Tuesday, July 17, 2018

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Caroline Clemmons + BONUS + Giveaway!


UNDER A MULBERRY MOON is a beautifully crafted anthology compiled by talented authors. I've known Keta Diablo on line for over ten years and I am honored to have her with me today. I'm equally blessed to have her bring along her friends.

Each day for the next nine days, each author will have a turn letting us get to know them. But first... the ladies have a gift for EVERYONE who stops by... a free download of MEDLEYS & MUSINGS - a sampling of every story from Under the Mulberry Moon.  Go HERE to download your copy

But that's not all!!!!   Three of the participating authors will each be giving away a copy of UNDER A MULBERRY MOON to lucky visitors who leave a comment. You MUST leave a comment ABOUT THE ANTHOLOGY to qualify. So comment about one or all of the stories the authors share. Each comment will be assigned a number. Then on Thursday July 26th, I will select 3 winners using Random.org

We first met Caroline Clemmons HERE.
Today she is back as part of the Under A Mulberry Moon Anthology. Let's see what she has to share this time:

Welcome back, Caroline!


BIO:
Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To make up for this tragic error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a small office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their rescued cats and dogs. The books she creates there have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won several awards

Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?

Here's My Five:
I’m always asked ‘where do you get your ideas’. So, where do you get yours?
Everywhere!  A newscast may spark an idea, an article in a historical journal, research for one book may lead me to an idea for another, there is always something popping into my mind. Finding ideas is not a problem—finding the time to write each of them is. I have ideas to last if I live to be two hundred.

Which comes first, the story, the characters, or the setting?
The characters if it’s for my story. If I’m part of a series orchestrated by another author, then I have to follow her parameters of the setting and story. When the book is for me, I have characters visit me in my mind and I see the scene they’re in. This is not always the first scene of the book but it lets me know the hero and heroine. (I’m not crazy, as other authors have this same experience.)

Which of your heroines most represent you, or the ‘you’ you’d like to be? Why?
Each of my heroines has a part of me but parts of my imagination and of other people I’ve met. I guess the heroine who is most me is Rosalyn in BLUEBONNET BRIDE. That’s a really difficult question because I love all of my heroines.

D - What is the single most important part of writing for you?
Creating a believable set of characters. If the reader doesn’t believe the characters would act the way I write them, then I’ve failed.

E – What’s the most romantic thing a guy can do (or has done) for you?
My husband cooks meals and cleans up the kitchen so I have more time to write. How can I not love this guy? You see why I call him Hero.

Here's Caroline's Three:
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
A lot! We are each the sum of our life’s experiences—of everything we’ve read or seen or heard and how our personality interprets it. There is no way I could separate these from my writing. Why would I want to?

What is your writing routine once you start a book?
I keep the outline handy and write in a linear style starting with Chapter One and going to the end. Usually I write a series, so I also keep a bible document on the computer. I aim for 3,000 words a day, but don’t always achieve my goal. Life often gets in the way. I don’t like Scrivner or any of the writing programs so I use Word. However, I do use voice recognition software to save wear and tear on my wrists and arms.

Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?
My dad first of all. His stories of his family coming to Texas from Georgia after the Civil War and forward ignited my love for Texas history. In addition, he encouraged me to read and to write. My husband has encouraged me continually and made certain I have the tools I need. I had only written for newspapers until my mother-in-law brought me a grocery sack of romance novels and told me I could write those because of the long letters I wrote filled with stories and anecdotes of our family. She planted the idea in my head and I came up with a plot and tried. It was nothing great, but I was on my way. Then, once I joined a local RWA chapter, I heard programs on craft that helped me immensely and I met authors who mentored newbies.

Let's talk about the book. Your story is A FAMILY FOR MERRY.


The following pieces are on their way. Please come back to learn more about this story

BLURB:

EXCERPT:


Sounds like another great read, Caroline!

The FREEBIE you've provided definitely has me wanting to read the full anthology.   Remember to download the Free teaser then purchase your full anthology.. I mean - you can't just have one- right? LOL

AMAZON USA           AMAZON INDIA        AMAZON CANADA   
AMAZON AUSTRALIA       AMAZON UK 

To connect with Caroline Clemmons:












Monday, July 16, 2018

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Keta Diablo + BONUS + Giveaway!

Beginning today, I'm doing something a little different for the next several days. Here's a bit of an intro:


UNDER A MULBERRY MOON is a beautifully crafted anthology compiled by talented authors. I've known Keta Diablo on line for over ten years and I am honored to have her with me today. I'm equally blessed to have her bring along her friends.

Each day for the next nine days, each author will have a turn letting us get to know them. But first... the ladies have a gift for EVERYONE who stops by... a free download of MEDLEYS & MUSINGS - a sampling of every story from Under the Mulberry Moon.  Go HERE to download your copy

But that's not all!!!!   Three of the participating authors will each be giving away a copy of UNDER A MULBERRY MOON to lucky visitors who leave a comment. You MUST leave a comment ABOUT THE ANTHOLOGY to qualify. So comment about one or all of the stories the authors share. Each comment will be assigned a number. Then on Thursday July 26th, I will select 3 winners using Random.org

So let's meet Keta Diablo:


Thank you for joining me today in The Writers’ Studio. Let’s get started!

BIO:
Keta Diablo lives in the Midwest part of the United States on six acres of woodland. When she isn't writing or gardening she loves to commune with nature. A lifelong animal lover, she also devotes her time and support to the local animal shelters.

Keta's a bestselling Amazon author who writes in several genres, including western romance, historical romance, paranormal romance and the occasional gay romance. Her books have received numerous Top Pick, Book of the Month and Recommended Read reviews. 

Here's My Five:

I’m always asked ‘where do you get your ideas’. So, where do you get yours?
This is such a good questions as every author gives a different answer. LOL. As for me, I often people watch. Some days, I sit in the Mall and watch the people go by. They're conversing, moving their hands, laughing, whatever. I always wonder what they're talking about or why they're so animated. You can learn a lot by watching people, for instance, body language interpretation, personality traits, the sound of others' laughter. Many stories have come to me just by watching people, and I also use those observances mentioned above in my stories.

Which comes first, the story, the characters, or the setting?
It's always about the story, the plot. You can have the greatest character depictions but if there's no story to what they're about (doing), it would be quite boring. People are looking for an escape to another place, another time, anywhere, but their everyday common world. I try to focus first on the plot and then hopefully develop some interesting characters to star in that world.

Which of your heroines most represent you, or the ‘you’ you’d like to be? Why?
Another good question. I think writers would be less than truthful if they said their characters are not like them. There's a little bit of me in all my heroines. As for favorites, that's hard for me to answer. I like all my characters or I wouldn't write them. Lol.

What is the single most important part of writing for you?
Editing, going through and fine-tuning, getting rid of words that aren't needed, cutting scenes that you once thought were good, but in retrospect don't shine.

What’s the most romantic thing a guy can do (or has done) for you?
Carved "400" in our brand new driveway. I can't tell you what the 400 means as it's rather corny and people would say, "What? Wait." But I knew what it meant and I found it moving that it would be there for many years, probably long after we're gone…or at least until the driveway is torn up. 

Here are the three you chose:

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
See above. I leave a little bit of me in every book. Maybe not consciously, but then when I go back and read about my heroines, I see parts of my personality, or maybe the way I talk.

What is your writing routine once you start a book?
I plot everything in my head for a long time, every scene, every character, even what they wear in each scene. When I have it all down in my mind, I sit down with a few notes and write the story. I'm a slow writer so I allow myself plenty of time to finish a story.

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
Spend time at and donate to my local animal shelter. I love animals and like to spend some of my spare time devoted to their care. I also love to garden, mostly flowers, although I put in a few vegetables for fun. And, of course, I love to read when I have time.

Let's talk about the book. You'r story is Comes A Specter


BLURB:
Anya's ten- year-old son, Willie-boy, found his father hanging in the barn six months ago. He hasn't spoken a word since. Now the boy is gravely ill and there's only one man who can save him, Sutter Sky, a learned shaman known as Yellow Smoke, a shaman who was deeply in love with Anya at one time. But fate had other plans—Anya was forced to marry a cruel man by the name of Lewis Fleming. Worse, Anya is convinced the ghost terrorizing them is her late husband. Will Yellow Smoke put aside his bitterness to save Willie-boy, and how will he dispel the evil, sinister ghost?

EXCERPT:
The ghost came again last night.

What little sleep found Anya left her drained and anxious. She dragged herself from bed, dressed in a dark blue, calico blouse, long brown skirt, and left the cabin to gather fresh eggs for breakfast. They sizzled in the skillet now, reminding her of the hissing sound the evil spirit often emitted. The haunt mimicked other noises too. It rapped its knuckles against the timbered walls of the cabin outside, howled louder than a cyclonic wind, screamed like a banshee and gnashed and growled like a weasel caught in a trap.


She closed her eyes. And other despicable things I can’t bear to think of much less talk about.
Willie-boy shuffled into the kitchen looking drawn and pale, but seemed intent on performing his morning ritual of calling Cobb, their ranch hand, in for breakfast. Even Soot, her son's faithful hound, lacked his usual vigor. His ears lay flat against his head and his long, black tail hung limp between his hind legs.
Anya called out to Willie-boy."Whoa, there, son. Where's my morning kiss?"
Willie-boy pivoted and looked up at her, his adorable, ten-year old face flushed, his dusky-grey eyes dull. He walked toward her, a half-smile lifting the corner of his lips.


Sounds like a great read! The FREEBIE you've provided definitely has me wanting to read the full anthology.   Remember to download the Free teaser then purchase your full anthology.. I mean - you can't just have one- right? LOL

AMAZON USA           AMAZON INDIA        AMAZON CANADA   

To connect with Keta:

BLOG       TWITTER     FACEBOOK     PINTEREST 






Friday, July 13, 2018

PHOTO FRIDAY

I thought I'd share this photo prompt for my mystery writers.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

WRITER'S TIP THURSDAY - Addison Brae


Addison Brae shares a great tip!


People often write in solitude. Join a writing organization and a critique group to get out of your space, your comfort zone to learn, share, network and become an even better, more connected writer.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

REVIEW WEDNESDAY - Becker Circle


After multiple rounds of Kindle refusing to download my copy, I finally exported the file to word, downloaded to my Duo-Link flash drive and headed off to Applebee's with that and my iPad. 
This story kept me wiping BBQ from my fingers to scroll through page after page as I got caught up in Gillian's life.. and what a busy life she leads.

While I'm not a fan of first person, Addison Brae did give the feeling of being introduced to the large circle of characters from BECKER CIRCLE. I don't think any other point of view would have worked for this story.

Leaving Boston and an abusive boyfriend behind, Gilliam moves to Dallas for a new start. Despite what her ex tried to make her believe, she is smart and tough. Her smile draws people like moths to a flame, making her night-gig as a bartender at the George & Dragon Pub a perfect way to meet other people residing in the trendy district of Becker Circle. While she becomes friends with most everyone she meets, she only knows Bobby briefly, enough to know he's the connection if you want 'party' supplies. While his drug sales is low-key, anyone who knows Bobby can't believe the man committed suicide when he falls from his condo balcony onto the brick patio of the George & Dragon.

Bartender/ sleuth, Gillian teams up with Jon, a local musician to prove murder. But why? By whom?
She goes undercover to discover the truth, a path that could get her killed. Those guys don't play nice or appreciate nosey people snooping around. 

There are two things Gillian knows she can count on. People she knows have her back, including Jon, Detective Jeff and Pinkie, the owner of a competing bar. The other are the rules she creates for herself at the end of each situation, so she doesn't repeat the same patterns as she builds her new life.

One scene in particular had my attention. Jon takes her to dinner at an Italian eatery, that as I read about the place, I was transported back to my time in Dallas a couple of years ago to a Romantic Times Convention. My friend, Pam, and I visited an Italian restaurant around the corner from The Adolphus Hotel. True Italian dining atmosphere. Great food, treat you like family from the get go. If you're in the downtown Dallas area, I encourage you to pick up a copy of BECKER CIRCLE and go have lunch. I don't remember the name, but someone from the Adolphus can direct you easy enough.

I did find a couple of mechanical issues but they do not detract from the story.. just something an editing eye catches easier than most.

I'm giving BECKER CIRCLE

. 8

You may purchase your copy through one of the following links:




Tuesday, July 10, 2018

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Addison Brae + A Giveaway!

This week we have the very talented Addison Brae with us. 


BIO:


Addison Brae lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. As a child, she was constantly in trouble for hiding under the bed to read when she was supposed to be napping. She has been writing since childhood starting with diaries, letters and short stories. She continues today with articles, video scripts and other content as an independent marketing consultant. 
When she’s not writing, Addison spends her time traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes and hosting parties. She’s still addicted to reading and enjoys jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy.
Thanks for being here, Addison. Let's open the door to the readers, shall we?
I ask our guest five questions. Then I give the a list to choose three from. Here were my five for Addison:
I’m always asked ‘where do you get your ideas’. So, where do you get yours?

Story ideas come from life experiences, dreams, people I’ve met, and what’s going on in the world. I’ve been working a lot professionally with artificial intelligence that’s got a fascinating romantic suspense brewing in my head. A conversation with an author inspired Becker Circle. I mentioned being in a hurry to make it to my friend’s bachelorette party. She asked me why someone our age would go to a bachelorette party. The answer was simple. “My friend’s getting married.” I was at the beginning of a fresh start, and our conversation made me realize how stuck in social norms and expectations we are. The next day, I started a blog that led to this book.

Which comes first, the story, the characters, or the setting?
The characters came first in Becker Circle. During my fresh start, I met many interesting characters while traveling and at home. If you read the Becker Circle reviews, you’ll see how people are intrigued by the neighborhood bar characters. Although everyone is purely fiction, some are mashups of people I know. Some are based on stories I’ve heard. Some are inspired by real people – like Whistle Bitch – a real bartender we met at an all-night bar/diner in Seattle near the Space Needle. She whistled while she worked and earned the nickname from her coworkers.

Which of your heroines most represent you, or the ‘you’ you’d like to be? Why?
Hmmm…the main character Gillian and her best friend Lauren both inspire me. Lauren is the perfect friend who tells it like it is. With Gillian, I learned I can control the destiny of any situation or character, and that’s very empowering! I just wish life was as easy.

What is the single most important part of writing for you?
I write for a living for clients but rarely get to write about topics I choose, and I always have to get approval. Writing fiction allows me a creative outlet—to be free.

What’s the most romantic thing a guy can do (or has done) for you?
Don’t try to change me. Let me be me and accept me that way I am.


Addison's 3:

How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?
I first started writing diaries, letters and short stories when I was little, then wrote professionally in college for commercial audiences. Today I pay the bills writing articles, video scripts and other content as an independent marketing consultant. Writing fiction is another story. I started my first manuscript in 2009 but didn’t tell a soul until I had 30,000 words written. That’s way more words than I had ever gotten down on the page. When I reached that point, I knew I could finish a novel.

What is your writing routine once you start a book?
Diving into the story’s world is the best way for me to build a realistic world in a book. I wrote a good bit of Becker Circle sitting at bars around the United States. Talking to bartenders and patrons was truly inspiring since much of the story takes place around the bar scene.

City Girl or Country Girl
City girl definitely. I live in a town home on the edge of downtown with a breath-taking view of the Dallas skyline from our rooftop deck. I love being in the heart of a city. We’re near Deep Ellum, downtown, Cedars, Lower Greenville and many of Dallas’ best entertainment. I do adore a vacation exploring nature as long as there’s a real bathroom, a shower and preferably a mini bar.

Great tidbits!  Now, let's talk about your book:


BLURB:
My first and only boyfriend believed I was too gutless to leave. He was dead wrong. My name’s Gillian, and I graduated Harvard early and left his hot temper and everyone else behind for Dallas. Determined to make it on my own, I land a second job bartending at the neighborhood pub smack in drama central where most every jerk in the neighborhood hits on me—at a huge price. A week into the job, the neighborhood’s very popular drug dealer falls to his death a few feet from the table I’m serving. The cops say suicide, but the hot guitar player in the house band and I suspect foul play, and I intend to prove it. We dig deeper, grow closer, and make a shocking discovery. We know the murderer. Watch the trailer.
A portion of the author proceeds will go to Hope’s Door New Beginning Center to help fight domestic abuse.

NOTE:
BECKER'S CIRCLE is available on the Smashwords in July for 50% off. 
Simply use SSW50 at checkout! 

EXCERPT:
Mixers, whisky brands, and vodka flavors run through my head down the six flights of stairs and on the short walk to the first shift of my new night job. My jacket shields me from the cold as I step through the circles of light shining on the dark red brick sidewalk. A couple jogs by totally into one another, and three guys who were probably high school stars toss a football near the fountain yelling back for not throwing right.


What am I doing? Am I invisible? Everyone’s with someone like I was. Taking the CPA job in Dallas seemed like such a great idea. It’s where no one knows me. Away from Connor. Before he had a chance to break me.
Rule one of my new life—forget about what already happened. Period.

Just as I turn the corner toward the tree-lined park, someone rams into me from behind. I gulp a breath as he twists me to the ground, dragging me along by the arm. The strap to my purse connects me to a guy who looks barely old enough to drive until he yanks it away. The purse holding the cash I have to live on until I get paid, my ID, one credit card, and proof I took an exam today.
The purse Mom gave me for my eleventh birthday.

“Stop!” I struggle to untwist my legs and sprint toward the strap dragging behind him. “No!” The distance between us widens.


One lucky commentor today will receive this GORGEOUS Stainless Steel Martini Glass!
Just tell us what you'd put in this collective glass


Pick up your copy today via the following links:


Catch up to date with Addison Brae on Social Media:
WEBSITE   BLOG   FB   TWITTER   GOODREADS   YOUTUBE





Monday, July 9, 2018

MONDAY MUSINGS - Deadlines


Deadlines, whether self-imposed or given to us are important. They keep us on track and on our toes. I have to tell you, I will be like a ballerina for the next eight weeks. I have not one but THREE crucial deadlines that all come to a head the first of October in some form.

My main goal is to have A Christmas To Remember ready to sell at the Ozark Creative Writers Conference October 11-13. That means I have to finish the revisions, get my cover, pass inspection of Beta readers plus a final run edit then set up and copies ordered by end of September. Also, I'd love to have my cover by the end of THIS month so that I can have something to begin marketing when I'm on Tiereny James' Sizzle In the Kitchen at the end of this month. We're going with a Christmas in July theme (since those are the best pictures of my kitchen!) so a great opportunity to start building interest in the upcoming release.

Speaking of the Ozark Creative Writers Conference. When you register for the conference, you may enter as many of the individual contests as you want at no additional charge. I have a list of about twenty out of the twenty-six categories I'd like to enter. This gives me the opportunity to write out of my comfort zone, try out new story ideas and hopefully win some prize money. I REALLY want to enter the Oxbow Award which has been a long-standing category offered by Dusty Richards. This year, the category will be a tribute to Dusty as he passed away earlier this year. OCW just isn't going to be the same without the big guy. Those entries HAVE to be postmarked by August 25th! Yikes! Have I started? What do you think? LOL

I am speaking at the conference this year on selecting the Social Media platforms that work best for you. There is NO WAY I can cover everything in a 30 min (plus 10 min for Q & A) talk. So I want to have a companion workbook available to sell. Note that also has to be done by end of September so I can get copies ordered.

Are you seeing a pattern of craziness here?

To top it all off, I'd love to have the rough draft of Jayson's Range finished so that I can pitch the story to Tiffany Schofield. Tiffany has been waiting two years and I feel this is the year. Jayson's Range is the first in a trilogy set in late 1800s Texas. I plan to dedicate the series to Dusty Richards.

So.. as I exhale here and think I may have lost my mind, I'm off to kick things into gear. I hope to later this week introduce you to my Writer's Bible and how I'll be using the set-up to keep me on task.

Tomorrow, we get back to our Spotlight Author series. Addison Brae will be joining us for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week.

In the mean time,
Happy Writing, Enjoyable Reading!