Friday, July 29, 2011

I Wanna Be In Pictures with Guest Blogger: Aubrie Dionne

Win a copy of Paradise 21 and meet author Aubrie Dionne today at the Book Boost!

She's here to chat about her life in the movies...well...kind's what she had to say...

How I Made the Trailer for Paradise 21
(Check out the link at the bottom of this post
to view the finished product!)

Making a 1 minute and 45 second trailer for your 80K word novel is overwhelming to say the least. After compressing all those words into a few moments, I came up with a way to simplify the book trailer process.

1. Think of iconic images that will best represent what your book is about. These images must not have copyrights.

I knew I wanted a ship. Paradise 21 is about a colony ship traveling to a paradise planet three hundred years away. So I needed a ship, and I needed it to be moving.

Then, I needed a paradise planet to represent Paradise 21. I wanted the viewer to see where the ship was headed and how important the voyage was.

But Aries doesn’t stay on the ship. The voyage won’t make it to Paradise 21 in her lifetime, so she comes up with other plans. This is shown with the flash to the stars, to symbolize destiny.
I wanted a desert picture to show the planet she crashes on.

Lastly, I wanted to utilize parts of the cover, and then have the big cover reveal at the end, along with Entangled Publishing’s really cool logo.

Voila! I had the visual part of my trailer.

2. Find a program you can use to show these images in a slide show.

My husband is very good at Flash, so we used that program. The neat part about flash is that you can move the images and make it seem like a ship is gliding through space.

3. Find music to go with your images that best represents the tone of your book. This music must not have copyrights.

Classical music works really well, because it’s so old, there aren’t any copyrights. What me and my husband did was buy the copyrights to a few sound files and string them together.

I wanted techno music, because there’s a scene in the book where they are listening to techno. It also has a futuristic feel. I also wanted satellite sounds, like voices being broadcast through space. Put these together, and I had a sound track for my video.

4. Find key phrases that will hook the viewer.

Summarizing an 80k book into a few sentences is the hardest part for me. I had to think of large scale concepts and leave out the specifics without it sounding like nonsense!

I went with an initial hook:

A centuries long voyage to a paradise planet only their descendants will see… But Aries has other plans.

And then went into a summary of what happens next, scrolling the words down as the images changed. This is not what people usually do with book trailers, but I wanted this trailer to be different than the norm.

I hope this helps all those writers out there making trailers! Feel free to leave any comments or questions below!

A Note from the Book Boost: I've professionally made trailers for several years but have recently taken a break from that part of my business. I think you've done a great job with your trailer and it was nice for your tech savvy hubby to help out. Thanks for joining us today. Please tell us more about your upcoming Entangled release.


Aries has lived her entire life aboard mankind’s last hope, the New Dawn, a spaceship traveling toward a planet where humanity can begin anew—a planet that won’t be reached in Aries’ lifetime. As one of the last genetically desirable women in the universe, she must marry her designated genetic match and produce the next generation for this centuries‐long voyage.

But Aries has other plans.

When her desperate escape from the New Dawn strands her on a desert planet, Aries discovers the rumors about pirates—humans who escaped Earth before its demise—are true. Handsome, genetically imperfect Striker possesses the freedom Aries envies, and the two connect on a level she never thought possible. But pursued by her match from above and hunted by the planet’s native inhabitants, Aries quickly learns her freedom will come at a hefty price.

The life of the man she loves.

Want More Aubrie?

Visit her website here:

Watch her exciting trailer now! Click here to view.

Pick up your copy of her book. Click here to learn more.

Contest Time:

Enter to win a copy of Paradise 21 by leaving a question or comment for Aubrie.

**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Writing Under the Influence with Guest Blogger: Brooke Moss

Welcome Entangled author Brooke Moss to the Book Boost!

She's here to discuss the trials of writing under the influence of...children. Here's what she had to say...

Parenting & Writing: Do they mix?

Thanks for having me guest blog on The Book Boost, I am thrilled to be here. The topic at hand is one that is very near and dear to my heart. So many aspiring writers put their careers off while they are raising their children, citing that they have to wait to pursue their dreams until after their job as mom/dad is finished. Well, I am living proof that isn’t necessarily the case.


This is a sound I hear often. At least twenty three times while I am trying to work. It’s inevitable. Like the tides, or the phases of the moon. There’s literally nothing I can do to stop my children from interrupting me while I am writing.

Everyday, every single day, people ask me: how do I manage to write books AND be a mother to four insane, er, energetic children? And the answer is simple: I just do. How do some mothers find time to scrapbook, or go jogging? How do some mothers find the time to be affiliated with clubs and organizations? They just do.

I have a passion for writing. My writing time is not only my time spent doing my job, but is also my time spent doing the one activity that is completely, 100% for me. It doesn’t involve anyone else. It doesn’t require me to dress or look a certain way. It doesn’t require me to put on makeup or fix my hair. Nobody expects me to be composed and wise. I am not required to have my maternal instinct set to high, and I don’t have to do any of the icky requirements that mom’s are usually expected to do. (Diapers, snacks, fetch socks and shoes, wipe boogers, kiss boo-boos…)

My writing time is all for me, and I love it.

However, unless I want to hear the aforementioned cry of “Mooooooooom!!”, which happens no matter how many Disney movies I put on, or how many sprinklers I set, and popsicles I hand out…I have to plan my writing time carefully. Which is why I have become very nocturnal over the years.

As soon as everyone in my house is fast asleep, the dishes are done, the toys are picked up, and the dog is fed….that’s when I write. That’s when I slip out of my pasty, chubby housewife and mother skin, and become the characters I embody in my books. Heroines who are chasing their dreams, and who are struggling through pain and heartache. Heroines who usually have long, thick, beautiful hair…and who are often thin. (Hey, a girl can dream, right?)

Sure…I haven’t gotten a fill eight hours of sleep since starting this author gig, and I know exactly what channels show the good reruns of 80’s sitcoms after 1am. I might have circles under my eyes that are often mistaken for eye black, and there is a permanent impression of my ass in my computer chair.

But I am chasing my dreams. Both of them.

I am a published author, and a mom.

A Note from the Book Boost: Brooke, I too am the mother to 4 children and feel your pain. If only there was a time during the day when all my children were sleeping simultaneously, I might take on your nocturnal method of writing. As it is...I have to squeeze in my words when I can throughout the day. I do a lot of squeezing. Congrats on your release, please tell us more!


What would you do if your “what if” guy showed up at the lowest point of
your life?

(Autumn Cole clocked hers with an encyclopedia.)

After losing her job at a swanky Seattle art gallery and finding out her father has been hospitalized, single mother Autumn Cole reluctantly returns to her tiny hometown of Fairfield, Washington to put the pieces of her life back together.

Her disgruntled twelve‐year old son isn’t thrilled about going from hip to hick, but Autumn’s got it worse. She resumes her role as the daughter of the town drunk, promptly facing a crisis with her father that’s been decades in the making.

Running into Henry Tobler, and nearly breaking his nose, is almost more than she can handle, but can rediscovering love–and herself–with her “what if” guy teach Autumn to forgive before it’s too late?


Seattle, Washington

“Why are you doing this?”

The desperate, sad look in Henry’s eyes made my heart ache. His brown hair fell across his forehead in rain-soaked waves, and his eyelashes gathered in dampened clumps. Henry’s eyes, the same shade of gray as the weeping clouds above us, searched my face for answers I was too ashamed to give.

“What we have is real, Autumn.” He pulled me against his chest. I felt his heart pounding through the wet fabric of his soft, flannel shirt, and we trembled in unison, standing on the front steps of Henry’s apartment building. “Why do you want to break up? Don't you love me?”

“Don’t do this,” I said weakly. My eyes filled with hot tears that threatened to undermine my brave façade. When he grazed his fingers across my cheekbone, swiping away a tear, I instinctively turned my face into his hand, breathing in the warm, outdoorsy aroma of Henry.

My Henry.

He kissed my cheeks, my temples, my shivering lips. My resolve started to crumble. Strength. I needed to show strength. I needed to walk away before I ruined his life, before I hurt him any more than I already had.

“Tell me that you don’t love me,” he whispered into my drenched hair, tangling his fingers in my curls. “Tell me, and I’ll let you go.”

I choked on a sob. I did love Henry. The past two months had been the best months of my life. Not once had I dreamt of meeting someone who made me feel safe, peaceful, beautiful, and deliriously happy, the way Henry Tobler made me feel. I wanted to be with him—and no one else—forever.

“Of course I love you,” I said.

“Then why are you doing this?” His voice cracked.

I shivered in Henry’s arms, not only from the cold, but also from the burden I
bore. Pulling back, I raised my eyes to meet his. “I….I’m pregnant.” My words were barely audible over the sound of the pounding rain and passing traffic.

His face morphed from shock to anger, then settled on absolute sadness. We hadn’t slept together yet.

“It was from before,” I explained lamely, feeling dirty as the words came out my mouth. Henry’s shoulders drooped. He released me and a shadow fell across his eyes. That said it all.

His girlfriend was pregnant with someone else’s child.

Henry deserved better than me.

I had to get out of here. I backed away, down the cement steps and onto the sidewalk. I rubbed my chest, my heart breaking just beneath the surface.

“I’m sorry,” I said, words quavering. “I’m so sorry.”

I turned and ran. Away from love

Want More Brooke?

Click here to learn more.

Coming August 2nd from Entangled Publishing!

Click here to purchase your copy.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Get Crabby About Picnics with Guest Blogger: Susan Mallery

Bestselling author Susan Mallery joins us at the Book Boost today!

She's here to get nit picky...or's what she had to say on National Picnic Month...

July is National Picnic Month, otherwise known as National Sand-in-Your-Food Month or National Ants-in-Your-Pants Month. Yes, it’s true. As un-American as it may seem, I don’t enjoy eating outdoors. Unless it’s at a quaint little table outside an upscale café. And even then, I’d rather be inside.

I’m just not the outdoorsy type. I believe that God created walls and a ceiling for a reason.

As you can see from the covers of Only Mine, Only Yours, and Only His, the Hendrix triplets of Fool’s Gold do not share my reticence toward Mother Nature. There they are, with the men who will become the loves of their lives, sitting on the ground, lying face down on the ground, dangling their feet off the end of a dock. Aren’t they afraid a rabid snapping turtle might jump up and bite off their toes?!!!

My idea of an ideal picnic is eating in the living room in front of a roaring fire… but probably not during National Picnic Month. Even in Seattle, it’s a little too warm for a roaring fire.

That said, I do have a couple of great picnic recipes on my website, and I thought it would be appropriate to share one with you today. And if you decide to eat it indoors, well, you won’t get any argument from me!

Recipe: Cauliflower-Crab Salad with Cilantro-Lime Mayonnaise

1 head of cauliflower
2-3 pounds of imitation crab
1 lb bag of frozen peas, thawed
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
½ C onion, diced
2 C low fat or fat-free mayonnaise
1 ½ C fresh cilantro, minced
1 T lime juice
1 t soy sauce
1 packet Splenda (or ½ t sugar)
Lime zest to taste

Cut the cauliflower into small chunks and steam until crisp-tender, about 10-12 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer, you can put them in a microwave with a little water. Microwave a minute or two at a time until the cauliflower reaches the desired texture. Cool to room temperature.

Put the cauliflower and remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together the dressing ingredients, then fold gently into the salad to get everything coated. I used about ½ t of lime zest to give the dressing a nice limey bite.

A Note from the Book Boost: Susan, it was an honor and a pleasure to have you with us today. You're one of my long time faves, as you may know. :-) I will stand with you today and speak out publicly...I hate outdoor eating! Yes, I said it. Of course, I live in the deep south where you can be swallowed whole by gators, snakes, or even very large mosquitoes! Thanks for joining us and sharing a delicious recipe. You've made my day.

Want More Susan?

Visit her website here:

Follow her on Twitter here:

Pick up the Fool's Gold books today! Click here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Take a Highland Fling with Author Anita Clenney

Win a copy of Awaken the Highland Warrior and chat with author Anita Clenney today at the Book Boost!

I recently chatted with my Celtic Hearts sister and here was what she had to say...

TBB: Welcome back to the blog, Anita. Please tell us where you're from and share your latest big news with us.

AC: I live near Fredericksburg, Virginia, between Washington DC and Richmond, Virginia. I was born in Grundy, Virginia.

Awaken the Highland Warrior released on May 1st and things have been moving quickly. I launched with a booksigning alongside Nora Roberts, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kristan Higgins and several other authors, and I sold out. That was such a thrill.

Then I attended an author event at a Bunch of Grapes Bookstore on Martha’s Vineyard and also had an opportunity to tour the island. Hubby went with me for a 14-year-belated honeymoon, and we just had a blast. We plan to go back.

TBB: Oh wow! Congrats on both the 14 year honeymoon and the book signing sell out. Both are amazing. Let's back up a little bit. Tell us how and why you began writing and when you really first considered yourself a writer.

AC: Like most writers, I’ve always loved to read. I never considered writing until a few years ago after a voracious reading jaunt. Something in my head clicked, and I knew that I should be writing. At first it was hard to think of myself as a writer since I wasn’t published. Gradually, I realized that while I might not be published, I was writing A LOT, and it wasn’t a hobby. That’s when I started calling myself a writer.

TBB: Understandable. I found that I didn't get published UNTIL I started thinking of myself as a writer. You mentioned your love of reading, what are you reading right now?

AC: I’m reading three, which isn’t something I normally do. The Heir, a historical romance by Grace Burrowes. Wonderful book, beautiful writing, exquisite characters. The Earl of Darkness, a paranormal historical by Alix Rickloff. I just started it and it seems that she’s created a wonderful world. I’m also reading Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I’m not far into the book, but it’s great so far. Her books always are. I was thrilled when I started reading it because I hadn’t realized it was about Zarek, a character from one of her other books. I was always drawn to Zarek.

TBB: Dance with the Devil is my favorite of all the Dark Hunter books. I have my prized personally autographed copy too (fan girl moment). So, when you're not reading these books, what are you working on in the writing department?

AC: I’m excited to announce that book two in this series, Embrace the Highland Warrior comes out in November. I’m working on book three now, Unleash the Highland Warrior, and it comes out in 2012. I’m also writing a cozy mystery series which is going to be so much fun.

TBB: Those sound great. I know they'll be just as successful (and more) than your current book. How did you come up with the concept for this book and is this your original title?

AC: It started with a dream. That was the creepy demons-in-disguise part. I was also intrigued with the idea of someone finding a warrior who wasn’t dead, so I combined the ideas and came up with the original story.

Originally I called the book Time Warrior, then I decided on Awaken the Warrior, since Faelan is a warrior waiting to be awakened. But my publisher insisted on adding “highland” to the title. Honestly, I disagreed, because this isn’t a typical highlander book, and I didn’t want to mislead anyone. But my publisher couldn’t be swayed, and in the end, the title grew on me.

TBB: What authors have inspired your writing and in what way?

AC: I don’t think any authors have specifically inspired my writing, but so many of them have simply inspired me to write. I do have favorite authors. I love Diana Gabaldon, Janet Evanovich, Elizabeth Peters, Kristan Higgins, and so many more.

TBB: Those are all great. Give me a quote (written by you) about being a writer.

AC: "Writing is not a one size fits all business."

TBB: I love it! Lastly, if someone wrote a biography about you, what should the title be?

AC: The Paradoxical Chameleon. Nothing about me makes sense, but I can blend in anywhere.

TBB: Sounds like it would be a fun book. Before you go, please give us a teaser of your current book.

AC: Thanks so much for having me here on the Book Boost Blog. I’ve loved writing this series, and I hope readers will have fun with it as well.


Bree’s fingers tightened around the metal disk as she ran through the graveyard, zigzagging past leaning headstones. Her lantern swayed, throwing shadows on the crypt looming before her, its stone walls the color of bones. Thick vines crept over it, sealing in cracks left by time, while gnarled branches from the twisted oak hovered like outstretched arms. Protecting… or threatening?

An owl screeched overhead as she scurried up the crumbling steps, wishing night hadn’t fallen, when shadows twisted into monsters and spirits came out to play. The burial vault lay open near the back of the crypt, waiting. Blood rushed past her ears, a sound like all the angels’ wings beating in unison. She moved closer and peered at the chest inside. It was ornate, made of metal and wood, with green gemstones embedded in each corner. It looked ancient, like it belonged in a museum or a pyramid, or perhaps Solomon’s Temple. The beauty of it struck her again, as it had when she’d first discovered it.

She set the lantern on the edge of the burial vault and studied the markings on the chest. Swirls and shapes like writing shifted in the amber glow. Stretching out a finger, she touched the surface. Warm? She yanked her hand back and hit the lantern. It crashed to the floor, throwing the top of the crypt into darkness. Dropping to her knees, she scrambled for the light. A sound cut through the silence, scraping, like fingernails against stone. She grabbed the lantern, not daring to blink, then remembered the wind outside and the claw-like branches of the old tree.

She placed the lantern securely on the vault cover she’d pushed onto the alcove and unfolded her hand. The metal disk she held was three inches in diameter and appeared to be made from the same metal as the chest, not silver, not gold. One side had deep grooves; the other was etched with symbols. With trembling fingers, she lined up the disk with the matching grooves on top of the chest and pushed. There was a series of clicks as the notched edges retracted.

A voice rushed through her head. What lies within cannot be, until time has passed with the key.

Bree whirled, but she was alone. Only stone walls stood watch, their secrets hidden for centuries. It was sleep deprivation, not ghosts.

She pulled in a slow, steadying breath and tried to turn the disk. Nothing. Again, this time counterclockwise, and it began to move under her hand. She jerked her fingers back. A loud pop sounded and colors flashed… blue, orange, and green, swirling for seconds, and then they were gone. Great, hallucinations to go with the voices in her head.

Her body trembled as she gripped the lid. This was it. All her dreams held on a single pinpoint of time. If this ended up another wild goose chase, she was done. No more treasure hunts, no more mysteries, no more playing Indiana Jones. She’d settle down to a nice, ordinary, boring life. She counted.




She heaved open the chest.

Terror clawed its way to her throat, killing her scream.

The man inhaled one harsh breath and his eyes flew open, locking on Bree. A battle cry worthy of Braveheart echoed off the walls. Bree jumped back as metal flashed and a rush of air kissed her face. Petrified, she watched him crawl out of the burial vault, a wicked-looking dagger in his hand. Her scream tore loose as she turned and fled.

Fingers grazed her shoulder, and she glanced back. The last thing she saw before her feet tangled with the shovel was the dead man reaching for her.

Want More Anita?

Visit her website here:

Follow her on Twitter here:

Pick up your copy of her book today! Click here.

Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for Anita and be entered to win a copy of Awaken the Highland Warrior. (US and Canada only.)

**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

Monday, July 25, 2011

Come Take my 5K-a-Day challenge & WIN!

Out having fun in the summer sun like these FIVE girls? Don't forget to WRITE a little each day.

I'm hosting a 5K-a-Day challenge over at my Kerri Book Writer blog. Check out the details here. And if you want to set your own goals that's fine. Just write and then stop by each day to let us know how you're doing. The challenge ends on July 31st and I'll be drawing a winner for an ARC (advanced reading copy) of my September Urban Fantasy release Courting Demons.

If you're not familiar with the story, here's the cover blurb for your amusement:

Paisley Barton was already having a bad day before she turned her husband into a rat.

First, she was fired by her boss and then came home to find hubby in the shower with a naked blonde chick. They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned but this break-up may just unleash hell on Earth when Paisley casts a spell of vengeance against her philandering husband.

After her spell casting inadvertently opens a portal between dimensions, Paisley finds her family home transformed into a nightly courtroom for settling disputes between demons of the underworld and she’s the judge! If that’s not enough, she’s got to deal with a charming, ancient demon named Camden who wants to be her personal bodyguard while trying to explain her husband’s sudden, mysterious disappearance to sexy police Detective Dalton Briggs.

But Paisley will show them all that an everyday working mom is better equipped than most to deal with the mystical mayhem…and with a tempting demon hottie and a flirtatious young detective vying for her affection, she soon learns that being single again isn’t so bad after all.

Also, you writers out there...don't forget to sign up this week for my FINAL offering of The Book Factory (Producing Multiple Novels in One Year). The course work has already been slated for an upcoming Non-Fiction Writer's Guide so this is the official final offering of the class version!

Click on the link below to register (scroll down to August for details--begins August 1st):

Hope you'll join me in the challenge and the class.

Keep writing and don't forget the sunscream...err...I mean sunscreen. (Can you tell I'm writing a mystery?)

--Kerri Nelson
Owner, The Book Boost

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lights...Camera....Action! With Guest Blogger: Nancy Gideon

Paranormal author Nancy Gideon is here to chat about book trailers and check out the Contest information below for details on how you can WIN A KINDLE!

Here's what she had to say...

Book Trailers: The Accessory for the Style-Conscious Author

When I started mapping out my promotional plans for Masked By Moonlight, the first book in my dark paranormal By Moonlight series for Pocket last spring (okay, I’m OCD, I don’t leave my carport without Google Maps!), I looked at all the avenues I was familiar with:

Website, check
Bookmarks, check
Ads, check
Reviews, check
Blog, oh, heck no!
Book trailer…hmmm...

Stylish, flashy, as eye-catching as a pair of red stilettos that made my arches ache just looking at them. Interesting, but it didn’t fit my conservative wardrobe. I didn’t have the tech skills or time to learn a new trick, or the money to invest in a glossy production. So the idea never made it onto my PR To-Do list.

With a month to go to release day, I saw a post on one of the loops by Kerri Nelson. Book trailer sale…$50. Like that jewelry store window you keep going back to, I couldn’t get the notion out of my mind. I checked out Kerri’s productions…nice! Her Book Boost site…professional! And thought…what the heck!

Working with Kerri was fun and far from frustrating. She sent me a questionnaire about what I envisioned for the project and then she went to work. Fast. I provided her with the text I wanted to use, a basic idea for the graphics, told her bayou bluesy for music selection and she had her rough cut to me in less than two weeks. A tweak here, a photo change there and I had my first book video.

Over the past year, I’ve come out of my techno-timid shell to embrace Social Media like a friend rather than a quick spreading disease. Along the way to winning a Best Book Trailer award in the paranormal category from Parajunkie’s Reviews, I learned a thing or two:

What’s the purpose of a book trailer? Is it an effective promotional tool? Not everyone is lucky enough to go viral with hundreds of thousands of hits, so why bother? Remember those stilettos? They’re not the whole outfit. Think of a book trailer as a chic accessory that accentuates your book. Its purpose is to catch the attention, to provoke interest, and convey your own personal style. Its promotional bling.

A book video’s job, aside from looking glamorous, is to quickly reach out to the target audience of your book. It needs to create an emotional response in the viewer that’s tied to the content of the book: edgy and dark with fast cuts for suspense, soft and gentle for traditional romance, quirky graphics or animation for comedy, atmospheric and bare-chested for paranormal. It needs to convey very specific information in a short period of time: type of book, a tease of the plot, a hint of the characters, a taste of the tone, title, author name, release date, website, created by, music credit and out. You have one to two minutes max to create that spark of anticipation, just the way movie coming attractions and your back blurb do.

Start by creating a script, just as if you’re making a short film. Think short, punchy words or sentences, with no more than seven words per slide. The viewer has to have time to read them. Think of that three sentence tag line: She is this and needs that. He wants this but can’t have it because of that. They can’t be together because of what? The script should lure the viewer through the clips so they can’t wait to get to the pay off: What is it and when can I have it?

An effective trailer contains powerful images to suggest character, setting and atmosphere. Search through royalty-free images for your hero and heroine using either facial shots or silhouettes. Illustrate key scenes or occupations and backdrop settings. Places to start are, or istockphoto. You can even find animated clips. Prices range from affordable $2.99 to hundreds of dollars. Don’t download images from the Internet assuming free usage. That’s a no-no. Use images that are at least 640 x 480 pixels so they can be manipulated without distorting.

The choice of music creates tone, atmosphere and pacing for your video. Dreamy and romantic, techno and visceral, haunting and eerie. Blues, classical, country, swing. Its your choice whether or not there are lyrics, though personally I find they distract from the text. Sample music clips at through You Tube or on Amazon where you can download MP3 loops. Make sure you have free use or give credit where it’s due.

Now you have images, text and tunes. Time to match the text to the image, keeping in mind that powerful words don’t always need a pretty picture beneath them. Sometimes a blank color frame has more impact. Then time the slides so they dissolve, flip, wipe, fade, explode to compliment the background score. It’ll take some time so be patient and experiment. You want smooth transitions, forward momentum, readable text and a climatic ending so the viewer is left wanting more. Build your own videos with Microsoft movie software or pay a professional who’ll range from affordable like here at Book Boost to pricy and extravagant Circle of Seven productions. Check the end of trailers that appeal to you to see who made them.

You have your slick and styling video…now what do you do with it? Your website is a given and so is your blog (and yes, I have one now!). You Tube, of course. Post them on Amazon’s Author Central and GoodReads. Show them off to your publisher for possible inclusion on their site. Our writer’s chapter has its own You Tube channel. Include them when you guest blog. Put them up on video websites such as, Book Screening, Preview the Book, Yahoo Video and Google Video. The idea is to get exposure, to increase interest and ultimately coax the viewer to buy the book.

And an award doesn’t hurt!

A Note from the Book Boost: Awe, Nancy, you shouldn't have. Flattery will get you everywhere. ;-) I appreciate the shout out and kudos for my book trailer making business. Unfortunately, I've closed the business for the time being. Need to focus more on other projects and after creating over thirty of them for other authors (2 award winners in the bunch), I had to take a much needed break. But yours is one of my faves and for anyone who hasn't seen it--check out the left column of this blog and click the book cover for Masked By Moonlight.


NOPD detective Charlotte Caissie and her shape-shifter lover Max Savoie who is pulled between his obligation to the criminal empire he inherited from his mentor and the Shifter clan who believe he’s their prophesied leader. When Cee Cee discovers her new serial killer case might involve the missing daughter of one of her colleagues, she enlists Max’s preternatural skills and his former illegal connections to try and find her before time runs out. As he struggles to keep his secret from spreading, Max must also find a way to protect his family and his clan from the danger that stalks him. There’s plenty of action, steamy romance and surprises as Max and Cee Cee reach for their happily-ever-after.

Want More Nancy?

With over 50 books sold, Portage MI author Nancy Gideon’s writing encompasses romance genres from historicals and regencies to contemporary suspense and the paranormal. Her 25-year career journey has traveled from writing her manuscripts by hand then typing them up on her Smith Corolla to learning social media skills (but she still doesn’t text!). Two grown kids and a full time job as a legal assistant later, she is still going strong with her six book BY MOONLIGHT dark paranormal series from Pocket Books.

Visit her website here:

And her blog here:

Don't forget to pick up a copy of Bound By Moonlight
available July 26th! Click here.

Contest Time:

Author's Contest Details: Make sure you check out Nancy's mega-contest on her blog where you can win a Kindle during her release week starting 7-26-11!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Take a Ride with Guest Blogger: Kathleen Gerard

The Book Boost welcomes romantic suspense author Kathleen Gerard to the blog today!

Recently, we chatted with Kathleen and here's what she had to say...

TBB: Welcome, Kathleen. Tell us a little bit about when and why you began writing?

KG: I started writing when I was 14 years old - shortly after my father died. I felt so many emotions that I didn't know how to share. One day, on my way home from school, I bought a notebook at the local stationary store. I opened the book and started by writing a letter to my father - telling him how sad I was and how much I missed him. Eventually the book evolved from letter writing into a place where I could simply sit down and share whatever I was feeling.

I've always been very private and rather shy, so the journal became my therapist, of sorts - a safe place where I could cut loose and purge whatever I was feeling inside...good, bad or otherwise. It was by doing this regularly - writing about people and situations in my real life - that I began to see that stories were suddenly emerging. That's when the writing bug first bit me.

If you want to read more about how and why I became a writer--and how I approach my craft--you might want to read the essay I contributed to the anthology, Writers And Their Notebooks.

TBB: That's a great story. I'm sure your father would be very proud of you. Tell us, what do you do when you're not writing?

KG: I love reading and watching movies; photography and cooking. I love red wine - and learning about (and, of course, tasting) the different varieties. I am also a big fan of Top Chef on Bravo-TV. I really enjoy taking my dog to the park - I meet so many wonderful people and other dog lovers there!

TBB: You and I have the same hobbies but I'm really into baking. Desserts are my specialty! When talking about your book, how did you come up with the title?

KG: The title In Transit holds different meanings. There is the tie-in of the heroine of the story and how she is assigned to the NYPD Transit Squad. Then there's the whole idea of going somewhere, of movement and forward action - be it on subway cars winding beneath the streets of Manhattan or going somewhere new in your life (in a literal and figurative sense).

TBB: I'm a big fan of titles that have multiple meanings. This is a great one. Please tell us your latest news.

KG: In Transit recently won The New York Book Festival 2011 - "Best Romantic Fiction" category!

TBB: Oh, Congrats! I'm sure you're an inspiration to others. What authors have inspired your writing and in what way?

KG: I think the short stories of Flannery O'Connor have inspired me the most in my writing. She is first and foremost a beautiful technician of language and craft. Her stories are so deep and evocative - depicting full worlds, in so few pages, that combine the profound with elements of the absurd. When you read her work, you're not sure if you should laugh or cry. She writes about real, ordinary people from the South (even though some people called her characters 'freaks'), and she's an expert at revealing the flaws in people, even if they don't see themselves as flawed.

Despite the foibles of some of her characters and some of the bleak, often violent, endings of her work, an idea of redemption manages to emerge. I always learn something new when I read her work - and I've read and re-read her stories countless times.

I also admire Ms. O'Connor on a personal level. For most of her adult life, she battled the autoimmune disease Lupus. She never seemed to allow physical disability and illness to thwart her deep, spiritual convictions (illness actually deepened her faith) or deter her from honing her craft. She died when she was only 39 years old. But in her short life, she produced a large body of work with lasting appeal and resonance.

TBB: I didn't know that about her. Thanks for sharing. Do you have any advice for other writers?

KG: Read. Read. Read. Write. Write. Write. Believe in yourself.

TBB: Lastly, give me a quote (from yourself/by yourself) about being a writer.

KG: "Stories (whether you read them or write them, or both) have an incredible power to change lives."

TBB: Well done.

Before you go please share a little more about your book with us.


Rita Del Vecchio is a naive, 20-something waitress living in New Jersey who, on a whim, takes the NYPD police exam - and actually passes the test. The story is about the men who cross Rita's path once she is assigned to the NYPD Transit Police Squad.

Travel with Rita as she becomes a "woman-in-jeopardy" and learns that some people hold secrets as dark and as labyrinth-like as the New York City Subway System.

Want More Kathleen?

Pick up your copy of her book today! Click here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Times they are a Changin' with Guest Blogger: Greg Messel

Meet author Greg Messel today
at the Book Boost!

Here's what he had to say...

I remember the days not long ago when one of my favorite pastimes was browsing the racks of music stores. I not only enjoyed the music but I loved the process of the hunt for new CDs.

Then the technology came along where I could load my CDs and burn my own CD mixes for playing in my car or on my portable CD player when I was running outside or on a treadmill. Wow, burning my own CDs–how could it get better than that?

It did.

I bought my first iPod which I could fit into the pocket of my running shorts which contained hundreds of songs. I then discovered iTunes and began downloading music. Then I reached one conclusion–I needed a bigger iPod. Now I had one small one to play music while I was working out and a bigger one to play in my car or home. All of my favorite music could fit in my shirt pocket.

I found that in the process of downloading music I discovered new bands and new types of music. The shelves were never empty at iTunes and the CD or song I was looking for was never out of stock

Then I found there was really no point to browsing the music stores. My visits to places like Tower Records or the wonderful Music Millennium store in Portland, Oregon became less and less frequent.

Soon these record stores began disappearing. So did the CDs which lined the several shelves in my home. Why do I need CDs? I NEVER just play a CD. If I wanted to hear an album by an artist I could just switch to the album mode on my iPod. I finally let go of the security blanket or having the CDs on the bookshelf at home. I had horded them like they were an endangered species that I must preserve for future generations.

Then I realized the folly of having stacks of CDs from the past that will never be played again.
About a year ago when my second novel Expiation was published I got a call from my daughter who told me “I’ve been listening to Expiation as I drive to work and back each day."

“Really?” I didn’t remember anyone making an audio version of my novel. “How are you doing that I asked?”

She informed me that she has Expiation loaded on her Kindle and uses the voice reading feature on her Kindle and listens to my book being read to her through the car stereo system.

Oh yeah. Is it a female voice or male voice? She said she switched it to a male voice since Expiation is written in first person and narrated by the main male character.

No way!

I noticed Kindle sales of my books starting to show up on royalty statements from my publisher.
I attended the LA Festival of Books for a book signing and there was lots of talk about e-books. Suddenly, everyone was talking about e-books.

Things seemed to be changing.

On Christmas morning, 2010, there were two Kindles under my Christmas tree–one for me and one for my techno-phobe wife. I was dragging her into the new world whether she wanted to go or not.

Since Christmas I’ve read six novels. I got into a frenzy of downloading on Christmas day. My Visa card company called me on December 26th checking “an unusual amount” of activity with purchases from Amazon. Well, yeah, guilty as charged.

I have the New York Times Book Review, the Seattle Times and the San Francisco Chronicle delivered each morning to my Kindle for my reading pleasure. I’m also revisiting classics like Crime and Punishment, which I’m reading now. Suddenly I’m starting to wonder why I have all of these bookshelves in my house. I’ve haven’t browsed a bookstore since the first of the year.

I even noticed my wife reading her Kindle in bed with an adjustment made for a larger font so she doesn’t have to wear her glasses. On our nightstands where there used to be stacks of books are now Kindles.

Hmmm. This is a familiar pattern.

A Note from the Book Boost: I was a long time employee of one of those great music store chains back in college. They are all but obsolete these days. Kind of sad, if you ask me. But I still own both an I-pod and a Kindle and my kids stare at me in confused amazement when I refer to these mysterious things called "records" or "LPs"! Thanks for joining us, please tell us more about your book.


In 1968, Dan and Katie are one of the hottest couples at Ballard High School in Seattle. He is the hero football player, and she is the beautiful cheerleader. These high school sweethearts believe theirs is a love that will never die.

Life changes when Dan leaves Washington to start college at the University of California Berkeley and pursue his dream of working for a big time newspaper in the glamorous city of San Francisco. The quest for his dream occurs against the turbulent background of Berkeley and San Francisco in the 1970s as Dan and Katie go their separate ways.

Now, thirty years later, Dan is back in his hometown of Seattle attending his mother's funeral. He's never stopped thinking about Katie, his long-lost love. But the two former high school sweethearts reconnect in a most unexpected way as the rest of the world grows more fearful of Y2K and the dawn of the twenty-first century. They are hoping that their love, once lost, can now be reclaimed.


As we pulled in front of the familiar house in the old neighborhood I smiled and said to Katie, “Your house looks great. Wow, the trees are so big.”

We walked onto the porch. I grabbed Katie’s hand as she fumbled for her house keys.

She turned to look at me.

“How many times do you think I have kissed you on this porch?”

“I don’t know,” Katie said, “but I’d like it if you added one more to that total.”

Katie lowered her briefcase to the ground and put her arms around my neck. I kissed Katie for the first time in 30 years. I couldn’t stop. A surge in emotion was overtaking me. I was actually getting tears in my eyes. I held her tightly and kissed her again.

As we broke our embrace I could see, in the faint glow of the porch light, that Katie had tears in her eyes.

“You‘re still the world’s best kisser,” I said to Katie.

“It’s funny,” Katie said, “it seems so familiar to me to kiss you, even after all of these years. It felt so good. You aren’t so bad yourself Dan. You still have it.”

“Just like riding a bicycle. I just realized how long it has been since I kissed a woman.”

“It’s been a damn long time since I kissed someone. I really like to kiss you Dan.” Before I could respond Katie added, “Let’s go inside. We’re past the point of needing to stand on the porch in November and kiss.”

I laughed and said, “I just realized that the last time I was on this porch was when I left you my final letter.”

Katie opened the door, turned and asked “What letter?”

“The one I left when I came back from Berkeley. I left it in this very same storm door when I came back to Seattle at the end of our first year of college,” I said incredulously.

“I never got a letter like that,” Katie said in a puzzled tone.

That thought hung in the air as we entered her home.

“It looks so great Katie. I love what you have done with this house.” Katie had redecorated everything with new warm colors and new furniture. “It looks like Katie’s house.”

Katie smiled and said, “Let me give you the tour.”

It was all updated and changed but it was a real walk down memory lane as I went from room-to-room. The memories of my time in this house with Katie…from so long ago…came flooding back into my mind.

Katie proudly walked me through her house. “I love it Katie,” I said, “this is an amazing experience to be back here.”

“Can you stay for a while? We have a lot more to talk about.”

“I feel like I don’t want to let you out of my sight now. But feel free to kick me out when you need to go to bed or have had enough or whatever…”

“I wasn’t sure about going to work tomorrow anyway with everything going on downtown. I feel a personal day off coming on. Please stay and talk with me,” she pleaded.

“I’m yours for as long as you want me tonight,” I responded.

Katie took my hand and led me into her kitchen. We sat at the bar in her kitchen. “Let me make you some coffee?”

She busied herself pouring water into the coffee maker. I could now get a better look at her in the brighter light. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. My eyes took a walk all over Katie--her beautiful, thin body, her blonde hair, her warm smile and twinkling, green eyes. She looked incredibly good to me.

Want More Greg?

Visit his website here:

Pick up a copy of his book today! Click here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Jane Austen Method of Pitching with Guest Blogger: Regina Jeffers

Meet author of all things Regency...Regina at the Book Boost!

Here's what she had to say about how to pitch your romance novel...

So, you have landed your first pitch session. Now what? To create a pitch for a romance novel, remember to offer a KISS by Keeping It Simple, Stupid. You will have ten-minutes or less to convince an industry savvy agent/editor that your manuscript is exactly for what a publisher searches. Some key points to consider before beginning the process include:

* Do your homework prior to the scheduled pitch. Know something of the publisher or agent. Who else does he represent? How does he view his place in the publishing realm? If it is an agent rather than an established editor, it is a good idea to know the agent’s mailing or web URL, what categories he represents, whether there is a charge for a reading fee, what manuscripts he has placed with publishers, etc.

* Secondly, practice your pitch. This is no time to “wing it.” I am a pantser by nature, but this is not one area in which I would go unprepared. Do you remember Speech 101 back in high school? There was a reason your guidance counselor advised you to take that class. This is that reason. Write out what you wish to say and practice it. Because invariably your nerves will effect what happens in those few short moments, notice that I did not say memorize your pitch. If you memorize the speech, you will leave something out. Practice means to review it over and over. To develop an organization. To make sure your ideas flow.

Within the pitch, one should include the word count, the genre (and subgenre, if necessary), and something of the setting. One might also mention the working title’s significance. Keep in mind, if sold to a publisher, a title change is likely.

In a romance, one must address both the hero and the heroine. Think through what you will say of these characters: adjectives to describe them; their motivations; their goals, and the conflicts the characters face. Be sure to include how the characters must resolve their differences to finally come together, but do not leave out how the antagonist or the circumstances come close to defeating them. Do not ramble on. These points should take no more than 3-5 sentences. Add a sentence or two about your expertise in the area or about your enthusiasm for the story line/manuscript.

The agent/editor may at this point ask you questions about the project. Again, keep your responses to the point. Stay focused on the goal. This is not the time to tell stories of Uncle Horace’s bunions. Respect the agent/editor’s hard earned status in the publishing world by conducting the pitch session in a business like manner. One can offer a friendly attitude without creating a TMI situation.

Finish with a polite “thank you” for the person’s time. Then state the obvious: “With your permission, I would like to send you my manuscript.” Hopefully, the agent/editor will agree. Yet, there is the possibility that he may not. I, personally, prefer to have a second pitch arranged in such cases. If you have not rambled on previously, you will have time for another short pitch. Use your time wisely.

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for the tips, Regina. I teach a popular Pitch Like a Pro class and often tell my students that those 10 minutes will fly by more quickly than you could ever imagine. Using your time wisely is sage advice. I think Jane would approve! Please tell us more about your book.


A sweep-the-reader-away story of romance, adventure, and intrigue set in the Jane Austen era.

A master at capturing the elegance, grandeur, and literary style of the Regency era, Regina Jeffers has developed a loyal following with her many popular Jane Austen spin-off novels.

In The Scandal of Lady Eleanor, Jeffers offers a completely original Regency romance featuring highly engaging characters and exciting—even shocking—plot twists. James Kerrington, a future Earl and a key member of the British government’s secret unit, the Realm, never expected to find love again after the loss of his beloved wife.

Kerrington’s world shifts on its axis when Eleanor Fowler stumbles into his arms. Eleanor, however, is hiding a deep secret: she had hoped the death of her father, the Duke William Fowler, would give her family a chance at redemption from the dark past, but when Sir Louis Levering proves her father’s debauchery, Eleanor is thrown into a web of immorality and blackmail. Kerrington and his friends must free Eleanor from Levering’s diabolic hold.

Excerpt (edited for length):

He had circumambulated the whole room when the door suddenly flew open, and James came face-to-face with a golden-haired beauty, who, literally, stumbled and fell into his arms. Instinctively, he steadied her stance by encircling her slim waist, clasping his hands behind her back. Her awkward movements to right herself skimmed her soft curves against the muscular hardness of his chest and abdomen, awakening something in his soul, as well as his body. She was breathtakingly beautiful at this close range and just looking at her aroused him. Although nearly as tall as he, the lady refused to look him in the eye as he used his hand to edge her closer to him.

“I…I apologize, Sir,” she stammered and blushed. Color waves flooded her face. James felt the heat of her body radiate into his, and something unknown stirred. He rarely acted so impulsively with any woman.

Tightening his hold on her, he whispered close to her ear, “I cannot say when I enjoyed an accident more. You have my permission, my Dear, to fall into my waiting arms anytime you so choose.” He had no idea why he acted so boldly. The woman was obviously a lady of good breeding and a member of Fowler’s household, and he should apologize, but James found he enjoyed this moment of indiscretion more than he should.

Eleanor Fowler forced herself to look into his countenance. The man’s steel-grey eyes sparked with silver and gold, flashing in unexplained recognition. Broad-shouldered and athletically built, he was solid—time spent in the saddle or in the fencing halls was quite obvious. Dark brows, closely set, framed those mesmerizing eyes into which she now stared. A strong jaw held a firm mouth, biting back a self-assured smile, and Ella realized too late that her hesitation had given him permission to continue to hold her; his hand pressed against her lower back, moving her inches closer to his flat abdomen.

“I…I am…I am capable of standing on my own,” she choked out.

“You may be, my lovely, but I find your presence leaves me quite incapable of even breathing without your aid. This close, you breathe out…and I will inhale the essence of you.”

Want More Regina?

Regina Jeffers is the author of several Jane Austen adaptations, as well as Regency romances. She considers herself a Janeite and spends much of her free time with the Jane Austen Society of North America. A teacher for 39 years, Regina Jeffers is a Time Warner Star Teacher Award winner, a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, a Columbus Educator Award winner, and a guest panelist for the Smithsonian. She has served on various national educational committees and is often sought as a media literacy consultant.

Visit her website here:

Pick up your copy of her book today! Click here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Diary of the Undead With Guest Blogger: LeeAnn Sontheimer Murphy

Win a copy of Love Tattoo and Love Scars and meet paranormal author LeeAnn Sontheimer Murphy!

Here's what she had to say...

As a teen and into my twenties, I kept a diary, meticulously recording the events and emotions of my daily life. I wrote an entry almost every day without fail, some short, some long. I seldom get out those old diaries now but when I do, I am moved by the depth of some thoughts and appalled by the shallowness of others.

Although at the core of my being I remain the same individual that I have been since birth, shaped and formed by life events and experience, I am not the same girl or young woman who penned those diary entries.

Some of the constants, however, remain – as far back as the entries date; I aspired to become a writer and an author. That never changed. Neither did my interest in members of the opposite sex. Many entries deal with my crushes, my dates, my boyfriends of the past, my dreams and my disappointments in love.

During this June Diary Month, I’ve thought about the days when I chronicled my life and wondered just what my character, Cara Riley, might write if she kept a diary. Since she is the heroine for both Love Tattoo and the just released (June 22) Love Scars, its fun to get back into Cara’s head. Both novels are written in first-person anyway so making the leap to the pages of Cara’s diary was simple.

Dear Diary,

Becoming undead is very different than anything I ever imagined, not that I ever spent much time thinking about it back when I had a real life. I guess I never appreciate what life meant until I chose to give all that up for my sexy, wonderful Will. He made me think before he would transform me with that third love tattoo which was a good thing.

Nothing would have made me back out, not when I love this vampire, a man to me, more than I ever loved anyone or anything but an afternoon spent thinking about what I would give up was important.

That way he knows that I came to him of my own free will, nothing else. Even with the obstacles that we face and probably will face in the future, I want no other existence but this one.

What I had to do to keep my happily ever after may not have been the easiest thing but I did it and I even have the scars, love scars Will calls them, to show for my efforts. – Cara

Dear Diary,

I sometimes wonder what my family would think if they ever learn the truth, that I’m a vampire and that I must drink blood to survive. They adore Will and welcomed him into the family but I have to wonder if that would change if they learned he is one and that, at my request, he made me one too. I don’t know. I would like to believe that they wouldn’t care, that they would accept us for what we are and still give unconditional love but I don’t know.

Prejudice is an ugly word but I’m sure most people would have some heavy ones if they found out someone they know is undead and drinks blood. I still haven’t seen human beings work out the racial, religious, and gender prejudices yet so it would be too much to hope for that people could accept us as we are.

I hope that my family never learns the reality and yet sometimes I hope that they will. As they age and we don’t, there will be a lot of explaining to do or lies to tell and I just don’t know yet how I will handle that.

Hopefully, I’ll figure that out before the time comes. – Cara

I’ve never written a character diary during a work-in-progress but now I see that it could be a useful tool for understanding motivation, for finding a way to express what my characters feel.

This may be something I can use in the future and for now, it offers readers a little deeper peek into the mind of my Texas gal vamp, Cara Riley Brennan.

A Note from the Book Boost: This was a great exercise. Thanks for sharing your character and her diary entries with us. Please tell us more about your latest book.


After marrying her sexy undead husband Will Brennan, Cara Riley Brennan thought her happy ending would last forever but she soon learned that the course of true love doesn’t ever run quite that smooth. Just when she thought they were settling into eternal bliss, Sallie Hawkins, the woman who made Will into a vampire in the past, intrudes into their lives. She’s wicked, she’s jealous, and she won’t stop till either Will or Cara is dead.

Her psychic presence tortures them both in body and soul but when she arrives outside their home in the flesh things go from bad to worse. Cara and Will realize that confrontation is inevitable.
When the three meet for battle, they all may not survive and in the end, who lives and who dies is up to Cara who will do anything to keep her chance at a permanent happily ever after ending intact.


When we were in Memphis, we prowled Beale Street and drank Walk Me Downs. We ate at Dyer’s and sometimes we rode the trolley in the moonlight. Once in awhile, we headed to Tunica and some nights, we just stayed home, happy with each other’s company. We had music, poetry, and we had each other. We didn’t need anything else.

Out on the road, we sailed over the highways like that ghostly galleon from The Highwayman poem and before dawn came, we ate steak and eggs over easy in some diner or a truck stop café. At home and away, we talked about everything and nothing. By the time that the heat of summer faded into the first frost, I would have sworn that there was nothing I did not know about Will Brennan or that he didn’t know about me.

Apparently, I was wrong.

Until that January dusk, I figured fairy tales always end happy and in my favorite Western movies, the hero rides off into the sunset with the gal riding behind him in the saddle. I had my Will Brennan and we had forever, all the time that exists. Until then, I always had to hurry, never had enough time. That changed when I did,

You see, the living always feel that breath of mortality against the back of their neck but when you are undead, you have all the days, the weeks, months, and years that there will be ahead so the need to hurry vanishes. If you know – barring any unexpected complication like some fool with a stake to drive into your heart – you live forever, you have all the time in the world held between your hands.

Want More LeeAnn?

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