Saturday, April 6, 2013

HBS Author’s Spotlight – Class of March 2013

This month we have a group of interesting writers with worlds of knowledge and expertise. We have twelve authors this time around.

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 our new feature to the HBS Author's Spotlight, The Showcase. I have included those authors in this class. Thanks to the following outstanding authors for a great month.

Here is a summary of our March 2013 crew.

Terry Ambrose
Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Funny Mystery, Suspense

Website: Terry Ambrose - Mysteries with character
Twitter: @suspense_writer
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

New Book coming soon: a sequel to PHOTO FINISH and we’ll be visiting the Garden Isle of Kauai with McKenna.

Social media: the one thing I never want to do is to be one of those authors who posts 50 times a day to “buy my book!” I find those posts obnoxious and counterproductive.

Book signing: The next big appearance will be at the LA Times Festival of Books. I’ll be in the Murder, We Wrote (Booth #935).

Book trailers: I think trailers have only a small impact on book sales.

Author's Book List
License to Lie
Photo Finish
Life's Shorts

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

Todd Borg
Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Author's Blog: Todd Borg
Website: Todd Borg

New book is due out August 1st. As for a hint about the title, it begins with "TAHOE,

The book covers are my secret weapon, and they are designed by a graphics wizard in Portland, Oregon named Keith Carlson.

Support groups: Writer's groups, especially critique groups, are essential. The only way you can turn a rough draft into a superior story is to have other writers and readers serve as editors and tell you what works and what doesn't.

Ebooks have changed several aspects of my career, all for the better. Readers can acquire my books faster, read them faster, and do it for less money.

Book giveaways: After Christmas, I participated in a free Kindle giveaway of my book TAHOE TRAP, and it got 23,000 downloads. When the book went back up to $4.99, it immediately hit Amazon's bestseller list…

Workshops: I split the focus two-thirds on writing, one-third on publishing and finding an audience (marketing). The next workshop is in Sacramento, November 16, 17, 18.

Author's Book List
Tahoe Trap
Tahoe Hijack
Tahoe Heat
Tahoe Night
Tahoe Avalanche
Tahoe Silence
Tahoe Ice Grave
Tahoe Blowup
Tahoe Deathfall

For the rest of the story...View Todd Borg - HBS Author's Spotlight

Catherine Bybee
Author Genre: Romance

Author's Blog: Romance by Catherine
Website: Catherine Bybee
Twitter: @catherinebybee
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

New Book: Fiancé by Friday the third book in my Weekday Bride Series is coming on August 13th. I cannot wait to share Neil and Gwen’s story with my readers.

Next book: Not Quite Mine is being released before Fiancé by Friday. Not Quite Mine is coming before Mother’s Day of this year on May 7th. My ARC’s have already gone out and the reviews are trickling in.

Social Media: I’m actually heading up a workshop at the Romantic Times Convention this year on this subject. I have always believed that a strong online presence is as important to selling a book and finding readers as writing the book and getting it published.

Workshops: I’ll be at the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City in May for workshops and appearances as well as book signing.

Covers: Crystal Posey, my assistant, is my cover goddess for most of books. She has designed my Bride Series covers, my Time Travel covers and my Ritter werewolf covers.

Giveaways: I do giveaway books. I like to give away the print copies my publisher sends me. I also give away digital copies of myself published titles.

Author's Book List
Fiance by Friday
Married by Monday
Wife by Wednesday
Not Quite Mine
Not Quite Dating
Embracing the Wolf
Highland Shifter
Redeeming Vows
Silent Vows
Binding Vows
Soul Mate

For the rest of the story...View Catherine Bybee - HBS Author's Spotlight

Rob Cornell
Author Genre: Mystery, Dark Fantasy

Author's Blog: Rob Cornell - "News" page
Website: Rob Cornell
Twitter: @RobCornellBooks
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

New Book: I just released the third book in The Lockman Chronicles last week, Darkest Hour.

Social media: I took to Twitter pretty hardcore early on, using all the tricks of building a network of like-minded folks, mainly by following people who followed people I liked.

Ebooks changed anything: Not anything. Everything. I could write a short book about what electronic publishing has done for me. The doors it’s opened. The readers I’ve found. The actual money I’ve made. I can’t imagine ever going back to the old way.

Giveaways: I’ve had mixed luck with giveaways. This is an area I’m still learning, though I have made up my mind about a few things.

Author's Book List
Red Run
Darkest Hour
The Hustle
Dark Legion
Darker Things
Last Call

For the rest of the story...View Rob Cornell - HBS Author's Spotlight

Clive Eaton
Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Website: Clive Eaton - Author
Twitter: @CliveEaton
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next Book: Operation Stonehenge

Book Idea: It’s a natural progression from my debut novel, The Pyramid Legacy,

Synopsis: The evidence is unquestionable - The architects of The Great Pyramid and Stonehenge were related!

Both the debut novel, and Operation Stonehenge, are out and out fiction. However, I’ve woven a number of facts together with the fiction. The challenge I set for readers is to identify which is which. Finally, can the reader solve the puzzles Ben Anderson faces, before he does? (assuming, of course, he in fact does!)

Author's Book List
Operation Stonehenge
The Pyramid Legacy

For the rest of the story...View Clive Eaton - HBS Author's Spotlight

T. D. Griggs
Author Genre: Psychological Crime Novels

Website: Tim Griggs - Writer
Twitter: @TDGRIGGS1
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next books: follow-up to DISTANT THUNDER, and that will trace the fortunes of Frank Gray and Grace Dearborn through the later 1890s, and will focus on the Boer War AND My contemporary crime novel THE END OF WINTER, which was a big hit in mainland Europe…

Book signings and interviews: I certainly do all of the above. Unlike quite a lot of authors I really enjoy it. I speak a good deal at reading groups, which are pretty common here.

Book covers: Generally the covers come from the publisher’s art department - different publishers for different language groups, so there are many more covers than you’ll see on my site. The Italians, Germans, French, Polish and Dutch all used different designs for the same books.

Writer support groups: local writers’ group in Oxford and Society of Authors in London plus others…

Ebooks: It’s making a big difference. It’s a revolution, in fact. As you know, my first book, the million-selling crime drama REDEMPTION BLUES, has just been re-edited and re-issued as an e-book for the first time, which puts it within reach of a whole new audience

Managing plots: I have always worked out the plot in advance (naturally) but I must admit it doesn’t always stay worked out. Generally it forms and re-forms several times, often many times…

Author's Book List
Distant Thunder
The Warning Bell
Redemption Blues

For the rest of the story...View T. D. Griggs - HBS Author's Spotlight

John W. Huffman
Author Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Website: John W. Huffman
Twitter: @johnwhuffman
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

New Book: Eyes of the Blind is in the final stages of completion, and hopefully will be out in April or May of this year. It is a sequel to America's Diplomats, The Road To Attleboro, and continues the story of Jay Sharpe…

Social media: It is very important to all of my books. I have found it to be a fast, accurate, and cost effective way to promote and communicate with readers.

Book signing: I constantly attend book signings, give interviews, speak and make personal appearances.

Book covers: Designing my covers is a fun project that I look forward to with each publication. I use a graphic designer, Whitney Brock, out of California, and basically give her a theme I would like to see on the cover.

Ebooks: In my opinion, is the best thing that has happened to book publishing in the last hundred years.

Book giveaways: I have participated in very few book giveaways, with the exception of charities, and can't say that I've had a lot of success with them. Mostly, I just grind out the promotion process in conventional channels.

Author's Book List
Searching For Leah
America's Diplomats, The Road to Attleboro
Cold Hearts Burning
Above All
The Baron of Clayhill
Tiger Woman
A Wayward Wind

For the rest of the story...View John W. Huffman - HBS Author's Spotlight

Lisa Kessler
Author Genre: Romance, Short Stories, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Website: Lisa Kessler
Twitter: @LdyDisney
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

New Book: Night Demon. This book picks up about 3 weeks after Night Walker ends and Calisto & Kate from Night Walker and Kane & Rita from Night Thief are all back for Night Demon!

Social media: I love social media and I've made some super friends in the publishing business as well as amazing readers through internet connections on twitter and facebook.

Book trailers: I made the trailers for Across the Veil and for Night Walker. I had fun with the process and I think they definitely help with making readers aware of your books. My Night Thief trailer has gotten lots of attention…

Support groups: RWA or Romance Writers of America is a super organization. They offer lots of classes for newer writers, as well as watch out for the interests of published authors.

Ebooks: I sell many more eBooks than print books and my 4 new release this year are all coming out in Digital first format. It seems to be a plus for everyone.

Giveaways: When Night Thief came out I ran a special and put Across the Veil up for free. It screamed up the Amazon bestseller charts into the top 100 kindle free books and in a few days I gave away over 7,000 copies

Book tours: Book bloggers are amazing people and nothing spreads the word about your new release like a blog tour! I've done one for every new release.

Short flash fiction classes: I teach flash fiction classes online and in person and the magic of them is in sharing the stories. I can give writer's feedback and with a shorter story it's easier for them to pinpoint their story arc and determine where they could twist the conflict just a notch to make the story so much better.

Author's Book List
Night Demon
Night Thief
Night Walker
Forgotten Treasures: 25 Short Fiction Tales
Across the Veil

For the rest of the story...View Lisa Kessler - HBS Author's Spotlight

Susanne Lakin
Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Author's Blog: C. S. Lakin - a novel life
Website: C. S. Lakin - a novel life
Twitter: @CSLakin
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

New book: The Crystal Scepter is book five in a seven-book series. The next book, The Sands of Ethryn, will be out next January…

Social media: I do see a lot of response on Twitter as regards readers discovering my novels and buying and tweeting about them, and that’s so appreciated. I certainly noticed a big increase in chatter and sales as my Twitter followers increased.

Book covers: I chose my artist, Gary Lippincott, years ago because of his beautiful watercolor covers for writers like Ursula LeGuin. Rarely do you see covers done in watercolor…

Book trailers: I am not fond of book trailers. I’ve never seen one I liked. I think they are usually cheesy and tacky and maybe they help sell books, but I don’t know. What sells a book is to write a terrific book and have readers praise it and spread the word…

Schedule: I do have a schedule, but I wish I had time to write my novels. My big problem is I just work too much. It’s so hard to turn down all these writers that want me to edit and critique for them…

Ebooks: The eBook explosion hasn’t changed the way I write, since I don’t write for the market… I have always been driven to write intense stories, and in unusual styles and ways, pushing the envelope and being creative.

Non-Fiction technical books: I just finished writing my second nonfiction writing craft book, Shoot Your Novel, which is the year-long course I am teaching on my blog this year. Last year I did Writing the Heart of Your Story, and made that into a book.

Blog: As I mentioned, I love helping writers. My husband thinks it’s hilarious that I get to “criticize” people for a living. I’m not allowed to criticize him, so I guess that’s why it’s funny, right? Just kidding. I am really a great cheerleader for all my clients.

Author's Book List
The Crystal Scepter
Innocent Little Crimes
The Unraveling of Wentwater
A Thin Film Of Lies
Intended for Harm
The Land of Darkness
Time Sniffers (Shadow World)
The Map Across Time
Someone to Blame: A Novel
The Wolf of Tebron (Book1) in The Gates of Heaven Series

For the rest of the story...View Susanne Lakin - HBS Author's Spotlight

Joseph Lallo
Author Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Epic

Website: The Book of Deacon Series
Twitter: @jrlallo
E-Mail: jrlallo (at) bookofdeacon (dot) com
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next book: Lain Origin, which is the working title, seems to be following the standard release timeline for my fantasy novels. That is to say, it is taking far longer than I'd anticipated.

Social media: The relationships have been crucial. I can attribute a lot of my early success to being picked up on a few discount book blogs.

Giveaways: Digitally, giving away books has been possibly the most important thing I've done to get my book career rolling. I typically write in series form, so giving away the first book in the series and hopefully capturing the attention of the readers enough to inspire them to pick up the rest has been my business model for years.

Author's Book List
The Battle of Verril
The Book of Deacon
Unstable Prototypes
Bypass Gemini
The Great Convergence
Interviews with Indie Authors

For the rest of the story...View Joseph Lallo - HBS Author's Spotlight

Jordyn Redwood
Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Religion & Spirituality, Romance

Author's Blog: Redwood's Medical Edge
Website: Jordyn Redwood - Spine Tingling Suspense
Twitter: @JordynRedwood
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

New book: Peril is the third and final novel in the Bloodline Trilogy and should release October 2013…

Social media: I think social media relationships are very important. The internet affords people a lot of networking opportunities and I’ve found endorsers for my novels and lots of guest bloggers on Facebook and Twitter.

Book covers: I think the publisher has done a great job with them. My publisher (Kregel) sends me mock-ups for the covers. For Proof, I told them I didn’t want it to look medical. I wanted it to look dark/suspenseful.

Book trailers: Honestly, I don’t know how much impact a book trailer has. Creating a book trailer, in my case, was a joint effort. They are professionally done which is a true blessing.

Support groups: I belong to the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).

Blog: Redwood’s Medical Edge is designed to help authors write medically accurate fiction so my primary goal is education.

Author's Book List
Poison: A Novel
Proof: A Novel

For the rest of the story...View Jordyn Redwood - HBS Author's Spotlight

Betty Webb
Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Author's Blog: Webb's Blog
Website: Betty Webb - The Lena Jones mysteries
Twitter: @bettywebb
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

New book: Redwood’s Medical Edge is designed to help authors write medically accurate fiction so my primary goal is education.

Next book: DESERT REGRET, the 8th book of my Lena Jones series.

Social Media: It's hard to understand why not everyone is taking advantage of social media, including the various "lists" other authors and readers are on.

Book covers: On the Gunn Zoo books, a wonderful, witty artist named Nicholas Greenwood is responsible for those. But I design the covers of the Lena Jones books.

Poison Pen Publishers based in Scottsdale: they have since become the second largest publishers of mystery novels in the U.S. They treat their authors wonderfully well. If it weren't for Poisoned Pen Press, I wouldn't have the career that I love.

Conduct writing workshops: I believe in giving back to my community, and to the new writers which are emerging from it.

Author's Book List
The Llama of Death
Desert Wind
Desert Noir
Desert Wives
Desert Lost
Anteater of Death
The Koala of Death
Desert Cut
Desert Run

For the rest of the story...View Betty Webb - HBS Author's Spotlight

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

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HBSystems Publications Copyright 2013


  1. Thanks for including me in this round up! I appreciate it. And by the way, LICENSE TO LIE just picked up another 5-star review, this one from the San Francisco Book Review!

  2. Thanks for the blog feature!!! :)

    I really appreciate it!

    Lisa :)

  3. Great blog, James! I appreciate being included!

    Todd Borg