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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Thursday, 31 March 2011

Welcome to Julius Thompson


Good morning. I have Julius Thompson in the author chair today and over a cup of tea and a rather nice carrot cake, he will be talking about his frustrations when it comes to writing.


Frustration!


That is how I feel as I try to carve out time to write my novels. After teaching high school English classes all day and then doing essential things around the house it is almost 11:00 PM. My creativity is ignited sixty minutes before the midnight hour. That is good and bad, because for me I'm at my most creative late at night. When I start to write, time really speeds up and when I realize it is past midnight. I have to be up at 5:45 AM to start the work day cycle all over again. What's a writer to do? When at midnight you feel as if a pint of adrenalin has been shot into your veins. Without a doubt late night feels like 9 a.m. I’m a child of the sixties and when I put on my earphones with the Delfonics, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Mary Wells, Wilson Pickett, the Drifters and the music of the Sound of Philadelphia, the ideas start to flow. My minds eye is filled with the visuals. When writing parts of A Brownstone in Brooklyn, I was so deep into the fictive dream that I would look at the clock and it would be 4:00 am. I had written over 2,000 words. My alarm clock was set for 5:45 am. No way was I going to get up and attempt a full days’ work on less than two hours of sleep. I just called in and took the day off. I slept for a while and then edited all day. And at the same time on the next night, 11:00 p.m., I was ready for a great night of writing but I would come up with only one sentence. That’s why it’s an art, not an exact science. When the writing muse hits you, you’d better take advantage. It’s just another peril of the frustrations of the nightlife of writing. About Ghost of Atlanta: In The Ghost of Atlanta, Andy Michael Pilgrim faces demons from his youth that haunted his life. These are the ghosts in the crawl spaces of his life; some are real and some supernatural. After landing a job with The Atlanta Defender, Andy returns home and visits the place where he finally faces remembrances of his deceased abusive father. While walking around the grounds, he meets his mysterious cousin, Joe Boy, and finds out that the property is going to be sold by unscrupulous cousins. While Andy fights this battle, he must confront the personal demon of a possible drug addiction, breaking the color barrier at the south’s largest newspaper, The Atlanta Defender, meeting his old girl friend and fighting the lingering effects of segregation in small-town Georgia life. As the story unwinds, all these forces push Andy toward the breaking point, where he almost quits on life. Malevolent mortal deeds are committed and Andy could be next in line. "The Ghost of Atlanta" is, overall, a superbly written book. 5 stars!~Readers Favorite



Julius's books can be found here


Amazon


Barnes and Nobel


Passionate Writers

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Welcome to Nora weston










Good Morning. I have a rather lovely lady on my Blog today. We are going to drink tea on my virtual seaside veranda, enjoy the ocean and have a chat. First let me tell you a bit about her and the contest she's running today.

The rules: Simply introduce yourself, ask a question, or comment and you’ll be entered to win the e-book version of Guardian 2632! The winner will be chosen randomly.

As usual, I'll be offering a prize to a new follower and a prize to a the best comment.
Nora Weston’s fiction and poetry slips in-between and all around science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Her publishing credits include the anthologies Mind Mutations, Cyber Pulp’s Halloween 3.0, and Dark Pleasures. Other venues in print and online include; The Hacker’s Source, The Dream People, Hoboeye, Abandoned Towers, Lost in the Dark, Sputnik 57, Soul Engravings, and Decompositions. Recently, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Worlds Within–Worlds Beyond, Trapeze Magazine, and Four and Twenty published her work. Melange Books has accepted The Twelfth Paladin for a May 2011 release. Nora has had the pleasure of reaching people through the airwaves on radio stations throughout the US, and episodes can be downloaded from Blog Talk Radio’s show Not Picture Perfect

Hello Nora, can you tell us who you think inspires you to write?


Good morning, Margaret. I’m thrilled to be visiting with you today! One second...I must have a sip of this tea. Ooh lovely. Right, my fascination with all things speculative began as a child because my home, in Wheeling, WV was positioned right smack dab in the middle of nightmare land. No! I’m kidding. My childhood home was set against the most beautiful woods that, at times, held me spellbound. Especially at night, with a full moon casting shadows of might and magic amongst the crooked trees, my imagination brewed taking me backward in time, forward in time...and everywhere in-between. When I was nine years old, I would’ve sworn a witch lived in the green shack found deep in those woods, and vampires definitely scratched my bedroom window at night.
So, that was actually more of a “what” inspires me to write! “Who” would be the unhinged muses running around in my dreamscape. They fight like crazy to be heard causing many z’s to be lost forever, but they are why I write.

Wow, it sounds like paradise to me. Sometimes I think people are in places for a reason, nothing is ever done at random. Maybe you were supposed to be there, just to be inspired to write. So tell, us, what’s next on your writing agenda?

I’m finishing up the final edits for The Twelfth Paladin. It’s a heaven-hell adventure that takes Jake Cottrell for the ride of his life into virtual hell and back. A true seeker of mischief, he dares hell to burn him. Hell agrees.

I like the sound of that book. Are all your books paranormals? Would you write in any other genre?

I have tried to write mainstream fiction, but I only make it to about three thousand words before speculative elements slide in! Yes...my family thinks I was dropped one too many times as an infant, because so-called “normalcy” does not appear in my work. My characters are drawn to ghosts, demons, angels, and the cosmos...but since my characters are pretty feisty, they can handle the paranormal world just fine. I believe the speculative world, where paranormal happenings thrive and ethereal beings linger, is a fantastic realm to explore the human condition, so I’ll stick with that.

Being a paranormal writer myself, I can understand that. I tell you what. Instead of me firing questions at you all the time, why don’t you pick your favorite character from your new release and tell us about them.




As you can see by the way my dark gray eyes just lit up, I’d love to tell you about Zane Grayson. He’s the executive director of Guardian TMF and my favorite character from Guardian 2632. Is he handsome? Yes! He’s a military man with a body to die for, and his almost black eyes hypnotize his love interest, Julia Emerson, but there’s much more to him than that. Intelligent, full of sarcasm, and always looking to feed his desire for danger, Zane is a rush...exciting to be around, yet the best thing about him is his heart. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do to protect Julia. Guardian TMF aspires to succeed by following Albert Einstein’s saying, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile,” and Zane believes that with every cell in his body. I like that about him.

Is Zane based on anyone you know? Come on, fess up, we won’t tell a sole. lol

Oh, heavens! *Sigh* I wish Zane was based on a real person. He’s a wild guy, gorgeous from head to toe, but he’s also a one woman type of guy. Dedicated to his family, Zane would die for them with no second thoughts. Wait a minute...I’m married to a guy like that. Okay, so I lied just a little. lol Honestly, Zane was conjured in a dream, but the deep love he has for his family is like my husband.

Mmm, me thinks you might have slipped a little of your hubby in Zane lol This is a question most people ask and believe it or not, all the comments do help. Do you have any advice for new writers just staring out?

Observe and report! What I mean is, a new writer should watch, listen, and keep track of exactly how people interact with each other, speak to one another, and then write it down for future reference. People do not say each other’s names too much in dialogue, nor do they speak in complete sentences. An accent, geographical slang, and the tone a person uses while speaking all can be used for character building. My teenagers constantly surprise me with funny ways to say ordinary things, so if you are lucky enough to have them, speak to them! They will give you some good stuff.
Observe and report works well for imaginary places, real places, and people too. If your story takes place in a far away land, then at the very least, research the heck out of it long before your first word is written. Complete character studies and setting studies as precursors to a story so you’ll have fewer headaches once the writing process begins. Most importantly, have fun!

Before we go off for a swim, you’d better tell us where you can be found.

Did you say swim? Holy cows...my body has not seen a bathing suit in twenty years. I write some horrifying stuff, but “bathing suit” sounds really scary! Okay let’s do it...

I can be found on Twitter as almostsanelady
Email: noraweston.nw(at)gmail(dot)com
On Facebook
Website:
Noracast:








Thanks for popping buy. Come on, i'll race you to the sea.


I had a great time visiting with you! Thanks for having me.




Buy the book here
View the trailer

Monday, 21 March 2011

Julius Thompson








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Good morning. I have Julius Thompson in the author chair today and over a cup of tea and a rather nice carrot cake, he will be talking about his frustrations when it comes to writing.





Frustration!

That is how I feel as I try to carve out time to write my novels. After teaching high school English classes all day and then doing essential things around the house it is almost 11:00 PM.
My creativity is ignited sixty minutes before the midnight hour.
That is good and bad, because for me I'm at my most creative late at night. When I start to write, time really speeds up and when I realize it is past midnight.
I have to be up at 5:45 AM to start the work day cycle all over again.
What's a writer to do? When at midnight you feel as if a pint of adrenalin has been shot into your veins.
Without a doubt late night feels like 9 a.m.
I’m a child of the sixties and when I put on my earphones with the Delfonics, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Mary Wells, Wilson Pickett, the Drifters and the music of the Sound of Philadelphia, the ideas start to flow. My minds eye is filled with the visuals.
When writing parts of A Brownstone in Brooklyn, I was so deep into the fictive dream that I would look at the clock and it would be 4:00 am. I had written over 2,000 words.
My alarm clock was set for 5:45 am. No way was I going to get up and attempt a full days’ work on less than two hours of sleep.
I just called in and took the day off. I slept for a while and then edited all day.
And at the same time on the next night, 11:00 p.m., I was ready for a great night of writing but I would come up with only one sentence. That’s why it’s an art, not an exact science. When the writing muse hits you, you’d better take advantage.
It’s just another peril of the frustrations of the nightlife of writing.




About Ghost of Atlanta:
In The Ghost of Atlanta, Andy Michael Pilgrim faces demons from his youth that haunted his life. These are the ghosts in the crawl spaces of his life; some are real and some supernatural.
After landing a job with The Atlanta Defender, Andy returns home and visits the place where he finally faces remembrances of his deceased abusive father. While walking around the grounds, he meets his mysterious cousin, Joe Boy, and finds out that the property is going to be sold by unscrupulous cousins.
While Andy fights this battle, he must confront the personal demon of a possible drug addiction, breaking the color barrier at the south’s largest newspaper, The Atlanta Defender, meeting his old girl friend and fighting the lingering effects of segregation in small-town Georgia life.
As the story unwinds, all these forces push Andy toward the breaking point, where he almost quits on life. Malevolent mortal deeds are committed and Andy could be next in line.
"The Ghost of Atlanta" is, overall, a superbly written book. 5 stars!~Readers Favorite

Julius's books can be found here
Amazon
Barnes and Nobel
Passionate Writers

Welcome to Julius Thompson




In the bookwriters armchair today we have Julius Thompson. Before he talks about frustration,

Welcome Ami Blackwelder










Good Morning. The sun is shining today and I can see the first buds begining to emerge in the garden. To make the day pefect, I have Ami Blackwelder taking breakfast tea with me today. Before we start, here is a bit about her.






Ami Blackwelder is a forbidden romance writer in the paranormal and historical romance genre. Growing up in Florida, she went to UCf and in 1997 received her BA in English and teaching credentials. She travelled overseas to teach in Thailand, Nepal, Tibet, China and Korea. Thailand is considered her second home now. She has always loved writing and wrote poems and short stores since childhood; however, her novels began when she was in Thailand.

Having won the Best Fiction Award from the University of Central Florida (Yes, The Blair Witch Project University;), her fiction From Joy We Come, Unto Joy We Return was published in the on campus literary magazine: Cypress Dome and remains to this day in University libraries around the country. Later, she achieved the Semi-Finals in a Laurel Hemingway contest and published a few poems in the Thailand’s Expat magazine, and an article in the Thailand’s People newspaper. Additionally, she has published poetry in the Korea’s AIM magazine, the American Poetic Monthly magazine and Twisted Dreams Magazine.

So, you have read a bit about her. Fab, isn't she! Here is here new book, Shifters. The cover is so striking it made me look twice. Good news for Ami!! Click cover to buy this really good book.



America 2040.
Three Species. Divided Lovers. The Race is on for Planet Earth.


Set in Alaska in 2040, Melissa Marn and Bruce Wilder must work under the iron fist of the SCM, while still trying to maintain humanity. Discovering a world of shifters and hybrids, the scientists must struggle with human prejudice and betrayal. With the original ancestors, dubbed shifters, still living on earth, humans are in the midst of a fifteen year old war. As the eldest hybrids, Unseen and Diamond, learn about humans the hard way, with the loss of loved ones and sacrifices, love on planet earth proves challenging.

With underlining themes of how prejudice breaks human connections and animal/wildlife conservation, this novel which has received rave reviews will leave the reader flipping through the pages.




View her trailer.

Here is her take on What makes a good pitch. Great idea's here, so do read it and digest.


What makes a good pitch?

When you send your query out to agents and publishers, you want to sound professional and draw them in from the first line.
Check out my sample below for my book The Shifters of 2040. Notice the gripping first line followed by information and confidence.
Make sure you address the character, plot lines, and what differentiates your books from others as well as what genre and marketing might be useful behind the book.
A pitch is different from a query though. Underneath my pitch, is a sample of my query for The Shifters of 2040. A pitch draws you in like a commercial, but a query gives all the needed information for the agent to make his/her decision.
A synopsis goes from beginning to middle to end telling the agent what your story is, with exciting details, character descriptions and more. But I won't include my synopsis here or else your readers will know how my book ends. However, the agent wants to know you can seal the deal with the synopsis, the good ending.
But enjoy my pitch and query!



QUERY
Alaska 2040.
Three Species. Divided Lovers. The Race is on for Planet Earth.
Book three in a six part saga, the author chose to first engage the reader by beginning in the middle of the series, allowing the reader to then chose between reading the past or the future.
Set in Anchorage, Alaska 2040, the story begins with Melissa Marn, a dedicated and methodical scientists, working under the iron fist of General Raul for the SCM. The Shifter Counterinsurgency Military formed in 2030 and has been in charge, with bases all over the world, of eradicating the shifters from Earth. Since alien invasion in 2020, fear and panic has gripped the heart of many humans. A sentient form of light, this species fled their crumbling home planet in search of a viable one. Able to morph into animals of Earth, including the human species, the aliens were dubbed shifters.
After Melissa Marn has one guiltless night with a man she picks up at a bar, she realizes she has become pregnant by a shifter and must confront her own prejudice of the species in wake of the two baby girls growing inside of her. Discovering the shifters can and most likely have mated with other humans to produce hybrids, offspring which will better survive the conditions of Earth, and yet growing a sympathy for the alien race, the scientist and her peer Bruce Wilder, struggle with what to do next. The future of her twins and the future of the Earth waver in the balance.
As the eldest hybrids, Unseen and Diamond, guide the other hybrids, they learn about humans the hard way, with the loss of loved ones and sacrifices. When Diamond falls in love with Keenan, a military soldier, the two break all the rules, drawing danger to each of their lives. With a few of the younger hybrids caught by SCM, the escape proves to show them that life on the streets is as difficult as in the forest, and the reader is drawn into the plight of the shifters.
As the SCM draws closer to the location of the shifters, the reader follows this thrill ride to the culminating end where the annihilation of the shifter ancestors leaves a devastating mark on the remaining hybrids. With only two elder shifters left to watch over the children, their future appears bleak. And with Melissa finally coming to terms with who the shifters really are, she realizes too late that her twins are forever out of her reach.
With underlining themes of how prejudice breaks human connections and animal/wildlife conservation, this novel which has received rave reviews will leave the reader flipping through the pages.



The Invasion of 2020
The SCM of 2030
The Shifters of 2040
The Hybrids of 2050
The Hunted of 2060
The Revolution of 2060
As with Star Wars, the novels do not have to be read in order to be enjoyed or understood and readers may engage the stories in any sequence, with exception to Hybrids and Revolution.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Welcome Julie Hayes



A very good morning to Julie Hayes who shares the 'chatting' sofa with me today. I wonder who she likes...a lot!!!!!!! Here is a bit about her.

Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. Currently unemployed, she continues to write her books and stories, and is also a copy editor and reviewer for animeradius.com, and director of yaoiradius.com.. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Wicked Nights, Dreamspinner Press, and Silver Publishing.

Morning mags. Love your new sofa!!


Until last March, if you’d have said anything about Timothy Olyphant to me, I’d have said, “Who’s that?” Now, not only do I know, but I really know! Ask me about him now and my response is, “Timothy Olyphant rocks!”
I first met Timothy when I saw the trailers for Justified at the movie theater and decided to give it a go. I began to watch the show, because the trailers intrigued me, and I quickly got hooked, not just on the series, but its star. In the show, Timothy plays Raylan Givens, a US Special Marshal who got into a mite of trouble over a justified shooting in Florida for which he gets sent back to the place where he originated – the coal mining country of Harlan County, Kentucky. There he’s back in his roots, and that isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially when you factor in an ex-wife he still has a thing for and a jailbird father who isn’t going to be nominated for Father of the Year any time soon.

While I was watching Justified, which comes on Wednesday nights on F/X, 10 est/9 cst, I saw an ad for Hit Man, and at first I didn’t make the connection, til I realized that the shave-headed guy in the promo was none other than Timothy. The one with the bar code on the back of his skull. Well, that intrigued me, so of course I had to check it out. I found it at my library and borrowed it and watched it – and then I went to Amazon and bought it. I’ve seen it three times already. Timothy plays a hit man – naturally – who was raised by a religious organization since he was very young to be just that. No name, just a number, and a bar code tattooed onto the back of his head. He’s very good at what he does, but it must be a lonely life. He receives his instructions over his laptop from an anonymous user with a feminine voice. Things start to go wrong, when his current assignment gets changed, and then a girl gets thrown into the mix – you know how that goes – and if you want to know more, watch the movie. It’s worth it.

I just found out by reading his bio that he was born in 1968, is six foot tall and married to his college sweetheart, raising three children. And he manages to stay out of the tabloids. Kudos to him.
My next stop in my Timothy Olyphant fascination was Deadwood. This was a series that ran on HBO for a couple of seasons before it died, a victim of the writer’s strike. There has been talk of a movie to be made, but I think that that rumor too has finally been laid to rest. Deadwood takes place in the town of the same name, in the territory of South Dakota before it was South Dakota. About 1876, I think it was. Deadwood is a raw and wild and untamed city, still early in the throes of its existence. The town is under the control of Al Swearingen (Ian McShane) who owns the notorious Gem saloon/brothel. Two men come to town to open a hardware store – Seth Bullock (Timothy) and Sol Star (John Hawkes). At one time, Seth had been a Sheriff, but he’s looking to settle down, start a business and establish himself in order to send for his wife and child (not his child, but that’s another story).

Where to start here? Timothy completely energizes what is already an amazing cast with his portrayal of Seth Bullock, one of the two pivotal characters in the series, the other being Al. There are also so many other great characters, both real and fictional, that it will boggle your mind. For example, Keith Carradine as Wild Bill Hickok. I don’t consider it a spoiler to say he dies in the first season. C’mon, it’s history. No more than if I would mention while you watch Titanic that the boat sinks, right? Powers Boothe plays Cy Tolliver, rival saloon/brothel owner; William Sanderson is sleazy hotel proprietor E.B. Farnum; Brad Dourif as Doc Cochrane, whom I swear was modeled after Doc Holliday – and so on. But oh the fascination, the energy, when Seth Bullock is on the screen. Perhaps it was this role that helped to engender his receiving the lead in Justified. I saw somewhere that Elmore Leonard said that Timothy was the only actor that delivered Raylan’s lines and made them sound like he’d heard them in his own head.

So, two officers of the law and a hit man. What else? I did some digging, and discovered that he was the featured villain in Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard. I hadn’t seen that yet, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to, but after learning he was in it, it became mandatory. Guess what? It’s now my second favorite Die Hard Movie, only surpassed by the first one – seriously, you can’t top Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber for anything; that first Die Hard just works on too many levels (does anyone else think the guy at the front desk looks just like Huey Lewis?). In this incarnation and final (I hope) entry in the Die Hard series, John McClaine (Bruce Willis) is reduced to taking a young hacker into custody and escorting him from one location to the other. Sounds simple enough, until strange things begin to happen, starting with an explosion in his apartment. And then the traffic lights. The hacker seems nervous, almost scared, and when John presses him, he posits a textbook scenario for a possible terrorist takeover. It turns out not to be so farfetched as it sounds, and the man behind it all is computer genius Timothy Olyphant. It was actually interesting, and fun to watch – look for a cameo by Kevin Smith as a computer nerd actually living in his mother’s basement.

I haven’t seen The Crazies yet, so I can’t comment on that, but I intend to – I hear he did really well. I did see Catch and Release, where he plays opposite Jennifer Garner. She’s a young woman who, on the verge of her wedding day, has her fiancĂ© die tragically, as the film begins. She is living in the house that they were to live in together; he’s never moved out of his own house yet, where he lives with two roommates, one of whom is Kevin Smith. She can’t afford the new place on her own, so she ends up moving into his place, with them, and with his friend Fritz, who has come from California, played by Timothy. Jennifer finds out stuff, and secrets are revealed, as she tries to cope with the death of her fiancĂ©, and she and Timothy get closer, etc. It’s a very sweet film, I really enjoyed – a very satisfactory watch indeed. Timothy is great as Fritz – he has a vulnerable quality about him that just makes you want to huggle him. I recommend watching this movie. Although I cried, it was nowhere near as much as I bawled for PS I Love You – I barely stopped crying in that film.

What’s Timothy working on now? Other than Justified, it looks like he’s got a voice part in Rango, the Johnny Depp animated flick which is coming out in March, I think, and he plays the guardian of Alex Pettyfer in I Am Number Four, but I don’t know anything beyond that. Luckily, we have Justified to hold us for a while, the new season begins February 9th. And the first season is available on Amazon – I already own it.
Get to know Timothy Olyphant – you’ll be glad you did. The man is sex on two legs!

This is where you can find Julie and her books.


My blog:
My Website<
My Facebook
My Goodreads:
Silver Publishing:
Wicked Nights:
Dreamspinner Press:

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Good Morning to Lorrie Struiff



Lorrie is back today to talk about reading gadgets.The tea is steeping in the pot and the freshly baked bread is ready to butter.

Howdy Margaret,

Thank you for having me today. I had such a wonderful time chatting with you and your visitors the last time, I’m glad to be back. Now, pour that tea.

How about we talk short stories and what I call ‘gadgets’ today.

Have you noticed that many E-zines and small press publishers are asking authors for short stories? I’m not talking for anthologies, but actual lone shorts. And the shorter the better. Short stories seem to be getting more popular every day.

Publishers have been asking for 125 words to 5000 word stories.
What is this big push for shorts about? Why?

Okay, I’ll confess, I’m not up on all the technology available in today’s market. It’s all rather confusing to me. Everything is built right into your cell phone.

I have seen articles about reading apps—whatever they are-- for all the, hmm, can I call them gadgets, out in techno-land? I understand that readers want short stories for all these cell phone gadgets that have these apps to download stories. Some of these ‘gadgets’ are no bigger that the palm of your hand and slip into your pocket or purse easily. How cool is that?
They know shorts fit nicely with these small many app devices.

The mere thought makes me dizzy with all that is available at our fingertips today. To be honest, it makes me a little crazy, too, because I am not familiar with all the gadgets. I’m lucky I know enough about computers to write and an E-reader to read. That is my limit. I don’t even text on my ancient cell phone.

I may be behind the times, but I’m not with trying to help meet the demand for short stories. As I understand the fast moving technological world, short stories are in demand for;

1. A quick read on your lunch break.
2. Your bus ride to and from work.
3. Your wait in the doctors’ waiting room.
4. And so many more situations where you have to wait for more than ten minutes.

Perhaps your visitors can tell me where they read on their ‘gadgets.’
I’d really like to know.

Meanwhile, let me offer a variety of short 99 cent reads that span different genres. Take your pick.
And if you prefer longer reads, or want more info, check out my website




PASO DOBLE(Adult drama)
Have you ever watched Dancing with the Stars? Do you know what the dance Paso Doble signifies? Here is your chance to find out.
Lisa needs to win the gold medal to garner prestige for her dance studio. She lures Eduardo, a sizzling hot Latino dancer visiting from Miami, to be her partner in the contest. Will Lisa’s plan work? Click the cover to buy and find out.






LAST DANCE
(poignant drama)
Were the good old high school days really that sweet? Come back to yesteryear when Bren is in love with a troubled boy named Rip, and she hopes he asks her to his senior prom. The most popular girl in school, Jean, plays on Rip’s tortured soul. Does Bren get revenge?





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A BLOODY VALENTINE(Historical fiction)
One of the bloodiest Valentine Days in American History. Think Chicago and prohibition
















SPLAT(humor)
Poor Winnie tries skydiving with her husband for their anniversary. Bad, bad idea! She ends up on the halfway plateau. You know-- that place between heaven and hell. Her revenge is unintentional but sweet. Come along for her humorous adventure.












WILD BLACKBERRIES(paranormal)
A roller coaster ride of thrills and chills.
Morgan is researching on an Indian reservation in Prescott, Arizona, for her new paranormal novel. She doesn’t believe in the paranormal, but writes it for the trend and the nice royalties. That is until her soon to be divorced husband tries to kill her, and she survives by her wits and a little “strange” help.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Spirit Intervention



Spirit Intervention touches on the spirit world in a way that everyone can understand. Being a medium I get to see the funny and sadder side of those who have passed onto the next stage of their life. This book is fiction, but the spirit world isn't and it frequently collides with ours.

Here is a review I'd like you to read. The reviewer has really captured the essence of the book.

Spirit Intervention by Margaret West
Publisher: Eternal Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (117 Pages)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Fennel

When the spirit world collides with the living, anything that can happen, does.

Patricia is a mother who refuses to stay out of her daughter’s life, even when she dies.

Sally can hear her mother, but she can't see her spirit. At first she welcomes her return, but as the month’s progress she starts to feel increasingly peeved by her mother’s constant interference in her life.

When she tells a few white lies on a dating application form, Patricia sets out to prove lies are not a foundation for a healthy relationship. She sabotages Sally’s relationship with Emilio to prove her point, not realizing her interference has caused a catastrophic chain reaction in the spirit world.

It is now down to the spirit of Emilio’s grandmother to put things right. But has Patricia caused too much damage for her to mend?

Have you ever tried to laugh through clenched teeth? Do you love great characters, plenty of laughs and the ‘meddling mother’ routine? Then this is the book for you.

They say ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’ and the combination of Sally’s economy with the truth and her mother’s interference ensure that Sally and Emilio’s path to romance is strewn with house-sized boulders.

Sally can ‘hear’ her late mother, Patricia, but can’t see her. Emilio can ‘see’ Sally’s mother as well as hear her.

As far as Patricia is concerned it is a mother’s duty to protect her daughter, but in doing so she breaks too many karmic rules and it takes the intervention of Emilio’s treasured Grandmother to set Patricia right.

Ms. West sets her scenes with a clarity that takes few words, and populated them with her hero, Emilio, and her heroine, Sally. Both characters are flawed and have lessons to face, and yet both endear themselves to the reader. I ground my teeth at Patricia’s antics and yes, you’ve guessed it, laughed at the same time.

If I had any nits with this story, one was with Emilio’s character. He’s in a position of authority at work and yet seems to lack self-confidence at moments when he should have known exactly what to do. Another involved Patricia’s constant meddling in her daughter’s affair. Hence the gritted teeth! And yet, the title says it all!

What I particularly liked about Spirit Intervention is that in this instance the paranormal element of the story did not equate to darkness and evil. Just a mother’s love unleashed.

Ms. West knows her subject and it shows in her writing. If you enjoy paranormal, humour and a gentle romance, then you have all three in this story.

Sunday, 6 March 2011










The morning is warm and I thought it would be nice if my guest, Ginger Simpson and I sat on my veranda an over a nice pot of tea and toast had a chat about what she is doing at the moment.





Ever notice that artists, singers, actors/actresses, and authors have a lot in common? Not long ago, I equated being a writer with an Olympian, and I saw the similarities as the athletes prepared for their moment of competition, hoping for their best performance ever. Each time I begin a new novel, I pray that it's better than the previous one...that something in that next attempt reaches out, grabs attention and earns me my "moment."

That comparison still applies but now I've added other entertainment fields to the mix.

What is the commonality, you ask? Unless an author touches the reader's heart, just as any other performer, we've lost our ability to connect. People buy artwork because it's appealing to the eye. Singer's voices and the lyrics connect the a listener's heart, actors and actresses are the vehicles through which the words of a screenwriter are conveyed. Like SHOWING in a novel, those holding movie roles must become the person, feel their emotions, experience their pain. Working for a Grammy, Oscar or recognition of any kind takes devotion.

In the ten plus years that I've been writing, I've learned more than I could possibly list here. Through a fairly recent class taught by Cheryl St. John, well-known HQ author, I've received validation of what I know to be true. Rule number one: The reader has to care! Not everyone will, and that's a fact.




Some art lovers adore Monet, others don't.

Most women swooned over Patrick Swayze in Ghost while others considered it romantic drivel.


Some music lovers grieved the loss of John Lennon; personally I was never a Beetles fan and his passing saddened me, but I cried when Luther died. He touched my soul with his songs.





Conflicting opinions continue in reading as evidenced by two reviews of the same novel: one appreciating and one picking the book apart. But I still apply rule number one and work to make whoever reads my book care about my characters, my plot, my storyline. If I don't, then I won't ever please anyone, and that would be horrible. I'm sure every other "artist" has faced the same dilemma and disappointment, but that doesn't stop a professional from reaching for "that moment."


I'd like to share a little of Sister's in Time with you.






This book has garnered great reviews and was a challenge to write. Rather than have one hero and heroine, I have two because of the time-travel element and needing to display the differences between the old west and modern day. Normally, an author only has to work hard to connect the reader to the hero and heroine, but in this case, my job was doubly difficult. Here's the blurb to give you an idea about the story and hopefully entice you to read the book.

Blurb:

Two eras collide when a modern day attorney and a pioneer wife find themselves locked in a time not their own.

Mariah Cassidy awakens in the twentieth century. Confined in a pristine environment, hooked to tubes and beeping machines, she’s scared, confused and wondering why everyone keeps calling her Mrs. Morgan. Who is the strange man who keeps massaging her forehead and telling her everything is going to be alright?

Taylor Morgan tries to focus on her surroundings through a blinding headache. The patchwork quilt, the water basin, and the archaic room don’t strike a familiar chord. Her mouth gapes when a handsome man waltzes into the room, calls her darling, and expresses his delight that she’s on the road to recovery.

Thank you for joining me today at Margaret's blog, and to her, my love and appreciation for allowing me time and space. Tomorrow, I'll be at Marsha Moore's site, talking about Sparta Rose, yet another historical western romance. Hope you'll join me there: http://marshaamoore.blogspot.com


SPICE UP YOUR LIFE WITH GINGER
2009 EPIC Nominee
LRC 2009 Best Historical Winner
http://www.gingersimpson.com
http://mizging.blogspot.com


Thursday, 3 March 2011

Julie Hayes



In my lounge today, is Julie Hayes. We are drinking a nice blend of English tea, while sampling my yummy, freshly made for the occasion, breakfast muffins.

Julie was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with two of her children and two cats, loves books and movies and role playing on the Internet, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. By day she does payroll and accounting, by night she writes and is also a copy editor and reviewer for comicsonline.com. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all. She is also the Director of Yaoi and Fantasy, as well as a copy editor and reviewer at AnimeRadius.com.

Today she wants to talk about what inspires her to write. As usual, any new followers will go into a draw to win a gift from me, so do leave your email in the comment box.












Thank you so much, Margaret, for inviting me, I’d love to taste some of your favorite tea, sounds lovely. I hope I don’t ramble on too long and bore your readers to death, but I wanted to talk to them about inspiration, if I may.



When Inspiration Calls, Be Sure to Pick UP

Someone asked me once, did I have a muse. I’d never been asked that question before, so I had to stop and think. I write, therefore I must have a muse, right? I’ve never called it that, and I don’t have a clear picture of what this muse may or may not look like as some people do. A friend told me her muse is six foot and blond. Sounds great, I should have one of those for myself. I suspect if I did have one, and if he did have a face, he would look like Gary Oldman. But I also think another name for a muse is simply inspiration. And inspiration doesn’t have one look, it has many, and many voices. But I have learned one thing in my many years of writing—when Inspirations calls, be sure to pick up or you may miss out on something important.
Ever have a flash of something when you’re not in a position to write it down? I think we all have, because frankly it’s when you’re not trying to think of new ideas that inspiration is most likely to strike. In the shower, in your car, at a concert or movie, maybe even when you’re having sex—any time or place that isn’t quite conducive to stopping and jotting a few notes on paper so you’ll retain them. I think that this happens because of the left brain/right brain thing. And my theory also deals with writer’s block and how to handle that. I can honestly say I seldom get writer’s block and when I do, I take care of it and make it go away. In my head, at least, these two situations are connected.
You have a practical side and you have a creative side. It’s when you’re doing practical things like showering, driving, laundry, whatever, that your creative side is free to come out because you’re not calling on it to do something, so there’s no pressure there. I have two ways of dealing with writer’s block, depending on my mood or what I perceive to be the cause. Sometimes I do something as simple as play cards on the computer, engaging my practical brain. Or I’ve been known to do some free association word games—write words on a piece of paper (or on the computer, whichever you’re using), and don’t try to make sense of them, just write. Eventually the words become sentences and then becomes ideas. Or my other method is to read something or watch something, and fill up the empty spaces in order to draw on them for creative purposes.
But as I was saying, there are times when you can’t do that right away. I learned early on that if I let the words I hear rattle through my brain, I’ll lose them. When I go to write t hem down, they’ve disappeared into the ether of my creative brain, never to be retrieved again, gone like so many wisps of smoke. Why? Because they didn’t imprint, they came they went and I didn’t get to keep them. Like the dream you had where you thought of the greatest novel ever, and you were sure when you woke you would capture it, but surprise, you couldn’t cause it never made it into the part of your brain that retains that stuff. In those situations, here’s what I do. At least in the waking ones, I’ve given up on dreams and just hope those ideas recirculate in my head at some point. I take the words and fix them in an image and imprint them in my brain—like making a macro of them. I hold on to them until I’m in a position to deal with them, and then, oh then, let them please spill forth unto my anxious fingers.
Even more, though, I want to talk about the inspiration which you don’t immediately recognize as inspiration—the voices in your head which make you wonder at first if you’re just plain crazy. I’ve ignored those before and been sorry, so now when I hear a voice and it’s talking, and I suspect it’s a character trying to come out, I’m listening.
A few years ago, I was working on a book about composer Percy Grainger (which I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never done anything), and a voice began to talk to me. He said he was a gay werewolf. That’s all. A gay werewolf. But I could feel him, somehow, and he seemed nice and interesting, so I politely told him that I would get to him, once my other book was done. But he kept talking, like he was just very anxious for me to write about him, so finally, to placate him, I thought well, it can’t hurt to just jot down a few notes, see what this fellow has to say. I literally knew nothing about him, name, background, age or any other pertinent information one needs to write about a character. But he was willing to talk, so I wrote what became the first chapter of To the Max. I pretty well wrote that chapter in one sitting. And needless to say, I didn’t go back to my other book, and To The Max was born.
What if I hadn’t listened to Max, would he still be there? I don’t know, and I’m glad I didn’t have to find out, as I’ve written a sequel since then, which Silver Publishing is releasing in June, and I plan to write more, not because of expectations of publication. Yes, I have those. But because I truly enjoy writing this character.
Have I ever had ideas I didn’t write down right away, thinking I’d retain them until I could do so? Yeah, lots of bestsellers, gone and lost forever. Why did I think I’d remember them when I can go to the grocery store for a few items, one in particular that I really need, and come back with everything but the one item I really needed? Ideas are a lot harder to hold on to, they’re more ethereal and prone to dissipation.
A few months ago, or whenever it came out (my grasp of time here not being the best), my daughter and I went to the theater to see Inception. I guess that was last year, come to think of it, maybe July. Wow, time flies. Anyway, it’s while we were watching that (an excellent film, by the way, for those who haven’t seen it), that a voice spoke to me, and it said: “Leonardo di Caprio is a vampire.”
Mine not to question why, mine but to remember. I realized it was a new character speaking, so I knew I needed names, as soon as possible. I kept repeating the line to myself during the film, and on the way home, my brain began to churn. One of the characters in that film is played by Cillian Murphy. His character name is Robert Fisher. I took that, turned it around, and added an s to Robert. Now I had Fisher Roberts. I needed another one, the one who was actually speaking to me. I began reading billboards on the drive home for inspiration. I saw one having to do with hunting. Well, that’s not a name, but wait, Hunter. Yes, I liked that. So thus was born Hunter Long. I didn’t know who these guys were or what their story was, but I had an opening line, and I knew it would be fun to find out what they were about.
Which I did. Leonard di Caprio is a Vampire is being released by Silver on April 30th, and the cover art, done by the very talented Reese Dante, is spectacular. If I’m at all successful, I will owe a great deal to her beautiful cover, it draws you in. Seriously.
Other of my novels have been born in the same way. Revelations began with Judas swearing. “Goddammit, Jesus” he said, and I began to write. I trust in my creative brain now, even if sometimes I look at it like are you crazy? You want to say what? But I go with it until I figure out what it’s trying to say.
So, when Inspiration calls, don’t be afraid to pick up and find out who’s on the other end of the line.
Do you have stories of inspiration, expected or otherwise? Do you have a muse to guide you, or is your inspiration faceless like mine? I’d love to hear! Thank you so much for having me, Margaret, the tea has been lovely, very delicious. I bet a tea shop would be an interesting place to write about, the stories that could start over the selection of a particular brand. Hmmm…

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Virus or not!!




Ever had that feeling that your hearts going to pop right out of your chest with terror?? I just experienced that moment. I was going through some book sites that I belong to, minding my own business, eating my cheese and pickle sandwich and I find a link there that says, please add your blog link here...I thought great. Another promo avenue. Sandwich in one hand, multitasking with the other, I click on the link. Then chaos reigned on my screen. It was like Spike, the vampire from Buffy, had chomped on my neck, ripped out a chunk of flesh and my life was ebbing away.

A warning box came up on my screen. For the technophobic like myself, that means ‘shit’ run away, turn off all electrical things running to the computer. But I can’t as I have committed the unspoken sin of writers. I have a WHOLE chapter unsaved on my desktop. My cheese sandwich drops to the floor, to be devoured by my dog, who has not a shred of compassion as he drools all over my foot. So I wrack, my silently screaming brain, as to what I should do.

The box said I am open to a virus, click here to download whatever it is to stop it. Again, I relate to my technical abilities, which are NONE, and think... ues, click now. yet a shouting single brain cell says..mm are you sure thats right? It’s a dilemma. I'm arguing with myself, so who is exactly right here? Panic drives me to the point of insanity as more red writing tells me to hurry up, before the viruses eat me too. Well, not exactly in those words, but you will all know what I mean. So, what is a girl to do? Ring their computer savvy husband of course and scream down the phone incoherently until he says, just click off the box. As simple as that. Move the mouse and click X.

Grasping the mouse, I click off the box and suddenly it’s like a scene from the hammer house of horrors. Blood is dripping down my screen in the guise of more red boxes, erupting like acne spots, each containing a poison that will wreck my life! Suddenly a bigger box flashes up. This is the one that will kill me, I know because I can feel my heart palpitating. It says, I have opened a window and trogons, viruses and god know what, are all vomiting over my work somewhere in the bowels of my computer. What damn window? I never opened a thing, the internet just hates me!

My life is over! I can’t breathe, months of work is slipping through my fingers and all because I clicked on a tiny, innocuous link on a book site page. So I am screaming, wishing the computer had a neck so I could wring it. The dog runs, splattering my face with soggy chewed bread and drool, my husband, somewhere in the realms of my hysteria is saying, click off the internet. It’s a scam. You have an anti virus. So I click and click and click, until finally the screen is calm. The red boxes are gone, my chapter is saved and I am left with my desktop page, all in full working order.

I sit back in my chair, my heartbeat slowing to a more normal pace. My husband resumes his work, the dog heaves a sigh as he sits down beside me and I still have one half of a cheese and pickle sandwich left. Who said a writer’s life was boring?