Friday, December 30, 2011

The Cure for the Common Cave with Guest Blogger: Liz Crowe

Win an giftcard &
chat revisions with author Liz Crowe
today at the Book Boost!

The Revision Cave—Not My Happy Place

We all know about the “writing cave.” It’s that special place we go, physical or mental, where our muses gets to play, coaxing out characters, plot points and—at least in my case—sexy scenes that tie together into a lovely package of publishable words.

I like it in there. It’s warm, welcoming, full of chocolate and peanut butter early in the day then delicious, bitter, beers after about 5 p.m. (or 3 p.m. depending on the day).

Next door to this happy place is another cave, full of cold icicles, snarling rodents (I have a thing about rodents) editing balloons that say things like “too passive” and “you can do better than this” or “there are 157 uses of this word. Go back through ans lose some” and even “POV—head hop”.

Me? Head Hop? I think NOT. Oh, yeah, guess I did. Crap.

The revision cave is like the ice bath after a long satisfying run. Brutally painful. But necessary if your writing muscles are to ever fully develop.

I’m in here now (see me, waving frantically from behind a frosted over window before the mean rat-shaped demons yank me away and plunk me back in front of the computer).

I have a lovely story done. One crafted while ensconced in the cozy writing cave. One I subbed, got back with a request for “more,” which made me smile because it meant more time with the chocolate waterfalls and beer. In my eagerness to get this thing back to the requesting editor and meet one of my 2011 writing goals of adding this particular publisher I apparently wrote more POV shifts, passive sentences and repetitive words than the worst writing rookie on the planet.

I am not rookie I assure you, but you can’t tell that by the amount of tracking bubbles attached to this steaming pile of….well, you get me.

But I’ll make it work, given time and enough gut churning coffee—that’s all you get in the revision cave. That and stale crusts of bread to gnaw on.

While I’m in here, let me toss out a new release from Decadent Publishing. Caught Offside is part of the popular 1NightStand series with Decadent. And it allowed me to riff off my extreme obsession with soccer players and their ultra fit bodies while exploring a bit of the male/female dynamic in professional sports.

A Note from the Book Boost: I'm a big "non-fan" of revisions as well. Thanks for joining us over the holidays and for being our last official post of 2011. Won't you tell us more about your latest revision success?


Ramon Castillo, world famous soccer player and international playboy has been brought low by a career-ending injury. After the humiliation of a shattered leg at the World Cup final he has spent a year in surgeries and painful therapies, the last three months of which are at the Castillo resort in Las Vegas under the watchful eye of his cousin, Jackson.

Worried about Ramon’s lack of interest in soccer, women, or in anything much else besides the black jack tables Jackson concocts a plan to bring him out of his funk.

Gillian Winter, catering and banquet manager for the MGM Grand Hotel is nurturing her own deep wounds. Her beloved husband has died unexpectedly, leaving her with a young son whose one dream is to meet his hero: Number 17 on the American National Soccer team, Ramon Castillo.

When a chance encounter in the lobby of the MGM reveals Ramon's presence in their midst, everyone's lives are changed forever. Is real healing possible for Ramon and Gillian after just one night stand?


“You told her what?” Ramon stared at his cousin in disbelief.

“That you would be meeting her and her son at noon at Soccer Plus.”

“And what the fuck am I supposed to do with them there?” He protested while his body began reacting to the thought of being that close to the gorgeous red head from the MGM lobby. But Jackson had no right to do this. He’d sworn off soccer. All that ridiculous time, energy, money spent, only to get cut down in your prime by a random bullshit event. He turned and started to walk out of Jackson’s office. The hour-long massage had loosened his leg, but his head started to pound at the latest turn of events.

“You will do this. Not because you owe me or anything. But because I’ve just made it a condition of your stay here.”

He gripped the doorknob. Yes, he owed his entire life to the Castillo clan. Born to a drug-addicted prostitute and left to languish in a Cuban-American neighborhood welfare hospital, he’d been adopted by the Castillo family, and Jackson in particular had taken an early interest in the boy’s natural athletic abilities. He’d paid for his early training in the lily-white suburbs, amongst the wealthy soccer moms with their shiny SUVs. The rest could be called soccer history, including this latest ignominious chapter.

His shoulders slumped and he nodded, not turning back to face the man at the desk.

“Okay—but just once. And I am not doing this for her or that kid. I’m doing it for you.”

“That’s fine. But I assure you that you may have met your match with Gillian Winter.”

Suddenly curious in spite of his irritation, he turned. Jackson leaned back in his chair, shiny dress shoes propped on the huge walnut expanse of a desk, one eyebrow cocked.

“Gillian Winter….” He had a sudden flash of realization. She had been the goal keeper for the women’s national team back when he’d still been playing at the under-nineteen level. He’d quickly moved up. But she had left her gold-medal winning team after two brilliant seasons.

“Christ.” He ran a hand over his face, yanked open the door and stomped out. First the pressure to stay in Vegas to take over the semi-pro team Jackson had funded with several other successful resort owners. And now this?

Want More Liz?

Visit her website here:

Follow her on Twitter here:

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

Contest Time:

Share a story with Liz about your own "revision cave" and be entered to win a $10 gift card!

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

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Snow Drifts and Lip Lifts with Guest Blogger: Ruth J. Hartman

Win a copy of Grin and Barrett and
chat with author Ruth J. Hartman
today at the Book Boost!

Here's what she to say...

We’ve just had our first snow of the season. It’s gorgeous! The three inches of white fluff is covering building, yards,and pine trees. Our huge maple trees have a slick, shiny coating of ice that sparkles in the sunlight. And we’re warm and toasty inside.

Most people groan when it gets colder. And even though I love spring and fall, winter does have a positive side. I don’t even mind being snowed in, if there’s no place I have to go. My husband and I, and our two lazy cats, are quite content to hang out in our recliners with our books or watching movies.

I can’t think of anything much better than having Garry sitting near me. And one or both of our cats, Maxwell and Roxy, asleep on the comforter on my lap. The cats curl into warm, purring balls of fur. There’s a small table between our recliners. Plenty of room for drinks, snacks, books, and my kindle. Let’s face it. If I didn’t have to go to the bathroom every now and then, I could be there for hours!

Reading has always been a huge part of my life. And I loved writing in school. Even the dreaded term papers everyone else hated. I didn’t take writing seriously until three years ago, though. In my family, we were encouraged to find a vocation that was more “practical”. So, I’m one of four siblings in health care. I’m a dental hygienist. My sister is a nurse. And we have two brothers. One’s a dentist and one’s a doctor. I love what I do. Well, except for the days when I’m covered in spit and goo from a patient. But three years ago, I realized something was missing.

That something was writing.

And reading is a large part of that process. I didn’t believe that at first. I’d heard that from several writers. But I thought, how in the world can reading what someone else has written benefit my writing? But I found out, it does! It’s not that we writers are stealing ideas from reading what others have written. It’s more, giving your brain some down time from sitting in front of the computer, pounding away at the keys. And when I read, I get to use my imagination in a different way. As I read the words and paragraphs of another writer, I’m forming a picture in my mind of what they’re trying to convey.

Also, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been reading and my mind will hit on some idea that sparked off of a word or scene I’ve read. Again, not copying the writer. I mean, why would I want to do that? I want to use my words. My ideas. But sometimes, you need to get outside yourself. Get someone else’s perspective on something, to help your brain jumpstart back to your own creativity.

So yes, it is December. It is getting colder. But with Garry, our cats, and my books to keep me company, what’s not to like?

A Note from the Book Boost: Your version of "snowed in" sounds absolutely fabulous! Hope you're having a wonderful holiday season and thanks for joining us today at the Boost! Please tell us more about your the title.


Remmie Grin is a self-sufficient dentist who has her life right where she wants it. That is, until handsome, flirty Dr. Victor Barrett moves in next door. He constantly bugs her about selling her practice to him—but she's not budging. How can she convince him to leave her alone when all she really wants him to do is kiss her again?

Want More Ruth?

Visit her website here:

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

Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for Ruth and be entered to win an e-copy of Grin and Barrett.

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

Friday, December 23, 2011

Meet author KC Klein at the Book Boost & Win!

Win a copy of Dark Future & meet paranormal author KC Klein today at the Boost!

We recently had a chat with KC and here's what she had to say...

TBB: Welcome to the Boost, KC. Tell us, how did you come up with the title for this book?

KC: Great question. I think I used the word Dark because a lot of my book is set in a place called Dark Planet. And I put Future with it since Dark Future has such an ominous feel to it. Even the HEA at the end has a few story threads that aren’t perfectly tied up.

TBB: Makes sense to me. I love the cover, btw. What book are you reading now?

KC: Reading? What’s reading? Seriously, I really don’t have much time to read, but when I do I’m usually reading two to three books at a time. Right now, I am trying to make my way through the fourth book in the Game of Thrones series. This book hasn’t grabbed me like the others, but I have to get through it in order to get to the fifth book, which I hear is great.

TBB: I love series books as well. Right now, I'm on a Lisa Gardner binge reading event for the holidays. Nothing like mixing murder and mistletoe. Ya know? What are you working on next?

KC: Right now, I am finishing up a sci-fi, bodice-ripper, anthology with two other authors. We’re really just having fun and loving just writing to our own rules. It’s very freeing.

TBB: Now that you're "living the dream" as a published author, do you have any advice for other writers?

KC: Put yourself on a schedule and never quit. The road to success is full of ups and downs and at times comes full circle, so never compare your journey to another author’s. When I start to comparing my successes with others is when I lose my joy of writing.

TBB: Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

KC: Not sure if it I interesting or not, but so far I’ve written all my books out long hand. I am trying to break the habit since I need to learn to write faster, but when I get stuck I always go back to paper and pen. More times than not, I can work out the plot points and dialogue better on paper.

TBB: Wow! This stuns me. I cannot image the hand cramps I'd get from doing this. It is bad enough with all the typing. Although, I hear that Stephen King does this handwriting thing too. So, it must work. Which brings us to the question...what do you like to do when you're not writing?

KC: I’m a mom, a wife (isn’t that enough?), and I work outside the home. I also decided long ago that I wasn’t willing to trash my health and my body in the name of becoming an author. So I work out almost every day. As of right now, I just joined a kickboxing gym, and my class starts at 5:15 in the morning. In order to get up at 4:30 on the weekdays, I really have to be organized and disciplined. But really, so much in life comes down to discipline—saving money, working on a marriage, raising kids, losing weight, and yes…even writing a book.

TBB: Very impressive schedule. It is all about time management. Now, if you had to describe this book using ONLY ONE word, what would it be?

KC: Sexy-dark. (I hyphened it so that really is one word.)

TBB: I think that might be cheating but...still good. :-) What has been your biggest reward as an author thus far in your career?

KC: I just received my first fan email. All I can say…wow, way cool.

TBB: I know the feeling. Somehow makes all the sweat and tears worthwhile. Thanks for joining us today at the Boost and please don't forget to leave us with a blurb and excerpt teaser!

KC: I want to say thank you so much to Kerri for asking me to come on Book Boost and talk about my book. The whole debut author thing has been a very exciting, and I’m so glad I get to be a part of it.


Awakened in the middle of the night by a future version of herself, Kris Davenport is given a mission: go forward in time to save the world—and His life. Of course, her future self doesn't tell her who he is, just sends her into an abyss and straight into an alien invasion.

He turns out to be ConRad Smith, the callous, untrusting Commander of Earth’s army and the world’s last defense. There’s only one way to know for sure if this strange woman is an alien spy—slice her throat. Except, he didn’t anticipate the heat he would feel as he interrogates the hot-tempered, warm-blooded woman. For a man whose sole focus has been survival, she's more temptation than he can handle. But a world on the brink of destruction leaves no room for love…and time is running out.


“Mmm, you taste human. Like salt or more like … warm sunshine?” He pinned me with his gaze. His eyes spoke a primal language. Desire warred with anger; need against punishment.

I looked away. Embarrassed. Violated. His body crushed mine, suffocating in its nearness. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even breathe without crushing my breasts against him. I always considered myself strong and physically fit, but he subdued me with barely any effort. Heart racing, I panicked.

The feeling of no control would break me—complete powerlessness always did. I used whatever weapon was available; whatever maneuvers would give me a fighting chance. This was no different. I turned my head, opened my mouth against his neck, and … sunk my teeth in.

He cursed. Grabbed hold of my shirt, picked me up, and slammed me back against the wall.

A painful whoosh came from my lungs. My vision rocked—brain swished inside my skull.

“You bit me.” He sounded shocked.

My head hurt so bad I had to blink hard to keep my eyes in their sockets. “You licked me,” I shouted back.

He assessed me, aqua blue eyes hooded with thick, long eyelashes, for what seemed like an eternity. “I will ask you one more time. Who are you?”

“I’ve told you everything.” My voice sounded desperate, tired, even to me. “I went running and fell into the dark … I’m a doctor at a hospital. If you don’t believe me, just call them. I’ve worked there for years.”

He stood still, his body hard against mine, creating an insurmountable barrier. His face so close I could see his pupils enlarge, almost hiding the hard blue of his irises. The rage in him lived and breathed. One hand ran along my scalp in a mock caress, grabbed hold of my hair and pulled.

“Liar,” his voice barely a whisper, the knife was back … shaking at my very exposed, very vulnerable artery. “There hasn’t been a hospital anywhere on Earth since the year 2075.” And in one efficient movement, he drew the knife across my throat.

Want More KC?

Visit her website here:

Follow her on Twitter here:

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

Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for KC and be entered to win an e-book copy of Dark Future.

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

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Top Ten Things I'll Do Differently in 2012 with Guest Blogger: C.R. Moss

Welcome author C.R. Moss
to the Boost today!

She's here to discuss her plans for the new year...

Hi everyone! Thank you for joining me here today & thanks to The Book Boost for having me!

It’s that time of year again. No, I’m not talking about the holidays, but about how it’s time to look back at the year that passed and make plans for the upcoming one. I’m here today to discuss the top ten things I’d like to do differently in 2012 and would love to hear from you on what you’d like to change!

10 – Decrease stress / be more forgiving of self
These should occur with ease as the rest of my list happens. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be mindful of my stress level and take measures to make myself relax and not worry so much. And if for some reason I backslide from any of my goals, I need to not freak out about it so much…just get back up on the proverbial horse and get on with things.

9 – Write down my goals
My game plan is in my head, but what I really need to do is write down my goals, post them on my desk where I can see them and keep them in the forefront of my mind.

8 – Utilize social media more
It’d be nice if I could become a bit more chatty on Twitter and other social sites. See reasoning for why I’m not/it’s difficult for me in #6.

7 – Blog a bit more
Along the lines of #8, I’d like to become more open and share my thoughts & life on my blog to help vary it from the interviews, guest posts, and line sharing I already do. But again, see number six as to why this is tough for an individual like me.

6 – More public appearances
Public appearances? Isn’t that what the social media and blogging is about? Well, yes and no. Here I’m talking about getting off-line, out of my comfort zone and being more social in the real world when it comes to my writing career and personal life. I’m an introvert though and being out in the public eye isn’t always the easiest thing. I am making strides in being more visible and getting out there. In 2011, I went to a couple of cons and in 2012 I’m attending a few more.

In March I’ll be at EPICon where there’ll be an eFiesta for booklovers and aspiring authors. Then in June I’ll be at two readers’ events: Arizona Dreamin’ and RomCon. Attending these events is a start. I just hope I don’t freeze like a deer in headlights when I’m in front of people trying to discuss my work. LOL Good thing I’m going to these places with some close friends so I’ll have support.

5 – Get some sun everyday
What can I say, I spend a lot of time inside (too much time actually) at my computer working on stories and doing promotion, which makes me miss the hours that the sun is up and shining. I’ll have to be sure to catch some rays on a regular basis for sunlight’s vitamin D and mood enhancing properties.

4 – Get some exercise everyday
Like I said in number five, I spend a lot of time at the computer which means I spend a lot of time being sedentary. Not good. I really need to be better about this and start walking and weight lifting again to combat the spread. Thing is, there are so many places here in Las Vegas I could go to walk around and people watch at, it’s a wonder I don’t take better advantage of the opportunity. Think of all the research I could do for stories!

3 – Eat better
In line with getting some sun and exercise, I need to eat better foods and not grab junk food when I’m deep into work (or even when I’m not deep into writing). What’s the point of building a prosperous writing career if I’m not feeding the machine properly and being healthy, right?

2 – Write at least five days a week
Confession time… I’m one of those writers who likes to be inspired, at least a little, before I sit down to write. Except this hasn’t been working for me very well. I’ve been writing in spurts, a whole lot at one time then nothing for a while. But to meet my goals, I have to be more consistent. I need to make sure I’m doing something at least five days a week so my series stories can get done.

There’s Wild West Haunting, the next story in the Double D Ranch Tales. The first story, offered through Evernight Publishing, is called Wild West Weekend. I’d like to write another story or so for possible EP anthology submissions following up with the characters in my story Chasing Miss Kringle that’s in EP’s holiday anthology Stockings & Suspenders.

Then there are the next couple of stories in my Sunset series. Book one, Sunset Desires, is tentatively scheduled for release at the beginning of February 2012 for Decadent Publishing’s 1Night Stand series. Book two, Sunset Heat, is currently in the publisher’s submission queue, and I have two more Sunset stories planned.

Then there are several indie books I’d like to get done as soon as possible, but I have to plant butt in chair and write. And getting the books written will only happen if I write almost every day and keep distractions at bay.

1 - Time management
Can I say it again? Time management… Time management… Time management… Once upon a time, I used to be really good at it. Then again, I also used to be really busy and as ‘they’ say - You want something done? Give it to a busy person. Now that I’m not as busy, my procrastination trait has reared its ugly head. I used to use a palm pilot to help manage my calendar, but now I’m hoping to get my DH’s iPhone when he upgrades to another iPhone so I can use that. For now though, I think I have to go back to the old fashioned way and use lists and a paper calendar.

Yeah, I have Outlook on my computer, and I can use it in conjunction with the old fashioned way, but until I get another handheld I need something I can carry around and take with me places. Time management is in the number one slot because I know if I got a handle on how I use all the hours in the day the rest of my list would fall into place with ease, my life would run more smoothly, and I could get more stories out to my faithful readers.

So how about you? Anything different you’re hoping to do in 2012?

A Note From the Book Boost: A great list that is sure to make 2012 very happy, healthy and productive for you! Wishing you the best in the coming year! Please tell us more about your latest.


Ex-cop turned private investigator, Jack Vorst, is a cynic when it comes to love and a skeptic when it comes to anything paranormal. When his PI partner requests his help on a paranormal investigation to find an elf, Jack thinks it's a joke. It isn't, and he's roped into working on the case.

In his search for the mystical creature, he meets a beautiful woman named Kristina at a local 5k race who starts to change his mind about love, magic and the holidays. Can the spirited woman melt his icy heart and change his outlook on life in time for Christmas?


A shrug was all I answered with. My sex life shouldn't be a concern of hers or anyone else's. After thirty plus years of living, over a decade of those years with Metro, I understood I had a problem with commitment. Maybe if the right woman came along though.

She'd have to be the right gal for me, the perfect feminine complement to my masculine. Someone who could bring light to the dark corners of my mind, chase away the scattered nightmarish memories and dreams I had on a regular basis. A tall order no doubt.

If she looked like the woman I saw the other day, at the gym in fact, that'd be a great bonus. Calling her a Goddess didn't do the beauty justice. Some might call her amazonish, but not me. Tall, toned, curvaceous women, and red-headed to boot, turned me on. A woman at the gym's front desk had called the auburn-haired, athletic wonder Kristina. Pretty name. That chick was someone I wouldn't mind seeing again and getting to know.

Want More C.R.?

Visit her website here:

Follow her blog here:

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

There are coupons available for books.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Happy Hour: Win 6 months Free Promo!

Who has money to spend on promotion this time of year? Well, how about a great bargain price that will last you well into the new year and maybe win a whole year of promotion in the process?

Announcing an End of Year Sale for cover ad,
guest blog, and featured author promotion
at the Book Boost Blog!

Current price: $25.00 for 1 ad for 6 months of promotion (swap out cover once per month)

Sale price: $25.00 for 2 ads 6 months of promotion (swap out one or both covers once per month)!

OR $25.00 for 1 ad for 9 months of promotion (swap out cover once per month)!

**Special Bonus Giveaway**: Everyone who purchases one of these packages from us on or before 12/31/2011 will be entered to win a free additional 6 months of FREE promotion at no additional cost! Winner announced 1/1/2012!

Contact with questions:

Happy & Healthy Holidays to all,
The Book Boost

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mistletoe Mania with Guest Blogger: Melissa Jarvis

Win an ancient fossil pendant necklace
from history buff and busy author
Melissa Jarvis today at the Boost!

She's here to talk about it all...

The Anything and Everything Under the Tree Blog

For the near Christmas, frantic holiday rush, going out of my mind blog, I looked at the suggestions from the lovely folks at the Book Boost as to what topics to cover. Which reminded me of a quote from author Patrick Dennis: “I always start writing with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind.”

Bad Weather: Hmmm, I live in Southern California and complaining about rain or when the temp drops below 50 degrees will probably get me drawn and quartered and trussed up like a snowman by everyone in the Midwest and East.

"Hi Neighbor" Month: My husband is antisocial. I think in the 11 years we’ve lived in this neighborhood, we’ve only said hi once or twice. And again, this is Southern California. A friendly expression could get you shot, and not with a camera. (Except that we have enough guns to hold off a major zombie invasion indefinitely.)

Writing Goals
: That would be a great subject to talk about if I actually set them. You see, I’m a closet pantser. I like to think I plan, but all I really do are bullet points. No pun intended from the above. I would however, highly recommend plotting especially if you have an uncooperative muse, which mine tends to be. I have to coax her with chocolate and peanut butter, and promises that the five year old will not interrupt that great sex scene again.

Top 10 Things I Would Do Differently Next Year: Ten is not a big enough number. As a publicist, I make my living by writing and promotion, and thought once I was published, that all those years of dealing with the media would give me a tactical advantage (are you sensing a gun theme here?) But although my first book Past Her Time came out this year, I still made rookie mistakes.

I don’t Twitter; I’m not a bird and I tend to be long winded anyways. I did reach out through Facebook, which unfortunately tends to suck the writing well dry coming up with clever status updates. And who can resist all those funny photos? I tried advertising, even though I know the stats on how effective it is and how much money you actually have to spend to reach 1% of your potential audience. Since I’m not a presidential candidate, the advertising campaign was a bust. I also tackled the mighty Amazon, and fought the good rankings war. I wrote hilariously funny blogs like the one you’re reading now (as well as some geeky ones on quantum physics and parallel universes. Hey, I write time travel.)

So what would I change? I’ll let you know next year once the sequel to Past Her Time is out.

Holiday Traditions: I’m from Texas and my husband and his family are from El Salvador. Over the years, there have definitely been some ah, cultural differences and lots of surprises. I had never had tamales for Christmas Eve dinner, and he never had green bean casserole or jellied cranberry sauce (you know the kind that’s comes out of the can shaped just like it?) My family celebrated on Christmas Day and his celebrated Christmas Eve. Now that would be great if we all lived close together, but since my parents are still in Texas, we always have the in-law battle as to where we’re going. I have to say, the airport just does not have the holiday spirit. I think they need a visit from the three Ghosts of Christmas.

I was also unfamiliar with the tradition of the Three Wise Men gift, although my son thinks it’s great—he gets even more presents after Christmas! We’re going to have to add on a new wing to the house to hold all his toys. The spoiling from two sets of grandparents rivals government spending.

So now that I’ve exhausted all the topics, or if you’re hoping I’ll wrap this up (pun intended) I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, wonderful holiday and New Year.

Tell me about your traditions, the weather, what you would do differently in 2012, anything and everything. I’m blessed to have a wonderful family and friends, and to have fulfilled the writing dream this year.

And to celebrate, one lucky commenter will win a beautiful fossil pendant necklace that’s millions of years old. Did I mention I’m a history buff?

A Note from the Book Boost: Melissa, you've exhausted me just reading this! Very clever and thanks for making time for us here during a very busy season. Please tell us more about your book!


Making the world, if not a better place, at least a familiar one. It is the motto of the Lineage, a secret organization founded in the late 22nd century to correct anomalies in history caused by early time-travelers. Comprised of men and women from different time periods, these agents have been highly trained to get in and get out, and stay under the radar.

Agent Alexandra “Alex” Raines has been assigned to 1793 France in the midst of revolution. But she has no time for Gabriel Huntington, a man who doesn’t always follow convention and can’t take even the most obvious hint. After being inadvertently rescued by Lord Huntington, it takes all of her training not to lay him flat on the ground, and all of his not to lay her flat on her back.

For Gabriel, Alexandra was just another damsel in distress, sans dragon. A fashionable gentleman of the London ton, Gabriel’s main concern was the latest way to tie his cravat. Or was it? Just what was he doing in Paris? And was that a mask in his back pocket?

The French Revolution pitted noble against peasant, friend against friend. Thrown together in an elaborate game of cat and mouse, can these two learn to take of the disguises and trust each other? Or will the fate of the world and time travel rest on Alex’s ability to betray the one man she has come to love?


She could tell him the truth. Although Alex doubted the “saving your ass” part would go over well, and she’d already had one narrow escape today.

The road ahead came into focus, along with her equilibrium. Gabriel slowed their pace from the brisk, can’t-catch-a-breath canter he’d whipped the horse into after clearing the Paris gates.

“I’m rather embarrassed to tell you why I’m out here, ah, alone.” She pushed tangled hair out of her eyes and decided bonnets had their uses after all.

Gabriel didn’t respond.

Alex frowned slightly. She recognized the tactic. Give the subject enough rope or silence, and they’ll hang themselves. “I—I’ve been trying to learn how to drive. I know it’s not considered a very appropriate skill for a lady, but I thought it might be useful.” Half-truths were more plausible than full lies.

He pursed his lips but still didn’t answer.

“It seemed it would be easier to practice outside the city where no one would see me. I didn’t realize how difficult it is, though. I lost control.”


Alex attempted a smile. “I—I apologize for the incident back there. The guards are rather difficult these days.”

“Do you leave the city often?” Gabriel asked casually, the first words he’d spoken.

Damn. His trick had worked, and she’d been careless with her tongue. No man had ever flustered her this much or made her, even briefly, forget her duties as an agent for the Lineage. Despite his lazy smiles, this man was sharp.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Haunted Hunting for the Holidays with Guest Blogger: Romulus Crowe

Win Ghosthunting for the Sensible
and meet author
Romulus Crowe today at the Book Boost!

He's here to discuss the on-going disputes between the worlds of self publishing and traditional publishing...

I investigate hauntings. I try to capture verifiable evidence of life after death. Naturally, some people scoff at this and say I am wasting my time. Well, it’s my time and I’ll use it how I wish.

The skeptics can be incredibly belligerent and vociferous and I sometimes wonder why they waste so much of their time telling me I’m wasting mine - but again, it’s their time to do with as they please.

Polarization of opinion seems to be the way of the world these days. Everyone either agrees with something absolutely or is violently opposed to it. I am amazed to see that atheism has now become as organized as Catholicism. They even have meetings! I have no religion but I don’t see any need to attack anyone who does, my beliefs are not your beliefs. That’s all part of the rich tapestry of life and if we were all the same it would be a gray world indeed.

This polarization also appears in the world of publishing. Do we try our luck with publishers and agents or do we self-publish? It sounds such a simple option but it has, like religion and atheism, its zealots on both sides. Why does each side insist on berating the other?

There was a time, not so long ago, when self-publishing was a big financial risk. A printer had to pay someone to assemble your book from a tray of metal letters, in reverse, to make print blocks for the pages. That skilled job cost the printer money, as did the metal letters. Then there was the printing, the binding, the covers...

No printer would have considered printing ten copies of a book. To make it worth their while you’d have to have a print run of hundreds and you then risked having boxes full of books you couldn’t sell piled up in your garage. A big financial outlay that might never pay for itself.

Now, all you do is load your book onto the internet and it’s an e-book that’s available within seconds and a print book that anyone can buy one copy of and get it in a few days. You can do this with no financial outlay at all. The big boxes of metal letters are now nothing more than a print file on a computer so although printing one copy still costs more than a mass-produced paperback, the price is no longer prohibitive. The best part is, you don’t have to buy any copies yourself. No boxes of stock cluttering up your house.

This is both a great thing and a big problem for the modern self-publisher. There is no screening, no checking, no editor between the writer and the internet and with no up-front costs, nothing to push a writer into getting their work checked. Some self-published books are absolutely brilliant. Some are a disaster in text and there is everything in between. Finding the carefully-checked and proofread book among a mountain of texts that look as if the letters were dumped on the page by a tornado can be exceptionally difficult.

Traditional publishing employs slush pile readers so the random-spelling manuscripts are screened out at stage one. If the publisher proceeds with the book, they will employ an editor to go through it and check its quality. The editor might ask for large changes, small changes or none at all.

There are advantages to traditional publishing and chief among these are the services of a professional editor, professional cover artist and marketing, all paid by the publisher. The main disadvantage of the traditional route is time.

It takes a long time to write a book and even longer to rewrite it. By the time you finally have it in a form you think is ready to publish, you might have spent a few years on it. Then you have to submit a query and wait three months for a response. If the response is positive, you send in the full manuscript and wait another three months. If it is accepted it can be anything up to a year from there to seeing it in print.

If it’s rejected at any stage, you’re back to square one.

It’s not a game for the impatient. That makes it understandable that some authors want the immediacy of putting their books on the electronic bookstores and seeing that e-book available within a day. The traditionally-published often sneer at such impatience, seeing it as a lazy way out.

However, self-publishing is not an easy route. Those professional editors and artists paid for by publishers are your problem if you want to be the publisher. Either pay them yourself or learn to do it yourself. Then there is marketing.

Yes, you need to do some of this yourself anyway, but if you’re self-publishing then you’re doing it all. Nobody is sending books to reviewers on your behalf. Nobody is mentioning your name at book fairs. Nobody is including your book in advertising. You have to do it all yourself.

Whichever route you take, there is a particular sort of person who succeeds. The determined, perhaps to the point of bloody-mindedness, individual. In the traditional publishing world it’s the author who shrugs off rejection and just keeps writing and submitting who eventually gets through. With self-publishing, the perfectionist and the shameless self-promoter move to the top of the pile.

These people are often the ones with strong opinions and who do not back down when challenged. Perhaps this is why, when the relative merits of the traditional and self-publishing models are discussed, tempers tend to run very high.

Yet it is possible to do both. My own preference for novels is to take the traditional route while short stories and collections are self-published. The reasoning behind this is that I can comfortably self-edit a short story but I prefer a novel to receive the attentions of a professional editor.

With Ghosthunting for the Sensible Investigator, I initially went the self-publishing route because that first edition was very short and because I didn’t really expect it to sell. When it did, I produced a much longer second edition, but still not really enough to interest a traditional publisher. The third edition might be.

We should not be arguing about whether traditional or self-publishing is best. We really should be doing both to the best of our abilities.

As far as I am concerned there really is only one rule. Publication should not cost the writer money. As long as I stick to that one rule I am happy.

A Note from the Book Boost: I agree with you that there are pros and cons to both avenues of publishing. I, myself, have only ventured forth into the traditional world of publishing but I've never closed the door on the possibility of self-pubbing. I salute those who do and do it well. Thanks for joining us. Please tell us more about your ghosty goodness.


In the five years since the first edition there has been no progress at all in research into ghosts and related phenomena.

In fact, it appears that ghosthunting is now more about reality TV and entertainment than about any serious research. Modern 'investigations' seem designed to show off new gadgetry rather than to obtain any form of actual data.

This second edition consists of a collection of essays by an author infuriated by the abandonment of even the most basic of research principles and by the ridiculous insistence that buying more unproven gadgetry will somehow enhance success.

You will not agree with everything in this book. It is not here to be agreed with. It is here to start you thinking like an investigator rather than a TV presenter.

Most of all, it is here to save you money.


For temperature measurement you will need a thermometer. Since you will want to examine cold spots, the laser-aimed digital thermometer is no use. The cold spot is in the air and those thermometers do not measure air temperature. Where that laser dot lands, that is what you are measuring. Not the air in between.

If the first solid object is some way off then the temperature reported by the device is the average over a circle of measurement that gets bigger the further away you are. The bigger that circle, the more inaccurate the measurement because moving the thermometer even a little will give you a different average. Their measurement range does not conveniently stop where you want it to.

Another reason to be careful of such devices is safety. The laser in the handset is perfectly capable of damaging someone’s sight so waving that thing around in the dark can be dangerous to any co-workers there with you. Make sure you know there’s nobody in the way before you use it.

These thermometers are useful for measuring surface temperatures but for cold spots in the air they are of no use at all. A better option is a digital thermometer with a probe on a cable, the sort you can buy very cheaply for use in greenhouses and aquaria. They are only accurate to around +/- 2°C but that’s good enough. Remember you are looking for a change in temperature rather than the absolute temperature and even the cheap devices will give you the difference between one point in the air and another point.

Don’t hold the probe with your fingers. Tape it to something you can hold out in one hand while watching the thermometer reading. An extendable rod, such as a car aerial, is ideal because you can extend it when you need it and put it in your pocket when you don’t. Have the probe out of your pocket for some time before using it so that it’s not warmed by your body and is closer to room temperature. Also, when fixing the probe to a metal carrier such as an aerial, insulate it from the metal with a foam pad or anything that doesn’t conduct heat too quickly.

This gives you a reading of the air around the probe. You can tell exactly where you are taking the reading. It can take a little while to stabilise so don’t wave it around like some manic orchestral conductor. Take your time. Get a reading in the cold spot and to either side and write them down. Record your results so you can analyse them later. Note where the cold spot is as accurately as you can so you can check maps for underground water courses, supplies or drains, and check back in daylight for draughts.

A vague statement of ‘it was a bit cold at one point in one of the rooms’ impresses nobody and more importantly, proves nothing.

Want More Romulus?

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Leave a question or comment for Romulus and be entered to win signed copies of both the first and second editions of Ghosthunting for the Sensible Investigator (one winner).

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

Friday, December 16, 2011

Meet Musa Publishing today at the Book Boost!

Meet Musa Publishing's Dominique Eastwick
and win a copy of Shifting Hearts
today at the Book Boost!

Here's what she had to say...

Starting Your Own Publishing Company…Oh My!

Back in August four women were throwing around an idea, we were working our tails off for a publishing company and although we were making a difference it was still someone else’s company, someone else’s baby and well someone else’s rules. So we were playing the “what if” game. What if we had our own company. What if we could run this our way? Fate and circumstances allowed us just that.

Musa Publishing was born.

With little more than 2 months in our pocket the four of us, Celina Summers, Kelly Shorten, Kerry Mand and I took the plunge head first into the waters of E-publishing. All of us had years of experience behind us in one way or another, Celina as an editor and author, Kelly as a webmaster and Book designer, Kerry as a bookkeeper and office manager, and me both as promotions and an author.

But we wanted a concept that we hoped was uniquely our own. Total transparency in everything we do. From, up to the minute sales, to open communications with our authors, editors and interns, we wanted everyone to know what we were doing and where the company was going. We wanted the authors to feel like they were a part of something they could be proud of and wanted to promote. We wanted the feeling of family.

We have hit brick walls at places and it’s not always been smooth sailing. We are learning some new ropes but what makes this work is that the four directors are like the four corners of a building, without one the building is weakened. We hold each other up and support each other’s decisions. We are open about what are concerns are and supportive of a difference of opinion. Four women whom only two have ever met face to face have created a company that we hope will be a contender in the years to come.

Musa has 9 imprints (all named after the Muses) including an e-Mag Penumbra. With Genres running from Romance, Regency, to Mystery and Speculative Fiction, and let us not forget the YA Imprint Euterpe. There is truly something for every reader.

What advice would I give to a reader or author looking at starting their own company?

Be passionate, do your homework, know your market, and be prepared to work long hours for a long time. We didn’t go into Musa expecting to make it rich, we went into it expecting to create a publishing experience that was a good one for the authors, editors and staff. That is the payoff for us in the end.

Musa Publishing is proud to announce its Shared world Series The Wiccan Haus. The first book Shifting Hearts was released in November. If you are unfamiliar with a shared world it’s a series that many authors will add to. So every story is written by a new author (though some authors will return to add more stories).

If you are interested in writing for The Wiccan Haus series please email us at wiccanhaus (at) Musapublishing (dot) com to get your copy of the guildelines to help you understand the world and characters within it.

A Note from the Book Boost: This new publishing venture and new series both sound phenomenal. I am so happy for you, my friend. Best of luck on your new endeavors! Please tell us more about the first book.


The Wiccan Haus 1: Shifting Hearts

Sometimes it takes losing everything to find the one thing you need.

The last of his kind…

Rekkus is the last of the great Black Tiger weres and he is happy to stay that way. Working as security for the Wiccan Haus, a magical spa for inner healing, he has enough danger – and women – to keep him busy. Unfortunately, the Fates are not content with him being comfortable.

Alone and discouraged…

Dana has walked away from all she has known, her fiancĂ©, family, apartment, and job. Now, having a ticket to the Wiccan Haus may be the only way she can move on. But what she finds isn’t what she expects, nor is it what she thought she was looking for.

Meet the unusual residents of the Wiccan Haus. The staff can get a little hairy and not all of the guests eat what’s served in the dining hall. But the proprietors always do what they can to make the resort into a place of healing and peace, using all of their years of practice. At the Haus, where humans and Paras reside side-by-side, everyone in need of the Rowan siblings’ services are welcome.

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

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Meet Hurricane series Author Jenna-Lynne Duncan today at the Boost!

Author Jenna-Lynne Duncan "dropped" by recently and here's what she had to say...

TBB: Jenna, where are you from?

JLD: I am from New Orleans but currently in Minnesota.

TBB: I love New Orleans and can't wait for my upcoming trip there this spring. How did you come up with the title for this book? Was it inspired by the events of Katrina?

JLD: Hurricane was the working title and it just fit perfectly. The title has a double entendre which refers to both the hurricane that hit New Orleans in 2005 and more importantly, the main character’s life.

TBB: What was your first reaction when you found out that you were going to be published?

JLD: To know that I would have to go back in time and pull myself out of the dream-like state I was in! It was all just so surreal and everything happened so fast.

TBB: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

JLD: I really wanted to be a doctor and veterinarian. I love helping people and I love animals. Of course, in reality, to be able to become a doctor and a veterinarian I would have had to have gone to school for like fifteen consecutive years. But those dreams were killed when I took high school Anatomy. Let’s just say I don’t do well with blood and after dissecting a chicken wing, I am now a vegetarian!

TBB: I know what you mean--I'm a big fan of the veggies myself. But I think your readers will be glad you chose writing instead of medicine. What are you working on now?

JLD: I have almost completed the second novel in the series as well as another YA novel. Hurricane #2 (title not yet released) should be available sometime in 2012. In the meantime, I am planning on releasing short stories/novellas that my fans can read for free.

TBB: Fans love free stuff. Plus it is a great way to attract new readers who might not have had a chance to check out your work. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

JLD: I am spending time with my family, traveling, and reading.

TBB: I wish I had more time for traveling as well. To close up the questions, give us a quote about being a writer.

JLD: “Just write”. It’s simple yet good advice. Sometimes you can’t worry about plot, grammar or editing, you just have to sit and write it out. It is the literary version of Nike’s “Just do it” slogan!

TBB: I like it. Is there anything else you'd like to tell our readers?

JLD: Thank you so much for your interest and support in my new series, Hurricane. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to charity, Habitat for Humanity New Orleans. Being an author isn’t easy, but it is all worth it to know how many of you love Ana, Hayden, and Luke’s story. I love to hear from my readers and you may contact me through my website or email. Thanks again, y’all!

TBB: That sounds great. Thanks for joining us and please share a blurb and excerpt with us before you go!


Hurricane is a paranormal romance novel for young adults. It follows Adriana Alexander, a high school teen whose dreams predict the future. When her dream of two mysterious brothers attending her school comes true, she makes it her goal to figure out the brothers’ secret.

What she didn’t predict was that the brothers would kidnap her on the eve of Hurricane Katrina. The book chronicles the trio’s evacuation from New Orleans, complete with a touch of voodoo and a vengeful ghost, and Adriana’s eventual return to the devastated city she loves.


“When I woke, Hayden hovered over me. I was outside, lying on the hard gravel of an unpaved country road.

“What purpose does this serve?” Luke spit as he leaned against the front of the truck.

“Quiet. She just needs some fresh air.” Hayden was kneeling down beside me, his body so close I could feel the sweet heat of his breath as he spoke. I didn’t want to move, but I couldn’t ignore the reality of the situation. I was being kidnapped and heading deeper into the swamp, where it was likely my body would never be found. The alligators would eat my remains, and soon there would be nothing left of me. I could see the headlines in the fictional newspapers in my head. I didn’t hesitate to think out an escape plan. Before I knew it, I was on my bare feet taking off in the other direction. I didn’t think about the alligators that were likely in the water next to me. I just knew I had to get to the main road.

“She’s running away?” I heard Hayden say in a surprising tone.

“Go get her!” Luke yelled from behind me. “

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