Thursday, May 24, 2012

A New Beginning with Guest Blogger: B.J. Scott



Welcome back featured author B.J. Scott 
today at the Book Boost!


She's here to chat about beginnings and endings and here's what she had to say...



The end is only the beginning.

So you finished your manuscript after months or maybe even years of hard work. You've gone over it so many times, you know every word by heart. The editor loves it , you've signed your contract, you've made the requested revisions and your release date is set. Now, you can sit back and relax, wait for the royalty checks to come in and move on to your next book.

WRONG.

Signing the contract and handing over your work to an editor is only the beginning and not the end. Especially if this is your debut novel. The misconception that it is now solely in the hands of the publisher is one many newbies make. The book may be wonderful and a hit, but only if you can market it yourself in a way that gets the public's attention. Friends and family can only buy so many books, then the onus is on the author to maintain a presence by doing what they can to get noticed and to stay noticed.

With over one million books being offered on sites like Amazon and dozens of new releases every day, it is not easy to stay in the public eye for long. That is why you must start your marketing strategy before the book goes to print or e-book.

A website and/or blog showcasing your talent, news and tells the readers a bit about yourself is a great place to start. Becoming familiar with the various social media at your disposal is another. While they may seem overwhelming to someone who has never accessed these sites before, it is necessary.

Ads on review sites, websites dedicated to promotion and in popular romance magazines is another. Mind you, the latter can be costly, so you must also set your marketing budget at the start as well. A book trailer, one you make yourself or have professionally done is another way to get your book noticed. Bookmarks, cards, mugs, pens (etc...) can be made with your cover and given away as contest prizes or to people attending conferences. Anything that gets your name out there is useful. There are countless ways to promote your book. It is up to the author, in conjunction with the publisher to decide what method is right for you.


A Note From the Book Boost:  And, of course, guest blogging and author interviews such as this one are helpful with picking up the attention of a potential new reader!  Thanks for joining us today, B.J.  Hope your book is selling well.


Blurb:

Faced with an abhorrent betrothal, Cailin Macmillan flees her father’s castle and quickly learns that a woman traveling alone in Medieval Scotland is an easy target for ruthless English soldiers. When Highland patriot Connor Fraser comes to her aid, his steadfast dedication to king and country is challenged by his overwhelming desire to protect Cailin—even if he must marry her to do so.

Accused of murdering one of her attackers and determined to rely on her own resourcefulness, Cailin dresses as a lad, intent on seeking refuge at the camp of Robert the Bruce. Can she elude an enemy from her past—a vindictive English lord bent on her utter demise—or will she fall prey to his carnal intent and be executed for a crime she did not commit?


Want More B.J.?

Visit her on the web here:  www.authorbjscott.com

Follow her blog here:   

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


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Night Sky by Jolene Perry: A Book Boost Review


Welcome to a Special Edition Book Review 
today at the Book Boost!


I'm taking a close look at the novel Night Sky by Jolene Perry and here are my thoughts...



A lot can happen between Spring Break and graduation—and a lot does in this YA romance from author Jolene Perry.  Told from a teenage boy’s point of view, this novel takes you on a journey from the teen angst of a broken heart through the trials and tribulations we all inevitably must learn to face.  Love.  Loss. Longing.  Lust.  This story is lovely from cover to cover.

Jay and Sky are my kind of kids.  The kind of kids I hope to raise and the kind of kids I wish I'd known back in high school.  These Cherry Pepsi loving teens on the brink of adulthood share breathtaking moments of honesty—such a rare quality even between mature adults these days.  One of my favorite lines about a teenage boy’s body confidence is this one… “And I’m not totally comfortable; I’m just used to being uncomfortable.”

Well said.

Jay is a competitive swimmer and the water plays a healing role in his life as he’s faced with a huge family crisis followed by the revelation of Sky’s ultimate secret.  Torn between his new found respect of total honesty and the fear of taking the leap from adolescence to adulthood, Jay must make a choice.

The story’s maturity and innocence is all rolled into one sweet bundle that keeps you turning the page long into the night.  In the end, big lessons are learned and life goes one with one lingering memento—as Jay discovers something he never expected…“honesty is erotic.”

I couldn’t agree more.  I honestly enjoyed every page of this intensely touching story.



Want More Jolene?



Jolene grew up in Wasilla, Alaska. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in political science and French, which she used to teach math to middle schoolers.

After living in Washington, Utah and Las Vegas, she now resides in Alaska with her husband, and two children. Aside from writing, Jolene sews, plays the guitar, sings when forced, and spends as much time outside as possible.

She is also the author of The Next Door Boys and the upcoming Knee Deep.



Visit her on the web here:  http://www.jolenebperry.com/ 

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


Blurb:

After losing Sarah, the friend he’s loved, to some other guy, Jameson meets Sky. Her Native American roots, fluid movements, and need for brutal honesty become addictive fast. This is good. Jameson needs distraction – his dad leaves for another woman, his mom’s walking around like a zombie, and Sarah’s new boyfriend can’t keep his hands off of her.

As he spends time with Sky and learns about her village, her totems, and her friends with drums - she's way more than distraction. Jameson's falling for her fast.

But Sky’s need for honesty somehow doesn’t extend to her life story – and Jameson just may need more than his new girl to keep him distracted from the disaster of his senior year. 


Learn more about the book here:   

Monday, May 21, 2012

Re-Shaping the Future of Publishing with Guest Blogger: C.Y. Bourgeois



Welcome author C.Y. Bourgeois
to the Book Boost!


She's here to discuss her thoughts about the future of publishing and here's what she had to say...


I, sadly, think e-books are the future of publishing.  Everyone is tied to their electronic devices these days...nobody, including me, can go anywhere without their cell phone.  Now, with smart phones, you can instantly download and read books on your phone, any place, and any time.  People are carrying e-readers everywhere too.  Download and read whenever, wherever.  I don’t believe it’s just a trend.  I think it’s the future of publishing.

There are a ton of self-publishing companies around these days, primarily pushing e-books.  E-books are cheap - cheap to upload and cheap to download.

A large part of the reason that there are so many self-publishing companies out there is because it is extremely hard for a new author to get his or her book published by a traditional publishing house, even if it’s really good.  Publishers need to make money; they need to be pretty sure that they will at least recap their expenses for each new author they sign on.  Agents are also in the business to make a living, so they too are reluctant to take on an unpublished, unproven author.

New authors can self-publish with a minimal amount of expense, get their work out in the world, and hope to be discovered by hordes of eager readers.  E-books are available to readers around the planet.  That’s a pretty big potential audience.

There are also many ways to publish an e-book for free.  An author can publish as many works as he or she wants this way.  This gives e-readers an abundance of books to choose from and the cost is much less than traditional hard copy books.  Many of the e-books can be downloaded for free and a lot of them are available for right around five dollars.  This makes them a very attractive option over purchasing a hardcover for twenty-five-plus dollars or even a soft cover, which now start in the neighborhood of eight-ninety-five and go up from there.  With e-books, if you buy it and don’t like it, at least you didn’t lose a lot of money.

Don’t get me wrong, to my mind; nothing beats the feel and the smell of a book in my hands.  I love how I can pick up a book and lose myself in the pages.  With the flip of each page I’m transported to another place and time, another persona, another horror or joy, another life.  I love going to secondhand stores or the library and browsing through the titles, searching for authors I love, and discovering new ones.

I think (and fervently hope) that real, hold-in-your-hand books will always have a place in our hearts and minds, but they are swiftly being overshadowed by e-books; the instant gratification we crave these days - download from anywhere at any time.  I am certain that books will always be available for those of us who love them, but they may soon be relegated only to libraries and secondhand stores.

I think the day will come when we won’t be able to walk into a store and pick up a new book, feel the weight of it in our hands, ruffle the pages - the scent of paper and ink filling our nostrils - and read the back cover, our minds quickening at the hint of the exciting story lying in wait between the shiny covers.

I think the day will come and I think it will be a sad day.         


A Note from the Book Boost:  Hopefully there will always be a place for print books in the world.  Although, my home is running out of room for them now. :-)  Thanks for joining us today, C.Y. and best of luck on your new release!  Please tell us more.


Blurb:

Shelby Leight is a wise-cracking, lighthearted teenager, looking forward to a fun-filled senior year in high school.  She already knows the pain of losing a loved one, but has worked her way through the grief to come out on the other side.

Then, in the fall of 1975, in the sleepy, picturesque town of Palmer Alaska, the unthinkable happens.  There's a serial killer on the hunt and one of Shelby’s best friends has disappeared.

The sudden loss of her friend in such a violent manner awakens something in her, an ability to communicate with the dead....visions.  In the midst of all this, Shelby falls in love for the first time only to discover the shocking truth about her boyfriend.  Can she accept him for who – what he is?  Can her friends and family accept him?

Shelby has a vision of the killer stalking another of her friends and is desperate to stop him before it’s too late.  Instead of an enjoyable senior year of high school, Shelby and her friends must come to grips with life and death - and all they hold - in their quest to find a monster before he kills again.


Excerpt:


You know how we make a smooth transition from an old year to a new year? How, despite the big fuss everybody makes on New Year’s Eve swearing the new one will be better than the last, nothing mind-blowing happens with the changing of the calendar? How life just marches on tossing things your way, here and there, for better or worse? Well, on January 1st as we hung up our shiny new calendar, we looked forward with eager anticipation to a year that had to be better than the last. After all, we said, it can’t be any worse. Famous last words . . .

September 17, 1974 . . . two soldiers in Army dress greens standing on our front porch . . . our world lurched on its axis, knocked us to our knees, lives changed forever in a New York minute. A few days later my brother Phil came home from Vietnam . . . in a flag draped coffin. Just nineteen when he died, they called him a hero. I didn’t care, I just knew I didn’t get to have a brother and he didn’t get to have a life. I’d said goodbye to him before he shipped out less than one year before being killed.

After he left we wrote back and forth every week, letters were better than nothing, but never in my wildest dreams did I think we would never be together again, never talk to each other in person again.

Phillip Thomas Leight, my big brother, my friend, friends not just because we were close in age, only two years apart, but because he was genuinely a good person. I admired him; he was the most happy-go-lucky guy, always the goofball; cracking jokes and playing pranks. Phil was also my defender, my knight in shining armor. I called him my Dragon. Not only did he have a picture of one tattooed on his chest, he acted like one; docile, going about his business, but if anyone or anything threatened his family or friends he’d puff up like a fire-breathing dragon, ready for battle, defending us to the death. I guess that’s what he thought he was doing when he volunteered for duty in Vietnam.

I couldn’t believe my brother had just vanished from this earth, how could it just go on turning as if nothing happened? I thought I’d never be happy again; my heart was broken in too many pieces. Two nights after his funeral, Phil fixed that. He visited me in my dreams telling me everything would be okay He said it was alright to be sad as long as I didn’t “snivel and whine” too long (that made me laugh—it was so Phil). He said he knew I loved him and missed him, whispering “ditto back atcha”. 

It’s what he always said whenever someone told him they loved him or would miss him, or anything else he thought even slightly sappy. He told me to be happy, have a good life, to remember him not with sadness but with joy in the memories we shared. He gifted me with one of his big, incandescent smiles, the ones that used to light up entire rooms when he walked in the door. Then he left and never returned.

After his visit I could feel the broken pieces of my heart shifting, moving together, healing. At last I’d been able to say goodbye to my brother. I hoped he was going someplace nice. Although I will always grieve for him, I take comfort in knowing that wherever my Dragon is I’ll be with him again one day.

January 1975. New calendar, new year. I was able to laugh again and life marched on.

I’m Shelby Violet Leight (pronounced light). I adore my family and consider myself a loyal friend. I have a slightly sarcastic sense of humor, a vivid imagination and I love watching Saturday morning cartoons, The Twilight Zone, and Star Trek.

Eight days into 1975 I turned seventeen. The eighth of January is my birthday as well as that of Elvis Presley. I thought (still do) it very cool to have popped into the world on the same day as The King of Rock and Roll. I bragged about it endlessly as though sharing Elvis’s birthday made me somehow special. My friends just shook their heads and laughed. I also imagined that being seventeen meant I was all grown-up. I looked forward to starting school in August as a senior and after graduation planned to attend college in Fairbanks, majoring in Marine Biology.

1975 was the final year of a dreadful two year recession in the U.S., the year The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, declared in no uncertain terms that he was “Born to Run”, David Bowie scored a mainstream hit with “Young Americans”, and Willie Nelson crooned about “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain”. Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline started, and South Vietnam surrendered, a longed-for ending of the vicious, deadly Vietnam War, bringing the rest of our Boys home.

Even though it started out just like any other year, 1975 turned out to be quite a pivotal time in our lives. Not due to popular songs or oil pipelines; in part due to the ending of a long and brutal war that killed thousands of fathers, sons, and brothers along with my own, but mostly because of what happened later right here in the sleepy, little town of Palmer Alaska.

I was reminded for the second time in my short life how things sometimes take an unexpected turn and knock you to your knees.





Want More C.Y.?


Visit her on the web here: 
http://cybourgeois.authorsxpress.com/
            
Follow her blog here:  www.cybourgeois.blogspot.com

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


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Soaring High with Guest Blogger: Nicole Graysen

Photo courtesy of AmeliaEarhart.com


Welcome Nicole Graysen, author of 
erotic paranormal to the Book Boost today!

She's here to discuss overcoming your fears and conquering the challenges in life and here's what she had to say...


Thank you Kerri for having me on The Book Boost today.

Do you dream of flying?  Of soaring through the air, weightless, high above the ground? I do and my inspiration came from a third grade biography report on Amelia Earhart. I was first drawn to her because of the mystery surrounding her death.

Where did she land? How had she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, gotten off course? It reminded me of the search for Titanic or the disappearance of Flight 19 off the coast of Florida near the Bermuda Triangle. At the time, anything mysterious or with a hint of the supernatural caught my attention.  Some things haven’t change as I’ve matured.

But her life encompassed much more than the mystery of her death.  She set speed, altitude, and distance records, wrote inspirational books about her journeys and pushed against established boundaries through business organizations and the way she lived her life. Even her marriage was unusual because she claimed it was a “partnership” during a time when women usually deferred to men.

In today’s world, actors and sports athletes are spotlighted with the President. But in 1932, Amelia Earhart met President Herbert Hoover to receive the National Geographic Society’s gold medal and Congress awarded her the Distinguished Flying Cross for becoming the first woman to perform a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean – on the five year anniversary of Charles Lindberg’s achievement. She was an exceptional woman who knew what she wanted and pursued her passion with unrelenting determination.

And I wanted to be just like her as I grew up. Except I never faced any dangerous quests and I don’t possess that go for broke spirit. I like and pretty much follow “the rules” but I can be darn stubborn when there is something I want.

There’s not much left to achieve in air flight but to go into outer space, now that is a challenge. And I’ve wanted to see the stars since I was 10 and decided I would go into space. Despite my parent’s misgivings, I started my college career in aerospace engineering. Eventually, through a lot of late night hours and very poor grades I came to agree with my parents and switched majors.

Let’s just say that math should contain numbers not squiggles, letters, and shapes – three dimensional calculus is hard, particularly if you cannot “see” the theory. And because I faced reality and needed a job, I gave up on my dreams of space.

For a long time, I avoided anything to do with space and science fiction. I cut that part out of myself and refused to acknowledge it. I let myself down, Amelia Earhart and so many other women pioneers never quit. Then I started writing. And I’m slowly allowing myself to dream those spacey dreams again. Because I may never win the lottery and pay for a ride to outer space, but I can always live it through the worlds I create.

Amelia Earhart said "It is far easier to start something than it is to finish it." That is so true for writing.  Bright and Shiny Syndrome overwhelms me as I get to tough areas of a story. But you have to push through and work at it. And while no one has given me a medal, I get just as much satisfaction when a story is published.

My first erotic paranormal horror story is now available. Betrayed by the Incubus is the first in a trilogy of shorter stories about what happens to people when their trust is betrayed. You will not find a happy ending in these stories but lots of sex and a world populated by people with wings.


A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for joining us today, Nicole.  I was so inspired by that quote from Amelia.  It literally gave me chill bumps.  Thanks for sharing your story (and hers).  Please tell us more about your latest release.

 

Blurb:
 
**You must be 18 to read erotic paranormal horror short story.
Contains voyeurism, an incubus masquerading as a woman's husband, and M/M sex.**


In a move designed to consolidate its power, the Harmonian TriCouncil gave Miranda Nightengale to another and sent them away from Rhira. Enraged by the loss of his soul mate, Phillip Devlin Moreau left Harmonia and sacrificed his wings to absorb the soul of an immortal Incubus.

Intent on revenge against the TriCouncil, Phillip searched for a descendant of Miranda. After 700 years, his quest has come to an end. All he has to do is seduce Fiona Nightengale Richardson to create the instrument of his revenge - a child.


Excerpt (edited for length):  

His prey drove away. Their headlights illuminated the desolate cliff side as night encroached, the sun setting in crimson fire. Assured they wouldn't return, Phillip Devlin Moreau banished the illusion of a silver Miata convertible parked in the driveway.

Gazing at the unfamiliar stars overhead, he remembered a time spent patrolling the skies of Rhira as a winged member of the Harmonian race. When the rapture of flight meant more than the gratification gained from sex. Before his wings were sacrificed in pursuit of revenge. Before he became a vessel for the Incubus's dark soul.

A seagull's cry brought his thoughts back to Earth. He released his grip on the front porch as his strength returned. Crafting the house and surrounding landscape from the threads of illusion siphoned away most of his power. He'd be vulnerable until Fiona Nightengale Richardson and her husband Lance moved in and he could feed.

Phillip descended the porch steps and strolled around the side of the house to the backyard. Memories cascaded in time with the crashing waves, as Fiona resembled Miranda enough for them to have been twin sisters. Seven hundred years he searched for the descendants of Miranda Nightengale. His love, his mate.

The woman who should have been his.

He lost her to the Harmonian TriCouncil's machinations. They'd panicked at the idea of a Nightengale-Moreau union. The council had convinced her to mate with another and leave their homeworld, Rhira. He'd abandoned his place within the golden palace and forfeited the air currents in order to pursue her.

Four hundred years ago he found her descendants. He waited another three hundred before a daughter with an incomplete mating-bond and enough power to mate with him came of age.

His plan for revenge began with the birth of a child from his and Miranda's bloodlines. A son could bring down the corrupt council and free the Harmonians from the council's tyranny. A daughter could be taught to rule from the bedroom.

Phillip peered into the dark forest shadows, seeking a predator among the trees. Waist high, two amber eyes regarded him with a burning hatred.

"There you are, my dear. Come to me, Cassandra." He added a touch of power to enforce the command. All succubae carried the taint of his incubus blood even if he didn't sire them directly.

This one required careful handling. She craved her independence. A lot like him. He knew once she produced the child required of her, she would leave Rhira and his dominion. Sadness engulfed him each time a daughter of his heart departed.

She leapt across the yard. Her wings spread open to encompass their full span. She landed next to him on all four limbs. Her hair billowed out behind her, a cascade of burnt red. Her bare skin glowed in the moonlight, a pale silvery gray.


Want More Nicole?

Visit her website here:  http://NicoleGraysen.com/

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


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Life with Diabetes: Through the Eyes of Child


Please cheer for my daughter Brooke 
who joins us for this special 
Tuesday edition @theBookBoost!


Typically, I don't put images or personal information about my children online.  But in this case, I think it is so important to share the thoughts of my daughter Brooke with you.  She's 11 years old and was diagnosed with Type 1, Juvenile Diabetes at the age of 2.  She's battled this monster through many highs and lows and wants to share her thoughts with you today.


Please give her your support by commenting and even more so by coming out to bid or helping to promote the diabetes auction for a cure currently ongoing through the end of May (details at the bottom of this post).  Just think what a cure would mean to Brooke and the other thousands of children just like her.  Thanks in advance for your support.


TBB:  Welcome, Brooke.  What a joy to have you visit Mom here at the Book Boost.  Can you tell us your first memory of having diabetes?

Brooke:  I honestly don't have a "first memory" of diabetes.  I was only 2 years old when I was diagnosed and it really just seems like something that has always been there.  I have brief flashes of my Dad and my Aunt Leigh and my grandparents visiting me in the hospital but that's it.


TBB:  I'm glad you don't remember more of that hospital stay.  It was a harrowing ordeal for all of us.  You spent nearly a week in the hospital and about three days of that in the Pediatric ICU.  For a day or so, you didn't even recognize me.  I will never forget that scary time but I'm so glad you're doing well now.  That was a big challenge for me, to learn how to take care of you with all the injections and finger sticks.  What's your biggest daily challenge when it comes to living with diabetes?

Brooke:  It sometimes can be annoying or frustrating to have to take time out of sleepovers or get out of the pool or wake up at 3:00 in the morning to check my sugar or eat a snack.  Sometimes I have to stay home from school because of a high sugar and it makes me feel sick.  But I'm thankful that I don't have to worry about a bigger illness such as cancer.  When I see the kids on those St. Jude's Hospital commercials--I'm thankful.


TBB:  Wow.  That makes me both proud of you and sad at the same time.  Proud that you realize there are others in the world who suffer more.  And sad that you still have to suffer at all.  Sigh.  So, on the flip side, does having diabetes offer you any rewards?

Brooke:  Yes.  It has been an interesting experience even though it has been tough for me and my whole family.  Because for the average person out there, your really don't know that much about diabetes.  Most people think they know because they see commercials on television but those are for Type 2 diabetes which is completely different.  I consider myself lucky to be so well educated on a disease such as this and I've taken an interest in the medical side of it.  I have dreams of studying endocrinology in college.


TBB:  Well, of course, I'll be proud of whatever field you choose to study but...a doctor?  A scientist?  A diabetes educator?  Those would be very noble fields to choose.  Speaking of your future, what do you think is the future of diabetes?

Brooke:  One word.  CURE.  All I can do is pray that God will bless us and give us the power to find a cure.  If one scientist can find a cure it would change the lives of not just me but of the millions of people worldwide who suffer daily.


TBB:  I agree.  There has to be hope.  Do you play an active role in the future of diabetes right now?

Brooke:  Yes.  Myself and my family have donated money to both the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Diabetes Research Institute.  I hope to work in the medical field one day.  But mostly, these days, I pray for a cure.  That's all I can really do.


TBB:  Sometimes that's enough.  Do you think diabetes has shaped you into the person you are today?

Brooke:  I definitely wouldn't know as much about this disease if I didn't have it.  I wouldn't be as considerate of the cause.  And I think, in general, it makes me more sensitive to others in every way because I know what it feels like to be different.


TBB:  How do you think your life would be different if you'd never faced this challenge?

Brooke:  I think my life might be easier in some ways but I wouldn't be as strong a person.  It doesn't bother me to have diabetes because I still consider myself mostly the same as anyone else but I have a uniqueness that makes me truly special.


TBB:  Yes, you do.  And yes you are...very special.  


Thanks for being brave and for taking the time out of your homework to answer these questions for us.  Now, get back to studying! (Mom humor.)


Okay, folks.  Now you see what we live with every day in our home.  Won't you come out and support the cause?  Spread the word about the auction.  Make a bid on an item or two.  Consider making a cash contribution to research.  Plan to donate an item next year.


Anything you can do will help--no matter how big or small--any help is appreciated.


Check out the fabulous auction here through May 31st:



Don't forget...anyone who bids, comments, or shares information about my Tuesday Diabetes features is entered to win 2 Dozen Autographed books--just for hanging out with me and helping promote such a worthy cause (details below).


Until next Tuesday, I remain...


Graciously yours,

Kerri Nelson
Diabetes Mom, Author,
and Owner of The Book Boost





Contest Time:

For those of you who stop by the Book Boost this month on any Tuesday and let me know that you've bid on an item, won an item, donated an item or otherwise supported our search for a cure, your name will be entered into a drawing for a huge collection of autographed romance novels from my personal collection. 

This lot includes autographed books from authors such as Lori Wilde, Vicki Lewis Thompson, Susan Mallery and many more!  All new, all autographed and all just for you.

Contest runs from May 1st through May 31st.  Winner announced in early June here at the blog.  You must post a comment on any Tuesday's post during the month of May to enter.  Be sure to leave your contact information so we can reach you if your name is chosen as the winner.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mum's the Word: Happy Mother's Day from the Book Boost!


Mum's the Word!  
Win a bundle of "Mom-friendly" 
books this weekend at the Book Boost!



In honor of my mother and all the mothers in the world who have the toughest job they'll ever love, I invite you to share with me a story about you and your mother.

In exchange, I'll be giving away a book bundle to one lucky winner.  See below for details.

One of my fave memories of reading associated with my mother is our weekly trip to the bookstore.  We'd spend what seemed like hours (but probably wasn't really that long knowing how busy my mother truly was--I only know this now that I'm the mother of THREE little ones) browsing the rows and rows of books.  The smell of paper and ink.  The quiet murmur of patrons.  The lime green, 1970's style carpeting.  Those sexy covers with handsome hairy-chested heroes and thigh-baring ladies.  Oops!  I don't think I was supposed to be looking at those particular covers.

But, I'll admit to having an early liking for the taboo world of adult romance.  I was no more than a fourth or fifth grader but my desire for knowledge of the adult world of books was strong.

So strong, in fact, I'd sneak a peak at my mother's stash of tawdry, tattered romances whenever I was sure she wouldn't notice.  Like say...by verifying she was occupied elsewhere in the house and then crawling into her dark closet with my trusty Scooby Doo flashlight.  Digging out one of her new books and scanning the pages for the "bad words".

What did all those words mean?  I wasn't exactly sure but I knew it must be good.  My mother had stacks and stacks of the things.  From that point on, I was on a mission to learn more about these books.  These little nuggets of escape my mother clung to on the sofa, in bed, at the pool, on road trips and anywhere else she could find a moment or two to read.

Now, as an adult, a mother of many and a multi-published romance author myself, my love for reading has NEVER waned.  Not one single time have I ever uttered, "I'm tired of books."  And I fully understand my mother's love of the romance genre.

I love them, long for them, and eagerly seek the next dose of romance escapism that can be found between those sexy pages.  Of course, I don't have to belly crawl into a dark closet with a flashlight to read them these days.  I'll openly read them in public, flash those naughty covers in the doctor's office waiting room, and proudly announce to anyone who will listen...I'm a romance author and I'm proud of it!

But the scent of freshly laundered linens and the smell of my father's shoe polish will forever remind me of those secret days of romance reading from long ago.

Thanks Mom for introducing me to my favorite genre.  And if you did know what I was up to all those years ago--thanks for letting me get away with it. xoxo

As far as a fave "mom" character in a book?  I have so many the mind surely boggles.  But since I'm a huge Susan Mallery fan (and desire to cheer her on whenever given the chance), I'll share with you one of my fave mom characters from one of her books---her name just happens to be Kerri Sullivan (isn't that a grand first name, wink wink, nudge nudge) and she stars in the book Accidentally Yours.  She is one determined mom in search of a way to save her son who suffers from a chronic illness and nothing will get in her way.  What's not to love about that type of Mom?

Given that this very month, my own daughter will reach her 9 year milestone after being diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the tender age of 2.  How can I not root for any mom who must watch their child suffer and wish they could take the illness from them and endure the pain on their behalf?  Surely that would hurt less.

Sigh.  No one said being a mom would be easy.

Alas, on the lighter side of things...

I'll go ahead and share with you my mother's fave "mom" character in a book.

Her fave character would be Grandma Mazur from the Janet Evanovich series featuring Stephanie Plum.  She never fails to laugh out loud at Grandma and I thinks she's just the type of Grandma my mother hopes to be for my children.  Fun, rebellious, slightly nosy, and with an "all around town" type personality minus the gun toting tendencies!

I love you, Mom.  Happy Mother's Day!

Until next time, I remain...

Romance-Friendly Yours,
Writer of Romance, Owner of The Book Boost,
 & Mother to Mayhem, Chaos, and Tantrums


Contest Time:

Share a story about you and your Mom or tell us about your fave "Mom" character in a book to be entered to win a book bundle of "Mom-friendly" books this Mother's Day Weekend!

**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, May 10, 2012

A Newborn Author, Once Again with Guest Blogger Leslie Langtry




Win a new romantic comedy and 
give a special welcome to our 
2011 Book Boost Blogger of the Year, 
author Leslie Langtry!


She's here to tell us about her recent re-birth as an author and here's what she had to say...


My book is free.  And that makes me happy.  Not something you think you'd hear an author say, right?  Well, this is the new era of epublishing and crazy things are happening. 'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy was the first book I sold to a New York publisher.  It came out in paperback in 2006.  In 2010, I requested my rights back from the publisher.  They didn't want to do any more books in the series (they pubbed four), and my fans were threatening to lynch me if I didn't write more. 

Anyhow - I put the e-book up at the end of that year and it did pretty well.  I didn't really understand how e-books worked, so I didn't really promote it the way I should've.  I promoted it the way I did a print book.  This doesn't necessarily work for an e-book.

After a year at $3.99, the book sales slowed down.  I needed new readers to find me - something called "discoverability" in e-talk.  So, last March, I lowered the price to 99 cents.  The sales perked up and did pretty well for a year.  But I was still having trouble getting "discovered" - something that sounds like I just hopped off the virtual bus in internet Hollywood with a suitcase and a dream...

A couple of author friends encouraged me to take this to the next level and make it free.  Okay, I thought, that doesn't sound great.  It's hard to get royalties out of $0.  But they persisted and told me that once a book goes free on Amazon - it reaches a level of discoverability that I couldn't get to otherwise.  So, after hemming and hawing and dragging my feet - I tried it - which felt more like getting off of a real bus in the middle of a desert wearing a sausage necklace. 

Within hours, my sales rank went from 14,000 at amazon to 244!  I hit #9 on the Humor bestseller list at Amazon.com! 

There might be something to this. I promise to come back and fill you in on what happens  I'm only going to keep it free for a short time - so you should download it and ask everyone you know to download it.  Pick up your free copy today!  Click here.

A Note from the Book Boost:  Leslie, I'm so happy for you and thrilled to hear of your recent successes.  Oh, and since we are going back in time to the baby-age.  I'll play in the sandbox with you anytime, my friend.>>Kerri, age 2>>




Want More Leslie?

Visit her on the web here:  http://www.leslielangtry.com/

Follow her blog here: 



Contest Time:


Leave a question or comment for Leslie and be entered to win a copy of her newest book, The Adulterer's Unofficial Guide to Family Vacations.




**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!**

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Legends & Lore with Guest Blogger: Marsha A. Moore


Welcome author Marsha A. Moore 
to the Book Boost today!

She's here to discuss magical gemstones, superstitions and enchanted bookstores and here's what she had to say...


One of the monthly themes here at The Book Boost is the topic of superstitions since on May Day, young girls wanting to remove freckles from their faces, were encouraged to wash their faces in the early morning dew. The magical systems of my Enchanted Bookstore Legends use many such superstitions.

Even though my heroine, Lyra McCauley, is one of only five Scribes in all of Dragonspeir’s history and has inherited vast power, she needs more than that to survive the dangers she faces. Opening an enchanted book, she confronts a quest. She is expected to save Dragonspeir from destruction by the Black Dragon before he utilizes power of August’s red moon to expand his strength and overthrow the opposing Imperial Dragon. Lyra accepts the challenge because Cullen, the wizard she loves, will perish if evil wins.

Along with magical animal guides, Cullen helps her through many perils, but ultimately Lyra must use her own power to complete the quest. She gains additional energy to access her inherited strength from the stars, magnetics within the Earth, and from special forces contained in mystical gemstones. I’ll briefly explain the traditional lore and superstitions of gems as well as effects of these stones in my own legends.

Heliodor, also called Golden Beryl, has long been cut into spheres for scrying since it enhances the owner’s psychic awareness.

In Seeking a Scribe, Lyra is given a gift from each of the four Guardians—the Phoenix, the Tortoise, the Imperial Dragon, and the Unicorn—who are the four Chinese sacred animals that balance all of creation through their influences on the elements of fire, water, air, and earth, respectively.

The Unicorn’s gift to Lyra is a scrying stone of heliodor. The golden hue of the stone he matched to the unique color of her visible scribal aura. An aura is a glow of light that surrounds the entire body of a magical being. To use her heliodor, she concentrates on one single question about a future event. The stone answers with an image she must decipher.

Jade has long been revered as a symbol of love. In ancient China a prospective bride would present her betrothed a jade butterfly to seal their engagement. Likewise the bridegroom would give his sweetheart a gift of jade before their wedding. This gem is considered one of the most important symbols of purity and serenity. The ancient Chinese also felt that Jade helped to inspire the mind to make quick and precise decisions. The ancient trader would often hold this gem in the palm of his right hand while he engaged in business transactions.

In my legends, once love grows between Lyra and Cullen, it is visibly connected through a gift of the lovers’ paired jadestones. Only one set of these powerful stones exists in Dragonspeir. The gems are mounted into two ornate brooches, a male and female setting. The two call to each other and bond Lyra and Cullen’s magic, enabling them to use their combined magical powers as one extremely strong unit. This proves invaluable in many life-threatening situations.

Jet wards off dark magic by balancing the emotions of the wearer to protect him/her from possession.
It’s no wonder that a necklace of jet was created for the first Scribe to protect her from being mentally possessed by evil forces of the Dark Realm in Dragonspeir. After the Black Dragon first trajects his magic through Lyra, Cullen gives her that ancient necklace and initiates its magic once again.

Opal is considered to be able to confer the gift of invisibility on its wearer.

A mysterious benefactor sends Lyra a gift of a rare opal invisibility ring at just the right moment.
Blue topaz allows the wearer’s strength to increase so he/she may become more clear-sighted and dispel all enchantment.

Cullen wears a massive silver ring, wrought with the face of a dragon, having eyes of blue topaz. He uses the ring as a means to transmit incantations mentally rather than saying them aloud, particularly helpful when silence is necessary for safety.

Sapphire has been associated with divine favor. The Buddhists believed that the sapphire favored devotion and spiritual enlightenment. The ancient Greeks linked sapphire with Apollo, and wore it as an aid to prophecy when consulting oracles. It is worn and utilized in rituals to strengthen the ability to tap and send forth power.

Blue is the designated color of allegiance to the Alliance. The highest magicals in the Alliance each possess a sapphire, including each of the four Guardians. Cullen’s wizard staff bears a sapphire at its apex, which channels his power into sharp streams.

Amethyst can be used to increase psychic awareness, to sharpen the 'sixth sense.' Similarly, iolite stimulates the wearer’s spiritual awareness, guide him/her to a higher awareness, and awakens inner knowledge. Iolite helps its owner to open the door to the knowledge of the Universe.

Both of these purple gems are worn by several magical residents of Dragonspeir who don’t align their support with either the Dark Realm of the Black Dragon or the Alliance of the Imperial Dragon.

Colors are worn to display allegiance, red for the Dark Realm and blue for the Alliance. Purple, an intermediate color, indicates these individuals stand apart. Included in this group are the alchemists for both realms, as well as many of the magical nomadic tribal peoples who are sky readers. These renegades pose as much threat for Lyra as the Dark Realm, pursuing her for her unique scribal aura.

I’ve always enjoyed the legends and lore of gemstones. Their mystical qualities added another layer of magic to my legends. To see these amazing stones in action, read Seeking a Scribe: Enchanted Bookstore Legend One.

A Note From the Book Boost:  This is all very fascinating, Marsha.  Thanks for sharing both your research and your world building with us.  Please give us a taste of your book!

Blurb:

Lyra McCauley is a writer and loves fantasy novels, but when she opens a selection from bookstore owner Cullen Drake, she has no idea he’s a wizard character who lives a double life inside that volume…or the story’s magic will compel her from the edge of depression to adventure, danger, and love.

His gift to Lyra, the Book of Dragonspeir, was actually her copy, misplaced years ago. Lost in her pain following divorce and death, she fails to recognize him as her childhood playmate from the fantasyland. Friendship builds anew. Attraction sparks. But Lyra doubts whether a wizard is capable of love. She’s torn—should she protect her fragile heart or risk new love?

Opening the book’s cover, she confronts a quest: save Dragonspeir from destruction by the Black Dragon before he utilizes power of August’s red moon to expand his strength and overthrow the opposing Imperial Dragon. Lyra accepts the challenge, fearing Cullen will perish if evil wins. Along with magical animal guides, Cullen helps her through many perils, but ultimately Lyra must use her own power…and time is running out.



Excerpt (edited for length):

The smell of anise greeted Lyra as she opened the door to Drake’s bookstore. It took her back to happy childhood memories. Licorice-shoe-string-rewards for following her parents’ requests to stay on the dock while they secured the family’s pleasure boat to its trailer. The aroma brought a fleeting remembrance of times long gone, a treasure now that her folks had recently passed. At ease with the familiar scent, she settled into browsing through rows of antique bookcases.

The shop owner stuck his head around a set of shelves. “Do you like tea?”

"Yes, I do.” Before she could finish speaking, he disappeared. “Is that the wonderful smell?” she called out.

Kitchenware clinked in the back room. Receiving no answer, Lyra followed the noises, scanning collections as she walked. This bookshop appeared established, but surely she would have remembered it from her last visit to the Lake Huron village five years ago. Books were her passion, especially fantasy. She paused in front of that section and studied its titles.

The owner appeared, holding a pewter tray with a teapot, two cups, sugar jar, spoons, and napkins, which he laid on the corner of an old library table. She watched him carefully pour the tea and hand her a cup. He was about her age, mid thirties or a bit older, and handsome. His medium brown hair, peppered with gray at the temples, grazed his shoulders in wavy layers, and his beard was trimmed into a neat goatee. He wore long shorts, a knit golf shirt, and sandals—typical casual attire for this island resort community. 

She set down her bag from the drugstore and accepted his offer with a smile. “Thanks. My name’s Lyra.” She blew across the hot surface of the tea to cool it and then inhaled the anise-scented steam. She closed her eyes to fully enjoy the memory. “Ah!”

“Afternoons of boating and licorice with your parents? Right?” he asked.

Her mouth dropped open. How did he know that? 

He slurped from his cup. “Go ahead, take a sip. My folks gave me the same reward for taking my kid sister along on bicycle rides.” 

Forgetting all about the tea, she asked, “How do you know my childhood memory?” 

“Taste it.” His lips curled into a sly grin as he took another gulp.

She cautiously took a tiny sip, just enough to wet her lips and the tip of her tongue.  The flavor flooded her mouth, and her mind swam with wonderful memories. The taste transformed into that of gigantic popcorn balls the sheriff’s wife down the street made for Halloween trick-or-treaters, accompanied by images of Lyra’s costume—a red, fringed gypsy skirt borrowed from Mom. Next came a pumpkin flavor and vision of holding a cold piece of “punky-pie” in her five-year-old hand. Another swallow returned her experience back to anise. “What is this? How did you know?”

“Let me introduce myself.” His grin spread into a smile as his eyes met hers. He took a step closer.

“I’m Cullen, Cullen Drake, and I know many things. What I don’t know is what sort of books you like to read.”



Want More Marsha?


Visit her on the web here:  http://MarshaAMoore.com

Follow her on Twitter here: 

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


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Win your Name in a Book & Help Cure Diabetes!



Bid on a chance to win your name 
in the sequel to Courting Demons 
& much more!


Every Tuesday this month we are featuring the annual Brenda Novak Auction for Diabetes Research.  Today's feature is on one of the items I've donated to the cause.  A very near and dear cause to me since my lovely 11-year-old daughter, Brooke, has continuously fought the battle with Type 1 Diabetes for 9 years as of this month.

Each year, I support the auction by bidding on fantastic items (I'm watching quite of few of these delicious treasures).  I also donate several items to the event.  This year, one of my items is the ever popular "name in a book".  If you bid on and win this auction, you'll get to add your name (or the name of your choice) to the sequel to my hot and humorous, paranormal suspense Courting Demons.

The auction also includes an autographed copy of Courting Demons!  But, if you already own your copy (and thank you, if you do), you can substitute in an autographed copy of the upcoming sequel...Appealing Angels! Coming in 2013!


Want to check out the auction and start bidding?

Click here to bid:



Want to check out all the other amazing items up for grabs?

Click here to view the auction's home page:



Here's a little blurb from Courting Demons to wet your appetite:

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.
 

“Nelson’s novel is full of fun. Readers will love the hilarity and underlying danger that pushes the story forward.”  --Romantic Times Magazine
 
“Kerri Nelson offers up a lot of fun and wild magic in Courting Demons!” –Bestselling author, Linda Wisdom, Demons are a Girl’s Best Friend

“Poor Paisley, but lucky me…I laughed so loud…I heartily recommend this well-written, deftly plotted little gem.” --Margaret Fieland, Poetry & Prose Blog



Want a little more?  Click here for an excerpt:




Oh, and if that's not enough...here's a sexy teaser pic for Appealing Angels!  C'mon, you know you wanna know what happens next.



And, if you want to pick up a copy of Courting Demons or any of my books while you're waiting on Appealing Angels, you can always check out my website here for more details:




Don't forget...anyone who bids, comments, or shares information about my Tuesday Diabetes features is entered to win 2 Dozen Autographed books--just for hanging out with me and helping promote such a worthy cause (details below).

Until next Tuesday, I remain...

Graciously yours,

Kerri Nelson
Mom, Domestic Goddess,
Author, and Owner of The Book Boost


Contest Time:

For those of you who stop by the Book Boost this month on any Tuesday and let me know that you've bid on an item, won an item, donated an item or otherwise supported our search for a cure, your name will be entered into a drawing for a huge collection of autographed romance novels from my personal collection. 

This lot includes autographed books from authors such as Lori Wilde, Vicki Lewis Thompson, Susan Mallery and many more!  All new, all autographed and all just for you.

Contest runs from May 1st through May 31st.  Winner announced in early June here at the blog.  You must post a comment on any Tuesday's post during the month of May to enter.  Be sure to leave your contact information so we can reach you if your name is chosen as the winner.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Do You Feel Lucky? With Guest Blogger: Meggan Connors


Win a copy of The Marker and 
welcome featured author 
Meggan Connors to the blog!


She's here to discuss her loveable longing for luck and here's what she had to say...


Do You Believe in Luck?

Logically, I shouldn’t believe in luck.

I come from a family of scientists, none of whom believe in luck. But for all of that, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time breaking down my heritage and deciding which nationalities are lucky and which ones are unlucky.

For instance, I’ve decided the Dutch are, generally, lucky. Score one for me! At the other end of the spectrum, the Irish are either tremendously lucky or horribly unlucky. There is no in-between with the Irish. And the English? They’re the “meh” in the luck sandwich. Sometimes, they’re lucky, sometimes they’re not.

My brother has Dutch luck. I’ve never met anyone who is as lucky as he is. It’s like he has a guardian angel looking after him, a leprechaun in his back pocket, and Ganesh is sitting on his shoulder. My brother can wake up in a foreign country with no pants, no shoes, and not a cent to his name, and leave with a new set of clothes, a bus ticket home, two new friends, and $500 in his pocket.

Sure, that sounds absurd, but it actually happened. (Don’t ask about the no pants part. It’s a long story.)

This is the same brother who will tell you he doesn’t believe in luck. In his opinion, we make our own fate, and we make our own luck.

Hmph. The lucky always say that.

As for me, I have Irish luck. It’s either really good or really bad. For instance, if I’m at a college or professional sporting event, and there’s even the remotest possibility that the ball could hit me in the face, I’m pretty much guaranteed that it will. I remember once, I was at a basketball game, and I was seated in the 15th row from the floor. Great seats. I looked over at my mother and said,

“Ma, we have to move. The ball is going to hit me in the face.”

She told me to stop being melodramatic. Or, rather, that’s what she was in the process of saying when…the ball bounced over all the people standing in front of me and hit me in the face. On TV, too. It was super awesome, because what senior in high school doesn’t want to be hit in the face by a basketball on national TV, while sitting next to her mother? It was more spectacular because I knew I’d be starting college there the following Fall.

This has happened often enough that I’ve learned that nosebleed seats aren’t so bad.

What are the chances of that? My oh-so-lucky brother may not believe in the Fortune smiling down upon him, but I certainly do. Because those of us who suffer under the yoke of unluckiness from time to time recognize Fortune’s smile, even when it’s not bestowed upon us.

But my luck has also been really, really good. It’s come through for me when I’ve needed it. And trust me, it was luck, chance, fortune… whatever name you decide to give it, it was all about luck. Not skill, not some innate ability, not positioning myself so that I could recognize and seize opportunity when it struck. No, it was dumb luck, plain and simple.

A few years ago (okay, more than a few), when my husband and I were flat broke, he took me out to dinner to celebrate my graduation. I knew we didn’t have a whole lot of money, since we’d been eating Ramen for the last month, but I didn’t know we were flat broke—I’d been ensconced in my study, writing my thesis, for the last six months, all while working two jobs and going to school. I hadn’t slept more than four hours a night in those six months, and I was exhausted.

But I’d finished the darn thing, and I had a job lined up that I would start two days later. Husband wanted to reward me for all my hard work, so he took me out to a dinner we couldn’t afford (at a coffee shop in a casino), and while we were there, he told me he wasn’t even sure we had enough money to afford a meal and drinks, so he warned me to “eat cheap.”

And so I did.

At the end of a terrible meal, we had a single dollar left over.

Outside of the coffee shop was a slot machine. One of the high paying ones. Out here, it’s known as MegaBucks. The payouts are over a million dollars, if you’re lucky and have bet the maximum you’re allowed, which is three dollars.

I had a buck, and, on a lark (and knowing the odds—I’d been doing stats for six months, after all), I went ahead and put that single dollar into the MegaBucks machine. I turned to talk to husband, so I never saw the eagles line up.

I heard an alarm, though, and, for a moment, I was convinced the place was on fire. That is until I glanced at husband’s face and saw he’d gone pale.

No, I hadn’t hit MegaBucks. I hit the MegaMini, the one just below the massive win. If I’d played three dollars, I would have won something like $150,000. As it stood, I won $7,000.

For two kids who had resorted to eating Ramen noodles for weeks on end, that $7000 was more money than we’d see in months.

What was that but Fortune, smiling on us, when we really needed it? I haven’t won anything since (I suppose you have to play more often than I do in order to win, though), and I don’t expect to. After all, Fortune, like lightning, rarely strikes twice. Well, more to the point, she rarely strikes me twice.

So while I think we have the ability to shape our own destinies, I believe in luck. I keep thinking I can pull another one out, and I’ll win the lottery or something (again, there is that whole playing the lottery in order to win it thing, but those are just details, right?). But the way karma works with me, I’m actually more likely to be struck by lightning a few times.

And, from what I’ve been told, it’s not worth it. I heard this from a friend who’s been struck not one, not twice, but three times. Talk about unlucky. And he doesn’t even have a winning lottery ticket to show for it.


A Note from the Book Boost:  Meggan, what a great post!  I love this story and it sounds just like my life!  I've been on the Ramen diet once or twice myself and I've never won anything on a slot machine--although I did win an Amazon Kindle once (back when they first came out)--that's my biggest prize yet and I'll take it!  But you've got to come back and tell us more about your brother's missing pants.  You can't just leave us hanging like that!  And it is your lucky day--the Book Boost will offer up an e-copy of your book to one lucky winner today on your behalf.


Blurb: 

When her father loses her in a poker game, Lexie Markland is sent to work in the household of Nicholas Wetherby for one year to pay off the debt. Innocent, but not na├»ve, she is savvy enough to know she must maintain her distance from this man, who frustrates her with his relentless teasing but whose kisses bring her to her knees. Because although she may be just another conquest to him, it’s not just her heart in jeopardy should she succumb to Nicholas’ considerable charms.

Since his brother's death almost a year before, nothing has held Nicholas’ attention for long—not women, not booze, not even an excellent hand at cards. Nothing, that is, until he meets the woman he won in a drunken night of poker. Intrigued by his prize and her chilly reserve, he makes it his mission to crack Lexie’s cool demeanor. But even as passion explodes between them, the question remains: will Nicholas be able to take the ultimate risk...and gamble on love?



Want More Meggan?

Follow her on the web here:  www.megganconnors.com

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




Contest Time:


Leave a question or comment for Meggan and be entered to win a copy of The Marker (courtesy of the Book Boost--spreading the love & the luck).


**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, May 3, 2012

A Chat With Greta Van der Rol today at the Book Boost!




Welcome featured author 
Greta Van Der Rol 
to the Book Boost!


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


TBB: Welcome back to the Boost, Greta and congrats on being selected as our featured Book of the Month for May!  Please help us get to know you better.  Where are you from?

GVR:  I live near the beach in Queensland, northern Australia



TBB:  Ah, I've always wanted to visit Australia.  I lived in Japan for 2 years and that is as close as I've gotten.  Not quite there, though.  Tell us a little about your latest novel and how you came up with the title for it.

GVR:  Starheart is a science fiction romance – the 'heart' part works for that. But in fact there is a thing called a 'starheart' – a rare and much-prized jewel, which is an integral part of the story. Besides, it's short and fits well on an e-book cover.



TBB:  Well, that sounds both practical and clever.  Good job!  What are you working on next?

GVR: I'm waiting for a response to a sub on a paranormal contemporary romance and I'm girding my loins to start a new book, probably a sequel to Morgan's Choice.



TBB:  I love a good series.  Speaking of which, what are you reading these days?

GVR:   A fan-fic. It's interesting. The author's grammar is awful, the work is in serious need of editing – but I persevere because I love the story. This is my third read, so that tells you something.



TBB:  Sounds fascinating.  Do you have any advice for aspiring authors out there?


GVR:  Advice? The biggest one I've learned is to take the 'rules' with a bucket of salt. Every so-called rule has been broken. But before you break the rules, know what they are. Many, many rules could be considered sensible guidelines. For instance, 'never use adverbs' is a ridiculous rule. Rephrased as don't overuse adverbs and see if you can replace the verb/adverb combination with a stronger verb – that makes sense.



TBB:  Sage advice.  Thanks for sharing.  After all is said and done, what has been the biggest reward thus far in your career?

GVR:  When people 'get' it. When people really, really love what I've produced. I don't care what anybody says, writers write so readers will read. I know not everyone will like my books but knowing that I've connected with someone is priceless.
  


TBB:  I can totally relate to this.  There is nothing better than when someone really jives with your voice and gets your sense of humor.  So hard to find.  But when they like it--they really like it.  As a reader, what author would you most like to meet and dine with and why?

GVR:  Terry Pratchett. The man is brilliantly unconventional in his writing. I love his characters, I love his learning and I admire his approach to Alzheimer's disease.



TBB:  What about when you're not writing--how do you escape from the biz?


GVR:  I take photographs of the world around me. I share some of my pictures on my blog and I have some for sale on Dreamstime.



TBB:  I love that site.  Use it all the time.  I will definitely check those out!  Thanks for joining us, Greta.  Please tell us more about your latest before you leave.



Blurb:

She's lost her husband, her best friend is missing. What else has she got to lose?

Slightly shady freighter captain, Jess Sondijk, thought she had her life under control until Admiral Hudson's Confederacy battle cruiser stops her ship to search for contraband. His questions reopen matters she had thought resolved. What if her husband's death on his way back from Tabora wasn't accidental? Jess decides to investigate, while keeping Hudson at arms' length.

While he's attracted to the lovely Jess, Hudson is also concerned about what might be happening on Tabora and how that may involve the Confederacy's enemies.

Jess and Hudson's interests collide in more ways than one. But while Jess is more than willing to put her life on the line to protect what's hers, Hudson must balance the risk of inter-species war at worst and the end of his career at best, in a deadly game of political intrigue, murder and greed. At the end of the day, how much is he willing to lose for the woman he has come to love?


Excerpt: 

The path disappeared into another snowdrift. She shoved her way through, her leg muscles grumbling with each step. Her pants were wet to her thighs; she couldn't feel her skin anymore. No chance of stopping, though. The air burned in her lungs. So tired.

"Make for the trees," Hudson said aloud, "As fast as you can."

Another half a klick and the serious tree cover started. She shambled along, faster than a walk, not quite a jog, Hudson's footfall a reassuring counter-point. Another howl, exultant and eager, scraped over her nerves. And beyond that, a different sound, a low, mechanical hum.

"They've called in the air support," Hudson said. "We'll have to run."

Down here the path had widened enough for him to move alongside her. Holding the gun at his side, he gripped her arm with his free hand and almost pushed her along. The forest beckoned, a deep canopy covering a dusting of snow. The hum grew louder with each stride.

"We can do it, Jess, keep moving." He'd gone back to implant to conserve air. He was panting almost as much as she was.

The skin tingled between her shoulder blades. But it wouldn't be like that; they'd do what they did to Longford, shred them both with their cannon or maybe even fire a missile. She lurched in the snow as her foot drove through into a hole. Hudson dragged her back up. A few strides more. She stretched out a hand to touch rough bark. Thank the spirit. But he forced her on, away at an angle. 

The attacker soared over the forest, engines set to dead low, searching.

The attacker soared over the forest, engines set to dead low, searching.

Jess sucked air into her lungs. This wasn't the same as working out in a gym. She hadn't run so far, oh, ever. Hudson wasn't much better, his chest heaving with the effort.

"Back inside my jacket, sweet heart," he said. "They'll be using sensors. Let's try and move on before the ground support arrives."

He'd flipped up his hood, unfastened the jacket. She rested her back against his chest and let him fold the material around her, a warm, reassuring presence. Slowly, carefully, they walked forward, their backs to the hovering machine. The sound of it thundered in Jess’ ears, even muffled as it was by the thick canopy. If they fired a missile in the right place… The sound changed. 

"They're landing," Hudson said.

A howl reverberated in the air. Jess’ nerves jangled. "Fuck. They've brought the sniffert up." 

He released her from his jacket, urged her forward. "We need somewhere with shelter where we can fire back at them."

Aching muscles complained with every jolting step. "I don't know this place."

They could hear the beast now; eager, whiffling grunts albeit still distant. Shit shit shit. They couldn't keep up this pace and the people following were fresh.
  


Want More Greta?


Visit her on the web here:  http://gretavanderrol.net/


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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Multi-May Celebrations with Guest Blogger: Bev Irwin


Welcome featured author Bev Irwin 
back to the Book Boost today!

She's here to discuss her upcoming month of celebrations and here's what she had to say...


May is the month of ‘great celebrations. So what will I be celebrating this month? I’ll be celebrating the release of my latest book, Ghostly Justice, with Black Opal Books and the upcoming releases of my next two books, also with Black Opal.

Yes, I did say two new releases.  Missing Clayton will be coming out in June, and Without Consent, after that. I also had a romance novel, When Hearts Collide, which came out last December with Soul Mate Publishing. So I have a lot to be celebrating. Four books in one year.

And yesterday, to add to my excitement, my book, Ghostly Justice, came in the mail. How exciting to hold it in my hot little hands. I was so fired up, I thought I might burn the pages, LOL.

But really, it is the most exciting experience.

I was excited last fall to get a contract for my medical romance, When Hearts Collide, and have it put up as an e-book in December, but nothing, nothing, compares to having a real book to hold on to, and with your name on it.  I think I’ll just keep celebrating all month. The feeling is too good to want to let go of it.

Was it luck or fate? Do you believe in them?

Do I believe in luck, fate, destiny, coincidence?  Yes, I’m a big believer in luck, but I think that sometimes we make our own luck.

Take writing a book for instance. We start out with the urge to write, we test the waters a little beginning with some poetry, a short story, or maybe we’re energetic enough to start a novel.

Do we have the nerve to show it to anyone? Or do we hide it away for weeks, months, or years before we take it out and look at it again. When take it out again, we look at it with the benefit of having distance from it, and we see it with new eyes, sometimes called ‘revision.’ We decide then if it is good enough to do anything with it. Do we continue? Have we grow broad enough shoulders that we can share it with someone and bare our souls to criticism or ridicule.

So we decide maybe we have some writing talent. Now what do we do? Maybe we buy a writing book, or two or fifty. I love going to Chapters, or any book store for that matter, and seeing is there is one I don’t have on my shelves. I didn’t mention that I have an addiction did I? Well, I’m baring my soul here. I’m addicted to buying books. I also have an addiction to buying pens and cute little notebooks to write in.

So the writing books perused, our interest is peaked to take a writing course or two. Do we sign up at a local university or library? We meet other writers, hear their work, learn to critique, learn to be critiqued. Maybe we do it online and find other writers to share are work with. An online critique partner or group can be great. You can meet people from all over the world and you don’t have to see their face when they tear our work apart (just kidding). But sometimes it is easier to get critiques from people you won’t meet face to face.

Hopefully you read these critiques with objectivity and a grain of salt. You want to step back from your work and weigh what they have told you before you decide what is really helpful feedback and what is not. Try reading their suggestions out loud. Then read yours, pretending you have never heard it before. Decide which one sounds best. Sometimes reading is like poetry and how your words sound determines your voice. A great voice is what makes a reader want more and look for your next book.

So we work hard on our writing, develop our book into a product worthy of being  published, and we send it out to editors and publishers.  Then we wait for lady luck to arrive on our doorstep with a nice contract. So luck? Yes, luck has a part to play, but only after we have done a heck of a lot work.

So give a toast to sweat, tears, luck, and celebrate your own personal successes in your writing.

A Note from the Book Boost:  Bev, I agree that we make our own luck by hard work but it sure helps to have a fabulous editor who believes in you.  It always feels so good to get that encouragement from others in the industry and it looks like you're on a roll, my friend.  Congrats on all the new releases and viva la celebration!


Blurb:

Fifteen-year-old Daria Brennan doesn't want to hear people's thoughts. She doesn't want to see ghosts or talk to dead people. And she definitely doesn't want to help Amanda solve her forty-year old murder.

But Amanda wants revenge, and Daria is the first human contact she’s had since the day she died.

Now the killer is after Daria and her friends. Can they solve this Amanda’s murder in time, or will they become the next victims?


Excerpt: 

After all these years, I could finally feel something. It was as if a jolt of electricity surged through me, and my heart almost began to beat again. 

At first, I didn’t know what caused it. I only knew an undeniable force drew me to my bedroom window. With each step, the tingle of fingernails tracking down my spine increased. The thought passed through me, maybe I should be afraid. But really, what was there to be afraid of? It couldn’t get worse. What’s worse than being dead? 

I’d floated toward the window. Two girls walked in front of the house. They looked about my age, maybe younger – fifteen, sixteen. I was drawn to the one with the dark curly hair. Her friend called her Daria. I reached out my hand, called her name. She looked up at the window. She sensed me. I knew it. I saw her shudder, but she kept walking. 

I watched until they turned the corner at Colburn Street. Then the energy vanished and a profound sadness filled me. Even playing the piano held no joy that day. 

I have to talk to her. But how? 

I gave up trying to contact the living years ago. It became so tiresome – appearing in front of them, touching them, talking to them, yet never being noticed. 

Until now. 

Every day, I watch for her. Every day, I try to make contact. Every day I plead for her to look up at my window again. Two weeks have passed now. And every day, she hurries past; her gaze focused on the street ahead. 

I must talk to her. 

Daria is the first person I’ve been able to communicate with since the day I was murdered.

Want More Bev?

Award-winning author, Bev Irwin, lives in London, Ontario, with three assorted cats. One that hid in her car when she moved from the farm and two others dropped off by her daughter on two different occasions. Her three children have flown the coup, but her granddaughter, Jasmine, is a frequent visitor. 

As a registered nurse, she likes to add a touch of medical to her romance and mystery novels. She writes YA, children's, and poetry. She prefers spending time in her garden, writing, and reading to being in the kitchen.

Visit her on the web here:  www.bevirwin.com 

Or her alter ego here:  www.kendrajames.net


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