Friday, September 30, 2016

FRIDAY FLICKS: Heaven 24/7: Living in the Light

You may have seen this book trailer before, but I wanted to give you a heads up. Between the 14 and 16 of October, get the Kindle version for just .99 cents!

And enter to win a Kindle Fire!

Here's the link:

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Release Day Blast for T.P. Keane

Something special is in the works today! 
Check it out!


Newest release by TP Keane

This children's chapter book is called Dear Bob: The Misadventures of Petunia Pottersfield. Centering around a tiny fairy with the worse luck in fairy History. TP Delivers a book filled with self growth and confidence.

Cover Design: TP Keane Author: TP Keane.


Petunia Pottersfield can't help being clumsy, that's just the way she was made. Every fairy in Furrow Grove knows her as "The Jinx" and even when she tries so hard to not be herself it always ends in disaster.

But when something strange starts happening to the other fairies, it's up to Petunia to discover the truth and save them. She must break fairy rules and fight the rising darkness all on her own, and do it without killing them all too.

©2016 TP Keane (P)2016 TP Keane


buy links.png 2  










Wednesday, September 28, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Ali Cross author of middle reader books

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

On a sunny afternoon in October, 2002, my hubby and I were driving into the mountains with our sons for a weekend getaway. The drive was long, and the conversation had stalled. Out of the blue, I said, “Ya know, I’ve always wanted to write a book.”

Thing is, I don’t exactly recall wanting to write a book. I’d never even written a short story—or any stories! I’d written lots of poetry, but that’s it. I did meet Anne McCaffrey when I was about eleven, and I told HER I wanted to write books, but that was the only time prior to 2002 that I remember thinking about it.

So my husband and I spent the rest of the drive brainstorming a story for me—and one for him. We stopped at a convenience on our way and picked up pens and notebooks and spent our weekend outlining our novels. We finished them on New Year’s Eve, 2003!

Hubby stopped writing for a while, but I’d caught the bug and wrote my first middle grade novel (Jump Boys: SOS) and then my first young adult novel (Become.)

Jump Boys: SOS by [Banks, Alex, Cross, Ali]
Get the Book at Amazon

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I’m lucky in that I work from home, formatting books for a small publisher, so I can make my own schedule. I typically spend from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. working on my own career—which is a mix of writing and business. I like to write at least an hour a day, but I’m not particular about when in that six-hour span of time I get it done.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I really enjoy working at my desk in my office, the sunlight streaming in through my window. I share my office with my teenage boys, so it might get dicey (and a little stinky) when they get home from school, but I like to write with headphones on so I can still get lost in my own world.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

Probably like a lot of writers, my favorite part is drafting. I love the thrill of discovery, of getting to know my characters and having them live in my head. I don’t mind editing and revision, but my least favorite is probably that moment when you either send your book to agents or self-publish it. Because maybe I should have held onto it just a little longer, worked on it just a little bit more.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

Book ideas are usually “manufactured” by me through brainstorming and asking lots of “what if” questions. I’ve never written a book that came to me in a dream. J I draft quickly, usually writing a 70,000 book in a couple months. Editing and revision can take longer though, depending on how well I knew the story and characters before I started writing.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I use social media—everything from YouTube to Pinterest. I love Wattpad as a means to sell books. I don’t have a regular, consistent marketing routine, though, which I really need. You up for some mentoring, Kathy?

I sure am! Mentoring is one of my favorite things to do. And I actually like marketing. You've seen my marketing book haven't you?  

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I just released a picture book! The Lullaby Ladybug—it even has an original lullaby in it! Not exactly the kind of story my fans were hoping from me, but it was something of a bucket list thing to get that book done. Otherwise, I’ve got a couple projects in the works including the first in a new Desolation series, and the first in a totally new and different romance series. I like them all, but haven’t really caught the bug on any of them. Until that happens I’ll keep working on all of them.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

Yes. L I wrote this book, Land Magic, a couple years ago. I thought it was the best book I’d ever written. Betas loved it. I submitted it to a mid-sized publisher whose work I love and they loved it too—it went all the way to committee but was passed over in favor of another book by one of their regular authors. All that sounds great and like I should just resubmit it somewhere else, right?

The Swift by [Banks, Alex, Cross, Ali]

Get the Book at Amazon

Well, I thought I’d take another pass at it before submitting it to other agents, and when I did, I thought it was awful!

Now I’ve tried revising it a couple times and every time I feel further and further away from the story and the writing. People ask me about it all the time, even the agent and editor at the other publisher have followed up with me asking where it is and I … I just don’t know.

So I need to get really clear in my head and take a look at it again. This time free of emotional baggage and “shoulds” and “should nots.” Just me and the story. I need to believe in it again.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Oh gosh! I’d tell them that no matter how many books you’ve published, every writer has a point in their process where they think their book is the worst book ever. Every. Single. One. It’s part of being an artist. We are sensitive and emotional beings and it’s perfectly normal for us to doubt ourselves. The trick is to keep on writing even if you think the work is terrible. You don’t risk much, and you have everything to gain.

Okay, Kathy. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and it’s actually been giving me fits. As I said, I have two projects I like in the works, but I don’t do my best work while divided. I really want to pick one story and just go with it. Dedicate myself to it until it’s completed—at least drafted.

How do you decide between one story and another, and once decided, how do you stay committed without being tempted away by the other project—particularly when things get tough with the story you chose to work on?

Great question, Ali, but you may not like my answer. I do my best work divided. That is, I usually have more than one book going at a time, though I try to make the projects different enough so as not to cause problems with placing the wrong character in the wrong book!

For example, I may work on a mystery and a Christian fiction novel at the same time - they are different enough; though my best tip would be to work on a piece of fiction and a non-fiction book at the same time. I do this every year when my marketing book comes out in January. I usually also have a mystery or Christian fiction book that comes out around the same time. In 2017, I will have my fourth mystery out just after the new marketing book is released.

I find that working on two projects at once actually gets the juices flowing. When I get stuck on one, I can go over to the other and work on it for awhile. When the wall goes up, I switch books. 

You may want to switch between your novel and doing some writing exercises. When you get stuck, point to a random word in a book and begin writing, beginning with that word, or choose a picture from a magazine and write what you see. I have many writing prompts ready when I'm stuck.



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Keeping Up With Social Media

I don't know about you, but it seems to me no author can afford to stand still when it comes to social media. There is always something new to learn, something old (maybe only sixth months old) to throw out, and something you are determined to continue.

This morning I learned a little about Quick Promote and decided it was something I wanted to try. If I like it, it will be in next year's Marketing Your book on a Budget.

Through the last few months I have been removing some links in the 2016 version of Marketing Your Book on a Budget that are no longer working for me.

And I am more determined than ever to continue with Animoto, though it now costs me almost $100 a year to keep it going. I also find that my blog is very worthy of my time (more and more people are reading it) and that doing book signings at unique places, and telling folks about it through facebook and twitter, is still my top way to sell (so I will be once again attending  the November Simple Treasures Boutique).

Keeping up with social media means a daily ride with it. That means posting something, learning something new, getting involved with what other writers and book readers are saying; something that will keep you on the social media track.

Here's to moving forward on the fast track!


Monday, September 26, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Rebecca Rode author of Numbers Game

Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I can’t remember, actually. I’ve just always done it. Writing has always been a huge part of my life. I still have some stories I wrote when I was five. They’re pretty epic for a kindergartner, in my opinion.

    How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I have four kids, so I write when I can. Usually that’s from 9-11 pm after they go to bed. I used to watch TV during that time, so I figure it was a good trade.

3      How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I have a laptop. I enjoy the freedom that brings. I like to change where I sit because I have neck problems, so sometimes I’ll lie on the couch propped up by pillows, while other times I’ll sit up in a chair. Depends how my neck is feeling that day.

     What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

I enjoy the brainstorming and outlining stages. Even the initial drafting part is really fun for me. But I hate editing and revisions. I keep thinking it will get easier with the next book, but it never really does.

     How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

My Numbers Game series was sparked by a trip to the bank. I was signing some paperwork to buy my husband’s truck and took a long look at my credit score. It was interesting to me, how they could look at me and my life and take everything about my complicated financial history into account, then assign me a single number.

My brain started churning. What if that number represented more than just finances? What if it was my appearance, my intelligence, my athleticism? What if I had to wear that number around? What if it determined where I lived and who I could marry? And above all, what if someone was manipulating the numbers? Thus, Numbers Game was born.

It took me about two years from start to finish to write Numbers Game, but that’s because I wrote and traditionally published another book in the middle of it. I can usually write and edit a novel in about nine months. I’m amazed with the people who can publish a book every month or so. They must not have four children. J

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I’m a big fan of newsletters. I like doing author cross-promotions, and having a decent-sized newsletter definitely helps. I do ads on occasion, but only when I have a book on sale (which is about every three months since my books are in Kindle Unlimited). When I have a book release, I do a cover reveal and a book blast to help get the word out.

7     What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I just finished Ruby’s Story, which is a prequel and companion novella to my second Numbers Game book, Numbers Ignite. I’m giving Ruby’s Story to my VIP Clan members for free, and I’m really excited to hear what they think. I’m also working on book three, Numbers Raging. I already have the cover and I can’t wait to show everyone.

     Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

When Numbers Raging is finished, I have a YA pirate fantasy book that I can’t wait to get finished up. I’ve been working on it for about two years, and I’ve already had agent interest. I just don’t have the time to dedicate to it right now.

9.     What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Talent is a myth. Hard work is seriously what matters most. There’s a YouTube clip of Howard Tayler that I absolutely love called “Who Needs Talent?” It’s definitely worth a listen.

The question I get asked most is, how do you write with kids? 

The simplest answer is my husband. He is incredibly supportive. I’m out at conferences and conventions a lot, but he rarely complains about spending his Saturdays catering to my hectic schedule. Supportive family members can honestly make or break a writing career, and he’s definitely made mine.

Rebecca, I used to write with children hanging on my legs; I used to jokingly call them my 'dangling participles'. I also used to write during nap time and late at night when they were finally asleep. 


Learn more about Rebecca and her books:

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Over Easy?

Just finished the first draft of Over Easy, book 4 in the Susan Cramer Mystery series!

What that means for you?

It's time for you to pick up books 1, 2 and 3!

Book 4 will be out in the Spring of 2017, and there's not a moment to lose!


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Brian Dickinson author of Blind Descent

Just finished this fantastic book. Read my review here.

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I live in Snoqualmie, Wa with my wife, JoAnna, and kids, Emily and Jordan.  I served 6 years in the US Navy as an Air Rescue Swimmer and now I’m a world adventurer and do motivational speaking.  I wrote Blind Descent to share my experience of survival on Mount Everest, where I soloed the summit then went blind on the descent.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I’ve only written the one book so it was a focused project a few months after returning from Mount Everest in 2011.  I was connected with my agent, Working Title Agency, and they introduced me to Tyndale House Publishers.  I worked with an editor for months to convert my transcript into a published novel.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

My writing of Blind Descent started as a journal during my Everest expedition.  Climbing Magazine was also writing a blog about me, so after the expedition I transformed both into a transcript.  I prefer a laptop and usually just get it all out and worry about the formatting later, otherwise I’ll get distracted and lose valuable content.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

Writing true details of your life is very therapeutic and allows you to unpack things about real situations from different angles, like including senses that you may normally ignore.  For instance what I was hearing or smelling during certain areas of my expedition.  My least favorite part was that it was very emotional to revisit my survival situation in detail.  It was necessary to capture that level of detail, but very painful to write about it when it was so fresh in my mind.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

The idea wasn’t difficult since it was a true experience I had just survived. I had the details documented from my journal and I was persuaded into converting it to a memoir.  I took a couple months to write Blind Descent and another 5 months working with the editors at Tyndale House Publishers.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

Tyndale had a marketing strategy, which had me on Anderson Cooper in New York and other interviews.  I’ve had quite a bit of media including Good Morning America, CNN, radio shows, podcasts, magazines, television and I’ll be in 2 upcoming movie series by KingdomWorks Studios.  I’m also very active on social media.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I’m filming 2 movie series with KingdomWorks Studio and I’ll be in Success Magazine in the coming months.  I don’t currently have another book in the works.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

My life is a balance of working, speaking, family and adventures.  There’s no shortage of adventures on this earth and I’m always planning something interesting.  I also have several television producers’ regularly reaching out to see if I’m interested in staring in new programs or reality shows.  A show would have to be a perfect blend of adventure and giving back / helping others, without taking me away from my family for too long.  So there could be something in the future, but I haven’t agreed to anything quite yet.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Have confidence and write it out.  We are all wired differently and there’s probably more to your story or idea than you believe.  Bounce ideas off of other people and let them provide feedback on your transcript.  There are over 7 billion people on this earth and I’d guarantee that there’s an audience out there just waiting to read what you have to offer.


A Question for Me:

With such a saturated market and low success rate of becoming an author, is it better to self-publish or find an agent?  What can make a new author rise above the rest from a marketing point of view?

Great question! Yes, the market is saturated, and many authors don't even want to put out the effort to market because they feel as if it won't do them any good. The truth is, doing a little will always be better than doing nothing. 

I began the traditional route and had my first book published by a local publisher. The best news for me was buying my rights back a few years later and going it on my own. You may spend years searching for an agent and not find one you can work with. On the other hand, if you decide to self-publish, you can get started at any time. After perfecting your craft you can reach out to cover designers, editors and layout guru's or learn to do these things yourself. 

Marketing is for everyone, whether you self-publish or not, and I've learned a few things about what works and what doesn't - at least for me. The good news is, that the only way to rise to the top is to experiment on various ideas until you find those that work for you - and then stick with them. You may want to start here


Learn more about Brian and his book at the following sites:
Links: (trailer embedded)

Monday, September 19, 2016

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Captain Carl Roche from The Last Flight of the Phoenix

1.      Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.) 

         Hello, I’m Captain Carl Roche.  For the last ten years I have been in command of the T.S.S. Phoenix, the Alliance’s oldest, and frankly, most successful war ship.  It is also been my home for the past 15 years.  I started my career around the same time the war began, just over 20 years ago, as a fighter pilot.  I’ve put on a little weight and have a lot more grey in my hair than I would care for, but try to stay fit enough.  My goal is to see this war to its conclusion and bring my crew home.

The Last Flight of the Phoenix: The New Terra Sagas: Book Two by [Duncan, Matthew  O]
Get the Book at Amazon

2.      What do you like to do in your spare time?

        Well,… spare time is an odd thing on a starship.  There is always something that needs to be done, especially by its Captain; but I suppose when I have a rare moment to myself I mostly enjoy listening to music, typically classical, and reading a good book.  To be honest I can’t remember the last time I read.  It’s been a long war.
      What is your favorite color and why?

      What is my favorite color? I never really gave that much thought.  I honestly don’t know.  I can tell you the colors I don’t like.  Red is one.  I’ve seen enough of that for a life time.  Black is another.  Not just the color, but the lack of any color, any light.  There are times when…, you know what, let’s just move on.
      What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

       Well, I suppose a good steak.  It’s been a few years since I’ve had one.  I eat the same food the crew does.  I never felt comfortable with taking privileges that other ship captains might indulge in.
      What would you say is your biggest quirk?

       I would be a fool to think I don’t have any flaws, but as Captain it is part of my duty to keep those things to myself.
      What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.
       The enemy are the Serkin and the Sa’larie, but the true antagonists of the story are Time and Death.

       From The Last Flight of the Phoenix:

       The heavy metal superstructure moaned loud and long once again.  Both men stopped and listened
       as if the great beast might be taking its last breath.  The sound subsided, but the knot in the
       Captain’s gut didn’t pass.   His great ship was drifting helplessly in space, trapped so far behind
e     enemy lines that even if they could call for help no one could ever come.  Holding the ship together with only a skeleton crew, a third of which were recovering from injuries in sick bay and practically
       no defenses gave them little prospects for any hope.  Yet giving up was not an option, so long as
t      they were alive there was a tomorrow.  It was that idea and that idea alone that kept him going. 
7.      What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life? 

       The obvious answer would be my crew, and it would be true.  I would give my life to protect anyone in mu command.  But if I have to pick just one thing, the one thing I care about the most, well, it would be this ship.  This old, past her prime, war bird that has refused to die in fights she had no business surviving.  It is more than a collection of bulk heads and laser cannon.  She had led the First Fleet to victory after victory against an enemy who has been determined to destroy us all.  I honestly believe that without this ship we would have lost this war years ago. 
      What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

       I consider myself fortunate.  I’ve served with some of the finest people in the fleet and I have had the honor of commanding the Phoenix.  (pause)  We lost a lot of good people over the years, but in the end we made a significant difference in the war and billions remain safe and free because of our efforts.  For that reason I have no regrets. 
      If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

        I don’t like being kept in the dark.  There is something very odd on New Terra and considering our circumstances I would think you would trust me with the knowledge.  Not knowing makes it very hard to make the difficult decisions I have to face.


A Question for Me:

      How do you pick a book to read next?  Do you judge a book by its cover?

        Good question. The last book I read was "One Lane Bridge" by Don Reid. I chose it because of the synopsis. Then I really looked at the cover. The cover was different, sort of ethereal, and so I bought it. Although people say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, I often do. The cover has to speak to me in some way, I have to feel connected to it, but it's what the story is about that intrigues me first.