Author Assist

Quite often I hear authors say that they have a passion for writing, but are floundering the marketing part of their author careers. Even traditionally published authors are finding that they are expected to run their own author platforms and mailing lists. Independent authors are in charge of the whole show.

There’s definitely a need for service providers to assist authors on a full time, part time or even special event situations. Author Assist is one of these service providers.  I’d like to share their Facebook page here.

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010977245139&__mref=message

See if there isn’t something they could help you with, so you can get back to writing.

 

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Interview with Lisa Caviness

Lisa Caviness shares with us about books!

What book do you have on your shelf that you go to over and over for help on writing technique/craft. Why do you find this one so helpful?

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_OrderOfFearThere are actually two books I refer to often. Mastering Suspense, Structure and Plot by Jane K. Cleland. I love the breakdown of plotting techniques. This book has really helped me plan my stories and plot twists. The other book I often refer back to is The Book on Writing, The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well by Paula LaRocque. I often use this book as a reference for grammar, sentence structure, and specific storytelling devices. I like craft books with lots of examples and helpful tools I can apply to my work.

 

What book have you loved/ kept from your youth?  What made you fall in love with it?

There are two books from my youth I currently have on my shelf. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle is a book I fell in love with as a young girl. I was fascinated by the concept of time travel. The other book I’ve kept on my shelf is 1984, by George Orwell. Although the book depicted life under a totalitarian government, I found hope as Winston dared to have individual thoughts rejecting Big Brother, even if it was short-lived and accomplished by internally questioning the government, writing in a journal, and loving another person.

 

What is the latest book you are reading?  What drew you to  it?

I am reading Love Encounters by LaNora Mangano. The book is a love story set against the business of paranormal investigations. What an interesting concept! I’ve watched some of those ghost hunting shows and found them intriguing so this book appealed to me. I’ve read other books by LaNora and she has a way of really getting into the characters’ heads and showing the emotional aspects of relationships. I read a lot of thrillers and romantic suspense novels but stepping away from that kind of intensity and reading a story so steeped in the emotional and physical aspects of a relationship is a satisfying departure.

 

What cookbook is your favorite and why?

With the explosion of cooking blogs and online recipe websites, I don’t buy physical cookbooks anymore but one of the cookbooks I still use is the old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Their apple crisp and pineapple upside down cake recipes are wonderful and remind me of family dinners with my grandmothers.

 

What other hobbies/interests do you enjoy (other than reading/writing)?

I love working out and can be found in the gym on most mornings. Running and lifting weights are my favorite activities. Also, when the weather cooperates, I enjoy walking and hiking.

 

What is your next book about?

I’m currently working on Book Two of The Order Series, entitled Order of Malice.

Reid Patterson isn’t who he says he is. Compelled to make several life changes after the shocking discovery of his psychotic and murderous birth mother, Reid wants to prove to himself he’s not like his biological family. His singular goal of joining the FBI has been his focus. Then with one knock at his door, his life changes again as old family ties surface. He’s thrown into a deadly game with a beautiful woman as his heart is tested.

Holly Babson is burnt out. As a child psychologist in the foster care system, Holly feels her work isn’t making a difference. She longs for a quiet life and a quiet practice. Then, a teenaged girl runs away. When Holly delivers Lila back to her foster family, something isn’t quite right. Holly and Lila are forced to flee for their lives. They end up in a dangerous quest for truth as Holly’s life and emotions are tossed into shambles.

The forgotten child, Ivan Sinclair, surfaces with a vengeance. Denied a place in his family’s organization, The Order, Ivan is on a mission to claim the top spot and usurp the power that should have rightly been his. Murder, deceit, and greed ensue as Ivan is determined to succeed at all costs.

As Reid and Holly’s world collide against the diabolical force of The Order, they fight for their lives and their hearts.

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Déjà Revu

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Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.

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Contemporary

Fantasy

Paranormal

 

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Romance

Woman’s Fiction

 

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Contemporary

Paranormal

Romance

Science Fiction

Suspense/Thriller

Woman’s Fiction

 

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Woman’s Fiction

 

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Shadow Born

Shadow Born
Jasmine Walt & Rebecca Hamilton
(Shadows of Salem #1)

Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

Chicago Police Detective Brooke Chandler is keeping a secret… and if she’s not careful, it could get her killed.

Brooke is no stranger to the supernatural. In Chicago, vampires are just as prevalent as drug lords, and infinitely more bloodthirsty. So when her partner and fiancé dies in a mysterious fire while chasing down a lead in Salem, she suspects something dark and otherworldly is at play.

Blessed with the ability to see into the past by touching inanimate objects, Brooke transfers to the Salem PD, hoping her talent will help her get to the bottom of things. Between dodging assassination attempts and being stonewalled at every turn, the going is tough. Add in a mysterious fae club owner with secrets of his own and a personal grudge against her, and it becomes nearly impossible.

If Brooke wants to play in the supernatural sandbox, she’s going to have to roll up her sleeves and get dirty. But how many people will have to die for Brooke to discover the truth about her fiance? And is she even ready to know?

Find out what lurks in the SHADOWS OF SALEM by pre-ordering SHADOW BORN, the latest Urban Fantasy hit readers are comparing to Karen Marie Moning and Patricia Briggs.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes / Website

EXCERPT:

“They’re conniving, manipulative, and take things that don’t belong to them.” Maddock hissed, then shoved to his feet. “Such as the fae that have been going missing recently.”

“Well, I can’t argue with that,” I muttered, eyeing him warily. He was glaring at me, as if this were somehow my fault. “But how do you know it’s the witches doing this? A symbol on a wall isn’t what I call concrete evidence.”

Maddock crossed his arms and glared down at me, making my heart jump into my throat. “So yer defending them now? Somehow I’m not surprised.”
His sarcastic tone was so accusatory that his behavior suddenly made sense. All the animosity, the condemning glares…

“You think I’m a witch, don’t you?” I jabbed a finger at him. “That’s why you don’t like me, and why you always look at me like I’m a piece of shit stuck to your shoe.”

“I dinnae know what ye are,” Maddock growled, clamping his hand around my forearm. “Aside from a heaping of trouble. But right now, I need ye, which is why I’m tolerating yer presence in this city. Now let’s get going already. I’ve something to show ye.”

 

About the Authors…

Rebecca Hamilton writes Paranormal Fantasy, Horror, and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids, along with multiple writing personalities that range from morbid to literary. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently.

Rebecca Hamilton is represented by the ever-more-amazing Rossano Trentin of TZLA.

Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Jasmine Walt: I’m obsessed with books, chocolate, and sharp, pointy objects. Somehow, those three things melded together in my head and transformed into a desire to write. Usually fantastical stuff, with a healthy dose of action and romance. My characters are a little (okay, a lot) on the snarky side, and they swear, but they mean well. Even the villains sometimes.

When I’m not working on my next book, you can find me working on my dao sword form, spending time with my family, or binge-watching superhero shows on Netflix. I love to hear from my readers, so if you’ve got a question or just want to say hi, feel free to contact me via my website at www.jasminewalt.com.

Author links:
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Hidden Deception

Mystery (cozy, psychic)
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Just back from Paris, Shelby barely has time to get over her jet lag before she is right back in the thick of things. Uncle Joey, the local mob boss, needs her help to find out what his son is hiding from him. Detective Harris, AKA Dimples, has an unsolved homicide on his hands, along with a missing engagement ring. Shelby’s husband, Chris, just got promoted to partner in his law firm, and she has yet to see his new office or meet his new secretary. Add to that the opportunity to purchase a beautiful home, and Shelby is racing from one thing to the next while trying to keep them all straight.

When a courier in Uncle Joey’s organization turns up dead, it’s up to Shelby and her mind-reading powers to find out who killed him and why. The house Shelby wants to buy has a few problems that go beyond the building code, and the murder she’s helping Dimples solve has ties to Chris’ law firm. Even using all of her skills, Shelby finds one hidden deception after another. And if she’s not careful, it might be the one she least expects that will kill her.

EXCERPT

Today began like any other Monday.

The routine of getting my kids off to school was just the same as it had always been, and I found it a little disconcerting to think that I’d just had the adventure of my life in Paris, and now it seemed like I’d never been gone.

We’d gotten home on Friday, so with the weekend to get over my jet-lag, there was no excuse for not going back to my everyday life. It would have been depressing except for the fact that I had something to look forward to. Just thinking about it sent a thrill of excitement through me.

My husband, Chris, had just made partner at his law firm. With that came a few other benefits, one of which was a big raise in pay. On the plane ride home from Paris, Chris had mentioned this to me, along with the news that the house I’d always admired from afar was for sale. Now, there was a real possibility we could afford it.

I’d had my eye on that house ever since we’d moved into the area. It had a certain enchantment about it that fueled my imagination. It was situated on a beautiful, stately, tree-lined street, and was built in the Old Victorian style. It even had a round turret on one side that spanned two floors, and another in the back. A wrap-around porch had recently been added, making it even more inviting.

It wasn’t a huge house, but big enough for our family, and I’d always thought it would be cool to live there. Even better, it was in our neighborhood and school district. So if we did buy it, our kids could stay in their schools and keep their friends.

The only drawback I could see? People moved in and out a lot, so it might need some fixing up, especially the yard. But that also meant the price would be lower, so it could all work out in the end. Chris had called a realtor on Saturday, and I had an appointment to meet him there this afternoon.

This fit into my plans perfectly, since I needed to visit Thrasher Development this morning and have a talk with Uncle Joey. He was the local mob-boss and my employer. And he wasn’t even my real uncle. But since he knew my secret, I was more or less coerced into working for him.

Recently, he’d sent his hit-man, Ramos, to look after me when I’d accompanied a federal agent to Paris on a routine trip. It had turned out to be a heck of a lot more than I’d bargained for. In fact, without Ramos’ help and protection, I’d be dead.

The last time I’d talked with Uncle Joey, he wasn’t too happy with me. And since he’d basically saved my life by sending Ramos… again, I owed him big-time, probably for as long as I lived. Or at least until my mind-reading abilities stopped. So far, that hadn’t happened. And deep inside, I hoped it never would.

It had been a whole year since my life changed during a bank robbery at the grocery store while I was shopping for carrots. A bullet wound to my head had changed something in my brain, and now I could hear people’s thoughts. I could hardly believe how fast the time had gone since then.

In fact, reading minds had become so much a part of my identity that I didn’t think I could ever go back to the person I was before. So, even though it might get me out of helping a mob-boss, and keep me out of trouble, and even keep me from getting killed, I’d hate to lose it. How crazy was that?

On the other hand, Uncle Joey was getting older. He had to be over sixty-five. That meant he should retire at some point in the next few years. Maybe by then, he’d let me off the hook. Ha! Who was I kidding? Uncle Joey didn’t seem like the retiring type. He liked power way too much. And barring death, either his or mine, I didn’t think I’d ever be out from under his thumb.

It also worried me a little that the circle of people who actually knew my secret had just widened to include French Inspector Gabriel Dumont. But since I’d helped save a chunk of Paris, he’d readily agreed to keep it to himself.

So, including Uncle Joey, Ramos, my husband, Chris, and Detective Harris, whom I called Dimples, that still added up to only five people, so maybe it wasn’t so bad. Oh wait, there was one more… Kate.

How could I forget her? She was the main reason I got involved with Uncle Joey in the first place. As a new lawyer at Chris’ law firm, she’d set her sights on Chris, even though she knew he was happily married to me. In order to stop her, I’d threatened to expose her ties to the local mob-boss, Joe ‘The Knife’ Manetto, whom she called Uncle Joey.

That’s when it all went wrong, and I had to tell Uncle Joey my secret in order to stay alive. Kate had since been banished to run Uncle Joey’s operations in Seattle, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t pop back up in my life at any time.

Just thinking about her brought a sick feeling to my stomach, but now that she was involved with Alec Passini and his shipping company, I hoped that kept her occupied. Still, I wouldn’t put it past her to ask for my help if she needed it. So, of all the people who knew my secret, Kate was the one I worried about the most. Good thing I had Uncle Joey on my side. Everyone else thought I had ‘premonitions,’ and I needed to make sure it stayed that way.

Now that I was back in the real world, it hit me that I had a lot to worry about, so to alleviate those worries, I decided to change my focus to the possibility of purchasing my dream home. That helped revive me and, with anticipation, I jumped into the shower to get ready for my day.

An hour later, I pulled into the parking garage of Thrasher Development and gathered the special gifts I’d purchased in Paris for Uncle Joey, his secretary and wife, Jackie, and Ramos. I was excited about the gifts I’d bought for Uncle Joey and Jackie, but more than a little nervous about the one I’d bought for Ramos. I mean, what could I possibly give to the man who’d rescued me from a bunch of crazy terrorists?

Not only that, but he’d stuck by my side when he could have easily been blown up. The little Eiffel Tower I’d gotten him seemed kind of silly, but it was also personal. The first time I’d seen it sparkle was the night he’d saved my life and took me there to help settle me down. Now, when I thought of the Eiffel Tower, it was always of that moment standing there with him.

It was bad of me in so many ways, especially considering the kiss. Of course it wasn’t a personal kiss since Gabriel had kissed me too. It was kind of a French thing to celebrate not getting blown up; Joie de Vivre, and all that.

Still, I had to admit that I’d liked it, and that I didn’t feel too guilty about it. That probably made me even more of a bad person, but it’s not like I’d ever do it again. I loved my husband more than I could say, and we had two great kids together.

But Ramos was special to me too, and always would be. So giving him the Eiffel Tower was an okay thing to do, right? Still, maybe I should forget about it and just give him the extra chocolates instead. Then I wouldn’t have to worry that I’d crossed some sort of line.

“Babe.”

 

About the Author
As the author of the Shelby Nichols Adventure Series, Colleen is often asked if Shelby Nichols is her alter-ego. “Definitely,” she says. “Shelby is the epitome of everything I wish I dared to be.” Known for her laugh since she was a kid, Colleen has always tried to find the humor in every situation and continues to enjoy writing about Shelby’s adventures. “I love getting Shelby into trouble…I just don’t always know how to get her out of it!” Colleen lives in the Rocky Mountains with her family. Besides writing, she loves a good book, biking, hiking, and playing board and card games with family and friends. She loves to connect with readers and admits that fans of the series keep her writing.
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The Can’t-idates

About the Book by Craig Tomashoff

CantidatesAvatar CoverI’m not a political person by nature. Most of the time, it seems the political world plays out more like a lame ‘70s sitcom with all its predictable characters and routine storylines. However, last spring, I got tired of hearing friends and family complain about the lack of exciting, innovative candidates for president. Everyone seemed ready to vote for “None Of the Above.” So, I decided to take a 10,000-mile road trip across America in May 2015 to meet several of the more than 1600 “real people” who are legit candidates for the presidency. Including a couple in New England.

The Can’t-idates is about dreamers — not all of whom are tin-foil hat crazy — who just want to fill a hole in their lives by running for president. And as I drove to meet them all, I realized a lot about not just my life but also about the country. If we could all take time to believe in what our parents always told us — “Someday you can grow up to be president” — maybe we wouldn’t be in the shape we’re in.

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Code 3: Finding Safety

Cover Code 3About the Book by V.E. Avance

Romantic Suspense

Leanna Dixon has had enough. She no longer wants to be a punching bag for her husband, Mark. Without a word, she packs her bag and flees from her hell.

Arriving in her new home, things begin to go wrong from the start. Through all the bad she meets James, an Austin Police Officer, who helps her pick up the pieces of her shattered life.

  *    *    *

Mark Dixon rules his women with an iron fist. When he arrives home and finds his wife has left him, his anger begins to build to dangerous levels. He knows he needs to find her and teach her a lesson, just as his father had done to his mother.

Will Leanna survive or will she become another statistic?

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Clementina

Simon Cann shares with us …

About the Character Leathan Wilkey and the Setting in Clementina

I came to write the Leathan Wilkey series knowing I wanted to incorporate certain elements, but not having a clear idea of the story I wanted to tell. The first element that I knew was the protagonist: Leathan Wilkey.

Cover Art ClementinaLeathan left London in a hurry when he upset an organized crime gang—an international people smuggling gang. And this led to the second element that I knew: Leathan had made a decision to hide in plain sight. Rather than go somewhere secluded and be an obvious outsider, Leathan headed for a dense, busy city—in this case Paris—where he could be a needle in a huge stack of needles (perhaps the densest stack of needles in Europe).

However, to maintain anonymity, Leathan needs to live without anything that would make him traceable. In other words, he needs to dispense with many of those day to day things that we take for granted: credit cards and a bank account, a known phone number, and a permanent place to live.

Living without those things we take for granted means that Leathan exists through a network where he trades favors—he doesn’t work for money; he works in a system that is little more than primitive bartering. That said, cash is always useful…but then he needs places and people where he can store this cash.

The consequence of living with a system of bartering is that Leathan needs to interact with people he knows, trusts, and with whom he can barter. The need to interact with people in this way means that he needs to be far more cautious—one damaged relationship could lead to a call to the people smugglers alerting them to his location.

Knowing Leathan was in Paris, I wanted him to exist in the places where people don’t look.

The front cover of the book is a great example of a place where people don’t look. The main image is a photograph of Pont de Bir-Hakeim, a bridge over the river Seine. The bridge is a striking piece of architecture built on two levels. The main level is for vehicles and pedestrians. The second, raised level is the rail viaduct carrying the Paris Metro.

While the architecture is impressive, few people notice the bridge because they’re staring at the prominent landmark behind it: the Eiffel Tower. By the way, if you’re ever in Paris and want to see the Eiffel Tower, head to Pont de Bir-Hakeim—it’s a great place to see the Tower from and there are no crowds.

Once I had Leathan in Paris living this rather disconnected life, but needing work and with a strong support network, the stories began to flow.

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The Grass Sweeper God

About the Book by Doug Howery

Cover Art The Grass Sweeper GodSixteen-year-old Smiley Hanlon is a young woman tethered to a young man’s body.  In the 1950’s Appalachia coal fields of Solitude, Virginia, Smiley is placed in the “Mentally Retarded Class” because he is effeminate and wears a blouse and saddle shoes to school.

Smiley is backed by his best friend, Lee Moore who protects Smiley from a father and many townspeople who hate him.  Smiley has dreams of becoming an entertainer.  Raised by his aunt in a juke joint, as a child Smiley sings and dances on the Formica bar top into the wee hours.  Chosen as the female lead, Dorothy, in a new town production called Dorothy of Oz Coal Camp, his dream is being realized.  The triumph of the play and his dream is sabotaged by his father and classmate bullies culminating in a tragic and horrific moment that changes both Smiley and Lee, forever.

Smiley and Lee flee to NYC.  They learn that prejudice is prejudice whether in the coal fields of Virginia or on the streets of NYC. Smiley suffers at the hands of his real mother who is a religious zealot.  She tries to change who Smiley is because he is a boil on the body of Christ. Lee suffers at the hands of psychologists who practice Aversion Therapy-electric shock treatment to cure his homosexuality.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  Both Smiley and Lee become forces of change as do countless others.  In 1969, Smiley Hanlon and his friend, Lee emerge as leaders of a gay revolution, the historical Stonewall Riots.  The riots are vicious but the real battle will be won or lost on another continent: Solitude, Virginia.

The Grass Sweeper God is a force of nature that flows through all things…straightens out that which is bent…which is sick…

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Vampire Creed

Vampire Creed
by Author Rain Grey

Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Barnaby Blaine Rice was a Vampire born in the depression with a very special power to see who people truly were. After a long, empty existence of witnessing the darkest points of humanity, Blaine happens to encounter a beautiful married woman named Mary Slate. Unable to handle his love for the beautiful human, Blaine accidentally kills another Vampire over her and is put under a serious debt with the Vampire Council.

Blaine reluctantly forces himself to forget the woman and allows her to live her life without his intervention. It wasn’t until 50-years-later that the distant memories of the captivating Mary are brought back to the surface. Blaine has the pleasure to encounter the young Wendy Slate, granddaughter of Mary Slate after a criminal vampire keeps her hostage. Blaine got there in time to stop the criminal, but not to stop the beginning of Wendy’s transition into Vampirism.

As he was forced to sire her into this new world, he discovers that Wendy is the most amazing person he’d ever met. Wendy has to make a life-altering decision as Blaine has to deal with his blooming feelings for a woman who was identical to his first love. This modern love story introduces the most influential turning point of these lover’s lives.

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EXCERPT:

Wendy Slate

I got to the library minutes before nine thirty, Archer walking a few feet behind me.

“You don’t have to act like my vampire bodyguard,” I murmured as I caught a small group looking at him with scared gazes, knowing he could hear me.

“Of course I do. I’m a vampire and your bodyguard.”

Rolling my eyes, I paused, letting him catch up to me before wrapping my arm around his. “It wouldn’t hurt to smile. Next thing I know, someone is going to report you to campus security and have you kicked out. Then you won’t be much of a bodyguard, will you?”

This time he rolled his eyes, but he did relax his facial features.

Together we walked up the steps. My group was meeting in a study room on the third floor. When we arrived at the room, only Jason was there. Opening the door alerted him of our arrival and he looked up with a smile.

Wait a second. For a split second, it looked like he was glaring at Archer. His expression changed so fast I wasn’t too sure I saw right, even with my keener eyesight since becoming a vampire.

“Who’s this? New boyfriend already?” he asked, a smile on his lips.

Brushing away my suspicions, I shook my head. “He’s a friend. He goes to school here too. Engineering major. Fifth year.”

I was quite impressed with myself having come up with a lie on my toes. I was going to introduce Archer as a friend anyway, but Jason question kind of caught me off guard.

Jason nodded, accepting my words. “The other two said it will be a while before they get here. They wanted to stop by their dorm first,” he spared another glance at Archer. “Will he be staying?”

In response to that, Archer plopped himself into a chair in the corner of the room. “You won’t even know I’m here,” he said before taking out his cell phone.

I had a feeling that wouldn’t be the truth if he planned on continuing watching his wrestling show. Ignoring him, I sat at the table across from Jason.

“I started developing some samples for the project,” I stated as I took my notebook and laptop from my backpack.

I started to go over what I had so far with him briefly as well as sharing our other ideas. Though, honestly, I was ready to leave before I even got here. I still had yet to convince Archer to take me to where Theo had brought me. And by not convince, I meant not even approach to the subject. As soon as the thought crossed my mind, I was guarding my thoughts so Archer would be none the wiser.

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