Ten Things You Don’t Know About Writers by Amy Impellizzeri – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Amy Impellizzeri will be awarding a signed copy of the book (US Only) and a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

10 Things You Don’t Know About Writers

1) They read reviews.
Even if they say they don’t. They do.

2) They LOVE to read. The best writers read a lot. All genres. Every genre. In fact, they have to actually – and reluctantly! – take a hiatus from reading when they are in the throes of a writing project.

3) They need thesauruses.
In an early version of Lemongrass Hope, my editor found 147 instances of people
“whispering.” PLEASE NO MORE WHISPERING she wrote in exasperation. I’ve heard
similar stories from writers whose characters can’t stop sighing, glancing, gasping, and more!

4) They would still write whether or not anyone actually reads their work.
(But they like it better when you do!)

5) They don’t do it for the money.
Very few authors get crazy rich writing books. (This does not apply to E. L. James or J. K. Rowling.)

6) They do often work in their pajamas.
Or in my case, in my never-actually-been-to yoga pants.

7) They have day jobs.
Emerging and new authors often have to supplement income with freelance writing, copy-editing, or day jobs that have nothing to do with writing at all. The day I stepped down from my VP position at the start-up company I loved, to write full-time, was bittersweet, but also a HUGE gratitude moment for me.

8) They eavesdrop.
Fiction writers – especially when in the middle of a work-in-progress – are almost always living with characters in their head. When they overhear some funny or juicy piece of conversation in the coffee shop, you can be sure I (ahem, they!) are jotting down notes to incorporate into their work at some point.

9) They change (and sometimes forget!) character names.
In Lemongrass Hope, Celeste had about three different names in the initial manuscript before I settled on Celeste. I was constantly “finding and replacing.”

I’ve heard many stories of writers forgetting the names of the characters and switching them inadvertently halfway through the initial manuscript before the editors get hold of it.

10) They grow sour cherries, pears, and grapes on the side.
(Ok, that one might just be me.)

Layout 1 (Page 1)Set in the past, and present, LEMONGRASS HOPE is a captivating and unpredictable love story, with a dose of magical realism and time travel. LEMONGRASS HOPE weaves together ordinary lives and events to tell an extraordinary tale of connection, loss, renewal, and of course, hope. As Kate Sutton’s decade-long marriage to Rob erodes and unravels, Kate fears that the secrets she guards from the world, including Rob’s emergency room proposal, and a whirlwind love affair from her past, have always doomed her fate. When Kate unwittingly receives a glimpse at what her life could have been had she made different choices all those years ago, it is indeed all she could have ever wanted. A confirmation of her greatest hope … and her greatest fears. Read the book hailed by New York Times Best-selling authors and reviewers, including Jacquelyn Mitchard, Oprah’s very first book club selection author.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“It seems you did not actually read my amazing piece on all of this in Time Travel, Inc.”

Kate laughed. “Is that for real? The real name of your magazine?”

“Well, yes. Seems it caused a bit of confusion with my Botswanan guide, as well. He saw me faxing some notes back to my editor and asked if I was really writing about time travel.”

“So you told him yes, naturally.”

“I actually did.” Ian looked only mildly sheepish when he said this.

“Anyway, that Botswanan guide invited me to drinks the next day. They make a drink down there from the fruit of the marula tree. It’s known to cure disease and do all sorts of things. So, over this decadent marula tree booze, my guide told me a story of a mystic in the delta who swears that through some combination of the fermented marula tree fruit and Botswanan agate, he can make things happen.”

“What things?”

“Well, time travel, of course.”

For a moment, Kate thought Ian was mocking her, or perhaps was a complete lunatic, but then he burst out laughing. “I know, crazy right? That’s what marula drink will do to you. At any rate, I have spent the last six months trying to convince my editor that there is another story down there in the delta – something about the mystic and the agate and the marula. And I’ve finally succeeded. If nothing else, I’m going to treat myself to one helluva marula drunk.”

Kate stopped eating and blinked hard at her plate of curry. She could not help but wonder what it would be like to drink marula booze in the Botswanan delta with this handsome man who seemed like he just might believe in time travel.

And who was making her want to believe as well.

Watch the book video:

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_LemongrassHopeAmy Impellizzeri is a reformed corporate litigator, former start-up executive, and best-selling author. In 2009, she left her 13-year litigation career to write and advocate for working women, later joining the executive team of the award-winning website, Hybrid Her (named by ForbesWoman as a “Top Website for Women” in 2010 and 2011). Through her work at Hybrid Her, and as Vice President, Community & Content, for its later re-brand, ShopFunder, Amy worked closely with hundreds of creative and inspiring entrepreneurs and fundraisers, writing and marketing their stories to new audiences.

In October 2014, Amy transitioned to full-time writer, with the publication of her first novel, Lemongrass Hope (Wyatt-MacKenzie 2014), which debuted as an Amazon best-seller (Romance/Fantasy and Romance/Time Travel). Oprah’s very first Book Club Selection author and New York Times #1 Best-Selling Author, Jacquelyn Mitchard, has called Lemongrass Hope a “fine and fresh thing – a truly new story.” Lemongrass Hope was featured by Library Journal and Foreword Reviews Magazine, and has been a favorite with Book Clubs and numerous Book Bloggers (including as the #1 favorite reviewed selection in 2014 by The Literary Connoisseur). Lemongrass Hope was recently selected as an INDIEFAB 2014 Book of the Year Finalist (Romance) by Foreword Reviews Magazine.

Amy’s first non-fiction book, Lawyer Interrupted (ABA Publishing 2015), is due out Summer 2015. Her essays and articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, ABA Law Practice Today, The Glass Hammer, Divine Caroline, Skirt! Magazine, among more.

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Uncovering Secrets by Barbara Hinske – Cover Reveal and Giveaway

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This post is part of a cover reveal organized by Goddess Fish Promotions, for the third book in the Rosemont series by Barbara Hinske, Uncovering Secrets. Barbara will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Without further ado, here’s Barbara’s beautiful cover:

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Mayor Maggie Martin is knee-deep in the financial problems facing Westbury. The investigation into the fraud and embezzlement that created these problems is going nowhere and she’s on the hot seat to produce results. The bad guys are always one step ahead, with bribes and blackmail at their disposal. Her late husband’s mistress also has an ace to play against Frank Haynes. But will he slip through the net once again?

Meanwhile, Rosemont’s attic gives up its secrets; some welcome, some not. Will Frank Haynes establish his claim to Rosemont?

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_UncoveringSecretsBarbara Hinske is a practicing attorney in Phoenix, Arizona. She has two grown children with her exceedingly kind and good second husband, who died of cancer in 2006. Lucky in love, Barb married another exceptional man and father of two in 2010, and they live in their own Rosemont with two adorable and spoiled dogs.

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Buy the first two books in the series at Amazon: Coming to Rosemont and Weaving the Strands.

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Something Like This by Eileen Cruz Coleman – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Eileen will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_SomethingLikeThisTwenty-three-year old Jadie Santiago has a secret.

One morning on her way to work she stops to offer a homeless man a bottle of water. As she meets the man’s eyes, Jadie instantly recognizes they belong to her father, whom she hasn’t seen since she was sixteen. Unable to accept the truth of her encounter, Jadie flees, hoping eventually to forget the experience and continue leading a normal life.

But then she meets Reece, an aspiring writer with a mysterious past who is set on capturing Jadie’s affection. Jadie wants nothing more than to give her heart to Reece, but her broken past and crippling secret keep her from surrendering it to him fully.

Things won’t come easy to Jadie as she fights for her place in the world, but there is strength in her, and she is determined never to stop struggling for what so many others have: love, happiness, and a sense of belonging.

Enjoy an excerpt:

I ran my fingers down the sides of my dress. Wow, could I be more obvious? Here I was trying to fix myself up in front of a complete stranger, who for some reason was making me very nervous. “Oh, well, why are you here?” I managed to spit out.

He winked at me. “To see you.”

Yep, I’m going to faint right here in front of him.

“Oh?”

“I came to ask you if you’ve changed your mind about having lunch with me.”

I swallowed and forced my cheeks not to blush. “I have a busy day today…I’m not sure I can take lunch.” I lied. Mr. Walker didn’t have a single appointment on his schedule. And on days when he had a clear schedule, he often came in late or took a longer than usual lunch.

“I know for a fact you can take lunch today. I called my uncle and asked him.”

“What?”

“Don’t take it the wrong way. I’m not stalking you or anything.”

“You called my boss about my schedule. Why would I think you’re stalking me? What you did is completely normal. Yep, totally normal.”

He crossed his arms. “Maybe it comes across a little weird.” Then he uncrossed his arms.

“Look, I’m a good guy. All I’m asking is for you to let me take you to lunch. One hour, less, if you want, and then you can see for yourself whether or not I’m some crazy stalker, which I assure you, I’m not.”

I looked him up and down and gave in. “I’ll agree to coffee and if that goes well…”

He smiled. “Coffee it is.”

“Come back tomorrow morning,” I said, taking my handbag off my chair and placing it on my desk.

“What’s wrong with now?”

I sat down and pulled myself close to my desk. “I just got here.”

“Oh, come on, you’ll only be gone a few minutes.” He gave Mr. Walker’s door a glance. “My uncle isn’t even in yet.”

Sighing, I said, “Twenty minutes, and if I get fired over this…”

“You won’t get fired, I promise.”

Grabbing my purse, I stood. “Where shall we go?”

My stomach started aching. Had I known Reece was going to surprise me, I would have called in sick.

“There’s a place down the street just past the train tracks,” he said.

My heart melted and slid to my toes. We’d have to pass my father. “I’d rather not go to that one.”

“Why not?”

I cleared my throat. “I would rather we not go to that one. Is that okay?”

“There’s one across the street. You okay with going there?”

I nodded.

“We’re off to a good start,” he said.

“What makes you say that?”

“We haven’t even been on a date and I already know something about you.”

“And what is that?”

“You’re very particular about where you get your coffee from.”

About the Author: Eileen Cruz Coleman was born in Washington, D.C. to an immigrant El Salvadoran mother and a Puerto Rican father. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in History. Her short stories have appeared in numerous literary journals both online and in print. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.

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Top Five Books by George T. Chronis – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. George will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

“TOP FIVE” BOOKS OF ALL TIME ¬– GEORGE T. CHRONIS

Let me preface this list by saying these are my personal choices not the five best books based in any objective criteria. These five say something about what kinds of stories I appreciate and something about me as a person. So without further adieu…

#5: Foucault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco

Part of my daily routine is finding time to have an interesting conversation with someone. Every once in a while the topic will stray into philosophy, science or the metaphysical. Those are fun discussions, and during a time of my life I was having quite a few of them I read Foucault’s Pendulum. The book sort of wraps all of these arcane subjects into a conspiracy story in a fascinating fashion that was a great read. It was like all of these esoteric conversations came alive in a way that had me looking over my shoulder. Definitely not for everyone but if you are into this stuff it is a great ride.

#4: Inherit the Stars, James P. Hogan

Okay, you do not read Hogan for grammatical flourish or rich character development. Yet the man had a knack for conjuring up these amazing science fiction stories that teased the mind, and in their own way, were very visual in concept. Inherit the Stars was the first of his novels published that I found it my first year of college and could not put down. The plot is something of a detective story. In the near future, a survey team on the moon finds a dead fellow in space suit stuffed back in a rock crevice. By the look of it he has been dead a while. Under examination back at base, they nickname him Charlie. The features of his suit are kind of weird. The design is perfectly understandable but doesn’t fit standards present or past, and can’t be placed with any known suit made in the past. Then comes the big head scratcher after the carbon dating results come in. Charlie is 50,000 years old. His DNA is totally human – he can only come from Earth. So how did this guy die on the moon 50,000 years ago when modern humans were competing with the Neanderthals?

#3: Memoirs of Service Afloat During the War Between the States, Raphael Semmes

Although not fiction, the voyage of the C.S.S. Alabama is one of the great American stories. Semmes was her captain and a sly rapscallion who tells of the multi-year expedition to raid Union shipping from the Atlantic coast, Gulf of Mexico, South America, the South Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, South Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and back until bottled up at Cherbourg, France. With no escape possible, Semmes challenges the captain of the U.S.S. Kearsarge to a ship-to-ship duel. This is simply an amazing narrative and a fascinating window on American politics and points of view during the Civil War. You have to get past that Semmes is a man who resigned his naval commission to fight for the South and thinks this is a just cause. But he is a prickly type who is not what you expect. Also a lawyer, he goes on tangents regarding legal justifications the North employs to justify its actions. Seeing hypocrisy in how the Union confiscates slaves in Southern states as contraband of war in order to free them while ignoring slaves in Northern states, Semmes takes the first opportunity to liberate a young slave from his Maryland owner using the same pretext. The kid is given the choice of being put off at the port of call of his choosing or joining the crew, and the youngster chooses to become a paid member of the crew. Only recently did I learn that there is an old folk song they still sing in Cape Town about the return of the Alabama. The ditty has nothing to do with the politics of slavery but about the captured libations and food stores Semmes brought back to be sold off that made their way to the local population.

#2: The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett

The 1930s is an era I adore and The Maltese Falcon is a complete gem that never gets old or seems dated. Hammett sets the ground rules for all the detective fiction and Film Noir exposés that came later. There is an immediacy and drive to first-person pulp fiction that I find hard to resist. You can see the same virtues in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars. Hammett paints a world full of greed and avarice that is dark, grimy and completely alive. And he gives us a hero in Sam Spade who is hardened, rough around the edges and not exactly virtuous… yet completely irresistible.

#1: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne

Forget about the Disney movie, read the original material. Nemo is one of the great tortured villains ever written. He is one man at war with the British Empire and you can’t discount his reasons. There are huge doses of politics and moral outrage at play in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and in many ways modern readers have a hard time understanding why the guy is so pissed off. Not that the reasons are not presented, but that we lack the context. For example, I don’t remember being taught in school that the industrial revolution in Great Britain was funded by plunder from India. The history books I remember reading attributed the Industrial Revolution solely to the innate creativity and natural talents of the British. You have to read something like The Law of Civilization and Decay by Brooks Adams to learn differently. Nemo is a man whose entire life has been plundered by the British and he is out for payback. It is a rich and compelling character study that still haunts me.

MediaKit_BookCover_SudetenlandSudetenland is the premiere novel by author George T. Chronis. The book delivers suspenseful and sweeping historical fiction set against Central European intrigue during the late 1930s leading up to 1938’s Munich Conference. Having swallowed up Austria, Adolph Hitler now covets Czechoslovakian territory. Only France has the power to stand beside the government in Prague against Germany… but will she? The characters are the smart and sometimes wise-cracking men and women of this era – the foreign correspondents, intelligence officers, diplomats and career military – who are on the front lines of that decade’s most dangerous political crisis. If Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš ignores the advice of French premier Édouard Daladier and refuses to give up Bohemian territory willingly, then Hitler orders that it be taken by force. The novel takes readers behind the scenes into the deliberations and high drama taking place within major European capitals such as Prague, Paris, Berlin, Vienna and London as the continent hurtles toward the crucible of a shooting war.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Ros strutted into Lasky’s office, coming to a dead end in front of the wood desk that was as long as Rhode Island. She tapped the sole of her shoe on the floor impatiently while Lasky bellowed at someone else in the newsroom. At least the afternoon view over Manhattan was pleasing. Blowing in like a foul wind, Lasky slammed the door and walked right past her.

“Boss, I’m sorry to run a little fast with your image back there,” Ros offered up in appeasement.

Still rounding his desk, Lasky shook her off with a wave of his hand. “Forget it. That’s not why you’re here. I have a job for you.”

Wondering whether she should be concerned or happy, Ros decided to play along. “What kind of job?”

Sitting down, Lasky rifled through some paperwork until he found the document he was looking for.

“Yeah, go find this guy Lester downstairs, he’ll get you all set up. Lodging, fares, advances, the whole low-down,” Lasky finished, handing her the form.

“Who’s Lester? What are you talking about? Where am I going?” she blurted out before taking a wild glance at the paperwork.

Lasky thought if he could keep Ros distracted, maybe he could get the problem child on the boat before she could cry about needing a raise. He reached out and grabbed the form back. Throwing it on the desktop, Lasky signed the paper with his fountain pen.

Done, he thrust the page back at Ros. “Paris. I’m sending you to Paris.”

Ros looked down at the form, then at Lasky, then back at the form. “I’m going to Paris? When did someone around here start liking me?”

“Stop dreaming, no one around here likes you,” Lasky taunted her while he walked back around to the front of his desk. “That screwy Miranda just stabbed me in the back. She found herself some guy over there, got married, and now she’s running off to some French island in the Caribbean. I need someone to pick up the pieces in Paris. That’s you.”

“Just slow down. Miranda got hitched?” all of the angles weren’t coming together in Ros’ head.

“Yeah, nice announcement: Hi Harry, I got married, and I quit,” Lasky mimicked a feminine voice. These damn ditzy broads were always letting him down. But Ros showed promise. Pointing his finger repeatedly at her nose, he continued his rant. “Miranda left me high and dry, so I’m sending you to pick up the pieces. You, I don’t have to worry about. With that mouth, no one is going to be marrying you.”

“Harry!” Ros yelled indignantly. “You’re not painting a very enticing picture for me here. What if I don’t want to go to Paris?”

Lasky stared at her incredulously. “Who doesn’t want to go to Paris? Any one of those stooges out there would kill to go to Paris but none of them have what you’ve got.”

With her natural skepticism starting to boil over, Ros leaned in closer and started jabbing Lasky in the shoulder with two fingers, slowly backing him up against the desk.

“I know what you’re up to Harry,” her tone low and threatening. “Miranda was on a fashion beat. That means to you the only thing I got that those mugs out there don’t have, is boobs. It’s another glorified gossip beat, you rat!”

“It’s Paris! C’mon, every woman wants to go to Paris,” Lasky shouted in his defense.

“That’s not the point,” Ros continued poking him. “I’m tired of going to county fairs. I’m tired of the only labor unrest stories coming my way having to be in washing machine factories. I’m tired of reporting on this ditzy socialite, and that boring dolt of a millionaire. I want a real beat like a real reporter, Harry. I can do the job just as good, or better, as those guys out there and I cost less.”

“Stop trying to get on my good side,” Lasky retorted, readying his counter attack. He hadn’t expected this much of a fight. But he needed her and he couldn’t run the risk of her bolting.

“Listen, give me a chance here. You’re the only person I’ve got who can jump in and take over for Miranda. But you’re also a hell of a lot better than she is… err, was. You won’t have to work as hard to cover her beat. In case you haven’t noticed, between the Nazis and Mussolini, there’s one crisis after another going on over in Europe. I’m sure there’s going to be some important stories Walter and our boys won’t be able to get to. What you do with your free time is up to you.”

Somewhere in there were a couple of compliments, but she wasn’t going to let him twist free that easily. Paris did sound kind of nice, and he was throwing her a bone in the way of real work, but Ros was sure the beat would take up more time than Lasky was promising, and she wanted something else from him… for pride, and because she could. So Ros just silently stared Lasky down, daring him to add one more carrot to get her to sign on.

“Okay, and I’ll throw in a raise,” Lasky conceded after a long standoff.

“Done!” Ros threw her arm out to shake hands with Lasky to seal the deal.

About the Author: MediaKit_BookCover_SudetenlandAfter years as a journalist and magazine editor, George T. Chronis decided to return to his lifelong passion, storytelling. A lover of both 1930s cinema and world history, Chronis is now devoted to bringing life to the mid-20th Century fictional narratives that have been in his thoughts for years. Sudetenland is his first novel. Taking place during turbulent times in Central Europe during the 1930s, the book took eight years to research and write. The author is already hard at work on his second novel.

Chronis is married with two daughters, and lives with his wife in a Southern California mountain community.

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Character Interview with Libby from Adding Lib by Kathryn Elliott – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Kathryn Elliott, author of the women’s fiction Adding Lib has stopped by with a character interview with Libby.

Welcome Libby! Tell the folks a little bit about your home life?

Why, don’t they have cable?

Fine, but I’m not all that exciting. I’m married; my husband Bo is a public defender and sexual God. (I had to say that so he’ll finish mowing the damn lawn.) We’ve got two kids, Shannon is thirteen and blissfully hormonal, while Charlie thinks second grade is the perfect place to exert his independence and declare war on bathing. Oh, and we’ve got a dog, Stump. He’s a rescue with flatulence issues. Yeah, we didn’t know that at the pound – not the kind of thing they disclose to eager adopters blinded by Labrador cuteness.

Then there’s my mother, Mae. (Insert ominous music here.)

Uh oh, how is your relationship with Mae?

Until a few weeks ago it was the typical mother-daughter stuff. Nagging, good-hearted teasing, nothing done without equal doses of love and laughter, but she’s getting strange – secretive almost, like she needs to tell me something but can’t find the words; even Jesus noticed. (Jesus is my pet name for my older brother, Sean. Mom treats him like the second coming – my younger brother Kevin and I feed the divine stereotyping at every opportunity.)

Mom asked me to take her to see a neurologist next week. Actually, she asked me more than once; that’s part of the problem. I mean I know it’s normal to get forgetful as we age – but there is something bigger going on.

Don’t misunderstand, Mom isn’t wearing her bra on the outside or anything like that, it’s just little things, out of place things. Caroline mentioned it the other day, too.

Who’s Caroline?

Oh, Car and I have been best friends since before we had permanent teeth. We met in second grade at Immaculate Conception Elementary and we’ve been raising hell ever since. She’s an honorary part of the family, always has been. She moved back to town after finally divorcing Steve-The-Schmuck; the man was a tool – good riddance! We all love having her back.

Well, that’s not exactly true.

Sean’s been an ass to Car the last few times we’ve all gotten together and I haven’t got a clue why. Wonder what’s up with that? If I didn’t know better I’d think they were hooking up but that’s just creepy. My brother and my best friend? Gross. I’m sure Mom would, LOVE it though; she’s tried to marry Sean off to every woman within a 100 mile radius. And let me tell you, the pickings in Rhyme, Connecticut are slim. Poor guy is swimming in a shallow dating pool – it ain’t pretty.

It sounds like life keeps you fairly busy; do you work outside the home?

Never harder than inside, but yes, I’m a librarian. Sexy, right? My boss, Dolores is a cardigan and pearl-clutching stickler for rules and regulations – a late-fee sadist, overdue fines get her hot. Last week someone slipped a DVD in the overnight drop slot two days tardy and she nearly fainted with glee- audio visual materials are double. Swear to God, I thought she was going to need an hour alone with Modern Senior Man and a refill on the estrogen pills.

What one piece of advice do you have for other women trying to balance it all?

Don’t.

You can’t.

I gave up worrying what other people think of me a long time ago and decided there’s no right or wrong way to live life – only your way. Sometimes that gels with the rest of the world, and sometimes you need to tell the PTO president to stick her bake sale in a body cavity and focus on family; family comes first, always – even my crazy bunch. We may not be perfect, but we know how to laugh, and life is better with laughter.

Thanks for stopping by, Libby. Anything else to add?

Nope, and it was my pleasure! But I need to get back to my chaos – if I leave Bob in charge too long Cub Scout meetings turn into Lord of the Flies reenactments.

Libby O’Rourke has a short fuse. Her mother, Mae, carries a big match. Engulfed in the never-ending life-juggling of suburbia, Libby fails to notice Mae’s emerging dementia symptoms until a kitchen fire puts the problem on the front burner.

Proficient in the art of denial, Mae brushes the shattering diagnosis aside and sets her sights on a matchmaking crusade for her eldest son. After all, if her lucid days are numbered, Mae’s going to make damned sure he makes it down the aisle while she still recognizes the groom.

It’s going to take a razor wit and an iron stomach to handle Mae’s diagnosis. Thankfully, just like her mother Libby has both.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Libby felt the weight of the coming conversation bear down on her shoulders like a lead blanket and struggled to find the right words.

“It’s all right, Libby,” Mae said, interrupting her thoughts. “Say what you need to. We’re here for a reason. We both know it.”

Shocked by her mother’s perception, Libby stared at Mae.

The older woman’s eyes were moist but holding back. She continued. “Spit it out, honey. I won’t have a public tantrum. It’s obvious you have something important to talk to me about, and I think you’ve delayed long enough.”

Libby’s shoulders slumped. “How’d you know?”

“Well, let’s examine the facts…” Mae grinned despite the gravity of the moment. “You took me to church, plied me with brunch, and now you’re standing there biting your bottom lip raw. Daddy used to call that your tell. We always knew something was wrong if your bottom lip looked like it had a run-in with a cheese grater.”

“Huh?” Libby ran her tongue over her bottom lip. “I never noticed.”

“In your teens, we were pretty sure you were going to bite clean through it,” Mae joked. “At least your nervous habit isn’t offensive; whenever Kevin lies, he grabs his testicles. Since the day he was born that boy treated his penis like an accessory. It’s terribly inappropriate, especially at parties.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathryn Elliott is a lifetime journalist with awards in political satire, human interest, and commentary. A Connecticut native, she is a happily married mother of two sons with high hopes one of them will pay for a delightful rest home.

A true believer in laughter’s healing power, Kathryn writes characters whose flaws resonate with readers long after “The End.”

ADDING LIB is her debut novel, and the first in The McGinn Series.

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Hope, Feathers, and Blogging: Advice for Being a Writer Today by Scott D. Southard – Guest Post and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. NOTE: the book is on sale for $1.99 during the course of the tour!

Hope, Feathers, and Blogging: Advice for Being a Writer Today
Scott D. Southard
Being a writer is not easy.

I’ve been chasing this dream since I was a teenager. I have had three different agents in my time, worked with numerous publishers and I have had highs (for example, the publication of my new novel Permanent Spring Showers) and lows. I’ve gotten close to achieving some of my dreams, and I’ve fallen a few times from them as well. There was even a point where I walked away from writing for four years.

Four years.

That is not to say I wasn’t getting ideas during that time and still dreaming something might happen, I was just exhausted and nothing felt worth the inevitable disappointment that I was sure would follow. Everything looked like a negative query letter waiting to happen. Yeah, I was fun to be around.

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The market today is congested. It could be argued that there are more writers than readers out there, especially with the explosion of indie presses, eBooks, and self-publishing. In many ways, I think this shows a strong future for the artform, but right now it is a lot of noise and it is hard for readers sometimes to find those new voices in the masses. In time, the right filters will come in and it will be easier to sort; that just hasn’t happened yet. So our books hide in the search pages on Amazon and we authors wait with bated breath.

Also, there are less agents and bigger publishers willing to take a chance on a new voice (especially one daring to do something truly innovative). The agents take a risk with each new author they sign, and publishing houses are based on business models. In other words, you need to prove almost that your work is sellable and will not be a loss for them. I think that, right there, is one of the reasons so many complain about how so many books feel the same on the market. It’s like how Apple creates an iPad and suddenly every company wants to make a tablet.

Honestly, tablets are pretty cool, but you get where I’m going.

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From time to time I will answer a question from a new writer (when I’m speaking at a writing event or at a college), seeking advice for how they can succeed in their own writing dream. While a part of me wants to tell them it is all about luck (like winning the lottery or, as in the world of publishing, being Anne Rice’s or Stephen King’s kids), that is not always entirely true.

The fact is that in today’s writing world, I have found that if you want to be an author, you need to focus on your own career first. What I mean is, you need to convince an agent or publisher that you are even worthy of their time to review even a snippet of a manuscript. Yes, you need something beyond the fiction to back up the query letter.

What has worked for me, and what I would recommend to other writers hoping to find a readership is… start a blog.

A blog is great practice (you want to see if you have the chops to be a writer, keep an active blog for a year and get back to me) and a blog will give you actual data that you can use to find that agent or publisher. I started my blog (The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard at sdsouthard.com) over two years ago and it has really turned things around for me as an author.

That is not to say this is easy, you need to generate a lot of posts and they have to be more than just on one thing. You need to have a voice so that the people following you feel that they know you. I’m not saying you have to share every aspect of your life, but you need to share enough so people feel they are along with you on a journey.

For some that might sound scary, exposing yourself like that (and aren’t many of us introverts, really?), but for me I still find it empowering. And because of that blog, I have had my social media accounts skyrocket. For example, I have over 35,000 twitter followers. Sure, some of those found me simply because I am a writer, but many went on to find my website and then my own writing. I have the data.

And how about this- my twitter and blog introduced me to the publisher of my novel A Jane Austen Daydream and to the publisher of my new novel Permanent Spring Showers. Neither of those books today would be on the market without my blog.

There are few guarantees about anything in the writing world, but a blog is… a piece of awesomeness.

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If my own kids were to come up to me and say they want to be an author, I’m not sure what I would say exactly.

I’d probably have a heart to heart about how difficult the field is, but I think a person should follow their passion. Life is short, why spend it doing something you don’t want to? And for as much as I have had highs and lows, I’ve always followed my heart on this and it is really hard for me to look back at my life as a missed opportunity. They are all part of the path I’ve chosen.

Yeah, I would say I’m living the life of an author, it is just different than what it traditionally has been viewed as. And I still have hope that my career will continue to grow, and hope is a powerful thing. Emily Dickinson said hope is the thing with feathers. The trick really is sometimes learning to recognize the feathers. I recognize my blog as one of them.

Professor Rebecca Stanley-Wilson is having a very bad season. The ramifications of one torrid evening with one of the great upcoming painters of his generation, will not only be felt across her life but over the entire art world. Sexy, funny, and very surprising, Permanent Spring Showers is the tale of one very memorable springtime and how it impacts a group of unique artists and dreamers. From the the hopeful Olympian with the failing marriage to the writer who is creating a new literary movement (through outright manipulation) to the romantic wondering what he did wrong to drive away the love of his life, each tale walks the line between reality and fantasy. And waiting at the end of the line is a very important painting… and possibly the revolver used in the Lincoln Assassination.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“What are you thinking? She’s an escort!”

“I’m in love, Steve. After sitting through the first twenty minutes of this lunch, it’s obvious you certainly still remember what that feeling is like.” He pushed his plate forward.

“But Clark…” I began.

He interrupted, “And it’s not like she wants to do that her entire life, Steve, if that is what is troubling you. She is doing it to pay for college.”

I stopped, the car of my mind shifting gears again. “Wait, did you say ‘is’? Do you mean she is still doing it?”

“Well, times are tough all over,” Clark replied far too calmly for my taste. “Have you seen college tuition rates this year?”

“And she’s really in college?” I asked, shocked. I began to wonder if I was on one of those TV shows and a camera was hidden in a bush nearby me.

My shock was perfectly mirrored by the opposite reflection of the casualness of my brother.

“You didn’t think I would marry an idiot did you, Steve? I need to be mentally challenged, you know that. She is studying education; her dream’s to teach third graders.”

“You’re engaged to a hooker…”

“Escort,” he corrected quickly for a third time.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said sarcastically. “You are engaged to an active escort who wants to be an elementary school teacher?”

“Yes,” Clark said with a dramatic point across the table at me. “And Steve, this is where you come in. You need to help me introduce her to mom and dad.”

Scott D. Southard is the author of A Jane Austen Daydream, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, My Problem With Doors, Megan, 3 Days in Rome and Me Stuff in addition to his latest release, Permanent Spring Showers. His eclectic writing has also found its way into radio, as Scott was the creator of the radio comedy series The Dante Experience. The production was honored with the Golden Headset Award for Best MultiCast Audio and the Silver Ogle Award for Best Fantasy Audio Production. Scott received his Master’s in writing from the University of Southern California. Scott can be found on the internet via his writing blog “The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard” where he writes on topics ranging from writing, art, books, TV, writing, parenting, life, movies, and writing. He even shares original fiction on the site. His blog can be found at http://sdsouthard.com. Scott is also the fiction book reviewer for WKAR’s daily radio show Current State.

Buy the book at Amazon, iTunes, Smashwords, or Barnes and Noble.

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The Background of Love Target by Heidi Loeb Hegerich – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Heidi Loeb Hegerich will be awarding $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Background of Love Target

The background of LOVE TARGET is simple: It is the story of the first 35 years of my own life. However, it is a memoir novel — meaning that the times and locations the story is set in, and the events and primary people involved, are essential elements in the story.

If I boiled down the story into one sentence, it would read: A young German immigrant in swinging 1960s Las Vegas and New York works as a showgirl and aspiring model while being romantically pursued by an endless procession of powerful men — all the time yearning to settle down with one true love.

LOVE TARGET is a romance novel and a historical novel. To write it, I not only had to delve deeply into my memory banks to unearth faces and voices, incidents and feelings from decades past, but I had to do research to validate and authenticate the details used in scenes sketched in specific places and points in time. What did parades look and sound like in New Orleans’ French Quarter during Mardi Gras of 1964? How did Bobby Kennedy look and talk when he was U.S. attorney general on the hunt for mobsters (and on the make for attractive women)? What brand and style of guitar did Elvis strum? How did hipsters dress at the Peppermint Lounge? And on and on and on.

I did change the names of certain characters and business establishments, and invented names for others, but they were all in keeping with the people and times they are set in. The result — I hope — is a novel that not only takes readers on a ride through a romantic odyssey, but also on a trip through Vegas, New York and other locales during the swinging 1960s and ’70s.

I am confident that the story resonates with the ring of truth, because — after all — I lived it, baby! If readers come away with a strong sense of having experienced those eras the way I did, I have done my job as an author.

MediaKit_BookCover_LoveTargetTeenager Ingrid Liebschreiber is devastated when her parents move the family from their native Munich to Los Angeles in the late 1950s. Homesick, she accepts a neighbor’s offer to get her a job as a showgirl in Las Vegas.

Intent on earning enough money to return to Germany, she must grow up quickly in the neon jungle – where she is pursued by high rollers and headliners, including a vacationing Elvis.

Life’s twists and turns land Ingrid in New York in the Swinging 1960s – where she is romanced by Armand: a strong, quiet, handsome businessman in “construction.” Most girls dream of Mr. Right, and Ingrid’s hard-won independence is challenged when she falls in love.

Will she find true romance – a man who can love her as much as she loves him? Or is “happily ever after” just a crazy fairytale?

Enjoy an excerpt:

The witch stared past me, lost in thought. Then she shook her head.

“I don’t know,” she began, haltingly. “There will be a man, a husband. Somebody that you’ve known. Somebody” — her voice rose — “with dark hair! And . . . eyes that are lighter. Maybe blue.”

“I don’t know who this man could be,” I said to the witch.

“Trust me,” she said confidently. “Do you have any photographs in your wallet of who this man could be?”

I didn’t have a photo of David. But it didn’t matter, since he was married.

I fished out a photograph of Armand.

The witch held it up in her crooked fingers in front of her hooked nose. She twisted her neck, turning her head this way and that, peering curiously at the photo from different angles.

She handed it back.

“You should have never been with this man!”

I shrugged. “I wish I knew who this mystery man could be.”

“It is not important,” the witch said. “You will know in good time. You can bring him into your life. And I want you to do something.”

She rummaged on a shelf and removed several objects.

“Take these two candles. Write an affirmation on a slip of paper saying that you will be with this man with dark hair that you’ve known. Then put the paper between the candles, and melt the candles together. Light each one, and when they’re soft, mold them together.”

I took the candles. Well, it couldn’t hurt to try. Might even be fun.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_LoveTargetHeidi Loeb Hegerich has lived in places as varied as Munich, Las Vegas, Miami Beach, New York, Los Angeles, Squaw Valley and Reno. She has worked variously as a showgirl, business executive, entrepreneur, interior designer and real estate developer. She has traveled to six of the seven continents, and vacationed in spots as different as the French Riviera, the Andes and Afghanistan. She counts among her hobbies weight training, shooting assault rifles, and racing sand rails; she found skydiving entertaining but not as much of a rush as other pursuits.

A philanthropist for the arts, among other causes, Hegerich is now embarking on her own artistic quest as an author. The novel Love Target is her first book.

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Read Robin Leach’s book review in Las Vegas Sun newspaper.

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Interview & Giveaway: The New Owners of Torquere Press – Kristi Boulware and Joanna Talbot

torquereLong and Short Reviews welcomes the new owners of Torquere Press, Kristi Boulware and Joanna Talbot, today. Leave a comment – three winners will receive their choice of an ebook from Torquere Press. In addition, you can check out the current Open Call for Anthologies. Enjoy the interview.

Kristi is a Texan girl, through and through. There’s no doubt about it from her accent and Southern style to her thought processes. Joanna is also a Southern girl from Louisiana/Arkansas. Kristi also admitted, “I am a crazy dog lady with seven dogs.”

When Kristi and Joanna are looking at a manuscript, they want to see fully developed characters.

“World building is very important but the characters have to be able to draw some form of emotion for the readers,” they explained. “Whether you love them or hate them there has to be something memorable to them. Also there should be some type of conflict internal or external. Of course also having some great hot sex is always good too!”

They interact with their readers daily through social media.

“We interact with out readers daily through social media. We always love to hear what they have to say whether it be a request for a particular author, a problem with an order, or a suggestion for our shopping cart that we can put into place to make things more user friendly. We address all comments, we also encourage readers to email us at Torquere@torquerepress.com if they need assistance.”

It makes these two ladies happy that they putting out books that anyone and everyone can enjoy.

“We have coming of age stories that can help young people in the GLBT community know it’s okay to be out and proud. We also enjoy hearing that our stories inspire our readers,” Kristi said.

They publish erotic romance, so I asked them how they distinguished between pornography, erotica, and erotic romance.

“When we are vetting stories we distinguish by pornography is sex without story, erotica is a book with a lot of sex some back story but it is centered on the sex, erotic romance is more what we publish with is stories with romance, sex and there must be a happy for now or a happily ever after. We know that in real life there isn’t always HFN or HEA but we want to be able to take our readers into a world where things are okay and end happily.”

Torquere Press also has an imprint, Prizm Books, which publishes young adult, edgy young adult, and new adult – handling all genres in GLBT and mainstream characters. They wanted to have books with characters like the people reading them.

“If there is a closeted GLBT young adult that needs to see there are characters like them that are happy and have a full life that is important to us,” Krisit said. “We have coming out stories for GLBT and mainstream readers of all genres.”

“What do you envision happening in the YA field in the next five to ten years?” I wondered.

“The YA field is growing rapidly and a good majority of the YA readers are adults. As shown from the number of television shows and movies adapted from YA books it shows the field of YA is growing exponentially.”

Finally, I asked, “What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?”

“For a new author just starting out I would say firstly get a beta reader and a critique partner. Not a best friend that won’t be honest with you but someone that will go through your manuscript and give you honest help. Then submit and don’t get discouraged. If you are turned down find out what they think and why? Then keep submitting do not give up! If you are accepted pat yourself on the back and start marketing!!!”

About Torquere Press: Back in 2003, two writers and critique partners were getting tired of being told there was absolutely no market for male/male romance. Publishers all over the country were turning these stories down, but Shawn Clements and Lorna Hinson had been writing for years, and loved the spicy-hot aspect of m/m fiction. They knew other people felt the same way, and on the impetus of an online chat, Torquere Press was born.

Torquere Press has always been about the readers of LGBT romance, providing those readers with great stories about men and women who truly care about each other. Whether novel-length or short story, whether steamy or sweet, Torquere provides readers with the fiction they crave. The catalog has grown from those first five books released in September 2003 to approximately two thousand titles and nearly two hundred authors, including Sean Michael, Chris Owen, Tory Temple, Kiernan Kelly, Mychael Black and Stormy Glenn.

In 2007, Shawn and Lorna launched the Prizm Young Adult line, a labor of love created in the name of giving back to the LGBT community, who has been so supportive of Torquere through the years. Prizm books focus on the experiences of gay teens and young adults. In 2012 Prizm Books opened up to mainstream as well as LGBT stories for young adult and new adult age groups.

Torquere has also supported charities with a short story collections for the last three years, with authors donating their royalties, and Torquere matching those donations 100%.

In 2014 Shawn and Lorna chose to focus on their writing careers and sold the business to the other shareholder in the company Kristi Boulware along with her fiancee’ Joanna Talbot.

Torquere’s tagline has always been, “Romance for the Rest of Us”™ and a lot of people have asked what that means. It means that Torquere pushes the boundaries, providing romance for readers who like to color outside the lines and believe that everyone deserves a happy ending. It means that you can love traditional romance and also embrace differences in life and love. Anyone can enjoy a Torquere Press book as long as they bring an open mind to the bookshelf, and as long as they enjoy a traditional romance with non-traditional characters.
Kristi and Joanna have over 30 years together in experience in the publishing industry, marketing, business management and more. We are very excited to see where Torquere and Prizm go in the next few years with much success. We have been around for over 10 years and are not going anywhere but up.

Twitter – Torquere | Twitter – Prizm Books | Facebook – Torquere | Facebook – Prizm Books
OPEN CALLS FOR ANTHOLOGIES

Our anthology calls are a great place to get your feet wet with a short story, or to explore a theme without committing to a full novella or novel. For all anthology calls, we’re looking for fully realized, romantic LGBT stories about the chosen monthly theme. Make us laugh, make us cry, or surprise us and make us glow with happy endings!

Please send your submissions following the below specified word count to submissions@torquerepress.com with the title of the theme (ie: Torqued Tales) and your story title in the subject field. Please see our general submissions guidelines for formatting etc. Each theme has a title and due date listed on the individual call.
If the completed anthology reaches a minimum word count of 60K, the book may go to print. In that case, payment is a $35 flat fee for first time electronic and print rights for three years, as well as an electronic and print copy of the book. Print rights are reserved for six months. If the print rights are not optioned, all print rights revert to the author.

We’ll also be releasing the story on its own in ebook format. Royalties for the single title electronic version will be 45% net on books sold through Torquere Books and 35% net on books sold through our distributors, again for a period of three years.

FIRST TIMERS – DEADLINE MAY 15

It’s cherry-popping time! Be it a virgin lover under the covers or a virgin cop undercover, nothing stirs that special spot in our hearts (and heats up various other parts of the anatomy) like a first-timer. Send us your stories of first loves, first kinks, first threesomes, first-time parents, first shifts, or first base hits or misses!

Please send your 3000 -10,000 word submissions to submissions@torquerepress.com with “First Timers” and your story title in the subject field. Please see our general submissions guidelines for formatting etc. Deadline for submission is May 15, 2015; all submissions will be held and reviewed after the deadline.

If the completed anthology reaches a minimum word count of 60K, the book may go to print. In that case, payment is a $35 flat fee for first time electronic and print rights for three years, as well as an electronic and print copy of the book. Print rights are reserved for six months. If the print rights are not optioned, all print rights revert to the author.

We’ll also be releasing the story on its own in ebook format. Royalties for the single title electronic version will be 45% net on books sold through Torquere Books and 35% net on books sold through our distributors, again for a period of three years.

EXCHANGE OF POWER – DEADLINE JUNE 15

Even Alphas need to learn a lesson now and then. We’re looking for your sizzling paranormal stories of power exchanges between Doms and subs, Alphas and betas, Tops and bottoms. Maybe your wolf-shifter alpha needs an attitude adjustment from his beta, or a vampire prince needs a reminder of what it was like to be human. Give us your hottest paranormal dynamics flip!

Please send your 3000 -10,000 word submissions to submissions@torquerepress.com with “Exchange of Power” and your story title in the subject field. Please see our general submissions guidelines for formatting etc. Deadline for submission is June 15, 2015; all submissions will be held and reviewed after the deadline.

If the completed anthology reaches a minimum word count of 60K, the book may go to print. In that case, payment is a $35 flat fee for first time electronic and print rights for three years, as well as an electronic and print copy of the book. Print rights are reserved for six months. If the print rights are not optioned, all print rights revert to the author.

We’ll also be releasing the story on its own in ebook format. Royalties for the single title electronic version will be 45% net on books sold through Torquere Books and 35% net on books sold through our distributors, again for a period of three years.

HAUNTED HOTTIES – DEADLINE JULY 15

What’s better than a great ghost story just in time for Halloween? A great ghost LOVE story! From haunted houses to haunted underwear, from howling at the moon to mooning your werewolf lover, there’s no shortage of paranormal creatures to tap for a blazing hot haunting!

Please send your 3000 -10,000 word submissions to submissions@torquerepress.com with “Haunted Hotties” and your story title in the subject field. Please see our general submissions guidelines for formatting etc. Deadline for submission is July 15, 2015; all submissions will be held and reviewed after the deadline.

If the completed anthology reaches a minimum word count of 60K, the book may go to print. In that case, payment is a $35 flat fee for first time electronic and print rights for three years, as well as an electronic and print copy of the book. Print rights are reserved for six months. If the print rights are not optioned, all print rights revert to the author.

We’ll also be releasing the story on its own in ebook format. Royalties for the single title electronic version will be 45% net on books sold through Torquere Books and 35% net on books sold through our distributors, again for a period of three years.

LOVE IN A UNIFORM – DEADLINE AUG 15

Who doesn’t love a man in uniform? All kinds of uniforms can make for sizzling fantasies, including military, police, fire, EMT, postmen, or deliverymen, when they’re stuffed with hot men hungry for a good time!

Please send your 3000 -10,000 word submissions to submissions@torquerepress.com with “Love in a Uniform” and your story title in the subject field. Please see our general submissions guidelines for formatting etc. Deadline for submission is August 15, 2015; all submissions will be held and reviewed after the deadline.

If the completed anthology reaches a minimum word count of 60K, the book may go to print. In that case, payment is a $35 flat fee for first time electronic and print rights for three years, as well as an electronic and print copy of the book. Print rights are reserved for six months. If the print rights are not optioned, all print rights revert to the author.

We’ll also be releasing the story on its own in ebook format. Royalties for the single title electronic version will be 45% net on books sold through Torquere Books and 35% net on books sold through our distributors, again for a period of three years.

HOLIDAY WANT ADS – DEADLINE SEPT 15

Who needs Santa when you have Craig’s List? Maybe your hero’s hunting at a garage sale and finds his perfect mate among the power tools and old golf balls. Or, perhaps he’s put out an ad for a housekeeper, and finds someone he wants to play house with instead! The plots are only as limited as your imagination, and we want to see your hottest Want Ad stories!

Please send your 3000 -10,000 word submissions to submissions@torquerepress.com with “Holiday Want Ads” and your story title in the subject field. Please see our general submissions guidelines for formatting etc. Deadline for submission is September 15, 2015; all submissions will be held and reviewed after the deadline.

If the completed anthology reaches a minimum word count of 60K, the book may go to print. In that case, payment is a $35 flat fee for first time electronic and print rights for three years, as well as an electronic and print copy of the book. Print rights are reserved for six months. If the print rights are not optioned, all print rights revert to the author.

We’ll also be releasing the story on its own in ebook format. Royalties for the single title electronic version will be 45% net on books sold through Torquere Books and 35% net on books sold through our distributors, again for a period of three years.

Return to the interview.

Q&A and Giveaway with Linda Goodnight

Linda Goodnight is visiting Long and Short Reviews to share a special recipe with us and talk to us about her newest release The Memory House. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book.

4_7 Fresh Lemonade

What is the central message of THE MEMORY HOUSE?

THE MEMORY HOUSE explores themes of loss and grief, healing and redemption, and offers perspective on the way people cope when life goes awry. A number of the characters, Eli, Julia, Charlotte, Ben, and Lizzy face deep tragedy, but each one responds differently. When you read it, (as I hope you will), look at the different responses and see which character responds the way you might.

What inspired you to write THE MEMORY HOUSE? Did it start with a character? The place?

The idea for THE MEMORY HOUSE began with a thought that led quickly to a character-Julia. I wondered, when a child goes missing and never returns, how does the family cope? Does every family react the same way? And of course the answer is, no. Individuals react differently, according to their personal make up. As I researched, I discovered warriors like Colleen Nick who start foundations and become activists. I also discovered families who became reclusive, don’t give interviews anymore and shy away from thinking about that horrible day. With that information in mind, I saw Julia Presley trying to put her life back together.

You’re known for writing about families and exploring familial relationships. How does your own family play a part in that?

I’m an extremely family oriented person. Family is what I love, what interests me and I think it’s a common interest most people share. We all have families, whether functional or dysfunctional, big or small, traditional or non. The dynamics in family relationships fascinate me and I love to explore them.

Readers generally comment on your heroes and Eli Donovan is no exception. Reviewers are already commenting on him. Is there a reason, you write such strong male characters?

Writing men has always been easier for me because I grew up with only brothers and a dad who coached baseball. I was surrounded by males every day of my life! To a kid, that’s not a fun thing but later on, I changed my mind. Also, my husband and I share four sons, so with all this testosterone in my life, writing the male perspective comes easier than writing women. Lately, though, I’ve wanted to explore sister relationships and those are growing within the pages of The Honey Ridge Novels.

What’s next?

Currently, I’m hard at work on another time-slip story set in Honey Ridge, Tennessee, THE RAIN SPARROW. Several characters from THE MEMORY HOUSE also appear in THE RAIN SPARROW, a story about facing the truth of a painful past so that it doesn’t ruin the future. There’s much more than that in the story, but that gives you a sneak peak.

Then in November, book 2 of The Buchanon series, a short contemporary romance for Love Inspired releases with The Christmas Family.

4_7 linda goodnightSix years ago, Julia Presley lost everything that mattered, and only the purchase of an antebellum mansion turned bed and breakfast has saved her sanity.

Eli Donovan is a broken man hiding from his shameful past. A small town seems the perfect place to hide and hope that no one learns the truth.

But the old Civil War home and a 19th century mother and son just might make a difference for two wounded souls in search of hope.

About the Author:4_7 Linda Goodnight author photoNY Times and USA Today Bestseller, Linda Goodnight writes novels to touch the heart as well as to entertain. Her stories of hope have won the RITA , the Carol, the Reviewer’s Choice, and numerous other industry awards. A small town girl, Linda remains close to her roots, making her home in rural Oklahoma. She and husband have a blended family of eight, including two teenagers recently adopted from Ukraine. Many of her books are about family and children and rightly so, as she draws her emotional stories from her surroundings, her great love of family, and from personal experiences as a nurse and teacher. Website

Xeranthemum – Meet Our Reviewers and Win Prizes

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Merry Christmas and welcome to a chance to meet our reviewers! Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a grand prize of a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift card, with runnerup prizes of a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card, or one of four book/swag prize packs (US only).

Why did you become a reviewer?

After an initial hesitation, I decided to give it a whirl because I had no friends or relatives that read the genres or the volumes of books that I did. No one to talk to, share the excitement with or share a fan-girl moment when a new book in a series came out.

Reviewing for LASR provided me with book camaraderie – people who understood what it means to have a compulsion to share the awesomeness found within a book’s pages. Reviewing for LASR has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, short of marrying my husband.

What are your favorites genres to read in and why?

I actually prefer cross-genre books. It’s like a great salad – throw in a bit of contemporary splash so I can relate, add a dash of paranormal for the excitement of the unknown, toss in a suspenseful- full-of-action-challenge to overcome, and sprinkle some spicy heat or even some erotic habanero to make me sweat – the combination works well for me.

Recently, I’ve added historical romances and I’ve found that they can be as entertaining as Contemporaries. A lot depends on the voice of the author and whether or not they use a lot of archaic language and notions. I’m not keen on the helpless virginal maiden that is a victim of circumstance throughout the whole book. Today’s historicals seem to find a way for the heroine to show some spunk and feistiness within the constraints of the era. I like reading about a woman with brains and ingenuity.

I’ve pretty much have stayed within the romance genre and have not deviated much beyond that. There have been a couple of YA books that have surprised me, but as a rule, I don’t seek them out.

I’m a glutton for a solid happy ever after.

What book in your youth made a big impression on you and why?

That’s going back decades – it’s all fuzzy. I remember something about kids living in a boxcar but the one I really remember was A Wrinkle in Time. Mrs. Hannigan read that book aloud in class in 5th grade. She had the ability to keep me enthralled and reading time was my favorite part of the day because of it. Before her, no one had ever read a story book out loud. I wasn’t a very good reader back then but she showed me that a book could be exciting, could take me to places, and the world was a much bigger place than I knew.

How I got from A Wrinkle in Time to Romance is a mystery. LOL

Do you have any “bad book habits”? Dog Ear? Reading in the tub or while eating? Breaking the spine?

Bad habit? Probably staying up way too late and suffering for it the next day.

I try to stay away from series books if I’ve not started with the first one, unless I can figure out if a book is truly a standalone – then I might give it a shot. No, wait! I broke my own rule once! I started the Anita Blake series at book # 5 Bloody Bones. I was on a werewolf kick and it popped up in a word search. I didn’t know it was a series – but I was so wowed at the time due to its originality, that I went back and read the whole series – and have been reading it ever since. Bad me.

What do you mean eating and reading at the same time is a bad habit? I do that all the time!

It’s a compulsion – I’ll read the cereal box, a cook book, ingredients list, newspaper, a BOOK, anything while I’m eating. When I don’t, I feel so weird.

I can’t read in the tub, nor dog ear my book because I read mostly on a Nook. Water + Nook = Fried ereader. I’m good to my Nook. However, if I get a paperback at a library sale – I’ve been known to dog-ear it and the spine is usually compromised anyway so no one will EVER know if I do or don’t.

What is one thing we would be most surprised to learn about you?

Some know this, some don’t. I write a blog that gives tips and instruction on writing reviews for reviewers – The Chrysanthemum Connection. After six years, I’ve experienced most of the learning curves but when I was starting out, there was absolutely nothing out there to guide me. Granted, I used LASR as my guide so the advice may not be applicable to every review site out there, but the basics of reminding reviewers about no spoilers, no profanity and always respect the author and their works, and that a review is about the reviewer’s opinions of the book and not the synopsis of the story – I think those are pretty universal. The blog has not been as active as it was when I first started because, wow, was there a lot of ground to cover. Nowadays, I write a post if someone suggests a topic or I come across a new learning curve that I need to share with the reviewers to help them in their own journey.

So that is the one thing I’ve done that not a lot of people know about and I feel very good for having done it.

What is something that makes you stop reading a book?

What, besides a TSTL heroine or hero?

If it is an erotic book, the one thing that is a complete turnoff for me is a book without a story. I won’t read about sex with ornamental book ends. I need the right brain working most of the time in the novel or novelette.

For all other book types, the one thing that makes me stop reading is extreme darkness or depravity; too much drama and tension to the point that the book is no longer fun and ends up nothing but a chore to slog through. Some book series have become so mired in pushing the envelope down further and further into darkness and meanness, making the villain almost omniscient and powerful, I end up feeling helpless and stressed. At that point, I don’t care if the hero or heroine ultimately save the day; the journey wasn’t worth the ending. So I stop. I’ve stopped reading three series because of that. Their popularity continues, but without me as a reader or reviewer.

What books have most influenced your life? Why?

The most important is what I mentioned earlier, A Wrinkle in Time. It instilled in me a desire to read. That’s about as influential as it gets.

What book do you think should be made into a movie? Why?

That question is EASY! Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan. Oh, wait, she just came out with the end of the series, Maybe This Christmas. I choose both books for the very same reasons. They both encompass the heart of romance and touch upon the sentiments that make the holiday season so welcome. Her descriptions of winter in Vermont are the very things Hallmark is known for – the beauty of the location, the love of family and friends, of forgiveness and new beginnings, gentle humor and a passion between the hero and heroine that touches the romantic at heart. There’s laughter and tears, challenges to overcome and a proposal to sigh over in weepy contentment.

They’re on my keeper shelf for those reasons. They are books I wanted to hug. Although, reading on a Nook kind of makes that a bit problematic to accomplish.

What would you choose as a superpower? why?

The ability to speak, write and understand other languages. Much of the strife in this world comes from the inability to communicate. It’s not suffice to say, I want to speak all languages – it’s more. It’s understanding the nuances and subtle doublespeak that makes naughty humor, innuendos, puns and even relationships so interesting. People just don’t speak with their mouths – they use body language, eye contact, sounds and the fluttering of hands to convey more than the words they say. I would love to understand all languages in all their complexity.

Why? Well why not? Bet 007 would appreciate my superpower. *grin* Make it Sean Connery when he was younger.

Describe your perfect reading space.

My perfect reading space would be situated where I could see nature or a garden through the window, have great light, a comfy, cushy chair, a side bar for water and/or ice when needed, tissues for those sad parts, and NO INTERRUPTIONS!

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?

This is where that language super power would kick in. I’d love to spend a day with Cleopatra. I mean, she was one of the most powerful women in the world – a queen – she was pampered and waited on and yet governed a kingdom usually run by men.She waged war to reclaim the throne. I’d love to have a pampering session with her while getting insights as to what it was like for her back then. What did she love about her position in life? What did she find hard? What made her laugh? What was it like dating Caesar? Who romanced her better, Caesar or Mark Anthony? What were her favorite foods? Did she like to dance? Forget walking like an Egyptian, I’d love to dance like one.

Even to this day, Cleopatra is considered an amazing woman because of all that she accomplished. I bet I could learn a thing or two from her.

What were your top ten books you reviewed for LASR in 2014?

Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan
Spell Bound by Emma Weylin
Night Unbound by Dianne Duvall
How the Scoundrel Seduces by Sabrina Jeffries
How to Handle a Heartbreaker by Marie Harte
Ghost Seer by Robin D. Owens
River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz
Heartbreakers by Lori Foster
Spirited: A Tidewater Novel by Mary Behre
Noble Intentions by Katie MacAlister

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