Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 31st Giveaway

Night Writers is having a July 31st giveaway. 
I day only
1 Winner
5 Giveaways
This is the first time I've set up a rafflecopter so fingers crossed it works.
The addie: sevennightwriters.blogspot.com. Hope to see you there.

By the way, how do you like my new mirror? I ordered it off Etsy. Have you ever used that site? Its pretty neat. They sell jewelry, paintings, crafts, novelty items, etc. Its a great place to look for gifts.

Monday, July 30, 2012

VBT Back to Bataan

With us today is Jerome Charyn. Jerome, share with us your thoughts on the explosion of popularity concerning the YA genre?
I think it might very well be that it started with Harry Potter, that young adult writers are trying to tell good stories and adults have moved into that kind of dream.
Being a published author for nearly 50 years, what do you think of eBooks?
I think that this is a kind of logical step as we move from the internet into eBooks. 
Publishing is changing even as we speak. I think there now will be a more complicated dance between the eBook and the printed book, and as we’ve seen recently, successes in eBooks allow the author to move into print.
How much of your life is in Back to Bataan? How did you personally experience New York during World War II?
I think so much of the source of my writing comes from my childhood, I grew up during the War  - so many of the terrors and the magic of certain films have remained with me.  And all of this appears in the character of Jack.
Your older brother was a detective. Did your experiences with him influence the plot?
Not really, I think all writing is crime writing. And Back to Bataan is a crime novel with a very original twist.
Why did you decide to include the fascination with the famous as a theme - Gary Cooper, Eleanor Roosevelt, etc.?
These people were heroes to me as a child, particularly Eleanor Roosevelt, who was one of the most extraordinary women who ever lived, and of course as a child I fell in love with Gary Cooper’s face and with his very slow drawl, that seemed so exotic to me.

Back to Bataan 

New York City, 1943. War is raging in Europe and the Pacific, while Jack Dalton is stuck attending Dutch Masters Day School. What Jack really wants is to enlist in the army, to fight...

Everything changes when Coco, Jack's "fiancee," throws him over for one of his classmates. Jack sees red and does something drastic. Then he runs away. Hiding out in a nearby park, Jack joins ranks with a group of vagrants and is soon under the sway of a man called the Leader, an ex-convict who is as articulate and charismatic as he is dangerous. The Leader turns Jack's world upside down. To put things right, Jack must prove himself a braver soldier than he ever imagined.

Mauricette told Harriet Godwin I was the pig of the class. I had treated her like garbage. Mauricette wouldn't answer my phone calls. She wouldn't read the notes I dropped inside her desk. But Arturo Fink kept reminding her who she was. “Fiancée,” he said. “Jack’s fiancée.”

I promised myself I wouldn't write anymore compositions, but how could I graduate from Dr. Franklin's class and join General MacArthur?

It felt lonely without a fiancée.

Mauricette began seeing Barnaby Rosenstock after school. They were holding hands and having chocolate malteds at the Sugar Bowl on Seventy-ninth Street. Fat Arturo was eating two ice-cream sodas. The Sugar Bowl is our hangout. It’s the official candy store of Dutch Masters Day School. I didn’t have money for ice-cream sodas. I didn’t have money for malteds. I'd buy a Hershey bar or some Chuckles once a week. I'd peek at the comic book rack and wonder what was happening to Captain Marvel or the Sub-Mariner. Marvel and the Sub-Mariner were already at war, fighting Japs. And when Mauricette was still my fiancée, I'd sit with her over a glass of water and treat her to some candy whenever I could. But now she was sucking malteds with Barnaby Rosenstock. I could hear her from my corner, next to the comic book rack.

“Oh, Jack Dalton,” she said. “He has a wild imagination. He likes to fling words around. He thinks half the school is going to marry him.”

She didn’t have to shame me in front of her friends. Arturo was laughing into his fat cheeks. Barnaby had a chocolate rainbow on his lips. I didn’t even bother with the comic books. Marvel would have to fight the Japs without me. I walked home.

Mama was at the factory. She makes parachutes. Sometimes she’d bring home a little piece of silk left over from one of the chutes. That's how I get my handkerchiefs. Not even Arturo with all his father’s money has a handkerchief of genuine silk. But handkerchiefs couldn’t make me feel good. Silk is only silk. I wondered about the American fliers who had their planes shot down and had to fall into the dark wearing some of that silk.

I couldn’t concentrate on my homework. It didn't seem important when you considered all the Japs and Germans out there. I hope General MacArthur takes me with him to Bataan. I’m not asking for a Purple Heart. I'm only asking to kill Japs. And if I have to die, I want to die near my dad...

Mama came home at seven. The streets from my window looked so dark, I thought the world had gone gray. I didn’t care. I wouldn’t mind going to school after midnight.

“Darling,” Mama said, “what’s wrong?”

I couldn't tell her how I lost a fiancee, because she would have figured I was insane.

“Mama, I’m blue...that's all.”

“You’re still dreaming of the Army, aren’t you? We'll have dinner and listen to the radio, my little blue boy.”

We had soup and bread and boiled potatoes and peas out of a can. It’s not Mama’s fault if meat is rationed and sugar is rationed. No one can inherit ration stamps, not even the President or Arturo’s dad.

We listened to Jack Benny. He played the violin and talked about the Japs. Mama laughed, because Jack Benny is the biggest miser in the world. He would never spend a nickel. But he told everybody to buy war bonds.

“What about you, Mr. Benny?”

Mama told me it was time for bed.

I put on my pajamas. But I didn't feel like sleeping. I dialed Mauricette’s number and let the telephone ring. Somebody picked up the phone.

“It’s me,” I said. “Jack Dalton. Your former fiancé. Coco, are you there? I wanted to—”

Mauricette hung up. And I wondered who was lonelier. The dead cowboys on Bataan, or young Jack Dalton.

Jerome Charyn's Bio:
Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”

New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,” and the Los Angeles Times described him as “absolutely unique among American writers.”

Since 1964, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.

Kindle buy link - $2.99

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

VBT Timeless Sojourn


I asked Jamie, besides the fact the heroine grew up there, what makes Seattle a good town for a fresh start? Below is her response:

Seattle is a laid back town. Yes, it rains a lot in Seattle, but usually not the sort of hard rain most other areas of the country are used to. It drizzles in Seattle most of the time, but the landscape wouldn’t be as lush and green if it didn’t.
Besides the weather, Seattle has lots to do for everyone from the tourist to the resident. There is abundance of museums and art galleries, along with Native American museums. There is a large art community with both potters, painters alike; a huge creative bunch call Seattle home. Writers included. Pikes Place Market is always a favorite with everyone. Oh yeah, and did I mention Seattle is the locale for a certain book series?
The area is great for outdoor people too. Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helen are to the south of the city with some great hiking. The San Juan Islands just waiting to be discovered and if you’re a water person, boating is in abundance. Whether power boating or sailing there is an endless supply of places waiting to you from the water.
If you’re starting over and are looking for a job, there are a vast number of companies who make their home in the area. Whether it be in the ship building industry or the technology business, you’ll probably find it in the Seattle area.
The people are friendly and waiting. . .


Recently divorced at a time when most women are enjoying their children being grown, Anne Harrison finds her life in chaos. At the urging of her forever-friend Kat, Anne moves back to Seattle, her childhood home, to get back her former confidence and make a fresh start. 

Confident, creative, and a successful businessman, Geoffrey Quinn has depths not immediately apparent to those who come into contact with that cocky, devilishly handsome exterior.  

The last thing either is looking for is a relationship. Anne finds Geoff highly irritating (and young!) at best, while Geoffrey finds her magnetic and wise. To his amusement, she futilely attempts to dismiss him each time they cross paths, and sparks fly.

Watch as this seemingly unsuitable, disparate duo lights a fiery, compelling attraction neither sees coming. But who will get burned?


Kat and I are just finishing up the dinner dishes and getting ready to sit and solve the problems of the world when the phone rings. Kat answers. “Of course, she’s right here. We just finished cleaning the kitchen.”

Geoffrey she mouths to me, handing me the phone.
“Hey, how are you? I asked.

“Great, thanks. I was wondering if you’d like to come over for dinner Friday night. I grill a mean steak.”

“That sounds great, Geoffrey. Can I bring anything, oh, and what time?” I smile at the thought of that killer body slaving over a grill.

“How about if I pick you up at seven, and bring something for dessert, if you don’t mind.”

“That sounds great. I’ll see you Friday.”

I hang up the phone and Kat is standing there with a huge grin on her face.

“You’re going to have dinner at Geoffrey Quinn’s?” she cackles. “You do know he’s falling hook, line and sinker, don’t you? He never invites women to his place.”

“Enough already, Kat! Geoff is young enough to be my son. We simply enjoy each other’s company.” I replied, hoping to shut her up.

“Oh no, Anne, he’s taken with you and you are quite smitten with him, although you’d be the last to admit it. Don’t play the age game crap with me because I know better.” She’s still smiling like a match maker as I turn away, my face warm from blushing.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jamie Salisbury cannot imagine a time when she did not write. A skill that has served her well throughout her professional career. Public relations in and around the entertainment industry, photography, editing, and special event planning all elevated her passion for writing.

An avid reader of histories, biographies, and romance, it's only natural that part of the products of her pen are historical romances featuring characters so authentic they spring forth from the page and shake the reader's hand. Many of her teen years were spent in Chile, but she and her family were forced out of the country when the political climate demanded it.

Taking the plunge to take her writing professional came as a result of a series of foot surgeries that left her with a lot of time on her hands. Unable to walk great distances at the time, she started writing as a way to pass the time. Her experiences of how dramatically her life had changed at first. Then the new world of e-publishing inspired her to digitally publish her first novel, Perpetual Love, rather than relegate it to the dreaded drawer. She couldn't be happier with her decision to grab the publishing industry by the shoulders and force it to pay attention to all she has to offer.

Two more novels have followed: Blood Lust and Tudor Rose, with more to follow soon.
Jamie now lives outside of Atlanta, but the love for travel has never abandoned her. Adventure, exploration, and intrigue permeate her prose to the core.
In those few moments of the day when she's not writing or thinking about writing, she finds knitting a way to relax and unwind. Other interests include photography, equestrianism, reading, and of course traveling.
Jamie hopes her writing will entertain, enlighten, and inspire others to pick up the pen and pursue their own dreams. She loves to be contacted by readers, writers, and history buffs. 

Twitter:  @JamieRSalisbury
FaceBook:   http://www.facebook.com/JamieRSalisburyAuthor

Jamie will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Monday, July 23, 2012


I've got some edits I have to get done, so other than guest posts, I probably won't be posting this week and possibly next. Hope life is treating you well.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Deadly Eyes

Blogging with us today is Michael Meyer.  Welcome, Michael.

I am a recently retired college professor. I taught for over forty years at universities in Thailand, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and I spent the last twenty-four years at a California community college. I live in Southern California wine country with my wife, Kitty, and our two other cats. As a recent retiree, I now have all the time I need to devote to three of my lifetime passions: writing, reading, and traveling.
 My wife and I travel extensively throughout the United States, and we travel internationally at least once a year. Last year we were in Italy. The year before that we toured Ireland. This coming September, we will be in France. The travel bug has bitten both of us, and we are hooked. We intend to travel as along as we are healthy enough to do so. Having traveled the world extensively, and having lived in a variety of cultures abroad, has greatly helped my writing. I am a keen observer of others. I have learned so much from having lived in and traveled in other cultures. I love being a part of different cultures, learning things that I would never have known if I had stayed only in my native California.
I have traveled extensively throughout the world, having lived in a wide variety of places: Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Caribbean. Every place I have visited has had some impact on me and on what ends up in my books. DEADLY EYES, for example, is set in the Caribbean, where I spent four glorious years on the idyllic island of St. Croix, where the mystery takes place. COVERT DREAMS, my first international thriller, is set in both Munich, where I have traveled to on many occasions, having lived and studied in Germany, and in Saudi Arabia, where I was a professor at the University of Petroleum and Minerals and traveled widely throughout the Middle East.
            World travel, I find, opens people’s eyes to new things. It gives them different perspectives about life and how to live that would not have been realized without the exposure to other cultures. World travel provides a better understanding of others. It teaches one a new respect for things that are done differently than at home. It makes one more understanding of others.
            I will continue to travel as long as I am able to do so. I will also continue writing as long as I live. The two go together for me. I wholeheartedly recommend world travel. It is one of the greatest educational experiences possible. The sugar-white sands of St. Croix and the burning sands of Saudi Arabia, as divergent as night and day, have both had an impact on me as a person, and both have found permanent homes in my writing. Yes, I have learned much from my international travels, and yet there is still so much more to learn, and I fully intend to do so, starting this September in France.
James Cuffy, better known as Cuff, is living in paradise with his girlfriend, on the small Caribbean island of St. Croix, where the sky is as blue as Cuff's eyes, the ocean as pretty as Rosie's cheeks, where the gentle lapping of the waves is a lullaby, and the swaying of the palm trees is a dance. The sandy beaches are as white as sugar, and the horizon is a world away. St. Croix indeed is paradise, the perfect place for living, laughing, and loving.

But the sandy beaches and the turquoise sea can provide no cover from the deadly eyes of the unknown stalker pursuing Cuff. Murder leads to murder as he attempts to untangle the terrible web in which he has suddenly become entangled.

The twists and turns are relentless, the roads of the fast action leading in all directions, but time is running out, and Cuff, his faithful Rosie at his side, knows it.

These were not naked eyes, for the distance between these eyes and the beach bar at Cathy’s Fancy was too great for the naked eye to discern who was who. No, these eyes had planned meticulously. The eyes were glued to a pair of terribly expensive and unbelievably powerful Swarovski Optik binoculars. The balcony on which they now worked, taking in the scene before them, was the perfect place to see but not be seen. The powerful binoculars saw to that.

The distance, the palm trees, and the rays of the sun all helped. The position had been hand picked, after careful consideration. Every angle had been considered, and, one by one, they had all been discarded for one reason or another until this very spot, the perfect place to observe while not being observed, had been selected. 

Yes, the eyes had seen it all. The eyes had seen precisely what they had hoped to see. They were like a master puppeteer.  They planned, controlled, and observed, but from a safe distance. They did not miss a trick.
The eyes. The deadly eyes of St. Croix.

About the Author:
I have resided in and have visited many places in the world, all of which have contributed in some way to my own published writing. I have literally traveled throughout the world, on numerous occasions. I have lived in Finland, Germany, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, on the island of St. Croix, where DEADLY EYES is set. I gained the wanderlust to see the world, to experience other cultures, at an early age, and this desire has never left me. If anything, it has only gained in intensity as I have aged. I try to travel internationally at least once a year. In the interim, I spend lots of time traveling around both my home state of California and other nearby states.

I spent my early years in the small town of Lone Pine, California, the home of almost every western movie, in addition to a wide variety of other genres, made in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. In fact, Hollywood still films parts of big-time movies there today. My dad, the town’s lifeguard at the time, personally knew John Wayne, Lloyd Bridges, and Lee Marvin, all of whom came to the town’s pool, the Memorial Plunge, at times to cool off after a hectic day of working in the sun. I was even an extra in a movie filmed there in 1957, MONOLITH MONSTERS, a B-cult favorite even today. I was ten years old at the time. Even though I resided in a small town hours from the big city, I was exposed to the excitement of action and heroes at a formative age, and, thus, my interest in writing novels of suspense such as DEADLY EYES was born.

As a recent retiree from a forty-year career as a professor of writing, I now live in Southern California wine country with my wife, Kitty, and our two other cats. 

Pinterest writer’s site: http://pinterest.com/temmike/#

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Murder In Silence

I'm pleased to welcome Gary Kassay, a former member of the NYPD Transit K-9 unit. Gary's here to tell us about his upcoming release Murder In Silence. I love the cover by the way. Don't you?
I would like to thank Sandra Cox at Sandra’s Blog for inviting me to the blog.  It is an honor to be included here and I thank you for posting my guest blog.

The first of the Duke Becker series, Murder in Silence, is being released on 07-05-12.  Let me give you a little background on myself and the inspiration for Inspector Duke Becker.  Back in 1982 I was in training with the New York Transit Police Department for the Canine Unit.  The training was intense and probably the best time I ever had.  One day an event occurred and I immediately thought to myself what a great plot for a book! (No, I am not going to tell you what that event was…it would spoil everything.)  In any case, I thought about that book till 2004, 22 years of developing the plot, characters and dialogue.  The result is Murder in Silence and the sequels that will follow.  Here is a small sample from Murder in Silence…I hope you enjoy it!

I gave Jimmy a smile and walked off to sit with everyone
else. Tyree gave a loud whistle, and Carlos and Lucifer came
walking onto the field. Lucifer was huge, at least 120 pounds, with a
dark red coat.
Tyree stood behind Jimmy, grabbing onto his belt as Jimmy
put his arm out in front of him. Carlos brought Lucifer in front of
him, about four feet away. Ben was behind Carlos, I guessed in case
something went wrong. My heart was pounding. I couldn’t believe
that Jimmy was about to take a hit from a dog that exerted so much
pressure and had such big, sharp teeth.
Tyree nodded, and Carlos yelled out, “Watch!”
Lucifer dipped his head, turning it to the side. He was
looking at Jimmy with only one eye, and saliva was flowing out of
his mouth. Other than that, he didn’t look as if he was ready to
attack. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Tyree gave Carlos another nod, and he yelled out, “Get
Lucifer moved so fast that I didn’t actually see the hit.
Jimmy nearly went down on one knee, but Tyree held him up. His
face was contorted in pain, but to his credit, he shook Lucifer as
much as he could. It seemed like an eternity, but after maybe fifteen
seconds, Carlos moved in to remove Lucifer. He grabbed him under
his throat, lifting his front paws off the ground, and held him like
that till Lucifer released Jimmy’s arm. Carlos walked off with him,
giving him a great deal of praise.
I ran out onto the field as Tyree removed the wrap. Jimmy
looked a bit faint, but he was holding on. When Tyree removed the
leather sheath, there was blood on Jimmy’s arm. One of Lucifer’s
teeth had gone through the wrap and punctured Jimmy’s skin.
Ben called Carlos and Lucifer back over, and when they got
close, he pointed to the blood on Jimmy’s arm. I wasn’t sure what
he was going to do, but I didn’t think they had done anything
Ben walked over and said in a loud voice, “Good boy! Now
that’s the way to give a hit! Good job, Carlos, give that dog an extra
treat tonight.”
Title: Murder in Silence (Murder, Book 1)
Author: Gary Kassay
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Length: 100,000 words
Genres: Mystery/Thrillers/Suspense (Non-Romance)

Available at:
Sapphire Star Publishing (Coming Soon)

Two police officers have been brutally killed by having their throats ripped out, but the wound appears to have been done with surgical precision.  With no witnesses, no forensic evidence, and two bizarre clues to follow, the case falls to Inspector Duke Becker, head of the high profile Special Investigations Unit, Homicide.

Becker and his squad must find the killer before more cops are murdered. The case will lead Becker on a wild chase through the streets of New York City, back over 15 years into the past and to a cover-up that will rock City Hall.

Along with his brash, wildly dressed young partner, Jimmy Nova, the beautiful Michelle Goldman, Augie “Doggie” Rivera, and the Mutt and Jeff team of Bobby Green and Joe Robinson, Becker will need to enlist his boyhood friend in charge of CSU, Manny Velez. 

Add a ruthless newswoman known to the NYPD as “”Wicked Witch Wilson” and a new love interest for Becker in the gorgeous and brilliant Dr. Elizabeth Cunningham, Becker is about to embark on the most difficult and dangerous case in his 20 plus years. Will Becker and his squad be able to catch the killer before more cops die or will the killer have the last laugh?  
About the Author:
Gary Kassay, author of the Duke Becker Series, is a former member of the NYPD Transit K-9 Unit.  Besides a career as a Police Officer, he has been the owner of a commercial photo company, an X-ray tech for humans and animals, and a TSA employee. He now resides in Casper, Wyoming with his wife Raella, three dogs, and one black cat.  

When Gary is not working on the next installment of his Duke Becker series, he enjoys spending quiet times with his wife, reading, and when there isn't snow on the ground, a good round of golf.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Live and Let Live

Unfortunately this doesn't happen at my house, no matter how much I lecture the crew about live and let live.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sitting on my.....

If you've been to my pal Julia Barrett's blog, you've probably already seen this one.  Personally, I think its worth a repeat. I love it. And so appropriate, at least for myself.grin.

Monday, July 16, 2012

More Winged Visitors And Raining Puppies

Imperial Moth. Its population is decreasing in the North, but it's a common find in the South.
Regal Moth. This poor little guys only lives a few days because it can't feed. I so would not like that. Not eating chocolate would be bad enough, but no food whatsoever? I don't think so.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Kids In Church

                            A little boy was overheard praying:
                            "Lord, if you can't make me a better boy,   don't worry about it.
                            I'm having a real good time like I am."
                            After the christening of his baby brother in church,
                            Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car.
                            His father asked him three times what was wrong.
                            Finally, the boy replied,
                            "That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home,
                            and I wanted to stay with you guys."
                            A Sunday school teacher asked her children as they
                            were on the way to church service,
                            "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"
                            One bright little girl replied,
                            "Because people are sleeping."
                            A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3.
                            The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.
                            Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.
                            "If Jesus were sitting here, He would say,
                            'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'
                            Kevin turned to his younger brother and said,
                            "Ryan, you be Jesus!"
                            A father was at the beach with his children
                            when the four-year-old son ran up to him,
                            grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore
                            where a seagull lay dead in the sand.
                            "Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked.
                            "He died and went to Heaven," the Dad replied.
                            The boy thought a moment and then said,
                            "Did God throw him back down?"
                            A wife invited some people to dinner.
                            At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said,
                            "Would you like to say the blessing?"
                            "I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied.
                            "Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered.
                            The daughter bowed her head and said,
                            "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"

Friday, July 13, 2012

Let Yourself Go

It's The Weekend


Ebook promos this month:

Smashwords also has all kinds of freebies, including Shardai.
The rest of my books at Smashwords are half price.


His Chosen Bride by Sherry Gloag is Free this month when you request it from Astraea Press FB Book Club


July 31st at Night Writers

Until Next Time, The Angel Chronicles, is free today at Amazon.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How To Self-Publish Your Book In Paper

Some of my books are self-pubbed. Vampire Bay is one of them. Just recently I went through Create Space to put it in paper. It took me awhile to wrap my head around the fact that they weren't going to charge me for this process.But, unless you choose a different package, it's free.

Here's a brief rundown, in case you've been thinking about turning your e into paper.

Create Space is offered by Amazon @ http://www.createspace.com/

Covers: You can purchase a cover, use your own or use Amazon's free cover creator. Amazon supplies several different cover formats and pictures to choose from.  I tried to use my original cover. The problem I encountered was that my name and the title leaked over the edge.  See how close it is in the picture? Since I hadn't built the cover myself, I had no way to correct it, so I looked through what was available and chose a cover.

Interior: Your manuscript is downloaded in doc.docx or rtf. Amazon provides the resources for formatting. I used the recommended, 6 x9 size, but next time around I'm going to try something a bit smaller. I blush to admit, I spent a day on formatting trying to get my margins lined up. Its really not as difficult as I made it.

Proof: Your interior and exterior are both proofed. I got snagged by--as previously mentioned--the bleeding of my name over the allowable edge, and on the left margin on the interior. Once these items were corrected, and the book reviewed, I could choose to do a PDF proof or have a paper proof sent to me.

 The cost of a paper proof is your cost of the book, plus postage. I went the paper route. After I proofed and made my corrections, I once again sent the book through for review. After it passed review, I proofed again, this time with a PDF copy. Shortly, thereafter my book was ready for release.

I've purchased my books through several different publishers and Create Space's cost to the author for book and postage is the cheapest Ive ever encountered. All in all an interesting experience. Will I do it again? Probably.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's Cat Day At Night Writers

I'm blogging today on the Javenese. If you're a cat person, or even if you're not, and interested in learning more about this highly intelligent breed, pop on over. We'd love to have you.

Shardai, the first of the Cats of Catarau Series is free this month at Smashwords. 

“For troubled shores now thee leave
Man’s imperfections to receive
With mortals weakened, faulty shell
So shall ye among them dwell...”

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Christmas In July


Win a copy of Minder along with 14 other great e books.


Enchanted Pages (enchantedpages.com) is a new website for romance readers. For a limited time, they are offering free membership for readers.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Color of Snow

Guest Post by Brenda Stanley

The Color of Snow has been described as dark or mysterious.  I feel most of my writing fits this description because I enjoy looking at the strange and unusual things in life.  My novel will definitely make some people uncomfortable.  I like to look at situations and issues and try to figure out how people will react.  For years I was a crime reporter, so I enjoy investigating stories and learning about the parts of life most people try to hide.  When I wrote The Color of Snow, I was working on a story about a young girl who went missing years ago and has never been found.  I started thinking about what would happen if she were to suddenly show up now.  I loved putting myself in Sophie’s shoes and seeing things for the first time.

Sophie’s relationship with Damien is both intense and tempered.  Her father has raised her to believe that she will destroy anyone who truly loves her, so she is torn between her love for Damien and her fear of causing him harm.

The story changes between what is going on with Sophie and what happened in her parent’s past that brought her to where she is.  I wanted readers to experience the often isolated feeling of living in a vast rural area, but also the mental confinement of a small town.

Mental illness, teen pregnancy, religious intolerance, and racism are all big parts of The Color of Snow.  I like my characters to face challenges and see them grow from them.  It is not only the conflicts with the other characters that keeps the story going, but also those within the person’s own mind.

I wanted Sophie to be unusually beautiful so that people treated her strangely and therefore made her feel even more alien when she is first discovered.  She has transformed from a tragic kidnapping victim to a mythical ghost from the past and this makes her transition into her new life even more difficult.

My ties to the Mormon Church go back to my great-great grandparents.  I was raised in the teachings of the Mormon religion and even though I am no longer a member, I have many friends and family who are still very active in the church.  My descriptions of the Mormon culture are how I view it and how I feel someone who has never been exposed to it might see it.  I think there are a lot of people who are curious about the Mormon religion and have misconceptions.  I feel I’ve been both candid and fair in my portrayal.

The Color of Snow Excerpt

Malad, Idaho, early spring 2009

Spring had spread across the fields and pastures. Cottonwood trees fluttered their newly sprouted greenery, and purple asters covered the rolling hills. The snow had melted and Stephanie and I started taking the horses on rides up the valley. It was incredibly liberating to roam and wander without fear.

There was a trail leading from the foothills up into the forest, and once we were in the midst of the wild spruce and lofty pines, the noises of cars and life around the ranch disappeared. The sound of hooves on early spring dirt was solid and steady. The breeze was still crisp, but the sun reached down and warmed our shoulders. For almost an hour we rode in silence. We both were in awe of the day and the splendor that was ours alone to enjoy.

At the top of the hill, the trail opened up to a small plateau and a blue mountain lake. I gasped at the incredible beauty of it. I smiled at Stephanie and she nodded in acknowledgement. Her eyes were bright and her freckles seemed to glow in the sunshine. The horse she rode was a black mare my grandfather was going to sell. Stephanie loved the white diamond-shaped patch on her forehead, and scolded him for even thinking about selling Black Bean. My horse was an old buckskin gelding named Clyde. He lumbered along and rarely went faster than a slow trot, but for a beginner like me he was perfect.

Stephanie turned her horse down the hill and toward the lake. “Do you want to go swimming?” she called back.

“I don’t know how,” I answered.

She giggled as she reached the water’s edge. “You don’t need to. The horses do it all.” Her hair was pulled into two short pigtails and they bounced with each step of her horse.

I waited and watched as she urged Black Bean into the water and out into the lake. As the water got deeper, the splashes became larger around its legs as it pushed forward, and soon they were floating along smoothly.

“Come on!” she yelled, waving me in. She had her legs pulled up on the sides, trying to avoid getting completely soaked. They were pale and freckled like her face, and seemed to make up most of her body. Stephanie wasn’t much taller than I, but her legs and arms were long and made her look gangly and even thinner than she was. She waved so hard she almost fell off the horse, and started laughing as she steadied herself.

It looked like fun, but I was terrified. The water was immense and dark. The largest amount of water I had ever been in was my own bathtub. I wondered what would happen if I fell off in the middle. Stephanie and Black Bean were in the center of the lake and they looked like a serene harmonious duo.

I gave Clyde a slight nudge and he walked to the shoreline. The water lapped as I waited and watched Stephanie continue to beckon. She looked like she was having a marvelous time and wasn’t worried in the least. I patted Clyde and prodded him with the heels of my sneakers. He seemed unconcerned as he clopped loudly into the water. I took a deep breath and told myself to keep looking forward and it would be okay. Clyde had no hesitation, which helped ease my fear.

The sun beat down on us and made splashes of water light up as Clyde moved forward into the water. The splatters that hit my exposed skin were freezing and made me realize how cold it would be if I did fall in. I fixed my eyes on the opposite shoreline and put my faith in Clyde. The horse had a wide back, and as we got deeper into the lake, I curled my legs back the way Stephanie did and clung to his mane. We were riding bareback that day, because Stephanie didn’t want to spend time putting on saddles.

I held my breath as we got further away from the shore and closer to the very center of the lake. At one point I looked down, staring deep into the abyss. There was no bottom, and I felt my stomach turn, knowing I would surely die if I left Clyde’s back.

As the horse rhythmically propelled us along, I began to feel a sense of buoyancy and freedom. When we crossed the center point and were on our way to the other shore, my confidence turned to elation. I started to breathe again and smiled at what I had accomplished. I sat up straight, closed my eyes and imagined I was flying, gliding along on my winged unicorn, soaring through clouds and racing the wind. When I opened my eyes, I giggled at my foolish imagination, but couldn’t help beaming at what an amazing adventure it was.

When the horse’s hooves made contact with the lake bottom and we started to emerge from the water, I wanted to burst from relief and joy. “That was the most wonderful thing ever!”

Brenda Stanley's Bio:
Brenda Stanley is the former news anchor at her NBC affiliate KPVI in Eastern Iadho. Her writing has been recognized by the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Hearst Journalism Awards, the Idaho Press Club and the Society for Professional Journalists. She is a graduate of Dixie College in St. George, Utah, and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Brenda lived for two years in Ballard, Utah, within the Fort Duchesne reservation where the novel is set. She and her husband live on a small ranch near the Snake River with their horses and dogs.