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Showing posts from August, 2009

Author Guest Post - Clare Austin

Readers, please join me welcoming Clare Austin, author of Butterflywho will be guest blogging here today!

Aug 31…

August has flitted past on Butterfly’s wings. My novel has been available for about six weeks now and all I can hope is the results of my promotional efforts are getting my book in the hands of readers.

So far the response to this first story in my Fadό Trilogy has been enthusiastic.

Butterfly has several themes. Music is paramount of course because it is about a family of musicians. It got me thinking again on the question “why music?”

I’m not a cultural anthropologist, but I suspect that throughout the history of humankind, it would be difficult to find a cultural group who had no music. It is likely as basic as an unborn child responding to the pulsing of her mother’s heart.

Why do we react at a deep emotional level to one musical genre and not another? I can listen to Chinese music, but I have to admit, it doesn’t call to my soul like an Irish lament or make my heart p…

Author Guest Post - Brett Battles

Today I'm pleased to welcome Brett Battles, author of  Shadow of Betrayal (400 pp, Delacorte Press, ISBN: 038534158X). His guest post here today is part of this book's virtual tour, courtesy Pump Up Your Book Promotion.
Writing a Series
By Brett Battles
Writing a series is a tricky thing. You want to write each book so that it can be picked up and read, in effect, as a stand alone. Yet you also want there to be continuity running from novel to novel to novel.

In a way it’s kind of like doing a television series. Back in pre-1990s television, not exclusively, but for the most part, if you watched a television series it would basically reset itself each week. What I mean by this is that each episode would seldom be affected by the episode that preceded it. One week, Richie Cunningham of HAPPY DAYS fame could break his arm, but the next week his arm is fine and there’s not even a reference to it. Or one of Charlie’s Angels could meet a great guy one week, and completely have forg…

Book Excerpt - The Divorce Party by Laura Dave

About the Book:
Laura Dave is widely recognized as an up-and-coming talent in women’s fiction. Now, with her characteristic wit and warmth, she captures a much-discussed cultural phenomenon that has never been profiled in fiction before—divorce celebrations. Set in Hamptons high society, The Divorce Party features two women—one newly engaged and one at the end of her marriage—trying to answer the same question: when should you fight to save a relationship, and when should you let go?

An insightful and funny multi-generational story, this deeply moving novel is sure to touch anyone whose heart has weathered an unexpected storm.

Montauk, New York, 1938

It is bizarre, of course, that this was the summer that everyone was trying to fly somewhere. Howard Hughes around the world in ninety-one hours, the luxurious Yankee Clipper boat off the water and into the air, Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan from New York to Los Angeles -- he wound up in Ireland. It was also the summer afte…

Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia - A Life in Poems

Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems ~ Patricia Neely-Dorsey
90 pages, GrantHouse Publishers, ISBN: 097962942X

Patricia Neely Dorsey's Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems is "a true celebration of the south and things southern." The author states , "There are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the south in general. In my book, using childhood memories, personal thoughts and dreams, I attempt to give a positive glimpse into the southern way of life. In my book I try to show that there is much is more to Mississippi and the south than all of the negatives usually portrayed .I invite readers to Meet Mississippi (and the south) Through Poetry ,Prose and The Written Word."
If you want a glimpse of Southern life,
Come close and walk with me;
I'll tell you all the simple things,
That you are sure to see.
You'll see mockingbirds and bumblebees,
Magnolia blossoms and dogwood trees,

Author Guest Post - Sandra Dallas

Readers, please join me welcoming Author Sandra Dallaswho will be guest blogging here today!
About the Author
Sandra Dallas is the author of eight novels, including TALLGRASS and NEW MERCIES. She is a former Denver bureau chief for Business Week magazine and lives in Denver, Colorado.

Prayers for Sale took me 45 years to write.

When I was first married, in 1963, my husband, Bob, and I lived in Breckenridge, Colorado. Although the ski area there had just opened (Bob was the first public relations director,) Breckenridge considered itself a mining town—a gold dredging town, although the dredges, which operated from the 1890s until World War II when gold mining was declared a nonessential industry, had shut down more than 20 years earlier.

In gold dredging, a huge barge sits on a mountain stream and sends a bucket line down to bedrock, scooping up rocks and dirt, gravel, sand, and grains of gold. The rocks are discarded, then the gold extracted through a sort of placer recovery method. …

Spotlight : Randy Sue Coburn's A Better View of Paradise

About the Book:

Thirty-six-year-old Stevie Pollack has come into her own as a celebrated landscape architect. Her designs, famed for their evocative natural beauty, reflect her upbringing amid the splendor of Hawai‘i. But when critics blast her latest efforts and her boyfriend abruptly ends their relationship, Stevie seeks solace in her roots among the dazzling flowers, and comforting traditions of the islands and their calming waters. Still, in the back of her mind, Hawai‘i holds troubling memories of a childhood with Hank, her emotionally distant father, and a reserved British mother.

Despite her irascible father’s presence, the trip home promises Stevie a welcome departure from her trials on the mainland. But the shocking news that Hank is dying forces the pair’s reunion into high gear. As father and daughter attempt to rekindle their bond, Stevie discovers sides of Hank she never knew, including family secrets that have shaped their lives. And what started as a holiday escape fo…

Review - Daniel X: Watch the Skies

As both a bestselling author and the father of an eleven-year-old son, James Patterson believes that the best way to get people excited about reading is to give them books they'll love. To help create a lifelong appreciation for books in kids everywhere, James Patterson has recently added young adult series to his repertoire, including, as many of you know, Daniel X. The first book in the series, The Dangerous Days of Daniel X, told the story of a teen with secret powers who hunts aliens and protects the Earth.

Now, Patterson introduces his second novel in the series, Daniel X: Watch the Skies. In this story, an evil outer-space outlaw named Number Five comes to a small town on Earth intending to produce an intergalactic version of "Survivor," with a twist: every human in the town will be eliminated. Daniel finds himself on a quest to stop Number Five and his alien crew, not just to save the world, but to save himself.

As you may remember from my review last year, the f…

Author Guest Post - Phyllis Zimbler Miller

Writing the Book Is Only Half the Battle; Promoting It Is the Other Half
By Phyllis Zimbler Miller
Many authors don’t realize that they have to wear two hats – one as book author and the other as book promoter. Often these people are rather surprised when they learn about this second half of book publishing.

Regardless of whether your book is traditionally published or self-published, you will have to do much if not all of the book promotion yourself unless you are a really, really famous author.

And the sooner you start your book promotion the better. When is this sooner? Is it while you are writing your book, while the book is making the agent/publisher rounds, when a publisher has said yes and scheduled your pub date a year from now, or when the book is published?

If you said “when the book is published,” your sooner is too late.

Book marketing is based on developing a relationship either online or offline with a potential reader. And relationships take time, as we all know, to …

Author Guest Post - Jason M. Kays

Today I'm pleased to welcome Jason M. Kays, author of Virtual Vice: A new technology crime novel based on true events. His guest post here today is part of this book's virtual tour, courtesy Pump Up Your Book Promotion.
How to Survive Rejection or a Bad Review By Jason M. Kays
Unless an author has a colossal ego, he feels some measure of dejection after receiving a rejection letter from a literary agent or publisher. I was no exception. In responding to or internalizing the rejection, the author needs to draw from those same reserves of tenacity and resilience that enabled him to complete the book.

I never approached publishers with the book, but did shop it out to approximately forty-five literary agents. I received plenty of rejection letters. To my pleasant surprise, I also received a letter of interest from a prominent agent in Los Angeles. Representation was contingent on my making the novel entirely non-fiction, something I was unwilling to do. It's highly unlikel…

A Conversation with Karen Weinreb

THE SUMMER KITCHEN by Karen Weinreb (St. Martin’s Press; 0-312-37925-4) is a remarkable debut novel about a woman dealing with the fallout when her spouse, a seemingly ideal husband and father, is arrested for white-collar crime. While this book is fiction, the basic setup of the story actually happened to the author. Though the headlines today are full of “bankers gone bad,” The Summer Kitchen shows the human side of financial misfortune and the innocent families that get caught in the aftermath of the crime.

Q. The Summer Kitchen tells the story of this affluent family’s loss of wealth and social prominence—a story of our times. Are you trying to relate any message?

A. The novel is really an inspirational story about the transcendent power of perspective. As the Grateful Dead once sung so aptly, “Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.” For the novel’s protagonist Nora Banks, losing her material worth and just about everything els…

An Article by Laura Dave, Author of The Divorce Party

5 Reasons to Stay with the Person You Love By Laura Dave Author of The Divorce Party: A Novel
One of my favorite quotes about love and marriage comes from Oscar Wilde: A Man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her. While that saying makes me laugh, Wilde is also getting to something important: Marriage is tricky. And in today's society where the martial woes of everyone from the Sanfords to John and Kate Gosselin are headline news, we are presented with every reason in the world to give up on our relationships -- and fewer and fewer reasons to stay. While researching my most recent novel, I sat down and spoke to women, men, and married couples about why they do stay. And, sometimes, why they wished they had.

This is the best advice I've found.

1. Love is a decision
Watching Governor Sanford stand up over these past weeks and speak about how he found his soul mate in his Argentinean lover reminded me of something Pema Chodron, a Buddhist nun and author, wrote ab…

Author Guest Post - Diane Craver

Readers, please join me welcoming Diane Craver author of Whitney In Chargewho will be guest blogging here today!


When people give writing advice, one of the things they say is "Write what you know."

Well, I think that is true to a certain extent, but not always. I believe you should be adventuresome and write what you don't know. Get out of your comfort zone and experience life. If you don't feel like doing something new, like skydiving, driving race cars, playing rugby, bungee jumping, or flying your own plane, then research what you have never done and write about it. You don't have to actually do something that scares the heck out of you. Let your characters do the unique hobbies.

That's what happened with my idea to have skydiving in my book, Whitney In Charge. I have never gone skydiving, but from what I have read about skydiving and heard from my daughter's friend, it sounds like an awesome thing to experience. Consequently, I decided…

Author Guest Post - Wahida Clark

Readers, please join me welcoming Author Wahida Clarkwho will be guest blogging here today!
The story behind Thug Lovin’ highlights the series’ favorite ghetto fab couple since Beyonce and Jay-Z: Trae and Tasha. The couple relocates from New York to sunny California, looking forward to a new start. However, in addition to the new start, old behaviors resurface in both of them.

This book was a huge challenge because not only are they the favorite couple of the majority of my readers, they are my favorite couple as well. I have grown attached to them. I was forced to choose between keeping them perfect, lovey, dovey, couple, resulting in the pages read like a soap opera gone bad, or tainting them, thus creating an emotional, unpredictable, breath taking, roller coaster of a ride, page-turner leaving the fans gasping for air. I chose the latter.
Readers, your thoughts / comments are most welcome.

If you like this post…

Author Guest Post - Belinda Acosta

Readers, please join me welcoming Author Belinda Acostawho will be guest blogging here today!

On how Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz came to be:

When I was contacted about writing a series on quinceañeras I had just reviewed Julia Alvarez’s nonfiction book, Once Upon a Quinceañera for The Austin Chronicle. So, the subject was in high on my radar. What intrigued me about the subject was similar to what intrigued Alvarez, I think: What does it mean to be a woman today? Is there something about the Latina experience that is unique? Why have a ritual to mark this “passage”? Where did the tradition stem from? And on and on and on. I find it amusing that I did not have a quinceañera, I had never been to one prior to writing this book, and I don’t have any children. I do know, from first hand experience, how complicated the relationship between mothers and daughters can be. Part of what makes Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz stand out is that it focuses on that relationship—the good and the bad, hopef…

Author Guest Post - Linwood Barclay

Today I'm pleased to welcome Linwood Barclay, author of Fear the Worst. His guest post here today is part of this book's virtual tour, courtesy Pump Up Your Book Promotion.
Fear the Worst hit bookstores on August 11th, and many readers are already calling it the best of my thrillers so far. Fast-moving, loads of suspense, a real page-turner. But something no one seems to have zeroed in on is the thing that makes this thriller very different.

The hero is a car salesman.

In most thrillers, our protagonist is, to varying degrees, familiar with crime and those who practice it. Maybe he or she's a spy, or ex-military. A cop or a private detective. An FBI agent. A profiler, maybe.

But the hero is not, generally, someone who sells Honda Accords.

People who sell Hondas are not typically acquainted with the bad guy element. (I'd like to go out on a limb here and say this is also true of people who sell Fords, Toyotas, Nissans, and most other makes.) Tim Blake, who tells th…

Spotlight: : F. W. vom Scheidt's Coming For Money

About the Author:

F. W. vom Scheidt is a director of an international investment firm. He works and travels in the world’s capital markets, and makes his home in Toronto, Canada. He is also the author of a new book, Coming for Money (Blue Butterfly Book Publishing), a remarkable and provocative novel about the world of international finance and the human quests for success, understanding and love. You can find out more about his book at

About the Book:

How much money is too much? And how fast is too fast in life?

International investment firm director and author F. W. vom Scheidt, writes from his first hand-hand experience of the world of global money spinning with candor and authenticity in his remarkable literary novel Coming for Money.

As investment star Paris Smith steps onto the top rungs of the corporate ladder, he is caught between his need for fulfillment and his need for understanding; trapped between his drive for power a…