Monday, December 24, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Butler family

Christmas can be bittersweet. If you published this year, you may be experiencing the low that follows. If you're alone, you may be faced with memories of better Christmases past. If you've lost a loved one, the hole may feel much larger this week.

Life is a highway. Sometimes it's clear and beautiful ...


east on Highway 16 to Cluculz Lake
sometimes it's not...




In our family we understand the sadness that may accompany Christmas. The memories of our loved ones have sustained us in a bittersweet way. We've learned to focus on the wonders of life and to take one moment at a time. But even so, some days are overwhelming. We get through those moments mostly by remembering how very blessed we are.

If you're more happy than you ever thought possible, we rejoice with you. But if you're hurting this Christmas, if you're lonely and struggling, please know that my family and I are praying that you experience a peaceful Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year even under the worst circumstances. Prayer may not seem like much, but experience has proven to me that it's not that God won't bless you if you let Him. It's only a matter of accepting the gift despite the pain. 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

HAPHAZARDLY IMPLAUSIBLE by Jack Lewis Baillot

Today I'd like to introduce you to a new author, Jack Lewis Baillot, and his novel HAPHAZARDLY IMPLAUSIBLE! Please give Jack a warm welcome. Merry Christmas, Jack!


Everything in Peter rebelled at Tony's words. He trusted the general with his life. When his parents had abandoned him, it was the general who took him in and raised him. The general loved him more then his own father had, and now Tony wanted him to believe this man wanted him dead. His head spinning, Peter slowly sank to the ground, unable to keep his legs under him.

 Three unlikely heroes. A world teetering on the edge of war. A mad man who will stop at nothing to gain complete power.

 Peter Jones, an Aeropilot in the Scottish Royal Air Force, has grown up believing his parents abandoned him. Isidore Thaddeus Reichmann, a famous Detective running from his past, is trying to save the last person he cares about. Singur, an Inventor who has been forced to hide his real name his whole life or risk being killed, holds an important secret.

 Little do they know their lives are about to entwine and that together they have the power to save the world from complete destruction, or destroy everything.

 Loyalties are questioned. Friendships are betrayed. Trust is shaken. Who do you turn to when the friends you've always relied upon become your worst enemies?

 Greetings!

 I would like to thank Joylene for helping in spreading word about my book! (I need all the help I can get and it is great when fellow bloggers and writers help out.*Grin*)

 My book, which is out now actually, is in fact my first attempt at Steampunk. When I began it, I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. (I just wanted to write something with airships.) When I wrote the first draft, in fact, I had no real villain. It wasn't until the second draft I sat down and plotted him out.

 I am wary of writing villains. I wanted mine to have a purpose, I also wanted him to be terrifying, but not the type of man one would look at and think, "He's a bad guy."


 It took a lot of work to get him just how I wanted. Mostly because I wanted his main goal to be world domination. And when a villain is out for that the first thing that comes to mind is James Bond villains or some wacko who rubs his hands together, cackles, mutters under his breath, and has henchmen who can't aim. All things I wanted to avoid.

 The first step was in making my villain believable. Could I work with the world domination plot and still make him fearful? If so, how? What was it about the other world domination villains which made them unbelievable?


 Once I had these worked out, I set about applying them to my villain. The main thing I learned? He had to be ruthless. When he actually gets the hero in his grasp nothing hinders him from shooting him on the spot. No monologue, no explaining his plans. Nothing. (If the hero wishes to live he can't wait until the villain ties him up and leaves before making his daring escape. It isn't that easy this time.)

 After all, the villain is just as important in a story as the hero and he has to be just as real and convincing. What would a man do in his place? Would he tell the hero about his next move, or would he just shoot him to get him out of the way? (And with these questions answered, there are a lot more options open.)

 Thank you, Joylene again for helping in spreading the word!

 My book can be found at Lulu publishing, as well as Amazon and Barnes and Nobles. It is in both paperback and ebook format. You can learn more about it here. http://missjacklewisbaillot.blogspot.com/


Jack Lewis Baillot

Monday, December 17, 2012

WORLD OF SHELL AND BONE by Adriana Ryan

Because Christmas is a time of giving, it gives me a great deal of pleasure to introduce Adriana Ryan and her novel World of Shell and Bone...

 

World of Shell and Bone
By Adriana Ryan

In a world ravaged by a nuclear holocaust, Vika Cannon knows there are no guarantees: no guarantees of safety, no guarantees that your neighbor is not actually a spy for the government, and no guarantees you’ll be allowed to emigrate to a new life in Asia.

New Amana is dying. Food and water are scarce, and people suffering from radiation-caused mutations—the Nukeheads—are the new class of homeless. 

Vika has just one purpose: to produce healthy progeny using a Husband assigned by the Match Clinic. Unhealthy children are carted away to Asylums to be experimented on, just as Vika’s little sister Ceres was, eight years ago. Parents incapable of producing healthy progeny are put to death in gas chambers.

When she’s assigned a Husband shortly after her twentieth birthday, Vika expects him to be complacent and obedient. But Shale Underwood has a secret. He is a member of the Radicals, the terrorist group intent on overthrowing the government. And Shale has information about Ceres.

As she learns more about the Rads’s plan, Vika finds herself drawn to Shale in ways she’d never imagined. When freedom calls in the way of a healthy pregnancy, will she betray her government and risk death for Shale and Ceres? 



Why did you write this book and what do you hope readers will take away from it?
There’s a pretty famous Toni Morrison quote: “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” That sums up the “why” part of the question really well. I wanted to explore a world where females had been given power. The society Vika Cannon, my protagonist, lives in is feminist and supposedly forward-thinking. But as you go along in the story, you discover why that’s not true and how things have come to be as they are. 
   I hope that readers will see how too much of a good thing can turn bad really quickly. While it’s absolutely essential that those who’ve been historically taken advantage of be given the authority and power to speak out against their oppressors, there is a very real danger in vilifying your oppressors as well. We risk losing our humanity in the face of our indignation, which, I think, is what a lot of the great civil rights leaders of the world, like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted people to realize.
   I also hope readers see that there are many different forms and kinds of oppression. Vika’s world is one of sub-societies and second-class citizens. I think we could draw parallels to the world we live in today, but many times it’s easier to not think about those issues.
   And finally, I hope readers are able to connect with Vika’s vulnerability, courage, and hopefulness. Those, to me, are universal traits, and I tried hard to capture them in World of Shell and Bone. More than anything, I hope Vika comes alive and really speaks to readers in a way that’s personal to them and their truth.


About Adriana Ryan

Adriana lives and writes in beautiful Charleston, SC. A huge fan of spooky stuff and shoes, she enjoys alternately hitting up the historic graveyards and outlet malls. World of Shell and Bone is her first book.

Reach Adriana at her website, Twitter, Facebook, or Goodreads.

Buy World of Shell and Bone at: Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Kobo, Sony, and iBookstore will follow soon!

Monday, December 10, 2012

CHEERS, CAVANAUGH BLOGFEST

Ever attended a Christmas party where you bump into the person who was always there for you during the last year. You’d thank them for being such a RockStar, right?

If there’s one person in the Blogisfear who you want to say cheers to, who would it be?

For us, it was a no-brainer: Alex “no hyperlink needed” Cavanaugh.

Alex is an awesome blogger who’s helped hundreds of us via book releases, guest posts, guest interviews and always positive comments. While we can’t have a live part-ay for the Ninja Captain, we can host a BlogFest:

Welcome to the “Cheers, Cavanaugh BlogFest.”

Hosted by Mark “The Madman” Koopman, ”Marvelous” Morgan Shamy, Stephen “Breakthrough” Tremp, and David “Kingpin” Powers King, the BlogFest runs from December 10 - 12. 

 * * * * * 

When I heard Mark, Morgan, Stephen, and David were hosting this fest, I jumped in with both feet. Now I'm obliged to answer the four questions. I just hope my answers do homage to our fierce and noble leader Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh!


In +/- 20 words, what does Alex look like?
Alex looks Ninja, thru and thru. Dark hair, dark menacing eyes, no—piercing eyes—NO, dark menacing and piercing eyes. 


In +/- 20 words, who could play Alex in a documentary? (Living or dead.)
Christian Bale, and how come, you ask. Because Christian Bale has dark menacing and piercing eyes like Ninja Captain Alex! 


In +/- 20 words, who does Alex remind you of?
Oh that’s easy, eh! Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life. Why? Because like Jimmy, Alex is always helping others


In +/- 100 words, (excluding the title) write flash fiction using all these prompts:

Cavanaugh

Ninja
IWSG
Cosbolt
Guitar
CAPTAIN CAVANAUGH AND THE NINJA FIGHTERS

Captain J Cavanaugh slipped into his Cosbolt pilot seat as smoothly as a bride out of her gown. He was determined to save his men held captive on planet Guitar
      When the engines were at full capacity and his Ninja warriors were aboard, he set out across the galaxy. They landed on the LZ under a dark moon. Those who died died bravely. With his students safe and the injured on board, Alex set coarse for home and landed in time for the next IWSG blogfest. His ninja warriors gathered at the cockpit and sang out, “Long live Captain Cavanaugh!”   



For Bonus Points:
In +/- 40 words, leave a comment for Mrs. Cavanaugh - thanking her for sharing J
Mrs. Cavanaugh, thanks for allowing me, a narcotic author from Cluculz Lake in central BC’s Bulkley Nechako, the privilege of hanging out with your dear husband J.  You've done a right nice job of pruning him. Merci beaucoup, eh!




  * * * *

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Next Big Thing, #2

At the end of November Pat Bertram, author of Daughter Am I, The Spake of Heavenly Fire, and More Deaths Than One, to name a few, invited me to participate in THE NEXT BIG THING. Thanks to Adriana Ryan, author of World of Shell and Bone, I did my first The Next Big Thing post on October 23 for my manuscript Omatiwak: Woman Who Cries.

I'm going out on a limb here to confess that I actually enjoy doing these chains. What I don't enjoy is trying to find someone to tag in return. I've asked 4 people in the last 2 weeks and they all graciously declined. They'd already done a round of The Next Big Thing.

I should probably have asked more, but instead I'm going to change the rules, just this once. (That's probably a lie) I'm not going to tag anyone. I'm just going to say I hope you stop in and visit Pat Bertram's blog. She's a fascinating lady and has a wonderful blogging style. You won't regret taking the time to visit, I promise. Come back and bite me if that's not true.

With no further ado, (sorry I can't promise my answers are brilliant) here are the questions and my answers:


What is your working title of your book?

Kiss of the Assassin
 
Where did the idea come from for the book?

I'm sure it came from somewhere, but heck if I can remember. I began the first draft in the 90s. Movies and television had a lot of rock and roll in those days, so maybe that was the contributing factor. 
 

What genre does your book fall under?

Epic Political Thriller  (yes, I just made that up)


Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

He's neither Russian or over 50, but I can see Eminem playing the part of Kurenkov, head of KGB because of his intensity, and because the story begins when he's 30 and spans almost 20 years. Can't you just picture him in a military uniform wearing an earflaps sable hat and looking 50? With blue contacts, of course.

By the time they got around to making the book into a movie, Penelope Crux would be too old, but hey -- this is fantasy, right! I think she would make a wonderful Marina Antonovna Abramova, the assassin.







The sad and tortured Homicide Lieutenant Mateo Arcusa would be played by Eduardo Verástegui:

 



What is a brief synopsis of your book?

Five year old Marina witnesses the murder/suicide of her parents, and instead of being protected and nurtured, is trained to become the personal assassin to her guardian, the man who believes he'll be Russia's first President. When she falls in love with the man she's suppose to kill,  they decide to destroy her guardian before he destroys them.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Because I've been there and done that, I prefer to sign with a publisher.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It's an epic that involves the Vietnam War, so I'm going to say it took 18 months to write the first draft. Hallelujah for the Web, which made researching the story much much easier!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The Black Heart, The Borne Identity, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Nikita.



Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I love these types of novels, so writing one made sense.


What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Marina and Mateo are kindred spirits destined to be together even though they come from opposite sides of the geographical and political spectrum. They are both trained to kill, yet their love for each other knows no bounds.


* If you missed out on THE NEXT BIG THING blog chain, by all means, join in from here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ask PZM Dec '12: KDP Select Listing Sites



It's the first Wednesday of the month, and you know what that means! Yes! It's Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group. It's our time to cry, sob, share, whine, and help. Today my very special guest Phyllis Nimbler Miller will answer some questions about KDP. Enjoy. 

We'll be serving gluten free cookies and refreshments in the parlour.

*  *  *  * 


Q: Where can I post my free KDP Select book days (and as a reader find free ebooks to download)?

This is an excellent question without an easy answer. (And even if you are not yet an author, as a reader who would like to download free ebooks you may find this information very worthwhile.)

Let’s step back a minute and remind people that KDP Select is an Amazon exclusive 90-day period for your ebook (physical books are NOT included in the exclusive requirement). As an author, you can do only one 90-day period or automatically roll over to additional 90-day periods.


Full disclosure: I am only talking about Kindle free books although some of the sites I mention might also allow promotion of free ebooks on other online retail sites as well as low-priced ebooks.

To clarify, I will be talking about where to post announcements of your free KDP Select days. (Each 90-day period allows five free days in any combination.) Yes, you have to invest the time to tell people about your free ebook. You can't expect people to miraculously find this out for themselves.



Now here is the complicated part. To the best of my knowledge there is no one answer about where to list free Kindle ebooks. I personally use a hodgepodge of sites that I have gleaned over the last few months – and many of the sites on the various lists I use are no longer active.

Another clarification:

Many of the sites where you can list your free books for free (some sites charge for the listing) require you post at least x days (depends on site) before the free days.

Other places such as http://snickslist.com/ only allow you to post when the ebook is actually free. (Snickslist calls the listing an ad, but it is free.)


What I have learned from my own experiences is that you can only do so much ahead of time. Then on the day (or days) your book is free, you must devote several hours to tweeting and updating on Facebook on the sites that allow you to list your free book.

Of course, there is etiquette. First you have to follow the requirements of the individual sites. (I am often bewildered when asked to assign a movie rating to my book – I usually put PG13 to be safe. And note that some sites do not allow erotica listings.)

Second, you should only post once a day (or maybe only once if your book is free over consecutive days) on Facebook sites.

Even on Twitter I believe you should only tweet once to a specific Kindle free site.

An example? I found this Twitter account -- https://twitter.com/No1KindleSource

I can’t vouch for it but it looks good. So I might tweet from my Twitter account on the day a book is free (and include the link to the ebook on Amazon):

To @No1KindleSource Spy story CIA FALL GUY free today Dec 11 on #Kindle at http://amzn.to/L38eiP






Note: I use bit.ly to shorten any Amazon book links because bit.ly automatically shortens an Amazon link to include amzn, which in theory gives people more confidence about clicking on the shortened link.)

And why do I put the “to” in front of the account to which I am tweeting? It is a workaround for Twitter’s supposed control of who sees a tweet directed at another Twitter user.




A tip about who to tweet about your free days: If your fiction or nonfiction book is about a specific topic, you can tweet (and post updates on Facebook) to a related account. For example, when my Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS is free on KDP Select, I tweet the U.S. Navy on Twitter and post the info on the Navy's Facebook Page.


Now here is a site with a list of where to post: https://katrinaparkerwilliams.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/kdp-select-free-days-promo-sites/

Just remember I cannot verify that this information is correct. You have to do what I do. When I am posting, I click on each link and read the info on the site.

Some more shoutouts:

Here is a site I recently found that is very interesting: www.facebook.com/JumpSeatBookClub

Another site that I like and have used several times: www.freebooksy.com

And a new discovery I like: www.facebook.com/Ebookdealoftheday

As either an author or reader, as you begin to research these sites you will develop your own lists. And whenever you get a chance to promote these sites, do so. It’s good karma.

FREE DAYS:

I have two KDP Select free days coming up this month:

Romantic suspense spy story CIA FALL GUY will be free on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at http://amzn.to/Sp29TC

 

2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT will be free on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at http://amzn.to/TKTk4B



Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books. Her newest fiction books are the cozy mystery novel CAST THE FIRST STONE: A REBECCA STONE MYSTERY at http://amzn.to/SLYBJY and the short story ebook TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE: REBECCA STONE MYSTERY SHORT STORIES at http://amzn.to/UWeFsa


Both ebooks include recipes from the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION by Rabbi Karen L. Fox and Phyllis.

See all Phyllis’ books at her Amazon Author Central Profile at www.amazon.com/author/phylliszimblermiller




Phyllis is also the co-founder of the online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com