Monday, June 30, 2014

Cheryl B. Dale, Losing David, #giveaway, #MondayBlogs

Cheryl is offering a print copy of her book to one commenter (from the United States only), so be sure to leave your contact information if you're interested in winning!




AUTHOR: Cheryl B. Dale
BOOK TITLE: Losing David

Please tell us your latest news. I’ve just put out my vintage mystery, Losing David. This particular story is a favorite of mine, so that probably means no one else will like it. But I’ve worked on it for so long, I’m excited just to get it out there!

What inspired you to write your first book? A neighbor kid noticed how often I went to the library and told me I ought to write a book. Then someone gave me a typewriter and... See how long ago that was?

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? I’ve recently started taking bridge lessons, but they aren’t going very well. I’m also battling squirrels in our bird feeder. And we have two cats who are quite demanding. I have to feed them and clean their litter boxes several times a day, take naps with them, brush them out, protect them from birds flying into our sliding patio doors, figure out what they’re meowing about... Very tiring.

What are your thoughts about promotion? Hate it.

What was the toughest criticism given to you? A total rewriting of my words by a critique partner. It was upsetting at the time, and later I realized she was putting her voice into my writing. It did teach me to separate unjustified criticism from helpful criticism. What was the biggest compliment? Editors saying they loved my writing. Did those change how or what you did in your next novel? I think any criticism helps because it spurs you to improve. And compliments always boost your confidence. At least for a while!

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? Silhouette, MuseItUp, and Five Star. I’m also self-publishing.

What is your marketing plan? To put more books out there. Hopefully, when readers like one of them, they’ll buy the others.

What do you plan for the future? To still be here and writing!

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?



Emails are always welcome at cherylbdale@hotmail.com

I’m also on Spotify, where I have a playlist for the songs in Losing David.

What genre do you write in and why? Romantic mystery and mystery.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.

GENRE: Vintage mystery with romantic elements
PUBLISHER: J&H Press


Losing David is a vintage mystery with romantic elements, set on the Georgia coast in 1963.

Setting: Even with its inequities, this was still a polite era. Men tipped hats; women wore gloves. Men worked hard and ran communities; women married and raised families. This was the period after World War II when peacetime prosperity was about to give way to turbulent change.

Story: When an elderly attorney asks an actor to impersonate a boy who vanished at sea years before, he says it’s to flush out a killer. He says the boy was heir to a fortune but was murdered by a man now about to inherit everything.

But there's a lot of money at stake and the attorney has been sole trustee of the estate for years. Though suspicious, the actor agrees to act as bait. He never intends to fall for the only woman who can expose him, a woman who soon realizes he’s an imposter.

Now he has to persuade her to keep quiet while he waits for the murderer’s next move. And hope he'll survive to make it up to her.

Do you outline before you write? No. If not, what’s your initial process? I usually see a scene in my head and then I have to figure out what led up to it and what happens afterward.

What comes first: the plot or characters? For me, they’re pretty intertwined. As I said, I see a scene. Then I have to develop the characters to find out why they were in that scene.

What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book? You don’t want to know!

I wrote it in first person, rewrote it in third person, changed it back to first person, finally ended up doing a complete rewrite in third person when I realized the story needed more than one viewpoint.

It started as a contemporary story set on a north Georgia lake, but a visit to Sapelo Island convinced me it needed to be set in the early sixties on the south Georgia coast. I went through several critique partners and used several editors and readers before getting it close to what I wanted.

How long does it take to write a book, and what is your process? I’m very slow. The fastest book I’ve written has been my two tax mysteries, maybe a year or so on each. I’m trying to figure out the plot in the third one right now.

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?
Romantic suspense:
Treacherous Beauties (updated revision of my first book made into a TV movie)
Set Up
The Man in the Boat

Paranormal/gothic
The Warwicks of Slumber Mountain

Mysteries
Taxed to the Max
Overtaxed and Underappreciated
Losing David (Just out; vintage mystery with strong romantic elements)

What advice would you give a new writer starting out? Keep honing your craft. No matter how great a story you have, if the craft isn’t there, no one will want to read it.

Oh, and definitely develop a thick skin! There’s always someone who will criticize your work. Don’t take it personally. Look at the criticism when you’ve cooled off and decide if it’s valid. This goes back to trying to improve your craft. Valid criticism helps a writer progress more than meaningless compliments.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Read, what else? Several books a week. Also, I’m learning to play bridge. My guy and I go for walks on the beach. And I have two cats who demand attention.

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel? Misuse of soundalike words like: you’re for your, they’re or their for there, compliment for complement, peak for peek, discrete for discreet, et cetera.

Describe your writing space. A corner facing the wall!




EXCERPT:

THREE DAYS AFTER THEIR first meeting and the morning after his proposition was accepted, Lawrence ushered a drooping, weak-eyed Nick Downing into his bed-sitter.
Humph. Hung over. “Looks like you were out on the town last night.”
Downing grunted before sitting on the bed and plumping a pillow.
My bed! He’s lying on my bed!
Reprimands were not a good way to start a relationship, but really! A good tongue-lashing might bring the fellow to heel.
No. Not the time. “Watch the shoes. Ahem. I’ve given your story some thought.”
Half-reclining, Downing dragged out his cigar case and lighter.
Lawrence’s chest tightened. The fumes would permeate his pillows and sheets like last time, but perhaps the maid would give him fresh linen again.
“The only way we can convincingly turn Nick Downing into David Harmony is to have the two switch identities right after David’s death. Your own origins are too easily traceable for any other plan to work.”
Nick’s lids closed halfway. “Sensible. I’m a believer in sticking to the truth whenever possible. A firm believer.”
Confound the man. He wouldn’t know the truth if it knocked him down. He was not taking this seriously. “Are you fit enough to do this?”
“I’m fine. Do you have any aspirin?”
“No.”
“What about whiskey?”
“It’s ten in the morning.”
“That’s the problem. I don’t usually get up till noon. Never mind. I’ll be better directly.”
Lawrence bit back a tart response. “Ahem. Your story. When you got out of the hospital, you flew to Acapulco. What if you met David there?”
“Acapulco. Ah, such fond memories of Acapulco. I made some less-than-honest money working for a few heavies. I delivered their—but you don’t need to know all that, do you?”
Indeed not. He didn’t want to hear about any illegal jobs Nick Downing had undertaken.
“Never mind, Lawrence. I won’t make you an accomplice in crime. Acapulco is the perfect place for me to change identities with David. I met a lot of people there.” Guileless gray eyes opened. “Such a varied lot of people.”
He sucked on his cigar.
Lawrence distrusted the guilelessness.



Monday, June 23, 2014

JoAnne Myers, Loves, Myths, and Monsters, plus #giveaway





AUTHOR: JoAnne Myers
BOOK TITLE: Loves, Myths, and Monsters

GIVEAWAY:  . JoAnne will be awarding two winners each a print copy of my poetry collection, Poems About Live, Love, and Everything in Between, for commenting. Be sure to leave contact information to be considered in the drawing

Please tell us about yourself. 
I have been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of my life. Besides having several novels under my belt, I canvas paints.

When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, I spend time with relatives, my dog Jasmine, and volunteer my time within the community. I am a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, Savvy Authors, Coffee Time Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild, True Romance Studios, National Writers Association, the Hocking Hill's Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. I believe in family values and following your dreams. My original canvas paintings, can be found at: booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com

Please tell us your latest news. 
My biography true crime anthology Twisted Love, has just been released by Black Rose Writing. It is a collection of true crime cases from Ohio, and surrounding states.

When and why did you begin writing? 
I began writing in the early 1980's. I tried writing for true romance magazines, but they were not interested in my stories.

What inspired you to write your first book? 
It was in my head and I had to get it out and on paper.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? 
I canvas paint. Watch T.V.  Find things around the home to occupy myself with.

What are your thoughts about promotion? 
I feel that the publishing company who buys the book should do the bulk of the promoting. Many now days leave the promotion part up to the author.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? 
I have two publishers. Melange Books and Black Rose Writing. I scoured the internet to find them.

What is your marketing plan?  
To promote weekly on social medias. I guest author for other authors and I have a website.

What are your current projects? 
Getting all 7 of my books in print.

What do you plan for the future? 
More books I hope.

How can we find you?
Website: Books and Paintings by JoAnne
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/joanne.myers.927

What genre do you write in and why? 
I write fantasy, paranormal, mystery, poetry, and true crime.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting. 
It is a collection of 11 fantasy tales starring the Mothman, The Chupracabra, Mermaids, reincarnation, time travel, a demonic cellmate, a Quaker love story, werewolves, an Egyptian love curse, and a serial killer family from 1873 and etc.

What gave you the idea for this particular book?  
My love for monster movies.

What comes first: the plot or characters?  
The plot, then I wrap the characters around that.

How did you decide how your characters should look? 
I see them in my mind.

How long does it take to write a book, and what is your process? 
Loves, Myths, and Monsters, took five months. Every story came to me so easily.

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?  
Current books are: Murder Most Foul-a detective/mystery. The Crime of the Century-a biography true crime. Wicked Intentions-7 bone chilling paranormal/mystery tales. Upcoming Releases are: Twisted Love-a biography true crime anthology, and my revised poetry collection, Poems about Life, Love, and Everything in Between, which has a new publisher.

What advice would you give a new writer starting out? 
Never give up. Keep trying.

What seven words would you use to describe yourself? 
Shy, socially awkward, an inner fear of the unknown, loving mother and grandmother, determined, hard working, gracious.

Describe your writing space. 
It is my hobby room. A place that I write, paint, and store my books, painting supplies and finished paintings.

Blurbs for “Loves, Myths, and Monsters”

WELCOME TO ANNA

 Little does 17 year old Zoe, realize, but the Chupracabra followed her to Ohio from South America.  What happens next is a series of chilling mysteries, and unsuspecting friendships and love.

THE HUNTER’S BRIDE

When all game warden Daren Abram, had to worry about was which lucky lady to woo, he comes to the realization that his town is being stalked by the reincarnation of the town’s legend.

MOON PEOPLE

For teenage mermaid Constance, coming to the quaint seaside town of Willowick, is heavenly, until she falls for mortal boy Drake. For the town to survive, Constance is forced to choose between her kind and the boy and town she loves.

THE BIDDING

Apiologist 34-year-old Duncan McPherson goes to Circleville, Ohio, to investigate a series of mysterious bee attacks. What is uncovered proves to be more dark and sinister then anyone imaged.       

THE AGREEMENT

Incarcerated in the abandoned Roseville jail, is the last thing rich college student and speeder Brice Conrad, needs. With an “agreement” between the town and a permanent demonic “guest”, only the unfortunate ones know the truth, but do not live to tell.

LOVE’S CURSE

When an Egypt love curse scroll is stolen from a Dean’s office, persons begin dying in bizarre and grisly ways, with the college’s mascot a Viking King statue jokingly blamed for it.

THE PACK

When young Lycan Sonny Red Blanket, a Shawnee Indian falls for mortal girl Drenda Way, he must save her from his fellow Lycan’s and stop a werewolf uprising.

IS IT ONLY A MYTH

When 32-year-old Vinton County Sheriff, James “Jim“ Connors, discovers he has a Mothman hunting in his county, he stops at nothing to save his citizens.

FOR THE LOVE OF GINNIE

Handsome bachelor and Scientist Alex Anderson from the thirtieth century, returns to the Civil War with time serum to save his beloved Ginnie Wade from a snipers bullet, while finding a roller coaster ride of joy and perils.

THE HOUSE ON SHADY LANE

A seemingly loving family turns out to be serial killers in 1873.

THE PROPOSITION

The rough and ready cowboy John Queenie gets the shock of his life, when the ad to break a “wild filly” turns out to be a fiery Quaker girl named Tess. This is a story proving love conquers all.



GENRE: fantasy
PUBLISHER: Melange Books
BUY LINK: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/joannemyers/LMM.html


Excerpt:
For the Love of Ginnie

I don’t know why I wanted to save the life of a person I never met. Maybe it was because I was tired of bachelorhood. Maybe it was because I was a chemist and the unusual, and unexplained, fascinated me. Or, maybe, it was because I was obsessed with this twenty-year-old, dark-haired beauty named Mary Virginia “Ginnie” Wade I had read about.

These questions filtered through my mind as I drove to the bar to meet my best friend Will.

Will’s favorite hangout was “The Bling,” originally an old truck stop on State Route 93, in Nelsonville, Ohio. The place became a restaurant/lounge/dance hall and brothel when semis no longer became a necessity for long distance hauling. The invention of the transporter also replaced many other primitive jobs such as mail delivery and travel. “The Bling” was best known for the large flashing lights suggesting scantily clad women in seductive positions above the front entrance, and its “bulldogs,” monster-sized bouncers in Armani suits who patrolled its two-block perimeter, inside and out.
“The Bling,” just another joint with a sleazy atmosphere, like all alcohol-serving establishments, differed only in that it catered exclusively to class “A” clientele. Politely—or maybe not so politely—everyone called it the “Whorehouse for the rich and bored.” Its reputation grew. Its income grew even faster.

I pulled up in front and exited my vintage DeLorian, tossing the keys to the baby-faced valet, by-passed the doorman with no questions asked. Just an exchange of large smiles between us. Will was also part-owner.

As I entered the twenty-four carat gold, electronic doors, Will immediately spotted me and motioned me toward the bar with his diamond embellished hand.

I loved sitting at the bar. It was the perfect place to see the shows. “Two double scotches and water,” Will said, as we shook hands, and I slid into my seat beside him, just as the tall, leggy waitress produced the drinks in an instant.

I immediately recognized the “girl” as one of the latest “do-everything-like-a-wife” robotics. Robot manufacturing had become a booming business since the last war destroyed the immune and reproductive systems in most humans, especially females.

“I don’t know why you waste your time flirting with non-humans,” I said, cautiously sipping my drink. The immense emptiness of not being able to acquire a wife and soul mate, I felt at this age in my life, almost drove me to alcoholism, but my boss and mentor, Doctor Obar Gabry, intervened, saving my life and promising career.

“Because, dear friend,” Will began, “beggars can’t be choosey, and ladies are in scarce supply. Beside, these ‘girls’ are all pink inside.”

Ugh!” I said, gulping down a large swallow of alcohol as if it could wash away my friend’s vile mental picture from my mind.

“Come on, Alex, loosen up. Live a little.” Will motioned to the waitress for another round of drinks. 

“You’re alive, so act like it. Don’t let your beautiful mind go to waste. This world needs people like you. People started treating me like a god once I became an entrepreneur, and I love it.”

I had to laugh. Maybe my self-pity stage had outlived its use. Only I can find a wife for myself. I certainly won’t ask Will to hook me up. His sense of values are as artificial as the women he beds.
The pain and loneliness I felt at times from yearning for a life-long partner and family wasn’t easy to accomplish. Scientific and Medical technology still could not reverse the sterilization effects on the female species.

Sure there were some human women to date. But most were either sterile, too old, too young, or there was just no chemistry between the two of us. I wanted that spark that unites between two people madly in love...like my parents. I never met any couple happier with one another then my beloved parents. That’s the kind of love I want…never ending.

The emptiness and frustration of not finding companionship at times made me want to die. But that was the loneliness talking. I know that now. I love life. I want to live, and I know who I want for a wife. It’s just that meeting her would be a little tricky.

Abruptly, I asked, “What do you think about time travel?”

“Are you serious?” Will asked. “Scientists have tried to conquer time travel for hundreds of years, and failed.”

“Maybe they failed because they weren’t Doctor Gabry and me.”

Will looked at me in awe. “Oh, my god, you’re serious!”

“We discovered something today in the lab,” I said, giving him an arrogant smile. “We believe this is the answer.”

“So who is to be the Guinea pig?”

“Me.”

Silence came from Will, then a gasp. “That could be suicide.”

“Or the biggest discovery of the thirtieth century.”




Monday, June 16, 2014

Linda Della Donna, A Gift ofLove, A Widow's Memoir, plus #giveaway





As a freebie, Donna has three free bookstubs for ebook apps to offer. If you are interested in being considered for a copy of her book, be sure to leave a comment along with your contact information


Author:                  Linda Della Donna
Book Title:            A Gift of Love, A Widow’s Memoir


Please tell us about yourself:
I am a writer. For a lot of years I worked as a secretary to a state agency. In December 2002, after twenty-something years of service, I took a package and left my 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. day job. My dream at that time while waiting for my husband to reach retirement age, was to discover my writing niche, my voice, and to write—full time.

My husband’s dream was for us to retire to someplace warm, someplace less expensive to live, to travel, and to do all the things we had dreamed of doing and never had time for while working our respective full time jobs.
P.S. It didn’t happen.

At this time, I make my home as a single widowed woman in a suburb of New York with a small pretend kitty I named Tux.

Please tell us your latest news:
I’m published!

My book, A Gift of Love, A Widow’s Memoir is published. Better news is it fulfills a promise. It feels so great to be able to move forward knowing I fulfilled my promise to the best friend a gal ever had.

Are you a full-time writer or are you part-time, how do you organize your time?
I am a full-time writer. I am a part-time writer. I organize my time unique to my needs. It all depends on the season. Winter is my best writing time. When snow falls, that is when I am writing. When snow melts, I am packing up and resting for a next round of writing.

When and why did you begin writing?
In sixth grade my teacher, Sister Mary Ancilla, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Elmsford, NY assigned a writing composition. I wrote about a turtle. I gave it a name, job, house, and neighborhood of funny fishy friends. I handed it in. Two weeks later, I found myself standing in front of my class reading my work out loud with sister saying, “Linda. You’re a Writer!” That nun was first person to call me writer. And at the time, I had no clue what that word writer meant. I just knew that it was the easiest A I had ever gotten and I will never forget the feelings that swept over me hearing her words. They are with me. Still.

What inspired you to write your book?
My whole adult life, my dream was to write a book. I wanted a book and make my husband proud of me. His illness and death was sudden. I was his caregiver. On his deathbed I said, I will write your story. I said, I will let the whole world know just what you went through. My words were last sounds he heard. His reply was, Somebody should. For a lot of years, those words haunted me.

What do you do when you are not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I am devoted to my two small grandchildren, boy and girl, H and Z, ages 5 and 4. They are a delicious. I am very grateful.

What are your thoughts about promotion?
I have a hard time patting myself on the back. Promoting me is hard. I am my hardest critic. But, I know that it is necessary to build book sales. There are thirty million books out here and if I want to make it with the publishing world, I will have to work very hard to make it happen. I like to think of myself as that little turtle in the first story I ever wrote--slow and steady and I will reach my goal. Eventually.

What was the toughest criticism given to you?
An individual read my manuscript. This was a person I admired deeply and had high respect for. She called me one morning and before I knew it, I was being yelled at. It totally came out of the blue. It is a complicated story, but at the time, I was overwhelmed. I am sensitive. It left me scarred and confused. I didn’t write for a year.

What was the biggest compliment?
Shortly after A Gift of Love was published, I received a letter from a woman. She had purchased my book and loved it. She added she remembered me from high school. That was back in back in the 1960s. She asked if my book tour would take me to Arizona where she now lives with her husband, because she wanted me to autograph her copy. I hadn’t seen this fine lady since June 1964. I saved her letter. Each time I read it, I tear up.
  
Do you ever have writer’s block?
No. I don’t believe in it.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? What was it?
I learned a lot. I learned as a driver needs a road map when traveling unchartered roads, this writer requires some form of an outline. Nothing fancy. Just some scribble marking how to get from point A to point B. I also learned to not get lost in my research. I learned how to put a stop on that. I set a timer. I learned that I love researching a subject.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
Archway Publishing, Division of Simon & Schuster, is my publisher. I did a huge amount of research locating a proper fit for my manuscript. I discovered Archway suited my needs best. Archway Publishing is considered supported publishing. It is not self-publishing. Archway has strict standards and there is a difference between self- and supported-publishing. I had to submit my work. I had to wait and see if it was accepted. At one point, my manuscript was kicked out and if I wanted to publish, I had to meet Archway’s standards. I had to make a revision, which I gladly did. In addition, I sought professional editors and book designers, and at the end, I worked eyeball-to-eyeball with one editor, living in a cabin in the woods for weeks to meetup with this editor. Though taxing and at great personal financial sacrifice, the experience left me confident and proud of my finished work.

What is your marketing Plan?
To have fun.

Every week I make a list of things that must be addressed to get my name and the title of my book, A Gift of Love out here. One item is to do one unconventional thing promoting my book: Last week I wrote a letter to the mayor of my city enclosing two free copies of my book to be donated to the public library and reminding him how much I enjoyed babysitting him when he was a small boy, along with his three siblings. My grandson, H, attends kindergarten with the son of a producer for a local news television station. Just yesterday, I hired my grandson to be my agent. H carries book stubs for A Gift of Love. It is awesome to watch him hand out these plastic cards and show his “Da De” off to his friends.

What are your current projects?
At present I am working a novel, an essay for a local magazine, and of course, my blogging, writing practice, photography, and doing social media.

What do you plan for the future?
I have a newsletter and a website in the cooker. I also have a following of widows, a private bereavement online safe site, Linda’s Place. I have a work-in-progress for an online course to help widows through the grief process offering how-to’s turning upside down smiles right side up again.

Any other news?
I will be an attendee, guest of Archway Publishing, Division of Simon & Schuster, at the Book Expo of America, at Jacob Javits Center in New York, weekend of Thursday, May 29 through Sunday, June 1, 2014. I am looking forward to meeting publishers, editors, authors, booksellers,and librarians.



Tell me about your book:

Genre:                 Memoir
Publisher:            Archway Publishing


A Gift of Love is the tale of two people in love. Like two chips in a cookie, rolling merrily along in their marriage, everything comes undone when the husband is diagnosed with cancer and less than a year later, dies, leaving me, a widow, and my world turned upside down. It is a narration of my grief journey, highlights the wonderful man I fell in love with and married, describes the love we shared, and tells about the woman I have become since burying my soul mate.

While tracing my golden thread of treasured memories, I share the struggles of a dying man, his untimely death, my deepest sorrows, and mark my new beginning.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
My goal in writing this book was to fulfill a promise. In publishing it, my goal is to reach one widow suffering through the grief process. I want that one widow to know that if I can get through the grief process, so can he or she. My hope is that my book, A Gift of Love, teaches life’s valuable lesson: when you lose a spouse, life goes on. Most of all, it acts as reminder that though life can change suddenly, each one of us possesses the power to decide to accept the unthinkable.

What about your book makes it special?
We all have a story inside us to write. This is my story. And just like grief being unique as a thumb print, no two alike, so is my story—A Gift of Love. 

How can we find your website?
Website: Griefcase.net: http://www.griefcase.net
A Gift of Love Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/MyGiftofLove