Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Author Penny PEN White First In Our New 'Authors On Writing' Series


    
 
Author Penny (PEN) White kicks off a new series on Book Talk. Authors talking about writing! Penny will be back next week with more information on her recent book, Nero's Fiddle.
 
 
Keeping It Simple
 
     Most people don’t even think about the effort put into writing a novel. But they’re not really supposed to.

     They don’t know about the hours of research that go into writing. Staying up until the wee hours of the morning or getting up in the middle of the night to work on dialogue. Rewriting a section of work because you realize the writing is awkward or needs clarification.

     Agonizing over the correct word usage, the syntax of the dialogue, descriptions, proofreading, editing, proofreading, editing and, again, proofreading and editing.

     Visiting another part of the country, or even areas outside the country, in order to get a feel for the environment, location, people and architecture to lend authenticity to the work in progress.

     As an example, my most recent work, Nero’s Fiddle, is a result of two years of research regarding an Electromagnetic Pulse. What causes it, how it works, the damage it can do: all of this was instrumental to the writing.

     Then there was visiting Washington, DC itself; a small, compact area rich in history housing some of the most wonderful and memorable monuments of our heritage.

     When the reader holds the finished product in her/his hand, he/she isn’t contemplating the effort put into it. She/he just wants to know if the book was worth the investment.

     Most people think the act of creativity is easy. They think brushstrokes appear magically upon a canvas. They think words flow easily from a pen (or a keyboard). They don’t realize the hours it took to write the tome or paint the masterpiece. They know nothing of the suffering endured in the creation. They do not equate the creation of creativity with that of giving birth.

    Creative people suffer in silence.

    But this is how it is supposed to be. Revealing the suffering of the artist won’t necessarily make the work more appealing. On the contrary, the easier the creation appears to the audience, the more the audience appreciates the creation. If the audience realized the work that went into the creation, they probably wouldn’t find it more appealing. As a matter of fact, they would probably find it discouraging.

    The object is that the reader read that book to its completion, or the viewer appreciates that art until s/he reaches the point where they ask themselves, who is this person? Then, s/he will research to find out what other work you have done.

    A well-written book or a beautiful painting keeps the creator of such in the background. You want the audience to focus on the end result, not on what went into its creation. If a reader forgets about you while s/he is reading, you’ve done your job and you’ve done it well.

     By all means, continue to suffer in silence. But do keep a bottle of aspirin and Bourbon on hand. For yourself, of course.
 
 
Author Penny (PEN) White
 
Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and ebook formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle is available on Amazon. Follow her on Twitter @penspen, Visit her blog My Tuppence . Pen offers editing services and can be contacted via her web. She lives in the metro Atlanta area and it is rumored she does a mean impression of  the Scooby-Do laugh.

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Halloween Story by Doug Dahlgren, Author and Radio Talk Show Host

 
 
Many thanks to Doug Dahlgren, author The Son Series and host on The Doug Dahlgren Show on ArtistFirst Radio for sharing this Halloween story with us.
 
 
The Walk Home
© Doug Dahlgren
 
The question was less than a whisper.
 “Did you hear that?”
“No,” the younger girl shot back.
“What do you mean, no?” Her sister bristled, eyes glued to the edges of the road, “You had to have heard it.”
“No… I didn’t,” Julie looked only at her feet, clenched fists pumped at her sides. She had indeed heard the sound, whatever it was, but would not allow herself to admit it. “Just keep moving,” she yelled, her defiance of the situation reflected in her tone.
“Well… keep up then,” Elizabeth commanded. Being six years older than her sister, she felt responsible for her. Thirteen was the outer edge of grown-up, yet in her heart, she was still only a child. She’d known better than to wait so long to head home. Dad said to “leave before dark,” but they were both having such a good time at the party. The walk home would, only be a few minutes, she had convinced herself. In reality, it would take half an hour at least.
Rounding the curve of the road, they left any light from the party behind them. They were only seven-tenths of a mile from home, but there was nothing in between. Massive clouds hid what moon there was and the darkness was more than she had counted on. Should have listened to Dad, she thought.
It had been Dad’s idea to move to the country. They came just last spring and had enjoyed the summer in the clean air and open spaces. The people were nice, but they lived what now seemed like great distances from each other. Elizabeth’s friend, Mary Lou, had thrown the party. They had walked to and from her house many times, just not at night. And this night was dark.
There were no street lights or traffic for that matter. A passing car would be nice right now, Elizabeth told herself. But they were very alone.
Julie was afraid, Elizabeth could tell, but her sister would not let on. That included not admitting hearing the noise. Then there it was again, standing out against the other sounds of the night. She turned and caught Julie looking to her, but for only a second.
The sky or something in it was moving above them. Clouds perhaps, but the dark hid all except that feeling of motion. The wind blew in bursts that raked the ground on either side of the road with low hanging tree branches. Those limbs, though nearly bare, still swung across the tall grass and weeds before touching the dirt. The creaking wood of the tree branches was audible over the whoosh of the grasses. Yet the noise, that awful noise stalking them, rose above it all.
“Stay up with me, Julie. I heard it again and it’s closer.”
“No,” the little sister said, stomping her foot as she walked. “I don’t hear anything.” She sped up and reached out to grasp Elizabeth’s coat. “Are we close, yet?”
“I think so…”Elizabeth tried to be assuring, “I can’t see much. It’s really dark.”
“That I know,” Julie snapped back, her shell cracking just a bit. Julie loved her sister and trusted her above anyone. But she just couldn’t bring herself to say so. Unconsciously she tried her best to play counter to Elizabeth’s demeanor and that meant being perceived as “mean” from time to time. Though in her heart, she was anything but that.
The unnerving sound happened again. Elizabeth could not tell what it was or from where it was coming. A crackling noise that came in sets of two or three repetitions, then stopped. The older sister looked back towards the sound but saw only dark. A chill ran down her back as she looked forward again. Julie had pulled ahead of her and was walking faster.
“Still don’t hear it?” Elizabeth asked again.
“No,” came the defiant reply. “I told you, no.” Julie’s fists were in knots and she now held them up near her waist as she walked. Elizabeth could see through her sister’s pretenses most times and she clearly understood the fear in Julie’s voice.
The dirt road seemed to stretch forever in the dark. There were no other houses along this road, no porches, or porch lamps, nothing but darkness. Elizabeth tried not to look to either side very often. Old dry fields lay on the right side with waist-high grass that bent at the top when the wind wasn’t whipping it. A few oaks and maples lined that side and it was those limbs that could touch the ground when stirred.
 The left side had been a pecan orchard but the trees were mostly old and in bad shape. It was those gusts of wind through the orchard that would catch her attention and make her look in spite of her efforts not to, but that was not “the sound.”
 They pushed on, looking straight ahead and staying quiet as much as they could.
But staying quiet was not one of Julie’s best attributes. “Are you sure we haven’t passed the house?” she challenged.
Elizabeth looked at her with amazement and disgust, “No, silly. We have not passed the house.” I don’t think, she finished internally to herself.
The noise came again, closer still this time, sets of two and then a set of three. The last set being the loudest one. It was closer. Something was following them in the dark. The girls instinctively began to run.
“Liz-beth!” Julie cried out as she reached for her sister’s hand. Her big sister grabbed Julie’s hand and pulled her along as she ran. The noise seemed to speed up with them and got louder. But then it stopped.
They ran for several minutes, breathing hard and fighting back tears. They ran until they could not run any more. Slowing down but still moving, Elizabeth braced herself for the thing following them to catch up at any moment.
But the noise was not there. It had stopped back down the road. We must press on and get home, Elizabeth thought.
The older sister took a deep breath and jerked on Julie’s arm.
“Hey,” the younger complained. “Don’t pull on me like that.”
 But pull she did and within another minute they crested over a rise in the roadway and saw the lights. It was their house. All bright and shiny and Daddy was standing on the porch with a flashlight.
“Dad,” Elizabeth hollered.
Their father jumped from the porch and ran towards them. “Where have you two been?” he asked. “You should have been home twenty minutes ago.”
“I’m sorry, Daddy,” Elizabeth said, breathing in hard, deep breaths. “It’s my fault, I know.” She looked at Julie who was staring back down the road, back into the dark where the noise had been. “Do you hear it, now?” Elizabeth asked her.
“Hear what?” her father asked as he shined the flashlight into the darkness.
“Something followed us.” Then she added, “Julie was scared.”
“Was not…” The younger insisted and cocked her head to one side. “I didn’t even hear anything... it was you who was scared.”
Elizabeth shrugged her shoulders in disbelief. Her father took them both by the hand and led them up on the porch. That’s when they all heard it.
The noise crackled through the grass and became rhythmic and steady. It grew louder and faster as it came nearer.
“Eeeeck,” Julie screamed and jumped into her father’s arms. “That’s it, that’s it.”
Elizabeth looked at her, stunned by the acknowledgement. Taking her father’s flashlight, she turned to look toward the darkness and the noise. Her light shone high at first. In her mind the offending creature had to be big. But as it obviously came nearer she pointed the beam lower. And there it was.
A figure low, long, and sleek emerged from the edge of the field along the road. It began to leap in huge strides.
“Come here, Susie.” Elizabeth’s father called out behind her.
“Susie?” Elizabeth repeated with her mouth hanging open.
The family’s black lab took three more big jumps and was on the porch. She rubbed up against the father and then Elizabeth before approaching Julie with her tail wagging at full speed. Julie had nothing to say. Her eyes were wide but displayed no thought behind them. Her mouth, normally in gear, now hung open without a sound.
“She left right after you guys did earlier,” their father told them. “Guess she just followed you there…and then home.” He laughed under his breath and pulled the door open.
“I knew it was Susie all along.” Julie declared, having recovered from her stupor.
Elizabeth didn’t say a word that time. She fell to her knees and hugged her dog’s neck. Susie offered a huge kiss and Elizabeth could feel her own heart slowing down to normal.
They went inside where Mom had hot chocolate ready for the after the Halloween party celebration. 
Happy Halloween!

       Doug Dahlgren

 

About the author:

 


 

Doug Dahlgren is a familiar face to Book Talk. You can learn more about this amazing man, who writes political thrillers and promotes authors with his talk show on ArtistFirst Radio Network, by checking out two earlier posts on this blog.  If you are an author and would like to be featured on The Doug Dahlgren Show contact him via e-mail at doug@dougdahlgren.com .

 

  

Links:  

Author Web     Amazon     The Doug Dahlgren Show 

 

Earlier Posts:

 

Monday, May 28, 2012  Doug Dahlgren "The Son: Silas Rising"

 


Monday, May 19, 2014  The Doug Dahlgren Show on ArtistFirst Radio Network - An Author Interview Site Hosted by Doug Dahlgren Monday Nights at 7PM

 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Martha Conway "Thieving Forest"


Thieving Forest is available as a print and e-book at
 
 
"Conway's historical novel features prose as rich as its characters ... hypnotic." —Kirkus Reviews
 

FIVE SISTERS. FOUR ARE KIDNAPPED. ONE GOES AFTER THEM.
ALL THEIR LIVES ARE CHANGED FOREVER.
 

About the book:

When a band of Potawatomi Indians kidnaps her four older sisters from their cabin in June 1806 at the edge of Ohio’s Great Black Swamp, seventeen year old Susanna Quiner is the only left to rescue them. Thieving Forest is the story of her quest to find her sisters, and the parallel story of her sisters' new lives. All five sisters change so much in the five months that they are almost unrecognizable from the young women who argued over petty things on the morning of the kidnapping.

Thieving Forest follows five pioneer women and one man as they contend with starvation, slavery, betrayal, and love. It paints a startling new picture of life in frontier Ohio with its mix of European and Native American communities, along with compelling descriptions of their daily lives. Fast-paced, richly detailed, with a panoramic view of cultures and people, this is a story of a bygone era sure to enthrall and delight.


Paperback: 416 pages  (also available in e-format)
Publisher: Noontime  Books (August 7, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0991618505
ISBN-13: 978-0991618507




About the author:

Martha Conway


Martha Conway is the author of Thieving Forest and 12 Bliss Street, which was nominated for an Edgar Award. Her short fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Carolina Quarterly, The Massachusetts Review, The Mississippi Review, Folio, Epoch, and other journals. She is the recipient of a California Arts Council fellowship, and has taught fiction at UC Berkeley Extension and the Online Writers Studio at Stanford University. Born and raised in Ohio, she is one of seven sisters. She currently lives in San Francisco.


In Martha's Words:


Top Three Writing Tips

1. Make writing a habit. Doesn’t matter if it’s every day or certain days, but make a schedule and stick to it.

2. Find a group (or even one reader) that you trust, and regularly meet to discuss your work.

3. Take chances. You can always delete.



Learn more about Martha Conway on The Muffin. This post is part of the author's blog tour with WOW! Women On Writing and continues all month long. Check her scheduled stops by clicking here and scroll down the page.



Links:  Author Web        FaceBook            Twitter @marthamconway

               GoodReads            Amazon          Amazon Author Page       Pinterest





Monday, September 8, 2014

Haunting Tales of Spirit Lake: An Anthology. Spooky, Strange, and Haunting Tales In A Fictional Georgia Mountain Town

 
 
Buy On Kindle
 
 
 The Perfect Halloween Read!
 
 
An anthology of spooky, strange and haunting tales set in a fictional Georgia mountain town featuring the appearance of a ghost ship on Spirit Lake.


Gilded Dragonfly Books challenged nine great authors to write Halloween stories with a fictional setting for this anthology. The authors brain-stormed and came up with Spirit Lake in North Georgia, a quiet, quaint little town that hunkers on the shore of a lake with the same name. The unspoiled lake offers water sports and other entertainment, but hasn’t become commercialized to the point of being overcrowded or gaudy. Nice friendly people share Southern hospitality and friendship. Only this Halloween, the town’s favorite holiday, things happen to test the mettle of Spirit Lake’s residents. 

No two witnesses will give the same details of any incident, and none of our nine authors tell the tale the same way. In this anthology the authors share their versions of what happened, so sit back and enjoy each tale, and decide which one you would rather be caught up in this Halloween. 

Editors Mary Marvella, Melba Moon, and Jackie Rod hope you enjoy these stories.

Authors:
 
Melba Moon, Mary Marvella, Jackie Rod, Jodi Vaughn, Georgiana Fields, Carol Ansardi, Nan Monroe, Yasmin Bakhtiari, and John Robinson. 

Authors and name of their story below. A few photos borrowed from Facebook.
 
 

Haunting Tales of Spirit Lake is rocking in the Kindle Store
 
Link here to buy your copy.
 
 
Mary Marvella, Editor for Gilded Dragonfly Books 
Author of Vivian's Secret Desire
 
 
Jackie Rod, Author of True Self
 
 
 
 Jodi Vaughn, Author of Stolen Voices
 
 
 
 
Carol Ansardi, Author End Of The World Bar
 
 
and
 
Melba Moon, Author The Third Princess Of The Inola
 
Georgiana Field, Author A Captain's Tale
 
Nan Monroe, Author Sybilla Disante And The Sepia World
 
Yasmin Bakhtiari, Author Mo Cuishle, Chuisle Mo Chroi, Pulse of My Heart
 
John Robinson, Author Best-Laid Plans
 
 
The perfect spooky gift for your friends for Halloween and a good read before you pull the covers over your head at night in bed! As always, please leave a review on Amazon if you loved this book!
 
 

 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Joseph M. Rinaldo, author Valerie's Retreat

 
 

Peek inside on Amazon!
 
 
About the book:
 
Trying to find happiness they happen to commit a little crime - make that a little felony, and dash out of the country. Now they're happy - mostly.

 

Valerie, a 40-ish Head Teller at a bank, has met Franco, 16 years younger and studying for a doctorate in archaeology. He is stunned yet eager to begin a relationship with this attractive "cougar", and they become lovers. Their lives begin to unravel when Valerie's female bisexual boss makes advances (and threats) toward Valerie and Franco is accused of the theft of an Incan artifact from a museum where he has been working part-time. Frustrated, under surveillance by the FBI, and seeing no way out of their dilemma, they decide to steal money from Valerie's bank and flee the country. They go to Peru to start a new life, but they find there the same type of corruption and threats. How can they escape their nightmares and make their dreams come true?
 
 
With a large cast of characters; two richly detailed descriptive settings; an intriguing look into the workings of the banking industry and the archeology field; riveting international political drama; and a steamy sex filled romance added into the mix, Valerie's Retreat takes the reader on one hell of a thrilling roller coaster ride that romantic thriller fans will appreciate. . . . Jersey Girl Book Reviews
 
 
Meet the author:
 
 
Joseph Rinaldo
 
Born in Illinois, I nevertheless spent most of my formative years in Kentucky. I attended The Ohio State University and am an avid Buckeyes fan. I currently work in finance, am married, and am the father of a wonderful young woman with Down syndrome.

I have written four novels that have been published. A Spy At Home, Hazardous Choices, A Mormon Massacre, and my newest release, Valerie's Retreat are currently available on Amazon.

The protagonist in Valerie's Retreat runs off with a man sixteen years her junior. My wife is sixteen years my senior, so many of our triumphs and trials have made their way into this book. Our relationship provided a good foundation for the two main characters’ lives together. The way his and her friends react to their age disparity also derives, at least in part, from my own experience.

For approximately one year I labored as a Head Teller at a bank. This employment history enabled me to create a believable bank robbery. The theft described in Valerie's Retreat is easy to conceive and execute, but leaves a very clear path to the perpetrator. That is why the characters had to immediately run. 

Valerie doesn't consider herself a "Cougar". Franco, her boyfriend, happened to attend the same church singles dance on the same night. They talked, talked some more, went on a date, and presto- they're boyfriend/girlfriend. That's how it happened with my wife and me. "Cougar" makes the women dating younger men seem somewhat predatory. That isn't the case at all with Valerie or my wife. For the record, my wife never considered robbing a bank either. Well, maybe considered, but never planned it out.
 
 
 
 
Pinterest      Twitter @jmrinaldo   

 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Voices of the Sea by Bethany Masone Harar


 Available on Amazon and Kindle
 
 
The Perfect Young Adult Novel For Your Teen - But You Will Love It Too!
 
 
On Monday, July 28, Bethany Masone Harar kicked off her blog tour with WOW! Women On Writing on The Muffin. Read her wonderful interview there and check out the schedule of all her stops on this very special blog tour.  Book give-a-ways, interviews, a dog story, and more are featured along the way. Link here to go to The Muffin.


 

About The Book:

The Sirens of Pacific Grove, California are being exterminated, and seventeen-year-old Loralei Reines is their next target. Lora may look like a normal teenager, but her voice has the power to enchant and hypnotize men. Like the other Sirens in her clan, however, she keeps her true identity a secret to protect their species.
 
Lora's birthright as the next clan leader seems far off, until the Sons of Orpheus, a vicious cult determined to kill all Sirens on Earth, begin exterminating her people. When an unexpected tragedy occurs, Lora must take her place as Guardian of the Clan. 

Lora is determined to gain control of her skills to help her clan, but they are developing too slowly, until she meets Ryan, a human boy. When Ryan is near, Lora's abilities strengthen. She knows she shouldn't be with a human. Yet, she can't resist her attraction to him, or the surge in power she feels whenever they're together. 

And the Sirens are running out of time. If Lora can't unlock the secret to defeat the Sons of Orpheus, she, along with everyone she loves, will be annihilated.

Voices of the Sea includes a rich history of Sirens. Mythology and modern life come together in this beautifully written book that draws the reader in from the first chapter.
 
About The Author:
 

Bethany Masone Harar


 
Bethany Masone Harar graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English from James Madison University and a Masters in Secondary English Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has enjoyed teaching high school English ever since. As a teacher, Bethany is able to connect with the very audience for whom she writes, and this connection gives her insight into their interests. As a writer, she wants to make her readers gasp out loud, sigh with longing and identify with her characters.
 
Bethany also enjoys posting on her blog, bethsbemusings.blogspot.com, is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and is an avid follower of literary-driven social media.
 
She resides in Northern Virginia with her husband, two beautiful children, and her miniature poodle, Annie.

Links:

Author's Web

Author's Blog

Twitter: @bethhararwrites

GoodReads

Buy On Amazon

Barnes and Noble
 

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