Monday, March 2, 2015

Featured Author: Catherine Coulter

I'd like to bottle the magical anti-aging liquid flowing from the faucet at Catherine Coulter's house. I don't think I've ever known a woman to age so gracefully. Reminds me of those old commercials by Oil of Olay. But enough about that.

Catherine is a talented writer who has the ability to cross genres and still keep you hooked. Her first hardcover was released in 1988, and since then, she's blazed a trail that includes over 70 novels. Her most recent release, Power Play, has stellar reviews on Amazon, as well as all of the online sites.


I previously wrote Catherine in 2011 and asked her to give me a bit of advice to pass along to first-time writers. Her advice was all about being disciplined, which is a must if any writer takes themselves seriously in this crazy business, but I'll let you read it in her own words: 

I will tell you the truth. I plugged along, was blessed, fortunately, with a single very good editor for a very long time, and my numbers grew until finally I hit the NYT bestseller list.

The real key in making a writing career work is discipline. In any endeavor, if you don't have discipline, you're in major trouble. Actually, you won't go anywhere at all without it.

I also strongly recommend Romance Writers of America. It is the largest most professional writing organization in the world. Chapters are all over the U.S. and Canada so it is easy to join your local chapter. And you can do it online. RWA is important because there are lots of beginning writers, so you're no longer alone, plus editors, published writers, agents -- and it's all there waiting for you. When you have a completed manuscript, you attend a regional conference, have an appointment with an editor --

But the very most important thing you can do? BE DISCIPLIINED.

Catherine Coulter










Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Deadly Dozen 3 Limited Edition Set is HERE!

The exciting follow up to the New York Times and USA Today bestseller Deadly Dozen and Deadly Dozen 2 (both retired) is here. This limited edition thriller boxed set features 12 individual books from The Twelve and one guest bestselling author.


PURCHASE HERE:








Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bed of Bones Makes USA Today Bestsellers List



I was thrilled to see my novel Bed of Bones (Sloane Monroe series #5) make the USA Today bestsellers list this week. This is the fourth book in two years to make the list. It's an absolute thrill each and every time, as well as an honor, and I'm appreciate to my fans for the overwhelming support they've shown to the series since it began four years ago. 


BUY LINKS: 









Monday, February 16, 2015

Featured Author: Jodi Picoult

When I think of Jodi Picoult, the first words I think of are raw and unafraid. When I say the word unafraid, I'm referring to the fact that she speaks her mind, tells it like it is, and doesn't compromise who she is for anyone. I like that, and I admire it. She's as smart as she is creative, having graduated from Princeton, and then going on to earn a master's degree from Harvard.

Jodi is a #1 New York Times bestselling author who has been described by Stephen King as a writer who writes with "unassuming brilliance." Several of her books have been turned into films, both on TV and on the big screen. 


Her latest, Leaving Time, already has over 1,600 five-star reviews on Amazon, which isn't surprising. Her work just keeps getting better and better. 

In 2011 I wrote Jodi and asked what advice she'd give to new authors. Her advice wasn't surprising. Believe in yourself. This is the key to all things, isn't it? It's a seed that sprouts within all of us. What you choose to do with it, and how much you allow it to grow, is something only you can figure out for yourself. That's my two cents, and I'll let her describe her advice in her own words: 

"I had over 100 rejections from agents. What I believe is that the people who believe they are going to make it eventually do - you don't have to sway everyone but you DO have to have a single person fall in love with your manuscript, and often if you won't give up it makes someone take a second glance. I also think it is important to stick to your guns. If an agent insists a YA novel won't work in first person and you think it will, don't change to simply "make the sale." Eventually you'll find someone who believes in strongly as you do in your voice."
  
--Jodi Picoult

Monday, February 9, 2015

Get Bed of Bones for .99 through Sunday 2/15!


This week only Bed of Bones (Sloane Monroe Series #5) is on sale for .99
(a $4 discount from the regular price).

BUY LINKS: 







4.5 stars from 142 reviews on Amazon

4.5 stars from 33 reviews on Barnes & Noble

"An intricately woven mystery that will have you turning pages faster than a force ten gale."
Mel Comley, Author of Justice Series

"Whether or not you're familiar with the works of Cheryl Bradshaw, or with the peppery Sloane, there's no better time than now to take a bite."
Janet Fix, The Word Verve

"The author does a wonderful job of blending the history or Park City into this fast paced, modern day novel that combines the best elements of both the mystery and the thriller genres."
Stephen Campbell, Murders, Mysteries, and Mayhem Radio Show


BOOK DESCRIPTION

Sometimes even the deepest, darkest secrets find their way to the surface...

Summer 1956

Thirteen-year-old Willie Compton and his younger brother Leonard stumble upon a mine shaft while hiking the hills of Park City, Utah. The shaft is unsealed, abandoned. Leonard gets too close. He slips, then he falls.

Present Day

Up-and-coming filmmaker Melody Sinclair stirs in her chair, nervously awaiting the debut of her film at the Sundance Film Festival. Based on a true story, Bed of Bones tells the tale of murder, shining a light on Park City's tragic past--a past that's about to visit the present. 


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Rosecliff Manor Haunting - Chapter One is HERE!

Rosecliff Manor Haunting is the second book in my Addison Lockhart paranormal suspense series, and will be released spring 2015. Until then, you can get a sneak peek of the first chapter below.

And if you still haven't read Grayson Manor Haunting, Book One, you can get it HERE.

And, if you still haven't signed up for my author newsletter, right now I'm offering a free eBook to new subscribers ---> HERE




And now for chapter one ...

Addison Lockhart’s eyes blinked open, and she glanced around, surprised to find herself standing next to a tall, wrought-iron gate lining the perimeter in front of a three-story manor. She didn’t know where she was, how long she’d been there, or how she came to be there in the first place. It was like she’d been transported through time, sucked through one end of a static passageway and spit out the other.

Ten minutes earlier, it was nighttime, and she was at home, although she couldn’t recall what she’d been doing before she’d been plucked away. Now it was daytime, and the sun’s delicate rays enveloped her, pulsing shots of heat through every pore of her freckled skin.  
Addison looked around. Besides the manor, there were a few other houses in view, but the neighborhood was quiet. Almost too quiet. No birds chirping. No dogs barking. No wind. No noticeable sounds of any kind.

The noise wasn’t all that was lacking either. When she glanced down she gasped, finding herself dressed in a practically see-through nightgown. Her feet were bare, her exposed arms and legs a milkier shade of white than she remembered them being.

None of it made sense.

A car turned down the road, and her eyes darted around, desperate to find a hiding spot to shield her half-naked body. She wrapped her fingers around the rails of the gate in front of her and pushed forward. But the gate wouldn’t budge, and the car was fast approaching. Having no other place to go, she crossed her arms in front of her breasts, squeezed her legs together, and hoped for the best.  

The car passed by like it was gliding on air, silent, and without stopping. The teenage boy in the driver’s seat couldn’t have been more than four feet away, and yet, he never looked over. Not even a single fleeting glance. Addison stared at him as he coasted by. His chocolate brown hair was long and feathered, and the car he was driving, an orange Ford coupe with black stripes, looked out of place considering it was 2015.

The car didn’t belong.
And he didn’t belong.
Or maybe it was the other way around.
Maybe she was the one who was out of place.

Addison watched the car disappear over the other side of the hill and then turned, shifting her focus back to the manor, a three-story gray building with eight symmetrical windows lining the first two levels. The home’s exterior looked like it had been carved from a single slab of stone, except for the thick, wooden door in the center. She stared at the door for a moment, and two things happened: a wave of sound penetrated the stale air like a needle pricking a balloon, and the front door of the manor creaked opened. Two girls spilled out, both wearing yellow, short-sleeved dresses with Peter Pan collars.

The door closed behind the twin girls as they descended a series of steps in front of the house, both hopping off the last one onto the meticulously mowed grass in the front yard. One of the girls squatted, picking a thin tree branch off the ground. She slapped the wood against her flat hand, innocently taunting her twin before waving the stick in the air. The twin, who held a furry, white kitten in her arms, pressed it against her chest like the cat’s life depended on it.

The girl with the stick pointed it like it was a wand and taunted, “You better run, Grace, or the cat gets it!”

“You wouldn’t, Viv!” the other girl shrieked.

And the chase was on, both girls circling the trunk of a majestic oak several times before an out-of-breath Grace sagged to the ground, relenting. She looked at Viv and said, “You better not hurt Shadow. I mean it!”

Viv rolled her eyes and plopped down beside her, tossing the stick across the yard. “Don’t blow your top, Grace. I’d never hurt her, and you know it.”

Grace squinted, screwing up her face at Viv like she wasn’t so sure. “Oh…kay. Why’d ya chase me with a stick then?”

“Good grief, I was just teasin.’” Viv tipped her head toward the cat. “Thought you wanted to play hopscotch.”

“I do.”

“Why don’t you put the fur ball down then?”

Grace surveyed the area. “Out here? I can’t. What if she gets out of the yard and gets hit by a car? Or what if she runs away and we can’t find her? Or what if—”

Viv held a flattened hand out in front of her. “All right, all right. I get it. Put her back in the house then.”

Grace stroked the cat, frowned. “Can’t I just hold her and play?”

Viv sighed. “Fine. But if we’re gonna do it, let’s get on with it.”

Addison crossed her arms in front of her, watching the girls’ long, blond, pigtails bob up and down while they hopped along the chalk squares on the driveway. She wondered if they saw her watching them from outside the gate, but the few times they glanced in her direction, they looked past her like she wasn’t there.

She needed to get home. Fast.

She cupped a hand over the side of her mouth and shouted, “Hello?”

No response.

She tried again. “Excuse me. Girls. Can you hear me?”

Again, no response.

She stood for several seconds, frustrated and confused before a glaring oversight occurred to her. Nothing about this place made sense. The people, the air, the colors, the car. Everything was off somehow.

Am I … dreaming?

The more she thought about it, the more relieved she became.

That’s it. It has to be it. All of this … it’s just a dream. No one sees me because none of this is real.
It made sense because it had to. And because there was no other possible explanation for what she was experiencing. Now to prove the theory.

Addison pinched the flesh on her arm with the tips of her fingernails, felt nothing. No pain. No sensation.  

Come on, Addison … wake up.

She squeezed her eyes shut then opened them.

Nothing changed. She was still there, trapped in her own twisted version of the Twilight Zone.
She leaned her head against the gate, and even considered banging against it a few times. Why not? It wasn’t like she’d hurt anything.

“Hi.”

The word was spoken in such a hush Addison almost didn’t hear it. She looked up. One of the twins stood on the opposite side of the gate, her face pensive, eyes curious. The second twin was nowhere in sight.

“Hi,” Addison replied.  

“My name is Vivian. What’s yours?”

“Addison. You can see me?”

“Of course I can see you,” the girl said. “We both can.”

And yet when Addison had called out to them just moments ago, neither of them responded.

“The other girl. She’s your twin sister, right?” 

Vivian nodded. “Her name’s Grace.”

“Where is she?”

“She’s hiding.”

“Why?”

“She’s afraid.”

Addison reached out, attempting to place a hand on Vivian’s shoulder. Vivian jerked back. Message received.

“Oh, honey,” Addison said. “You sister doesn’t need to be afraid. Neither of you do.”

Vivian shrugged. “She didn’t want you to come.”

“Come where?”

“Come here.”

Still unsure of where here was, Addison didn’t push it. “Why not?”

“No one has ever seen us before.”

No one had ever seen them? How could that be possible?  

The kitten bounded out from behind a bush next to the manor. Grace chased after it, yelling, “Shadow, no! Stop!”

But the kitten bounded forward. Vivian intercepted it, snatching it up in one hand before it slipped past the gate. She walked over to Grace, handing her the cat. Whispers between the two girls followed, too low for Addison to hear. Grace tugged at the layers of fabric on Vivian’s dress, like she was trying to keep her there, keep her from returning to the gate again.

Vivian escaped Grace’s grasp, walked halfway back to the gate, and stopped. “I have to go now. 

Grace needs me. Try and remember, okay?”

Try and remember? Try and remember what?

Vivian turned.

“Wait,” Addison said. “Please. Don’t go. Tell me what I need to remember.”

But Vivian kept walking, leaving Addison’s mind to run rampant, swirling with unanswered questions. The biggest of them all—whether or not the twins realized they were dead. 

...

Monday, February 2, 2015

Featured Author: J.A. Jance

J.A. Jance. Amazing woman. Amazing writer. Her next book release, Cold Betrayal, will be out March 2015, and is book 11 in her Ali Reynolds series (I adore the book cover, by the way). She's a top ten New York Times bestselling author of multiple series.

Ali Renolds series number 11, Cold Betrayal, by J.A. Jance.

I wrote J.A. in 2011 and asked her to give me a quote for writers. At the time she was preparing to bring her 44th novel to print. It's nice to know that as authors, we all struggle at times as we're plugging along to get our next MS completed. In my own writing, I have days where the words flow through me at a rate much faster than I can type. Other days I stare at the screen and become distracted. The key is to keep going. To that end, this is what J.A. had to say: 

"When I bought my first computer in 1983, the man who installed it for me fixed it so that whenever I booted it up, these were the words that flashed across the screen: A writer is someone who has written TODAY!

Those words were a gift to me when I believed I was a writer and when hardly anyone else did. They sustained me in the early years and they continue to sustain me now as I STRUGGLE to bring my 44th book to order. Just because you become an experienced writer doesn't mean the job becomes any easier."

Hope these help.

JAJ