Friday, February 28, 2014

Lynn Shepherd and Professional Envy

Author Lynn Shepherd created a shit storm when she posited in this article that because J.K. Rowling has had enough success she should stop writing to make room for the rest of us. I remember a few years ago when I was still a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA). Nora Roberts had once again entered the RITA (like an Oscar for romance writers) and won. Several people complained that maybe she should stop entering. I've never been a big fan of dumbing things down. Here's a radical idea: Write something as good as what Nora Roberts writes. Wow. What a revolutionary idea. Yes, I know it isn't as simple as that, but back then it was. Sort of. But, really, times have changed. Amazon isn't going to tell authors to stop writing because they don't have anymore server space. Just not going to happen. And does Lynn Shephard really think that if J.K. Rowling stops writing that will cause a vacuum that other writers can fill? That's not how it works. Well, maybe with traditional publishing, but not with self-publishing. Self-publishing is an ever-expanding universe. And we all can have a place at the table. Do we all, at some point, have professional envy? Of course. It's natural. But we each have to remember, that our journey is different from someone else's. And that airing your professional envy might just be like shooting yourself in the foot. cmr

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Update on My Rock Stars

Joe Konrath shows James Patterson why he is wrong.

The Passive Voice doesn't want you to kill Hitler.

Bob Mayer talks about a difficult survival decision.

Hugh Howey complaines about those with their heads in the ground.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Homecoming Homicides

Blurb from Homecoming Homicides, Book Two of the Psychic Crystal Mystery Series, a dark romantic suspense with a humorous twist—Psycho Meet Miss Congeniality

Professional crisis manager Philippa Tannenbaum is spokesperson for the law enforcement task force charged with solving a high-profile case. She never dreams her position as Homecoming Pageant Director and her second-place finish in the previous year’s competition has placed her on a serial killer’s hit list. Always a runner-up in life, she wants to finally come in first at finding the killer targeting the current crop of beauties.

Her friend Luke Slaughter, a Graysville city cop, shows up at Philippa’s office, assigned to partner with her in solving the case and to protect her 24/7 for the duration. Unfortunately, he’s also the man she hooked up with for a one-night stand when she broke up with her fiancĂ©. Working with her is going to be less than easy, for a number of reasons...

Excerpt from Homecoming Homicides
By Marilyn Baron

Her big opportunity was about to walk through the door, and she didn’t intend to blow it. No matter how much it cost her personally. She’d just have to suck it up and remember who she was now—a professional, with her own office and her own receptionist.

She’d hired Misty Waters away from DaVinci’s, the local pizza hangout next door to the nondescript, but affordable, campus police department annex. Hired her for her personality and her multitasking ability. She’d seen the girl juggle six tables of rowdy college kids without breaking a sweat or dropping a plate. She certainly hadn’t hired her for her fashion sense, which seemed to be based on the concept that “less is more.”

Flippy’s next order of business would be to persuade the ex-pizza tosser to upgrade her wardrobe and perhaps put on something more respectable and less receptive. True, Misty might be a little rough around the edges, but Flippy could spot potential, and the girl had it with a capital “P.”

Misty would be okay as long as she focused on answering the phone and not giving visitors “The Works”—a bird’s-eye view of her considerable toppings. Either way, she sincerely hoped hiring Misty Waters turned out to be a smart decision, because this case of murder and mayhem seemed to be spiraling out of control, and Flippy’s phone wouldn’t stop ringing.

As she looked up, Luke Slaughter backed into her office, magnificent butt first—his muscles straining under the weight of a large cardboard box. He turned to face her, while craning his neck back shamelessly in Misty’s direction. There was something vaguely familiar about the shape of the man’s butt. Or maybe it was that Dirty Harry-sized piece bulging out of his hip holster. Flippy tried to block out all thoughts about the night she’d just spent with Luke Slaughter. It wasn’t difficult to do, since she had been so hammered and intent on revenge against her serial cheating ex-fiancĂ©, Jack Armstrong.

No doubt about it, the man looked good in a uniform. And out of it. And he was a warm body. Sufficient qualifications at the time for a revenge fuck. Flippy suppressed rogue thoughts of that night. A night that refused to stop flashing before her eyes. The only thing clear about that night was that it had been a big mistake. A mistake she’d never make again.


*The worldwide release of Homecoming Homicides (including the paperback version) will be May 9.

Visit Marilyn’s Web site to find out more about her books and social media contact information at

Note: Sixth Sense, Book One of the Psychic Crystal Mystery series, is available at or in other formats at


Monday, February 17, 2014

Wanting To Be A Writer

Diane Bator

Diane has been a writer since she was able to hold a pencil and tell a story. An avid hiker, Reiki Master and martial artist, she loves to make a mess in the kitchen and putters in the garden at will. Joining the Headwaters Writers' Group in 2007 was the catalyst for unearthing several old writing projects. Her first murder mystery, Murder on Manitou, was published after winning a writing contest in 2010. She lives in Southern Ontario with her husband, three kids and a cat who thinks he's a dog. The Bookstore Lady is her latest novel.

Wanting to Be a Writer

I have wanted to be a writer since I could tell stories and draw on walls with crayons. Throughout my life, I've been blessed to have people tell me to use my talent for good and continue to write stories to entertain.

The most memorable of these encouraging people was Mr. Neil Coleman, my English teacher in junior high who literally dragged me down the hall one day to the teacher who ran and edited the school newspaper, The Jabberwocky. I had written a poem for a class assignment and Mr. Coleman wasn't about to let it fade into the back of my locker. He wanted the whole school to get to read my words.

Not only did that occasion mark my first published piece, which I still have, but it marked my entry into the world of the school newspaper. While I wrote all sorts of articles and tidbits, the one that earned me the most attention was the Horoscopes column. I refused to own up to writing it at first. Slowly, word got around and I'd get a lot of kudos from people who remarked on how accurate they were. Funny since I'd simply make them up on the bus ride to or from school each week!

After I married and had kids, my writing went into hibernation mode. Sure, I was still creative - painting, embroidery, making quilts for my kids, but writing stories resurfaced as the kids grew older and wanted to hear something different at bedtime. I wrote, edited and kept myself amused while the kids were in bed and hubby was away on business trips. I began to submit my work, learning how to cope with disappointment and getting better and better with each piece I wrote.

Moving across Canada to a strange new town was the perfect opportunity to seek out new friends who enjoyed writing as much as I did. I stumbled into a writing group and have been a member for seven years. I have learned more about editing, grammar and punctuation in those seven years than I remembered from high school. Mentors who have come and gone, but will always be a part of me. And I've been published!

With two books to my credit and two more on the way this next year, I am more confident than ever!

My website:
My blog:
The Bookstore Lady
Wild Blue Mysteries

Danny Walker is tracking Paulina Chourney who fell deep into the dark side of life and is lucky to get out before her boyfriend Maddox kills her.

Paulina escapes Maddox and arrives in a small town, a blessing in disguise since the men she worked for would never think to look for her in a lazy, backwater place like Packham. She changes her name to Katie Mullins, makes a deal on a little bookstore and joins a local writing group then successfully fades into anonymity. Until Danny Walker shows up to visit family and figures out who she is.

When Paulina catches her 80-year-old landlady sneaking out in the middle of the night, the bad guys catch up to her, and Danny disappears. Katie has to choose between spending her life on the run or standing up to face her past. Hopefully before the quirky townsfolk turn her death into a spectacle.

Watch for The Mystery Lady, Spring 2014! The Bookstore Lady now available on kindle or in print:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

From the international bestselling author that brought you CHILDREN OF THE FOG comes a terrifying new thriller that will leave you breathless…

"Submerged reads like an approaching storm, full of darkness, dread and electricity. Prepare for your skin to crawl." —Andrew Gross, New York Times bestselling author of 15 Seconds



Near Cadomin, AB – Saturday, June 15, 2013 – 12:36 AM

You never grow accustomed to the stench of death. Marcus Taylor knew that smell intimately. He had inhaled burnt flesh, decayed flesh…diseased flesh. It lingered on him long after he was separated from the body.

The image of his wife and son's gray faces and blue lips assaulted him.


Mercifully, there were no bodies tonight. The only scent he recognized now was wet prairie and the dank residue left over from a rainstorm and the river.


So what happened, Marcus?"

The question came from Detective John Zur, a cop Marcus knew from the old days. Back before he traded in his steady income and respected career for something that had poisoned him physically and mentally. "Come on," Zur prodded. "Start talking. And tell me the truth."

Marcus was an expert at hiding things. Always had been. But there was no way in hell he could hide why he was soaked to the skin and standing at the edge of a river in the middle of nowhere.

He squinted at the river, trying to discern where the car had sunk. He only saw faint ripples on the surface. "You can see what happened, John."

"You left your desk. Not a very rational decision to make, considering your past."

Marcus shook his head, the taste of river water still in his throat. "Just because I do something unexpected doesn't mean I'm back to old habits."

Zur studied him but said nothing.

"I had to do something, John. I had to try to save them."

"That's what EMS is for. You're not a paramedic anymore."

Marcus let his gaze drift to the river. "I know. But you guys were all over the place and someone had to look for them. They were running out of time."

Overhead, lightning forked and thunder reverberated.

"Dammit, Marcus, you went rogue!" Zur said. "You know how dangerous that is. We could've had four bodies."

Marcus scowled. "Instead of merely three, you mean?"

"You know how this works. We work in teams for a reason. We all need backup. Even you."

"All the rescue teams were otherwise engaged. I didn't have a choice."

Zur sighed. "We go back a long way. I know you did what you thought was right. But it could've cost them all their lives. And it'll probably cost you your job. Why would you risk that for a complete stranger?"

"She wasn't a stranger."

As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Marcus realized how true that statement seemed. He knew more about Rebecca Kingston than he did about any other woman. Besides Jane.

"You know her?" Zur asked, frowning.

"She told me things and I told her things. So, yeah, I know her."

"I still do not get why you didn't stay at the center and let us do our job."

"She called me." Marcus looked into his friend's eyes. "Me. Not you."

"I understand, but that's your job. To listen and relay information."

"You don't understand a thing. Rebecca was terrified. For herself and her children. No one knew where they were for sure, and she was running out of time. If I didn't at least try, what kind of person would I be, John?" He gritted his teeth. "I couldn't live with that. Not again."

Zur exhaled. "Sometimes we're simply too late. It happens."

"Well, I didn't want it to happen this time." Marcus thought of the vision he'd seen of Jane standing in the middle of the road. "I had a…hunch I was close. Then when Rebecca mentioned Colton had seen flying pigs, I remembered this place. Jane and I used to buy ribs and chops from the owner, before it closed down about seven years ago."

"And that led you here to the farm." Zur's voice softened. "Good thing your hunch paid off. This time. Next time, you might not be so lucky."

"There won't be a next time, John."

A smirk tugged at the corner of Zur's mouth. "Uh-huh."

"There won't."

Zur shrugged and headed for the ambulance.

Under a chaotic sky, Marcus stood at the edge of the river as tears cascaded from his eyes. The night's events hit him hard, like a sucker punch to the gut. He was submerged in a wave of memories. The first call, Rebecca's frantic voice, Colton crying in the background. He knew that kind of fear. He'd felt it before. But last time, it was a different road, different woman, different child.

He shook his head. He couldn't think of Jane right now. Or Ryan. He couldn't reflect on all he'd lost. He needed to focus on what he'd found, what he'd discovered in a faceless voice that had comforted him and expressed that it was okay to let go.

He glanced at his watch. It was after midnight. 12:39, to be exact. He couldn't believe how his life had changed in not much more than two days.


He turned…

Pre-order today for only $0.99 US and receive it on March 2nd via:
Kobo Books (Kobo):
iTunes (iBooks):
‪#‎Submerged‬ ‪#‎Going4NYT‬ ‪#‎bestseller‬

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

We Write What We Know and What We Wish To Be

by Rolynn Anderson

LIE CATCHERS is FREE on Kindle today (Feb. 11-15). So don’t forget to grab a copy on

Let me tell you a little about LIE CATCHER’S heroine, Liv Hanson, and how she embodies the person I ‘know’ as well as a woman I wish to be.

1. She’s Norwegian (as am I) but her great grandfather was a Tlingit Native (which adds a tinge of romance to her background, and gives her the warm skin color I wish I had)

2. As a blonde - I’m an enhanced blonde ;-), Liv’s shorter and smaller boned than I am (and will never be).

3. Organized to the hilt is Liv Hanson, a trait I attempt but never maintain.

4. Liv is accessorized. Her shoes and scarves compliment her outfits; she chooses jewelry sets to match her wardrobe. I tend to wear clothes that are comfortable and although I love to wear necklaces, earrings and bracelets that match, the tangle in my jewelry box prevents me from doing so.

5. She dances with abandon on Friday and Saturday nights at the Lito and is a favorite partner of all the men who are skilled dancers. I was born with two left feet and because I’m a tall woman, I feel conspicuous and awkward on the dance floor.

6. Petersburg, Alaska is her hometown. At her core, she is a small town girl with a deep understanding and love of family and neighbors. I am an Army brat, with no city to call my own and family and friends spread around the country.

7. Liv is an entrepreneur, sure she can save her family business by persuading townspeople to invest in her venture. She has confidence and sales savvy that leave me breathless.

8. She’s a LIE CATCHER, a woman whose mind grabs facts like flypaper. Details stick with her forever. I’m lucky to remember what I did yesterday!

9. Liv Hanson has an obsession that she dares not tell anyone for fear of the town’s disdain (I won’t spoil the suspense for you by telling you what it is). I’m not aware of any secret fetish I have, but for the sake of uniqueness, I kind of wish I had one.

I hope you enjoy your free copy of LIE CATCHERS

Summary of LIE CATCHERS:

Two unsolved murders will tear apart an Alaska fishing town unless a writer and a government agent reveal their secret obsessions.

Treasury agent Parker Browne is working undercover in Petersburg, Alaska to investigate a money scam and a murder. His prime suspect, Liv Hanson, is a freelance writer struggling to save her family’s business. Free spirited, full of life, and with a talent for catching liars, she fascinates Parker.

Trying to prove she’s a legitimate writer who cares about Petersburg’s issues, Liv pens a series of newspaper articles about an old, unsolved murder. When her cold case ties in with Parker’s investigation, bullets start to fly.

Parker understands money trails, and Liv knows the town residents. But he gave up on love two years ago, and she trusts no one, especially with her carefully guarded secret. If they mesh their skills to find the killers, will they survive the fallout?!/rolynnanderson
Amazon author page:

Monday, February 10, 2014

My Rock Star Update

My Rock Stars were busy last week.

J.A Konrath and Barry Eisler were fisting, er I mean, Fisking Donald Maass.

Bob Mayer wrote about Surviving a Terrorist Attack.

Romance Lives Forever featured a cover reveal of Sweeter Than This by Samara King.

The Passive Voice had a guest blogger talk about The Math of Quiet Success.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Tips for the beginning author

An experienced writer knows that talent is not everything you need to become a great author. These are only a few tips to help a beginning writer in honing his/her skills.

How to start?

Start with short stories. Writing short stories disciplines and teaches to write complete stories. Besides, it prevents from becoming a graphomaniac. You may start the story from the middle, gradually explaining the details to the reader.

The plot

There is a misconception that the plot needs reveal a unique story. Take any book of the great classics and try to analyze the uniqueness of the story. Let’s remember “Anna Karenina”, classical Russian novel. Remember the train, it was the latest technology at the time of Lev Tolstoy. This was a successful marketing trick. The entire novel describes the way a woman came to such a tragic end. The point is that the reader is interested in the way you are telling a story, this approach should not be trivial. In other words, you may choose a plot as old as the hills and show a unique narration which is highly appreciated by the reader.


The reader wants to be deceived. That’s how interesting stories are born. First, you show an action plan to the reader. Thus, your reader will agree that there is logic in your narration. And then you suddenly break the whole plan, put the main character in almost hopeless situation. A curiosity rises inside of your reader, now everybody wants to know the way out of a difficult situation. A talent to amaze people is the main quality of a good writer.

Adding details.

Write the whole story and create a solid frame for your writing talent. When the story is finished, it’s time to stretch it by adding descriptions. But be careful! If ten pages of your book are devoted to a description of a conversation between two characters, your reader will get bored faster than you think. Try to add some action on every page.

Hopefully, these easy tricks will be useful for a young writer at the beginning of his/her career.

About the author: Melisa Marzett is a talented young writer creating books and movies reviews. Melisa’s articles can be also found at guest posting">guest posting.

Monday, February 3, 2014

My Rock Stars

I have some people who I consider the rock stars of publishing. From time to time I will be updating you on what they are doing on their blogs.

Last week on Newbies Guide to Publishing, JA Konrath posts about a conversation he and Barry Eisler had with Mike Shatzkin. Here's Konrath's conversation. Here's the original post with comments about The Future of Publishing.

Kayelle Allen who runs Romance Live Forever Blog and the Marketing for Romance Writers yahoogroup name the top bloggers of January on her blog.

Bob Mayer, part owner of Cool Gus Publishing and blogger at Write on the River told us how to survive a power outage.

Stay tuned. Later in the week on this blog, I have an author suggesting tips for the beginning writer. cmr