The Secret Lives of Honest Men—John R Cameron

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The Second Lives of Honest Men Tour & Giveaway!!

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A “Philosophical Odyssey touching on Faith, Hope, Love, Morality and Redemption.”

Synopsis

On the evening of April 14th, 1865, a flawless duplicate replaced the 16th President an instant prior to his assassination. Two centuries later, Honest Abe opened his eyes to a world in desperate need of guidance.

THE SECOND LIVES OF HONEST MEN is a prescient vision of where society’s dependence on technology could be taking us. It’s a character driven story about love, redemption, and hope, with deep philosophical underpinnings related to how we think, feel, and reason in a world where it’s ironically easy to feel disconnected.

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Purchase The Book

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About The Author

My family often drives me to the brink of madness; not a difficult thing to do, considering how close to the edge I already am. My daughter is a hellion. At the age of six, she’s both bright and bold, obstinate, and pushes every button I have. My wife blames my genetics: “I was never like that,” she claims. I deny it, despite knowing that I was also an uncontrollable child.

I’m a teacher, but I consider myself a modern philosopher. I’m very worried about the current state of education. I’m concerned about the future, in general. I don’t think we all necessarily need to be alarmists, though I do believe that if you look at the world around you and aren’t a little worried, you and I probably aren’t going to agree on much. (I’ll pretend not to look while you navigate elsewhere. There’s plenty of other entertainment on-line. Crushing Candy, and so forth…)

I’m currently working on a couple of new short stories, and on the sequel to The Second Lives of Honest Men, which I’m writing under the working title of The Old Crow.

Visit his site at http://www.embracetheirony.com/

To follow the entire tour and view the schedule, Go HERE

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Bloodstained Lives…Interview and Playlist with Ronald Griffin

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I have been jamming out to the playlist for Bloodstained Lives all week (see below) and I am really pumped to do this week’s interview. Ronald Griffin is one of the authors that was featured a few weeks back for the Charity Blog Hop and his novel, Bloodstained Lives, is one of the most innovative and exciting stories of its kind to date. Check out the Book, Interview, and (of course) the playlist below…

About Bloodstained Lives

51HBaMTNK8L._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_Namon is a young man with a destiny that has haunted him since his birth. His parents were murdered to protect his existence a secret from those that would cause him harm. His godmother Katrina raises him to the best of her ability. Months before his 18th birthday though events occur that force her to reveal his destiny. He is one of the last White Wolves a rare secret race of werewolves blessed with holy powers that enable them to protect humanity from all creatures of darkness. During his journey he must learn to control his abilities and prepare himself for the inevitable confrontation with the vampire responsible for his parents’ deaths Cyrus. It is Cyrus’s goal to put together an ancient amulet that will enable him to summon the demon dragon Galamythe to carry out his lost love’s final wishes.

 

Interview With the Author

You released your debut novel, Bloodstained Lives, at the end of last year. What was your Facebook-20140117-064748inspiration for it?

Blood Stained Lives was actually based off of a short story I wrote years ago. One day I just decided to rewrite it and expand it. So I added in many more characters, a better plot, and several entertaining parts to it.

What sets Bloodstained Lives apart from other stories in this genre?

I would think it would be the broad range of characters and creatures that are in it. Creatures that would normally be bad guys can be good guys, and even some creatures that you don’t really read or hear that much about anymore. Plus there is a little bit of history to the characters as well. Each one has their important role in the book and you will find yourself being attached to each of them in one way or another. 

Stories about Vampires and Werewolves aren’t always scary these days. How would you rate Bloodstained Lives’ horror factor?

Blood Stained Lives is more action, drama, and comedy than horror.

I know that you feel like you have been pulled toward writing horror and paranormal novels since you were young. Was there a particular influence for this? Were you hiding under the covers and reading Stephen King novels at a young age, like I was?

Lol actually I was more into the Stephen King movies. Silver Bullet was my favorite and I think that was the one that sparked my interest in werewolves. I have always loved wolves but when you add the supernatural factor in it. That always makes it more interesting to me.

I love that you maintain a blog mini-series for your novels. Have you also been working on a sequel novel?

Yes I am currently writing the second story titled Blood Stained Deception which I have aimed at an august release. Along with the second book though I plan on taking the entire blog mini series and putting it in a book as a collection to sell along with the other two books. I am giving a little bit more back story to characters in the first book with the series, as well as introducing new characters that will be in the second one. One for instance is the bad mouth short tempered pixie Jewel. I just posted her story recently on my mini series blog site. She also comes across everyone’s favorite little gremlin as well in that story.

Finally, give our readers a good farewell. What is it the last thing that you want people to know about you and your work?

I would rather not say farewell because I want everyone to be with me through this journey every step of the way. So instead of farewell, I will say see you next story and keep an eye out for my short stories.

Playlist for Bloodstained Lives

My immortal-Evanescence
Crazy Train-both Ozzy Osbourne and Bullet for my Valentine versions
Beautiful-Akon
Walk-Foo Fighters
Dance the Night away- David Banner
Super Bass- Nicki Minaj
Secrets- One Republic
Hero- Skillet
Awake and Alive- Skillet
Already Over- Red
Anything, Anything- Drama Rama
Bring me to Life- Evanescence
Headstrong- Trapt

Ronald Griffin Bio

Bio-Ronald Griffin is a 31 year old Author who grew up in Georgia and still lives there today. His current writing style includes paranormal fantasy and horror. He has been writing since he was 9 years old when he wrote a Tiny Toons Adventure skit for his class and it was well received. From there, he was absorbed with writing about Superheros but once high school hit, the supernatural started calling him, especially the werewolves. This is where his latest The Blood Lives Saga was born. He also writes short stories for various anthologies and some of them even for charity.

Social Media Links
Book Links
Websites
http://bloodstainedorigins.blogspot.com/ (blog mini series for my novels)

Dark and Twisted Author Spotlight with Melissa Groeling…#Thriller…#Excerpt

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Just to keep your heart pounding…

Earlier this morning, we got your heart pumping and your blood flowing with a little sexiness. Now, we’re going to make your heart jump again as Melissa Groeling stops by to tell us about her smash thriller: Lights Out.

About the Book

Lights Out coverEven when the lights are out, he can still see you…

Paul Holten’s profession doesn’t leave much room for doubt or conscience but he’s reaching his breaking point. The nightmares are getting worse, the jobs are getting harder to finish and the volatile relationship with his boss, Aaron, is falling apart. Now faced with the possibility of an impending death sentence, Paul makes the fatal decision to run. Drawn into one hellish situation after another, he’s forced to confront his dark past—and wonder if perhaps dying isn’t the better option.

Find Lights Out:

On Amazon

On Barnes and Nobel

On Smashwords

On ARe

On Goodreads

Read Melissa Groeling’s guest blog before scrolling down and reading an excerpt of Lights Out.

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Hey there, A.C.! Thanks for having me on your blog today! I had to literally shovel my way here. The Northeast has been getting slammed with snow these past few weeks! I work for a pet food company and I’m always making jokes about how we should have a dog sled team available to bring us into work when the weather gets like this

So anyway! Enough about the weather! 

I have a new book out right now called, Lights Out. It’s a thriller novel, one that took me a looooooong time to finally submit to my publishing company, Black Opal Books. It’s been through so many revisions, so many re-writes and I can’t even tell you how many times I wanted to set it on fire. But something always stopped me, always drew me back to it. It ended up being like my go-to story when I was stuck with writer’s block on something else.

Lights Out is a dark, twisted story. I will be first to admit it. I grew up watching scary movies (Aliens, Hellraiser, The Exocist, you know all those classics) and reading scary books (Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Del James and Robert McCammon) so a part of me isn’t too surprised by the content of the book. Of course, there’s another part of me that truly wonders about my state of mind especially when, upon finishing Lights Out, my mom and my sister had a little pow-wow and asked each other,

“What’s wrong with her?”

Her being me.

I thought it was a compliment. I still think it is. The story wasn’t what they were expecting. That’s the reaction every writer wants, I think. But during the course of writing the story, I asked myself that question over and over again. And you know what?

I’m still not sure of the answer.

Lights Out Excerpt

They had to get out of there—and fast—but he couldn’t see a thing…

Jesus, it was dark.
It was disorienting in its completeness, in its total lack of light. In his lifetime, Paul had had his sight temporarily taken from him many times. Mostly by people who didn’t want to be looked at or identified if—God forbid—something went wrong. But there had always been some degree of light leaking through the blindfold or a shift in someone’s hand that was clamped tightly over his eyes, or the loose weaves in a rut-sack that was tied around his head. He’d always been able to see something.

This, however, was like the deepest part of the ocean. This was like having his eyes glued shut. This was what it meant to be blind.

The air grew colder and with that came the struggle to breathe. He didn’t know if it was claustrophobia but it came pretty damn close. His chest hurt and his throat felt like someone was cramming cotton into his mouth. He tried to breathe more slowly, to at least calm the thundering in his rib cage, but the darkness around him fed the panic that was skating through his bones. The stones beneath his fingers were wet in some places and icy in others and, under his feet, things crunched and squeaked like he was stepping through snow and ice.

He hoped it was snow and ice.

Echoes came from all sides of him. It was impossible to decipher one sound from the next. He wondered if people who heard voices were anything like this. Just one gigantic ball of murmuring sounds and words that didn’t make any sense.

There was a scraping sound behind him.

About the Author

Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Lights Out is her second novel to date.

Come find me at Facebook!

Twitter: @stringbean10

Blog: http://melissagroeling.blogspot.com

“Coven of the Courtesan” by Yolanda Shoshana…#BookReviews

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Review

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4 out of 5 loves

“Strong women..magick…and lust…everything a woman needs to invoke her inner goddess”

Let’s get this out of the way, this novella looses a few points because of a typos and poor sentence structure in a few spots. With that being said, once the story got going, my heart was racing so fast and I was so enthralled in the story that I just didn’t care about the previous mistakes.

This is a great little story and I am a sucker for a strong, witchy woman and a great office fantasy. Shoshana manages to mix magick and consumer culture to create a seductive tension that is palpable in this short, but very worth the read, story. This is a great introduction for what is to come for Bast and I can’t wait to pick up the next installment.

To learn more about this book and author check out her Indie Author Spotlight, here on Indie Ashley.

Amazing Love, Toe Curling Sex and Magick with Yolanda Shoshana

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This week, we are spicing things up, as Yolanda Soshana stops by to talk about sex magick and introduce us to her sexy novella; “Coven of the Courtesan”.

Sex Magick with Yolanda Shoshana

A big thanks for having me and Coven of the Courtesan on your blog today! I am here to drop a bit of love, sex, and magick.

Coven of the Courtesan follows a coven of witches in New York that bring back the art and magick of the courtesans. Many people thought of courtesans as witches because they were so seductive and charming. One thing that the courtesans are known for is their passionate sex lives. Let’s talk about about sex magick shall we….

Sex magick also known as “sacred sex”, works with the divine to use your power to create a desired result during sex. It is something that one has to experience versus just read about to get the full effect. Sex magick is found in every religion in various forms. The goal is love, harmony, and bliss. There are those who agree that sacred sex is a lifestyle choice that can open up creativity, manifest what the heart desires, create open and fulfilling relationships as well as heal things within us.

One way that you can begin to experience sex magick is to add tantra to your life. Tantra actually has little to do with sex. It’s teachings are about everyday life including the body, which is where the myth of it being mainly about sex comes from. Think of it as slowing down, awakening the senses and living in the moment to become more complete. It is a way of life that values sex and the life force originating from the same place. You can practice tantra with or without a partner.

The other way to experience sex magick is by awakening your kundalini energy. This energy is a spiritual energy that comes from the base of the spine. To tap into this energy explore more spiritually and add meditation to the mix. It is an energy that few people experience because it stays dormant until it is called upon. When this energy is open, a person experiences, bliss, spiritual awareness, and unlimited love by the universe, which in turn makes for an amazing sex life. Take a kundalini yoga class to get your spiritual juices flowing.

You deserve amazing love which includes amazing sex. Having great sex does not start in the bedroom. The best way to experience sex on a deeper level is through your own self awareness, spirituality and healing. May you have many orgasmic experiences and read Coven of the Courtesan.

Intrigued yet? Yeah, me too. Keep reading to learn more about Yolonda and “The Court of the Courtesan” and to find out exactly where you can find both the author and the book. Then, skip on over to my review page and check out my own review of her novella.

Who is Yolonda Soshana? 

Yolanda Shoshana (“Shoshi”) is a BadAss Bruja, Celebrity Clairvoyant, Courtesan Curator, and Author. She helps people have amazing love, toe curling sex, and unleash their magick.

Shoshi is the creatrix of Bruja Bespoke, an apothecary for bodacious and sensuous women. When not creating, conjuring, or interviewing, she can be found officiating wedding ceremonies around New York.

Web: http://www.yolandashoshana.com

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/yolandashoshana

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Shoshi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YolandaShoshana

Blog: http://www.yolandashsohana.blogspot.com

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+YolandaShoshana-LoveSexMagick

What is the Book and Where Can I Find it?

Young woman with long slim sexy legs in black shoes

Amazon    Google    Kobo   Smashwords

Book Description:

 Coven of the Courtesan, Book 1- The Courtesan Chronicles Series

Bast Buchanan is about to become CEO of Spellbound Entertainment until the Ewing family swoops down and buys the company. She never saw this coming.follows a coven of witches in New York City who bring back the magick and art of the courtesan. Come on the adventures of Bast, Lola, and Pixie as they take you on a journey that looks like Charmed meets Sex in the City.

Ramennis Ewing expects to run his father’s new conquest and take over the family media empire. He is ready to prove there is more to him than what is in the press.

When Bast is asked to work side by side with roving playboy, Ramennis, can she continue to keep her guard up with this new enemy, one of the sexiest men she has ever met or does her coven have to open up a can of power of three on him. Just who will seduce whom?

*The mixed media novelette series contains real magick and spells.

 

“From Thine Own Well” by Norm Hamilton…#BookReviews

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About the Book

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They said it couldn’t happen here—but it did!
Water resources have become scarce and individual freedoms cast off. A society has been brought to its knees by a series of FIPA agreements. Economic ruin, contaminated watersheds, earthquakes and human relationships paint the picture of a Canadian society that has been altered, seemingly irrevocably.

Those international accords effectively brought the Canadian government to collapse and ruin—forced into dependency on corporatist rule. Unrestricted fracking and irresponsible mining practices caused major watersheds and underground streams to become contaminated, the precious fluid, noxious.

The sole purpose of The Coalition, a regulatory body created by the world-wide conglomerates that governs the country, is to ensure the profitability of its corporate members.

In Yukon, Canada’s far north, a baker’s dozen of unknown, everyday people and one dog are loosely thrown together in an effort to combat The Coalition and its impact on Canadian lives and the environment. Though small in numbers, their resolve is immense … and palpable.

The representatives of The Coalition vie for power and status while attempting to maintain control of the populace. Their numbers include those who would dispose of the others and some who, in spite of themselves, find love.

The Yukoners include a married couple, young singles and elders. The action-filled scenes are interspersed with tender moments and imaginative solutions while relationships bloom within their ranks. Together they confront the corporate menace.

Join Landon, Nora, Galen and the others who, through no design of their own, have become the unwitting hope for Canada’s future.

The year is 2036 …

Review

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4 out of 5 loves

It is always exciting for a writer to take on a political, social or environmental issue in their work. Norm Hamilton does, just this, as he chronicles the struggles of the people of the Yukon against “The Agreement”—a contract that allows Chinese businesses to extract natural resources from Canada without regulation–and “The Coalition”—the group of people who protect this right.

Although it may seem to be a cautionary tale for the dangers of destroying the environment, there is much more to it than that. Hamilton highlights what “could” be the downfalls of society if “lust for money” becomes a motivation for people and countries to destroy themselves in pursuit of a fat checkbook and a prominent seat in the world market.

What is more important is that “From Thine Own Well” accomplishes all this while still being a really great story. It’s never slow, never boring and doesn’t at all feel “preachy” to me. All in all, I think this is a really great addition to the Dystopian genre and would recommend it to anybody who enjoyed reading “The Giver”.

You can find the book on paperback and kindle at Amazon.

AND…as an added bonus, anyone who comments on this tour post will be entered to win a FREE Ebook copy of this novel!!!!

About the Author

Norm Hamilton (1951-) lived in Whitehorse, Yukon for 40 years and is currently normresiding on Vancouver Island with his wife, Anna, where he is meeting people and experiencing new adventures to write about. He is a writer and a photographer and is currently enjoying Lack Cowichan, B.C.

Norm has written one non-fiction book, “The Digital Eye.” It is a compilation of articles for people wanting to improve their photography skills or for those who want to learn digital photography.

His latest project is a novel titled, “From Thine Own Well,” a story about a dystopian Canadian society, brought about by unrestricted gas fracking and irresponsible mining techniques. It all began with a FIPI agreement in 2012 that left the federal government open to lawsuits-that they lost.

Norm’s books are available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon.

Follow the Book Tour!!!!

Children’s Charity Blog Hop—Wild Cards…National Children’s Cancer Center

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Wild Cards

Wild Cards is a book dedicated to Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers with a Supernatural/Paranormal flare. You will find a variety of stories so it won’t be hard to find something you and your children will like. From stories about the Grim Reaper, a dragon rider, three wishes, a witch, a man without a face, a house on a haunted street, the making of a villain and much more there is plenty for everyone. 100% of this books proceeds will go to The National Children’s Cancer Center. This book is all about the kids! Here are the awesome Authors and we couldn’t have had such a great cover with the art work by Don Semora.

Ronald Griffin’s Biography:

Ronald Griffin is a 31 year old Author who grew up in Georgia and still lives there today. His current writing style includes paranormal fantasy and horror. He has been writing since he was 9 years old when he wrote a Tiny Toons Adventure skit for his class and it was well received. From there, he was absorbed with writing about Superhero’s but once high school hit, the supernatural started calling him, especially the werewolves. This is where his latest The Blood Lives Saga was born. You can either find him locked away in his writing cave or at his local Cracker Barrel where he supports his fantasy genre reading habit. His Author idol is the husband and wife writing team Ilona Andrews. He has thoroughly enjoyed their magic series novels and feels encouraged that they are from his same state. When not writing, you can find Ronald spending time with his daughters (ages 3 and 9) and his son (age 7). He can be found spending time making precious moments with them and hopefully passing along his writing bug to them.
www.bloodstainedsaga.com

Gabrielle Lee Hughes’s Biography:

Gabrielle Lee Hughes is an inspiring new author. For fifteen years, Gabrielle has been writing short stories, poetry, and just finish her first novel, The New World: The Last Resistance. She is currently looking for a publishing company to fit her first novel’s needs. She is also currently working on her second novel, The New World: Dawn of a New Age. Gabrielle currently lives in Georgia.

Mark Mackey’s Biography:

Mark Mackey, living in Chicago, started writing during the late 1990’s when he submitted a simple poem to a contest which was later published in an anthology. In addition he has won two screenplay awards, one for the short screenplay Horror in the Woods, and one for the feature Length screenplay A Tale of Two Girls, both in the book Four Screenplays volume I. Also he has written several books in the process of being edited and three short stories published in three different anthologies.

T.G. Reaper’s Biography:

T.G. Reaper, aka Thom Futrell is the award winning, bestselling author of EMPTY GRAVES, MEAT PUPPET, NIGHT SONGS, DRIPPINGS along with over twenty anthologies and magazine articles. He lives near Jackson, Michigan with his wife, two daughters and two cats.
http://thetombofthereaper.blogspot.com/

David R. Bennett’s Biography:

I am an author from Houston, Texas. I am what I would call a freaky fiction writer. I write strange tales in all realms of fiction. I am a bonafied Star Wars geek who cannot wait to see the range of movies put out by Disney starting in 2015.

Jeremy Rodden’s Biography:

Jeremy Rodden considers himself a dad first and an author second. He is the author of the middle grade/young adult Toonopolis series of books that takes place in his cartoon universe. He also edited, contributed to, and published The Myth of Mr. Mom, a non-fiction series of essays by stay-at-home dads.
www.toonopolis.com

Laurie Treacy’s Biography:

I’m a wife, mom of three really good kids and various pets, an active reader and book blogger. Movie and music fan. I love frogs, frozen Goobers, anime and haunted places. I’m also a Whovian. I love paranormal, fantasy, urban fantasy, dystopian and contemporary romance. I initially started out writing YA, but I’ve also started writing for adults. My NaNoWriMo book this year is a New Adult paranormal. I find this genre exciting.

Jodie Pierce’s Biography:

Jodie Pierce is married to her hubby, John who gave her a storybook happily-ever-after. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio but traveled to Brasil when she was 16 years old as an exchange student and she continues to travel the US with her hubby. Jodie started writing as a teenager and even wrote for her schools’ newspaper and yearbook.
She has had a fascination with vampires since they were introduced to her as a child so she’s had a long history with them. It wasn’t until she started reading the Anne Rice vampire books in college that she was truly inspired to stop writing sappy teen romance stories and focus on the vampires she loved. You will find some of her experiences from Brasil in her stories. Many of her stories have historical or researched facts as she also enjoys research and learning about new places.
She has published four short novels (Eternal Press), a short story in “Midnight Thirst 2”, an anthology (Melange Books), has five self-published books (with 3 more charity anthologies by the end of 2013). She’s published her first charity vampire anthology book with various Authors named In Vein, where all the proceeds of the book went to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. She loves helping out other new Authors, runs blog hops and Facebook events for them to help market them. She has her own small publishing company named Vampirical Lyrical Publishing where she takes on new Authors and helps them see their creations come to life. She’s always busy with the next great vampire story as her mind is non-stop and even plagues her dreams. She’s co-manager of the Facebook Supernatural Writer’s Group where they put together 2 charity books a year where all proceeds will be donated to a special charity.

Buy Link:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Cards-Anthology-Jodie-Pierce/dp/1494268795/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386819838&sr=1-5&keywords=jodie+pierce

This is a great book you’re sure to love. Recommended reading ages are young adult but adults alike are bound to find some great stories by these great Authors. Pick up your copy today!

Charity Blog Hop—Children of the Night…National Children’s Cancer Center

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Children of the Night

Children of the Night is a fantastic book for Elementary School age children. With essential children’s lessons and good old fashioned Supernatural/Paranormal stories, this book gives you something for everyone. The children will enjoy the stories and the parents will enjoy the lessons in some of the stories. With stories about sharing, helping your parents, staying awake in class and never talking to strangers all will give you the opportunity to discuss these lessons with your children. Other stories like a Christmas mouse, Halloween night and a witch also provide enjoyment for the children. 100% of this books proceeds will go to The National Children’s Cancer Center. This book is all about the kids! Here are the participating Authors:

Ronald Griffin’s Biography:

Ronald Griffin is a 31 year old Author who grew up in Georgia and still lives there today. His current writing style includes paranormal fantasy and horror. He has been writing since he was 9 years old when he wrote a Tiny Toons Adventure skit for his class and it was well received. From there, he was absorbed with writing about Superhero’s but once high school hit, the supernatural started calling him, especially the werewolves. This is where his latest The Blood Lives Saga was born. You can either find him locked away in his writing cave or at his local Cracker Barrel where he supports his fantasy genre reading habit. His Author idol is the husband and wife writing team Ilona Andrews. He has thoroughly enjoyed their magic series novels and feels encouraged that they are from his same state. When not writing, you can find Ronald spending time with his daughters (ages 3 and 9) and his son (age 7). He can be found spending time making precious moments with them and hopefully passing along his writing bug to them.

www.bloodstainedsaga.com

Tara Fox Hall’s Biography:

Tara Fox Hall is an OSHA-certified safety and health inspector at a metal fabrication shop in upstate New York. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a double minor in chemistry and biology from Binghamton University. Her writing credits include nonfiction short stories, flash, short and novella-length horror stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. Her horror stories have appeared in Deadman’s Tome, Flashes in the Dark, Ghastly Door, The Halloween Alliance, Black Petals, SNM Horror Magazine, Microhorror, Dark Eclipse, Cemetery Moon, and various anthologies, including the recently published charity works Fear (Vol. 1) and Shifters. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers – Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the paranormal romantic drama Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chain sawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.
WHY: I’ve loved vampires since I saw Frank Langella in the first “hot vampire” version of Dracula years ago. That love intensified in my later teens with The Lost Boys, and reading Interview with the Vampire, along with anything vampire I could get my hands on. But I wanted more than the evil monster chasing young virgins; more than the sweet, misunderstood handsome fanged stranger that becomes the perfect mate for the woman who captures his heart after so many lone centuries. I wanted a vampire so well-crafted in detail that I could believe he was real. I wanted something different to happen in the story, other than girl becomes vampire, or vampire becomes dust. I wanted passion, tragedy, romance, suspense, action, and the haunting sweetness of poetry and song floating on a soft night breeze. So I penned my own vampires.

www.tarafoxhall.com

Ann Snizek’s Biography:

 Bio: Though her childhood was spent moving frequently, Ann Snizek is originally from Vermont and now lives in Virginia with her family. As a home-schooling family, Ann and her husband have tried to nurture the love of books in their children and now their grandchildren — always encouraging their imaginations.

Ann actively promotes literacy in her community, organizing and facilitating a creative writing club and then quickly adding volunteer tutoring and English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor at her local adult learning center.

Loving all aspects of writing, Ann started Snow Flower Enterprises (dot) com, and its divisions, to help other independent authors reach their goals.

www.annsnizekauthor.blogspot.com

Mark Mackey’s Biography:

Mark Mackey, living in Chicago, started writing during the late 1990’s when he submitted a simple poem to a contest which was later published in an anthology. In addition he has won two screenplay awards, one for the short screenplay Horror in the Woods, and one for the feature Length screenplay A Tale of Two Girls, both in the book Four Screenplays volume I. Also he has written several books in the process of being edited and three short stories published in three different anthologies.

www.goodreads.com/author/show/4901919.Mark_Mackey

Christina Mercer’s Biography:

Christina Mercer, author of Tween/Teen Fantasy Arrow of the Mist, writes fiction for children and young adults. She was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, she took Writer’s Best of Show at the SCBWI California North/Central Regional Conference, and she won an Honorable Mention in the 21st Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Christina enjoys life in the foothills of Northern California with her husband and sons, a pack of large dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees.

www.christinamercer.com

Jodie Pierce’s Biography:

 Jodie Pierce is married to her hubby, John who gave her a storybook happily-ever-after. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio but traveled to Brasil when she was 16 years old as an exchange student and she continues to travel the US with her hubby. Jodie started writing as a teenager and even wrote for her schools’ newspaper and yearbook.

She has had a fascination with vampires since they were introduced to her as a child so she’s had a long history with them. It wasn’t until she started reading the Anne Rice vampire books in college that she was truly inspired to stop writing sappy teen romance stories and focus on the vampires she loved. You will find some of her experiences from Brasil in her stories. Many of her stories have historical or researched facts as she also enjoys research and learning about new places.

She has published four short novels (Eternal Press), a short story in “Midnight Thirst 2”, an anthology (Melange Books), has five self-published books (with 3 more charity anthologies by the end of 2013). She’s published her first charity vampire anthology book with various Authors named In Vein, where all the proceeds of the book went to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. She loves helping out other new Authors, runs blog hops and Facebook events for them to help market them. She has her own small publishing company named Vampirical Lyrical Publishing where she takes on new Authors and helps them see their creations come to life. She’s always busy with the next great vampire story as her mind is non-stop and even plagues her dreams. She’s co-manager of the Facebook Supernatural Writer’s Group where they put together 2 charity books a year where all proceeds will be donated to a special charity.

www.thevampirequeen1.weebly.com

Buy Link:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Children-Night-Childrens-Charity-Anthology/dp/1494314940/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386819838&sr=1-4&keywords=jodie+pierce

Check out this special book, you’re bound to find something fun. Recommended reading ages 5-10 so read with your kids, nieces, nephews, grandkids and loved ones!

Giving Back via Social Media—Indie(s) Spotlight.

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National Children’s Cancer Society from Jamal McLaughlin on Vimeo.

As author’s we use social media for a lot of things. We promote our books; connect with bloggers, readers and reviewers; we connect with other authors; and we share our individual journeys. This week’s Indie Author Spotlight tells the story of what can happen when we use the connections to reach beyond ourselves…when we use them to touch the lives of others…when we use them to give back.

It all started with a Facebook group which was created to connect authors. Talks of writing books for charity began to flow between the authors and so the books Wild Cards and Children of the Night were born. 100% of the proceeds will go to The National Children Cancer’s Society, a charity organization, dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with cancer.

We all know the work that goes into things like writing and compiling a book, hosting a blog tour, and promoting a project so to think that this group of extraordinary authors came together to do it all for charity is amazing. Also, I can think of no charity more deserving of the contribution than the National Children’s Cancer Society. I had a 6 year old cousin pass away in November from childhood cancer and so I have a new understanding for the impact that Children’s Cancer can have on the life of the children as well as the families.

The group continues to give back as they work on another collection of stories, this time for the ASPCA. Check out the following posts to get to know the authors and books created for this wonderful cause.

https://ashleywillismusings.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/charity-blog-hop-children-of-the-night-national-childrens-cancer-center/

https://ashleywillismusings.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/childrens-charity-blog-hop-wild-cards-national-childrens-cancer-center/

The Business End of Things…Indie Spotlight Karen Banes

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I fell in love with the work of Karen Banes after reading the following quote:

“With the right to publish on your own terms comes the responsibility to publish something worth reading.”
Karen Banes
From  Ten Commandments For The Thriving Writer

Think about that for a moment.

At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want…to publish something worth reading? Karen has compiled her years of knowledge and experience to help other freelance and Indie authors succeed. That’s why I’m excited to bring you this week’s Indie Spotlight: Karen Banes! Check out her author Bio before scrolling down and reading her interview about book marketing!

AUTHOR BIO:

Karen Banes is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, travel, lifestyle and alternative education. She writes articles, website copy, ebooks and the occasional award winning short story.

Her freelance writing has appeared in a range of publications both online and off, including Life Info Magazine, Transitions Abroad, Brave New Traveler, Natural Parenting Group, and Copia Magazine.

She also works as a freelance copy editor and book reviewer, and loves helping other freelance writers and authors by providing editing services and book marketing opportunities over at her website KarenBanes.com.

Today, we talk with Karen Banes about Book Marketing:

How are you publishing your latest book and why?

I’ve self-published How To Start Your Freelance Writing Career From Scratch, and intend to self-publish all future projects unless something drastic changes. I believe it’s getting harder and harder to earn a living as a traditionally published author. The advances are small, the wait time until publication long, and the marketing support for most authors from their publishers is minimal.

As a self-published author you retain creative control of your projects, and can get them to market much quicker. You have to do your own marketing, or outsource it, but at least you know that from the start. I’m not saying self-publishing is right for everyone, but for me, it’s the only way I’d consider publishing right now. I’m very independent, and have a good all-round skill set, including a background in marketing. I’m also pretty good at assessing my own strengths and deciding when to outsource and when to get on the learning curve and work out how to do something myself.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Yes. I did try and use the Amazon cover creator for one of my Kindle books and it showed. Don’t get me wrong. Amazon’s cover creator is a good version of what it is. It just isn’t an artistic, talented, human cover designer. My cover didn’t look as sharp and professional as I would have wanted. I had that moment when I just had to admit it wasn’t as cool as the other authors’ covers! I went straight off and had a new cover designed.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

Every book, and author, is different. There’s no one-size-fits-all marketing plan. I’d advise authors to learn as much as they can about book marketing and then decide what fits both their book and their personality.

Books I’ve found useful are Marketing Your Book On Amazon and Author Publicity Pack by Shelley Hitz, and How to Sell Your Book Like Wildfire by Rob Eagar.

Just read as many books, blogs and articles about book marketing as you can, and try out strategies until you find something that works for you.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

For a week or so before and after launch, it’s all about the marketing, but outside of that time frame it’s probably 90% writing, 10% marketing. I try to do something each day to market my books. Sometimes it’s researching and writing a guest post, which is quite time-consuming, but other days it might just be sending out a tweet or adding my book to a website like bookmatchers.com or awesomebooks.com.

What is your view on social media for marketing?

I use various social media to a greater or lesser extent, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+.  I think social media can be a valuable part of your marketing plan, but it is just that, part of the plan.  There are other ways to promote your book, and if it’s not carefully managed, social media can be a time suck that provides limited results.

Which social network has worked best for you?

Twitter is my number one professional social network, but that’s probably because I’ve put more time into learning how to use it and building a targeted following on there. I use Twitter to share tips about writing, publishing and books, so the people who follow me are interested in those topics. I know that some book sales have come directly from Twitter because people have messaged me via Twitter to let me know they’ve bought one of my books.

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your books?

I don’t have one yet but I intend to create a quotes trailer. It’s not as fancy as a full-on professionally produced trailer, but it’s a personal preference of mine. You basically just pull your favorite quotes from your book and make them into a slide show. I find them quite effective and intriguing as a book buyer so I intend to try one as a book publisher.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

It depends what your objectives are and how you go about it. Offering one book for free if you have others in the same genre/topic area can help sales of the others, for sure (as long as your books are an excellent example of their genre).

There’s been so much buzz about using KDP free promotions to boost sales rankings, but the current feeling among authors I talk to is that these free promos are losing their power. Free downloads no longer boost sales rankings the way they once did, although they may get you a little more exposure.

I recently tried a KDP free promo with a new book and it seemed to give it a boost on the “hot new releases” and “new and popular” lists for its category, which in turn seemed to translate into some post-promo sales so maybe it’s worth it. I’ll keep experimenting.

Which publishing and marketing tasks did you outsource?

I trade editing and proofreading with another author/editor (I’m a trained copy editor and proofreader but it’s always a challenge to edit your own work), and pay for a professional cover design. Everything else, from formatting to marketing, I’ve done myself so far. I may outsource more in the future, but it’s always a case of prioritizing according to the budget available for each project.  The whole point of self-publishing for me (apart from creative control) is maintaining healthy profit margins.

In what formats is/are your book/s available?

Both my books are available for Kindle right now, and will be available for Nook, Sony, Kobo, iPad and most other ereaders by the end of 2013. I’m working on future projects that will be available as both print books and ebooks. If you’d like to hear about new releases and new formats as they become available, you can sign up here.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website:                      http://www.karenbanes.com/

Blog:                            http://www.karenbanes.com/blog.html

Facebook:                    https://www.facebook.com/karen.banes.9

Twitter:                       https://twitter.com/KarenBanes

Lnkedin:                       http://www.linkedin.com/pub/karen-banes/56/321/188

Pinterest:                     http://pinterest.com/KarenBanes/

Goodreads:                  http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/14991376-karen-banes

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/karenbanes

Amazon Book Pages:   52 Tips For Freelance Writers

How To Start Your Freelance Writing Career From Scratch