Friday, August 21, 2015

Flirting with Danger is HERE!

Flirting with Danger
Sloane Monroe series novella #5.5 
(falling in between Bed of Bones and Hush Now Baby) 


A fancy hotel. 

A weekend getaway. 

For Sloane Monroe, rest has finally arrived, until the lights go out and her nightmare begins. 


(Formerly part of The Twelve's Flight 12 series) 

$2.99 BUY LINKS



Kobo 




Get Bed of Bones on eBook for .99 This Week!


USA TODAY BESTSELLER!

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

BUY LINKS: 







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. 
...
"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


Monday, August 17, 2015

Featured Author: Joshua Graham

As a fellow member of the thriller group The Twelve, I have had the privilege of getting to know New York Times bestselling author Joshua Graham over the past year. His body of work is impressive, as is his talent for writing. His novels have received numerous accolades, including DARKROOM, which CBS News described as having "action, political intrigue, and well-rounded characters ...a novel that thriller fans will devour." 

Right now, all readers who sign up for Joshua's newsletter will receive a FREE book, THE FÜHRER’S DAUGHTER about Grace Drexler, who, after uncovering a shocking discovery, must flee her home in order to stay alive, and ultimately fulfill her destiny. 


When asked about his advice for aspiring authors, Joshua had this to say: 

Tools of the Trade

The one thing no one ever told me before my first book got published was how much time I’d have to spend on non-writing related work, if I wanted to have a long term career as a writer. Even if you’re a traditionally published author, you have to engage your audience through social media.
You might be thinking, “I bet those big-name, #1 New York Times bestselling authors don’t have to worry about that.”

Wrong.

Don’t believe me?  Let’s take Sandra Brown (since we’re talking about New York Times #1 bestselling authors) for example. In an interview I did with her on Thriller Radio, she spoke about how much social media work she had to do, and how it challenged her schedule. That’s right. Even someone whose publisher doesn’t exactly skimp on her publicity and marketing budget, has to work on this.

To that end, I’m relieved to find that I’m not the only author who has to perform this balancing act of writing, marketing, publishing, and managing the business end of it.

But what’s the secret to that balance? When you find out, please let me know.

Seriously though, we all have to prioritize our days and time to get both the creative and administrative tasks done. As for social media, one of the simplest way to reach an audience these days is facebook. Some writers use a fan page to post book information and other such things, and some also maintain a personal page for engaging their friends with cute cat pictures, what they had for dinner, and other things that bring a sense of connection to their readers. But one must take care not to allow it to become a fun excuse to avoid writing and other tasks. Sandra Brown quoted Amy Tan who called social media (probably facebook) is “The Devil’s Candy.”

Twitter is a great tool to share links to your blog or articles in which your followers might be interested.

If you want to automate the syndication of your blog posts through your social media outlets (facebook, twitter, etc.), there are tools such Networked Blogs. You can actually set it to automatically push them out to those other outlets. You can also use a tool called Buffer to schedule social media posts in advance.

As a blogger, you might actually have some content ready to go for a future date. You can use the scheduling feature to post it at a date/time in the future, and Networked Blogs will automatically push it out after it runs live.

The more you do as a writer—especially an independent or hybrid author—the more tasks you’ll find on your plate. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. I took a cue from my wife, who is a very successful businesswoman and my top advisor. In a word: LISTS! Make to-do lists every day and put them in priority order. If you are congenitally attached to your computer or smartphone, use a task app that you can organize according to importance level and due dates. Personally, I use Microsoft Outlook and a tool to sync it with my google calendar, tasks, and contacts called gSyncit.  On my Android phone I sync my tasks with an app called Google Task Organizer (GTO).
Without such tools, I would be challenged in meeting all my deadlines.
The challenge still exists, and for me that involves taking care of things in priority order. A typical day for me might look like this:

  1. Wake up
  2. Breakfast, Coffee
  3. Workout at the gym or run three miles
  4. Take kids to school
  5. Personal time (reading, prayer.)
  6. Check email for any emergencies
  7. Quick check of email, social media
  8. Quick look (to arrange or rearrange) tasks
  9. Implement tasks – writing, marketing, publishing, blogging, radio show, answering emails
  10. Lunch 
  11. Back to work
  12. Pick kids up from school
  13. Dinner with family

Have I mastered the art of balance yet? To quote someone much wiser than I: “I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”

How to you organize and balance your creative and business life?

Joshua Graham is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Visit his website at www.joshgraham.net and sign up for his free newsletter here ( www.joshua-graham.com/GIA ) to be entered for giveaways and exclusive content, as well as the latest news and updates. You can follow him on facebook at www.facebook.com/j0shgraham, and at twitter www.twitter.com/j0shuagraham .


Thursday, July 23, 2015

.99 eBook Sale on Stranger in Town -- This Week Only!

This week you can get Stranger in Town, book four in my Sloane Monroe mystery series, for .99. (Regularly priced at $4.99). Stranger in Town is a Shamus Award finalist, and 226 five-star reviews on Amazon.


Buy It Here: 







...

Six-year-old Olivia Hathaway tiptoes down the center aisle of Maybelle's Market, stopping once to glance over her shoulder and make sure her mother isn't watching. But Mrs. Hathaway is too preoccupied to notice her daughter has slipped away. Minutes later, a frantic Mrs. Hathaway runs up and down the aisles, desperately searching for her missing daughter. But Olivia is already gone. Will PI Sloane Monroe find her before it's too late?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Featured Author: Carol Davis Luce

My friend Carol Davis Luce is one of the first authors I got to know when I published in 2011. She's been writing for decades, and her talent shines through in her wonderful body of work. A perfect example of that is her novel, Night Cries, about a thirty-year-old woman named Maddie who has no memory of her adoption, and is haunted by her haunting past. With a 4.9 star rating, this is a perfect example of Carol's impressive talents. 


Carol has a lot of great insight into the writing industry, and she was gracious enough to share her thoughts on the writing biz below with all of you:

If the path of my writing career were a chart, it would resemble a picket fence. Extreme up and downs over a thirty year period. I wasn’t born to write, but when I did take it up later in life, I jumped in with both feet and wrestled the beast to the ground. After the success of five traditionally published novels, my career suddenly stalled. However, I didn’t give up. Just changed direction by becoming a novel writing instructor for the next generation of aspiring authors.      

Fast-forward fifteen years. My good buddy, bestselling author J. Carson Black, encouraged me to join the twenty-first century. I converted those five novels into digital format where they found a whole new audience of modern day e-readers.

The good times didn’t stop there. Last year, with the help of a group of smart and exceptionally talented writers (waving at Cheryl Bradshaw), I became a New York Times bestselling author. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Success Begins Where Others Quit. That was my motto through the years. Take your knocks and move on. Develop a thick skin. Take comfort in those good days of writing where everything falls into place. Associate with people who lift you up. The first check I received for my writing was $10 for 3rd Place in a magazine writing contest. It wasn’t much, but it validated me as a writer and was a portent of good things to come.



Monday, July 13, 2015

Eye for Revenge - Chapter One Sneak Peek




Chapter One: Free Sneak Peek 

Evie Richelle soared down the cracked sidewalk, legs spread, rubber tires spinning. Summer was here at last, fanning a soft, warm breeze through the air that slapped her uncombed, blond locks against her face like willows in the wind. Her new Roadmaster Aerobee Renegade bike was everything she’d asked for in a bike, only it wasn’t new. It was something her Grandma Ruby called “vintage.” Eleven-year-old Evie didn’t know what the word “vintage” meant, and she didn’t care either. As far as she was concerned, it was cool. And cool suited her just fine. 

Tough and yellow, the bike had a brawny bee painted on the side. But the bee wasn’t what Evie loved most. It was the way the wide handlebars curved down at the ends. When her fingers wound around the stiff, rubber grips, she no longer felt like she was on an ordinary bike—she felt like she was on a motorcycle. 

A few minutes earlier when she whizzed by the house next door, Ronnie, the boy who lived there, shook his head and said, “You’re a girl. Why are you riding a boy’s bike?”

Evie snickered and replied, “No duh. Why do you play with Barbie’s?”

Ronnie’s eyes widened. “Do not!”

“Do too!” 

And he did. She’d seen him one day through her bedroom window. She was one-hundred-percent sure it was him too because he had the most oval-shaped head of any boy she’d ever seen. It made him look like an extraterrestrial. So much so, sometimes she imagined what he’d look like if he pulled his head off his body, revealing what he really looked like underneath.

Green.
Rubbery.
Alien.

Ronnie threw a stick, narrowly missing Evie’s head. She thought about turning around, waving her middle finger in his direction, something she’d seen her grandmother do once when they were in the car together on the freeway, but she didn’t. He’d just tell his mother, his mother would tell her grandmother, and her bike would be taken away.

No crybaby was worth that. 

Besides, she had places to go.

She stuck her tongue out and cranked her foot down on the pedal before Ronnie reached for a handful of gravel. Ronnie hurled the small rocks into the air, aiming for her head, but his pitch was weak. Nothing hit her. Not a single one.  

Crisis averted, Evie reached the park and rolled to a stop. She hopped off the bike, leaning it against a sawed-off trunk of a tree. She was debating whether or not it would be safe to leave it there when she heard a sound—a voice—someone screaming. She climbed the grassy hillside to investigate. In the sand in front of the swings, she saw a girl who looked to be about her same age. The girl was on her knees. She was crying. But not just crying. Out and out bawling. Two boys hovered over the girl—one of them taunting, laughing—the other awkward and still. The boys looked older by maybe a year or two. Given she could only see the backs of the boys’ heads, it was too hard to tell their ages for sure. 

She needed to get closer, check things out.

“What’s the matter, little girl?” one of the boys teased. “Did someone take your swing away?”

“My name’s not ‘little girl.’ It’s Quinn, and you pushed me!” 

“It’s our turn on the swings,” the same boy said. “Besides, what are you going do about it?”

Apparently nothing.

Evie waited, giving Quinn a full minute to buck up and defend herself. But the girl remained where she was, staring at the ground, still crying. 

“Hey!” Evie yelled. “Maybe she’s not gonna do something about it, but I will.”

The boy responsible for the taunting roared with laughter until he turned around, saw Evie standing in front of them, one of her fists raised in front of his face.

The other boy said, “Evie? What are you doing here?”

Evie ignored him, looked at Quinn, noticed a tear in the knee of her thick, light blue stockings, sand scattered throughout her long, dark pigtails. Evie looked up at the boy who addressed her. “Roman Tanner, say you’re sorry!”

“He’s not gonna do that,” the other boy said. “We told little girl here to get off the swing and she didn’t. Too bad if she got scraped up when I booted her. She should have done what I asked the first time.”

Roman stood still, his eyes never leaving Evie as he said, “Dylan, maybe we should—”

“You kiddin’ me?” Dylan said. “No way. Don’t let a girl tell you what to do.”

Evie drilled her fist straight forward. It connected with Dylan’s nose. Blood splashed out.

Quinn gasped. Roman froze. Evie produced a smug smile.  

“Did … you … see … what … she … did … to … me?!” Dylan cried.

Evie turned her attention to Roman. “Say … you’re … sorry. Do it!”

Roman raised his hands in front of him. “All right, all right. I’m sorry!”

“Not to me, you idiot,” Evie said. “To her.”

Roman pressed his eyes together until they were tiny slits. “Sorry. Okay?”

“Like you mean it,” Evie scolded. 

“Sorry!”

“Good. Now get out of here. Both of you.”

The boys turned and went, Dylan shooting Evie a look like she may have gotten her way this time, but it was far from over. Evie didn’t care. Grandma Ruby always told her bullies were usually the biggest wimps of them all, and looking at the tear trailing down Dylan’s cheek now, she believed her.
Evie held out a hand, Quinn took it and stood up.

“Wow,” Quinn said. “They’re really scared of you.” 

“Not me, my Grandma Ruby. She’s friends with Roman’s grandma. He knows what would happen if I told her what he did. I wouldn’t though. I’m no squealer. And I’ve learned how to take care of myself. You should too.”

Quinn shrugged. “Yeah, I guess so.”

Evie knew Quinn wasn’t the type of girl to defend herself though. One look at Quinn’s blue dress and matching hair bows, and she knew everything she needed to know. She was soft, easy, the perfect kind of girl to tease. And she was thin, a lightweight. Evie imagined if she jabbed her with a pinkie finger she’d tip right over again.

“Why haven’t I seen you before?” Evie asked.

“We just moved here a couple weeks ago.”

“Who’s we?”

“My mom, dad, and my … umm … sister.”

“Younger or older?” Evie asked.

“What?”

“Your sister.”

“Younger.” Quinn rolled her eyes. “She’s a pain. Follows me around everywhere.”

Evie smiled. Maybe Quinn wasn’t so sweet after all. “I’m Evie.”

“Quinn.”

“What grade are you going into this year?”

“Fifth.”

“Me too. Who’s your teacher?”

“Landers.”

“Hey, mine too.” Quinn may have dressed a little too girly for Evie’s tastes, but Evie admired the chain she wore around her neck. It was silver with two hearts interlocked around each other. “Cool necklace, by the way.”

Quinn reached a hand behind her, unclasped the necklace, held it out to Evie. “It’s yours.”

“Oh, hey. You don’t have to give it to me just because I like it.”

Quinn dropped the necklace into Evie’s hands. “It’s okay. I want you to have it. Friends?”

Evie nodded. “Have you met anyone else since you moved here?”

“No, why?”

“I was wondering if you wanna hang out with me this year at school.”

Quinn shrugged. “Sure.”

“Good.”

In the distance, Evie heard someone calling Quinn’s name.  

“That’s my mom,” Quinn said. “I have to go. See you around ’kay? Hopefully we’ll be together next time those boys come around again.”

Evie swished a hand through the air. “Aww, don’t worry about them. When you’re with me, I won’t ever let anything bad happen to you.”

...

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