Can't find my website ( Sorry, I have decided to shut it down in order to focus on this blog page. All the same information but updated regularly! Thanks!

Check out all my books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How May Editors Does it Take?

How many editors does it take to find all the errors in a book? (Yes the title is a joke)  I feel like I went over my first book with a fine tooth comb and there were still more than six typos one reader found.  The reader's name is Grace and she 'gracefully' (sorry) asked if I wanted to know the typos.  She loved the book and was very kind about the mistakes.  A big help to me.  So much so that she just read my new book (to be released mid June).
This did make me wonder though.  Between me and my co-writer we have about ten people reading the book, looking for mistakes.  None of our readers are professional editors but I would think, between 10 people, all the errors would be found.  But maybe not.  So what is it professional editors do, or have, that gives them the ability to find all the errors?  Or do they?  I'm self published so I use what I have.  What happens in the professional world?  Is there just one editor?  Are there several?  Please, share what you know in the comments.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sample Sunday May 29 First Two Chapters of New Book

Yes I have posted these before but for those of you who missed it, here are the first two chapters of my new book, due to be released in June. Yes, this is the lazy way but Blogger has been acting weird and I have guests this weekend so please forgive me:)

The Title is The Devil's Game:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Finished A Game of Thrones

I did it!  I finished the epic A Game of Thrones.  The first 400 pages were really good (ever thought I would say first 400 pages).  The last 400 pages, incredible!  I loved it.  But what am I going to do now?
What!  There are three more with a fourth coming soon!
Okay, I already knew that but man!  That book is epic and I can't start another one now!  I need a break.  I need to catch my breath.  I need a salad book.  You know, like when you stuff yourself silly one day (say Thanksgiving) and the next day you just want something light, like a salad.  Well, that's what I need today.  Something light and easy and fun, like Jackie Collins or older Sidney Sheldon stuff?  I don't know.  Help me out here people!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Uh Oh, Kindle

Guess who is coming out with another new e-reader?  Barnes and Noble, of course. Looks like real competition for the Kindle.  It's a little smaller with the same screen size and a half an ounce lighter.  The new nook is a little thicker than the kindle but maybe that's a good thing based on RUMORS of screen cracking issues.  The pricing is the same as the kindle WiFi, and the new nook is also just WiFi but it comes with a memory card slot.  The kindle does not.  It also boasts a two month battery life - twice that of kindle.
Now I'm not showing favortism here.  I have both a nook and a kindle.  I prefer the color nook because I like the backlit screen (as I've blogged about here).  It's just interesting, this battle between nook and kindle.

My question is who is going to be the first to bite the bullet and drop the price to less than $100 - maybe even close to $85?  It will be interesting to see the result of that.  I know I would buy one for my mother at that price. So one more sold.  I would also use them in giveaways for my books.  Bam, two more sales.  But who will be first?  Opinions?

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Novel Chapter 2 Excerpt

Here is the next Chapter of my new novel, still unnamed.  We should have the cover and blurb ready this week.  Keep checking back.

        “And the Academy Award for the best animated short film produced by a hungry grad student goes to…” Rachel could hear her heart rushing through her ears. This was it, it had to be. She was the only hungry grad student nominated this year. This was her best film. All her hard work was about to pay off in spades. But why was it taking so long to open the envelope? Wait, why is Gwyneth Paltrow making out with Billy Crystal? Open the envelope! Open the damn envelope!      
 The sound of Billy and Gwyneth giggling into the microphone was slowly replaced by the low hum of an alarm clock. Rachel swore several profanities as her hand slapped at the snooze button in an attempt to put an end to the irritating sound.       “Coffee,” she said out loud to her empty room. She decided to bypass her usual morning routine of fresh fruit and yoga in light of her heartbreaking loss. Especially since it was probably the only award nomination she would ever get, awake or asleep.       
As she sat at her desk/art space/kitchen table savoring her heavenly cup-of-joe, her day slowly began to jell inside her brain. Today was Tuesday, which meant video production and calculus. One she loved, the other she loathed. It was heaven and hell in the span of four hours. This was her third attempt at advanced calculus and without it there was little hope of getting a full-time position at Mad Media Animation Studio. She was determined to get a “real job” before she turned twenty five, if for no other reason then to hold her head a little higher when her dad asked her if she needed a little extra cash, you know, to help pay for those two “artsy-type” degrees she got.       
If it weren’t for Justin, there would be not hope at all. He had come to her rescue in the second week of the class, sensing her utter panic. He was incredibly gifted at translating geek. He was also incredibly gifted at annoying her. It was so strange the way he stumbled over every word when he was talking about nothing. But open up a math book and he transformed into a loquacious chatter-box.
Speak of the devil,” she said when she heard Sonny and Cher sing out ‘I got you babe’ from her cell phone. Justin’s ringtone was her private joke. It referred to the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ and Bill Murray’s reaction at hearing it every morning at the same time. Reluctantly she picked up the phone and punched the little green button.
Hey Justin, you’re up early,” she could hear his thick nasal breathing on the other end.       
I just wanted…um.. Hi Rachel,” he said in his usual disjointed manner.        “Hi Justin,” she said. “You wanted to ask me something?” she prompted when he didn’t respond.       
Yeah, I…how are you…I mean are you ready for the test?”       
Rachel knew she was dipping her toe in dangerous waters with Justin. He was obviously not tutoring her for the fifteen dollars she made him take each time. And he wasn’t the type to come right out and ask her for a date so they could hopefully move past it. Oh, no. He just kept the possibility of it dangling out there like a smelly gym sock she was constantly having to politely side-step.
I’ve been completely honest! she told herself over and over. But deep down she knew it was going to end badly. It was going to end badly because as annoying as he was, he had a heart of pure gold. He loved kids and dogs. He was finishing some kind of new teaching program designed for inner-city school kids. He was funny sometimes, though not usually on purpose. And under all that God-awful geeki-nes, he was actually kind of cute.
Don’t go there, Rachel,” she told herself.       
Yep, I’m good, Justin. But thanks for calling,” she said in an ‘I’m going to hang up now’ kind of way.       
Do you eat? I mean have you…or are you going to eat breakfast…do you want to meet… for coffee?” By the time he got that all out Rachel had finished her cup and was working on a second.       
Is something on your mind, Justin?” Be direct, be honest.       
Yeah… well…I mean no…not really.”       
Well I’m glad everything’s okay. I’ve got to get going, tons stuff I’m way behind on. But I’ll see you later at class, okay?”       
Yeah, okay,” he stammered. She ended the call not waiting for his reply. She took a deep breath as she felt the caffeine pumping through veins, accelerating her heartbeat. She walked over to the huge living room window and looked out onto the busy metropolitan street she lived on. It was a gorgeous spring day, perfect for a jog. She knew that her calculus class always went better when she’d had a good workout before hand. It helped keep her calm and focused. Not to mention the fact that she’d wimped out on her yoga this morning. If only she could muster up some motivation. Maybe a jog to the Steam Punk CafĂ© for some iced Chai. Yes, that would do it. There had to be a reward in there somewhere or she’d never make it out the door.
Oh crap!” she said out loud. Justin. He loved the Steam Punk. As a matter of fact, he was the one who dragged her in there for her very first cup of iced Chai. “I don’t drink weed water,” she had politely explained under her breath as they stood in line.
Just trust me,” he had said to her with an ear-to-ear grin. Since there wasn’t much else on the menu that was fit for human consumption, she let him order – and pay.
Here, try this,” he said, his puppy-dog face bright with anticipation. God, he could be so annoying!
The taste was unlike anything she had experienced. The exotic spices were smooth, sweet and spicy all at the same time. And after a 4-mile jog, there was nothing more refreshing. She gave a heavy sigh as she imagined the sweet luscious taste now.
Screw Justin!” she said. “I have every right to do whatever the hell I want!” And, of course she could always pretend she was happy to see him.
She began her usual pulling dirty clothes from the hamper in search of some decent sweat pants and matching gym socks. As she was rummaging, she noticed a pungent order coming from something in her hand. It was a pair of underwear and a bra that smelled bitter and musty but strangely familiar. She tried to remember the last time she was out bar hopping. It had to have been at least three weeks. Note to self, she thought, tomorrow is laundry day.
As she was closing the door on her way out, she felt hot breath on her neck right before a strong hand grabbed her shoulder. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Zombie Apocalypse?

Has anyone seen this site?

In case you don't want to click the link, it is how to prepare for a Zombie Apocalypse as told by the Center for Disease Control.  That's right.  The government.
Who knew they had a sense of humor?
Personally, I think its a great idea.  They got me to click the site and read through on how I should have an emergency plan, which is the point.   I wonder how many more hits they had than normal.
They should do this with more stuff,  like the IRS page.  How to make that funny?  How about just peppering the instructions with little comments like 'can you believe you have to pay a tax on this?' or 'Yes another worksheet to see if you should put $658 or$ 662 on line 18b'.
How about it?  Any ideas for funny-ing up dry subjects.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's An Instant Satisfaction World

I saw this writer, Jon Ronson, on The Daily Show two nights ago talking about his new book, The Psychopath Test (he also wrote Men Who Stare at Goats-I liked the movie).  His interview really peaked my interest because 1) my new book (coming mid June) is a psychological thriller and some of the things he was discussing relate directly to my fiction book an 2) he was very entertaining.  A good sign for the writer of a non-fiction book.
I wanted to read his book.  So, of course, I checked online and the price is 12.99.  High!  I downloaded a sample but, by the time all the title and copyright stuff was done, there were only three pages of actual book.  Three really good pages.  I still wanted this book.  So, I did what I always do.  I checked the library.  They don't have it yet.  And there is no sign they are getting it any time soon.
All day long I have been thinking about this book and how I want to read it.  I need to read it. It could be research for the final touches on my own book, right?  It's been about 24 hours since I first heard of this book and I am so close to just buying it for my nook.Where is my patience?  My outrage at the 12.99 price?  Oh, it's there.  But I want this book.
Is this what the world is coming too?  This instant satisfying of every want with the touch of a button?  If so, I like it!
P.S. I bought the book.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Preview of New Book

Here is the first chapter of the unnamed new book by me and my co-writer - more about her later. Feel free to leave a comment.

“I found another one.”
“It’s hardly a surprise that you would find something you spend your days looking for,”  Dr. Pike said, setting down her pen and leaning back in her chair.  They had been through this before.
“I don’t.”
“Let’s not pretend.  Aren’t we past this?”
Patient X didn’t answer and Dr. Pike knew there would be no more talking until she apologized.  
“Sorry, please continue.”
“It was a man and woman.  Too old to be students.  Maybe training.  Maybe working on a project.  Anyway, it was clear she was the boss and he was in love with her.”
“What made you think that?”
“It was so obvious.  The way he kept looking at her.  Hanging on every word.  His eyes all over her face.  Desperate and waiting, for something, some sign.  Even when he was laughing, moving closer, it was there.  He wanted her so much.”  The patient paused, staring out the window.  “His eyes were blue.  So blue.”
“And her?  In love with him?”
“No.  Definitely no.  It was like a sad little dance.  He would move in, she would move away.  She never touched him.  Even when he gave her many openings.”
“How did you feel, watching them?”
The patient paused, as if the answer required thought.   “Excited.”
“You know why.”
“Yes, I do.  Do you?”
No answer.
“What did you do?”  Dr. Pike asked.
“What I always do.  I followed them.”

Monday, May 16, 2011

Getting Ready for a New Book Release

I am very excited because my co-writer and I are wrapping up the final details of our new, still unnamed book.  It is a psychological thriller and we expect to put it out mid-June.  I will be posting our progress on this blog -  namely title, cover and excerpts in the coming weeks so keep checking.
By Friday I will post the first Chapter!
Why not now?  Well, it needs to be perfect, right?  Once it's out there, it's out there.  To quote one of my favorite movies "The internet isn't written in pencil.  It's written in pen."  Anyone have a guess?  Anyone?  Put your guess in the comments and I will make it tomorrow's movie quote.
Thanks All!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sample Sunday May 15

The Hate
(Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble 99 cents)

So it is with great regret that I am forced to let the defendant go,” the judge said, lowering her gavel. It was over. I know judges are supposed to remain neutral, but the look of disgust on her face spoke volumes.
Even though we all knew it was coming, there was still a large outcry from the galleys. I say we like we were all together, but I only knew a couple of people present. The rest had been organized by a victim’s rights group tired of laws that let criminals walk. When we heard what was coming, my friend Annie contacted them. Annie contacted everyone; newspapers, talk shows, television. I couldn’t help her. I could barely get out of bed. Of course it became a big story here in Colorado. But it only warranted a blip on the national front.
I knew the protesters didn’t have the same flame of hope I did. That somehow the judge would forget about the law just this one time. She knew what the defendant did. She knew what he was. But she couldn’t change the law by ignoring it. The protesters knew and they were ready.
Order, Order,” she banged the gavel, but they just got louder.
Officers, clear the courtroom.” She banged the gavel one last time and left, escorted by a bodyguard.
The extra security brought in for this ruling went into action herding people to the door. This wasn’t their first experience with this group.
I felt the pressure of Annie squeezing my hand. I could feel her eyes on me. I couldn’t look at her. I couldn’t take the pity I knew would be there. Right now I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move.
I couldn’t stop staring at him. There he was, his hand gripping his lawyers, causing the sleeve of his ill-fitting suit to ride halfway up his arm. It looked like something his lawyer picked up from goodwill. Despite protests from my friends, I chose to sit directly behind this man. I wanted him to know I was there. I wanted him to feel my hatred, my anger.
He glanced back at me, smirking. That bastard was smirking at me.
At that moment I knew I would kill him. I knew I would make him beg for his life and then I would kill him. The image appeared in my head like a movie. Maybe he actually felt the daggers coming from my eyes because he stopped smirking and looked away.
He shouldn’t have killed her. He shouldn’t have left me with nothing more to lose.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Should I buy Game of Thrones?

So I downloaded a sample of Game of Thrones to my Nook and it's good.  Pretty good.  Now I need help, from those of you who have read it already.  Should I buy it?  It's a four book series, right?  This looks like a big commitment, in money and time.  Just the sample has so many characters already I'm going to have to make a list to keep them all straight.  But I have heard so many great things about it.  Normally I would just consider getting from the library but lately I have been doing all my reading in bed and I can read the Nook in the dark, and not disturbing my husband with that pesky book light.
Anyway, what do you think?  Is it worth the time and money? Assume I have the budget to buy one a month but it means that's the only e-book I can buy for the whole month.  Types of books I read are mystery/suspense/thriller.  I'm not a big fantasy reader though I did love the Harry Potter series (which is not available as an e-book as you well know).  I love Lee Child, Harlen Coben, James Rollins.

Thanks for any comments but please no spoilers.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Review for Secrets & Chance to Donate

Here is a great review for my ebook Secrets.  It is also a great chance, if you are going to buy Secrets anyway, to have a portion of the proceeds go to charity.  Check it out.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sample Sunday May 8

I went to the bedroom got a backpack from the closet and threw in enough stuff for a couple of days. Jack and I couldn’t stay here and, these days, even the crappiest hotels required ID and money.
I lay on the floor, stomach down, parallel to my side of the bed, reached under my nightstand, and pressed a hidden release button. The decorative piece on the front popped out and I pulled open the hidden drawer. Of course Jack didn’t know about this. I’d hoped I would never need it. I removed a bundle of cash, some fake ID’s and credit cards, and a small black zippered case. There was also an untraceable gun, but why use it when I had the killers? I put everything back the way it was and returned to the kitchen.
I could see he was in a different position then when I left him. And the knife was teetering on the edge of the counter. God, what a stupid mistake. I was out of practice.
Oh, so close. It must be killing you that you almost had that knife,” I said, squatting down next to him.
You got your information. Just give me the knife,” he said.
Why would I do that?” I asked smiling. “So you can come back and finish the job?”
I wonder what his last thought was before I shot him between the eyes. 

Read the first two chapters of Secrets at  
Secrets is available for 99 cents on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.

A Perfect Writing Day

Perfect writing days are just like unicorns and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, we've all heard of them but no one's actually had one.

My dream:
Wake up at 5:30 work out hard 1 hour, shower
Make kids great nutritional breakfast, get them off to school 8:30
Write for the next 6 hours with no writer's block and a neverending cup of hot coffee and coffee cake.
Get dinner started, get kids from bus 4pm
Do publicity stuff 1 hour till dinner
Interact with family till 7:30 kids bedtime
Half hour of publicity
Spouse and me time

5:45 three year old taps my forehead to wake me and tell me he needs chocolate milk
6-8:30  continually tell kids (4 of them) to get ready, eat breakfast, do homework, while constantly breaking up fights and reheating my first cup of coffee
8:30 bring 4 year old to preschool
9:00 think about working out but run whatever stupid errands have to be done that day
11:30 back home feed 3 year old who doesn't go to any school yet
12:00 have 3 year old watch Thomas the train while I try to write
12:05 give up trying to write because 3 year old keeps interrupting
1:30 put 3 year old down for nap
1:40 start writing
2:00 people whose calls you didn't have time to answer earlier start calling.  Ignore most but there's always one I have to take.
3:00 start writing
3:45 3 year old wakes up
4:00 get other kids from bus
4:30 pick up 3 year old from preschool
5:00 make dinner
5:30 put spouse in charge and start writing till 7:30 but unless I leave the house am usually interrupted several times.
7:30 kids to bed and spouse and me time because I'm too tired to think.

It's no wonder it takes a year to write a book!

What's your dream day vs reality?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Experiences With Paid Publicity

I have decided to try some paid publicity and I'm going to share my results here for those interested.  It comes up often on FB writing sites and it seems no one has a good answer.  I am fortunate in that I have a little money to play with so maybe in doing this, I can help someone else who has a very limited budget. And sell some books. Just FYI, my genre is thriller/mystery.
In March I sold 64 books.
The first thing I tried is/was a click add on GoodReads.  I put in a max of $5/day and a $25 maximum.  I bid 0.25 per click.  The first couple of days, two clicks.  So I changed the add but still no more clicks.  After a day I increased the per click bid to 0.35. Still no more clicks.  I just changed it to .75 and am waiting to see those results.
I have also paid for a book tour with NUTURE Book Tour.  I won't post the price because it varies, I'm sure, with what you get and specials, etc.  It runs June 13-17.  My book sells for 0.99 cents and it will take quite a few books to break even.  But over time it will and part of the point, for me, is to help generate interest in my writing in time for my new book coming out in June (hopefully).
So tune in, and I will keep you posted.
Also, if you leave a comment you will have a chance to win my ebook.  Giveaway ends Friday May 6, 9am.

Guest Blog

Check out my Interview here on Indie Book Blogs!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Giveaway and Rerun Monday

I have decided to make today a 'rerun' day.  I'm going to post links to my most popular blogs.  In addition, I am giving away two copies of my books.  The winner can choose The Hate, my two gritty short stories (my personal favorite) or Secrets, a fast paced mystery thriller with a kick ass  heroine (my first so always a special place in my heart).  The winner can choose which one they want.
How to win?  Just leave a comment on any of the posts this week and a winner will be chosen at random on Friday at 9 am.  The catch? Your comment must actually be relevant to the post.  No random letters, please.
Thanks everyone and enjoy.
You want how much for a paperback?
I Hate Writing I Love Having Written
Sample Sunday April 24
Sample Sunday May 1
It made me laugh so I stole it

Sunday, May 1, 2011

#SampleSunday May 1

From Secrets:

I bought a ticket for whatever movie was about to start. It didn’t matter since I wasn’t staying. I was tempted to get popcorn. No matter what my intentions are when I go to the movies, I always end up getting popcorn. The smell is usually irresistible. Instead I got a big bag of M&M’s. I’d missed dinner and I needed something I could take with me easily.
All business now, I walked into the theater and took a seat near the back. Though it had been a popular place once, it had become run down in the last few years. Stained carpet in the lobby, wallpaper peeling in a few spots. A musty smell mixed with burned popcorn. It was a shame, since the building itself was so beautiful.
Mike came in a minute later eating popcorn and sat next to me. I waited until the lights went down and the previews started. There was no ‘hello, how have you been?’ No hugging or tears. Neither of us were the touchy feely type. Mike knew I would only have contacted him for something serious.
I need all the information on the last deposit into this account,” I whispered, handing him a piece of paper.
Good choice,” he said indicating the screen with a fistful of popcorn. “I’ve been wanting to see this.”
Someone is trying to kill me.”
From the -” he started and turned to look at me.
No,” I interrupted. “I don’t know who or why yet.”
I guess I’m not staying for the movie,” he sighed.
How fast can you get this?”
Depends on how tough the security is.”
Should be a lot easier than you’re used to. I don’t think this person knew what he was getting into,” I smiled.
How did you get that account information?” Mike asked.
I kept my eyes on the screen. “I asked him for it and he told me.”
Uh huh,” he smiled. “Feels good, doesn’t it?”
Don’t start. I’m out and I’m staying out.”
Whatever. How do I contact you?”
My number is on the same paper.” I had written down the number for the prepaid cell phone.
Is there butter on that popcorn?” I asked.
What do you think?”
I grabbed a handful, then got up and left.
Now the hard part. I had just killed a man and dumped his body but considered my next task the hard part. I had to call Jack. Sweet, innocent Jack, who knew nothing of my past. I had to call and explain what was going on, and that meant telling him everything.
Read the first two Chapters
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