Lori Ryan

Rachel Thompson

Aicha Zoubair

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mike Hartner on Being Social and Not Spamming #SocialMedia @MHartnerAuthor #PubTip #AmWriting

How To Network Online to Sell Your Book

First, I must print this disclaimer. I’m not a marketing individual. And I, James, the second book of The Eternity Series which will be released in September 2014, is only the second book that I’ve tried to market. So, everything has been trial and error. But, I will borrow heavily from badredheadmedia.com’s Rachel Thompson, and several others, and the lessons they have taught me.

  1. You need an Online Presence. Gmail+, FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest…. They all have their uses. Personally, I’m on FaceBook, and Twitter.
  2. Facebook has my personal page, where my family and friends reside, and then a Corporate page which is where I try to publicize The Eternity Series. And other projects that I have. BcBaldEagles.com also comes to mind. It’s also a separate corporate page. And the three pages share posts from each other.
  3. Twitter is my second social media channel. @MHartnerAuthor is my identity, since Rachel once said, it’s better to publicize yourself as an author than to publicize individual books, and keep changing the identity. Son’t confuse people. Publicize yourself as an author.
  4. First Rule of Social Media: It’s Social. Don’t Spam. Don’t spill every word saying ‘Buy my book’. Build relationships, show people your interests outside of writing. If you’re interested in Nutella, and Alaskam wilderness cabins, show that. If it’s quilting, crocheting and flowers you’re interested in, show that. Let people meet the REAL you.
  5. Pluggio and hootsuite are great tools. Pluggio allows you to ‘drip’ every few hours news topics of your interest. Hootsuite allows you to post on more than one site from a consolidated dashboard. Both are useful.
  6. Don’t expect everyone who follows you to remain. But help them by not including expletives in every second post, or every third word. Show them that you can enjoy life as much as it can frustrate you.
Social Networks allow you to reach out to a lot of other people. AS much as you want others to follow you, follow them. Find others with your interest. Other authors, other Nutella aficionados, other quilters, whatever… By following a wide range of others, a wide range of them will follow you.

BLOG, or get blog tours. Blog tours are GREAT exposure for your book. They usually have a wide and diverse cross section of reviewers, who are all interested, to some extent, in your writing.

HELP OTHERS. If you can help others with your lessons, do. If you can Share other’s posts, announcements, etc… chances are they’ll share yours. And your messages will get out to people you never expected.

90/10 Rule. At least 90 percent of your posts and blogs should be focused on things OTHER THAN selling your book. Great reviews are one thing you can announce more often. Share Reviews of books you’ve read. Even better if they’re current books (last five years). Even Better if you’re following the author when you post the review.

ENGAGE your audience. Snippets, comments, and reviews of everyone’s work are great things to post. Top Ten lists about your life, about your hobbies… all of these build audience.

And while you’re building audience, but not screaming BUY MY BOOK, chances are some people will buy it.

And that’s what makes social media so great. Being Social.


James Crofter was ripped from his family at age 11. 
Within a year the prince was a pauper in a foreign land. 
Is nature stronger than nurture? And even if it is, can James find the happiness he so richly desires? 

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Historical Fiction, Romance
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Mike Hartner on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Discovery in Big Sur from THE REALITY MASTER by @PMPillon #AmReading #Excerpt #YA


Joey was unable to discern why he felt apprehension about traveling to Big Sur, which previously had induced nothing but pure joy for him. Frank stayed overnight at Joey’s to make sure they got an early start Saturday morning for the two-hour drive down the coast to Grandpa Karl’s digs. They brought along plenty of camping equipment. Grandpa Karl hated phones, so they weren’t concerned that he didn’t call to confirm he was back from his trip back east. They would manage at his place even if he wasn’t there, sleeping in a tent and shopping for groceries further south along the coast highway. Karl lived in a one-room shack, and although they could all fit on his floor with sleeping bags, it was more fun to pitch a large tent and manage their own schedules. Unlike his life at home where he struggled to get up for school, Joey always jumped up at first light when he was in Big Sur. He loved the smell of moist pines and redwoods, the frigid, misty mornings, being surrounded by forest, within earshot of loudly barking sea lions cavorting along the ocean’s edge. Joey didn’t have to go far from Grandpa Karl’s to where he could watch these exotic creatures, as well as seals and sea otters, gallivanting and floating among the rocks and kelp. 

Once he even saw Gray Whales passing by as they migrated south to their winter breeding grounds in Baja California. On their way to Big Sur they passed by Carmel where tourists actually pay a road fee just to drive around Carmel looking at the plush homes that they heard celebrities like Doris Day, Clint Eastwood, or Paul Simon lived in at one time. But the drive further down the coast to and along Big Sur is a completely different story from carefully carved Carmel. The winding road is flanked by guard rails that don’t always prevent a car’s plunge down a steep incline and even into the ocean. Just the previous week, a woman had gone off the road and down a steep embankment, and was only rescued two days later because she managed to get to her cell phone and call for help. 

As Joey contemplated the woman’s plight, he thought of the famous rock musician who was reputed to be a physics genius; found dead in his car long after it went off a road and fell into thick brush. But that accident was far from the coast, somewhere east of LA. There were rumors about the last communications from the musician darkly suggesting his possible assassination because of some great mathematical discovery that he was on the verge of achieving. While pondering this, Joey developed a feeling of cold on the back of his neck; it seemed his body might be communicating a warning to him. What warning could it be? I’m no genius like that rock star. He shook his head and tried to dismiss the thought by looking out the car window at the scenery. Then Frank engaged him in conversation, and he forgot the strange sensation. It was a typically sunny day in the Bay Area when they started out in the morning, but it was drizzling in Big Sur. This was actually ideal from Joey’s view point because the flora looked especially beautiful with drops of rain on it and puddles everywhere, and the moisture brought out wonderful fragrances.    

Eventually, they turned off the coastal highway, wending their way along the bumpy, pocked private road that brought them to Grandpa Karl’s abode. He drove an ancient 1948 Ford truck that he managed to keep going by scavenging parts wherever he could. Because of this scavenging, there were quite a few auto parts near his shack, enough to ironically mimic a junkyard in the midst of a natural paradise.
Many people in Big Sur were essentially bohemians who rebelled against pressure to conform to orthodox aesthetic standards. In this respect, they were like many residents of Bolinas on the coast above San Francisco, a town that is locally famous for its hippie and iconoclastic population, much of which likewise junkyard their otherwise picturesque properties. Bolinas is a beach town that isn’t tree-laden like Big Sur, but Mendocino, a short distance north, sports a mil ion of acres of dense forest. Big Sur residents became the subject of a school report by Joey after the one he wrote about San Francisco. Many of them could be described as relics of the old 60’s counterculture. 

His celestial companion was waiting for him
Precariously climbing a sea-side cliff near Big Sur, ten-year-old Joey Blake was as yet unaware that near his grasp was an object, so odd, mysterious and alien to earth that it would change his life forever and the lives of countless others in the next few astonishing days. Reaching up as far as he could for a handhold it was just there; it had subconsciously lured him, occupied his mind, and made him find it. It was like he was meant to see and discover this object of unimaginable power … the power to change reality.
Time travel and more

This young adult series of sci-fi fantasy novels begins with The Reality Master and continues through four other exciting and amazing stories about time travel and mysterious alien devices. Joey and the reader will face dangerous shadowy criminal organizations, agents of the NSA, bizarre travelers from other times and even renegade California bikers and scar-faced walking dead.
- Vol 1 The Reality Master
- Vol 2 Threat To The World
- Vol 3 Travel Beyond
- Vol 4 Missions Through Time
- Vol 5 The Return Home
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Science fiction, Fantasy, Young adult
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with PM Pillon on Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Avoiding the Rejection Blues with Sue Parritt #SannahAndThePilgrim #SelfPub #AmWriting #Fantasy

How to avoid the rejection blues

You open the white envelope (or email) with a mixture of hope and trepidation, skim through the obligatory ‘thank you for sending…etc.’ and focus on the vital sentence. ‘However’ and ‘But’ alert you to yet another rejection; two little words that instantly banish your buoyant mood. Bursting into tears, taking to the bottle or consoling yourself with chocolate might seem good ways to avoid the rejection blues, but in reality the only solution is to move on.

If the publisher or editor has provided any comment on your novel/poem/short story, and this is rare these days, take note and set to work on yet another rewrite/edit. Most of all it pays to remember creativity demands dedication, long hours tapping a keyboard, cutting, pasting, deleting. When sentences are sacrificed for brevity or clarity, there can be almost physical pain as narrative wrenched from murky depths vanishes at the touch of a key. But there is also pure delight when endless editing uncovers grains of gold, so allow yourself to hope this is the manuscript that will one day attract a publisher.

After the receipt of numerous rejections, it can be tempting to declare oneself a total failure, bury the manuscript in the depths of a filing cabinet or take the extreme measure of deleting the file from your computer. If you can’t face another edit, I would suggest putting the manuscript aside for a while and turning your attention to a new project. Research can be absorbing, focusing the mind on a new topic and evicting old clutter. Writing a short story or poem is one method I use to banish the rejection blues. Creating a complete piece in a relatively short space of time helps me revitalise my flagging confidence and proves (to me) that there’s life in the old writer yet!

It also helps to remember that few writers find a publisher at the first attempt. Think of the number of times J.K. Rowling submitted her Harry Potter books before she found a publisher willing to take a chance on a new writer. Whether we writers like it or not, the prospect of making money is what rules the publishing world. In a time of fiscal austerity, risk-taking is not encouraged, so there are no funds put aside for new writing. But despite all the doom and gloom about the current state of the publishing industry, I believe books, print or electronic, will always be around and a well-written inspiring tale will eventually find its place.

Sue Parritt author pic
About the Author:

Sue Parritt is an Australian writer, originally from England. Her poetry and short stories have been published in magazines and anthologies in Australia, Britain and the USA. After graduating BA University of Queensland 1982 (majors: English Literature, Drama and French), Sue worked in university libraries until taking early retirement in 2008 to pursue her long-held dream of becoming a professional writer. Since then she has written Sannah and the Pilgrim, numerous short stories and poems and‘Feed Thy Enemy’, a feature film script set in Naples in 1944 and 1974 and based on a true story (Sue is currently seeking a producer). She recently completed a second novel Safety Zone and is now writing a sequel to Sannah and the Pilgrim – the working title is Pia and the Skyman.

Sannah and the Pilgrim by Sure Parritt

General Information - Sannah and the Pilgrim by Sue Parritt
ISBN: 978-1-922200-14-3
Genre: Speculative Fiction / Sci-fi / Dystopian
Release Date: 26 April 2014 (Paperback and ebook)
Publisher: Odyssey Books (http://www.odysseybooks.com.au/)

An ePub is included in this pack for reviewers; the title is also available from NetGalley: https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/show/id/47499

When Sannah the Storyteller, a descendant of environmental refugees from drowned Pacific islands, finds a White stranger on her domestep, she presumes hes a political prisoner on the run seeking safe passage to egalitarian Aotearoa. However, Kaires unusual appearance, bizarre behaviour, and insistence hes a pilgrim suggest otherwise.
Appalled by apartheid Australia, Kaire uses his White privileges to procure vital information for Sannah and her group of activists regarding new desert prisons that are to be built to house all political prisoners. The group plans sabotage but needs help, and Kaire is a willing accomplice. But when Sannah turns Truthteller and threatens to reveal the countrys true history, even Kaires White privilege and advanced technology cannot save Sannah and her daughter from retribution.

About Sannah and the Pilgrim:
Sannah and the Pilgrim is a tale of courage, defiance and deceit that asks the reader, Would you risk death by telling the truth about your country, or would you play it safe and spend your life as a storyteller?
Are you concerned about our governments (both past and present) failure to act on climate change and the detention and inhumane treatment of refugees? I am, so I have drawn on contemporary conservative attitudes to present a dystopian view of a future Australia in my speculative fiction novel Sannah and the Pilgrim. Read it and discover what could happen to ourlucky country.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

#Excerpt from WHAT FREEDOM SMELLS LIKE: A #Memoir by Amy Lewis @AmyLewisAuthor #NonFiction

Every single item that you buy in life, that outlives you, someone, some person, has to deal with. Has to pack, has to decide what to do with: to sell, to donate, to throw away? If you sell it you have to decide how much to sell it for, maybe even research what similar items go for; you have to advertise, you have to exchange money, maybe even make change. If you donate you have to pack up, decide what charity or friend to give it to, usually you have to bring it to them or arrange to be home when they come by. You have to make sure it works because you don’t want to donate something that is broken. If you throw it away you have to lug it, schlep it to a waste bin and if it’s a lot of things to a dumpsite. You don’t think about this when you have money in your pocket and want things.

Every item in our Vegas house had a memory connected to it. Now I had to decide what to do with them all. I rented a huge storage space close to my parent’s house. It was almost as big as our first tiny slum apartment. All of our stuff had been deposited there.

The week after he died, I had gone into our walk-in closet in Vegas and sniffed every item of his clothing, removing those pieces that still had his scent and packaging them into gallon size vacuum packed Ziploc bags. I imagined this was a new use for Ziploc bags they probably never advertised: preserving the scent of the dead. I would have taken his clothes in the dirty laundry basket, but my father had washed them. I cried when I found him in the laundry room trying to be helpful. I put the zip locked bags of clothes under my bed in my parent’s guest bedroom.


Diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder, Amy struggled with depression and an addiction to sharp objects. Even hospitalization didn't help to heal her destructive tendencies. It took a tumultuous relationship with a man named Truth to bring her back from the depths of her own self-made hell.Amy's marriage to dark, intriguing Truth was both passionate and stormy. She was a fair-skinned southern girl from New Orleans. He was a charming black man with tribal tattoos, piercings, and a mysterious past. They made an unlikely pair, but something clicked. During their early marriage, they pulled themselves out of abject poverty into wealth and financial security practically overnight. Then things began to fall apart.

Passionate and protective, Truth also proved violent and abusive. Amy’s own self-destructive tendencies created a powerful symmetry. His sudden death left Amy with an intense and warring set of emotions: grief for the loss of the man she loved, relief she was no longer a target for his aggression.

Conflicted and grieving, Amy found herself at a spiritual and emotional crossroads, only to receive help from an unlikely source: Truth himself. Feeling his otherworldly presence in her dreams, Amy seeks help from a famous medium.

Her spiritual encounters change Amy forever. Through Truth, she learns her soul is eternal and indestructible, a knowledge that gives Amy the courage to pursue her own dreams and transform herself both physically and emotionally. Her supernatural encounters help Amy resolve the internal anger and self-destructive tendencies standing between her and happiness, culminating in a sense of spiritual fulfillment she never dreamed possible.

An amazing true story, What Freedom Smells Like is told with courage, honesty, and a devilishly dark sense of humor.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Amy Lewis through Twitter

#Exerpt from UNFINISHED BUSINESS by Ted Tayler @Ted_Tayler #Bookclub #Thriller #GoodReads

After a brisk ten minute walk Colin was stood on the pavement opposite the Aberdeen Music Hall, the venue for the first gig on Maiden’s Hair’s mini tour of the United Kingdom. He gazed at the magnificent pillared façade of the former Assembly Rooms and reckoned it was an appropriate setting for its band members who were paying tribute to legends of the heavy metal music genre that he had always enjoyed.
He crossed the road and searched out the poster advertising that night’s performance. There were no surprises; every detail on the billboard was exactly as Colin had included in his laptop file. There were six group members, all Canadian born and bred. Although the original members of the real Iron Maiden were now in their mid fifties, these young men were in their early thirties, with toned muscular bodies and a full head of hair nestling on their shoulders. Each one was every inch the rock god that they were imitating from the original band as they looked out from the billboard dressed in their ubiquitous denim and leather uniform.
Gabriel Anderson the dark haired lead singer with a pilot’s cap under his arm; Vincent Gagnon, Jordan Campbell and Nick Williams who provided the three guitar identity of the legends they were paying homage to. Jordan’s twin brother John was eerily like Nicko, Maiden’s drummer and Brandon Taylor completed the line up on bass as he mimicked Steve Harris, Maiden’s founder member. Colin was mesmerised. He couldn’t wait to hear them play tonight; if only it could have been Iron Maiden themselves! Still, he had to admit that the playlist was everything it should be, all the early favourites and a few of the newer tracks as well.
Colin’s stomach was telling him he had missed breakfast. He checked around the sides and back of the imposing Music Hall building to make certain everything was where he thought and then he walked down Union Street to find somewhere to eat. When he was fed and watered he made his way the short distance to the public library, where he spent several hours whiling away the time until he had calculated that the Maiden’s Hair entourage would arrive, ready to prepare for tonight’s gig.
Around three o’clock in the afternoon, Colin wandered back in the drizzly rain and sure enough a large Mercedes truck was parked up by the stage doors of the Music Hall. There were two roadies and it was evident to Colin that they had only just started unloading gear from the back of the truck. A couple of young lads were fetching and carrying smaller items, such as boxes of microphones, metre upon metre of leads, microphone stands, plus all the paraphernalia a drum kit comprises, all enclosed in battered old covers. The heavy lifting and manoeuvring of amplifiers, speakers, PA systems and lighting rigs was best left to the professionals!
Colin approached the older roadie and asked ‘Frankie?’
‘Yes mate. What can I do you for?’ Frankie replied in an accent not from Montreal or Ottawa but straight from London’s East End.
‘The tour management sent me up to give you a hand. I’ve just got back from several years abroad and I need to get some time in driving on the left hand side of the road again! I guess the extra pair of hands will be useful setting up too?’ Colin said.
‘Brilliant!’ said Frankie ‘Billy’s inside with a couple of staff from this place and I’m just going to start offloading the heavy stuff. If you want to pitch in you’re more than welcome mate!’
Colin took hold of the speaker cabinet Frankie shoved towards him, hoisted it easily onto his chest and walked into the building. As he walked towards the stage he had a brief smile at the corner of his mouth. One phone call to a dim young girl in London at the tour management company’s offices and he had discovered the lead roadie’s name; it was like taking candy from a baby! Neither Frankie nor Billy was going to check up on him. They would be only too happy that there was an extra pair of hands around to help with all the grafting and driving that they had to do; when you’re pretty much on minimum wage why sweat it?
The next couple of hours were spent getting the kit onto the stage and setting it up. Colin had seen it done hundreds of times on a smaller scale in The Crown and had studied footage on ‘how to’ online, so he coped well enough on the stuff he was comfortable with and steered clear of anything that was foreign to him. He watched Frankie and Billy in action and made mental notes of the various steps he needed to go through on later gigs on the lighting rigs for instance, to stop anyone asking exactly where and what he was doing when he was overseas. Life on the road as a road manager is one helluva lot tougher than lounging about with a cocktail in your hand on the veranda of a luxury villa, but Colin was pretty fit for a guy in his early forties and he had his eyes on the main prize. Travelling with Maiden’s Hair and listening to them play virtually each night was a bonus. Each gig was taking him closer and closer to his first task; to avenge the death of his precious daughter.

The sequel to the award winning ‘The Final Straw’ sees Colin Bailey return to the UK after almost a decade abroad. With a new name and a new face he still has scores to settle. His meticulous planning takes him ingeniously across Scotland and the North of England ticking names off his list with the police completely baffled. 

DCI Phil Hounsell pitted his wits against Colin before and so he is sent to Durham where he teams up with super intelligent young DS Zara Wheeler; together they track their man to Manchester and then eventually south to Bath. 

The final scenes take place on the streets of the Roman city; Phil Hounsell’s family is threatened and in a dramatic conclusion reminiscent of Holmes and Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls, the two men struggle above the foaming waters of the historic Pulteney weir. 
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-18
More details about the author
Connect with Ted Tayler on Facebook & Twitter