Sometimes, ya gotta try new stuff


Looking for some new marketing ideas. The fantastically creative Craig Boyack and his accomplices have come up with this really neat paper doll. I loved them as a child and plan to print this on some photo stock paper for my granddaughter.

Originally posted on Entertaining Stories:

We authors tend to all try the same things to promote our works. We blog, we tweet, we sign up for paid promotions. It all works to a degree, and there is no magic spell that will help us stand out from the crowd.

I’ve been known to try some crazy things from time to time, and today is no exception. I see that adult coloring books are all the rage today. Sadly, I don’t have any of those. Still, maybe an old school trick still has some life in it.

My regular readers know that Lisa Burton, the robot girl, is a recurring character on Entertaining Stories. I recently promoted her to ‘Official Spokesmodel’ for Entertaining Stories.

Lisa takes her job seriously, and when I’m writing she really gets into it. She uses alternate voices to read back my dialog, calls me out for too many coincidences, and dresses…

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This is the Way I Roll

This past week has been an emotional roller coaster. Aside from my surgery, which kept me nearly flat for a week, the news has been all over the map. Up and down, and down and up. Most of you know my stand on certain issues and I’ve had to ignore some Georgia cousins who felt a need to rant and preach. So, other than the research I’m doing for my novel, my online presence has been minimal.

And then, there’s my dad’s will. Today is the final day for anyone to contest it. And there have been some threats. We’ll just have to wait and see.

My dad basically disowned and disinherited two sisters.  We share the same mother and father. They couldn’t care less. Both have been estranged from the family for decades. The eldest of them wrote a really nasty letter about my dad to his wife and mentioned me in a most derogatory manner.

She always wanted to be an only child. She left home at fourteen (only spending four years with my dad after my mom’s death), and I haven’t even seen her but once, briefly, at my grandmother’s funeral in 1985. She doesn’t even know me, or my life experiences, so I can’t imagine the source of information that she used to determine her malicious point of view. I have a great relationship with my dad’s lovely wife. We just had to laugh about it and move on.

I thought it was in really poor taste to so vehemently attack my dad (and me) to his grieving wife. The nearly thirty years he’s spent with his wife have been joyful years. He didn’t die at 78 the same man he was at 28. Forgiveness is not a word in some people’s repertoire, much less an act of their heart and soul.

We haven’t been fishing since my surgery. I miss being on the water. It’s such a serene experience. The birds, dolphin and manatees. The motion of gentle waves. The friendliness of the boat people. My spiritual rejuvenation. I’m looking forward to Thursday, when we hit the deep water.

My time has been spent on my novel. I write or research for a couple of hours and then rest a couple. I’m at Chapter Eleven, and 17, 818 words.  I’ve broken it down into three Acts, like a screen play. The transition between the first two Acts was seamless.

Act One focused on introducing characters, setting the stage, the inciting incidents. Bizarre and frightening things are happening to my main character and her family.  One three year old murder has evidence…then Jillian, one of the main characters, has two clairvoyant nightmares, two more murders occur. One staged like the one three years ago. The third has a totally different M.O.  We’ve just discovered the murders are connected. My protagonist, Bill Meleague, G.B.I. Liaison and former retired crime scene investigator, has met a psychic medium who is an old hippie chick, Dr. Saraswati Vidya, Sara for short, and she is a retired paranormal psychology professor from Emory University. He’s fighting his own demons and he and Sara develop more than a working relationship.

Act Two will focus on the motions of the adversaries. The antagonists take center stage as Jillian tries to harness the powers of the “gift” that has been bestowed upon her. Jillian’s nightmares worsen. The pace picks up as six or eight more people have to die. She witnesses the murders through the eyes of the killer. Complications arise.

List of Suspects:

Band Members:

Sterno, a pyromaniac and family member of Jillian’s boyfriend (drummer)

Joseph, a schizo, reclusive, withdrawn character (guitarist)

Razor, The band leader and Satan worshiper (lyricist and singer)

Eric, Jillian’s son (bass guitarist)

Christoph, a Criminal Science major at a local college (keyboards and synthesizer)

Other suspects:

Tony, Jillian’s boyfriend, a music producer from California that she grew up with at a children’s home

Jillian in a fugue state

An elusive stranger who shows up at every performance of the band, Satanic cult member who idolizes Razor


Are you familiar with the Night Stalker from the mid-eighties?

If you are, you’ll have a front seat in this book.


Everything comes to a head at the end of Act Two beginning of Act Three with the climax.

Act Three:

Jillian has grown from a quibbling, frightened, emotional wreck into a powerful force.

Another main character learns a valuable lesson and slays a dragon (figuratively speaking).

Two characters have to give up someone meaningful to them in one sort of way or another. (No spoilers.)


Gingerbread Wolves


“Gingerbread Wolves” By Misha Burnett is now available. This is the fourth book in The Book of Lost Doors series. Here’s the first review: What a phenomenal continuation to the series! James retains his status as one of the most fascinating narrators/protagonists I’ve ever encountered — although, really, how can you compete with a thirty-something guy who runs around with an extra-dimensional psychopathic alien living in his head? And the plot is just so fun — wicked creepy, yes, but fun nonetheless! As always, Burnett doesn’t pull punches — the stakes are literally apocalyptic, bad things happen to good people, bad things happen to bad people, and awesome things happen every single page. Read it! You’ll love it, I guarantee.

I haven’t read it yet, but I have my copy. Get yours now!!!

Originally posted on mishaburnett:

GWCoverVolFourSmallOkay, this is it.  As of right now Gingerbread Wolves, the fourth volume of The Book Of Lost Doors is live on Amazon Kindle.

I have also uploaded the files to Create Space for the trade paperback version, which should be available sometime this week–I’ll keep you posted.  It takes longer to approve those files than the e-books.

Okay, time for a nap.

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777 Challenge and a New Title


The delightfully entertaining John Howell has nominated me for this challenge. Stop by his blog today and read about Charlotte and Bob, editor and writer. An ongoing story posted on Wednesdays that will have you rolling in the floor.

The rules of the 777 Writing Challenge are as follows:

The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 sentences in a blog post. Once you have done this, you can tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their work-in-progress.

My contribution to this challenge comes from my new crime fiction psycho thriller, The Conduit. (Yes, I finally decided on a title.) It’s seven lines following a murder, so it’s more crime oriented than psycho thriller:

There was no hotel bar. A small dining area for continental breakfasts was packed with people the service workers were finding difficulty satisfying. He downed a fast cup of decaf and returned downstairs.

The M.E. and his team were near the back door with the body on a stretcher when Bill came around the corner. He figured he’d learn more from Gimp than he would from the crime scene that had been trampled on and bypassed the busy room where forensic photographers were having a field day. Gimp saw him coming and paused as his assistants wheeled the girl to the waiting ambulance. “What’s your interest in this case, Bill?” Gimp leaned against the wall to rest his bad leg.

Now I get the pleasure of tagging seven more. I’m not sure I know seven authors working on a project now, but I’ll try.

Mae Clair

Barb Taub

Sue Vincent

L.F. Young

Kevin Brennan

Sue Coletta

Crystin Goodwin

Looking forward to snooping in your files :)



Guest Post with Charles Yallowitz- Author Pitfalls: Watch Your Step & Bring Some Rope

Charles Yallowitz was one of the first people I came to know in the blogoshpere. I saw him everywhere and thought he must be magic. But Charles has a dedication to his peers that encompasses many methods of assistance and promotions, helpful comments and suggestions. He also has a great sense of humor. Today he has prepared a guest post that I have the pleasure of sharing with you.

Thank you to Susan for offering to host a promo/guest blog. Now to get the introduction and promo stuff out of the way. My name is Charles E. Yallowitz and I’m the author behind the Legends of Windemere epic fantasy series where the latest one is Sleeper of the Wildwood Fugue. I also just released a 27-page short story for 99 cents called Ichabod Brooks & the City of Beasts, so you can get a quick, cheap taste of me . . . whatever. Let’s move on to the fun!

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The world of writing is a dense jungle full of poisonous creatures, carnivorous plants, sudden drops, and a stopwatch that changes speed every few seconds. You may be calm and plan the initial idea, but chaos will appear for most of us at some point. Those that don’t stumble are either lucky or living in a cabin beyond the reach of human contact. If it’s the latter then how in the world do you get Wifi out there?

Every author will run into their own set of pitfalls and challenges. So there are no identical paths, but there are a handful of common dangers that one can slip into without realizing it. I’m not talking about rejection letters, negative reviews, or computer crashes that devour your work as you’re trying to upload to a thumb drive. Those are beyond your full control. Here are a few I thought of from my own experiences that I could have stopped if I had thought about it.

  1. Style Corrosion– Also can be called ‘Style Overload’ or ‘Failed Mimicry’ or whatever else you think of. I’ve mentioned this before on my blog. Many authors with low confidence or high exhaustion will see the suggestions of others as golden wisdom. It really comes off this way if presented as a solid fact instead of an opinion. A young author who is unsure of their style will absorb these suggestions. At first, it isn’t that bad and you might see improvement. Then you take on more advice and your style becomes either a cluttered mess or a carbon copy of an established author. If this goes on for too long, it may take months or years to get back to the style that you’re really comfortable with.
  2. PERFECTION!– I’ve seen so many authors fall to this ideal. It results in a constant creation of drafts to the point where a decade will go by and no progress has been made. It can connect to Style Overload as they adopt a new trick and rewrite the entire story. There are also times a single typo can cause these authors to make a rewrite or scrap what they have. It’s kind of scary. Some of these trapped authors research agents, publishers, and other authors, so they adopt the idea that they’re experts in the field. You’ll get suggestions on what you should do and they may be right, but these people lack the experience to go along with their own advice. I know it sounds like I’m badmouthing this type of author, but you can learn something from them. Maybe you can even convince them to take that scary first step too.
  3. The Universe Will Give Me Time– I wasted a decade of my life on this one. I truly believed that I would work my way through another job to the point where I could also do my writing. Some people can pull this off, but you need the perfect situation for it. I didn’t have that. Instead, I found most of my jobs sucked my energy and I was barely able to maintain the house. This deals a lot with the mentality you need to start writing and I needed to be calm. Exhaustion led to bad writing. So you really have to put your foot down and make time for your writing.
  4. Planning Loop– Much like the writer toiling for a lifetime on the perfect manuscript, you have some authors who don’t even get that far. They fall in love with the world and character creation, but fail to put it into book form. It’s a safety zone because planning and creating without structure prevents full-blooded criticism. You might be told how a few things don’t work, but it’s the comfy planning stage and nothing is written in stone.
  5. Quest for Pure Originality– We’d all love to make a story that is unconnected to anything that has come before it. Sadly, all of your basic stories have been done and readers can be really creative when it comes to connecting new to old. An author who is obsessed with originality may scrap all of their good ideas because one aspect has been done. I’ve met a few of these authors who are at the point where they’ve given up and spend their time turning on others. They become bitter and angry about their ‘failure’, so they lash out. I would consider this the most dangerous pitfall because it can be incredibly toxic and hard to break.
  6. Smug Competitor– At every level, you’ll find authors who are so confident that they refuse to accept advice. This isn’t the bad part though because some people simply don’t see a marketing plan of one person working for them. This pitfall becomes a problem when the author makes a scene about negative reviews and tries to sabotage fellow authors who are doing better. It’s this type of author that can do a lot of damage to the overall community. Thankfully, they’re rarer than we believe.

Three Day Quote Challenge

I was Tagged by John Howell and Nicholas Rossis to participate in the Three Day Quote Challenge. This one is real easy and fun. Here are the rules:

1 Thank the person who nominated you. (Thank you, John and Nicholas!)
2 Post your quote.
3 Pass it on to three others.

Here’s the quote:


I nominate Sue Coletta, Craig Boyack, and Adrienne Morris. Have fun!

Promotion Warning


More books. Yay!

Originally posted on Suffolk Scribblings:

Two Covers

This is just a little heads up that I’ll be running a free ebook promotion on Second Chance and a 99p/99c offer on Absent Souls for a few days from Friday and may be posting and tweeting about it. For those of you who dislike author promotions, you may want to avoid my blog / twitter feed from Friday and through the weekend (although I promise not to overdo it. After that normal service will be resumed.

For the rest of you lovely readers, if you’d be willing to share or retweet my promotion when it starts I’d be eternally grateful, but if you’d prefer not to I won’t hold it against you.

Of course, for those of you who can’t wait that long, you could always sign up to my mailing list and get your choice of book absolutely free!

Love and hugs,


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An Introvert’s Reveal, Humor-Free


One of the sweetest physician’s on the internet is promoting her next fiction book. She’s funny, witty and brilliant. Her book is in the Kindle Scout program and she needs your support. It only takes a second.

Originally posted on The Write Transition:

I suspect I’ll bloat with nausea the moment I hit publish on this post, because I’m about to reveal more than I normally would. But I take solace in the fact knowing I’m likely not alone. That’s the beauty of this inter-connected world.

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art


If I sold a book every time someone online told me I can’t be an introvert because I’m so “outgoing” on social media, I’d have a bestseller.

But there are two reasons why I’m outgoing online:

1) The Internet is easier for an introvert to navigate than the face-to-face world


2) I have to be.

Just as I did in my professional life, I step into my mask and play my role, a role I’ve perfected over the years.

That isn’t to say my interactions are phony. On the contrary. Like most introverts, they are heartfelt and sincere. We’re an…

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Free June 8 to June 10: ECLIPSE LAKE by Mae Clair #RomanticMystery


Mae Clair has a FREE book you’ll want to get your hands on., “Eclipse Lake”. And by all means, pre-order “Myth and Magic” while you’re there.

Originally posted on From the Pen of Mae Clair:

Mondays are normally reserved for Mythical Monday posts on my blog, but I’m pre-empting that today with something I’ve never done before: offering one of my titles for free. It’s kind of scary, because I have no idea what to expect. Certainly, I hope that new readers will enjoy the book and look into some of my other titles.

So…if you enjoy romance, mysteries, and suspense, I invite you to take advantage of my limited time offer for ECLIPSE LAKE. Grab your Kindle copy, June 8 to June 10 for FREE. This is a stand-alone full-length novel of old wounds, buried secrets, and sweet romance. It’s not part of a series, so you can enjoy the complete tale.


Book cover for Eclipse Lake by Mae Clair depicting a summer lake with rushes at sunsetSmall towns hold the darkest secrets. 

Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks…

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