Saturday, 22 April 2017

Tarragon: Dragon Mage by Karlie Lucas

After hundreds of years, the gates to Tarragon are open once more, fulfilling age-old prophecy. However, Anwen’s journey is far from over. The dragons still sleep and she has no clue how to wake them. Forced to retreat from the Mountain, she and her newfound friends must devise a new plan to wake the inhabitants of Tarragon.

Meanwhile, the Mage Circle, a group of dragon mages with a vendetta, is camped outside the Gates. Calling on allies of their own, they will stop at nothing to gain control of the Dragon City and all who dwell inside.

To complicate matters even more, Anwen’s mother has joined the party. But even with the help of all her friends, can Anwen overcome the ordeals set before her or will this spell the end of the dragons and the world as we know it?

Amazon ~ Kobo ~ Createspace ~
 ~ Smashwords ~ B&N ~ Goodreads ~


Courtney stopped abruptly as the scatterings of a cave-in came into view. “Oh no,” she whispered, one hand to her mouth. Moving slowly, she noticed a body slumped in the hallway. “Please don't be dead,” she said over and over again as she moved closer. She couldn't help but wonder which of her friends lay there, and what had happened to the other.

The closer she came, the more detail came to light. She recognized Tyler Durand as he lay on his side. His light-colored hair lay limp against his head. His skin was unnaturally pale. At least she didn’t think he was dead. It took a lot to kill a dragon. But just beyond him, a little more out of the way, lay Anwen Porter. And she wasn’t moving.

The Author:

Karlie Lucas is a preschool teacher by day and a writer/artist by night.

A graduate of Southern Utah University, Karlie received a B.A. in Creative Writing, with a minor in art. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society, as well as ANWA, the American Night Writers Association.

Karlie is interested in all things magical and mysterious, especially elves and dragons. She is an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling.

When not writing, Karlie can often be found drawing, baking, watching her favorite old school shows, or just spending time with her family.

She currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a cat named Kally

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Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ Linkedin ~

Karlie's Top Ten Favorite desserts:

  1. Ice cream. Who doesn’t love ice cream? It’s like the standard go to
  2. Cheesecake. What’s not to love? Especially if it’s one of those Oreo ones.
  3. Coconut cream pie. I don’t normally go for coconut, but there’s just something about it in pie form that can’t be denied.
  4. Brownies. What can I say besides Chocolate?
  5. Blintzes. If you haven’t tried them, you’re missing out. It’s like a crepe but not rolled, and it’s pan fried.
  6. Pudding, especially pistachio or cheesecake flavored, I mean, come on! It’s creamy. It’s rich. It’s prefect. And you can add in whatever you want.
  7. Cobbler, usually apple or peach. You’ve got that sweet crunchy stuff and that gooey filling. Yum.
  8. Chocolate Silk Pie. It’s Chocolate! In a graham cracker crust.
  9. Sugar Cookies, like the melt in your mouth coated with sugar kind, not the cheap tastes like flour stuff you get at the grocery store. Home made all the way!
  10. A Lie, if you don’t know what this is, you’re missing out. It’s a pie baked into a cake. (Some call it something along the lines of a cherpumpkin but my version’s better). Or if, you want to take it a step further, do a glacee pie backed into a giant brownie and decorate it like a cake to have a Conspiracy.)

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our 

Friday, 21 April 2017

Grandpa Bernie’s Bedtime Stories by Bernard Ditchik

Title: Grandpa Bernie’s Bedtime Stories
Author: Bernard Ditchik
Genre: Children’s Books

These delightful tales are sure to help your little ones settle down and drift contentedly off to sleep. Written by a grandfather for his own kids and grandchildren, these twenty entertaining stories feature lots of talking animals, including a kangaroo who teaches a pony how to jump, a little bear who wants to play baseball, a coyote who learns to fly, a magic balloon that takes a little girl all the way to Japan and back, and some resourceful ants who build a swimming pool so they can play as well as work. It’s full of positive images and plots that inspire creative solutions to various challenges. A lovely read-aloud adventure the whole family will enjoy!

From “The Coyote Who Learned To Fly”

      “Can you sing, Tommy?” asked Lulu.
      “Oh, no. I can hum a little, but I can’t sing. I can run very fast, though. Watch this!” And he ran up the side of a small hill and back.
      “That was a great run, Tommy,” cried Lulu. “I can’t run very fast but watch this!”
      Away she flew—high up into the sky. She flew in great big circles and then landed right next to the little coyote.
      “That was wonderful!” exclaimed Tommy. “I’d love to be able to do that. Do you think I can learn to fly?”
      “Well,” said Lulu, “you need wings to fly.”
      “I don’t have any,” the coyote said.
      “No, you don’t,” Lulu replied. “But maybe we can make you a pair. Come home with me and we’ll see what we can do.”
      After a lot of hard work, they made a pair of wings to fit Tommy. Lulu fastened them on the excited coyote. He stood on his hind legs and tried to flap his wings, but he was barely able to move them.
      “I didn’t know how much strength it takes to fly,” said Tommy. He took his wings off, sat down and started to think. Suddenly he smiled and said, “Lulu, I have an idea. Come with me.”

Author Bio:

I didn’t begin my career as an author by writing stories. First, I was a storyteller. Let me explain. Many years ago, when our children were very young, I would sit on their beds at bedtime and tell them a story. Instead of reading a story written by someone else, I preferred to make up my own story right on the spot. They were stories about animals who learned to fly, children who talked to birds, alligators who were friends with elephants, and even one about a horse that learned to jump like a kangaroo. Our children loved them. So I made up a lot of stories. Then there was a long period of time when there was no one who wanted to listen to my stories because they had all grown up!

But then, something wonderful happened. We had our first grandchild—and I became Grandpa Bernie. One day, one of my daughters said, “Dad, you have so many stories. I think other children would like to hear them.” That’s when I became an author.

At the age of 93, I am still playing tennis (doubles only) five times a week in a 60+ league. I have been married 64 years to my wonderful wife, Faigie, had three children, and five grandchildren. I continue to sit in my favorite chair, with a large pad on my lap, and a pen in my hand, lean back, and let my imagination soar.

From “Jodie’s Magic Balloon”

      There was a stand with beautiful balloons of all colors and shapes. They were on long strings and floated high in the air.
      Jodie grabbed her father’s hand and pulled him right to the stand. When the man selling the balloons saw her, he winked and said, “I have a special magic balloon just for you, Jodie.”
      “How do you know my name?” she asked, surprised.
      “I’m a magician,” he said. “And when I made this balloon, I saw it had instructions stating that it was only to be given to a little girl named Jodie.”
      “But how did you know that was me?”
      “Oh,” the magician said with a smile. “That was easy. The instructions also said I would recognize her because she has the tiniest nose you ever saw and the sweetest smile. As soon as I saw you, I know you were that person.”
      The man gave Jodie a very large and beautiful balloon. It had every color of the rainbow and sparkled like gold in the sunlight.
      “Oh,” said Jodie. “It”s beautiful. But why is this a magic balloon?”
      The magician smiled again. “When you crawl inside this wonderful balloon, it will obey everything you ask it to do. Would you like to try it?”
      “Oh, yes!” Jodie cried excitedly, and she crawled inside the balloon. “It’s very comfortable in here. Now what do I do?”
      “Just tell the balloon to go anywhere you like,” answered the magician with another smile.
      “Please take me high into the sky, even higher than the clouds” instructed Jodie. 

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Undaunted Debutantes Series by Christina McKnight

Three innocent debutantes must work to solve the mysterious death of their childhood friend. With undaunted determination, they pledge to not only expose the man responsible for their friend’s tragic death on her wedding night, but to also uncover other unscrupulous men of the ton who would jeopardize the future of other young women.

Title: The Disappearance of Lady Edith
Series: The Undaunted Debutantes Series (Book One)
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Word Count: 45,000

One tragic night changed sensible, proper Lady Edith Pelton’s life: when her best friend fell to her death, pushed down a flight of stairs by a nefarious lord.  Now, Edith dedicates her time watching the man she thinks is responsible, while gathering other information to expose other scoundrels posing as gentlemen of honor about London. But when her spying is noticed by a perfect stranger, Edith finds herself with two mysteries—what happened to her friend, and how to win the heart of a brilliantly handsome lord.

Pre-order from: 

Title: The Misfortune of Lady Lucianna
Series: The Undaunted Debutantes Series (Book Two)
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Word Count: 45,000

Lady Lucianna Constantine, a quick-witted hellion, has no doubt who is responsible for the murder of her dear friend—and she will stop at nothing from exposing his transgressions, and those of every despicable man in London. Though her two dearest friends were unwilling to point a finger at the dastardly man, Lucianna has witnessed the cruelty of London’s Beau Monde her entire life…starting with her own father. She is more than willing to singlehandedly take down every vile man that crosses her path. However, what happens when a most honorable man discovers Luci is the abhorrent woman who ruined both his life and stripped him of his rightful future?

Pre-order from: 

Title: The Misadventures of Lady Ophelia
Series: The Undaunted Debutantes Series (Book Three)
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Word Count: 45,000

If only Lady Ophelia Fletcher—quiet, reserved, with her nose always stuck in a book—had witnessed the death of her friend that fateful night. Now she writes a column, Mayfair Confidential, that she uses to expose men with unsavory pasts to make amends for holding her tongue the night her dear friend was murdered. She is more than willing to never call attention to herself. But when a handsome stranger arrives to meet with her father, Ophelia can’t help but do a little investigating for her own benefit. At last, Ophelia has stumbled upon an adventure of her own—but does she possess the skills necessary to solve the mystery without the assistance of her friends?

Pre-order from: 

Follow the reveal and enter to #win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card

Author Bio:

Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

You can visit her online at the following places: 

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Interview with Bluette Matthey

My guest today is Bluette Matthey, author of Hardy Durkin Travel Mysteries series

Bluette Matthey is a 3rd generation Swiss American and an avid lover of European cultures. She has decades of travel and writing experience. She is a keen reader of mysteries, especially those that immerse the reader in the history, inhabitants, culture, and cuisine of new places. Her passion for travel, except airports (where she keeps a mystery to pass the time), is shared by her husband, who owned a tour outfitter business in Europe. Bluette particularly loves to explore regions that are not on the "15 days in Europe" itineraries. She also enjoys little-known discoveries, such as the London Walks, in well-known areas. She firmly believes that walking and hiking bring her closer to the real life of any locale. Bluette maintains a list of hikes and pilgrimages throughout Europe for future exploration. She lives in Le Locle, Switzerland, with her husband and band of loving cats.

Hi Bluette, welcome to Just Books.
Would you like to kick off by telling us how your journey as a writer began?
I started writing really awful westerns in third grade and my teacher, Mrs. Schmidt, would have me read them to my classmates.

What motivates you to write...?
An interesting place I’m exploring, something I read might catch my imagination, new experiences …

... and what do you enjoy most about writing?
I’ve always loved creating, but couldn’t draw, paint, or write music. Writing allows me to express myself, stretch my mind, force myself to be precise.

Tell us about your writing routine; what’s a typical writing day for you?
My days vary. Some days I spend completely absorbed, working at my desktop. Others, I may take a hike and mentally write as I walk. I spend boots-on-the-ground time in the
European locales where my mysteries take place, and do a lot of research to make sure what I’m portraying is accurate.

How did you come up with the title for Engadine Aerie?
Engadine Aerie takes place in St. Moritz, Switzerland, the area known as the Engadine Valley where the Alps are six thousand feet, plus. Many of the houses and lodges are perched in the mountains like nests, or aeries.

Do you develop characters from your personal experiences or draw from that of others?
My characters usually have a core of reality in people I’ve known, and I build from that. Some are completely made up.

Who is your intended audience?
I write for an audience who likes mysteries, travel, and experiencing new places, and for people who’d like to travel but are unable to do so. Travel with a bit of a kick.

What is your favourite scene that you’ve written? Would you give us a peek, please?

From Engadine Aerie:

They had been skiing about fifteen minutes; the ski lift for downhill had just come into view. Suddenly, Maryam veered off the trail slightly, into the snow. She lost her balance, as though she’d hit something and, try as she might to keep upright, her outstretched arms pin-wheeling for equilibrium, she lost the battle and fell on her derrière.

Hardy skied to where she had landed, a look of puckish humor on his handsome face. His gold aviator sunglasses hid his eyes, which were also smiling. “You OK? Need some help?” he asked.

Maryam was embarrassed. She never fell. “Of course I’m OK!” she snapped. “I ran over something.”

“A rock?” Hardy queried.

She glanced up to see if he was making a fool of her. “No, “she said thoughtfully. “It was something softer.” She began brushing away the snow at the spot where she’d run aground. Something vivid blue appeared. She brushed more, and an arm appeared.

“Hold on, Maryam,” Hardy said, releasing his boots from his skis. He stepped around where she knelt and brushed the snow off a man’s face, the snow stained a rusty pink near his head. His sightless eyes were a very dark brown, as were his hair and eyebrows. The once youthful face was ageless in death, and pale.

When Maryam caught sight of the face she let out a scream. Then another. “Najib! Najib!” she shrieked, and broke down into sobs.

Hardy bundled Maryam up in his arms and moved her away from the body. He suspected they were, logistically, in the middle of a crime scene and didn’t want to disturb it any more than they already had. Phil Hostelbrink had skied back to where they were after hearing Maryam’s shrieks. His steely, blue-gray eyes and lawyer’s mind assessed the situation in an instant.

“That’s a hell of a discovery, Mr. Durkin,” he began.

“Please, call me Hardy,” Hardy replied.

“Hardy,” he said, extending a gloved hand. “Phil Hostelbrink. New York. I’m an attorney, and for what it’s worth, I suspect you’ve just skied into one hell of a mess.”

Hardy grimaced, and hoped to hell Phil Hostelbrink wasn’t also a prophet.

Thank you, Bluette, that's got me interested.
Let's leave the books behind for a while and discover a bit about you.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Travel, travel, travel!

Do you remember the first book you read?
I remember discovering all the Walter Farley black stallion books when I was in third grade, followed by the Ellery Queen, Jr. series. I was hooked!

What would you want written on your headstone?
‘She Ran The Good Race’

What are your favourite hobbies and pastimes?
I love to hike and snow shoe in the Swiss mountains. Road trips. Eating good local foods.

What do you consider the most important event of your life so far?
I have lots, but probably re-meeting my husband after a 35-year hiatus of when we first met in Portugal.

What three words best describe your personality?
Adventurous, health-conscious, animal-lover.

When and where was the last time you walked for more than an hour?
Last weekend I was in Lyon, France walking around the Old Town, exploring its traboules. The traboules, secret, hidden passages and courtyards dating back to the 4th century, criss-cross the old town. It is possible to pass through that part of Lyon without ever using the streets. The Knights Templar made use of them to escape the French king, Philip the Fair, when he moved to rid France of the Templars.

What did you do this summer?
We did a lot of travelling and ate some great meals. My kids visited from NY and China, and we did the chateaus in Loire Valley, took a hot air balloon ride above same, spent five days in Paris, went to the Black Forest in Germany and spent half a day in the spa in Baden-Baden, drove most of Switzerland, and ate a fabulous family-style meal in Italy.

If you had to move from Switzerland where would you go, and what would you miss the most about Switzerland?
I don’t think I’d ever want to leave Switzerland, but the South of France would probably be my second choice.

Who is your favourite female actor?
I have several: Sophia Loren, Maggie Smith, Christine Baranski, Audrey Hepburn …

What is your favourite holiday?
I really enjoy Christmas. My kids try to make it to wherever we are, and we just enjoy family.

Are you an early riser or a night owl?
Both; depends on my sleep patterns.

What foreign country would you most like to visit?
I’m open for almost anything, but my current two targets are Morocco and China. Love the food in both places, and the history of both countries is fascinating.

Were you ever in a school play? What was your role?
I was in a small play for my French class and played the rose: La Reine des Fleurs (Queen of Flowers)

What would constitute a "perfect" day for you?
Taking a relaxed road trip somewhere, having a good local meal, enjoying the locale.

When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
Just last week. When I sing to myself my husband usually hears it, too.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?
The ability to heal the sick.

Thank you for taking time out from your schedule for the interview, Bluette.

Bluette Matthey's latest book, Engadine Aerie is due to be published next week (April 26) and is available for pre-order on Amazon, Kobo and B&N. It will also be available on Smashwords.

Bluette will be joining us again, on April 26th, to talk about her Life as an Author and The Engadine Skimarathon, the setting for Engadine Aerie.

You can find Bluette at her Website, and on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Google+.

Meanwhile, why not catch up with the previous books in the series:

Corsican Justice

Abruzzo Intrigue

Black Forest Reckoning

Dalmatian Traffick

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

God is Dead by Kata Mlek

Title: God is Dead
Series: One God - Book 3
Author: Kata Mlek
Genre: Dystopian, Technothriller, Science Fiction

The final gambit. The final opponent. The final judgment.

Miran, Satia, and Flins have crushed all opposition, and Genesis dominates the market.
From a position of strength, they launch an all-out campaign to take total control of the European economy. Using everything from manufactured pop idols to underground whisper campaigns, Genesis expands into forbidden new areas, daring anyone to stand in their way.

But the old elites of Europe will only tolerate so much provocation. Setting aside their differences, they mount their most devious and merciless attack yet.

Within months, Miran is afflicted by a mysterious illness, and may be close to death. The media campaign unravels and public sentiment turns against Genesis. Legal troubles mount. And then, the kidnappings begin...

Desperate to survive, Genesis breaks an unbreakable taboo... and nothing can prevent the consequences.

The thunderous conclusion to One God rushes boldly through new and unexpected ideas, redefining the limits of a thriller. It all ends with a final twist that will have you re-reading the series to figure out exactly when Genesis made its one, fatal mistake.

Includes The Genesis Files: bonus stories, art, and dossiers that complement the main story.

Note: contains strong language and some disturbing scenes. For mature readers only.

Author Bio:


I began my writing career in 2012 after leaving the IT industry. In Poland, I’ve had several successful novels published by traditional publishers. In 2015, I made the decision to switch to self-publishing and start my international career.

In 2015, I published the English edition of my intense psychological thriller Absolute Sunset.  This was one of the most talked-about books in Poland in 2012, and the English edition has been equally well-received.

In 2016, I published One God—a trilogy of techno-thrillers about corporate control of genetic modifications. Originally published in Polish as a single long novel, the English version was expanded and re-written to create a trilogy with lots of great new scenes.

Now I’m working on another psychological thriller, a brand-new story written directly in English for my English readers.

All of my books cross genres—I like to experiment with different styles to create the effect I want, and to give my readers a unique experience. My Polish background gives me a different perspective and makes my writing fresh, although I feel it’s still accessible—inside we’re all the same, after all.

You can read my free short stories, get writing tips, and catch up with me on my blog at
If you like my work, you can become my patron on Patreon and get future books for free. And of course, you can find me on AmazonFacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Write It Right Series by Traci M. Sanders

Traci Sanders is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of ten published titles, with contributions to three anthologies. An avid blogger and supporter of Indie authors, she writes parenting, children's, romance, and nonfiction guides.

Her ultimate goal is to provide great stories and quality content for dedicated readers, whether through her own writing or editing works by other authors.

Traci recently released a series of books for authors.
"I'm so excited to be able to help more authors through my books, since I can't personally be everywhere at all times. It's like having me in your back pocket."

Traci is giving away two prizes during this tour:

*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Before You Publish– Volume I
*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Beyond The Book –Volume II

To enter, all you have to do is send your proof of purchase of a digital copy of either of these two books during the tour.

Tour Schedule

Traci will draw TWO winners total, at the end of the tour.
Please email your proof of purchase (can be a screenshot) to


TIP 147: Hurry up and slow down!
(all about pacing)

This tip can be found in Before You Publish: Tips on grammar, writing, and editing, now available in digital and paperback format.

Pacing is one of the toughest skills to master in writing, in my opinion. Proficient pacing talent can derive from many sources; however, one of the most convenient and practical sources is reading. Avid readers become better writers.
Often, a reader constructs his or her own pace while reading a book; but if an author has crafted a well-paced book, the reader can sit back and enjoy the beauty of the story without asking, “Did I just read that correctly? Is that what the author meant?”
Let’s delve into the art of pacing a bit more. Readers prefer a harmonious mix of fast and slow moments throughout a book most of the time. I’m not talking about having “lulls” within the book; I mean providing moments for the reader to catch his breath. This even applies to thrillers and horror stories. Every paragraph/chapter can’t contain edge-of-the-seat writing. We don’t want to give our readers heart attacks, and we don’t want to give too much away in the beginning either.
While it’s true that an inciting moment works well at the beginning of a book, that doesn’t mean ALL the inciting moments must be crammed in there. Remember, each chapter, paragraph, and line in great writing exists to move the story forward—but not necessarily at warp speed.
The best way to avoid uncomfortable pacing is by offering a balanced mix of these things:

*Dialogue – I’ve read books that were 90% dialogue (which told every, single action and feeling a character exhibited), and others that were only 10% dialogue (which incorporated too much narrative and/or backstory that became boring to read.) There has to be a healthy balance of both to keep the story interesting.

*Action – This is especially true with sci-fi thrillers, suspense, crime thrillers, and horror stories. You do want to keep a reader on the edge of the seat for the most part, but you don’t want to make every sentence/paragraph action-packed. If you do, you end up with an element of “Really? Come on!” as some moviegoers have expressed about the Mission Impossible movies where Tom Cruise goes from riding a motorcycle to driving a boat to hanging from the wing of an airplane in about two minutes flat. I personally find it to be overkill.

*Word choice – Sentence structure plays a huge role in pacing. Short, non-detailed sentences speed the story up and create a sense of urgency and suspense while long, drawn-out sentences can evoke an emotional connection and may cause the reader to slow down and think about what he/she is reading. Using strong verbs like punched, clawed, dragged, heaved, sobbed, etc., move the story forward as well by creating a moment of “crisis”; the reader keeps going to find out how the crisis will be solved.
*Summarizing by omission – This speeds the story up just enough to keep the reader invested. For instance, instead of describing every, single action a character takes—such as a woman standing, walking toward the door, turning the knob, opening the door, and walking out—the author might write it as her simply walking out the door, skipping all the other details. Common sense comes into play here, and readers don’t usually enjoy being treated like idiots. They know that the character had to walk to the door and open it to get out. And even if the door was open to begin with and the character simply walked through it, who cares?
These are just a few tips to regulate pacing in your story.

Before You Publish: Tips on grammar, writing, and editing
Volume 1

Have you ever had to stop writing (or editing) to ask yourself, "Is this the correct word?" or "Is this spelled correctly?"?

At this point, most authors will stop writing and search a few online dictionaries or thesauruses, only to realize an entire half hour has been wasted, because many of the online sources conflict.

Fret no more, authors. This guide is a one-stop source for nearly any grammar, spelling, or creative-writing issue you can stumble upon.

Author Traci Sanders devoted an entire year to topics just like these in her blog segment Write It Right, which can be found by visiting

This guide offers tips on everything from basic grammar to suggestions for creating smooth dialogue.

Each tip has been thoroughly researched for accuracy, according to the Chicago Manual of Style. No need to waste time searching the Internet! Sanders has done the hard work for you.

Beyond The Book: Tips on publishing, marketing, and networking to build your brand

Volume 2

You've published your book. Congratulations! Now the real work begins.

Although many marketing professionals recommend authors begin promoting their work months (and even years) before publishing, some authors miss that deadline, and are left feeling clueless on how to go about getting their work into the hands of readers.

Whether publishing your first book, or your nineteenth, you are guaranteed to find unique tips inside to market your work, and network with other authors and readers to build a strong following.

Authors must have a marketing plan in place if they want to generate book sales. However, with 5000+ titles being launched on Amazon daily, it's easy for your work to become lost in the crowd.

The tips found in this guide will inspire you to find new, unique ways to market your work and build your brand.

Living The Write Life : Tips on making the most of your writing skills

Volume 3

This brief, easy-to-follow guide offers unique tips on how to manage the daily tasks of authorhood, as well as a few suggestions on other aspects of the writing and publishing industry, such as:

*how to enhance your Amazon page with html code
*7 stretches to alleviate pain and tension
*tips on how to balance your writing time with your personal time
*tips on how to overcome procrastination
*21 items you should have in your writing space
*information on writers' grants and contests
*information on tax deductions you can take as an author

A few of my personal recommendations for writing resources are listed in here as well.

All this and more can be found in this one handy guide to help you Live the Write Life.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Dream Poem by K. D. Rose

K. D. Rose is a poet and author.

K. D.’s book, Inside Sorrow, won Readers Favorite Silver Medal for Poetry. Her poetry, essays, and short stories have been published in Word Riot, Chicago Literati, Poetry Breakfast, BlazeVOX Journal, Ink in Thirds, The Nuclear Impact Anthology, Stray Branch Magazine, Literary Orphans, and others. Publication is forthcoming in Eastern Iowa Review, Lunch Ticket Arts and Literary Magazine, Santa Fe Literary Magazine, Northern Virginia Review, Hermes Poetry Magazine, Maintenant Contemporary Dada Magazine, Slipstream, Wild Women's Medicine Circle Journal, and The 2016 Paragram Press Anthology. She also won an Honorable Mention in the 2016 New Millennium Writings Poetry Contest.

Her last release was Brevity of Twit. Her new book Dream Poem will be out in summer 2017.

She has a B.S. in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Social Work. Member: Poetry Society of America. Member: Poets and Writers. Member: Academy of American Poets.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Spoonful Chronicles by Elen Ghulam

Title: Spoonful Chronicles
Author: Elen Ghulam
Genre: Women’s Fiction

Thaniya Rasid grew up in the Middle East dreaming of becoming a surgeon. Now living an ordinary life as a mother, wife and a hospital lab tech in Vancouver, Canada, she garners unexpected fame as youTube’s Queen of Hummus when her video demonstrating the recipe goes viral. How could blending chickpeas in a food processor generate so much excitement? And how could her life have ended up so far away from all her expectations?

To make sense of the unlikely events that have brought her to this place, Thaniya turns to food, curating memorable eating experiences of her life, searching for clues. Between her childhood aversion to cucumbers, her search for an authentic Iraqi kubeh in the city of Jerusalem, her 10-year tomato wars with her husband Samih, a mood altering encounter with a blood pudding in Edinburgh, and a Kafkaesque nightmare involving a cauliflower, Thaniya unravels repeated patterns occurring in her life. The secrets of love, friendship and destiny hidden in her cauldron of mishmashed cultures begin to reveal themselves.

Between lust and disgust there is a thin line. Spoonful Chronicles is the beguiling story of one woman taking hold of her fate by uncovering the clandestine geography of this divide in her heart.

Excerpt #1:

“Hello, pleasure to meet you.” I was disappointed to hear him speak in English. I replied in Arabic: “It is a pleasure to meet you as well.”

Rafid paused and then switched to Arabic. “Affirmative. It has been my forefather, who has furnished me with voluminous tales about her, which is your forefather. It is now that I see, I feel knowledge for her family even though your face I only see now.” His Arabic was a code red disaster zone. He had inverted the feminine with masculine pronoun, his accent was terrible, his diction most ridiculous. In that first ten seconds of meeting him I realized that I could never share a life with somebody who spoke so poorly. If this had been a comedy show, a fifth grader would be peeing himself laughing right now. I had given him a test and he had failed in the most spectacular manner possible.

Rafid was slim, tall, clean-shaven, dark and handsome, stylishly dressed in a sky-blue cotton shirt and black slacks. Everybody in the room was clamoring to grab his attention. He sat confidently on a chair in the middle of the living room, gesturing elegantly with his index finger when he spoke. He listened attentively when spoken to, placing the fingers of his hand gently against his cheek. He was altogether the prince of any young woman’s dream. Except when he addressed me; then his atrocious Arabic had turned him into a Shrek-like green ogre.

Author Bio:

My name is Elen. I am an Iraqi-Canadian. Please allow me to tell you a story of a curios event that happened to me. I was a perfectly happy computer programmer doing the nerdy stuff that computer programmers do. You know! Geeky stuff. Like the normal stuff that an Iraqi-Canadian would do if they worked as a computer programmer. When one day, out of nowhere, the inspiration to write hit me over the head. It came at me fast and furious and turned my life topsy turvy. I was always an avid reader. Ok I was a bookish geek. But the idea that I would try to write never even occurred to me, until the violent incident with the muse. Since then I have published a memoir called “Don’t Shoot! … I Have Another Story to Tell You“. Which Was followed by a novel called Graffiti Hack. That one tells the story of a hacker who installs lavish graphical designs on commercial websites. Imagine the trouble she gets in? Well I had to. I was writing the story, so I had to imagine every last bit. A third novel is on it way. I don’t know where all these ideas come from, they just pop in my head and I write them down. In addition to writing, I am a flamenco dancer, I enjoy painting and I love to cook. Somehow all these activities inspire each other.

I am a married mother of three, living in a pink house in Vancouver BC
Really I just love telling stories and I love listening to stories.

Excerpt #2:

Just yesterday a patient shrieked with delight when I entered her room: “Oh My God! I can’t believe it. Hummus lady!”

I was taken aback. “Excuse me?”

“You are hummus lady, in the video. You saved my marriage.” The skinny young woman looked at me with awe as if I was a deity of some sort. This understuffed scarecrow told me that she had married an Egyptian. They had been fighting for months. Finally, he told her it was over and walked away. She accidentally found my video on YouTube and decided that instead of eating a tub of ice-cream, she would make a tub of hummus. When her husband came home to pick up his things, he encountered the plate of hummus. One taste led to another. His wife found him licking the plate clean. She sat down at the table without a word. Her husband began to cry. “This tastes exactly like the hummus I used get in the public market of Alexandria,” he told her. They talked things over. Cried together. And decided to fight to stay together. Experts might tell you that a marriage should be based on respect and shared values. But if you listen to Thaniya Rasid, you would forgo all that and entrust your life partnership to a flatulence-inducing legume. I suppose marriages have been based on shakier ground. This must be the mushiest. “Why don’t you make more videos?” asked the woman.

I shrugged. “I’m not sure cooking is my forte.”

“Oh it is, it is, there is magic in these hands!” She grabbed both my hands as if rubbing invisible lotion into her own hands.

I wanted to tell her: “Leave your husband, he’s an asshole.” But instead, I grabbed her chart and focused on the medical task at hand.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Survivor of the Clan by Jennifer Ott

Title: Survivor of the Clan
Author: Jennifer Ott
Genre: Thriller

Scottish doll maker Shelby Locke loses everything in one instant. She watches helplessly as motorcyclists assassinate her husband and abduct her daughter. Nagging questions and even confounding reminiscences only exacerbate the problem, and her geneticist father is no help.

In the aftermath of the violence, she discovers not-so-subtle hints, which prompt her to travel to Odessa, Ukraine. Upon her arrival she follows clues laid out by the perpetrators, as if they want to be discovered. What is even more shocking, she discovers her own true identity. Could she be one with those who took away her family?

To unite with her daughter, she must join forces with those bent on nihilism, and submit her loyalty to a man, whose life mission is to rekindle his long lost kin, even if by nefarious means.


      Shelby headed toward center city with determination as Damien lagged behind, casually puffing on his cigarette and checking out a beautiful woman who passed. They headed toward Shevchenko Park where dancers performed Hopak, a traditional Ukrainian dance. On a normal day, she would thoroughly enjoy the performance. Now the folksy music, the clapping and shouting grated on her ears. It wasn’t the music, nor do the dancers that bought back the memory. It was the crowds and the nervous anticipation.

      Reluctantly, she wedged herself in the crowd. She didn’t want to be there, nobody did, but it was a requirement for all. Feeling him behind her did give her some relief. She leaned back against his body, holding onto his hands. He was her support, as she was his.
      Less than twenty years had passed since the war had ended. It shown on all their weary faces, trying to make it through the days. The hardest task of all was to display strength and pride. The best they call could offer was solidarity, not to the State but to each other.
      Soon, down the street, red banners fluttered in the breeze coming off the sea. Children in pressed, white shirts and red ties sang in unison with the melody provided by the marching band:

Dark is the night, only bullets whistle in the steppe,Only wind wails through the wires, stars dimly twinkle.In this dark night, I know that you, darling, cannot sleepAnd secretly wipe your tears away near the crib.

      Despite the military parade, the soldiers, the tanks and missiles nearing, the children’s song, the recent memory of war and loved ones who passed, brought tears to her eyes. She did nothing to dry her face. She let the tears fall, put them on display for those who may be watching. Yes, there was cynicism in mourning.

      A masculine wave of shouts resounded from the men performing the Hopak. Shelby brought her attention back to the men and their dancing feats. She scanned the crowds at the faces, all tourists and vacationers, and all enjoying themselves.
      On the other side of the crowd she spotted Petro, holding a girl with red hair. She stepped forward, watching him point to the dancers, and treating her daughter as if she were his own. “Amelia!” she yelled. “Amelia!” She rammed through the crowd. “Amelia!”
      Damien tried to keep up, grabbing the back of her jacket to stay with her. “Shelby!”
      “Amelia!” she screamed.
      When she reached the opposite side of the square Petro was gone. It didn’t stop her. She sprinted down the street. “Amelia! Amelia!” Finally accepting they were gone, she stopped ready to burst into tears. She bit her lip, squared her shoulders and observed her surroundings. “They’re around here somewhere.”

Author Bio

Jennifer Ott graduated Albright College in Pennsylvania with a degree of Fine Arts. She also studied at the Syracuse London Center, filmmaking at NYU and screenwriting through Gotham Writer’s Workshops in New York City. Her screenplays The Tourist and Truth and Craziness were semi-finalists at Austin Film Festival. Full length novel, Saying Goodbye was honorable mention of Best Beach Book awards for romance in 2014, and novella Edge of Civilization received critical praise from the Vietnam Veterans Association. She has written numerous books of several different genres from satire, historical fiction, thrillers and literary fiction.

In the real world, away from her writing, she works as a product developer in the garment industry, which has offered her the opportunity to travel around the world. When not writing or working, she enjoys yoga, meditating and relaxing on the beach.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Grimm Remains by Eli Celata

Title: Grimm Remains
Author: Eli Celata
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Sometimes the fairy tale's end is just the Grimm beginning.

Mammon’s summoning turned Rochester into a beacon for the denizens of Hell. As demon activity increases, Jon settles in for a new academic year, and Jordan moves in as the city’s protector. Unfortunately, the young warlock of Rochester might not be around long if the Devil’s marine legion has a say. Havfine, demonic mermaids, don’t often leave deep lakes and ocean waters. They’re better known for drowning mortal sailors than hunting magic users, but something has sent them upstream from Lake Ontario. When three orphans vanish from a magical sanctuary in Toronto, their caretaker – the Wizard Monday – dredges up a part of Jordan’s and Jon’s father’s history that Jordan would have rather forgotten. In this race against the Bane of Hamelin, more than three souls may be on the line.

The Author:

Eli Celata was born in Rochester and is currently attending Binghamton University as a doctoral student.

Guest Post:

Cover artists, graphic designers – the masters of the thumbnail. Even though the books are the authors’ babies, the image translation is up to someone else. Someone we might not know. Someone who might not have even read your book.

First phase, don’t leave anything to chance. Find commercially free images to give the artists. Make a mock-up if you’re really nervous about the designer. Honestly, you’ll probably get a good read on them depending on how they respond to what you give them. Depending on the size of the press, you might get one cover or a selection to pick from. While the press I’m with generally does one, the artist I’m with worked with me to try to meet somewhere between what my publisher wanted and what I wanted.

When it comes to what sort of cover art I’m attracted to in visual only book shopping, I like eclectic. Solid colors that are neutral or generally darker catch my eye. People who aren’t models. I hate the idea that every main character fits the mainstream aesthetics. That’s just not true. This is why I love art done by fans. They listen to the authors. (It’s why there are so many movie/fan-drawn book comparisons with Harry Potter).

My favorite book cover (besides either of mine) would be original screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It’s dark blue with metallic inlay. The beasts are hidden throughout the inlay. My author art wept at the sight of it. I believe it is the international cover, but I’ve only check USA and UK.

To sum - cover art can be controversial. Whether we like it or not, the cover is what most readers see first. It is what draws them in. Start out on the right foot and give as much info as you can, and you’ll be fine.

Good Luck.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Historical Hellions Box Set

From bluestockings to scandalous heiresses, these strong-willed, unconventional historical romance heroines don’t let anything stand in their way when it comes to love and happily ever after.

Out April 11th – Historical Hellions Box Set – Featuring seven novellas and novels from award-winning and bestselling authors

Follow the blast and enter to #win a Kindle Fire!

Title: Historical Hellions: Seven Historical Romances
Authors: Elizabeth Essex, Christina McKnight, Erica Monroe, Lila DiPasqua, Eileen Richards, Madeline Martin and Christy Carlyle
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency, Victorian, Scottish, Highland, French)
Release Date: April 11, 2017

The Pursuit of Pleasure 
by Elizabeth Essex

Independent, politically-minded heiress Elizabeth Paxton has never wanted to marry, but longs for the freedom afforded to widows. The last thing she wants is dangerously attractive Captain Jameson Marlowe as a husband.

The Thief Steals Her Earl 
by Christina McKnight

The Earl of Cartwright is determined to find out who stole from his family. When he finds out the thief is the woman he’s fallen in love with, he must choose between duty and love.

Secrets in Scarlet 
by Erica Monroe

When a bluestocking with a scandalous past meets an idealistic sergeant, sparks fly as they work to solve a murder...but her secrets may lead to their undoing.

Sleeping Beau 
by Lila DiPasqua

Inspired by the tale of Sleeping Beauty—a scorching hot historical romance novella from the Fiery Tales series. One sleeping rake, one scorching kiss, one night of unforgettable passion...

The Art of Seduction
by Eileen Richards

A spinster finds freedom as a theatre set painter until a chance meeting with the marquis who broke her heart has her questioning what she wants for her future.

The Madam’s Highlander 
by Madeline Martin

What’s the madam of a successful bawdy house in Edinburgh to do when she finds one of the English supported Black Watch soldiers needing to desert his post? She helps him, of course – but there’s a high price to pay.

Reckless Wager 
by Christy Carlyle

Victorian propriety and passions collide when a beautiful widow makes a wager with a wounded police detective bent on solving the Ripper mystery.

Follow the blast and enter to #win a Kindle Fire!