Friday, May 30, 2014

Guest Author Mary Marcus

Please give a warm welcome to Mary Marcus, my friend and fellow author. She writes romance and occasionally a wonderful middle grade book, like the one we are highlighting today – The Digger.
I’ve known Mary for a couple of years now and used to be in a critique group with her. She’s a fabulous person and a great story teller. 

My granddaughter has read The Digger and loved it! She’s 9 yrs old and loved the premise of the girl, her dog, and a mystery to solve. If you know or have kids in your life who enjoy reading, they will love this book. I would say third grade to sixth grade is the perfect age for this wonderful adventure.

Mary has agreed to join us and tell us about herself and her writing and we will leave the information at the bottom of the interview for you to purchase her book and where you can reach her. She has also agreed to do a drawing for those of you who leave comments or questions for a free copy of The Digger so make sure to get your name in there!

So grab a cup of coffee and sit back and enjoy Mary’s guest post. 



Mary, what got you in this crazy writing business?
I’ve always been a big reader. Writing seemed to follow naturally. I didn’t write as a career until my early thirties when I got a job as a newspaper reporter and editor. I loved it, but the hours were long so, after five years, I had to give it up. About that time, I wanted to try writing fiction. But, writing fiction is nothing like writing news stories and feature articles. There’s a certain structure to narrative; for starters, narrative has a beginning, middle and end. Putting a story together logically is not simple. It took me a long, long time to learn. While I was learning, fiction writing wasn’t as fun as it is now. 




Tell us about you and your writing.
My first published novel was His Second Choice, a romance published by Red Rose Publishing. Next came The Digger, a Middle Grade mystery which was published by Featherweight Press. Lonely at the Top, a sequel to the first romance, is finished and in search of a publisher. 

What is your favorite genre for reading and why?
I love a good mystery novel with a touch of romance. These novels seem to engage your puzzle-loving mind without sacrificing character development or the love story. Lisa Scottoline and Deborah Crombie are very good. I’ve just read a riveting courtroom drama, Apple Tree Yard, by Louise Doughty. 


What coming up in the writing world of Mary?
I’m writing a romantic suspense novel titled Time Capsule Killer. It’s a story set in mythical Hogan, Colorado, centering on the deaths of two Hogan women who were graduating seniors in 1965. Detective Lena Hargrove believes the two deaths are linked to a cold case from that year. Her challenge is to overcome the doubts of her boss and of the political elite of the town to solve the murders.  

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
This is not a where question it’s a how question. I love trains. Put me on a passenger train anywhere in the world and I’m happy. I don’t know why I love trains so much. When my daughter was five years old, we happened to be on a train traveling from London to Shrewsbury on New Year’s Day. Long story. Anyway, we were the only passengers on the train. To keep my daughter from being too bored, I started writing a story using her crayons and drawing paper. The conductor, who was apparently also bored, came over and sat down. The three of us wrote a fantastic children’s story. Good things happen on trains.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I recently traveled to the Loire Valley in France. There’s nothing crazy about that. The Loire Valley is a beautiful part of central France where tourists can visit great chateaux. What I did that was crazy was to rent a car. First off, most of the cars over there have stick shifts. That was a challenge in itself. Throw in the narrow, medieval streets that undergo a name change every six blocks or so. Also, the French favor those roundabouts that leave you dizzy and confused. I don’t know much French, but I got used to shouting at strangers: “Je suis perdu! Je suis perdu! I am so lost.” Fortunately, French people seem to have a sense of humor and are willing to help.  


Thanks Mary for answering my questions and being a guest on my blog! You’ve been a trooper!
You can order The Digger at this link :Amazon

Make sure to leave a comment so you can join in on the drawing for a copy of The Digger!


BIO: Mary J. Marcus

I have been a newspaper reporter and editor, an ad copywriter, a college professor and a high school teacher. But, never have I really been anything other than a story-teller. It has taken me a while to realize my true calling. Like storytellers everywhere, I hope to catch The Big One. By that, I mean I wish to wake up one morning with a great, I mean, a really great, story lodged in the net of my imagination.  

The Digger, a young adult mystery, is my second published novel. His Second Choice is a contemporary romance set in the Bahamas. 

I live in Englewood, Colorado. ​



The Digger

CHAPTER ONE
I sat on a park bench in my new town of Hogan, Colorado. While I’d been sitting there, the sky turned from bright blue to denim, with a ribbon of gold lining the purple mountains. A duck pond stretched out in front of me, with a jogging path circling around it. 
The park was pretty enough to be a file on Flickr, so why did I feel so bad? Because I didn’t belong in Colorado, that’s why. We—my mom and I—had been living in this town for just two weeks. It sure didn’t feel like home. North Carolina felt like home.
Two little girls, a toddler and her older sister, ran up to some ducks swimming near the bank and tossed pieces of bread at them. The girls’ mom and dad sat on a blanket nearby and put away picnic things. A sharp breeze rustled up golden leaves on the ground and danced them around tree trunks.
I thought of my dad and got all sad. He used to take me to the park when I was little and he was home on leave. But Afghanistan is on the other side of the world. It sucked having my dad over there, even if his job was important.
My friends would’ve made me feel better, but they were on the East Coast. They always made me feel better when I was down. Also, my friends were fine with how I looked—freckles across my nose, my hair the color of a brown paper bag, and a pencil-thin, twelve-year-old body that wouldn’t fill out no matter how much I ate. 
Tears welled in my eyes, but I blinked them away. My dad said you don’t gain anything by feeling sorry for yourself. I looked up and saw the girls and their mom and dad gathering up their blanket to leave. To my right, two high-school-age boys finished their tennis match and walked off toward a parked car.
Brrrr. The chilly breeze ruffled my hair. 
My cell phone beeped. I pulled it out of my pocket and read a text.
“Where R U? It’s dark. Get home.”
Dark? I looked at the sky and could still make out the mountain ridge, so it wasn’t actually dark. Only getting dark. Guess I wasn’t the only one in my family who exaggerated. But I couldn’t win an argument with my mom, so I got up to go home.
I would need to walk around the tennis court to reach the street, and then on to my house. But that was the long way around, and I was in kind of a hurry. A much quicker way would be to cut through a grove of trees on a strip of land that lay on the other side of a wooden fence.
I walked away from the duck pond toward that fenced-off area. For a few seconds, I stood in front of the low-slung fence. On the other side, the trees were thick, tall evergreens, like ones found in a really cool forest. There was a tacked-up sign with words on it: ‘Hogan Development Project.’
I shifted from one foot to the other, thinking that the area sure wasn’t developed yet so there might be critters in there. My Uncle John, who was partly the reason we moved to Hogan, warned me that wild animals—foxes, coyotes, and such—could sometimes be spotted in town. It’s because they get hungry and can’t find anything to eat in the wild.
“Don’t bother them, and they won’t bother you, Cammie.” 
No problem. I listened because my mom’s brother is Hogan’s police chief. He should know what goes on in the town.
I figured I might as well take the shortcut. I could hear my dad’s voice in my head and imagine his proud face when he bragged about me. “Cammie loves camping, just like I do. She’s not a bit afraid of being in the outdoors.” 
My sadness went away a little as I jumped over the fence, took a dirt path leading into the grove of trees, and thought how much my dad would like it. 
Later, I realized that everything would have turned out differently if I’d done the smart thing and gone the long way around.



Don't forget to leave Mary a comment and she will get back to you! Once you do you will be entered into the drawing for a copy of The Digger!!

Thanks again Mary and thanks to my readers joining in!!

Love, Lisa

Friday, May 23, 2014

No Time For Anything

Hi all, hope everything is good in your neck of the woods. Us? Busy as always.

We had a great time in Buena Vista! Unfortunately no one has sent me copies of their pictures so I can post some. My camera on my phone is blurry so I have to wait for everyone else. But it was still fun! We spent a lot of time in the water, (hence my nasty cold) but it was worth it. Also we did manage to get some writing done while we were there.

Robin and Janet loved Cottonwood Inn and can't wait to go back! I knew they would. It's a wonderful place. We took books up for the owner, Kathy Manning. She had a great library before their fire up there over a year ago and and asked the last time we were up there if we would get her books signed by the authors. Quite a few writers were willing to give away one of their books for her, signed.

It's always a bummer when we have to come home, but at least we have it to look forward to. Maybe in the fall, we'll see.

In the mean time, we have lots to tell you. Our giveaway was a success. There are 2370 Fables out in the world now that weren't there before. I hope most people that downloaded our book read it and leave us reviews. Plus, I hope they look forward to Lore!

Lore is coming along. We are a little behind with things that have popped up, like one of us getting sick, or wedding stuff for my daughter, or even vacations, but we will get it finished. We are on chapter 13 now and I believe it's coming along great. World building is not as easy as it looks when your reading it!

We also will be doing a giveaway on the fan page next week. We have hit, and now over, the 500 mark, which is wonderful! I am still trying to decide what to giveaway or leave the winner with a choice. What would you like to win? A new Kindle Fire? A White Paper Kindle? Or a gift card to Amazon for 100.00 and signed copies of our books?

Maybe you can leave me a comment and let me know or at least let me know if I should leave it as a choice. That would be great!!

Next, I will have a wonderful guest author on here next Friday. Her name is Mary Marcus and she is not only a fellow author, but a friend of mine. We used to be in a critique group together and now we work on social media stuff every few months.

She's new to the social media marketing so please give her a warm welcome next week. She is giving a way a copy of her book The Digger for one lucky person that leaves a comment, so don't miss out!

Well, I think you're all caught up now. Hopefully in a few weeks I will get back to creative writing skills and social marketing ideas. In the mean time, I hope your summer plans are working out and that it proves to be a fun one!

Take care all and don't forget Mary on here next Friday.


Love, Lisa

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Peek into Lore Book 2 of The Lorn Prophecy

Happy Friday all! Lots going on and a wonderful weekend to look froward to! We are heading to Buena Vista today with our critique partners, my hubby, and my mom! Can't wait! We need the weekend for a nice relaxing and soaking up not only the hot springs water, but conversing about writing as well!

On top of that, we are celebrating one year since the release of Fable and have it free to download on Amazon until Monday! Download here 

So get yourself a copy, if you haven't already, and after you read it, let us know what you think!

We have had so much going on lately but taking the time to stop and appreciate our fans held precedence! Just a side note, if you buy Fated in paperback, you can download it on ebook for 99 cents too!

What a journey! 

So, in the mean time, a few more things are coming up! We are close to launching our first website! This will be an interactive site, at least we are planning for it to be, and would love it if you joined in! There will be an announcement page that will come to your email, (if you so desire) and a blog that we can talk and brainstorm on. I am so looking forward to getting our fans involved in the writing of the books!

So if you have a minute sign up and we will do the rest! Sign up here 

Thanks to all of you who have supported us and put up with us too! I will leave you today with an excerpt from Lore, a teaser if you will, and see you back here next Friday!

A little set up: This is the first time the people of Djenrye see their long lost Guardian! warning - Spoiler alert!



Silence followed them as Kamm led the Guardian down the aisle toward the far end of the Palantine. Colton thought she might lift her head and gaze at the two tiered balconies, packed as full as the main floor with onlookers. To his astonishment she kept her head forward in the direction of the dais and its seven empty chairs. She walked with all of the composure, strength, and pride of a returning Guardian.
The first clap of applause startled Colton. His hand instinctively went to his sword hilt. Marise’s touch on his arm was all that prevented him from drawing his blade.
One clap followed another, and soon the room echoed with the sound. To it were added shouts of: “Ty Greial tsa-amamlea”, the Guardian returns, and “Curei octal Shylae”, all hail Shylae.
Shylae never stopped her forward movement, but she gave a slight bow of her head to the left and then to the right. Her arm went up, and Colton realized she must be touching her hand to her breastbone in the traditional honored Djenrye greeting.
The cheers and applause became thunderous.
She has won their hearts.
Kamm stopped in front of a long polished cherry-wood table with five high-backed, velvet-cushioned chairs. He pulled the center one out and motioned Shylae to sit. When he took his place at her left, Colton noticed a blur of white hair and lavender robes directly behind his father. Esalon slipped into the seat to the left of Kamm, with a nod to Colton who approached to sit on Shylae’s right with Marise beside him.
Once the five were seated, the cries in the Palantine died down to a loud murmur.
Shylae leaned closer to Colton and whispered, “I am so nervous.”
He reached out to caress her hand. “It does not show through your demeanor. Worry not. You will awe the Council as you have your people.”
Shylae sat straight in her chair, but her eyes scanned the area around and above her. Colton followed her gaze, which rested when it fell upon groupings of the different races. She opened her mouth, perhaps to ask about what she saw, but Colton hushed her with a finger to his lips.
Her eyebrows creased and the stubborn look that both frustrated and endeared her to him, crossed her features. Before she could do anything foolish, a Djen who had been seated at the base of the dais rose. He brushed his long red hair over one shoulder and made an announcement. Kamm cleared his throat loudly. The Clerk of the Council looked at Kamm, then Shylae, and this time spoke in a heavily-accented version of the Hundye tongue. “All rise for the entrance of the Council.”
One by one, the Council members and Supreme Leader emerged from the doors behind the dais, the ones shielded by the Plates and Tyré banners. The crowd quieted as the representatives took five of the seven chairs.
Shylae pulled on Colton’s sleeve.
He whispered, “The two empty seats are for you and my father.”
Her eyes widened, and she made the subtlest shake of her head.
Colton covered her hand with his and tried to give his most reassuring smile. “Not this day, my love, but soon.”
Manem, the Supreme Leader, stood and banged the marble table with his gavel. The onlookers sat down. His gaze settled on Shylae, who fidgeted slightly. With a motion of his hand he beckoned for her to stand.
“I present to you our Guardian, Shylae, child of Raynok.”
He has the prudence to speak in Hundye.
The clear, ringing voice of the Clerk of the Council repeated the words in Djen, “Letridea, Greial Shylae, meaki ai Raynok.”
The pendant at Shylae’s chest cast sparkles of light as it rose and fell. She slowly stood. With a glance at Colton, who hoped his answering look gave her courage, she turned to face her people. Bringing the middle finger of her right hand to her chest, in a voice steady and strong, she said, “Dyeyae.”
The crowd exploded once again.
Manem smiled benevolently and waited for the cheering to subside. Shylae returned to her seat and the Supreme Leader held up his hand to quiet the last of the applause.
“This special session reconvenes. Kamm, child of Braydin, Acting Guardian of Tyré.” Manem made an upward sweeping motion with his hand.
Colton’s father stood and bowed his head toward the Council.
“You have made a plea for your son to speak on behalf of your request?”
Kamm nodded.
“Very well,” Manem turned toward Colton. “Colton, child of Kamm, approach and state your reasoning.”
Shylae grasped Colton’s hand as he stood. He leaned over her, brushing a lock of hair on the side of her head. “Your love gives me strength,” he whispered.
She released him and he approached the Council. Colton’s stomach knotted. I pray the Gods give me the words to convince the people. I am a Warrior, not a delegate. He walked toward the orator box.
A scream halted his steps. He whipped around.
Shylae—eyes wide, mouth open—was thrown back in her chair.

The crowd erupted in chaos.

I hope you enjoyed the glimpse into Djenrye! Have a great weekend everyone!

Love, Lisa

Friday, May 9, 2014

Starfest

We had a great time at Starfest last weekend! I thought I would post some pictures and tell you all about it!





First, we had two of our fans and friends come to see us, Zack and his wife Jolynne and their two beautiful babies! Then we ran into old friends Peter Pound (who was a Klingon) and Peter Cohen, who I used to book in my comedy rooms.

And there were a few of our friends from MileHiCon there, Mark Stone, who is an Author himself, and Springlae Henry and her husband, Ray. Great times! 


We also met some new friends, Donna Kennedy and her sister and her sister's husband. They were right next to us selling Donna's books. 



There were some fabulous costumes, (one of my favorites was Jon Snow!) <wink> and the Dragon. There were all kinds, not just Star Trek and Star Wars. There was Steampunk, Zombies, Ex-men, Wizards, Fairy's, you name it.








We do plan to go again next year. We did great in sales, far more than I expected, and hopefully next year we will have one more book, Lore, to sell along with the other two, Fable and Fated.

We certainly hope that those people who bought our books enjoy them and that they will contact us and let us know.

Until next year, we hope you enjoy some of the pictures and next year come out and join in on the fun! Thanks to all who have supported us in our writing endeavor!

Love, Lisa


Friday, May 2, 2014

Social Media Insights

Although there has been quite a lot going on in our writing, and marketing world, I have been taking extra time to research what works best in social media these days.

For those of you that are writers I have found a wonderful, and insightful site that you might find helpful. It's called Book Marketing Tools and I found them through Google+, well, actually, they found me.

These guys post videos every two weeks with authors and social media guru's who answer questions about what works for them. I love the videos and the host - Shawn Manaher seems like a really nice person. These clips are full of wonderful tips and from what I've heard the most from the guests on these videos is emails, and leading people to your website, works the best to gain followers.

There are a couple of the authors that speak of Facebook but I haven't found FB as good as some of the other sites I've been on. Yes, they talk about becoming interactive with your fans but Facebook is doing an injustice by only posting to a few of the people on your fanpage list at a time. 

I find that disheartening. I believe at one time Facebook was a great place to get the word out about your books and any announcements, but not so much any more.

I tend to agree with the concept of becoming interactive with your fan base and hopefully grow your list. Although setting up a website can be expensive, it is a great way to grow your fan base and get people talking about your book(s). We are looking forward to getting the site up and having an interactive blog, not to mention, a great newsletter/announcement/interactive page to send out to our fans.


Another site that I believe is becoming more popular is Goodreads. You can do a lot with your author page and join groups. I have traded books with two other author's and we leave each other reviews, which is vitally important in the writing world. The more reviews you have, that are positive, the better your standing is within the Amazon community and the reader's choices. 





Taking the time to research what is the best way in today's highly competitive world of books, is majorly important. If you know of any other marketing that works great, please drop me a line and fill me in. I am more that willing to look into it and see if it's a good way to get your books out there. 







One more way to get yourself out there is to do book signings and sell your books at conferences. For example, we will be at Starfest this weekend on author's row. We also signed up for and was picked for a book sales and signing at Englewood public library last weekend. We have also had book launches that have been extremely successful.

One more way, is to approach professional reviewers. Our recent interview and review on Bittenbybooks really helped to get us out there in the author world. We also are waiting for two more reviews and we have been on the radio and will be doing another radio interview in June. Our review here

Getting your book out there to as many people as you can is the most important way to become known. If readers enjoy your book they will pass it along to others to enjoy. Selling books is a "by mouth" business so the more your out there, the better your sales and popularity will become.

Until next week, I hope all of you have a fantastic weekend. We will post pictures and give you the insight next week about our time at Starfest.



Love, Lisa