Friday, October 29, 2010

Defining Success with Guest Blogger John Lindermuth

Win a copy of Being Someone Else and discuss success with author John Lindermuth today at the Book Boost.

Here's what he had to say...

Everyone wants to succeed.

It’s human nature. Everyone loves a winner and no one wants to fail.

Like other creative people, it’s in the nature of writers to crave recognition. And money certainly complements other forms of recognition. A few people in our own generation have become very wealthy as a result of their fiction. Many more supplement meager earnings from fiction with a day job.

And that’s been the case historically. Recognition for many, many writers didn’t come until long after their deaths. Now surely all of us would prefer to have some of that acclaim and money while we’re around to enjoy it. Realistically, we have to abide with the facts.

Many of those we envision as great barely made a living from their writing. Poe had little recognition and lived in poverty most of his life. Joyce? He also died in financial straits. F. Scott Fitzgerald, now considered one of America’s leading writers, didn’t make much money from The Great Gatsby or Tender is the Night, which are now considered his best novels. Katherine Anne Porter, a major voice in 20th century American literature, supported herself with journalism and hack writing. Yet they were committed to writing and stuck with it.

James Lee Burke’s wonderful The Lost Get Back Boogie garnered more than 100 rejections before it was finally published and went on to be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Few of us write fiction because we expect to get rich. We don’t write because of lack of ability to do something else. We write because we want to—and that doesn’t demean it to the limit of a hobby. Not that there’s anything wrong with hobbies. But a hobby is something we do primarily for entertainment; a diversion from the trials and cares of every day life. Anyone who tries it will soon learn writing fiction is not always entertaining. It’s hard work and anything but a diversion.

The thing is, if you’re going to write, you must be prepared for rejection and failure. You must also be prepared to learn from every one of those failures. As Alexander Smith so aptly put it,
“In the wide arena of the world, failure and success are not accidents as we so frequently suppose, but the strictest justice. If you do your fair day’s work, you are certain to get your fair day’s wage—in praise or pudding, whichever happens to suit your taste.”

And, as Elizabeth George points out in Write Away, “Lots of people want to have written; they don’t want to write. To reach that end (publication), you have to be willing just to set it aside, knowing that it may never happen at all but not much caring because it’s the writing that matters to you; it’s the mystery and magic of putting words on paper that are truly important.”

A Note from the Book Boost: Very well said, John. Sometimes while struggling to reach our publication goals, it becomes easy to forget that we read because we choose to but we write because it chooses us. Thanks for joining us today and please tell us more about your book!


Some people believe violence is foreign to our nature. Dan ‘Sticks’ Hetrick, retired chief and consultant to the Swatara Creek police department, knows better. We put a lid on our natural tendency to violence when we started living in groups, devising moral codes to hold it in check and allow us to live in harmony with others. But, deep down in the Id, there is always that tendency to violence.

When an out-of-state reporter is found murdered in the restroom of a disreputable bar the tendency to violence spirals in the rural Pennsylvania community, and the investigative trail keeps bringing Hetrick and his team back to the family of a wealthy doctor who has come back to his hometown in retirement.

Hetrick and his protégé Officer Flora Vastine are joined by an old friend from his State Police days as they unravel old secrets and mysteries in a tale with as many shocking twists as a country road.


The best thing about a double shift was that it eventually ended. Tired as she was, Flora Vastine found solace in that thought. She loved her job but this had been a tough week and Flora was grateful, realizing tomorrow she would be off duty. She’d been on cruiser patrol Friday night and now, well into Saturday morning, Flora was ready to head home and get to bed. Fortunately her night had been boringly uneventful.

Earlier she’d been a bit jealous the call for the DOA at Vinnie’s Bar had gone to Fred and not her. Now the thought that her fellow officer might still be at the crime site while she was at the end of her shift was cause for something akin to pleasure.

Flora stifled a yawn and rolled down the cruiser window. Though there were still a few gray patches of snow in the field opposite, the air wafting in through the opening felt warm, even muggy. She recalled seeing a robin yesterday morning while on her run and remembered there was a misty green haze of buds about to pop on the trees. Spring was definitely in the air.

Tomorrow she and Harry would spend time together for the first time in weeks. He’d promised a surprise.
Flora had a suspicion. Her birthday was approaching and Harry and her father had been closeted in secret conversations several times in recent weeks. Were they planning a party? She hoped not. That was for kids.

But a surprise gift would be…

The whine of a motor interrupted her thoughts. Motorcycle. Not loud enough for a Harley. Maybe a Yamaha or Suzuki. Her brother Ed used to have a Suzuki. It made that same pinging sound as it accelerated. She saw it then. The driver hunched low over the bars, veered off the street, cut diagonally across the field behind her and disappeared into a stand of trees. There was a trail back there; narrow but wide enough for a bike. She hoped he knew where he was going. Bad to take a spill in those woods late like this when few people would be available to help if you were hurt.

Flora switched on the ignition and put her vehicle in gear.

Headlamps flashed through the trees and she heard the approach of another vehicle. Fast, too. Too fast, even if it was late and no other traffic on the road. There were some dangerous curves on this stretch.

The vehicle flew past, tires whomping in ruts, kicking up a cloud of dust and flinging stones. Flora pulled out in pursuit. She turned on her overheads and hit the siren once in warning. High-speed chases were against department policy. Flora hoped the driver would heed her warning.

And he did.

Squealing its brakes and throwing up another veil of dust, the car fish-tailed to a halt at the bottom of the grade. The driver revved the engine but didn’t move again as she pulled in behind him. The moon was bright enough overhead she could clearly make out a red Mazda Miata convertible. Late model. Maybe a 2006.

Nice ride. Fast on the take off and plenty of speed. What did the ads say? Zoom, zoom. Right. Maybe it was a good thing the driver pulled over. She wasn’t sure her cruiser had the stuff to catch it if he hadn’t.

Flora took her Mag-lite and got out, approaching the driver’s side cautiously. She could see the driver watching her in the side mirror. He turned his face up and smiled as Flora stepped up beside him. “What’s the trouble, sweet-thing?”

Flora felt her face go hot with the remark. Some people just didn’t respect the uniform. “License and registration, sir,” she snapped.

“Sure. What’s the problem?”

“You were speeding, sir.”

He grinned as Flora shone the light in his face and across the interior. Mid to late-thirties, tanned—at this time of year—blond, tousled hair a bit on the long side. His green eyes sparkled in the light. “Yeah. Guess I was going a bit fast. But there’s nobody else out and I know this road like the back of my hand.”

“I’ll need to see your license and…”

“Sure, sure.” He reached a hand to the glove box and pulled out the documents.

Flora took them to the rear of the vehicle, held the light up and scanned them. Philip Donahue, Turkey Hollow Road. She didn’t know the driver but the road wasn’t far from here.

“Everything okay, sweetie?” Donahue called.

Burning, Flora stalked up to his side. “Sir, have you been drinking?”

“Okay. I confess. I had a couple beers. Can I go now if I promise to take it slower. I just want to get home to bed.”

“Would you step out of the car, please.”

With a sibilant sigh, Donahue opened the door and slid out. He was taller than her, athletic looking. “You wanna do the Breathalyzer?”

She was half inclined to put him through the whole routine. Instead, she said, “Let’s just see if you can walk a straight line.”

He gave her a smile and took off, walking fast, one foot in front of the other. He turned and came back again.

“Shall I touch my nose with my forefinger now?” he asked.

Flora was forced to grin. “I see you’ve been through this before.”

“A few times.”

“You realize I’m gonna have to give you a speeding ticket.” She could have went for a DUI but she was tired and that inclined her to leniency.

He shrugged. “Write away, my dear. Only don’t take too long, okay? I just want to get this tired ol’ body home to bed.”

She wrote out the ticket, gave him his copy and documents. “Go on home, sir, but take it a little more cautiously.”

Donahue glanced at the ticket, gave her a salute and started to get back in the Mazda. Then he swiveled round to face her. “Does Officer Vastine have a first name?”

Flora scowled. “Just go home, Mr. Donahue.”

He nodded and got in the car. “Okay, pretty Officer Vastine. See you around.” He put the Mazda in gear and pulled out, spraying dirt and pebbles which clattered against Flora’s cruiser.

Want More John?

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Get Dead Sexy with Guest Blogger Paige Tyler

Guest Blogger Paige Tyler is here to tell us how she creates new and exciting characters.

Here's what she had to say...

Readers often ask me how I come up with ideas for my books, so I thought I'd give you a little behind-the-scenes peek at how I came up with my upcoming paranormal erotic romance from Ellora's Cave called Dead Sexy.

Before I say anything else though, isn't that cover too hot for words?! When the art department sent it to me, I probably gazed at it for a good ten minutes in mouth-drooling appreciation before I could email them back telling the artist it not only rocked, but totally fit the book. The hero is "Dead Sexy," after all!

Okay, back to the story and how I came up with it. First, to set the stage, I need to share a little something with you about myself. Well, about my hubby and me, actually. We love zombie movies, from the George Romero gems to Shaun of the Dead and everything in between. You just can't go wrong with a movie full of walking dead people, can you? Well, if you've ever seen a zombie movie (or even you haven't), then you know the creatures aren't the heroes of the film. I mean, how can they be, right? They're all dead and decayed and downright unattractive, not to mention pretty damn scary. Which was why you can imagine my surprise when my hubby suggested I write an erotic romance about a zombie hero. I was like, you're kidding, right? What woman in her right mind would fall in love with a dead guy? No way could that possibly work, or so I thought.

Turns out, my hubby wasn't kidding. In fact, he started working up ideas for the story.

"The hero didn't have to be a zombie all the time," he told me. "Think outside the box - take a little literary license!"

Okay, I thought. I suppose I could be open minded.

My hubby told me that in his out-of-the-box world, the hunky hero got cursed by an evil Voodoo priestess and only turns into a zombie sometimes.

"I'm listening," I said.

"And when he does go zombie, he doesn't have to be like the kind in the movies," my hubby added. Well, he has to look like one, you know all dead and stuff, but he doesn't have to be a mindless creature or attack humans or eat anything gross."

So, brains are completely out, thanks goodness!

"Think Jensen Ackles or Jared Padelecki, with a really, really, really dark tan - (yes, my hubby knows I've got a thing for the Supernatural hunks!) - well, maybe more gray and black than tan, but you get the idea."

I thought about that for a minute. "So, the hero's dead, but he's still sexy, is that what you're saying?"

"Exactly," he said, giving me a grin as my eyes lit up with understanding.

By that point, my hubby had pretty much sold me on the idea. Of course, I knew if I ran with it, I was going to have to sell it to a publisher, and I knew that could be tough since the hero is a zombie.

But I ran with it anyway and ended up with a full-length novel. And it came out pretty damn good, if I do say so myself! I still had to find a publisher for it, though.

About this same time, It just so happens that several of my other books were in the process of being picked up by Ellora's Cave and I thought what the heck? Why not pitch it to editor there and see what she thinks? So I did, and she told me to send it to her. She was interested to see how I handled the whole zombie-thing. Well, long story, short, she liked it. A lot! My zombie romance with it's dead-sexy hero had a home! I was thrilled and my hubby walked around for a week with a smug, "I-told-you-so" look on his face.

I've been getting the word out there about Dead Sexy and I'm thrilled with the interest from readers who can't wait to get their hands on it! I can't wait for them to read it, too! It's in final edits with my editor, so it should be hitting the digital streets really soon.

Now that I've revealed the story behind the story, I thought I'd share the blurb and an excerpt just to whet your appetite for more!

A Note from the Book Boost: This sounds great. I wrote a short zombie flash fiction piece last year that won a contest. But I had a zombie heroine! So, when it comes to fiction, anything goes and yours sounds like a winner. Congrats and keep us posted on your release!


Romance author Simone Kent thinks she might just have found the most perfect guy in all of New York City - in bed and out.

But Drake Parrish is about as far from perfect as any man can get. Eight years ago, he was cursed by an evil Voodoo priestess to live part of his life as a zombie. Since then, he has lived like a recluse on New York’s Upper East Side, afraid to go out for fear he’ll suddenly turn into one of the walking dead.

Being with Simone reminds him of everything he was forced to give up and Drake finds himself feeling things for her that he hasn’t felt in a very long time. When the Voodoo priestess learns of their relationship, however, she comes after him again. She doesn’t believe Drake has paid for his sins and is determined to make sure he won’t have a future with Simone, even if that means killing the woman he loves.


As she led him up the steps to the second floor, Drake found himself wondering if she would ask him in. And wondering what he’d say if she did. When they came to a stop outside the door to her apartment, Simone turned to give him a smile.

“I had a great time tonight.”

“Me, too.”

She caught her bottom lip between her perfect white teeth and chewed on it thoughtfully as if unsure what she wanted to say next. It was probably an unconscious gesture, something she did whenever she was thinking, but to him, it was sexy as hell and all he could think about was kissing her.

Surely, one kiss couldn’t hurt. He desperately wanted to. He hadn’t kissed a woman in so long. It would be nice to see if he still remembered how.

Before he could stop himself, Drake tilted Simone’s face up to his and pressed his mouth to hers.

She tasted just as sweet and delicious as he thought she would. Her lips were soft and pliant under his as she kissed him back, her tongue eagerly seeking his out.

Drake groaned and slid his hand into her hair, deepening the kiss. Simone sighed into his mouth, running her hands up the front of his shirt to grasp his shoulders. The feel of her touch was like a tonic to his deprived soul and he let out another groan, deeper this time.

He ran his free hand up her side and around to her breast, cupping it through the soft material of her dress. He couldn’t stop himself and apparently, Simone didn’t want him to. She moaned and arched against him. He could feel the heat of her pussy through their clothes as she pressed up against his hard cock. Damn, she felt good.

Drake drew her bottom lip into his mouth and gently suckled on it before slowly kissing his way along the delicate curve of her jaw. Simone clutched his shoulders and tilted her head back. He eagerly trailed a path of hot kisses down her neck, then back up, his mouth finding hers again. Simone looped her arms around his neck, pulling him in even closer as their tongues met.

Down the hall, a door slammed, reminding him where they were.

Drake dragged his mouth away from hers, his breathing ragged as he tried to regain control. He had to get it together because he was about five seconds away from doing something really stupid. Like taking her to bed. “I should go.”

Her lips curved into a sexy, flirtatious smile. “Or you could stay.”

God, how he wanted to. But as much as he’d love to spend the rest of the night exploring every inch of her body, he couldn’t take the chance he might go zombie on her right in the middle of sex. Talk about coitus interruptus, And it had already been almost four days since he last turned, which meant he was already pushing his luck.

“You don’t know how much I want to,” he groaned. “But I can’t.”

Simone looked up at him with those big, blue eyes. “Why not?”

“Because I…” He hesitated, trying to come up with something that would sound believable. “I have a column due in the morning and I haven’t even started on it yet.” She knew all about deadlines, so she would understand that. Besides, he did have a column to write, it just wasn’t due until next week. “Rain check?”

She looked disappointed, but she smiled anyway. “Absolutely. How does coming over for dinner tomorrow night sound?”

It would be crazy to agree when he could be so close to having an episode, but he couldn’t say no. Not when she asked in that soft, sultry voice. “Sounds great.”

“Good. Be here at seven.”

“Seven it is.”

She pulled him down for another long, slow kiss on the mouth. “Don’t be late.”

His mouth twitched. “I won’t.” He bent his head to kiss her again, then groaned. “If I don’t go now, I’ll be here all night.”

Simone laughed. “Would that be such a bad thing?”

“Not to me, but my editor at Money Issues might not be too understanding when he doesn’t find my column sitting in his inbox tomorrow.”

She sighed. “Deadlines can be a real pain in the butt sometimes. Okay, go home and write your column. I’ll cuddle up with a bowl of ice cream instead.”

He chuckled. “Sounds better than taking a cold shower, which is what I’m going to be doing when I get home.” He closed his mouth over hers once more. “See you tomorrow night, beautiful.”

Resisting the urge to pull her into his arms again, Drake turned and walked down the hallway toward the stairwell. At the top of the steps, he glanced over his shoulder to see Simone standing where he’d left her, a sexy curve to her lips.

It took every ounce of strength he possessed not to go back and pin her against the door for one more long, lingering kiss. God, what he wouldn’t give to spend the night with her. Man, it was going to take more than a cold shower to get her out of his head.

Want More Paige?

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Dead Sexy coming soon from Ellora's Cave!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chat & Win with Featured Author Jessica Chambers

Win one of 5 gift cards for Amazon or Barnes & Noble and get to know author Jessica Chambers today at the Book Boost!

TBB: Jessica, welcome to the blog and Congrats on your new release. Can you tell us where are you from?

JC: I’ve moved around a bit over the years, but I’m currently living with my family and crazy Staffordshire bull terrier in Windsor, a riverside town in the English county of Berkshire. Most people probably know it for the castle and nearby Eton College, and it’s this sense of history that I love most about my home town.

TBB: Please tell us about your debut release.

JC: Voices On The Waves is a sweet women’s fiction novel set against the stunning backdrop of rural Cornwall. The idea for the book came from my fascination with people and the ways in which they interact. What would happen, I asked myself, if you forced a group of strangers together in one place for a set length of time, and then left them to their own devices?

Well, this is precisely what happens in Voices On The Waves, where nine individuals from all walks of life win a two-week holiday in a beautiful farmhouse retreat. Having gathered such diverse personalities under one roof, all I had to do was let my imagination flow and the sparks fly! With new found love, illicit affairs and the sharing of long-buried secrets, Voices on the Waves really does have it all.

TBB: When and why did you begin writing?

JC: Clichéd as it sounds, I’ve harbored an ambition to be a writer ever since I was old enough to think about my future. Even when I was seven-years-old and wrote my first novel, a 30-page piece entitled The Mystery Of The Strange Telephone Calls, I knew that was how I wanted to earn my living. As a shy person, I love being able to escape into another world, and the sense of power that comes with controlling everything that goes on in that world.

TBB: Love the title of your first novel! LOL What authors have inspired your writing and in what way?

JC: Gosh, there are so many. To name a few, I love Maeve Binchy’s warm style, Jilly Cooper’s witty dialogue, Cassandra Clare’s larger than life characters and James Patterson’s economy with words. I suppose I take elements of all the writers I enjoy and admire, and combine them in a style that is my own.

TBB: What are your current projects?

JC: I’ve just started work on a novella, which will be written as part of a series with a group of my fellow authors at Red Rose. The idea is that we each write a book based on a reality TV show, and I’m taking the inspiration for mine from talent shows such as American Idol and The X Factor. It’s shaping up to be really great fun!

I’m also in the throes of editing a novel called Painting The Summer. More of a mystery than Voices On The Waves, it centers around a wealthy English family whose lives are torn apart when they invite a handsome young artist into their home to paint their portraits. All going well, I’m hoping both novels will be published some time in 2011.

TBB: Do you have any advice for other writers?

JC: Study your craft. Most of us, unless we happen to be a literary genius, won’t become a best-selling writer overnight. Read every book you can lay your hands on about creating believable, unforgettable characters and how to weave page-turning plots. Join a writing critique group, whether online or face-to-face, to get feedback on your progress that will help you improve. Most of all, write the sort of novels you would enjoy reading.

TBB: Thanks again for joining us and please tell our readers how they can enter your great October contest!

JC: Thank you so much, Kerri, for inviting me here today, and to all of you for stopping by. Anyone kind enough to leave a comment here, or at any point during my blog tour, will automatically be entered into the draw to win a $15 gift voucher for either Amazon or Barnes & Noble, so don’t forget to provide an email address in case I need to contact you. I’ll be announcing the five winners at the end of my tour on October 31st over at my blog so good luck!

Want More Jessica?

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Meet Maya today at the Book Boost!

The Book Boost chats with author Maya Jax today.

Here's what she had to say...

TBB: When and why did you begin writing?

MJ: I started writing in pre-school. I would dictate stories to my Granny as she typed them out on my Grandad’s typewriter. He was an author and I loved that his job was to tell stories.

TBB: What a fond memory...what do you like to do when you're not writing?

MJ: I produce video games as a day job and LOVE it. That takes up most of my non-writing time.

TBB: How interesting. Can you tell us what authors have inspired your writing and in what way?

MJ: When I first moved back to my hometown for a life change, I walked into a major bookstore. One of the employees came up to me and grabbed my hand. I didn’t say a word, but she said that she knew a book I would love. She led me over to a bargain bin and dug out the last hardcover copy of The Devil Wears Prada.

It had been out for over a year, so I have no idea why this woman zeroed in on me, or how she knew I hadn't read it. Without even asking if I wanted it, she walked me over to the till and handed me over to the cashier. The whole interaction seemed like something that was supposed to be happening, so I bought it and read the whole book that night. It was the first chick lit I ever read, and as I read, I kept thinking this is me! I can do this! I think life sometimes hands you odd little incidents that are designed to take you to bigger things, so I started Escapades soon after.

TBB: Wow, that sounds like something that would happen in a movie. So, if you had to pick a celebrity to play you in a movie, who would it be and why?

MJ: Isla Fischer (I have thought about this many times – just in case!). She could fall down a flight of stairs and still be adorably charming. I think that is what I need.

TBB: Lastly, do you have a special message for your readers?

MJ: Hi Readers! Escapades of Romantically Challenged Me has been listed on Kobo’s Hilarious Reads list and now until October 31, Kobo is offering $1.50 off the sale price of Escapades if you use the coupon code Jax150 at checkout.

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for joining us today, Maya. It was a pleasure to have you back with us again. Now, won't you give us a bit more of Escapades?

Escapades of Romantically Challenged Me stars Lelaina Zane, an unlucky-in-love twenty-something who graduated from law school three years ago and went straight to LA to become a screenwriter. So far, she’s only gained three years waitressing experience and a ton of rejection letters. She finally thinks she’s on the verge of her big break, when a family emergency brings her home and her responsibilities there jeopardize her Hollywood future. It’s a fast and funny read about balancing life, expectations and surprises in love.


There’s a chance that while refraining from singing, I may have slept with Conner. It’s a little fuzzy, but consciousness just crept in and we are laying on the basement couch tangled up almost naked with each other.

“I’m going to the bathroom. Do you want anything while I’m up?” he asks, kissing my forehead.

“A glass of water, please.”

I watch him shuffle out of the room, then I drift back to sleep.

The heat from the sun causes me to roll over and open my eyes. I sit up and survey the basement. I’m alone. Groping around on the floor, I find my purse and cell phone. It’s six thirty in the morning. He went to the bathroom three hours ago. Where is he? I gather my clothes and throw them on. My underwear is no where to be seen, which worries me a little, but I think the most important part right now is finding Conner before his parents find me.

I call his cell phone. It rings from under the couch. I start to panic. I’m in his parents’ house. His very Catholic mother is upstairs. She’s bound to come down here eventually. And I don’t imagine she’ll be thrilled to see a hungover, partially dressed, black-eyed me in her basement.

I pad to the door and open it slowly. The bathroom is right outside the door and it’s empty. There doesn’t seem to be any movement in the house. Did he leave without me? My best option is probably to sneak through the house and bolt out the front door.

I’m about to sprint up the stairs when I remember that my underwear is still missing in action. I hate to abandon it because it’s my favorite red Hanky Panky thong, but I don’t have much time before Mrs. Adair rises from her bed or crypt, or wherever it is she rests. Of course, I don’t want her to find it either. Fuck. I inspect under the couch, tear the cushions off and dig around the frame. Nothing. It isn’t hanging from the lights or ceiling fan. I search behind the drink bar where there’s a refrigerator and a giant stand-alone freezer. Oh God. I’ll have to leave it behind. I can only hope she doesn’t find out it’s mine.

The stairway to the first floor opens up into the kitchen and living room, which leads to the front door and the exposed staircase up to his parents’ room. The kitchen floor creaks as I creep through. I hope Conner is in here so I can bitch slap his face before I run like hell.

No such luck.

When I get into the living room, I hear someone moving around upstairs. Dear God. I scurry across the living room to the front door. The dead-bolt clicks as I unlock it. My fingers curl around the doorknob. Just when I think I’ve found freedom, I notice the alarm system blinking beside the door. It’s on. If I go out the door, it will set off the system.

A toilet flushes upstairs. Oh my God. I debate running out the door anyway and booking it down the block. The house is on a ravine that leads to my parents’ house, so by the time the police show up I could be safe in my own bed. Of course, the embarrassment would be much worse if the police trace the break-and-enter to my house and come knocking on my parents’ door.

Where the hell is he?

Then the door to his parents’ room opens upstairs. Blinded by fear, I hurtle through the living room and kitchen, back into the basement. I don’t stop to catch my breath until I’m safely behind the couch.

Someone starts making breakfast in the kitchen above me. This is bad. Really, really, bad. Mrs. Adair is a lethal mixture of Catholic Italian and Greek, and here I am in her basement almost naked on a Sunday.

I call the one person I can think of that may be able to get me out of here without Mrs. Adair noticing.

“I need help,” I whisper.

“What time is it?” Joe yawns.

“I’m stuck in the Adairs’ basement. I have no idea where he is and now Mrs. Adair is upstairs moving around and I can’t get out of the house!”

“Why are you at the Adairs’?”

“Bob the cop drove me here. I had no choice.”

“Did you sleep with him?”

“With Bob?”

“With Conner, Zane. Did you sleep with Conner?”

“Can we focus on the bigger issue here?”

I can almost hear his eyes roll. “Why are you calling me?”

“Wait in your car outside. I’m going to make a run for it and there’s no way I can book it home in these heels.”

“Don’t you have to go through the kitchen to get to the door?”

“I’ll put something over my head.”

“You’re an idiot.”

“How about you ring the doorbell and distract her while I run out. She loves you.”

“I’m not doing that.”

“Joe, do you have any idea what Mrs. Adair will do to me if she sees me here?”

He sighs. “Is there a window?”

I madly look around, remembering a window when I woke up. There it is. It’s a tiny window over the deep freeze on the other side of the room, but big enough that I think I can fit my body through.

“Yes! Yes! There’s a window!”

I rush over and inspect it. There’s a little wire attached to a blinking white box on the pane.

“It’s attached to the alarm system.”

“Wait till she turns the alarm off to get the paper and then climb out the window. I’ll wait down the block.”

Then I hear someone on the stairs.

“Someone’s coming,” I hiss and slap the phone shut.

I dive behind the couch and hold my breath. The door opens. A shadow appears on the wall beside me. Oh God. I don’t think I’ve been a horrible person. I cheated on a social studies test in sixth grade. The girl across from me was a history mastermind, so I copied all her answers. I got one hundred percent. But I don’t think I’ve ever done anything bad enough that would put me in the kind of position that would lead Mrs. Adair to find me hiding in her basement on a holy day.

The person opens the freezer and digs around. I try to focus on the reflection in the glass cabinets. It’s her. It’s Mrs. Adair. This is it. This is how I’m going to die. Here lies Lelaina Zane, aspiring writer, died at twenty-six while still living with her parents and dressed like a whore in her ex-boyfriend’s basement. Cause of death is unknown, possible heart attack or strangulation by crazed mother-in-law to be. Did I say mother-in-law to be? I didn’t mean it.

After an eternity rummaging around, Mrs. Adair grabs some frozen waffles, closes the freezer door and vacates the room. I lay on the floor, staring up at the ceiling. I could stay here until I die. They would eventually find my body and explain to my parents what happened. Mr. and Mrs. Zane, did your daughter moonlight as a whore?

I sit up and peek over the couch. As I do, the door opens again. I hit the ground. Don’t let it be Mrs. Adair. I will do anything. I will never have sex again. Please don’t let it be her.

A shadow appears over my head. I glance upward and come eye to eye with Mrs. Adair’s angry face. Her dark eyes are almost as black as her hair, a huge contrast to her heavily creased porcelain skin. The devil himself would shun this woman from hell for fear she’d take over.

She flinches when she sees my eyes. “Would you like to explain yourself?”

I really wouldn’t.

My heart thunders in my chest. I may have to yell so she can hear me over the noise.

“Mrs. Adair. Hi,” I say, as though I’m casually surprised to run into her here. I stay on the ground, not wanting her to see how I’m dressed.

“What happened to your face?”

I hope she means the black eyes. It could also be last night’s make up that is smeared across my face.

“I fell off a table at work.” I don’t have time to add that I work at a preschool and not a strip club.

“Where’s my son?” She asks me like I’ve gagged him and stuffed his body in a trunk somewhere.

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know?” She crosses her arms. “How is it that you’re in my basement then?”

“He went to the bathroom four hours ago and didn’t come back. He’s probably upstairs.”

Let him be upstairs.

“Do your parents know where you are?”

Yes, I made sure to tell them I was getting hammered and coming back here to get laid.

Want More Maya?

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Monday, October 25, 2010

What a Character with Guest Blogger Sandra Cox

Win a Starbucks gift card, an autographed copy of Sundial, and a ‘seeing’ pendant when you join Class Act Books author Sandra Cox today at the Book Boost!

She's sharing a character interview with us and here's what they had to say...

Interview with Meghan Ryan

Interviewer: “With us today is Meghan Ryan, niece of the famous artist Sarah Miles who disappeared a week ago. So, Meghan, you were with Sarah when she disappeared?”

Meghan: “Yes. We’d gone to Nashville to paint a garden. Sarah’s quite famous for her garden paintings.”

Interviewer: “Yes, I know. And her signature cat Monet, the one that is in all her paintings, he was with her and disappeared too?”

Meghan: “Yes.”

Interviewer: “Tell us what happened.”

Meghan: “We were wandering through this garden that we were going to paint…”

Interviewer interrupts: “We? You paint too?”

Meghan: “Yes.”

Interviewer: “It must run in the family. Okay, so you were meandering through this garden. Then what happened?”

Meghan: “Sarah found an ancient sundial with the words ‘Fate cannot be altered.’ She touched it and ‘poof’ she disappeared.” Meghan’s voice becomes strained.

Interviewer, skeptically: “Poof, she disappeared?”

Meghan begins to cry hysterically. “You can believe me or not but that’s what happened.”

Interviewer: “Will you elaborate?”

Meghan is crying too hard to respond.

Interviewer steps away from the hysterical young woman. “There you have it folks,” she says with a disbelieving smile, “straight from the horse’s, err, niece’s mouth. Sarah Miles touched a sundial and ‘poof’ disappeared.

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for a great interview. I'm very intrigued by the interview and cannot wait to check out the book! Please share more with us...


The fortuneteller came forward to greet them. Sarah was tall, while Meghan was of average height, but even Meghan towered over the old woman.

Sarah started to speak, but the old woman interrupted. “The answers you seek are in the garden,” she said cryptically.

So much for small talk. “I hope you don’t mind, but I brought my niece.”

“I foresaw it,” Zienna said simply.

Meghan managed to turn a snort into a cough.

The woman turned to her. “You do not believe. But you will. You will.”

Sarah shivered as if a chill crawled down her spine.

Meghan was briefly reminded of Yoda. “Of course, I do,” Meghan hastened to reassure her.

“Sarah is the nonbeliever.”

Like a queen with a peasant, Zienna ignored the remark saying, “You will stay.”

They had been walking toward the back of the house where presumably the garden was.

Meghan stopped obediently.

Zienna motioned her forward impatiently. “You will stay, but your aunt will go. But not at this moment.”

Meghan gave her a confused look.

Zienna turned toward Sarah. “I would warn you if it would do any good. But fate cannot be altered. Your destiny is already written. Go to my garden. May God accompany you on your journey.”

Want More Sandra?

Visit her website here:
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Contest Time:

For an opportunity to win an autographed copy of Sundial, a ‘seeing’ pendant and a $10 Starbucks gift card, follow these instructions:

Visit and leave a comment mentioning Book Boost and Sundial. The contest runs from October 15 – Nov 14 at 5:00 p.m.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rock Out with Guest Blogger Adriana Kraft

Win an autographed copy of hot & spicy Meghan's Playhouse today with Torrid author Adriana Kraft at the Book Boost.

She's here to discuss finding inspiration from rocks...

Sexy Goddess, Red Rock Canyons

Readers often ask us where the ideas come from for our characters and our story lines. Meghan Keenan was actually inspired by Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and desire. We updated her mission and gave her a contemporary setting: the bisexual Meg enjoys helping couples fall in love through sharing her sexual delights with each partner, then bringing them together. We thought this structure would provide lots of opportunity to create enticing erotic scenes!

So we had our character early on. Now, where to place her? We reached for a world we’ve known personally. We like to do this when we can, since we can provide depth and detail that’s harder to deliver when we have to research something less known to us. One of our kids grew up in Community Theater with Broadway aspirations and now lives in New York.

Voila – Meg starts off as a twenty year old in a small Wisconsin town, makes her way to New York and becomes a successful actress, mostly working off Broadway, in road shows and on cruise ships.

We didn’t have to ponder long about where to set the finale to her story (finale for now, I have to add!). By ourselves and with family members we have spent magical days several different summers in the Red Rock country of Southern Utah: Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Cedar Breaks, the Kolob Fingers, Snow Canyon. We’ve watched the moon rise over the Kolobs, marveled at the petroglyphs in Snow Canyon, and thrilled to vintage Shakespeare and contemporary plays at a regional Summer Shakespeare Festival nearby.

Our advice? Whenever possible, write something you know and love – and when that’s not possible, focus your research on something you’d love to experience. We’ve watched Paris at our feet from the Eifel Tower – not in person, but with its 24/7 web cam. We’ve staged a (fictional) tryst in a hidden guest cottage on the grounds of a manor house near Stratford-Upon-Avon. We’ve set a book in Sedona, Arizona after watching the sunset and the moonrise through it’s online camera. Better yet? Our fictional visit inspired us to travel there in person!

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for sharing your life and writing experiences with us. I'm always eager to read books that are inspired by real places. Makes me want to travel! I'm also impressed that you are really a writing team with your husband. And ask him to forgive me for referring to you as only "she" throughout this blog. ;-) Please tell us more about your latest release.


When Meghan Keenan’s old flame Josh Hendricks unexpectedly shows up at the Summer Shakespeare Festival where she has a leading role, Meg has a brilliant inspiration: he’ll be perfect for Camila, the hot Latina who currently shares Meg’s bed. If Meg’s scheme works, she can continue to enjoy sexy escapades with both of them.

Josh has a different idea. He’s come to the Festival with one goal in mind: to marry Meg. Will Camila buy into the plan and help him spark Meg’s jealousy? Can Josh escape this tempting triangle unscathed? And if he does, can he claim his would-be bride before she flees in panic?


“My bed is already crowded.” Meg Keenan gave Josh Hendricks, her longtime friend and sometimes lover, a smile certain to perk his interest. That he’d arrived at the Sumer Shakespeare Festival wasn’t exactly a surprise—even though he wasn’t directing his contemporary comedy, he had written it. But it would’ve been good of him to let her know he was coming out. Last she’d heard, he was still ensconced in a theater guild in London. If she’d known, she might’ve planned a surprise or two. Meg always enjoyed surprising Josh.

She inhaled sharply. Maybe she did have a surprise for him.

“I wouldn’t expect otherwise,” Josh said, his mouth widening into a grin. “I can’t remember you ever being without at least one partner. How many this time? What gender or genders?”

“I’ll always make room for you, Josh.” Meg sighed and squeezed Josh’s knee. They sat on the grass in the Green Show area where she’d been rehearsing a routine. Spying Josh leaning against a shade tree waiting for her had seemed quite natural. “It feels like you’ve hardly been away.”

“It’s been nearly eighteen months,” he said, taking her hand in his. “You could do better with e-mail.” Josh chuckled. “I was pleased to hear you had the lead here for the summer. Josette and Zach send their love. She tells me she’s trying to get you to join her theater workshop as a full partner. That’s quite the opportunity.”

“I know.” Meg winced. “I’m not sure I want to. That much responsibility might tie me down too much.”

Josh’s eyes sparkled. “When I was your pirate on the cruise ship, you didn’t mind being tied down.”

She dug her fingernails into his palm. “That was different. I wanted you to ravish me, and you didn’t disappoint. God, can you believe it, I’m nearly thirty and I still don’t know what I want to do with my life.”

Josh arched an eyebrow. “You could marry me and have a bunch of kids.”

Meg laughed easily. “I’m not joking. I like my life the way it is. I’ve been able to work on and off Broadway, Vegas, cruise ships, and summer theater like this. Yet,” she drew in a deep breath, “sometimes I feel like I’m just flitting about.”

“Spreading your good cheer,” Josh quipped. “I suppose you still revel in being matchmaker.”

“Of course. That’s my calling.” Meg flashed an eyebrow. “Maybe it’s your turn. You show up out of the blue, and I have just the girl for you.”

“No way.” Blood drained from Josh’s face.

“Why didn’t I think of this sooner? Camila was born for you.” Meg hurried on, ignoring Josh’s protest. “She’s a UCLA grad student doing a summer internship here. I rented her a room in the big old house I’ve leased for the summer. You and she have so much in common. Her goal is directing, but she’s a playwright and an actress.”

“I’m not interested.”

“She’s gorgeous. Her roots go back to the Spaniards who settled much of California. Camila is about a half a foot taller than I am with a body made for loving.”

“So she shares your bed.”

Meg smirked at Josh’s suddenly husky tone. He wasn’t totally disinterested. “Of course she does. I wouldn’t hook you up with someone I haven’t tried out. You’ll find her to be a lot of fun and very passionate. She often cries out in Spanish when she comes. I’ve threatened to get a Spanish/English dictionary.”

“I’m quite fluent in Spanish,” Josh volunteered, raking a hand through his dark brown hair.

“A perfect match,” Meg cooed. “You’ll love Camila. And if you and she become a couple, I’ll still be able to party with the two of you now and then.”

Want More Adriana?

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Contest Time:

Leave a question for comment for Adriana to be eligible to win an autographed print copy of Meghan's Playhouse Vol.1. Winner selected in about a week and posted in the Recent Winners box on the right hand column of the blog. Check back to see if you've won and to claim your prize!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Get to Know Author Keena Kincaid and Win!

Win a copy of the hot historical romance Enthralled from author Keena Kincaid today at the Book Boost!

Welcome to our special guest today, thanks for joining us for an impromptu question session.

TBB: When and why did you begin writing?

KK: I think I’ve always told stories in some form or fashion and have made my living as a writer all my life. My mother likes to remind me that I’m a natural born storyteller. I guess I told some doozies when I was a kid.

After college, I spent 10 years working as a newspaper reporter, then moved into public relations and marketing communications. Writing a novel was always in my plans, and I started working on it seriously about 15 years ago.

TBB: I've been writing for 15+ years myself. So, I know the dedication that it takes to stick with it in this highly competitive field. Tell us, how did you come up with the title for this book?

KK: Magic abounds in my books, and one character uses her abilities to bind people to her. They are enthralled in the old-fashioned sense of the word. However, it also could describe William’s love for Amilia, the heroine. He literally cannot think straight around her.

TBB: This sounds wonderful. Tell us a little more about your writing style, what would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

KK: I make up words. Turn nouns into verbs, verbs into objects, and generally just play with the language. It used to drive my English teachers nuts.

TBB: I love it. Now, all good writers know that you must be a good reader as well. So, what book are you reading now?

KK: I’ve been reading down my TBR pile, and just finished Blythe Gifford’s His Border Bride. A wonderful, wonderful book. I highly recommend it.

TBB: And one final fun question, if you had to pick a celebrity to play you in a movie, who would it be and why?

KK: Considering that my life reads as if it’s been penned by Monty Python, I’d have to say Tea Leoni. She has a good sense of the absurd and great comic timing. Of course, just for sheer chutzpah, I’d have to say Bette Davis.

TBB: Great choices! I absolutely adore Tea Leoni. I think she might be one of the most underestimated actresses in Hollywood today. Thanks for joining us on short notice, Keena. Please tell us a little more about your new book!


To claim her, he must abandon home, duty, and honor—or reveal the secret of her Sidhe heritage and risk losing her forever to dark magic…

William of Ravenglas wants only one woman—his foster sister, Ami—but she is promised to another, a fate sealed by his father’s recklessness. Resolved to her forfeiture, he forges a dangerous path to bring stability to the house of Ravenglas, balancing the secret demands of the queen against loyalty to the king.

Ami, true sister to Aedan ap Owen the minstrel, refuses her fate. She wants William. But when his kiss awakens her dormant magic, it triggers cascading events that sweep her into the queen’s fiendish web and threaten William's life.

Now Ami must learn to control her fey powers or watch William die. But with a mystery lover in his past, even if she succeeds will he truly be hers?


She looked up. His eyes were heavy and dark and filled with a need that sent woozy warmth through her. She could see it in his expression, feel it in the way her heart pounded when he looked at her. He wanted her. Flames licked the back of her thighs, the skin behind her ears. She grazed her fingertips across his chest, trying to figure out how she could force a man almost twice her size to kiss her again.

She flattened her hand against his chest until she felt the distant, fast thud of his heart. Maybe this would be easier than it should be. In a swift move, she rose on her toes and brushed her mouth against his. He pushed her back, then grabbed her arms, as if to keep her away.

“I am at the edge, Ami.”

Something akin to pain blunted his voice, as if the words were forced to cut themselves free of his tongue. His eyes, though, were dark, the pupils so large only a pale ring of blue remained, and his breath came in short, shallow bursts. A brilliant purple rose between them, over them, filling her senses with the heady perfume of thyme blossoms.

His eyes turned the deep hue of bruised violets. His will wavered, then shattered.

She stilled, suddenly terrified of the thrum and churn in her blood. Her body felt insubstantial yet so heavy her knees threatened to buckle. Slowly, as if giving her time to run, he stepped her backward. Her shoulders grazed the wall, then pressed against it as he pushed closer. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t slow the frantic pounding of her heart, the desperate urge to arch her spine, to press her body against his.

“Do not move.” His whisper brushed over her cheek, his breath sweetly scented by wine. Unable to ignore the command, her nerves sizzled as he closed the distance between them. His lips brushed hers, once. Twice. Then he plundered her mouth.

Want More Keena?

Keena Kincaid is the author of four romance novels set in 12th century England. Her books are available from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble online as well as anywhere ebooks are sold. Enthralled becomes available October 22nd!

Visit her website here:
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Click here to visit her blog Typos and All!

Contest Time:
Leave a question or comment for Keena to be eligible to win an e-copy of her new release Enthralled. Winner selected in about a week and posted in the Recent Winners box on the right hand column of this blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Animal Pragmatism with Guest Blogger Lynda K. Scott

Win a Heartstone necklace and see what guest blogger Lynda K. Scott has to say about using animal characters in your books!

Here's what she had to say...

As soon as I began writing this post, my alien kitten, Wookie, made her appearance. Nothing unusual about that. She likes to supervise my activities, make sure I’m doing it right whatever it is, and issues orders in loud, plaintive meows. Today, she told me to write about Eric as a shapeshifter from Heartstone or USING ANIMALS IN YOUR BOOKS.

Eric uses both an avian form as well as a canid form in Heartstone. We see him first as a canid, his wolf form, as he scopes out the territory and Keriam, in front of her small town shop. What she sees is a big, friendly dog. One who is probably lost or abandoned. Like any dog, he sits, he grins, he wags his tail. Those are details that make him real to us as readers and to Keriam, the lead female character. We’ve all seen doggy behavior so we know what to expect and we’d be surprised or frustrated if we didn’t see it. Once I identified Eric’s canine behavior, I thought it was important to show Keriam’s reactions to him in his canid form to strengthen her belief that he was nothing more than a big, lovable dog.

While they hadn’t had hordes of customers exactly, the turnout

had been respectable. Keriam grinned at the big dog sitting in the
passenger seat of her six-year-old Ford pickup. “Whaddaya think,
Wolfgang? Is The Treasure Chest the neatest antique shop you’ve
ever seen?”

The plumed tail thumped against the door.

“That’s right. It’s been a great day.” She flicked a glance at him.

“Well, for me it has. You’re still a lost puppy, aren’t you? But don’t
worry. We’ll find your family and, if not, I’ll find you a good home.”
He licked her hand.

“No, you can’t stay with me. You need a family. With a big yard

and kids to play with.” She turned onto the long stretch of highway
leading out of town. “Janna would take you in a heartbeat but she
lives in an apartment. Besides she’d probably deck you out in a froufrou
collar and you don’t look to be the frou-frou type...I know what
you’re thinking. I’ve got a big yard, true. But I’m not home a lot and
I don’t have kids. You’d get lonely.”

He lay on the seat and rested his head on her thigh. Keriam

laughed and dropped her hand onto his silky head. “You’re a
charmer, all right. Don’t even think this is permanent, Wolfgang,”
she warned. “I don’t have time to take care of a dog, let alone one
as big as a house.”

The dog’s tail beat against the seat.

“I’m serious.”

The dog grinned.

Turning her attention back to the road, Keriam made a mental

list of what she wanted to accomplish the next day. The first thing,
of course, would be to contact the newspaper and place a Found Dog
ad. Wolfgang sat up, pressed his nose to the window which Keriam
had left open a crack. A low rumble vibrated in his chest.

“Oh, don’t be silly. There’s nothing out there to worry about.”

She darted a glance at him. “You’re probably the most dangerous
thing for miles around...unless you count Mrs. Kitchen’s Pomeranian...
or one of Mr. Mountley’s emus.”

So what I’ve done here is to describe Wolfgang/Eric’s reactions to Keriam as she speaks. Most of us have had dogs as companions. We know how they react to conversation. And we know how we react to their canine body language. We can use these details in our books easily.

Not only that, we can use the canine body language to show our shapeshifting heroes’ thoughts or feelings without being hampered by civilized manners. It helps us as writers by giving us another avenue to show textures and physical reactions that might be difficult to explain otherwise.

The man stepped closer. He paused then said, “I’ve been thinking

about you. About us.”

Without thought, Eric growled. The low rumble shocked him

into silence. The Stonebearer’s gaze flicked toward him, a warning
in the blue depths of her eyes. He bristled but subsided. After all, the
woman meant nothing more to him than a means to the Heartstone.
Face impassive, the Stonebearer said, “There isn’t any us.”

“What we was good.” He held out his hand. When she

didn’t take it, the hand dropped to his side. “I’d like to give us another
chance. Look. We both did and said things we regret. I made
a mistake, I admit it. Keri, I’d like us to start over. I need you and, I
think, you need me.”

The man moved again. His touch was light but the Stonebearer

gasped, anxiety cascading over her features. Eric could see the sudden,
rapid pulse in her throat, the rigid tension in her body and all
his protective instincts surged forward. He lunged, knocking the man
back, away from the woman.

The Stonebearer dropped to her knees, grabbing Eric’s collar. A

fine sheen of sweat glistened on her face but the color had returned,
a little, to her cheeks. “Settle down, Wolfgang.”

“What the hell kind of dog is that?” The man glared at Eric

“You let him wander around in your store, attacking customers, you’ll
get a lawsuit against you.”

“If he’d meant to hurt you, you’d be bleeding.” The Stonebearer

stood, her hand still holding the collar.

“And calling the cops,” the man added. He shook his head,

suddenly, his features settled into a sad mask. “I thought, by now,
you’d have gotten help.”

“Maybe it’s just you, Marc, ever think of that?”

“Is it just me? Is there anyone who can touch you without...” His

hand cut through the air, a helpless gesture, then he turned facing the
door. Halting, he spoke again. “You really should see a psychiatrist.
Get help before it’s too late.”

Eric growled, a sound that rolled up from his belly and thundered

past his sharp, bared teeth. The man jumped and sidled toward
the door. Stiff-legged, Eric followed, head lowered and pulling the
Stonebearer with him.

Then, suddenly, her hand touched his shoulder, her smooth

voice invaded his senses. “Don’t bite him, fella, unless you’ve had
your rabies shots.”

She’d touched him before, but this time his fur lifted, rippled.

His senses filled with her, with Keriam. His tongue all but lolled from
his mouth as her fingers plunged into the thick ruff at his nape.
Her scent, her touch, the sound of her voice cried—mate. His body
added—mine. He fought the urge to lean into her touch, to twine
himself around her long, straight legs as warnings rang in his mind.

Here we have Eric’s physical and emotional reactions while in his canid form. He can’t speak or tell Marc to keep his hands off Keriam but what he does, the growling, the physical intervention, reinforces the thought that – hey, this is a real dog. It also reinforces the idea that the relationship between Eric and Keriam is more than just one between a dog and its master.

Showing the main character in his or her alternate form gives us the chance to provide deeper characterization and more complex details dressed in commonplace instances we’ve likely all had with our canine companions.

As writers, we’re always told to get the details right. If our shapeshifting characters don’t act or react the way we expect them to, they might as well be walking on two legs. In my opinion, we need to make the shapeshifter so real when they’re in their alternate form that when they finally come on stage as a human, we miss the dog.

But then we get to start on a whole new subset of reactions and details and that’s part of the fun of writing a shapeshifter story.

A Note from the Book Boost: I love using animals in my books. And thanks for sharing your tips of the trade with us today. Please tell us more about your book and how our readers can enter to win your prize!


Eric d'Ebrur is out of time. He must find the legendary Heartstone and fulfill the ancient Gar'Ja bond he shares with the Stonebearer. But when he finds her, he discovers that love can be more dangerous than the Gawan threat. Eric can defeat the mind-controlling Gawan but will it cost him the woman he loves?

After terrifying episodes of hypersensitivity, Keriam Norton thinks she's losing her mind. When handsome shapeshifter Eric d'Ebrur saves her from the monstrous Gawan, she's sure of it. But insane or not, she'll find the Heartstone and, if she's lucky, a love to last a lifetime.

Want More Lynda?

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Contest Time:
To enter to win a 'Heartstone' necklace, please join or become a member of Lynda's newsletter group. Just send Lynda an email with Book Boost the subject line and your snail mail address in the body. Email her at Deadline to enter: Friday, Oct 22! A note from Lynda: My alien kitten, Wookie, will assist me in picking a winner (she likes bribes but I insist the drawing must stay honest, so no bribes please, lol). I’ll announce the winner on my newsletter group!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We All Scream for Ice Cream with Guest Blogger Steff Deschenes

Win a signed copy of The Ice Cream Theory today at the Book Boost with author Steff Deschenes.

Here's what she had to say about Finding Your Voice and Use it Loudly...

I'm always a little leery hearing or reading about writer's talking about writing. I believe the greatest art - in all of the beautiful and various forms it takes - tumbles out of an artist naturally. It isn't some contrived, overanalyzed, over-manipulated piece that was dictated by another person's say-so. So, it's a bizarre concept for me to hear writers tell other writers how they should be doing their craft.

What worked for them, what works for them, may not pertain to me. Or you.

Everybody finds there own way. This is true for everything in life, including writing. It's my belief that most advice that's given should be taken with a grain of salt. Or at least deconstructed and digested to later pick apart and see what might apply to you to help enhance or further build upon the foundation you've already created for your a writing style.

Discussing writing when you're a writer is inevitable. People are hungry for knowledge they think you possess simply because you've had a modicum of success stringing words together in a manner that's advantageous to you.

So for me, the best thing I can suggest to other writers - suggest, not tell - is to find their literary voice. Absolutely everything else is irrelevant until you can define yourself through a voice that's going to be yours and yours alone. Your voice is your identity within the literary world.

To me, that's the secret to exceptional and unique writing.

Writing is nothing more than the stringing together of words. It's in the manipulating of those words - the syntax, the diction, the punctuation - where one's literary voice begins to emerge. If you love asterisks, or intentionally misspell the same word, or use numbers to set off your paragraphs - if that's your thing - then do it. Do it! Allow yourself to embrace your quirky writing style!

It's what’s going to set you apart from other writers.

And it’s what’s going to get you recognized by readers, too. When you’ve comfortably settled into your writing voice, it doesn’t matter what you’re writing about – the death of a loved one or sparkly, pink bubbles – your style is going to shine through and the piece will be uniquely yours bringing an entirely new dimension of depth, strength, and relatability.

Once you’ve found your literary voice, I think it’s incredibly important to nurture and nourish it as well. And I honestly can’t think of a better way to do that then to read (I can’t stress enough how much reading and writing really do go hand in hand). Reading other people’s words encourages my own individual voice and allows me to refocus my attention on my own work.

When I was in eighth grade, my literary voice was recognized for the first time. My teacher told me “editors and publishers will try and change this about you. Don’t let them. This is your voice.”

And it’s because, even back then, I was writing like I was speaking: conversational, fragmented, and sometimes tangentially.

My lack of indenting, incomplete sentences, and obsession with having parenthetical side conversations annoys some people tremendously. For most, it's been much appreciated as it's a refreshing approach to writing; a change from the typical and overly-structured works being mass-produced by young or new writers who haven't found their place in the literary world yet.

It’s my voice. And writing is my art. And I should be able to tell a tale using whatever words I want in whatever order I want however I want.

And that's the best thing I can encourage other writers to do.

To find their voice.

And then use it loudly.

A Note from the Book Boost: Great advice. I'm one of those writers who is obsessed with using the magical "ellipses" in my writing. So...please tell us more about your book...

The Ice Cream Theory is a charming, tongue-in-cheek exploration of the parallels between human personalities and ice cream flavors. Utilizing humor and satire, it brings together anecdotes with broader-reaching social commentary to help others recognize the wisdom and joy inherent in a beloved dessert. In the same way people have ice-cream preferences, people also have people preferences. Like ice cream flavors, social preferences shift based on age, experience, even mood. There are exotic flavors that one craves when feeling daring, comforting flavors to fall back on, flavors long-enjoyed that eventually wear out their welcome, and those unique flavors that require an acquired taste. Like people, no ice cream flavor is perfect every single time, and it’s in this realization that the crux of the theory lies.


“ . . . So, in this Theory, just as it is traditionally in Neapolitan ice cream, there are three flavors that everyone falls under; you’re either: a chocolate person, a vanilla person, or anything that’s not one of those two.

Everybody plays a different role in everyone else’s life. People who I love have been people my friends couldn’t stand. As previously mentioned, the boys I’ve been on dates with are probably going to see me a little differently than my parents see me. As it is with the Theory. I like chocolate more than I like vanilla. I find chocolate to be comforting and sincere, while I find vanilla to be mainstream and too straightforward. The people I love or get along with the best generally tend to be comforting and sincere, like how I feel about chocolate. Whereas the people I’ve butted heads with over the years have been very conservative and no-nonsense folks, like, in my opinion, vanilla.

Anyway, what I consider characteristics of a “chocolate” type of person may be different than what you consider. Maybe you hate chocolate, maybe you think it’s too overbearing. Maybe you like the honesty of a simple vanilla.

It’s all speculation according to your own life, your own trials and tribulations, your own personal experiences.

Again, this Ice Cream Theory is just a platform. Take it and run with it, by all means.”

Want More Steff?

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Read On with Guest Blogger Charles Courtley

The Book Boost welcomes author Charles Courtley to the blog.

Here's what he had to say...


Why does the reading of books remain so popular today, despite the enormous variety of other entertainment ranging from TV to the latest computer games? It’s quite simple really. We humans aren’t just “flesh and blood” computers. In a book, it’s you the reader who must do the work to create the stimulus; the interpretation of the maker is not imposed on you as it is in a film or TV drama.

A writer may describe a character, but every reader must recreate that character for themselves, and from this point on the story belongs to the individual. In that way, you make your own world and inhabit it in your terms - which isn’t possible in any other media.

Perhaps that’s why the simple possession of books seems to have such a strong emotional appeal. That may be partly due to the decorative effect books have in a room, but is also because a book read and enjoyed becomes an old friend whose presence you will always treasure. You could never feel the same towards a collection of DVDS.

There’s something about the written word too, which lies at the very base of our existence as reasoning human beings. Attempts to replace it by modern film-makers in this visual age, by conveying emotion merely by using facial expressions, is a poor substitute.

So the writing of books should be encouraged. But is it?

Unknown authors, particularly those don’t write within an established genre, find it increasingly hard to get published independently in a world obsessed by profit and self-published authors, regardless of the quality of their work, are often ignored.

Not much help then from the book industry, or the major bookstores, who tend to advertise and display only the output of a favored few.

But since the profusion of blogs, things have changed a lot – and very much for the better. Now, every writer has access to a huge potential market and a real chance of getting noticed.

Moreover, with the continuing development of e-books, the market is bound to expand even further as ultimately publishing won’t even involve the printing of books in bulk.

But when and if that happens, something will be irretrievably lost. A handset, containing hundreds of downloads lying on a table next to a cell phone, can’t possibly compare with colorful shelves bursting with books of every size and description.

Worse still will be the loss of all those old familiar friends as well. A writer, such as myself, will feel it even more acutely. No longer will I be able to look up and see the works of those who have preceded me (probably much more successfully) and feel uplifted.

There’s another sobering thought too. If the electricity were ever to founder in some future catastrophe, then your e-book handset would remain just that – a mere handset.

Perhaps it’s as well to leave your bookshelves full for the time being and to keep your garage stocked up too – a life without books simply wouldn’t be worth living!

A Note from the Book Boost: Well said and I concur! Thanks for joining us and please share more about your book!


Charles, a newly qualified lawyer without a penny to his name, plunges into the archaic world of the Bar as it was thirty-five years ago. After a stroke of beginners’ luck – and a taste of good living – he soon becomes established in practice battling away in the criminal courts, conducting court-martials in Germany and on one horrifying occasion actually appearing in a commercial court, “winding up ” companies of which he knows nothing!

He encounters a wide range of clients including an Italian motorist charged with assault, who claims to have been savagely attacked by an elderly lollipop man wielding his road sign. On top of that, there are instructing solicitors who never pay him and even one who has departed this world altogether yet still manages to operate on a shadowy basis from the vicinity of Bow Road in East London.

Court-martials take Charles abroad where he encounters a German policeman’s dog whose canine expertise is deemed to be perfectly sound evidence and samples a night out on the other side of the infamous Berlin wall just making it back to the safety of the West.

Wig Begone
is an exhilarating tale of Charles’ early career with disaster often lurking round the corner and culminating in his own appearance in front of England’s most notorious judge!


The Lord Chief Justice’s good eye gave me a stony stare through the one clear lens of his spectacles as I re-entered the room. I searched desperately round for a sympathetic face – surely, there must be one? Not the other judges, who sat by his side, that was for sure.

I felt myself breaking into a cold sweat.

Only an hour beforehand, the disciplinary hearing at Galahad’s Inn having at long last finished, I’d slunk into the anteroom; such a friendless place, adorned with paintings of long dead judges. A marble bust of yet another ancient judicial luminary from the distant past wearing a full-bottomed wig was my only companion.

Outside, a gentle rain fell on the Inn’s venerable buildings which surrounded its fine square with an elegant fountain spouting in the middle. Soon the environs of the Inns of Court with their air of calm authority would be lost to me forever. Charles Courtley, the poor boy from the sticks, who had no previous connections with the law and was so determined to succeed in the competitive world of the Bar, was about to receive his comeuppance.

Of course, there were always other jobs I could do, I reflected gloomily; working in an office as a law clerk (a fate worse than death) was one unappealing option - or becoming a mini-cab driver which, at least, would mean that I remained self-employed.

Want More Charles?

Robert Seymour, (under the pseudonym of Charles Courtley) is a retired judge who lives on the English coast with his wife, Jane, of 38 years, and a small dog called Phoebe.

He is the author of Wig Begone, a tale of a young barrister’s triumphs and tragedies. As well as adapting his novel into a screenplay and writing a sequel, he contributes to legal newsletters and blogs.

Find him online at
Pick up your copy of his book today! Click here!