book 4) – Only 99 cents gift

Book 4: “Gifts from the Gods” will give you some idea of what can happen when “gods” decide to show themselves…

How on earth can Gordon help hominids on a planet many light years away…?

When is a pony not a pony? And what is Groc the Knocker up to now…?

They need to team up; but how can they when the girls are in the grounds of a haunted stately home in Scotland and the boys are in the dungeons of a mediaeval Castle in Ireland? The answer has a lot to do with Lucifer’s rod…

What has the evil Goddess Morrigan LaFaye kept screaming for centuries at the top of a tall tower, where the walls ooze oil and look eerily like skin? And why does the God of the Sea feel the need to get involved?

And if that wasn’t enough, this is the part of the story where The Super Six become The Eight Team. What are Gordon’s sixteen greats grandmother and a lost soul from the sixth century doing getting in on the act?

What “gifts” might the gods be disposed to give: to help in the fight to make the world a better place…?

The aliens are inching their way out of the closet…

There is an explosion of happenings in Book 4. Gordon, Grace, Nick and Miranda are only 41 days older by the end of it. Of course, I can’t be that sure about time, where Zack, Zoë, Kate and Sweeney are concerned…

Just HOW many more books is this story going to take to tell? I did ask Zoë, but she just smiled, and wasn’t telling.

Remember to keep an eye on http://www.myrddinsheir.com. Other clues can turn up there, and there are quite a few things you can do to help…

Buy the book at Amazon US or Amazon UK

catsWhen the Cat’s Away… (Myrddin’s Heir Book 5) – Only 99 cents

Book 5 begins on the same evening that Book 3 ends. It tells you a lot more about the Council of Thirteen and how its members react to Octavius Mortlake’s death.

What plans does Adolfo Aragon have to inherit Mortlake’s crown? And how much help might he get from the Capo dei Capi in London – the infamous Enzo Potenza? Just how evil ARE some of the other members of the ruling clique?

Carmen, Goddess of The Damned, does not take the loss of her daughter lying down. How will she be revenged? And how next will she seek to destroy the children who were born to heal the world?

Gordon and Grace return from holiday and find out their houses have been bugged while they were away. Soon after that they find out what happens when you don’t fight back.

They are left with no choice. They have to go to war…

Buy the book at Amazon US or Amazon UK

#RRBC’S BETHANY TURNER “PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK – John W. Howell

During RRBC “PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK, my plan was to recognize a special RRBC supporter each day for 7 days, but I’m behind. I’m just now posting my Friday supporter today. Sorry about this but it was due to a book publishing deadline and bad timing on my part. But without further excuses, please welcome the next author, John W. Howell.

John W. Howell is my Friday pick for “PAY IT FORWARD” – He’s an author, blogger, reader and an overall great guy. He’s very supportive of other authors and especially for the Rave Reviews Book Club members. He has a wonderful blog that I personally love. Make sure to check out his interesting posts. He is the radio host for RRBC’s “RAVE WAVES BLOGTALK RADIO program “SPOTLIGHT” HONORS and also helps host “AUTHORSCOOP”.

About Author, John W. HowellJohnWHowell

John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and has a number of short stories published in various on-line magazines. One of his short stories has been recognized by Writers Digest in the Popular Fiction Writing contest. His novel, My GRL published by Martin Sisters Publishing and is the first of many exciting adventures of the book’s central character John J. Cannon.

Visit John at Twitter (@HowellWave); Facebook; Amazon Author Page; and his Website & Blog

MyGrlAbout John W. Howell’s Books

John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly-purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the attractive young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

Snag a copy of My GRL at Amazon USAmazon UK

#RRBC’S BETHANY TURNER “PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK – Gordon Bickerstaff

Gordon Bickerstaff is Wednesday’s #RRBC’S BETHANY TURNER “PAY IT FORWARD” – Gordon has been a very supportive member of Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) and of my writing. He goes that extra tweet to show his support. He is also a fellow Book of the Month author at RRBC, and I’m currently reading his book, DEADLY SECRETS, the first book in his Gavin Shawlens Thriller series. His other two books are in my to-be-read list. Get your copy today. Purchase links are provided below each book’s description.

About Author, Gordon BickerstaffGordon

Gordon Bickerstaff was born and raised in Glasgow but spent his student years in Edinburgh. On summer vacations, he learned plumbing, garden maintenance, and he cut the grass in the Meadows. He learned some biochemistry and taught it for a while before he retired to write fiction.

He does some aspects of DIY moderately well and other aspects not so well. He gets very tired when it’s time to clean up the mess. He lives with his wife in the west of Scotland where corrupt academics, mystery, murder and intrigue exists mostly in his mind. He is the author of the Gavin Shawlens series of thrillers: Deadly Secrets, Everything To Lose, and The Black Fox.

He enjoys walking in the hills, 60s & 70s music, reading and travel.

About Gordon’s Gavin Shawlens Series of Thrillers

DeadlySecretsDeadly Secrets (Gavin Shawlens Thriller #1)

Gavin Shawlens is a top research biochemist.
But his life is about to be turned upside down when he agrees to
work on a new process that will revolutionise the food industry.

A secret cult led by a ruthless billionaire is determined to steal
the process and reap the rewards.

Against overwhelming odds, Gavin must protect the process owner,
Emma Patersun, from the evil cult – Gyge’s Ring.

DEADLY SECRETS is a medical thriller with unusual twists and
is perfect for fans of Ken McClure and Robert Harris.

Purchase Deadly Secrets at Amazon.com.

Everything To Lose (Gavin Shawlens Thriller #2)EverythingToLose

A research team claim that their new product will boost the performance of every athlete in the world. The Lambeth Group send a scientist, Gavin Shawlens, to investigate the claim.

The product is stolen, top athletes disappear, and the research team are unaware that their product has a dangerous side effect. Gavin must stop the product launch before more people die horribly. When Gavin disappears, Zoe Tampsin, from the Lambeth Group, must find him before he becomes the next victim.

As if Zoe hasn’t got enough on her plate. Past events in Gavin’s life catch up with him. A powerful US general has decided that Gavin must die to prevent exposure of a 60-year-old secret capable of world-changing and power-shifting events.

The chase is on…

Purchase Everything To Lose at Amazon.com.

The Black Fox (Gavin Shawlens Thriller #3)TheBlackFox

Zoe Tampsin is resourceful, smart and Special Forces-trained, but she has been given an impossible mission.

She has to protect scientist, Gavin Shawlens, from assassination by the CIA, and discover the secret trapped in Gavin’s mind that the CIA want destroyed.

As the pressure to find Shawlens escalates – the CIA send Zoe’s former mentor to track her down and her fate seems sealed when he surrounds Zoe and Gavin with a ring of steel. With each hour that passes, the ring is tightened, and the window for discovering Gavin’s secret will shut.

Zoe is faced with a decision that goes against all of her survival instincts. If she is wrong – they both die. If she is right – she will discover the secret and become the next target for assassination.

Run for your life…

Purchase The Black Fox at Amazon.com.

#RRBC’S BETHANY TURNER “PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK – Mistral Dawn

My next #RRBC’S BETHANY TURNER “PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK author is Mistral Dawn. She always goes that extra step to support her fellow authors. Read about Mistral below.

About Author, Mistral DawnMistralDawn

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US, but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)). She has written two novels, Taken By The Huntsman and Bound By The Summer Prince, and has lots more planned! To receive updates on her latest published work, please follow her on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Mistral-Dawn/e/B00NGXETSM/. If you’d like more frequent updates, you can get her latest musings and excerpts from her work on her blog here: http://mistralkdawn.blogspot.com/

You may contact her at mistralkdawn@gmail.com, and she would love to hear from you, or through her Facebook page posted below, or Twitter her at @MistralKDawn. She thanks you humbly for purchasing and reading her first book and hopes you will do her the honor of rating and reviewing her work. 🙂

For a free sample of the first chapter of Taken By The Huntsman and sneak peaks of and updates about her second book, check out Mistral Dawn’s Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/MistralKDawn

You can visit her blog at: www.mistralkdawn.blogspot.com

If you would like a free autograph for your copy of Taken By The Huntsman go to:  https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/MistralKDawn

And request an authorgraph and Mistral Dawn will be sure to send you one. 🙂

About Mistral Dawn’s Books

TakenByTheHuntsmanTaken By The Huntsman

Discarded and ignored by those around her for most of her life, Cassie is a lonely human woman struggling to find her place in the world and meaning in her life. Cadeyrn is the Erlking, the leader of the Wild Hunt, a hundreds of thousands of years old Fae who has always known his purpose. He has spent his entire long existence tracking the criminals of Fairie and punishing them for their crimes.

While hunting for the murderer of a child who has escaped to Earth Cadeyrn comes across Cassie and realizes that she is the one that the great mother goddess has designated as his soul mate. He kidnaps her and takes her to his fortress in Fairie to protect her from his many enemies. He knows she will be angry and that he’ll have to work to earn her trust, but he finds his task to be even more challenging than he had thought it would be due to Cassie’s difficulty in opening her heart.

Will Cadeyrn be able to convince Cassie that the bond between them is real and earn her love?

Purchase Taken By The Huntsman at Amazon.com.

Bound By The Summer PrinceBound

**Please be aware that this book contains explicit sexual scenes, depictions of BDSM, and anal play. If these things disturb you, then this may not be the book for you.

The Summer Court is in an uproar. The king has just been executed for unpardonable crimes, and the queen is prostrate with grief over his loss. This leaves the Summer kingdom bereft of true leadership; a problem which is compounded by the fact that the laws of Fairie require balance to be maintained by having a male and a female ruler for both Season Courts at all times. Uaine, the Summer prince, is the only one who can put things right, but he is without a mate. Knowing that he must take a bride quickly, for the sake of his people, even though he is struggling with his own feelings of pain and anger over his father’s treachery, he goes for a walk in a forest near the palace to try to clear his head and determine how best to choose a female to rule beside him.

While walking Uaine discovers a human female running loose in Fairie, which is against the most basic tenets of Fae law. Furious at one more problem he must deal with, he takes her prisoner and locks her in the dungeon; only to discover later that she is his soul-mate. The magical bond between them means they are meant to be together forever, but humans can’t feel the magic of Fairie. Will Uaine be able to win her heart and convince her that she can trust him to keep her safe from all the dangers of Fairie…including himself?

Roni is a human con woman and petty thief. Having run afoul of the local crime syndicate in the city where she is staying, she finds herself running for her life. Trouble is no stranger to her, but when she falls through a hole in a wall and finds herself in a world with carnivorous trees and rocks that eat people she realizes she may have found more of it than she can deal with. Rescued/arrested by the prince of the Summer Court, it doesn’t take long for her to formulate a plan to use him to get herself home. Unfortunately for her, she soon finds that her heart, which she had thought long ago turned to stone, has begun to feel the love she has been playing at. Will she be able to overcome a lifetime of caution and allow herself to follow her heart? Can a criminal love a cop?

Purchase Bound By The Summer Prince at Amazon.com.

SummerIntrigue In The Summer Court

*This is a novella and is number 2.5 in the series. Taken By The Huntsman is the first book in the series, and Bound By The Summer Prince Is the second book in the series

**This story contains adult material, BDSM play, and explicit sexual scenes. If that is not your thing, this may not be the story for you. 

Jillian knows something bad is going to happen! She has been a loyal adviser to the throne and friend of the queen, Briallen, for thousands of years, and now Roni and Uaine’s wedding and coronation are to take place in just a couple days. The Summer Court will have a new king and queen, who, it is hoped, can repair the damage and heal the schism the late king created.
But Jillian can’t shake the feeling that trouble is brewing. Many of the Summer nobles aren’t happy about the changes that are taking place in the Summer Court, and many of the other Fae just aren’t too sure about having a human on the throne…even if she has been blessed by the goddess. When Angelica, the leader of the Pixies, comes to her with news of a plot to murder the prince and princess, Jillian’s suspicions are confirmed. Will the two of them be able to unravel this conspiracy in time to save the royal couple? Or will prejudice prevail, and the hope for peace in Fairie be lost forever?

Purchase Intrigue In The Summer Court at Amazon.com.

The BIG, three week, blog tour is DONE! Time to ready the GIVEAWAY!

The GUNDERSTONE review

I want to thank everyone that stopped by on the different blogs along the tour to read about my recent releases.

Below are the links and a majority of the main post from the original launch page of the entire tour – hosted by 4WillsPublishing Author Services

I have the GIVEAWAY to draw as well – I am busy tallying up the blog stops and I’ll be drawing those and announcing on Friday.

Welcome to the I, HERO – THE BEGINNING Blog Tour!

JASON CROP

Author, Jason Zandri

(Jason is on a whirlwind three week tour for three of his releases!  Each week’s tour, is for an individual book and each tour will be listed in 7 day increments.  The giveaways listed below will be awarded after the final tour is over and that is August 15, 2015.  To enter the drawing for the fabulous prizes and prize packages listed below, simply leave…

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