Paranormal Romance Author

Hello and welcome. You'll find all sorts of happenings here. I have many interviews lined up this year with authors of various genres. I'll have contests, giveaways and much more. So keep popping back for some fantastic interviews, articles and new release information.

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Pick of the week

I am honoured that my new release Abigail Cottage has been named Pick of the week by thriller writer Lorrie Struiff

Check it out!!

Abigail Cottage

When Abigail falls in love with Justin she can’t begin to know the world of hurt she is heading into. Gorgeous, kind, rich – he’s the man we all dream to meet. BUT, all is not what it seems because Justin is a true demon from hell, disguised as a mortal being. He wants her and will do, kill or maim anyone who tries to stop him. Namely Shaun the real hero, who wants Abigail more! So what does a mortal man do against a demon? He enlists the help of a gypsy of course. But not any old gypsy. Rosa knows Justin very well and has the powers of the spirit world on her side to fight him. Using crystals as a powerful weapon, the light of the spirit world to lead them, they embark on a battle with the whole of the underworld. Many loved ones will lose their lives. This isn’t a book where everyone survives. In real life, bad things happen. In Abigail Cottage, terrible tragedies occur too. Believe... not every story can have a happy ending.

Got a kindle? Go here and download a FREE chapter of Abigail Cottage.



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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Welcome to Wayne Farquhar



Good Morning Wayne. The sun is shining along the Kent coast of England, so pull up a chair and let’s book talk.

Here is a bit about Wayne Farquhar

Wayne Farquhar is a 28-year veteran working with the San Jose Police Department in California. He has worked through the ranks from officer to lieutenant with detective assignments in Sexual Assaults,Homicide and Internal Affairs. He has also worked undercover assignments in Child Exploitation, Child Pornography and Vice. He spent 10 years as a street cop and hostage negotiator. Wayne has worked on Federal Task Forces with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). He has appeared on national television, /America’s Most Wanted/ on a murder investigation. BLOOD OVER BADGE is his first effort in crime-thriller fiction, and he hopes to write more books and speak to larger audiences about his experiences in law enforcement. Wayne lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

If you would like to formally invite Wayne to speak about BLOOD OVER
BADGE or law enforcement to your organization, association, conference
or expo, please send an email to info@bloodoverbadge.com.

So tell me first of all, what drew you to write in your current genre?

I was drawn into this genre because I’ve spent my entire career chasing crooks and being a cop-detective. It’s an exciting profession and its fun to write about the crazy things that happen in the police world.

Wow, what a mind blowing profession. You seem so young to have fingers in many pies in the police force. So how many books have you written to date and are they all in the same genre?

Blood Over Badge is my first stab at writing a novel. I’m fortunate that so many people have found the story compelling.

Have you got any reviews about this book. Can we see them?


The reviews are on Amazon and listed under my book title. I also have reviews linked from my website. I’ve asked the computer experts about linking the reviews directly to this site. I’m sorry I’m not very skilled at the high tech stuff.

Ah, but I am lol. Here they are everyone.


How much time do you spent on plotting etc before you start writing?

The main and sub-plots come to me quickly and I start writing. I don’t struggle for story ideas. I focus and spend much more time figuring out the pacing and tempo of dropping clues.

Do you think that writing comes easy to you? Can you see it as a future profession over the police force?

I won’t say writing is easy for me: Especially when looking at comments from my editors. (lol) Bottom line: I enjoy writing. Fortunately, I don’t have to write to make a living. I’d starve if that was the case. I’m entirely motivated by my love to write. It’s clearly a process of learning and it comes in stages. I don’t know where writing will take me. Actually, that’s the best part of the ride. I have no idea where it’s going!

When the sun shines I go off to the beach with my laptop to work. Where do you do most of your writing?

I write in my home office. Fortunately, I’m able to block out distractions and bury myself in writing. I’m extremely focused when I write. I tend to be oblivious to everything going on around me when I’m in the writing mode.



Looking back, What is the worst thing you have ever written?


Every “first draft” is the newest “worst thing” I’ve ever written. For me, first drafts are always rough. The more I scrap during review, the better it gets. By better, I mean leaner, cleaner and sharper. I’m not afraid to let the words and ideas flow while writing the first draft. I don’t edit at the end of my writing day. I edit at the beginning of my next writing day. I edit what I wrote the day before and then move the story forward with the next block of writing.

That sounds like a good plan. I mostly write the whole book and then dive back in to edit and delete. It saves me so much time that way. So tell me about Blood Over Badge






Press Release:

Website:

To buy.

The novel puts you in the driver’s seat of a high profile homicide investigation. As a writer, I don’t want to leave you, the reader, rubber-necking on the side of the road. I want you front and center with my detectives…and my criminals. The characters are composites of every cop and crook I’ve ever known. The shootings, killings and investigation are my way of walking a reader through the daily life of a cop. For this reason, I didn’t hold back in my writing style. The dialogue is true “locker room” cop talk. The voices and thoughts of the criminals in the story are words I’ve heard repeatedly over the decades. The result is a gritty crime novel.

It sounds fabulous. Do you have an excerpt to whet our reader’s appetites?

I’ve clipped a piece from a prison scene. The problem with clipping scenes is they’re taken out of context and have no build-up. With that said:

Justin carried the wick out and showed it to Kyle. He smiled, and
held the wick in front of Kyle’s face.
Kyle stood, expressionless.
“What’s this doin’ in your vent, Sanders?”
“Burnin’”
“I know its burnin’ asshole! What do you need it for?”
“Smokin’”
Justin found no other contraband. “What do you have to smoke?”
“Sometimes a cigarette, sometimes crank.”
“You’re getting rolled up for this, Sanders. It’ll cost you thirty days
in the hole.”
Kyle’s steely eyes bore through Justin’s glare. Justin realized Kyle
Sanders couldn’t give a fuck about anything in life. Justin stared back
until the icy words broke the silence.
“Oh yeah.” Kyle flashed his dirty jagged teeth. “There is one other
reason ... I keep it there in case I need to light some asshole on fire.”
Then he smiled.

How can your readers keep up with your news?

Readers can follow me via my website
There is a link to email me and I personally respond to every email I receive.


Do you have any advice on writers getting an agent?

My publisher is my agent. I’m published through a boutique publisher and they work very hard for my success. Our contract is structured where success profits everyone. We also had a shared risk on the front end. My book deal was structured very much like current record deals. I’m getting the attention of movie producers and there is interest in a movie deal for Blood Over Badge. I’ve got a film agent, via my publisher that is working on that part of the business.

How thrilling. A movie deal!! I will be first in line to see that film. Good luck with that and maybe pop back here when the film is released, so you can let us know your thoughts and feelings about it. So do you have a critique partner. That extra special eye?

My writing skills have vastly improved by following a few simple rules: Pay attention/study direction from a good editor. Good editors know what they’re talking about and every writer has “blind spots.” I spend a great deal of time sharing work with other authors. There are many people that write very well in areas that I don’t. I seek out their advice. I’ve learned to not be embarrassed or timid. Writing is a craft and it must be honed in order to improve. I don’t have enough time to read “everything I get my hands on.” Instead, I read great, well told stories over and over. I study them and try to discover “how” the author wrote certain passages that “worked.”

You sound very focused and dedicated. What’s your favorite part of writing?

The best part about writing is being able to create the world in your story. As writers, we hold all the cards. We can tell the story from any point of view and put any spin we like into the story. We are limited only by our imaginations.


How do you get past all the frustrations that come with trying to be a successful writer?


The way I get past all the frustrations of being a writer is by lowering my expectations of being a writer. I’m successful when I write something others enjoy reading. It drives me to continue writing.

What do you like to read?

My absolute favorite author is Nelson De Mille. I love reading his books. I love to read movie scripts and magazines. They move fast and chew up territory at alarming rates.



It’s been lovely having you today, Wayne. I wish you the best of luck.



Sunday, 29 August 2010

Welcome to Meredith Cagen

Good morning Meredith. It’s so nice to have you here today. Before we have a chat tell us a bit about yourself.


Hello Margaret, thanks for having me today. I’m a working wife and mother living in New York City. I work as a freelance writer and Registered Nurse. My family has awarded me the “Queen of the Multi-taskers” title. In my free time I go to the gym and love to eat out.
I returned to school to obtain a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Finding the subject dry, technical and boring, I had a difficult time focusing on my studies. Easily distracted, and prone to daydreaming, I wrote Size Eight in a Size Zero World, which is the story of a working wife and mother living in New York City.

My goodness, you’re a busy lady. I feel tired just reading what you get up to lol. So what drew you to write in your current genre?

First time authors tend to write what they are familiar with. I consider my genre NYC-Lit, Woman’s Romance. I live and work in NYC. I write what I know about. My book is fiction, but it contains adaptations on my personal experience and my friends. An incident might of happened, but not to me, and I adapted it to a specific character.

How many novels have you written to date and are they all in the same genre?

Size Eight in a Size Zero World is my first novel.

I can imagine how excited you must feel. What were you doing when you got the call?
I was mashing potatoes and dropped the phone in the hot food, only to fish it out and have hot potato burning my ear for the duration of the call!!


That’s funny Margaret, I have a scene like that in my book when my protagonist Lindsay drops a spoon into hot spaghetti sauce and the sauce flies onto her outfit. I am self published, the “phone call” was different. It was my decision to control my fate and characters.

I spend minimal time on plotting. I know, I’m so bad lol How much time do you spend on it before you start writing?

My process is differs from most writers. I get an idea and it flows out of me. I knew the end of my novel around the same time I started writing the beginning. The story is getting to the end. Sometimes I am surprised at the plot and I am the one creating it!

I know what you mean by that. Where do you do most of your writing?

Living in a New York City apartment, space is at a premium. My home office, is my side of the bed. It’s affectionately referred to as my Queendom. All my executive decisions are made from my side of the bed. I am answering your questions on my laptop from my side of the bed, the throne.

FYI: My bed is Queen size and I share it with my 6 foot husband and 2 Havanese dogs. It gets more crowded every year!


I hear you with the dogs. I have two who have a firm belief the sofa is theirs!!! Long may you reign in your ‘Queendom’ lol Now for the really interesting part. Tell us about your latest release.

How cute is this picture!!!!!!



My main character, Lindsay is one of them (us). She is a typical woman for this new millennium, working a job, taking care of her family, running her household, overworked, unappreciated, no time for herself, a super multi-tasker, while her husband watches TV and plays on the internet.
She struggles to keep a sense of herself. And then one day she meets someone who causes her to re-evaluate how she lives her life, turning her world upside down. Suddenly there she is at only 32, doing all the rights things but she reminds that she has neglected her needs. She lost her way and her dreams and voluntarily put herself into the proverbial box.
Lindsay decides it is time that she took some risks. She is a good girl trying to do the right thing and the wrong thing simultaneously, while remaining true to herself, whoever that is. The story is her adventure into New York City society and relationships.
Read the book, and share your thoughts with me, mcagen@gmail.com
How can your readers keep up with your news?

http://www.sizezeroworld.com/

Facebook


Most authors rely on critique partners for an extra eye on when they are writing. Who do you rely on and why
?

My friend Noreen Delaunay reads my stuff, and tells me if it makes sense. I trust her instincts.

What is your favorite part of writing?

Getting my ideas down on paper and reading it back. I love that I am creating this world and I am in control! It’s like seeing your newborn baby.

How do you get past all the frustrations that come with trying to be a successful writer?

Thank you for acknowledging that it is very aggravating trying to promote and distinguish my book. My book, like my children, is my greatest accomplishment. I wish I can convince the public to read it! The book has potential to be a best seller, and someday a Television Show.

Promotion of books and competition for media coverage is highly competitive and without a known brand, platform or name, it is challenging (and frustrating.).

Fortunately I have many things going on in my life that I don’t dwell on this.

What do you like to read?

I love thrillers and mysteries. I’ve read all the Twilight books and The Sookie Stackhouse books. Anything by Karen Quinn is a must! I wish someone could top The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. A brilliant nonfiction book is Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll, I think everyone should read it.

What actor/actress gets your pulses racing?

George Clooney and Enrique Iglesias are lovely to look at. As a Registered Nurse I would love to take their pulses, for strictly medical reasons……………..and if you believe that……


I DON’T believe that for one minute Meredith. It’s been a pleasure hosting you today and I will be looking very closely at your new novel with great interest.


Meredith Cagen, author of Size Eight in a Size Zero World

Monday, 23 August 2010

Hooks. What are they?

Hooking a reader.



In the beginning god gave us light!! LOL I’ve always wanted to start a paragraph off with that. Which brings me to the point of this post. I’m always hearing how editors tell authors they must ‘hook’ a reader. It brings to mind the old rod and fish wire scenario. But if you think about it, how many times do we sit down to watch a film only to be bored to death within the first few minutes? In this age where competition is rife, grabbing a reader’s attention is like holding onto a slippery fish. Fast, fierce and riveting should be the things aimed for with a hook. A new angle, twist of writing style sets you apart from the rest.

I remember reading a book, Night Visions, by Ariana Dupre and was completely thrown that her witch character, was a man. A rather, hunky one to boot. What a twist, when all the foreshadowing made me feel like she was the usual ‘hag witch’. Be honest now. How many books have you picked up then cast aside because they are not riveting enough. Not enough conflict. Nothing moves the story forward. I for one can say two this month alone. The greatest gift a reader can give an author is the words, ‘I could not put the book down’.

Think who your first readers are. Over worked editors and Agents. They are looking for that ‘hook’ straight away. A crashing noise, explosion, head chopping off (if you write horror lol) is a first sentence hook. It compels a reader to read on and see what’s happened. So remember, even one word can hook. So cast out those rods people. Let’s make hooks of steel.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Welcome to Kim Upstone

Today I’d like to welcome Kim Upstone. Here is a bit about her.


Kim is one of 9 children born to a business entrepreneur father (still living) and a housewife (deceased). She has been married 32 years to her husband, Doug, who is a sports writer. She has I has two children, Melissa who lives in Hawaii, and Brent who is married and lives in Tempe, AZ and his wife. They are expecting their first child, Grace, in August. Kim and her husband care for her sister, Debbie (who is 5 years older than Kim). She has special needs and they have Frank, their 4 year old cocker spaniel! They moved to Arizona seven years ago to get away from the cold.Kim Upstone is the owner of A New Day A New Vision which is not only the name of her company, but her life philosophy. Kim believes that each new day we can create a new vision for ourselves, home and environment. As an author, motivational speaker and intuitive designer she resides with her family in Scottsdale, Arizona. With a background in interior design and interest into the effects of environment upon individuals, accreditation in staging and feng shui soon followed. In addition, she has studied neuro- architecture. Her first book Step by Step To Sold and Feng Shui to Sell are reflections of those principals. Both books were written as guide for home sellers looking to prepare their home by combining Feng Shui and Staging techniques.Feng Shui for Special Needs, her second book, is given out as a free ebook for people with life and learning challenges. Based on her own personal experience, the books help those who work with special needs children and adults to make enhancements to their environments all in an effort to allow them to flourish.Her new book All I Want Is Everything released in December 2009 is drawn from her life’s journey of searching how to find her everything and learning to dance in the storm. All I Want Is Everything is a guide to help women reclaim happiness and peace in the search for their everything.

Pull up a chair and make yourself at home, Kim. It’s lovely to have you with us today. Can you tell me what drew you to write in your current genre?

Good Morning Margaret. Thanks for having me. My most recent book “All I Want Is … Everything” is based on the journey I took to find the answers, a journey locate my “everything”. I was compelled to help others find their way to a joyous life, to provide a guide to help people find their answers.How fascinating that you can do this. I do admire people who write so selflessly. How many books have you written. Are they all in the same genre?My professional background in intuitive design and feng shui lead me to write my first book “Step By Step To Sold”. Which is a step by step guide to preparing your home for sale using Staging and Feng Shui. My second book is a free ebook on Feng Shui for people with special needs. It is drawn from my experience of working children and adults that need assistance with life and learning challenges. Environment plays a huge part in their ability to function and concentrate and making needed changes can help in concentration and overall well being.

When summer arrives I tend to write in the open. Parks, beaches, wherever my muse takes me lol Where do you do most of your writing?

I write in my office which is in my home. I write on notebook paper by hand with a pen. I have a bit of an unconventional way to write. I write across the lines edge to edge. I also ask my readers to do the same while journaling and working their way through the book. I find for conventional thinkers it makes you just a bit uncomfortable and forces you to think outside the box slightly. When writing from emotion it feels better than writing on a computer or on the lines.

How bizarre. I have just interviewed another writer who writes everything by hand. Far too much work for me lol I think I’m far too bonded with my laptop. Tell us about your latest release.

All I Want Is … Everything, A Guide to Love Peace and Happiness is a guide for everyone searching for something more in their life. More meaning, understanding, happiness, a life without conditions. These are things each of us can have. But they do not come naturally, it takes work. Awareness and choice play a big part in our quality of life. I wrote this book as a result of the journey I took many years ago to find my “everything”. What I discovered was my answers. What I give the reader is guidance and questions for them to answer to lead them to their answers.

It sounds really interesting. I think a lot of people will be interested in this book. How can readers keep up with your news?

They can sign up at either of my websites for updates from my blog. I also have FaceBook fan page and a FaceBook Group called Womens Transformational Leadership Group as support for women in business who want to share books they are reading and information they may receive through webinars and seminars. I am also on LinkedIn and have a You Tube Video Channel.

Website
Kim's book is also for purchase on her website. Kim will give a donation for each book purchased to Global Orphans Project.

Purchase book on Amazon

What do you think about celebrities writing book?I believe we each have a book inside of us, even celebrities.

Celebrities do have a captive audience waiting for their every word, and the book they release most likely has been written by a ghost writer. We each have a choice to buy or to bypass the books written by anyone. So I think that just like each of us as authors, people some books will hold something valuable and some will not.

What's your advice about getting an agent?

I do not have an agent and I have to tell you that I have been disappointed by almost everyone I have hired from editors to PR people. Just recently I have had better luck finding more productive people who take time to understand me and my product. I feel for me and for my books no one will be as passionate or act as a strong advocate for spreading the word. This is something that I feel requires my presence.Most authors rely on critique partners for an extra eye on when they are writing. Who rely on and why?My husband is a writer also, however he is a sports writer so we are on completely different playing fields.I rely on myself and to me it doesn’t matter what others think. That is why I have chosen to publish myself so I can do it my way and from the feedback and reviews I have received my heart to heart message has been successful.What is your favorite part of writing?I would say the actual writing. I could get lost for hours and be happy never leaving the house to speak and do book tours, just spend time writing the rest of my life! I deplore edit corrections, but they are a necessary process.

How do you get past all the frustrations that come with trying to be a successful writer?

It’s all part of the job. If your message is important to you and you feel what you have to share with the world is really going to make an impact, you are propelled through frustrations. You quickly learn to take those stumbling blocks and stack them up so you can get over the wall that also lies in your path.

Thanks for stopping by Kim

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Welcome to Mike Dolan

Good morning, Mike it's lovely to have you here. Before we start lets tell your readers a bit about you.




Hello Margaret and thanks for having me today. I was born in Denver CO and moved around a lot as a child due to catastrophic events in our families lives. I joined the military right out of high school, traveled some and enjoyed it. Both my parents succumbed to cancer and my little brother is battling it now.

Oh Mike, how sad. I’m sending lots of healing your way and your brothers. I hope he makes a speedy recovery. So now you are settled with a nice cup of good old British tea, tell me what drew you to write in your current genre?

The self-help genre is my favorite, because it allows me to tap into something more than myself and through that instigate change in those around me.

How spiritual. Do you class yourself as a spiritual person?

I consider myself to be very spiritual, but not classified. Every journey in life is forged by the steps we take. I prefer not to walk down a worn path, nor to box myself in. I like to keep open to all possibilities and to all experiences.

Wow, that defines you in a rather large nutshell! I write romance, paranormal, fiction and academic modules. How many books have you written to date and are they all in the same genre?

This is the first book I have written, but my writing kick started when I took a creative writing class over twenty years ago. I just put it on hold for years while I “made a living”. A couple of years ago things started to change, loved ones were passing on, my brother also developed cancer, and I was not chasing the dreams I once had.
I decided that I had to follow those dreams or I would be wasting the precious time that I had been given here in this life... So this is my first, but I am about to publish a new book shortly


I’d love to hear about your new book, so do pop back and let us know about it when it’s out. I write by the sea in the summer and in a warm office at home in the winter. Where do you do most of your writing?


For me writing early in the morning in a sun drenched window is the best place to be. The house is quiet and most of the time my mind is still empty of “other “distracting thoughts which allows me to let the writing flow. I get my pot of coffee going, gather my pad of paper and half dozen different colored pens and I just start with what comes to mind and go from there

So you write with pens? Wow. Do you then write it all out again via the computer?

Yes I do, for some reason my ideas flow easier when I write longhand..., and yes I do then transcribe it to computer myself, which allows some of the ideas to expand. Sometimes new ideas come to light as I go through this process.

I commend you. I’m not sure that I can remember how to write longhand nowadays lol Now for the interesting stuff. Tell me about your latest release.

A Pecunious Life is a book that helps people have a wealthy life. My main goal in writing this book is to just help as many people as I can to have a better life, a more full filling life, and to follow their dreams. I share what I have learned through my experiences and travels and then help the reader make a plan for a better life.

What a wonderful goal to have. I have done a review for this book and it can be found at the end of this interview. So how can your readers keep up with your news?

My website .com It has a blog. I update it a couple of times a week and share any news at that time. Also I have put my Virtual Book Tour Schedule on the site with links to the host sites so people can follow me on the tour. I twitter almost every day so people can follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.


Do you have to deal with rejection letters yet?

Since this is my first book and I self-published it I didn’t have to worry about any rejection letters. A big challenge for me is to overcome writer’s block. Most of the time I walk away from what it is I am doing for a minute or two and then start off with a completely new angle. Another trick I will use is to change the color of the pen I am writing with.


Are you always going to self publish or are you going to look for a publisher eventually. What can you say to others thinking of self publishing?

I’m not sure if I will always self publish. I think I will continue down that path until something else comes to light. I like the fact that I can self publish and with the internet marketing becomes much easier to find people interested in what you do, so for now I will stay with it.


Do you have any advice about getting an agent?


I have not got an agent. I have a virtual assistant, Janis Friesler from Your Virtual Assistants Plus. She that helps me promote my book in many different ways. She is going to format it so the book becomes electronically suitable for IPad and Sony, etc. She is in the process of making my website optimized for search engines. She found the virtual tour for me and is helping me with it. I live on the other side of the world so I need someone to oversee what is happening in the states. This works for me better than an agent. She has a reasonable flat rate so I don't have to worry about giving away a percentage of my book.

Wow, she sounds great. Most authors rely on critique partners for an extra eye on when they are writing. Who rely on and why?

As I said, I live and work in Asia so there are not too many people to help me here. I have a wonderful wife who has been my right arm. She has helped me a great deal.

Have you not considered on line groups? I work with a few and they are spread all over the world.

I haven’t really considered online groups just because I really don’t want to dilute what it is I am writing. I want to stay inspired and have that show in the writing. My wife is enough to make me look from another prospective from time to time.

The best part of writing for me is when it all comes together. What’s your favorite part?

I like being alone with my thoughts and planning what I want to say. It is important to me to make my writing mean something to people. I want to be inspirational, and when I can put words on paper that will inspire others, that is my favorite part of writing.


How do you get past all the frustrations that come with trying to be a successful writer?

I use just about everything I can to help me stay on task, but even with all my tricks I still get side track on occasion. The key is not to beat myself up about it. I set goals as mile markers on the path. As I travel down that path I will encounter challenges along the way. These are things I won’t always be able to identify when setting my goals, so I will just have to work through them. This more often than not will delay reaching the goal. It’s all just a part of the experience as I move forward. Some of the things I use are emails and voice messages to myself, note cards taped to the bathroom mirror, anything that will just put the hint to what I want to accomplish, is enough to move me in the direction. The idea is to be creative with it and have fun.


So Mike, what do you like to read?

I've always been an avid reader, but I've always preferred reading to learn something as opposed to just reading for entertainment. In this pursuit I started to read about Leonardo DaVinci, Nikola Tesla, Steven Hawking, and others. I was reading Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, Wayne Dryer, Deepak Copra. Right now I am reading: David Hawkins Power Vs. Force



Thank you for being here today, Mike and I wish you lost of success with your new release.





My Review

Mike Dolans book opens into a heart wrenching autobiography about his life. Some say to heal the demons you hold within, you need to bring them into the open. I hope that Mike Dolan has achieved that for himself when writing this book. Life does map out who you are as a person and throughout this book it’s obvious Mikes brutal past changes him, but in a good way. The book reaches into the soul and brings forward all the things that try to hold us back in life. It also tells you how to overcome them. In the beginning, some pages are slightly repetitive, but once you get past this, you will read a truly inspiring book.

Welcome to Kim Upton







Today I’d like to welcome Kim Upstone. Here is a bit about her.

Kim is one of 9 children born to a business entrepreneur father (still living) and a housewife (deceased). She has been married 32 years to her husband, Doug, who is a sports writer. She has I has two children, Melissa who lives in Hawaii, and Brent who is married and lives in Tempe, AZ and his wife. They are expecting their first child, Grace, in August. Kim and her husband care for her sister, Debbie (who is 5 years older than Kim). She has special needs and they have Frank, their 4 year old cocker spaniel! They moved to Arizona seven years ago to get away from the cold.
Kim Upstone is the owner of A New Day A New Vision which is not only the name of her company, but her life philosophy. Kim believes that each new day we can create a new vision for ourselves, home and environment. As an author, motivational speaker and intuitive designer she resides with her family in Scottsdale, Arizona. With a background in interior design and interest into the effects of environment upon individuals, accreditation in staging and feng shui soon followed. In addition, she has studied neuro- architecture. Her first book Step by Step To Sold and Feng Shui to Sell are reflections of those principals. Both books were written as guide for home sellers looking to prepare their home by combining Feng Shui and Staging techniques.Feng Shui for Special Needs, her second book, is given out as a free ebook for people with life and learning challenges. Based on her own personal experience, the books help those who work with special needs children and adults to make enhancements to their environments all in an effort to allow them to flourish.Her new book All I Want Is Everything released in December 2009 is drawn from her life’s journey of searching how to find her everything and learning to dance in the storm. All I Want Is Everything is a guide to help women reclaim happiness and peace in the search for their everything.

Pull up a chair and make yourself at home, Kim. It’s lovely to have you with us today. Can you tell me what drew you to write in your current genre?

Good Morning Margaret. Thanks for having me. My most recent book “All I Want Is … Everything” is based on the journey I took to find the answers, a journey locate my “everything”. I was compelled to help others find their way to a joyous life, to provide a guide to help people find their answers.

How fascinating that you can do this. I do admire people who write so selflessly. How many books have you written. Are they all in the same genre?

My professional background in intuitive design and feng shui lead me to write my first book “Step By Step To Sold”. Which is a step by step guide to preparing your home for sale using Staging and Feng Shui. My second book is a free ebook on Feng Shui for people with special needs. It is drawn from my experience of working children and adults that need assistance with life and learning challenges. Environment plays a huge part in their ability to function and concentrate and making needed changes can help in concentration and overall well being.

When summer arrives I tend to write in the open. Parks, beaches, wherever my muse takes me lol Where do you do most of your writing?

I write in my office which is in my home. I write on notebook paper by hand with a pen. I have a bit of an unconventional way to write. I write across the lines edge to edge. I also ask my readers to do the same while journaling and working their way through the book. I find for conventional thinkers it makes you just a bit uncomfortable and forces you to think outside the box slightly. When writing from emotion it feels better than writing on a computer or on the lines.

How bizarre. I have just interviewed another writer who writes everything by hand. Far too much work for me lol I think I’m far too bonded with my laptop. Tell us about your latest release.

All I Want Is … Everything, A Guide to Love Peace and Happiness is a guide for everyone searching for something more in their life. More meaning, understanding, happiness, a life without conditions. These are things each of us can have. But they do not come naturally, it takes work. Awareness and choice play a big part in our quality of life. I wrote this book as a result of the journey I took many years ago to find my “everything”. What I discovered was my answers. What I give the reader is guidance and questions for them to answer to lead them to their answers.

It sounds really interesting. I think a lot of people will be interested in this book. How can readers keep up with your news?

They can sign up at either of my websites for updates from my blog. I also have FaceBook fan page and a FaceBook Group called Womens Transformational Leadership Group as support for women in business who want to share books they are reading and information they may receive through webinars and seminars. I am also on LinkedIn and have a You Tube Video Channel.

What do you think about celebrities writing book?

I believe we each have a book inside of us, even celebrities. Celebrities do have a captive audience waiting for their every word, and the book they release most likely has been written by a ghost writer. We each have a choice to buy or to bypass the books written by anyone. So I think that just like each of us as authors, people some books will hold something valuable and some will not.


What's your advice about getting an agent?

I do not have an agent and I have to tell you that I have been disappointed by almost everyone I have hired from editors to PR people. Just recently I have had better luck finding more productive people who take time to understand me and my product. I feel for me and for my books no one will be as passionate or act as a strong advocate for spreading the word. This is something that I feel requires my presence.


Most authors rely on critique partners for an extra eye on when they are writing. Who rely on and why?

My husband is a writer also, however he is a sports writer so we are on completely different playing fields.
I rely on myself and to me it doesn’t matter what others think. That is why I have chosen to publish myself so I can do it my way and from the feedback and reviews I have received my heart to heart message has been successful.

What is your favorite part of writing?

I would say the actual writing. I could get lost for hours and be happy never leaving the house to speak and do book tours, just spend time writing the rest of my life! I deplore edit corrections, but they are a necessary process.


How do you get past all the frustrations that come with trying to be a successful writer?

It’s all part of the job. If your message is important to you and you feel what you have to share with the world is really going to make an impact, you are propelled through frustrations. You quickly learn to take those stumbling blocks and stack them up so you can get over the wall that also lies in your path.


Website

Kim's book is also for purchase on her website. Kim will give a donation for each book purchased to Global Orphans Project.

Purchase book on Amazon

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Crystal Power

Recently I interviewed Lorrie Struiff about her book Gypsy Crystal.



It's about a homicide detective who has pure Roma blood. She wears a mystical crystal amulet that gives her the power to see in a dead victim’s eyes the last image he/she saw. The story is filled with gypsy customs and lore and it takes you on a wild ride into the mystical world of the paranormal with thrills and chills. The full review is on this page. Just click on her book.

Now my question is, who believes in the power of crystals for real? I’m a Crystal Therapist, so I have a biased opinion of course lol But would you use a crystal to combat stress or illness? I believe it comes down to faith. Not the bible quoting, god is all powerful faith (mind you it does help sometimes!!) no, the type of faith that lets you believe in the unbelievable. Not many of us can do that. As human beings, it is natural to question the validity of the things we can’t see/feel/hear.



This crystal cave is one of the largest known crystals caves on earth. These crystals take millions of years to form. What do they do for the earth? Can we really believe that they are in animate objects without a life force?

Have you had an experience with any particular crystal? Would you use one? I'd like to know how you feel/think about them.


Monday, 9 August 2010

News Flash!!!!!

Tonight I'm at Night Owl Romance with two other great authors, Cate Masters and Ginger Simpson. We will be chatting about our native American novels and whatever else comes up in conversation.
Please pop by and say hello. I'd hate to be in an empty room staring at virtual walls lol


Chat Date: 8/9/2010
Chat Time: 5pm PST /7 CST/ 8 EST
Duration: 1 hour
Location: http://www.nightowlromance.com/nor/Pages/Chat.aspx

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Welcome to Diane Griffin

I’d like to welcome today Diane Griffin . Here is a bit about this astounding woman.





President and owner of Security First & Associates, Diane says her motivation for writing Everything You Wanted to Know About the Security Clearance Process, But Are Afraid To Ask: Professional Guidance for Obtaining and Maintaining a Security Clearance came from the more than two decades of people she has assisted, both in her role as a private security contractor, and as the head of personnel or security within major governmental contractors, in finding their way through the complicated security clearance chain. Diane, is nationally recognized as an expert in the design and delivery of security throughout the intelligence community and has worked with a variety of clients throughout the US Government and industry. Diane is a past membership chairperson and current secretary of the National Classification Management Society (NCMS) and is active in several professional security organizations. Diane received her B.S. degree in Human Resource Manager from Colorado Christian Univ. and MBA degree in Management from University of Phoenix. Author of several articles on Security and she volunteers with shelters, collecting used Cell phones for Women of Domestic Violence. In addition, volunteers with the foster care program, creating a program called Bags & Bears for Foster care, collecting pack backs and teddy bears for children in the foster care program. Diane is single and has one child.



What drew you to write this book?

As a security consultant I am constantly asked about the security clearance process. I thought an ebook guide covering the bases of the process out help those interested in the process out.


How much time do you spent on plotting etc before you start writing?

It took me about 3 months to outline who I wanted to reach with the book. I reached out to various individuals to provide me security clearances questions that they wanted answered. I found some of the questions were of a sexual nature and I did all I could to keep from laughing. But, I had to be professional and take all questions in serious nature and to guide the person asking in the correct way. This is where I came up with section.


Tell me about your latest release.




Here is a brief synopsis.

If you have plenty of time to click around through myriad government websites and the patience to cut through red tape and make sense of confusing bureaucratic talk, you may be able to find some of the answers to your questions about the security clearance process,” Griffin says. “Chances are, however, that you will still be left with some of your questions unanswered, because there are some questions that the government just doesn’t address. So, unless you know someone who is well acquainted with the process from a first-hand perspective, good luck.
“What I sought to do was compile all of these answers into one easy-to-read compendium of advice and guidance, giving my readers signposts along the way to assist them in navigating through the clearance process. I believe I’ve come up with a volume that will greatly help its users, and being able to assist folks in working through this process is extremely gratifying to me.” GROUNDBREAKING SECURITY CLEARANCE EBOOK A ONE-STOP KNOWLEDGEBASE FOR THOSE CONFUSED BY THE SECURITY CLEARANCE PROCESS


The Ebook guide is called Everything You Need to Know About the Security Clearance process, But are Afraid to Ask. It covers the process of obtaining and maintaining a
Security clearance. It is a lengthy process and people should know in advance what kind of questions will be asked. Why should they care about this? The United States is under constant threat of having individuals, fundamentalist groups and foreign countries compromise the nation’s security. In order to combat this threat, the U.S.Federal Government maintains a process for identifying credible and trustworthy individuals, companies and industries to assist with protecting our national interests and citizens.

These dynamics make Trust a precious commodity. Nothing can take its place. In order for the U.S. government to identify trustworthy candidates, it must take them through a stringent process prior to granting them access to sensitive data and critical positions.
A security clearance is a privilege and not a right. The award of a security clearance does not give the recipient access to classified information in and of itself. The recipient must have a need to know about the specific classified data that he or she is given access to.


Everything You Need to Know About the Security Clearance Process, But Are Afraid to Ask is now available for $19.95, from my website, Amazon & Lulu.



How can your readers keep up with your news?

The readers can keep up on the news through my website

Facebook

Security First Associates

Promote Your Page Too


If you received one, how do you deal with a rejection letter?

I deal with rejections and negative comments very well. It helps me to understand the process and appreciate the positive comments. I must say being self-published, I haven't received rejection letters. My book is very important to people who need a job and would like to work for the government.


Who helps you promote this book?

I use a virtual assistant, Janis Friesler to help me promote my book. There is too much to do for an author who also owns a business. I think instead of getting an agent using a virtual author's assistant like Janis from Your Virtual Assistants Plus is a plus.



What is your favorite part of writing?


I love using self expression.


How do you get past all the frustrations that come with trying to be a successful writer?

Marketing and not getting a ROI on your money is very frustration, when you know that you have written a useful book and not knowing or having the funds to market it successfully if frustration


When you’re not working, what do you like to read?

I love Danille Steele.


Thank you so much for visiting today, Diane. Before you leave, what actor/actress gets your pulses racing?

Pulse racing in a good way is Denzel Washington,




Morris Chestnut


Monday, 2 August 2010

Welcome Jacqui Murray



Good morning Jacqui. It's lovely to have you today. Please note today Virtual Book Tours is giving a $10 Amazon gift card to a lucky person who leaves a comment.




Please tell us a bit about yourself Jacqui.


Hi Margaret. Thank you for having me. I was born in Berkley California to Irish-German parents. After receiving a BA in Economics, another in Russian and an MBA, I spent twenty years in a variety of industries while raising two children and teaching evening classes at community colleges. Now, I live with my husband, adult son and two beautiful Labradors. I write how-books, five blogs on everything from the Naval Academy to tech to science, as well as a column for the Examiner on tech tips.

So tell me Jacqui,what made you write your books?





When my daughter wanted a book on how to get into the Naval Academy, all she could find were books that told her how hard it was, how selective they were, how very few could achieve it. My daughter brushed them off, but I wondered how many kids would be discouraged by that approach and decided to write a book explaining how to achieve the goal, not why kids couldn’t. In Building a Midshipman: How to Crack the USNA Applications, I stress how teens can solve the problems that stand in their way rather than why they can’t, how they can get where they want to go rather than why they can’t get there. That worked for my daughter and I have no doubt it will work for others. From what I hear from readers, it’s true.

My tech workbooks are the same. When I went back to teaching, I could find no workbooks for teaching technology to K-5. There were how-tos, but not geared for students of that age group. So I decided to write them. I geared the books for parents with nominal computer skills, homeschoolers and lab specialists. It outlines the method I use in my classes that gets kids from the most basics of computer skills in kindergarten to Photoshop by fifth grade. I’m not surprised that the method works, and is now being used in school districts all over the country


How facinating. All your books look like they are really needed. Well done on seeing the niche in the market. So what inspires you to write

Mostly, I’m inspired by the human ability to solve problems. People often think they can’t, they’re not smart enough, but they always are. In my books, I present no-nonsense, intuitive solutions to reputedly complicated problems. For example, the Naval Academy takes less than ten percent of applicants, yet, by following the advice I share, that goes up to a 50-50 chance. Another example, parents often tell me they are amazed how much their students can do after just a few years in my technology program. I’m not—not because I’m a great teacher, but because I present it in a manner that children are empowered to solve their problems, which allows them to learn more efficiently.


What’s next on your writing agenda?

I am working on a fiction series. I love science and want to pass that passion on to students, so my fiction endeavors have that goal in mind. My first fiction novel, To Hunt a Sub, is a techno-thriller about nefarious characters using brainy science to steal America's Trident submarines and how an equally-brainy female grad student stops them. It won the Southern California Writers Conference Outstanding Fiction Award last year and is in the final stages of rewrite. I have an excerpt available on Scribd.com.

Wow, how wonderful. Congratulations. Where can your followers find you?

Anyone interested in my books, here is where you can find them:
Amazon.com

and the publisher's website

Buy my Ebooks.

If you’re interested in To Hunt a Cruiser, leave a comment on my WordDreams blog and I’ll let you know when it’s out.
I also write a column for Examiner.com.

I invite everyone to read that, add comments, follow me!

Twitter I go by the name @askatechteacher


What do you do to overcome the loneliness of being a writer?

I’m not lonely. I enjoy being solitary. I have a wonderful husband, two dogs and two adult children, so I have as much distraction as I can handle. Other than that, I find researching my books exciting, editing the story is exhilarating.

What’s your advice to new writers

God love America, there are no boundaries for what you can accomplish. That’s what made both of my books--Building a Midshipman and 55 Technology Projects for the Digital Classroom—possible. Here’s a tip you can live by, though: Start at the beginning and don’t stop until you get there. Good luck!


Thank you jacqui for sharing your news and books with us today. Good Luck with them all.