Thursday, March 28, 2013

Oz The Great and Powerful - Movie Review

Movie Blurb Fandango:

A mischievous magician gains the wisdom to become a powerful ruler after being swept away to a land of magic and mystery as director Sam Raimi and screenwriters Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole) explore the genesis of author L. Frank Baum's enduring tales of Oz. Shady illusionist Oscar Diggs (James Franco) enchants curious audiences at a Kansas circus. A self-professed con man, he's a fast-talking performer who aspires to follow in the footsteps of inventors like Thomas Edison. Oscar is being chased across the circus grounds by the rampaging Strongman when a tornado blows in and everyone runs for cover. Seeing a hot-air balloon as his only chance for escape, the illusionist jumps in and cuts himself free. Magically transported to the wondrous world of Oz, he soon encounters Theodora (Mila Kunis), a temperamental witch who surmises that he is the wizard named after their land (Oscar's nickname is Oz), foretold to fall from the sky, defeat a nasty witch, and ascend to the throne. Theodora takes Oscar to the Emerald City to meet her sister Evanora (Rachel Weisz), a powerful witch who reveals that he cannot become the rightful ruler of Oz until he's accomplished his mission. Later, as Oscar and his new flying-monkey companion Finley (voice of Zach Braff) prepare to face their fearsome enemy, they're joined by the fragile but fearless China Girl (voice of Joey King) and benevolent witch Glinda the Good (Michelle Williams), who helps them prepare for the arduous battle ahead. Together with the brave people of Oz, Oscar draws up a plan to rid the land of evil once and for all, and become the great and powerful king who will rule from his throne in the Emerald City. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

My Family's review:

I was skeptical of this one. Maybe I'm just cynical when it comes to my expectations of movies that try to connect to an all time great play and movie that I loved as a kid. I really didn't know how they were going to pull this off or if they were going to build a script true to the books on Oz. Let me tell you, I WAS IN LOVE with the imagery in this movie. It did start off rather slow. The black and white was expected but the story line built a less then stellar love of the main character, Mr. Oz. He was a womanizer, selfish, con man that just happened to know some magic tricks and yet, I still wanted to know more about him and how his character would evolve. Once he got to Oz the story picked up and his softer side started to peek through. By the end of the movie I wanted to stand up and clap at how well they stuck to the book's portrayal of the Wizard and I had fallen in love with this character, cheered for him and fell in love with the Wizard named Oz all over again. Bravo! So I give this a 4.5 wands out of 5. *Now my 9 year old told me he thought it was boring and only gave it a 3 but my girls and even my husband agreed with my 4.5.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Why do You Purchase Short-Story ebooks?

If you haven't heard, I'm having another short story of mine coming out this summer. It was a easy way for me to explore writing contemporary YA Romances.

With the ebook revolution the short story is making a BIG comeback. And I love it, and purchase many of them.

THE COMPANION short story:

This type of short ebook read is a companion short tease that is connected to the plot line of a larger full book series.

I usually will pick one of these up if I want to see if I may be interested in a series.


I love these. I read these when I'm going to be at the Doctors office, or want to read on a lunch break. If there is more than one book in a short story series, I'll by the first one and if I like it, I'll purchase all of the rest that are readily available.They are follow the typical series flair. Either they are all about the escapades of one character, a continuation of the first book, or contain similar theme or settings.


These are part of a serial or soap opera type book. It ends with some resolved issues but also with a cliff-hanger. I tend to try out the first 2 and only stick with it up to 5 then I want resolution. But that's just me. These tend to do really well if done correctly.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

The CALL - Movie Review

Fandango Blurb:
An emergency operator receives a desperate call from a kidnapped teen, and races to locate the young victim while facing a terrifying killer from her own past in this thriller from director Brad Anderson (The Machinist, Session 9). Abigail Breslin and Halle Berry star in a film penned by Richard D'Ovidio (Exit Wounds, Thir13en Ghosts). ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

My Review:
Okay, my husband wanted to see this ONLY because Halle Berry was in it. I wanted to see it because...well I got a thing for Morris Chestnut. But what I didn't expect was how intense this movie would be. It started off with an hair raising beginning with a teen girl being abducted out of her home and the 911 operator (Halle) hearing his voice as he disconnected the call. It didn't stop after that. You had enough time to get attached to the characters - all of them. Halle gave the 2nd victum some great advice to try to save her life. It was seriously crazy and a nail biting experience. Let's just say the ending was just what I would've wanted it to be, but a bit of a nice surprise at the same time. We gave this movie a whopping 4 out of 5 fingernails.

Monday, March 18, 2013

All The Authors That Inspired Me Along The Way

When I consider my writing journey, I'm shocked and humbled by the many authors I considered well experienced and totally have star power in my book, took the time to encourage me along the way.

Below is each author that have personally touched my life. I hope you consider checking out some of their books.

LA Banks 

I first learned about LA Banks when I was doing a booksigning at the Urban Knowledge bookstore. Before the signing I was browsing books and picked up the first book in her Vampire Huntress series. I feel in love with it as it featured an African American girl as a Vampire Slayer.

After reading her book I stalked (oops, uh, sought her out) using twitter and facebook for a guest spot on the twitter chat. She responded and we talked on the phone. I later invited her to the Maryland Writers Conference as a guest and she was so amazing! Sadly, she passed away due to cancer later that summer.

David Meadows

I met Dave at my day gig as an Engineer. He was one of my head managers. I happen to be talking to him in the coffee room and he mentioned going to his booksigning. I was so excited since I used to write but gave it up due to lake of time.

Dave told me to just write a page a day and I'll have a book at the end of the year. He encouraged me to start writing and introduced me to Jack Campbell who also wrote Scifi.

Jack Campbell

Oh, Jack was a joy to meet. After talking to Dave (above) he gave me a call. I found out that my husband loved his books and he even sent me signed copies!

He told me the ins and outs of submitting my novel and emailed me here and there through out the process to encourage me.

Jonathan Maberry

I met him because of the wonderful Mary Shaffer (former President of MBPA-Mid Atlantic Book Publishers) set up an event.

Jonathan was such a wonderful person. I told him about my journey, where I hoped to go with my writing and he opened his arms to me and told me if I ever needed anything to call him. In addition, he took my signed books?! (mine! Really he totally made my day!!!)

Also, my son and I read all of his Rot & Ruin series.

KL Brady

I first met KL Brady (Karla Brady) at a Maryland Writers Association meeting. She was giving a presentation called INDIE PUBLISHING ON THE CHEAP and she inspired me. After such time she actually got approached by a traditional publisher who re-published her book BUM MAGNET but that didn't stop her from her self-publishing journey. She published her Young Adult series herself as well as has her adult Chick Lit series published through Simon and Schustler.

Debbie Mack

I met Debbie at another meeting at Maryland Writer's Association. She shared her journey through a small press to publish her first novel then to later re-publish it. Not to mention she as been open to any questions I'd emailed her regarding publishing and building a good mystery.

ON YOUR JOURNEY YOU MEET MANY PEOPLE ...encouragers-Who has been yours?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Rachel Coles - Author Spotlight

Rachel Coles - Author of Pazuzu's Girl, Into the Ruins, and Beyond The Veil

Rachel Coles lives in Denver with her family in Denver, Colorado. She works in public health disaster preparedness. She enjoys researching mythology to incorporate into story-telling. Her family and friends share her enthusiasm for fantasy and science fiction, she is the proud mom of one of the youngest Trekkies in the state.

Social Media Sites:

Spotlight Author Questions:

1. What is your all-time favorite book, and why?

I'm not sure I could pick a single one. One of my favorite series is Dan Simmons' Hyperion series: Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion, Endymion, Rise of Endymion. I loved those books because they were complex, and when I put the last one down, it felt like my brain had changed after reading them. Mind-blowing. The series explored human evolution, not just physical, but religious and cultural, in the kind of time-span covered by Dune. It also explored artificial intelligence, in a different way than anything I'd read before. I also loved reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. I always enjoy reading that because Discworld really picks you up and carries you away in the story. And that world is hilarious. Terry Pratchett takes typical tropes like vampires, dwarves, werewolves, etc, and turns everything on its head. He's a really fun read, great for escaping. But I would say that the book whose phrases stayed with me for decades was either Something Wicked This Way Comes, or The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury. He was one of the most poetic writers I'd ever seen, and really impressed upon me the power of words.

2. Is there an author you could be compared to or a popular fictional character you could relate to and why?

I have been compared to Neil Gaiman once or twice, because of the mythological content of some of my stories. That absolutely makes me feel honored. He is another one of my favorite authors, and I have to admit that I've emulated him in a lot of ways. As for characters I could relate to, I guess I would have to say Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit. I come from a family of Hobbits, pretty much. We're mostly little people who love to eat and talk, and eat and talk, and eat and talk. I'm mostly not exaggerating. When I went to my aunt's retirement party, we stopped at a deli and got pounds of meat, knishes, whitefish salad, bagels etc, on the way to her place from the airplane. Two hours later, we went to her party at which we didn't stop eating, talking, and dancing for five hours. And when we got home, we cracked open the leftovers and ate again, chatting around the kitchen table. And that was just the beginning of the weekend. Elevensies/luncheon/afternoon tea/dinner/supper, they all ran together. Somehow I'm not 800 pounds. That's why I think we're secretly Hobbits. I am specifically a bit like Bilbo Baggins because I like telling stories, I am a creature of habit, and don't normally go for anything unexpected, but every once in a while, I throw my hands up, give in to my wild side, and get into trouble.

3. Can you give us your favorite quote from your book and explain it?

My favorite quote, spoken by Pazuzu, is "I will do whatever I have to do to protect you, even if I do it poorly in your eyes. You are young and angry and nothing is as simple as you imagine." I like it because Pazuzu's Girl is partly about what it means to be a parent. Whatever his other flaws are, he loves his daughter, and insists on being a dad, even if it means Morpho is mad at him. It reminds me of what I have heard some parents say, 'It's not my job to be your friend, it's my job to be your mom/dad.' I'm sure that I will someday have this conversation with my daughter when she is a teenager, because I had it with my parents at some point.

4. What types of things/people/music inspires you and makes you want to keep on writing?

Everything. I'm a space cadet and cannot stop daydreaming, and every experience I have somehow wends its way into a story. But specifically, I'm a child of the 80's. I mostly listen to 80's music because even though it's corny often, there was an optimism then, and now a nostalgia. It's energetic, bittersweet, and just kind of grabs my emotions. I write best when I'm caught up in some emotion or other. People who inspire me to keep writing are my family and friends. My daughter was the reason I started writing. She loves to hear bedtime stories, particularly scary stories. And when we had burned through all of the remotely age-appropriate scary stories we could find, we started making them up together. I started writing them down, and kept going. My husband who is my best friend is really supportive and beta-reads my stories. The writing group I'm part of, we critique each others material, and have peer-pressure writing nights and get each other to write (pssst, just a few words, you know you want to, all the cool kids are doing it...)

5. Describe your typical writing day or week.

My writing can be kind of scattershot. I have weeks where I'll sit up until midnight after my daughter goes to bed, and write every night. Other times, it'll be only on peer-pressure writing night, when I take my daughter with me to Panera and she plays Minecraft, while we all write, though I often have her write me a story on her iPad too.

6. Is there a typical food/drink you have to have when you write?

Well, I don't know if I have a particular food or drink, whatever I'm in the mood for at the time. Usually iced tea of some kind. I've gotten into the habit of eating a Panera sandwich and soup, and one of their brownies. I love eating their brownies when I'm writing, and am sad when they're all out by the time I get there. Their chocolate chip cookies are nice, gooey, and chewy too. But I can't eat those every time I write, or I'd need a forklift to get me to the restaurant.

7. Can you tell us what you're working on now, possibly an excerpt?

I'm working on a sequel to Pazuzu's Girl. For now the working title is Iron Butterfly. But I will probably change it, because there are really four main characters: Morpho-- the demon Pazuzu's daughter who is also part Sidhe, Ereshkigal--ruler of the Underworld, Ninhab Agresti--Morpho and JD's high school principal and future consort of Ereshkigal, and Marduk--ancient god-king of Babylon now a CEO.

From 'Iron Butterfly'

The tunnel went on in darkness for a ways. Morpho couldn't tell how long. She had the feeling of rough walls on either side and above. The ground felt like loose dirt underneath her sneakers. But light grew ahead, and slowly they emerged out of the tunnel. There was sky overhead, but it wasn't like any sky she'd ever seen. There was a moon like the moon outside in the regular world, except bigger, and brighter. It was clearer, and looked somehow like a bowl of molten silver dripping little pearls into the rest of the sky. The sky around the moon was deep emerald green shading into black velvet, which was littered with rainbow swaths of stars.
“Whoa.” JD stared around him at the thick bushes and trees. Their leaves were bronze and teardrop-shaped, with an iridescent sheen. Other bushes looked periwinkle blue in the glow from dozens of insectile motes that flitted away through the trees. The forest went dark, and she had somehow gotten the impression that they hadn't been alone when they had come out. “Okay, then.” JD whispered. He kept going along a faint trail. “That was cool. Like Tinkerbell's family.”
She looked back at the tunnel, but there was only foliage behind them. “Tunnel's gone...Of course.” She muttered. “Okay.” She followed him until the trees thinned out to a broad plain of rolling grass-covered hills. The trail widened into a road that threaded through the swells of land. They had been walking for about five minutes, cresting the first hill when the baying started in the distance to the left. It got louder quickly as whatever made that sound came closer, but as she stared out at the hills, she couldn't see anything, at first. Then a form took shape in the low mist that cloaked the valleys. As it got closer, it looked like a woman riding a chariot, that was drawn by the largest dogs she had ever seen. They were the size of horses, so black the light of the moon just sunk into their fur. Their ringed yellow and red eyes shone from their heads like lamps, and their sharp teeth were as black as obsidian. She didn't get as far as noticing what the woman looked like.
“Oh hell!” Morpho and JD turned and ran.
“Change, Babe, change!” JD yelled to her. “They won't be able to chase all of you!” he panted. “Or maybe you could test your Cuisinart wings move!”
She changed into a cloud of butterflies with razor wings and flew up into the sky above the chariot to get a vantage point, but the chariot had gained on JD. Then just when she thought that it couldn't get worse, the chariot split into three. Three chariots, three sets of hellish dogs, and three women. They circled JD.
Leave him alone! She thought, as she dived at them. But the woman in the middle raised her hand, and suddenly, Morpho was human again as she slammed down onto the ground in front of the figure, whose hand was still outstretched toward her. Morpho couldn't move, not even to turn her head, so she had a moment to see the women who had captured them. The tallest one had blazing red hair, not just Irish red, but so red it was almost like flames drifting around her head, barely restrained in long braids that were bound by delicate chains ending in tiny golden balls. She wore a gold circlet with swirls across the band. Her eyes were blood red. The woman to her left had a face very much like the red-haired woman, enough to be sisters. Her hair was as black as the messenger Raven's wings, almost as black as the hell-hounds' fur, absorbing light. Her black irises were like two holes in her eyeballs. Her nose was long and slightly curved, and her lips were thinner than her sister's. The last woman was as pale as her sister was dark, the shortest of the three. She had pure white hair, as long as the other two. Her skin was the color of bone, and the eeriest part was her eyes. They were completely white. There were no pupils or irises, just milky white all the way across. They were terrible to look at, and oddly beautiful.
The red-haired one spoke. “You certainly are curious little creatures, aren't you? Lugh told us you were coming. I warned your mother that you would be too curious for your own good at some point. I told her you would be your father's child.”
“Who are you?” Morpho choked and strained against the force that held her head down. It released suddenly, and she sat up, spitting soil.
“I am Nemain. We are the Morrigan. We rule here. You would do well to show us some respect. Especially since you are trespassing.”
“Lugh is here? He told you” She glanced at JD. The dogs stood in front of him, a low rumbling growl issuing from their throats.
“Yes, though Macha saw that you would come.” She nodded at the white sister.
“Uh, sorry, we didn't mean to trespass.” JD gulped, looking at the length of the dogs' teeth.
The black-haired sister turned to her sibling, opened her mouth and a caw bordering on a shriek came out. It wasn't amiable, like Raven's caw. It was sharp and dangerous. Her nose seemed longer and her lips and white teeth seemed sharper.
Nemain studied JD. “Badb says you are young and...cute, like a lapdog. She wants to let you live, for now. Very well.” She reached over Morpho, as if her arm simply stretched and grew. Her long-fingered white hand grasped the back of Morpho's shirt and hauled her up as if she were a kitten, into the chariot and dumped her at her slippered feet. Badb took JD. His face was frozen somewhere between terror and the goofy look he got when he stared at his busty guitar girl posters. If Morpho had been closer to him, she would have smacked him. But then, the chariots took off with a lurch and they were moving so swiftly she didn't have a chance to do anything but slit her eyes against the wind as they flew. Everything turned grey and when she looked down at her hands, they seemed insubstantial, like mist. The dogs, JD, Badb and Macha, all of them seemed to blend into the grey so their edges blurred. She didn't want to turn and see the red-haired queen behind her. And then, they slowed to a halt. Now, they were in a circle of grey stones so tall, the shadows they cast from the moon must have spread across the plain they were on for a mile. And across the shadows, filling up the plain behind them were hosts of fairies of all kinds. At least that's what Morpho thought they were when the chariots pulled around. There were some very powerful looking fairies around a semicircle of thrones in the center of the stone circle. Their thrones were all different too. One of them was made of what looked like carved amber, inlaid with gold in the same swirling designs as the red-haired queen's circlet. Another was made entirely of silver, another of pure gold, shining in the moonlight. Another appeared to be made of woven branches and soft emerald moss. Lounging in the amber throne, was Lugh, their erstwhile legal guardian. He had a gold circlet around his forehead, the only thing controlling his wild tawny locks. He wore what looked like a fine red linen tunic with gold embroidery and woolen plaid leggings.
“Hi, luv! Took you long enough.”
“You knew we were coming.” Morpho said.
“I've been livin' with you for almost a year. And I know your mama.”
“'re not mad? That we, uh, poked around and, uh, followed you?”
“I didn't say that.” His pale eyes flickered for a moment with golden light. “But you're my cousin's girl. I'm under a geas that I'd look after you if something happened to...the other side o' yer family.”
“Under a what?”
He smiled grimly. “Geas. An oath.”
“Oh.” She swallowed, somehow deflated.
“Relax, I like you. I like yer boy too,” he nodded at JD, “or we'd be havin' a very different conversation right now."
 “Do you vouch for them, Lugh Lamfada?” The man who sat in the golden throne boomed. Though he was seated, he was obviously tall and powerfully built. His hair was silver. He had none of the other marks of advanced age, but Morpho could tell he was old. Really old. Not crusty though. He radiated power. He had the bearing most jocks took steroids to try to look like, with half the brains.
“I do, your Highness.” Lugh inclined his head.
The Morrigan hauled her and JD out of their chariots in front of the King. Then the chariots collapsed into a single throne made of black sharp rock and padded with what Morpho seriously hoped wasn't human skin. There were six heads tied by the hair onto the sides of the throne. And instead of three women, there was only Nemain now. She stared at Morpho. Her expression was somewhere between contempt and curiosity. Either way, it was unsettling. She said nothing.

Pazuzu's Girl - Morpho Wilson thought her life was difficult enough. Her father is Pazuzu, the Mesopotamian demon of plague and the Southwest wind. As a teenager Morpho struggles against her father, while trying to adjust to high school in a new neighborhood. The family is constantly moving in an attempt to elude Pazuzu’s murderous ex-wife, a demoness known for killing children.

Then something unique happens. A socially-impaired classmate becomes so intrigued by Morpho that he pursues her, despite the mystery surrounding her family and the danger that accompanies it.

But before their romance can grow the demoness tracks Morpho down, and now only needs an ancient artifact called the Tablet of Destiny to complete the destruction of the world. The tablet confers on its owner the ability to control the fate of everything and everyone on earth.

Once the tablet is discovered in the Middle East, the oldest and most powerful gods begin a battle for its possession, with the human population caught in the middle. Morpho, her family, and her new friend must decide, do they escape from the horrifying demoness or fight for their own destiny. How far will Pazuzu go to save his daughter from a hellish fate? Will his banishment from Heaven so many millennia ago end up being a curse...or a blessing?

Into The Ruins is an urban fantasy anthology featuring life-changing or world-changing events. They feature everything from comic horror, as in Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie, horror, as in Mushrooms, historical fantasy, as in Plagues, science fiction, as in Whistles, and finally a fun animal story, as in Beergarden.

In Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie, Detective Nate Mallon investigated vice, when he was alive. Being a police officer was his life. Even dying didn't dampen his enthusiasm for solving his last case. However, there are others who aren't ready to be dead yet, and they aren't trying to solve cases. They are at the center of them.

In Mushrooms, Kallie and Mark Sangiovi didn't live complicated lives. They enjoyed their humble home in Denver, fresh food, and most of all: each other's company. But one strange summer in 2011, everything changed. What begins with an invasion of ants, and summer colds, brings them to the brink of death, in a few days. And they aren't the only ones. During this time, Denver becomes an eerie city, populated by the sick, whose imperative is to bite the people closest to them. The city grows still as the epidemic progresses, and Kallie and Mark leave the human race behind.

In Plagues, Miryam, humble daughter of Hebrews, doesn't have many aspirations as a slave in the city of Ra'amses. It might not be much, but the stability of her husband, child, and home are enough for her to live her life as it is. Her brother, Moses, raised in the Pharaoh's palace and 'touched by God', has grander aspirations for their entire people. But there are many sides to the growing conflicts. The political situation deteriorates in Mitzrayim with the rising power of Ramses, and the advent of terrible environmental disasters. And Miryam finds that her friendship with her Egyptian neighbor, Acenath, means as much to her as her religion.

Beyond The Veil is an anthology of ghost and spirit stories that encompass everything from vengeance, closure, or justice from beyond the grave, to portals from which sinister things can enter our world. Take a ride through these stories and explore some of the possibilities of existence beyond life.

Bees of St. John:

Shana Latray needs a vacation. Her life as a telecommunications service provider feels like a dead end. St. John of the Virgin Islands seems like paradise, but behind the frozen drinks, and the beaches, is a complicated history of invasion and ancient predators. Shana Latray realizes quickly that nothing, from the warm, friendly locals, to the ever-present bees among the profuse tropical flowers, are at all what they seem.


Terry Cooper always hated Valentine's Day, more so since losing her husband. In fact, she hated it so much, she inadvertently put a curse on it. Now, dreadful things are happening on this romantic holiday, as anyone who is kissed will die. And in the midst of this crisis, is a strange ancient ghost warning Terry that only she can revoke the curse. But she doesn't know how. What she does know is that if she doesn't find a way, for hundreds of people across the city, their Valentine's Day kisses will be their last.

Tribulations of a Jewish Vampire:

Becoming a vampire was not on Leah Horowitz's list of life goals. Contrary to all the romantic and dark hype about the sexy life of vampires in the movies and books, Leah's life, when she was turned after her fatal motorcycle accident was anything but glamorous. With no guidance but her still human wedding-happy cousin, her orthodox Jewish aunt, and skeptical mother, she almost dies as her culture and her needs as a vampire clash.

Full Circle:

Life for Jim Red Eagle and his family is unfair. He is an auto-mechanic in his Lakota community, who runs a simple honest business. When his son is involved in an accident that leaves him paralyzed, and he can't seem to find anyone who can help them, he starts falling apart. As he sits in the hospital chapel, wondering what to do, a mysterious Irishman shows up. As the two men get to know each other, and the man's shocking history are revealed, Jim finds that good deeds in the past can return in forms he never expected.

The Muse:

Do you ever feel like statues can hear you, see you, feel your presence? Eliza Shourd is a sometime sculptor, filling credits with an art class while she works through another degree. But after falling asleep by the Platte River in the middle of the night, and waking up to a disturbing drawing she didn't remember doing, her life, and her art takes a turn for the dark. When people in her life begin disappearing, she returns to the river to find out why.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Does Saying I'm a Best - Seller get readers to notice Me?

I've always wondered about this. Have you?

BEST SELLER! of what? where?

So, you've seen it. The countless authors post, advertisement for books, and front cover blurbs screaming...I'M A BEST SELLER (so you should by my books).

However, there isn't any explaination of what you are a best seller of? Amazon? B&N? Paperback books? Where you on what best seller list?

I don't even stop to consider the what, the where or the why. BUT what I do is, I 'take notice' and store it in the back of my mind with my expectation that 'THIS BOOK WILL BE GOOD'.


So, when you see a book or an author shouting that they are a best - seller, do you have HIGH expectations?

Are you angry when they aren't met?

Well I am a little miffed.

WHY I DON'T SHOUT about my BEST SELLER successes

I personally feel as though a reader is already picky. If they enjoy the genre, they back cover blurb, and specific elements of my work, me shoving in their face that 'everyone else liked it - so will you' will make no difference.

With that said, I have topped some Amazon's sales charts as a best seller. I even have the pictures to prove it, lol! And to me it means a lot because that was a dream realized.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

I can't believe it! I'm On TV today! Monday 3/11

Yes, it's come to this. I'm honored. Afraid. Scared. Nervous. Petrified.

I will be on TV yes Television, today at 7pm EST. If you can't tune in, please wish me luck - don't tell me to 'break a leg' please that will only make me more nervous.

And the best part of all, the host actually read, PURGATORY REIGN and will be asking me some cool questions about it.

Communicating Today - Fairfax Cable TV-3/11/2013, Channel 10, Monday 7pm EST.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Author Pages? Have You Checked One Out Lately?

I enjoy reading about the authors of the books I purchase. YES, I do read the back cover blurb about the author. I also check out their bio's on amazon, goodreads and where I happen to purchase their books.


It's best to create at least 3 different Bios and keep them to a paragraph tops.

(1) Create Your Website Bio (keep in mind that this is your professional Bio that may be researched by people seeking you for speaking engagements, follow on work, to showcase your books in their to stores or libraries.)

(2) Create Your Book Seller's Bio (this one is for your readers and will be posted on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, etc) So make it fun since you are speaking to your readers.

(3) Create Your Book Bio (this one is written inside your books. Shorter than a paragraph and fun, personal to your readers.)


Wherever you sell your books, make sure you attempt to find out how you can create an author BIO or Profile for your readers.

If you can add a Book Trailer - then do so!

If you can add other links to your works, do so!

Remember - IF they have a way for you to upload your bio - then DO IT!

Also, here's some places I put my BIO that you may consider:

- Goodreads
- Bookbuzzr
- Smashwords
- Amazon
- B&N
- Jack Flap
- Ezine

DON'T SKIMP! The picture counts.

Please, when doing a Bio, take a professional picture. You can go to JC Pennies, Walmart or anywhere to get a nice picture of yourself. It's sad when an author has a great Bio, but the picture is grainy or dated.

WANT TO HEAR MORE? Check out the bloggers signed up on YA Author Club

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What's B&N Done For You Lately?

Oh my oh my! Barnes and Nobles is on a rocky road. And my sales show it.

But, I am not giving up on one of the remaining large book retailers. I really want them to get their A-Game on since they are anticipating layoffs and the ebook sales I have with them have dropped a bit. Okay, enough for me to take notice.

As an Author ... SOME WAYS they can GET BACK in the GAME

Keep building better and better eReaders? Maybe, but with the changing of technology, maybe going trying to think forward thinking will help them.

Now it seems the wave of the future may be to go MOBILE with apps. And improvements with apps that let you read and purchase in one fine swoop.

With this shaky economy and the EVER changing book market, improving technology is the way to go.

I really hope B&N survives their current dive and re-surface the waters of book sales to really make others take notice. I would love to keep them around a lot longer.

As a READER...
I love my nook! As a reader I enjoy the apps I have on my phone for nook better and will probably keep being a prime supporter of them. In addition, I also do download books for my kindle app. I get frustrated with kindle since it doesn't update my ebooks on ALL my devices which nook does.

However, I have noticed that BOOKS A MILLION is on the rise in my area so ... stay tuned.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Indie publishing Then and the Wow of Now

Indie publishing Then and the Wow of Now

Believe it or not, Independent Publishing has been around a long, long time. And although for a length of time it was considered to be the most horrible road an author could take to get their works into the world, many, many authors have done it with success.

Just let me name a few authors that were my inspiration to self-publish: Carl Weber (who now owns and operates his own publishing company and line of book stores), Earl Sewell (who is currently with a traditional publisher),  KL Brady (who self-published then got picked up by traditional publisher) and lastly, LA Banks (who was a traditionally published author who self-published her YA book).

The above weren’t the only ones to inspire me. I grew up in Washington DC where the arts and entrepreneur spirit go hand in hand. As a reader and an urban teen who thirsted for books that spoke to my life, I hungered for self-published books produced by authors in my local area. I still have books I’ve purchased by the authors themselves from vendors in downtown DC and at surrounding colleges like Howard University, Bowie State University and Maryland University.


In the past, in order for a small publisher or self-publisher to make it in the sales game the easiest road to entry was to (1) Create a publishing company (whether you desire to take on other authors or not) (2) Find a distributor (check John Kremer’s page for them: to get books into stores, libraries and listed with major distribution companies (3) Add a few authors (4) Beg for reviews. (5) Find your niche market and promote to it.

This method worked for my publishing company that I co-own with my husband. Lucky for me, my husband’s sales background and determination to get my books out there pushed me farther than I’d ever thought possible. In 2 years I went from a nobody engineer to an AUTHOR who had her books and over 40 bookstores and 20 libraries or more. He cold called book stores, visited stores/libraries in person, he represented our publishing company at trade shows and followed up with every lead. But if we weren’t with a distribution company that supported our efforts the road would’ve been harder.


If you didn’t have a distributor, the cheapest way to entry was to set up a Print-On-Demand account with both Lightening Source AND Createaspace. Then you would have to send your actual print copy of your book, your marketing plan, media kit, and supporting materials directly to the book sellers to get placed in their system. As for Libraries, you had get an LCCN then mail their main office to try to get them to allow your books to be ordered.

Another tidbit about distribution, would be exposure. It allowed your books to be priced much lower than Print-On-Demand (POD) options of the time. In addition using a distributor allowed many small press or self-publishers to offer discounts to book resellers, immediate shipping, and be able to compete with large publishers on pricing.

PRINT ON DEMAND wasn’t a good option

Before the technology of POD improved, a 275 page book would cost the reader between $18 and $20. Whereas, if a small press or self-publisher purchased the printed books in advance (either as Digital or Offset print runs) they would be able to have more competitive prices and better quality books, but they'd have to put up about $1500 to $2000 for about 500-800 books for an initial print run. There was no way a self published author or small press could actually entice a reader to purchase a book the cost of a POD produced book that cost about 40% more than similar books.

The barrier to entry to get your books to consumer was the access to bookstores and premium placement within those stores. Organizations such as Independent Book Publishers Association and Combined Book Exhibit popped up to help push those independent publishers in front of booksellers.

Marketing of then

Indie publishers of the past had to really take the time to learn their markets. Market penetration had to be on a personal level which means doing tours. Since getting books into bookstores was difficult, many would pay money to rent tables at book festivals, try for speaking gigs, work hard to be literally ‘face to face’ with prospective readers.

Roadblocks and the ‘Self-publishing’ dirty word

I have several letters and emails from various reviewers that refused to even peek at my books because I was considered ‘self-published’. My husband addressed each one of them personally stating that ‘We are a small business like any other. Give our product a try before you decide you don’t like it.’ When he responded too many of them they would give my books a shot and some would review and support our small business. Others were rather adamant about their prejudice of self-published works.


Ebooks made things so much easier! Cheaper! And opened doors for many more to sell their books direct to customer. It knocked out the middle man.

Therefore, now a self-publisher or small press, can basically release their ebook cheaply, send out eARCs (ebook Advance Reader Copies) to reviewers, and distribute their books themselves reaching a MUCH larger audience than just the chain bookstores. AND the cost of returns are much less!

In addition the major cost of printing a book, mailing out hardcopies, and paying for returns/storage/postage is virtually gone. A small press can get their books out with minimum cost and effort compared to print productions. Also, they can wait and release the print copy in order to prolong the life of the book. And they can reproduce that media in so many different slices. Not to mention the wealth of growth of the SHORT STORY market that allows for another reproduction of 1 story idea with much less investment from the publisher.

Print On Demand Improved

POD quality has improved by leaps and bounds which allows new Independent publishers the opportunity to save on the upfront cost of offering paperback book options to their format list. Now a POD book can have a competitive cost to it’s former Offset and Digital print rivals.

Marketing via the internet direct to reader

Now with the reader population opening up to reading online materials, it’s much, much easier to find your book’s market, and you don’t have to leave home to find it. Now, much more than ever, data on readers and where they hang out is more readily available. Touring now via Skype, author blog, virtual fairs and tours, offer the opportunity for a limited budget author to market directly to readers from the comforts of home. Why? Because those same readers can instantly ‘click’ purchase directly after or during the virtual interaction. This means the need to spend large amounts of money touring the country, fighting to get into bookstores and libraries is no longer needed to have successful sales numbers.


They are still around. However, the overall quality of Independent and Self-published books are getting much, much better do to authors starting to consider self-publishing as a viable option for their career. Therefore, they desire to put their best foot forward since they are branding themselves, instead of expecting a publisher to do it.


I don’t believe that the large publishing companies will ever go away. However, I believe that large, small, traditional, indie and self-publishers will find a proper place in this sea of sales and products. Authors are getting a lot smarter about the ‘business’ of writing. And the days of writing books and sitting back while someone else promotes you as an author is long gone.

I can honestly say that my sales have quadrupled from the Indie Publishing on THEN to the WOW of now. I still do things a bit like I used to, but with a new spin to build my ebook market and I must say, it’s way easier to do than it was before.

By: LM Preston,YA SciFi Author
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Writing stories for and about kids that overcome the impossible...