Free paranormal novel by Lisa Graves.

What would you do if you thought your boyfriend were a figment of your imagination? That is Lilly’s problem. 

YA Paranormal Romance / Mystery
 by Lisa Graves

Sure he randomly seems to appear and
disappear out of nowhere.  
Perhaps he is cryptic and evasive when it
comes to details of his past?
But what if you can feel in your soul
that you are meant to be together?  
Would that tiny detail matter?

Excerpt from Atlantis:
My eyes looked at the
ground. I didn’t want to, but I made myself say it. “You’re not real.”
Elliott was quiet. I
looked up to see what he was doing. He continued to sit on the grass but he
looked shocked. “What do you mean by that?” I noticed a cautious tone in his
I dove into my brain
trying to find the right words to use when breaking up with yourself. I came up
empty handed. The fact that I desperately wanted to stay and live in my fantasy
land didn’t make it any easier. My torrent stream of emotions was giving me away.
I bit my lip, trying to keep my face from exposing all of my secrets.
Strangely, he did the same.
“What do you mean, I’m
not real?” Elliott asked again. He gently placed his hand on mine. The usual
sensation of electricity flowing through him to me, pricked my mind and made me
doubt my hallucination theory. He wasn’t helping me.
It was probably a
combination of my emotions keeping me an inch from tears, and his penetrating
eyes bearing down on my soul, but I had overflowed. I couldn’t stop the words
from pouring out.
yelled, more at myself than at Elliott.
I stood up. His mouth
gapped open at me as I paced the cove and continued.
“You are too perfect.
And good looking. And sweet…”
He looked as though he
was going to argue, but I went on.
“No one has seen you but
He whispered something
to himself and shook his head.
“You appear and
disappear out of nowhere.”
I turned again at the
edge of the cove, racking my brain for more proof of my theory. When I resumed
my pacing, he spoke.
“I know,” he said in a
soft, apologetic purr and looked straight at me.
Elliott caught me off
guard. I hadn’t expected my hallucination to agree with me. “What do you mean
you know?”

Find out more from Lisa Graves at:

A brand new thriller from M. D. Cliatt

When criminal defense attorney Maeven Dayne decides not to walk away from her job to defend a teenage girl with no family and no money, she finds herself taking on a corrupt juvenile justice system and winds up in the middle of a murder plot.
I’m brand new
to the world of writing fiction, and from what I see and hear, the world has
changed with the advent of ebooks and online publishing. When I started writing
my novel four years ago, I had no idea
how I was going to publish and market it

I just knew I wanted to write it and I’d worry about the rest
later.  So, when later arrived, I found
myself pulling my hair out as I tried to figure out how to get it done: to
publish through a traditional house or to self-publish. Both options seemed
intimidating. I never really concerned
myself with how my favorite books ended up in my hands
; I just wanted to
find the nearest hidey hole and plunge into someone else’s imagination. Well
now, I wanted to share my imaginary world and story through a book, and I
didn’t know how to do it.  Ugh!  So, I jumped on my trusty steed–my laptop of
course–and galloped into the virtual new world of cyberspace looking for

I discovered
there’s a lot of help out there. I’m really blown away by the presence and
power of the book reading and writing community. Who knew?! I certainly
didn’t.  From block buster plot consultants to literary agent query sharks to ebooks to YouTube marketing
to virtual tours to book bloggers, an aspiring writer can
get a lot of useful advice and get a lot done. 
As I began my research on whether to self- publish or try a literary
agent and a publishing house, I learned that authors have a lot of options as well as obstacles. 
Because I’m
not a very patient person and I believe that I should control my dreams, I
chose self-publishing.  I’ll be honest
and admit that I bristle a little bit at the idea of a faceless agent standing
between me and my goal.  I drafted a few
queries, but deleted them.  Trying to
figure out what agents like and dislike proved maddening.  With self-publishing, when I’m ready, I can
upload my book online with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Create Space, and
others, and it’s published, I don’t have to wait a year for the publishing house. 
The real
source of book marketing now seems to be social media–as it should be.  Social
media is how word-of-mouth moves at warp speed
.  It allows aspiring authors to rise and fall
on their own merit without some middleman or woman shaking their head at you
and telling you to not even bother. With
Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, blogs and etcetera, an author can tap social
media on their own.
  I’m excited
about the possibilities in this new world of writing; I’m excited about the
self-empowerment it provides. 
Feel free to
drop me a comment on this subject on my blog at I’ll send the first commenter a free digital copy of my book The Public Pretender
. Meanwhile, something to whet your appetite: 

The Public Pretender Synopsis 
Unlike what she thinks of her own mother, Maeven Dayne considers herself to be a great mom who loves all of her kids, but she must choose between them: the juvenile defendants at work or her sons at home. She pleases her devoted husband when she decides to quit her job as a public defender to spend more time with their sons. But, on Maeven’s last day at work in the courtroom, a juvenile probation officer she despises drags a weeping young girl before an irritated judge for an unscheduled hearing while Maeven is packing up her things to leave. She is walking out of the courtroom, fighting her urge to turn around, when she realizes the probation officer didn’t notify the girl’s parents or arrange for a public defender to represent her. Maeven can’t resist the girl’s pitiful pleas for help and decides to intervene even though she is risking her family. 
While defending this girl, Maeven discovers people are profiting from imprisoning innocent kids in juvenile placement facilities, but whom? A juvenile psychologist who tries to expose the kids-for-cash scheme is murdered, but he’s left clues. As Maeven delves deeper into the case, she discovers, to her horror, that she is just like her mother. When her oldest son is beaten, arrested and detained on false charges, her husband receives a message proposing an offer: Maeven quits her job and the case, or they lose their son. Her husband insists that she choose their son. The problem? She doesn’t know if she can sacrifice one for the other.
Monica Cliatt is a wife and a mother who
loves to tell stories.  She was born and
raised in Georgia, but now lives in Central Pennsylvania. She is a staff
attorney in a law school clinical program, and is an adjunct law professor who
teaches juvenile justice and legal writing. She used to be a public defender
specializing in representing children, and for the most part, loved the work. She
thrived on the heat of courtroom battle, but the highs are very high and the
lows are very low and she burned out. Now, she spends her time grading papers,
supervising law students as they represent indigent clients in court and
reading with her sister in their long distance book club.

I am I: The In-Dweller of your Heart – a stepping stone for spiritual education.

Savour the Flavouring

Or should I say ‘SAVIOUR’? 


David Knight

In this post I would like to give a taster of things to come with two snippets from my new book called, I am I: The In-Dweller of your Heart.

In essence ‘truth’ is simple, and as such, I feel that any spiritual guidance and education for our hearts and souls should resonate and connect within us.


This snippet is from a Lesson called ‘Energy’.

In fact, your physical is the only thing that was ‘born’ because your essence, your Atma; your Soul was never ‘born’ into the physical world as you already ‘existed’ and are permanent …only the impermanent fades and dies.
When stars collapse and become black holes, a change of energy has taken place yet it still exists…. just like a human being which goes through similar processes, evolving, growing, maturing; but as the body is born, it follows that it will die.
This ‘body’ is cremated or buried and it is either transmuted into another form by fire and ash or by dissolving into earth because everything is returned to me, as I am all things.
Understand though, that even those who do not remember me in their hearts, I still love ….for everyone is near and dear to me and the realization of such, one day, will happen.
All will sail on my ocean of love for I am the wind that will empower those that lay there floundering by the rocks.
I will remove their anchor (or you could say ‘anger’), that weighs them down in the false position of a make-believe harbour within the physical world …with its materialism and traits of ego, personified by lack of compassion and mistrust.


This extract is from a Lesson entitled ‘Rituals and Monuments’. I hope that these few lines can bring you strength and light on any so called dull/ darkened day or night.

Let light reflect from your very being and not what can be deemed as a mirror of darkness and decay.
You can and will succeed, so just believe in your self and enjoy the path that your life’s road has taken you… for I will by your side, knowing, nurturing, guiding, loving and watching forever over you.
Try to let your smile beam the inner joy onto someone else heart and may your hands do good, worthwhile actions that help and benefit others too.
Do not seek greater rewards than that which you actually deserve, but feel the goodness (and not ego) that shines back towards you.
Know that this is a true ‘gold’ that you can wear with greater value than any jewel, stone or ring that man possesses.
Realise then that you are rich in Spirit and so much more…a Soul and Light which is brighter than a thousand Suns!

I am I: The In-Dweller of your Heart is a
stepping stone for all who embark upon their own quest for ‘Spiritual’
education and guidance. So, even if you are comfortable with your own faith and
religion, you may have decided to explore new interpretations and such issues
on a personal or global scale.

The author David
Knight has received and transcribed these passages of text in a process known
as ‘Inner Dictation’. He describes this as writing from within the connection
of his heart where peace, bliss, love and light reign supreme.

God’s wisdom and
teachings are laid out before you so you can simply choose and read whenever or
whatever your heart needs or desires. They are guidelines, principles and
simple directions for you to now dip your toes or dive headfirst into the
waters of your own Divine essence.

These books will
form the very threads of life’s new tapestry, each being spun into 52 lessons
from, to and through our own hearts and souls. They are like a father, mother,
brother, sister, husband, wife, partner or personal friend who knows you better
than you can ever know ‘yourself’.

Part 1 is a
companion for life which does not judge, condemn or scold, but hopes to
encourage, guide, console, teach and remind you of who and what you are, why
you live and for what purpose too!

David’s book is launched on January 28th on
Amazon.  There is an exciting contest
that is in effect from now until the launch. T
here are great prizes that are involved:

$100 gift certificate for Amazon toward a Kindle
Two $50.00 Amazon Gift Certificates
can substitute their choice of a video book review or Facebook Welcome page for
the Kindle Gift Certificate if they win.

To enter, visit David’s blog: http://www.ascensionforyou, and fill out the contest form.  You can complete at least one task option to
enter but
the more tasks you complete, the more entries you will have.

DAVID KNIGHT was born into his current physical
embodiment in 1964. He is married to Caroline and they live with their adopted
cats Toby, Treacle, Spiky and Missy in the UK. In growing up he describes
himself as a Mr. Average or like a ‘Joe Bloggs’. Whilst earning a living in
various types of work, (this ranged from HM Forces, Financial Services, a Care
Assistant and also self-employment) his search for fulfilment changed from the
exterior and without to the interior and within.

Spiritual education
gained a greater momentum and at the age of 21 a more urgent sense of
dedication as well as a new realization had set in. New evidence of and from
God, were soon revealed through his life experiences. With the aid of Spirit
guides and beings from the ethereal planes, the foundations were laid for all
who wished to develop and experience their Hearts flame of love and light and
to embark upon a unique opportunity for all soul’s in this lifetime.

5 Ways to Kill Boring Posts

Mary Edwards

So you have a blog. Good for you. There’s only one thing I have to say to you. Either write well or delete it. I am so sick of flipping through boring, repetitive blog posts. Really, you’d be better off just letting the poor thing die. Shoot it and relive us all of your misery. No one wants to read about what you ate last night or what little Sally did that was just so cute. Or, worse yet, your sexual exploits. Unless you’re a Kardashian, no one cares, really. Oh, but you like your blog. Fine then. Read these five tips and try to improve it. If you can.

1.  You’re boring – Face it, you don’t have a passion for anything. You don’t care about your blog or what you write on it. Wait, you do? Well, that’s a shocker. I had no idea. From reading it I’d have thought you were about as enthusiastic as a wino on his fourth bottle. Don’t be afraid to show your passion then! Pour out your heart, get over-excited, may be sweat a bit as you type so furiously that the words get jumbled up on the page and grammar goes out the window because it’s just so exciting! That’s what I want to read. If you don’t love it, then why should I?

2.  You’re stupid – You know nothing, you see nothing, you hear nothing, nothing! Your name is Shultz. You live in a perpetual state of blank numbness where you experience nothing that goes on around you. Better yet, what you do see/hear/feel you have no input on. You get neither aggravated nor elated. That’s not you? Then you do know something! Don’t let pesky things like facts get in your way. You’re not writing for the New York Times. You have a blog. Unless you’re giving medical advice (please don’t) then your opinion won’t kill anyone. Share. Tell. Write.

3.  Blah, blah, blah – I’ve read that before. No, really, I have. Unless you’re saying something totally new and off the wall, I don’t need to hear about it again, thank you very much. Don’t be Charlie Brown’s parents. Do not repeat yourself or talk about the same topic all the time. So your blog is based on your love of roses. Shock me. Write about orchids. Or trees! Or fruit! You don’t have to go way out, but no one wants to read the same thing over and over. If you find yourself having a hard time finding a different title for your new post, don’t bother posting it. We’ll all thank you.

4. L a-La Land – Do you live on Mars? Venus? No? Then what is your excuse for this? You haven’t posted in eons and what you do post is boring. Are you just prolonging your poor blog’s misery? When are you going to shoot it? Oh, you can’t think of anything new to write about. You know what? I. Don’t. Care. Write! Just start blabbing. It’ll be stupid and pointless, I’m sure, but at least you’ll have something. If you have even a smidgen of brain power in the giant globe you call a head then you’ll eventually get a grain of truth from all that blather. Pluck it out, clean it up, and post. 

5.  Pass the buck – You’re a loser. You have no talent. What little you had was wasted on your blog, but it’s all gone now. But you cling desperately to your blog like a codependent ex. Fine. I’ll give you a hint. It starts with g and ends with uest. That’s right, good speller! Guest posts. The lazy, burnt-out writer’s best friend. Have someone else do the work. They’ll even think you’re doing them a service. Of course, you may have to return the favor. Or do other… favors… for them. Hmm. Might want to discuss that before they make you an offer you can’t refuse.

That’s all I’m willing to give to you, you mooch. What, you think advice grows on trees somewhere? Do what I told you and your blog might, I repeat might, survive a few months longer. I’m not responsible for resuscitations, though, so don’t come crying to me when you forget to feed it and it dies. I wash my hands.

Author Bio.

Mary Edwards is one of the contributors and editors for dating sites. She is passionate about thought leadership writing, regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting and online dating community. She can be reached at edwardsmary936 AT

KDP Select – Amazon wants exclusivity.

What’s the deal with Kindle? They want exclusivity with our books, is this goodbye to Smashwords and other e-outlets? Will this 90 days exclusivity become indefinite?  

They only want our E version, our paperbacks can be available anywhere we desire (can’t help wondering for how long). But we won’t be able to sell our books ourselves from our own websites any more. 

This, of course, isn’t conditional with Kindle Amazon. We can opt in or out.

Check out:

This is a decision most of us have been mulling over this week.

So, questions we need to ask:

  • How would it work?
  • What would we get out of being exclusive to Kindle?
  • Is it easy to opt out once we opt in?
  • Is copyright still ours?

Who’s decided already? Who’s still thinking? What are your worries about this venture?

Check out Linda Rae’s post who seems very opposed to the idea:

Writers’ Beware:

The Guardian:

So many people are talking about it, and so far no one has anything good to say about it. But in all honesty, no one knows how it’s all going to work out. And if you’ve an ebook gathering cyber dust I say go for it.

Win a copy of "How to Deal with Stupid Clowns who Don’t know what the Hell they’re talking about!" I know. Mad title, and even crazier author!

Hi all, I’m John Garrett of, author of “How to Deal with
Stupid Clowns who Don’t know what the Hell they’re talking about!”

I know it’s a crazy title, and it’s
even crazier inside. This is a humor book combining writing and comics all
written and drawn by me.

I’ve been drawing comics for
probably as long as I could hold a pen (I used to draw them in ballpoint pen),
but usually the stuff I came up with was more in the comic book super hero
style, not humor comics.

Well, I started blogging about 2
years ago, and I noticed that the traffic on my humor comics was much better
than any of my super-hero or sci-fi work. It surprised me, but then I decided
that if this was what people wanted, I’d just go ahead and give it to them.

The only problem with this was that
being funny on demand is hard work. I can only be funny maybe once or twice a
week so it ended up taking me half a year to make this thing.

I always loved comic strips like
Calvin & Hobbes, Boondocks and Dilbert, but instead of going wall to wall
comics like them, I decided to throw in some prose -mainly made up funny
stories involving my own terrifying run-ins with the stupid clowns of my past

I picked this subject because when I
would tell people these stories they would 
always relate, then they’d start telling me their stories, and pretty
soon we’d all be laughing, thinking about all the crazy people we used to know
back in the day.

Of course, some of us are still
burdened by the stupid clowns of TODAY. That’s where my ebook comes in. It’s
for fun, but you can actually use *most* of the advice today in the never
ending battle against stupid clowns everywhere. Some of the advice may not be
physically possible…yet.

So far I’ve had people email me and
tell me I must have been writing about them, because they knew annoying people
just like this. Guys, trust me…we’ve ALL known people like this.

I’ve also had an actual clown email
me, angry about the title of the book. I had to let him know I have respect for
actual working clowns that make us laugh, but not the stupid clowns who hide
amongst us and screw up our lives.

Also, I got a lot of flack from
stupid clowns all over the internet. These guys didn’t want me to reveal all my
knowledge of their antics. I had to let them know that information wants to be
free, and I was going to reveal that information to the masses for a reasonable

So as you can probably imagine, with
the backlash from the stupid clown community this whole ebook was a bit of a
dangerous undertaking for me. Every day this book is on sale I’m risking
seltzer-water and/or pies in the face, plus bowling pins thrown at me, various
type of joybuzzers, etc…

Some people might say that makes me
a hero. People like me. I would say that makes me a hero, but I’d like you guys
to decide that for yourselves.

One lucky commenter here can win a
free copy of “How to Deal with Stupid Clowns who Don’t know what the Hell
they’re talking about!”. Plus all the rest of you losers, er, non-winners
can head over to the Stupid Clowns
Book Page
for more info, plus you can get on my mailing list to
download the first chapter for free!

Thanks for reading and I hope you
enjoy the book – here’s a peek at the book trailer for last laughs 🙂

John Garrett is an artist,
writer, web designer and all around capital fellow who prefers his food in
sandwich form. 

Comics, Sci-fi, Fantasy and tech stuff are what hold his
interest and also get him in trouble on a daily basis!

Today let’s talk about stereotyping.

How’d you feel about stereotypes
in fiction? Do they annoy you? Or do they make you smile?

You have the dramatic gay man, the lazy fat person, the sullen teenager… they are
all there because they exist. So does that mean we can’t write about them? I
mean, you also get the lazy thin person, the sullen middle-aged person and the
ditzy Afro Caribbean (I
should know, I work with her!). But the fact is if there weren’t any people to
fit the mould there would be no stereotypes!

But what are stereotypes?

It’s a generalization about a group of people
where we attribute a clear set of characteristics. These can be positive or
negative. But I’ve learned that this “positive” and “negative” is personal to
one’s own self.

Some blond haired women hate being labelled as
“dumb”, others aren’t so bothered.

So why can’t we stereotype in

It’s lazy – like clichés,
stereotyping is too easy. Your character is blonde so she must be as thick and enjoy

It’s offensive – stereotyping
evolved to be cruel towards typical groups. He’s fat so he must be lazy and
love hamburgers?

In A Proper Charlie I
deliberately made my gay man “typically” gay until layers were peeled away and
he was revealed as being frightened of failure and very possessive. Charlie, my
main protagonist, was ditzy but I gave her red hair. No, she didn’t have a temper

I enjoy watching reality shows and love being proved wrong about a
stereotype. On the surface they exist. But dig deep and you have an individual.

A character.

Make your character an individual and you’ll have
real, flesh and blood person to write about.

Nancy Lawson is Somewhere After Seduction

I met a lovely lady on the Amazon forums. She did something “naughty” and spammed her book. In her defence a person was asking if there were any romances with older characters instead of the usual twenty-somethings. Somewhere After Seduction fit perfectly, and so Nancy Lawson told the potential customer about her book.

She was blasted, but kept her cool, apologised and removed her post. But I was intrigued about her book and being a nosy old bat, I wanted to know more about the person behind the book. I was moved by her story.

Read her interview below…

Betrayed by her own body, Morgan’s memories of love and security were becoming a dream of her past.

What inspired you to write Somewhere after Seduction?
My husband passed away, and I found myself back in the dating world in my retirement years. I found it difficult. It’s so much easier to fall in love when you’re young and naive.

Why do you say that?
When you are young, and life is roses and popcorn you believe what you want to believe, not necessarily what the facts really might be. After some age, and experience you find it harder to bypass truth, intuition and/or the bottom line with men and relationships. Not long ago, I read an article written by an elderly man thrown back into the dating world, and he said it was hard to turn “dumb” back on. It summed up what I felt.

And that’s when you started writing?

Let’s say I’m a new writer at sixty plus lol. My first experience dating after my husband’s death was with a cheating man, and I started writing. I guess it was therapy, but then I discovered the soul of my characters. Sometimes they surprised me. I found developing my characters was like getting to know a new friend. They were not a copy of anyone I knew, they became their own souls. It was great fun getting to know them, and watching them grow.

I can relate to that. Your first book at sixty! That’s very inspirational to others reaching that milestone, although it’s a shame it took a cheating man to open your creative side!
Actually, all my life I’ve been involved in some type of creative work. I taught management, and that involved creating training manuals, and I was always involved in marketing. For years as a hobby, I made high fashion dolls, and all my sons high schools friends used to gather at our place, and we created stories to go with each doll. I usually had some creative hobby going along with my work. After I started my book it the characters, story and events took on a life of their own. The cheating man was a thing of the past, out of the picture, and the characters in the book were their own people and my new-found friends.

Is Somewhere after Seduction part biography?
No, but some events were inspired by real life experiences. I found that using places I lived at one time or another made it easy to write about. The characters are all fictional, but some of the story line came from things I have experienced in life. The events were not presented exactly as they happened, so I certainly wouldn’t call it a bio. But because of my past experiences I was able to empathize, and understand the feelings of many of my characters.

Tell us more about Somewhere after Seduction. 
It’s a contemporary romance with characters at retirement age. It’s a story about love, devotion, losing everything and starting over. My characters come with baggage, habits they are set in and ties they find hard to separate.

How many characters are there? In the blurb there are four names mentioned, do they all have parts? Is Morgan the main protagonist?
Yes, Morgan is the protagonist, and of course is drop dead gorgeous, even at retirement age. But then again, many women are today. She is married to Ben, and they have an exceptionally close loving relationship.

Where does Dr Calvin Kendall fit into the story?
He’s the surgeon who tries to save Ben’s life. Later, Morgan finds out that Dr. Kendall has serious legal problems, and she fights to clear his name.

Is he the rogue of the story?
No, that’ll be Drake Taylor. For years he was a player. He never committed to a woman, but he usually had one to share his bed. He has a successful business, and likes to stay in control of his life, guarding his emotions. He is also a very confident sexual lover that likes to please a woman, and he knows how to do it. Unfortunately, Drake has baggage. Three grown kids from hell. Morgan has known Drake for years she trusts Drake. She has no idea how seriously he will impact her future.

Was there a character you struggled with?
I struggled with all of them to be their own individual. I related to what they were experiencing, but I wanted them to come alive on their own. I still had fun sneaking in a “truth” here and there, and playing with fictionalizing and dramatizing it. I rewrote scenes that sugar-coated Drake’s past, but decided that would not be honest. He was his own character, his own person so I went with my first instincts.

Honest in what way?
I thought it took something away from his character. I hesitated having him with two different women, in the book, but he was a player so it just fit his character. It was difficult not to second-guess the love scenes, they were pretty explicit. After several rewrites, I went back to my original scenes and the love scenes just fell into place. Drake is a confident lover, and sure of his sexuality. The scenes sizzle.

The cover makes the book look more erotic than romance. Is it?
The cover is probably more provocative then the story, although the love scenes in the story are hot and uninhibited. There is romance, attraction and a strong story line with the sex. The sex scenes are totally character driven, and they fit well.

How many unpublished books do you have lurking under your bed?
I have one more in the works. It’s another contemporary romance story, What Love Was…

A follow on from SAS, or totally different characters and storyline?
No, this is a totally different story. Two couples find out their baby girls were switched at birth. The story will actually touch three generations, and will probably be a series. We shall have to see.

It sounds like a disturbing theme. How’d you come up with that idea?
The inspiration came from a greeting card for a baby shower. On the front was a baby wrapped in swaddling, on the inside the card just had one line. It said, “You only thought you knew what love was.” As a Mom I knew exactly what those words meant. My son is the light of my life. One of the main characters in this story has to decide to save her life, or the life of her unborn baby.

How far are you into it?
I have two chapters just about completed. I have it set up so I can change the beginning. It’s a story about Isabel and Sophia who were switched at birth, but do not discover the truth until they are grown. Their lives merge, and become intertwined where they find out the true meaning of what love really is. It’s based on loving a child more then you love yourself.

How did you find your publisher?
I didn’t. My book was a three-year project. Two years into writing it, I was diagnosed with an aggressive rare type of lung cancer. So I didn’t have time to fool with publishers or rejections, because I did not know how much time I’d left. My book kept me going (along with my love of life) so I decided to self-publish. Sixteen months after being diagnosed, I am getting clear tests. I am blessed. Every day I pray for time to accomplish all the things I still want to do, and I thank God for getting me through this.

Amen to that! So you never had the heartbreak of dealing with rejection letters?
I only sent out one query, and when the rejection letter came I decided I did not have time to fool with that. I think agents basically operate like an employment service. If they get a job order for a book that matches your query you are in luck because of timing. If not you are rejected, and the next month a job order may come in to match yours. Button line is you are a day late, or should I say early. Besides, I was not sure I had the time left in this wonderful world to deal with rejections. I think every writer needs to keep in mind that whoever is reading your book, an agent, editor or publisher, that is only one person and it might not be their cup of tea. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a darn good book that others will love. One person’s opinion does not make a majority.

So, who did you self-publish with?
I used Createspace which is owned by Amazon who in turn owns Kindle. Create Space will let you publish on Kindle or a paperback free on the condition you do your own formatting.

And that was the downside?
No, the formatting for the paperback is relatively easy. There is a program you can get for $32 that is an add-on to Microsoft Word that will format to their specifications.

Kindle and the eBooks was another story. The formatting was confusing. But you can get an account with Smashwords for free, and they will publish your book with Sony and the other eReaders. There are about five or six formats that must be done. Each eReader is different including Kindle.

Luckily, I found a guy through Smashwords that would format my book for me for $60. It was well worth it and only took about a week. Once he completed the formatting you submit them to Kindle and Smashwords yourself.

I needed a glass of wine when that was complete!

What about pricing?
With Createspace you set your sale price, and they do print-on-demand with the paperback. You are allowed to buy your own books at cost, which is a nice benefit. They have a very easy outline to follow to complete the process. Your profit is determined by the size of the book, and where you want it sold. If you elect to let it go on the standard bookstore special order lists then your profit drops considerably. In fact, mine would have been 29 cents a sold book. With this option your book is not put in a book store, it is merely available on a special order list. Heck, a customer can do that on Amazon! The negative with Amazon is your book is so buried it is hard to get an audience, unless you do it yourself. As we know, we are not allowed to talk to the customers, not even answer a question if asked directly. The other negative I found with Createspace is some print errors in the final book that were not in the proof. They weren’t a “deal killer”, but they were there.

Your cover is amazing, how did you arrange for that to be done? 
Oh yes, the cover, what fun. I did it myself for a total cost of $10.00. That was like putting frosting on your cake that baked beautifully, and smells delicious. I purchased the picture on a royalty free site, and then produced the copy in Microsoft Publisher. It took me about five evenings of searching for the right picture. I knew instantly it was the right one. I saved it in a little lesser resolution then Create Space suggested because I wanted the faded illusion, and it worked.

How do your juggle a writing schedule?
I am retired, so I am fortunate to make my own schedule. I had my ups and downs with time during surgery and feeling bad, but I spend more time at it now then I probably should.

Have you never written before now? Or has it always been a dream that you never thought you’d accomplish?
I was in an executive position prior to retiring, and everyone used to ask me to write their letters. I dabbled with journals over the years, and then as my career expanded I was working Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland and had properties all over Israel. Most of them were in Jerusalem. So I wrote a book about the experience. It was not a book to publish, just a book to pass down to my grandchildren about my experience. After I retired, I got the bug and played with it. I bought every book I could find on the subject, and watched every video on the Internet. I was fascinated.

What’s the best/worst part of being a writer?

Two things are bad, or at least frustrating, comas and the critics.

The two Cs! Comas are my downfall. I use White Smoke, which is a grammar check and heaven sent. It’s cheap too!

And the critics? Have you have many?
Writers take far too much abuse. When you think of the time, and creativity they put into a story it is mind-boggling. They deserve so much more credit than they get. Many people that review books have never written a paragraph in their life. That might be a slight exaggeration, but people should think twice before giving their critical views. One person’s junk is another’s treasure.

Every story isn’t right for every person, so just admit it’s a personal preference. Don’t take the author apart.

My son said, “Mom, it’s your story if they don’t like it, they can write their own.” He’s such a sweetheart. I always taught him there were critics in the world and then there were people that did things. Be the doer, not the talker. The best thing is looking at the finished product, and knowing you did the entire creation yourself. The characters and players will always own a piece of your heart.

Fantastic advice there. And on a lighter note, what is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I like late evening when it’s too late to do what I should have done during the day.

Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer. 

Always on the computer. I do not think I know how to use a pen anymore, well except to sign a check for the monthly bills. Actually, I am learning more about technology then I ever wanted to know, but it’s so addictive I can’t stop myself. My brain gets tired sometimes.

Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
No, I just follow my characters and go with the story. Sometimes I have no idea what they are up to until I finish the chapter. Did you know that Margaret Mitchell who wrote, Gone With the Wind, actually wrote the ending first. I think you have to follow the story and follow your heart.

Do you have a critique partner?
I hired a person from a book club that professed to be an excellent editor. Then I hire a guy from Australia that promised to stand side by side with me until my book was published. That was a joke. All of a sudden he had an assistant and auto-answer. That was an expensive lesson on a widow’s pay.

With the editor, I am not sure who was worse, her or me. I had a few friends review it, but with them I got more feedback on the storyline than the grammar/editing. This time around I will search out to someone who knows what they are doing.

We should try to turn out the best product possible, but we take ourselves much more seriously then we should sometimes. Don’t beat yourself up too bad. You can go through most bestsellers and find an error here or there.

Anything else you want to tell us?
When you have walked in the shoes of your characters, you understand what they feel. 

I want to contribute something to the world while I am here. I love creating. Since my retirement, I have learned heirloom sewing, machine embroidery, quilting, dabbled in painting, spend hours with “how to” books and lots of time writing. They all inspire me to want to do more. And of course, I want to beat cancer. I have had three primaries in my lifetime. I am now sixty-seven, and have been fighting this horrible disease since I was twenty-nine. I want to live. If I keep creating, I have a reason to be here, and maybe God will let me stay. Besides, I cannot sing or play a harp, so I am hoping he thinks I would be more productive on earth.

I haven’t read this novel yet, so if anyone has read it or is reading it, please drop a line to say how much you’ve/are enjoying it.

Visit Nancy’s Bookstore:
or buy Somewhere After Seduction straight from Amazon

I can’t perform in the sexual department.

There. I’ve said it. Before I’m sent loads of porn-site links to
“better” myself can I add that I’m talking about writing sex scenes? 

I find it
very hard to write a sex scene and almost always have my characters kissing one
minute then lighting a cigarette the next! 

My scenes seem silly when I read them back, and I end up giggling hysterically at them. When I’ve recovered enough I
reread only, this time, I’m cringing with embarrassment!

I stink at writing sex scenes.

There is a
sex scene in
A Proper
 but I wrote that mainly for laughs not just for romance. Romance and sex
is so hard to get right. 

Eden is more romantic, and I admit I cut the sex scenes
because they just didn’t seem right. There are only so many ways you can write
about kissing, caressing and getting naked!

With The Fall of the Misanthrope: I bitch, therefore I am  I have many cut sex scenes on my, er, hard drive that didn’t make the final book. Some were too explicit (for a chick lit), others felt plain daft while some ended up so bizarre I think I’d have been carted off for treatment with a sex therapist!

Suggestive sexy scenes are bloody hard to write! Writers (me anyway) fall into the trap of using cliques and inappropriate
names for body parts (cue a list of inappropriate names for parts of the body):

  • Special flower
  • Pussy
  • Love cave
  • Fanny
  • Front bottom
  • Kebab
  • Coochie
  • Lady garden
  • Silken/velvet nest/folds
  • Gash
  • Bearded clam
  • C*** (can’t even bring myself to type it!)

  • Third leg
  • Junior and
    his twin brothers
  • prick
  • Hard
  • Fun stick
  • One eyed monster
  • Dick
  • Dong
  • Love pump/stick/handle
  • Cock
  • Willy (that one has me giggling every time!)
Euphemisms are OK but get it right for goodness sake! What’s acceptable are usually words that can be read without laughing (or flinching) ie member, shaft, manhood. For a woman it’s: folds, core, heat etc. 

But that’s my opinion as a reader, as a writer of erotic fiction I’m certainly no expert!

The fact
is, I want to include a bit of how’s-your-father in my books. I want to learn
how to write sexy novels! And I’m jealous of those who can!

To write juicy scenes I’m told it’s best to delve outside of what you already experience as the norm. People read for escapism, so we must use our creative brain cells to dig deep: break taboos and recreate sexual fantasies that we’d otherwise be too shy to ask our partner about. 

So what are your thoughts on the subject? Can sex scenes in books be well written? 

Sexy romance from Nancy Lawson "for the more mature reader".

Nancy Lawson’s début novel – Somewhere after Seduction

Betrayed by her own body, Morgan’s memories of love and security were becoming a dream of her past.

Slowly, his sure hands untied the red negligee, letting it drop to the floor. Forcing her to step back into the light, he took his time, devouring her body with his eyes. Watching her, he felt his body respond. He undressed. She stood frozen in place. His eyes held her body captive, the light from outside cast shadows on her curves. He held her in place, an arm’s length away, caressing her body with his hungry eyes. He whispered, “Don’t close your eyes. Look at me.”

His hand moved, dwelling over the curves of her breasts, their eyes locked on each other. He kissed her taut nipples bringing their pink tips to crested peaks. His hand slid slowly and softly up her leg, tormenting her while she stood in the dim light, until flames of passion burned within both of them.
Nancy Lawson has granted me an EXCLUSIVE interview here on Wise Words next month. So watch this space! 

Somewhere After Seduction is available to buy NOW

Somewhere After Seduction… 
you know you want to

Morgan Reynolds ability to overcome adversity, replacing it with optimistic dreams, put her on a course in life where she attracted success and love. Married to Ben Reynolds, together they raised their son Cam, and developed a thriving Real Estate management business. Both their careers flourished affording them a beautiful penthouse overlooking, Washington DC, monuments and a luxury yacht.

Neither realized the handsome bachelor rogue, Drake Taylor, whose yacht, docked next to theirs, would impact their future. Morgan’s naïve heart wasn’t prepared for the path her relationships would take. 
Betrayed by her own body she wonders what happens “Somewhere After Seduction”.

Keeping Books Alive Conference

Books Alive
to be held on Saturday 26 November 2011
RACV Club – Melbourne (501 Bourke Street)

professional development seminar designed to inform and inspire secondary
and primary teachers, librarians and those interested in promoting
literacy. Presenters include Paul Collins, Susanne Gervay, Dianne Bates,
Meredith Costain, Gabrielle Wang and many others. The $110 registration fee
includes the cocktail party and dinner at the RACV Club. 
Enquiries should go to
Rob Leonard:

5 simple marketing tips from Ashley Dawn

Shadows of Pain Book 3
by Ashley Dawn


With so much going on with books on the Internet, there are a lot of options for authors to promote their work.  I’ve used several of these…some worked and some didn’t.  For me it was trial and error, so I thought I would share what has worked best for me:

  1. A Blog.  This can be FREE or there are some places where you pay for the blog, either way it is useful.  I have a review blog where      I read and review other author’s work.  It gets my name out there and I have a page on my blog dedicated just to my books.  That way, when authors are out there promoting their book and send people to my blog, I have the possibility to have them check out my books as well.  It isn’t a guarantee but it has worked for me. 
  2. Help other authors.  This one sort of goes along with the blog idea.  If you review an author’s book for them, you have made a contact that in the future (or sooner if you agree to do a swap with them) they can do a review for you.  If you help other authors with reviews and promotion, they will help you.
  3. Facebook page.  It is wonderful and FREE.  You can post what is going on in your writing life, upcoming releases, book covers, etc.  People click ‘like’ on your page and immediately see your feed.  You have to post on there for it to be useful but there is a whole lot of people on facebook that can be reached through this and it doesn’t tie up your personal account.
  4. Blog Tour.  On this, you set up a time frame (either by yourself or hire someone to do it) where on certain days you are on certain blogs either doing reviews, guestblogs, giveaways, excerpts…the possibilities are almost endless!  This way, you reach a completely new audience through the blogger’s followers and at the same time, you are helping them promote their blog by promoting your book!
  5. Twitter.  It works a lot like facebook only with more limited character space.  I admit I don’t utilize this one like I should but it is there as a promotion tool for us authors and once again it is FREE.  You can promote yourself, gain followers, announce release dates, or just talk about what you are working on to keep people interested.

All 5 of these can be used together to help you market and promote your work.  Make sure to have fun with your marketing.  I know it is work and you badly want to get all the exposure you can but remember to take time to stop and see what you are accomplishing along the way.  I hope this helps or at least gives a few ideas!

Ashley Dawn was born and raised in rural Arkansas where she developed her love for writing while helping in her parent’s office. She graduated with an accounting degree from the University of Central Arkansas but is currently working as a legal assistant. Ashley has been writing professionally for the past seven years and has two published books.  

Her first book, Shadows From The Past, was originally published by Tate Publishing  and is considered more of a traditionally published book while the second, Shadows of Suspicion, was published by self publication using AuthorHouse.  She is currently working on a standalone mystery about a serial killer that remains untitled.  

You can find out all about her current books and future releases on her website:  

Ashley also has a review blog to share her love of reading. Ashley’s Bookshelf, where she reads and reviews books of all genres:  She and her family make their home in Texas.

Past Sins by Ellie Jones

Past Sins – a story of intrigue, romance, and deceit.
Past Sins
Ellie Jones

When wealthy Spanish artist, Juan García, dies, he leaves his beautiful Spanish villa and riding school, to Jenny. This is bizarre because she is English, has never been there, never met him, never heard of him, and is not related to him… 

Stakes are raised when in the entrance hall to the villa she discovers a painting of herself… naked.

Juan’s young brother, Eduardo, believes she is a gold-digger and is out to prove it. Jenny finds herself struggling with him on several levels; his certainty that she had an affair with Juan, his own escalating attraction towards her, his belief that she may be involved with threatening letters against him, and his absolute and unjustified dislike of her new friend… but then she starts to get threatening letters too, and it all gets out of hand.

Purchase info – $2.99

Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island by C.K. Volnek

Evil haunts Roanoke Island and it’s up to young Jack Dahlgren to destroy it…before it destroys him.
Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island
C.K. Volnek
In 1587,117 colonists disappeared from Roanoke Island without a
trace, leaving behind not only unanswered questions, but a terrifying evil. 

Now it’s up to twelve
year-old Jack Dahlgren to unravel the age-old mystery and save his family from
the hateful beast that haunts the island. 

With the help of
newfound friend, Manny, a Native American shaman, and an elusive Giant Mastiff,
Jack must piece together the clues of the Lost Colony to discover what really
happened. Shrouded in ancient Native American folklore, it’s up to Jack to
uncover what the evil is and why it haunts his island.

But can he destroy
it…before it destroys him?

Buy it now:
Find out more at:

Capable of Murder by Brian Kavanagh

The first book introduces amateur sleuth, Belinda Lawrence and begins her adventures.
Capable of Murder
Brian Kavanagh

The old lady’s decaying body lay at the foot of the stairs.
The police believe it was simply an accidental fall that killed great-aunt Jane.

But was it?

Young Australian, Belinda Lawrence is convinced it was murder and when she
inherits her great-aunt’s ancient cottage and garden on the outskirts of Bath,
England, she finds herself deep in a taut mystery surrounding her legacy.

A secret room. Unknown intruders. A hidden ancient document. They all
contribute to the mounting dread.

A second vicious murder by a ruthless killer intensifies the tension and
Belinda, now under threat herself, is befriended by two charming men: her
neighbour Jacob and real-estate agent Mark Sallinger. But can she trust them?
And what interest has befuddled antique dealer Hazel Whitby in the cottage?

Could one of them be the killer?

An excellent example of a time-honoured English village murder mystery with a
lively young heroine pitting her intellect against an evil killer, both bent on
solving the riddle of an ancient garden. An inventive puzzle glazed with wit
and the first of the Belinda Lawrence series. 

Purchase: BeWrite Books