Jan 28, 2012

Lynn Crain's Indie Book

            I had never intended to become an indie author but when the opportunity presented itself, I thought why not? I had the rights revert back to me from a publisher for an anthology and that story needed a new home. It really wasn’t something too exciting or new, so I decided to revamp it by totally rewriting it, get it a cover, hire an editor and a copy editor then put it up on all the major ebook sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
            I really wasn’t new to publishing in this way. In the past, when I had owned a print shop, I had my own speculative fiction magazine. I knew about editing and how to format things. I knew how to put an ebook into PDF format but not the new formats like epub. Furthermore, I didn’t have the required software. While I knew I could do this if I spent some big bucks, I decided to hire someone to actually do the formatting. All I had to do was provide a clean Word copy and another more intricately formatted version for the PDF.
            Once the edit was complete for the book and it was returned to me all shiny and new, I sat on it. I drug my feet and rethought my decision. I’d heard many varying stories on how authors were either wildly successful or disappointingly failed. I’d heard that some of the traditional publisher would never even look at a book of mine again if they knew I’d self-published. For me the point was that I’d never get all my stories published if I didn’t do a variety of things, both traditional and non-traditional.
            When all the arguments were worked out in my head, I plunged forward as the holiday season was fast approaching and it needed to be there for that. On December 22nd, 2011, I published my story A Lover for Rachel with Smashwords who made it available in every format as well as on Kobo and Diesel. I had decided to use a book aggregator for the other places (Amazon, B&N, Sony and Apple) and uploaded to them as well. It was soon available at Amazon and the rest have come filtering in since it was submitted.
            I had done it. I had published my own story and while it was a lot of work, it wasn’t as traumatic as I had expected. From the moment it was up, I started to promote as much as I could. I had certain ideas in mind. One of the things I knew is the fact that most indie books take up to six months to really start selling. Yes, that’s right, I said six months. While that is a long time to see any return on my investment, it gives me time to really promote the book as well as decide what stories will be next in this part of my publishing adventure.
            If any of you are interested in self-publishing, just let me know and I’ll answer any question you may have. It isn’t for everyone and it certainly isn’t the only thing I’m going to do with my publishing career. For me it’s just another avenue to get my work in front of more people. It will also, hopefully, give me more income so that I can continue to live my dream of being a full time writer.

Lynn

The Magic of Love comes to everyone.

Rachel Hamilton comes to Stonehenge to celebrate her birthday on Summer Solstice, only to find herself trapped beneath the massive rhyolite bluestones with sexy wizard, Dewin Kingston, who convinces her that she is the key to their escape.

Excerpt:

A Lover For Rachel

“Come on, we’re going to be late! You’re the one who wanted to go to this thing. Besides, it’s the dead of night, so who’s going to see us?”
Rachel frowned at her best friend, Samantha Andrews, again. Yes, she was the one who wanted to go to the summer solstice celebration at Stonehenge. Who wouldn’t if their birthday fell on June twenty-first and they happened to be in the area? Last time they’d come to England in June, they avoided the place because of the massive crowds attending the event. This time there was no way she would miss the opportunity.
“I’m almost done.” She sighed. This was the best it would get. She glanced at herself in the mirror of the bathroom in the luxurious bed-and-breakfast that had been their home for the past week. Everyone told her she’d gone from frumpy to svelte in the last year, but she couldn’t see what they meant.
“You’d think you’re meeting a lover or something.” Samantha stood in the doorway and tapped her foot impatiently. “Come on, Rach, you look beautiful. I envy your curves.”
Rachel smiled at her in the mirror. “You’re only saying that because you love me.” She wiggled her eyebrows and the women burst into laughter.
“No really, you are. You’ve changed so much this past year. Still, we need to leave if we’re ever going to get there and through the gates before the sun rises. Do you have the tickets?”
They had applied to get special passes to participate with the group performing ancient celebrations at the site. The members of the large group were as close to Druids as anyone could be, considering that not much was left in the way of their history. And from everything she’d read about the ceremony, it was a very special and personal event.
She nodded, straightened her shoulders, and brushed her hair away from her face, determined not to worry about her appearance. “I do, and I know what you’re talking about. I have changed. I just feel weird about it, that’s all. Especially when someone calls me beautiful. I’ve just never seen myself that way.”
Samantha clutched her arm, smiling at her reflection. “Come on, how many people can say their birthday is on summer solstice? So what? You have baggage. I do too, now let’s get going before we miss the whole celebration.”
 “I know you’re right. I’m just not going to participate in the getting naked part. Okay?” She was relieved when her friend nodded her agreement. One more glance in the mirror and she pulled the steely reserve around herself that she normally used in the courtroom. Today was the day to have fun and no worries. Today was her day; she wasn’t going to let the past cloud it in any way. Smiling, she grabbed her backpack from the bed and headed for the door. “Let’s go.”
Their drive through the English countryside was always an adventure from start to finish. First, they had to drive on the wrong side of the road. The narrow roads barely managed two compact cars, let alone anything bigger. Rachel and Samantha dodged the predawn traffic racing along the Salisbury Plains to get to their destination. Thank God, they only had a short distance to go through the darkness of the night. The only thing piercing the shadows were the stars that shone bright in the night sky.

Lynn Crain realized at an early age she wanted to write. She took the long way to being published by doing a variety of things like nursing assistant, geologist, technical writer and computer manager all of which have added to her detail-oriented stories. Now she’s a full-time storyteller and weaves fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal tales, as well as erotic stories for various publishers. She normally lives in the very hot southwest with her husband, son, two dogs, three cats, and she’s gotten rid of her snakes. Don’t ask. Other members of her clan live nearby and include another son, daughter-in-law, and two grandsons, plus various long-time friends. She is a past national board member of the RWA; founding president of Las Vegas Romance Writers Chapter of RWA; has held the positions of president, vice-president, secretary and contest chair of EPIC. Her latest adventure has taken her to Vienna, Austria with her husband as he works for a UN-affiliated organization. You can find her hanging out at A Writer In Vienna Blog (www.awriterinvienna.blogspot.com) and various other places on the net (www.theloglineblog.blogspot.com; www.twitter.com/oddlynn3; www.lynncrain.blogspot.com ). Still, the thing she loves most of all is hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

Jan 26, 2012

Transcend

Today we have the wonderful West Thornhill with us. She brings us an excerpt of her book, Transcend. You can find her at her blog http://wthornhillauthor.blogspot.com. Transcend is published by Silver Publishing and you can purchase it here https://spsilverpublishing.com/product_book_info/new-release-c-1/transcend-ebook-p-719

 Excerpt:
Gael looked at himself one last time before dropping the towel held tightly in his hands and leaving the bathroom. They were coming to pick him up and take him to his new home in Richmond. At least it was only an hour away from Rick's home in Williamsburg. If things didn't work out, he could always call Rick to come and get him. He stopped when he heard voices coming from the kitchen.
"So, where is he? I'm surprised you're ready to give him up." There was a teasing note in the melodious voice.
"You're so funny, Tink. He'll be down in a few minutes." Gael could hear the warmth and concern in Rick's voice. "This is a big deal for him."
"Fine. I'll behave for now."
Gael could hear the teasing in her laugh. A laugh that reminded him of the wind chimes in Hawaii.
Gael sighed and slowly edged away from the wall he'd been leaning against. Determined not to trip over his own feet, he strode into the kitchen feigning confidence. Nervous as hell, he wasn't prepared for his first view of Jason and it stopped him dead in his tracks. Jason had the longest legs he'd ever seen. They were encased in well-worn black denim that hugged them perfectly. Gael's eyes traveled up over the fitted black T-shirt to the strong, square jaw. He gasped. It felt like the air he sucked in couldn't reach his lungs, making him lightheaded and dizzy. He'd known from listening to Rick that Jason was good looking but he wasn't prepared for breathtaking. On any other man Jason's slightly tilted, hooded eyes, full lips, high cheek bones, and square jaw would just be wrong. But on him it was perfect; like the Titan god Prometheus had sculpted him out of the earth to be a living testament of male beauty. His cock hardened just looking at the man.
Gael took a deep breath before continuing, trying to control his awakened libido. He knew Rick had picked up on his presence even though no one would have seen him standing in the hall. Rick, being an awesome empath, was always aware when someone was nearby, and he didn't want to see the teasing gleam in Rick's eye because of his reaction to Jason.
"Tink, your wait is over." Rick nodded to the doorway just as Gael stepped through.
Gael forced himself to smile as he walked toward them. He spoke softly. "Hey."

About West

In 2003 I decided I was going back to college and finish my degree. Three years later I graduated from a small woman's college (R-MWC) that has since become coed with a degree in Classics and a minor in British and American Lit. It wasn't until five years after graduating that I finished and submitted my first novel, Transcend. The characters in this story have been on a wild rollercoaster ride for those five years. Yes, it took me five years to get Gael's story where is needed to be. I'm hoping for things to move a little faster for the sequel.
I have always been a avid reader and thanks to my Classics background I discovered an admiration for Ovid and Hesiod. I also think Latin and Greek are awesomely fun. Yes, I am a geek and an otaku girl. I love Yaoi manga and anime as well as Bleach and Death Note. My all-time favorite Yaoi series is Junjo Romantica.
I am also a single mom. My demon child is light of my life and he was diagnosed with Autism at the age of six. Luckily, he's on the higher end of the spectrum and currently a pre-teen handful. He has taught me a lot about how to see people and the world in general. Life is never boring and I am asked some crazy questions. I should probably brush up on my American History. LOL!

Jan 12, 2012

Using Your Life to Jump Start Your Research

Today we have the wonderful Julie Eberhart Painter giving us research tips. Help me in welcoming her to the MFRW Authors' Blog.

            Anna Quindlen, former journalist turned novelist, said: “Each of us has one hundred stories, then we must write on the news.” This applies to romance writers also. One advantage that we have over journalists is that few of us will write 100 novels. But even for the less prolific, research is a major factor. It's also our responsibility.
            To write accurate scenes and dialogue that resonate with readers, we must know our stuff. The more  involved/empathetic our readers are with our stories, the more likely they are to buy and read our books―again and again.
            Writers are readers. We select favorite authors not just for their stories, but because we trust the information contained within their stories.  We don't have to wonder if the town we knew as rural and quiet really did have a subway that we were unaware of. When we see that red flag of error, we know we're in the  hands of an unreliable storyteller.
            Two excellent examples of trustworthy authors are Wilbur Smith, with more than 33 books in print after a long career, and Nora Roberts.  Smith is not as prolific as Ms. Roberts, with more than 100 published works, but like her, the details in his novels are accurate because they have been well researched and are sprinkled with the atmosphere and flavor of their venues. In other words, they take you there.
            Mr. Smith lived for many years on a private island in the Seychelles at 1500 miles east of Madagascar  off the coast of the eastern Africa. Isolated as he was he found time to research through travel, visiting libraries, studying history, and when available via the Internet. Ms. Roberts used her Irish background and frequent visits to her environmental roots to gather her research.
            What makes Smith and Roberts alike is not the subject matter or depth of their research; we don't read their works as we would textbooks. The similarities lay in their use of their own life experiences among  assimilated facts. The collected emotions: tactile, visual and auditory generate emotional accuracy. Use your life experiences to make readers feel what your characters are feeling.
            I write romantic suspense. My background is that of an adopted woman, raised in eastern Pennsylvania,  relocated to parts of the Midwest and eventually transplanted to the South.  I've been exposed to a diverse group of people in these locales. My work history, from interior design, duplicate bridge directing for the national organization (ACBL), nursing home and  community ombudsman volunteering, and eventually acting as a co-counselor in bereavement groups for a local hospice  provided me with the voices, emotions, situations and living examples of the people I write about. 
            I would be remiss if I didn't double check my facts, the correct spellings of towns', street maps, historical works, plus the literature, art and  music contemporary to the time-frame of my stories.  Even the choices of names is important to specific locales and the generations.
            The devil may be in the details, but the proof is in the authors' works.

Julie Eberhart Painter's latest books: Mortal Coil, Tangled Web and Kill Fee are now available in Amazon’s Kindle Store and in print from lulu.com or the publisher, www.champagnebooks.com.



Jan 11, 2012

The Scarred Heir


Happy New Year! Welcome to day 2 of 2012. What, you say? Day 2? *nodding* Yep, day 2 of MY New Year. Having a birthday in January for me has always meant that the New Year doesn't start for me until that day. And, since my birthday was Monday. . .well, you get my drift. So, Happy New Year!
And a good year it promises to be. Last year at this time, I was having unexplained dizzy spells. They weren't bad, but I didn't like the fact that the room would shift without warning when I was walking. Unfortunately, it was the busiest time of the year for me, so I made a doctor's appointment for the middle of March. By the end of January, the spells had stopped, but I went to the appointment in March anyway. After some tests and a variety of appointments, I had surgery in July. I suppose if there was such a thing as 'routine' brain surgery, I had it. I went into the hospital on Friday and was released on Monday. Of course, I spent the next month at home recuperating.
In the meantime, my daughter got engaged in June. At first she and her fiancé considered a September date. Thankfully, they didn't think I'd be up to it (and they were right), so the date was moved out to December. Needless to say, that ended the year on a high note. Not even Christmas compared to the wedding. It was beautiful, and my daughter was as happy as I'd ever seen her.
Unfortunately, no writing has been done since I came home from the hospital. It was fortunate, then, that I had one book already contracted, and had finished the book I was working on -- sending it off just the day before my surgery.
So, now it's a new year and I'm looking forward to learning and writing more and, of course, reading lots of great books. Are you looking forward to a year of good books to read? I hope you will consider trying one of mine.
Denise
The Scarred Heir


He stood abruptly. “We will finish this discussion upstairs.” If Dodson hadn’t gotten rid of her uncle, he might yet have no other choice, but he would not have this discussion here, in public, where someone might overhear. 
Minutes later he ushered her into a blessedly empty sitting room. Dropping her pelisse and reticule into a chair, she crossed to her room and checked inside. He did the same for his room, noting that his trunk sat open beside the bed. Neither servant was present. 
Sarah stood in the center of the room, her features pale. Uncertainty hung over her like a cloud. He tried, unsuccessfully, to steel himself. She had to see that marrying him was wrong for now. He had no idea what the future might bring, but at this time it was the wrong choice. 
Large blue eyes watched him as he crossed the carpet toward her. He meant to stop before her, far enough away so he couldn’t touch her, but he couldn’t resist the lost look in her eyes. Before he knew it, he was holding her, enjoying the soft curves pressed close, the sweet smell of flowers in her hair. 
She trembled and pressed her face into his shirtfront, sliding her hands beneath his coat and around his waist. 
“Why?” The question was whisper soft. 
“Because I can’t. I cannot allow you to make such a choice out of fear.” 
She raised her head. “It wouldn’t be fear. I understand what I’m asking.” 
“Do you?” His lips quirked. “Have you thought about all the possibilities? What if we find your father alive? You will have taken the step unnecessarily.” 
She sighed. “Perhaps, but if my uncle were to have forced me to it, I would still be married, and whether my father was alive or not wouldn’t matter.” 
He sighed. “You are right, but your uncle will not force you—and neither will I.”
She huffed and stepped back. “You wouldn’t be forcing me—” 
The door opened and Dodson entered, followed by Annie. Sarah gasped in horror at the sight of the maid’s face. There was a large bruise marring her features and her lip was swollen. 
“Annie. Oh Annie, what happened?” 
“I tol’ him I didn’t know where you was, an’ he hit me. Said he didn’t believe me.” 
Sarah hurried over to the maid and took her in her arms. 
Dodson looked at Max. “I started packing. The uncle said he’d be back with a magistrate. I figured you didn’t still want ta be here.” 
“Heavens no,” Sarah interrupted. She looked at Annie. “Come, I’ll help you finish my packing.” 
Thirty minutes later they were pulling away from the Pulteney and Sarah began to relax. She was thankful her order from Mme. Marchand had arrived and they were able to pack it as well. Yet she wouldn’t have quibbled at leaving it behind had it been necessary. 
While she and Annie packed, she’d replayed the conversation over luncheon in her head. She remembered the moment she realized she wanted to marry him. It was the same moment he’d admitted he would be nothing more than a fortune hunter. It was also the moment she realized she’d fallen in love. 
She turned her face to the window, sightlessly watching the streets of London roll by. For now, she’d have to let him have his way. His promise to take her to France was driving him at the moment. Maybe when they reached Calderbrooke, before the information from the solicitor arrived, she’d talk to him again. 
Regardless, she’d bring him around. He cared for her. His refusal to consider marrying her for financial reasons told her that. But her dowry was substantial. Would that make her off-limits to him forever? 

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