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IN THE SHADOW is here!

  Posted by Joe Stephens in My Train of Thought, 02 October 2015 · 17 views

Charlie Gesell's amazing cover!
I hope you aren't getting sick of hearing about this because I'm not sick of writing about it. Fair warning: I probably won't be for a few weeks--or months! It's partly because this is a new book and the excitement of launching a new story out into the world and seeing how everyone likes it is thrilling. But it's also partly that I just feel really good about this book. I feel like I've come a long way as a writer since Harsh Prey. Not to say that wasn't a good book, but, as with any skill, thoe more you practice, the better you get. And also, I just really feel good about the new character of Jenn Bezaleel. I think she's going to add a dimension and layer to the storyline that just wasn't there before. I hope you agree.

So, in case you haven't picked up a copy yet, here are the four ways you can get one:

The back cover

If you want to order a paperback online, there are two choices. Either one will cost you approximately the same, but the first is the one I prefer you use for a very simple reason: economics. If you use Createspace, you're buying directly from the printer, which means I get a bigger slice of the pie. If you are used to Amazon or just don't want another account, then that works too. If your preference is an ebook, then Amazon is the place to go too. The link above takes you to the page that allows you to choose either format. You'll eventually be able to get them at the other online retailers, though that's not true quite yet. It takes a few days for that stuff to cycle out.

The author

The third way is to go to J & M's Used Books on Blizzard Drive in south Parkersburg. They always carry my books and will be glad to sell this, as well as the other two, to you at the same price. It's easy to find. As you're going up Blizzard toward South High School (from the KMart end), it's in the little plaza on the left, beside the antique store.

The fourth way is the most fun for me and that is to walk up to me and hand me $10 in exchange for a book. That's more fun for you too because you don't have to pay shipping for the handing-over process. Plus, we get to actually talk to each other and I can sign your book for you. There's no link to click and not account to set up. It's just money-book-sign-smile-talk-laugh-bye! Of course, you can have me sign it if you buy the paperback online or from J & M's too, but in that case, you bring the book and hand it to me. I don't hand you money. That would be counterproductive. If you don't see me regularly, then mark October 17 on your calendar. I will be doing a reading and/or signing somewhere in the greater Mid-Ohio Valley area sometime that day. I promise I'll give you more information than that soon.

And once you finish this one, it's just another month or so before more Shalan fun appears in your inbox (assuming you're on my mailing list) with the prequel novella, "Harry and the Redheaded Angel."  It's the perfect way to usher in the holiday season. And speaking of holidays, have you thought about how all three parts of the Shalan trilogy would make an amazing Christmas present? I hope you'll consider it.



Valentino UK Sale reincarnated

Posted by dirasurilos in dirasurilos' Blog, 02 October 2015 · 32 views

5 Celebrity Believers You Didn Scientology has garnered a lot http://www.valentinosale.co.uk/ of attention lately, what with the highprofile personal lives of members Tom Cruise and John Travolta on perpetual display. While we all heard a lot about it, most people don really know what exactly it is, or who else in the celebrity community might be involved.
The practice of Scientology was created by L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950 and has gained a huge, loyal following despite the fact that a member must pay exorbitant amounts of money in order to receive certain teachings, which could be why the group attracts such a large celebrity following. The practice has very strict rules about many ways of life, including the way a woman gives birth and how a person seeks treatment for psychological and physical disorders (psychiatrists are deeply frowned upon). As far as any theological beliefs, the group maintains that human souls are Valentino UK Sale reincarnated and have lived on planets other than Earth, in other times.
Scientology has gained quite a strange reputation over the years for being a and for taking monetary advantage of its members. A particular episode of Park in which Chef leaves the school to follow his calling to the religion came about because the actor who voiced the character, Isaac Hayes, actually did choose to leave the show after becoming involved in Scientology. Hayes wasn spared the sharp wits or tongues of Matt Stone and Trey Parker and eventually saw Chef demise on the show.
There actually quite a long list of celebrities who follow Scientology beliefs, some of which may surprise you. Have a Valentino UK look at a few of them below.


QUITE THE QUERY with Sharon Chriscoe and Race Car Dreams

  Posted by Amy Trueblood in Amy Trueblood's Blog, 02 October 2015 · 23 views

    If you ask any writer about the process of connecting with their agent (or publisher), the majority will say the most difficult part was querying. Not only the actual process of sending out the letters/emails, but formulating the query itself. In fact, I’ve heard more than a few authors say writing their query took […]



Books I Read: September 2015

  Posted by Mia K Rose in Mia K Rose | Forsaken Illusion, 02 October 2015 · 9 views

In total, I managed to read eleven (11) books in the month of September this year. I’m only including the ones I finished reading during that month, and not ones I may have started. One paperback, two hardbacks, and the remaining were on Kindle. Seven YA, 2 MG and 2 Adult (though I’m sure some […]




Posted by Quiana Kyles in The Silent Whispers Movement, 02 October 2015 · 55 views

Hello, all 2,241 viewers! I, just stepped out of the creative lab just to give you guys a heads up as to what's been going on in my world of creative expression!

I'm, just so excited with this news! I, currently have a crowdfunding crusade running to generate money for the production of the film "His Voice, His Movement".....Ok, we'll without taking you way back to the stone age I'll just give you the mini version of how this all got started...Logically, everybody knows that the Jackson dynasty started in the Mid-west! Yet, there has never been a tribute to the legacy of MJ and how he influence those within the windy-city. Through, this creative film I will honor that legacy. The, following will be some information on your contribution and how your efforts would be valued..

DARE II DREAM levels consists of 6 and at each level your contribution varies and so does the perks you get! From A mere heartfelt thank you in cyberspace to a t-shirt and keepsake with film logos on it rest assure your input is warranted....
Here, is the link to get more background info on the film and dream cast!http:/Attached Image /igg.me/at/HIS-VOICE-HIS-MOVE-CHI16

Anyone, who has ever dreamed bigger then your current surroundings listen up! Your, dreams matter and you've got what it takes to ignore those people who don't support your purpose for your life.....Stay, the course and the dream will soon become a reality!

See, you at the box office!


Fall YA Scavenger Hunt! #YASH

  Posted by bigblackcat97 in Writer, Writer Pants on Fire, 01 October 2015 · 27 views

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are EIGHT contests going on  simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GREEN TEAM--but there is also a red team, blue team, gold team, orange team, teal team, purple team, pink team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.


Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the green teamand then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prizeOnly entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, Oct 4th at noon Pacific time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Today I am hosting Anne Boles Levy, who teaches English to middle schoolers after more than two decades writing and editing for print, web, and radio. Anne is a graduate of Smith College and studied abroad at University College London, and she has her master's in journalism from Columbia University. She is also an amateur silversmith and the absentminded wife to her long-suffering husband, Brett. They run around after two children and a cat in Scottsdale, Arizona. Anne's book for the scavenger hunt is book two in the TEMPLE OF DOUBT series, titled THE WELL OF PRAYERS and I have the honor of hosting her cover reveal for her special content here on the YASH!

Hadara, now sixteen years old, is still recovering from the night she assisted the Azwans, mighty magi, in destroying a demon that fell from the stars. She has a new job as an apprentice healer and wants to put her past—and her doubts—behind her.

On the planet Kuldor and beyond, it is deemed a sin to doubt the god Nihil’s magic, and heresy to fail to worship him correctly. The Azwans, still on Hadara’s island home, have begun punishing disbelievers with a vengeance.

Hadara can’t shake her own skepticism, though, especially when she suspects that the demon they destroyed isn’t entirely gone. What if bits and pieces are, in fact, floating around inside her and maybe taking root? Since she stood at the altar that fateful night, she’s developed the ability to understand foreign tongues, among other odd talents she never had before. Had she perhaps swallowed some part of the dying demon? She suspects no one can answer that question for her, but she doesn’t trust anyone enough to ask it.

But then a temple guard who she once thought was dead comes back into her life and points her toward new truths and a new sense of purpose: somewhere in the murky jungles surrounding her city, another people beckon her and demand she fulfill the destiny foretold by the falling star.


And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Anne Boles Levy, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 9Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the green team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

And enter to win a signed copy of NOT A DROP TO DRINK below - even if you don't win the big giveaway with all the green team members, you can still have a shot at a signed copy of my debut!


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! 

Just FYI the e-book version of NOT A DROP TO DRINK is $1.99 right now!
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Hidden Voices: How Being a Teen in the At-Risk School System Almost Silenced Me

  Posted by SC_Author in SC Write--Writing, Publishing, and Harry Potter, 30 September 2015 · 40 views

We've got another #WriteInclusively guest post. It's incredible. Buckle down, you all. Take it away, Kara.
Education is important. We spent a good amount of our lives in some type of school or class and then still learn long after we’ve grasped that shiny diploma and thrown our cap in the air. We learn not just about math, science, art, and history, but also social interaction, self-image, and confidence. We are held to standards (whether that be getting A’s, behaving in class, or getting on the basketball team) and expectations (going to college, graduating with honors, getting that scholarship) that can shape the way we think and we feel.

I went to a high school for at-risk kids.

There were a lot of us thrown in there by the public school systems that didn’t want to take the time or the effort to help us through whatever problem we were having. There were a lot of problems. Many kids grew up in bad families, in bad neighborhoods, in gangs. Others were children of illegal immigrants or young, single mothers who lived under the poverty level or were even drug addicts. Some of us, like me, had autism or other “emotional and/or behavioral disturbances” and the public school system decided that it would be easier to send them away than tailor to their special needs. We were a potpourri of different races, genders, sexualities, backgrounds. You name it.

The school system didn’t want to deal with us; honestly, they probably didn’t have the budget to. But neither did the at-risk system we went into. It’s advertised by concerned social workers as a place where you can be accommodated to your needs; in reality, we all were blurred together. To them, our problems were all the same, our stories were all similar, and our voices all didn’t matter.

Many of our voices were silenced in that school.

In a normal high school, you probably expect the textbooks to be up-to-date, the classes to be adequately challenging, and the teachers to have a degree in their area of expertise. We didn’t have that. Our textbooks (if we had them) were fifteen years old, the classes were dumbed down to the point where I was learning fifth grade level English and Math in twelve grade, and our teachers only had special education degrees and no outside education on the subjects they taught. As I quickly found out, those teachers could get nasty if you happened to know more on a subject than they did. I was personally removed from class, mocked by teachers, and set up by myself because I corrected my teachers when their facts on government, or literature, or even math, my worst subject, were wrong. When I asked my counselor at the school why my teachers seemed to hate me, she said: “It’s not that they hate you; you just intimidate them. You’re smarter than them and they don’t like it. That’s not how it’s supposed to work here.”

But, while that was a factor in our silent voices, you may be surprised to know that it wasn’t the main reason for the silence.

There was a terrible secret about that school all of us students knew: You were expected to fail. In a normal school, if you hit below a certain level of grades, you might be put on academic probation, you might be talked to by a counselor. In this school, none of the above happened. No one cared. The main mindset was that we were a group of future dropouts, criminals, and leeches on society that they had to watch. We weren’t going to go anywhere.

When we filed into school, going through a security system similar to the ones you’d find at an airport, they didn’t see us as human students. They saw us as statistics. They saw the black criminal and the white drug addict. They saw the violent teenage boy and the emotional teenage girl. They saw the pregnant whore and the gangbanger father. The illegal immigrant and the child of a family that couldn’t afford the cat-food they called lunch. And slowly, we began to conform to those statistics. Because when someone says you’re broken, or stupid, or dangerous, or irredeemable enough times, you begin to believe it. Slowly, we were molded into the mindset they had for us. Our voices, once loud, were getting softer and softer.

We were told not to expect college. We were pressured to attempt workshops that specialized in getting us “experience” that had many of us working half the school day at odd jobs for no pay instead of attending classes we “didn’t need”. Behind our backs the teachers and aides would make comments on the kids; how they would never go anywhere. They would mock the turbulent relationships the students formed with each other. We were compared to dogs doing tricks for treats when we behaved.

The environment of belittlement and negativity that surrounds at-risk children is dangerous. It cuts off many voices that don’t fit the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Heterosexual Rich Male ideal. It makes us, the victims, feel like our stories are not important because why would anyone want to listen to us if we are just going to fail? Many of us internalize the negativity until we truly believe our stories are not worth anything.

But they are.

We were a diverse, living, feeling group of teenagers whose stories were shocking, terrifying, and maybe even heartwarming. There are thousands of us in your towns and cities whose experiences are as different as snowflakes and like snowflakes, are looked over when spread apart, but unable to ignore when banded together.

This problem goes deeper than schools and teachers, it goes deeper than report cards and minimum wage jobs; it goes deep into the norms and constructs of our society where a single role and stereotype is held as the be-all, end-all. These social constructs that teach us that because we are from problem backgrounds we are unclean, unwanted, and undeserving feed into an endless cycle that perpetuates the feelings of inadequacy and our often violent lives.

Look closer at us and you’ll see that the “black criminal” is actually incredibly smart and wants to be an engineer, the “white drug addict” has abusive parents and trust issues that he covers up with weed and pills, the “violent teenage boy” was terrified because he was about to leave the school he’d come to rely on, the “emotional teenage girl” had autism and could write wonders onto a page, and the “pregnant whore” resolved to be a better mother than her own while the “gangbanger father” that impregnated her was risking his life to escape his gang and take care of his new family.

Before we learn to #WriteInclusively, we must also learn to #ThinkInclusively about others and ourselves. We must not negate the importance of our own stories or fall prey to a society that waves away uncomfortable, unsettling viewpoints as “something we don’t talk about.” We must learn to see the worth in every story. Especially those that tend to go unheard. Many of the voices from my school are silent now; I don’t know what happened to the kids I’ve been around for so long. Honestly, I don’t think their stories are any brighter than mine is. But right now, I’m the one talking. That needs to change. We need to realize that everyone’s voice deserves to be heard, whatever the expectations put in place. Those expectations must always be defied.

Kara Barbieri is a nineteen-year-old graduate from the Illinois at-risk school system and a Sociology major at her local community college. She is currently seeking representation and enjoys writing about kickass pirate queens, huntresses, and other diverse, complex women. She has Autism, likes goats, and can write wonders onto pages. She can be found on twitter at @Kara_Barbieri.

Kara is one of my close friends, an incredible person. I'm so so happy to have her on this blog. THANK YOU so much for sharing your story.

Everyone: PLEASE comment and discuss. Share this on Twitter. Thank/talk to her on Twitter. Be sure to engage and discuss, that is one of #WriteInclusively's main goals. What did you think?

If you want to get more involved with the Write Inclusively campaign and be up-to-date with it, sign up for the newsletter. We do not email much - in the last 10 months, only two emails have gone out.




The Final Chapter

  Posted by From The Write Angle in From The Write Angle Blog, 29 September 2015 · 39 views

by all of us

It is not with sadness, but melancholy, that we at From The Write Angle announce we are disbanding, inter-marrying and moving into condominiums.

Wait, that was Doonesbury.

We have only been the imaginings of an autistic boy looking into a snow globe. … No, that was St.Elsewhere.

The war is over – nope, M*A*S*H.

We can’t continue because we’ve been jailed for criminal indifference.  We haven’t, that was the characters of Seinfeld, but maybe we should all do a little time for that offense.

What we’re trying to say is, we are moving on.

From The Write Angle began in 2011 on the premise that we are often best helped, not by those who have reached the top of the climb, but by our peers just a rung or two ahead of us. As a collection of writers at different levels on the ladder, we offered our thoughts from our point of view, our angle.

But our angles have changed. Each of us has kept to our own climb, which now takes us away from this blog.

For our readers who have journeyed with us, thank you. We hope we have helped. For those who have just found us, we leave behind these articles not as sage advice, but just clues, hints, of how we got where you are now, with the hope that they will guide you toward a better tomorrow.

And we wish that your success will one day inspire others.

In the comments of this post each of the contributors to From The Write Angle, past and present, will write a little something about where they were when they joined us, and where they are now. After that, the automatic lights will go out. This blog will be dark.

But as soon as someone walks through the door, the lights will click on.

If you are a budding writer who has stumbled on this anew, please keep posting comments. We’ll be listening. 



Fun for the Kids From Jean Oram: 1,001 Boredom Busting Play Ideas

  Posted by Jean Oram in The Love Bug Blog, 29 September 2015 · 34 views

As you may have heard, I’m not only an author, but I’m a mom, too. In fact, my first book idea wasn’t a romance novel, but was for a kid’s activity book!

About a decade ago when my daughter was still a toddler I came across an idea for a fun activity in a magazine. I clipped it out and thought–I need a place to store good ideas. So, I tucked it in a notebook. And then the ideas started flowing. Within two days I had written down over 200 activities in the notebook. My mom, who knew what I was up to, would call me and say, “I have an idea.” And I’d say, “I have it already!” The list grew. And grew. And grew.

I’d work on the project for awhile, then forget about it for a few years. Try and get it published. Forget about it as I went back to work. Moved house. Had another child. Changed jobs. Moved house again. On and on… And then an author friend was approached for a nonfiction project by a literary agent. (The author friend and I had been critique partners for our romance novels–and still are!) She hooked me up with her agent and over the next two years we came *this* close to selling the book to a major publisher.

In the end we didn’t sell it, but that was okay. I had a lot going on in my life and my agent was ready for retirement. So the project was dropped. (On April Fool’s Day of all days!)

And then last spring I decided you know what? Let’s put this out there. And voila! Here it is! At long last over 1,000 tried and true play ideas that have been tested in the Oram household are ready to be shared! I hope you enjoy the book.


KidsPlay138K1,001 Boredom Busting Play Ideas: Free and Low-Cost Craft, Activity, and Family Fun Ideas that Will Help You Raise Happy, Healthy Children

It’s a big title! But it has something for EVERYONE no matter their age, interests, or what sort of play items you have on hand. Everything from playdough recipes to the game Lava to varieties of tag to crafts to daytrip ideas to travel games. It’s got everything PLUS the science behind that natural play that kids engage in. (Hint: That crazy natural play kids do is actually part of healthy brain development!)

:) A great item for teachers, camp counselors and babysitters as well as moms and dads! Never hear “I’m bored” again! :)

Snag your copy today to get over 1,000 more fun play ideas! AMAZING VALUE!!! Only $2.99!!

Amazon US: www.jeanoram.com/KINDLEUS1001
Amazon UK: www.jeanoram.com/KINDLEUK1001
Amazon CA: www.jeanoram.com/KINDLECA1001
Kobo CA: www.jeanoram.com/KOBOCA1001
Kobo UK: www.jeanoram.com/KOBOUK1001
Google Play: www.jeanoram.com/GOOGLE1001
B&N: www.jeanoram.com/NOOK1001
iBooks: www.jeanoram.com/IBOOKS1001

About the Book

Ever been unable to think of a single fun thing to help your child solve their boredom blues?

You know there’s a TON of fun stuff to do but you still can’t think of a single boredom buster to save your life. You go online and search for ideas but the crafts that are too complicated or require supplies you don’t have, and the games are for older kids or you need more people… You’re starting to feel worse and worse by the minute, you’re kids are turning into droopy unhappy beings, and you wish you had an instant, easy, cost-effective solution to bust their boredom blues on the spot.

Problem solved. 1,001 Boredom Busting Play Ideas will cure your children’s boredom blues no matter what their age, their interests or where they are (in the car, at the lake, in the rain, inside, outside, upside down). With over 1,000 play ideas, games, crafts, and family fun activities, there’s a guaranteed boredom buster for everyone.

Whether you have toddlers, preschoolers, or school-aged kids in your care, this book has something for all ages and all interests. Parents, teachers, camp counselors, babysitters, and grandparents will find everything from classic games from their youth, to tricky challenges, to group games, to quiet activities, to arts & crafts, to family day trip ideas… and more! Check it out:

+ 15 Varieties of the childhood classic game Tag
+ 101 tricky challenges for kids
+ 36 Travel games plus 24 more word games that can be played in the car
+ Arts and crafts (and holiday crafts, too)
+ Classic games such as Hot Potato & Red Rover
+ Outside play ideas
+ Playground games
+ Imagination play ideas
+ Birthday party games
+ Easy arts and crafts for all ages
+ Improv games
+ Family day trip ideas
+ Group games
+ Rainy day activities
+ 14 games to help your kids decide who gets to be “it”
+ And more play, play, play!

Now includes 26 BONUS activities for a grand total of 1,027 activities to keep your kids happy, and playing.

Have your most playful day ever and cure your boredom blues!

The brain learns by playing and play is children’s work. Build smart, happy, healthy children… let’s play!


Try it Out!

Coin Catching à la Elbow!
Put your right hand on your right shoulder. Point your elbow out in front of you. Lay a penny on the flat part of your arm just above your elbow. Without moving your arm, turn your hand so the palm of your hand is facing up. Very quickly move your elbow down and try to catch the penny with your right hand as it falls.

The record for caught pennies when I was a kid was a stack of 14. How many can you catch?

Sponge Tag
Take your water fights and tag game to an all new hot-weather level of fun!

The “it” player has several sponges soaked with water. To tag other players, they have to hit them with a wet sponge! You might want a lot of sponges as I see this version morphing into a free-for-all water fight!


Get the Book!

Snag your copy today to get over 1,000 more fun play ideas! AMAZING VALUE!!! Only $2.99!!

KidsPlay138KAmazon US: www.jeanoram.com/KINDLEUS1001
Amazon UK: www.jeanoram.com/KINDLEUK1001
Amazon CA: www.jeanoram.com/KINDLECA1001
Kobo CA: www.jeanoram.com/KOBOCA1001
Kobo UK: www.jeanoram.com/KOBOUK1001
Google Play: www.jeanoram.com/GOOGLE1001
B&N: www.jeanoram.com/NOOK1001
iBooks: www.jeanoram.com/IBOOKS1001


This book isn’t available in paperback yet, but you can gift the ebook to friends and family using online bookstore gifting features–you only need the receiver’s email address! And they only need a smart phone, tablet, computer, or ereader to read this book!


Liked the book? Leave a review online! They help me out tremendously!


The post Fun for the Kids From Jean Oram: 1,001 Boredom Busting Play Ideas appeared first on Jean Oram.



Author Photos– A Worthy Investment

  Posted by mlebleek in Bleeker Street, 28 September 2015 · 28 views

This past week I did something that is somewhat out of my comfort zone: I had my picture taken. Okay, not just any picture, not even a super awesome selfie. This past week I participated in a photo shoot in hopes of selecting a new author photo for my March 15th, 2016 release, WHEN I’M GONE.

The importance of an author photo

Now it is pretty accepted that author photos are important. When you think of an author photo you might think of them from a reader’s perspective, the curiosity fueled flip to the end of a book in an effort to put a face to the mind you’ve been living in. But there are so many uses for an author photo that you don’t readily think of. In a way, your author photo becomes your logo.


You use an author photo on your website, on your author page on Amazon, on your FB page, on your Twitter page, in any interviews you do. You send it out in your press kit and it’s used in any print or online articles. You also use it on business cards, in promo materials and, of course, in your book. No pressure…no…none at all.

Your author photo is an investment

So I look at a potential photo as an investment and as such it’s important to go into it with an end in mind. As such I feel like, for me, it was important to save up and invest in a professional. Both of my photos (for WRECKAGE and now for WHEN I’M GONE) were taken by talented professionals. If you want to read about my experience with Angel Clark of Angel Clark Photography from my WRECKAGE photo shoot you can see a wonderful blog post she wrote last summer.

This past week I went on a new adventure with the talented photographer/stylist, Amber Linderman of Amber Linderman Photography. I’m a nervous subject. I’ve been told most of my life that I’m not photogenic and I guess if you are told something often enough you start to believe it.

This is me:

(circa 1994)


After a speech tournament.


Assistant director/seamstress. I think the kilt wins the fashion award in the picture.

Even when I tried to dress up back in the day I always picked something a little off the wall like:


My mom’s old prom dress

$8 vintage thrift store dress. I LOVED this dress.

$8 vintage thrift store dress. I LOVED this dress.

Even now, nearly twenty years later, when I close my eyes I see that girl in my mind’s eye. I don’t mind the quirkiness, in fact, I’ve come to own it! But I also have never really felt like I take good pictures. Now my clothing choices might be a part of the issue, I won’t deny that, but in general I feel very self-conscious when I have my picture taken and then again when I review the photos. So when it was time to get a new author photo for WHEN I’M GONE I was nervous.


I found there two qualities were most important for me when selecting a photographer. First, was my comfort level with the photographer and second was that her aesthetic matched my expectations of a photo. Remember-you have to know you audience when you publicize your book as much as when you write your book. If you are looking for a photographer for your author photo, make sure to take a look through his/her portfolio and see if you feel like you are a match.

Amber Linderman Photography

Photographer Amber Linderman

As for me, I selected a photographer who I was very familiar with and whose work I’d admired for years. Amber Linderman (Amber Linderman Photography) does such lovely work, check out her website if you don’t believe me. Beyond her extreme talent, I know Amber fairly well. Our kids are similar ages and she is also developing her profession as an artist while doing her job as a stay-at-home mom, just like me. I was excited to work with someone I already knew, hoping my comfort level would increase and I wouldn’t look like a constipated robot during the shoot. Click here to visit Amber’s photography Facebook page.


Choose clothes that are appealing to your genre and target audience. Now, that doesn’t mean if you write fantasy that you need to dress up in cosplay but feel free to show your accessibility to your audience.

As you can see above, I needed help with picking out the right clothes for my shoot. Amber is also a stylist so she went shopping with me and picked out my outfit and accessories. It was a fun process, but it was interesting to watch her pick things with a purpose. I was impressed when she asked me what my target demographic is for my books and then used that information to help her select each piece of clothing and jewelry.


Amber Linderman Photography

You don’t need a stylist/photographer to get a great look for your author photo, just take a look through Pinterest or google at the different author photos in your genre to get an idea of what would work for your book and genre.


Will you be inside or outside? Will you be in front of a backdrop, foliage or maybe a Christmas tree (don’t do that…please)? It is best to avoid extremes in background or theme (don’t want to distract from your lovely self) but feel free to make it personal.

For my shoot, we went down to the main street of a local town. We’d planned to go to the downtown area of my small town, but there was a homecoming parade (how quaint!) that night so it was far too crowded. The shots turned out lovely even with the change in plans. One thing that amazed me about Amber was how she found potential in some seemingly average places for some wonderful photographs.

Below are Amber’s pictures next to some simple iPhone photographs of what the backgrounds look like in “real life”. (Note: All the photographs of me are credited to Amber Linderman Photography. All the other ones are credited to Emily Bleeker’s iPhone)

IMG_2500  emily-30




If your author photo is an investment, so are you! Take the time to get gussied up and look your best. After all, thousands of people are going to see this picture! Maybe more. (Am I freaking you out yet?)

Besides getting a new outfit for the shoot, I also went and got my hair and makeup done. I don’t know that it was necessary, but I know that it gave me extra confidence that I needed. If you don’t want to pay for another item while preparing for the photo then just invest in a new tube of lipgloss or time the photos around your routine haircut. Make the day special and it will be easier to FEEL special in the pictures.

Most importantly, don’t sweat it. You are going to do great. Try not to get up inside your head. I know it’s hard. We are writers, we live a large percentage of our lives up in our heads, but unless you are imagining something that will make you smile or pout or inspire the right look for your photos, get out of there! The more you listen to the voices saying “Am I doing this right?” inside your head, the harder it is to get the results you desire.

The final product

When it comes down to picking THE picture for your book and promotional materials I suggest you explore all your photo options (hopefully you and your photographer got lots of different backgrounds, shots, angles and maybe even more than one “look”). I always like getting some feedback from trusted friends and family but ultimately it comes down to which photo you are ready to live with for the foreseeable future.

My favorite picture, the one I’m going to adopt as my author photo for WHEN I’M GONE and all my promotions, was taken as I was laughing with my photographer about a particularly hilarious way to get a nice, soft smile. I like thinking that whenever someone picks up my book or visits one of my pages that they will be laughing along with me.


Amber Linderman Photography



October Events

  Posted by Deb Borys in Debra R. Borys, 23 September 2015 · 38 views

I can’t believe October is almost here, but I’m loving this fall weather. If I can just pretend winter snows and cold aren’t right behind autumn, I can be a happy camper. I’m also happy about a couple of events … Continue reading



Extraction and Rebellion E-Books On Sale for $2.99 - Spread the Word to Win Prizes!

  Posted by Stephanie Diaz in Stephanie Diaz, 21 September 2015 · 60 views

Hey guys!! I'm resurrecting this blog to make a very special announcement...

As you may have already heard, Evolution, the third and final book in the Extraction series, went on sale on September 8th! The series is officially complete! You can buy your copy of Evolution on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple iBooks, Book Depository, or at your local indie!

To celebrate Evolution's release, my publisher has put the first two books in the series -- Extraction and Rebellion -- on sale for only $2.99 each for all e-book formats! This sale will only last for a limited time, so snatch up your copy now! ***And read on to find out how to win prizes by spreading the word!***

Buy Extraction for only $2.99:

Buy Rebellion for only $2.99:

Because I am super grateful for you guys for all you've done for me, I've decided to launch a special giveaway to coincide with the e-book sale. Help me spread the word about the sale on social media and you will be entered to win:

- (1) signed hardcover copy of Evolution,
annotated with behind-the-scenes facts and series secrets (limited edition!)
- (1) limited edition LEGO Clementine model
- (1) limited edition LEGO Logan model
- signed swag

This contest is open internationally. How do you enter to win? There are several ways (Which means you can earn more than one entry! But no more than 1 entry per option):

On Instagram:
Post the Extraction series e-book sale picture (see above), link to my Instagram account @StephanieEDiaz, and tag it #BookBargain.

Alternately, you can re-gram my Instagram post from here.

On Tumblr:
Reblog my tumblr post from here.

On Twitter:
Tweet the following message: DEAL ALERT! Grab e-books of 's EXTRACTION and REBELLION for only $2.99 each for a limited time! 

Alternately, you can retweet my twitter post from here.

On Facebook:
Post the Extraction series e-book sale picture on this page, link to either this website or one of the books, and tag it #BookBargain.

Alternately, you can share my facebook post from here.

The book sale will last for one month, but I will be selecting one winner for the giveaway on Monday, October 5th to receive the grand prize. Again, this contest is open to everyone, whether you live in the U.S. or otherwise. Thank you so much for helping me spread the word!



THE MIRRORMASTERS Has Found a Publishing Home!

  Posted by Lora Palmer in Lora Palmer's Blog, 18 September 2015 · 60 views

I'm so excited to announce that I have signed the contract with Clean Reads (formerly Astraea Press) for my debut novel, THE MIRRORMASTERS! Clean Reads publishes books free of profanity, graphic violence, or explicit intimacy--a mission I'm proud to become part of. More details will be forthcoming, but the release will be ebook first. 

It's been quite a journey to reach this point! Over the past few years on and off, I queried MIRRORMASTERS. A couple years back, I submitted to Astraea Press following a full request from a Savvy Authors pitch opportunity. It didn't work out at that time, but I kept querying, revising, getting feedback from beta readers, more revising, and more querying. And then, following #pit2pub in July, two of my pitches were favorited by Stephanie Taylor, owner and Editor-In-Chief of Clean Reads, and my full manuscript was requested. After doing a little dance of joy, I submitted again, noting that I'd made substantial revisions since my previous submission, and a few weeks later, I woke up to a lovely email that included a contract!

Thank you to everyone at Novelty Fiction, AQC, QueryTracker, WriteOnCon, and everyone who has generously offered their time and feedback, and knowledge of the publishing industry!  You've all been so wonderful, supportive, and a tremendous help! 



Rachael Thomas & The Dilemma of Deadlines

  Posted by Jemi in Just Jemi, 14 September 2015 · 35 views

Please welcome Rachael Thomas to the blog today!


The Dilemma of Deadlines
As a published writer, deadlines become part of the routine, but learning to work to deadlines is something that I tried to do even as I worked on my first manuscript. Why put that sort of pressure on yourself if you haven’t reached your dream of becoming a published writer yet? Because without deadlines to keep me focused, I would have been in danger of missing my goal. 
I was a member of Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme for seven years before I finally achieved my goal of publication. On this scheme I was able to submit one full manuscript for critique each year and the deadline for this submission was the end of August. With enrolment onto the scheme opening at the beginning of the year, this gave me my ‘final’ deadline. Into the eight months leading up to that deadline I set myself ‘mini’ deadlines, such as, to be half way through the story by a certain time. Then I calculated how many words I would need to write each day or week to achieve first the mini deadline, then the final deadline. 
I firmly believe that the sooner you condition yourself to working to deadlines, the easier everything will be when you achieve your dream of publication. Once you get over the excitement of having a book published, deadlines will become a normal part of your writing calendar and if you don’t meet them, you will be letting down a lot of people waiting on your book to fill their schedule.
My tips for working to deadlines.

  1. Make them achievable. It’s no good setting yourself a target of two thousand words a day if your daily life is not going to allow you to reach that target and believe me, when I say that continually not meeting your daily target will make you miserable and knock you right off course.
  2. Don’t become distracted. Your writing is important, so give yourself the time you deserve in which to write. Carve out a set time each day or week for that purpose, even if it’s as little as half an hour a day. The words you write in that half an hour will soon build up.
  3. Don’t be intimidated. You’ve worked hard for weeks or months and the final deadline is in sight and it’s very easy to become intimidated by it. That is the point when anything, and I mean anything, usually becomes more appealing than writing, no matter how much you want to meet your deadline. This is the point I tell myself I will write for just ten minutes then go and tackle the ironing or mop the floor, but usually find that the enforced ten minutes is enough to stem the need to be a domestic goddess and focus on my story.
  4. Enjoy writing. Whatever scheduling you decide to use to reach your final deadline, always make it realistic and ensure it doesn’t put so much pressure on you that you lose the fun and enjoyment of writing. After all, that’s why we do it.
Rachael Thomas Bio
I grew up in the Midlands, but when I moved to Wales, over twenty years ago, I found a place to finally put down roots. I married into a farming family and embarked on a massive learning curve which also saw me learning Welsh when my two children were small.
Writing is something I have always wanted to do and I can still remember the thrill of one of my short stories being held up as an example to the class when I was about nine. It wasn’t until my own children were in school that I seriously started to pursue my dream. I joined a local writing group which met every Monday afternoon and being with like-minded people was the boost I needed.

Reading romance had always been my first love, and just about every short story I wrote was romance, so I decided to write my first book. During that process I also attended my first weekend writing course with Kate Walker and joined the RNA’s fabulous New Writers’ Scheme. A short time later I joined Romance Writers of Australia and learnt a lot from entering their competitions. I sought out courses and you can imagine my joy when I discovered Sharon Kendrick’s course in beautiful Tuscany.

Behind the Scandalous Façade, my So You Think You Can Write entry, is my thirteenth book and although only eight have those magic words ‘the end’ written on them the others are definitely part of the learning process I have enjoyed over the last six years.

I love escaping to distant shores with my characters, entering their glamorous world and feeling all the emotions they experience as they discover their love for one another. A love so strong it will overcome all obstacles eventually, leading to that promised happy ever after.

Connect with Rachael Thomas on the web:
Website         Blog        Facebook                Twitter              Goodreads

One Night To Wife

A souvenir from her Greek affair! 

Mogul Nikos Petrakis is on the verge of a deal that will make him even more powerful. He doesn't need any distraction—especially not a sexy redhead whose curves beg to be touched! But now that she's carrying his heir, Nikos is forced to make a decision.

It's time to make Serena his wife!

When one night…leads to pregnancy!

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Paperback

Harlequin US

Three months ago, journalist Serena James had her heart broken by a man she'll never forget, especially not the fury in his eyes the night they parted. Now she's back in Santorini to tell him that their summer fling had unexpected repercussions…
Great advice! It's amazing how appealing cleaning the bathroom can be when we're trying to avoid a tough scene!! Any more deadline tips to share???



Cover Reveal for DARKEST DAWN

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs in Michelle4Laughs: It's in the Details, 11 September 2015 · 31 views

I am super excited to share the amazing cover for DARKEST DAWN, the first book in a new series by Author Katlyn Duncan. DARKEST DAWN releases next week on September 17th and is available to pre-order now!

In addition to the reveal of this gorgeous cover, the reveal includes an eBook giveaway for one of the author’s previously released titles. Be sure to head down to the Rafflecopter for a chance to win after you’ve checked out the cover!

The Cover Revealed!

Author: Katlyn Duncan
Release date: September 17, 2015
Publisher: Carina
Format: eBook


One desperate journey for the truth

Returning to Willows Lake eleven years after her mother’s tragic death, Sloane Baker knows she will finally get the answers she needs! She always suspected that there was something more sinister at the heart of the accident that claimed her mother’s life, but a cryptic note could be the key to her past…

Two lives changed forever

The small town has always seemed safe to Brianna Taylor – until a mysterious new girl arrives who looks exactly like Bri! Now everything Bri knew has been thrown into question and Sloane’s arrival has changed the world of Willows Lake forever.

Strange things are happening in Willows Lake. But when they turn deadly, Bri and Sloane must find a way to save each other or risk losing everything they hold dear…

Pre-order it:



About Katlyn Duncan


Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.

Find her:


The Giveaway

There is a blast-wide giveaway for...

  • ONE (1) eBook copy of any one of the author’s backlist titles in Mobi or PDF format.

**Giveaway ends on September 17th at 8:00 AM Eastern. There will be ONE winner**

Enter in the Rafflecopter below...

a Rafflecopter giveaway



New...Well, everything.

Posted by DebsBlueRoses in Ramblings and Hand Cramps, 10 September 2015 · 62 views

Well, it's been 3 years and 2 months since I've posted in this blog! That's because, obviously, I had a blog which I linked, and I still do. BUT, it's under a new name and link, which I've connected here.

Also, if you are still following this blog (bless you) and haven't clicked over to what is now The Write Mage at Blogger, I was published at the beginning of this year by Cactus Heart Press! It was a great way to start my year, and I hope it's only the beginning. :smile:

I also have a new pen name, which, as it's the one I was born with, I plan on keeping, and that is Debra Renée. I no longer felt McKellan fit me, though I still love the series from which I borrowed it. My new non-pen also is who I am, and while I will always feel like Deborah is the name of an 80-year-old woman, I am happily embracing it. :wub:

Oh! And right now, I'm doing Pitmad, and I have two favorites on my MS I've been working on since before I joined AQC, and I must thank the people here, because I knew nothing of the ins and outs after you write "The End" for the first time until I came here.


Southern Cargo Packers and Movers in Airoli

Posted by southernmovers in southernmovers' Blog, 14 August 2015 · 168 views
Packers and Movers in Airoli and 1 more...

Packers and Movers in Airoli Navi Mumbai
Packers and Movers in Airoli
Expert packers as well as movers India primarily based businesses have focused team associated with specialists that has diligent individuals, specialist packers & movers, trained owners, along with dispatchers. Consequently it is certain that having a appropriate moving company inside India you'll have a safe and sound and also content new house purchase practical knowledge due to the fact your own things end up being managed carefully in addition to transferred to your new place safely in time.
For more info visit us at Southern Cargo Packers and Movers

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Author Interview at Books and Ladders Blog

  Posted by LucidDreamer in LucidDreamer's Blog, 10 August 2015 · 74 views

Thanks to Jamie at Books and Ladders blog for this interview! http://booksandladders.blogspot.com/2015/08/author-interview-vicki-weavil.html    



mulberry messenger bags may be together

Posted by gamomu sewas in Luxury Trends, 07 August 2015 · 82 views

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart Didn Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart were rumored to have secretly confirmed they were a couple mulberry briefcases sale to Oprah but it looks like this may have just been another rumor.
On Wednesday, Pattinson and Stewart representatives were suppose to have confirmed and validified the duo as being in a relationship to http://www.mulberrybagsale.com/ Oprah or soE! Online reported.
However, the problem is that now other sources show that Gossip Cop has mulberry tote sale done it own research on the issue and found that nope, there were no mysterious off camera reps confirming anything to anyone.
Gossip Cop cited the contradiction between a statement Kristen Stewart made earlier this week to mulberry clutch Elle magazine where she said, would never cheapen my relationships by talking about them, Mulberry Bags Outletand the supposed confirmation that she was with Robert Pattinson.
Futhermore, Gossip Cop stated: mulberry messenger bags may be together, but one thingGossip Cop Mulberry Bag Saleknows for a fact " after spending a good part of the day working on this " is that NO reps ever confirmed it to Oprah.
That scenario never happened, and when asked mulberry satchel outlet whether Oprah got the scoop offcamera because she simply had to know, a rep for the talk Mulberry Bagshow queen tells Gossip Cop its not true. They really don need to explain anything to any of us but I still like to know.


Mom's Favorite Bread and Rolls Recipe

Posted by BakingMom1234 in BakingMom1234's Blog, 28 July 2015 · 69 views
Bread, Rolls, Moms, Hot Bread and 3 more...

Mom's Favorite Bread and Rolls Recipe My mother made this recipe for many years for our family when we had a holiday or special meal. This is my favorite recipe for rolls or bread.

5-6 cups White Lily or King Arthur Flour
2 pkg Yeast
½ cup Sugar
1 ½ tsp Salt
1 stick Margarine, melted
1 ½ cups hot tap water (110 degrees F)
2 Eggs
Cooking Oil
Combine 2 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt in large mixing bowl. Stir well and add butter. Add hot tap water and beat with paddle attachment approximately 2 minutes. Add eggs and 1 more cup of flour. Beat on high speed until thick and elastic (about 1 minute). Change over to bread hook and add enough remaining flour to make dough that leaves the side of the bowl.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 5-10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and towel. Let rest for 20 minutes.
Punch down and shape into 2 ½ dozen rolls or bread loaf dipping in oil before placing into pan. Cover with plastic wrap and towel. At this point, you can refrigerate for 2-24 hours. If you are baking without refrigeration, let rise until double. After refrigeration, let rise until double.
Bake at 350 degrees F until done. Bread will sound hollow when done.

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