The gorgeous banner that is my blog title was created by Kayden McLeod, using an image of Jimmy Thomas

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This is who I am....

At this moment, we are strangers.... I won't move my world for a stranger, I'm sorry. I can't go on blind faith after all this time. So, your choice, we start over with a goal in mind, or we drift into a quiet ending. Tell me what you want.

I am a good woman. I know that. I love with more honesty and passion than any ten women you're likely to ever meet. But I am tired. I don't need things of any kind to be happy, but I do need to know that I matter more than anything else. No one has ever really made me feel like I matter, and I'm now at a place where I can't keep living solely on hope and offering my love to people who throw it back at me. I am not a bitch, I am not a liar, I don't play games with people's hearts or heads, and I am not some bubble-headed twit looking to get screwed senseless. My past is gone, over. It wasn't much so no great loss.... tomorrow is a promise.... today I'm alone. I don't want all the todays to end alone. I should be cynical and jaded, I'm not. Somehow, in spite of it all, I still DO hope, I still believe in dreams.... and I still think love is the only gift that matters. I don't know why no one wants or loves me..... I can't even pretend I understand that anymore. I accept it for the truth it is. And hope that maybe one of the tomorrows will give me an answer that isn't "No." So, dreamer, fool, romantic - whatever label fits, this is who I am..... I don't really expect life to be kind to me, but given how few choices there are in this world, hope seems to be the only real option worth holding onto.

Only time knows the answers.... when I lie in bed at night wishing there was someone to touch and turn to.... I wonder how much more time I can bear before it breaks my spirit and my heart for the last time.... sadly, I think the sand is getting thin in that hourglass.....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Guest: Antonia Tiranth

Today, my guest is author Antonia Tiranth. Tone is a wonderful talent, and I hope you all enjoy this chance to meet her, and get to know her a little....

The Muse. The source of one's artistic inspiration. Everyone has one and every, single flipping one of them is stubborn. No exceptions. You get the urge to write, paint, draw, or however it is you express yourself at exactly the moment you don't have the time to do it. Or you sit down with plenty of time and nothing. So what do you do? How do you deal with a stubborn muse? Well, to be honest, there isn't much you can do except wait. You try to force it and everything turns out to be utter crap. I've learned to deal with mine by oddly enough writing. Yes, writing. Whenever I feel a stuck I write me interacting with my muse, as follows :

The cat sized purple dragon lay sprawled out on the desk. He didn’t look up as the door opened and a girl charged into the room. She tossed backpack and jacket into a corner and then came to sit at the desk, staring at the dragon. He opened one eye to look up at her, a short chirp escaping his lips in greeting, and then closed his eye again. Shirak’s eyes popped wide open and let out an indignant shriek when the girl’s hands closed around him, lifting him from his napping place. She turned him over, lifted him over her head, inspected under his wing, his leg, tail.

“Where the heck is it?”

Every inch of his purple hide was examined. Finally after many high pitched protests from the small dragon, she set him back on the desk, where he extended his wings and hissed at her.

She folded her arms, pursing her lips. “Hmm, guess you don’t have an on/off switch after all.”

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but it almost always makes me feel better. So if you're stuck try it. Paint your muse, play some random notes in an ode to him, write a little scene. See what happens.

My muse and the main character of my second book, The Gathering coming out on July 20th, share their name. Here's a little taste of Shirak the character's story :


The sleek black limo rolled to a stop in front of the giant granite steps, and I opened the car door, not waiting to be assisted. I left my bags, knowing they would be brought in, likely to my old rooms. Once a room was claimed, it remained yours to use whenever you wished.

I hurried up the steps and into the manor house. With little conscious effort I walked the path to Calidan’s rooms. The hallway approaching his bed chambers was lined with sobbing Rikashi of all three remaining clans. Whatever troubles were brewing, sorrow was quelling it for the moment, at least here.

I paused at the closed double doors that led to his bedroom, needing a moment to make certain I was in control of myself. Before I could knock, the door swung inward on silent hinges. A golden-haired female stood on the other side.

“You must be Shirak,” she said with a sad smile. At my nod, she stepped aside. “He’s been asking for you. He hasn’t much time left.”

“There is nothing you can do for him?” I asked, assuming she was a Surion.

She shook her head. “All my powers cannot rescue a body ravaged by time, youngling. Go see him now.”

I nodded again and stepped into the bed chamber. It smelled of cinnamon, Earl Grey tea, and death. I did not think I would ever be able to drink Earl Grey again.

My feet made no sound on the thick carpet as I moved forward. Calidan’s son, Severick, rose from a chair in the corner, glaring at me as he left the room. I shook my head; that one had never liked me.

Calidan lay on an impressive gilded four-poster bed, his eyes closed, and for a moment I feared I was too late. But then I saw the slow rise and fall of his chest, and I could hear his labored breathing as I moved closer.

“Calidan?” I called, keeping my voice low.

His eyes fluttered open, and a smile touched his lips. He lifted a hand and waved me forward. I knelt at the edge of the bed, taking that hand carefully in mine. “Lazing about in bed when there is work to be done, sir?”

A rolling exhalation of breath was all the chuckle he could manage. The old Rikashi’s mouth worked up and down, but his voice would not work.

“Do not try to talk. You need to rest so you can get well. You said when I left I was not finished with my training.”

He shook his head. Whatever he needed to tell me was important enough for him to make an attempt while on his death bed. I reached for his mind and found it as feeble as his body looked. I could only pluck a few words from his fading thoughts—tariel, jewel, protect.

Another frown pulled the corners of my mouth. “I do not understand, Calidan.”

He sucked in a rasping breath, letting it out with the words he tried to speak. “Jewel…duty…protect.” His hand went to his throat, tugging at a chain there. “Yours now.” He placed something warm in my hand and with a sigh, closed his eyes again.

I looked at the amulet nestled on my palm. It was a beautiful star shaped gem. A myriad of colors sparkled within its depths. It seemed to pulse with a light of its own.

“Calidan, I cannot accept this.”

“Yours to protect.” The words rang in my mind, and the amulet flashed. A wave of dizziness took me briefly. A tone, sharp but not unpleasant, sounded in my ears. Faces flashed in my mind, twelve of them. Five were male. Five were female. The final two faces were blurred and difficult to make out. To my surprise, Aerandir’s face was one of the visible ones. My own face flashed last in my mind, the image lingering before fading. It was over as quickly as it had begun.

“What in the hell was that?” I murmured, staring at the amulet.

No answer came from my mentor. I put a hand on his shoulder, and I knew. Calidan was dead.

Come visit me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AntoniaTiranth
Or, my work in progress website: http://www.antoniatiranth.com/

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The World Writes A Book!

New Website - TheWorldWritesABook.com - A Global Grassroots Submit-erature Project Co-write the next great novel with 6.7 billion of your closest friends - TheWorldWritesABook.com is a central hub where the collective imagination of the human race can converge to complete a worldwide historical achievement - Snippet by Snippet!

THE IDEA

Los Angeles, CA, August 19, 2009 - On August 5, 2009, TheWorldWritesABook.com was officially launched.

TheWorldWritesABook.com is a global literary project which invites the world to co-write the next great novel. Anyone with an internet connection can review the up-to-date ongoing story, and submit a "snippet" (140 characters) which they believe should be the next segment of that story. TheWorldWritesABook.com will review the submissions each day, and append the continuing and unfolding prose with the best entry.

Everyday, it will be up to the world's writers (i.e., anyone who wants to flex their proverbial creative muscles) to move the story along on its developing path.

This is not just literature . . . it's Submit-erature.

Everyone who participates in this evolving project will have the opportunity to affect the plot, setting, storyline, dialogue, character development, and every other aspect of the story, but only with 140 characters at a time. No one, including TheWorldWritesABook.com, will know the direction of the story until it unfolds on a daily basis.

Once the novel is complete, TheWorldWritesABook.com will explore the publishing potential of the finished work. If successful, each person who contributed an accepted entry will be recognized in the book as a partial author. Even better, the individual who submitted the highest number of accepted entries will be awarded a Grand Prize of up to $25,000 (depending upon the terms of the publishing contract with a third party, if any.)

It costs nothing to contribute snippets, and no personal information is required.

You know that a picture is worth a thousand words, but the question you must ask yourself is, "How many snippets is a book worth?"

Ultimately, this novel will be written by many thousands of people who don't know each other, but who will share in the knowledge that they participated in the greatest literary achievement in world history!

THE GOAL

We are hopeful that http://www.TheWorldWritesABook.com will spur the collective imagination of humankind, and that the world will be excited by the prospect of creating a work that reflects the global drive, imagination, and creativity that the human race possesses. We also hope to generate a spark of interest in the compelling art of writing fiction.

The insight of Arthur Ashe taught us that - "Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome."

Let's view this global experiment as an exciting journey, regardless of the outcome, and enjoy the passing landscape. Whether we ultimately reach our destination is not as important as "the doing". Hopefully, you will board the train, join us on this adventure, and help us to make our combined vision a reality.

PUBLIC RESPONSE

Since the launching of http://www.TheWorldWritesABook.com on August 5, 2009, public reaction has been phenomenal. During the short time since its inception, the growing list of participants has increased exponentially. Also, we have received very positive comments from Leo Laporte, The Tech Guy, during his recent broadcast on KFI 640 AM Radio Los Angeles. We look forward to further accolades from the public, as well as from the media.

ABOUT THE WORLD WRITES A BOOK

This is not a publicity stunt. We are not a large corporation looking to promote a product or service. We are a husband and wife team trying to initiate a grassroots campaign to accomplish a spectacular feat of global proportions. Help us to achieve our immense goal, and be a part of the process. You may just find that 15 minutes of fame, and possibly be awarded up to $25,000 as a Grand Prize.

CONTACT INFORMATION

http://www.TheWorldWritesABook.com
Tel: (818) 433-4768
Fax: (818) 532-1214
Email: support@theworldwritesabook.com


About TheWorldWritesABook.com

TheWorldWritesABook.com was started by a husband and wife team who love to read fiction novels. They decided that an experiment, on a grassroots basis, to determine whether the world's population could write a better novel than any one person would be interesting.

TheWorldWritesABook.com is the product of their curiousity. Their passion arises not from any potential financial rewards, but only from their love of great literature, and their belief that the collective imagination of the human race can produce wonderful results.

We look forward to the combined genius of the world's population.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Guest: RANDALL LANG


A PLACE TO DIE FOR?
by Randall Lang

Thank you Moonlighters for inviting me here today.

Have you ever been to a place that completely absorbs you? A place of striking beauty that is unlike anything that you’ve experienced and is different from what you had expected. And how about if everything that lives there is designed to injure, or kill & eat you? I found that place.

I’m sure it surprises no one that I’ve written a book. The book I wrote is an erotic romance entitled Magnificent Man, published in May of 2009 by Midnight Showcase. http://www.midnightshowcase.com/MagniMan.htm.

I greatly appreciate anyone who decides to immediately download or order my book, but that is not the gist of today’s rambling. The story follows the travels of Cassandra Taylor, a working single mom from Shreveport, Louisiana, and Coyote, the man who rescues her and agrees to take her home after he completes his tasks. These travels take them through the desert country of Arizona and New Mexico in the American southwest. I had a problem writing that journey since I had never actually been there. I had seen the old Randolph Scott and John Wayne western movies, but I can tell you now, it just ain’t the same.

Like most Americans, I travel the Interstate Highways and my only purpose is to get from one point to another as quickly as possible. When I went to the desert southwest, I found that getting away from the ‘big highway’ and onto the real dirt roads actually allows you experience what it must have been like on horseback hundreds of years ago. Once out of a car, there are unexpected sensory experiences. There are subtle smells ranging from sweet flowers to dry clay dust that randomly drift. The wind makes sounds, sometimes with a rhythm that makes you swear that you are hearing distant drums or chanting. There are sights such as plants and rock formations ranging from hostile and dangerous to the most soft and inviting. The heat and the wind combine to alternate between caressing your skin, and assaulting you with scorching blasts. The dry air saps the moisture from your nostrils and your brain experiences different scents depending upon how dry are your sinus. It becomes easy to see how Native Americans could find spirits in the land, the animals, and the sky. I cannot say that I had a spiritual epiphany during my time in the desert, but I gained a new appreciation and respect for those who do find spirituality in that place. The other thing I learned is, when you ain’t from there, beware! Your death is in the details.

As I wandered from location to location, I wondered what it would have been like to travel the desert on horseback. As I looked around, through cowboy eyes, it scared hell out of me. Miles and miles of desperately dry terrain with no water and no shelter from the blazing sun. Animals including mountain lions, coyotes, wolves, and rattlesnakes await your first misstep. Venomous spiders and scorpions invite you to sit or lay down to rest. Hawks, vultures, and eagles watch for you to stop moving. Even the plants are spiked and venomous, or poisonous to touch. As I considered what I was facing, it occurred to me that everything there had been designed to kill me and consume my carcass. Sure, the only way to really experience the magnificent desert country today is on a motorcycle, but make sure your gas tank is full.

Randall Lang grew up in the tough coalfields of southwestern Pennsylvania where nothing comes easily. It is a world of limited opportunity and few roles to follow. Dreams are quickly vanquished in the shadows of necessity and creativity is usually buried beneath an avalanche of cynicism. However, epiphanies come in all shapes, sizes, and in a wide range of locations. In the dark and quiet world of the underground worksite, the stories within him began to take form. Years later, Randall Lang is the author of eight books of erotic stories published by Renaissance E Books, has contributed to two erotic anthologies, and the recently released Magnificent Man, an erotic romance published by Midnight Showcase. Randall’s erotic works include the five volume Trailer Park Nights series and three books of erotic short stories. These are available at http://shop.renebooks.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=120. His newest release, Magnificent Man, is available from Midnight Showcase at http://www.midnightshowcase.com/MagniMan.htm

Visit Randall’s website, The Worlds of Randall Lang,
http://www.randalllang.com/

Or his blog, The Mind of Randall Lang,
http://www.randalllang.blogspot.com/ It’s a strange place to be.

Randall now lives historically on an historic island in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Guest: Bob Brooker and Kaye O'Doughtery

In this case, 'the author' is two people: the writing team of Bob and Kaye. Our motivations and our paths to become authors are decidedly different. Actually, it's rather amazing that they could have converged at all. But like sweet and sour pork, it somehow works.

For each of us, what we do is what we are, and what that is has been clear to each of us from childhood. As you might expect, that was writing. But only for Kaye. She's been scribbling poetry and short stories since kindergarten. Beyond a voracious reader, she will read cereal boxes if nothing else is available.

For Kaye, the written word – her own and the words of others – has always been not far short of obsession. She felt that was how one could learn the whole world – and speak to it as well.

That is to say, Kaye's road to writing was pretty traditional.

For Bob, it was always about singing. First on his father's choir. Then in a group – the Gay Jays – with three of his brothers. Later, as a recording artist and, as he puts it, a 'saloon singer.' Where Kaye was content to read about the world, Bob travelled all around it as an entertainer.

Then, unlikely pair though we are, we met at a recording studio on 42nd Street in New York City. And unlikely or not, the affinity was there from day one.

The thing is, Bob had already found his voice as a singer. But, as a writer, Kaye was still searching for her own.

The collaboration began as naturally as the writing had for Kaye and the singing had for Bob. But now, Bob's skills as an entertainer began to bring to life Kaye's skills as a writer. Together, they began to create songs and skits and scripts. Kaye was still the reader, doing the research, drafting the material. Bob still the entertainer, editing the written words until they were ready to burst out onto a stage.

We had a blast together for a lot of years!

Then Bob had a stroke. The need to re-learn the basics, like walking and talking, made life upon the wicked stage no longer an option.

But the need for creativity – the need to entertain – was alive and well. In both of us.

Moreover, for quite a while, our collaborations had been leaning toward comedy. We both love to make people laugh.

Only now we had to find a way to do it sitting down and with our mouths shut.

We believe that's called 'writing a book.' So we did.

Football is for Lovers is our first, and we intend to write many more.

Hope they make you laugh.



ABOUT THE BOOK:


Can learning about football be sexy? According to Football is for Lovers, when it comes to your love life, football can be better than oysters.

The good news is that Football is for Lovers makes the basics so . . . well, so basic that learning the game is easy as eating an ice cream cone. And just as much fun.

With anecdotes, illustrations, and a lot of laughs, Football is for Lovers not only makes it easy to understand the game, but also shows you how to put an end to the TV clicker wars, improve your relationship, and spice up your love life.It just takes looking at the game of football a little bit differently.

Then again, since Football is for Lovers contains references to football great Jerry Rice in a pink tutu, images of paintings by French artist Jean Dubuffet, an alert about the dangers of speaking Northeastern Mandarin, an explanation of the value of M & M's in a relationship, and a Burma Shave sign, to say it looks at football "a little bit differently" may be something of an understatement.But if your football-obsessed partner has been making you a 'football widow' from August NFL pre-season through the February Super-Bowl, thus convincing you that you hate football, this little book may be just the 'different look' you need to discover that, after all, Football really is for Lovers!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

GUEST: Dr. David Robinson

Former Chiropractor turned Personal Fitness Trainer, Consultant and now Author of a new book, Transforming Body, Mind & Spirit ~ The NonDiet Way to Live Fit, Trim, Healthy for Life, Dave’s “work” is his life passion.

Simple, Effective Techniques

The Complete Body/Mind/Spirit Approach

Common Sense Methods on

How to Get and Stay Trim and Lean

Achieve Dramatic, LifeTime Results Naturally!

From I'm Getting No Where To I'm Now Here!

You Can Do It!

Learn:

How to Self-Evaluate Your Health and Lifestyle

How to Save Money on Health Care and Coverage

and

About Potential Reforms in HealthCare Insurance


Get Over $750 Worth of

Consulting & Training Information

for Just $9.95

in a Short New Book

that is Quick to Read

and "User Friendly"

Monday, September 07, 2009

Guest: F.W. Vom Scheidt


COMING FOR MONEY VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '09

Join F.W. Vom Scheidt, author of the literary fiction novel, Coming for Money (Blue Butterfly Book Publishing), as he virtually tours the blogosphere in July - September '09 on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!F. W. vom Scheidt is a director of an international investment firm. He works and travels in the world’s capital markets, and makes his home in Toronto, Canada. He is also the author of a new book, Coming for Money (Blue Butterfly Book Publishing), a remarkable and provocative novel about the world of international finance and the human quests for success, understanding and love. You can find out more about his book at http://www.bluebutterflybooks.ca/titles/money.html

ABOUT THE BOOK:

How much money is too much? And how fast is too fast in life?
International investment firm director and author F. W. vom Scheidt, writes from his first hand-hand experience of the world of global money spinning with candor and authenticity in his remarkable literary novel Coming for Money.

As investment star Paris Smith steps onto the top rungs of the corporate ladder, he is caught between his need for fulfillment and his need for understanding; trapped between his drive for power and his inability to cope with his growing emptiness where there was once love. When his wife disappears from the core of his life, his loneliness and sense of disconnection threaten to overwhelm him. When he tries to compensate by losing himself in his work, he stumbles off the treadmill of his own success, and is entangled in the web of a fraudulent bond deal that threatens to derail his career and his life.

Forced to put his personal life on hold while he travels nonstop between Toronto, Singapore and Bangkok to salvage his career, he is deprived of the time and space necessary to regain his equilibrium.In the heat and turmoil and fast money of Southeast Asia, half a world from home, and half a life from his last remembered smile, he finds duplicity, friendship and power --- and a special woman who might heal his heart.

A talented author, vom Scheidt has confidently crafted a fast-paced, highly readable and intelligent novel. His details are fascinating. His characters are real, and not easily forgotten. A deeply felt story about the isolation of today’s society, the prices great and small paid for success and the damages resulting from the ruthless exercise of financial power, Coming For Money is a taut literary page-turner about a man who refuses to capitulate to the darkness in his journey into the light.

EXCERPT:

The executive offices of the Bank of South Asia filled the penthouse of a chrome and glass tower rising from the foot of Battery Road on the edge of Singapore’s harbour.

It was always as if the money possessed some kind of negative density or inverted gravity—the more you concentrated it, the higher it lifted its players to the upper reaches of office towers and condominium towers and hotel towers. As the quantity of money swelled, it lost its weight of coinage and bills. A room full of it could be evaporated into a string of zeros on a single bank draft, more flimsy than an airline ticket; a truck-load could be zapped around the world at the snap of a computer key.

Stepping out from the dizzying upward rush and spine-compressing halt of the high-speed elevator, I hesitated in the bank’s airy foyer.Broad two-storey-high windows sectioned up a panoramic view of the rows of cargo vessels baking on the brilliant water far below as they waited to enter the churned brown channels of the busy harbour. The darker ocean spread out, glassy, beyond them, and, in the steamy distance, the verdant islands of the Indonesian archipelago floated dreamlike along the lip of the South China Sea.

The bronze tinting of the glass turned patches of sunlight into a mottled pink carpet at my feet; the instability of the shimmering light on the marble floor taxing my limited reserves of balance.I was reminded that, in non-stop travel, I had made poor trades of day for night without any rest, tropical heat for Canadian cold without sufficient fluids; I was now paying the price in exhaustion and dehydration.

My vision was jagged at its edges from fatigue.I was jittery from harsh Asian coffee on an unsettled stomach.

I had arrived at midnight; plunged through a few hours sleep; risen, restless and un-rested, out of ripples of jet lag at dawn; spent the early morning polishing off a pot of room service coffee, surfing CNN, repeatedly rehearsing this negotiation in my mind from a handful of different perspectives and likely outcomes; and had come directly to the bank’s offices for their nine o’clock opening.

Still, now that I was here, I was more confident; my optimism returning from memory, fed by the headlong momentum of my travel and arrival, if by nothing else. In dashing halfway across the world without pausing for breath, I had given substance to my initiative and commitment; I had proved my willingness to go the distance. I was sustained also by my unflagging conviction that I was the only one who truly understood all of the complexities of the deal; like breath blown onto an ember to bring forth a glow, my seizing control of the bond issue would bring it back to vibrant success.

A final exhale to focus. I waded boldly across the swirling marble under the balls of my feet, pushed through the glass doors to the reception desk.

The receptionist grinned happily, recognizing me immediately, chirped a request into her telephone that, within several minutes, which we passed in courteous intermittent chatting, produced Albert Quan.

Balding, trim, tailored, Albert Quan was hurried in his handshake. “How very good to see you Mr. Smith.” Then, without change in tempo, he added, “Were we expecting you? Our corporate finance group perhaps?”

“No,” I stated evenly, “I came to see you. I flew twenty-six hours. Almost directly from our telephone discussion earlier this week.”

“Then I had better not delay you any further.” Albert Quan amply rounded up the tone of his response in feigned urgency to mitigate the inevitable confrontation lurking in our exchange.

Swimming upstream against my instincts and experience, towing my haggard sunrise rehearsal, I held my impatience in check as I followed Albert Quan down the hall to his office, declining refreshment as we seated ourselves in facing armchairs.

Crossing his ankles, leaning back slightly, Albert Quan opened with, “I very much hope that you are not expecting anything further on the Bangkok Commercial Bank bond deal.”

“I am. And of course you know that.”

“I thought I had made it very clear. That we both understood. That we closed that matter in our telephone conversation.”

“We would like it re-opened.”Albert Quan was broadly avuncular, conciliatory, “Then I’m afraid you have come a very long way for nothing. There’s nothing I can do. It’s out of my hands. It fully belongs to Amsterdam Bank. We don’t have the slightest role. We don’t even have the slightest carried interest. I can do nothing.”


If you would like to sponsor F.W. (interview, guest post, podcast or book review), please email Dorothy Thompson at thewriterslife(at)yahoo.com. Deadline for sponsorships is May 30. All sponsors are eligible for a chance to win Pump Up Your Book Promotion's Blog Host of the Month Award which includes a $25 prize plus goody bag from Pump Up Your Book Promotion for our appreciation.


COMING FOR MONEY VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR '09 will officially begin on June 1 and end on July 31. You can visit F.W.'s blog stops at http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ during the month of June to find out more about this great book and talented author!

As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A Ravenous Rendezvous!

My new release!

HIDDEN IN THE MIST
An erotic tale set in the mystery of Venice, Italy.

Available NOW from Ravenous Romance

The misty evening air of a winter in Venice cloaks many things and many people. Some are passionate lovers meeting secretly, hoping for stolen moments. Others are merely the cutthroats and thieves that plague any city filled with the wealth of visitors and citizens who reside in palaces…

But what else lies hidden in the mist? Cloaked and dangerous, lethally alluring… One woman is determined to find out.

Driven half mad by the death of her lover, she is drawn into the night… The voice of an angel lures, and each perfect note beckons and promises untold pleasures…. until, finally, a broken heart succumbs to the vampire…. and Fate weaves a new thread into the tapestry that is the mystery of life itself.

Discover the mystery and magic of forbidden passion.... HERE

Friday, September 04, 2009

Guest: Douglas W. Jacobson

A Funny Thing Happened on the way to Getting Published

I wrote a book.

Seriously, that’s the most amazing thing of all, to me at least. I’m a sixty year-old engineer and business owner and along the way I’ve written a lot, though none of it is anything your readers would be the least bit interested in. Not unless they wanted to know about groundwater aeration and treatment systems. Ho Hum.

But I’ve also had a life-long interest in World War Two history. Why? I’m not sure. I didn’t fight in it, and neither did my father (washed out of the army with flat feet). Perhaps it was because WW2 was one of the most significant events in human history, claimed more than fifty million lives, and changed the balance of world power. Sounds pretty heavy doesn’t it. Well, at any rate, I’ve always been interested and read everything I could about this greatest of all human conflicts.

About fifteen or twenty years ago I read Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War. And a few years later, the sequel, War and Remembrance. Now that I thought is the way to write about history. Make it real, and visceral, make it directly impact someone we care about. Make it well documented, but do it in a way that even though we know how the war turns out we can’t put down the book because we absolutely must find out what happens to Natalie.

So, the right part of my brain began to poke through and I wanted to write something. I wanted to write something about the war. But what? What could I write that hadn’t already been written by Wouk, or Leon Uris, or Alan Furst, or historians like Stephen Ambrose. Then, a funny thing happened. My daughter married a young man from Belgium and moved to Europe, setting our family on a course that has forever changed our lives.

Over time, while traveling to Europe 2-3 times a year, we became very close friends with my son-in-law’s parents. They are wonderful, caring people who are several years older than we are. They were young children during the German occupation of Belgium, young, but old enough to remember. They didn’t talk about it at first, in fact they still don’t, its over, it happened a long time ago, and they survived. End of story. But gradually, as they realized I really wanted to know, they began to tell me the stories. They told me about living in the cellar while their city was being bombed, about German snipers shooting at children in the streets, about not having anything to eat for months on end, about my son-in-law’s grandfather being dragged away from the family home by the Gestapo in 1941. . . and returning five years later when he walked home from Germany.

It inspired me. It made it real.

And I spent the next five years writing Night of Flames: A Novel of World War Two.

Since the book was published, a lot of good things have happened. It has received many excellent reviews, it received the “Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association, and it has sold well, both here and in Europe. But what I find most gratifying is when someone who has read it comes up to me and says how much they loved one of the characters, like Anna, the college professor, or Jan, the cavalry officer, or Schmidt, the terrified German soldier. That makes it real. And that’s what it’s all about.


Douglas W. Jacobson is an engineer, business owner and World War Two history enthusiast. Doug has traveled extensively in Europe researching stories of the courage of common people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. His debut novel, Night of Flames: A Novel of World War Two was published in 2007 by McBooks Press, and was released in paperback in 2008. Night of Flames won the 2007 OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD from the Wisconsin Library Association. Doug has also published articles on Belgium’s WW2 escape organization, the Comete Line; Poland’s 1st Armored Division; and the liberation of Antwerp. Doug has just completed his second novel set in Europe at the end of WW2. You can visit his blog at http://www.douglaswjacobson.blogspot.com/


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

GUEST: Lisa Lipkind Leibow

Books provide hours of entertainment for me. I love the way a good novel can transport me to another world, allow me to see things from a new point of view. Once, I inadvertently insulted my husband when answering the question, “If you could be any place on Earth where would you be?” My answer, “Alone on a beach with a book,” made him feel slighted somehow. Today, I’m officially editing my answer. My new answer, “Alone on a beach with my husband...and a book.”

I adore the complete, sensory experience of holding a print book – the smell of the pages, the way the paper feels between my fingers, and the look of the ink on the page. I love to dog-ear and highlight my favorite passages as I get lost in the fictive dream a good book brings to me. I savor, I devour, and I love print books.

But a print book is not the only way I can get lost in that fictive dream I crave. E-books offer new ways to love literature. I can adjust the font size of the print as large or small as I like. I can keep a file of “clippings” of my favorite passages. I can perform keyword searches, and gain quick access to material when I’m on deadline.

More than that, e-books are great for impatient people, like me. I agree with Carrie Fisher when she said, “That’s the problem with instant gratification – it’s just not fast enough!” The ability to download a book within seconds of deciding I want to read it is fantastic.

As for why I became an author, before I began writing fiction full-time, I juggled a career as a lawyer with parenting. A series of events beyond my control led me to re-evaluate everything I thought I wanted out of life.After being stuck in my office on 9/11, on alert during the anthrax scare, terrorized by a sniper’s month-long siege on metro-DC by a sniper, and discovering that the other parents at my twins’ preschool thought my au pair was my sons’ mom, I could hear these words echoing in my ears. "If I knew this was what it was going to be like to have it all, I would have settled for less." (Lily Tomlin: The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe).I didn't really settle for less. I settled for different, and traded the billable hour lifestyle for fiction writing. Now, I can spend more time with my family and more time lost in the world of books. More than that, making up stories is much more fun than negotiating contracts, attending hearings, and deciphering statutes and regulations for clients.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Not every woman who rides the fertility treatment roller coaster winds up like Octomom!

Who will find friends, family, and fertility?

Three women’s lives are intricately intertwined, as Amelia Schwartz and Summer Curtis struggle with the complex dynamics of intrafamily embryo adoption, and Chandy Markum strives to make her patients’ dreams a reality.After more than a decade, of mourning her parents’ deaths, anal-retentive Amelia Schwartz decides to take control of her life, pursuing single motherhood via embryo adoption. While her fertility doctor, Chandy, is preoccupied with the destruction of the cosmopolitan Cape Town of her youth and her first love in apartheid-torn South Africa, believing all is lost, her niece, a young, married, overachieving attorney Summer Curtis, juggles zealous career ambitions, demanding bosses, and friction with her husband over family and fertility issues. They must confront the painful reality that, no matter what technology humans devise to manipulate reproduction, prolong life, and construct family units, they have not yet mastered control over their beginnings and endings.

Thrown all into this is one story that can make or break. Are you up to it?


DOUBLE OUT AND BACK VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR '09 will officially begin on September 1 and ends on September 25th. You can visit Lisa's blog stops at http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in September to find out more about this great book and talented author!As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.