Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Cheapest Way to Travel: Short Stories and Settings

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You're All Punks: Four Stories
 I wanted to welcome Matt Demko on my blog today. It's so nice to share the space with visitors!!
The Cheapest Way to Travel: Short Stories and Settings

Maybe it’s a strange way of doing things, but when I begin formulating ideas for a new story, the first aspect I usually consider is the setting. My hope is that my comedic short stories can send readers on little vacations, that they can be transported for a half-hour, an hour, to someplace where it’s fun to be, the way James Taylor goes to Carolina in his mind.

The best way to achieve that effect is to come up with a place that just seems to lend itself to drama, laughs, action: a summer camp, a comedy club, even an assisted-living home. Once you’ve hit upon this setting, it becomes fairly easy to fill your work with the types of colorful people who in real life would tend to gather at such a place. 

You might also want to make your setting a place you only wish you’ve been or wish you could go, like Paris or a colony on the moon. (You can forget about Internet airfare discounts; writing is definitely the cheapest way to travel.) Just be diligent about researching places you’ve never visited – readers pick up on the tiniest mistakes! In fact, if you set your story in Thailand, and you’ve never actually been there, see if you can find a proofreader from Thailand on Twitter, Goodreads, or another website.

A great pleasure of the writing life is conjuring up fond memories. And creating a setting that’s similar to a significant place in your life brings memories roaring back with startling vitality. For example, imagine that you worked at an arcade as a teenager in the 1980’s. If you composed a story set in a 1980’s arcade, the process of describing your fictional arcade would induce you to recall events and atmospheric details long forgotten. What’s more, as you type away, people you haven’t seen in years will return for a visit. Vividly they’ll dance in your mind – old friends, acquaintances, dates, your first boss. Your writing will become a time machine.

Note, too, that at times your plot can alter your setting. Say that you’re writing a scary story about someone whose car breaks down at night. As you’re going along, you might decide to change the time period from present-day to the early 1990’s. After all, with not a cell phone in sight, your hero’s that much more isolated.


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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Do readers like Bridge stories??

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Heck – I don’t know. I just found out about them myself –
call me dumb if you want!


Our promoter on the IBC group has warned us that short stories are selling well and it would be a great idea for us to add them into our future writing plans. As I mentioned before in other blogs, readers today are in a hurry. Since everything in their lives is rush-rush, so too is their allowable reading time. Maybe on their lunch hours - hence Lunchtime Reads. The new website that is now available featuring short stories written by many best-selling amazon authors. (Aha! My sneaky little promo for the link on the sidebar)

Anyway, I regress! BRIDGE STORIES….


When she brought up this type of a short story, I questioned her nonchalantly, thanking the Gods that she couldn’t see my red cheeks since we were on a webinar. Her reply left me thoughtful and then excited. She told me they were shorts that the author can write to fill in what is happening in the protagonist’s lives between two full-length books in a series. You’re most likely asking, why does it matter? Shouldn’t that information be the backstory in the next book?


I thought that way myself. Then I reviewed where I had left my characters in “Roll the Dice”, which is book #2 in the Vegas Series. And since Vegas is a run-on series, I knew there would be quite a lot going on in both my hero and heroine’s worlds but it wouldn’t necessarily be where I intended to start the next full-length novel called “High Stakes Gamble.”


So……. This bridge book would work for me – in fact the idea had me so excited that I stopped work on Gamble and got right to work on the book I’ll be releasing next week called “Vegas Shuffle” It is a bridge. It does fill in the gap perfectly for any of the readers who want to know what’s going on until Aurora and Kai are re-united. There is a warning “spoiler alert” at the beginning to tell the unsuspecting reader it would benefit them to read “Roll the Dice” first.  And... I loved digging into their worlds in more detail as I crafted the characters.


Best of all…it was a hell of a lot of fun to write.
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Friday, January 25, 2013

Please meet S.J. Byrne - author of My Butterfly!

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With open arms, I'm welcoming a friend and colleague S.J. Bryne to Believe! today and hope you all enjoy her excerpt. She is the co-ordinator for the First Love Blog Hop and is a bundle of knowledge, energy and fun. I'm so glad to be a part of this great promo.

An excerpt from My Butterfly

"Ah wud ne'er, E'ER hurt ye! Ah did nae mean tae frighten ye wi' mah hunger. Am sae sorry, lass. Please say yer okay. Please tell meh Ah have nae hurt ye."

The anguish in his eyes tore at her heart, and Katherine hung her head, knowing there was no way he could understand the deep shame she felt. Familiar tears filled her eyes as she stared at the floor beneath her feet. He had a right to know the truth, but she didn't think she had the strength to tell him. She had never told a soul, not even Jessup, though she suspected he'd known and enjoyed it immensely. Gathering courage about her like a wet, woolen blanket, she prepared to see the disgust and rejection in his eyes once she revealed her dark secret.

"Katherine, please fergive meh." Remorse forced him into silence, and it broke her heart to hear him full of self-loathing on her account.

"There's nothing to forgive."

The whisper of words was as broken as her spirit had once been, and with her chin lifted high, she avoided looking him in the eye as tears streamed down her cheeks. Slipping off the stool, she crossed the kitchen to where he stood and placed her hands flat against the center of his chest. Leaning her forehead into the hollow of his throat, she was reminded how perfectly they fit together and realized she would miss the feeling of symmetry between their bodies.

About the Author

Living in the mountains of Western North Carolina SJ Byrne is just trying to make her way through the insanity that comes with creativity. Writing is her passion - life is her muse. Keep an eye out for new books due later this year.

Connect with SJ via:

Read more about her books on:
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Meet visiting author RaeBeth McGee...

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I'd like to welcome RaeBeth McGee today as my special guest. She is the author of the book called "Silenced" a controversial novel about a teen in so much turmoil that she reverts to cutting herself in order to alleviate the pain.

How would you describe your writing style?

 My writing style is normally all over the place. I don’t have a set way to write. I just do it. Especially when the urge hits or my characters won’t leave me alone.

 What are you usually wearing at three o’clock in the morning?

I am normally in a pair of comfy pants and a t-shirt.

Important question. Silk, satin, cotton or flannel? What is your sheet of choice and why?
Cotton. I can’t really stand the feel of silk or satin.... flannel is just gross to me.

 Tell us something not very many people know.

I can’t say no. I’m soft hearted. When I see someone in need.. I can’t resist but to help. Even if I promised myself I wouldn’t do it as much.

 What’s your typical writing day like

A typical writing day starts with me getting my laptop set up where I plan to write. As of lately it’s been on my living room couch. I open it up and get it to boot up. While waiting on my computer I put on some fresh coffee and grab a cup. Once I’m comfortable, I read through the previous chapter to be sure all sounds good before I actually begin writing and adding on to the story.

Then... I let all the words rush out until it’s time to get my daughter from school.

If you could have lunch with one writer, who would it be?
I would say Stephen King if I had to pick an author that’s alive. If it could be any author.. Edgar Allen Poe.

Tell us about your newest release.

My newest release is Silenced. It takes the reader into the mind of the main character and shows them a peek of what it’s like to be depressed while dealing with cutting. It’s emotional driven and some have even said it’s hard for them to read. So if cutting and depression is a sensitive subject for you... then Silenced probably isn’t your type of book.

Do you have anything in the works?

Yes I do. I’m working on the second book to Silenced and a paranormal series.

Where can we find you?

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Meet Isabella Sinclair - author of Olly!

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Meet Isabella Sinclair, author of this fun, 
sexy Novella called OLLY!

An excerpt...from OLLY

“Dying of a broken heart?” The idea rolled off my tongue fluidly, and my pulse quickened as it recognized the primal truth behind her words.

“It happens quite frequently to couples who’ve been married a long time. Why can’t it happen to soul mates separated for far too long, with no hope of ever reconnecting?” Glancing at him, her eyes softened and welled with tears. “In his heart, Dad belonged to you, even though he was living with us.”

Wanting to believe her theory-needing to believe it-my hopeful heart skipped a beat. If he’s dying of a broken heart because of our separation, could my return save his life? Dare I begin to hope? “It’s something. I’d swallow glass if it would save him.” A ripple of movement under my chin caught my attention, and I looked into a pair of smiling brown eyes.

“I adore you.” His whisper was loud enough for Devin to hear, and she quietly left the room to give us a moment of privacy.

“I adore you, Gage.” I kissed the top of his nose, loving the way our hearts beat in unison.

“Please don’t eat glass for me.” Though his lips turned up the slightest bit, his eyes conveyed the depth of his emotion in connection with my welfare.

“I promise, my love.” I’d do anything he asked of me, and he knew it.

About The Author

Isabella is like a fine wine with a little bit of Rock-n-Roll. She began writing erotic stories to entertain her boyfriend and discovered a talent given at birth. Weaving an erotic tale without going overboard is no simple thing and Isabella wouldn't dream of leaving out matters of the heart. After all, what is sex without love? Empty

Connect with Isabella via:  Facebook  and  Goodreads  
Buy her book OLLY on Amazon and Smashwords

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Jan 23 & 24th
Great books from Best-selling authors
all FREE!!
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Meet Paulette Mahurin - Author and Dog Lover!

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Please welcome Paulette Mahurin to Believe! today. She's written and has tirelessly promoted this wonderful book in order to give all the proceeds to a local animal shelter.

Need the book cover here

My Dog Tazzie By Paulette Mahurin Author of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

I have had several loves in my life, but ranking at that top is Tazzie, my beloved Rottweiler girl, who went on to the rainbow bridge September, 2011, seems like yesterday. I still miss her, the wagging of her little stubby tail when I came home, the drool at the side of her mouth to let me know it’s meal time, the spot on the carpet where her body left and imprint, beside my bed, her collar still hanging in the entrance hall, and yes a year later little black hair keeps showing up. I loved her with every cell in my body. She lived a good long life, fifteen plus years for that breed is ancient. We got her from our local shelter, here in Ojai, CA, where I live with my husband, Terry and our two new babies, Max & Bella (also rescued from a kill-shelter), over sixteen years ago. She was a purebred, from a puppy mill in Arkansas, shipped out to a pet shop in Los Angeles, and sold to a couple who live in an adjoining city to ours, until the day she ran into the street and was hit by a truck. That was the day, they threw her away to be disposed of, seems the truck broke her femur and they didn’t want to help her. Since is was a straight fracture, it wouldn’t have required much, just keep her calm, but they still decided to throw her away. Lucky for me. Since my husband and I were into animal rescue for a lot of years already and I’m a Nurse Practitioner, taking care of a dog, no problem. She came to us with another problem, a tick infestation, of which I contracted a few, one carrying the Lyme bacteria. Tazzie’s femur was fully healed by the time I became very symptomatic, fell off the face of the earth. In my worst days she was there, through all the years, at my side, some days she was the only thing that gave me any reason to want to live (I was debilitated with meningitis, cardiac valve involvement, crippling arthritis, and no energy). I look back at that time as a gift from God, she my angel, because it brought me to myself, to face everything in my life up till now I ran from. In facing, sitting at the seat of my demons, I gained a new freedom, to just be, without any need to be anything. With and through Tazzie, I found myself, what I like to consider is my authentic self. What greater gift could there be? As the years moved along and I started to regain my health, hers failed. At first it was her hind legs growing weak, then her heart, a cancer in an eye, until the day, at the ripe old age of fifteen years and two weeks, she stopped drinking and went to sleep. She died at home, in my arms, three days later. It wasn’t long after that; I finished my novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap. It was also a coincidence that the first and only no-kill animal shelter opened in Ventura County, Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, where I live. Tazzie would want me to help other dogs like her, throw-aways, to be disposed of because they were born or were an inconvenience, so it was no stroke of genius on my part to decide to give all profits from my book to this shelter, in the memory of my one of my all time best friends and great loves of my life, Tazzie Mahurin. (August 25, 1996 – September 7, 2011) That’s why I tirelessly keep at it, promoting my book, in hopes someone will pick it, read it, spread the word, and fury kids like Tazzie will get out of those cells and find their forever homes.

PRESS ARTICLE: VC STAR Sept. 9, 2012 Sunday Life Section: /

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Controversial book by Rachelle Ayala - Hidden Under Her Heart

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I’d like to introduce a wonderful writer and good friend, Rachelle Ayala, to Believe! today. Her new release is now available,
 and will be priced as a bargain from Jan 21st - 23rd
 at $.99 both on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

HIDDEN UNDER HER HEART (A Story of Abortion & Courage) by Rachelle Ayala

Maryanne Torres is a compassionate nurse who fails at relationships. After a string of losers, she swears off premarital sex, hoping to land a marrying type of man.

Lucas Knight, a law-school dropout, moves to California to train for the Ironman Triathlon. He's smart, sweet, and everything Maryanne wants in a man, but their relationship suffers from his dedication to the sport. Seeking consolation in the arms of a handsome preacher's son, Maryanne attends a church party where she is raped.

Maryanne is pregnant from the rape and plans to abort. But the identity of her rapist is hidden in her baby's DNA. Lucas asks Maryanne to seek alternatives and pledges to support her through the pregnancy. When Lucas becomes the prime suspect, Maryanne must clear his name and make a life changing decision.

The rapist has other ideas. In order to destroy the evidence, he offers Maryanne an illegal offshore abortion. With Maryanne's life in danger, Lucas races to save her and her baby. However, Maryanne hides a secret that threatens to tear them apart forever.

A 99,000-word women's fiction, HIDDEN UNDER HER HEART deals with the consequences of rape and abortion.

From the Author

Hidden Under Her Heart is an emotional and hard-hitting story about a young woman facing a heart-wrenching decision. We’ve heard the rhetoric, maybe even argued over the issue of abortion and rape. But behind the debates are real people—women and men with real problems and feelings. My story is not meant to be preachy, but compassionate, especially for post-abortive parents seeking closure. I think people on both sides of the fence will find meaning in the changes that both Maryanne and Lucas go through. Ultimately, it is an uplifting story, and my hope is that it will be a help to you.

About the Author

I am the author of three novels: Michal’s Window, a historical romance between King David and his first wife, the princess Michal, Broken Build, a romantic suspense thriller set in a Silicon Valley startup, and Hidden Under Her Heart, a story about a nurse wrestling with her decision to abort. My stories tend to be dramatic and emotional, crossing genres and cultures. I like to dive deep and live through my characters’ eyes. Each of them are passionate but flawed women paired with conflicted men with good hearts. I hope you enjoy the emotional journey I take you on.

I love to hear from readers. Please contact me on Facebook: or my blog:

Book Links

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

First Love Blog Hop!!!

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This month I have released a new boxed set called Mimi’s Mix. I selected a story from each of my three series’ - books that haven’t reached as many readers as I would like. I chose Partners from the Vegas Series, His Devious Angel a full-length from the Angels with Attitudes Series and one of my novellas called He's Her from the Vicarage Bench Series. I put the three into a boxed set and crossed my fingers.

This isn’t my first boxed set; I'd made another just before Christmas. In that case I took the three novellas from The Vicarage Bench Series, which hardly got any attention at all, and put them all together. Much to my surprise, the set has sold wonderfully. Of course the fact that I’ve priced it at $.99 might have made the difference. (Ya think?) And I did hesitate to price it so low. Until I realized that the combined word count was less than many single title novels.

Amazon $.99

Each of the novellas in the anthology was singularly priced at $.99 and still are. Therefore, you would think a fair price would be $2.99 which is an acceptable price for three separate stories. But after the set came off a promotion and took off, I just couldn’t put the price back up. The sales now have justified me keeping the price low and giving the readers a treat.

Not to mention that those book have reached thousands of more readers who hopefully will like my writing and search out my other work. I consider it a win-win situation.
*** I’ll be gifting a copy of each if my boxed sets to two lucky people who leave their e-mail address and a comment about what they think of boxed sets of books.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013



Welcome to this blog hop.

What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way that readers can discover new authors, because with bookstores closing and publishers not promoting new authors as much, we need to find a way to introduce readers to authors they may not see in their local bookstore.

Here you have the chance to find new authors. Here you’ll find information about me, what I’m working on now.  Also see links below to other authors you might like to check out.

I’d like to thank fellow author Rita Herron for tagging me to participate. Click the link below to find out about her latest work Dying to Tell

RitaHerron blogsite

In this particular hop, I and my fellow authors, in their respective blogs, have answered 10 questions where you get to learn about our current work in progress as well as some insights into our process, from characters and inspirations to plotting and cover decisions. I hope you enjoy it!

Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: What is the working title of your book.

The working title of my book is Vegas Rift

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

Numerous times, my promoter has suggested that short stories are selling like proverbial hotcakes. She warned our group to start producing more to meet the demand. Bridge stories were one example of writing a short. Not sure what she meant, I questioned her and found out that it was a brief record of what is happening in the lives of your characters between two full-length novels. Since at the time, I was actually writing my third book in the Vegas Series “High Stakes Gamble” and I wanted to start the events eleven months after the last book, this bridge story seemed to be the perfect answer.

3: What genre does your book come under?

The genre is Romantic Suspense

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

A young Bruce Willis and Jennifer Lawrence

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Aurora survives her time separated from the man she loves, the father of her expectant baby.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

The Vegas Series is self-published (but not self-edited). There are two editors working with me on these creations.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m still working the first draft and more than halfway through. So far I’ve written 5 days at approximately 3-4 hours each day.  The story will be finished in less than 4 days.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I would say my style of writing is like a Castle TV show – maybe a little grittier, language wise but with the same type of humor.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I love reading Romantic Suspense and watching these types of TV shows also. On my last trip to Vegas, I knew where I wanted my setting to be and so the rest fell in naturally.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

If you’ve read Books #1 and #2 of the Vegas series, this story will whet your appetite for the next full-length addition to the series coming in March called High Stakes Gamble.

As a standalone story, readers might not get the full impact from Vegas Rift. And since I’ve kept the prices as low as possible on all the books (99 cents), I know they’re getting a deal if they buy them in order and enjoy the series as it unwinds.


Below you will find authors who will be joining me by blog, next Wednesday. Do be sure to bookmark and add them to your calendars for updates on WIPs and New Releases! Happy Writing and Reading!

Check out the new, fantastic website selling short stories for those people who only have a few minutes a day to relax!!!
The prices are all 99 cents and most of the authors appear
on many of Amazon's category best-seller's lists. 



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

You’re Darn Right Short Stories Sell!!

Oh yes they do!
Let’s take the new website that I’m promoting for your enjoyment called Lunchtime Reads. If you check the names of the authors on the covers, many can be found on the Amazon best-sellers lists in different categories from romantic suspense, to paranormal to contemporary.


These authors know something that is finally coming to light. Readers love reading anything that’s well written. They’ll forgive a story that’s too short by reviewing with remarks like – wished this story hadn’t ended so soon. Or love the story – just wanted it to go on longer.


 What they can’t forgive is a badly written book, no matter what the length.


I have to admit that on my first try, I wasn't sure if I'd managed to give my characters and plot enough structure. I worried that there wouldn’t be sufficient words in order to properly describe the setting. And emotions…  I love writing emotionally charged
 scenes. Would this have to change?


Over time, I leaned something surprising.


I realized that I had to make every word count. To think in ways that can minimalize action and ramp up emotion, not with a lot of words, but more powerful ones.  I also decided that there couldn’t be multitudes of characters, but that my two protagonists would most likely have to carry the tale. And only one major conflict or action scene was necessary. I learned that the sagging middle that attacks many novels was a thing of the past. Not enough time for a sagging middle – or at least I bloody-well hoped not. Every word needed to matter, every scene needed to count.


Pretty soon I actually enjoyed pitting myself against the challenge. It was fun knowing that a book could be written in a week and edited in the second one. Not to have to work on one project for months before completion turned me on big-time. And from now on, I’ll never hesitate to take on a project with only 15,000 words or less.


Give it a try. What can you lose? Better yet—what can you gain?

****Speaking of short stories, I’m working on a ‘bridge’ story which will cover the time between Roll the Dice and the next full-length Vegas book called High Stakes Gamble. This short is called Vegas Rift, and for those of you who have read the series, it will describe Detective Aurora Morelli’s life after she becomes a killer and before her newborn daughter is kidnapped by a vicious baby snatcher.

Available next month on Amazon.

A BLOG HOP to pay attention to. A free Kindle could be yours on Feb 14th.
And there's many other prizes to win as well....check it out!!
Oh go on :-)

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