Monday, May 5, 2014

HBS Author’s Spotlight – Class of April 2014

This month we have a group of interesting writers with worlds of knowledge and expertise. The author interviews are a MUST read.

Be sure to check out what they have coming next for their readers. I try to pick authors who are interesting studies and ask them unique questions for our Q/A section.

Check out the Showcase feature of the HBS Author's Spotlight. I have included those authors in this class. Thanks to the following outstanding authors for a great month.

Here is a summary of our April 2014 crew.

Susan Aylworth

Author Genre: Romance, Contemporary and Historical; Family drama; Historical; Paranormal Mystery

Author's Blog: Susan Aylworth, Author
Website: Susan Aylworth
Twitter: @SusanAylworth
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: A box set of the first three Rainbow Rock Romances. Called THE MCALLISTER MEN - DANNY’S GIRL: Book 8 in the Rainbow Rock Romances

Social media: I was a reluctant to convert to Twitter...Then at a writers’ conference, I saw what some of my friends were doing with Twitter…I’ve become a devoted disciple and proselytizer for book promos and teasers shared in 140 characters.

Covers: The backgrounds for the Rainbow Rock covers are all paintings by Ken Spencer:

Time: Stephen Covey, in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, taught a basic principle of time management that I still use: I schedule in chunks.

Free books: Reduced prices are a good way to draw the attention of readers who may not otherwise notice books by authors they don’t yet know. I’ve dropped the price to 99 cents a few times on different books. I’m more cautious with free.

Book launch: That’s a tough question for me since I’m still figuring out how to launch a book properly. So far I’ve either relied on small promotions by my publisher (for my traditionally published books) or made large announcements on my social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook for my indies

Personal on-line store: Then another career writer colleague told me about her “Amazon Store,” available to Amazon Associates. The next logical step was obvious as we (my designer and I) built an Amazon Store to sell my books. The step after that, recommending other books I love and linking to those as well, was equally logical and organic. That step led to the final one: listing the recommended books by their ‘ratings.’

Reviews: The trick is to reach your audience, your niche of the reading public, and get them to tell others how much they love your work. Five-star reviews are an excellent way to achieve that, and so writers beg for reviews, hoping to see stars.

Author's Book List
Return to Rainbow Rock
Maggie Rising
Zucchini Pie
Ride the Rainbow Home
The Trouble with Rainbows
A Rainbow in Paradise
A Little Night Rainbow
Don't Promise Me Rainbows
At the Rainbow's End

For the rest of the story...View Susan Aylworth - HBS Author's Spotlight

Stacy Green

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Romance

Author's Blog: Stacy Green
Website: Stacy Green - Psychological Suspense with a Dash of Romance
Twitter: @stacygreen26
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: Into the Dark - will have a new title and will release in May - audio books for the Delta Crossroads Trilogy will be available this summer.

Social media: Honestly, Twitter is hit and miss for me. It’s so hard to really build up a relationship on there, and so much of it is author spam. I’ve really tried to move away from that, and when I do tweet, it’s just random thoughts about my day. I really prefer Facebook for chatting with readers and authors, but G+ is also a good option.

Covers: I have to give all credit to Melinda Vanlone. She is an amazing artist. My original covers for TIN GOD and SKELETON’S KEY were beautiful, hand painted pictures of the homes featured in them, with a mysterious feel.

Delta Crossroads Trilogy Box Set: I wanted to have another product for the algorithms, and more importantly, I wanted to appeal to those readers who prefer box sets. My sales are rising thanks to a recent ad, and I’m selling both individual copies and boxed sets. I think it all depends on the reader’s preference, and it’s a great option to offer readers.

Giveaways: Free books are always a good option when you need reviews or have other books the reader will hopefully buy. Most of my free books have been for reviews or for gifts in contests, etc. I’ve been involved in a fair amount of giveaways, and if they are book giveaways, they always go well. They are a good way to cross promote to new readers.

Book launch: Every launch is different, but in general, I do a print giveaway on Goodreads that starts a couple of weeks before release and ends on release day. Then I create a Facebook event, which is my book launch, and start inviting everyone from Goodreads to it. When the date gets closer, I invite FB friends and my readers help spread the word. My big push is always the Facebook party.

Blog: The blog has actually gone to the sidelines in the past six months because book writing needed to come first. I originally started my blog with the focus on Thriller Thursdays, and true crime, thinking that audience would be my readers. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out. My Thriller Thursday articles were really popular, but they didn’t help book sales and took a lot of time to write.

Reviews: Professional reviews are tougher for indies, in my experience, because we operate on a faster schedule, and those take a while. I’m lucky enough to have made connections with some great authors who are willing to read in advance. I’ve also found some groups will to read and review on Goodreads, and I’ve cultivated those relationships since my first novel, so now I have a list of about thirty people I send out an advanced copy to.

Author's Book List
Ashes and Bone
Skeleton's Key
Tin God
Welcome to Las Vegas
Twisted Minds
Into the Dark

For the rest of the story...View Stacy Green - HBS Author's Spotlight

Lee Jackson

Author Genre: Historical Fiction, Thriller, Contemporary

Author's Blog: Lee Jackson - Brings Heat to the Cold War
Website: Lee Jackson
Twitter: @Stonewall_77
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: “Rasputin’s Legacy: Cold War Lies and Half-Truths” is a sequel to “Curse The Moon: Cold War Rising,” and is due out in September.

Social Media is very important to what I do. I’ve learned that no matter how good a book might be, it has to break through the barrier of obscurity. From my perspective, I have to provide the book with every chance for exposure - and the trick is to do it without flat out spamming.

Speaking and personal appearances: I fall under the "writer who speaks” category as opposed to the “speaker who writes.” I’ve been invited to three radio shows, and have spoken at four gatherings, including one where I was the keynote speaker.

Book trailer: My video trailer was done by Circle Of Seven Productions, and I am very happy to give them a shout-out. The people there are very professional, and they did an outstanding job with my video...In all honesty, I can’t trace sales directly back to the video trailer. In other words, would I have done as well without it? I don’t know the answer, but I can tell you that I am glad I did it, and would do it again.

Time management is tough. I’ve been a soldier, a businessman - I’ve been deployed twice, and my entire career has been marked by competing demands. However, being an indie author is probably as demanding if not more so than anything I’ve done before.

Reviews: I’ve been very fortunate with reviews. I seek professional reviews, I will send requests to specific individuals - I have not requested reviews via Twitter or on my blog or website. I paid for a Kirkus review - and offer no apologies on that: Kirkus’ reputation is still that they are tough on authors - I came out in decent shape

Author's Book List
Curse The Moon

For the rest of the story...View Lee Jackson - HBS Author's Spotlight

Luke Jennings

Author Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Conspiracy Thrillers

Website: Luke Jennings
Twitter: @LukeJennings1

Next: The second Villanelle novella is coming out as a Kindle Single soon, probably in May. Lots of fast-paced action, and a twist. Let's just say that Villanelle acquires a very dangerous enemy.

Social media: I've probably made sales via Twitter, but in general I rely on strong, accurate book descriptions on Amazon and word of mouth recommendations.

Published fiction and non-fiction: I'm a journalist as well as a novelist, and I like to move between fiction and non-fiction. No tricks, sadly. Writing's all about rigour, and being your own toughest critic.

Kindle Singles experience: Very positive. Kindle Singles are a terrific idea. They acknowledge that people's reading habits have changed, and that some books work best in a shorter format. It's great to be able to download a thriller for less than the price of a cappuccino.

Author's Book List
Codename Villanelle
Blood Knots
Beauty Story

For the rest of the story...View Luke Jennings - HBS Author's Spotlight

Brandt Legg

Author Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

Website: Brandt Legg
Twitter: @BrandtLegg
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: I have a new trilogy coming out, late summer 2014, that I’m very excited about. Cosega centers around an archaeologist who makes a startling discovery in the Virginia mountains. His find will change everything. It must be suppressed.

Social Media is a great double-edged sword. As everyone knows, it takes an enormous amount of time, but there are benefits. I’ve had some marvelous interactions with readers on Goodreads, and met some wonderful indie authors on Facebook that I’ve become very good friends with. Twitter is unsurpassed for getting a notice about my book into the feed of more than 100,000 people in a matter of an hour and that’s exciting. How many of them actually see it and how many of those take action?

Covers: The concepts for the Inner Movement covers came to me while writing each book. I then worked with Caitlin Legere, a very talented artist in Taos, New Mexico, and with quite a bit of back-and-forth she was able to make the vision a reality. The process also included input from close family and friends as well as my publisher.

Book trailers: Trailers seem to be more of a fun way to extend the world of the book’s story into something visual and instant. It seems unlikely, that by themselves, they sell many books. I made them myself and had a good time with that process.

Bundling a series of novels: I love to read series and enjoy writing them even more. It’s a lot of work to build a world and find characters we really care about. So it seems like a good idea not to waste them on one book. My next three projects are all trilogies. It has the added benefit of creating a market for books two and three, as long as the first book is good.

Giveaways: Giving away the first book in a series has obvious advantages; if readers like it they will hopefully purchase the next book(s). But, it was tough for me to come to terms with just giving away the chunk of my life it took to create that book. I can’t complain the same dynamics that have made it so easy for indie authors to get their work to a wide audience, have created the demand for free or low cost books. And it’s working – sales of the series have more than tripled since we began giving away the first book.

Book launch process: It’s all about advertising. We all know word-of-mouth is the best, but when I was in the radio business, we had a saying that word-of-mouth has to start somewhere. There are many great sites that promote books. I did promos to get as many copies into readers’ hands as possible. Readers are more important than sales; I believe readers will lead to sales, not the other way around.

Reviews: The biggest secret to getting reviews is to ask, meaning that in the back of all my ebooks, I ask the readers to please leave a review. The other thing I do is whenever anyone tells me they enjoyed my book, I explain how important reviews are in helping people discover books, and ask if they would mind writing a quick review. Most readers are happy to, once they understand the importance.

Author's Book List
The Inner Movement

For the rest of the story...View Brandt Legg - HBS Author's Spotlight

M. Louisa Locke

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Historical Fiction, Romance

Author's Blog: Come On In
Website: M. Louisa Locke - Author of the Victorian San Francisco Mystery Series
Twitter: @mlouisalocke
E-Mail: mlouisalocke at
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: Doing research on the fourth book in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series…I am writing another short story. The title is Madam Sibyl’s First Client, and it will be a prequel of sorts, coming before Maids of Misfortune, the first book in the series.

Social media: I confess I am not particularly good at twitter. I have trouble with the short form. Mostly I concentrate on following indie authors and fans and writers of historical and mystery fiction because I think that they are the group who would be most interested in anything I tweet or retweet.

Maids of Misfortune audio book: The audio book market is definitely expanding, and Amazon’s ACX program lets an indie author find a narrator and put up an audio book for free if they do a royalty split with the narrator, which is how I did Maids of Misfortune. The main obstacle to sales seems to be that no one has figured out how to promote audio books the way we can promote our ebooks.

Short stories: I wrote Dandy Detects, which featured characters—including a Boston Terrier—from my first novel, primarily as a way to introduce readers to the series. Making this story free for short periods of time did help do this. Then, free books became much more prevalent (as did 99 cent books) and the free or cheap short story became less attractive. Now I write the shorts for my own benefit and to give fans of the series something to read in between books (I am a slow writer).

Victorian San Francisco Mysteries–Books 1-3: I did the bundle before Christmas and my thought was that this would be a relatively inexpensive way for fans of the series to give people the whole series as a gift.

Giveaways: For anyone who is interested in the details, I have written a lot about free as a strategy. For example, I wrote a post several years ago, Why I don’t worry when people read my books for free.

Book launch: The first time I really did a “launch” was for my most recent book, Bloody Lessons. This was in part because the people at KDP offered to let me put the book up for pre-order so I had a definite day the book would go on sale. In the weeks while it was available for pre-order, I did a number of things. I sent out review copies to 4-5 people (who had read and reviewed the earlier books on their blogs), I announced the pre-order on my blog, facebook page, and twitter.

Software: I now use Scrivener, (a word processing tool designed specifically for authors) which makes it much easier to keep the research I have done organized and accessible when I write. Since I am writing mysteries, I figure out who is murdered, and who did it, and who the possible suspects are before I start. I also sketch out the major character plot lines (how the romance will progress or not)…

Blog: I try, not always as successfully, to address the two different audiences for my blog: 1) those authors who want advice about becoming an indie author and how to market ebooks and 2) readers who are fans of the series.

Reviews: I have definitely depended on readers to supply the bulk of the reviews. I always solicit 4-5 reviews from professional bloggers, and I also receive a few reviews from other authors who happen to like my series. I certainly appreciate the thoughtful and detailed reviews that come this way.

Author's Book List
Maids of Misfortune
Uneasy Spirits
Bloody Lessons
Dandy Detects
The Misses Moffet Mend A Marriage
Mr. Wong Rights a Wrong

For the rest of the story...View M. Louisa Locke - HBS Author's Spotlight

Terry Odell

Author Genre: Romance, Mystery & Thrillers, Suspense

Author's Blog: Terry's Place
Website: Terry Odell
Twitter: @authorterryo
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: I'm working on my 6th Blackthorne, Inc. romantic suspense, and I'm looking for a fall release. This book features Olivia, who first appeared in Danger in Deer Ridge, and Hotshot, who's been in most of the Blackthorne books, but always as a background character…

Social media: I'm one who feels the important thing about social media is the SOCIAL part. People don't like being bombarded with 'buy my book' messages. I try to make at least 70% of my tweets about more ordinary stuff. I don't really regard Twitter as a marketing platform at all. The tweetstream moves too quickly, and unless someone specifically makes a point of filtering for your tweets, you have to figure most people don't see them.

Audio books: It's impossible to know what triggers a book purchase, so I don't know if there's crossover between audio and other formats. I think for the most part, there's a large portion of audio book purchasers who don't buy the other formats. Overall, though, I think opening any new market is a good thing. Cast a wide net.

Short stories: I notice sales of my short stories after I release a new novel. Also, my short stories are contemporary romance, not mystery or romantic suspense, so there's a different audience. I wrote them so long ago, and they're still with The Wild Rose Press, so I can't really track sales. And, to be honest, I find it very hard to write short stories—I'm long-winded I guess.

Giveaways: I don't like pricing my books as free, but I did use Kobo's "First in Series Free" program for my Pine Hills Police series, just to see how it works, since Kobo does advertise those books across its platforms. I ran it for a month, and giveaways were very good, and I am seeing some crossover sales, but it hasn't really been long enough to see if this holds up over time.

Blog: Terry's Place. My goal with my blog is to provide information. I like to talk about the craft of writing, but there are times I'll talk about anything. I share recipes on Wednesday, and do virtual 'field trips' on Fridays. I also host guests once a week. My goal is to interact with people, help other writers, and keep my name visible.

Newsletter mailing list names are gold. Facebook followers are a pretty number, but you don't know how many of them even see your feeds, and you have no way to keep in touch with them if Facebook goes away or takes your page away (which happened to an author I know.) One of the goals of Booklover's Bench is to grow mailing lists for all of our members. And again, it's impossible to track sales, so one can only hope some of the sales we see are a direct result of something we did.

Reviews are tricky, especially from the biggies like Publisher's Weekly or genre review publications. That's one thing a traditional publisher can do that indie authors can't—or have trouble doing. I ask for reviews from readers at the end of every book. I've also offered advance copies in exchange for honest reviews. I do think that the free books helped me get more reviews, simply because there were more copies of that book out there, but it's a double-edged sword. People who download free books and do take the time to read them often are choosing books outside their reading tastes, and they'll write a negative review.

Booklover’s Bench: The group started after I was blogging about my experiences at the NINC Conference in 2012, where a "Lifeboat Team" panel explained how a bunch of hybrid and indie authors got together to share the marketing. Several people contacted me and we started our group. And, again, we can't point out which of our book sales were due to which promotional effort. Our goal was not to sell books, but to expand our reach, and I think we've done that well. We talked about a boxed set, but haven't made any definitive plans to do one. Right now, it looks like the box sets are becoming less popular. If we do, readers can find out about it at the Booklover's Bench website.

Author's Book List
Deadly Puzzles
What's in a Name?
Rooted in Danger
Finding Sarah
Dangerous Connections
Deadly Bones
Nowhere to Hide
Where Danger Hides
Saving Scott
Hidden Fire
Danger in Deer Ridge
When Danger Calls

For the rest of the story...View Terry Odell - HBS Author's Spotlight

HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

Carolyn Arnold
Featured Book: Vacation is Murder

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Romance

Author's Blog: Carolyn Arnold
Twitter: @Carolyn_Arnold
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
Carolyn Arnold had a love for writing back in her teen years, but her passion was reignited in 2006 when a fellow employee said, "tell me a story". Since then, Carolyn has written 9 novels, 2 short stories, 1 novella, and has plans for many more.

Her Madison Knight series has become an international Kindle best-seller, with all three hitting the top 100 in Police Procedurals in the US. Set in the fictional city of Stiles, the series is designed as a standalone, which means you can read these books out of order and still pick up on the series' characters and the storyline. The series follows Major Crimes Detective Madison Knight who is fueled by determination to find justice for the victims. She is a strong, independent female amidst a career dominated by men. If you love a female protagonist lead, she invites you to meet Madison for yourself. Three novels in the series are currently available: Ties that Bind, Justified, and Sacrifice.

Carolyn has also written Eleven, an FBI thriller, which follows a team of four while they try to stop a serial killer from reaching his eleventh victim. Eleven was noted as a recommended read on The Examiner's "Top 12 Fiction Books of 2011". She is also pleased to announce that the characters of Eleven will be back! Silent Graves is slated for release 2013.

Carolyn was born in 1976 in a rural town of Ontario, Canada. She currently lives with her husband, and two beagles in a city near the well-known Canadian center Toronto.

Author's Book List
Vacation is Murder
Found Innocent
Life Sentence
Ties That Bind
Assassination of a Dignitary

For the rest of the story...View Carolyn Arnold - HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

Donna Fasano

Author Genre: Sweet Romance

Author's Blog: Awesome Romance Novels
Website: Author Donna Fasano, In All Directions
Twitter: @DonnaFaz
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
Donna Fasano is a three time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, and a Golden Heart finalist.

She is a wife, mom, spiritual seeker, blogger, avid reader, foodie, all-around-happy individual. She has two grown sons and lives with her husband on the eastern seaboard of the United States.

She is also known as Donna Clayton. Donna has written over thirty published novels with sales in excess of 3.6 million copies. Many of these novels have gone out-of-print with the rights reverting to her. She is giving them a facelift and republishing them for your favorite eReader.

Author's Book List
Reclaim My Heart
Take Me, I'm Yours
Her Fake Romance
Where's Stanley?
Nanny and the Professor
His Wife for a While
An Accidental Family
Return of the Runaway Bride
Taking Love in Stride
Mountain Laurel
Indie Chicks: 25 Independent Women 25 Personal Stories

For the rest of the story...View Donna Fasano - HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

Ashley Fontainne
Featured Book: The Lie

Author Genre: Literature & Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Website: Ashley Fontainne
Twitter: @ashleyfontainne
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
International bestselling author Ashley Fontainne is an avid reader of mostly the classics. Ashley became a fan of the written word in her youth, starting with the Nancy Drew mystery series. Stories that immerse the reader deep into the human psyche and the monsters that lurk within us are her favorite reads.

Her muse for penning the EVISCERATING THE SNAKE series was The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Ashley's love for this book is what sparked her desire to write her debut novel, Accountable to None, the first book in the trilogy. With a modern setting to the tale, Ashley delves into just what lengths a person is willing to go when they seek personal justice for heinous acts perpetrated upon them. The second novel in the series, Zero Balance focuses on the cost and reciprocal cycle that obtaining revenge has on the seeker. For once the cycle starts, where does it end? How far will the tendrils of revenge expand? Adjusting Journal Entries answered that question: far and wide.

Her latest work, a short thriller entitled Number Seventy-Five, touches upon the sometimes dangerous world of online dating.

Look for Ashley to delve into Christian fiction in late 2013 with her exciting thriller The Lie.

Author's Book List
The Lie
Number Seventy-Five
Zero Balance
Adjusting Journal Entries
Accountable to None

For the rest of the story...View Ashley Fontainne - HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

J.A. Jance
Featured Book: Second Watch

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Author's Blog: J.A. Jance - NYT Bestselling Author
Website: J.A. Jance
Twitter: @JAJance
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
J.A. Jance is the top 10 New York Times bestselling author of the Joanna Brady series; the J. P. Beaumont series; four interrelated thrillers featuring the Walker family; and eight books featuring Ali Reynolds.

As a second-grader in Mrs. Spangler’s Greenway School class, I was introduced to Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz series. I read the first one and was hooked and knew, from that moment on, that I wanted to be a writer.

The third child in a large family, I was four years younger than my next older sister and four years older than the next younger sibling. Being both too young and too old left me alone in a crowd and helped turn me into an introspective reader and a top student. When I graduated from Bisbee High School in 1962, I received an academic scholarship that made me the first person in my family to attend a four year college. I graduated in 1966 with a degree in English and Secondary Education. In 1970 I received my M. Ed. In Library Science. I taught high school English at Tucson’s Pueblo High School for two years and was a K-12 librarian at Indian Oasis School District in Sells, Arizona for five years.

My ambitions to become a writer were frustrated in college and later, first because the professor who taught creative writing at the University of Arizona in those days thought girls "ought to be teachers or nurses" rather than writers. After he refused me admission to the program, I did the next best thing: I married a man who was allowed in the program that was closed to me. My first husband imitated Faulkner and Hemingway primarily by drinking too much and writing too little. Despite the fact that he was allowed in the creative writing program, he never had anything published either prior to or after his death from chronic alcoholism at age forty-two. That didn’t keep him from telling me, however, that there would be only one writer in our family, and he was it.

My husband made that statement in 1968 after I had received a favorable letter from an editor in New York who was interested in publishing a children’s story I had written. Because I was a newly wed wife who was interested in staying married, I put my writing ambitions on hold. Other than writing poetry in the dark of night when my husband was asleep (see After the Fire), I did nothing more about writing fiction until eleven years later when I was a single, divorced mother with two children and no child support as well as a full time job selling life insurance. My first three books were written between four a.m. and seven a.m.. At seven, I would wake my children and send them off to school. After that, I would get myself ready to go sell life insurance.

I started writing in the middle of March of 1982. The first book I wrote, a slightly fictionalized version of a series of murders that happened in Tucson in 1970, was never published. For one thing, it was twelve hundred pages long. Since I was never allowed in the creative writing classes, no one had ever told me there were some things I needed to leave out. For another, the editors who turned it down said that the parts that were real were totally unbelievable, and the parts that were fiction were fine. My agent finally sat me down and told me that she thought I was a better writer of fiction than I was of non-fiction. Why, she suggested, didn’t I try my hand at a novel?

The result of that conversation was the first Detective Beaumont book, Until Proven Guilty. Since 1985 when that was published, there have been 21 more Beau books. My work also includes 14 Joanna Brady books set in southeastern Arizona where I grew up, and seven Ali Reynolds books, set in Sedona, AZ. In addition there are four thrillers, starting with Hour of the Hunter and Kiss of the Bees, that reflect what I learned during the years when I was teaching on the Tohono O’Odham reservation west of Tucson, Arizona.

The week before Until Proven Guilty was published, I did a poetry reading of After the Fire at a widowed retreat sponsored by a group called WICS (Widowed Information Consultation Services) of King County. By June of 1985, it was five years after my divorce in 1980 and two years after my former husband’s death. I went to the retreat feeling as though I hadn’t quite had my ticket punched and didn’t deserve to be there. After all, the other people there were all still married when their spouses died. I was divorced. At the retreat I met a man whose wife had died of breast cancer two years to the day and within a matter of minutes of the time my husband died. We struck up a conversation based on that coincidence. Six months later, to the dismay of our five children, we told the kids they weren’t the Brady Bunch, but they'd do, and we got married. We now have four new in-laws as well as six grandchildren.

When my second husband and I first married, he supported all of us–his kids and mine as well as the two of us. It was a long time before my income from writing was anything more than fun money–the Improbable Cause trip to Walt Disney World; the Minor in Possession memorial powder room; the Payment in Kind memorial hot tub. Eventually, however, the worm turned. My husband was able to retire at age 54 and took up golf and oil painting.

One of the wonderful things about being a writer is that everything–even the bad stuff–is usable. The eighteen years I spent while married to an alcoholic have helped shape the experience and character of Detective J. P. Beaumont. My experiences as a single parent have gone into the background for Joanna Brady–including her first tentative steps toward a new life after the devastation of losing her husband in Desert Heat. And then there’s the evil creative writing professor in Hour of the Hunter and Kiss of the Bees, but that’s another story.

Another wonderful part of being a writer is hearing from fans. I learned on the reservation that the ancient, sacred charge of the storyteller is to beguile the time. I’m thrilled when I hear that someone has used my books to get through some particularly difficult illness either as a patient or as they sit on the sidelines while someone they love is terribly ill. It gratifies me to know that by immersing themselves in my stories, people are able to set their own lives aside and live and walk in someone else’s shoes. It tells me I’m doing a good job at the best job in the world.

Author's Book List
Moving Target
After the Fire
Second Watch
Judgment Call
Deadly Stakes: A Novel
Left for Dead
Birds of Prey
Paradise Lost
Exit Wounds
Edge of Evil
Breach of Duty
Betrayal of Trust
Payment in Kind
Fatal Error: A Novel
A More Perfect Union
Minor in Possession
Improbable Cause
Dismissed with Prejudice
Justice Denied

For the rest of the story...View J.A. Jance - HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

David Lawlor
Featured Book: The Golden Grave

Author Genre: Historical Fiction

Website: historywithatwist
Twitter: @LawlorDavid
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
David Lawlor is Associate Editor with the Evening Herald newspaper in Ireland and has been writing features, reviews and working as a production journalist in national newspapers for 22 years.

David has written four novels and is currently working on his fifth. This is the first novel he has published. David lives in Greystones, Ireland, with his wife and four children.

Author's Book List
The Golden Grave

For the rest of the story...View David Lawlor - HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

James Moushon
Featured Book: Game of Fire

Author Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Author's Blog: eBook Author’s Corner
Website: James Moushon - Mystery Writer
Twitter: @jimhbs
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
Born in Illinois, James Moushon is a published writer in the electronic document field. Moushon is a graduate of Bradley University in Peoria, IL.

He published 'Call Off The Dogs', a Historical Fiction novel, in 2010. He is continuing to create Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels with recently published 'Black Mountain Secrets'.

Starting over 15 years ago, he helped lead the startup of the electronic forms industry in the creation, conversion and usage of electronic forms by supplying that industry with a continuing source of published literature, software products and training seminars.

In 2003, Moushon changed his focus to ebooks and their development.

He is currently wearing Three Hats. He is a mystery writer, a book industry blogger and a computer consultant. He has spent the majority of his adult life developing computer systems and thinking about writing.

Author's Book List
Game of Fire
Black Mountain Secrets

For the rest of the story...View James Moushon - HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

Toby Neal
Featured Book: Torch Ginger

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Suspense

Website: Toby Neal
Twitter: @tobywneal
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
Toby Neal was raised on Kauai in Hawaii. She wrote and illustrated her first story at age 5 and has been published in magazines and won several writing contests. After initially majoring in Journalism, she eventually settled on mental health as a career and loves her work, saying, "I'm endlessly fascinated with people's stories."

She enjoys many outdoor sports including bodyboarding, scuba diving, beach walking, gardening and hiking. She lives in Hawaii with her family and dogs.

Toby credits her counseling background in adding depth to her characters-from the villains to Lei Texeira, the courageous and vulnerable heroine in the Lei Crime Series.

Author's Book List
Shattered Palms
Somewhere on Maui
Twisted Vine
Stolen in Paradise
Broken Ferns
Black Jasmine
Torch Ginger
Blood Orchids

For the rest of the story...View Toby Neal - HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

Terry Odell
Featured Book: Deadly Puzzles

Author Genre: Romance, Mystery & Thrillers, Suspense

Author's Blog: Terry's Place
Website: Terry Odell
Twitter: @authorterryo
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
I was born in Los Angeles and now make my home in Divide, Colorado. An avid reader (my parents tell everyone they had to move from our first home because I finished the local library), I always wanted to "fix" stories so the characters did what I wanted, in books, television, and the movies. Once I began writing, I found this wasn't always possible, as evidenced when the mystery I intended to write rapidly became a romance.

However, my entry into the world of writing can be attributed to a "mistake" when my son mentioned the Highlander television series on a visit home. Being the "good mother" I began watching the show and soon connected with the world of fanfiction, first as a reader, then as a critique giver, and then, one brave weekend, I wrote my first short story.

Things snowballed and soon I was writing my first original novel. Much later, I mentioned something about a recent Highlander episode to my son, and he said, "Oh, I've never actually watched the show, I just thought the concept was cool." Little did he know what he'd started.

I love getting into the minds of my characters, turning them loose in tight spots and seeing what they do. Too often, they surprise me.

My published works include the Pine Hills Police Series, the Blackthorne, Inc. series as well as the Romantic Suspense novel, What's in a Name? and the Mapleton Mystery series. I've also published numerous short stories with The Wild Rose Press.

Author's Book List
Deadly Puzzles
What's in a Name?
Rooted in Danger
Finding Sarah
Dangerous Connections
Deadly Bones
Nowhere to Hide
Where Danger Hides
Saving Scott
Hidden Fire
Danger in Deer Ridge
When Danger Calls

For the rest of the story...View Terry Odell - HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

HBS Bundle Showcase

Featured Set: Chills & Thrills Paranormal Boxed Set
Author: Connie Flynn

Available at Amazon: Chills & Thrills Paranormal Boxed Set

Author Genre: Mystery, Fantasy and Romance

Website: Connie's Books
Author's Blog: Imagination Gone Wild
Twitter: @ConnieFlynn
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description:
I have been writing fiction for so long I can barely remember when I didn't. Sometimes people ask where I get my ideas and I can't comment too much on 'ideas' either, since they come one at a time from different sources. What I do know and believe is true for all books --- it's a matter of putting them together, scene by scene, then going back, making sure to leave in all the good parts and take out all the boring parts (which is my writing motto).

That has seemed to work for me. I've made a half dozen or so bestseller list, won a PRISM award for my time-travel paranormal, and been a finalist in a number of other well known writing contest. Now, I'm jumping into the pool of previously traditionally published authors who are choosing to publish independently. I'm truly enjoying the freedom and control this gives an author that allows me to finally be releasing THE DRAGON HOUR in Kindle eBook format. This story is about a Scottish paradise lost in time and invaded by 21st century thugs and will be available for only 99c for the next six weeks.

Authors Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
They also sponsor: eBook Author’s Corner and HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

This blog is for information only. It is not an endorsement of the product or services discussed in the post. This blog features author’s information gained from the author or the Internet and is by invitation only.
Permission from the author is required via email to publish this post. It is not a group, subscription or forum. Some links maybe affiliate links.
HBSystems Publications Copyright 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment