Monday, January 31, 2011

ExcerpTuesday: Judi Coltman

Is It Just Me? or Is Everyone a Little Nuts! is a funny, sometimes ironic book that offers a laugh out loud look at parenting, marriage, aging and small town living from an suburban point of view.

Written in short chapters, Coltman retells everyday life events, conversations and stories infused with her skewed sense of humor. These small snippets of life are moments in which anyone can identify and laugh at themselves as well. Middle age can be boring, but Coltman allows the naughty into her life from time to time, like her adult Scout Troop, "Cougar Scouts" Troop 69, or conversations between her middle aged self and her seventeen year old self that will leave you rolling ( and remembering!) A great quick read beach side, poolside in the tub!

Chapter Sixteen An Ounce Of Prevention

Healthcare. There, I said it and now I’ll stand back while the people from both sides of the issue line up baring teeth and waving baseball bats. It is, absolutely, a political hot button that conjures up the most biting words with the teeth marks often showing up on the best of friends. I am concerned about the Healthcare Crisis too, but my reasons are a little different and some may seem a wee bit selfish, but I have a solution and it is nothing short of genius.

I’m all about preventative care. It only makes sense, doesn’t it, to avoid a disease instead of waiting for it to extend it’s clammy hands around your neck and then worry about the costly treatment? My own genetics point to heart related issues. I’m not happy about this but the die has been cast and the best thing I can do is try to live my life in a preventative manner which, to me, means taking steps to avoid heart disease. And I think insurance should be more than happy to pay for it.

This is my proposal: I think insurance should pay for a lifetime of red wine. Simple right? Everyone knows that the tannins of the grape skin found in red wine have been found to be beneficial to the heart. In fact, a glass of wine a day is a RECOMMENDATION for optimum heart health. I’d say that’s a no brainer. In fact, if I were the insurance companies, I would be making tracks to my local winery to make a sweet deal whereby they partner with the vintner to have cases of red wine sent to their clients every month. Then they could partner with UPS or even FedEx and get an even sweeter deal just by volume alone and I think that is tax deductible for them, so win, win, win.

And here’s how it would go: At any reasonable age after turning the age of majority. . . .say 21, a required medical check-up would be required. After a complete health history, physical work-up, blood panel and a Heart Score test, the freshly minted 21-year-old would begin a lifelong preventative program that begins with a required glass of wine every day.


Raised in an affluent suburb of Detroit, Judi Coltman grew up in a female heavy household with an urban sense of "normal."

Coltman attended Michigan State University, majoring in Journalism until a professor requested she switch majors - "Apparently making a story better with added features isn't acceptable in the news world," Coltman laments.

With a BA in English from Northern Illinois University, Coltman has written for local, regional and national publications.

Most recently, Coltman has been writing a weekly blog called, "My Life in a Nutshell," from where her book material was born.

Coltman splits her time between northern Illinois and California where she and her husband lead a double life as Gidget and Moondoggy. Coltman is currently working on her second, third and fifth books simultaneously.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

All Things Romantic Suspense: S.R. Claridge

1. How long have you been writing? The first time I wrote anything was when I was thirteen years old and my grandmother died. I wrote a poem about her and I haven’t stopped writing since. Back then, and even now to some degree, it was an emotional release for me. I could take everything that was pent up inside and spew it out in words on a page… somehow I felt better. I have boxes and boxes of horrible poetry sitting in my attic. 

2. Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants? I am definitely a fly by the seat of my pants writer. Sometimes I have a general idea of where the story will end up, but I have no idea how it gets there. The characters take on a life of their own and steer the story from there.

3. What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it? It was actually a non-fiction book on marriage entitled, “There’s a Spouse in My House.” I didn’t try to publish it because when I finished writing it, I felt like it was dry and boring. I put it on a shelf and began writing a fictional story about a married couple… this eventually became my first published novel, NO EASY WAY.

4. How many rejections have you received? I received 37 rejections for NO EASY WAY and 12 contest critiques. At that time I sat down and cried, then got back up and did one helluva re-write… I’m talking major overhaul. I submitted again and was nominated for the Heart of Molly award and had a contract from a publisher.

5. Why did you pick the publisher that ultimately published your book? This is a great question because I had a publisher interested in NO EASY WAY at the same time I had an Agent interested. I was a nervous wreck… wanting to make the right decision for my career. Ultimately I went with my publisher (Kimberlee Williams; Vanilla Heart Publishing) because she took the time to answer my every question… and I had hundreds of questions! Kimberlee was tracking with the present industry changes and the Agent felt aloof and a bit old-school to me. Kimberlee continues to take the time to educate me, motivate me, encourage me… as she does with all of her writers.

I think it’s important when you choose an Agent or a Publisher that you have a solid working relationship with that person. It’s sort of like you’re climbing in a canoe together and you have to trust that the other person is going to pick up a paddle and help.

6. If you have a day job, what is it? I’m the General Manager of our Household… a Domestic Goddess (I like that one best!)  But most of all, they call me “mom.”

7. What’s your favorite quote? “Nothing is impossible… the very word itself says ‘I’m Possible.” Audrey Hepburn (I love her!)

8. What authors do you admire? New York Times Best Selling ones!

9. What place that you haven’t visited would you like to go? I would love to go back to Italy and to Paris… two of my favorite places to visit. I want to see Greece, Australia and Switzerland.

10. What other time period besides your own would you like to experience? None from the past…. Perhaps a futuristic time period would be fun.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Authorsday: R. Ann Siracusa

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

My mother was a librarian, so I’ve always liked to read and write stories. Also, I had a wonderful English teacher in high school who encouraged me to write, but I never considered it as a profession. I earned my degree in Architecture from UC Berkeley, worked in Rome, got married there, and was caught up with family and profession.

I did a lot of non-fiction and professional writing in my work, but I didn’t follow up on my interest in fiction writing until I was in my forties. I read a novel that everyone was raving about and said, “Oh, man. Even I can write better than this.” So I wrote a novel in about 8 months. It wasn’t better – learning the craft took a while – but I was on my way. I’d been writing seriously (in spite of my demanding family, a 60 hr+/week job, and a two-hour-each-way commute) for about ten years before I realized that fiction writing was my “calling.”

2. How did you pick the genre you write in?

I think it picked me, at least for the humorous romantic suspense series I’ve been writing for Sapphire Blue Publishing. I get bored writing in the same genre, so I like to switch, which didn’t help getting a writing career established. (Publishers, and readers, like to know what kind of book they are getting when they pick up something by a particular author.)

World travel and writing are my two passions. I had no idea when I started traveling that I’d work the things I saw and learned into novels, but I’ve managed to combine them. No matter what genre I’m writing in, my work tends to be action/adventure oriented, and I’d say most of my work is 60% external action driven and 40% character/relationships driven. And I don’t have much success writing to guidelines. I tell the story that’s inside me to tell, so my work never quite fits the genre guidelines.

3. Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?

I’m about fifty-fifty. I wrote my mafia thriller with only a loose outline and ended up with 300,000 words. Cutting over 600 pages was like killing my children. Some of my favorite scenes and best writing had to go. I cried for 6 months, and then it took another year and a half to revise.

After that, I wrote from a very tight outline until my experiment with writing humor in first person (All For A Dead Man’s Leg). That started out with a general idea and not a clue what was going to happen. It worked, but I was so lucky. Since then, I settled into using a one-page plotting outline (one sentence per scene about what has to happen) so I know where I’m going, what scenes I need to get there, and the plot points, but not specifically how I’ll accomplish it. And, of course, things change along the way (no matter whether you’re a plotter or pantser). I update the plot outline if modifications are important enough to impact other scenes, plot points, and overall direction.

4. What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it?

The first novel I wrote was entitled “Ride on the Back of Lightning,” a romance about a young woman who wants to make a career in motocross racing. You have to understand this was in the early 1980s when Harlequin Presents was about the only romance line, and the heroines were limited to being nannies, school teachers, and nurses, or they just stayed home and lived with their parents. Boring! I was an architect. I didn’t want to write about nannies, grammar school teachers, or nurses. I thought American woman wanted more challenging and adventurous heroines. (This was before Harlequin had ever published a novel set in the US.) I got an agent (Florence Feiler) who liked the concept, but Harlequin told her they never touched entertainment or sports heroines because readers didn’t relate. Ho Hum. Well, I didn’t sell that one.

Years later, I thought about rewriting it as a young adult, but before I got it finished, Disney came out with a movie based loosely on the same idea (a young woman successful in motocross racing). While the story line was different than mine, I felt it would look like I’d lifted the concept from the Disney movie, so it’s still sitting in a three ring binder somewhere in box in my garage.

5. What do you know now that you are published that you didn’t know pre-published that you wish you knew?

A whole lot. In fact, I’m giving a class through my RWA chapter on “Everything I Wish I’d Known (and done) a Year Before I Published.” Once you’re published, writing becomes a business, and being a good writer doesn’t make someone a good business person.

A lot of what I didn’t know has to do with marketing in today’s electronic world, but a lot is preplanning, organization, and contacts that make life a lot easier and less stressful. My first novel (Family Secrets: A Vengeance of Tears) was published in 2008. Since then, I’ve had six published by Sapphire Blue and a seventh coming out in January. I’m still playing catch up.

6. How many rejections have you received? Lots! Was I supposed to be counting? Oh, man.

7. Why did you pick the publisher that ultimately published your book?

Like most beginning authors, I accepted the first offer I got. Not the smartest way to pick a publisher, but I believe it’s fairly common. And I haven’t been unhappy about the choice.

I went with an e-publisher because, as I pointed out, I can’t write to guidelines, so my work never quite fits the genre requirements. With the market as it is, my chances with a NY publisher were slim. E-publishers are more open to new authors, mixing genres, and approaches that are a little less “formula.” And I accepted the offer knowing the differences in business plan and marketing and accepting those differences.

That said, I would advice aspiring authors to really understand why they write, to pin down their expectations and goals, and to analyze the styles and the genres they write in. Then, do serious homework to select the appropriate publishers/agents to submit to. If the author has done a good job being honest with him/herself and has found appropriate matches, it probably won’t matter who makes the offer (unless there is something personal about the agent or editor, or the money deal stinks).

8. Tell me one thing about yourself that very few people know?

Let’s see. I like these two because they always let me know which of my friends and colleagues have actually read my interviews.

I had to look up the word fidanzata in the English-Italian dictionary to find out I was “engaged”, and the most unusual place I ever made love was on the steps of Palazzo della Civiltá Italiana in Rome. (Well, it was late at night and dark.)

9. What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing?

Describing locations, cultures, attitudes, and ways of life vividly and with the kind of details you can’t get any other way than being there so the readers feel as though they have been there.

10. What’s your favorite quote? There are many that strike a chord, depending on the moment. One of my favorites is: We have met the enemy, and he is us! ~ Pogo.

Author Bio:

R. Ann Siracusa is involved in many activities, but her two favorite are traveling the world and writing fiction. This talented author combines those passions into novels which transport readers to exotic settings, immerse them in romance, intrigue, and foreign cultures, and make them laugh.

Retired from a career in architecture and urban planning (multi-published in professional non-fiction), she lives in San Diego, California, and writes full time. Her first novel was published in 2008, and since then seven additional works have been published by Sapphire Blue Publishing. She has been active in Romance Writers of America since 1985.

Book Blurb:

Title: Destruction Of The Great Wall

I’m Harriet Ruby, Tour Director Extraordinaire, and my fondest wish has come true! Will Talbot, my favorite Super Spy, wants to include me in his covert mission to recover a list of double agents. I am so-o going to love this!

I only have to pretend we’re husband and wife when he accompanies me on my China tour. How hard can that be?

Surprise! My parents show up on the tour. Then my mother and I are kidnapped, luring Will into a trap. Not to mention the damage my assault rifle does to the Great Wall. It wasn’t my fault. Really!

Monday, January 24, 2011

ExcerpTuesday: Elaine Cantrell

Excerpt: Return Engagement

In this excerpt my heroine has received a message supposedly from my hero asking her to meet him in a questionable part of town.

She turned into the front parking lot which was empty of cars and saw a faded and dusty closed sign in the office window. Wonder how many years the place had been closed? Okay, she’d try around back.

She drove around to the back side of the motel where she found a late model silver Buick and a black Jaguar parked side by side. Richard must have a Jaguar, too, thought Elizabeth. She wondered who owned the Buick and decided it probably belonged to someone helping him with her surprise.

She parked beside the two cars and looked around. Richard hadn’t mentioned a room number, but all of the doors were closed except room 205 which stood partially open. That must be the one. She hurried across the parking lot and stepped inside Room 205. It smelled musty and seemed dark to her, but the sun shone brightly today. She paused a moment to give her eyes time to adjust.
The room was bigger than she’d expected. Actually, it was a suite, not a single room at all. At one time it had probably looked very lovely, but now it just looked old and battered.

Water-stained wallpaper peeled from one corner while the carpet underfoot was littered with some type of black, loamy substance, maybe dirt, maybe mildew. She didn’t see anyone, so she called, “Richard? Where are you?”

No one answered, but she saw an interior door hanging from one hinge near the back of the room and decided to check it out. She took three steps into the quiet darkness before she finally realized something was wrong. Things didn’t feel right in this room. Every nerve in her body screamed danger, and she seemed to have ice water instead of blood in her veins. She was getting out of here!

With a gasp she turned to run, but she had waited too late. A small man stood between her and the front door. He held an ugly, black gun that pointed straight at her. “Miss Lane, how very good of you to come,” he began, his voice cultured, precise, and quiet. “This gathering would not be complete without your presence.”

“Who are you? Where’s Richard?” Elizabeth shrilly demanded.

“All of your questions will be answered in time, Miss Lane.” He didn’t take the gun off Elizabeth as he backed toward the outer door and shut it. “Please walk in front of me to the next room. There’s someone there who’s waiting for you.”

Blurb: Return Engagement

Elizabeth Lane has it all, but an actress isn’t the kind of woman Senator Henry Lovinggood wants for his son, Richard. Ten years ago he broke Richard and Elizabeth up, but this time Elizabeth’s fighting back, a decision that leads to kidnapping and attempted murder and alienates her from the man of her dreams.

Author bio

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She holds a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America and EPIC authors. Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Books. At present she teaches high school social studies. In her spare time she enjoys reading, collecting vintage Christmas ornaments, and playing with her grandchildren.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Authorsday: Saffina Desforges

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

It is cliqued to say “from when I could hold a pen” but it’s true! I can remember as far back as primary school making stories up for Halloween and Christmas etc and writing them down in an exercise book. It isn’t something I want to do, I have to do it.

2. How long have you been writing?
I have been writing properly (i.e. actually believing that I am a writer!) for about two years, but have always written for personal enjoyment since my early teens.

3. How did you pick the genre you write in?
Ah well, that’s a tricky one. My first completed novel is a crime thriller, but I am writing a dark, urban fantasy, as well as a series of commercial crime thrillers, so I guess I write across more than one genre (rightly or wrongly).

4. Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?
Don’t you see these holes? ;-)

5. What drew you to the subject of Sugar & Spice?
The controversy of the subject and the fact that people choose to ignore the issues that S&S covers.

6. Did you encounter any obstacles in researching it?
Many, because it is such a taboo subject. The research was a long, hard slog and sometimes, people didn’t want to talk about what they knew or be associated with the subject matter.

7. What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it?
I am still writing the first novel I ever wrote! It is 75% completed and I hope to have it ready for the middle of next year.

8. What’s your favorite quote?
“Better to remain silent and look a fool, then to speak and remove all doubt.” I have no idea who it belongs to, it was on a desk calendar and I have never forgotten it.

9. What do you do when you are not writing?
I play and watch football (and yes, I am a girl!)

10. What was the hardest scene to write?
The scenes where Greg Randall is undergoing ‘therapy’ at the Institute. It was very difficult to get into the mind of a male with pedophile tendencies and not feel uncomfortable.

Author Bio:
I am a thirty-something writer from England. I live with my partner and a head full of people that don’t ever let me sleep.


Book Blurb::
When you've got two young children, and you think the unthinkable, where do you turn? Inspired by the story of a man who begged a Judge to give him a longer sentence, because he knew he would harm another child if released, Sugar & Spice is meticulously researched, asking the questions society prefers not to have answered. At once disquieting and challenging, Sugar & Spice is car crash reading

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Reporposed Writer

Consuelo Saah Baehr shares how she repurposed herself.

I am a repurposed writer who got off the couch several months ago, formatted my out-of-print backlist books published them on Amazon and now sell them in the Kindle store.

If someone had told me in January 2010 that by the end of the year I would own a virtual bookstore with six titles and that I could and would sell books in America, the U.K. Canada and possibly other countries while I slept (as well as when I was awake) and that these books would not be yanked off the shelves because they weren’t selling hundreds of copies a day but would remain for sale in the store for as long as I wanted, I would have said: “Welcome to “never” land.”

I’ve been writing for twenty years and previous to e-publishing, the portrait of the average author was of an ill-groomed person, alone in a room, a look of desperation on his face. Two distant and withholding persons controlled his happiness: his agent and his publisher. The only good news ever received was the day a publishing house bought his book. “We’ve sold the book,” the agent would say and mention the sum of the advance. The fate of the book was instantly decided by someone the author had never met: the sales force. The sales force dictated the size of the print run and the print run determined the distribution of the book. There followed a year of complete silence while the book was produced. Even with good reviews the active life of a new book lasted at best three or four months. The book then went out of print.

If that picture seems bleak, it is because it is bleak. In fact the word bleak was coined for mid-list writers publishing books traditionally in the United States.

At first, the idea of re-issuing my books as e-books was similar to telling me I could perform brain surgery. That world belonged to bright young tech savvy entrepreneurs, not a middle-aged mother of three. I began to read the blogs and even with Joe Konrath cheerleading with wild enthusiasm, it took me a year to get on board. I began by re-typing all of my books into my computer and editing. The Smashwords Style Guide showed me how to format the documents. My daughter made new covers and in late August I pulled the trigger and uploaded the books onto Amazon. Happiness ensued.

Along with my backlist books, I’ve published two e-book originals and plan to resurrect all of the half-finished novels I found in my files. Slowly I am building reviews and a visible brand. A word of caution: uploading a book onto Amazon does not assure you instant sales. You have to do marketing work and there is plenty of advice for this on the Kindleboards a community of generous and knowledgeable people. As part of marketing, I began a blog and found I love blogging. My blog is: The Repurposed Writer. Just as we repurpose material that we used to throw away: newspapers, plastic, metal, etc., e-pubilshing has repurposed all those wonderful books that had too short a life.

Monday, January 17, 2011

ExcerpTuesday: Janice Seagraves

Bio: I was told to tell a little bit about myself, so here we go:

My name is Janice Seagraves. I’ve been married to the same man for thirty-one years. We live in the same small California town where I was born and grew up. We have one daughter who is just grown but still lives with us. Our home is a hundred year old haunted house (not kidding). We are owned by an overly affectionate cat, a handicapped dove, and a pigeon that is in love with my husband (also not kidding).

I’ve been writing toward publication for eleven years. Windswept Shores is my first book; the genre is erotic contemporary or contemporary erotic. Or is that the same thing? *scratches head* But there is a plot. It’s not just about the sex, folks. J And I think you can guess there is a little humor too.

I write mostly romance but of various genres: soft sci-fi, paranormal, and contemporary with some suspense elements, along with a little humor to make it more interesting. J

Janice’s website:

Windswept Shores’ buy link:

Windswept Shores Blurb:

The sole survivor of a plane crash, Megan is alone on a deserted island in the Bahamas until she finds a nearly-drowned man washed up on shore. Another survivor, this time from a boat wreck. With only meager survival skills between them, will they survive and can they find love?


Megan felt a ripple of muscles under her hand. Running her fingers higher, she found a nipple, then another one. The warm skin was smooth. Good. I hate a hairy chest. A belly button was at the bottom end of an even set of bumps. Oh, a six pack. Her caresses seemed to wonder back to the nipples, which hardened under her touch.

“Stop, luv, or I’ll be forced to return the favor,” Seth breathed.

Megan jerked her hand back like she’d touched a hot stove. Realizing she was spooning him, she scooted away. Heat started in her face, running all the way down her neck and chest. Oh, God, what am I doing? “Um, er, sorry, I-I was half asleep,” she stuttered.

“Hmm, a good excuse for a fondle,” he murmured as he rolled toward her.

In the pre-dawn light, she saw he wore nothing but his briefs, and he was happy to be there.

“Megz, this is killing me.”

She jerked her gaze to his face. “Maybe one of us should sleep in the bunk beds.”

“Can’t, luv. My feet hang off the end.”

“What did you do when Bill was alive?”

“I let ‘em hang. Bill was captain and entitled to the big bed.”

“I’m little enough to sleep in there.”

“You can’t climb up to the top bunk with yer hurt leg, and it’s the only one with a mattress.” He moved against her, slipping an arm around her waist, murmuring, “I reckon there’s something else we can share, besides sleeping arrangements.”

“Seth. Don’t. Please,” she said, afraid he would kiss her. When he moved away, she found herself disappointed. What is wrong with me? Visions of him seducing her flooded her mind. She bit her lip, trying to look anywhere but at his passion filled gaze.

“Megz, you know he’s dead.”

“No, I don’t!” she snapped. Tears filled her eyes.

“If he isn’t, I reckon he appreciates your faithfulness.” He got up to use the bathroom. Shortly, she heard water running.

“He never has before,” she whispered.

Thanks for stopping by Janice.
book trailer:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Excerpt from Sheryl Locke Holmes Mysteries

Sheryl Locke Holmes Mystery Series

Book 2: Ruby’s Deadly Secret

By C.L. Exline


What do you get when you add a ruby, diary, secrets, and a mansion? A motive for murder. Sheryl Locke Holmes and her best friend, Dot Watson, have been offered an exciting opportunity to explore Bridgeside, a Victorian mansion, to search for items for their antique shop. Their adventure is short-lived when they discover a diary containing dark secrets and a newspaper clipping with a warning written in what appears to be blood. They get trapped in the attic, Dot is attacked and they find out the owner died inside the house. As if that isn’t enough, Jake is spotted with another woman. Clues are pointing to Sheryl as the next target, no matter who gets in the way.

Excerpt from Ruby’s Deadly Secret

Sheryl gazed into Jake’s eyes and caressed his cheek. “I’m sorry for overreacting. For a brief moment, I thought I had lost you. I know better, but I’d just been with Mrs. Wallace and listened to how much her husband’s betrayal had hurt her. I wasn’t thinking, not with my head. Forgive me.”

“Take your hands off of me!” yelled a voice in the distance.

Sheryl and Jake looked over to see Dot being physically escorted out of the restaurant.


“Look, you little toad, take your hands off of me.”

“I better intercede before Dot gets physical.” Jake hurried to smooth things over. “Lawrence, it’ll be okay. I’ll take over.”

Lawrence let go of Dot, but glared at her before facing Jake. “She and that blonde friend of hers are not welcome in our establishment. Both are troublemakers. We run a reputable business and cannot have altercations disrupting our patrons.”

“Like I care to go back in! I wouldn’t go in that rat hole if my life depended on it,” Dot said and rubbed her arm. “You better hope I don’t get bruises from your manhandling me.”

The man snorted before stomping back into the restaurant.

“You didn’t hit Lisa, did you?” Jake asked.

“Lawrence wouldn’t let me.”

Buy link:

Cassie’s Bio:

I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense, sometimes with sizzle and always with a dash of humor. Married with children, I work for a small town newspaper along the east coast. Have a two ebooks published at Wild Child Publishing, Amber's Mysterious Death and Ruby's Deadly Secret, plus two more in contract. Several short stories published at Ruthie's Club, The Erotic Woman, Erotic Bookworm, and Justus Roux. I'm a member of Erotica Author's Association, Erotica Readers & Writers Association and Desdmona's FishTank. Author's Page at: Manic Readers at




Book Trailers:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Authorsday: L. E. Harvey

L. E. Harvey is an author from Harleysville, PA. Nationally published at the age of fourteen, her work can be found in newspapers, magazines, historical and scientific journals, books and textbooks across the country. When she’s not writing, she also works as an alt and pinup model.

L. E. Harvey currently resides in New York with her wife, their four-year-old daughter; four (rescued) cats: Chantico, Consuelo, Squeak, and Teddy Roosevelt; (rescued) dog, Yankee; and (rescued) mallard duck, Plucky.

1) Describe your book.

Imperfect is the story of Carol Mathers. Carol was born a sickly child in a

turbulent home. During her childhood, she is so sick that she receives a blood

transfusion; it is the early 1980s.

The book opens on her twenty-first birthday when she meets the love of her

life: Alexandria.

Over the next twelve years, the couple finds triumph and tragedy. They face

prejudice, racism, sexism, joy and sorrow, always by each other’s side. In 2000,

they discover that Carol has acquired AIDS as a result of her childhood

transfusion. Now, they must face even more prejudice and ignorance as they

create a new life for themselves as AIDS patients.

An unexpected tragedy causes Carol to ponder the meaning of her life, or if

there is any meaning at all…

2) What drew you to the subject of Imperfect?

When I first began writing Imperfect I was going through a medical crisis of

my own. Trying to understand my own situation and to deal with the various

emotions that go along with such a situation, I began writing from my heart.

I am quite happy to say that I am in good health once again. Even though my

ordeal is long over, Imperfect is still a book that very much came from my soul.

Writing it helped me through one of the darkest times of my life. I did not hold

back as I wrote it, and I think that translates to readers. My heart is written on

those pages, and I am proud of that.

3) Did you Encounter any obstacles in researching it?

Thankfully, I didn’t really come across any obstacles. Researching a book

that so heavily relies on medical information is tremendously time consuming.

Being a person with a medical background, I really wanted to make sure my book

was accurate. Paying such close attention to detail and ensuring the validity of

my information drove me insane at times, but I think the final product was well

worth the time and effort.

4) What’s your favorite thing about your book?

That is a toughie. Imperfect is so close to my heart. I really made sure I

wrote scenes and events that everyone could relate to. There’s a particularly fun

scene where Carol and Alex are singing their hearts out to their favorite songs.

Who doesn’t love to just sing and have fun when a good song comes on the

radio? Relate-ability is important to me as a writer, and I think that Imperfect is

the kind of story that many people can relate to.

5) What is one thing your hero would do that you wouldn’t?

Carol is very much a studious person. Too much so, actually. She never takes

a break from school when she’s in college. In fact, she takes classes during the

winter and summer interims. Although I am a proponent of high education and

learning, I gladly enjoyed my breaks in college. I don’t think I am as dedicated

as she is!

6) What was your favorite scene to write?

Undoubtedly, the scene where Alex and Carol are singing in the car to their

favorite songs. It was easy to get swept away in their fun and care-free moment

as I wrote it. I love writing fun, happy scenes. I think I have as much fun, if not

more, as my characters!

7) What was the hardest scene to write?

The hardest scene in Imperfect was towards the end. I’ll simply refer to it as

the scene in the bank, so as not to give anything away. It was a scene about a

very unexpected event, so it was difficult to put my characters in such an unusual

scene. It was also a very intense scene that causes dramatic changes for all of the

characters, so that made it emotionally difficult to write. I get very emotionally

invested in my books and characters, so a scene like that really affects me as I

write it. Despite the difficulties in writing it, I think it ended up being a strong,

powerful scene and it carries the story well.

8) Who is your favorite character in Imperfect?

The obvious choice would be Carol, the heroine. Mind you, she does hold a

special place in my heart. Candace, though, I think is probably one of the

greatest characters in the book.

Candace is Carol’s young sister-in-law. We get to watch Candace grow up

and blossom into an incredible, wise woman. She has tremendous depth. She is

an incredibly interesting and unique character. I thoroughly enjoyed watching

her grow and change. I’ve had a few readers tell me that she was their favorite as


9) What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

There was so much to take pleasure in when I wrote Imperfect. The research

and details that went into were enjoyable and educational. The best part, though,

was writing a book that was emotional, cerebral and even spiritual. Imperfect

(and its soon-to-be-released sequel) is/are books like you’ve never read before. I

am very proud to have written something that truly moves people and causes

them to think, and possibly even change. Writing such a unique story has got to

be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences a writer can have.

10) What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing?

I’m an extremely emotional person, and I think that helps me to convey

emotions well when I write. Feeling things deeply makes it easy for those

emotions to flow up and become more than just words on paper.

I have had several readers and reviewers also tell me that my descriptions are

quite vivid. That pleases me to no end. I believe that the job of a writer is to

paint with words. According to these people, I do just that. That is a strength I

am proud to have.

Book Blurb:

Imperfect is the life story of a woman named Carol Mathers.

Carol was born prematurely and she had to receive a blood transfusion.

She meets her partner, Alexandria, on her twenty first birthday.

Carol eventually learns that her childhood transfusion has caused her and Alexandria to acquire AIDS. Trying to live with AIDS and maintain a normal life becomes increasingly difficult.

An unexpected event causes Carol to lose everything, and wonder if her life has any meaning at all.

A story too great for one volume, Imperfect is the first in a set of two very powerful and emotional books.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The New Bullet Train of Publishing

Viva la E-book Revolution!

Evelyn David

Authors have been publishing their own work since the beginning of time. Cavemen didn't use a third party to put their drawings up on the wall. But self-publishing has always been the ugly duckling in the publishing world – with no hope of transforming into a beautiful swan. No matter how you tried to dress it up, admit that you had self-published your book and the universal assumption was that a self-published book was "unworthy," evidence of the writer's "vanity," never the equal of any book published by even the smallest commercial house. Self-published tomes were rarely eligible for any prizes awarded for excellence; their authors unable to use those books for entry into professional writing organizations. It didn't matter how many copies you had sold, you weren't worthy. All you had was the dream that perhaps a big publishing house would notice the sales and decide to buy it. The publisher doing the writer the big favor of finally legitimizing what the public had already decided – that it was obviously a darn good book.

But in the last year, probably in the last six months, the publishing world has been hit by a tidal wave of authors who've decided to ignore the old conventional wisdom about self-publishing and instead proudly format their own work into e-books, launch them into the Internet marketplace, and with each sale, pocket more money on the sale of a $2.99 e-book than they had on 10 paperbacks published by a big New York City publisher.

Count Evelyn David as one of the riders on this new bullet train to publishing success.

While our paperback publisher had released Kindle and Nook versions of our first two mysteries, Murder Off the Books and Murder Takes the Cake, starting in October, we became our own e-book publishers for a new series, The Brianna Sullivan Mysteries. But while we've definitely donned some rose-colored glasses about the e-book revolution, we actually can see quite clearly the difficulties and barriers that authors face when they choose to take this route. But forewarned means forearmed, or if you're willing to roll up your sleeves and get a little messy, you too can publish your own e-books.

We began the process of converting our stories into e-book formats without any idea of how to do it. Of course we're used to jumping off into the deep end. We only learned afterward that collaborating on a novel was supposed to be impossible and we've been collaborating for six years now without any problems.

When we decided to publish The Brianna Sullivan Mysteries, we researched the process and taught ourselves how to do it. (This is the Northern half of this writing duo interjecting here: Let's be honest. It is the Southern half who taught herself how to format and upload e-books. The Northern half is limited to being a very enthusiastic cheering squad.)

There are lots of guides and blogs out there for authors on how to format e-books, but we never found one that gave us the amount of detail we needed. The best information we found was at Smashwords. ( ) Smashwords is an e-book publishing and distribution platform. You upload your manuscript there and Smashwords converts your book into multiple e-book formats, including Kindle, Nook (e-pub), PDF, Apple i-Pad, etc. Smashwords has a "free" guidebook for getting your manuscript ready for uploading to Smashwords' "meat-grinder." Read it carefully, more than once (like maybe a dozen times), before following the instructions. It's complicated but do-able.

The information you glean from the Smashwords guidebook is very useful for preparing for uploads to not only Smashwords' "meatgrinder," but Amazon's Digital Text Platform and Barnes & Noble's PubIt!

You'll want a cover image, one for the outside of your e-book and one inserted inside. Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords all suggest different cover sizes. You'll have to experiment to see what looks best. You are responsible for creating or providing the cover image. Check the Library of Congress web site for royalty-free images you can download and use. For e-books, a simple cover is best. Remember most of the potential buyers are going to see your cover for the first time as an image slightly larger than a thumbnail. You want the title and author name to be readable.

We're not saying it's easy. Revolutions rarely are. Nor are we suggesting that you eschew the traditional publishing route. We're certainly not. We've got a new paperback coming out this spring. What we are suggesting is that it's not a zero-sum game. You can do both. Good Luck!

Biography -

The authors of The Brianna Sullivan Mysteries, Murder Off the Books, Murder Takes the Cake, and the short story Riley Come Home, Evelyn David is the pseudonym for Marian Edelman Borden and Rhonda Dossett.

Marian lives in New York and is the author of 11 nonfiction books on a wide variety of topics ranging from veterans benefits to playgroups for toddlers! For more information on Marian's books, please visit her web site at

Rhonda lives in Muskogee, Oklahoma, is the director of the coal program for the state, and in her spare time enjoys imagining and writing funny, scary mysteries. Marian and Rhonda write their mystery series via the Internet. While many fans who attend mystery conventions have now chatted with both halves of Evelyn David, Marian and Rhonda have yet to meet in person.

Please check out Evelyn's website at and their blog – The Stiletto Gang - for information about Evelyn David's appearance schedule and writing projects.

Our Books -
The Sullivan Investigation Series

Murder Drops the Ball (Spring 2011)

Murder Takes the Cake - Paperback - Kindle

Murder Off the Books - Paperback - Kindle

Riley Come Home - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

Autographed Copies and other e-book formats available through Wolfmont Press at

The Digital_Bookshop -

Brianna Sullivan Mysteries - e-book series

The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah

- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah

- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries

- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

Monday, January 10, 2011

ExcerpTuesday: Dorothy Cox

Blurb for Watcher:
I am the man on the park bench, the one behind

you in line, and the one you pass on the street. I am

everyone and I am no one. I am nothing to anyone,

and if you have ever seen me you wouldn’t remember.

Having never known my name, they simply call me


Lilly wasn’t supposed to notice me. She wasn’t

supposed to remember me. She wasn’t supposed to

talk to me--or fall in love with me. I wasn’t supposed

to notice her ethereal beauty, or care what she thought

of me, or want to see her again, or wonder what it

would be like to…to…hug… her. I definitely was not

supposed to fall in love with her.


I knew the lines, too…What can we get started for you? The cashier repeated the line after I said it to myself. She was as good at this as I was. She had her lines memorized too.

“Large coffee two sugars,” I answered. Name? The barista repeated it after I said it in my head. I mentally checked off William Henry Harrison as I reached for my wallet.

“William.” The word was not mine. I hadn’t said it. I hadn’t moved my lips. I hadn’t moved or opened my mouth. I didn’t say it…she did.

I looked up, my arm still poised over my pocket. The world stood still, and for a brief moment I caught a glimpse of heaven. Her blonde hair fell across her shoulders as she turned her attention back to me. This is what Botticelli was trying to capture when he painted The Birth of Venus. But she wasn’t someone who could be captured in words or in a painting or on film. She was someone to behold, someone to stand in her presence and be in awe of. She was beauty pure and outright.

“William Henry Harrison, right?” she asked. “You’re doing the presidents this time.” She said it more as a statement than a question. She smiled and it touched deep into her green eyes. They sparkled as she waited for me to answer. I couldn’t find words. I searched but nothing came. She’s so beautiful. That won’t do.

“Unless you’re not counting him. He was only president for thirty-two days,” she continued, laughing after she said it. I still couldn’t find words, and they hadn’t found me. So I pushed out the only words I could piece together.

“He did win in a landslide.” I smiled at the end to make it friendly. Should I know that? What person would know that much about presidents? Only someone who was around back then, that’s who. Great, now I look suspicious. Will she notice that? She laughed again.

“Then it is the presidents!” She seemed pleased. “It took me longer last time than it did this time,” she confessed. “I wasn’t too familiar with the people who signed the Declaration of Independence, but there really aren’t many people named Elbridge, or Button for that matter, but you skipped him.” She was playing the game with me. I had skipped Button, because his name was too out of the ordinary to use. In hindsight I suppose Elbridge was odd as well. Perhaps I shouldn’t have used that one. It had caught her attention, and now here I was staring face to face with an angel.


I’m a college student in Fresno, California. I’ve won a Golden State Award for writing, and have been featured in the newspaper. I’ve been writing books since I was three or four, and I made my parents staple my coloring pages together so I could write a book on it. It wasn’t a success. Almost twenty years later I wrote my first real book, Watcher. When I’m not working, writing, or going to school I’m with my husband.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Authorsday: J. Rose Allister

Welcome to J. Rose Allister.
What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it?

My first novel was called VISIONS, a romance about a hunky Hollywood star who bumps into a reluctant psychic and inherits her “gift.” When he does, he sees a future—for the two of them. It got published by the first place I submitted to, but not the first time I submitted it. I had to revise and send it back in. VISIONS was released under my other pen name, Lisa Logan, in 2006.

What drew you to the subject of TROPICAL HEAT?

This was written as part of my IMMORTAL PARADISE series for the National Novel Writing Challenge a couple of Novembers ago. I decided I wanted to have a bit of extra fun with it, so I held a contest to ask readers to decide who the hunky romantic lead should be. No physical descriptions were allowed—just what the guy did for a living and why he goes to the island the series is set on. The winning entry suggested a P.I. who goes to the resort to investigate a cheating spouse. Bam—day one of the writing challenge, sexy Steve Detroit burst into resort hostess Jessamine Valentine’s life. Fireworks were inevitable!

Who is your favorite character in your book?

With his humor and sexy blond looks, Steve Detroit was a blast to write… but I have to say that I have a warm—okay, hot—spot in my heart for one of the recurring characters in the series. Lust is a special servant to the god Eros, a unique demigod who is the virtual embodiment of his name. His power and that of his counterpart, Love, triggers a lot of supernaturally charged passion on that island—sometimes deliberately, and sometimes not. Jessamine and Lust share a highly charged scene in TROPICAL HEAT when she confronts Lust about his influence in her love life. Lust is egotistical, sharp-witted, and as one can guess, eternally turned on—but he’s not without his flaws. He quite reminds me of my muse, actually. Perhaps a bit too much. Hmm. Can a muse write themselves into their own story? LOL

What was your favorite scene to write?

There is a smokin’ scene where Steve drags Jessamine into a dark housekeeping closet while he’s evading hotel security. And there’s the aforementioned scene where Jessamine confronts the god Lust about his role in her wantong behavior toward Steve. Ooh, and a scene where wisecracking Steve meets a memory-altering soir-class vampire—the first mention of these recurring characters in the series. Huh, guess I can’t pick just ONE favorite!

Where do you write?

In some ways, I write wherever I am. I carry notebooks with me all the time to jot things down when inspiration strikes. More often, I’m in a position where I can’t write things out, but if I’m having one of those “spare” moments sitting at my desk, in line at the store, watching my kid at the park, etc., I let my mind play out the latest scene I’m working on. At night, the last thing I do before going to sleep is to work through scenes and program my brain to literally “dream up” the next sequence. Talk about carrying your work around with you!

In terms of where I physically sit and type the results of all that jotting and brainstorming, I have a laptop that I mainly use while sitting on the couch, on my patio swing, or out by the pool as weather permits.

What is your favorite writing reference book and why?

I read literally everything I could get my hands on about the subject of writing fiction when I decided to try it. Among those, one stands out above the rest for a couple reasons. That book is On Writing by Stephen King. After more than a year and a half of struggling to finish my first novel, I suffered a head injury. Insert whatever “lost my mind” jokes you want here, but bottom line I was too fuzzy in the membrane to write. Part of me feared that post-concussive syndrome would cost me my writing for good. Reading wasn’t the easiest task, either, but I recall sitting in the neurologist’s office with Stephen King’s book and hanging on every word. In his advice to new writers, he offered me a ridiculously simple, yet vital insight that finally turned things around once I got back to writing again. He said to sit down every single day, no matter what, and write 1,000 words before doing anything else. That’s it. I did it and finished the book in less than a month.

Part of me related to his story about a return to health after an accident, I suppose, but aside from that I recommend his book to anyone interested in writing fiction. His advice is no-nonsense and right on the money. Though I had to give up most of my beloved books when we downsized to a tiny apartment, I have kept that book with me.

What was the best writing advice someone gave you?

An author I used to do web design for when I was starting out (the awesome Susan McBride of the Debutante Dropout series) gave me a piece of advice that helped me as much as Stephen King’s book. With my first novel I kept skipping around in the plot line. I would be writing one chapter, then would have sudden inspiration about something that happened later, so I’d stop and write it right then so I wouldn’t forget. Then I’d try to go back and would forget where I was, and by then had lost the pacing and flow of the prior chapter. I wound up with huge gaps and pacing/language inconsistencies, and the whole process drove me nuts. I complained about my errant ways to Susan one day and asked her advice about those “sudden Eureka! moments.” She told me that when the muse jumped in with another scene idea, book idea, etc., to stop only long enough to jot down a few notes to remember the basic gist, then get right back to where I was before losing momentum. This was a simple “duh” thing, but at the time I was at the end of my rope and her words were like a cool drink to a man stranded in the desert.

If you have a day job, what is it?

I work as a unit secretary on the cardiac floor of my local hospital. For the uninitiated, the unit secretary runs the nurse’s station desk, meaning answering phones, paging doctors, reading MD handwriting to interpret and initiate orders, answering patient call lights, assisting visitors, staff, and outside personnel, facilitating patient admissions, discharges, and transfers, checking charts for appropriate paperwork, helping assure the environment of care meets state standards, and about five hundred other things daily. It’s a high stress job, but one involving a great team of people. Most of the time, I love it. Then there are moments I dream of hitting it big like JK Rowling so I can retire. LOL!

What’s your favorite quote?

“A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.”—J.R.R. Tolkien

This quote has always struck a chord with me on several levels, especially with my penchant for dream programming and my side hobby of dream interpretation.

What three things would you want with you on a desert island?

A solar-charging laptop (sand resistant, of course!), a reliable high-speed internet connection, and a damn good survival knife. Hey, a gal’s gotta live! I could write, catch up on my reading, access movies and music, keep in touch, and find recipes for coconut and fish stew. Yeah, I’d be set with that.

Author Bio : J. Rose Allister is an award-winning short story writer and the author of eight published romance titles. When she isn’t dreaming up new tales, she home schools her first grader, cooks and gardens, and enjoys reading and watching movies. She’s also involved in her husband’s small production company, Dragonfyre Entertainment, and dabbles in special effects for video and stills.

Book Blurb: Jessamine Valentine’s VIP hostess job at the exclusive Amante del Mar resort makes her privy to many secrets, including the existence of supernatural entities and paranormally-enhanced eroticism. But she could care less about the island's innate passion until she finds herself entangled with Steve Detroit, a smoldering P.I. who uncovers the resort's--and Jessamine's--most intimate secrets. What will ultimately prove more dangerous--the consequences of his accidental discovery, or their heated desire for one another?