Friday, April 30, 2010

Support the efforts of ARe and the case of Greene vs. County of Sonoma et al.

About Our Efforts

This story illustrates how strong and supportive our community has become. Time and again we're blown away by how generous our readers and authors are when it comes to supporting charitable efforts. The idea for this endeavor was sparked by TeddyPig of The Naughty Bits Blog fame. When he read about the case of Greene V. County of Sonoma et al., it bothered him. It really bothered him. Teddy went to the website of the organization representing Clay Greene in the case, the NCLR, and he made a donation. But he didn't stop there. He spent the next several days drumming up support for the cause, and one of his first steps was to reach out to us. 

The story of Clay and Harold made Teddy remember a book he'd purchased from us, Henry and Jim by J.M. Snyder. Teddy suggested that perhaps we might be willing to donate a portion of our proceeds from the sale of Henry and Jim we received a pledge of 25% of the proceeds on all JMS Book titles, and we agreed to match it. to the NCLR for the month of May. We contacted J.M Snyder and heard back within hours. Not only was J.M. willing to donate 25% of the proceeds from the sale of that title,

About the case- Click HERE

About the NCLR- Click HERE

What you can do to help-Click HERE to find out
 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

WRITER'S WRITE...WRITING PARTNERS FEUD



MAY-DECEMBER RELATIONSHIPS
By: Angelica Hart and Zi

There has been a phenomenon that has existed whereas unattractive men hook up with attractive women, often older men, with an age difference wide enough that it risks social disapproval. It dates back to the movies of the 40s, 50s and 60s. Perpetuated by the recent movies that depict May-December relationships, such as An American Haunting, Get Smart, Bulworth, Lost in Translation, Me Without You, Sin City, or Whatever Works.

A: What was the May-December relationship in Get Smart?
Z: Great question. My research gave me these movies. And I also thought about Get Smart. The only moment that might have fit the description was the baker clerk and Agent 86. They might have missed it by thiiisss much. (Shows thumb and pointer gesture describing the distance not the size of anything else)
A: Do you like the premise of those movies? (Hikes up her chin in a lofty manner)
Z: Was that implying I'm old? (He pulls downward his hiked up pants, showing boxer top to look hip)
A: Ouch! Maybe I was. Mia culpa. (She curtseys respectfully... rises and juts tongue)
Z: Bronson Alcott once wrote, "As we grow old, the beauty steals inward." I think I believe that relationships are what they are. Pigeon-holing love into age groups fails the logic test for me. (Looks in the mirror, moistens pinkie, smoothes eyebrows... Strikes a bon vivant expression)
A: To quote Bernard Baruch, "To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am." (The two fist-bump in agreement... a gesture they both would not admit was stupid because that hurt)
Z: One older male friend who sadly was a widower for twelve years began dating and as the premise of this piece would indicate a much younger woman. (He adds three items to his Christmas list to be e-mailed as an amendment to previous Christmas lists)
A: Cradle robber?
Z: Not quite. When I asked him why, even though we were in the common room of church he replied, "The little head kept whining and whining that I have not taken him out in awhile."
A: Typical male behavior, but rephrasing Bob Dylan's lyrics, 'Everybody must get boned!'
Z: Angelica! Shame-shame. (He does the index finger over index finger tsk-tsk gesture) And the man used convoluted reasoning, he agreeing with the little head and realizing it only recognized younger women. That's all it knew.
A: What goes up and never comes down? (Offers a broad toothy grin)
Z: (Red faced thinking, something with Viagra in it) Ok, tell me.
A: Your age. (She laughs...he didn't) The Butler said it, "There's many a good tune played on an old fiddle." Maybe he needs music lessons, the classics are oft the greatest works. (Now she looks in the mirror and gives herself a thumbs up with a wink)
Z: You and Canetti get it. Elias wrote, "One part of him is old and another is still unborn." I think many men need emotional maturation.
A: Serrriousss overdoes!
Z: Sorry. The peanut went to the police station stating he was assaulted. Better?
A: Not much! Knowing men who have so engaged in this extension of a mid-life crisis, not being able to afford that Porsche, when asked, "Do you deserve such a trophy on your arm?" One fifty-five year old softball player I know replied, "Well... but I have arthritis, an enlarged prostate, and a receding hairline, and I don't deserve those."
Z: So I believe that relationships are hard to achieve. Life is far too short. My buddy Stanislaw Lec said, ""Oh to be old again," said a young corpse."
A: And this means what to me?
Z: I believe we should love who we love.
A: Proponents of the old man young woman dynamic argue that the man is bright and the women enhances his milieu. Rumor has it this was propaganda presented by old men and young women. And many have said that they will begat the perfect children. Having his profound mind and her stunning body.
Z: But what if, the child has his saggy body and her less than mature mind?
A: So I ask you, should people over fifty engage in physical relationships? (She thinks about the bald man who got a comb for his birthday and him telling his Granddaughter, "I will never part with it.")
Z: Whereas, for some fifty is the ultimate F word, I contend that a fifty-year-old is in fact an eighteen-year-old with thirty-two years of experience. To answer your question, yes, yes, a thousand times yes!
A: Should their partner be younger?
Z: Yes, no, maybe so. To quote one of my favorite authors Ogden Nash...
A: (Interrupts) "Candy's dandy but liquor's quicker."
Z: Same guy but this was more profound then profane. "How confusing beams from memories lamp are; One day a bachelor, the next a grandpa. What is the secret of the trick? How did I get so old so quick?"
A: We believing every boat has a right to float, and have chosen to be supporters of all relationship dynamics.

When writing this, we recalled a story told us at a party by some friends when we asked about role-playing for the purpose of spicing up their romance, and when we say romance we mean... well, you know what we mean. A husband related that one evening he asked his wife if she'd like to play boss and secretary. This was after the most noted movie with the title, Secretary, and if you haven't seen it, well, see it. James Spader was, well... you gotta see it. Back to the couple, she as he described found a huge smile on her face and responded with an enthusiastic, "Yes!" This husband related at that instant he knew role-playing would amp up what was becoming a little same ole same ole. But as we all know, life provides a twist or two and as the wife began to play out the script, she grabbed a prop and extended a hand to him and stated, "Here's your steno pad, dear."

A: In a recent manuscript, LOVE LETTERS, three of the relationships are in fact ones where the females are older. They were the most fun to create and provided much fodder for sensuality, motivation and some amusement.
Z: So the older woman gets the young hunky... wait a second... (Zi thought... MILF... shook his head cleansing offensive references... old woman-young guy, that was Angelica's idea... was I manipulated? I've some research to do. Be right back. Ah-ha, I have returned. She told me it was my idea, though Angelica really liked it. Thought so. I adore women and want them to be happy. Oops... far too much information.)
A: Old is a state of mind. Weaver wrote, "I'm not as old as I used to be."
Z: And Mark Twain gave us, "Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been."
A: Last year my birthday cake looked like a field fire.
Z: I remember it set off the smoke detector.
A: Stereotyping gender age?
Z: Yes, I am.

We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who emails us at angelicahartandzi@yahoo.com and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.


Angelica Hart and Zi
KILLER DOLLS
SNAKE DANCE
CHASING...CHASING...CHASING ~ July 2010
Champagne Books
www.champagnebooks.com



Monday, April 26, 2010

An Editor Speaks Out


An Editor Speaks Out
by Judy Griffith Gill

            How to Kill Your Chances Without Really Trying

·      Don’t bother with a hook to grab the reader’s interest right away. If she’s bought your book, she’ll read beyond the first sentence, even the first paragraph and the first page whether it captures her imagination or not. She’ll think, This book was published. It has to get better sooner or later. Or, if she’s an editor, she’ll think, This writer cared enough to finish a whole three chapters and write a synopsis. She must have something good to say.

·      If your book has not been published, the word “writer” above applies also to agents and editors. If they’ve asked to see your work (or even if they haven’t) the fact that you think enough of them to share your work with them and offer them the chance to admire it

·      Don’t worry about internal and external conflict in the protagonists. Just tell the reader (agent, editor) that they have them. No need to waste time by demonstrating (showing) what they are and how they will be resolved. This applies to the synopsis, too. Don’t ever let the editor know how it comes out. Say something like: “If you want to know more, you’ll have to buy my book.”

·      Keep the reader guessing as to whose point of view you’re in. Go ahead and blend them, it keeps the reader on her toes. Write something like, She felt the wind whipping her long, glossy tresses  around her face and stinging raindrops pelting her camellia-like skin he as he thought, she’s beautiful, even when she’s soaking wet and her nose is red from cold.

·      Mechanical errors aren’t important. If your story is good enough, the agent or editor will ignore spelling and grammatical errors and poorly constructed sentences, so don’t bother taking the time to learn the basics of writing and self-editing before submitting. Just write. Don’t let the creative flow be stifled by attempts to get it right. Technique is of no value to the truly gifted writer.

·      Give lots of back-story information right up front. Use long, involved sentences full of  adverbs and adjectives that will impress the editor with your erudition. Don’t force the poor soul to keep turning the pages to find out why things are unfolding the way they are. Let her know right away and save her the time and effort of reading the rest of your story.

·      Keep things interesting for your editor. Make her open her eyes and gasp with astonishment when your historical character from the 1700s says, “Jeez, Louise, that’s cool!” Or have a four-year-old speaking like a short adult--that’s sure to get her attention: e.g. “Mother, I think the pink blouse would be much more becoming on you that the blue one. It brings out the color in your cheeks. The blue one gives you a certain, shall we say...sallowness?”

·      Remember to stereotype secondary characters appropriately: For instance, everyone knows that all Vancouver taxi drivers are East Indians who speak very little English, just as all New York taxi drivers are Iranians with secret plots to blow up something big and important.. All ships’ skippers are keen-eyed seamen accustomed to seeing long distances and they all have crinkly corners around their blue eyes. All grandmothers are chubby and gray haired and smell of cinnamon cookies. All grandfathers smoke pipes.

·      Don’t concern yourself with too much research. Historical accuracy is a waste of time. Most editors have no idea at all what went on in the American Civil War, or the War of 1812, or that Potlatches were banned in BC for many years. And if someone else notices, too bad. Blame it in the typesetter.

·      Just let yourself go. Write as it flows from your heart. If you wrote it, it must be good. One run through is surely enough. If you go over it again and again, you’ll start second-guessing yourself and probably screw up the next great novel that should be gracing the shelves of every home and library in the world.

Judy Griffith Gill, author of 50 published novels in both print and electronic format, edits for Champagne Books www.champagnebooks.com, offers free-lance, online editing services, and manuscript evaluation. Contact her through her editing site, www.editsbyjudy.blogspot.com

Judy appears on Twitter and Facebook, and loves to communicate with readers. www.jggbooks.com and editsbyjudy.blogspot.com You can find her latest e-books on Kindle www.amazon.com and Smashwords www.smashwords.com

Talking with Author April Ash


National Tell a Story Day – Make Mine a Romance!

Okay…so I stretched this a little. Actually, yesterday was National Tell a Story Day…but work with me on this!

As a child, I enjoyed books of adventure, and then as I grew, biographies caught my attention. In High School, I was fascinated by Shakespeare (no kidding!). I loved his “thee” and “thou” words, along with lines I sometimes couldn’t figure out. But, he intrigued me enough so that in college, I took 5 or 6 Shakespeare courses as electives.

Then, I discovered romance books and was hooked. I got started reading Barbara Cartland and Georgette Heyer books, and couldn’t find enough to keep me busy. From there I went on to read contemporaries and paranormals. Life is good as long as I have a romance book to read!



Tell me a story with a good plot to hold my interest, and a blossoming romance exploding with passion.  I want to “see” your story in my head, and “feel” the heroine’s emotions. I want to relate to her, no matter what her age is…or mine. Romance has no age boundaries.

Tell me a story of a hero and heroine who know each other already, or have just met. Unrequited love and the desire to have someone love you set the stage for many romance books. The chase is all part of the rocky road to love.


Tell me a story of an adversarial hero and heroine thrust upon each other because of some situation. That thin line between love and hate can be crossed, enough so that fighting ceases and lovemaking begins. Fighting a powerful attraction dissipates as passion takes control.

Tell me a story that has a “black moment”…that awful turn of events that split the hero and heroine, and their relationship appears to be doomed. Let me want to scream at them to settle their misunderstanding, mend broken hearts, and enjoy each other’s embrace once again.

Tell me a story of their first encounter/or having already met. Add what’s wedged between them to cause heartache, resolve their differences, and give me that “happily-ever-after” I want to read.

  
I pattern my books after these desires. I know what I want in a romance book, and use these elements in my books. In my two erotic romance books, I take the passion and lust to greater heights, adding graphic details of the hero and heroine’s journey to love.

Whatever your preference in reading…sweet, sensual, erotic, etc., romance books…choose books that tell YOU a story and transport you into the hero and heroine’s love affair!



Visit http://www.aprilash.net (erotic contemporary romance books)
5 HEARTS, reviewed by Diana Coyle, Night Owl Reviews, REVIEWER TOP PICK
“Strip Poker for Two” available at: http://www.jasminejade.com/m-441-april-ash.aspx
4.5 HEARTS, reviewed by Diana Coyle, Night Owl Reviews, REVIEWER TOP PICK
Photos: Flickr: Vanessa Pike-Russell, VB Library, and Sabrina Campagna’s photostreams


Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Mechanics of Writing

“I have a story idea in mind and am psyched to begin writing. What’s the best way to get started? Should I outline the plot first, or just jump in and write?”


There’s no right or wrong method to use in plotting out your novel. The mechanics of writing is one of personal choice, so go with whatever method works best for you.

For example, Jeffery Deaver creates meticulous outlines for his novels, detailing each scene and key segments of dialogue on sheets of paper and sticky notes that fill the walls of his study. He admits that it takes him months to come up with such a detailed framework. However, when he sits down to actually write the novel, since most of the work is already completed, it doesn’t take him long to finish the manuscript.

I prefer a less structured method. When I’m plotting out my novels, I keep a stack of lined 3x5 cards handy and write scenes down as I think of them. On each card I include anything that I want to put into the scene, such as descriptions, plot points, or snippets of dialogue I don’t want to forget. Before I start writing, I arrange the cards in the order I want the book to flow. This allows me to outline the major themes in the plot, but allows enough flexibility that I can add or re-order scenes easily.

These methods represent two different concepts of organization, and most of you will use a method of plot outlining that falls somewhere in between. What is important is, no matter which method you use, be sure you have a firm grasp of the opening, conflict, and resolution of your story before you begin outlining/writing your story. You can always change those elements later. But if you don’t have a basic idea where your story starts and ends, no amount of outlining will turn it into a viable manuscript. Trust me on this one. I have several short stories taking up space on my hard drive because I wrote them based on a single scene, but have yet to find an effective way to start or end them.

“Thanks. This has been a big help. While you’re here, can you give me any tips on writing?”

Yes, I can. But this is not the blog series for that. There are thousands of books out there dedicated to instructing someone on how to write a book. They cover all the aspects of writing – plot, setting, character development, voice, etc. There are even books that tell you how to write in specific genres. Feel free to use them if you want. No one has ever become a bad writer by reading these works.

In my opinion, the best way for someone to become a good writer is to read in order to see how other authors write, and then start writing yourself. When I say read a lot, I mean it. Go through at least one book a week. Start with the classics. We’re still reading Twain, Hemingway, Austen, and the like not just because our English professors are sadists, but because those authors knew how to write compelling stories that have stood the test of time. Then read a wide variety of books and authors in whatever genre you’re writing in, as well as at least a few books outside your genre.

And don’t forget to read trashy books, whether they’re pulp novels meant solely to entertain and entice, or novels that are just horribly written. Figure out what those authors did to make their works so laughable or painful to read, and learn from their mistakes. Remember, it takes a long time and many published works to build up a fan base, but only one poorly-written story or novel to turn off readers forever.

So while I won’t offer writing tips in this blog series, I do want to point out that there are certain aspects of writing you need to pay close attention to if you ever hope to get out of the slush pile and get published. These points have been reiterated to me time and again by publishers and literary agents, all of whom said that when they see these types of mistakes in query submissions, they immediately take the work out of contention for publication.

The first is grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Over time you’ll find your own writing style and voice. But if you don’t have the basics down, you’ll find it that much more difficult to break away from the thousands of other authors bombarding publishers and agents with their works. As part of this advice, make sure you proof read your final work carefully. You may have written the next bestseller, but if your sample chapters are chocked full of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and incorrect punctuation, good luck getting a publisher or agent to read beyond the first few pages. Even if they see the potential in your book, they’ll view you a sloppy author and will think carefully before taking you on. And if comes down between you and an author whose writing is solid, who do you think will get the contract?

Realistic dialogue is also very important to sealing that book deal. So of course, it’s one of the hardest parts to get right. If you write dialogue so that it’s grammatically correct, it sounds stilted and turns off the reader. If you write it to sound like every day conversations, you run the risk of making your characters sound like idiots. I trained myself to write decent dialogue by listening to others talk. This has the added benefit of letting people think you’re the silent, mysterious type (or they’ll just think you’re an introvert, which most writers are).

Finally, make sure you maintain the continuity of your story and characters. If your main character’s name is Ken Smith, always refer to him as either Ken or Smith throughout the story, and do not interchange the names. Keep your secondary characters straight as well; if you call someone Bob when he first appears in chapter three, make sure you don’t call him Bill when he reappears in chapter ten. If you describe your main character as being bald in chapter one, don’t have him run his fingers through his hair in chapter five. If your character is a devout Mormon, don’t show him/her drinking a cup of coffee without explaining why. If your story is set in Maine in the middle of December, don’t have the characters sunbathing three scenes later. If your story is set in Victorian-era New York, don’t have electric street lamps lining the streets. These are the minutiae that are easy to overlook. When publishers or agents catch them, they immediately get the impression that you’re a sloppy writer (see above). And if your readers catch them, you lose them quickly. I have had several authors who write historical dramas tell me that the worst criticism they receive from readers is when they get some historical fact wrong.

So consider yourself forewarned. Now get out there and start writing. Your public is waiting.

NEXT BLOG: Finding a publisher or literary agent.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Talking with author Ed Williams


“When I Have A Godzillian Level Urge For Candy I Eat…”

…the following, and these are in order of preference. They be:

1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups - Man, talk about heroin converted into candy form, I’ve craved Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for years! Their texture is great, their chocolate is both kinda chunky and kinda creamy, and their peanut butter - if I could, I’d sneak into a Reese’s production facility, get buck naked, and then jump into a vat full of their peanut butter. I might end up getting covered up in it or even drown, but I’d be gobblin’ it down like a Linda Lovelace inspired turkey before my final chapter was written - Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups rock!

2. Atomic Fireballs - I love hot candies and I love cinnamon, so my addiction to Atomic Fireballs can only be deemed a natural. I first encountered them years ago in Juliette at my granddad’s general store (y’all have actually seen his store in the movies, it was used as the Whistle Stop Café in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes). Back then, you could get one for a couple of pennies and they were a lot bigger than they are now. So big, in fact, that you could barely get one in your mouth, and God when you did it would be hotter than a Times Square Rolex! Thing was, if you could get past that initial burst of hotness then it was all sugar the rest of the way. Today, their hotness technology has improved, so even though Atomic Fireballs are smaller they now have multiple layers of hot cinnamon built right into them so you get more of an “Atomic” experience as you’re happily consuming a fireball.

3. Sweet Tarts - I love sour candies too, and accordingly I’ve loved Sweet Tarts since day one. You can buy them in small or huge sizes, but one thing about Sweet Tarts really frustrates me. A few years ago I actually had some Sweet Tart Jelly Beans. They were the best jelly beans I’ve ever had in my life, y’all would not believe how good their flavor is! Unfortunately, I’ve discovered they’re pretty hard to find, so if anyone out there ever wants to suck up to me in a major way, then just get me some Sweet Tart Jelly Beans. The only thing that would make me happier than Sweet Tart Jelly Beans would be an Elvis concert, and we all know that can’t happen again. Sweet Tart Jelly Beans, however, can!

4. Sour Jelly Bellies - In line with my just professed love of sour candies is another fav, Sour Jelly Bellies! They are usually just a bit expensive, but believe me they’re worth every extra cent you’ll pay for ‘em. Whatever you do, don’t ever buy the store brand equivalents of these, because you’ll be even more disappointed than you’d be if you purchased store brand Captain Crunch. Sour Jelly Bellies taste good, and there are maybe six or seven flavors offered, so a hand full of them is a bit more focused than just regular Jelly Bellies. With regular Jelly Bellies there are just too many flavors, and some of them are grotesque. Cream soda? Chili mango? Dr. Pepper? Pomegranate? God, it makes my stomach spasm to even think about them, and even worse is the fact that you never quite know when you’re going to be biting into one of these pellets from hell. Stick to the sours and your glower will turn from dour to super powered!

5. Peppermint Life Savers - I love their taste, their consistency, and the fact that after you eat five or six of ‘em your mouth will be so cool that you’ll feel like you could use it for refrigeration purposes. They price ‘em reasonably and now they offer even bigger sizes, which is just all too cool (pun intended) with me. Eating a Peppermint Life Saver is kinda like having a Bachman-Turner Overdrive concert take place on your palate, and just how cool would that be if it were possible? Hmmmmm? (Don’t y’all like it when I get into abstract analogies that don’t make sense at all)?

So there y’all have it, my personal candy favs of all-time. But hey, this isn’t all about what my favorite commercial candy products are, I wanna know what y’all like, tell me about your own personal favs and why. That should start a really interesting conversational thread going here today. And, if anyone out there has any leads on where to get some Sweet Tart Jelly Beans, then please let me know if you’d like to have a new best friend for life! Now, with everything having been said, let’s talk candy, candy, and more candy below…..

"ChristmaSin'", my new Christmas novel, is now available for sale! Click this link below to order!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Apologies for Not Posting My "How To Write" Blog

Rather than use my creative skills to devise an ingenious excuse for why I am not posting the next installment of my "How To Write" blog, I'll just confess up front and admit that I didn't get to it this week.  My day job was unusually hectic.  Also, I took some time off for myself this weekend and spent all last night playing the "Zombies 4" board game with the Sheron clan (if it's any consolation, I kicked some major living dead butt and actually won for a change) and went to the Mall today for a much-needed clothes run.  But my slacking off is over, and I promise to post an awesome blog next week. 

And before anyone writes me to remind me of rule one, which is write every day, let me quote my mother:  "Do as I say, not as I do."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

WRITER'S WRITE...WRITING PARTNERS FEUD


WHO SAID IT FIRST
By:
Angelica Hart and Zi

eBay has engendered itself into our workplace. As an overview, this phenomenon has taken our culture by Perfect Storm. There it is, so common, that governor Sarah Palin used it to sell a state owned jet. And its stock is considered by money people like Michael Nesmith as indicators as to the direction of our market. We have five computers, of which, one seems to be a virtual eBay satellite. As we have written previously, Zi buys! He finds beauty to behold in treasures that unfold on his screen.

Yes, Zi got a few more shirts, today, didn't need them. The day ended up being quite interesting. We'd be in the middle of discussing dialogue between characters, obviously he multi-tasking, and suddenly he'd yelp, "Gotcha!" He won what he thought was beauty. What's thought to be one man's discard is another man's treasure.

Margaret Hungerford wrote, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." She was an Irish novelist in the 19th century who wrote light romantic fiction. However, this saying first appeared in the 3rd century BC in Greek. I find it ironic and inspiring that a romance writer would be attributed to that quote. Every day we explore and sexplore beauty and its play in love and romance.

It is so dag-nabbit-snap-dragon easy to write about traditional beauty. Easy to love a gorgeous woman. It's equally simplicitic to adore a hunky man but give that dude a goiter and he ain't dating. We believe that love is goiter-blind, and will try to discover a deeper purpose in love.

A movie from 1945 called The Enchanted Cottage played out this concept when what was considered a homely housekeeper falls in love with a scarred soldier. He saw her as beautiful, and she simply could not see his scars.

In our new manuscript, LOVE LETTERS, our hero Rich Longar has a burn scar that is predominate on his face. Our heroine Lauren Pike maybe a bit fleshy, hippy, zaftig, voluptuous, much of the Mae West character. We found great pleasure in building their love-ship. And aptly felt a certain requiting when it unfolded before us.

You have to adore Mae West. She once said, "A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Additionally, she stated, "A hard man is good to find." She is attributed with, "A man in the house is worth two on the street." and "A man's kiss is his signature." We simply adore M. West. She said, "Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly", "Cultivate your curves they may be dangerous but they won't be avoided", and "He who hesitates is a damned fool". Our last two are these, "I didn't discover curves; I only uncovered them" and "I believe it is better to be looked over than it is to be overlooked".

Lauren Pike is Mae Westian in her sexually overt and vivacious personality as well as her curvaceous appearance.

The question is would every man find her beautiful? And the answer is simply, no. The question is would every woman find Rich Longar attractive? And the answer is simply, no. There is a beauty that each holds that has to find synergy with the other. As writers and especially as romance writers we have to seek that potential interconnect and grow its viability so the reader can feel their raw lust and love.

So every day the beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we are its agents.


We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who emails us at angelicahartandzi@yahoo.com and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.


Angelica Hart and Zi
KILLER DOLLS
SNAKE DANCE
CHASING GRAVITAS ~ July 2010

Champagne Books
angelicahartandzi.com



Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Talking Romance with Yvonne Eve Walus


What is Romance?

When it comes to books, what qualifies as a romance? All the usual medical, historical and romantic suspense aside, would you say that “Gone with the Wind” is a romance book? How about the Stephanie Plum series with the sexy Morelli and the even sexier Ranger? And am I the only one who thinks the literary “We need to talk about Kevin” Orange Prize winner is not a book about parenting as much as it is a love story between the narrator and her husband?

OK. Perhaps I’m exaggerating with the latter. Well, I don’t think so, but it’s all right if you do. My point is this: we are so used to alpha heroes and the search for Mr. Only, that we sometimes tend to overlook the romance in other places.

As a writer who’s been married for - ahem - significantly more than a decade, I’m perhaps a little biased when looking for romance outside of speed dating and all the singles’ bars. I believe that true romance can be found within an established long-term relationship.

You know, it’s easy for the alpha hero to say to the woman he’s just bedded: “I want you to have my baby”. But when the novelty wears off and the sleepless nights kick in, I believe it takes a true hero and the trues of love to utter the following most romantic words a woman can hear: “You carry on sleeping, darling, I’ll get up to the baby”.

Romance is more than red roses and a candlelit bath for two. Sometimes romance is a clean nappy and the opportunity to have a long, warm, silent bath for one while your wonderful hero is keeping the baby occupied.

If you think a murder mystery series has no scope for romance, I challenge you to try my “Murder @ ...” series published by Echelon Press. Although the amateur detective, Dr. Christine Chamberlain, doesn’t have children (yet), the whirlwind romance that landed her married lasted precisely five minutes.

Three years later, she’s beginning to discover her husband is not only the level-headed easy-going artist she knows and loves.... When it comes to your loved ones, is it possible to know too much? Find out in “Murder @ Play” Echelon Press, 2009).
 
 Find Yvonne at her website, Echelon Press and writing as Eve Summers at Red Rose Publishing

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Meet author Teel James Glenn


Where you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?

I read anything I could get my hands on-learning to read from comic books then started on the Hardy Boys, the three investigators, Tom Swift, Tom Quest and finally the Doc Savage Series ( I loved the series characters). I also loved anything by Andre Norton and am still waiting for them to make her version of The Beastmaster!

Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.

Gaslight Occurrences: The Steampulp Adventures of Augustus Argent is a collection of connected stories about a Victorian investigator of the unusual who fights supernatural menaces that menace the English Empire. Think Sherlock Holmes meets Dr. Van Helsing J. His Watson is a swashbuckling Scotsman named Jack Stone who is a bit more physical than Sherlock’s good doctor.

The premise is that a document was created by sorcerers in the court of Elizabeth the first that prevented the island nation from being invaded by things of the occult-called the Solomon Doctrine-it is what stopped the Armada but the forces of darkness are always trying to breach the occult defenses. Queen Victoria even features in one story as the guardian of that generation’s version of the doctrine. She swings a mean chair at a bad guy I might add!

I wrote it because I love the Holmes books and Hammer movies and saw a perfect way to blend them both. (Hammer did a Hounds of Baskervilles, in fact). I love a good old-fashioned adventure and romance.

How would you describe your creative process while writing this book? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing or did you write an outline?

I wrote the Whitechapel Murders attributed to Jack the Ripper first and gave itmy own occult spin. It was intended as a stand alone, but part way through the story I realized I had a whole lot to tell about Argent and Stone and began writing tales before and aftrer that story. I have a long career to document with the two of them so expect more books.


Did your book require a lot of research?

Oh boy, yes! I’m one of those guys who yell at the History Channel if they get something wrong so I didn’t want to make a mistake. Street maps of anywhere they went, music they might hear, type of snacks they may eat, clothing, etc. I cursed myself daily for picking a period story but in the same time, I loved doing the research because it makes the stories so rich and layered.

If you could have any vice without repercussions, what would it be?

You really didn’t just ask me that did you? I live a pretty disciplined life-no alcohol, cigarettes, drugs-and no desire for them so my vices are pretty tame to most standards. I’ll give a safe answer in public and go with my main vice: ice cream! I’d love to eat it without having to do sit ups to pay for it!

What is the funniest/most embarrassing/scariest story from one of your book signings or events/conventions?

I’m afraid I don’t have any funny/scary stories for this. I love conventions and have had only good experiences.

If you could have been the servant to any famous person in history, who would it be and why?

I would have loved to be a student of Mussashi Miyamoto-Japan’s Sword saint/painter. I am a student of the sword in many cultures having taught western swordsmanship for thirty years and read his book “The Book of Five Rings” every year, discovering new truths in its words.

What do you see for the future of publishing and e-books?

I just sold a novella to a magazine that described itself as a ‘digi-pulp’ as it is made for the i-phone and electronic readers. That is the future. The New York giants are slowly beginning to get it but I think it is too late for them. Bookstores are dying in their current incarnation. We in the b world are at the right place in the right time if we can capitalize on it.

Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?

I love all my children-and hate all my villains-even if I understand them. But I imagine if I could only write one character/series again it would be my Dr. Shadows character. He is an adventurer who begins his stories in 1937 and I will eventually follow him to his death in 1974 and into his son’s contemporary adventures (I’ve written a novel ‘Secret of Wolf Island’ about Jon Shadows out at Gypsy Shadow Publishing).

He, like myself, has a Koren based martial background and is involved in the events leading up to and during World War Two in the far east. Mysteries, adventures and spy stories in the pulp tradition.

A Hex of Shadows-the first collection is out from epress-online, inc. now though only for a limited time. Have four books written and are shopping them to mainstream publishers.

Do you get along with your muse? What do you do to placate her when she refuses to inspire you?

I have never had writer’s block-I don’t allow myself that luxury. I am a writer. I have a word count to make each day and I am merciless on myself. I also work on several projects at once so if I ‘slow down’ in the process or need to figure something out I switch gears and let my subconscious go to work.

My muse, Saga-the Norse goddess of stories-is a lovely lady.

Do you have another book in the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?

I have a collection of stories about a husband and wife team-Moxie and Mai Donovan-who investigates weird crimes in the 1930’s-but with alight touch. Think the Front Page meetes White Zombie.

He’s a reporter and she’s a showgirl. Bela Lugosi even shows up in two of the stories as a good guy. The book is called Deadline Zombies and is out from BooksforaBuck in May.

I also have the next Exceptional book in the works-#4 in the series fromWhiskey Creek Press. They are bio-enhanced bounty hunters in the year 2030. A pure thriller/adventure series.

Have you ever experienced weird cravings while you write? If so what kind?

Define weird?  I keep snacks in the house and never feel any guilt about indulging. I just wish I had a milkshake machine.

If we asked your muse to describe you in five words, what do you think it would say about you?

Tenacious, faithful, focused, dedicated and just a bit mad.


Gaslight Occurrences:
The Steampulp Adventures of Augustus Argent

Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com

available at Amazon.com and Fictionwise.com


Who can the Crown call when a hideous curse has been caste on a nobleman in Regency England? Who will throw down the gauntlet when the fog bound Victorian streets of Whitechapel are the hunting ground for a subhuman, monster? Who can stand and fight when a bloodthirsty vampire rises from the tomb in the Kentish Marshes? Doctor Augustus Argent, Sorcerer Supreme and Agent without portfolio for the Crown that’s who! Since Elizabeth the Great had a secret cabal of witches create the Solomon Document to protect England from invasion the forces of evil conspiracies and the horrors of Alchemists have threatened the sceptered Isle. Join Doctor Argent and his swashbuckling aid Jack Stone as they protect the empire of England from the forces of darkness in pulse pounding, pulp-style action and romance.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

What To Write About

“Okay, I get it. If I write one page a day, in a year I’ll have a novel. My problem is I have no idea what to write about.”


You’re sitting on a mother lode of ideas. You just haven’t mined them yet.

A good story, no matter what the genre, is about conflict. It’s about developing your main character(s) so that the reader likes (and hopefully can relate) to them, and then placing obstacles in the way of them obtaining their goals. The story is not about the challenges. It’s about how the main character(s) confront these challenges by overcoming their weaknesses and expanding on their strengths. The story is not about the conclusion. It’s about the journey to that concluding page, and what the main character(s) learn about themselves on the way.

Think of how boring The Lord of the Rings would have been if Bilbo had decided to keep the ring for himself rather than give it to Frodo to return to Mount Doom. Or if Ralphie’s mother had acquiesced in the opening scene of A Christmas Story and agreed to buy him an official Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot air model range rifle. Or if Shelby from Steel Magnolias did not have a medical condition that endangered her life during pregnancy. Or if Harry and Sally had hit it off on their car ride from college and lived happily ever after.

Such stories come from within us. There’s no one reading this blog who hasn’t experienced some type of conflict, whether it’s as simple as a troubled romance, as life altering as death or illness or surviving combat, as traumatic as disloyalty or loss of honor, or as frustrating (or comical, depending on the situation) as a dysfunctional family. Tap into those emotions and build your story around them. Will it be painful or uncomfortable to bear your soul like this?  More than likely.  But if you can be honest to your emotions and successfully weave them into your novel, you’ll relate to your readers.

That’s what writing is all about.

So if I may use an old clichéd phrase, write what you know.

“Write what you know? You write about zombies and vampires. What do you know about them?”

Good question. I asked the same thing years ago of Brian Keene, author of The Rising, the novel that launched a new wave of zombie apocalypse stories. The Rising is about Jim Thurmond who lives on the West Coast.  As civilization crashes around him, Jim gets a phone call from his young son on the East Coast asking his father to come rescue him; he sets out on foot across a zombie-infested country in a desperate journey to save his son. Prior to writing the novel, Brian had received a phone call from his ten-year-old son whom he had not seen since infancy and who wanted to meet. He made the trip, all the while wondering what their meeting would be like. Brian later wrote about that emotional turmoil in The Rising, and then added some zombies.

Brian’s advice helped me to find my focus for The Vampire Hunters. At its essence, the story is about the war on terror and how those fighting it deal with the reality that for every terrorist brought down, ten others take his place. My main characters embody the three primary outlooks of any long-term struggle: Drake Matthews, the gung-ho commander who’s in the fight for the long haul no matter how long it takes; Alison Monroe, who follows Drake willingly but who, at some point, wants to put down her weapons lead a normal life; and Jim DelMarco, the young kid drafted into the conflict who does not want to be there, but who fights anyway. The trilogy deals with how each of these characters handles the stresses of combat, and how their experiences prepare them for the final battle. And then I substituted vampires for terrorists.

So write what you know, but don’t be afraid to embellish a bit.

A final note: One thing that every publisher and agent has told me is not to write your own iteration of the latest blockbuster. The DaVinci Code and Twilight were overnight phenomenon because they were new and distinctly unique, which is why they sparked the public’s imagination. After each of these novels went to the best seller list, publishing houses and literary agencies were inundated with knock-offs, most of which were not very good, and many pushed the bounds of copyright infringement. Sure, some of them got published. But rarely did any of these enjoy the success of the original works. Your goal should not be to write the next Harry Potter. Your goal should be to write a novel so unique that five years from now other writers will want to imitate you.

NEXT BLOG: The Mechanics of Writing.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

WRITER'S WRITE...WRITING PARTNERS FEUD



FOG OR FEAR
By: Angelica Hart and Zi

A: (Yells) Listen to this quote by Pasternak.
Z: You mean Jake's teacher on Two and a Half Men? (In his best Charlie Harper voice) Yes, Miss Pasternak.
A: Nooooo. The author from the turn of the century. Gaaaaaa! Pasternak wrote, "Fear has the largest eyes of all."
Z: Larger than Godzilla's? (Lost afloat his own petard) What's the difference between a sewing machine and a female jogger? (He has that little boy perpetual grinning face)
A: I'm researching fear and you are researching cornball humor? (Hurls a crumpled paper ball at him)
Z: Come on, what's the difference. (Smiles the herd-of-cows-stampeding smile) Give? Give? Give?
A sewing machine has only one, I said it, one bobbin. Get it?
A: Wha.... ohhhh... (Shudders) We are working here. I know we both agree that the basest of all things is fear. We use it all the time.
Z: I feared being a young man and an old man.
A: (Gives him a cocked head look)
Z: As a young man I feared mom doing the laundry and wet dreams and as an old man I fear dry farts in a warm crowded room. (Does a taa-da soft-shoe finale bow)
A: (Ignoring him she continues with her point) I just love the mist and fog and shadow of CHASING GRAVITAS.
Z: Yeah, yeah, yeah... What's the difference between male and female pancakes? (Zi pauses momentarily as his spectacles slide down to the tip of his nose as he watches for Angelica's reaction over the rim of them) Ah, you won't get it. Female pancakes are stacked.
A: Ha... Ha... Ha... (Drolly) I want to talk about the tone of CHASING GRAVITAS.
Z: Talk. (As he's reading a book whose cover is hidden from her view)
A: Listen to this poem. (Clears her throat and begins to read) "The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on." Carl Sandburg wrote that.
Z: Did Carl know the difference between male and female chromosomes?
A: Whaaaat? (Draws out the word)
Z: If he didn't, tell him to pull down their genes. Arr... Arr... Arr!
A: That deserves only one Ha. The beauty in Carl's poetry defines the haunt I feel in CHASING GRAVITAS and I'm considering using it on the dedication page.
Z: Are you Yahoo Serious from Serious Town, Seriavania?
A: (She provides that universal sound of confusion) Huh?
Z: The difference between boiling water and pea soup is anyone can boil water. Get it! Get it! Get it! And having said that do what you want on the dedication page because you're going to do it anyhow.
A: Zi, I fear, you are being a flibberty jib. (Joe and the Volcano reference intended) I want to talk about fear. In many of our books we have placed our romance in a swamp of fears.
Z: I bet you fear that you don't know the difference between a snowman and a snowwoman.
A: Come on!!
Z: Snowballs.
A: Enough! In KILLER DOLLS the fear was omnipresent in the form of bio-terrorism. In SNAKE DANCE the fear was the tyrannical sociopathic Kin, but in CHASING GRAVITAS the fear is what?
Z: What's the difference between fish and your meat?
A: Could you stop, pleaassse? I'm serious about the fear found in CHASING GRAVITAS. Without conflict would the story be too shallow?
Z: There's fear in GRAVITAS, that same fear the fish that you beat to death would have.
A: Huh?
Z: If you beat your fish, it dies. (Implies the meat comparison which is left unsaid)
A: You're just awful. Stop! Stop! Stop! I'm tired of jokes about knuckle children. (Having worked with him so long she got his obscure humor... wonders if anyone else does... write us if you did at angelicahartandzi@yahoo.com)
Z: Come on, come on, come on, it's simple. In GRAVITAS, Elizabeth fears one of the more universal fears of all time that she'll never know love. She doesn't have it. She wants it. She's chasing it. And it is as elusive as Alice chasing the white rabbit.
A: You're right. You're right. No time to wait. (She sniggers at her own obscure reference) What's the difference between war and peace?
Z: What's the difference between a five and a ten?
A: Me first, answer.
Z: You got me. Don't know.
A: There has never been a good war. Tell me the difference between a five and a ten.
Z: The answer's in our blog SOTS AND PLOTS and can be requested by writing to us at angelicahartandzi@yahoo.com.

We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who emails us at angelicahartandzi@yahoo.com and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.


Angelica Hart and Zi
KILLER DOLLS
SNAKE DANCE
CHASING GRAVITAS ~ July 2010

Champagne Books
angelicahartandzi.com




Talking with Author Elle Amour/Lise Fuller


Military Couples & Cybersex

A few weeks ago, I hosted a party on my publisher’s yahoo loop. On it, I had one of the gals interview my husband about military couples and cybersex. Now, as a military wife whose husband has been deployed, I have to say, times can get pretty lean, sexually speaking.

Thank God for the internet. Years ago, we didn’t have that luxury. Mail got crossed and a letter you’d written just a few days ago would be delivered the next week, yet one you wrote a few weeks ago, could be delivered three weeks after the second. This is particularly amusing (that’s the only word I can use in good company) when you are sending updates of family life or whatever. However, another difficulty is trying to be sexy for your man thousands of miles away.

For those of us in that situation, the internet in all its corrupted glory, has been a God-send. I mean, not only can you send emails, but on occasion, you can actually instant message each other. And, not to go into any detail, but those dang cameras can get pretty hot—if you’ve got one. Better than any porn I know for sure. Beyond all that, I’d hate to think that some military person is monitoring this stuff, ‘cause like my husband mentioned, all soldiers do this. They have to in order to stay sane. Well, and to prevent a case of blue balls. (Sorry, there’s no better way to put this.)

What’s funny, though, is some of the stories my husband has told, and some of the difficulties. Guys try to find a private place (as the at-home spouse, it’s a little easier for me and others), but that’s not often possible. Apparently the guys try to give each other as much privacy as they can, but when the need arises, they go for it. Thing is, some forget others can hear them as they often have headphones on and when they get in that erogenous zone, well, I’ll let your imagination take over here. (If you’re wondering, yes, my hubby was careful but a lot of the guys aren’t. And let’s face it, a lot of them are young and either aren’t thinking about it or are more like my husband and don’t give a you-know-what at the time. They are talking/interacting with their significant other, and that’s what’s important to them. It what reminds them of where they are and what they’re doing and why. And quite frankly, it talks to both partners of the sacrifices they make. And know that when a soldier goes to war, their family does sacrifice, too. It’s hard. And one of the hard parts is being a temporary single person. But the internet helps with that in a big way.)


Now, being a writer, it can be doubly interesting. You see, my husband also has other benefits. When he’s gone, I write a LOT of sex scenes. It’s my outlet for the lack of my husband being here. And guess who my first line editor is for these? You got it. It’s my husband. He loves reading this stuff when he’s gone (when he has the time). And I always sent them to him. The funniest part is he takes on the persona of my hero and his responses can be hilarious because he makes believe I’m the heroine. His latest is Rurik, my alien space hero—sexy, strong, and definitely virile. The one before that was Jake Colder, small town sheriff and ex-special forces. So you see, in this, we can still have fun together and enjoy each others company—even though we’re so physically far apart. (And I bet you didn’t realize the other fringe benefits the average romance novel had!)


So there you have it. Cyberspace and marital bliss.

Thank God.

Lise Fuller (also writing as Elle Amour)

Join me on twitter at www.twitter.com/lisefuller !

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Eye Candy Tuesday

It's Eye Candy day and to brighten up your day, check out these hot fire fighters. Can you say YUM!? I would love to have them put out any fire(s) I may have. *grins*

Enjoy!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter to you

I wanted to wish all of my friends online a wonderful Easter holiday. May you have lots of chocolate, food and more with your family and friends.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

How To Write Well

“So all I have to do is write a page a day and in a year I’ll have a novel good enough to be published?”

Not necessarily. You’ll have a novel. Whether it’s good enough to be published is another matter.

Remember, writing is an art, much like figure skating, singing, acting, or painting. You have to practice at your craft to become good at it.

I used to write espionage/techno thrillers. I don’t even admit to the first book because, in retrospect, it was crap. The second book was better, but still not quite publishable. By the third book I had found my style. It dealt with North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons and blackmailing four U.S. cities. I quickly picked up an agent who presented it to several publishers, all of whom liked the book. Unfortunately, this was right after 11 September, and the market for those books had dried up. So I switched genres.

So go out and write, and submit you work. Don’t get depressed if it gets rejected – that’s the nature of the game. And if an editor sends you feedback, consider yourself fortunate. Most publishers reject stories/manuscripts with a simple form letter. That an editor took the time to offer you feedback means he/she sees potential in your work.

The best way to hone your skills is to get readers who will provide critical feedback. Your mother and significant other do not count – chances are they’ll say it’s good, even if it isn’t. My suggestion is to find a good writer’s group with published authors or aspiring authors who are also interested in improving their craft. I’m a member of The Washington Fiction Writer’s League, and the feedback they provide on my stuff has proven invaluable to improving what I’ve published.

If you do go this route, remember two very important things.

First, find critique groups that will provide honest feedback. I’ve seen too many groups where the members will tear someone else’s work to shreds, but become indignant if you provide any critical feedback on their material. Avoid those groups like you would a horde of ravenous zombies. Those groups are filled with people who think ripping apart your work will somehow make them better writers. Trust me, it doesn’t work that way.

Second, and this is the hardest thing to do, is lock away your ego in a dark room during feedback sessions. As long as the feedback isn’t personal, listen to it and adopt it where appropriate. Every author is wedded to his/her work and hates to here that it is not quite as good as he/she thought it was. Get over yourself. I did.

No matter how well you write, there is always room for improvement. We all have our favorite writers who, over time, sacrificed quality for the sake of pumping out another book. There are several authors who I once loved but stopped buying their books because they started to disappoint me.

Your goal is not to write the best book ever written. Your goal is to write the best book that you possibly can. Every book or story has flaws. But if a reader can overlook the occasional grammatical error or plot inconsistency because the rest of the story is so entertaining it keeps them glued to the edge of their seat, then you’ve succeeded as a writer.

NEXT BLOG:  What To Write About.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Getting to Know Author Donna Hatch


Tell us about your most recent book. What’s it about? When does/did it release?
Queen in Exile was released on April 1, 2010. I’m choosing to ignore the implications of it coming out on April Fool’s Day!
The only surviving member of her family, a princess must place her life and the fate of her kingdom into the hands of a trained killer. But accepting both her destiny and her own dark powers will mean choosing between her people, and the man she loves.

How long have you been writing in general? How long have you been writing romance?

Casually writing? Always. Seriously writing to get published? About the last five years. I’ve always been drawn to romance, not only because there’s a guaranteed happily ever after (a must in fiction!) but I love to vicariously experience the euphoria of falling in love.

Do you write anything other than romance? Under this name or a different one?
Nope. I write both historical Regency and fantasy, but both have strong romantic elements.

Tell us something about you that you’d like your readers to know.
I hear voices. And I talk to them. Oh, you mean something not creepy? Um, I’m an incurable romantic and a hopeless optimist. I also use sarcasm as a part of my normal speech, which, really, seems contradictory, huh?

When you look back now on the first story you ever wrote, what do you think of it?
I hope no one ever finds it. It could be blackmail of the worst kind.

What goals do you have for your writing career?
To sell more books than Nora Roberts and Stephanie Myers put together;-)

Would you like to share any words of wisdom with aspiring/new authors?
Be persistent. Most people have dreams of writing a novel, but never finish one. Most people who finish a novel never submit it, and most who submit, give up after a few rejections.


Where can your readers learn more about you? (Website, blog, etc.) Where can your books be purchased?
I’m also on Twitter and Facebook. I love new friends.

Out of the books you’ve written, which is your favorite and why?
Oh, no fair! That’s like asking me to choose a favorite child. But the new releases definitely get most of my attention.
I’m also running a contest to win a book for free and you have five chances if you do all five, or you can just do one or a few:
1.    go to my website and then find out what is the name of the hero of Queen in Exile (hint, read the backcover blurb underneath the book cover), then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me the answer to the question and put "Queen in Exile for free" in the subject line
2.    Follow my blog, then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me you're now following me and put "free book" in the subject line.
3.    Leave a comment in my blog, www.donnahatch.blogspot.com. Then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com and put “free book” in the subject line.
4.    Friend me on Facebook,  (http://www.facebook.com/people/Donna-Hatch/1053967713#!/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1053967713) then send me an email at donnahatch29@gmail.com, telling me you're now my friend on Face book and put "free book" in the subject line.
Remember, for each thing you do, you have another chance to win. Good Luck!!!
Thank you, Donna for joining us. You can find Donna’s books at Amazon, your local bookstore, and Costcos across the country. 

Queen in Exile blurb:

Rumors of war hang over Princess Jeniah's peaceful country of Arden, a land that shuns both magic and warfare. Following a lifelong dream, Jeniah forms a telpathic bond with a revered creature called a chayim, who is prophesied to save her kingdom. But when a Darborian knight comes upon Jeniah with her chayim, he sees only a vicious monster about to devour a maiden, and he slays the beast.

Devastated by the loss of her chayim, and fearing that her own magic is evil, Jeniah doubts her destiny. When an enemy invades Arden City, they slaughter the people, storm the castle, and execute the entire royal family except the princess. Rescued by the knight who slew her chayim, Jeniah is now heir to the throne of Arden and the only hope for freeing her people.

On the run and hunted by enemy soldiers, Jeniah must place her life and the fate of her kingdom in the hands of this trained killer. Torn between embracing her destiny as queen of Arden, and her love for a mere knight, she must ultimately rely on her magic to save herself and her people from death and tyranny.

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