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Welcome To SORMAG's Blog

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

FEATURED AUTHOR: Savannah Frierson

EDITOR NOTE: I had the pleasure of meeting Savannah online when she introduced me to her self published book - Being Plumville. I was impressed with her enthusiasm for the business. We met face to face at the Slam Jam this year and she won me over with her humble personality. She's so excited about writing, you want to touch her and get a little bit for yourself. I look forward to seeing her writing career grow.

Savannah J. Frierson is a 2005 graduate of Harvard College with concentrations in African and African-American Studies, and English. Originally from Blythewood, SC, she currently lives in Somerville, MA where she works as a proofreader and freelance editor. She has been writing since she was twelve years old, and she released her debut novel Being Plumville in March 2007 with iUniverse, Inc; her second effort, the novella AJ’s Serendipity in December 2007 with Lulu Press; and her third, the short story The Coach’s Counselor in July 2008 with Red Rose Publishing, LLC.

The Beauty Within

Full-figured barber Tyler Carver and Former fashion model-turned-gym owner Gunnar Daniels did not start off on the best of terms; but an apology and haircut later, they begin to see there is more to the other than meets the eye. Can Tyler and Gunnar help each other that beauty is more than skin deep . . . that the beauty within is what truly decides the beauty without?

What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

What I’d like for readers to take away from The Beauty Within is sort of a cliché, but it’s so true—there’s more to people than what you see on the surface and sometimes it takes patience and effort to truly appreciate the blessings you’ve been given—especially when you don’t realize it. Both Gunnar and Tyler did not like each other upon first sight, but sometimes first impressions really do require a follow-up. Also, love is what truly makes something beautiful in the truest sense of the word, and I hope I’ve conveyed that.

What did you learn while writing this book?

Oh, dear! I learned a lot about myself when I wrote The Beauty Within. A lot of me goes into about every heroine I write; and it’s funny because depending on the “mood” I’m in when the character comes to me, it affects the heroine’s characterization more or less. Self-esteem and confidence are fragile things; and they’re also multi-layered. A person in one environment can be the most confident person on the planet; yet in another, this same person can be the least confident person. In this book, the characters showed so many facets to their personalities, and I appreciated it so much. They even surprised me as I was writing!

What is the hardest part about the writing business?

Because I’m an impatient sort, I’d say the waiting! And not just waiting for that book deal—waiting for an answer one way or the other. If you get an answer, you can move on. The limbo thing is very, very hard for me, especially since I have readers who have been with me before I even had a book to my name thanks go various writing boards and discussion groups. Also, the dilemma of writing for the market versus writing the story that comes to you. I think most writers have to struggle with that, especially if they are up and coming like I am. Promotion is hard, too, especially when you don’t have a large publisher behind you.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

Writing is hard, hard, hard, hard work! For people who do this seriously, it is not a hobby. Many times, it takes writers years to get their big break, and it’s not even a matter if the writer is “good”. To have that mix of the right agent/editor/story/market at the right time requires a whole lot of prayer and a shot of luck as well. It also requires travel and speaking about you as an author and connecting with readers and potential agents/editors. In short, it’s another full-time job almost, except the paychecks don’t necessarily come every other week or with multiple zeros before the decimal point!

Why did you choose self-publishing?

I chose self-publishing because I was an untried writer whose first book seemed to make agents and editors nervous. I was writing about race relations of a time past, but not very far from the present; and I was using language that is uncomfortable, and I had a romantic interracial relationship on top of it. So, I thought if I did fairly well with this book, Being Plumville, then I would look more appealing to editors and agents. I will say, this book has exceeded my expectations and continues to do so! It was nominated for an Emma Award this year for Best Debut Author; it won three awards from the 2007 SORMAG Reader’s Choice Awards; and I was named a New Face and Rising Star at Romance in Color. People I never expected to read the book are reading it and enjoying it, and I’ve gained so many mentors and friends along this journey. I do not regret my decision at all. So, even though I’m still submitting to agents and editors, I have another avenue to get my work out there, and I gladly utilize both.

What is the best lesson you have learnt from another self-published author?

I’m learning the business in a way that I probably wouldn’t have if I’d gotten a book deal right out the gate. I’m in the trenches—everything begins and ends with me. All mistakes are mine; all successes are mine. Responsibility, and being proud of a product you put out there for others, is what I’m learning the most through self-publishing. I have to be my biggest cheerleader.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

Promoting my work is my toughest test! I am shy, and for a long time, writing was something I did by myself for myself. Before, it was a hobby, because I was in school, so the obvious immediate goal was graduation. Now, I’m writing books, and the theme I’m writing about—women’s fiction and interracial relationships—and so I have to talk about myself, why I’m interested in those genres, how I’m writing about those genres, to people whose knowledge of me isn’t writing. It’s showing that new side of myself to people who know me, and how they’ll receive me. And then because I’m self-published, I have to overcome the stigma that is associated with that or find different ways to get my name out there because opportunities are closed to me because I don’t have a publisher behind me or it is too expensive.

What was the most embarrassing thing you've ever done or stupidest mistake you've ever made with writing?

I honestly don’t have one. Even the setbacks that I’ve encountered have taught me something. Either that, or it was too embarrassing/stupid that I blocked it out!

How do you feel about critique groups?

I think critique groups are beneficial, and if you can find those readers/writers who will tell you what you need to hear (not want to hear!) in a way the writer knows is encouraging and from a place of support, they are invaluable. Writers need focus groups, because they give the writer feedback that it outside of her head. Writers can be very cut off when they get deep into their story, so a pair of fresh eyes is pertinent.

Our theme this month is Online Marketing. What online marketing have you found that particularly works well for you?

When you send e-mail, have a signature at the bottom with your books and where receiver can reach you. Finding blogs/discussion groups/online newsletters is also a great way to go. Internet radio, and these virtual tours are really catching my eye. Also, doing interviews with fellow writers is a great way to expand your reach. Online magazines are also a great way to get names out there. Finally, an author must have an online presence—be it a Web site, a blog, a newsletter group, or all three. Many people are online now, even if they don’t buy e-books; they want to learn just as much about the writer as they do about the book.

What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?

The first thing I wish I’d known the most was what kind of writer I am! I’m learning I’m not the traditional romance writer, even though romance is a very strong element in my novels. I’m also learning my books can take a more serious turn than many of the romance novels I’d grown up reading. One agent said I’m probably more women’s fiction and should start marketing myself that way, but ultimately, I write love stories. I knew that when I started writing that I wanted to tell love stories, “love” isn’t only man/woman love. It is mother/daughter love; it is sibling/sibling love; it is father/daughter love; it is best-friend love. It is self-love. Romance is just a piece of it for me—a huge piece—but a piece nonetheless.

The second thing I wish I’d known was how much of me I’d have to give to my readers. Public speaking? I had no idea I’d have to do that. I thought I could just write, send my manuscripts out to agents and editors, be published, and never have to leave my room! I was unprepared for the amount of talking and appearances I’d have to do, but I’d like to think I’m far better now than when I’d started. I’m still shy, but I’m learning I have something to say; but more importantly, people want to hear what I have to say. I’m not used to it yet, but I’m getting there!

The third thing I wish I’d known is people really, ultimately, just want to read a good book. No matter race, gender, age—people will read and appreciate a good book. Earlier this month I went back to my high school because Being Plumville was on their summer reading list, and I went back to head up a discussion group about the book. The majority of the kids in my group were male! Freshmen to seniors were in the group, and everyone said they really enjoyed the novel. Even one kid who hadn’t read the book said he was going to get a copy! Shocked me so much, but then I felt so humbled. It’s easy to get caught up in markets and genres and readership statistics, but it’s moments like these that strengthen me. If a writer writes the story they’re supposed to write, everything else will follow.

Was there ever a time in your writing career you thought of quitting?

Every other month! Just kidding! I won’t lie—there are times that I just feel so low that the question “why do I even bother” tramples through my mind. And then I realize I can’t not write. I have to write, even if it’s just for me and no one ever reads it. Some rejections are harder to shake off than others, or other things in your life take your attention away from the very thing you want to do. Or the realization you’d be more financially secure if you did something else, especially when situations gets tight. But I can’t quit; I make take breaks, but quitting can probably never happen.

Do you have any advice for the aspiring writer?

Write the story you’re supposed to tell. That’s actually harder than you think it is. Also, find mentors—they don’t even have to be writers per se, just someone who know who won’t ever guide you wrong. Finally, you have to believe in your book—you are your best salesperson. Never put your name on something you cannot stand behind.

Are you part of a writer’s organization and if you are, tell us about the benefits?

I am part of Romance Writers of America and its New England Chapter. It’s a great place for writing resources, and since I’m still an aspiring author, a great place to talk to people who are where I’d like to be.

Five questions about books:

One book you’ve read more than once.

There are many on this list! The most recent re-read I’ve done, though, is Harrier’s Healer by Aliyah Burke. It’s about a Navy SEAL and a Navy Harvard-educated doctor and the second book in her Megalodon Team Series. Something about cocky, stubborn, uniform men and the women who make them jump through hoops to get them appeals to me!

One book you couldn’t put down until you finished.

Before the Dawn by Beverly Jenkins had me up all night reading! Leah and Ryder’s relationship had me flipping pages wondering when they would succumb and when Ryder would open his eyes to the woman before him. Such a great book.

One book that made you laugh.

One of the funniest books I’ve read is Something Real by J.J. Murray. I had to read that book in private it made me laugh so much!

One book that made you cry.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini was such a hard book to read for me. Wonderfully written, but so bittersweet.

One book you wish you'd written.

At the moment, I just finished a book called Tumbling by Dianne McKinney-Whetstone. That was her first novel, and if I could write a book like that, I’d be happy. The characterizations, the struggles, the growth the characters have to go through—I appreciated everything about it. There so many others that I wish I could write, but right now, that is my pick.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

Savannah J. Frierson
http://www.sjfbooks.com/


http://bana05.blogspot.com/


http://groups.google.com/group/thespinnersyarn

Snail Mail:

Savannah J. Frierson
519 Somerville Avenue, #167
Somerville, MA 02143

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Maine Brides - Susan Page Davis

Maine Brides

Author Susan Page Davis

ISBN# 978-1-60260-106-2

Publisher Barbour

Genre Historical romance

Copyright 2008 (individual titles are 2006 and 2007, but the collection released July 2008)

Published date July 2008

Where it can be purchased Walmart and other stores; Amazon; Christian Book Distributors; BarbourPublishing.com

Website www.susanpagedavis.com

Blurb about the book

Three romance novels set in historic Maine , where three women find that loving a man is not as easy as the heart would lead them to believe. Lucy Hamblin obeyed her father and gave up Jack Hunter years ago, but when he is scheduled to hang in the morning, Lucy agrees to marry Jack. In The Prisoner's Wife, they hope for the miracle of preservation--in Jack's life and reputation along with the restoration of a lost love. In The Castaway's Bride, Deborah Bowman's sister gave up on her beau when he was presumed dead at sea. When Edward Hunter suddenly returns, he finds only Deborah waiting for him. Can he see Deborah for the woman she has become, or will he always cling to a dream of what might have been? In The Lumberjack's Lady, Letitia Hunter knows her place in high society, but she can't help having feelings for Etienne LeClair, the lowly French lumberjack who saved her from drowning. Can Etienne overcome prejudice to win the hand of the boss's daughter?

Can faith bridge the road to love and bring three men who have been cast off by society to new lives alongside the women who love them?
EXCERPT

“They’ve sent for a magistrate,” Jack said.
“That’s good. He’ll straighten this out and release you.”
He didn’t answer.
“Jack?”
“I don’t think they’ll let me go, Lucy.”
“But you didn’t do it.”
“No, of course not.”
“Then why. . . ?” She couldn’t give voice to the terrible thoughts that were bombarding her mind.
“Lucy,” he whispered.
She caught her breath and looked up through the hole in the thick, oaken door. Jack slipped his hand between the bars, as far as the short chain would allow. She leaned toward him. His cold fingers touched her cheek, and a thrill shot through her.
“Will there be a trial?” she asked.
“Of sorts, I suppose.”
Her pulse pounded. “Jack, you are an Englishman. Surely they’ll let you defend yourself.”
He winced. “I’m told things look bad, Lucy. Most folks are determined I did it. They want. . .”
“What?”
“They want to see me hang.”
“No!”
He ran his finger along her jaw and tipped her chin up so that they looked directly into each other’s eyes. “It’s true, I’m afraid. Charles Dole is making preparations. They expect the magistrate to pronounce sentence.” He retracted his hand. “Dole, Stoddard, and Rutledge have it all planned. They say it’s to be in the morning.”
“Not. . .tomorrow morning?” Her voice squeaked, and she gasped for breath.
Jack leaned his forehead against the bars and closed his eyes.
Her knees felt weak, and she reached for the doorjamb. “They can’t.”
“They can.”
She swallowed hard. “I saw Captain Murray out there.”
“The captain thinks nothing I can do will help. I’m doomed, Lucy.”
Her eyes stung with tears. “I can’t believe this.” She took a deep breath and asked the question that had plagued her since Gideon Rutledge showed up on her doorstep. “Jack, why did you send for me?”
He looked away for a moment. “I don’t want to upset you. Perhaps I shouldn’t have asked you to come.”
She raised her hand, then drew it back, frustrated by the thick door between them. “Don’t say that. We’re friends, Jack. I’m glad you sent for me. If it’s only to say good-bye, though, I shall be disappointed. There must be something I can do for you. Is anyone caring for your livestock?”
“Rutledge promised he’d ask Sam Ellis to tend them tonight. After that. . .well, I’m not sure.”
“I could go over in the morning,” she said. “I could milk the cow and—”
He shook his head. “You’ve enough to do at home.”
“There must be something. . .”
#
Jack watched her for a long moment, knowing the minutes were fleeting. One moment he was ready to blurt out his request, the next he was certain it would be unconscionable to make such a proposal.
He took a deep breath, weighing his words. She waited, staring at him with tear-filled eyes, her breath rapid and shallow.
“Lucy, if it hadn’t been for your father, would you have married me four years ago?”
She waited so long his heart began to pound.
At last she whispered, “Yes, Jack, I would have.”
Relief swept through him. “Thank you.” At least he would have that assurance to savor through the night.
“But that was a long time ago,” she said softly. “I’ve put all that behind me.”
He sighed, his lingering hope and flame of desire for her squelched once more into a smoldering bit of ash. “You still have the school?”
She nodded. “I teach classes in the mornings. But that doesn’t mean I can’t do a few chores for you.”
Jack speculated that she was a pleasant tutor.
“I don’t think we could take your stock to our house,” she said with a frown. “The old fences are in terrible shape. We’ve let them go since Father died. You have oxen, don’t you?”
“It’s all right, Lucy. Don’t fret about that.”
“But what will happen to your cattle?” she whispered, her brow furrowed in anxiety.
He shrugged. “Dole said some of the neighbors can take them temporarily, but. . .well, it’s looking like I won’t get out of here, and. . .”
Her hand came timidly through the bars and rested lightly on his sleeve, ever so tentative, like a hovering butterfly alighting on a blossom, ready to take wing in an instant.
He stared at her slim fingers. “Lucy, this is the end for me.” He turned away, unable to face her, knowing she would see his fear.
“I don’t want to believe that.”
“You must. Will you pray for me?” He looked at her through the bars. A tear fell from her lashes and streaked down her cheek.
“Of course.” Her voice cracked.
Jack’s heart wrenched. He bit his lip as he gazed at her, trying to gauge the depth of her feelings for him. She still had faith in him. Of all the people who knew him, she was the only one who truly believed him innocent. He took a deep breath.
“Lucy, will you marry me?”

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Accidental Demon Slayer - Angie Fox


The Accidental Demon Slayer

Author: Angie Fox

ISBN#: 978-0505527691

Publisher: Dorchester (Love Spell)

Genre: Paranormal romance

Copyright: Angie Fox

Published date: August 2008

Where it can be purchased: Barnes & Noble, Borders, any independent booksellers, Schnucks, select Target and Wal-Mart stores

Website: http://www.angiefox.com/

Blurb about the book:

It's never a good day when an ancient demon shows up on your toilet bowl. For Lizzie Brown, that's just the beginning. Soon her hyperactive terrier starts talking, and her long-lost biker witch Grandma is hurling Smuckers jars filled with magic. Just when she thinks she's seen it all, Lizzie learns she's a demon slayer-and all hell is after her.

Of course, that's not the only thing after her. Dimitri Kallinikos, a devastatingly handsome shape-shifting griffin needs Lizzie to slay a demon of his own. But how do you talk a girl you've never met into going straight to the underworld? Lie. And if that doesn't work, how dangerous could a little seduction be...?


Chapter One

When I opened the door to greet my grandmother for the very first time, I’m not sure what I was expecting. I know I hadn’t envisioned an apple-shaped woman in a Kiss My Asphalt T-shirt, with windburned cheeks and a sagging tattoo of a phoenix on her arm. But what I really didn’t bargain for was a brief hug, followed by a forceful shove that had me landing firmly on my butt on the cold, black-and-white checked floor of my hall bathroom.
"Let me out of here!" I twisted the bathroom doorknob until I wrenched my wrist. How the frig did this happen? One minute I was answering my door, and the next I had landed booty over tea kettle on tile that was about two weeks overdue for a good scrubbing.
“Buck up, sugar cake.” My grandma’s chunky silver rings clinked against the other side of the door, and her gravelly voice sounded like she’d spent the last century breathing semi-truck exhaust. “This is for your own good.”
My own good? In what world could she know what was good for me? I’d never even heard from my mom’s mom until she called me the day before. The next thing I knew, she was flying to Atlanta to meet me. I had assumed that meant air travel, not the hot pink Harley parked in my driveway.
I kicked the door with all my strength. “Ouchie!” I hollered as pain seared my foot. Dang it all. Three years teaching at Happy Hands Preschool and I couldn’t even cuss right. I limped in circles, the pointed toe of my simple black heel curled up like an elf shoe.
Why tonight, of all nights, did this have to happen?
Grandma chuckled. “Why, Lizzie Brown – kickin’ and a hollerin’. Thank heaven my grandbaby has spunk. I know you’re hacked to Hades, princess. But trust me. If I let you out now, you’d wreck all your pretty furniture.”
She’d obviously cracked her head on the pavement one too many times. As for ruining my Pottery Barn knockoff furniture, my pathetic excuse for a watchdog would take care of that. Pirate, my Jack Russell Terrier, tended to piddle at the first sign of trouble. I pounded against the door until my hands throbbed. Of all the dumb things to do, I had to let a stranger into my house.
Was I that desperate for affection?
Probably. My adoptive parents, Cliff and Hillary, meant well. But they weren’t exactly warm and fuzzy. They didn’t even like to touch each other. So, sue me, it felt good – even if it was a little forced – when my biological grandmother hugged me for the first time.
“Levitis cadre. Familio, madre,” she chanted like a deranged monk.
“Cut it out! Today is my thirtieth birthday, and I’m going to be late for my party if you don’t open this door. Now!” Let’s face it. I couldn’t go out much on my salary. Happy Hands Preschool wasn’t exactly raking in the big bucks. And the one night out of the year where I could count on all of my friends to be dateless and available, this geriatric biker had to take me prisoner.
She rapped her knuckles on her side of the door. As if I were going anywhere. “Lizzie dear? You have ridden a bike before?” she asked, as if I’d taken Hog 101 in high school.
Had she seen my cream-on-white front room? “Yeah, um. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m more of an indoor girl.” Not that I was against motorcycles, in theory. But if Grandma thought I was going to hoist my rear end up on the back of her hog, a pot hole had knocked something loose in her head.
“Well, Lizzie, the thing is…” She paused to find the right words to say whatever it was I was sure I didn’t want to hear. She cleared her throat. “Our coven’s on the run.”
Oh lordy. “You think you’re a witch?”
“Am a witch, darlin’. So was your mother. And if I wasn’t such a damned good witch, all hell wouldn’t be after us. I don’t have time to spell it out for you right now, but let me ask: You own any leather chaps?”
Yeah, hanging right next to my white capri pants. “No!”
“Well, that bites,” she said. “Life on the road can chafe your thighs.”
I gulped. She’d better not even think of kidnapping me. That was it. “Pirate! Watch dog! Attack!” He didn’t even have the courage to whimper. Useless beast. Last time I was buying him Silky Bones Pet-sicles.
“Less than one minute to go, by my watch. You were born at precisely 6:43 p.m.” She rubbed at the other side of the door like she was comforting a spastic kitten in a crate. “I found you just in time.”
“Oh yeah, that makes sense.” If I could get her to open the door, I could bolt past her and be free faster than I could say whack job. Our reservations were at 7:30. If she let me out now, I could lock her out of my house, out of my life and, of course, make a mad dash to my flipping birthday party. I rubbed my temples. Oh, to be less desperate for a night of fruity drinks and debauchery.
We were supposed to be heading to Fire, one of Atlanta’s newest bistros. I’d slipped into my sapphire party dress and twisted my inky hair into a stylish updo for the occasion. Now I could just feel curls escaping.
“Times like these I wish my hog watch had a second hand.” Grandma snorted. “And hey –” She rapped on the door, clanking her rings. “Try to stay clear of anything flammable.”
The woman was delusional. And I still couldn’t figure out how she’d locked the door from the outside.
“A few of these little beauties…” she said to the sound of jars being unscrewed. “You know, I would have been in your life sooner, but we lost track of you. Never would have recognized you in that Audrey Hepburn-looking getup.”
Audrey Hepburn my rear. I bought this dress on clearance last week at Ann Taylor. And what was I doing even listening to fashion advice from a senior citizen in rhinestone-studded skinny jeans? “Why me? Why now?”
“My spell only allowed me to locate you when your power had grown strong enough.”
Spell? I groaned under my breath. This is exactly why I hadn’t searched out my birth parents. Somehow, I knew my biological family would be a bunch of nut jobs.
And was that incense I smelled?
The pungent aroma of ginger and clove seeped under the door. Oh, no, no, no. “You’d better not be lighting things on fire out there!” Decision made. I mustered a few calming yoga breaths and tried to stuff my hair back into its polished updo. The further I got away from this branch of my family tree, the better.
“Listen, lady.” I said as I struggled to bring my temper down a notch. “I mean, Grandma. Listen, Grandma. Let me out of here and you can whip up whatever spell you want.”
After I remove you from my house and my life.
I searched under the sink for a weapon and came up with a toilet brush and a bottle of Purple Prairie Clover sanitizing spray.
Was I really going to shoot my own grandmother?
Yes.
“Open the door and let’s talk.”
She began to hum. It sounded like a church hymn.
“Grandma? Come on, now. Look. It’s not just that people are expecting me. He’s going to be there,” I said, as I used my thumb to pop the top off the sanitizing spray. “Hot Ryan Harmon from the gym,” I explained, as if she was supposed to know who that was. My girlfriends certainly did. “It’s taken me months of flirting on the elliptical machines to screw up the courage to ask this guy out, and you are not going to ruin it for me.” I deserved to date once in a while, didn’t I?
“Lizzie, you stay away from him. That man is a troll.”
“And you know because…” Crazy and opinionated. What a lovely combination.
I needed this shot at Ryan because – newsflash – I didn’t know many single men over the age of four. Hot Ryan Harmon was all I had going.
“Don’t take it personally, lover girl.” She pulled the door open a crack, her long gray hair swooshing as she shook her head. “Trust me.”
I whipped up my sanitizing spray and fired just as she slammed the door.
“Gak!” The air around me erupted with Purple Prairie Clover mist. I breathed in a metallic taste. The room smelled like I’d fallen head first into a vat of wildflowers.
“Ten seconds!”
“Until what?” The flowery spray was going to my head. Bright spots dotted my vision. Stumbling, I smashed my already sore toe into the cabinet under the sink. “Mother Fudrucker!” I braced myself over the sink as my stay-slim rice cake and peanut butter pre-dinner rumbled up the back of my throat.
“Seven seconds!”
Maybe I’d poisoned myself. My tongue thickened and my head felt like it was stuffed with packing peanuts. The room swirled and my legs buckled. A hot flash seared up my spine, through my limbs. I could have sworn I saw my hands melt into the faux marble countertop. Steam bubbled inside me and rose from every pore.
“You are the Exalted Demon Slayer of Dalea. Or at least you will be in four seconds. Three…!”
The place reeked of melted plastic and Purple Prairie Clover. I had to be hallucinating. Standing seemed like too much of an effort. My legs gave way and I slid down the door, my head coming to rest near a forgotten smidge of Extra Brite toothpaste on the floor. The room – no, the air itself – gleamed. The black-and-white tile practically sizzled under my body.
I felt something approach from behind. It gave off a funny clicking sound, like high heels on hardwood. And, phew, it smelled like I’d gone from a bad bonfire straight into the outhouse.
My grandma threw open the door. “Now we – ”
The look of terror on Grandma’s face made me think missing the party was the least of my worries. Her eager greeting melted into a scream. I turned and immediately wished I hadn’t. I choked back a shriek while my heart did the samba.
A shrunken, razor-toothed, man, no – thing perched on the top of my toilet bowl. He existed in a swirling gray cloud that clung to his essence like a shroud. A gold ring wound through his flared nostrils until the heavy ball of it rested against rows and rows of spearlike teeth. His hide crinkled, as jagged as desert earth after a drought. It crackled as he tapped a single clawed toe against the white porcelain. Worst of all, his scarlet eyes seemed to have only one target – me.












Chapter Two
He bowed his head and cackled low in his throat, sending a shiver straight down to my toes. Run! My mind screamed in horror. My blood pounded in my skull and my hands flopped helplessly. Run! I dug my heels into the tile and managed a pathetic half circle. Oh my God. I was going to die right here on my bathroom floor.
Grandma whipped her hand forward. “Go to hell, Xerxes!” she screamed, sending a wave of energy shrieking over my head. Her turquoise choker glowed around her neck. The air itself vibrated. Xerxes didn’t even blink. Instead, he lifted a skeletal finger and pointed it at me. I wanted to cry. Keep it together.
Grandma clasped both hands around her necklace. She began to chant, her raspy voice repeating a single word, “Digredior. Digredior. Digredior.” Xerxes snorted and the acrid smell of sulfur seared the air.
I stared down at my own fingers, steaming on the tile. Run! Impossible. It was like my body was trapped in a thick sludge. I fought back a wave of panic. If I couldn’t escape, I had to think. I puffed the hair out of my face and focused on the geometric white tiles in front of me. Be logical.
Somewhere, there existed a reasonable explanation for what was happening. I just had to find it. Had I inhaled some of the sanitizing spray? Naturally. Yes. That could explain a lot. Please. This had to be a warped Prairie Clover Mist head trip.
“This is a hideous side effect,” I pleaded with everything I had. Life seeped back into my arms and legs. I sniffed, wiped at the sweat tickling down my face. “Monsters do not, not, not exist.” My whole body shook as I ventured a peek back at my toilet bowl.
Xerxes hissed, spittle clinging to his blackened lips. Vapor swirled through his fingers and gathered into a thick smoke. It loomed toward me, a wave of ash, boiling upon itself. Stale, dead. My heart slammed in my throat. I fought the urge to gag. This was real.
Grandma focused, heart and soul, on the beast. “Digredior. Digredior …”
I had to get out of here. Grandma too. Whatever she was saying to that creature, it wasn’t working. And just because she was crazy enough to face him didn’t mean she deserved to die. My body ached as I inched toward the doorway. I prayed he didn’t notice. But who was I kidding? I could taste the dark mist approaching, feel his red eyes burning into my back. I had to turn. Had to look.
Xerxes’s claws clickety-clacked as he snaked down from the top of the toilet. Shock drilled through me, pinning me to the floor. Xerxes bobbed his head once, twice. One side of his mouth twisted into a smirk. “Stay, Lizzie,” he said slowly, his Greek accent punctuating each word as his dark cloud embraced me.
“How did you know my na – ? Hmm.” Warmth washed over me. Oddly enough, I found myself smiling at him. This can’t be right. But darned if all my concerns didn’t seem to be – whoosh – falling away.
I stifled a giggle. Time to axe the Cheshire cat grin, if only for Grandma’s sake. She’d aged a century in five seconds flat.
Strange. I hated him. He was evil and foul and he smelled like rotten cheese.
But I liked cheese, especially with crackers.
He lowered his head and hit me with the sweetest smile. His cracked skin showed character. It molded to his sleek, muscular frame. I wanted to touch him.
My grandma said something or other.
The pupils of the demon’s eyes began to shift like a kaleidoscope. Fascinating. So that’s what he was. A demon.
I stumbled. “Would you look at that?” I didn’t even remember standing up. I found myself strutting toward him, closing the space between us. “Xerxes, I’ll bet you are just the Brad Pitt of the underworld.”
Then Xerxes did something quite rude. He shot darts out of his eyes. It’s so uncomfortable when you meet someone and five minutes later they invade your personal space. Even more frightening, the shimmery green darts headed straight for my neck. What was this guy trying to do? Chop my head off?
The old lady behind me, whatshername, started wailing.
Not good. I slowed things in order to get a good look at the darts. They shone like miniature glow sticks. I touched one and it sizzled on the end of my fingertip. Warm, but not painful. I pulled it out of the air and it hummed in my hand. I gingerly touched the tip. “Ow!” Sharp as broken glass. “The trick is to grab ’em by the side,” I said to myself. I gathered them up like I was plucking tomatoes off the vine.
“Whaddaya think about that, Mr. Xerxes?” I held out a handful of green sizzly things.
The demon seemed almost frozen in time. My grandmother stood with her eyes transfixed, her mouth gaped open.
“Biiiiitttch!” The demon screamed.
Like he was one to talk. “How would you like it if I tossed magical lawn darts at your head and called you names?” I launched the barbs back at him.
They crashed into his forehead and he exploded into a million flecks of light.
I shielded my eyes as the world ratcheted back into focus. Grandma’s scream pierced the haze in my head.
“Ak!” What had I done? My arms sizzled from the electricity in the air, and every hair on my body stood on end. The room itself tasted bitter. Grandma and I gaped at each other for about a half a second. Then she snapped her mouth closed and dashed out into the hall.
“This is real,” I said to my wild-haired reflection in the bathroom mirror. What a terrible thought.
Grandma hurried back juggling a half dozen Ziplock bags full of heaven knew what. “Get out.” She shoved past me, dumped the bags on the floor and drew a circle on the tile with ashy, gray chalk.
“What?” I choked. Handprints – my handprints – burned into the countertop like a brand. I stared at my palms. There wasn’t a mark on them. My fingers throbbed like they were asleep. I rubbed them on my dress to get the circulation going again. “Are you going to tell me what just happened here?” I grabbed the bathroom towel to wipe snot, tears and heaven knew what else from my face.
She paused, chalk quivering. “Yes. But first I’m going to slam the door on these bastards. Xerxes only wanted a look at you. There’ll be more.”
A look? I didn’t believe that for a second. “In case you didn’t notice, he fired green pointy things. At my neck!”
She slipped on a pair of silver-framed reading glasses with rhinestone clusters in the corners. “You’re right. He did decide to kill you.” She began rifling through a collection of glass vials. “Demons can be impulsive.” She harrumphed. “Like yo-yo grandchildren who touch what they shouldn’t.” She choose a vial of olive-brown liquid and stuffed it into the front pocket of her jeans. “I don’t know what you were thinking, grabbing his fulminations.”
“Fulma-what?”
“No time,” she said, rifling through her bag again. “But don’t think for one second that you’re off the hook, slick. I’m gonna ride you ’til next Sunday.” She handed me a Smuckers peanut butter jar filled with a canary yellow sludge. “Can the questions. Keep this with you. And for the love of Laconia, let me work.”
“Okay…” A demon wants me dead, so I get a Smuckers jar. Shouldn’t we be running? Hiding? Where, I didn’t know, but Grandma’s Harley was sounding better by the second. Even if we ended up some place like the Laconia motorcycle rally. My fingers slid over the greasy glass of the jar and I darn near dropped it. What was I supposed to do if another demon showed up? Throw this at his head?
“Ey-ak!” I squealed as she popped open a Ziplock bag that smelled like dead mouse. She ignored my distress and began rubbing tiny circles of mush onto my bathroom floor. “Tell me that isn’t poop,” I said, as she ground the foul substance into my grout.
“Raccoon liver. Now get out!” my grandmother ordered without looking up from the mess on my bathroom floor.
“Gladly.” I had no idea what had just happened and I was not at all opposed to getting as far away from her as possible. I tripped over Grandma’s animal hide bag and what had to be about a half dozen Smuckers jars in the narrow hallway outside the hall bathroom. They were filled with various brackish liquids, plants and at least one possum tail. Road kill witch craft. Fan-frickin-tastic.
I slumped down at the kitchen table and buried my face in my hands. “Face facts, Lizzie. Xerxes the demon just tried to chop your head off.”
What would Cliff and Hillary have to say about that?
I didn’t know what to think anymore. That thing was real. No question about it. He came for me. And he would have killed Grandma too.
An hour ago, I wasn’t even sure I believed in hell. Now it was after me. Xerxes probably tracked me like my Grandmother had. Worse, he’d gotten inside my head without even blinking. How could I defend myself against a creature who could control me like a Muppet? I had no idea what he – or my Grandma – could possibly want from me.
When my Grandma had called, I figured she was interested in what I’d been doing the last thirty years of my life. I’d tell her about my friends, my teaching job at Happy Hands Preschool. She’d tell me about herself and her family. Make that my family. At last, I’d learn about my mom, any brothers or sisters, who I was, where I came from.
Now I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. I could be dead right now. Killed by a demon in my very own bathroom.
Claws scurried across the ceramic floor in the hallway.
“Grandma!” I leapt from the chair, on instant high alert.
She shot out of the bathroom as I realized my would-be attacker was, in fact, my Jack Russell terrier. Pirate was mostly white, with a dollop of brown on his back that wound up his neck and over one eye. He scampered around the corner into the kitchen, slid three feet and nearly thwacked his head on the side of the refrigerator.
“Pirate.” The tension oozed out of me and I about collapsed on the floor in front of him. He leapt into my arms and licked wherever he could reach. I hugged him close, his wiry hair tickling my nose. “Where have you been, boy?”
His entire body wriggled with excitement. “Alone! Locked in the backyard! Alone! But I dug under the fence. And then I ate through the screen on the front door. And I’m here now! I’m here! What’d I miss?”
My blood froze. “Oh no, no, no.” I scrambled away from him like an oversized crab. “There’s a demon in my dog!”
Pirate danced in place. “Are you kidding? It’s me! I burrowed, I ate screen, I ignored Mrs. Cristople’s tabby cat. I’m here to save you!”
Grandma scrubbed her hands on her jeans, leaving an oily smear behind. “Pirate is fine. A little impatient.” She grabbed a vial of silver powder from her back pocket and uncorked it with her teeth. “I told you to keep quiet until I had a chance to speak with Lizzie.”
Pirate let out a high-pitched dog whine.
“I don’t want to hear it,” she said, eyeball measuring a bit of silver powder into her palm. “Now, Lizzie. I have to finish this containment spell or we could have another Xerxes on your toilet bowl.” She gave a worried snort. “Or worse…” She disappeared back into the bathroom.
I stared at Pirate, who promptly began licking himself.
“Stop it.”
He ignored me like he always did.
“Well hallelujah. At least some things don’t change.”
But, oh God, what had just happened?
I didn’t feel any different. I did a quick once-over in the mirror above the living room couch. I didn’t look any different. But there had been a demon in my bathroom. And he knew my name. I wasn’t up on my demon lore, but something told me that wasn’t good.
As for Pirate, I didn’t know what to think. I took a deep breath, counted to three. There had to be a logical explanation for all of this.
“Hey.” Pirate ran his cold nose along my ankle. “How ’bout you feed me? I swear I haven’t eaten in a year. And screen door doesn’t count.”
I stared down at Pirate, who spun three times and sat.
He cocked his head. “Why the face? Am I drooling? Oh geez. It’s the doggie pellets. I think of doggie pellets … I drool.”
“What?” I stammered. What are you? That didn’t sound polite. I rubbed my temples.
Get a grip.
“Why, Pirate?” Each word was a battle. “Why are you talking to me?”
“Because,” he said, mimicking my stilted tone, “I am hungry.” We stared at each other for a long time. “Now.”
“This isn’t happening,” I said. I turned back to the mirror and started shoving my hair back into place. I needed something to be normal. Anything. Even if it was something as trivial as a hairdo.
“Come on, Lizzie.” Pirate licked my leg. “Lighten up. And hey, if you don’t want to feed me that dry stuff, I’ll take the fettuccine from last week. Back of the fridge, to the left of the lettuce crisper, behind the mustard.”
Yeah, right. Instead, he got dry kibble and a fresh bowl of water. Then I set about canceling my thirtieth birthday dinner. I didn’t know what I was going to tell my friends.
Sorry, guys. I couldn’t wait to celebrate with you. Believe me. But then my long-lost biker grandma locked me in my bathroom, a demon tried to kill me and now my dog won’t stop yapping.
I dialed my friend Yvette and settled for a simple excuse instead.
“A problem with the dog?” Pirate harrumphed after I’d hung up the phone. “You owe me one.”

Friday, September 26, 2008

FEATURED AUTHOR: Kelly Eileen Hake

Life doesn't wait, and neither does Kelly Eileen Hake. In her short twenty-three years of life, she's achieved much. Her secret? Embracing opportunities and multitasking. Kelly received her first writing contract at the tender age of seventeen and arranged to wait three months until she was able to legally sign it. Since that first contract five years ago, she's reached several life goals. Aside from fulfilling fourteen contracts ranging from short stories to novels, she's also attained her BA in English Literature and Composition and earned her credential to teach English in secondary schools. If that weren't enough, she's taken positions as a college preparation tutor, bookstore clerk, and in-classroom learning assistant to pay for the education she values so highly. Currently, she is working toward her MA in Writing Popular Fiction. No matter what goal she pursues, Kelly knows what it means to work for it!

Kelly's dual careers as English teacher and author give her the opportunity explore and share her love of the written word. A CBA bestselling author and dedicated member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kelly is a reader favorite of Barbour's Heartsong Presents program, where she's been privileged to earn numerous Heartsong Presents Reader's Choice Awards; including Favorite New Author 2005, Top 5 Favorite Historical Novel 2005, and Top Five Favorite Author Overall 2006 in addition to winning the Second Favorite Historical Novel 2006!

Her Prairie Promises trilogy, set in the 1850s Nebraska Territory, features her special style of witty, heartwarming historical romance.

THE BRIDE BARGAIN

Set down upon the wild American plains during the 1850. Clara is desperate for a home and a future for herself and her aunt. When Clara Fields and her aunt are kicked off their wagon train, a store owner in Buttonwood offers a chance at redemption. If Clara is able to wed his grandson off to any of the local girls within a month, he'll sign over his two-story house.

Desperate to provide for the woman who raised her, Clara agrees to find a bride for the man's son--a stalwart bachelor. How hard can it be to find a bride for one handsome Doctor? Apparently more difficult than she imagined when Saul Reed seems determined to ramain single.

Will Clara's faith and wits help her wrangle a resolution to The Bride Bargain. Striking a bargain with a lonely trader to fool a head-strong doctor could lead Clara to an unexpected avenue of romance.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Bride Bargain, go HERE

Thursday, September 25, 2008

BLOG TOUR: Joshua McClure


Joshua McClure


Genre: Christian Non Fiction

Why do you write:


I feel compelled to get God’s message out to the masses.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I never wanted to be a writer, however, I would continually wake up at 4:00am with thoughts and words forming in my mind and I recorded them on pads of paper lying by my bed. I Later I realized the words were from the Holy Spirit to be shared.

Who or what was your inspiration for writing?

My love for Christ, His church, and people

When writers block attacks, what do you do to get back on track?

I seldom have writers block because I am a recorder rather than an initiator. I feel no pressure for me to produce on my own.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I am a pastor of a very active church and ministry so writing is not my primary task.

When I feel the inspiration to write I take three to five days off consecutively each month, go into seclusion and work from morning to night until I complete the book.

Your book is about to be sent into the reader world, what is one word that describes how you feel?

Excited

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I work a lot with people, poor, homeless, needy, disadvantaged. That is my real joy.

What is something shocking or weird about you that your readers don’t know about?

What is most shocking to me is the fact that up until my late early thirties I was too shy to talk to people one on one. My high school yearbook said: “Cheerful as a bird, always seen but never heard.”

I find it astounding that by the grace of God, over the past thirty years I have stood before thousands and proclaimed the Good News of God in Christ.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I have written two books and I am presently working on a third. My first book “Can These Bones Live?” is my favorite probably because it was my introduction to writing. Can these bones live is the miraculous story of a God given vision to a church, people, and community. It has received great reviews. My new book “Almost Persuaded, Now to believe.” Is more comprehensive, having a workbook and teaching guide and is also downloadable as well as on Audio CD.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

Both of my books are based on real people.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?


Do not get discouraged if your work does not find ready acceptance by a publisher. Some publishers only want books of a specific genre and subject matter, so you must keep trying until you find the right one. I look at rejections as a positive reason to move more quickly to the next publisher.

How can a reader contact you or purchase your books?

Website: http://www.joshuaamcclure.com/


Publishers website: http://www.tatepublishing.com/




Share The Vision Ministries . 31 Pleasant Street . Westerly, RI 02891 . 401-596-1923

BLOG TOUR - Joshua McClure

For the past several years I have found myself dabbling in genealogy more and more, hoping to capture a vision of my early ancestral relatives. I must admit that for the most part I have encountered more frustration than success due to a lack of recorded information on Black families before the first half of the 18th century. Initially my efforts were mostly out of curiosity, however, the more I researched the more I realized how important it is to know our beginning and also how closely genealogy is linked to our relationship with God.

For some time I have watched the struggles of many people who are attempting to live out the life that God has ordained for all believers . There appears to be a great gap between what is promised by God and what we actually experience which in itself causes feelings of inadequacy guilt and pain. Many express a desire to grow closer to Jesus yet they can’t explain their lack of progress. Others query, “Why am I not receiving the nurturing and life offered by Christ? Why am I not growing in my faith as God has promised? Is it because of my hiding, my unwillingness to expose my real self to God, or is it simply that I have not settled the question of who and whose I am?

What I am suggesting is there are several reasons for our struggle to become, but the most fundamental and foundational is a lost connection between our real self and God. Without connection to our beginning a gap exists in our lives. Further without connection to God we have no real identity. Hence we find ourselves in a continual search for validation. That is why our daily striving to achieve and acquire things material and to seek out validation from others. Since validation is only to be found in the one who birthed us, is this not reason for us to seek God. Is this not reason to go back to our beginning to find our true identity, and once secured, begin to live out an unshakeable life of faith in Christ.

This became evident to me when I asked a group of adults and youth to answer the question, “Who are you?” Invariably most adults responded by identifying with what they did; their job, their position, rather than who they were. The youth in answering the same question responded quite differently. They began by saying, “I am a child of John and Mary Jones [fictional parents]. Then they proceeded to describe themselves telling of their likes, dislikes, joys, and fears, hopes and dreams. They were secure in telling who they were, but with most adults insecurity remained leaving the question unanswered.

What does it mean to be a child of God? How does one understand being made in the image and likeness of God? How can we be confident of an eternal relationship with God? How can we live our lives in God’s presence under his Lordship in His Kingdom? In “Almost Persuaded, Now to believe” these and many other questions are clearly and concisely deliberated, and in reading the book understanding will come along with spiritual transformation. I further promise that this book will help you to live out and experience that fullness of life promised by God, as in the process of reflection the invitation is extended to persuasively move from theory to life application where change is inevitable.

“Almost Persuaded, Now to believe.” will bridge the gap between “What is” and “what ought to be?”

Joshua A. McClure ----BUY the book

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

BLOG TOUR: Leketha Johnson



Leketha Johnson--Children Literature

Title: Sunny's Adventures, a Children's Mystery Book

Website: http://www.sunnysadventures.com/


Author Leketha Marie Johnson has always been inspired to read and write since she was a very young girl. It's a passion that's never died down and eventually led her to her dream of publishing children's books. She's always loved reading about historical hero's who always pursued their goals without giving up like underground railroad leader Harriet Tubman. Looking up to these sorts of admirable figures has made her persistent in her own efforts of adding some sort of relevance to the world one day at a time.

Leketha is on tour with the following:

SORMAG (Shades of Romance) September 24 only
Shelia Goss Blog September 24 only
Authors Supporting Authors (ASA) September 8-13
Savvy Sista’s Blog September 12-26
Tamara Grant’s Blog September 15-20
Cheryl Donovan’s Blog September 22-23
BAN eMagazine Blog September 22-23
Min. Celeste Kelly’s Blog September 28-30
Book Featured on Virtual Blog Tours with Crystal Sept 1-30 Internet Radio Interviews and Internet Magazine Features

AAMBC Radio Show Interview, September 5, 7:00pm CST
Worth More Than Rubies Radio Interview, September 27, 3:00 pm CST
Black Authors Network Radio Interview, September 19, 8-10pm EST
Firm…But Fair Radio Interview, September 28, 9pm EST
Black Spotlight eMagazine Feature, September 15-26
Black in America Blog Feature September 15-26
Book Featured on 12 Social Networks for September
Book Featured on Virtual Blog Tours with Crystal
Video of Book Tour Intro on 4 Video Share Sites
2 Eblast to 130,000+ Newsletter with Interview Questions

Blogs and Radio Shows

• Shelia Goss Blog: www.sheliagoss.com/blog

• EKG eMagazine: http://www.ekgliterarymag.com/

• SORMAG (Shades of Romance): http://sormag.blogspot.com/

• Savvy Sista’s Blog: http://www.the-savvy-sista.com/

• Tamara Grant’s Blog: http://www.tamaragrant.blogspot.com/

• Min. Celeste Kelly’s Blog: www.praizpr.com/rtpauthorsname.htm

• Sable Reviews: http://www.sablelitreviews.com/

• Cheryl Donovan’s Blog: http://www.virtuouswoman-31.blogspot.com/

• BAN eMagazine Blog: http://www.banemagazine.blogspot.com/

• Authors Supporting Authors (ASA): http://asanetwork.blogspot.com/

• Virtual Blog Tours: http://www.authorvbt.blogspot.com/

BLOG TOUR: Leketha Johnson

10 Different Great Ways to Help Your Child
Become An Excited Little Reader Today!

1. Go to your local bookstore with your child as most of them have kids sections now that are bright and full of fun reading sections with minature sofa's, tables, and chairs.

2. Read with them at night right before bed. This really is a good technique for unwinding and spending quite time together before the lights go out.

3. Buy books with their favorite TV characters, Disney characters, or just anything covering something that they can relate to and like personally.

4. Attend a book fair in your neighborhood as they can walk around with you enjoying all of the activity and good weather.

5. Let your child read for smaller children - this will give them a boost of self-esteem and help them to appreciate the fact that they can actually read.

6. Award good reading habits with positive affirmations to encourage them to continue. Let them know over and over again how great you think their reading abilities are and how special this interest is.

7. Whatever your child is having a difficult time with, buy books that address their specific issue. If their shy, dealing with bullies, having a hard time sharing, etc. then get them books that show them how other children deal with the same thing.

8. Log onto the internet as there are many kid friendly sites that have stories that are actually read aloud to your child as they follow along. Try http://starfall.com as this site is amazing and super fun - children won't even realize that their learning to read because it's so kid friendly and has numerous interative activities they can enjoy.

9. Buy books based on their individual interests. If they like to help you cook in the kitchen, buy a kid friendly cook book or related cooking stories. The same applies for other things such as sports, art, etc.

10. Have a pajama party book reading night in which kids can take turns reading their favorite book as they eat their popcorn scrawled on the floor in their sleeping bags. Don't want to do a sleep over? Then you can also have a simple gathering in which the kids get to read one of their favorite books together as they eat simple snacks.

If you value reading, so will your child as they all just want to grow up and be just like Mommy and Daddy.

To get even more great ideas about how to help your children truly appreciate the joys of reading, log onto http://sunnysadventures.com/. You'll find more helpful tips, various articles, top book selections, fun kid pages, and much more!

Also, at http://leketha.blogspot.com/, I update this site weekly with some great information regarding new kids web-sites, free book access, current information for kids, and a lot more. So make sure to log on and save it in your favorites so you don't miss out on any of this exciting information!

EASY FRENCH FRY RECIPE:

-1 1/2 pounds potatoes, cut up and put in a bowl
-Sprinkle with salt/ pepper/ whatever seasonings that you like
-I tablespoon of vegatable oil mixed in the potatoes
-Preheat oven to 450
-Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet
-Bake for 35 minutes or until golden
-Serve with ketchup
Enjoy!

GOOD QUOTE TO SHARE WITH CHILDREN:

"Do what you have to do so you can do what you want to do" -
Denzel Washington from The Great Debaters. This is what his father used to say to him when he was a young boy.


Leketha Marie Johnson ----BUY the book

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

DEBUT AUTHOR: Liane Spicer


LIANE SPICER was born in Trinidad where she taught high school for twenty-two years. In 2000 she left teaching and has led a peripatetic existence since, living in several countries and working as an assistant editor, human resource manager, and company administrator. Her book reviews have appeared in print and online newspapers in the Caribbean and North America, including the Nassau Guardian, South Florida Caribbean News, and the Trinidad Guardian.Café Au Lait is her first novel. She has recently completed a second romance as well as a memoir on raising her son, and is now working on her first mainstream novel.


Café au Lait

Londoner Shari Zamore is at the end of her rope, so the pretty professional runs away to her family's home in Trinidad in search of rest, relaxation, and maybe even a little no-strings romance. What she finds there is a stubborn, sexy man determined to make her face all of the things she desperately wants to forget. Why is Michael Chancery so intrigued by a woman whose icy attitude seems designed to discourage any man who tries to get close? Her plan is to love him and leave him, but Michael doesn't give up easily, and he'll use every tool in his sensual arsenal, every moment of each heated tropical night to convince Shari that her place is on the island…and that his heart belongs to her.


What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

The satisfied feeling you get when you've finished an entertaining story, of course, but I'd also like readers to feel optimistic about relationships, to believe in happily ever after. Since this story is set in the Caribbean, I'd like the beauty of the islands to linger for awhile, as well.

What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned that I could do it. The goal of living a writing life moved out of the realm of fantasy for me and became a tangible reality.

What is the hardest part about the writing business?

Business is the operative word there. Writing is the easy part, the part that comes naturally. Publishing is a business like any other, and the bottom line rules. I had to get rid of silly, romantic notions of what this business is all about.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

That fiction is just that, fiction, no matter how much it has been shaped by real people and events.

Our theme this month is Online Marketing. What online marketing have you found that particularly works well for you?

The blog has established my online presence, gotten the word out 'there' that my novel exists, and has also brought the bonus of a great community of blogging writers, published and unpublished. I discovered that blogging writers are very generous and supportive, and they help each other to promote by interviewing each other, featuring new releases on their blogs, facilitating review exchanges, participating in online contests and giveaways - which all help provide a platform, and to bring writers and readers together.

What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?

The entire journey has been a learning process, one I've enjoyed immensely. I wish I'd known earlier about the fantastic community of writers in existence online. I was very much alone, feeling my way for years. Not any more. I wish I'd known how little beginning writers are paid, and how l-o-n-g the publication process takes.

Was there ever a time in your writing career you thought of quitting?

Never. I'm stubborn that way. Setbacks just make me more determined.

How long did it take from first word to sale? What were some of the steps along the journey?

Oh, it's been years. After I wrote the first draft I left the book alone for four years! Then I wrote five more chapters and began polishing. I started looking for an agent in 2005, got one in 2006, sold the book in 2007, and it was just published this month. Here's hoping things pick up some momentum now!

How did it feel to hold your first book?

I think I'm still dazed. Writers have enriched my life so much with their words that I'm a bit awed at joining their fraternity, at the thought of my words doing the same for other readers.

What was the most embarrassing thing you've ever done or stupidest mistake you've ever made with writing?

When I first started marketing the book, right after I finished the first draft, I knew nothing about the business. Karen Thomas, who was then editor of the Arabesque line at Kensington Publishing, requested the manuscript and I sent it off to her although it was 10,000 words short of their requirements. She also requested a synopsis and I hadn't done one, so I sent off the package without it, and included a cute little bio on pretty paper. Unknowingly, I committed three submission felonies! Needless to say, I didn't hear from Ms. Thomas again!

How do you feel about critique groups?

I know some people swear by them but I am resistant. I have one writer friend who critiques my work and for whom I do the same. I have had an offer from an online buddy and I think I'll take him up on it with my next book, which is in the final edit stage.

What are your main concerns as a writer?

Paying the bills! LOL! I'd like to support myself this way but I'm aware that writers who can do this are the exception rather than the norm.

Do you have any advice for the aspiring writer?

These pretty much sum things up: "Writing is an art, but publishing is a business", and "Writers write".

Are you part of a writer's organization and if you are, tell us about the benefits?

I belong to a writers' group based in the UK, The Novel Racers. We pool our knowledge, share success stories and disappointments, discuss the art and business realities, and generally encourage each other..

Five questions about books:

One book you've read more than once.

I read widely across genres, so my responses will reflect that. I re-read most of my favorite books so it's hard to pick one. A romance novel I remember reading several times is The Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer.

One book you couldn't put down until you finished.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

One book that made you laugh.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. I'll never forget: "Preach it, I say!"

One book that made you cry.

The most recent was Fade, a thriller by Kyle Mills. The protagonist is an assassin, and Mr. Mills had me in tears over the fate of his anti-hero.

One book you wish you'd written.

The God of Small Things by Arundathi Roy. The writing is exquisite

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)


LaShaunda, thank you so much for featuring me on SORMAG! It's been a real pleasure!

Monday, September 22, 2008

FEATURED AUTHOR: Maureen Smith

EDITOR NOTE: I met Maureen when she self published her first book. She's come a long way with her writing and I'm proud to see her grow into a wonderful romance writer. Take a moment to say hello.

Maureen Smith is the author of ten novels and one novella. She received a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland with a minor in creative writing. As a former freelance writer, her articles were featured in various print and online publications. Since the release of her debut novel in 2002, Maureen has been nominated for two Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards and twelve Emma Awards, and has won the Romance in Color Reviewers’ Choice Awards for New Author of the Year and Romantic Suspense of the Year. Maureen lives in San Antonio, TX with her husband, two children, and a miniature schnauzer.

SECRET AGENT SEDUCTION

Tough, beautiful Secret Service agent Lia Charles has never met a challenge she can’t overcome. That is, until she receives her latest assignment—rescue the brilliant, bona fide hottie Armand Magliore, a revolutionary leader of a war-ravaged Caribbean republic. Lia will need all of her special-ops training to get Armand to safety. But it isn’t long before she realizes that extracting the darkly handsome rebel from the treacherous jungles will be the easy part. Guarding her heart from him will test her to the very limits.

What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

As a romantic suspense writer, I love it when people tell me that my story had the perfect blend of romance and mystery. That’s what I always strive to give my readers: a well-written story with riveting suspense and unforgettable romance. I hope that’s what I delivered in Secret Agent Seduction.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned that I enjoy incorporating paranormal elements into a story. I really liked having a heroine who could read minds. At the same time, I think Lia’s inability to read Armand’s mind added a compelling dynamic to their relationship. I look forward to tackling more paranormal storylines in future books.

What is the hardest part about the writing business?

The waiting game! Waiting to receive an editor’s response on a proposal I’ve submitted. Waiting for the publication of a book I’ve slaved over for months. Waiting to receive a royalty check. Waiting, waiting, waiting…

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

It takes time, talent, perseverance, and yes, sometimes luck, to become a commercially successful author. I wish people didn’t have such glamorized notions about the writing business. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me about receiving six-figure advances, reaching the New York Times bestseller list, and appearing on Oprah. In other words, they want to know why these things haven’t happened for me yet. The reality is that there are many talented writers out there who may never land a publishing contract, or who may never “make it big.” It takes hard work, determination, and a true love for writing to persevere through all the ups and downs of the business.

Our theme this month is Online Marketing. What online marketing have you found that particularly works well for you?

When my first book was published in 2002, I did a lot of online marketing. I advertised on literary Web sites, had my books listed on as many sites as possible, did interviews, participated in chats, and sent copies of my books to online book reviewers. Quite honestly, I don’t do as much online marketing today as I used to (and probably should). For me, the most important thing is having an updated Web site and/or MySpace page that lets readers know about upcoming releases, book signings, contests, etc. Another thing I’ve found very rewarding is having a Yahoo Group, which enables me to interact with my readers and get to know them better, and vice versa.

What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?

I wish I’d known that success doesn’t come overnight; comparing myself to other writers (i.e., bestselling authors) is counterproductive; and not everyone has my best interests at heart.

Was there ever a time in your writing career you thought of quitting?

Absolutely! Writing is such an unpredictable business. Sometimes things go your way, and sometimes they don’t. When setbacks occur—and they have—I’ve often questioned my decision to pursue a writing career. I’ve even questioned my talent. I think every writer becomes discouraged at some point in their careers. But whenever I feel like quitting, I just ask myself what I would do if I didn’t write. Could I really stop writing if I tried? The answer is a resounding no. I’ve always loved writing, and I always will. As long as I remember that, I can persevere through anything.

Do you have any advice for the aspiring writer?

Believe in yourself, first and foremost. If you’re doing everything you can to hone your craft as a writer and you honestly believe that you have a gift to share with the world, don’t let anything stand in your way of becoming a writer. And stop making excuses for why you haven’t completed that manuscript you’ve been tinkering with for years! You owe it to yourself to finish the book and submit it to publishers. You never know what doors God may open!

Five questions about books:

One book you’ve read more than once.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The original romance novel.

One book you couldn’t put down until you finished.

The Good House by Tananarive Due. It was hauntingly scary and featured an unforgettable plot, setting, and cast of characters. Tananarive Due is by far one of my favorite authors.

One book that made you laugh.

In the Company of My Sistahs by Angie Daniels. Renee’s crazy antics had me rolling on the floor!
One book that made you cry.

Alex: The Life of a Child by famed sportswriter Frank Deford. A heartrending story of his young daughter’s tragic battle with cystic fibrosis. I will never forget that book. I get choked up just thinking about it.

One book you wish you’d written.

The Stand by Stephen King. But then again, only Stephen King could have written that stunningly apocalyptic book.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

I love to hear from readers! You can reach me via:
E-mail: author@maureen-smith.com
Web site: http://www.maureen-smith.com/
MySpace: www.myspace.com/maureensmith
Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/maureensmith/join

Friday, September 19, 2008

FEATURED AUTHOR: RM Johnson


RM Johnson is the author of eight novels, including bestsellers The Harris Family and The Million Dollar Divorce. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Chicago State University. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA where he is at work on the final installment of the Million Dollar series.

THE MILLION DOLLAR DECEPTION


Monica Kenny has a decision to make—stay with Lewis Waters, the younger man she knows may not be right for her, or leave him, venture out on her own, and face the possibility of falling for another man who may leave her, as her ex-husband did, because she could not have children.
But when her ex-husband Nate realizes he made the biggest mistake of his life, losing his wife to Lewis Waters, the young, down-on-his-luck thug he had hired to seduce Monica a year ago, he decides to win her back. He uses all his cunning, expertise and money to destroy Lewis and take his wife back. Unfortunately, there will be life and death repercussions…

What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

First let me say, THE MILLION DOLLAR DECEPTION is the second book in the MILLION DOLLAR trilogy. It serves as a bridge, connecting THE MILLION DOLLAR DIVORCE to the final installment, which I have yet to name. But it does well in keeping the reader entertained and intrigued. It’s different than the first book, but better. It’s faster moving, a bit more tragic, and not like much of what else is out there in the genre in which I writer. More than taking something away from the book, I want readers to be thoroughly entertained, fulfilled, and awaiting the last book, once they’ve completed this one. I believe that’s the feeling they’ll get.

What did you learn while writing this book?

Each time I write a book, I learn a little more. Sure, I learn a little more about the characters, but it’s craft lessons that I pay most attention to. While writing this book, I learned what it takes to keep readers interested while writing as few words as possible. What I mean by that is, in my opinion, writing should be tight, and concise. I think readers appreciate that. You know, get to the point. An example: Who would you rather speak to? Someone who talks for five minutes before making a point. Or someone who is direct, tells you what you want to hear immediately.

What is the hardest part about the writing business?

What I’ve learned in my ten years of publishing, is that it’s not necessarily about the quality of the work that makes an author popular or successful. Although, I still consider that the most important thing, and should always be the priority. But marketing and promotion is what sells books most of the time. Not to say there aren’t best-sellers made from brilliant writing. There are. But come up with a great, commercial idea, find a unique way to promote it, and you’re well on your way to a successful publishing career. So the hardest part about the writing business, I think, is continuing trying to find ways to draw attention to my books, either through promotion, or the subject matter I chose to write about.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

As writers, most of us do the best we can, all the time. Unfortunately, unlike most other professionals, if you have a bad day, it lasts only a day. If you fill the copier with pink paper instead of white, well, it’s a pretty easy fix. When Kobe Bryant has a bad day at work, he can redeem himself the next day on the court. A novelist has a bad showing, that work is in print for the next ten, twenty years. Maybe longer. No writer wants to waste paper. So remember, next time you’re huffing mad, while suffering through your favorite author’s latest release. Remember, she tried, and you’ve had bad days before, too.

Our theme this month is Online Marketing. What online marketing have you found that particularly works well for you?

The online marketing I do is to email my friends and fans in my email address book and let them know the new book is soon to be released.

What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?

Marketing, marketing, marketing!

Was there ever a time in your writing career you thought of quitting?

Never.

Do you have any advice for the aspiring writer?

Study writing. Read as much as you can. Research the market. Practice. Write short stories first, even if they’re just a page long. Continue to increase in length. Don’t become discouraged. Write every day, and know, if you only write a page per day, in one year, you would’ve completed an entire novel.

Five questions about books:

One book you’ve read more than once.

THE OUTSIDER by Richard Wright. My favorite book.

One book you couldn’t put down until you finished.

I don’t think I’ve read one of those.

One book that made you laugh.

Many of Stephan King’s books. I have a strange sense of humor.

One book that made you cry.

Uh, nope. That’s never happened.

One book you wish you'd written.

Can’t think of one.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

My website address is http://rmnovels.com/

Thursday, September 18, 2008

BLOG TOUR: Donna Hill

Photobucket

She has received numerous awards for her body of work including The Career Achievement Award, the first recipient of The Trailblazer Award among others, as well as commendations for her community service. Donna co-wrote the screenplay Fire, which enjoyed limited theater release before going to DVD. As an editor she has packaged several highly successful novels, two of which were nominated for awards. She organizes author-centered events and workshops through her editorial and promotions company Donna Hill Promotions and provides publicity and marketing services for authors. She is also a writing instructor at The Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center in New York. Donna currently writes full-time and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

You may contact Donna via her website at http://www.donnahill.com/

Donna is represented by the Steele-Perkins Literary Agency. Contact Donna Hill for literary events and speaking engagements

You may contact Donna via email at: writerdoh@aol.com.

NOTE FROM DONNA:

2008-2009 will be extremely busy for me. To the reader it may appear that I have a book on the shelf every month! But what I am immensely happy to report, I'm not doing all that writing.

Harlequin has begun to reissue all of my Arabesque novels. I am thrilled. The first reissue was CHARADE. CHANCES ARE came out in August and TEMPTATION, my very first Arabesque from 1994 will be out in November. So while those books are hopefully keeping smiles on my reader's faces and hopefully enticing new readers, I really am busy writing. I've completed Book 2 and 3 of my Ladies Cartel series: SEDUCTION AND LIES and TEMPTATION AND LIES. Seduction comes out in November and Temptation and Lies comes out in November.

In the meantime I am working on WHAT MOTHER NEVER TOLD ME, the very long-overdue follow-up to RHYTHMS. I am keeping pens crossed that it lives up to the first book. I will also be writing a reality TV novel for Harlequin, entitled TWO CAN PLAY. That will be out next spring, I believe. And I have a holiday book for next year as well. In between it all, the re-issues will be hitting the shelves. So I do hope that there will be a Donna Hill book that is just right for you!



Sex and Lies
by Donna Hill


She has a secret… The sassy sisters who hawk Tender Loving Care body products
are on a mission that goes way beyond fighting wrinkles. These lovely ladies are also undercover operatives in The Ladies Cartel--the flip-side organization of TLC cosmetics. They are so deep under, even their families and spouses don't suspect their real work or know their identities…. Executive assistant extraordinaire and TLC agent, sexy Savannah Fields gets her next assignment--investigate corporate espionage at a construction site in NYC. But Savannah is in for the shock of her life when the trail of the dirty dealings, deception and adultery leads right back to her neat suburban split-level…and her hunk of a husband, Blake!

Bibliography—Donna Hill

Romance Novels

1990-Rooms of the Heart
1991-Indiscretions
1994-Temptation
1995-Scandalous
1996-Deception
1997-Intimate Betrayal **
1998-Charade
1998-Chances Are
1998-A Private Affair **
1998–Quiet Storm
1999-Pieces of Dreams
2000-Through the Fire
2001-A Scandalous Affair
2000-Soul to Soul
2001-Interlude2003-Rockin’ Around that Christmas Tree
2004-Dare to Dream
2005-Say YesLove Becomes Her July 2006
Long Distance Lover June 2006

Novellas

Spirit of the Season “The Choice”
Love Letters “Masquerade” **
Rosie’s Curl and Weave “Just Like That”
Della’s House of Style “It Could Happen to You”
Welcome to Leo’s “Eye of the Beholder”
Let’s Get it On “Lady in Waiting”
Living Large “Surprise”
Big Girls Don’t Cry “Dr. Love”
Whole Lotta Love “Over the Rainbow”
Proverbs for the People “Rendezvous With Destiny”
Sister Sister “Thicker than Water”
Going to the Chapel “Distant Lover”Destiny’s Daughters
Erotica (short stories)
Dark Thirst “The Touch”
Black Silk “Mojo Lover”
Indigo After Dark “In Between the Night”

Womens Fiction

2001-If I Could
2001-Rhythms
2003-An Ordinary Woman
2004-In My Bedroom
2004-Divas Inc.
2005-Getting Hers
Guilty Pleasures
Editorial Projects
After the Vows
Midnight Clear
The Hot Spot
Indecent Exposure
Where There’s A Will
Romances
Saving All My Lovin’ Nov. 2006
If I Were Your Woman Feb. 2007
After Dark July 2007
Moments Like This (summer 2007)

Upcoming Fiction

Wicked Ways (Oct. 2007)
Creepin’ (erotic paranormal) 2007
Special Edition Collectors Series
Courageous Hearts
Tis the Season

Film Credits

The Return of Fire
** Made for TV movies



BLOG TOUR: Donna Hill

Staying in the Game
By Donna Hill


I am sitting here writing this article amazed at how long it has been since I officially became a writer. It was eighteen years ago this past June. In this age of merging publishing houses, cut backs, new genres, new voices and the explosion of self-publishing, I consider myself blessed to still be around to tell my story. I guess on the street I would be considered an O.G. (original gangsta LOL). Well, not quite, but you get my point. And because of my O.G. status, so many people have asked me what the secret is to being around for so long when there are many authors who have disappeared off the literary playing field.

These are the things that come to mind:

· You have to be in this business for the right reasons. If you got in just to make money, or to get your name on some list, your time in the game is limited.

· You must build relationships within the publishing industry, i.e., with editors, agents, publishers.

· You have to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry, be willing to expand your horizons, stretch your writing skills, i.e., teaching a class, hosting workshops, joining an anthology, presenting an out-of-the box proposal to your editor that includes other writers, take classes and read to enhance your skills.

· Stay out of the fray. Don’t get dragged down by the crab-in-the barrel mentality.

· Be willing to do for others even if you aren’t getting something out of it. Share your information.

· Build friendships with other writers. Only another writer can understand your craziness.

· Most of all respect your fans/readers. Respect their intelligence. Give them the best you can every time and always give them thanks for supporting you. They could be supporting someone else.

All those things are so important to longevity. In the long run, it’s about writing a damned good story, writing with integrity and be willing to stick it out when the going gets tough. That’s what a writer does. They write!


Donna Hill ----BUY the book






Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Book Blogger Appreciation Week


Book Blogger Appreciation Week begins tomorrow.

We're excited to be a part of this event. We will be giving away one SORMAG goody bag to one lucky winner each day on http://lashaunda.blogspot.com

We will give away a Much Ado About Reading Newsletter promotion to one lucky author. Who leaves a comment today.

Amy the host is also giving away prizes at My Friend Amy, you will find many chances to win LOTS of goodies! Like what? Well have a look below. All of these things will be given away between September 15-19. There will be a huge variety of ways to win them and giveaways will be announced constantly throughout the week. So be sure to check in often!

A HUGE thank you to Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group USA, Harlequin, The B&B Media Group, Shera of SNS Blog Design, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, Catherine Delors, Pamela Binnings Ewen, Andromeda Romano-Lax, Ceceilia Dowdy, Sormag, Book Club Girl, Savvy Verse and Wit, Cafe of Dreams, Fashionista Piranha, and Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?.

Daily Raffles:Monday--Books and Chocolate sponsored by My Friend Amy and Hey Lady! Whatcha' Readin?

Tuesday--Books and Going Green sponsored by My Friend Amy

Wednesday--Books and Coffee sponsored by My Friend Amy

Thursday--Books and Charity sponsored by My Friend Amy and Fashionista Piranha

Friday--Books and Movies sponsored by My Friend Amy

Win a Book Club Girl Hostess Survival Kit! Do you find it's your turn to host book club and not only do you not know what to serve but you don't know what books to offer up for the next month's selection?!

Let Book Club Girl come to your rescue with the Book Club Girl Hostess Survival Kit.One lucky winner of the kit will receive:

* A basket of cheese, crackers, cookies and wine for up to 12 people
* 5 great book group books to vote on for your group's next pick. And Book Club Girl will then donate 12 copies whichever book is chosen for your entire group to read.
* 12 Book Club Girl mousepads to give out as party favors that night
* 12 Book Club Girl bookmarks to mark everyone's favorite passages
* 12 Book Club Girl coasters to protect your coffee table from all those wine glasses!

TWO SORMAG Goody Bags containing books and more!

A Special Pamper Me Basket from Cafe of Dreams!
From Avon Foot Works~ Inflatable watermelon shaped foot tub
~ 3.4 FL oz Watermelon Cooling Foot Lotion
~ 3.4 FL oz Watermelon Exfoliating Foot Scrub
~ 12 count Watermelon Effervescent Foot Tablets
~ An ARC of So Long At The Fair by Christina Schwarz
~ A variety of Hot Chocolate and Tea mixes

A pre-made blog template from SNSDesign!

A Subscription to Poetry Magazine from Savvy Verse and Wit!

BOOKS
Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors
The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings Ewen
The Spanish Bow by Andromeda Romano-Lax
John's Quest by Cecelia Dowdy
Confessions of a Contractor by Richard Murphy
Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris
The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer
Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley
A Tale Out of Luck by Willie Nelson with Mike Blakely
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken
Exit Music by Ian Rankin
The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik
Gunmetal Black by Daniel Serrano
Isolation by Travis Thrasher
The Miracle Girls by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
Every Freaking! Day With Rachell Ray by Elizabeth Hilts
Dewey by Vicki Myron
The Shiniest Jewel by Marian Henley
Keep the Faith by Faith Evans
The Book of Calamities by Peter Trachtenberg
A is for Atticus by Lorilee Craker
After the Fire by Robin Gaby Fisher
Mike's Election Guide by Michael Moore
War as They Knew It by Michael Rosenberg
Fixing Hell By Col. (ret.) Larry C. James
Wild Boy: My Life with Duran Duran by Andy Taylor
The Last Under-Cover: The True Story of an FBI Agent's Dangerous Dance with Evil By Bob Hamer
Border Lass by Amanda Scott
Insatiable Desire by Rita Heron
Hungry for More by Diana Holquist
Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
Trespassers Will Be Baptized by Elizabeth Emerson Hancock
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Trish Ryan
Never Surrender by General Jerry Boykin
Dream in Color by Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, Congresswoman Loretta Sánchez
Beyond Belief by Josh Hamilton
Cobain Unseen by Charles R. Cross
Doing Business in 21st Century India by Gunjan Bagla
Branding Only Works on Cattle by Jonathan Salem Baskin
Launching a Leadership Revolution by Chris Brady, Orrin Woodward
How to Hear from God by Joyce Meyer
Knowing Right from Wrong by Thomas D. Williams
Pope John Paul II: An Intimate Life by Caroline Pigozzi
Pure by Rebecca St. James
He Loves Me! by Wayne Jacobson
So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman
Move On, Move Up by Paula White
The Rosary by Gary Jansen
Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Right Livelihoods by Rick Moody
by George by Wesley Stace
The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
Trunk Music by Michael Connelly
Hollywood Crows by Joseph Wambaugh
Dead Boys by Richard Lange
The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters by Lorraine Lopez
Sisterchicks Go Brit! by Robin Jones Gunn
Beyond the Night by Marlo Schalesky
With Endless Sight by Allison Pittman
Harlequin Titles: To Be Announced


Many other blogs are giving away books and prizes for BBAW as well!

Interested in gaining entries into the daily raffles? Post this complete list on your blog with links and you'll earn two extra entries!

Participating Blogs -

1 More Chapter
2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
248 Book Club
The 3 R's: Reading, 'Riting, and Randomness
49 Writers No Books
4 the Love of Books
A Book Lover
A Bookworm's World
A Guy's Moleskine Notebook
A Hoyden's Look at Literature
A Lovely Shore Breeze
A Mom's Book Blog
A Peek At My Bookshelf
A Platypus with a book walks into a bar...
A Reader's Journal
A Well Watered Garden
A World in the Pages
A Writer's Dream
Adventures in Reading
Age 30 - A Year of Books
Alabama Book Worm
All I Have To Say
All the Saints
Allison's Attic of Books
Alpha Heroes
Amateur de Livre
The Amazing Adulthood of Alexis
Amber Miller - Author, Writer, & Web Site Designer
Amber Stults - Book Reviewer and Author
Amy's Corner of the World
Antique Books
Apooo Bookclub
Apprentice Writer
Arch Thinking
As Usual, I Need More Bookshelves
At Home With Books
Aunt Rowena sez:
Babbling Books Review
Badger Books
Bart's Bookshelf
Becky's Book Reviews
Bermudaonion's Weblog
Better World Blog
Between Sundays
BiblioHistoria
Bibliolatry
Bibliophile Support Group
Blacklin's Reading Room Reviews & More
Blog Book Tours
Blog Business World
Bloggin' 'Bout Books
Bloody Hell, It's a Book Barrage!
Blue Archipelago
The Bluestocking Guide: Reviews by a Partial, Prejudiced, and Ignorant Reader
Bobbi's Book Nook
Boats Against the Current
Book-a-holic
Book Binge
The Book Blog
Book by Book
Book Chatter and Other Stuff
Book Chic
Book Club Girl
Book Crazy
Book Critiques
Book Dads
Book Dweeb
Book Escape
The Book Girl
Book Hangover
Book Junkie Melissa
Book Kingdom
The Book Lady's Blog
The Book Mine Set
Book Minx
The Book Muncher
Book Nook Club
Books and Movies
Books for Kids
Books on the Nightstand
The Book Reader
Book Review Maniac
Book Reviews
Book Reviews Today
The Book Smugglers
Book Tsunami
Book Zombie
Booked Books
Booking Mama
Bookish Ruth
Booklorn
Bookroomreview's Weblog
Books 'N Border Collies
Books and Authors
Books I Done Read
Books, Movies, and Chinese Food
Bookshelf
Bookshipper
Booksweet
The Bookworm
Breaking the Spine
Breeni Books
BTripp's Books
But If You Look At Me Closely...
Café of Dreams
Candid Canine
Caribousmom
Canadian Book Worm
Cheryl's Book Nook
Cheryl Rainfield
Chick Lit Teens
Christian Bookworm Reviews
Christian Children's Book Review
Christian Novels
A Christian Writer's World
Cindy's Love of Books
Civil War History
Clear Shining After Rain
Confessions of a Bibliophile
Confuzzled Books
Critty Joy
Croak
Cubie's Confections
Cupid's Chokehold
Cynsations
Damn Heart...
The Dark Phantom Reviews
Deborah Vogts
Devourer of Books
Diary of an Eccentric
Dog Ear Diary
Dolce Bellezza
Elizabeth Willse
Everyday I Write the Book Blog
Experiments in Reading
Fashionista Piranha
Fizzy Thoughts
Fnord Incorporated
The Forgetful Faerie Queen
The Fox Reads
Free Spirit
Frequency of Silence
Fresh Ink
The Friendly Book Nook
Fyrefly's Book Blog
Grasping the Wind
God-Writing
Good Reads
The GRITS Online Reading Club
Heather's Books
Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?
The Hidden Side of a Leaf
Hope's Bookshelf
I Read What??
I Smell Books
Iced Tea - Books, TV, Etc.
In Laurie's Mind
In Spring it is the Dawn
The Indextrious Reader
Into the Fire
It's All About Books...
Jace Scribbles...
Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup
Janicu's Book Blog
Japanese Literature Challenge
Jen's Book Thoughts
Jenn's Bookshelf
Jennifer's Random Musings
Journey to the End of the TBR Pile
Joy's Blog
Julie's Jewels
Just A (Reading) Fool
Just Your Average Carpool Queen
Katrina's Reads
Kawzmik World
Kimani Press
Kittling: Books
Kristina's Favorites
Leafing Through Life
LadyVampire's Lair
The Lair of the Undead Rat
Lesa's Book Critiques
Lesley's Book Nook
LesleyW's Book Nook
Letters On Pages
Library Hospital
Life According to B
Life and Times of a "New" New Yorker
Lighthouse-Academy
Linus's Blanket
Literanista
Literarily
Literary Escapism
Literary License
The Literate Housewife Review
Liv's Book Reviews
Lori's Reading Corner
Lost In Books
Loud Latin Laughing
Love To Read
Lucky Ladybug
Lurve a la Mode
The Luscious Literary Muse
Madeleine's Book Blog
The Magic Lasso
Mama Bear Reads
Marilyn's Romance Reviews
Marireads
Marjolein's Book Blog
MarysLibrary
Maw Books Blog
Mayra's Secret Bookcase
Me, My Book, and the Couch
Medieval Bookworm
Melanie Anderson
Melody's Reading Corner
Mervi's Book Reviews
Michele - only one 'L'
Midnight Twilight's Book Blog
Minds Alive on the Shelves
Mirek's Blog--Reading Books
Miss Daisy Anne
Mistress of the Ancient Revelry
Mog's Blog and More...
Mrs. Magoo Reads
Muse Books Reviews
Musings
Musings of a Bookish Kitty
My Christian Fiction Blog
My Fifty Book Challenge
My Friend Amy
My Life in Books
Mysteries in Paradise
Necromancy Never Pays
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About Me

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I believe in promoting authors and their books. Let me introduce you and your books to online readers.

I'm also a happily married mother of three who's trying to break into the Christian writing field. The writing road can be rocky.

I’m available for:

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Contact me at:lchwriter@gmail.com

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