Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Interview with Chloe Zola: Author of "Beside my door step"

Tell us what makes this is a multimedia memoir? The multimedia aspect is featured on my website: There you will find a handful of short films that blend narration of the book’s most poignant moments, music, and antique video footage.
Tell us a bit about your family. My family is the most frustrating and beautiful force in my life. This book, and everything else I do is for them and because of them- regardless of how crabby I seem most days.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? My ability to be creative.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? How serious I am. While I am a clown a lot of the time, sometimes to the point of recklessness, I am equally as serious.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? These lyrics from Macklemore’s Ten Thousand Hours:
The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint,
The greats were great cause they paint a lot
I will not be a statistic, Just let me be.
No child left behind, that’s the american scheme.
I make my living off of words, and do what I love for work, and got around 980 on my SATs
Take that system, what did you expect?
Generation of kids choosing love over a desk
Put those hours in and look at what you get
Nothing that you can hold, but everything that it is.
Ten thousand.”
For me, he has perfectly articulated my motivation and justification for doing things a little bit differently.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? I am proud of my ability to morph, adjust, and keep going, creatively, regardless of setbacks, opinions, and rejections.
What is your favorite color? I hate this question.
What is your favorite food? Kindergarten: the butter on top of the toast
4th grade: tuna helper and oreos
7th grade: lasagna
10th grade: mashed potatoes
freshman in college: taco bell- bean burrito
now: curried-avocado sandwich
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? It is a toss up between Barbados and the high desert of central mexico (where my family lives and I am writing from now).
Buy now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG
More details about the author & the book
Connect with Chloe Zola on Facebook & Twitter & Pinterest

Monday, 28 January 2013

$50 Gift Card Giveaway & Interview: Rough Harbor by Andrea Stein

Original Title: Rough Harbor
Author: Andrea Stein
Publisher: GirlMogul
Release Date: October 10th 2012
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BUY @ Amazon

After a bitter break up and professional set back in London, twenty seven year old Caitlyn has returned to Queensbay to work for Maxwell Randall, an old family friend, at his financial management firm.  So far, bit by bit, Caitlyn’s been rebuilding all she lost after Michael St. John broke her heart …and tried to ruin her professional reputation.

But her past comes back to haunt her when Maxwell unexpectedly turns up dead.  Not only does Caitlyn find her career in jeopardy but her heart is too, when Noah Randall, Maxwell’s son, and her first love, returns to Queensbay.  Once, ten years ago, Caitlyn was sure Noah was the one for her…but the tragedy of her grandfather’s suicide and Noah’s decision to leave town left her bereft…and determined never to trust him again.

Over the past decade, she’s managed to do her best to forget about Noah Randall and the lingering questions surrounding her grandfather’s suicide.  But now that’s he back in town – rich and more handsome than ever, and she can’t help wondering what if? What if Noah really was the one?

Noah Randall left home ten years ago to seek his fortune – vowing never to return until he’d made a success of himself – and show Caitlyn Montgomery just what she’d given up.  He returns to find that Caitlyn Montgomery has only grown more alluring with time. Noah’s always wanted he couldn’t have…and now he wants Caitlyn again.  But she’s determined not to make the same mistake twice.

While Noah and Caitlyn are revisiting old ground – and forging a new relationship, there’s trouble brewing in Queensbay.  Old secrets and new lead Caitlyn to believe that perhaps her grandfather didn’t kill himself – and that Maxwell’s death was no accident.  But just how far will someone go to keep her – and Noah – from finding out the truth…and will Queesbay prove to have troubled waters after all?


1.  Is there an inspiration behind why you chose writing? 

It wasn't so much inspiration as the fact that t the end of the day I can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing, except perhaps reading.  I looked around at the books I was reading and I would think I can do that, or I wish I had done that.  I have been writing on and off since I was a little girl, but about five years ago I decided to get really serious about it and have been writing consistently since then - first with a blog, then a tween mystery novel, then a romantic suspense book and now Rough Harbor which is my contemporary Romance and the start of an interconnecting series of stories.  I am the kind of person who writes things out as I see them, or who makes up stories out of things I overhear or see so I just realized that it was silly to fight the impulse and I decided to become an author...I now actually tell people that's what I do when they ask.

2.  When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"? 

A writer.  Followed by some sort of antique dealer. I loved history and books.  So perhaps what I really wanted to be was a bookstore owner who solved mysteries. Instead I have settled for being a writer so I can pretend to be anything I want.

3.  Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is.... 

The Outlander - I just s reread it and it's a pretty heady combination of history, fantasy and romance Twilight...

4.  What are your current literary works?  Any sneak peaks? 

I am working on the second book in the Queensbay series - the setting for Rough Harbor, featuring the story of Chase and Phoebe. Chase is born and bred in Queensbay, while Phoebe is a transplant from Hollywood. It should be out in early February 2013

5.  If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future? 

Tough one.  We tend to romanticize the past - but we forget there were no toilets, or medicines or healthcare and only think about how romantic it must have been to gallop on a horse at sunset.  Still I wouldn’t say no to getting a glimpse at the court of Elizabeth I.

6.  What is your favorite scene in the book and why do you love it? 

I like the opening – where Caitlyn is discovered snooping in Noah’s father’s house – and realizes that even though she hasn’t seen him in ten years, she’s still attracted to him. How many of us could/would want to say the same about high school flames?

Thanks so much having me!

Thanks for the interview Andrea!  It was fun having you on my blog.


Hi, I’, Andrea Stein an author, mother, wife and blogger and a certified mom-chauffeur. I have been scribbling stories for as long as I can remember, including my first adventure story, inspired by an obsession with Out of Africa (book, movie and biography) about a young girl stranded in Kenya. It was serial fiction handwritten, given to my sister, who couldn’t read my handwriting. That story dies after one installment, but the next year I got a word processor (not a computer, but an ACTUAL WORD PROCESSOR) that showed about twenty lines of text at a time. This was before laptops were widely available and this allowed me to be able to type to my heart’s content in the privacy of my own room. Which I did. I think I spent the time writing stories about my “frenemies” to amuse myself. I also listened to a lot of the Cure and New Wave music. I have since moved on to a happier place.

Even though I read lots of different types of books, I write romance novels with a twist. More like contemporary romance than romantic suspense (I don’t write about serial killers or FBI agents) but I usually like to include a puzzle or mystery for my hero and heroine to solve.

Rough Harbor is my second novel, set in a small New England town. Coming soon is Ivy Cottage, also set in a small New England town on a river. 

Other than writing I spend most of my time reading, watching TV, cooking, cleaning, taking care of kids, trying to keep the house clean and folding laundry. I love Twizzlers, chocolate and shows on the WB. For me, reading has always been an escape, a way to escape the ordinary and dive into a world that feels real – but with all of the ‘boring’ parts edited out.

As for the rest of my life, I grew up on Long Island, spent a lot of vacations in small New England towns, went to college in New York City, married by high school sweetheart, worked, had kids, stopped working, and kept on writing. Now I live in rural New Jersey (yes, there is such a thing), and though I don’t own any horses, I do have a barn, which I share with squirrels.

There’s something successful writers always tell new writers about their secret to success. Just do it…Bum Glue…write 1ooo words a day…write for two hours a day….Keep writing. And they’re right. I got more successful with my writing when I started to do it consistently. I don’t write every day, but I shoot for five days a week. This means that the words and pages pile up — and I have stories to shape, make and mold…and share.

I hope you enjoy my books, currently available at

AUTHOR ONLINE: Website | Facebook | Twitter


Andrea will be awarding a $50 GC, winner's choice of Starbucks, Amazon or Walmart, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $50 GC, winner's choice of Starbucks, Amazon or Walmart, to a randomly drawn host.

Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY and ends February 1st, 2013!

Interview with Richard Long: Author of "The Book of Paul"

Tell us a bit about your family. I live in New York with my wife and two children. My wife, Ariane Zurcher, is an incredibly talented jewelry designer and writer. She’s also an activist and advocate for autistic people, like our daughter Emma. She’s doing incredibly important work to connect other parents of autistic children with autistic adults who can help mentor and guide them. Her blog, has a huge following and she speaks at autism conferences around the world.
Emma is probably the happiest girl on the planet. She loves to sing and dance, a born performer and budding rock star. Our son Nic is just hitting his teens, but he’s already planning a career as an artist, writer and video game designer. We’re in the early stages of writing a book together – the ultimate zombie/vampire/werewolf epic. We’ve come up with a really cool explanation of how zombies are created. I can’t wait to get that out in the world!
What is your favorite quality about yourself? My curiosity. I want to know everything. Especially the BIG questions: Why are we here? What is the point of it all? What is this thing we callreality?
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? Perfectionism. Drives me and everyone else crazy.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? “Buy the ticket. Take the ride.” Hunter Thompson. Once you commit to something…commit to it. We so often second-guess ourselves, regret what we consider to be unfortunate choices. How do we know what’s really in our best interests? Make a choice. See what happens. Learn from it.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? If I could live forever – and I fully intend to – I’ll never create anything else as perfect and beautiful as our two children.
What is your favorite color? Raspberry.
What is your favorite food? Raspberries.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? New York, New York. The town so nice they named it twice.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I write a lot about pain. Redemption. Corruption. Enlightenment. I’ve experienced all that, though I’m hoping to learn a lot more about the last item.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? From reading. I was a voracious reader from a very young age. Stories took me away to all these incredible places. I really needed that escape so I holed up in my room for hours at a time, reading everything I could get my hands on.
When and why did you begin writing? I’ve always been a storyteller. When I was younger I thought of myself more as a visual artist, and I drew and painted constantly. But there would always be words. Cartoon speech bubbles. Random thoughts. Narrative.
How long have you been writing? I started writing more seriously in my twenties. Poems. Dialog. Eventually, I dabbled in playwriting and screenwriting. I made a living as an art director and a copywriter in advertising. Then I became a Creative Director. But it wasn’t until I tried the long form that I found my voice. I like to tell looooooong stories.
When did you first know you could be a writer? I always knew I could write clever lines, which is the epitome of creativity in advertising. I had a good ear for dialog as well. So does my son. He writes the most incredible dialog: kids, adults, men, women…he just nails it all perfectly. I was insecure about my narrative writing when I started. I guess I knew I could really write when my narrative didn’t suck.
What inspires you to write and why? My curiosity is unquenchable, so I never run out of things I want to write about. Having a curious mind is the greatest gift any artist can have. Otherwise, you can easily get stuck in your own ego. When you enjoy looking outside yourself, there’s always something interesting to see.
What genre are you most comfortable writing? I write fiction. Though, now that I’ve embraced the sordid world of social networking, I write a lot of blogs and posts and tweets that could be loosely termed non-fiction. In my case, very loosely. With The Book of Paul, I’m writing in a baker’s dozen of fiction genres: horror, occult, dark fantasy, erotica, humor, mystery, thriller, historical fiction, sci-fi, mythology, philosophy, religion. My reviews usually start with: “Wow! That was…different.”
What inspired you to write your first book? I pictured a character – he had been so traumatized as a child that he had completely cut himself off from his emotions. I wanted to explore whether someone that damaged and flawed, who had done all these horrible things, could possibly find redemption through love. The first line of The Book of Paul is: He practiced smiling.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began? I like crazy Irish and British playwrights. Enda Walsh. Martin McDonagh. Jez Butterworth. They are so courageous, go so far out on a limb, never play it safe, or write to be “liked” – at least it feels that way to me. When I see any of their work, I know I’m going to be taken for a ride. A wild ride. That’s what I want my readers to experience.
Who or what influenced your writing over the years? When I was younger, I loved horror. Then sci-fi. Then mysteries and thrillers. Then literary fiction. I always loved the classics. My writing is very research-intensive so 95% of what I read now is non-fiction related to various topics in my work: science, mythology, history.
What made you want to be a writer? I write stories that I want to read – more than once. I write to entertain myself, first and foremost, but I want to entertain other people too. If I ever start wanting to entertain other people more than myself, I better straighten that out quickly, otherwise I might end up back in advertising, whoring myself out that way.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? I love to write. If I could be left alone all day long to write or do my research, I’d be the happiest man on the planet. But I have a wife and children and friends and family, so I need to balance my time with the people that matter me to me even more than the work. The hardest thing about writing is not doing it, particularly when all the marketing work that constantly demands attention has to come before the writing itself. If I don’t sell books, there’s no writing career – and no more Happy Richard.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Given unlimited resources, how would you change the publishing world?

Again, where to start? I worked as an editor in trade publishing for more than fifteen years until I took maternity leave in 2011. My assessment is that big publishers have been slow to adapt to changing technology out of fear and a reluctance to look at how technology can really streamline outdated internal processes. To my mind, most are using outdated workflow procedures that don’t take advantage of the shortcuts technology can provide, particularly PoD and ebook-only releases. I think hardcovers and even paperback books will survive, but they’ll only be printed in response to customer orders. The old sale or return model will (thankfully) die a natural death and ebook success will be a measure of whether to invest in a print edition.
With my unlimited resources, I’d start my own company that published ebook editions first and print runs for those books that did exceptionally well. I’d also love to publish the stories of children in impoverished countries via a charitable publishing wing. I’d abolish royalties in my company entirely in exchange for a flat, up-front advance negotiating the rights for a contractual term (say five years). Authors would then be paid a series of extra bonuses if the book met certain sales targets of copies sold over the life of the contract, e.g. 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000 etc. The company would provide contracted authors with expert editing and cover design services and with extensive, ongoing marketing for the life of the contract. It might be a risky strategy at first, but I imagine we’d be fairly choosy about which books we wanted to pick up and, hey, I have unlimited resources … woohoo!
Buy now @ Amazon
Genre – Short Stories / Literary Fiction
Rating – PG13
More details about the book
Connect with Karin Cox on Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Interview with Michael Dadich: Author of "The Silver Sphere"

Tell us a bit about your family. I have a wonderful wife, Jenna, who supports my writing and creative side, and an awesome ten year old son who loves sports.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? I get great joy out of helping others.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? I wish I was more patient in certain things in my life.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? “The first draft of anything is shit.” ~ Ernest Hemingway First, I think its funny, and second, if Hemingway thinks this it makes me feel better on my first drafts.
What are your most proud of accomplishments so far in your life? Being a Dad and husband that is there for my family. My involvement in the community I live, fundraising and things like that to improve where our kids play. Having my book published traditionally.
What is your favorite color? Navy blue.
What is your favorite food? Any Italian food.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Wherever my family is first. The city of New Orleans second.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I grew up in a urban area with not many kids on my street, and would go to my father’s clothing store on weekends. So I wound up reading a ton. When you read that much at a young age it sticks with you.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – YA / Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Rating – PG
More details about the book
Connect with Michael Dadich on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Interview with Frank Nappi: Author of "Nobody has to know"

Original Title: Nobody has to know
Author: Frank Nappi
Publisher:  G Agency LLC
Release Date: October 7th 2012
Genre: Thriller

Nobody Has To Know, Frank Nappi’s dark and daring new thriller, tells the story of Cameron Baldridge, a popular high school teacher whose relationship with one of his students leads him down an unfortunate and self-destructive path. Stalked through text-messages, Baldridge fights for his life against a terrifying extortion plot and the forces that threaten to expose him. Nobody Has To Know is a sobering look into a world of secrets, lies, and shocking revelations, and will leave the reader wondering many things, including whether or not you can ever really know the person you love.

“A haunting, briskly-paced page turner that explores the darkest recesses of the human psyche while propelling the reader through an intricate series of hair-raising twists and turns. Nobody Has to Know is a masterfully written tale that is expertly told. Frank Nappi knows how to
entertain the reader from start to finish.”
– #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Nelson DeMille


What inspired you to want to become a writer? 

I have always had this propensity to write – a love for the written word that to the best of my recollection is ineffable. I really believe it is in my DNA.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? 

San Diego. I am very much an outdoors person and would acclimate very well to the temperate climate in San Diego. Love the zoo too!!!

What is your favorite Quote? 

I have many favorites, but of late, the Japanese proverb “Fall down seven times, get up eight” has become somewhat of a mantra of mine. Dealing with the vicissitudes of life can be challenging at times and all we really have as our defense is an undaunted spirit.

Who are your favorite authors of all time? 

My favorite author is probably the favorite author of every writer — or at least he should be. F. Scott Fitzgerald was a linguistic genius. He understood the rhythm of the written word the way a composer understands musical notes. There is such an ease and natural flow to his work — tantamount to the way the birds sing. It’s seamless, beautiful and moving. The Great Gatsby, his signature work, embodies all of these qualities like no other work of American fiction. His shorter fiction is just as engaging. This level of excellence has influenced me greatly.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters? 

I can see myself, in part anyway, in just about all of my characters. I don’t think an author can craft a character who is completely devoid of the author’s essence. Writer’s become very close with their work; consequently, each personality they create becomes an amalgam of himself and others whom he has observed over time.

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had? 

Probably to date the craziest writing idea I’ve had was coming up with the plot for my latest release Nobody Has to Know! It seems to have struck a chord with many!!

Favorite music? 

Country hands down. No other genre possesses the story telling quality that Country music has.

In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with? 

F. Scott Fitzgerald for sure…and a more modern pick would be Nelson DeMille.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

$25 Amazon/B&N Gift Card Giveaway: Boots on the Ground by Angela S. Stone

Original Title: Boots on the Ground
Series: Canada's Finest #2
Author: Angela S. Stone
Publisher: Phaze Books
Release Date: November 20th 2012
Genre: Erotic Romance
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

Ash Cooper and Jason McCarty know they need to do one thing, and one thing alone: stay alive.
An IED attack destroyed their convoy and left them both injured in the high desert of Afghanistan and running from insurgents. They take refuge with a group of Afghan civilians, and their only hope of rescue is two satellite phones that might be damaged beyond repair.
Ash and Jason join forces with a British army nurse to survive the harsh living conditions. As days to turn to weeks, they think of home, the husbands they left behind, and the lives they want to return to.
But with food rations running short, the elders angry at them, and the hope of rescue lost, Ash and Jason start to give up, and in the end turn to each other in their struggle for survival.
The concussive force of the blast blew Ash backwards out of his seat. He could feel the armored vehicle turning end over end. It took him a moment to grasp the car had stopped. He felt dizzy and disorientated, blinking a couple of times.
Where in the heck was he?
The dust of the desert started to settle, and he remembered. Civilian police, Afghanistan, patrol convoy, IED.
He started to move only to bite back a hiss of pain. His shoulder flared with agony. Motherfucker. He couldn’t tell what happened to his arm, but it hurt like a son of a bitch.
His escort and their translator were the other people in the armored vehicle, and they were still and silent. Ash cradled his arm as he started to move, his training helping him to squelch the pain. They were in one of the most volatile and insurgent-ridden districts of Afghanistan. The IED blast had to have been huge to send their armored vehicle flying, especially one five cars from the lead.
Ash glanced though the broken windshield. The force had blown them back and clear of the debris field. There were four vehicles up ahead, all burning or smoking. Ash checked again for signs of life in the other passengers around him.
He found none.


Angela S Stone is a twenty something Registered Nurse living, and working in Ottawa Canada. Her first novel, Sometimes It’s Fate, was published by Phaze books in 2011. Angela finds inspiration in real life personal events for her books, often writing about issues and she is a proud Canadian and an even prouder girl from back east. She thoroughly enjoys writing novels featuring character that live in or are from the Maritimes. She’s recently met Mr. Right and when she’s not occupied with him she can be found hanging out at her local Starbucks writing. She spends her free time advocating for minorities and persons with disabilities.
Angela has a severe learning disability called Dysgraphia. Despite this she has written several novels, graduated from university will be starting her Master’s degree in nursing. All things she was told she would never be able to do.
Angela has never met a challenge that she couldn’t overcome. She believes strongly in the philosophy of saying “I can’t” means “I won’t” and advocating for yourself. She has spoken about these topics on provincial, regional and national levels. As well has published several articles in related disability orientated magazines.


Angela will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn host.

Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY!  To enter this giveaway, all you have to do is COMMENT in this post!

Monday, 21 January 2013

$20 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway: Uneasy Lies the Crown, A Novel of Owain Glyndwr

Original Title: Uneasy Lies the Crown, A Novel of Owain Glyndwr
Author: N. Gemini Sasson
Publisher: Cader Idris Press
Release Date: November 4th 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Smashwords

For centuries, the bards have sung of King Arthur’s return,
but is this reluctant warrior prince the answer to those prophecies?

In the year 1399, Welsh nobleman Owain Glyndwr is living out a peaceful gentleman’s life in the Dee Valley of Wales with his wife Margaret and their eleven children. But when Henry of Bolingbroke, the Duke of Lancaster, usurps the throne of England from his cousin Richard II, that tranquility is forever shattered. What starts as a feud with a neighboring English lord over a strip of land evolves into something greater—a fight for the very independence of Wales.

Leading his crude army of Welshmen against armor-clad columns of English, Owain wins key victories over his enemies. After a harrowing encounter on the misty slopes of Cadair Idris, the English knight Harry Hotspur offers Owain a pact he cannot resist.

Peace, however, comes with a price. As tragedies mount, Owain questions whether he can find the strength within himself not only to challenge the most powerful monarch of his time, but to fulfill the prophecies and lead his people to freedom without destroying those around him.


Owain leaned against the bedpost, gazing at Margaret, who was swept away in a sea of exhaustion. For a long time he studied her, worshipful of her, thankful and yet gripped with a fear that paralyzed him. Lamplight flickered upon her face, pale and sparkling with perspiration like a fine dusting of crystal. He glanced at the physician, who was packing his instruments and washing his hands as if there were nothing more he could do.

His voice tremulous, Owain probed, “Will she... will she be well soon?”

“More likely so than not,” the physician said. He was a Jew named Abraham that Owain had brought to Sycharth from London to attend to his large family. He wiped his hands on a cloth and then gathered the bag that contained his mysterious tools. “But there were complications. If she were to deliver another child, she could die. Do you understand?”

The strong cries of his new son and daughter filled his ears with the assurance that they had gained their place in the world and were not letting go.

Owain nodded dully. Then he knelt beside his love and wrapped his large hands around one of hers. He kissed her knuckles, and then pressed them to his whiskered cheek. “Marged, the children need you. I need you.” And he buried his face in the sea of down coverings that surrounded her and wept more tears than he had ever in his life shed.


N. Gemini Sasson is the author of six historical novels set in 14th and 15th century Scotland, England and Wales, including The Bruce Trilogy and Isabeau, A Novel of Queen Isabella and Sir Roger Mortimer (2011 IPPY Silver Medalist in Historical Fiction). Her latest release is Uneasy Lies the Crown, A Novel of Owain Glyndwr. Long after writing about Robert the Bruce and Queen Isabella, Sasson learned she is a descendant of both.

AUTHOR ONLINE: Website | Facebook | Blog


N. Gemini will be awarding a $20 Amazon gift certificate to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a a $20 Amazon gift certificate to a randomly drawn host.

Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY!

Guest Post: 10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before

by RW Peake

1. I wish I knew Word better so that when it came time to format my books for the various outlets for starters. All I can say is that it was easier for the second book than the first…..barely.

2. I wish I knew that not all .epubs are created equal. Getting my book into the Apple ibookstore has been a saga of trial, tribulation and heartache all by itself. Little did I know that when one of the engines that churn out an .epub and it passes the checks, those checks are going to be different for every vendor that uses the .epub. And apparently, at least as far as my first book is concerned, the standard to get it past Apple’s checks seems to be as closely guarded a secret as The Manhattan Project was, because as of this moment, 8 months after the release of the first book, I still don’t know for sure if it has at long last been cleared to be listed. I traveled from Smashwords, then thought that using all-Apple native tools like Pages and iTunes Producer would be the way to go. But after yet another series of dismal failures to pass the gatekeepers, I went to Now, theoretically, after fits and starts, there’s a rumor on the streets that I heard that it might actually be that my first book is finally in the ibookstore. In what has to be the supreme irony, I received a notice from Apple of royalties from the U.K., Australia, and Canadian ibookstore going back to October. Just not in America. My home country. Land of the free and home of the frustrated.

3. I wish I had been better prepared for the negative aspects that have come with all the good things of experiencing some success at this. I was prepared for people not liking my work, but what I was completely unprepared for was what turned out to be the reason for it. Fairly early on after my first book was published I received what has to be considered a badge of honor for an indie author, the 1 star review. But what became clear was that the “reviewer” never read the book and, without divulging how, I discovered the originator of the review was in fact another indie author. That was just a foretaste of what I have to say has been the most unpleasant aspect of all this, the lengths that others will go to do whatever they can to disrupt your progress and success. Fortunately, at least as far as I’m concerned they have been singularly unsuccessful and for that I’m grateful to my readers.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Guest Post: Life as a Writer in the Old World

by Frederick Lee Brooke
Some people move to California, where the weather is warm. Some people pick up stakes and move to Texas, where the jobs are. I moved to Europe to teach English. I didn’t have a grand plan. I didn’t know I was going to stay for the next 20 years.
After a few years of teaching in France, Germany and Switzerland, I was promoted to manager of a language school in Basel, Switzerland. I immersed myself in the world of small business, selling language courses, meeting with customers, hiring and training teachers.
The language training business is a very satisfying one. People come in as total beginners, and after a short time they have basic speaking skills. They can use their new language skills to order food in a restaurant, talk to a doctor or dentist, or complain about a phone bill. After a year or more, they have learned enough to get through a job interview in the foreign language, or conduct a meeting.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

$25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway & Interview: A Little Deception by Beverley Eikli

Original Title: A Little Deception
Author: Beverley Eikli
Publisher: Robert Hale
Release Date: June 1st 2011
Genre: Romance

When she embarks on charade one night to save the family tea plantation, spirited Rose Chesterfield gets more than she bargained for: marriage to the deliciously notorious rake, Viscount Rampton. Unwittingly implicated in a series of high profile jewel robberies, Rose must outwit a jealous adversary in order to clear her blackened name. But can she regain the love and respect of her husband?


1. Is there an inspiration behind why you chose writing?

I think it’s written into my DNA. When I was little I remember my mother doing a writing course by correspondence when we lived in the African mountain kingdom of Lesotho and being fascinated. Later, when we’d moved to Australia and I was about seven, I used to entertain my two sisters and mum and dad with my stories about a School for Witches at our beach cottage in South Australia.

2. When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"?

A writer. Absolutely! The Careers Guidance counselors weren’t very enthusiastic and quite rightly told me I couldn’t leave school to be a writer so I became a journalist. Then, after I met my husband while I was running a safari lodge in Botswana my life suddenly became very interesting, giving me a lot of life experiences to draw upon when I finally did achieve my dream…23 years after writing my first romance at the age of 17.

3. Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is.... 

Through a Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen, which is about the South Sea Bubble financial scandal in the early eighteenth century and packed full of intrigue, romance, illicit love and scandal.

4. What are your current literary works?  Any sneak peaks?

I’ve just won UK publisher Choc-Lit’s ‘Search for an Australian Star’ competition so 2013 and 2014 are already packed with releases. My books for them are under my Beverley Eikli name, the first being my winning entry, The Reluctant Bride, about a returning war hero during the Napoleonic wars whose next assignment is to quash a spy ring. The trouble is, the girl he marries - after she has no choice but to accept his marriage offer because she’s carrying her now-dead fiance’s child – is (unbeknownst to my hero) intimately connected to the spy ring. The book will come out in September, 2013.

My latest release under my Beverley Oakley name was an erotic short story (10K) called Saving Grace published by Pan Macmillan Momentum, with my next erotic – a ‘Downton Abbey with sex’ series –to be released in a couple of months by Ellora’s Cave.

5. If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

I’m an historical writer, so it goes without saying… the past. I’d probably choose the Georgian period with all those lavish lace-adorned and full-skirted gowns so I looked gorgeous (though I’d stay away from the lead-based face creams). Then I’d indulge in a range of Dangerous Liaison’s-type relationships to spice life up a bit.

6. What is your favorite scene in the book and why do you love it?

The book that is just out under my Beverley Eikli name – A Little Deception – was first published by Robert Hale a couple of years ago and nominated by Australian Romance Readers’ Association for Favourite Historical of 2011. I love the scene where Viscount Rampton has been caught out, having just taken to bed the heroine whom he believes is safely married. Now he’s been called to account and, while furious as he expects he’ll have to offer marriage he instead ends up being furious because the heroine most definitely does not want to marry him.

Thank you so much for having me here today. It’s been fun!


Beverley will be awarding an e-copy of her backlist - Lady Sarah's Redemption or Lady Farquhar's Butterfly at each stop plus one randomly drawn commenter during the tour will be awarded a $25 Amazon Gift card.

All you have to do is COMMENT in this post.

Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY and ends January 18th 2013!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Best Thing I Did to Promote my Book -- Guest Post by Andy Holloman

Original Title: Shades of Gray
Author: Andy Holloman
Publisher: Triple J Press
Release Date: December 1st 2011
Genre: Thriller, Suspense

How far would you go to save your child's life? Could you break the law?

What if your travel business was suddenly in danger of going under because of 9/11?

A single father decides to partner up with woman from the opposite side of the tracks.

Can their partnership deliver the cash they BOTH desperately need?

Could they fall in love?

And will they survive to see the Summer of 2002?

The Best Thing I Did to Promote my Book

-Guest Post by Andy Holloman

I was fortunate to have a teeny little platform that I could “bounce” off when I launched my book in late 2011. To take advantage of this, I had a “pre-launch” period where I took orders for a paperback version of the book and I was able to sell approximately 200 or so copies. Getting the books shipped took a wee bit longer than I anticipated. This was quite fortuitous, however, because during this time,

I was fortunate to have made a writer friend who had a page on his website devoted to “reader pics”.

Since a significant portion of these “pre-launch” buyers were overseas (about 30%), I thought that it would be wonderful to have these readers snap a photo with themselves and the book in exotic locales of their choosing. So I simply printed a short note and put it inside the book, encouraging people to snap a picture and email it too me. Wow! Once the books arrived, the photos started coming in. I received pictures from all over the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. Whenever I received a picture, I posted it on my website and sent out a few messages to promote the newly arrived photo.

Now the unexpected part of this was that some folks took it upon themselves to REALLY go overboard and shoot tons of photos. One reader even took a whole series of photos of the book in very exotic locales as she sailed from New Zealand back to her home in England.

And these photos took on a life of their own. Readers started seeing the photos and took it upon themselves to shoot even more pics.

I even had people send photos of themselves with their eReader device and the cover of the book popped up on this device.

The promotional value in this turned out to be quite lovely. Photos of readers holding up copies of your book in front of the Eiffel Tower and other famous landmarks proved to be quite a treasure trove of promotional opportunities. As a first time author, it was invaluable to have these items to promote the book and get the word out about the novel. There’s nothing quite like enthusiastic fans to encourage others to take a chance on your novel. It even worked well for folks who had eReader devices. Thus I would encourage any writer to put a small blurb in the beginning of their work encouraging their readers to send photos. Folks love to see themselves on the web, and as an author trying to sell more books, I was very, very happy to oblige. Happy promoting !!!

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