The Writer’s Journey – Guest Author, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Indie author finally realizes a life-long dream of sharing her writing habit with the world.
Pamela Schloesser Canepa, self-published author and Earth inhabitant.

pamela

How and when you started writing: I recall writing my first short story at age 8, when we traveled from Florida to Tennessee to visit my uncle and his family. I had to entertain myself in the car, and this came in quite handy! It was shared with family, and they all encouraged me profusely. I continued writing, for class, for myself, to exercise strong emotions, etc., but much of it was shown to no one. Still, it was good for me! I was a quiet little girl, and this helped me channel my voice.

How and when you first published: I entered poetry contests and got into vanity published books. If nothing else, it felt good. In my thirties, I published stories on my Myspace blog. (Don’t laugh)! I recently started blogging on WordPress this year, and shared some stories in contests on Wattpad, which started ideas for my novellas that have been published just this year (2016), in the sci-fi romance genre. My second two are science-fiction, but not strictly romance, however, and they carry a stronger theme.

Are you published Traditionally, Small Online Press, Indie Author, or combination?
I am an indie author. I think of the poems I got published in vanity press as a build up to where I am now.

Tell us about your journey to where you are today.
In a nutshell, I had to change from the little girl whose family gushed over her cute little stories, to the solemn, confused teen who wrote dark poetry and hid it. Then, I grew from the young woman who journaled her way into self-esteem after processing and leaving a bad marriage, to the woman who wrote poetry expressing her parental fears/frustration and shared them with the world, to who I am today, putting my thoughts into fiction in an attempt to get a message across while entertaining my reader at the same time. My writing journey has been a growth, not just as a writer, but as a person. I recently had a reader call one of my novellas “thought-provoking.” That was such an honor! Yet, I realize it is out there for criticism as well as praise, and I need to be ready for both. Some will love my work, and some will not. It comes with the territory.

What have you learned along the way?
I’ve learned that self-publishing also means self-promoting. That it is a lot of work. I’ve learned that some days I will get the writing or promoting fever and cannot stop until I’ve beaten that fever into the ground. I have also learned that having a friend who is in the same position as an indie writer is so invaluable. So I have joined Rave Reviews Book Club, through which I met the wonderful owner of this blog that is allowing me to spread news of my writing! I have also joined other writing forums online and made many helpful friends. I see that you can’t just take others’ support, you need to give it as well. That is what builds a community of indie writers who can learn from each other, and it really gets these books out there for the world to see.

What would you do differently? I would do more promoting, pre-publication. I would also likely expand the ideas in my first few novellas. However, when all three are read, they tend to make my intended point. I may add to them in the future. But for now, I am working on a full-length novel and I am going through the entire process of editing, re-writing, and editing again. It is not for the faint of heart.

Published e-books:

Made for Me is a sci-fi romance, the first in a series of sci-fi novellas. Be sure to also check out the sequel, Seeing Through Sampson’s Eyes! The third, and latest, in this series is From Bedlam to Ben! All are available at Amazon.

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Thank you for reading, and I hope you will find time to read and enjoy my books!

Author Elizabeth Delisi’s New Contest

I’m happy to post Elizabeth Delisi’s new contest. Elizabeth Delisi is a multi-puplished author. Some of her books are “Since All Is Passing (a Mystery), Lady of the Two Lands (a Time Travel set in ancient Egypt), and the Lottie Baldwin Mysteries (Paranormal Mysteries).

Contest has started and ends September 15th – About 5 days left. Take it away, Liz.

Hello everyone!

I’m in the position of deciding what book to work on next. I’m having trouble choosing, so I thought a contest would be a great idea!

Here’s the details. I’m going to give you a small description of three different books I could work on next. You can respond to me at elizabeth@elizabethdelisi.com and let me know your choice of which one I should write next.

On September 15, the book with the most votes will be the book I work on next. The names of everyone who voted for the winning book will be put onto a special list from which a winner will be chosen at random.

What will the winner receive? A shout-out in the acknowledgments when the book is published, and a free copy of the book in the winner’s choice of format.

Timing: Wednesday, August 31, through Wednesday, September 14.

Here are the book options:

PERILOUS PREDICTION, sequel to FATAL FORTUNE: Psychic Lottie Baldwin and Deputy Sheriff Harlan Erikson are planning their wedding when Lottie’s ex-boyfriend shows up in town. Shortly after, he’s murdered and suspicion falls on Lottie as the only likely suspect. With an eyewitness fingering her as the woman seen entering the victim’s motel room, it looks like Lottie is in deep trouble that not even her Tarot cards can fix. Can Harlan prove the woman he loves is innocent before the real murderer adds Lottie to the victim list?

MURDER CUM LAUDE, sequel to SINCE ALL IS PASSING: Marie Kenning is having her usual breakfast in the Lakedale Café. Bill, the owner, asks a waitress to move his car before the police ticket it, as they do every morning. She complies, but when she starts the car, it explodes with a blinding flash. The police must dig into Bill’s past to see who would want him dead, and why. Does he have a shady past no one knows about? Can Marie and her fiancé Officer Chris Whitley solve the case before Bill becomes the next victim?

KNIT A SPELL: Astenia Rand owns and runs a yarn shop called “Knit A Spell.” Most customers think the name invites them to come and visit with knitting in tow. A select few customers know another meaning of the name: Astenia is a witch, and she weaves helpful spells into everything she knits and sells. It’s a good life, except for one thing: Astenia was cursed at birth by a spiteful witch. The curse says any man Astenia falls in love with will die; thus she’s doomed to a life alone. Or is she? What will happen when an immortal man, cursed by the same witch, decides to help her break the spell?

Send me your choice and I’ll put your name on the contest list!

Liz

Elizabeth Delisi
Fiction With Flair!
www.elizabethdelisi.com

Book Review: “Papala Skies” by Stephen Geez

stephenGeezAbout The Author

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.

Bestselling Books:Invigilator, Fresh Ink Group Short Story Showcase #1, Papala Skies

papalaSkiesAbout The Book

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?

My Review

Intriguing and Character Driven

The vivid descriptions of imagery virtually transport you to the Hawaii island, and carry you to the city of Chicago, an ivy league university, and to France.

A complex story with tragic situations and reactions. The main character, Rochelle, is faced with the challenges of getting on with her own life or helping others with their challenges. Her life does not turn out as she always thought it would.

There’s an underlying suspense surrounding how Rochelle’s mother died, and Rochelle’s guilt over her mother’s death is felt throughout most of the story. But that’s not all. There are primary forces driving chaos in her life and those she’s come to love. There’s the complexity of plots and sub-plots as Rochelle is drawn from one tragedy to another.

The characters are so well-drawn that you feel you are right there with them, wanting to help but unable to prevent the next heartbreak life throws their way. You will cry, laugh, and revel in their victories over life’s unrelenting obstacles.

I highly recommend this character-driven tale with strong relationships, as well as intrigue, action, and yes, some romance too.

Purchase PAPALA SKIES today.

Next TEN books and short stories on my Review List are:
Babe Driven by Lizzie Chantree (completed reading, review coming soon)
Cupid’s Quest by Lori Soard (starting 8/23/2016)
Return of the Gulls by Maureen McMahon
Taken by the Huntsman by Mistral Dawn
Myth and Magic by Mae Clair
Spirit of the Book by D. E. Howard
Waterlillies Over My Grave by Patricia Guthrie
Dragon Fireside Tales by Adam Boustead
Trusting Jack by Beth Hale
Haunting Megan by Rebecca Riley

#RRBC Spotlight Author: Micki Peluso

With great pleasure I’d like to introduce to you, Micki Peluso, this week’s Rave Reviews Book Club’s Spotlight Author. Welcome, Micki!

What’s In A Word?

“In the beginning was the word . . .”
John 1:1 King James Bible

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Remember the childhood taunt, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me?” (from Robert Fulghum). This is not true. The “pen is mightier than the sword,” and the complexity of language plays upon everyday living. It can be subtle,(my favorite) sarcastic, ironic, menacing, hateful, loving, instructive; the list is long. Ultimately words hurt much more than stones, because the scars from hurtful words do not always heal.

Writing is how I express emotions that cannot be exposed through any other outlet. All the feelings that encompass my psyche, subconscious mind, and yes, even soul, are transposed to a large yellow legal pad with an Erasermate pen. This most sacred experience allows me to examine my feelings from other points of view, vent words that hide from me verbally as I cope with the school of life–hoping to pass the test.

Words make or break relationships, erase the tears of a crying child, soothe an aching heart, cheer on an athlete, or manipulate an enemy. Words are power and it is essential to learn to use them wisely, to understand their strength. As applied to writing, proper word choice is critical to a successful essay, short story or novel. Making an error in word usage can change the tempo and alter the perspective of any given piece of writing.

Years ago, four years of Latin was a required course in High School. Students groaned, but this arcane language was the best example of how the nuance of a word can completely change the meaning of a sentence or story. English, based in part, on Latin, is no different.

The words one uses in narrative or description develop character traits and personality.”He was a tempting, seductive piece of work,” shows the reader much about this character, as does, “She donned her reading glasses and began stamping books the children brought to the library desk.” Words in dialogue express emotions and character behavior. Words are all one has to work with, both in real life and in writing. It is prudent to choose them well. Roget’s Thesaurus should be every writer’s bible, packed as it is with synonyms that shift context and meaning in subtle ways.

Who and what I am or hope to become is evident in my stories. In romance, I am the character searching for love, in paranormal, I am the character facing his/her demons, real or imagined. Humorous stories disguise me in my character’s take on the foibles of daily living. In every story that I write, I am there–in words.

“Words express ideas, name things. They carry you from one place to another. . .  When your words change, you change.” Taken from The World Book Complete Word Power Library. “‘In the Miracle Worker,’ based on the life of Helen Keller, the little blind and deaf girl’s mother asks the child’s teacher what is to be taught first. “Language, I hope, replies the teacher . . . what is she without words?” Taken from the Dictionary of Problems and Expressions,” by Harry Shaw.

My losses, sorrows, joys, loves and dreams are forever etched in print. They cannot exist without me or me without them. Yet, I do not write to live, or live to write. Writing helps me make sense of the drama called life. Writing defines me. 

It is an avenue of escape in an uncertain, sometimes frightening world – where love is fragile, dreams shatter, hope is dashed, then renewed. Writing takes me through the dark tunnel to the awaiting light. I will one day pass on to another realm with writing as my epitaph. Writing is not what I do . . . It is who I am.


lastscan (4)Micki Peluso began writing after a personal tragedy. This lead to a first time publication in Victimology: An International Magazine and a career in Journalism. She’s freelanced and been staff writer for one major newspaper, written for two more and has published short fiction and non-fiction, as well as slice of life stories in colleges, magazines and e-zine editions. Her first book was published in 2012; a funny family memoir of love, loss and survival, called, . . . And THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG which won the Nesta CBC Silver Award for ‘Writing That Builds Character’, won third place in the Predators and Editors Contest and first place for People’s Choice Monthly Award. This book is close to her heart since it’s a deathbed promise to her dying child. It has the humor of ‘Cheaper by the Dozen,’ with the heart of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird. Some reviewers liken her writing to a cross between Erma Bombeck and Harper lee. She has over a dozen short stories in ‘Women’s Memoirs’, ‘Tales2inspire’, and ‘Creature Features’. Two of her short horror stories were recently published in an International Award winning anthology called “Speed of Dark.” She is presently working on a collection of short fiction, and slice of life stories in a book collection called, ‘Don’t Pluck the Duck’, due to be released in late 2017. Her first children’s story, ‘The Cat Who Wanted a Dog’ will be released in June of 2017. Author Peluso is a multi-genre and speculative writer who plans to tackle novels next.

000_bookcover for email normal (3)And The Whippoorwill Sang
by Micki Peluso

It is a day like any other, except the intense heat wave has broken and signs of early fall are in the air.

Around the dining room table of her 100 year old farmhouse Micki Peluso’s six children along with three of their friends eagerly gulp down a chicken dinner. As soon as the last morsel is ravished, the lot of them is off in different directions. Except for the one whose turn it is to do the dishes. After offering her mother a buck if she’ll do them, with an impish grin, the child rushes out the front door, too excited for a hug, calling out, “Bye Mom,” as the door slams shut. For the Peluso’s the nightmare begins.

Micki and Butch face the horror every parent fears—awaiting the fate of one of their children. While sitting vigil in the ICU waiting room, Micki traverses the past, as a way of dealing with an inconceivable future.

From the bizarre teenage elopement with her high school sweetheart, Butch, in a double wedding with her own mother, to comical family trips across country in an antiquated camper with six kids and a dog, they leave a path of chaos, antics and destruction in their wake. Micki relives the happy times of raising six children while living in a haunted house, as the young parents grow up with their kids. She bravely attempts to be the man of the house while her husband, Butch is working out of town.

Hearing strange noises, which all the younger kids are sure is the ghosts, Micki tiptoes down to the cellar, shotgun in hand and nearly shoots an Idaho potato that has fallen from the pantry and thumped down the stairs. Of course her children feel obligated to tell the world.

Just when their lives are nearly perfect, tragedy strikes—and the laughter dies. A terrible accident takes place in the placid valley nestled within the Susquehanna Mountains in the town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. On a country lane just blocks from the family’s hundred year old haunted farmhouse, lives are changed forever.

In a state of shock, Micki muses through their delightful past to avoid confronting an uncertain future—as the family copes with fear and apprehension.

One of her six children is fighting for life in Intensive Care. Both parents are pressured by doctors to disconnect Noelle, their fourteen-year-old daughter. Her beautiful girl, funny and bright, who breathes life into every moment, who does cartwheels in piles of Autumn leaves, who loves to sing and dance down country roads, and above all loves her family with all her soul. How can Micki let this child go?

The family embarks upon yet another journey, to the other side of sorrow and grasps the poignant gift of life as they begin. . .to weep. . .to laugh. . .to grieve. . .to dance—and forgive.

To learn more about Micki Peluso, or to purchase her book, …AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG,
please visit:
Twitter: @mickipeluso
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AndTheWhippoorwillSang
Website: http://www.mallie1025.blogspot.com/
Email: mallie1025@aol.com
 

Book Review: “Dangerous Liaisons (Royal Command, #1)” by Sarah Stuart

About The Author

sarahStuartSarah Stuart lives on the edge of a quiet English village where wildlife sightings are common, though becoming less so. Hunting with dogs is now illegal in the UK: it goes on in secret and incidences of this are almost impossible to prove in court. Many of her dogs are, or have been, rescues and only those who enjoy the limelight perform onstage. 50% of her royalties are donated to animal charities.

Dogs were Sarah’s opening into show business. During a period when she lived in Wales she supplied them to professional companies using Aberystwyth University’s Arts Centre Theatre during student vacations. Many musicals and plays performed there were on their pre-West End premiere run, which gave her an unrivalled opportunity to talk to directors, choreographers and the many other vital members of the backstage staff, and the performers. These ranged from actors and actresses in their first, or early, roles to worldwide superstars of stage and screen. That experience, and her association with the Northern Ballet, underpins the vivid portrayals of show business triumphs and heartbreak.

Sarah has studied English language and literature, and history, with delight since her early teens. She is a qualified adult literacy tutor and has written short stories, in addition to other resources, for her students. Her published articles have been in magazines dedicated to wildlife and dogs. The Royal Command series, her debut into full-length fiction, has been well received. Book One, Dangerous Liaisons, is a Romance Finalist in the Independent Author Network Book Awards 2015 and the first version of this book, now lightly edited, gained a five star rating from Readers’ Favorite within weeks of publication.

Sarah’s hope is that readers will enjoy her novels as an escape from reality, but be left understanding that fame and fortune often comes at a high personal cost. Also, an increased perception of the threat to animals: those shot in the name of sport for trophy heads, endangered species, many poached for their fur and ivory, and tragically discarded pets.

About The Book

SARAH.STUART1-DLLizzie, daughter of a wealthy Scottish laird, inherits Margaret Tudor’s secret diary. A decoded message reads “I direct and beseech my heirs to find love where they may”. Lizzie falls in love with Michael, a poor aspiring actor whom she helps become a superstar. Lizzie passes the diary to their daughter, Lisette, who is influenced by Queen Margaret’s manipulative, vengeful, granddaughter, sparking dangerous passions and betrayals. Can Lizzie outwit the paparazzi or will the scandal of adultery and incest end in tragedy for them all?

My Review

Fast-paced Family Saga

I enjoyed this book and the second part lives up to the title of Dangerous Liaisons. This book could’ve been two separate books, the two parts are so different. The love story of Lizzie and Michael is breathtaking. The second part reminded me of V. C. Andrews’s family sagas of which I’ve been a huge fan.

While I could buy the forbidden sex the first time it happened, from the way the male lead was portrayed as never straying during his entire marriage up to this point, no matter how long he’d been away or how tired he’d been from traveling, I couldn’t buy it happening more than the one time. It seemed out-of-character for him to me.

Gorgeous new book cover.

Next TEN books and short stories on my Review List are:
The One Discovered: Chronicles of Diasodz, Book 1 by Yvette M. Calleiro
Bravura (The Music We Made Book 1) by Lisa Kirazian
Letting Go into Perfect Love by Gwendolyn Plano
Finch’s Crossing by Katheran Allen
Flash 40: Life’s Moments by Janelle Jalbert
The Bloody Shoe Affair by Joy York
Son of My Father by Peggy Hattendorph
Papala Skies by Stephen Geez
Babe Driven by Lizzie Chantree
Cupid’s Quest by Lori Soard

#RRBC Spotlight Author – Kim Cox

spotlight

https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com

Asheville, North Carolina USA —Rave Reviews Book Club is pleased to introduce, Author, Kim Cox as their “SPOTLIGHT” Author for the week of May 22-28, 2016. Kim’s featured book, All This Time, is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Book Description

ATT-kindleCoverAt thirty, Jenny Morgan’s biological clock is ticking. But as a fashion magazine CEO with a busy schedule and no significant other, her wish is unlikely to come true. When her father receives a terminal diagnosis, he wants a grandchild before he dies. With her religious beliefs, a sperm donor isn’t an alternative. Jenny’s only option is her single co-worker and best friend, Trevor Drake. Can she really trust him to be a good husband?

Trevor has loved Jenny since college, but she only sees him as a friend with no ambition. After he finds out her predicament, he proposes and sets out to prove he can provide everything she needs. Jenny is determined to have a prenuptial agreement with an “out” clause after one year. Can he convince Jenny of his love by then?

As if they don’t have enough on their plate, someone at the magazine is out to sabotage their marriage, their impending parenthood, and the magazine. Jenny is nearly killed in one such attempt. Can Jenny and Trevor work together to uncover their common enemy?

To learn more about Kim Cox, or to purchase All This Time, please visit:

Website: http://www.kimcoxauthor.com Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/kimcox

Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/KimCoxAuthor Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kimcoxauthor

For more information on Kim Cox, Rave Reviews Book Club, and other great authors, visit:

https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com

Rave Reviews Book Club authorizes the immediate use of any of the above information (in part or in whole) for publication.

Book Review: “The Budapest Experiment” by Maurice G. Miller

About The Author

mauriceMaurice has been involved in the creative arts since his teenage years. Having worked and played in rock/blues bands for most of his adult life, the artistic role models that he came to admire were those authors, musicians, and philosophers that wrote the books, poetry, lyrics, and music that touched and moved the souls of generations. Counted among his favorites authors are J.D. Salinger, Earnest Hemingway, Dante Alighieri, and Kahlil Gibran. Deciding to take a break from the music career, he has rededicated his creative energies toward writing.

Then there is the “business geek” side of him. With an MBA degree, and having started several ventures, he has an obsession for creating new business ideas, digging into data analytics, and dissecting statistics. This passion for entrepreneurship is reflected prominently in his writing style.

Maurice’s debut fictional novel, “The Budapest Experiment”, an international thriller, was released on May 25, 2015 and is available now on Amazon.

Lots more can be found, including book info, social media contacts, and blog posts, at: http://www.mauricegmiller.com.

About The Book

Blurb:

At what price would you sell your soul…?

budapestThis captivating thriller weaves business, politics, seduction, power, and religion all into a compelling tale of international intrigue.

Set in 1991, during the dawn of the Post-Communist era in Hungary, this novel chronicles the exploits of Michael, an adventurous but struggling American entrepreneur.

During this period of tumultuous political, economic, and social change, the Russian Mob is taking advantage of the ensuing turmoil to entrench itself deeper into the business landscape of the former Soviet Bloc countries.

Navigating through the streets of Budapest, Michael immediately senses an air of mysticism and lurking danger. Things begin to heat up, as a series of business dealings and events leads him to a consulting position with the ‘Organization’.

Seduced by their women, money, and power, Michael becomes entangled in the web of Mob culture. An examination of conscience reveals a spirit ravaged with feelings of guilt and betrayal, but a rapidly growing bank account serves as the means to justify his actions.

Pondering his future, he wonders if he can balance this extreme Budapest lifestyle with his ‘ordinary’ family life back home. After padding his wallet for the past several months, would the Organization let him just walk away, or would there be consequences?

This book is intended for mature audiences.

Warning: Ends on a cliffhanger – sequel coming out soon

My Review:

Captivating and Intriguing Thriller

Looking to dive into the International business scene of Hungary, Michael believes nothing can touch him and jumps head first into the deep end of business with the Russian Mafia. He has a guardian angel but can she even save him from himself and the disaster he’s heading into? He knows he shouldn’t do the things he does, but he seems almost helpless to stop himself as he is seduced by the excitement, money, and beautiful women to the point of naivety.

I loved the way this story began and ended (although, warning, it was a cliff hanger). It’s an intriguing and action-packed story with lots of description and Budapest flavor. It’s filled with lots of descriptive sex scenes and I’ll admit I moved over the last few as there were too many for my taste. It is well-written and moves at a pretty good pace. I do think it could be cut down to about 300 pages while still carrying the plot and characters.

I’m pulling for Michael because even though he’s done a few bad things, like cheating on his wife and working for the mob, he appears to be a decent man, filled with guilt as he’s caught up in the craziness of it all.

 

Next TEN books and short stories on my Review List are:
Seeker (Seeker Series, Book 1) by Amy Reece (Started – 16% read)
Dangerous Liaisons by Sara Steward
The One Discovered: Chronicles of Diasodz, Book 1 by Yvette M. Calleiro
Bravura (The Music We Made Book 1) by Lisa Kirazian
Letting Go into Perfect Love by Gwendolyn Plano
Tate by Barbara Stewart
Finch’s Crossing by Katheran Allen
Flash 40: Life’s Moments by Janelle Jalbert
The Bloody Shoe Affair by Joy York
Son of My Father by Peggy Hattendorph

The Writer’s Journey – Guest Author, Lori Soard

Today, I welcome a good friend. I’ve known her for about twenty years, when we first met at the Writer’s Club message boards on American Online. We’ve been in many clubs together, even started a few ourselves. Of course, she had the idea and would ask me if I’d like to help, and I’d say, “Sure.”

She is always breaking new ground in the publishing industry–example: the first RWA online chapter: From The Heart, another writer’s club: World Romance Writers, and the first author promotion site (to my knowledge): Word Museum. She is a wonderful person as well as author and entrepreneur. So, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you, Lori Soard.

It All Started with a Giraffe Named Geraldine

My very first memories are of my dad telling me bedtime stories about a crazy giraffe named Geraldine. Geraldine was always getting into messes and had to be rescued. He would let me make choices in how the story would go. Does Geraldine go into the clearing or stay hidden? Does she follow the noise she heard or ignore it? These were the first stories I helped create and one of my favorite memories from my childhood.

I always loved books and stories. My parents bought me books as little gifts, played word games with me, and let my imagination have free reign. I truly believe that God gives us the parents he does for a reason and he couldn’t have chosen better with mine. I am thankful every day for their influence in my life and their love.

When my first grade teacher showed me how to string letters into words and words into sentences, I was thrilled. Now, I could read books for myself. And, I could write my own stories. I devoured every book I could get my hands on, started journaling and started writing stories. My early school years were all about finishing the busy work, because the teachers would let me read quietly if I finished early.

In high school, I would write stories and pass them to my friends between classes. They would add to them and we’d all swap stories again. I still have some of these silly stories, but they were so much fun. Some of them are about aliens taking over our friends’ bodies, but most are about romance. We had code names for our crushes in case anyone ever found one of our stories or a teacher tried to read it out loud.

It wasn’t until college when a journalism professor encouraged us to write an article and submit it to our local newspapers that I realized you could make money from your writing. The editor published my piece, put it on the front page, and gave me $25. At the time, I was more thrilled with that $25 than any amount I’ve ever been paid for my writing since. It was a light bulb moment for me and I knew I would always write from that point forward.

I’ve been published in multiple formats. Some of my first books were with ebook publishers, in the days when people said ebooks would never take off and they were basically a joke. I knew, even back then, that they were the wave of the future. I’ve always loved technology and I just felt in my gut that they would one day be a big deal. My very first book was titled Man of Means and was on a floppy disk. I recently republished that book, after extensive edits, for Kindle and in paperback.

Later, I was published by Thorndike for their Five Star line. I loved working with my editor, Russell, but they eventually moved away from contemporary romances and I felt a bit lost as I was another orphaned author. Eventually, I moved over to Amber Quill Press. In the last couple of years, I’ve moved to self-publishing. Just as I once thought that ebooks would be the wave of the future, I believe that being in control of my own books and how they are presented, packaged, and priced, is the next phase of my writing. I won’t say I’ll never again be with a traditional publisher. I enjoy the give and take of working with an editor and getting the intensive feedback that entails. I’m open to whatever direction the Lord wants to take my writing career.

One thing I’ve learned along the way is that you have to be open to writing different things. About 10 years ago, I began writing more non-fiction than I had. Although I’d always written a few articles here and there, I noticed the majority of my income was from articles and not from my fiction. The fiction income tends to come in spurts, but you never know just how big the spurt of income will be or when it will arrive. Writing non-fiction balances that for me. I also like to give my brain a break, as writing non-fiction requires different skills than writing fiction. I also edit for a couple of clients and do some web design. By varying tasks, I can stay busy most of the time and easily put in 40 hours a week or more. All the time, I’m loving every bit of it. I feel so blessed to do things I truly enjoy and make a living at it.

Marketing has changed a lot over the years. Today, you have to be active on social media, advertise, and stay in touch with your readers by blogging. However, I also believe you need to be vocal that you’re a writer and your books are available. I have a friend, and everywhere we go she is talking about her books to people. I’m trying to learn from her boldness, because I have a really hard time doing that for myself. I actually will hide out and never mention I’m a writer unless someone knows it already. I don’t know why, but this is definitely something I’m trying to overcome.

I have found it really hard to line up in-person book signings for this latest book. There used to be a lot of independent small booksellers out there. They’re all but gone. That makes it a bit more difficult to get out there and meet new readers. I’m going to be trying some festivals and different events instead in the coming year. I’m hoping that will allow me to get the word out more. I am also doing some online book tours and connecting with friends who are bloggers.

I actually wouldn’t change anything about my writing journey so far, even the mistakes. I believe that we learn from every mistake, every success, and every failure. These things all come together to make me who I am. I like who I am in Christ and the skills, knowledge and lessons along the way. I would do it all again.

I would encourage new writers to dig in their heels and never quit. Focus on why you are writing. It likely isn’t to get famous, because there are easier ways to achieve that. It is probably because you have something to say or a message to share. If you can share that with just a handful of people, then you’ve made a difference in someone’s life. Learn to focus on the reason and not the result and you’ll always be a success with your writing.

Lori’s Latest Book

cupidscrossingLori’s latest book is Cupid’s Quest, which is the first in her Cupid’s Crossing series. It is a contemporary inspirational romance available in paperback and ebook.

The only life Gracie has ever known has been the nursing home and the residents who are like family to her. Now, she risks losing it all and her friends scattering to different homes if she can’t come up with the money to save the business.

Between caring for his ailing mother and running the family farm, Brandt is stretched thin. Too thin. When his mother begs him to enter a local scavenger hunt, win the prize money, and convert the farm into an orchard, he knows he can’t refuse her anything, so he reluctantly agrees.

While seeking clues to the scavenger hunt, Gracie and Brandt keep bumping into each other. Gracie’s always had a crush on him that keeps her from stringing two coherent words together. Brandt doesn’t understand why she dislikes him so much she won’t even talk to him. If the nursing home residents would settle down and stop getting into crazy shenanigans long enough, the two might figure out that they have more than a little in common.

You can sign up for Lori’s newsletter by visiting her website at lori-soardjpghttp://www.LoriSoard.comand clicking on “Newsletter” at the top of the page. She regularly gives away prizes such as autographed copies of her books and gift cards to Starbucks and Amazon. Plus, you’ll stay updated on her latest news.

 

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#EggcerptExchange: ASSAIE’S GIFT by D. E. Howard

I am participating in the Author Helping Authors – Egg-cerpt Exchange.

Today, I am featuring D. E. Howard, author of Assaie’s Gift.

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Book blurb:  Kia Deering is a normal teenage girl looking forward to celebrating her 18th birthday in style. What she didn’t anticipate was the revelation that would change her life beyond recognition.

The Goddess Assaie fell for a human and gave up everything, including her identity, to be with him, sacrificing everything she ever knew in the name of true love.

When Kia discovered she was a descendant of the Goddess she had a year to embrace all that it meant or to turn her back on her destiny forever.

Kia had always believed herself to be ordinary but now she was extraordinary she had no idea if she could handle the potential of the power within her. Perhaps the handsome young man she meets in a nightclub could be the distraction she needed, or perhaps he will open up a whole new set of questions himself.

A pantheonic love story with several twists on the theme, I can highly recommend this first novel by this author”

“Amazing book from start to end”

“I shall be recommending it to my friends”

Events from the past come together, in this fantastical romance, to change the present and nothing will ever be the same again, for any of them.
Read D E Howard’s début novel Assaie’s Gift and follow a love that began in another era.

DEHpicAuthor info: D E Howard was born and raised in the small seaside town of Southport where she still resides. Enjoying writing for most of her adult life she only recently decided to turn her ideas into books. Part time gardener (just at home!), part time dog walker (for a crazy cairn terrier) and part time author she still has time for a full time job. Work pays the bills but writing feeds the soul. Her second book “Spirit of the Book” will be out soon.

Egg-cerpt:

Assaies GiftWhile Sofia fumbled in her bag for her mobile phone Kia raced around to the front of the car. From the back seat she hadn’t been able to see the other vehicle which it appeared they had hit side on, crushing both the driver’s door and the front of the taxi.  The driver, and sole occupant, of the other vehicle was motionless, blood covering his face as it ran freely from a large cut in his forehead.

“Are you all right?” She shouted, the driver’s eyes flickering open in acknowledgement. “It’s okay, we’ve called an ambulance… just stay where you are.”

Racing around to the driver’s side of the taxi Kia stopped dead, the taxi driver was sprawled across the road before the car, his leg at a painfully unnatural angle, his body bloodied from the many cuts he sustained from the windscreen’s glass. The thing that made Kia stop and take a deep breath however were his eyes, they were now wide open and staring up at the sky unblinking, they showed no sign of life.

Approaching him slowly Kia took some deep steadying breaths, she had taken a few first aid courses in college but nothing could have prepared her for this.

“Hello?” She said as she crouched down beside him. “Hello can you hear me?”

Getting no reaction Kia reached out a hand and gently shook the taxi driver’s shoulder.

“Hello?” She said again, already knowing that it was too late for him to ever hear her again but unable to stop trying. “Please be all right… hello?”

Kneeling down closer to the driver Kia leaned over, holding her hair back, as she tried to listen for any sounds of breath but there were none, his eyes still stared lifelessly at the sky.

“What do I do?” Kia said quietly to herself as tears began to fill her eyes. This was not the way her birthday was supposed to end and she was certain that the taxi driver hadn’t anticipated such a final end to his evening either.

Unable to do anything else Kia took hold of the driver’s hand gently and closed her eyes. It didn’t seem right to just leave him.

She didn’t notice the burning sensation in her palm at first as her body was already full of aches from the collision but after a few minutes it was impossible to ignore and her eyes shot open to look down at the hand that held onto that of the driver. Kia wasn’t certain but she thought she could see a strange white glow around their hands and then, as quickly as it started, the pain faded away and seconds later so did the glow.

Shaking her head to clear her thoughts Kia decided she was imagining things due to the stress of the accident.

Then the driver began to cough.

“What happened?” He asked, rubbing his free hand over his face as he straightened the leg that moments ago had seemed irrevocably broken.

“Accident,” Kia said, unable to form any more coherent words than that, relief flooding her body at the sound of the ambulance sirens rapidly approaching.

Time to get to know a little more about Kia Deering with this questionnaire:

  1. Nickname: My name is a little short to do much with, but friends do sometimes just call me “K”
  2. Job: I’m currently a student, I was going to get a part time job to help out but mum wouldn’t hear of it.
  3.  Level of schooling, or self-taught: That’s still ongoing!
  4. Birthdate: August 19th – summer birthdays are the best
  5. Birthplace: A little town you wouldn’t have heard of – nowhere very exciting I’m afraid
  6. Currently residing in: Still living at home with my mum
  7. Favourite type of pet: I don’t have one myself, but who can resist a puppy? I have to have a cuddle any

Buying links:
Amazon: myBook.to/Assaie or http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00TJ2Y4YI
CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/4566626

Author Links:
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DEHAuthor/
Blog:  https://dawndelivers.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @dehauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13529086.D_E_Howard

#EggcerptExchange: JEM by Michelle Abbott

 

Today, I am featuring Michelle Abbott, author of Jem.

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Author Michelle Abbott writes new adult romance. She currently has four books published.

JEM

Two injured, stubborn souls meet unexpectedly. Will they save each other from their demons or have they been too damaged for too long to see past the pain?

Growing up, all Jem knew was hatred and the pain from his father’s fists. Taunted by the kids at school, he was alone, until a girl with carrot coloured hair sat next to him.

She smiled.
She listened.
She cared.

She was his angel, and he knew he’d love her forever. But Jem’s father hurts him in a way he never expected by taking him away from her.

Now eighteen, scarred inside and out, Jem trusts no one and has worked hard to ensure he’ll never be helpless again. But then he runs into his angel. The only problem is she doesn’t recognize him. Jem needs her to remember him, to show him that their time together meant to her what it did to him. For once in his life he wants to have mattered to someone, to her.

Devon is attracted to the muscular, tattooed, pierced hottie standing by the pub quiz machine. That is, until he punches a guy clean across the bar for daring to touch him. She’s had her fill of violent men and intends to avoid this one at all costs.

Eggcerpt from JEM

JEM book coverI pull back the duvet and try to make as few movements as possible as I crawl in beside her and let the warmth from her body and the duvet envelop me. Her red hair is splayed across my pillow. I reach out and stroke my fingers through the silken strands. My pillowcase isn’t getting washed again. It can smell of her forever so that whenever I lay my head on it, I can pretend she’s with me. Maybe it will be okay to move a little closer. I’m right on the edge of the mattress. If I fall out of bed I’ll wake her. I scoot closer to her, close my eyes and inhale. She smells of roses. Maybe I should get her some flowers. I picture myself holding a bunch of red roses and chuckle to myself. Nah, I’m not the suave type. Maybe I’ll get a rose tattoo to remind me of her scent.

Buy Links:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U65KU22
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00U65KU22
http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B00U65KU22
 

Interview with Jem

  1. Job?

I work at an amusement arcade, fixing the machines when they go wrong, handing out change and that kind of thing. It pays my bills, it’s local and the hours suit me.

  1. Currently residing in…?

Hemsby in Norfolk. I’ve got a trailer right by the sea. There’s nothing like walking along the beach every morning. It keeps me calm.

  1. Level of schooling, or self-taught?

I had to quit school when I was small because my asshole of a father moved us all at the last minute after someone reported him to social services for child cruelty. He never enrolled me in another school. I taught myself all I need to know.

  1. Favorite food?

Don’t have one. I eat to live, I don’t live to eat.

  1. Most important goal?

To get Devon to remember me and love me again. To take care of her and show her that I never forgot her and never stopped loving her.

 

Michelle Abbott lives in the UK and hates describing herself in 3rd person.Author Michelle Abbott

She  loves to write new adult romance about heroes who begin as the underdog and are protective of their girl.

She’s an avid reader of romance, is addicted to coffee and loves wine and chocolate, so yeah, not the most healthy eating and drinking habits 🙂 She spends way too much time online when she should be writing. She collects teddy bears and occasionally knits a couple of rows on a sweater she started years ago, which she may eventually finish in time to wear for her funeral 🙂

Website http://www.michelleabbott.com/
Twitter   https://twitter.com/michelleabbott4
Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/MichelleAbbottRomanceAuthor
Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7034278.Michelle_Abbott