Friday, February 19, 2016

How to Make an Author Happy

A lot of things make an author happy...
  • a good writing day
  • an interested publisher
  • a helpful but not brutal editor
I could go on, but at the top of the list is positive reader feedback. We want to be appreciated. Heck, we want our books to be loved.

Most authors work alone, at least for the writing part. By necessity we try to ignore all distractions including non-critical family interaction. Read the acknowledgements of the authors you enjoy. Whoever else they thank, most of them will express heart-felt gratitude to their family for being so patient and supportive.

 Family members and friends can be a wonderful support, but they aren't usually the people authors write for. We enjoy their pats on our backs, but what we really crave is our readers' applause. There are two ways we "hear" that applause: book reviews and fan mail.

Fan mail prompted this post.
Really enjoyed this book. Keeps you guessing when someone is going to find out about Marley being a girl,the characters are strong the story is strong, grabbing onto your imagination. I didn't want to stop reading until I found out how the story ended.
Loretta Webb
This is the kind of mail that really makes my day. I hope Loretta also posts this on Amazon. A good review sells books. That's the other reason we love them so much. Review = Sales = Coffee so we can keep writing. (Well, that's how it works for me.)

 So, do your favourite authors a solid and review the books you enjoyed. You'll make their day and you might make the difference between a medium brewed coffee and an extra large espresso beverage next time they're in their local coffee shop.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

7 Free Books - Rowena Through the Wall and Fire and Shadow

“Is that a broadsword on your belt, or are you just glad to see me?”

Book 1 in the bestselling 
Land’s End Time Travel trilogy

When Rowena falls through her classroom wall into a medieval world, she doesn't count on being kidnapped - not once, but twice, dammit. Unwanted husbands keep piling up; not only that, she has eighteen year old Kendra to look out for and a war to prevent.
Good thing she can go back through the wall when she needs to...or can she?

The Toronto Sun called her Canada’s “Queen of Comedy.”  Library Journal compared her to Janet Evanovich. Melodie Campbell has over 40 short story publications, 9 novels and 10 awards.  Rowena Through the Wall was an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller, putting her ahead of both Nora Roberts and Diana Gabaldon for a magical time.

The entire Land’s End Trilogy was a top 50 Amazon bestseller in January 2015!  You can read more of Rowena’s adventures in Rowena and the Dark Lord, and Rowena and the Viking Warlord.

When the dead need to speak, she must listen…

Artist and Egyptologist Lily Evans struggles with her newly discovered psychic talents, while trying to get her life back to normal now that her mother is in a mental institution and the man Lily loves is far away in England. But "normal" is the last thing she finds.

When her best friend Katy takes her to a Celtic Faire, Lily meets a druid fortune-teller, who warns her that she can “never escape the Other.” Frightened and angry, Lily ignores his dire warning and stumbles across an eerie old portrait of a beautiful woman, who has something to tell her.

Susan Jane McLeod has been writing since she was seven years old. At age eleven she won a county-wide essay contest and her professional career was launched.

Susan believes strongly in several causes and has raised money for the American Cancer Society, Foodlink, and the House of Mercy homeless shelter.

Monday, February 15, 2016

7 Free Books - Under A Texas Star

Half-time look at the FREE books and what comes next

“She set out to catch a con man and lost her heart to a Texas Ranger.”
The Bridgeman 
by Catherine Astolfo
This is the first in a seven book series. Also check out Cathy's other books.

Under A Texas Star 
by Alison Bruce
Alison writes History, Mystery and Romance and you don't have to look further than the blog sidebar to see what's what.

Rowena Through the Wall 
by Melodie Campbell
This is the first of the Lands End Trilogy, but just the tip of the iceberg for Melodie's books.

Chasing Clovers
by Kat Flannery
Kat is a true-blue historical western romance author. Check out her series.

Fire and Shadow
by Susan MacLeod
This is the first in a trilogy. Find the others on Susan's Imajin page.

Deadman's Hand
by Luke Murphy
Luke writes it gritty and detailed. If that's your poison, check Luke out.

Blonde Demolition
by Chris Redding
Chris obviously likes it hot because after this book she has Incendiary.

Disguised as a boy, Marly joins a handsome Texas Ranger in the hunt for a con man and they must bring the fugitive to justice before giving up the masquerade and giving in to their passion.

Under the Texas stars, Marly and Jase are drawn together by circumstances beyond their control, yet fate plots to tear them apart. Will Marly finally get her man?

"Bruce's narrative has a lightness of touch that is all too sadly rare in romance novels"

"Bruce is a talented storyteller" 

Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison is the author of mystery, romantic suspense and historical western romance novels. Three of her novels have been finalists for genre awards.

In addition, she is the Publication Manager of Crime Writers of Canada, Arthur Ellis Awards Administrator, Adult School Crossing Guard for the City of Guelph, and tech guru to the technologically challenged.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

7 Free Books - Chasing Clovers and Blonde Demolition

She slammed her hand on the table. Her beer wobbled. She caught it. "You are not seducing me back into this life."
Mallory Sage lives in a small, idyllic town where nothing ever happens. Just the kind of life she has always wanted. No one, not even her fellow volunteer firefighters, knows about her past life as an agent for Homeland Security.
Former partner and lover, Trey McCrane, comes back into Mallory's life. He believes they made a great team once, and that they can do so again. Besides, they don't have much choice. Paul Stanley, a twisted killer and their old nemesis, is back.
Framed for a bombing and drawn together by necessity, Mallory and Trey go on the run and must learn to trust each other again―if they hope to survive. But Mallory has been hiding another secret, one that could destroy their relationship. And time is running out.
Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, one dog and one show rabbit.  She graduated from Penn State with a degree in Journalism and is still a diehard Nittany Lions fan.  Her books are filled with romance, suspense and thrills. 

With over 100 reviews on Amazon, Chasing Clovers
is the perfect mix of sweet romance and Wild West adventure!

“A truly wonderful western that will break your heart at times and lift your spirit at others. A must read for all.”

Longing to escape the awful memories and the saloon she once sang in, Livy Green lies about her past so she can be a wife to John Taylor and mother to his two young children. Overwhelmed by the task, she struggles to put her resentment aside and love them as her own.

John loved his first wife and is still heartbroken over the loss, but he needs a mother for his children. When his distant and unfriendly mail order bride arrives, he begins to doubt his decision, though one glance into Livy's terrified green eyes tells him he can’t turn his back on her.

As Livy's past catches up with her and suspicious accidents begin to happen on the ranch, she is tempted to come clean and tell John the truth. But will he send her back if she does? Or will they forever be CHASING CLOVERS?

Kat Flannery’s love of history shows in her novels. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance. She has her Certificate in Freelance and Business Writing. A member of many writing groups, Kat enjoys promoting other authors on her blog. She’s been published in numerous periodicals throughout her career.
Her debut novel CHASING CLOVERS has been an Amazon bestseller many times. LAKOTA HONOR and BLOOD CURSE (Branded Trilogy) are Kat’s two award-winning novels and HAZARDOUS UNIONS is Kat’s first novella. Kat is currently hard at work on her next book.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

7 Free Books - Deadman's Hand and The Bridgeman

What happens when the deck is stacked against you…

From NFL rising-star prospect to wanted fugitive, Calvin Watters is a sadistic African-American Las Vegas debt-collector framed by a murderer who, like the Vegas Police, finds him to be the perfect fall-guy.

…and the cards don't fall your way? 

When the brutal slaying of a prominent casino owner is followed by the murder of a well-known bookie, Detective Dale Dayton is thrown into the middle of a highly political case and leads the largest homicide investigation in Vegas in the last twelve years.

What if you're dealt a Dead Man's Hand? 

Against his superiors and better judgment, Dayton is willing to give Calvin one last chance. To redeem himself, Calvin must prove his innocence by finding the real killer, while avoiding the LVMPD, as well as protect the woman he loves from a professional assassin hired to silence them.

The Bridgeman is a mystery, a love story, and a psychological horror that tests the resolve of an entire village.

Principal Emily Taylor feels safe in the friendly little town of Burchill—until she finds a body in her school. The murder of caretaker Nathaniel Ryeburn brings back memories she'd rather forget and plunges Emily into a mystery that involves a secret diary, an illegal puppy mill and a murderer innocently disguised as an ordinary citizen.

As fear rips through the traumatized town, Emily's investigation inadvertently leads the police to her door, and to her husband Langford, who is hiding a secret of his own. It becomes clear to Emily that many of Burchill's residents are merely wearing masks. And it's time for those masks to be ripped away…and for a killer's identity to be revealed.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Happy Year of the Monkey

Gotta love a new year celebration that lasts two weeks. It gives me hope that by the time it is over, I might just get the hang of this year.

I shouldn't be surprised by the rough start. A monkey once stole my father's glasses and wallet. My sister and I thought it was the funniest thing for a cute little critter to be a pickpocket. My dad's sense of humour didn't kick in until the stolen objects were retrieved by the lodge staff.

It's been a while since that incident in Kenya but I'm pretty sure they were Vervet monkeys that hung around the lodge and stole food and otherwise entertained the tourists.

Now I find out that wild Vervets are terrorizing Kenyan farmers. They are stealing crops and breaking into homes. Like most human gangs, they're also sexually harassing women as an intimidation tactic. Human women. Not female Vervets.

“The monkeys grab their breasts, and gesture at us while pointing at their private parts. We are afraid that they will sexually harass us,” Lucy Njeri told the BBC.

This isn't typical behaviour for monkeys. Chimpanzees are known to be that aggressive, but not monkeys. Is it a reaction to human encroachment on their habitat? Or is it a case of imitating humans? Monkey see. Monkey do.

Meanwhile, in St. Kitt's, Vervet monkeys that came to the Caribbean with the slave trade have developed a taste for alcohol.  They raid resorts and steal drinks from tourists. Scientists have been studying the Vervets for a while, no doubt when it's freezing cold on campus and a trip to an island paradise seems in order. According to a BBC's Weird Nature, studies have established that the proportion of  monkey teetotalers, moderate drinkers and drunks is similar to that of humans. The

That illuminates the main problem with the Year of the Monkey. Monkeys are too much like us.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Deal of the Week - A Bodyguard to Remember


A Bodyguard to Remember by Alison Bruce



Flashing his badge, Merrick managed to get to us shortly after we arrived at the hospital. He made sure Zeke and I were kept together and stayed with us, even after repeatedly being told by the attending nurses to leave. Then, when we were alone, Merrick asked the big question. “What happened?”

I knew what he was really asking.

“Why didn’t I hide in the bathroom with Hope and Boone? You think I didn’t lock the door properly, but I put the security bar on and everything. I called you as soon as I could. What took you so long?”

I took a dive off the edge of rationality into the deep end of guilt and second-guessing. I burst into tears. I hate it when that happens.

“Give her a break, Sarge,” said Zeke, raising himself up on his good elbow. “She saved my life.”

Merrick, who had taken my outburst calmly, raised an eyebrow.

“Well,” Zeke temporised, “she intended to save my life. She couldn’t know that I had moved out of the line of fire.” He tried to sit up. “I know, I never should have been in his line of fire in the first place . . . probably should stick to the backroom stuff . . .”

In the midst of my sobbing and Zeke’s self-flagellation, Merrick told us to calm down.

Big mistake. That might have worked on Zeke. Don’t know. Wasn’t paying attention. For me, it was like waving a red cape in front of a bull. All my fear and guilt transformed into anger directed at him. I grabbed him by the shirt-front and pulled myself up with the strength that comes with hysteria.

“I’m not a cop. I’m a mother,” I shouted, hopping bare footed onto the cold floor. “I didn’t hide with my children because I figured that whoever it was, they were looking for me. If they found me, they wouldn’t go looking for my kids too. I didn’t know if you’d get there in time to stop Hope and Boone from becoming hostages and I wasn’t going to risk it. I wasn’t going to risk Zeke dying either and I would have done the same for you.”

I spoke in a rush, losing volume and air as I went, losing momentum as I realized the attention I was drawing. Not one of my shining moments.

I started to collapse. I tried to steady myself using my handhold on Merrick’s shirt. He grabbed my shoulders to brace me. He didn’t lose his cool for an instant.

“Call a nurse,” he told Zeke. “She’s bleeding.”

I gave a choke of laughter. There were at least two nurses, an orderly, and three men in uniform ranged behind Merrick.

My vision got blurry. I blinked to clear it, refocused, and noticed that Merrick was wearing red and green plaid pyjamas. I let go of his top and smoothed out the soft material.

“Flannel,” I said, and passed out.