Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cryptically Yours with Guest Blogger: Pauline B. Jones

Win a AnaBanana Gift Card &
Chat with author Pauline B. Jones 
today at the Book Boost!

You Don’t Have To Die to Get into the “Little Cities of the Dead.”

Most US cities don’t encourage tourist tours to their cemeteries. They’re trying to keep the tourists out of the cemetery. But most cities aren’t New Orleans.

Get a load of that nighttime “crypt-line.” But you won’t want to visit at night unless you are part of an official tour, or you might join the dead--or “just” get mugged. If you’re feeling brave, try a ghost tour.
Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

A Little History

So back in the day, New Orleans was a) smaller and b) mostly swamp. So to live (or to die) they had to use the available dry ground. Eventually they worked out methods for draining the swamp, but it was work, so the cemeteries were still close to the city.

Then there were some plagues and they a) began to run out of space and b) feared the dead were infecting the survivors, so they tried to push the cemeteries out away from the city.

But the city kept growing and growing and today it has grown around the cemeteries that remain. (Some sort of got repurposed. I used to hear rumors that the Louisiana Superdome was built on top of one, but apparently it was only built near a cemetery. So there is no curse. Really. Some years the Saints just suck.)

A stroll down this avenue of the dead will take you right into the past. Some tombs are well kept, but many are so old, you can no longer read the names of those interred there. There are some ongoing preservation projects in some of the older cemeteries. Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Why are the New Orleans’ Dead buried above ground?

You’ll hear different theories about why New Orleans residents started burying their dead in above ground crypts, or family tombs.

1. European settlers brought the practice of above ground crypts with them.

2. Space.

3. Water problems.

Whatever the actual reason or reasons, the cemeteries will grab your imagination by the throat (does it have a throat?) and send it into some fascinating and scary places. The little cities of the dead are a popular location for film crews, too.

Just the facts, ma’am.

Even the facts are...on the creepy side.

Because of #2, the space problems, the tombs aren’t just used over and over, they are designed for almost endless use.

So here’s the deal. New Orleans is hot a lot of the year, so decomposition happens fast. And inside a tomb, you can multiply that heat by a lot.

Creepy alert: they kind of compare it to slow cremation.

The deceased goes into a coffin, which goes into the crypt. And then about a year later, the remains are (respectfully) removed from the coffin. The coffin is destroyed (get a cheap one!) and the remains are placed in a sort of communal space beneath the tomb. With all the previous remains. Yes, all of them.

If you want to know about specific types of tombs, check out “Burial Styles and Traditions.”

This sad lady mourns the dead in an elaborate, family vault in the Metairie cemetery. Many of the tombs are amazingly
detailed, resembling pyramids, cathedrals and more--all in crypt-scale. Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

 New Orleans’ famous dead

While there are many famous people buried in the various New Orleans cemeteries, probably the most notorious was the voodoo priestess, Marie Laveau. She is believed to be interred in St. Louis #1.

Note the “offerings” placed at the foot of Laveau’s tomb. Believers come, leave gifts, and draw XXX’s or ///’s, called “gris gris” marks, on her tomb in hopes she’ll grant them a wish. Photo from Wikimedia Commons. Public domain photo by Patrick S Carroll.

Also called the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Marie inspired movie characters, stories and a song.  Click here to listen.

So, if you got the chance, would you visit a New Orleans cemetery? Have you already? Did it inspire you? Creep you out? Both? All comments are entered into a drawing for a $20 AnaBanana Gift Card (my favorite place to buy Zombie Zoaps)

Perilously yours, Pauline

A Note from the Book Boost:  I love NOLA history and all the creepiness factor.  Took one of those tours when my oldest was 2 years old.  I don't recommend them with a little one in a stroller.  Those lots are not stroller friendly.  LOL  The new book looks amazing and I can't wait to check it out.  Thanks for joining us today!


When an aspiring illustrator attracts the attention of a New Orleans mob family, and secrets long hidden are unearthed from the past, a handsome homicide detective may be her only chance of surviving the Big Easy.

The oldest of thirteen, Alex Baker does two things: he solves murders and avoids children.

Until the day Nell Whitby foils a carjacking, knocks Alex off his feet and turns his life upside down. When the shots start flying and every rock he turns over reveals another wise guy, Alex decides he needs to stick close to the quirky yet captivating children’s book author while he discovers who is behind a series of mob hits. But can he resist the urge to kiss the kid magnet now in the crosshairs?

A relative newcomer to New Orleans—with no family but her college friend Sarah —Nell spends her days in seeming obscurity, sketching tourists in the French Quarter and serving canapés for Sarah’s catering business. When a chance encounter makes Nell the target of a mob hit, the only silver lining is meeting the cute cop who is determined to protect her.

But when she finds herself at the head of a second line made up of goons and gangsters, and secrets start bubbling up out of her own past, Nell must figure out what she's made of so she can live long enough to kiss the cop again…

Excerpt (edited for length):

“Cute kids,” Alex said, aware the words came out a bit flat. Once again her gaze assessed him. It seemed to see through him and inside him, all the way down to the parts he wasn’t that proud of, to his fear of being back in that kid zone. A familiar panicked feeling rose inside him, one all too familiar. All those eyes, all those gazes assessing him and finding him wanting. All those years of never being quite enough. Because he wasn’t mom, or his sisters’ mom. They were both gone and he’d missed them, too. Had never been able to take their place.

Nell’s mouth curved slowly into a smile that was new and just for him—though he didn’t know how he knew it. Might be deluding himself. Didn’t mind. Delusions had their place when a day started out like theirs did. Her eyes rejected the new smile, too. She took her portfolio back, tucking it under one arm. Took his hand in hers, sliding her fingers between his with the innocent trust of a kid and said, “Two questions?”

He couldn’t speak yet, his throat was still tight, though tight was easing, as if the palm of her hand was absorbing the panic and neutralizing it. He arched his brows, giving her tacit permission to continue.

“What’s your name?”

“Oh. I’m sorry.” He pulled out his ID and showed it to her. “Alex Baker.”

“Homicide.” Her eyes widened briefly.

A typical reaction to his job. Seemed like she took a step back though she didn’t move. So he inched closer. “You said two questions.” The tension inside him was almost gone now. Her face relaxed a bit, her lips trying to curve. 

“Where are we going to eat?”

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Champagne, Caviar & Carpool with Guest Blogger: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

 Chat with Romance Author 
Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy 
today at the Book Boost!

Living The Life of A Romance Writer

The fantasy…

As a romance author I live a life of privilege.  I jet away to New York on weekends, hang out in Hollywood with famous celebrities.  I wear designer jeans and haute couture.  Of course I never need to dirty my hands cooking for my family of five or stoop to mundane tasks like the laundry.

My means of transportation, depending on my mood, can be a late model Cadillac sedan, a fire engine red Camaro, or a chauffeur driven limousine. I never have to pump my own gasoline or have the oil changed or fear a flat tire.  My team of personal assistants can handle the boring details of my work, pick up the kids from school, make appointments, and even order my groceries so I never need to set foot into a supermarket or discount store.

My bank account is healthy and I never need to worry how to pay for my children’s looming college education.  I’m slim, trim, with a perfect hairstyle maintained by my stylist who visits my home each week.  I write my quota for the day, then sit back in style or visit the spa to recharge my creative batteries.

Candlelight dinners, Paris getaways, and my own Caribbean island are just some of my perks.  My photo graced the cover of Cosmo just last week and I’m slated to appear as Anderson Cooper’s guest host next month.  And I write perfect fiction that never requires even the slightest edit. Life’s grand as I live large and luxurious.  Oh, yes, it’s perfect, just like something out of a dream.

Whoa, wait a minute.  It is a dream.  Talk about a wild fantasy.  Maybe I should reveal some truth.

The reality….

Watch me as I juggle the bills with the dexterity of a carnival geek.  Come ride along as I ferry my seventeen year twin high school juniors to play practice, school, parties, and to shop for everything from new outfits to notebooks.  In an average week, they make at least one out of town trip somewhere for one of their many activities and often depart before the sun rises.

Shadow me as I head home in my faded jeans to drink more coffee and peer at the laptop screen through bleary eyes.  On a good day, the words flow like the Mississippi River but sometimes they slow to a trickle.  In between, I promote my backlist, spread the news of my latest release and about the time I think I have more time to write, I realize the larder shelves are bare.

I head off to the supermarket where I catch a few whispers about the romance author and her “dirty books” or field off flirtation from locals who think if you write it, you must live the lifestyle.  It’s a big event if the weather cooperates long enough for me to relax with a bottle of Moscato wine (red or white, either will do) out on the deck beneath the stars with my husband.  I might rush off to one of the larger cities in Missouri once or twice a year to hobnob with other authors but most of the time, it’s takes a stroke of luck or act of Congress to meet a local writer for coffee somewhere.

Because I like to pay bills, eat and keep shoes on my kids, I also substitute teach at the local high school.  And let me walk out of the house just once in a faded, worn T-shirt and ripped jeans and you can be sure I’ll run into everyone I’ve ever known plus three new fans who stare at my appearance.  Guess they expected diamonds and the tiara!

In everyday life, I’m a wife of almost nineteen years, a mom of three kids and one very spoiled Jack Russell terrier.  I have over thirty books, everything from full-length novels to shorts, out from a variety of publishers.  My next release is out March 3, a contemporary romance, Urban Renewal, from Champagne Books.  I’d like to share the cover, the blurb, an excerpt, and the true life a romance author.

A Note from the Book Boost:  Lee Ann, thanks for joining us.  I'm impressed that you're recognized about town.  Most people I know don't know about my "secret life" as a romance author.  So, it was great to hear about your daily reality and it sounds pretty good to me.  Please tell us more about your latest.


Movie star Mercedes Montague has it all – the fame, the fortune, and the glittering celebrity lifestyle.  But she lost herself somewhere along the way. On a publicity tour for her next movie she realizes she’s just fifty miles from her hometown.  Mercedes – real name Marie Dillard – decides to bolt and go home to see if she can find what’s left of herself.   Hiding away in her grandparents’ old home in a working class neighborhood she’s haunted by memories and reminders of her first and only love, Joe Shelby.

Marie’s stunned when Joe shows up at her door.  Passion kindles between them from the first moment their eyes meet but she won’t let it consume her unless it’s going to include a lasting love. As they renew their relationship, Marie and Joe face many struggles.
Can a movie star return to reality or is love just a distant dream?


As Mercedes Montague she’d locked lips with most of Hollywood’s leading actors, the stars who incited lust in every woman across America from pre-teens to great-grandmas.  More than a handful found their way into her bed and onto her expensive silk sheets for intimate encounters yielding physical release but nothing more.  Sex turned into a celebrity rodeo as each man tried to prove his talents, to top the others and although maybe Mercedes liked it, Marie loathed it.  She hated the lack of any real emotion, any passion beyond the need for another body in the lonely night and the few times she felt a spark with someone always faded fast with morning light.

Joe brought back expectations long forgotten and evoked desire with such depth Marie sank into it as it sucked her down like quicksand.  She should fight it but couldn’t and didn’t even want to struggle against it.  Her fingers clawed against his plaid flannel shirt as he tightened his grasp on her, his tongue darting into her mouth like an exploring snake.  New waves of pleasure brought intense delight and Marie leaned against him so her weak knees wouldn’t dump her onto the floor.

His mouth stirred the ashes of their past and restored dozens of memories, brought back the memory of other kisses just as sweet.  Whatever emotions they once claimed, all the old bonds connecting them renewed as power roared to life between them.   Marie never knew how long it lasted and she never thought of anything but Joe within the same span.  Her world shrunk to this, to his mouth and hers, connected.  Driving in St. Joe yesterday she thought she came home but she hadn’t, not until now.

If Joe wanted to take her upstairs, he could and if he decided to have her on the floor between Ma’s living room and dining room, Marie wouldn’t resist.  Instead, he pulled back and put her at arm’s length.  “See?” he said as a tiny smile flirted with his mouth. “The way I feel about you hasn’t changed, Marie.  You still make me crazy.”

“Crazy good or certifiably insane?” she asked, happiness bubbling up from within like a wet weather spring.

Joe chuckled. “Crazy good, I think. Hell, I don’t even know you now and you don’t know me but I’d like to get reacquainted.  What do you say?”

His request blindsided her.  When she walked away from her celebrity life, she didn’t expect to even see Joe but Marie wanted to spend more time with her first love.  “I’d like to, Joe, very much.”

“Good,” Joe said.  His blue eyes shimmered now, reminding her of placid lake waters touched with sunshine. “I can’t stay now.  Would you like to go out for dinner tonight?”

“Yes,” Marie said. “It may sound like an excuse but I don’t have a thing to wear but I can get something.  What time?”

“Is six too early?” Joe asked. “I figure you’re still on California time but by six, the kid’ll have come and gone so he won’t wonder where I’m at, not that he would.”

Her floating happiness threatened to nose dive into despair. “Kid? Are you married?”

Joe shook his head. “I was but she’s dead.  The kid’s my step-son.  Trust me, he’s a problem child but I’m all he’s got.  Six okay?”

Marie made a quick time calculation and sneaked a glance at the clock.  “Six thirty would be better,” she said. 

“All right,” Joe said. “I’ll pick you up then.  Be prepared – I’d like to hear the long version, Marie.”

“Sure,” she said. And I want to hear the story of your life, she thought but didn’t dare speak it aloud, everything you’ve done, about your wife, and why you’re not in the Army. “I’ll be ready.”

Want More Lee Ann?

Visit her on the web here.  Click here.

Pick up a copy of her latest!  Click here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Lure of Keeping it Low Key with Guest Blogger: Letty James

First, I’d like to offer you all a very deep curtsy. Oh, if only we wore crinolines now it would be much more effective. Thank you, thank you for voting my contribution on The Book Boost the best of 2012. In this season of the Oscars, I am very tempted to make a speech. But to save you from gouging out your eyeballs, I will dispense with my treacle and move along.

I don’t have any new books to promote (gasp!), but I do have some work coming up from Soul Mate Publishing, so stay tuned for some blatant self-promotion at some other date. In the meantime, I’d like to give some kudos to Susan Cain for writing Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Crown Publishers 2012). Now we nerds not only have a great TV Show (The Big Bang Theory), we also have a fabulous book that explains why we introverts (so many writers!) are called unapproachable, cold, and distant.

Here’s an example from my own life:

I am playing it safe. I’m standing on the dock while people all around me are plunging into the frigid waters of the river. The Polar Plunge – a yearly ritual for the insane. Why do people feel they need to dunk themselves into freezing water to be daring? And then, gather together in an overcrowded, overheated room to share chili and body odor?

“It’s fun,” my husband says. Fun? To have your whole body feel like a popsicle? To have cursory conversations with your neighbors about why they haven’t seen you since this summer? I’ll tell you what’s fun – sitting in front of a fire with a loved one, drinking hot chocolate and playing Scrabble. Fun is riding my bike alone on a warm spring day as daffodils nod in the breeze. Fun is a lively discussion during small book club meetings. Fun is having the house to myself and the time to write.
I’m cautious. I’m hesitant. I’m boring. Wait! Do you hear the screech of tires as I clamp down on those bicycle breaks? Boring? I’m not boring.

I’m introverted. According to Susan Cain, this is the way I was born. It’s genetic! I can blame Mom and Dad. They even called themselves social trolls. They never had parties. Even family visiting our house was an emotional strain. If a salesman or traveling evangelist came to the door, my father would tell him we were Druids and close the door. Ah, the humor of an introvert. I imagine these people standing outside on the porch and searching the yard for oak trees and hemlock. But I doubt it, because if you’re going door to door you’re probably an extrovert. And, you don’t spend hours alone studying Druids. If you even know what a Druid is. (Druid fans raise your hands. How many of you are introverts? I’m guessing ninety percent.)

I tried to get my book club to read Quiet this month, but I got voted down by the extroverts. How many of you feel bullied by the quick-minded people? I’m one of those who think of a great retort half an hour later. That’s why I love email. It gives me time to think before I reply.

Solitude is crucial to the introvert’s creativity, according to Cain. I remember going to a writing conference and being told “A true writer can write anywhere. He shuts out distractions and just puts thoughts on the page.” One speaker even proposed setting up a keyboard on your treadmill and typing while you walk.

What? I wouldn’t be able to focus my brain for fear of flying off into the wall behind me. For years, I berated myself that I was not a true writer if I couldn’t shut out distractions or contort myself into situations to grab every minute of writing time possible. I need the house to be empty and quiet. I can’t write if I haven’t had enough sleep. My thoughts scatter like falling leaves if I’m interrupted.

I’ve been told I’m too sensitive. I have no sense of humor. I’m delicate. No -- I’m an introvert. I react differently to stimuli. I want to brandish Susan Cain’s book in front of me like a shield and shout, “Read This – This Explains Me!” Instead, I shall have to settle for quietly promoting a wonderful book. Read Quiet. It will change your life. It changed mine.

A Note from the Book Boost:  Congrats again on your win for the prestigious Blogger of the Year award, Letty!  Glad to have you here and can't wait for you to come back and promote your stuff.  But I'm sure Susan Cain is thrilled for the shout out. 

Want More Letty?

Visit her on the web here:

Want to pick up a copy of the book Letty spoke of in today's blog?  Click here.

Want to pick up one of Letty's books?  Click here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

How Your Fella is like Your Fave Food with Guest Blogger: Dianne Venetta

Win this Gorgeous Bee Habitat Gift Box 
& chat with author Dianne Venetta 
today at the Book Boost!

It’s February and that means Heart Healthy month.  It’s also heart romance month, too, and in my home, these two converge smack-dab in the center of my husband’s chest.  You see, not only is he my dreamboat, but his genetics make him prone to heart attacks.  Not good.

Enter my garden.  From garlic to tomatoes, basil to beans, I grow organic veggies and create lavish meals to keep him healthy.  Okay, that’s a lie.  I barely remember dinner, let alone create something lavish and magnificent (though I do have my moments!).  I write romantic fiction and as you can imagine, get quite carried away with what my characters and what they’re doing between the pages!
It’s a living.  Any-hoo, back to my dreamboat—his cholesterol is naturally high.  He has no time to exercise.  He works a stressful job…

What’s a girl to do?

She gardens.  That’s what she does, and she works to convince him that eating healthy is key to a long and prosperous life.  A game of tennis with the wife and kids on the weekends would be great, not to mention maintaining a rosy attitude.  Like roses on Valentine’s Day, attitude can work magic on a heart.  Sheer bliss.

But what if you’re married to a garlic-type man? Or a raspberry, like me?  (Right now, you’re probably asking yourself, “Has this woman has gone insane?”)

But wait—have you ever noticed the similarities between men and veggies?

Take garlic, for instance.  This fellow is somewhat distant, as he spends long periods of time out of sight, only to emerge when conditions improve.  Strong and distinct, he’s not for everyone, but given the right environment, he can show great depth, even mellow his pungent tone with time.  A worthy peer, indeed.

Or how about a corn? Tall and slender with silken hair, this man provides well and yields a harvest of golden treasure.  While pleasing to look at, beware:  he also tends to be needy; easily blown over by the slightest of breezes—not the man for you hardier types!

One of my personal favorites is the watermelon.  This well-rounded fun-loving guy is always welcome at a summer barbecue and usually proves a big hit with the kids.  Prone to balding, his colorful personality distracts one from notice.  However, take heed.  If left to his own device, this one can grow wild and get quite out of hand!

Speaking of heart healthy veggies and men, did you know that tomatoes are one of the better vegetables to incorporate into your meal plan?  Your personal life, too!  If tomatoes were men, these popular guys would be an all around favorite with the ladies, most drawn to their bright and cheery appearance and radiant personality.

A real reliable kind of guy, sweet with a hint of tang, meaty and quite robust—“tomatoes” come in all sizes, shapes and color.  Yes, this one is tempting.  But be sure you’re in for the commitment—he’s going to need it if you expect him to produce.

You get my point.  Spend enough time in your garden working on that healthy lifestyle and you too, may start seeing all kinds of things between the rows!

But do spend time in your garden.  And make it organic.  Heart health is the number one killer of women.  As a woman, I take this statistic to heart.  As a writer, my stories are geared toward a woman and her personal journey in life.

As a gardener?  It’s all about staying healthy.  And it’s easier than you think.  Gardening can begin with a window box, a patio—why you can even incorporate gardening into your landscape.  It’s called edible landscaping and is all the rage.  You do want to be part of the rage, don’t you?

Of course you do!  And you want to stay healthy.  So pick up that favorite novel and get on your treadmill—we’ve got a body to shape and a future to live.  Happy health!

A Note from the Book Boost:  Dianne!  I LOVE this post.  Never really thought of comparing men to veggies but I totally see where you're coming from here.  I think my hubby is a red pepper.  He's spicy and adventurous and tempting but if you overindulge in him--you might feel the burn! :-D  How's that?  Thanks for joining us and please tell us more about your book.  And I wanna win that prize myself.  Shucks!


The words no mother wants to say, and every mother yearns to hear.

Bound by friendship, two women find themselves at common crossroads. Neither planned to look back on the road they traveled with regret—yet that's exactly what’s at stake when their daughters issue opposing proclamations with regard to college.

Choices have consequences.  Can they bear them?


During the car ride home, Simone continued to brood, staring out the windshield of Claire’s minivan without a word.  Traffic was light, the drive from the grocery warehouse a mere twenty minutes from her house.  Thank God they decided to drive separately, Claire thought, stealing a peek to her side.  She wasn’t enthused by Teresa’s commentary either, but the woman’s sword had clearly been aimed for Simone, and straight into the heart, no less.  Claire ventured another peek through the corner of her eye, the tension so thick, she could scarcely breathe.

“Don’t let her get to you,” Claire said, unable to stand the silence a moment longer.  “You’re an amazing manager.  Your team relies on you and you didn’t let them down.  You worked your tail off—two weeks—my God!”  Tightening her grip on the hard rubber steering wheel, she glanced sideways.  “What other mother can claim a two-week maternity leave?  It’s insane.”  Claire continued to ramble, trying to focus on the cars ahead and her friend at the same time.  “You have nothing to apologize for.”

Continuing her blind stare out the front, Simone replied, “You don’t have to make excuses for her.”

Excuses?  Did Simone think she was trying to fill air, here?

Far from it.  Claire calmed the sudden flutter of her pulse.  She meant every word, but Simone seemed hell bent on festering.  If they hadn’t been in public, Claire knew she would have ground Teresa into the floor with her pointed heel.  Crammed her into the frozen food section and held the door closed.  But Teresa was clever that way.  She’d never strike battle in private.  If she did, there would only be one Richmond sister standing and Claire would put money on Simone walking away the victor.

Flipping the lever for her blinker, she continued, “Listen, I’m trying to be objective.  Teresa is single.  She has no idea of the demands of juggling family and career.”

“Then she should keep her mouth shut.”

“She’s just trying to help,” Claire replied, navigating the right hand turn into slow moving traffic, the wheel sliding within her palms.

“Help?”  Simone raked Claire with a blistering glance.  “She might as well have called me a freeloader at the office!”

“She did not.”

“Or insinuated I have no business having children.”

“Simone.  Don’t you think you may be overreacting?  Teresa expressed her feelings over a simple point of fact—”

“Simple point of fact?”  Simone turned fully in her seat to face Claire.  “You mean to tell me you agree with her?” 
Want More Dianne?

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Believe it or Not with Guest Blogger: Dina Rae

Chat with author Dina Rae 
today at the Book Boost!

Conspiracy Theory: What’s up with the Denver Airport?

 For almost two decades conspiracy buffs point their fingers at the Denver International Airport (DIA), screaming anything from ‘New World Order’ to ‘Devil Worshipers.’  So what’s all of the fuss about?

Denver’s citizens were suspicious from the onset.  Denver already had a first class airport, Stapleton International, with six runways.  Simply put, the need for another one wasn’t there.  DIA was built anyway, but with five runways.  Conspiracy was born.

The airport’s layout brings scrutiny.  From an aerial perspective, DIA resembles the pattern of a Nazi swastika. Barbed wire surrounding the airport is positioned to keep those inside the airport instead of away.

Another oddity revolves around the enormous, red-eyed horse sculpture that stands at the gates.  The sculptor, Luis Jimenez, died from a freak accident of a hunk of the horse statue falling on him in his studio.  Some skeptics claim the horse is a symbol of time travel.

The sculpture isn’t the only odd choice of art.  Creepy murals by artist Leo Tanguma depict coffins, the Virgin Mary holding a dead body, soldiers in gas masks, a Nazi zombie with a big sword, possessed children gathered around a plant, and plenty more.  Many interpret the art to symbolize New World Order (NWO), a conspiracy theory about an inner circle ruling the world and exterminating those who they deem as useless.

Speaking of New World Order, did I mention a Freemason capstone inside of the airport?  The granite monument has “New World Airport Commission” engraved.  One problem.  There isn’t a New World Airport Commission in existence.  Could the capstone be a nod and a wink to Freemasons and Illuminati?

The most talked about part of DIA is the tunnels and buildings underneath the runways.  The U.S. government denies the five buildings are underneath the runways, but too many people contradict their claim.

Some say this underground structure will be used as a retreat for FEMA, the inner circle, and other high-up officials for when the SHTF (prepper for sh@t hits the fan).  Supposedly, the buildings and tunnels can hold up to 5 million people.  Others believe the buildings act as gas chambers or secret areas for executing rebels of the New World Order.

During construction, the laborers were constantly being dismissed.  Many believe the architects did not want anyone to be too familiar with layout.  Plus, the workers are not allowed to discuss their work.

The most bizarre theory that I read about the tunnels stated they were used to house an alien race.  Is Roswell somehow tied in?

Here’s one last foot for thought.  Queen Elizabeth II and other high-ranking diplomats have purchased tracts of land near DIA. 


A Note from the Book Boost:  Wow!  Dina, this is first I've ever heard of this.  A mystery for the ages.  Thanks for sharing and please tell us more about your own conspiracy read.


The Last Degree is a fictionalized account of how Freemasons and other secret societies set up the world for takeover. Ancient writings foretell a ‘Shining One’ who emerges as the world’s prophet. A murder of a Most Worshipful mason resembles a secret oath. A cop gets too close to solving the crime. Paranoid preppers go underground, preparing for war.

Headlines such as the Norway massacre, meltdown of the European Union, unscrupulous media, animal die-offs, Middle Eastern unrest, and U.S. shrinking power make the plot relevant to present day. This book is an ode to Christians, Birthers, 2012ers, Truthers, preppers, and/or other conspiracy junkies who enjoy Dan Brown, Jesse Ventura, Brad Meltzer, Alex Jones, Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. A sequel will soon be available.


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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Shine Brighter on World Thinking Day with Guest Blogger: Carrie Lynn Barker

Meet Paranormal Romance author 
Carrie Lynn Barker 
today at the Book Boost!

February hosts World Thinking Day on February 22nd

I was intrigued by this idea of Thinking Day.  I love the idea behind it and dedicating a whole day to thinking.  I try to dedicate at least part of each day to actual thinking, not just work thinking or writing thinking, and there is one thing that occupies my thoughts on a consistent basic. I would love for others to pause and think about him too because if he knew you, he’d be thinking about you.  His name is Juan.

Los Angeles has tons of character and characters.  I met Juan on his preferred corner, off the East 101’s exit to Alvarado Blvd.  Perhaps I’ve made you honk at me while I’ve paused to give him a bottle of water, which I do every time I see him, and make idle chitchat.  He’s homeless and lives beneath the overpass of the freeway on Alvarado.  You’d know him if you saw him.  He’s a bit short, very dark skinned and speaks with a thick accent.  He’s always nicely dressed and never once has asked me for anything.

I have made it a point to stop and give everyone I see on a corner just a bit of my time when I can, usually starting by offering bottles of water.  Sometimes it does require me holding up traffic but the conversations I’ve had are worth it.  Juan and I met about six months ago and the first thing he did was politely introduce himself to me and ask how my day was.  He always asked about me first when I stopped to chat and always wanted to hear about me.  I thought this was odd initially but then I realized this was just his personality.  He cares about others and isn’t afraid to show it.  He is also always very thankful for whatever you give him, no matter what it is, and he wants you to know that.

The few times where I have passed his corner and he hasn’t been there, I see him amongst his possession beneath the overpass.  He is always tidying up.  He may live on the street but he shakes out his clothes, makes sure things are hung up and that he is dressed as nicely as possible.  The man has pride and it certainly shows.  I know he is concerned about finding a job and such, as he asks me on occasion if I know of anything, but he is never down and always has a smile on his face.

What I want people to do on Thinking Day is start thinking like Juan.  Take pride in everything and every action.  Think about others first, even if your situation may seem pretty glum.  And think about what you can do for others.  With Juan, it’s the bright smile I’m greeted with every single time I see him.  I think about our ever-so-brief conversations all the way home and into the evenings.  If you happen to see him, just roll down your window, say hello and wish him a good day.  Then pause and think like Juan, even for just a brief moment.

A Note from the Book Boost:  Great post, Carrie!  In today's society we rarely stop and think of others.  Everything is "me me me" all the time.  Thanks for sharing your story and please tell us more about your book.


Government experiment, Christian Fletcher isn’t quite certain of her own existence.  Suffering from memory loss, she cannot decide what is real and what is only part of  her damaged brain. 

In the process of discovering the reality of herself, she will come to understand the essence of not only her husband but the child she has come to love as her own.  She will finally be able to confront the man who created her – with devastating consequences. 


“She’s awake,” Daniels said.  “I want to put her back under and take her to the hospital.”

I could see Jonas nod, looking over the doc’s shoulder.  Looking straight at me.

Daniels continued.  “But first, I want you to talk to her.  She’s a little…” He paused, thinking of the right word.  He came up with, “Freaked.”

“Is she okay?” Jonas asked.

Daniels shook his head.  “She’s sick,” he said.  “We need to do this as quickly as possible, but I need you to calm her down.  If her adrenaline is too high, she runs the risk of waking during the surgery.  You know her body doesn’t react well to anesthesia.”

Jonas nodded and gave the doc’s shoulder a squeeze, then the man known as Michael Daniels left the room, leaving the lizard man and me alone.

I hunkered in the bed.

He came to my side and sat much as Daniels had done.  “How’re you feeling?”

I shook my head.  I didn’t know what to say.

“I’m sorry about all this,” he said, his voice calm. “But it’s necessary.”  He looked away then back at me.  “I can’t let you die.”

“Haven’t I died before?” I asked.

He looked at me strangely.

“I mean, if I’m her, haven’t I died before?”

He paused then said, “Twice.”

Want More Carrie?

Learn More about Carrie, click here.

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

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chat with Author B.J. Scott & Win!

Win a copy of Highland Legacy 
or Highland Quest from author BJ Scott 
today at the Book Boost!

Don't Miss Highland Legacy (Book 1 of the Highlander Series)

Or Highland Quest (Book 2 of the Highlander Series)


No longer content in the shadows of his older brothers, and on a quest to find his destiny, Bryce Fraser's chosen path is fraught with danger, passion, and decisions. Can his unspoken love for spirited, beguiling Fallon be triumphant in a time of war and uncertainty, or will they both fall prey to the devious plans of a traitorous laird from a rival clan?


Loch Ryan Scotland, 1307

“Wa . . . water,” Bryce mumbled, but there was no one there to listen.

His throat was parched and he ran his tongue over dry, cracked lips, but his action offered no relief. An entire loch lay only a few feet away, but he couldn’t muster the strength to drag himself to the bank and quench his thirst.

“Cold . . . so cold.”

Despite the sun beating down on him, he’d swear he was encased in ice. His life’s blood seeped from his wounds, soaking the ground beneath him. He tried to raise his head, but the excruciating pain radiating across his chest stole his breath away.

Was this what it felt like to die? If so, he prayed the Almighty would be merciful and take him now.

Bryce moaned, a shift in his position bringing on another nauseating wave of agony. He sucked in a short, sharp, gulp of air and stretched his arm out as far as he could, his fingers grappling in the dirt.

If only I could reach my sword.

Beads of perspiration dampened his brow. As the strength slowly drained from his body, drawing a simple breath became more difficult. The end grew near. No time to make amends for sins of the past, and he had committed his share.

Regrets? He had those, too. “Fallon.” He whispered her name then heaved a ragged sigh. He could see her beautiful face, her soft, porcelain-like skin with just a sprinkling of freckles across her nose. Raven tresses hanging loose in a riot of curls down her back. Her petite, slender body had just the right curves to drive a man wild with desire. Mysterious sapphire eyes that held him captive and a heart-shaped mouth he’d never tire of kissing. If he had one wish before he died, it would be to hold her in his arms one more time, to find himself nestled between her thighs, making love until neither of them could take anymore.

But he’d missed his chance when she left Fraser Castle after his brother’s wedding, returning with her clan to their home in the borderlands. Determined not to allow Fallon, or any woman, to breach the protective wall he’d built around his heart, he’d let her go.

A restless spirit, he longed for adventure. While he admired his two older brothers, he was tired of living in their shadows. Alasdair had turned down the position of Laird when their father and older brother were killed at Berwick on Tweed. Connor, the next in line, had accepted the responsibility and did the Clan proud. He was happily married and Bryce was certain his wee son, Andrew, would be raised to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Bryce held no land or title. Until he had made a name for himself and earned these things, he had nothing to offer a wife. But marriage and family were not part of his immediate plans. He loved women, all women. Be they large, small, short, tall, fair, or plain, it made no difference as long as they were willing to warm his bed, and expected no long-term commitment in return.

A rogue many would say, but he made no secret of his intentions. So far, this way of life had served him well, and should he die in battle, he’d leave no one behind to mourn his loss.

When he was a lad of sixteen, he’d made the mistake of falling for the daughter of the village smithy. Totally enamored with each other, they’d vowed their eternal love and he believed they’d marry some day.

He swallowed hard at the ball of emotion rising in his throat, and clenched his teeth against the sudden ache gripping his heart. He’d heard when a man is about to die, his life experiences flash before his eyes. But some memories were far too painful to revisit.

He balled his fists at his sides, his nails digging into his palms. He didn’t want to think about the past and didn’t want a woman in his life. While Fallon was the only lass who had tempted him to stray from his chosen path, she was better off without him. Or so he’d told himself when he returned from a morning ride to learn she’d left Fraser Castle without saying goodbye.

Clinging to the memory of their brief time together, Bryce closed his eyes and waited for death to take him. But distant voices and the sound of approaching footfall alerted him to the fact that he was no longer alone.

“Over here,” a man shouted. “I think this one is still breathing.”

“Aye, he’s alive, but for how long? The lad has lost a lot of blood,” another man commented and clucked his tongue.

Hovering on the edge of consciousness, Bryce heard the conversation going on between two men, maybe more. He tried to open his eyes, but the lids proved too heavy.

Judging by the familiar burr, these men were Scottish, but so were the traitorous bastards who had attacked them.

For a sennight, he’d ridden day and night. However in the end, he was too late to warn the Bruce’s brothers and their small group of Irish and Scottish islanders of the impending threat. Rushing headlong into an ambush and outnumbered four to one, their fate was sealed.

This wasn’t the first time the MacDougall Clan sided with the English. Staunch supporters of John Comyn’s bid for the Scottish crown, they’d turned their swords and their loyalty against their countrymen when Comyn was murdered at Grey Fryer’s Abbey and Robert the Bruce was accused of the deed.

After the massacre at Methven—the last major battle fought between the English and the Bruce before he went into hiding—the buggers lay in wait, attacking the Scottish survivors as they tried to make their way to the Argyle Mountains to regroup. The battle of Dail Righ would forever be a stain on the MacDougall clan’s name, and a battle Bryce would long remember.

Nor would he forget their leader. Today he’d had the long-awaited chance to make good on his oath to see the blackguard pay for his treasonous acts, but he’d failed. Instead, he’d found himself on the receiving end of Dungal’s sword.

“I canna believe Scots would kill Scots. These poor fellows dinna have a prayer of making it to shore unharmed,” the first man said.

“Aye, the ship was run aground and there must be at least fifty dead men on the bank of the loch. There appears to be a mix of Irish and Scots, but nary an English soldier or a MacDougall plaid among them.” The man speaking nudged Bryce’s shoulder with the toe of his boot. “This appears to be the only one alive.”

A dizzying wave of excruciating pain shot through Bryce’s chest as he was rolled onto to his side.

“What do you plan to do with this fellow, Donald?” the second man asked. “We canna just leave him here to bleed to death.”

“We’ll take him with us. My niece has some knowledge of healing. She cared for my wife when she had the pox . . . rest her soul.” Donald paused for a moment before he continued. “After Mairi died, the lass decided to stay on for a while. Mayhap there is something she can do for him. Best we make haste. I dinna want to be here if the bastards return.”

“I’ll be surprised if he survives the journey. But we can always bury him along the way if need be,” the second man responded.

Strong hands slid beneath Bryce’s shoulders, raising him to a sitting position, then someone grabbed his legs. A few garbled words of protest were all he could manage before darkness closed around him.

Want More B.J.?

With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, B.J. always has an exciting work in progress. Each story offers a blend of romance, adventure, suspense, and, where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into each manuscript, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance, gripping plots, and vivid characters—dashing alpha heroes and resourceful, beguiling heroines you can’t help but admire—spring to life. 

A PAN member of RWA, World Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Savvy Authors, B.J. also writes contemporary, paranormal, time travel, and romantic suspense.

C.S. Lewis first captivated B. J.’s imagination in the fourth grade, and her desire to write sprang from there. Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, B.J. married her knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked her away to his castle by the sea. In reality, they share their century-old home in a small Canadian town on the shore of Lake Erie with four dogs and a cat. When she is not working at her childcare job, on her small business, or writing, you will find her reading, doing a variety of hand crafts, camping, or antique hunting.

Visit her on the web here:

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

Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for B.J. and be entered to win your choice of Highland Legacy or Highland Quest.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Trials & Tribulations of Theatres with Guest Blogger: Regan Walker

Meet Regency Era Enthusiast & 
Romance Author  Regan Walker 
today at the Book Boost!

You Think we have Theater Options for Valentine’s Day? Try Regency London!

In researching London theaters during the Regency period in England (1811-1820), for my Valentine’s Day short story, The Shamrock & The Rose, I was amazed to discover the numerous choices that Londoners had on any given night. Many more than we have today in many of America’s cities. From the variety of choices Londoners had, it would seem they frequently enjoyed an evening at the theatre with as many as 20,000 attending on any given evening. One could see a drama, perhaps one of Shakespeare’s plays, a light comedy, or an opera, as well as ballet, pantomimes and skits—even a clown! And some of these might be combined by a theatre into the entertainment for a single evening!

The theatres were lit mostly by candlelight reflected from a score of chandeliers, and while this might seem romantic, it also presented some issues. First, since this light was not dimmed as the entertainment began, you could see everyone in the audience as well as the actors on stage—and, they could see you! So whatever activities you might think to engage in while in your private box, they had best be discreet. Second, the use of candlelight (until replaced with gaslights) also posed a fire hazard, as evidenced by the fact several of the theatres burned down and had to be replaced.

More than one theatre had Letters Patent from the Crown, and could, therefore, claim the name “Theatre-Royal.” In addition to those, there were more specialized theatres and smaller playhouses as well. Here are some of the choices they had:

The Theatre-Royal, Covent Garden (now the Royal Opera House) was rebuilt in 1809 after a fire destroyed it the year before. Holding crowds exceeding 3,000, it became, perhaps, the leading theatre of the time. Several of the actresses and singers who performed on this stage married into the peerage, including Mary Bolton, Lady Thurlow, mentioned in my story.

The Theatre-Royal, Drury Lane (mentioned in my Christmas short story, The Holly & The Thistle in reference to its holiday entertainment), was redesigned in 1812 after a fire destroyed it in 1809. That was the fourth theatre to be on the site, the first having been constructed in 1663, pursuant to Letters Patent from Charles II. This was the first theatre to be entirely lit by gaslight in 1817.

The Theatre-Royal, Hay-Market (also known as Haymarket Theatre or the Little Theatre) dates to 1720. (My Valentine’s Day short story, The Shamrock & The Rose opens with a scene set in this theatre.) It was relocated and redesigned in 1820 and the new theatre, while in many ways a reflection of the old one with flat sidewalls, tiers of boxes, a back gallery and the pit, was much more opulent with colors of pink, crimson and gold, and a circular vestibule “almost lined” with mirrors. It was the last theatre to be lit by gaslight (in 1843).

The Sadler’s Wells Theatre in the London Borough of Islington during the Regency featured famous actors, including Edmund Kean and Joseph Grimaldi. Grimaldi, though a dramatic actor, is best remembered for his character "Joey the Clown" with white face and rouge half-moons on each cheek. Because the period was characterized by public drunkenness, the rural location led the management to provide escorts for patrons so they could safely return to central London.

Sadler’s Wells (also known as "The Aquatic Theatre") was used to stage sensational naval melodramas, including a recreation of Nelson's victory at the Nile called Naval Pillars, and a recreation of the Franco-Spanish siege of Gibraltar, which included water and replicas of the fleet of ships, using a one inch to one foot scale, and working miniature cannon.

In addition to the major theatres holding thousands, there were many other options for the theatergoer in the Regency:

The Haymarket (King's Theatre) Opera House was originally built by the architect and playwright Sir John Vanbrugh in 1705. Destroyed by fire in 1789, it was rebuilt and used extensively for opera.

The Lyceum Theatre first became a “licensed” house in 1809 and was rebuilt in 1816, and renamed The English Opera House. It was famous for being the first theatre in London to feature some gas lighting (1817), and for hosting the London première of Mozart’s Italian opera Così fan tutte.

The Pantheon, constructed on Oxford Street in 1772, was originally designed for balls and masquerades before becoming an opera house in 1791. It was converted to a theatre 1811-12, but its role in the theatres of London was short lived. Damaged by fire and troubled financially owing to irregularities in its license, it was replaced in 1814 by the Pantheon Bazaar.

The Adelphi Theatre was constructed in 1806 by merchant John Scott to showcase his daughter's theatrical talents, and was given a new facade and redecorated in 1814. It reopened in 1819 as the Adelphi, named after the area of West London built by the brothers Adam from 1768. Among the actors who appeared on its stage was the comedian Charles Matthews, whose work was so admired by young Charles Dickens.

The Olympic Theatre was a playhouse built from the timbers of the French warship "Ville de Paris" (the former deck serving as the stage). It opened as the "Olympic Pavilion" in 1806. After financial losses, in 1813, it was sold to Robert William Elliston, who refurbished the interior and renamed it the "Little Drury Lane" by virtue of its proximity to the more established patent theatre.

The Royalty Theatre was opened in 1787 by the actor John Palmer in defiance of the 1737 patent monopoly act and featured as its first production As You Like It. Without a proper license, however, it was forced to close, and Palmer was arrested. Under the management of William Macready, the Royalty continued on, struggling with pantomimes and burlettas (comic opera). In 1816, it was renamed the "East End Theatre," and continued to offer entertainment until it was burned down ten years later.

A Note from the Book Boost:  It is amazing how many of these were lost to fire.  Wondering how so many of these fires were set?  The patrons or the performers or the "behind the scene" folks?  Very interesting stuff, Regan.  Thanks for sharing.  Please tell us more about your latest.


A stint playing Portia at the Theatre-Royal at Haymarket in London, a dropped valentine and a dangerous desire lead gentle-born Rose Collingwood into the arms of an Irishman whose love will hazard all she knows and is.

Excerpt (edited for length):

Morgan O’Connell hardly noticed Sophie as she turned her attention from the stage and artfully tossed her head of dark curls, smiling at him from behind her lace-covered fan. He was tired of his companion’s feigned shyness and coquettish glances, just as he was tired of the play they would be seeing.

The Merchant of Venice, though just beginning, held little interest for him. Once a favorite, he supposed he’d seen too many bad productions for it to remain so. Still, he liked the ambience of the Theatre-Royal at Haymarket, which seemed the place he most often sought entertainment now that he lived in London. Sophie seemed to be enjoying it, too.

His gaze drifted to the stage where appeared the three chests from which Portia’s suitors must choose, her dead father having left a puzzle to determine which man would gain both his daughter and his wealth. Gold, silver and lead; only one held the prize. And the cost to hazard a guess was high, for those who failed must vow never to wed.

As the play unfolded, Morgan’s eyes soon diverted from the chests to the woman acting the part of Portia. She was beautiful and young, somewhere between nineteen and twenty-one. Though he couldn’t tell if that luxurious long brown hair was the actress’s own, the sixteenth-century gown was most becoming to her curves. Her acting was extraordinary, holding him enraptured and sweeping him into a story he’d thought no longer held any allure. Small movements of her eyes, facial expressions and gestures conveyed much that Shakespeare’s lines did not. If she’d never spoken a word, he would have known Portia’s true heart. When she did speak, he believed in a real Portia of long ago.

Portia was the kind of woman Morgan wanted: brave, forthright and intelligent, a woman whose spirit was equal to his own. Unfortunately, these were not qualities he’d find in an English actress, however comely. And though he might consider a tryst with such an actress, his Irish family would only be satisfied with an Irish bride.

Want More Regan?

Visit her on the web here:   

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

Thursday, February 14, 2013

And the Winner Is...Book Boost Blogger of the Year Announced

Congrats to Letty James!  
Our 2012 Blogger of the Year!

Letty's post from February 2012 was selected based on numerical scores from THREE "celebrity" judges this year.  Meet the judges down below.

Letty is half of the talented writing duo with author Beth Henderson (shout out to Beth).  Please join me in congratulating Letty on her win.  As the 2012 Book Boost Blogger of the Year, Letty will receive the following prizes:

1. A year of FREE cover ad promotion at the Book Boost;
2. The top right hand column ad spot ALL YEAR; and
3. A custom designed trophy (for bragging rights, of course)!

Woot!  Squee!  

Didn't get a chance to read the winning post?  Check it out here.

Much appreciation to all the nominees and the voting was very close indeed.  Big hugs to fellow nominees Jami Gray, Susan C. Muller, Anna Alexander, and Meggan Connors.

And now...please meet our judges:

Judge #1 (and #1 in my heart):  Kerri's husband!

This is the man who must live with me day in and day out.  Listen to my chatter about the publishing industry, the trials of the writer's life, and the challenges of working at home with 3 little ones in tow.

He brings a unique perspective to the mix and is one of my biggest fans.  Here's what he had to say about the winning entry...

"Fast paced and humorous."

Judge #2:  Maya Jax (our 2010 Blogger of the Year)

This judge knows what it takes to win this award.  As our inaugural winner, she made me laugh until I cried with her debut novel, Escapades of Romantically Challenged Me.

I'm looking forward to featuring Maya here in April and finding out what she has been up to lately.  Thanks to this judge for her time and graciousness.  Here's what she had to say about the winning entry...


Check out Maya here:

Pick up her book here.

Judge #3:  Leslie Langtry (our 2011 Blogger of the Year)

This judge is our reigning title holder and pens the Bombay Family of Assassins series for your reading pleasure.  Who wouldn't love a hilarious hit woman?  You must check it out now.  Or else!

Leslie will return to chat with us in April and I can't wait to hear what she has next in store for us.  Thanks to Leslie for your comments and scores.  Here's what she had to say about the winning entry...

"This was my hands-down favorite.  She had a rapport with the reader."

Check out Leslie here:

Pick up her books here.

So, until next time...keep writing those killer posts and YOU may be the next Blogger of the Year.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Now, let's see if I can get Judge #1 off the golf course and into my arms...


Kerri Nelson
Owner, The Book Boost

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Excellence in E-Books with our Guest Blogger: Valerie Chambers

Meet indie author Valerie Chambers 
today at the Book Boost!

How to Launch Your E-book Successfully

E-books, short for electronic books, are becoming increasingly popular learning tools nowadays with hundreds of thousands currently available for download. Apart from being a gem for people who want to learn to cook or exercise, e-books are also an ideal product for profit. If an e-book is valuable enough, it can go from being a complimentary download to a product consumers are willing to pay top dollar for. The success of your e-books depend largely on its launch. If it fails to take off perfectly, it will likely be ignored like the rest of the e-books that have flopped over time.

What to Write?

Ask your targeted readers what kind of e-book they want prior writing one. Although you have some ideas of your own, you have to remember that your readers don't have the same background and ideas. The only way to check what kind of e-book your readers would want to read is by directly asking them. Of course this doesn't necessarily mean you have to go door to door. Simply post your question on a blog site, email your newsletter subscribers, or use social networking sites to reach them. Better yet, utilize all three approaches for more extensive and accurate results.


Regardless of how great your ideas and presentation are, it is no excuse for leaving out errors like misspelled words or shabby grammar on your e-book. Always proofread your work before even considering launching it. Have a friend or relative who is well versed in reading and writing proofread your e-book and then proofread it yourself one last time. If you fail to proofread your work and the errors do reach your readers, this will emulate an unprofessional stature on your part. Invest a little extra of your time and effort and it'll pay out in great dividends.

Why Write?

Why are you writing an e-book? Is it because you've heard it can be very profitable? Perhaps you wish to achieve fame by making a ton of e-books? Identifying your core purpose in pursuing e-book writing is important as it gives you inspiration and motivation to do the best you can. Before writing an e-book and launching it, get seriously clear and straight to the point regarding your purpose, so that your work meets the end objectives and you don't allot a huge portion of your lifetime chasing the wrong goal.

Add a Bonus

In this challenging economic climate, consumers always look for an incentive to purchase a product or service. When launching your e-book, you should look for a way to sweeten the deal for consumers who buy your product to give them more value than what they are paying for. This will serve as somewhat your appreciation offering.

In the end, what really counts in a successful e-book launch is content. Make sure your content has value otherwise no amount of bonus or strong marketing campaign can save your work from failure. Once you secure this meaningful content, you can then work on your advertising tactics.

A Note from the Book Boost:  Great advice, Valerie.  Thanks for sharing your expertise with us today at the Book Boost.  After years with traditional publishing, I'm considering the self publishing route myself.  

Who's Valerie?

Valerie Chambers writes about her career as a self-publishing author and English professor. Her most recent work is titled the "Best College Majors For The Future".

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Share a Meal & a Laugh with Guest Blogger: Margie Church

Win a copy of Razor: Desire's Edge & 
chat with author Margie Church 
today at the Book Boost!

What's in a Meal?

Valentine's Day always puts so much pressure on people. Whether you're in a relationship or trying to get one going, the right Valentine's Day dinner is one of those make or break dates. I've generally had epic fail on mine. On our first Valentine's Day as a married couple, I made one of my favorite meals. The idea of it still makes my mouth water. It's a local specialty I grew up eating. And since we don't live in that area of the state anymore, I thought it would be really nice. Until I served dinner.

My husband of six months looked at me like I'd just served him poached rat.

I urged him to try it.

He gave me a pained look. "It's blood sausage, sauerkraut, and boiled potatoes. On Valentine's Day."

I shrugged. It was a perfectly lovely dinner, in my estimation.

The sauerkraut slid off the plate, back into the pan where it could ferment until the day he died, DH proclaimed.

I wasn't real surprised. It is an acquired taste. He was from Maine. They don't eat sauerkraut in Maine.

DH got up from the table, and lit a candle.

How romantic. Why didn't I think of a candle-lit dinner?

"That ought to help with the stink."

I raised an eyebrow. This meal wasn't going the way I thought it would. Hum, the blind eyes of wedded bliss must have clouded my thinking.

He opened the refrigerator.

"Beer doesn't go with this."

He came back to the table with a bottle of ketchup.

I squinted at him, appalled at the idea of soiling my delicious blood sausage with ketchup.

I cut my slice in half and took a forkful. It was done to perfection, slightly salty on the inside, its natural casing crispy on the outside.

The ketchup bottle made that farting sound.

I looked over to his plate. The blood sausage had indeed been resurrected, reincarnated even, and it needed a medic. Right now. "That looks disgusting."

He gave me a surprised look. "Is this a challenge?"

"You're not supposed to put ketchup on blood sausage. It'll taste gross."

He put some on his fork. "In my opinion, ketchup tastes better than this, so if I put enough ketchup on it, it'll kill the taste."

I know I screwed up my face the same way we do before we have to change a poopy diaper.

He put the black and red stuff in his mouth. Chewed. Slowly. He swallowed. It didn't come back up.

I took his plate and put the meal in the trash. "You're on your own, but I'm never cooking this for you again."

He actually smiled. Then, he made himself a peanut butter sandwich.

Suffice it to say, I kept my promise to this day. I eat my delicious blood sausage alone, and actually that's fine by me. I'm not good at sharing anyway.

Food plays a role in all my books. I almost always have some crazy-ass thing a character likes to eat. In Krewe Daddy, Drew likes to eat turkey bologna with peanut butter sandwiches. Makes you want to gag, eh? Washes it down with chocolate milk and remarks that he has the dietary preferences of a toddler.

Diet Pepsi is the first and last thing Jolene drinks every day. Rosalind is addicted to cranberry nut bread. Brendan can't stay away from bear claw donuts. Lily loves sweet tea – the kind that'll rot my teeth just thinking about it. Blood sausage is a local favorite in my neck of the woods. But then so are liver and kidney stew. I want to brush my teeth just thinking about those foods.

In Razor: Desire's Edge, you can always tell when Bryce is upset – he swirls bourbon in his glass. He might never say a word, but if that booze is swishing, Bryce is wound tight. Let me share the first book in the Razor series - Desire's Edge by Margie Church and K.B. Cutter!

An erotic, insightful novel about one of today's most controversial topics: polyamory.

Amy has a core need to occasionally be sexually dominant with her husband, and he's not getting the message. Her solution is very unconventional. She want hers best friend, Raine, a lifestyle Domme, to mentor him.

Initially, Bryce thinks Amy's crazy.

Raine brings a new level of excitement and kink to the marriage. What they thought would be a temporary situation evolves into much more, especially when Amy and Bryce develop deeper feelings for Raine. Their newfound intimacy makes all three examine their views about love and sex outside marital boundaries, their sexual identities, and the definition of family.

Embracing an inevitable destiny, the triad lives on the razor's edge of a happiness many will never know. Razor: Desire's Edge is a must-read for all those who saw, or heard about Showtime's controversial series, Polyamory: Married and Dating.

This groundbreaking, erotic trilogy continues in Razor: Love's Storm and Razor: Love's Reflection.

A Note from the Book Boost:  Margie, I LOVED this story about you and your hubby.  Bless your heart!  So funny and thanks for sharing it with us.  The new series looks hot and heavy.  Please tell us more.

Excerpt (edited for content):

She opened the door at the end of the hall and motioned for Bryce to enter.

He looked around the room, lit by candles and lanterns. "Kind of gothic, isn't it?"

"From here forward you'll refer to me as Mistress or Mistress Raine." Her tone brooked no argument. She pointed to the chair in the center of the room. "Take off your shirt, and sit down."

While Bryce did as she asked, he eyed the leather restraint she'd picked up.

She walked behind his chair, heels clicking on the hardwood floor. "Hands behind your back."

The second he moved, she jerked his left wrist backward, fastening the buckles, one after the other, with expert ease. Then, much to Bryce's surprise, she fastened a cuff around his neck, too.

Looking pleased, Raine seemed to size him up.

He licked his lower lip, then cleared his throat.

"I know you're thinking there's a way to turn this in your favor, Bryce. And there is. Say the safe word, and you're released and gone. Until then, you will do as I say, within the boundaries we've agreed to. Do you understand?"

He nodded, the stiff leather uncomfortable under his chin.

"I didn't hear you."

"Yes, Mistress."

"That's better."

Although she smiled, the warmth was gone from her expression. Bryce knew she was being as condescending as he.

"Sit tight, I'll be right back."

While she was gone, Bryce calculated various scenarios and their potential outcomes for the evening. When she returned with a steaming bowl of water and supplies, he arched an eyebrow.

This is unexpected.

Bryce noticed a gleam in her eye. One of sexual mischief or malice? The razorblade drew his attention. His skin rose at the thought of it upon his flesh.

For Bryce, time had no meaning. The universe was reduced to only the two of them and the sharp edge of the razor.

Want More Margie?

Visit her on the web here:

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

Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for Margie and be entered to win a copy of Razor: Desire's Edge.  If you're an author, do you use weird food combinations in your books? Readers, do you find these tidbits annoying or fun aspects to a character? Share your favorite or most hated food. We'll all say blech together! The funniest post wins a copy of Razor: Desire's Edge!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Feeling Boxed In with Guest Blogger: Chicki Brown

 Meet author Chicki Brown 
today at the Book Boost!

The past ten years have provided me more opportunities to step outside of my comfort zone than I’ve had in my entire life. Let me explain. From the time I graduated from high school, I worked in corporate office support. That means I did everything for everyone else and basically wasn’t allowed to make any decisions. So, my days we filled with carrying out other people’s decisions. As long as they paid me, I stayed within the confines of that box.

In 2001, I started writing merely from on-the-job boredom. Over the next ten years everything about my life changed. I finished that first novel, got laid off from the job, started working from home, joined Georgia Romance Writers (a real stretch for me, because normally I hate meetings), got an agent, started my own local writer’s group, fired my agent, got another agent, wrote eight more novels, made the decision to self-publish, entered the world of social networking, and probably one hundred other things I’d never done before.

I mention all of this to prove that I am qualified to write about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something completely new. Believe me, the fear you will experience can be a monster, but if there is something you really want to do that scares you silly, you should run toward it not away from it. Conquering a challenge and going to the next level can do more for your self-esteem than hours of expensive counseling.

We all have dreams, some GOAL we want to accomplish, even if those dreams are buried very deep inside. Mine just happened to be the desire to become a published author. Yours might be starting a business, going back to school to get a degree, or opening yourself up to love after heartbreak. Taking any major step is frightening and requires us to step outside of our self-created comfort zones, but the rewards on the other side are so worth pushing through the fear.

Perhaps this is why I always write about characters facing major decisions. In my new short story, divorcee Jan Davis meets Mac Sinclair, a man who is eleven years her junior. Her self-esteem was severely battered after a marriage to an emotionally distant man. Just the idea of going out on a date is enough to paralyze Jan, and the fact that he’s a sexy, younger man terrifies her even more. In addition to her own fears, Jan has to confront the attitudes and opinions of her daughters and, eventually, Mac’s mother.

If you’d like to read a story about a woman that steps outside of her comfort zone and into a new life, I hope you'll pick up a copy of You Make Me Feel Brand New.

A Note from the Book Boost:  I'm glad you took that leap outside the box and I'm sure our readers will love checking our your book.  Thanks for joining us today at the Book Boost


One year ago, personal chef Jan Davis signed her divorce papers after a miserable twenty-five-year marriage. She is single again, and romantic attention is as foreign to her as ancient Carthaginian cuisine.

When she meets her new client, sports management agent Mac Sinclair, who is eleven years younger, Jan’s life takes a complete turnaround. She’s thrilled, but everyone in her life isn’t as pleased.

Want More Chicki?

Visit her on the web here:

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